Why Be Moral Essay

People use violence to create, sustain, redress, end, and honor their relationships when their cultural models prescribe doing so.But living in a world of self-help vengeance is terrifying, bloody, and miserable, so when people can count on a chief or state to keep the peace and provide protection, they almost always chose to forgo self-help vengeance.

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Adrian Peterson and some others still think so, but more and more people reject it.

Not long ago, in most American states, a husband couldn’t rape his wife; there was no such crime.

To nearly everyone, including nearly all Muslims, what the perpetrators did was a terrible moral transgression.

From everything I’ve read about the events, there is no doubt that the perpetrators were morally motivated, feeling that they were doing just what virtue required, avenging the satirical publication’s insults to Muhammad.

In America, gangs and fraternities perform brutal initiations.

Incas, Aztecs, and Mayans once created, sustained, and redressed relationships with deities by sacrificing people to them, while Plains Indians offered up their own blood or flesh to guardian spirits.We see much the same cycle of killing in the Islamic State executions of Western captives and Western bombing of people believed to be affiliates or supporters of that group.Before that, there was 9/11, the invasion of Afghanistan to avenge the 9/11 attacks, leading to further retaliatory attacks against Western civilians, and so on.This could lead to “collateral” deaths that those who direct the strikes may deem a “reasonable cost” for avenging the murders of the cartoonists.Then the families and those who identify with the victims of those bombings will certainly retaliate against French, American, or other targets held collectively responsible.Violence is a terrible way to regulate relationships—terrible not just for the victims, but also for the perpetrators, who generally find harming or killing abhorrent, often carrying the trauma with them for a long time afterward.War can be incomparably thrilling and generate extraordinarily deep relationships that are uniquely rewarding and impossible to duplicate in civilian life.Alongside these precedents for using violence to right wrongs, no doubt the killers were modeling the suicide bombings and other acts of violent “martyrdom” that are perpetrated nearly every day in Iraq, Afghanistan, Europe, and the U. In the eyes of the perpetrators and their associates, ’s cartoonists had committed a terrible blasphemy, so the cartoonists, and anyone who supported or protected or was simply associated with them, deserved to be punished—by death.When the suspects were found, they did not surrender and were killed by the police.Most authorities and the general public judged that husbands had near absolute authority over their wives, including the moral and legal right to demand sex whenever they pleased and to use violence to enforce that right.What was thought to be morally natural and legitimate then is now judged to be morally wrong and criminal.

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