Broaden: (v) to widen
Searching until one finds a moral certainty.
It used to be the goal of the human race. Obviously, we never achieved it. Otherwise we wouldn’t have burned witches, hated people of different colors or put leeches on sick folk to heal them of pneumonia.
Often moral certainty is an interpretation of a code of ethics printed in a book–whether it’s the Bible or “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” We scour the material to find the commandments that assure us that we are on the high ground.
The difficulty with this procedure is that simultaneously, the inclusion of other lifestyles suggests that we broaden our outlook on morality–often to the detriment or even deterioration of some of our certainties.
When I was a boy divorce was bad. Now it ranges from being painful to necessary, but obviously common.
Things like abortion, homosexuality and marijuana smoking were condemned and even prosecuted. Now we have been asked to broaden our definitions of acceptable behavior to counteract what was once considered to be a certainty, and instead, deem it a transition in our understanding.
Because we are broadening ourselves so much, we are definitely yanking at the seams of the moral conscience.
So what is immoral?
Without doubt, the denigration of another human being for the satisfaction of our pleasure or religious fervor is immoral.
The purposeful bullying or intimidation of an individual or group of souls falls into the spectrum of unseemly.
But are there carnal acts or deeds that we consider immoral?
Stealing, for instance, is permissible if done on a corporate level instead of a “pauper” one.
Sexuality has to have justification and mutual adult consent to be given license.
And the immorality of indifference to the plight of others can even be disguised as a political maneuver.
I am not a great advocate of moral certainty–but I will tell you that merely broadening our horizons does not guarantee that we see the truth.