I have a new post up at NewEvangelizers.com
JEKYLL AND HYDE MORALITY
Am I a good person?
This is a deep question of self reflection that is at the heart of the moral life. It is also one of the most difficult to answer because the answer is covered in limited perspective and self-delusion.
Very often we like ourselves. Yes, there are things that we wish we could improve and maybe there are some things about ourselves that we would go so far as to say we “hate.” But we hate our imperfections so much primarily because we like ourselves. We enjoy ourselves. We are the heroes of our own stories and we always want the hero have a happy ending.
As a result, we compartmentalize our souls. What I mean by that is that we see ourselves and our actions in parts and not as a whole. We focus on our good qualities or our bad qualities as separate parts of ourselves but not as an insight of the total person.
What do I mean?
Have you ever complained to a friend about someone you know that is a huge gossip? Never mind the fact that you are now engaging in that same behavior against that person. It’s okay, you tell yourself, because I’m not REALLY gossiping, not like that person.
Have you have been looked at someone like Miley Cyrus and tsk-tsked at the runaway unbridled lust of this generation and then you spend way too much time letting your eyes linger over images that excite that same lust in you? It’s not as bad, you say, because I’m not causing scandal by being publicly indecent.
We commonly call this problem hypocrisy, but it is much deeper than that.
Robert Louis Stevenson wrote his classic tale The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hydemany years ago. But there is a deep insight into morality and the unity of the soul.
You can read the whole thing here.