Instant-Gratification Morality

If you were to ask the average person today what constitutes a moral view of the world, and if you happened upon a person who did not have a thoroughly relativistic outlook on things, the most common answer you would hear is that something is immoral when it hurts another person. By this they mean to say hurts another person directly, against their consent.

In this model of morality, the idea of consent is vested with all sorts of powers that it ought not to be because it is not powerful enough. It would be like building a house on one of its corners instead of on the foundation. Consent is simply not capable of supporting an entire moral framework.

Putting too much onto consent is one problem with this moral outlook so popular today, but it is hardly the only problem. Modern man is obsessed with instant gratification. It should not surprise us that when a culture that demands to get what it wants the moment the demand is made that ethics would be trivialized to match. In times past when men spent time thinking through moral issues instead of responding with their unfiltered and immediate emotional reaction, it was taken as self-evident that morality extended beyond direct harm. It may not be direct harm, say, to allow two people of the same sex to pretend to be married and then adopt children; though this is certainly up for debate. Considerable harm is done, however, to the child, who is deprived at least one of their real parents.


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