Morality and its origin


Sir, – Before we get too tied up in the debate as to the origins of morality we ought to spend a bit of time considering what morality actually is. 

Turns out it’s a very variable thing. I remember being advised in religious knowledge classes at school that there is such a thing as a just war; and armies usually have chaplains, who can give spiritual guidance to their charges before these men are sent out to shoot, bomb and maim their enemies.

And James Connolly reminded us that in peace-time you could be hanged for killing someone, but in war-time you could be hanged for not killing them. 

Morality truly is a movable feast, completely relative and never absolute.

This is further illustrated in those allegedly civilised countries that operate the death penalty, which is in place because it’s wrong to kill people. Few things appear to be as elastic as morality. – Yours, etc,



Co Wexford.