What’s the purpose of moral rules? My answer: To prevent people from causing harm to other sentient beings.
Of course, other people have different answers. For example, most conservative people would probably want moral rules that promote family values, purity, loyalty, obedience to authority figures, etc. Personally, I reject such answers.
Growing up in a society, people develop a “gut feeling” about which actions are good or bad. The society instills into us a ready-made set of moral rules, and most people go through their lives without even questioning these rules. In fact, religions and conservative mindsets actively discourage people from questioning the moral rules they were taught since an early age. For example, “Anal sex is bad, it is an abomination. Why is it bad? Don’t ask; don’t even dare to think about such silly topics.” Unfortunately, it’s not just the devoutly religious people who fail to question everything that was taught to them. The rest of us sometimes do it as well. That’s a pity, because once you carefully examine the current moral rules we have in our society, it turns out that many of those are outdated or just silly. [Read more…]