„Have you ever seen an old photo of yourself and been embarrassed at the way you looked? Did we actually dress like that? We did. And we had no idea how silly we looked. It’s the nature of fashion to be invisible, in the same way the movement of the earth is invisible to all of us riding on it.
What scares me is that there are moral fashions too. They’re just as arbitrary, and just as invisible to most people. But they’re much more dangerous. Fashion is mistaken for good design; moral fashion is mistaken for good. Dressing oddly gets you laughed at. Violating moral fashions can get you fired, ostracized, imprisoned, or even killed.“
These are the opening lines of an essay by Paul Graham, titled „What You Can‘t Say“.
These lines grabbed my attention when I read them first, years ago. Before that, I had never put a question mark behind society‘s moral standards. Sure, I‘d heard about ethics, even read some books on the topic, as part of the philosophy training I‘d received in University.
But when it came to my own society, and my own moral standards, I had never considered this powerful opening statement of Graham‘s;
„Dressing oddly gets you laughed at. Violating moral fashions can get you fired, ostracized, imprisoned, or even killed.“
Think about this for a second.
Violating moral fashions can get you fired, ostracized, imprisoned, or even killed.
Martin Luther King Jr. said „One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws“ and I wholeheartedly agree with him.
It is *so* important, especially in this polarized world we live in today, to stop. And think. And take a look with a critical eye.