What’s really interesting about Mario
Puzo’s The Godfather is the different ways in which Puzo
garners sympathy for the mobsters. He paints the Corleones
as a cohesive family with members who fight, live, and die
for one another. With the exposure of a policeman’s dabbling
in drug trades, Puzo also posits that perhaps the mobsters
are the moralists, as the even law-enforcers of the city are
seriously lacking in ethical restraints. This creates a
frightening picture in which it is impossible to cipher just
who the bad guy is. All of our usual paradigms fail – the
mobsters have emotion, depth, and some integrity. They also
have babies. Everyone loves babies.
To what extent, then, do our influences
cash in over our actions in determining whether we’re good
or bad people? I mean, its clear that our situations have a
lot to do with our person. But the proactive tendencies of
society tell us that our actions really define us. Harry
Potter’s Dumbledore even commented that choice is the
defining factor of an individual. But really, factors in the
world will always limit choice, and the prime factor is
necessarily our milieu.
But even after choices and volition,
there’s still the concept that “morals” are molded from all
of this activity. That this will measure just how good or
bad we are.
The most shattering question is – does
the moral compass even exist? We simply seem to assume that
there exists a universal right or wrong in the world. That
there’s a definitive line between safety and danger. William
Golding nullifies this concept entirely in his allegorical
novel Lord of the Flies. In sum, a group of young schoolboys
gets stranded on an island during wartime and goes savage –
something most people don’t need abandonment as an excuse to
become. In the end, a boat finally comes in to salvage
what’s left of the original crew. The ultimate irony is that
the boat is a warship, and that even the adults steering the
children are heading into dangerous waters. So, there’s no
definiteness, no real delineation. No ensured safety. And
after that, war is war, meaning that it is impossible to
attribute a superior value to certain human lives. This
implies that we can’t even tell who’s right.
So, ultimately, we wind up in a whirlwind
of actions and reactions and no real ability to weigh
amongst them. Which is what prompts that tempting need to
invent or create a division or criteria. This is what
fosters philosophy and religion.
But even this is arbitrary. How do we
choose between divergent schools of thought? How do we argue
on the bases of things that are based on faith, something
irrational, and therefore difficult to drag into the arena
Really, the only conclusion here is that
there are no conclusions. Conclusions are made for fun or to
ameliorate a situation. Like nervous laughter bouncing off
Mmm…that doesn’t leave me very satisfied.
I mean, isn’t the world full of pretty ideas so that I can
pout and squeal and take my pick? And these ideas don’t
matter and lack comfort if they have vacuous conclusions.
So, continue humanity.
Yess. Ignorance and bliss.