Ever have one of those “I’m going to Hell” moments?
Wherein all social mores, beaten out from birth like a mantra on an ancestral timpani drum, can be so clearly delineated that any second grader can easily tell you, “Oh, that’s wrong, you don’t eat candy corn off a sidewalk. There’s germs there.”
Ask that kid what germs are, and they’ll spit right back at you, “Little invisible things that get in your stomach and make you sick.”
Now I’m not trying to debunk scientific method or repudiate the fact that the world is older than 5,000 years or event deny that there was once a man named Hammurabi (who was, in fact, the very first rule lawyer). Germs do exist, a method was employed to discover them and, although we cannot see them with the naked eye, they are truly there.
No, I wish to talk about our own self imposed and socially imposed mores that, though invisible, we all have. Although they vary from region to region – some heathens put mayonnaise on their fries, after all – the concept of right or wrong is so wholly integrated into our social contract that in order to exist productively in our civilization we must abide by it to some degree. (more…)