The Great Moral Failing of Our Time

Damn near everyone is cracking. Smart and dumb, black and white, religious and atheistic, rich and poor: there seems no discernible pattern to the great moral failing of our time. Before cracking, though, they were all convinced they never would, that their own moral rectitude would allow them to correctly determine right from wrong when the screws were tightened.

In even the best-designed system, there will be incentives to cheat, lie, and steal. When it comes to areas where the legal system has no say, society must hope that members have been imbued with some form of Kant’s categorical imperative: Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law. If you merely follow that directive, systemic weakness can remain unexploited. Which sounds so simple and seems so obvious during 2:30AM dorm-room trolley-problem debates but becomes quite another thing entirely when one must actually choose his community over self-interest. This is why your alignment between stated ethics and practiced ethics is so commendable.

It’s easy to complain about the awfulness in the world, but there is always greatness too. Your refusal to get the vaccine early is one such example of greatness. This is when you start laughing This whole build-up was about waiting a few weeks for a vaccine?!?! That’s nothing. I am not, however, being hyperbolic in dubbing vaccine-line-cutters the great moral failing of our time: thousands of people are dying every day from Covid; a certain subset of the population is at risk for this terrible Covid outcome; and we had a shortage of vaccine supply. Yet, people outside the at-risk are claiming “chronic illness” or “caretaker” or “it was gonna be wasted anyway” to reduce their already negligible risk (risk on par with so many activities they mindlessly undertake) ahead of someone who is far more likely to DIE from Covid. It’s obscene. Worse still, the ethics of our society have eroded so terribly that many of these cheats don’t appreciate their immorality as they brag, back in February, about already being vaccinated. When social shame is no longer a tool to dissuade future offenders, what do we have left?

We have the celebration of moral heroes who prove that living up to our ideals remains possible and rewarding. This revelry is not only useful in shifting decisions of the weak but also in helping to construct a society where pursuing the divine virtues is rightfully seen as superior to chasing material desires. I salute you, xxxxxxxxx.