The inherent value regarding what’s “good” and what’s “bad”, has it really existed?
At some point, the existence and essence of “rights” and “wrongs” and whether “good” and “bad” values really existed, are prone to be doubted and questioned. Rights and wrongs, the good and the bad, they happen to be concepts that are envisaged by human paradigm based on habits that are most prominent to be found throughout the evolving civilisation; humans descry values they come across and decide to label some as good and some others as bad. In order to reinforce the distinction regarding differentiating rights and wrongs, English philosopher Jeremy Bentham first contrived the utilitarianism theory in his 1789 book Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation — under the inspiration of David Hume’s and Thomas Hobbes’ principles. Utilitarianism itself has been used as the most proficient method to determine whether an action is right or wrong, as the theory prioritizes the implementation of utility and is a developed form of consequentialism, in which, the theory holds to the principle that consequence is the most essential standard to infer about rights and wrongs. There sure have been a myriad of methods and theories construed in order to elucidate the said concept of morality, and the said utilitarianism is one of them. but I personally am still questioning the pertinence of it. It left me in a cognitive dissonance, in which, I am experiencing what has been explained on Leon Festinger’s theory regarding cognitive dissonance — humans who are experiencing dissonance regarding to conflicts between two or more contradictory values are prone to strive for internal consistency; and the same goes to me, too. I seek for consistency between two contradictory values; in this case, whether to believe that wrongs and rights in morality do exist, or whether to keep questioning it. As nihilistic as I can get (eventhough I’m not thoroughly a nihilist), I also personally think that inherent values amongst human being itself has never really existed; in opposition to Kantian ethics that propagate the principle that human beings are strongly associated with inherent values and worth. In my opinion, morality amongst people, and the inherence of “good” and “bad” can never really be something absolute as human nature triggers humans to be inconsistent beings; they are sometimes vehemently driven by egocentricism but sometimes empathy runs in them — thus in the end no one has ever really “good” or “bad”.
The stance of absurdism, that polemicizes about the inherent values of life, has contributed a lot in somehow revelating me that indeed at some point the spectrum between good and bad values should be questioned — for the spectrum itself at times happens to be the cause of oppression in the society; people tend to incessantly use “good morals” as a tool to justify their deeds as moral polices who seek for superiority and end up being an oppressor toward the minority whose orientations and perceptions fit into the “bad” category. The meaning of “good” itself come off as indecipherable — according to Nietzsche’s perspective on the First Treatise of On the Genealogy of Morality: A Polemic (1887), the concept and significance behind the word “good” itself envisage two contradictory meaning, in which, the dichotomy of it happens to be; “good” under the standard of the master morality, is strongly associated with nobility whilst according to the perception of the slave morality that revolts under the influence of ressentiment, nobility happens to be an antithesis of their criteria of a good moral; they deem it an “evil” thing. Maybe the inherent significance of the “good/bad” or the “good/evil” spectrum has never really existed as I know it.
Absurdists are fueled by integrity and are prominently against the concept of morality — for integrity explicates consistency in views. The feeling of being inbetween wanting to seek for the essence of meanings and not being able to find inherent values of life is prone to be triggered by the inconsistency of the values around us, including morality. Albert Camus stated on The Myth of Sisyphus (1942) that “the absurd is born out of this confrontation between the human need and the unreasonable silence of the world” — in the end absurdist would revolt against the absence of meanings of life since it happens to be one of the only coping mechanisms to survive through the Absurd — and absurdist are aware that purposes of all values remain imperceptible (there should always be another higher reason to validate the reason of a purpose and thus the cycle of questioning purposes of all values never ends). It can be applied to question the essence of moral values too; the reasons behind them would remain indistinct. Inherent meanings of life and morality would perpetually be indistinct in the eye of the absurdist, and I, for one, hold an opinion that the existence of “good” and “bad” values is only an invention that was constructed by the societal norms and that the accuracy of both values are doubted.