What happens when loyalties and responsibilities conflict? What is the moral thing to do?

I’ve been exploring morality to some extent in my writing. I won’t say I have the answers—there really aren’t any. But here’s an excerpt from a story set years after Homecoming was over:

“My folks hadn’t been able to teach me the morality of using my esper talents–rules don’t arise about things that are assumed not to exist.  But they had ingrained some general principles into the fiber of my being, and those general principles worked quite well with what Roi had taught me and, more recently, with what I had found in the files my mother had left behind.  Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.  Remember that ‘human’ is not just you and your relatives, or those who look like you, or who share common beliefs.  Ask yourself, ‘what would life be like if everyone behaved this way?’

“It wasn’t as easy as rules-based, black and white morality, because it required thinking.  And there had been times, both home on Earth and here on Central, when the accepted morality was immoral by the principles I believed in.  Slavery as it was practiced here on Central, for instance.  Did I even have the moral right to walk away, if I could really stop it?”

What widely accepted moral rules might be immoral in a different society or environment? Or even in our own, if looked at closely?

About these ads