Very few things in life are black and white – although the Borderline in me certainly wishes they were. More often than not, characteristics are present in an infinite number of shades. For reasons, that I cannot comprehend, the neurotypical has severe misgivings toward those that fall in the “middle” of the morality continuum. People are not only strictly “good” or “evil” – there exists the amoral as well. The fact that many of us can choose good or evil based on the benefit analysis at hand distresses many.
What is interesting, is that the neurotypical rarely chooses strictly good or evil in their life, yet they expect all to be assigned to one of those two groupings. They’ll lie on their taxes, skip a day at work, and often will resort to bigotry with those that they deem disgusting, yet consider themselves strictly good when they selectively forget about the immorality that they act out. Maybe there is some formula that dictates how much “good” makes one strictly good, but it seems to me that most everyone on this planet is swimming closer to the middle of the continuum than they’d like to admit. I suspect the psychopath is the most honest person on this front, embracing their amorality. It’s not about what is right or wrong; rather simply it regards what best suits us in the moment.
Aren’t we all just opportunists, seeking that which benefits us most? It seems like Survival 101 to me. There are a finite number of resources on this planet. There is also finite power to be had. Sometimes these resources, such as love, compassion, or support can be gained through good. Respect can be bought with good or evil. Power can be bought with nearly any action. Why do we become so hung up on the overall goodness or badness of actions? More to the point, why do we get hung up on whether the net sum leads to a person being good or evil? Worse, what if we considered the thoughts in addition to the actions? Would anyone be anywhere but the middle?
No, morality is a continuum. I believe that more people end up in the middle than they’d like to admit, but that the psychopath cherishes her place in the borderlands. I am unconcerned with whether my actions sum to morality or immorality so long as my needs and desires are always met. I am an opportunist and will always be unconcerned with the morality of my actions so long as I remain in relative good graces with society and the law. The wolf could care less if the food he eats was free range or not so long as he lives to see another day.