I started think about this after a quote from Rick and Morty, an incredible cartoon (please watch if you haven’t already). It has a neat way of portraying progressive values, but, doesn’t come across as outrageously preachy.
Jerry (the dad) has just found out that Morty is taking his grandfather to the science faire, instead of him.
“Traditionally, Science projects are a father-son thing.”
“Well scientifically, traditions are an idiot thing.”
In the 1700’s, philosopher David Hume wrote about the is-ought fallacy. This writing was primarily used for ethical questions when seeking moral justification. As a brief outline, Hume states there is a difference between ‘is’ and ‘ought’. The distinction is incredibly important. (I’m sorry to anyone who has studied philosophy and can see me bastardising Humes Guillotine right now).
tis necessary that it should be observed and explained; and at the same time that a reason should be given, for what seems altogether inconceivable, how this new relation can be a deduction from others, which are entirely different from it. But as authors do not commonly use this precaution, I shall presume to recommend it to the readers; and am persuaded, that this small attention would subvert all the vulgar systems of morality, and let us see, that the distinction of vice and virtue is not founded merely on the relations of objects, nor is perceived by reason.
Now, more than ever before, I have found myself referring to the back bone of Humes writing. What with; D.Trump, ISIS, Brexit and the Orlando shootings to name a few. I have started to question everything. For example: Just because there ‘is’ the opportunity to leave the EU, doesn’t mean we ‘ought’ to. Just because there ‘is’ the second amendment right, doesn’t mean you ‘ought’ to carry more guns.
I have been applying that way of thinking to the current political system. The way we elect a leader for example. One person elected by a “majority” who makes the decisions for the entire country. That’s too much power for one person. It’s too much responsibility for one person. I think we are too distracted and scared by things that are regarded as tradition. Scared of change. We should be finding a better way, a new way, and giving it a shot. Embracing change and projecting ourselves into a bright future.
I have also applied the Is VS Ought to the way we deal with terrorism, immigration and religion. All of that would be far too long-winded for this.
Without trying to sound insensitive to current events. I have been doing the same thing when in my day job. When discussing branding and the direction of an Identity. I keep trying to do something different with the chance of it working. I keep trying to have a steady evolution of something that already has rules. Maintaining the foundation, and growing on it. I think it is unhealthy and misguided to be playing by the same rules and the same formulas and producing the same things.
There has been news stories about gay men kicked out of their schools church for the way they were dressed. A lot of people justifying it saying “but they are the rules”. Questioning everything which can result breaking the rules, and changing the rules. times change, humans change. No wonder they claim all geniuses are a little bit crazy. You are thinking of something no-one else has dared too. conceiving something nobody as was able to. inventing something nobody else was able to.
There is some uneasy ground when you cover when you start to say things like ‘just break the rules if you think they don’t apply to you”. Or, disregarding the rules because you can justify otherwise. That’s not what I’m saying. Part of what I’m saying is to examine what you have been told, second guess it even. The big underlining factor is break away from the mould. Change your own trajectory and others will follow. Everything that has placed you in this moment, right now, is a collaborative effort from everyone else on this planet. Everyone that is living and everything that has ever lived. Like ever.
There is a time to break the rules, and there is a time to follow them. There is a time to look at the past, and there is a time to shape the future. Let’s ask ourselves what we ought to do.
Try and have a good week.