It seems to me that, for a statement of a moral character to be true, it must be universally applicable. By universally applicable I mean that the actors must be replaceable without changing the moral character of the situation. Since moral statements always regard situations there are necessarilly actors. If, however, a moral statement is, actor dependent, it is not a moral statement but rhetoric. This is a very important point to make. Morality is not a tool, to be used for a faction to gain political power over the masses, it is a means of determining right action in any given circumstance. When morality is used as an implement it is inevitably a pry bar. To pry liberty from the witless. Unless you wish to be witless…
Moral statements are about situational actions. It is wrong to do this in that situation or it is polite to do this action in that situation. Moral statements are always about situations. The situation determines if a given action is moral or not. The actors are just that, actors, they play parts in a situation and they have input into the evolving of the situation. This is the basis of human morality. What is wrong, is wrong, no matter who does it.
The actor in a situation is able to effect change in that situation. One person may be driving the scenario to the point that the other actor or actors have no ability to change the situation. In the case of a rape the woman is certainly an actor, but has very limited ability to change the situation, to one more favorable to her. The rapist has the initiative, possibly due to superior strength, or maybe he has a weapon, but regardless, he is the driver of the scenario.
We can all agree that rape is a moral outrage. It is a patently immoral act. We know this because no matter who the rapist is it remains an immoral act. If Fred rapes Eggberdina it is as immoral as if Tom raped Wilhelmina. The actor is not relevant to the morality of the act, only the act itself within the framework of the situation, is relevant. This is why we can say that for a statement about morality to be true it must be universally applicable. Just as Rape is morally wrong no matter who engages in it.
Moral statements have great power to sway public sentiment. They have great power because they have great emotional appeal. Often when people are told of a moral situation our emotions take hold and our sense of disbelief is suspended. We lower our logic guards and are moved by the story. This fact is not lost on those who seek power by whatever means. Sophist moral statements have had utility since prehistory. It was taught in the Academy as rhetoric and sophistry.
The pernicious use of feigned moral outrage lowers the effect of actual moral outrage. Just like the Boy who cried wolf, people become inured to moral outrage, when we hear it constantly, and especially, when it is mere feigned outrage. The saturation of feigned moral outrage in the unbiased media today is, more often than not, used as a means to gain the upper hand in the political battles of our day,and is morally reprehensible. No matter who engages in it…
lately the unbiased media have been surrounding us with “moral outrages” but where there are actual moral outrages the unbiased media is silent. Take a look at what the unbiased media shriek about and apply this little scale. By this metric, are they really moral outrages, or are they merely rhetoric? If they call a thing morally outrageous and apply skin color, change the color and ponder if that would change the moral outrage, felt by outraged people. If, by that metric they would not find it a moral outrage then they are engaging in rhetoric. If that is the case, they are morally reprehensible egoists, who only seek their own good above the good of society. If that is the case they should loose any and all credibility. No matter who pursues it…