Roland Dürre
Sunday October 20th, 2013

Morals as Education or The Emptiness of Morals

While preparing for my next presentations, I keep thinking about morals, both in theory and practice.

For me, interesting examples of the species morals can be found amongst the traffic morals and the sexual morals. And there are other variants of morals currently very highly thought of, such as tax morals or the morals of compliance-conform behaviour.

Today, I would like to take a closer look at traffic morals. Many rules were created for road traffic. In fact, it would actually make sense to stick by them. After all, a recent survey showed that the average human might easily suffer 40% less accidents if he or she stuck by the traffic rules. The people tested throughout the experiment only agreed to doing so because they were given a small tracker from their insurance companies where all their driving data were registered. In return, the insurance companies offered a considerable discount.

40% fewer accidents! In Germany, that would mean no less than 2,000 traffic casualties less each year! And the number for fewer injured would be even higher. Strong morals could actually prevent a lot of death and misery. At long last, here we found a “We do not do this!” that makes sense. After all, with most other laws it is often hard to find any really valuable usefulness, isn’t it?

Except nobody is interested. On our streets, you will find “permanent illegal behaviour”. All the time. Incessantly. At intervals of seconds. The reason for this might be that some kind of overlay morals have been superimposed over the “normal” traffic morals. They suggest that the traffic rules are only for “the others”, but not for yourself. Because we think of ourselves as invulnerable in a very special way.

These “overlay morals” make the secret speed look amoral. Because it is “treacherous” or unfair. Driving too fast is no longer dangerous.

A short while ago, they practiced a nationwide “radar marathon”. It was supposed to monitor more intensely than usual how the rules are adhered to. Yet, paradoxically, they also published the locations and times of the actual radar controls on all sorts of communication channels.

Even the public radio was enthusiastic about announcing them, regardless of the fact that they are financed by compulsory fees.

Basically, this is like the police publicly announcing all controls for whatever and whoever they have them for. And this is something that definitely should not happen.

Consequently, you have to be really unlucky if you are caught speeding. Or else you have to belong to the most stupid of all. Still, nothing changes about our traffic behaviour.

This was it from my side on the absurdity of our traffic morals.

RMD
(Translated by EG)

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