Are You A Moral Terrorist?

Gandhi First Blood

If we dig into our dictionary app and look up and start breaking down the term “Moral Terrorist” we’ll find:

mor·al /ˈmôrəl/ adj. Concerned with the principles of right and wrong behavior and the goodness or badness of human character.

ter·ror·ist /ˈterərist/ n. A person who uses terrorism in the pursuit of political aims.

ter·ror·ism /ˈterəˌrizəm/ n. The use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

vi·o·lence /ˈvī(ə)ləns/ n.

  1. Behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something
  2. Strength of emotion or an unpleasant or destructive natural force
  3. The unlawful exercise of physical force or intimidation by the exhibition of such force

po·lit·i·cal /pəˈlitikəl/ adj.

  1. Of or relating to the government or the public affairs of a country.
  2. Of or relating to the ideas or strategies of a particular party or group in politics.

un·law·ful /ˌənˈlôfəl/ adj. Not conforming to, permitted by, or recognized by law or rules.

right /rīt/
adj. Morally good, justified, or acceptable.
adv. To the furthest or most complete extent or degree: “the car spun right off the track”.
n. That which is morally correct, just, or honorable: “the difference between right and wrong”.

wrong /rôNG/
adj. Not correct or true.
adv. In an unsuitable or undesirable manner or direction: “what am I doing wrong?”.
n. An unjust, dishonest, or immoral action.
(source: Google dictionary)

Let me break this down so you can see what I’m attempting to convey…
When you push your opinion(s) as if they are an (or the) absolute truth/facts or morals on others without acknowledging that what you are saying is your beliefs and when stating this is not pertinent to the subject at hand or to the point(s) made in which you are trying to support, you’re in turn: using strong emotions [violence] to [unlawfully] change that person or persons’ morals/ideals/beliefs [political aims] that governs [government] their life through the use of moral terrorism.

Dalai Lama ReloadedHow’s that for a definition? I’ll probably tweak and refine this term as time goes on. Hopefully you get my point thus far. I also won’t define every word with every post, but this is an example of good communication skills (avoiding miscommunication from assumption of the meaning of one’s words) and is necessary with people who don’t have high linguistic awareness or skills. However, I’ll digress back to the subject at hand.

Within all these movements (freedom, sovereign, anarchist, volunteerism, patriot, …everyday life, etc.), moral terrorism is an epidemic. I would say it’s a key reason why many people in them (or the world for that matter) don’t go far and why most online forums or conversations eventually devolve into debates about nothing remotely related to the topic at hand that a reasonably logical person could trace or annex.

Where facts are void, people tend to fill them with baseless emotional fervor instead of doing the research to support their [logical] argument or admitting to an inference. Yes, it is more work but intelligence takes diligence. If people have agreed to give their opinions, that’s fine, but what is the definition of moral terrorism (see, we must stay on point)?

To avoid injudicious act, first, acknowledgement that not everyone believes what you believe or that what you deem universally “right” or “wrong” mutual is imperative. An easy way to overcome this barrier is to not include others in your opinions via unacquainted grammar lapses. The way to accomplish this is to speak mainly in first person; avoid speaking in second person and speaking in third person seems…werid. Again, is more work, but people will be more receptive to what you have to say. Speaking in second person includes the group you are referring to without ever having permission from that group or anyone in that group to represent them. While using word “you” forces [terrorism] your opinion onto others. Look at the difference between these sentences:

Holding hands is the most intimate thing you can do.
Holding hands is the most intimate interaction to me.
Holding hands is tho most intimate interaction.

See the difference? Who are you to tell me what the most intimate interaction is or to make it an absolute? However, when you acknowledge that it only applies to you by using the word “I” there will be little to no resistance because you are entitled to your opinion; you have not stated point of view as a fact nor have you force your conclusions on others.

While “you” is a general term to sometimes refer to a vague entity, people can take it, and often do, as you are talking directly to them (especially in online). With that said, you can replace the word “you” with “one.” This way, there is no confusion (another sign of a good communicator) as to whom you are referring. Depending on your style of addressing your audience, everything may not apply. You have to use your grammar app often and continually strengthen your skills in that area.

Thus, to have more meaningful conversations that don’t degrade into a nothingness of unsubstantiated opinions being peddled as the “truth” and/or way of being or thinking, you have to stop being a moral terrorist. You don’t want anyone coercing their belief system on you, right? Not engaging in such expositions could also be a good tactic. They personally give me a headache.
How do you react to moral terrorism? Are you a moral terrorist? Share your exploits.

1st trustee

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2 Responses to “Are You A Moral Terrorist?”

  1. Eliott | February 5, 2013 at 02:35 #

    I’ve definitely been guilty. And I believe that until you’ve been on the other side of the fence it’s hard to see yourself doing it to others. From making blanket statements about ethnic groups to saying things like “all business people do this or that”or all men are dogs. A conscious effort has to be made not to presume anything and to learn to treat everyone as individuals. Secondly I feel it’s important to live by example vs trying to force or coerce our so-called “morality” on others.

    • 1stTrustee | February 5, 2013 at 07:57 #

      I’d say unless we grew up as a monk, then most are guilty of moral terrorism. As adults, it is a lot easier to see in others, but not ourselves. After so many years on this Earth, the only way to lead is by example. Telling one to live or act in a certain manner is one thing, showing that what you suggest is good advice is another thing.

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