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Man and social norms: Loving the enemy Featured

29 Apr 2014
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Man complains all the time about social moral norms. He continuously asserts that they restrict his freedom of action. However, if you look close enough, you will know that man will never let them down. These norms play a crucial role in his stability. He can easily earn sympathy, receive confirmation and get help by conforming to the expectations of others.

Man, being so close to himself, to his motivations and desires, to his motivations and impulses; must be at times horrified by his occasional cruelty against those closest to him, his premeditated aggression against the vulnerable and the better, and his conscious escape of responsibility when he is most needed by others. He could not have survived if there were no social norm! Society can convince him that he is good, holder of good intentions even when he deeply knows that his intentions are cruel, savage and ugly. He fain to accept society judgment because man, in his basic constitution, is utilitarian. He doesn't look for what is right or true, he just look for roundabout ways to be cruel without being reputed for being cruel. Society is there to clean what might be dirty and give a simile of goodness to that which is not. Most importantly, it is there so that man escapes responsibility towards his fellows, particularly towards those in need of help and assistance. Thanks to social norms that prescribe a given attitude that doesn't consider the particulars of the situation at hand. Man can easily reinterpret the norms in his favor,  follow his selfish instincts and ignore the needs of his fellows because he did what society or his social role instructed him to do.  Man tries as much as he can not look in the eyes of others, so that they do not look at his depth. He hides behind social norms, behind dogmas and beliefs, behind ideologies and convictions for a sole purpose... escape his responsibility. The creation of ideologies, dogmas, systems and principles is the attempt of man of escaping himself so that he can finally look at himself through the eyes of others. He is horrified when he looks directly at himself!

Montasser Ghachem © 2014

Montasser Ghachem

Montasser Ghachem

I am an Econ PhD student in Stockholm University. My interests are Poetry, Philosophy, Sociology, Economics and Game Theory. I am currently visiting Harvard University in USA. I share with you here my poems, my essays and my small discoveries in life. From Tunisia to USA, going through Germany and passing by Sweden; flows my life... A tale of metamorphosis!

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