Re: RARA-AVIS: Amorality

Date: 04 Sep 2003


Re your comment below:

> The discussion was not about whether Marlowe was an
> amoral person--its frigging obvious that he cares
> about right and wrong. My original point was that,
> given who and what he was dealing with, he had to
> make amoral decisions at times. And I think he does
> not like himself for doing so.Like when--out of
> necessity--he does not come out of his hiding place
> when Lash Canino confronts and kills little Harry
> Jones.

A hard choice is NOT, by definition, an amoral choice.
 An actor who makes a choice without reference to the moral ramifications of his actions is making an amoral choice. An actor who considers the moral ramifications, or who at least knows what the moral ramifications are, and then, deliberately and willfully, acts in a way he knows to be wrong, is making an immoral choice.

Marlowe does neither of these. Faced with a difficult dilemma, he always considers the moral ramifications, then tries to take the most moral course available to him. That harm sometimes comes because of his chosen course is what makes it a dilemma. He HAS to make a decision, knowing that harm will come about whatever he does, and he does his best, with the knowledge he has at hand, in the circumstances in which he finds himself, given the obligations he is ethically bound to live up to, to make the most moral choice. His agonizing over the consequences of his decisions is what makes him a moral man. His considering, almost by reflex, the moral ramifications of his choices and trying to choose the morally correct course is what makes them moral choices.


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