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Author Topic: What About Moral Charge?
extrinsic
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Definitions first. Moral charge is the constituent vice-virtue contest of a narrative, the intangible, as it were, drama of a narrative, mindful a vice could be a virtue in disguise and vice versa. Moral charge may be culture dependent, usually or exclusively is, related to a society group's social, political, and spiritual values, beliefs, and status stratifications.

The human condition entails a global moral values set, judiciously and variably applied and practiced, subject to several constants determined by animacy -- a condition of social status and proximity determined by fiats of supremacy contests. A kinship group, for example, constitutes and prioritizes its needs and attendant moral values for the group's benefits and advantages. Other kinship groups' standing to a native group's then are determined by success and failure of dominance contests. "The Law of the Lie" illustrates variable moral values; that is, lies may and will be told to outsiders with impunity, though of less impunity for such impertinences to insiders: lie, cheat, steal, murder, pillage, rape, etc.

Likewise, so-labeled superior individuals believe their onerous responsibilities and, ergo, inflated self-worth, entitle them to a more relaxed moral behavior than their inferiors; consequently, the Law of the Lie entitles them to vices not allowed to the common human.

Much of the durable narratives within the literary opus entail some moral commentary, cleverly misdirected through some form of irony, includes science fiction and fantasy, etc. Even narratives that intend a more, if not exclusively, concrete and tangible dramatic contest entail some perhaps unintended moral contest, that might rise unbidden from the unconscious composer's mind. Label that latter a Freudian slip of other, per se, than a Freudian sexual-psychological theory: "a slip of the tongue that is motivated by and reveals some unconscious aspect of the mind" (Webster's).

Questions are how contextures of such unconscious influences shape a narrative and whether they are realized, by writer, by reader. Another question, one inquired into by experienced and successful writers, is whether a moral contest tableau is a foreground source for inspiration, drafting, and revision.

Answers for me are yes, yes, ideally, and yes. How? By added depth from a congruent moral contest as well shapes overall and minutia unity, is the substance's unifier. Plus, most essential, that a moral contest repackages a standard and much repeated, if not well-worn and now trite, concrete narrative contest into a lively and fresh, if not original and, ergo, appealing product. Nothing new under the Sun has transpired since creation, a proverb, so a new package reshapes an extant constant of the human condition. Three areas for creativity: one, extant content reorganized into a new insight; two, new content introduced outright; and three, an admixture of extant and new content artfully melded. The latter is the more common for prose of late.

The outright new content paradigm is a daunting challenge to meet. What is new and relevant? Fresh looks at the moral human condition heretofore unseen. What is the meaning of life, for example. Or, humans being social beings dependent upon each other for their well-being, why are humans more often antisocial than social? Also, has humanity's aggregate moral aptitude advanced even an iota since exile from the proverbial Garden?

What about your creative writing? Do moral matters and their unconscious influences sooner if not later consciously shape your prose?

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extrinsic
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Why a moral contest for a narrative, too, in addition to a concrete contest? Other than depth and freshness potentials, moral contests shape doubt of outcome. Concrete contests telegraph outcomes.

Poetic justice's good rewarded and evil punished, for example, must prevail to suit audience moral sensibilities. The utter villain is vanquished; the wicked nemesis is outdone and undone; the competitors are outrun.

Naturalism's pessimism and nihilism notwithstood; rather, Naturalism is an exception that proves the principle. That is, Naturalism's singular departure from Realism is nihilism's moral disbelief conventions: "a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and that existence is senseless and useless; a doctrine that denies any objective ground of truth and especially moral truths; a doctrine or belief that conditions in the social organization are so bad as to make destruction desirable for its own sake independent of any constructive program or possibility" (Webster's).

Antipathy for a socially conscientious moral aptitude, in other words, a moral tableau nonetheless. At an extreme, a narrative's moral contest could oscillate between nihilism's vice temptations and socially responsible virtues, and one win for an outcome end, yet as well at a personal cost, like a concrete goal satisfied yet the lost bliss of whatever age's innocent obliviousness to social responsibility.

Therefrom untelegraphed doubt of outcome arises: acquiesce to vice or rise above temptation; or, a third, deny temptation and, from a shortage of due diligence, commit a moral error anyway; and a fourth, acquiesce to temptation and commit a virtuous act anyway.

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