Is Morality Necessary?

Dr Asangba Tzudir

Hobbesian State of Nature brings an image of the “war of every man against every man,” a constant and violent condition of competition in which each individual has a natural right to everything, regardless of the interest of others. Hobbes famously stated the condition of existence in the state of nature as, “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”  
The condition of humanity today is such that we have returned to the Hobbesian condition. In spite of the changing times and advancements and transformations taking place, the pursuit of humans beings is such that, while being shrouded in various shares of struggle, humans are still learning to live. Ironically, humans have still not learnt to live well.

In spite of the development of legal systems, with new emerging issues and the societal complexities and subjectivities, the threshold and gaps in laws appears and have been left wanting. On the other hand, in spite of the many years of education and learning it has not freed the humans of even the ‘little’ sins which are committed each day starting from littering anywhere except one’s own home.

The various land issues including multiple ownership and land disputes; the never ending creditor-debtor issues; conflicts of interests and rights, the various instances of humans cutting loose the animality within, are some prominent issues that attest to the “war of every man against every man.” Further, the everyday affairs clearly elucidates the status of morality today where morality is discarded in the dustbin and instead life and meaning largely finds coded in material dialectics; the palm greasing and scratching each other’s back; the supposed act of ‘good’ as a means to an end, are all but theatrical – a tragic comic. 

The world is not new to violence but in our own yard, the recent incidence of violence and killings, the acts of vandalism cuts a sorry face about humans, humanity and the status of morality today. Even as a footnote, what kind of sadistic pleasure does one derive out of violence, killings and vandalism? What objective does it serve? Instead of being morals, we continue to endanger the world through immoral acts. It is a serious crisis where no one wants to be a reader but rather an author defining things in one’s own terms and thereby the conflicts of interests arises. 

Is morality necessary? Why should humans be moral? The world is undergoing a moral crisis, and these are questions that constantly remind humans to learn to live and let live, and to make this world a better place where everyone share, care and have concern for the other. Irrespective of whatever culture and religion, and life worlds, each one is placed here not to create violence but beautiful meanings. If only things were so simple. It is, but humans have made it complex and humanity is losing its face.  Times are such that we are talking about Artificial Intelligence but when humanity is losing its face, humans are only becoming redundant devoid to moral values and meanings.  

(Dr Asangba Tzudir writes a weekly guest editorial for The Morung Express. Comments can be mailed to