As part of a new modern secular moral code I claim that inefficiency is one form of immorality. So let us take a look at the 7 personality flaws and see if inefficiency is a major explanation of why they are bad for you to have.
Sloth or Laziness:
If you are overly lazy then you are being very inefficient with your time, wasting too much time, and wasting too much effort or not getting enough things done in your life and usually not in a timely way. Lazy humans also often tend to be procrastinators which means that they leave things undone until the last moment and then often fail at doing them properly or on time.
Yes, you can unjustly be accused of being lazy if you are relaxing and recharging your batteries but we are talking here about chronic laziness where you are being lazy or inefficient most of the time.
Gluttony is eating too much or excessive eating which can lead to overweight in many humans and health problems later in life. Eating too much is inefficient use of food since most of the food is wasted, gets excreted, and goes into the manufacture of excess fat cells in the body. Not only are you wasting food inefficiently but you are wasting time inefficiently by taking too long to eat than is natural for your body.
Greed or Excessive Selfishness:
Excessive selfishness leads to hoarding of money and possessions, always wanting to be a winner or first and this includes trying to win every argument, wanting to be praised for everything that you do, and trying to take credit where credit is not due. You can even say that in some cases excessive selfishness leads to other forms of immorality such as lying and stealing to get to your selfish goals.
Excessive selfishness is fundamentally a very inefficient way to get what you need or want since you turn off many humans in the process. Humans just don’t like greedy individuals and you reputation will suffer. Especially in close relationships such as marriage where sharing and compromise is so important, being greedy will cause much dissatisfaction and misery in a relationship.
It is inefficient use of time and effort to try and be the boss in most social interactions where teamwork is often more important. Efficiency in relationships means discussing more and arguing less, sharing information and not hoarding it, and compromising in some situations so that there is a win win situation and no one leaves feeling that they are the loser in an interaction.
Almost any situation where you are wasting time and effort to get things done is an inefficient use of your time and effort and that is usually wrong, bad, or in this case immoral because it is not efficient use of time, effort, and even money.
Lust is really excessive preoccupation with sex which can take the form of much promiscuous behavior before marriage and adultery after marriage. Your reputation and marriage often suffers if you are known as a womanizer or have a reputation as being a slut.
In the absence of a physical partner for sex some resort to excessive pornography to satiate their lustful desires. Being lustful is basically wasting too much time, energy, and money on sexual pursuits and excluding many other important pursuits in your life. So being lustful is being inefficient with your time, effort, and money. You could also say that you are being a sexual glutton.
Some may argue that being lustful is just having a bad habit and that it is just not immoral. However, having any bad habit to excess usually has some bad short and long duration consequences. Any excessive bad habit means that you have less time for self improvement, less time for healthy social interaction, less time for good habits, and that you are spending too much time, effort, and often money on the bad habit and basically wasting your life to some extent which should be considered immoral.
Wrath or Anger:
There is an old saying that you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
Anger is a form of verbal abuse or verbal attack which puts the victim in a defensive mode and is less likely to agree with your stated viewpoint. Discussion is often a more persuasive or efficient way of persuading someone to agree with you.
While anger with misbehaving very young offspring is sometimes a very efficient way to get them to behave in the short duration it usually is not that effective for teenagers and definitely not for grown adults in the long duration. Anger usually results in resentment, defensive outburst of anger, and is often an impediment to solving a problem which needs a solution. In conclusion, anger is not the most efficient use of time, effort, and often money to get your point across and gain consensus or agreement.
Jealousy not Envy:
Envy: v. to desire another’s (possessions and/or characteristics) and/or (luck and/or circumstances) without sensing angry resentment
Jealousy: n. envying with angry resentment
Envy is just a desire and is only bad if it motivates one to lie and steal to get what another human has. Jealousy is really the bad desire which is envying with angry resentment. A bad desire is only inefficient if obsessing with the desire leads you into inefficient or immoral behavior. Being overly jealous can lead to family strife and inappropriately bitching or expressing anger at someone’s success in life. To the extent to which jealousy leads to bad habits is the extent to which jealousy is an inefficient use of time, effort, and sometimes money.
Having justified pride in one’s accomplishments is good but if excessive pride leads to too much boasting, arrogance, rude behavior, and disrespect then it is an inefficient use of pride. Too much boasting, arrogance, rude behavior, and disrespect are bad behaviors or habits which hamper efficient social interaction and create a lot of bad feelings which seldom disappear. Your social reputation suffers, your social efficiency declines drastically, and you end up wasting much of your time, effort, and even money on being excessively prideful.
FURTHER COMMENTS ON INEFFICIENCY AND DEGREES OF IMMORALITY:
Nature is very efficient and abhors inefficiency and nature’s sustainability is a perfect example of the efficient interaction of biodiverse species. Nature rewards efficient predation, efficient animal group behavior, and efficient reproduction.
Yes, humans have the luxury of being the most inefficient species in the short duration but in the long duration inefficiency leads to bad health, environmental pollution, destruction of biodiversity, social moral decay, family strife, and many dysfunctional individuals.
You could argue that there are degrees of inefficiency or degrees of bad behavior and there is some truth to this. It could be argued that being intentionally rude is not as bad as insulting, putting down, name calling, ridiculing, and humiliating someone. You could perhaps argue that ridiculing someone in most cases is not as bad as name calling or severely insulting a human.
So what does this degrees of inefficiency really mean? Can you therefore have degrees of bad behavior or degrees of immorality? Yes, and not only is immorality or bad behavior a function of what behavior you are talking about but where in the world that human behavior is being practiced is also important.
Fundamentally, most bad behavior is a function of acceptable social norms so what may be considered bad behavior in one culture may be considered good behavior in another culture. In parts of West Africa, Iran, and Iraq the thumbs up sign is bad behavior or equivalent to giving someone a middle finger in the west. In some East Asian countries bowing to someone is a good sign of respect and in the west it is a bad sign of unnecessary subservience.
Yes, you can often be an efficient thief or criminal and not get caught but in non emergency situations it is immoral to lie and steal so criminal acts are not only immoral but they are also bad and to a very large degree.
Yes, you can argue that taxation is stealing or theft by the government and it is true that there are at least 5 situations in life under which stealing can be justified and taxation is one of them. Stealing Can Be Justified Under 5 Circumstances.
A much more reasonable discussion of stealing via taxation is what percentage of your income should be taxed since promoting the general welfare via a safety net, protection from internal and external criminals, minimizing pollution and destruction of the environment, especially biodiversity, and building vital infrastructure is something which government has an obligation to do.
Making a mistake is something most of us do and it is a way of learning what not to do in life so you could even argue that making mistakes has some beneficial effects. Nevertheless, most of us feel bad about making a mistake and it really is an inefficient short duration behavior which prevents us from quickly reaching a goal which we want to achieve. So yes, making mistakes is not highly immoral but only slightly so since it is a waste of time, effort, and sometimes money at trying to achieve a goal(s).
Talking seems like a benign communication or behavior which most humans don’t consider immoral by a long shot. However, we do get annoyed or bored if someone talks too much, repeats themselves too often, or talks too long when we have more important priorities in mind. Interrupting and trying to change the subject sometimes works and makes a conversation less boring or annoying but fundamentally the reason we are annoyed is that the talking too much is wasting our time, effort, and sometimes money so it is inefficient behavior.
Yes, efficient behavior is a human ideal which most of us do not achieve many times in our lives but that is no reason why we can’t think logically about it and the consequences that it has in our lives in the long duration. How efficient was I today or this week is a smart question to ask ourselves if we have a desire to improve ourselves and the circumstances in our lives.
Will an efficient human achieve a goal(s) in life more readily than an inefficient one? The answer is usually in the affirmative so being efficient or trying to be efficient is the moral thing to do. You will waste less time, effort, and even money and that is a good thing.
From another moral standpoint you could even say the if you are efficient then you will be stealing or taking away LESS of your time, effort, and money OR stealing or taking away LESS of someone else’s time, effort, and money. The net gain in time, effort, and money is your profit so to speak which you can then spend on more fruitful endeavors.
Morality or a secular moral code is really a standard of perfection which most of us fall short of in some ways but it is good to have a standard which we are trying to maintain in our lives and makes for more peaceful and beneficial interactions with our fellow humans. What is that secular moral code which should be taught to all impressionable young minds? It is-in nonemergency situations-don’t destroy biodiversity, don’t lie, don’t be inefficient, don’t steal, don’t commit adultery if married, and don’t murder.
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