The twilight of duty

    Today, underlying the aim to destroy fundamental dogmas, there emerge new dogmas such as subjective morality and full individual autonomy.

    To achieve the change in values, Nietzsche (1844–1900) decreed God’s death, since “if God does not exist, everything is permitted,” as Dostoevsky had claimed. Only then could the new superman get rid of the sense of duty and proclaim the victory of total autonomy.

    This is what Lipovetsky calls the “twilight of duty,” in a society that despises self-denial and effort, stimulating immediate wishes, in a New World where credit is only placed in painless rules, in morality involving no obligation or penalty.

    An example is filmmaker Woody Allen, in whose movies the characters get married, cheat, get divorced, get depressed…, get married again and repeat the same actions. These are lives in which any idea about duty or responsibility is suppressed by desires and feelings growing out of control. The characters are puppets of their impulses. This is what Nietzsche’s superman is all about. Mafalda’s Felipe had already said, “Even my weaknesses are stronger than me.” Woody Allen’s characters do not hold the reins of their own lives and go about surrendering to the immature escapism of carpe diem. Love is replaced by sex without commitment or faithfulness. Actors wish to be happy but use others as objects of pleasure.

    But in reality pleasure is only one ingredient of happiness, and the new dogma ignores that happiness is made up of sacrificed love and generous friendship, of service to others and a transcendental meaning of life.

Arturo Ramo

One Response to The twilight of duty

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