I disagree that we should always be moral. We assume that moral perceptions can be combined into a system we should follow. As ideal as it sounds, it is not the morality that holds our deepest values. It is human beings who created morality. Times when morality fails on us, are situations where one non-negotiable requirement comes into conflict with another, where “I must” crashes with “I can’t”. It is impossible to be always moral.
The Rationality Principle
Taking on the rationality principle idea, if one can get things they wished or desire easily without any conflicting variables then why not right? Things are simple when one realises that one ought to and can do something, especially if it is something that you can do without much of a sacrifice. In these cases, failure is avoidable. (which does not mean that one would not fail, it just means that one won’t necessarily fail). For example, if you are exercising in a park and happen to see a lost child, you would automatically make an intuitive judgement to help the child, which would not take up a huge effort on your part. Hence, it might seem like we performed a rational act, but, we did it to fulfil our subconscious want, which is to feel good about ourselves.
But moral life is not always as easy as the walk-in-the-park example implies, that you cannot always simply choose to do whatever you are morally required to do, and even if you can, it might not be easy to do. Some experiences of moral requirements are quite gratifying because you understand yourself to be obligated to do something that you can easily do, you go ahead to do it, and then feel good about yourself.
In some other cases, you may grasp that you are obligated to do something really hard, that involves a great sacrifice or risk, or that you must put in a huge amount of willpower to get yourself to do – like dedicating your life to end world hunger. Then you might experience life as painfully demanding. Most moral concepts do not help people to make sense of the experience of encountering impossible requirements. Eventually causing people to suffer the grief of failing to achieve them.
If one feels that he/she should always be moral, it shows that they feel like they have a moral requirement set for themselves. A moral requirement can also be referred to as a duty or obligation. Implying that one should always be moral (by putting other variables aside), means that moral requirements are non-negotiable. Moreover, throughout evolutions, values are sacralised and people believe that these requirements come with great authority associated with morality. Hence, people want to conform to what society constructed and be well-liked by the community.
It is impossible to always be a moral human being because moral values and the obligations to abide by those values are fundamentally constructed out of what we actually value and out of the collective experiences of requirement as a community.
For example, think about a woman who was raised conservatively. She might still face a sense of obligation to be submissive to her husband and might still be subconsciously disgusted by the thought of same-sex relationships. According to her morals, she might unconsciously think that it is right and required to be submissive to her husband and same-sex relationships are taboo. However, there are no “real” moral requirements as to why women should show dutifulness to men and no “real” moral prohibition against same-sex relationships. In this case, if there is a direct relationship between experience and moral requirements, then there is no way that our intuitive moral judgements are right and therefore should conclude that it is a right set of moral requirements that everyone should accept and follow.
In conclusion, a systematic framework does not exist. Thinking that we should always be moral by following a community to be well-liked is essentially setting ourselves up to moral conflicts that are impossible to solve.