OF F I C IALLY Namibia is governed through the rule of law. Unfortunately criminal law only deals with the consequences of unlawful activities. The rule of morality is what really counts in society. But in the modern world morals have become a private affair. Anything is permitted as long as you don’t get caught. And worse: The many streetkids didn’t even learn any morals. Parents are trying their best but society can’t just be based on that any longer. It is important to acknowledge we need a rule of morality besides the rule of law. We need to see we have two dimensions in our social world. This rule of morality urgently requires social structures.
But morals work differently from laws. Morals are internal laws functioning within the human being. The conscience is the court of morality. It is there where the next moral or immoral act is debated between me and myself. Social platforms such as the media could and should provide good examples of moral debates. Unfortunately too many pastors preach morality without leaving space for real debate.
In any case society can’t wait for debates to end. It needs social structures to really address the issues. In former times churches and traditional authorities had moral courts. In modern times we have what we call ‘ethics committees’. In hospitals for example such committees decide together with the relatives whether a terminally ill patient is to be disconnected from life-saving machines.
We should seriously think about such community-based ethics committees especially in the locations of our towns but maybe even at regional and national levels.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015