The Morality Machine – Part Three – The Sin Of Virtue

Have you ever been virtuous? Not just nice or pleasant or harmless. I mean outright, blatantly, unavoidably virtuous? Virtuous to the point that you make people’s fillings hurt?

How vile.

And you even admit to it – to a gossip columnist. Ewwwww. When this gets out no-one is going to tell you any of their juicy secrets. All that good stuff, and you’re not allowed to hear it.

Well, take heart. Virtue is its own reward…which is the punishment bad people inflict on the good. Everyone else gets a slice of the pie, a cut of the takings, a share of the blame. You get nothing, and are required to like it. But you are still rewarded with a place at the right hand of whoever is in authority. This is so that they can smite you more conveniently – you nasty little do-goodnik.

Private virtue can be indulged in with a snigger and a grin but public virtue requires a pious face and humble dignity. You will be required to raise your eyes to heaven and occasionally fold your hands in prayer. Every now and then a saint is amongst us and the publicly virtuous wish to suggest that it is them. Of course they run the risk of having to pass qualifying exams for sainthood – in the old time it was a stake and a wheel and these days it is a Senate hearing. ( The former preferable to the latter in all cases…) They also run the risk of being hoist on an Elmer gantry if their past sins are discovered.

Remember, God forgives, but CNN never does…

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