Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The utility of modesty

I have been thinking about the idea of modesty lately and of its utility. Modesty is useful I think primarily because it allows us to predict ourselves in the world around us. We can predict ourselves and more accurately our behavior if we have set for ourselves some limits. Whatever these limits may be they have to be reasonable and therefore neither too strict nor too lenient. An example of being too strict would be a limit where we don’t allow ourselves to interact in matters of ordinary dealing with the opposite gender whereas an example of being too lenient would be where we allow ourselves to indulge with decadent women/men such as prostitutes. In either case we will be behaving in a way that will harm us.

Modesty as limits that we set upon ourselves of ‘decency’ should help us interact with people of the opposite gender in a very rich manner. It should in fact ‘simplify’ these relationships.

Modesty as applied to marriage I think follows in the following manner: If an unmarried person comes across another unmarried person and is able to estimate a healthy long term relationship one should simply investigate this relationship further and propose to marry. I would imagine that if both people are mature and want to engage in a healthy relationship then such a relationship should be acceptable not only to the two of them but also to society. I also think that if one realizes that marriage is not possible then he should stop himself from engaging in any emotional manner because this would only hurt the person. It would I think hurt him/her because it will be emotional investment in a relationship which is not realistic.

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