Double Deed And The Basis Of Morality

Double deed when googled usually comes up along with that old nursery rhyme – maybe it was in the actual poem where the phrase was first used, I have no idea actually. For me, it is a masterpiece, and I have been silently reciting it for two months now – I usually talk to myself while I walk my dogs, so after having recited it about 500 times, I came up with my own version of it’s meaning.

I remembered it two months ago, while watching the final episode of The Fall. The leading character recites it right before …the end (‘m not spoiling). He is a serial killer, and for three seasons, we watch him lead this double life – being a good and loving father during the day and murdering young women at night. He is a handsome, attractive man, a great father to his 8-year-old daughter, good at his job as a grieving counselor and at the same time, he is evil.

For me, animal abusers are the same – and there are various types of abuse (for me, passive abuse is the worst and most common). The good father who at the same time neglects his backyard dog is evil. The kind lady next door who poisons the stray cats in her neighborhood is evil. The loving husband who runs over a dog and abandons him is evil. Schopenhauer tells it better that I ever could:

“Compassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man (…)The assumption that animals are without rights and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.”


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