“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.”

“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.”

This quote was attributed by John Kennedy to medieval thinker Dante Alighieri of Europe.

Morality is the greatest attribute of humanity and distinguishes it from mere animal existence. When humans are faced with dilemma of choosing between a good and bad act ( with supposed personal gains), moral crisis is said to be in place.

Neutrality is bad

Choosing nothing between moral and immoral act a person may think she has has avoided the crisis. However, it is not so because choosing nothing is also a conscious decision and will equally affect the outcome of the event.

If a moral man stands by, seeing and recognizing the atrocity and yet fails to intervene he is at least as responsible as the perpetrators themselves. If he does the wrong thing he may be immoral but being amoral means he has no values whatsoever and therefore cannot be improved or saved. Neutrality is another way of saying: stand by and do nothing when you could’ve made the difference.

Napoleon has asserted, ” The world suffer not by the violence of the bad people, but by the silence of the good people” .

Neutrality shows the trait of avoiding the responsibility. Our actions affect our surrounding and being neutral has its own consequences and the responsibility for the outcome of neutrality can never be avoided.

Neutrality is sometimes good

However, neutrality is also not infallible. Sometimes neutrality is demand of the time, say NAM by India and other developing nation was the need of the time which was also quoted sometime as negative in case of a Bipolar World.

The NOTA option in elections also highlights the critical role neutrality can play. NOTA demands morality from the political parties while choosing their candidates.

Question for Answer Writing

Q: “The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.” Do you agree with the statement? Justify.

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