How shall we make Myth morally complex?
We have said that to make good myth we shall strive to make it morally complex. But what does morally complexity even mean? And how shall we go about achieving it?
An intrinsic part of anything complex is that it is hard to define. It is the simple things that are easy to define. The main thing that the morally complex myths have in common is that they are not simple. But morally simple myths have a lot in common. So to create morally complex myth, we will avoid duplicating those things that morally simple myths have in common.
This logic only has a hope of working if we correctly identify what makes some myths morally simple. A common pitfall is to say that a morally simple myth is where everything is black and white. The idea that follows from this is that if nothing in our story is black and white then our myth will be morally complex. This type of logic leads one to the erroneous opinion that a story that is morally nihilistic must be morally complex because there is no “black and white” morality in it.
A better approach to defining the morally simple is start from the premise that morality is an inherently complex subject. Starting from this premise we must ask what is it that myth creators do to make it a simple subject? The answer seems obvious. They disqualify the moral opposition. They make doing the “right thing” costless. And they construct straw targets to knock down. It is worth examining these things in greater detail so that we might avoid them.