Monday, August 22, 2005

Does Right and Wrong Matter?

No matter what anyone ever tells you, right and wrong means a lot because if not, people wouldn’t be trying to prove others wrong.

As C.S. Lewis once said,
"If I think making love to another man's wife is alright and she consents - is that wrong?

If you disagree with me, who is right?

If we have no moral point of reference, what you think is no more right or wrong than what I think."

The above is called moral relativism.

We must view all actions within the framework of right or wrong because we make laws based upon what is right or wrong.

Laws against theft are there because society believes that it is wrongful behavior.

All "Moral and Ethical" questions have a right or wrong answer. If someone says the answer is "grey" then he is basically agreeing, because he is saying the answer is not "clear" which one it is. The reason we don't know is one of the reasons below.

The only times there are "grey" areas are:
1. We aren't framing the question correctly enough.
2. We don't have all the needed information.
3. We don't really want to know the right answers because then we can't be accused of doing anything wrong. We just made a "mistake" instead of doing a morally wrong act.
4. We are too stupid to figure out the truth.
5. We are blinded by the craftiness of men.

People who say the answer is grey are not saying there is no absolute answer, at least subconsciously they aren't.

Every one is born with a conscience. The great German philosopher Immanuel Kant pointed to the "moral law within" as a powerful witness to the greatness of God.

As C.S. Lewis pointed out the scientific method of finding things out doesn't apply to morals or ethics because it doesn't answer the question of "why" and "if" there is anything behind observations we make.

These questions are for the Philosophical or Metaphysical to answer.

We live our lives based upon what we "ought" to do. If we just made it up, (moral relativism), then we would never allow ourselves to "fail" our own standards.

This is because it is with us when we are born. "I will put my law in their minds, and write it on their hearts." (Jer. 31:33)

In other words we are born with our conscience.

We are continually either "climbing up the moral ladder towards perfection", or we are "sliding down the moral slide towards moral bankruptcy."

Sliding is always easier than climbing and we are seldom, if ever, standing still.


At 4:30 PM, Blogger fetching jen said...

Terrific post FAR. There is most definitely right and wrong and black and white.

I find people who are most comfortable in the grey area are also loose with the truth, loose with abiding laws and often a little "loose" themselves...

Hiding in the grey area justifies bad behavior and lack of discipline. Black and white require decision making and taking a stand for something.


At 6:10 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Most of them don't want to make value judgements becasue then they might "feel bad."

To them it is all about feelings.


At 10:50 PM, Blogger Tex said...

It's hard to deal with antimonians. They say that when christ died, he did away with the law. The scripture says otherwise, but still we see the moral degeneration on society when we are ruled by fickle feelings instead of absolute law.

At 3:12 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

It's the conundrum of the Garden of Eden. Once Adam & Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of the difference between good and evil, they were saddled with the responsibility of choice and with choice comes consequence.

Most people who are lukewarm about everything desperately wish they were back in paradise (to which they cannot return because it is blocked by cherubs and fire) because they can't handle the crushing burden of responsibility and consequence, which is the inevitable fate of manking.

That said, the entirety of humanity does not share the same version of right or wrong and they don't have to. For example, Islam forbids drinking alcohol and gambling because of the havoc it wreaks in people's lives and there is a lot to be said for that (I think Mormons have a similar prohibition). Does that make all non-Muslims and non-Mormons "wrong" for drinking and gambling? The answer is not necessarily.

The question of who defines what is "right" should be the inquiry.

At 3:43 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

intellectual insurgent,

said: "with choice comes consequence."

I couldn't agree more. My handle is based upon this one concept.

"Choice" is "Freedom/Agency" to choose.

Without hot we know not cold, without left we know not right, without wrong we know not right, without up we know not down, etc.

Just because a religion "suggests" that we should not gamble or drink, does not mean it is "wrong" for all. All it means is that if you believe it is wrong, then you should not do it.

God will judge us on how much integrity we have. That is to say, do we practice what we believe.

Who defines what is right? Your conscience and your understanding of God's teachings, i.e., the Bible and the church teachings that you believe in.

At 4:02 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


Antimonians are just looking for moral relativism because they hate rules that they did not create.

Never-the-less, there are moral and eternal laws that must be obeyed. Even God can not sin or he would cease to be perfect.

"Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Matt 5:48

This is our charge to try to be perfect, which means that in order to move in the direction of perfection, we must try to find out the rules/laws we must obey.

"Seek and ye shall find." Matt 7:7 and Luke 11:9


At 4:23 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Fair enough. It's really about integrity then, rather than a fixed set of rules? If that's so, isn't that the paradox since everyone's integrity will be based upon differing principles?

At 10:01 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


It is not that there isn't a fixed set of rules, it is just we will only be judged by the ones we believe in.

There is a twist however and it is called rationalization. If we are presented the truth and we choose to rationalize it away, we will be held accountable for that as well.



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