Where do your morals come from — your family? Your faith? Your philosophical worldview? How do you deal with those who don’t share them, or derive them from a different source?
Several years ago I conducted a survey at my place of employment. “If you received two hours pay for time you were not at work would you report it?”
Of the fifty people surveyed only one said they would notify the company; the atheist.
Of the fifty, there was a minister. My curiosity got the best of me. Here’s the conversation.
“Carl, as a minister and one who lives his life according to Bible principles why would you take money that is not rightfully yours?” I said.
Without hesitation he said, “Everything belongs to God. It would be a blessing.”
“How can you rationalize that?” I said.
“How else can you explain it? He said.
“It’s like somebody giving you too much change,” I said.
“It’s still a blessing,” he said.
“At the end of the day when the money is counted and the cashier has to make up for the $10 dollars you got unintentionally don’t you feel bad?” I said.
“They must have done something wrong to bring that upon themselves,” he said.
I continued the conversation, but should have been shot for doing so. What is the expression? “Never argue with any one ignorant, because they will take ignorance and beat you over the head with it.”
I asked the atheist why he would report the over payment? “Because it is not mine.”
I delved deeper.
“Todd, I have to say your response has intrigued me,” I said. “Why did you answer that way?”
“There is right and there is wrong,” he said. “And neither has to be justified or explained.”
Morality comes down to possession. Who owns something whether it is an object or a law.
Immorality brings only temporary pleasure, but often long-term adverse effects to others and eventually the person committing an immoral deed. One must think beyond the moment and day. The Bible helps us to do that.
Taking a person’s property; does it belong to you?
Taking another persons life; does that life belong to you?
Sex with someone other than your spouse; does he or she belong to you? (vice versa)
Having sex before marriage; does he or she belong to you?
Even religion has wavered on the last two. Why? Because it has become too common. To be colloquial, “the Devil has done beat them.”
Some view sexual morality as an inconvenience. Look at what immorality has produced, the spread of death-dealing disease, unwanted pregnancies, unwanted children, single parent homes, homeless children, poverty, overpopulation, distrust, emotional scares, guilt, rapes and on and on.
The Bible sets a standard of ownership. Yes some have misused it, but because my mechanic chooses not to go by the owner’s manual for his car doesn’t mean I can get away with it or should nor does it mean he‘s getting away with something.
Morality comes from beyond yourself. It is concern for others. Certainly one can find the principles within a social structure, the Bible, or family, but it ultimately comes down to a person believing in something besides himself.
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