Letter: Universal moral laws, not cultural whims, proper dictate behavior
To the Editor:
Culture may indeed determine its own morals, whether for good or ill. Jon de Vos, in his article “The Immoral Grizzly Bear,” embraces moral relativism as though it is all there is to the story.
Yet, there is another idea that many people still hold and this is that there is a universal moral law which is higher than any culture or group of people. It is precisely because of this view that cultures and morals can be objectively critiqued.
,When the Third Reich was on the move and sending men, women, and children off to the gas chambers, there were people who resisted, calling it “wickedness and turpitude” (to borrow Jon’s words), and there were others who believed the new rhetoric and called it the dawn of a new age. We need to be a thinking people. We may all agree the times are changing, but we must also ask whether it is for the better or for the worse.
The materialist believes we live in a closed universe, which means that mankind is the ultimate authority; and for him moral relativism makes sense. The non-materialist or those who believe the universe came into being on purpose or by design, believe there is a Being to which mankind must give account. The idea that there is a moral law that is above every culture comes from the idea that we are creatures not the Creator. Those of us who hold to this idea believe we are subject to our Creator’s morals, not society’s morals, and therefore we can measure society’s morals based on this higher moral law.
The reason people can and will always resist the collapse of morals is not because they are simply “behind the times,” but because they believe that we humans are not the ones who determine right and wrong. We either conform to what is right or we rebel against our Creator.
What is apparent in our culture is that we are seeking to change our morals in order to justify our behavior, rather than changing our behavior to adapt to what is universally good, right, and true. It does not really matter if 100 years from now people think we were silly to resist the dismembering of children in the womb, and other immoral acts. What we should be asking is what is good and right, apart from the whims of culture.
Hot Sulphur Springs
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