Friday, October 22, 2004

Morality

It is difficult for me to speak about the things with which I disagree, but for which I do not have adequate argument or confidence to debate. Sometimes I hold an opinion because I just feel it. Something is wrong, and it's clearly wrong, and I can't understand why others could so easily argue that it's right, or okay. I don't think I'm just being timid. But there are some things in life that are wrong, but I couldn't say with certainty why. Take lust for example. It seems perfectly natural for a man and a woman to lust after one another. It is sexual, and it was something we were made for and born with. But having experienced the feeling of lust, and I mean true sexual lust, for someone to whom I am not married, and having experienced some of the freedom from such feelings, I just know that there is a goodness and rightness about the purity that comes in that freedom. And there is an empty revulsion to that feeling of lust, though at first it seems a powerful, exciting feeling. I just know that it is not right for men and women to go about lusting after different partners. I have not been married, so I do not know what it might feel like in a marriage relationship. But regardless, it may be that other people never experience those feelings that I feel about those things. I have that same kind of revulsion to other things in life, be it my experience or just being witness to someone else's. But do other people share it? Can they? It is just so hard for me to imagine someone experiencing life so different from myself. But perhaps it is possible. And so my opinions about such things are thrown into doubt. There is sound natural argument for why lust and promiscuity is an okay thing. It might not be biblical, but not everyone shares the reverence that I feel for the words that I believe have been written down at the prompting of God himself. So my own understanding of good and evil is skewed. People want to live their lives however they want, and if they don't hurt anyone in the process, that should be okay, right? But how can they rightly judge the consequences of their own actions. The laws of physics do not apply as laws of life. Instead, it seems, they are far surpassed. And for every action, I suppose, there looks to be a greater and much more far-reaching reaction. I just don't know how it is that I should organize my thoughts, nor how I might settle my doubts. Is there some balance for understanding morality. I want to love people. But how can I tell them that what they do is evil. Jesus claimed that the world hated him for that very thing. But did they call him a Bible-basher. If he were to walk the streets today, what would he say to everything that's going on. If he were to shout aloud anything in the streets, or in our churches, or in our city halls, what might it be. Would he be most concerned about the plight of the poor, or the overwhelming sins of the people, or the hypocrisy of the government, or perhaps the dim sight of the religious establishment? I just don't know how to approach these problems with a godly perspective.

2 comments:

cas* said...

how do you feel about the concept of absolute truths?

Jake said...

I feel that the concept is an unhelpful paradigm for communicating to a postmodern world.