Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Original wrong, right?

There's a dividing line for right and wrong that pretty much everyone sees.  Eating and sleeping are good.  Having a place to live and clothes and health and employment and ..., those are all right and good.  

But then, all of those become wrong when acquired in excess, particularly when the price for our having includes someone else being deprived.  Values erode.  Wrong becomes right.  The powerful and elite are self-justified as are oligarchs and dictators and the mega-wealthy.

That's the common path of human nature as we've noted over time.  History offers no exceptions as civilizations crumble and fall with similar narratives. Somebody gets greedy or angry or covetous, and what follows is calamitous. Emperors compete and citizens are slaughtered, cities collapse, cultures and economies disappear. Politicians compete with similar results.  It's downhill unless something forces a change.

When one person sees himself as superior and others as inferior, there's a logical decline that follows.  Values get bent and twisted, character is corrupted, and the individual is nuts forever after ... unless something changes.

A culture can encourage such wrong thinking, and folks are encouraged to play along. Expectations are imposed, conformance is the norm and particularly difficult to resist.  How does one individual hold on to a truth that isn't popular when the cultural norm says otherwise?

The solution is not religious.  We needn't revert to a King James-ish vocabulary or to Puritan laws, and neither is whom we might elect likely to save us.  We're faced with a couple of possibilities -- we can conform to the world we live in, or we can aspire to something better, something right and good and just.

Ro. 12:2