Right or Wrong - WHO DECIDES? Heads or Tails
As of this writing, there is a heated debate on Capitol Hill, in the media, in copy rooms, and editor's suites. Researchers are scouring the LexisNexis for evidences of right and wrong in the Bush family tree as far back as Julius Caesar. Much of the current uproar is politically motivated and grows out of the Enron, WorldCom, and Arthur Anderson scandals.
by Ben Kinchlow
Congress is debating the convening of special commissions to examine all major corporate transactions, despite the fact that the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) is already charged with this oversight. Speeches are being made about who knew what, when, and why billions of dollars have been lost to investors. Charges and countercharges are rampant, and Congressmen and Senators who know little or nothing about business and accounting practices have suddenly become experts in these fields. "Oversight" is to be given to Congressional committees to ensure proper procedures. This, despite the fact that the IRS has lost, through faulty accounting and/or other measures, some $100 billion in a single year! But this pales in comparison to the fact that the Pentagon lost, and I don't mean through accounting malpractices, they simply lost, as in l-o-s-t, one trillion dollars and nobody, but nobody, is being held accountable, least of all Congress, who itself has oversight of these two massive departments!
In September of 2001, in an article entitled, "National Morality, America's Future in the Balance", I made the following observation:
"? were we to make legal, moral, political, social, economic decisions without regard to Biblical truth, what would be the basis of the "morality" on which we base our decisions? Morality implies a "standard or rule" or "the quality of being in accord with standards of right and wrong". Absent the Bible, what are the standards of right and wrong? This is the conundrum faced by today's liberal-oriented intellectuals. They insist that our children can make "moral" choices in a vacuum. Their position is "ethical choices can be made without regard to an absolute standard of right and wrong." "It depends on the situation." These "situational ethics" are the shifting sands of the present system of values and the foundation for many of the unethical choices made by public figures today."
Consider the Chief Executive Officers at Enron, WorldCom, several other major corporations, the IRS, and the Defense Department.
In the 1960s, several major moral watersheds were reached? the "God Is Dead" movement? "situational ethics" as postulated by Joseph Fletcher? and the removal of prayer from our public schools by the Supreme Court. Liberal theologians and teachers graduating from liberal colleges steeped in moral relativism became the architects of morality. A high school student in the sixties would arrive today perhaps as CEO of a major corporation lacking a sense of moral absolutes, thanks to the moral relativism of that period. Some of the self-same individuals who are up in arms regarding the choices made by these executives adamantly oppose Biblical standards for these young people. The result is a generation lacking the basis on which to form sound moral judgments. Without the tools to determine "right or wrong", it can simply be "heads or tails".
An oversimplification? Perhaps. But consider this - according to situational absolutism, "we are obliged to tell the truth? only if the situation calls for it."
Who determines whether or not the situation calls for it?
Moral absolutism, based on an orthodox understanding of the Scripture, teaches that there are eternal moral values and eternal moral principles applicable everywhere, established by a Deity, who is responsible for moral order in the universe.
Ethical relativism, on the other hand, insists that moral views are not right or wrong, but simply the way different cultures or individuals feel or think about an act.
According to situational ethics, actions are neither inherently right nor wrong but are to be judged solely by the consequences. Based upon this line of reasoning, the Ten Commandments would have absolutely no bearing on the activities of society or the individual. Culture, background, and the "worldview" of society at large determines whether or not an act is acceptable or unacceptable.
Who determines "right or wrong", and on what basis are these "judgments" made? Is it always wrong to steal, cheat, lie, and maybe kill? Can I murder an individual because he or she, in my opinion, deserves to die?
Flip a coin? Life? or Death?
Heads? or Tails? - - Right? or Wrong?