2006-08-24

Ethics & Morality, cont.

It's been a while since I originally posted this, so here's a recap with the portion of a comment I am ready to answer at this time.


Original comment by Mike:

For example, honesty and truth-telling is an important moral principle, but there are times when the principle to love and care for those in need supercedes honesty. The example of someone hiding Jews from the Nazis is the prime example of this. Is it immoral to lie to the Nazis in order to protect those Jews, or are we in fact morally required to lie in order to carry out the command to love our neighbors and defend the oppressed?

Base of my response to above

I don't want to sound as a loveless bastard, but maybe there is more to this. What if we were meant to fight Nazi-ism directly but not lie and hide the Jews. Wouldn't God care and protect them according to His plan? Didn't God ask us to lay down our lives for Him? I know that I don't feel the full weight of that sitting here in my comfortable house with the many freedoms we have.

Part of Julie's comment:

interesting post - just a couple of thoughts...
on the hiding jews/fighting thing. why would it be out of God's plan to hide the Jews and lie? that strategy was used quite effectivly in the exodus story with the hebrew midwives lying to the egyption soldiers and we are told God blessed them for it. And when Rahab lied about hiding the men in jericho and she was placed in the line of David/Christ. when given the choice to save lives by lying or to save lives by killing - I would choose lying every time...



My response to comment above
  • Part of the issue for me is to try and point out the issue prior to the critical point. Are we not wrong for not defending them prior to raching the point of hiding and covering for them? Should we not be active in defending them prior to this?

    Not to minimize the struggle the Jews faced but I think a clearer example is in my arguments in the Pro-Choice / Pro-Life debate. I always enter this argument by claiming to be both pro-choice and pro-life, which always draws people to make me explain that. I explain that I am pro-life and thus against abortion. I also explain that I am pro-choice in that we choose (generally except rape) to participate in sex which by it's most basic nature is for procreation. To support this further, I sometimes even use the struggle's name. Why are they both Pro-? That points to me that there is truly two separate issues being lumped as one thus avoiding any negative connotation by being considered Con-.

    Back to the Jewish example. History was never my strong suit, but if I remember correctly Jews were supposed to wear a David's star to mark them as Jewish. Did we as loving neighbors fight that fight to the fullest then? Or did we sit idly by, thus making the follow-up decision one that had to be made?

  • Another part of the issue is that one sin is not lesser to another. It seems to me that we feel that lying is less of a sin so it becomes a choosing of the lesser of two evils. I feel we need to get away from that thinking as I feel it may be a major part of the decline in ethics and morality in our country/world. What would have happened had people not lied but stood with them ready to suffer the same fate out of love for their neighbor? I feel we need to be more like Jesus where we stand beside our neighbor and call for the one withiout sin to be first to cast a stone.



As I stated in my previous post, it is very easy for me to sit in my reclining chair and type this out. But do I live it out in my life each and every day? I don't pass judgement as I might have done thse same in that very situation. But rather I want to call us to look for a better way so we don't repeat history.

Maybe this sounds like rambling as I'm not sure how to close it, I hope not.

1 Comments:

Blogger Charlotte Wyncoop stated ...

I agree with your point about the gradual decent into extremes. But, it seems hard to see how what seems like reasonable measures when the government is explaining it as a fix for a problem, can suddenly become the extermination of a people.

If we were to coach this arguement in today's headlines, this discussion directly parallels the current discussion of racial profiling to "protect" us from terrorists.

I'm all with Thomas Jefferson (I think it was him) on this one. He said something to the effect that it is better to have a criminal go free than cause an innocent man to suffer unjustly. After all there will always be criminals in the world.

Two wrongs do not make a right. God blessed Rahab and blessed the midwives, but I don't read those passage as Him blessing them because they did something wrong, I read them as blessings received because they believed and trusted in Him. Will God bless us for our intentions rather than our transgressions? He sees us as a work in progress. so yes. Does that make a transgression any less wrong? My answer is no.

commented at August 27, 2006 10:44 PM  

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