Monday, October 30, 2017

Of Morality

There is much talk these days about our nation having lost its moral authority—of abandoning the ideals that made this nation great.  A threatened loss of something taken for granted makes us realize its importance.

Our previous administration was clearly focused upon what is commonly called the ‘greater good’—that which benefits the greatest number of people or the human race in general.  The current administration has systematically reversed almost every prior initiative taken in health care, climate change, immigration reform, clean energy, involvement with international organizations, and the use of diplomacy in conflict resolution.  How is that NOT shocking?

A few brave Republicans have put principles above party and spoken out against Donald Trump’s fitness to be president and proclaimed him a danger to our democracy.  There is a new book out to which 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts have contributed, titled The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump.

Donald Trump has no respect for truth, he lies uncontrollably and winning by whatever means is the only value he holds.  He gives all indications of being amoral.  Amoral is defined as: lacking a moral sense; one unconcerned with rightness or wrongness of something.  --This also is the definition of a sociopath.

In our secular world we don’t talk too much about morality any more, but I want to make some comments about morality.  First, a few definitions:
     --principles concerning the distinction between right & wrong, good & bad
     --values and principles of conduct/behavior
     --the extent to which an action is right or wrong.

Morality is uniquely human.  We share many qualities with other animals, but morality is the hallmark of the human species.  It arises from reflective awareness, the highest level of consciousness.  It is the expression of the god quality inherent in us.  We can only be fully human when morality becomes central to our choice making.  We have the great gift of free will and that means equal access to good and evil.  We are called to make the free choice for the good—therein do we approach God.

The secular society has tried to regulate behavior through legality.  The law is necessary as foundational to civilization but without the injection of morality into the decision-making, legality dissolves into nit-picking fine points of laws and manipulating them to win a dispute.  Law is of the ‘without’, morality is of ‘the within’; both must be considered to arrive at justice.

Anyone without a sense of moral order is unfit to lead a nation.

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