WASN’T IT SHAKESPEARE WHO WROTE, “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so?” This has been debated by academics, moralists and theologians for centuries. Are we supposed to apply this to our ethics, behavior, religion, relationships?
• Should we think of unintended consequences?
• What about the greatest good to the greatest number of people?
If so, we would be forced to say that as long as we have acceptance by great numbers of people then regardless of our behavior, it makes it right! There would indeed be no right or wrong, good or bad – it would entirely depend on how many people accepted your theory, philosophy, ideology or theology.
• I grew up in a parsonage/manse; Daddy was the pastor of a church. Much to my dismay, it was said to me, “Marshall Hall, what will other people think?!” So to a great extent, good and bad was determined by prevailing thought within the group. Yes, I was taught right from wrong, but to a large extent whatever the Discipline, Manual or Sister Whatshername said took priority.
• Power or the exercise of power does not make an action right.
• Among my many business failures (I was a stockbroker for 30 years, but had businesses on the side), an employee quit and started his own business in competition with my business. No problem… except he stole some of my inventory to do so. His excuse? “Well that’s just business.” Really? Ethics?
• Ask yourself, is your sense of right and wrong dependent on being competitive?
• At first blush we may think that everything would be great if everybody performed exactly like we demanded. Oh, I see! (?)
• There was a time recorded in the Old Testament when each man “did what was right in his own eyes” rather than by God’s directive. It ended in disaster and the Israelites were defeated; slaughtered, conquered!
IN THE REAL WORLD of human behavior people will always act like people. Therefore, it seems to me that the best answer to behavior, purity and personal joy is to have a standard measure. The standard should be the WORD OF GOD, The HOLY BIBLE.