How Moral Are We?

There is much talk today about a new morality. And there is concern over disregard for old moral standards. But if we examine what is meant by morality, whether it is the new or the old, we find that basically it means respect for the individual.

Those who feel the need for new moral standards to fit today's living usually stress the thought that individuals live best when they can express themselves most freely. And an examination of the Ten Commandments points us to this same thought. These commandments outlaw such acts as murder, adultery, theft, bearing false witness, and coveting—all crimes against the individual. If we remove the element of respect for the individual, there would be nothing wrong with taking his life, seducing his wife, stealing his property, slandering him, or desiring to possess the good things that are his. Any attempt to establish a practical morality will be successful only to the extent that it is based upon this leading element. Insofar as human behavior shows respect for the individual it will be practical and successful, but it will also lead those who practice it into harmony with and obedience to the Ten Commandments.

Church Center
January 21, 1967

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