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.

This is true because the Ten Commandments are worked out on a truly scientific basis. That is, they proceed from the scientific truth established in the First Commandment that there is but one God. The oneness of God, divine Principle, Mind, is the basis for the individuality of man, who is God's image or reflection. "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" Ex. 20:3; tells us that the Mind of individual man is the divine Principle of the universe. The second commandment condemns as idolatry the belief in and worship of material objects as though they were gods—material personalities with minds separate from the one Mind.

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Church Center
January 21, 1967

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