The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

LIVING THE GOOD LIE

The patient has been ailing for quite awhile and despite the best efforts of medical practitioners, there seems to be little that can be done to facilitate a recovery.  The best they have to offer is to keep him on life support, hoping against hope that his condition may improve.  That patient is truth.

We have evidence that the patient first started to succumb to his condition as long back as Adam and Eve.  When God asked Adam why he had eaten of the forbidden fruit, Adam started truth on its death spiral by blaming the woman whom the Lord had given him as being responsible for his transgression.  And the woman, Eve took no responsibility for her actions but blamed her failing on the serpent in the garden.  It’s all been downhill since then.

Long before the popular song was written, mankind knew that, “It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie.”  That hasn’t prevented us from crafting some whoppers.  But there used to be some guilt  and squeamishness associated with dishonesty, even on the part of the prevaricator as he or she committed the offense.  Perhaps the reason for that was that at one time most of us used to subscribe to an evanescent  principle which we called, “The fear of God.”  The word “fear” in this context is interchangeable with another word – respect.

The critics of religion are plentiful and vocal.  They argue that science has debunked faith and that the only reality is what we can touch, see or hypothesize based on the eternal principles for which scientists are the shamans.  The purpose of this post is not to argue the virtues or flaws either of religion or science.  Rather, it is to consider the practical ramifications of how, having relegated God to the back pew and having put science in the pulpit, we have altered our society.

.Fundamental to any ordered society is the rule of law.  The basis of any lawful society is that its citizens agree to be governed by laws and that the laws be faithfully and universally enforced, punishment being meted out to those who disregard or violate those laws.

How do we determine if a person has infracted a particular statute?  In the United States and throughout most of the western world, the facts are adjudicated in a trial in which the evidence is examined and witnesses offer testimony.  Either a panel of jurors or a judge weigh the facts as they are presented and then render a verdict.

As with science, it is fundamental to the judicial process that the data which is reviewed is pure and uncorrupted.  That is why those who tamper with evidence in an attempt to influence the court’s verdict are subject to severe penalties.  Similarly, we require that those who testify do so honestly.  They are sworn in and must take an oath before the court will consider their testimony.  But an oath to whom?

Our judicial system is predicated on tenets that are fundamental to the Judaeo-Christian experience and teachings.  And underlying that is the belief that  there is a God and the person who offers testimony falsely will be punished for violating his oath to Him.  While it is true that we provide civil penalties for perjury, it is equally true that, other than in the most high profile cases, those charges are seldom pursued or imposed.  Thus the prevaricator who has no belief in God, has little reason not to pursue his own agenda without the expectation of any consequences, thus potentially corrupting the entire judicial process.

If those who hold offices of public trust, presidents, celebrities, and sports figures, all of whom are the focus of our attention, behave deceitfully and are not called to account, it sets an example which others then feel empowered to follow. Our tabloids are filled with example after example of this sort of behavior. Scarcely a day goes by before yet another of those who are privileged is featured on the front page as the subject of the most lurid or disheartening stories.

Telling lies might not seem to be a big issue to the majority of our citizens. We’ve all told a white lie at one time or another. The question is not whether we have transgressed, but whether we recognize the difference between having done what we did and what we should have done and try to improve our behavior in the future. In other words, do we have a conscience.

In truth, religion has not succeeded in converting mankind to live a moral life.  We have not yet heard from science if they can develop an implantable “honesty” gene.  But without the fear of earthly punishment for “bearing false witness” and no concern for a final judgment, it is safe to say that there will be many of us who will remain committed to Living The Good Lie.

Advertisements

Comments on: "LIVING THE GOOD LIE" (3)

  1. Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

  2. You say scientists can now prove evolution? Well they can prove natural selection but their attempts to prove evolution really raise my eyebrows in surprise. It actually takes faith to believe in evolution because it remains an unproved theory to my mind. So I can’t put God in a test tube for our scientists? Well they still have to convince me their argument makes sense. I can’t see it happening and the cop out by explaining it takes billions of years and so can’t be seen happening sounds like a politician before an election. lol. If in fact we are a product of survival of the fittest why trouble with morality and law? Let the fittest rule? No sensible person would accept that.

  3. It’s rather like global warming a/k/a/ climate change. The indisputible evidence seems to have to be adjusted to fit the facts. But if that principle is sound and man is the cause of all of this – should we not lay the blame on science? After all, who invented the car, the plane and air conditioning? So we should all take bikes, refuse to travel and get buck naked in the summer. That would be a solution. Or simply wiping out a significant portion of humanity would also work. Oh, wait. Didn’t science invent nuclear weapons for just that purpose?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: