Ethics - It's Everybody's Business

The Christian Science Monitor, August 27, 1991 | Go to article overview

Ethics - It's Everybody's Business


TRUTH and falsehood--issues of ethics and morality--are at the top of the news these days. There are voices all over the world speaking out courageously, cogently, realistically, against much that is untrue and unjust.

In the face of great opposition, even vilification, imprisonment, and the threat of physical harm, people are showing remarkable courage. Many draw strength from their conviction of a higher power, from reliance on God.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, wrote, "By using falsehood to regain his liberty, Galileo virtually lost it. He cannot escape from barriers who commits his moral sense to a dungeon (Miscellaneous Writings).

Falsehood, for all its persuasive promises and arguments from "necessity, puts mankind in a veritable dungeon of limitation.

Environmental polluters, political campaigns devoted to winning by whatever distortion of truth it takes, cheating on taxes, cynicism toward government and apathy toward voting, intractable inaction on social needs that are at the heart of democracy's promise of equal opportunity--the list of unethical actions and their terribly limiting results is long and growing longer. Honesty turns out to be a very practical matter. But ethics isn't so much a matter of what we must somehow force ourselves to do. So long as the subject is seen in those unillumined terms, we miss the most important point. Ethics in fact is what is written in our hearts.

The prophet Jeremiah in the Bible tells us: "After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. …

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