Recently, I engaged in a discussion on the http://www.linkedin.com network website. The discussion was “The Moral Guidelines that Could Change Our Moral Codes” (http://linkd.in/1vp7DDa). The author suggested that not all moral codes make us think. He then proposed a question answer scenario that would facilitate our thinking. In doing so, he posed a number of questions prior to acting or making a moral decision:
“Would this action or practice
– facilitates or impede my/our development?
– facilitates or impede the development of our fellow citizens?
– facilitates or impede my/our interrelations with my/our families and my/our friends?
– facilitates or impede my/our interactions with my/our colleagues and fellow citizens?
– facilitates or impede the functioning of my/our governments?
– creates or maintain an environment where we are free to develop?” ( , “The moral guidelines that could change our moral codes.”
In a comment to a series of other replies, particularly focused on Ayn Rand’s philosophy, one gentleman posed a suggestion: “When we do for others we do for ourselves for it creates our reality…the same is true when we only focus on self/fear.”
He came very near what Jesus claimed by paraphrasing what He actually said. The difference between this gentleman’s suggestion and what Jesus claimed is that Jesus claimed that such a statement revealed a singular and truthful worldview and not the creation of “our reality.” I went on to say,
“One thing missing in this discussion because this one thing rises above and encompasses the details of what has been said: worldview. Rand’s philosophy rises from her worldview. [Name withheld], the initial statement you made (a paraphrase) in your recent post rises from a specific worldview: “When we do for others, we do for ourselves.”
Jesus actually claimed that statement:
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:7-12).
He embeds that statement in His worldview, that is God is above all. Notice at the beginning of the cited quote, Jesus says, “Ask…seek…knock.” Ask…seek…knock from whom? GOD. Then He continues by describing the nature of humanity. He said that although people are inclined to evil, they know enough to do good for their families. Then Jesus notes that God is greater, because He is Father of all. Afterwards comes the quote in question: “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (7:12). That is, those who seek God and His worldview will have this mindset, because it comes from God, and all humanity is created in His image.
This worldview claims, then, all have His imprint within and know value and duty. Value recognizes the worth of all God created and the order He established. Duty recognizes moral obligation. That is, everyone knows when they do right or wrong. Treatment of others and allegiance to God show both. We do good to and for others because we see them as having great value. Doing evil toward another or even toward ourselves devalues others and ourselves. Doing evil devalues oneself. Although we are naturally inclined to evil, as shown by our need for any moral code at all, we recognize good and do good because we are created in the image of God. Jesus claimed that our commitment to God enables us to live according to the image in which He created us, that is, according to Him.
Worldview makes a huge difference in terms of how we view moral codes. If we reject God as the giver of morality, we will attempt to create our own. When everyone does this, conflict arises, and morality becomes relative to one’s own worldview. There will be no end of conflict, tension, and wars in the world as each person, group, or society competes for the power to exert its worldview. Power plays happen in all organizations. Recognizing and committing ourselves to the source of our existence goes toward reducing such conflict and living in love toward one another. The last phrase Jesus said acknowledges this. He referred to the claim of doing to others as you would have them do to you as arising from the Law and Prophets. Jesus made only one other claim that did so, and that claim was loving one another. He said doing this fulfilled the Law and Prophets (Matthew 22:37-40). God’s worldview preempts all other worldviews and moral codes. It is universal while any human created worldview and corresponding moral code is limited because it is finite.
If then a moral code assumes that all are inclined toward evil and all need correction, as Denis’ questions suggest, then the solution is a worldview and corresponding moral code that is sufficiently universal to apply to the universality of the inclination toward evil. That worldview is that which Jesus claimed.”
Worldview matters, because it does indeed reflect truth and that truth reality. The significance of the worldview of Jesus is that His worldview is the only one that works, because God alone changes people from the inclination toward evil to an inclination toward right living through imparting to them a new life altogether. The Apostle Paul wrote,
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Through faith we commit ourselves to the worldview of Jesus and in doing so to the greatest commandment of the Law – to love one another. This worldview is reality because it reflects the truth of God. Worldview matters for morality and philosophy of life.