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Morality tied to Christianity

Published:Saturday | May 17, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

With regard to Ms Annette Johnson's article 'Morality not bound to religion', published in The Gleaner on Saturday, May 10, 2014, she missed the reality that Christianity is a way of life built on a relationship with Christ, the Saviour of the world, rather than a set of dos and don'ts.

In addition, to say that one is a Christian and not acknowledge that the source of right behaviour (morals) is God is an oxymoron. One cannot be a Christian without recognising the holy God, who is the source of truth, goodness and love.

Of course, one does not have to believe in God to engage in right behaviour; one can learn it from others. One can even engage in right behaviour without acknowledging the reason for that behaviour. Indeed, the unexamined life is not an unusual experience, and even when examined, one can choose not to acknowledge the basis of one's behaviour.

What the atheist lacks is an objective basis for his morals. Since morals change, unless there is an objective standard, the atheist is, therefore, unable to consistently and logically say one behaviour is correct and the other incorrect.

SOURCE OF MORALS

Who is the source of right behaviour if not God? Deciding on what's right and what's wrong requires a person who has all knowledge, regardless of time and place, who is completely wise, selfless and invested in truth. No human being possesses these characteristics and is, therefore, not able to become the source of morals.

All societies and persons have guidelines for moral behaviour, but if the guidelines do not have their basis in the transcendent, immutable God, they will, of necessity, be variable and dependent on the most powerful and influential.

The Buddha was a man who spent his life ridding himself of all sources of pleasure, which he thought was the source of suffering. He died and was buried, never to live again. How then does he become the source of morals?

Consider this except from the 'White-tailed Hornet' by Robert Frost:

As long on earth

As our comparisons were stoutly upward

With gods and angels, we were men at least,

But little lower than the gods and angels.

But once comparisons were yielded downward,

Once we began to see our images

Reflected in the mud and even dust,

'Twas disillusion upon disillusion.

KAY BAILEY

Jamaica Coalition for a

Healthy Society

jchsadvocate@gmail.com