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Teaching About Good and Evil

By JoAnn Hibbert Hamilton

As I grew up, I always thought that good was good and evil was evil. It was fairly easy to distinguish between the two. Drug use was bad. Kindness was good. Smoking was bad. Honesty was good. In today's world, families need to discuss openly what is bad and what is good because there is a philosophy of moral relativity that is prevalent in today's society.

And what is moral relativity? It deals with the philosophy that whether something is right or wrong depends on the situation. The standard moves up and down. Right varies and in many cases wrong isn't so bad. To illustrate this, let me point out that cheating in schools is no longer considered bad by many students. And what is cheating anyway? Doesn't everyone copy some papers off the Internet? So the fact that everybody does it justifies the act.

Let's approach another issue. Can you stretch the truth, and is that a lie? And what about an out and out lie if it makes someone feel good? What about lying if you don't want to accept an invitation? So is a lie bad or is it situational? This kind of thinking is an example of moral relativity.

I was talking to Steve Nelson, owner of Bountiful Nutrition. He commented, “Many youth have no personal standard, so what they look for is where they can be accepted. If that is with drug users, then that is okay. If it is with a homosexual group, that is fine, too.”

In today's world, because of the Internet, pedophiles get together and reinforce how they are really normal and okay. According to Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, they learn from one another how to “groom” young teens so they can set up sexual meetings. With a belief in moral relativity, they actually justify their actions.

Desensitization is another issue that thrives with moral relativity. It is a fact that people become desensitized as they are exposed to more and more inappropriate pictures. Soon the pictures a person is shocked at do not do not seem bad at all.

This country was based upon the moral standard of the Ten Commandments and we have a Declaration of Independence and Constitution that reflect this country's belief in God. Christianity leaned on the scriptures to establish truth. Some things were right and other things were wrong. As we teach our children, they need to recognize what is happening and establish their own values based on truth. They need to recognize and avoid situations that would have them compromise their values.

In his State of the Union address after September 11, President Bush said, “We've come to know truths that we will never question: evil is real, and it must be opposed.”

Sean Hannity says in his book, ”Deliver Us From Evil,” “This is a book about the reality of evil in the world, about the importance of acting against it, and about the urgency of confronting and opposing those who won't.” We need to teach our children about the reality of evil, the importance of acting against it and warn them of the sliding scale of values that the world so abundantly offers.”

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