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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Honour Among Thieves

What was truly frightening about the Godfather, and the many gangster films which followed it, was the fact the mafia did not believe society's laws applied to them. Using extortion, intimidation, and extreme violence they said, 'we will do what we want to do.'

They were not a lawless group of people however. They merely adhered to their own laws and their own standards. They had their own morality regardless of its legality. The argument goes, just because something is illegal does not make it immoral. A whole book could be written on the immoral acts of history which were legal. Of course the judgement on what was immoral would be the author's point of view. Does that mean, therefore, that morals are only a matter of opinion? Who sets the standard?

All the social problems and crimes which occur in our world result from different standards; standards which do not measure up to the ultimate standard of goodness.

How many arguments, how many actions have been perpetrated by people believing their behaviour was okay or justified in the circumstances? In one family swearing and drunkenness is acceptable, in another it is not. Punching a man is okay if he throws the first punch. Working for cash to avoid tax is acceptable to many while others feel it is dishonest. These are examples of relative morality and relative morality is a conflict causing plague in society and in the world.

Surely the basis for society's morals must be an absolute standard. Surely it must be God's revelation of his Character and His will for us which is in the Bible. Even those who feel certain laws don't apply to them, like the mafia will be judged in the end by their Maker. Who can decide what is truly good apart from one who is perfect?

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