moral compasses and awkward lecture moments

In a lecture about ethics, specifically concerning threats to ethics:

absolutism: there is one, timeless universal moral truth that everyone should adhere to

When the professor reached this definition, he asked the class, “How many of you know people who are absolutists?  You know, they’re the ones who think that they have the one truth, and they believe everyone should follow it…”

Perhaps I’m just naive, but I immediately read “Christians” between the lines.  I suddenly felt really uncomfortable as I sat in this lecture.  My discomfort is actually quite amusing now that I think about it; before this, the professor had asked us what happens when our beliefs are challenged or when we’re faced with opposing viewpoints.

In any case, I found myself asking if Christianity really is a deterrent to ethics.  When followed as originally intended, it involves believers sharing the Gospel, telling people the dynamic way that God relates to humans, and urging them to make a choice to believe or not believe (preferably the former).  In addition, a functional relationship with God should shape life decisions, even in a clinical setting, even where a patient’s well-being is concerned.  

I’ve always known that many people see Christianity as close-minded and possibly even cruel.  But will it really keep me from making sound ethical decisions?  I always thought it would be an aid in that regard, not a hindrance…



One thought on “moral compasses and awkward lecture moments

  1. I think one of the things that is interesting to think about when you hear comments like this is that in Christianity at its best, truth is a person (Jesus), not a set of rules to be followed like matter follows the laws of physics. I’m still not sure about all of the implications of that, but it kinda changes the meaning of absolutism in this context.

    Oh, and hi eboné! you’re in my thoughts and prayers 🙂

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