Western Literature lesson 30

Write 500 words on this: “What is the view of the biblical materials on the role of ethics in the development of history?”

Of the endless subjects contained within the bible, ethics are one of the most emphasized. This was because the authors of the bible knew how important they really were. They knew how life itself is based on the very theory of ethics, dictating not only how we build our own lives but how to help others live theirs.

Ethics, defined as a system of moral principles, induce serious indigestion. You think I’m kidding? What happens when you commit a morally wrong infraction? Do you feel pleased, proud of the wrong you have just done or do you ache, hollowed out from your deceits? It is imperative that people feel this way because humans would not manage to live together for long without the influence of ethics. Matthew 7:12 proclaims, “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Again in Mark 12:31 we hear, “The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” These verses and many more describe how to treat others, a very important tenant in society. In great civilizations of the past, we notice that any who refuse to obey their moral compass are outcast, thus preserving the peace and allowing cultures to grow.

This isn’t just the opinion of a silly little high school student. Many well-known figures in history have said as much. William Penn declares, “If thou wouldst rule well, thou must rule for God, and to do that, thou must be ruled by him… Those who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants.” For these words, he was thrown into prison. Why? Because it is all too true. The sneakiest of the sneaky will wiggle all the way up to the throne, lying and murdering as they go. This is when kingdoms fall to the dogs. Look at Rome. As a rule, if ethics are thrown out the civilization will fail. James Madison repeats the message, “We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”

Emphasized and revered, indigestion-inducing and society building, ethics are here to stay. They were introduced to mankind from the bible, repeated throughout because of their importance. Do your research. Consider your options. Suck it up and plod along peacefully or get cursed with the worst case of indigestion you can imagine!

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