By Ron Thomas
The confusion of what is moral and what is not is illustrated in the quote by our former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich:
“The moral crisis of our age has nothing to do with gay marriage or abortion. It’s insider trading, obscene CEO pay, wage theft from ordinary workers, Wall Street’s continued gambling addiction, corporate payoffs to friendly politicians, and the billionaire takeover of our democracy.”
This was a Facebook post by one of my friends on the social media page, taken from the page for a group called Liberal And Proud Of It (for actual quote, see https://www.facebook.com/RBReich/posts/819661468046451).
If these words that are attributed to Reich are accurate, then is there any wonder there is moral chaos in our society? Is it really the case that liberal ideology equates, yea, values more the dollar bill and its distribution in society than the sacredness of life in a child or the sacredness of an institution that perpetuates societies? It must be. I replied to these words with “Really?” My friend on Facebook said she was in complete agreement with the sentiment (though she is personally opposed to abortion).
I don’t believe she is atheist or anything close to that, but this is exactly the way an atheist would argue. This is nothing but an ideology associated with hedonism. Hedonism is a philosophy that subscribes to a way of thinking like this: ethics pertains to that which gives one the greatest pleasure. Whatever it is, it is to be pursued. Thus, it is moral. This could be altruistic desires or a denigrating form of selfishness. In both cases, and even including that which is between, hedonism is a philosophy that has its origin in man.
It is apparent that preserving life does not warrant the moral level of status that the procuring power of the dollar gives. Moreover, for some, it is pleasurable (moral) to pursue the means of commerce, but not the sacred preserving of life given by God.
It is not likely that the above paragraph will find concurrence from liberals, progressives and secularists, but if there is complete agreement with the sentiment above by Robert Reich then this is exactly the force and implication of those words. The argument is: there is no inherent value in the life of a child (at least as long as it is not your own child!), but there is value in the dollar’s placement in the hands of people.
Hedonism is an evil moral ethic. “Without hedonism, there would be no point or meaning to our moral decisions” (Joe Barnhart in The Warren-Barnhart Debate on Christian Ethics versus Utilitarian Ethics, November 5, 1980, Denton, Texas).
No matter the identifying moniker of a particular moral philosophy that an atheist or secularist adopts, it all boils down to hedonism. That which a person wants (desires), and finds the greatest pleasure in, is to be pursued.
The Lord addressed this philosophy.
“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” (Romans 1:20-31, ESV)