Are There Rules To Live By
- By Samuel Thambusamy
- Published 01/29/2009
Samuel Thambusamy’s interests are in Popular Culture, Theology and Politics. He has a Master of Theology (M.Th) degree from the Senate of Serampore University. He has served in a wide range of ministries such as children, youth, church and development ministries. He is now involved with Wisdomtree and reaches out to young people through cultural apologetics. He lives with his wife Lanusenla and daughter Vandana Yujasola in Chennai, India
We can do almost anything we want to do. We can transplant heart and other parts just like how we change spares for our motorbikes. We are exploring cutting edge technology in cloning. We can do almost anything we want to do except tell the difference between right and wrong. We do not know what is right?, What is wrong? and worse the difference between the two. Now, how do we then live?
For some, what is morally right is determined by the culture (the Cultural argument). For others, What is morally right and wrong depends on the situation (situational argument). For a few, what is morally right is of what brings the greatest good (read pleasure for Jeremy Bentham and pleasure for the greatest numbers for John Stuart Mill). For many, what is morally right thing is up to the individual (the argument of individualism).
We live in a multiple choice world and We live our lives as if truth is somewhere in the middle. Perhaps, the way forward is tolerance of various positions (The tolerance argument) since what is right for one may be wrong for another and vice versa.
We may not be aware of all the philosophical and religious tags that academia attaches to these moral stances but they are not entirely strangers to us. They enter our life-space and living rooms through Popular culture. Let me map the changes that popular culture has brought in our understanding of what is right and what is wrong.
Firstly, popular culture promotes the idea that right and wrong is to be decided by the pleasure-principle.
Secondly, popular culture promotes the idea that right and wrong is to be decided by public consumption
Thirdly, popular culture promotes the idea that right and wrong is to be decided by popular opinion
Fourthly, popular culture promotes the idea that right and wrong are to be decided by individual preferences and feelings.