Ideal Ethics An ideal is a principle or value that one actively pursues as a goal, usually in the context of ethics. Wikipedia
We live in a world driven by ideals. Ethical standards espoused by people from every walk of life. Ethical standards that change as individuals or groups decide they should change. These principles or values are subjective, they are not truths. They are perceptions. They are based on human values and goals. So often these ideals are unattainable goals.
When we think of ideals in the ethical context we have to realize calling something ethical doesn’t necessarily mean that a particular ideal is good or reasonable for everyone. Even extremists groups have ideals or ethical standards. We know those are standards we don’t want to live by or see lived out amongst us. We know that they are goals that are not beneficial to the whole of humanity. Yet, these ideals and standards do exist.
Most, if not all of man’s ideals do not truly take in all the possibilities and far reaching effects, if these ideals are imposed on everyone. The problem with human ideals is that in order to fulfill the goal set forth in a particular ideal it is necessary to impose that ideal and call for adherence to it. This is the crux of the problem. We by nature do not want anything imposed upon us, because we have our own thoughts and goals and don’t want the achievement of them impeded by any outside force. This is why our society is so splintered. We all want others to live up to our ideals. This is why political correctness is so rampant, yet utterly ineffective. Simply put, we can’t all be right.
The natural progression is for every group or individual to edge out the other group or individual for supremacy. By human standards there is no true way to allow for fairness and equality. Because we all feel that our way is the superior way. Human wisdom is not infallible. It is innately flawed.
Psalm 14:12 says this; There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. Ultimately this is where all of man’s ways lead. Death of the individual, the death of a generation, death of a society. Man’s wisdom and ideals are woefully inadequate to save the world from itself. Philosophies and policies come and go, nations rise and fall and yet the world remains the same. Hate, abuse, intolerance and prejudices still remain.
The only way for man to achieve what is true and just is to walk in God’s ways. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8,9 (ESV) If we could just learn to take the word of God at face value and apply to our lives we would live as we should and be fulfilled. But, we cannot do it of our own accord. We are not capable of an existence where we don’t infringe upon others. Only Jesus was capable of living how we ought to live, and he died so he could cover our every sins against God and one another.
We must look to the life of Jesus to show us the way. His was the perfect life, and it was a life of obedience. He let the perfect will of his father be imposed upon him so as to achieve the Ideal that God has had for all of us since the beginning. To accept his will for our lives is to live in a way that is beneficial to us and everyone around us. We will always fall short because our will, our will will always strive for dominance but in Jesus we are forgiven and given the opportunity to start over again and learn and grow into what is truly good and right.
We need to stop trusting in our own ideals and trust in his.
© 2014 leo J. Woodman