Have We Become A Nation of Moral Bystanders?

Godfather Politics

“What’s it going to cost?” is the first thing a smart shopper asks when purchasing an item. Not just in the purchase price, but in the continued operation and maintenance. Everything we do has a cost. This is why Jesus tells us to “count the cost” when we make our plans.

Every person has a foundational set of principles on which his or her worldview is built. While it might take some probing to identify the foundational operating principles, they’re always there. The first line in Carl Sagan’s book Cosmos tells us what his operating assumption was: “The universe is all that is or ever was or ever will be.”[1]

Similar statements have been made by well know atheist Richard Dawkins. He begins with the operating assumption that there is no God. His worldview unfolds from this premise and has real-world consequences:

“In the universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, and other people are going to get lucky; and you won’t find any rhyme or reason to it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is at the bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good. Nothing but blind pitiless indifference. DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is, and we dance to its music.”[2]

Over time, these operating assumptions work their way through our culture. They imbed themselves, often unconsciously, in our thinking patterns. The world we look at is filtered by a new set of interpreting lenses. Like contacts and glasses, we see through these new lenses without noticing that we’re wearing them.

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