Thursday, May 19, 2005

READERS' FORUM: Reform Mormonism, ethics & morality

In response to this week's lesson on the nature of ethics and morality, we've received the following email from Mick in Germany, who indentifies himself as a Reform Mormon without an LDS background:

"I fully agree with the article! To state that morality is clearly set forth in the Bible or any other held-to-be authority is as wrong as the opposite, - that ethics and morality are totally relative and up to one´s own taste. The latter statement is worse because it would undermine ethical reasoning altogether: If you claim all morality to be relative, you necessarily also embrace even the most authoritarian and intolerant moral codes as legitimate. To say that it is wrong to suppress women is then not any better than the opposite claim. To me that would imply an unbearable consequence!
I am inclined to put it that way: Ethical codes are useful guidelines that have to be adjusted according to the demands of the situation. But not to the demands of selfishness! Ethical reasoning and acting should always try to live up to the ethical principles of love, peace, truthfulness, empathy and justice.
Therefore, we should clearly distinguish between moral codes or rules (which are indeed relative), and ethical principles (the most important one´s are stated above) which are by no means relative but absolute; - yes, even sacred!"