A Moral Compass

After the first message and vision I pleaded with The Greatest Love to give me guidance on how to proceed. On what They wanted me to do next with my life. I was met with only silence. No further revelations were forthcoming at that time and it would be twenty years before I received another. At that time, after the second vision and message, I asked again for such direction. This time however, instead of silence The Greatest Love spoke to me with four simple words: “Live a good life“.

For many this response may not have been clear enough. The good life went undefined. But for myself, twenty years after the first revelations, I knew what this command meant for me. At a time when They could have provided me detailed instruction on how to shape my morals, the rules on which to base my life upon, or a new direction in which to take it, They effectively left the question on how to act, to answer for myself. They allowed me to set my own moral compass. To define “good” for myself.

By the time of the third message I had matured emotionally. I had started a family of my own. Experienced the tremendous joy of having children, and the terrible grief of losing close family members. I became more observant of how I treated people and found where my passions truly lay. I believe now this is why The Greatest Love did not answer my pleas for guidance twenty years prior. I needed to mature past my narrow view of the World. My moral compass needed to calibrate itself through life’s experiences before I could properly interpret the third message.

A good life for someone in their twenties looks very different from someone in their forties. And if the revelation to live a good life came twenty years prior I am not sure what I would have concluded, if anything at all. But in my forties “I knew exactly what that meant for meLive with love in your heart. Treat people with compassion, respect, and decency. And treat yourself, your community, your nation, and your World similarly.

This was my interpretation of the good life from my later years and it remains to this day. It did not come from The Greatest Love. Unlike the Abrahamic god of the past They did not provide any objective moral truths which I must follow. Instead it was left for me to define a good life for myself. And so any moral truths that I did conclude were necessarily my own. They were necessarily subjective, and did not come from any almighty source.

There is no reason to believe that The Greatest Love’s direction to me is any different than anyone else in this regard. Their guidance to live a good life necessarily applies to all of us. But it is up to each of us to define what constitutes good. That may be disconcerting to some readers. There are individuals with perverse views of the World that act to the detriment of others. Such people may define “good” as “that which benefits me alone“. Will such people not obstruct all forward ethical progress from the others that define “good” in terms of the common good?

No. I do not believe so. I believe this was revealed in the fifth message. When The Greatest Love declared humanity’s love as sacred I believe They were also saying that our societies have progressed, through shared social values, laws, and institutions, such that a critical mass of individuals have now accepted a responsibility beyond their own personal well-being not just to their immediate family but to their local communities and the global village as well. There will continue to be ongoing debates, for example how much is owed to each of those moral spheres of consideration, but the growth in the depth and breadth of our love represents enormous progress.

Can we regress? Certainly. At a global level trends such as nationalism, xenophobia, and neocolonialism are all divisive forces, and continue to pose a threat to the common good. They are all examples of people retreating to within their own tribe and either building walls to keep others out or otherwise forcing their will upon another. Both must be rejected and vigilance is required. Care and compassion is required. Love is required.

But today our love is sacred. And my faith in humanity makes me believe it will continue to be tomorrow. My faith in humanity makes me believe we have passed a point of no return and we will not regress. Our moral compass may have temporary shifts away from true north but in the long run we will continue to edge closer towards it.

I believe that by declaring humanity’s love sacred The Greatest Love has affirmed that They no longer need to reveal the answers even to our most intractable ethical issues. Yes these issues pose an enormous challenge which often times have no easy solutions. Debates in areas such as the death penalty, abortion, and euthanasia will continue for some time yet. And there will be many other debates going forward as new technologies and discoveries make the previously unimaginable, possible. It will force us to question what we represent as a species. What defines us and gives us purpose. The guidance The Greatest Love provides us for those debates is that we must not be so analytical in our pursuit of solutions that we can find no place for care and compassion within them. Our love for others, all others, must not be left out of the deliberations, and we must never let our own interests blind us to other peoples.

And I believe we will be fine. I believe that humanity’s collective love can rise to the challenge and confront the issues that the future holds. Historical and current leaders, professionals, philosophers, theologians, and ordinary citizens all have parts to play. The issues are complex and we must not only consider the new frontiers that emerge but our past decisions and canon as well. That does not mean we do not cherish our foundational charters, constitutions, and scripture. It just means that when history progresses and the rules of the past are no longer equipped to handle the needs of our future we are willing to search our hearts, examine our love, and reconsider our beliefs regardless of the reverence we may pay to such doctrine.

At a time of growing secularism and liberalism many people are wondering whether objective moral truths even exist at all. By objective moral truths I mean universal moral claims that hold true regardless of an individual’s perspective, culture, nationality, religion, upbringing, etc.

Moral claims such as “the slaughter of innocents for enjoyment is wrong” or the “the saving of drowning innocents is right” lie at the extremes. They are likely to illicit universal acceptance. But even this does not make them objective moral truths. Because for a moral truth to be truly objective means it must come from a source of moral perfection. All of humanity combined does not produce such a source. Only The Greatest Love does. By definition it is not possible for humankind alone to know when a moral claim is in fact an objective moral truth. In the past many relied on the divine providing us with such answers through revelation, but the times when the One god commanded objective moral truths from the heavens en masse I believe are behind us. In their place are millennia of moral discourse, thought, and progression, influenced not just by religion, but by all of humanity in all of her disciplines. And although I cannot say whether future moral truths will be forthcoming from the heavens I do believe that any such claims should be viewed cautiously.

Without a source of moral perfection that is willing to reveal moral truths to us objective moral truths can never be affirmed and the secular moral laws our societies converge upon today can never be shown to be objective. But this must not be a cause for fear or concern. It must not dissuade us from trying to reach consensus on core principles, rights, and freedoms. Moral edicts from on high have been supplanted by humanity’s love. We must see that love as a guiding star that can lead us toward The Greatest Love’s objective moral truths. Yet we must remain steadfast even when that moral progress is acknowledged with only four simple words: your love is sacred.

Why has this happened? Why is it unlikely that The Greatest Love will reveal any further objective moral truths going forward that can help us confront the issues of today? Because like a growing adolescent we are learning to speak for ourselves. We are questioning any commandments from any politician, priest, or, prophet from the past, much less the future. We are viewing any purported moral truths with a skeptical eye and see none as sacrosanct. And like a doting parent The Greatest Love understands this, sees it as a natural progression, and knows that now, with all of the history we have been through, we must decide for ourselves what ethical and moral foundations should form the basis of our lives going forward.

However for the devout who believe their sacred texts are the inspired, inerrant, and infallible word of their god the view is different. For them all the dictates prescribed in those texts continue to be the objective moral truths that they must adhere to. But I believe such sacred texts, even if sourced by revelation, were lessons often tailored for the specific time and place in which the messenger delivering them lived. We must understand scripture within the context of who that messenger was and what the pressing issues of their lifetime were. So even if the revelations contained in sacred texts are inspired, inerrant, and infallible it does not necessarily make them timeless or universal. We must always understand the complete context in which any law is passed and be willing and able to question their applicability to the current conditions of today. Even when those laws are revealed by the Creator, set in stone, and delivered from a mountaintop for all to see.

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