Saturday, January 24, 2009

When You Have No Moral Standards

"If someone is that depressed and wants to kill himself because there is no hope of life getting better, I don't see any reason he shouldn't do it. Many times there is no hope of life improving." I paraphrased that from an interesting conversation I had with a friend one day.

The person, who I will call Louise, said the above and also says that she has an easy time accepting people for who or what they are; whatever race, color, creed, sexual's just easy to accept people. This, I think, is very noble.

She also sees no problem letting people do whatever they want even if bad behaviors allow them to destroy themselves, like drugs and/or suicide and figures they get what they deserve. If a bad behavior such as smoking kills people, yet someone still chooses to smoke, then no one should say anything to that person. That person has made their choice and no one should say anything, ever, even if someone cares enough about them to ask them to stop. (This post only mentions smoking because it is the "catalyst" of the conversation point I will make below. It in no way excludes other life threatening behaviors including bad nutrition and gluttony of which I struggle myself!)

Then Louise told me that a friend of hers told her that it probably is easy to do because she has no moral standard by which she lives. Louise agreed.

The whole "no moral standard" is interesting to me, but that's a topic for another post.

Then Louise told me she was going outside to smoke. I said "I knew you would wimp out and not quit this New Years." She said "I'm not wimping out!" and I reminded her "remember what you said about having no moral standards makes it easy to accept people however they are? Well, what is the opposite of that?" and she expressed at first a quizzical but thoughtful look and then pondered it a moment before she confessed "I see your point".

I believe it is right to accept people how they are and lovingly help to restore them to a healthy life when they are in a destructive pattern. Whether the lifestyle they have chosen is alcohol, gambling, gluttony, sexual promiscuity, etc., we should not blindly "accept" this and say or nothing, especially with those we care about.

Christians are commanded to love. We are commanded to love fellow believers, but Jesus explained that this isn't anything special. It's easy to love people who are loveable. Jesus commands us to love our enemies. If an enemy is depressed and suicidal, we should not think like Scrooge in the Christmas Carol "good! Let them do it, less mouths to feed and it will help decrease the surplus population!", but instead we should react with love. Sometimes love is tough. Sometimes love means removing the drink, taking away the cigarettes, coaching someone through a nutritional dietary change, and maybe even closing the doors on a destructive relationship.

So, having no moral standard, I guess, can make it easy to take a person however they are and accept it, no matter how destructive their behaviors may be to themselves and those around them. It's also a lot less responsibility.

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