Dictionary.com defines morality as “conformity to the rules of right conduct; moral or virtuous conduct.” If you talked to someone on the street, you might get a different answer to the question of “what is morality.” Socrates’ in the book The Best Things in Life believes that morality is all about getting to the good end. This, however, is not true morality, and neither are the things that our culture believes. So, what is true morality?
In the book The Best Things in Life, we see that Socrates believes the good life is all about getting to the good end. This shows us how Socrates approaches morality. He believes that the pleasures we have in life are not necessarily always good. He believes that many of the pleasures we have in this life are just a means to the end. We cannot treat the means to the end as the actual good end. Things like having money, going to school, and owning a house are all simply means to the end. This approach fails in conveying true morality because it doesn’t involve God, who, really, is the only point in life. Nevertheless, using good things to get to the good end is, according to Socrates, what it means to have a good life.
Our culture believes that the pleasures we have in this world are all that matters in life. People today mainly care about having money and having lots of pointless things. This is what our culture believes about morality, and this is not what life is meant to be about. It fails in conveying morality because we are not meant to be pointless wanderers who are constantly searching for something that will not fill us up. We must seek the Lord in all we do. This picture of morality looks a bit like Socrates’ picture. This fails in conveying true morality because people are trying to find their pleasure in something that will not last. They try to live their lives without God. Some people even waste their lives trying to become famous. This is why some people in our culture are hopelessly lost. These people do not think that having a relationship with God is worth anything in life. Because our culture believes that pleasures are the meaning of life, our culture is extremely lost.
Christians know all that matters in life is having a relationship with God and sharing the gospel. We know that pleasures will not last us. This proves that Socrates approach falls short of conveying true morality because it does not include Jesus. Since this is all that matters in life, morality does not truly exist without God. All of these things will fade away in heaven. Matthew 6:19-21 states, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” The Lord is all we need in life, and we are called to live for Him. We must trust in the Lord and not lean on our own understanding in this world. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” We, as Christians understand that we must trust in the Lord and live for Him. This is the only thing that truly matters in life.
True morality, I have determined, is living for Christ and following the Bible. Socrates fails in determining this because he never includes Christ. The dictionary might be able to define morality, but true morality can only come from living a life for the Lord.
Kreeft, Peter. Best Things in Life. Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1984. Print.
New International Version. Zondervan, gen. ed. Michigan: Zondervan, 2006.
God is the Greatest Good
The greatest good is God; however, our culture tends to believe that good, in general, is only not doing bad things. If you refrain from doing bad things, then you must be good. Christians know the only good in this world is Jesus. Nothing else is good. Our culture believes that the greatest good is going above and beyond normal and doing something for someone else. In reality, though, the greatest good is found in the Lord. It cannot be found anywhere else because we live in an imperfect world. The only good comes from the Lord, because He is all good.
The world in the first play is not like our own at all. The people are like animals. They kill and seek revenge and then make no big deal out of it. The people in today’s world are at least civilized. Of course, we do see some people in this world who murder and some others who seek revenge persistently, but for the most part the people in our world today do not act like this. People in today’s society also do not have a connection with fake gods like we see in Orestia. Our world is better than the world Aeschylus shows us in this play.
In our lives, we see, have seen, and have been told about many saviors. However, unless this savior is Jesus, no one can compare. We see saviors in books we read, in our culture, and in the Bible.
In the book, Epic of Gilgamesh, we see that Gilgamesh is a savior. He saves people from evil creators. He does good deeds by saving people; however, he still does evil things himself. He stole people’s wives. This shows that, though he is a savior, he is an earthly savior. Gilgamesh cannot keep anyone from dying; he cannot even save himself from death. This makes him an earthly savior, but he is not Christ-like. He falls short of the real Savior because he is sinful and cannot save people from death.
In our culture today, we see earthly heroes all around us. Some of these are actually Christ-like saviors. Sadly, some are not. Earthly heroes in today’s culture serve earthly needs, and they make sure they are recognized for these deeds. They do things for fame and don’t lead people to Christ. Oprah Winfrey is a good example of this. She does good things because they make her feel good and she gets fame from it. Oprah Winfrey does not measure up to the only Savior, Jesus, because she does everything for fame, is a sinner, and, most importantly, she does not lead people to eternal life. Christ-like heroes spread the gospel and do not worry about being noticed. Franklin Graham is an example of a Christ-like hero. He spreads the gospel all the time. No matter what question he is asked, he always turns it around to preach the gospel. He also never takes credit for the things he does; he dedicates it all to God. Even though he is an amazing example of a Christian hero in our culture, he does not measure up to the true Savior because he is a sinner as well. These are examples of the heroes in our culture today.
In the Bible, we see many Christ-like heroes. Jesus is the ultimate hero. He is the picture of how we should be living. He brought people to himself. He took care of people’s earthly needs and gave them the gift of eternal life. He is, obviously, the only true Savior. The apostles are also Christ-like heroes because even after Jesus was gone, they kept healing the sick, feeding the poor, and bringing people to Christ. The church in Acts shows us how we should be now. They fed those who were hungry, sharing all they had. In doing so, they brought many to Christ and their numbers increased greatly. Both the apostles and the church of Acts led people to Christ, but they still do not compare to the only Savior because they were all sinners.
We see heroes all around us. They are in our books, in our culture, and in the Bible. Of course, these heroes cannot compare to the real and true Savior, Jesus Christ, because they will always fall short.
Merkle, Ben. Epic of Gilgamesh. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1992. Print.