Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Who Are You to Judge?-Greg Koukl

Here is a nice palate cleanser. Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason from a few years ago. Oldie But a Goodie.

Who Are You to Judge?

Columnist and blogger James Lileks wrote, “I return to the Kirk Doctrine, expressed in the Star Trek episode 'The Conscience of the King.' He has passed judgment on a suspected tyrant, and the dictator’s daughter asks ‘Who are you to judge?’ ‘Who do I have to be?’ Kirk snaps.”

Judging can't be avoided. We all do it. And we should. The ideas of reform and improvement presuppose making judgments about right and wrong, superior and inferior.

If you want to have meaningful moral discussions, the nature of a moral discussion is to look at an action and judge it. That’s what it means to have moral conversations. It’s to look at ourselves, people around us, or cultural trends or the conduct of people in government, and ask whether this is good conduct. Should we approve of such conduct or not?

So it’s not possible to have a meaningful moral discussion that actually has a goal of making a better person or a better country without speaking in judgmental terms. It’s part of the nature of having moral discussions. We have to be capable of saying that some actions are better and others are worse if we’re going to have any real discussions about virtue and morality in a way that results in moral improvement, whether that's individual or corporate reform.

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