While philosophers enjoy claiming that their definitions of moral good can begin with humanism and end somewhere besides the idea common known as ‘might makes right’, they’re liars if they claim so much. As I’ve posted here before, even a particularly good definition must resort to semantic loops to achieve its aims. And even then the truth of the matter boils down the the fact that unless there is a force or entity greater than any human, mortal, or even corporeal force or entity which defines good and evil and lays down laws of the same, only a preponderance of force involved in forcing its own will or definition of good will define the moral good.When it becomes especially sticky is when the same entity which defines good also acts as the sword of justice, punishing evil and commending or rewarding good. For as that entity progresses, it will very naturally tend to the perspective that that which is beneficial to itself is that which is good. Consider a government which does not acknowledge a just and good supreme being incapable of being defined or contained in physical limits or terms: that government makes the laws and has no obligation besides its own self interest and preservation to guide in making those laws. That government also enforces those laws, and has a similar lack of responsibility or accountability in enforcing those laws. The government sees injustices being committed in its name and creates oversight committees and panels, consisting mostly of people involved in government and they have the same hamstringing problem, they are similarly committed to self-preservation and interest.
There is no way for a government that does not recognize themselves as being but the swords of justice representing a just and good God, that does not recognize that it derives its power not just from the governed but also and primarily from the God who created the physical universe and all human institutions. There is no way for that government to maintain a balance between justice and mercy, encroachment and laxness. The government without external (God) and internal (Moral) restriction and accountability will continue to redefine good to benefit itself.
This is a primary reason behind the intensely Christian nature of our original founding as a nation. Without a moral compass guiding each and every citizen and the elected leadership recognizing their accountability before God, the American experiment will fail, as it has already begun to do.
We question why it is that ethics classes do not seem to stop students from cheating. We wonder why scandals seem to be business as usual in Washington. We consider the cases of high profile, successful people who seem to have it all resort to illegal activities to make a few more bucks. We ponder the nature of a culture such as we find in rap music today which would not report illegal activities to authorities in order to protect ‘cred’. We observe people who believe it is only wrong to get caught doing something improper, but that if you don’t get caught, you’re ok. All these indicate a lack of awareness of both external accountability and external effects of their actions.
If might makes right, and I am strong, I am right. No matter what I do, I am a law unto myself. When something mightier than myself finds me and compels me to its will, it is unfair and I seek to be free of the restriction.