Free «Biblical Ethics / Modern Times» Essay Sample

Politics, similar to all others spheres of life, demands moral behavior patterns and ethical acts. Political behaviors are based on the religious doctrines and the Bible stipulating such rules as the importance of a good reputation, never gloat over the defeat of enemies, never be hasty, not gossiping. In politics, the moral act based on religious doctrines is something more than a momentary event in the changing experience of the agent. Some of its most influential political leaders have accepted the "social sense" as the basis of the greater part of moral conduct.

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The principles “never gloat over the defeat of enemies” is important in politics as it helps political opponents to behave morally. Political interest in the fortunes of other men will at least insure a modicum of pleasure which otherwise might be lost. Sympathy is founded wholly on the operation of the imagination. In politics, even sympathetic reactions have their limits. For sympathy is not alone the growth of emotional energy; it takes hold upon our cognitions, bent of mind, body of experience, integrated mass of sentiments. Sentiment is both feeling and thought. The formation of public opinion is a case in point (Frederick, 2002).

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The principle “not gossiping” ensures fair competition and human values followed by every political leader. The principle here involved is that we can elicit an emotional response only when we agree with the person affected in our outlook upon nature and society. Thus, if tastes and moral values are the same, political leaders may set up relations of genuine reciprocity, and they should not expect a collision of principles or actions. There is a matter of more intimate concern, where subtle dangers may possibly lurk. Both religion and ethics assume that fair treatment in its elementary forms, takes place between adjacent individuals. No doubt the expression of extensor feelings was originally bestowed upon members of the immediate family. Hence, the importance and respectability of the sanction are first understood in the felicities and sorrows of the common hearth. Since discipline is essential to the preservation of order, obedience must be taken as a matter of course; the child may protest, but a political leader is forced to yield (Thompson, 2002).

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Biblical ethics helps modern politics to survive and overcome negative reactions and dishonesty typical for political competition. In politics, good reputation determines trustworthiness of a candidate and his opportunities in politics. A reputation has simply grown into the customs of the social group. Political leaders should feel devotion to the highest principles of his profession, his consideration of the interests of the public he serves, award him a place of distinction among his fellow practitioners that is freely acknowledged by competent observers. This is the objective significance of the word. There is also a subjective implication, a man's appraisement of his own fidelity to the cause. The potency of honor as a social sanction is one of the solid achievements of human morality. In the twilight zones of historical development it has saved man from reversion to his brutish prototypes. But apart from the requirements of exact justice to all men, regardless of their social status, there is the additional consideration that games of chance are stage-plays and should never be allowed to extort one farthing from the substance which society amasses for its economic support. Honor does not consist in justifying the existence of secret vices (Thompson, 2002).

In sum, political profession and politics in general demands that its actors accept strong and strict ethical principles based on the biblical ethics and universal moral principles.  Political leaders may convert the feeling of private interest into the comprehensive spirit of goodwill, which is the proper attitude of the citizen in the social state. In modern times, the biblical ethics is still an important source of moral standards and human values followed by politicians.

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