Coulds and Shoulds

I sometimes think that life is all about the coulds and shoulds. The idea that we can do something is one thing but the notion of whether we should do it is something else altogether. We all know that we should not yell fire in a crowded auditorium even though we can.. the courts agree that it is a criminal thing to do. Yet sometimes the delineation is not so clear.. sometimes the ethics or morality of a should is not evident to everyone.

Consider the recent burning of the Qur'an by a man in Florida. Like Voltaire, many would defend the right of this man to do such a thing.. hard to argue with them.. the logic also holds firm for the burning of the US flag.. and the logic works even if it is in defense of the Fred Phelps group as they picket the funerals of fallen soldiers.

But questions remain concerning the wisdom of such actions. It goes back to the issue of whether one should do something just because they can. I think that the question of should hits to the issue of motive. I think that the actions of one being energized by a love motive will look very different than one being moved by another kind of motive. Love always considers the impact of our actions on others because love is selfless.

1 comment:

  1. I think there is a desire on our part to always have simple hard and fast rules that are either/or. I am convinced biblically there are such rules, but in many cases we have to apply principles (love being the basic one) to decide exactly what to do in a given circumstance.


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