So a big part of my life right now is that typical college self-realization time. Starting around the end of last semester, I finally decided to stop blindly following what everyone wanted and expected of me. I started thinking for myself. It was kinda a first.
And it's lead me to think a lot about my morals and what my actual concept of right and wrong is. Just because the Bible says it's wrong isn't enough for me. It says don't kill, but it also says you have to show the priest your shirt if its growing mildew on it. Don't steal, but don't cut your hair or beard either. People say you either follow the whole Bible or none of it. Believe it all or none of it.
I think that's silly. It's wrong to kill people. I mean, from a moral standpoint, that's just not okay. It doesn't matter if you read it in the Bible or not, you know its not okay to go shoot people on purpose. But if I believe that stealing is wrong because God said so, then do I have to believe that I can't cut my beard?
I just feel that if it's come to that, I should probably decide what I think is right and wrong. So I've been thinking about it for awhile.
Lets take stealing. The... issue of the day, as it were. Stealing is wrong, right? Is it wrong to steal to live? To support a family? And what if you're not stealing from anyone in particular? What if it's a street sign?
I've decided that stealing from a person is wrong. If it hurts someone else on a personal level, I think it's wrong, whatever action it is... stealing, drugs, whatever. But right now we're talking about stealing. Stealing directly from a person, like, out of their wallet or someone's purse or taking something from their house... that's wrong. But if I'm taking something from Walmart, who does it hurt? I guarantee you it doesn't come out of anyone's paycheck. I actually learned this in accounting... they have a missing inventory account. An allowance, if you will, for stolen goods. They actually don't lose any of the reported revenue if I steal things from Walmart, especially considering they round all their financial figures to the nearest million. Between you and me, I think Walmart could use a little less revenue. They're taking over the damn world. But that's beside the point. The point is, no one's losing out if I take things.
And street signs? Same thing. I don't see anything wrong with taking street signs. It's a game, really. And one in which no one gets hurt. I could, but that's the exciting part. If you were to ask why, I'd say for fun. No, I don't need street signs. No, in no way are they vital to my life. But it's for the thrill. It's just a game with real consequences, so you have to play a lot more carefully. Would I take a DO NOT ENTER sign? No, that's stupid. They need that sign for public safety. Would I take a street name? Sure. Would I take a one way sign off a pole that got blown over by the wind? Yep. No one's using it; what do they care?
It's not that tricky. If it hurts someone else, don't do it. It puts myself at risk? Oh well. That's my choice. I should be able to make that choice. I couldn't live with myself if I knew I was physically hurting someone else, or financially burdening someone else, because of my actions. I have morals. They just run a tad more complicated than a simple "Do Not Steal."
And what about the things that are questionable? Are internet downloads immoral? What if I really, really want Toy Story 3? It's only a few clicks away. A few nights ago I watched This Is Spinal Tap off of Project Free TV with my big sis. Was that wrong? Is torrenting Christian music bad? You know, Christian music is actually the most illegally downloaded genre of music. Ironic, huh?
And how about this scenario... my friend comes in from out of town. We want to go see the basketball game between our respective college teams. Baylor students get in free, but he would have to pay for a general admissions ticket. All a student needs to get in is a student ID. Another friend of mine from Baylor hates basketball and surely isn't attending. Is it wrong if my out-of-state friend takes my Baylor friend's place in the student section by borrowing his ID for the night and getting in in disguise as a Baylor student? Is that stealing?
I'm not so sure. I think it's fine. I don't see a problem with it. The only injustice there is that the Jayhawks had one more fan see them kick the pants off our man bears.
Anyway, those are just some of my thoughts.. as always, feel free to comment away. I'm sure I've managed to piss someone off with this rant. I guess I'll save my other opinions for other Issue of the Day's. Until then... toodles.