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August 27, 2011

Menial laborer polishing flatware? Or, demi-urge rearranging the cosmos to serve your purposes?

It’s all in how you look at it.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. chillibasket permalink
    September 10, 2011 2:20 PM

    Are you saying that everything is relative, and that there are no absolute truths?

    • September 11, 2011 10:15 AM

      Haha. No. Both above statements are true, but one makes the laborer depressed and discouraged while the other imbues the laborer with a sense of his work’s importance.

      According to Aristotle (and I think he was onto something that the Bible confirmed), happiness is accomplishing one’s work with virtue. Which perspective of polishing the flatware is more likely to make a person happy?

  2. chillibasket permalink
    September 11, 2011 11:12 AM

    Can one receive happiness from work that one is unhappy doing? I think that you are right that one should make the best of all situations and ‘agree’ with yourself to be happy.

    But by saying that everything changes by perspective, you are also confirming that things are relative. You said yourself that both statements are true; it depends on how you look at it. For example, in ethics, one person may believe that it is right to kill someone, whereas the other person may not. Both are therefore morally right in the situation. Does this mean that no one should be punished? This would start another debate; should we respect other people’s beliefs in a Libertarian society?

    • September 11, 2011 2:32 PM

      My polishing the flatware is a crucial part in the story of the world and has not gone unnoticed. The hydrogen, oxygen, calcium, and magnesium that causes water spots on this silverware has traveled far. It’s possible that at some point these molecules were in the Nile River, perhaps even during the plague that turned all the water in Egypt to blood and back again. This water has seen the world, it has seen God’s power and collected calcium from the Cliffs of Dover and magnesium from the sea. It has somehow made its way to a restaurant in Greensboro, North Carolina and left evidence of its existence on our 18/10 stainless steel flatware. God arranged all that. And it is now my task to take the magic distillation of barley and rearrange all those atoms to make the flatware gleam.

      This is task to which God has set me–not the owner/manager of the restaurant, but God. Who am I to begrudge the responsibilities which God has given me? And how can I do anything but rejoice when God has paid such careful attention to my particular collection of en-souled atoms? If anything, all of the above is an argument from transcendence AGAINST moral relativism, not an accidental admission of a stealth ethic.

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