Blog # 406 Choices,,,Decisions
Many years ago I had the experience of offering a small boy, about three years old, either a ten dollar bill or an ice cream cone. He chose the ice cream cone. That decision was not an altogether dumb one. He got what he wanted when he wanted it. But if he had only known...
Some furniture, some automobiles, some houses, some thoughts, desires and experiences, are more valuable, more beautiful, more authentic and dependable than others. Each day of our lives choices are available to us. Some of them have little consequence. Some of them are routine. Some of them can be major. Some choices are difficult to make.
What is the best medicine for arthritis? What is the recipe for making Grandma's Irish soda bread? What is the shortest way to New Jersey from here? What ought I...? All of these
questions are related to one another. All of them are seeking truth.
The question "What is...?", and questions beginning with "Ought I...? imply a quest for truth on a different level. What is questions normally refer to truth on a physical, psychological, or emotional level. Should I and Ought I questions normally refer to truth on a moral level. Both levels are real. There is truth to be sought and found on both levels.
It is something like living in two different worlds that are distinguishable one from another yet are united in our one life. It is something like the shape and the taste of an apple. Both are real and distinct from the other, but can exist together in each apple.
It is possible to be more explicitly aware of one level rather than the other, both in the case of the apple and in our experience of life. For example I would think most of us are actually more aware of and responsive to the taste of a apple we are eating than its shape. The shape is there, but it is not prominent in our immediate consciousness of it. Such an experience is possible with regard to our conscious awareness and response to the physical aspects of our lives as distinguished from their moral aspects.
These days we seem to be more aware of and pay more attention to the physical level than the morality involved. What is the quickest diet to get ready for the beach season? What is the most popular color this coming Spring? Ought I apologize to my neighbor for having said something unkind and untrue? This experience is fostered and encouraged by the climate of consumerism, secularism, and materialism in which we currently live. The answer to what questions tend to promote business. The answers to should questions tend to promote goodness and love.