The Mormon Church has often bought advertising on commercial television to show spots about family values. I have observed several friends and colleagues throughout my adult life admiring the Church’s public dedication to and value for family; due to my own family’s shameful involvement in that religion, I have a general aversion to it and other such spiritual organizations, but I certainly understand the appeal of looking at a nice little family doing good deeds.
Having experienced the social and spiritual connections afforded by a structured religion, it is sometimes a lonely road for me as I seek to understand and strengthen my personal values now that I choose to live my life outside of this strictures. I have a good sense of what is wrong and what is right, and I learn from my own mistakes a good portion of the time. But outside of a few close friendships, my face-to-face interactions with people are generally superficial and I have often looked about in some confusion as to why so many people are crude, inappropriate, ignorant by choice, and sometimes downright mean and violent. It seems that the world societies constantly pummel one another in wars. I wonder to myself at times, How might I be a part of something to change this negativity?
Over the past few years, some new commercials appeared on the local network affiliate channels, discussing helping another person, or not cheating in school. At first I thought, Ah, more Mormon Church commercials! But then the tagline was for The Foundation for a Better Life.
I thought to myself, Hmm, the Mormon Church has gone undercover.
One idle evening, I did some light research and discovered that The Foundation for a Better Life is not affiliated with the Mormon Church, nor any other religious group or organization. It is an organization dedicated solely to passing on core values.
Is there such a thing as a set of core values or at the least, a common moral code?
Ayn Rand believed that a sort of morality is a necessary function of life, under the assumption that the individual strives to survive within the confines of a social order. Cheating and stealing, she would say, are innately unacceptable due to the outcome: lack of trust resulting in lack of success. She used this argument to advocate (as one might expect) for a true free market economy.
Did Sartre believe in a universal code? How about Kant, with his kingdom of ends?
I find this intriguing as I start the new year, one which holds many challenges for myself at a personal level, and for the world at large. Were we to apply some of these core values, how might the world change? What would we learn of ourselves and our capacity to create?
Believe In Yourself
Live Your Dreams
Making A Difference
Teaching By Example