Tuesday, December 27, 2011

"The Right Thing To Do"

A news article today is from the AP and datelined "Greenwood Village, Colorado."  A man who was getting on a plane in Las Vegas found two envelopes full of money - $10,000.00.  Ultimately, he returned it to another man who had won it gambling, but had dropped it on his way to his plane.

The man who returned the money said that he wanted to show his children that it was the "right thing to do."

Now, here's the question.  Why is it the right thing to do?  And how does he know it is the right thing to do?

From a Darwinian perspective, it is the WRONG thing to do!  If everything is about improving your own survival and the perpetuation of your genetic heritage - you really should keep the money to feed, nourish and promote those children...  Right?  The honest man in this story has betrayed his own children - his own heritage.

The only way returning the money can be the right thing to do is if there is an ultimate arbiter who has a standard of right and wrong that he can apply to you.  And there is no knowledge of this objective reality of right and wrong if the ultimate arbiter has somehow made it known in objective terms.

Otherwise, any rationalization will do.  "Finders keepers, Losers weepers."  "Easy come, easy go."  "One man's loss is another man's gain."  Even this quasi religious gem from Ben Franklin - "God helps those who help themselves."

I applaud the honesty of the man in the story.  I hope he knows the God who makes the right thing the right thing.

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