• Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • Achieve universal primary education
  • Promote gender equality and empower women
  • Reduce child mortality
  • Improve maternal health
  • Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
  • Ensure environmental sustainability
  • Develop a global partnership for development

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Do Morals Matter?

In Do Morals Matter?, Ian Markham says, “It is the unnoticed and unappreciated ease of the middle class in the western world that makes it possible to create a world that is so small it stops at the limited interactions of oneself with the immediate environments.”[1] The lack of reflection caused by this ease leads to a life marked not by gratitude but self-absorption. Markham’s project is to address this problem by creating what he calls “morally serious person(s)” (MSPs) – people with “an attitude that believes moral questions are of fundamental importance.”[2]

This world needs MSPs who take the plight of the poor seriously and who share a willingness to move beyond the "ease of the middle class" so that they can ask the difficult questions:

What does it mean to live with such abundance when so many live on the equivalent of less than $1 per day?
What does it mean to us to live with such massive gaps between the rich and the poor when most of us live as we do simply by accident of birth?
Can we make changes to our lifestyles that will make a meaningful difference in the lives of others? I am reminded of Bishop Geralyn Wolf's words: "After living for many years below my means so that others can live above theirs, I wouldn't have it any other way" - words to contemplate in our culture that is obsessed with material abundance.

[1] Ian Markham, Do Morals Matter? A Guide to Contemporary Religious Ethics, 182.
[2]Markham, 181.

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