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Ethics—who sets the standard?

From the May 2002 issue of The Christian Science Journal

The drama unfolds. Whether it's the judging in the Winter Olympics, the Enron debacle, a politician who returns favors for campaign donations, or the outcry for the resignations of government officials who have acted unwisely, the accused defends himself or herself against allegations of ethical impropriety. And, the court of public opinion sometimes delivers a verdict.

These episodes know no national boundaries. They involve the Russians, Canadians, French, Americans, Polish, Australians, Spanish, and Irish, to name a few. Viewed from a strictly legal basis, no single standard of ethical behavior cuts across religions, cultures, and individual whims and personalities. In a time of relativism, where many believe that no absolutes exist, the world yearns for some practical ethical guidelines. Just adding another opinion or law to the books clearly isn't sufficient—at least it never has been historically.

Mary Baker Eddy noted the shortcomings of this approach to ethics in her book Science and Health: "Human philosophy, ethics, and superstition afford no demonstrable divine Principle by which mortals can escape from sin; yet to escape from sin, is what the Bible demands." Science and Health, p. 99.

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