Saturday, July 25, 2009

life + thoughts

I think all of us agree that morality isn't relative.
I think all of us agree that lying is immoral.

But when the Fiore's showed up on Friday night, what were they supposed to say? "Hey, Tim, we're here for the surprise graduation party tomorrow!" You can't really say that. So instead they made up a story about visiting friends of theirs in northern New Hampshire (it was a weak story). Gasp,shock,horror! They lied! Yes, the Fiore's, all of them, lied to Tim about their true reason for being there. It just goes to show what great friends they are, that they would be willing to intentionally disobey a biblical commandment just so Tim could have a surprise party.

I'll let you figure out how much of that was satire.

The second thing is about Human Rights. See, on Thursday night, at theater, I said something at the same time as someone else. Then I said, "Jinx, buy me a coke." Then she said, "Make me." Then I said, "I can't, that would violate your human rights." Then she gave me a very funny look. Then, again, today, when I was trying to get Jay to show everybody his art, the same thing happened. While contemplating ways of getting him to show us his art, I said out loud, "I could force him to, but that would violate his human rights." Or something like that.

Am I the only one who thinks about these things? I mean, really, Micah? Really?

But, if you believe in a principal, a principal like human rights, shouldn't you believe in it absolutely. There's nothing within the principal of human rights that says, "It's okay to violate rights as long as it's not serious." Making Jay show everybody his art would be a violation of his rights. (As it was, I didn't end up doing that. I just "stole" [with his permission] some of his art to show people)

I think that the answer is that lying is wrong, even for surprise parties.
I think that the answer is that violating human rights is wrong, but if you have their permission, it isn't a violation. (stealing private property with permission, not stealing, not violating property rights)

(Also, a note about Nano, for those of you who haven't been stalking my gmail status)
So, I reached 50k and ended my novel at pretty much the same time. I'm looking around for printing options, I think it would be so much cooler to have it "book bound" instead of spiral bound like at Staples. Chapter divisions are giving me a headache, I'm not sure I'll bother. I promise, you all can read it... unless you're some creep stalker who happens to have found my blog. Then you can't.


  1. Oh Micah! I do want to read your novel, thank you.

    "Am I the only one who thinks about these things?" No, you aren't. :)

  2. I was like, "Whoa, the Fiores . . . lied?" I was so ready to berate them for a lame cover-story, and then I was disturbed at how easy it was for me to think of what lie I would have used in their situation. like, really? why is lying so easy? it's one of the freaking ten commandments, you'd think my conscience would be more pricked. especially after running honesty as a value, hypocrite that I am.

    I wish Jeremy had shown us more of his art, it was really good. You and your family are so talented it almost depresses me.

    Speaking of which, sent me teh novel, foo'.

  3. Yeah...I know what you mean about lying. It's like when Rahab did. And when Abraham lied (twice) saying that Sarah was his sister. (Even though she technically was his stepsister, it was still deception)

    I wanna read your novel too. :-)

  4. Micah, we all want to read your novel. :D

    And, uh... trying to hold back the speller in my and it's not working... writing the syllabus was torture... it's spelled principle, not principal! Principals are people who work in school systems or those who have the lead roles in a play or film. Principles are the things we try to live by. Okay, I'm done.

  5. Very interesting . . .
    To say that lying is always wrong without qualifications is legalism. It is also the easy and lazy way out of many a dilemma. When those brave souls in Nazi Germany hid Jews and lied about it were they sinning or displaying tremendous courage? What about Rahab? Am I lying to protect my life or someone else's life?
    It seems to me that a commitment to Christ, the very personification of truth, calls for more than thoughtless obedience to the letter of the law . . . it requires me to lay down my life so that Christ can live through me. I think He would have no problem coming up with a great story to justify His presence in NH so the party could remain a surprise :)

  6. Anonymous,

    I believe that to say that lying is always wrong requires no qualification. You may well lable it "legalism" but it is born of a desire to obey the commands of God.

    Further, I cannot understand how commitment to Christ, who is, as you aptly say, the embodiment of truth, can possibly be expressed through lying. Lying does nothing to further truth. Commitment to Christ, to truth, means upholding the truth, not tearing it down.

    In addition, my desire to obey the law comes not from thoughtlessness, but from the fact that letter of the law is an expression of the law's spirit, that of love. Were I to dedicate myself solely to the spirit of the law, I would have no knowledge of what that dedication meant were it not for the letter of the law. It is because I have and strive to obey the letter of the law that I can say that I know what the spirit of the law is.

    You also say that to regard lying as absolutely wrong is an easy or lazy way out of a situation. I think that the opposite is true, that lying is the easy way out of a dilemma. Obeying God's law is far from easy, and telling the lying instead of telling the truth is the easy and lazy thing to do, more often than not.

    Also, to equate lying to save the lives of others in Nazi Germany with lying to give a suprise party shows a lack of sensitivity, and certainly a lack of moral basis for making such claims. I believe both are wrong, and my basis is the Bible.

  7. *eye catches "Fiores lied" and is officially drawn in* (@Micah:

    We didn't all lie... nor all to the same degree. ;) Some of us just said we were seeing friends. Which we were. And that we hadn't seen them for a long time. Which we hadn't. And that we were seeing friends from California. Which we were. (Weekleys!)

    It's a very, very sticky issue. Agreed. And one I too have thought about... For my part- at the surprise party, I felt not a twang of guilt. (And I typically do if I'm the slightest bit dishonest.) Why? Maybe it was the tell-tale grins on our faces. Maybe it was because it was like a game. You say you're the Duke Of York and I say I murdered your father and by the end of the game we all find out who's who and who did what. Maybe it was because we didn't *exactly* lie. Maybe it was because we weren't jeopardizing anyone's reputation- we weren't being "false witnesses". Maybe because it was for a great cause- for a God-glorifying purpose.

    Honestly, I tend to agree with you, Micah, about an absolute standard. Saying that anything short of the truth is at any time ok sounds a bit like Rocky (Chicken Run) who says he didn't lie "just omitted certain truths." Don't we have the holiness of God to test everything against? But what about the intent behind every action? Was our intent to "deceive" or to bless? Does it even matter what our intent was? IS there something that needs to be repented of? What? What would Christ ahve said if He had showed up- three states away- at a friend's house for a surprise party taking place nearly twenty-four hours later?

    'just thinking out loud... is there perhaps some grace in this issue? Like when Paul tells the believers that it is fine to drink wine and eat food sacrificed to idols but then says that if someone has a conviction against it than he, the weaker brother, would be in sin if he ate/drank. What about Betsy who felt it was wrong to lie to the Nazis, and didn't and was blessed- and then corrie and countless others who felt it was the right thing to lie, who did, and who were also blessed?

    What do you think?