May 15, 2007

Indiana U. Dentistry Scandal Poses Logical Quandry To Relativist's Worldview

Cheating is an interesting concept. How do you define it? How do you determine what is cheating and what is merely taking advantage of an opportunity to advance one's self? If I asked this 40 years ago, most would laugh derisively; "We all know what cheating is."

Perhaps, but that was a long time ago when there was a different moral fabric holding our culture together. Joe Citizen's conscience was still informed--even if unwittingly--by the prevailing Judeo-Christian ethic ingrained into our culture through the influence of God's inspired Word. The Bible determined right and wrong. But in about a half century, our culture "matured" abandoning such archaic paradigms deeming them vestiges of a weak and superstitious people. Relativism usurped the throne of moral absolutes becoming the ruling king of a "wiser America."

So what is the big deal that nearly half the dentistry class at Indiana University has been caught "cheating?" In a society governed by pragmatism, cheating is passé so if opportunity knocks--opportunity to excel on an exam--you take advantage of it.

But apparently some still see a problem with "cheating," especially when it concerns a profession that relies on honesty from its practitioners. Let's face it, when you see your dentist, he or she could tell you just about anything and you'd believe it.

"Really? My molar is cracked? $1000 for a crown? Well, uh Okay!"

It is a serious issue and what is telling, is the commentary surrounding the scandal.

Tim Dodd, executive director for Duke University's Center for Academic Integrity, wins the "Oh brother!" award thus far. He doesn’t excuse the student’s conduct but mitigates it saying, "When you have persons in high places who clearly lie about what's happening with weapons of mass destruction… I think the general public gets the idea that anything that makes money is what's right."

Dodd's comment is factually false though conveniently overlooking 20 or more documented statements publicly issued by a "who's who" of Democrats about the certainty of the existence of WMD in Iraq. Still, you knew sooner or later that George Bush had to be the reason for the student's lapse in integrity.

Dodd proceeds saying something concerning the solution that is mystifying: "We've got to reform the conscience."

Huh? Wait a minute; we either rule our own destinies as the ultimate authority or we subject ourselves to a "Higher Authority" that transcends individual, social and political preference; you can't have it both ways. Alas, the Supreme Court determined which way will guide our nation.

Anthony Kennedy, writing the majority decision in Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, defined liberty as "the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of life."

Voila! You see, we each determine truth for ourselves making even the suggestion of "cheating" nonsense.

If there is no God--a Morals Giver--who transcends culture, time, popularity, or convention, then, according to the supreme law of the land, I am the ultimate authority and beyond question. Cheating then is merely a social construct which prevents some from advancing. Under Kennedy's rubric, such oppression is intolerable in a truly free society dedicated to the declaration of "liberty." Indeed cheating cannot even exist, if, as Kennedy decreed, I have the right to define my own concept of existence. "Hey, in my universe, cheating is not only moral, but honorable."

The inescapable conclusion is that Dodd's statement about reforming conscience is an intolerant and arrogant non-sequitur implying HE knows what is best for everyone else.

Ah the scourge of logical consistency. Thank God for the ability to see Truth as He has defined it. Have you read your Bible lately?


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