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“Voting For The Lesser Of Two Evils”

Christopher Harris

The lesser of two evils argument always seems to sprout up during election cycles. The premise of this idea, however, is rarely discussed. Situational ethics involves the idea that what we believe to be right or wrong depends upon the situation at hand. But, what does that assume? This assumes that absolute moral standards do not exist.

situational ethics

While generations in the past have recognized the existence of absolute moral standards, it seems that more recent generations believe moral standards are relative. Maybe we can attribute this change to the “values clarification” programs that were introduced into government schools during the 70’s.

Thomas Sowell, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution specializing in social and economic policy and the history of ideas, had this to say about values clarification in his book, “Inside American Education”,

The very phrase “values clarification” is fundamentally dishonest. When parents tell their children not to steal or not to have sex, there is no ambiguity as to what they mean. Clarification is neither required nor attempted. Instead, values are downgraded to subjective preferences of individuals or blind traditions of “our society,” and contrasted with alternative values of other individuals and other societies — including, in some cases, the societies of various species of animals.The “nonjudgmental” approach which pervades such exercises provides no principle of logic or morality by which to choose among the many alternatives presented — except, implicitly, what “peers” or “experts” or “modern thinking” might prefer. “Clarification” is merely a process used to camouflage this process of undermining the child’s existing values. (Page 65)

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) explains values clarification by saying:

Values guide our decisions as to what is good, true and right. Thus, they depend as much on our feelings as on our thoughts. Values clarification is a technique for encouraging students to relate their thoughts and their feelings and thus enrich their awareness of their own values.

There’s no way to deny that situational ethics and values clarification stem from the same idea. Now if you are secular in your worldview, then I guess it really doesn’t matter if you choose to vote based on the “lesser of two evils” because evil is relative in your worldview. But, if you are a Christian, we have no biblical basis to vote or make any decision on the basis of a secular philosophy. Our standard and final authority must be the bible if it isn’t, then we aren’t Christians. Morality is never relative.

If someone were to ask you to choose a babysitter for your child(ren) with the two choices being a cannibal or child molester, I’m sure you’re not going to hold your breath and choose the “lesser of two evils”. It’s a ridiculous decision strategy. I find it ironic that people are okay with choosing the lesser of two evils when it comes to voting but no one wants a politician that chooses the lesser of two evils when it comes to making decisions once they are in office.

Conservatives can’t in one breath complain about the decline in morality within America and in the same breath embrace ideas that undermine absolute morality. To continue doing the same thing expecting different results is the definition of insanity. There’s no lesser of two evils when it comes to voting. It’s principled voting or pragmatist voting. Which do you choose?









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