A SENSE OF OUGHT
Donald R. Fox
Do you have a sense of ought? Webster defines the word ought in part as: “obligation or duty: as, he ought to pay his debts.” Further, the word oughtness is defined as “The state of being as a thing ought to be; rightness.” I must admit I have a strong sense of ought. I do not recognize this in a bragging way or anything like that. This feeling of ought, I believe comes from one's upbringing. Sadly, too many folks have not been brought up, raised in any sense of the meaning. Ought or obligation and duty contain the idea of rightness and not wrongness. With our upbringing, all of us choose to accept or reject what he/she has been taught. We are all free moral agents with the power to choose right or wrong. It is very good to have this intellect of doing and acting right.
As an illustration: In our upbringing, one could be taught that it is right to hate a certain race of humans. As one matures, he/she learns, that they were wrong and therefore, changes their past view. As the apostle Paul wrote, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” (1 Corinthians 13:11) A further illustration: It is reported that one robbed and severely beat up an old couple. We are repelled and disgusted by this action. Why? We know that this is not right. Our thought process, our reasoning and logic are right. Oughtness is triumphant! The conscience must always be in tuned with rightness. Unfortunately, too many do not have this wisdom of right/wrong. The enemy of a lack of ought is sin.
“A man ought to live so that everybody knows he is a Christian... and most of all, his family ought to know.” (Dwight L. Moody)
A RIGHT STANDARD IS NECESSARY IN ORDER FOR OUGHT TO PREVAIL
Our nation, the USA, is founded on principles contained in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. This is our heritage! Because of internal and external evidence of the Word of God, the Bible, I know this must be our true standard. Oughtness will prevail when we comply with the rightful standard, the Word of God.
Light and truth will come from our heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ. “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have light of life.” (John 8:12) “.. and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)
“And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. (Psalm 37:6)
“Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.” (Psalm 97:11)
OUGHTNESS IS FULFILLED WHEN WE ARE OBEDIENT TO OUR LORD
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)
“If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
NOTE: For additional study see essay entitled “INTUITION”, “CONSCIENCE TUNE UP”, “CONSCIENCE TUNE UP Part 2”, “CHRISTIANITY AND INTERNATIONAL LAW” and “WISHY WASHY ETHICS”.