Sunday, February 7, 2016
THE OTHER WORLD
Think for a moment what this other world must be like. God’s prophet has stated that heaven and hell exist there, and that everyone who dies must eventually find his eternal abode in one of the two. Those who are obedient to God in this world and act in a virtuous fashion will be rewarded with a place in paradise, while those who are evil and rebellious towards God will be cast into an excruciating fire.
It is important to understand that human actions fall into one of the two categories. The first comprises everyday, routine matters, in which no moral choice has to be made, and also purely accidental happenings whose outcome, whether good or bad, cannot be judged from the moral standpoint because they contained no purposive element, the second category is very different in nature because it covers a wide and complex range of actions the rights and wrongs which have to be scrupulously considered before being carried out. This is known as the ethical category.
Imagine a stone balanced precariously on the branch of a tree. You walk under it, it falls, hits you, and you find yourself badly injured. Do you strike the tree and bear a grudge against it? Of course not. But suppose a man picks up a stone, throws it at you with the intention of injuring you and actually does so, won’t you become enraged and feel an urge to retaliate in like manner? You would be perfectly justified in feeling that this wrong should be punished because the act was intentional. Here it is a question not just of some random happening, but of right and wrong action, good and bad intentions, in a word, ethics.
The examples chosen to clarify this point are of a simple nature in that the outcome of the action is immediately apparent and, moreover, in the second case, it is possible to make an instant moral judgment. But there are other much more complex situations in life where wrong-doing goes undetected, it effects may be hidden or delayed for long periods, and the culprits may never be brought to book either by the moral condemnation of society or in a court of law. Some times evildoing is, of course, perceived as such, but the miscreant is so clever and resourceful that he is able to escape punishment, or the human resources required to inflict punishment are lacking and so the evil-doer goes Scot free. Crimes are often repeated for just such reasons. But the perpetrator of evil should not congratulate himself too soon on the success of his schemes or on his ability to escape, for it is exactly this type of action that he will be called to account for by his creator on the day of judgment. Everyone, no matter from what walk of life he hails, will be required to stand before his maker and lay his life absolutely bare before him. On the basis of the actions which fall into the ethical category, where moral precepts, scruples, are of overriding importance, he will either be ushered into paradise or cast down into the flaming pits of hell. If all this was kept hidden from him in this world, it was because God’s plan to put man on trial.
The after world is where man will reap the full consequences of his deeds according to their moral nature, every action has some consequences for the perpetrator, and every state that he finds himself in precipitates a favourable or unfavourable reaction. He then makes or breaks himself by the manner in which he employs his faculties.