Right and Wrong
And yet, whilst morality as a term is denigrated, we still put an enormous amount of energy into trying to encourage people to do what society considers to be right and to discourage people from doing wrong. We also spend vast sums of money on law enforcement, courts, prisons and security industries, along with the technology that helps them to be effective.
If we think someone has done something wrong, individuals are quick to pursue civil actions to claim compensation or society in general is quick to join demonstrations to show their strong disapproval.
Human Cost of Unwise Drinking
This being the case, it seems all the more peculiar when an organisation deliberately sets out to put temptation before people to do what society condemns as wrong. Even more peculiar when they do so with the full approval of the authorities.
The government spends our money in discouraging excessive drinking. In particular, we have laws banning anyone from driving when under the influence of alcohol. Whatever the merits of alcoholic drinks, the statistics supporting a ban on drink driving are stark.
On average, there are 23 people killed and more than a hundred are seriously injured on Britain’s roads every month, due to people driving over the drink-drive limit.
That is a frightening statistic whichever way you look at it. For the families and friends involved it is utterly devastating. It can be devastating too for the drivers responsible, though we perhaps feel less sympathy for them.
Incitement to do Wrong
So why, you may think, would an organisation choose to build a pub on a motorway service station. This is not intended to be your “local” down the road where you go to meet with friends and build relationships. This is a place for drinking that is accessed by motor vehicles. This is not a place to which you would normally walk or use your pushbike. It is designed to be a place for consuming alcohol that is exclusively for people in motor vehicles.
This scenario is already in progress. The local council for the Beaconsfield services on the M40 in Buckinghamshire has already approved an application to build a pub on the service station.
Unlike most service stations, this one can be accessed from the A355 as well as the M40, but it still remains first and foremost a motorway service station.
Why bother trying to reduce those horrific accident statistics whilst deliberately placing temptation in the way of drivers? The pub chain claims they are targeting only passengers and not drivers, though they have no plans to ask anyone if they are driving.
Book of Wisdom
The bible has much to say about temptation. We are all tempted every day. Most of the time, most people are able to resist temptation but there are times when circumstances conspire against us and temptation becomes irresistible. When that happens, someone inevitably gets hurt. It may the one who is tempted or someone else – perhaps many others. Often the hurt is not intended but sometimes the consequences are horrific – when someone dies, for example.
The bible also tells us that it is wrong to deliberately put temptation in the way of other people. Morally (that word again) anyone who does so must share in the responsibility for whatever happens. The law of the land may not call them to account but their own consciences most likely do so and one day they will most certainly stand before God as their judge.
People today may not like the concept of morality but surely a bit of rational common sense wouldn’t go amiss.
Actually the bible is full of common sense. It has often been likened to a user manual or instruction book for living life. By following its advice, we can avoid many of the pitfalls the blight peoples’ lives and there is even advice on how to put things right when we have messed up. Worldwide, it is still a best seller though for some reason, its contents are not widely known or understood but life for all of us would be much better and easier if society took some of its messages to heart.