Did you know…A Bright Line Rule is defined as standards established by courts in legal precedents or by legislatures in statutory provisions. The basic definition, however, is a clearly defined rule or standard, composed of objective factors, which leaves little or no room for varying interpretation. The purpose of a bright-line rule is to produce predictable and consistent results in its application.

This criterion is to be used for establishing a moral code. Let us delve into the inner workings of this moral compass to investigate our standards of living…

As far back as one can remember, depending on your upbringing, we were always taught the ‘difference’ between right and wrong. Whether it was placing your hand on a hot stove, or taking a piece of bubble gum without paying. If the stove was hot and you touched it—your hand would burn, causing personal detriment to you and sadness to your mother. If you took the bubble gum without paying and were caught, that too caused your personal detriment and the store a loss. And those same indicators applied if you were asked did you take the bubble gum and lied—it was still to your personal detriment whether you got away with it or not. Because now you have set bounds outside the moral code that are placing your feet on a path you don’t want to go down and if not corrected—of no return. Why? Because it is written thou shalt not steal—one of the Ten Commandments. (Exodus 20:15 KJV)

Therefore, for most of us, our standards of living were taught from a Biblical perspective. In so doing, I must, somewhat, disagree with Inniss that “We all come to our own ethical make-up based on the positions we hold, the religions we hold ourselves out to be, and the experiences we have lived through.” It is this writer’s resolve these standards are not predicated on our positions in life, but rather our oppositions to life as it references the detriment to mankind; whether one is a judge or a janitor; it does not matter. Yes, our ethical makeup is a composition of what we truly believe, from a spiritual perspective and our life lessons, if we learn from them.

One might venture to say, the Ten Commandments could be defined as the Bright Line Test, as there are no gray areas concerning these—this is the inner workings of a true moral compass. For some of us, our moral codes are derived from these ‘Ten’ as they are the Father of ‘the law’. These taught men how to interact with each other from a legal and spiritual perspective.

These laws were created so that mankind would not only be accountable for their actions but also teach them the difference between good and evil. It would do us all some good to revisit Chapter 20 in Exodus. These are ten ethical standards we should all live by.

The first four laws are the most important because they concern how we honor and interact with God. The tenth law teaches us how to treat our neighbors. The fifth, “Honor thy father and thy mother that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” Teaching us to respect our parents. The sixth, “Thou shalt not murder.” In the US there are approximately 5.8 deaths per 100,000. The seventh, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” The eighth, “Thou shalt not steal.” The ninth, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”

These examples of ethical standards should be a part of humanity’s moral matrix. As we see, right before our eyes, society has become a cornucopia of various crimes against humanity that many years ago were unheard of, better yet, unacceptable. Have we blurred the lines by floating in cyberspace with cellphones in our hands and headphones over our ears? These distractions have made us so insensitive that when we do pull our heads out of the cyber sphere, we have the nerve to look surprised at the atrocities surrounding our lives today. Or does the concept out of sight out of mind sound familiar?

These standards are unarguably right because they protect us from personal detriment and protect those around us. These standards also keep our moral compasses pointed to the true North—to the Truth of which there is no compromise. I believe it was Solomon who said, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. (Ecclesiastes 12:13 KJV)

What is your take on this?

For similar posts see


Harold Adams Innis, “The Bias of Communication” in The Bias of Communication. 1951. Introduction by Marshall McLuhan. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1964)
Collins, Denis. Business Ethics: How to Design and Manage Ethical Organizations. Oct. 12, 2010. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Jeffrey, Grant R. (General Editor) Chap. 20. KJV Prophecy Marked Reference Study Bible. 1984. Zondervan Publishing House.
McMahon, Mary. What is a Bright-Line Rule? https://www.wise-geek.com/what-is-a-bright-line-rule.htm.

© c.f. leach, 2021 all rights reserved.

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