A recent ABP article reports that the old and hallowed Baptist stance on the use of alcohol is being reassessed, with some arguing that the temperate use of alcohol is permissible. Here is the link to the story: http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/5994/53/ It got me to thinking about the difference between positive morality and negative morality. Negative morality focuses on what is wrong and how we should avoid it, and it has its place. In the above-referenced debate, for example, there are plenty of social and health-related reasons to avoid alcohol, as well as the Biblical material that is commonly used to reinforce that position. But I am also interested in approaching this and other issues from a positive perspective, by which I mean: are there reasons I should engage in certain behaviors? What positive goods can be achieved by taking certain stances or doing certain things? To illustrate, using the alcohol debate as an example: What good do I do myself by drinking alcohol? If it is for a certain sense of well-being, isn't that selfish and unproductive? Similarly, what good do I do society by consuming alcohol, aside from helping to keep workers in that industry employed? I am not only focused on the alcohol question; I am thinking about how many of the decisions we make about the use of time and energy and resources might be reshaped if instead of our asking, "Is there anything wrong with this act?" we were to assess, "Is there anything right/productive/beneficial with this act?"