Jenny Thompson generalized this question from another that I asked earlier, so I thought I'd ask it here.

I have a few suggested answers on this:
(But they're probably all wrong)

  1. Some people have more brain power (frontal lobes) than others
    (but this kind of relays me back to God in this case for why that would be the case)
  2. Somebody is probably going to say "because the devil is the ruler of this world", in which case I still have to ask, "well why Did God create him then?"
  3. Commercialism / Greed has made unethical thought more appealing because of the "short term gains" it provides.
  • Okay so why the upvotes for this question (they belong to Jenny Thompson by the way not me) and the downvotes for the question I asked earlier? christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/1951/…
    – leeand00
    Sep 4 '11 at 21:30
  • 1
    Your other question sounded more like it belonged on Parenting
    – user23
    Sep 4 '11 at 22:36
  • It wasn't a question about parenting, it was about why God made it so easy to create another human being and then make caring for that human being difficult enough that man people run from it.
    – leeand00
    Sep 6 '11 at 1:57
  • To answer just the title question: Many unethical ways of doing things are difficult. We don't normally think of them because there's no incentive to do things that way --- we only consider unethical approaches when they are (or appear to be) easier than the ethical ones. If being unethical involves lots of hard work, then even people with weak morals might as well be ethical. Jul 25 '16 at 5:35

It's only easier at first to do the wrong thing; but consequences follow and make the way more difficult afterwards.

Proverbs has a lot to say about wisdom and not going the easy, enticing way.

There is a way that seems right to a man, 
but in the end it leads to death. (Prov. 14:12).


In the paths of the wicked lie thorns and snares, 
but he who guards his soul stays far from them." (Prov. 22:5)

By contrast,

The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, 
shining ever brighter till the full light of day. (Prov. 4:18).

As to why it is easier for us to do the wrong thing, Paul speaks of the death that reigns over all mankind because of the sinful nature we inherited from Adam:

...sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, 
and so death spread to all men because all sinned (Romans 5:12)

Our inherited propensity to sin makes it harder to do the right thing.


OK, to really answer this, I need to define what "the ethical way" means. My answer here is going to be based on this:

Ethics, Defined

Matthew 22:36-40 NIV
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Essentially, if you love God above yourself and love other people above yourself, you're following God's commandments, and therefore, acting morally.

Anything that would be considered "unethical" would go against one or both of these commands.

Note that this is not the best definition, sociologically speaking, but it will suffice.

Why do something Unethical?

Next we need to determine motivation for doing anything unethical at all.

Based on our definition, anything that is not done with (a) love toward God or (b) love toward someone else, would be unethical. Lying for your own benefit would be a good example of this. Manipulating someone towards your own gain is another example.

This seems to show that any action chosen that does not show love toward God or others would be unethical. Also, I'd put forth that we won't perform these actions unless they benefit us.

So the motive to do something unethical is so that it may benefit us (either in the short term or the long term).

Making the choice

When we come to a decision that has either an ethical choice or an unethical choice. The ethical choice is going to be one that tends to benefit others rather than ourselves.

Because of this, it makes it difficult to choose the ethical road when there's no motivation for choosing the ethical path over the unethical path. Oftentimes, the "correct" choice is made due to social coercion or guilt. But lacking these external forces, most people will, given the option, choose the thing that benefits them rather than something that does not benefit themselves.


We chose the unethical/immoral path because it is the path that has the most obvious and most personal gain. It often appears "easier" to chose this path because the personal gain of the unethical choice is such an large positive compared to the personal sacrifice of the ethical choice.

Since we see gain towards the unethical and sacrifice towards the ethical, we are immediately, automatically drawn towards the unethical choice (making it appear "easier").


God allows temptations like this because if it didn't require effort to do what is right, if it was always easy, then we would always do what is right out of simple expediency and never actually learn to live by faith.

  • And how is that not a win-win?
    – hammar
    Sep 4 '11 at 21:00
  • 1
    @Hammar: Because it's by our faith leading us to live righteously that we find salvation, not by good works alone.
    – Mason Wheeler
    Sep 4 '11 at 21:02
  • then could we conclude that every easy thing to do is devil's command?
    – B Faley
    Sep 5 '11 at 4:44

Because adding arbitrary external constraints on any task makes it more difficult. Doing it ethically is harder, doing it standing on your head is harder, doing it in multiple languages is harder. Automatic property of the world.

  • 1
    Yes, that's all true, but if I'm the one setting up the universe...why would I do that? I.E. What was God thinking when he set things up that way?
    – leeand00
    Sep 4 '11 at 21:42
  • 2
    @leand00: Asking "Why did God do/decide/say X?" I'm pretty sure is off topic here, but if that's your real question, you should ask that question.
    – Flimzy
    Sep 4 '11 at 22:31
  • 2
    @leand00 agreed, ask what you mean please. Keeping in mind this answer, which means it's only logically meaningful to ask why God doesn't make acting ethically the easier way.
    – mxyzplk
    Sep 5 '11 at 0:39

Unethical act is a personal gain, and a short cut in life; that's why it is easier to choose wrong over right. At my job, Maybell painted Theresa as an uncooperative co-worker to the supervisor for the supervisor to favor her instead. To lie on Theresa, was like looking down and counting the few pennies on the floor, easy to do. But to complement Theresa to the supervisor, it would have been like to bend down to pick up those pennies off the floor, harder and more painful to do. Unethical as wrong behavior is to please or satisfied one's own intension. While ethical or right behavior is to benefit or uplift another person's life.

  • Welcome! Thanks for contributing. Unfortunately, the question you've answered is no longer considered a good fit for our format, since it invites answers from many different perspectives. Answers to philosophical and doctrinal questions like this need to specify which tradition or denomination's view it represents. I hope you'll take a minute to take the tour and learn how this site is different from others. Jul 24 '16 at 23:32

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