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Peace...

How can someone justify a moral position once they reject standardized religion?

Is there a way to know the difference between right and wrong without following or referencing the teachings of established religion?

Is there such a thing as Natural correctness?



Kai
________________________ By the sun and his brightness! And the moon when she borrows light from him! And the day when it exposes it to view! And the night when it draws a veil over it! And the heaven and its make! And the earth and its extension! And the soul and its perfection!-Surah 91 Holy Qur'an
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A similar question arose on the thread

Who owns morality

I'll cut and paste my answer from there:

...Observe how people ACTUALLY implement morality. Do they necessarily behave as scriptures say even though they may accept the authority of a particular scripture?... No... If this were commonplace, the world would be full of Christians that love their enemies and they'd be loving them instead of trying to drop bombs on them.

In fact I think it's more the other way around: religion codifies our deepest sense of social order...

People's basic concepts of morality don't come from religion. It seems they more likely come from societal norms. Societal norms win out even with a strong religious sensibility. This is how you get Bible thumpers who believe in capital punishment and swear by the right to bear arms. It doesn't matter that New Testament Christianity is a peace and forgiveness religion. Their social norms justify revenge. And when I say "social norm" think in terms of smaller social units (e.g., family, community, etc.)

In my view, we learn morality the same way we learn language: At our mother's knee so to speak. We behave morally as those around us from the earliest age behave. And it does not matter so much that you go to school/church later and learn how you are supposed to speak/behave because the basic template is already in place... Personally, I reference what my mother taught me far more often than I reference what my religion taught me. Morality, as normally practiced, is not a matter of belief so much as a matter of socialization.

Think about it: the paradox of a Christian society that not only owned slaves but which felt justified degrading them: rape, murder, mutilation, etc. Or a Christian society that authorized Crusades, Pogroms, Inquisitions, and Holocausts. Etc.

Today we have a right wing Christian movement with no concern whatsoever for the poor...

The point? If one actually looks at history, right and wrong (as manifested in social/cultural practice) have almost never been ultimately decided by 'standardized' religion. So the claim that if we forget religion then right and wrong go out the window is unfounded. In fact many of the people who say this thought it was ok to lynch black folk just a generation ago.


PS: I may modify this post later... I'm not quite comfortable with this formulation of my views ... especially in light of Kresge's post which follows...
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One of the issues for me in this question is what you mean by "standardized religion."

There are clearly various moral and ethical systems that are not predicated explicitly on a religious tradition. Most atheists and humanists that I know would be considered quite moral by those who came in contact with them. The question for someone like me who studies theories of religion in the context of philosophy and theology is whether they are indeed religious.

Also, with respect to the question of natural, I would again need to know what is meant by that. I believe that morality is socially/culturally produced. As Nietzsche points out in Genealogy of Morals and Beyond Good and Evil, I think that we have to some extent an inherent sense of what causes us pleasure and pain that somehow become associated with good and bad, but that the concepts of good and evil or right and wrong are social/cultural constructs, to a large extent associated with power.
I strongly support the idea of natural morality. Everyone has an innate understanding of the moral correctness of those things that are inherently right. Our understanding of it gets clouded and cluttered by greed and other earthly motivations, as well as by religions and other organized belief systems that create new layers of fals morality.

"Real" or natural morality, as I understand it, is based on the idea that the most basic survival attributes and abilities of our species confer the right to use them, and the responsibility to use them, subject to the natural limits imposed by those same rights and responsibilities in other persons. Subject to that inherent societal limitation, it's inherently wrong to unduly limit ones right to utilize them or to reap the benefits of their use. In a nutshell (and deferring 'til later on how we define "unduly")...

Even the relativist understands that it's wrong to murder or to rob someone, and he'll admit it while he's being held up at gunpoint.
How can someone justify a moral position once they reject standardized religion?

With all else ruled out, you are left with yourself.

Is there a way to know the difference between right and wrong without following or referencing the teachings of established religion?

Would you like it is the only place left to start.

Is there such a thing as Natural correctness?

With no other standard, whatever you choose has to be 'natural'.

It worked...apparently...for the caveman.

One has to start somewhere.

PEACE

Jim Chester
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quote:
Originally posted by Kai:
Peace...

How can someone justify a moral position once they reject standardized religion?

Is there a way to know the difference between right and wrong without following or referencing the teachings of established religion?

Is there such a thing as Natural correctness?



Kai


Because morals are more based on culture, which gets enshrined within religion. And of course it follows that not all ethics are the same across cultures. In modern Western cultures, killing your sister because you don't gree with her way o life is murder; in some Southeast Asian cultures it's perefctly acceptable by the majority of the population, and while it may be illegal as afr as the law is concerned these days, de facto it is ok.

That was a good question, Kai, so let me turn it around: can one can be moral in the face of accepted immorality dictated by religious standards? For example, readers of the Bible are instructed to burn witches....but would you honestly drag the first wiccan you see and toast her up (if you were Jewish or Christian)? Would you find this is acceptable?
Peace....

quote:
In fact I think it's more the other way around: religion codifies our deepest sense of social order...


Isn't it true that "Our deepest sense of social order" varies from one culture to the next?

If this is true does it mean that right and wrong changes depending on jurisdiction?

quote:
People's basic concepts of morality don't come from religion. It seems they more likely come from societal norms. Societal norms win out even with a strong religious sensibility. This is how you get Bible thumpers who believe in capital punishment and swear by the right to bear arms. It doesn't matter that New Testament Christianity is a peace and forgiveness religion. Their social norms justify revenge. And when I say "social norm" think in terms of smaller social units (e.g., family, community, etc.)


I think that you will find the justification within the Christian Doctrine for Capital punishment, and the right to bear arms.

a. Rom 13:3-4 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil.

The Canons of Christianity are broad enough to allow the faithful to be both redeemer,and executioner. Most religions allow for punishing the evildoers of the society.

quote:
In my view, we learn morality the same way we learn language: At our mother's knee so to speak. We behave morally as those around us from the earliest age behave. And it does not matter so much that you go to school/church later and learn how you are supposed to speak/behave because the basic template is already in place... Personally, I reference what my mother taught me far more often than I reference what my religion taught me. Morality, as normally practiced, is not a matter of belief so much as a matter of socialization.


Then it stands to reason that if the socialization varies, the moral code will vary...Which would mean that the west is no mnore right or correct than any other social order in the world. The Holocaust wasn't wrong, it just wasn't the American thing to do.

quote:
Think about it: the paradox of a Christian society that not only owned slaves but which felt justified degrading them: rape, murder, mutilation, etc. Or a Christian society that authorized Crusades, Pogroms, Inquisitions, and Holocausts. Etc.


HonestBrother, I am sure that there are many right winged christian fundamentalists who would enjoy posting endless rows of scripture to justify the hypocrisy you point out...

quote:
The point? If one actually looks at history, right and wrong (as manifested in social/cultural practice) have almost never been ultimately decided by 'standardized' religion. So the claim that if we forget religion then right and wrong go out the window is unfounded. In fact many of the people who say this thought it was ok to lynch black folk just a generation ago.


I think that you are correct in a sense...I do not think that people reference the religious text of choice before deciding whether an act is moral or immoral, however, I think that the societies norms are derived primarily from the national religion.

At the end of the day when we condemn a person for doing evil, we do no justify our condemnation by raising social norms, we condemn in the name of God, and God's law...if there was no law of God to fortify social norms, I think that we would have a difficult time convincing the people to remain orderly.


Kai
Peace....

quote:
One of the issues for me in this question is what you mean by "standardized religion."


I used the term "standardized" since there can exist a religion with no moral base i.e, certain forms of satanism, and demonism.

Standardized religions are the normal religions of a civilization.

quote:
There are clearly various moral and ethical systems that are not predicated explicitly on a religious tradition. Most atheists and humanists that I know would be considered quite moral by those who came in contact with them. The question for someone like me who studies theories of religion in the context of philosophy and theology is whether they are indeed religious.


Perhaps they are not religious, however they are very heavily influenced by religion. In the far east the atheist will probably share a moral base with the follower of the stste religion, just as it is in the west. I will go out on a limb and bet that the moral stance of the atheists depends on their cultural background, which in turn is a derivative of the religious position of the nation.

quote:
Also, with respect to the question of natural, I would again need to know what is meant by that. I believe that morality is socially/culturally produced. As Nietzsche points out in Genealogy of Morals and Beyond Good and Evil, I think that we have to some extent an inherent sense of what causes us pleasure and pain that somehow become associated with good and bad, but that the concepts of good and evil or right and wrong are social/cultural constructs, to a large extent associated with power.



I mean natural in the classical sense, a biological predisposition to certian behaviour.

If we depend on our internal mechanism for determining good and evil (by allowing the appetite for pleasure to dictate behaviour) will we not find ourselves defining "Goodness" as "Feel Goodness"? There are many people on the planet powerful enough to avoid the consequence of things which most of us would see as wrong...Is it that simple..Is might right?



Kai
quote:
Originally posted by Kai:
Isn't it true that "Our deepest sense of social order" varies from one culture to the next?

If this is true does it mean that right and wrong changes depending on jurisdiction?


I would not have a problem with that. I was not attempting to provide a normative moral theory... but rather to describe how things really seem to work... and it really seems to be the case that - with or without religion - right or wrong does vary according to the jurisdiction. That is reality. Regardless of whether or not you or I think it ought to be.

quote:

I think that you will find the justification within the Christian Doctrine for Capital punishment, and the right to bear arms.

a. Rom 13:3-4 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil.

The Canons of Christianity are broad enough to allow the faithful to be both redeemer,and executioner. Most religions allow for punishing the evildoers of the society.



As an interpretation, this is a stretch. The words of Jesus are quite specific... On Christian behavior: Let you who are without sin cast the first stone... If someone slaps you on one cheek turn the other... And I'm aware of nothing that he said that essentially contradicts this...

quote:
Kai:

quote:
HonestBrother:
In my view, we learn morality the same way we learn language: At our mother's knee so to speak. We behave morally as those around us from the earliest age behave. And it does not matter so much that you go to school/church later and learn how you are supposed to speak/behave because the basic template is already in place... Personally, I reference what my mother taught me far more often than I reference what my religion taught me. Morality, as normally practiced, is not a matter of belief so much as a matter of socialization.


Then it stands to reason that if the socialization varies, the moral code will vary...Which would mean that the west is no mnore right or correct than any other social order in the world. The Holocaust wasn't wrong, it just wasn't the American thing to do.


I don't know about un-American ... But it was definitely un-Christian ... and if it weren't, the Catholic Church wouldn't still be eating crow about it all these years later ... You inadvertently help me make my point ... Looking back at the Nazi period, this history unfolded according to the intense anti-semitism in German society ... not according to the Christian principles which these people espoused...

quote:

quote:
Think about it: the paradox of a Christian society that not only owned slaves but which felt justified degrading them: rape, murder, mutilation, etc. Or a Christian society that authorized Crusades, Pogroms, Inquisitions, and Holocausts. Etc.


HonestBrother, I am sure that there are many right winged christian fundamentalists who would enjoy posting endless rows of scripture to justify the hypocrisy you point out...



I do not believe they could make a coherent case from a good faith reading of the New Testament...

Before you reply to me, let me suggest you reread the New Testament... beginning with the Gospels...

And if scripture is as malleable as you say it is, with one being easily able to justify one moral principle AND its complete opposite at the same time from a good faith reading, doesn't that also serve to kinda shoot down the idea of religion as ultimate moral compass?...

In that case, you only read the part of scripture you want to read which agrees exactly with what you want to do anyway with or without the religion. In the end, the religion doesn't matter...
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quote:
Originally posted by Kai:
Peace....

quote:
One of the issues for me in this question is what you mean by "standardized religion."


I used the term "standardized" since there can exist a religion with no moral base i.e, certain forms of satanism, and demonism.

Standardized religions are the normal religions of a civilization.

quote:
There are clearly various moral and ethical systems that are not predicated explicitly on a religious tradition. Most atheists and humanists that I know would be considered quite moral by those who came in contact with them. The question for someone like me who studies theories of religion in the context of philosophy and theology is whether they are indeed religious.


Perhaps they are not religious, however they are very heavily influenced by religion. In the far east the atheist will probably share a moral base with the follower of the stste religion, just as it is in the west. I will go out on a limb and bet that the moral stance of the atheists depends on their cultural background, which in turn is a derivative of the religious position of the nation.

quote:
Also, with respect to the question of natural, I would again need to know what is meant by that. I believe that morality is socially/culturally produced. As Nietzsche points out in Genealogy of Morals and Beyond Good and Evil, I think that we have to some extent an inherent sense of what causes us pleasure and pain that somehow become associated with good and bad, but that the concepts of good and evil or right and wrong are social/cultural constructs, to a large extent associated with power.



I mean natural in the classical sense, a biological predisposition to certian behaviour.

If we depend on our internal mechanism for determining good and evil (by allowing the appetite for pleasure to dictate behaviour) will we not find ourselves defining "Goodness" as "Feel Goodness"? There are many people on the planet powerful enough to avoid the consequence of things which most of us would see as wrong...Is it that simple..Is might right?



Kai

It is not at all obvious to me that satanism nor "certain forms of demonism" are without a moral basis. I would assert that they may represent a different moral system than the one to which you or I subscribe, but I do not see that as an absence of morality as such.

Further, I would not say that morality is necessarily about might if strictly understood as physical force, but that it is inextricably associated with power. This power can take various forms - e.g., economic, discursive, military, etc. Returning to Nietzsche, he suggests that the concepts of good and evil are the creation of the weak who wish to stifle the strong's pursuit of the what they experience as good and avoidance of what they deem bad. He refers to this as resentiment. Foucault's analysis of the microphysics of power, reveals how various perspectives, world views, and systems, including ethical/moral systems are historically, culturally, and socially transcribed. This accounts for how moral/ethical systems change and vary over time and across different contexts.
Peace...

quote:
It is not at all obvious to me that satanism nor "certain forms of demonism" are without a moral basis. I would assert that they may represent a different moral system than the one to which you or I subscribe, but I do not see that as an absence of morality as such


There are those who claim a position of amorality. The amoralist acts pursuant to appetite..This is a core idea in some forms of Satanism. The amoralist argues that moral laws are arbitrary rules imposed by religious fanatics.

The amoralist acts by impulse, without consideration of whether an act is right or wrong...They view life more in terms of "costs"...

quote:
Further, I would not say that morality is necessarily about might if strictly understood as physical force, but that it is inextricably associated with power. This power can take various forms - e.g., economic, discursive, military, etc. Returning to Nietzsche, he suggests that the concepts of good and evil are the creation of the weak who wish to stifle the strong's pursuit of the what they experience as good and avoidance of what they deem bad.


What is the methodology of the weak when seeking to undermine the strong? How do they raise morality? My question aims at whether or not a moral argument would have weight if there was no God or religious foundation within the argument.



Kai
quote:
Originally posted by Kai:
Peace...

How can someone justify a moral position once they reject standardized religion?

Is there a way to know the difference between right and wrong without following or referencing the teachings of established religion?

Is there such a thing as Natural correctness?

Kai


Even though the question of whether or not people are inherently good or evil has been asked before, I too wonder about this from time to time, especially when I hear about the savage acts of brutality that we commit against one another. For example, when I learned about the things that serial killers Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer had done, I wondered what possesses someone to do these kinds of things? What were these men thinking and what drove them to commit these kinds of acts on another human being? Of course these men knew that it is wrong to torture people, but why did they do it? In the lives of such people, I seriously doubt that the principles of traditional religion would make a difference. No matter how much therapy and religious instruction they receive, it would seem that some people are simply wired to be ruthless, particularly if they are surrounded by negative influences and a culture that reinforces and rewards violence and brutality.
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quote:
Originally posted by Kai:
How can someone justify a moral position once they reject standardized religion?

Does standardized religion justify moral position?

Not meaning to simply turn your words around. The reason I ask is because my experience has been otherwise. From what I've seen, morality doesn't require religion... and religion doesn't require morality. They are two separate and independent things that do not require each other to exist.

quote:
Is there a way to know the difference between right and wrong without following or referencing the teachings of established religion?

Is there such a thing as Natural correctness?

Simple answer... yes.

I'm a very strong believer in Natural Law. Every action has a natural consequence. Often times, several natural consequences. When we look carefully at our daily behavior, we find that we govern ourselves mostly by these natural laws.

The arbitrary, illusionary, and often irrational laws of man (which includes religious laws), can be changed or discarded at any moment. Not so with Natural Law.
quote:
Every action has a natural consequence


Right! But WHY do some people adhere to the consequences and others don't?

I speed in my car all the time. I know it's wrong and illegal and I could get a ticket but I do it. But you won't find me with a gun trying to rob a bank.

I'll risk the ticket but not half my life in jail.
quote:
We find that we govern ourselves mostly by these natural laws


It would almost seem that many of us are NOT governed by these laws – pedophiles, rapist, robbers, and murders etc

And doesn't religion try to define natural laws i.e. God's laws?
quote:
Originally posted by MidLifeMan:
And doesn't religion try to define natural laws i.e. God's laws?


Yes, but through a flawed human perspective (as St. Paul put it, "through a glass darkly").

The problem is, many religious people forget that it's a human interpretation of natural laws and come to believe that it's an absolute (ie. Divine) interpreation and believe that it gives them the right to enforce it. They believe they can enforce it because they believe they are absolutely correct, believing that one can believe that it is their duty to enforce these "undeniable" interpretations (which they come to call "God's truth").


That's one of my main problems with organized religion, standardization and codification of beliefs inevitably causes the indivudal ego to become "God" in a religious person. "I don't think" becomes "God doesn't think" and "I don't believe" becomes "God doesn't believe". God ceases to be the human conception of natural law and becomes a personal, human-like figure with a distinctive personality and distinctive expectations of humanity. The human ego becomes "God", the human id becomes "God's justice", and the human superego becomes "God's will".

I've seen it before and it can be an ugly sight. I've seen my parents and relatives alike (most of whom are very religious) sit and watch the news or movies and become uncomfortable with some of the subject matter. When they find something objectionable or detestable (out of upbringing, prudishness or insecurity), they say, "God wouldn't want that" or "People will have a lot of explaining to do to God". What they really mean is, "I don't like what these people are doing and I wish someone would make them stop. But alone I feel powerless to do anything about it, so I'll impose my wishes onto Divine Justice because it gives me a sense of self-righteous vindicated relief."
I 100% agree with what EP wrote above. But, I feel the need to respond to this...

quote:
Originally posted by MidLifeMan:
quote:
Every action has a natural consequence


Right! But WHY do some people adhere to the consequences and others don't?

Everyone adheres to Natural Law. They don't have any other choice.

quote:
I speed in my car all the time. I know it's wrong and illegal and I could get a ticket but I do it. But you won't find me with a gun trying to rob a bank.

Neither of these two examples have anything to do with Natural Law. They are both examples of the laws of men.


quote:
quote:
We find that we govern ourselves mostly by these natural laws


It would almost seem that many of us are NOT governed by these laws – pedophiles, rapist, robbers, and murders etc

Well... the majority of us are not pedophiles, rapists, robbers, and murderers. But, for those that are, there are still natural consequences for their behavior. Society eventually destroys such people... one way or another.

quote:
And doesn't religion try to define natural laws i.e. God's laws?

It does try...

But, it does a very... very... poor job, IMO.
Peace....

Vox wrote:
quote:
I strongly support the idea of natural morality. Everyone has an innate understanding of the moral correctness of those things that are inherently right. Our understanding of it gets clouded and cluttered by greed and other earthly motivations, as well as by religions and other organized belief systems that create new layers of fals morality.


How can we prove an innate morality? Moral laws are generally composed of things we Should and Should not do. It can be argued that we develop our sense of correctness, or righteousness, exclusively by being subjected to social pressure. If a civilization developed a rule which required people to kill every insect they could find, if this rule was enforced by a spiritual teaching, would not the self conscious person experience guilt if they allowed a few ants to live freely in the basement?


quote:
Real" or natural morality, as I understand it, is based on the idea that the most basic survival attributes and abilities of our species confer the right to use them, and the responsibility to use them, subject to the natural limits imposed by those same rights and responsibilities in other persons. Subject to that inherent societal limitation, it's inherently wrong to unduly limit ones right to utilize them or to reap the benefits of their use. In a nutshell (and deferring 'til later on how we define "unduly")...


Would you expand upon this please.

quote:
Even the relativist understands that it's wrong to murder or to rob someone, and he'll admit it while he's being held up at gunpoint.


Perhaps you are correct, I would dare say that some of those who plead for their lives at gunpoint would turn the gun on the other person and shoot if given the chance. Such pleadings do not consitute a defense of innate morality, it seems only to demonstrate how people will behave under extreme duress.

Kai
Peace...

quote:
Because morals are more based on culture, which gets enshrined within religion. And of course it follows that not all ethics are the same across cultures. In modern Western cultures, killing your sister because you don't gree with her way o life is murder; in some Southeast Asian cultures it's perefctly acceptable by the majority of the population, and while it may be illegal as afr as the law is concerned these days, de facto it is ok.



I agree. This is an example of moral values varying by culture.


quote:
That was a good question, Kai, so let me turn it around: can one can be moral in the face of accepted immorality dictated by religious standards? For example, readers of the Bible are instructed to burn witches....but would you honestly drag the first wiccan you see and toast her up (if you were Jewish or Christian)? Would you find this is acceptable?


I think that a world without a codified moral law, founded upon divine requirements, spirals quickly into a placewhere moral relativity takes over, and people do whatever they can justify by there own laws. In other places I think people would discard morality in total and replace it with Nihilism.

In my view, the world of men must recognize a Natural Law which is part of a greater Universal Law created by a Divine Consciousness, Or Grand Architect Of The Universe. Such recognition will require men to live in accordance to this law, and this would become our religion.


Kai
quote:
Originally posted by HonestBrother:
quote:
Originally posted by Kai:
Isn't it true that "Our deepest sense of social order" varies from one culture to the next?

If this is true does it mean that right and wrong changes depending on jurisdiction?


I would not have a problem with that. I was not attempting to provide a normative moral theory... but rather to describe how things really seem to work... and it really seems to be the case that - with or without religion - right or wrong does vary according to the jurisdiction. That is reality. Regardless of whether or not you or I think it ought to be.

quote:

I think that you will find the justification within the Christian Doctrine for Capital punishment, and the right to bear arms.

a. Rom 13:3-4 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil.

The Canons of Christianity are broad enough to allow the faithful to be both redeemer,and executioner. Most religions allow for punishing the evildoers of the society.



As an interpretation, this is a stretch. The words of Jesus are quite specific... On Christian behavior: Let you who are without sin cast the first stone... If someone slaps you on one cheek turn the other... And I'm aware of nothing that he said that essentially contradicts this...

quote:
Kai:

quote:
HonestBrother:
In my view, we learn morality the same way we learn language: At our mother's knee so to speak. We behave morally as those around us from the earliest age behave. And it does not matter so much that you go to school/church later and learn how you are supposed to speak/behave because the basic template is already in place... Personally, I reference what my mother taught me far more often than I reference what my religion taught me. Morality, as normally practiced, is not a matter of belief so much as a matter of socialization.


Then it stands to reason that if the socialization varies, the moral code will vary...Which would mean that the west is no mnore right or correct than any other social order in the world. The Holocaust wasn't wrong, it just wasn't the American thing to do.


I don't know about un-American ... But it was definitely un-Christian ... and if it weren't, the Catholic Church wouldn't still be eating crow about it all these years later ... You inadvertently help me make my point ... Looking back at the Nazi period, this history unfolded according to the intense anti-semitism in German society ... not according to the Christian principles which these people espoused...

quote:

quote:
Think about it: the paradox of a Christian society that not only owned slaves but which felt justified degrading them: rape, murder, mutilation, etc. Or a Christian society that authorized Crusades, Pogroms, Inquisitions, and Holocausts. Etc.


HonestBrother, I am sure that there are many right winged christian fundamentalists who would enjoy posting endless rows of scripture to justify the hypocrisy you point out...



I do not believe they could make a coherent case from a good faith reading of the New Testament...

Before you reply to me, let me suggest you reread the New Testament... beginning with the Gospels...

And if scripture is as malleable as you say it is, with one being easily able to justify one moral principle AND its complete opposite at the same time from a good faith reading, doesn't that also serve to kinda shoot down the idea of religion as ultimate moral compass?...

In that case, you only read the part of scripture you want to read which agrees exactly with what you want to do anyway with or without the religion. In the end, the religion doesn't matter...


Most read in Good faith...I think the fault for corruption belongs to those who intentioanlly bend the interpretation of scripture to fit some other agenda.

I generally agree with your points. I think this is more an indictment agasinst Christianity than any other religion...

The muslim world is also guilty of this...



More later...I gotta run..

Kai
Peace....


quote:
Does standardized religion justify moral position?

Not meaning to simply turn your words around. The reason I ask is because my experience has been otherwise. From what I've seen, morality doesn't require religion... and religion doesn't require morality. They are two separate and independent things that do not require each other to exist.


Without applying the weight of a greater authority how do you go about convincing people that they should behave in any particular way? Immanuel Kant argued that without promise or threat there is no motivation to adhere to a moral duty.

If the universe has no instructions with it, how do you know the rules?

quote:
Simple answer... yes.

I'm a very strong believer in Natural Law. Every action has a natural consequence. Often times, several natural consequences. When we look carefully at our daily behavior, we find that we govern ourselves mostly by these natural laws.

The arbitrary, illusionary, and often irrational laws of man (which includes religious laws), can be changed or discarded at any moment. Not so with Natural Law



I think Nietzche argument becomes more relevant at this point, If we simply look at Natural law, we can find nothing to prevent the strong from overpowering and dominating the weaker. This is seen throughout the Natural world. The strong survive and the weak serve the strong, or die in an attempt to deny their will.

Is it wrong to subjugate the weak? Is it wrong to deny sustenance to the weak? I do not think that there are natural rules which prohibit this. I think that this denies a general happiness, which may lead to revolution, however, with enough power over the weak, such uprisings are not real threats.

Natural law does not guarantee a consequence pursuant to the wishes of the weak..Sometimes by taking something from another you become strong, and grow in strength thereafter...This happens. Look at the USA...



Kai
quote:
Originally posted by Kai:
Peace...

How can someone justify a moral position once they reject standardized religion?

Is there a way to know the difference between right and wrong without following or referencing the teachings of established religion?

Is there such a thing as Natural correctness?
Kai


Interesting questions. Good topic.

No 1. I find this a curious question insofaras "justify a moral position"? That takes a moral decision out of the realm of an individual (private?) choice/decision into the public arena. Why is that? Why should anyone justify their answer to a moral dilemma to anyone else? Unless they ARE asked to justify it to a religious code.

No. 2: Yes, of course there is a way to DECIDE ("know" is a little A,B,C concrete and inflexible don't you think?) what is moral, ethical, or "right". Ethical, moral and "right" pertains to individual situations... there is no cut-and-paste as far as I'm concerned. Cut-and-paste is more about following rote, than making an honest choice. No human experiences or dynamics are the same. We share universal 'tests' but every person is unique.

No. 3: not sure what "Natural correctness" is??

Morality is a huge arena. So prepare for a rant from me LOL.

Are you talking about moral courage? Which goes beyond what is considered 'brave' or 'appropriate' and delves more into what are the choices in a particular circumstance at a particular time. I don't believe moral choices are linear and simple. Otherwise people wouldn't struggle with them. Struggle requires true honesty, not an off-the-shelf solution. If there is no 'struggle' to decide, there is no engagement or individual connection or consciousness. IMHO.

As such, moral courage is more important to me as a trait than merely "being moral". Whatever that means. And moral choices and courage ARE different between the sexes.

I'm borrowing a little from what I've read - because I believe 'it's' a quality that requires practice and growth with. 'Moral courage is driven by principle. It is the courage to be moral... it requires the values of honesty, respect, responsibility, fairness, and compassion. And it is about making a choice to defend values knowing that you are making a choice to do so after assessing how you will deal with challenges that could wreck your reputation and emotional well-being, your adherence to conscience, your self-esteem, your bank account, your health. It is not about being encouraged or rewarded for valiant choices, it is about making unpopular and uncomfortable choices that can carry risk of humiliation, ridicule, contempt, possible unemployment and loss of social standing'. And it is certainly not all about sex. Or being 'good'. It is about sticking by whatever you perceive as being right.

Engaging in the decision-making process - and making the 'wrong' decision is IMHO a more important experience in life, than reaching for someone else's solution, and using it to avoid making a personal decision. I do harp on about every moment being a conscious choice for people who don't follow a 'prescribed text'. To me that means sometimes the choice is fruitful, sometimes unlucky, sometimes stupid, sometimes totally in tune. But always, the person is involved in the process... and that (to me) is what living is about. Interacting with what is now and making choices. And forgiving oneself when the choice made wasn't the best one. Live... and learn... but be sure to live. Decisions demand honesty... and practise makes perfect. Smile Or at least, the best possible choice at the time. What more can we ask from ourselves - or others - than that?
.
quote:
Originally posted by Kai:
Without applying the weight of a greater authority how do you go about convincing people that they should behave in any particular way? Immanuel Kant argued that without promise or threat there is no motivation to adhere to a moral duty.

Natural Law includes both promise and threat. For example... the Law of Natural Selection dictates that the strongest, healthiest, and most adaptable of a species will survive and breed (promise). The weak, sick, and unchanging will be culled from the herd (threat).

quote:
If the universe has no instructions with it, how do you know the rules?

By observation, implementation, and generational learning.

quote:
If we simply look at Natural law, we can find nothing to prevent the strong from overpowering and dominating the weaker. This is seen throughout the Natural world. The strong survive and the weak serve the strong, or die in an attempt to deny their will.

I don't think "serve" is the correct word. All species that live in groups work as a cohesive unit. There only a very few rare exceptions (such as a pride of lions) that a leader would have anything that remotely looks like servents in the way we think of them. Species that live in groups do have leaders, but in the vast majority of cases the leader does most of the work. It's actually a case of the strong serving the weak.

quote:
Is it wrong to subjugate the weak? Is it wrong to deny sustenance to the weak? I do not think that there are natural rules which prohibit this.

Yes, I think there are natural rules that prohibit this. First, there are no examples that I know of where animals subjugate the weak, or deny sustenance to the weak. These are purely human bahaviors. Now, why don't animals do it? Because it's nonsesical. It would only lead to their own destruction, just like it does with us.

quote:
I think that this denies a general happiness, which may lead to revolution, however, with enough power over the weak, such uprisings are not real threats.

Not true. Such uprisings are always real threats. It's impossible to have enough power over the weak that they can be forced to deny their survival instinct. At least, not indefinitely. The Survival Instinct is a Natural Law. Freedom of Will is also a Natural Law, which is where we get the power of choice. This is the only power we have in this life that cannot be taken away by anyone.

Side note: I would like to point out that, unlike human laws, Natural Laws do not contradict each other. Each of them works within the framework of the others. I cannot use the Freedom of Will (choice) to simply will myself to fly. It must work within the other Natural Laws (such the Laws of Gravity and Aerodynamics).

This is the inherent reason why slavery has always failed. It is an unsustainable institution. Throughout history, every empire built by slaves was forced to free them one way or another. The first great empire built by slaves was Egypt. After a thousand years of slavery, the Jews just picked up and left. As a result of that, the empire was destroyed.

Similar situations have happend everywhere slavery was used in the last ten thousand years. If America hadn't abolished slavery when it did, I predict it would have destroyed the country in another hundred years. Maybe even fifty.

quote:
Natural law does not guarantee a consequence pursuant to the wishes of the weak..

I disagree. But, sometimes it can be very difficult to determine who is strong... and who is weak.

quote:
Sometimes by taking something from another you become strong, and grow in strength thereafter...This happens. Look at the USA...

Personally, I don't think the USA is the best example of this.

But, to address your point...

Sometimes by taking something from another you become strong, but that may only last a day. Tomorrow is another day, and the repercussions of our actions will still be unfolding.
Peace....

Very thought provoking reply.

quote:
Natural Law includes both promise and threat. For example... the Law of Natural Selection dictates that the strongest, healthiest, and most adaptable of a species will survive and breed (promise). The weak, sick, and unchanging will be culled from the herd (threat).


Humanity is unique in that we have the Free Will to move outside of Nature and her laws. Where the animal world exists by biological programming, the human world exist by it's own biological directives accompanied by the supervening quality of self consciousness, and Will. You do not have to convince an animal to act in accordance to it's nature...However, human beings require convincing. We have a choice, and while I agree that there are natural consequences...Most times, we are not deterred...

quote:
By observation, implementation, and generational learning


I absolutely agree with this. The problem arises when the student of life realizes that they can manipulate creation in ways which are self serving, and hurtful to others. The degenerative effect of such people, and their institutions often misses the initiator, and falls upon the innocent. Machiavelli codified the rules for this ..

Observation will teach the weaker a lesson, implementation and general learning will teach the weak that they better "Man Up" "Get out there and get it Nigga" "Whoop that trick" "Blast them before they blast you"...etc.

When you approach the weak seeking to make them understand that there is a better way, you are asking them to obey laws which exist outside of the pale their existence.

quote:
I don't think "serve" is the correct word. All species that live in groups work as a cohesive unit. There only a very few rare exceptions (such as a pride of lions) that a leader would have anything that remotely looks like servents in the way we think of them. Species that live in groups do have leaders, but in the vast majority of cases the leader does most of the work. It's actually a case of the strong serving the weak


If I were a male walrus I would not want to live in a community where I had to protect and serve, yet was denied the right to mate with the females...In nature this is what happens among walruses, the male walrus does not experience this as service, just as the ant does not experience it's life in service to the Queen as service...But as humans we would not want to live in a civilization that required our every waking moment in service to something greater...If we lay human values on the animal world these kingdoms would burst into warfare immediately.

We could apply this same logic to humanity...I mean, do not the Rich, and powerful, work extremely hard to serve the weak by protecting them, and putting them to work allowing them daily exercise, and purpose? Perhaps we are not appreciating the need for a Master servant relationship? Maintaining a powerful corporation, or governing a municipality really looks like hard work. I am sure that The President puts in more hours on the Job than the average Joe behind the desk at the DMV.

quote:
Yes, I think there are natural rules that prohibit this. First, there are no examples that I know of where animals subjugate the weak, or deny sustenance to the weak. These are purely human bahaviors. Now, why don't animals do it? Because it's nonsesical. It would only lead to their own destruction, just like it does with us.

I think that denying sex to male worker who would actually like sex, is subjugation. The pack animal needs it's brethren for survival, however, since they are not as strong, they do not get the prime pieces of the kill, and they are not allowed to interbreed with the most healthy and attractive females.


I'll have to complete my response later...I have to go serve now.


Kai
quote:
Originally posted by Kai:
Peace....

Very thought provoking reply.

Thank you.

quote:
Humanity is unique in that we have the Free Will to move outside of Nature and her laws.

Well... I suppose that depends on how you look at it. I think what makes certain societies of humans unique is not the ability to move outside of Natural Law, but that we even make the attempt.

quote:
Where the animal world exists by biological programming, the human world exist by it's own biological directives accompanied by the supervening quality of self consciousness, and Will. You do not have to convince an animal to act in accordance to it's nature...However, human beings require convincing.

I agree. But, I believe the reason you don't have to convince animals is because they flawlessly follow Natural Law. They know that to do otherwise will lead to their destruction (The Law of Survival). We humans, on the other hand, have spent ten thousand years convincing ourselves that we are above such things. We find it in all of our dogma, such as "God gave man dominion over the birds of the air and the beasts of the field".

quote:
We have a choice, and while I agree that there are natural consequences...Most times, we are not deterred...

I believe that animals also have a choice. But, they always choose survival.

That's true that often times we are not deterred by the consequences, both short term and long term. But, one can easily see that we always suffer the consequeces of our actions. Just because we've conviced ourselves that we are not subject to Natural Law, doesn't make it so. Actually it seems to me that with each generation, we have to work harder and harder to convince people to continue contributing to a concept that never worked in the first place.

quote:
quote:
By observation, implementation, and generational learning


I absolutely agree with this. The problem arises when the student of life realizes that they can manipulate creation in ways which are self serving, and hurtful to others. The degenerative effect of such people, and their institutions often misses the initiator, and falls upon the innocent. Machiavelli codified the rules for this ..

Observation will teach the weaker a lesson, implementation and general learning will teach the weak that they better "Man Up" "Get out there and get it Nigga" "Whoop that trick" "Blast them before they blast you"...etc.

When you approach the weak seeking to make them understand that there is a better way, you are asking them to obey laws which exist outside of the pale their existence.

I agree. Very well said.

quote:
If I were a male walrus I would not want to live in a community where I had to protect and serve, yet was denied the right to mate with the females...In nature this is what happens among walruses, the male walrus does not experience this as service, just as the ant does not experience it's life in service to the Queen as service...But as humans we would not want to live in a civilization that required our every waking moment in service to something greater...If we lay human values on the animal world these kingdoms would burst into warfare immediately.

This is very true. But, the difference that I see between animals and humans is about perception. The animals don't see it as service because they instictively know that what they are doing has short and long term positive consequences for them. In human civilization, we instictively know the opposite. We know that what we spend the majority of our time doing has few short term and almost no long term positive consequences. In fact, the majority of what we do is destroying us, our neighbors, and everything around us.

I believe this is why we become so devoted and engrossed in religious dogma. It tells us that there is a higher purpose in all of this. That it's all a part of some divine plan. And, we must believe it. What else is there to believe? We are wantonly destroying everything around us. There must be a higher purpose to it. Otherwise, what's the point? None of this would make any sense.

My contention is that, with or without higher purpose... it still doesn't make any sense.

quote:
We could apply this same logic to humanity...I mean, do not the Rich, and powerful, work extremely hard to serve the weak by protecting them,

The rich protect me??? When did this begin? lol

Seriously though, I don't believe the rich are protecting anyone but themselves... just like everyone else. This is another application of Natural Law.

quote:
and putting them to work allowing them daily exercise, and purpose?

I don't think that anyone needs the rich for this. For millions of years, human beings had work, daily excercise, and purpose, without some over-fed aristocrat taking any credit or profiting from such labor.

quote:
Perhaps we are not appreciating the need for a Master servant relationship?

Admittedly, I'm a little surprised to read this coming from you, Kai.

But, you're right. I have no appreciation for the Master/Servant relationship.

quote:
I am sure that The President puts in more hours on the Job than the average Joe behind the desk at the DMV.

I sincerely doubt that. Are we talking about the same President?

quote:
I think that denying sex to male worker who would actually like sex, is subjugation. The pack animal needs it's brethren for survival, however, since they are not as strong, they do not get the prime pieces of the kill, and they are not allowed to interbreed with the most healthy and attractive females.

I don't think being denied something is akin to subjugation. A male pack animal may not be the strongest in the pack, so he doesn't get the most attractive females or the prime pieces of the kill. But, that doesn't mean that he won't get to breed at all, and it doesn't mean that he will never eat.

quote:
I'll have to complete my response later...I have to go serve now.

I'll be around. I'm really enjoying this discussion, Kai.
I personally think that if we could make morally sound judgements and always do the "right" thing, then we wouldn't need religious doctines, dogmas, or principles to guide us through this thing called life.

Morals and values are not innate--- they are taught to us through parents, schoolteachers, preachers, and other adults that played a major part in our formative childhood/teen years. Therefore there is no "natural sense of appropriate behavior". People have to be taught what's right and what's wrong.

Whether one chooses to ebrace any kind of religion or not, everyone is forced to follow certain religious principles by way of a certain enity called "The LAW". Stealing, Murder, Incest, Rape, Tax Evasion.... All of these crimes can be found in the Bible and they all have penalties/punishment attached to committing them. So unless a jail-bird claims that they don't embrace religious moral values, then like I said.... EVERYONE DOES to a certain extent.
quote:
Originally posted by Serenity4Ever:
I personally think that if we could make morally sound judgements and always do the "right" thing, then we wouldn't need religious doctines, dogmas, or principles to guide us through this thing called life.

Then, how do you account for people who make moral sound judgements based on life experience, instead of religious doctrines, dogmas, or principles.

quote:
Morals and values are not innate--- they are taught to us through parents, schoolteachers, preachers, and other adults that played a major part in our formative childhood/teen years. Therefore there is no "natural sense of appropriate behavior". People have to be taught what's right and what's wrong.

You're right. There is no natural sense of appropriate behavior. But, there are natural consequences for all behaviors... both inappropriate and appropriate.

quote:
Whether one chooses to ebrace any kind of religion or not, everyone is forced to follow certain religious principles by way of a certain enity called "The LAW".

When you say "The LAW", which laws are you referring too?

quote:
Stealing, Murder, Incest, Rape, Tax Evasion.... All of these crimes can be found in the Bible and they all have penalties/punishment attached to committing them.

Just because religious doctrines acknowledge certain Natural Laws, doesn't necessarily mean that they invented or enforce them.

quote:
So unless a jail-bird claims that they don't embrace religious moral values, then like I said.... EVERYONE DOES to a certain extent.

Confused
Peace....


quote:
Well... I suppose that depends on how you look at it. I think what makes certain societies of humans unique is not the ability to move outside of Natural Law, but that we even make the attempt


Many have been led to believe that they have found a better way.
A more exciting way, a less forbiding way to live life. Buy now, and never pay....

A life consumed by a procession of intense stimulations...An amusement park of a life, if you will. Of course, such a lifestyle is rewarded with ruin, and nonproductivity, but as they say "As least you go down smiling".

Nature's rules require accountability, responsibility, and sacrifice. The ant will be an ant, however, the human being empowered by rationalism can make any way of life seem just fine..

This is where religion steps in. The sage who begets a system of living to help guide a nation gone astray is not usually someone coming to teach, and enforce, a way which originates from some external place. Most times the sage comes to help guide the community back to a pre-establish trail which exists within the nature of huamnity.

When this reminder arrives, the masters of the imbalance work collectively to malign him, or her, because the sage threatens to awaken those who have fallen into addiction. The rich and powerful are the pushers.....

quote:
I agree. But, I believe the reason you don't have to convince animals is because they flawlessly follow Natural Law. They know that to do otherwise will lead to their destruction (The Law of Survival). We humans, on the other hand, have spent ten thousand years convincing ourselves that we are above such things. We find it in all of our dogma, such as "God gave man dominion over the birds of the air and the beasts of the field".


You have to look at the argument. There is no question that humanity enjoys a distinction from the animal kingdom due to our possession of Choice. Either our ability is a great blessing or terrible curse.

quote:
This is very true. But, the difference that I see between animals and humans is about perception. The animals don't see it as service because they instictively know that what they are doing has short and long term positive consequences for them


Agreed...But the animal doesn't have to wrestle with a wife who is always telling him how inadequate he is compared to the neighbor who earns twice as much money and can afford to buy more stuff.

quote:
In human civilization, we instictively know the opposite. We know that what we spend the majority of our time doing has few short term and almost no long term positive consequences. In fact, the majority of what we do is destroying us, our neighbors, and everything around us.


People just don't care about things so large.

quote:
I believe this is why we become so devoted and engrossed in religious dogma. It tells us that there is a higher purpose in all of this. That it's all a part of some divine plan. And, we must believe it. What else is there to believe? We are wantonly destroying everything around us. There must be a higher purpose to it. Otherwise, what's the point? None of this would make any sense


I don't see religions backing the destruction of the Earth. In some cases the powerful use religion to endorse madness, however overall I thin most faiths reject the selfishness which is destroying the planet.

quote:
I sincerely doubt that. Are we talking about the same President?



I was being facetious.

quote:
I don't think being denied something is akin to subjugation. A male pack animal may not be the strongest in the pack, so he doesn't get the most attractive females or the prime pieces of the kill. But, that doesn't mean that he won't get to breed at all, and it doesn't mean that he will never eat.



Of course you are correct. However, this way of thinking will never take flight with men. We will never stop fighting for our fair share, and other men's share of the women...We are men after all...

quote:
I'll be around. I'm really enjoying this discussion, Kai.



Unfortunately my time is lacking nowadays...I just need to figure out a way to get free money.

Yo Empty Purnata!! What was that about Banks, hotels,and women??? Run that by me again...


Kai
quote:
Originally posted by Kai:
Yo Empty Purnata!! What was that about Banks, hotels,and women??? Run that by me again...


Kai


You taking me up on an offer? Smile Well first, we grab some women, then we head off on the road. We travel around the country robbing banks and living off the stolen bucks. Now how we rob the banks is up for debate: we can rob the old-fashioned way, or we can do it the high-tech way and hack into their computers and write ourselves blank withdrawl checks and withdraw huge sums. Smile

Then we travel the world and pick up some more girls in each city and live it up in fancy hotels. Big Grin
This was a very interesting read and I really liked what Black Viking said about the natural laws and using the animal kingdom as an example.

Just one thing as a side note...


quote:
Originally posted by Black Viking:

This is the inherent reason why slavery has always failed. It is an unsustainable institution. Throughout history, every empire built by slaves was forced to free them one way or another. The first great empire built by slaves was Egypt. After a thousand years of slavery, the Jews just picked up and left. As a result of that, the empire was destroyed.


Although I agree that slavery is unsustainable. Egypt never enslaved the 'Jews'...In fact the Hyksos(thought to be the proto'Hebrews') invaders enslaved the Egyptians at the historical point that the Jews were supposed to be enslaved in Egypt (according to the biblical text). The only thing that says the Jews were enslaved is biblical myth. Which is not a historical account. The only exodus of any large number of people from KMT(Egypt) was the expulsion of the Hyksos invaders when a Pharoah from the South(Nubia/Ethiopia) defeated the Asiatic invaders. Rabbinical leaders, Egyptologists, and historians all agree upon this. It is a mythos that has been bolstered by Hollyweird. There is no evidence in the Sanai dessert of a large group of people living there, and this is a place where a small bedoin camp from centuries ago still leaves remains.

I would also like to add the slavery is stil with us, the form has changed but the essence remains the same...capitalism. Capitalist exploitation and oppression is not sustainable either though.
I'm confused on how religion became about morality. In religion, morality yields absolutely no spiritual profit whatsoever. In religous/spiritual terms, living a moral life is substandard. Religion was meant to transcend a natural existence, and social expectations of morality. IMHO

If God(or whatever you choose to believe in) ask you to define true spiritual living, and how or what you've done to achieve that, and you answered Him/Her/It with a list of "moral" things you've done i.e. "I never cheated on my taxes", "I never hit my wife", "I kept my children fed" etc; What do you think the reaction would be?

I think it's absurd to argue fundamentals (doing the right thing) when religion is not about doing the right thing, but doing the God-thing.
peace...


quote:
I'm confused on how religion became about morality. In religion, morality yields absolutely no spiritual profit whatsoever. In religous/spiritual terms, living a moral life is substandard. Religion was meant to transcend a natural existence, and social expectations of morality. IMHO


In ancient Kemet, the new initiate into the mysteries was required to properly align the self before he could advance into the higher wisdom. Religion in it's initial stages arrives to set humanity onto a path toward correction. After significant progress upon this path, ascension into the higher self becomes possible.

quote:
If God(or whatever you choose to believe in) ask you to define true spiritual living, and how or what you've done to achieve that, and you answered Him/Her/It with a list of "moral" things you've done i.e. "I never cheated on my taxes", "I never hit my wife", "I kept my children fed" etc; What do you think the reaction would be


Are you familiar with the Negative confessions in the Kemetic system?

quote:
I think it's absurd to argue fundamentals (doing the right thing) when religion is not about doing the right thing, but doing the God-thing.




Please explain further.



Kai
quote:
In ancient Kemet, the new initiate into the mysteries was required to properly align the self before he could advance into the higher wisdom. Religion in it's initial stages arrives to set humanity onto a path toward correction. After significant progress upon this path, ascension into the higher self becomes possible.


So then morality is simply a fundamental prerequisite. Also, In the Kamitian system, as with most Ancient African religions the progression goes through stages, with basic morality being the Ab man, who lives off intellect alone. Morality is an "intellectual" tool developed by man, that extends itself as a basic understanding of what we expect from eachother; there is no universal underlying goal. Spirituality/religion is is mans' attempt at reaching God, and living God-like, or being as God. God is beyond moral. Religion is a give and recieve relationship between Man/woman and who ever they feel is their God. Social expectations of morality is not something that you give God, or expect from God.

Also most often in African religions wisdom is synonomous with age/experience (generally speaking), so before you are initiated into this "higher" level of wisdom, you'd have to attain a certain age, I believe the initiation process for Kamit begins at age 28.

Aligning oneself with the Will of God or the Will of the Infinite Spirit, is basis/purpose/goal of religion.

In most cases religion stands aside from morality. Take for instance meditation or fasting, these things have very little to do with 'social' norms. Yet this is the sustenance/ meat and potatoes, to spiritual growth.

And I'm vaguely familiar with the Negative confessions.
quote:
Originally posted by Empty Purnata:
quote:
Originally posted by Kai:
Peace...


I don't know, EP, I think there is a law in physics somewhere that says that humans cannot have that much fun without disintegrating.

Kai


LOL, maybe we could give some of the money away to charity. How about that? Smile



EP, I just looove your new fractal avatar... it suits you my brotha!
quote:
Originally posted by HeruStar:
quote:
In ancient Kemet, the new initiate into the mysteries was required to properly align the self before he could advance into the higher wisdom. Religion in it's initial stages arrives to set humanity onto a path toward correction. After significant progress upon this path, ascension into the higher self becomes possible.


So then morality is simply a fundamental prerequisite. Also, In the Kamitian system, as with most Ancient African religions the progression goes through stages, with basic morality being the Ab man, who lives off intellect alone. Morality is an "intellectual" tool developed by man, that extends itself as a basic understanding of what we expect from eachother; there is no universal underlying goal. Spirituality/religion is is mans' attempt at reaching God, and living God-like, or being as God. God is beyond moral. Religion is a give and recieve relationship between Man/woman and who ever they feel is their God. Social expectations of morality is not something that you give God, or expect from God.

Also most often in African religions wisdom is synonomous with age/experience (generally speaking), so before you are initiated into this "higher" level of wisdom, you'd have to attain a certain age, I believe the initiation process for Kamit begins at age 28.

Aligning oneself with the Will of God or the Will of the Infinite Spirit, is basis/purpose/goal of religion.

In most cases religion stands aside from morality. Take for instance meditation or fasting, these things have very little to do with 'social' norms. Yet this is the sustenance/ meat and potatoes, to spiritual growth.

And I'm vaguely familiar with the Negative confessions.




Interesting perspective, Heru... I'd be curious to hear more...
quote:
Originally posted by Kai:
Many have been led to believe that they have found a better way.
A more exciting way, a less forbiding way to live life. Buy now, and never pay....

A life consumed by a procession of intense stimulations...An amusement park of a life, if you will. Of course, such a lifestyle is rewarded with ruin, and nonproductivity, but as they say "As least you go down smiling".

Nature's rules require accountability, responsibility, and sacrifice. The ant will be an ant, however, the human being empowered by rationalism can make any way of life seem just fine..

This is where religion steps in. The sage who begets a system of living to help guide a nation gone astray is not usually someone coming to teach, and enforce, a way which originates from some external place. Most times the sage comes to help guide the community back to a pre-establish trail which exists within the nature of huamnity.

When this reminder arrives, the masters of the imbalance work collectively to malign him, or her, because the sage threatens to awaken those who have fallen into addiction. The rich and powerful are the pushers.....

I agree. But, I believe what is happening is the sage attempting to pull a society away from the brink of destruction. You see, Natural Law cannot be broken, But, it can be ignored. Ignoring Natural Law always results in the same consequence... destruction.

For example... the Law a Gravity cannot be broken. It says that all things will be continually pulled toward the center of the Earth. A person can choose to ignore this law, and jump off of a twenty story building. But, ignoring the law does not change the result.

quote:
There is no question that humanity enjoys a distinction from the animal kingdom due to our possession of Choice. Either our ability is a great blessing or terrible curse.

I don't think that choice is our distinction. Here's why...

Human beings lived in perfect harmony with their environment for millions of years. It's only since the birth of civilization that the harmony was disrupted. There are still small pockets of human beings living in perfect harmony with their environment today, in Africa, Australia, and South East Asia.

In my view, these people are living just like every other species on the planet. They, just like every other animal, have chosen a sustainable way of life that can carry them through the next million years, just like it carried them through the last. We, as a civilized culture, have chosen an unsustainable path that has lead us to greater and greater forms of destruction, and will ultimately be the destruction of us all.

quote:
Agreed...But the animal doesn't have to wrestle with a wife who is always telling him how inadequate he is compared to the neighbor who earns twice as much money and can afford to buy more stuff.

Agreed... lol

quote:
People just don't care about things so large.

I don't think that it's because people don't care. I think largely it's because people feel powerless. People can't change anything when they feel powerless. More that anything else, people need to be empowered.

quote:
I don't see religions backing the destruction of the Earth. In some cases the powerful use religion to endorse madness, however overall I thin most faiths reject the selfishness which is destroying the planet.

I didn't mean to imply that they were backing the destruction of the planet, but that they are backing the idea of human superiority. It's the cultural myth that we are separate and apart from the world. That we are judged by a different standard. That we have dominion of the world.

quote:
We will never stop fighting for our fair share, and other men's share of the women...We are men after all...

That's true. But, in that arena... men also have to contend with women.

A man will only keep as large a harem as he can protect and maintain. Of course the fighting will happen. But, I believe it all shakes out in the end. You and I both know that one man cannot keep all of the women in the world happy. Women are far to demanding for that.
quote:
Originally posted by Oshun Auset:
This was a very interesting read and I really liked what Black Viking said about the natural laws and using the animal kingdom as an example.

Just one thing as a side note...


quote:
Originally posted by Black Viking:

This is the inherent reason why slavery has always failed. It is an unsustainable institution. Throughout history, every empire built by slaves was forced to free them one way or another. The first great empire built by slaves was Egypt. After a thousand years of slavery, the Jews just picked up and left. As a result of that, the empire was destroyed.


Although I agree that slavery is unsustainable. Egypt never enslaved the 'Jews'...In fact the Hyksos(thought to be the proto'Hebrews') invaders enslaved the Egyptians at the historical point that the Jews were supposed to be enslaved in Egypt (according to the biblical text). The only thing that says the Jews were enslaved is biblical myth. Which is not a historical account. The only exodus of any large number of people from KMT(Egypt) was the expulsion of the Hyksos invaders when a Pharoah from the South(Nubia/Ethiopia) defeated the Asiatic invaders. Rabbinical leaders, Egyptologists, and historians all agree upon this. It is a mythos that has been bolstered by Hollyweird. There is no evidence in the Sanai dessert of a large group of people living there, and this is a place where a small bedoin camp from centuries ago still leaves remains.

Thank you, OA. I didn't know about this.

Now... please don't take this the wrong way. I'm not challenging the truth of what you've written here. But, I would really like to read this version of Egypt's history. I'm only familiar with the biblical history, which you assert correctly is not the most accurate of historical accounts.

Will you recommend a book for me please?
HonestBrother,

What's up man,

Came up with a little example to try and explain my views on this whole religion/morality thing.

Take a parent/child relationship. A child has basic duties and responsibilities. A parent has 'wishes/will' and expectations for their child.

It is not immoral for a child to be a C student. Neither is it immoral for a parent to expect their child to make all A's. The parent doesn't want their child to just be a good son or a good daughter; they want their child to excel.
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Short break here.

The rest of this explanation is hardly applicable to this age.
Ancient Africans believed that we came from God, and that we were of God. So the will of our ancestors was the will of God; because they share thoughts/existence.
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It is not immoral for a child to have his/her own mind, and live life through his/her own intellect; as a matter of fact Western philosophers would suggest it as of the utmost importance; individualism, that is.

However, a child that is devoted to their parents seeks to align their desires and their will, with the will of their parents. They feel that God is looking out for what's best for them; and if God is looking out, then their parents are looking out for what's best. Religion is about being connecting to the source/beginning, and being apart of the source living through the source. Morality is about basic stratagies for a world to survive without it's life source; fear of violent death, and how to avoid it.

So who owns morality?

Man.

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