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Old 07-23-2010, 08:31 PM   #31
wodin
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Karma is karma, but then I guess that's repercussions; or maybe religion.
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:05 PM   #32
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I had a friend years ago who was a Hasidic Jew. He was quite sure the laws that governed his people had been carved on stone tables by the finger of G-d, and brought down off a mountain by Moses. (He did have problems with some of what his religious teachers told him, like when G-d parted the Red Sea to allow the Israelites to escape from the pursuing forces of the Eqyptian Pharoah, not only had the Red Sea parted - so had every other body of water on the planet, down to drops of dew on leaves. "I think they're just...legends..." he said with a wry look.)

I told him it was possible - I wasn't there, didn't see it with my own eyes, and couldn't categorically deny it - but it wasn't necessary.

Whenever human beings live together in groups, there must be agreement on what constitutes acceptable behavior, for the survival and efficient functioning of the group. Whether you assume it comes from the commandments of a God, or the feelings of people, the agreement will exist or the group will not survive and prosper. We call the agreement "morality". We call the written down version "law". All societies will have it.

There are two critical points to bear in mind. First, all societies don't have the same agreements. Some things are common, like a prohibition against murder (though how murder is defined may differ). Other things are more culturally based, like taboos on what you may eat or how you may dress. Second, the agreement is intended to preserve and strengthen the group. The benefit to and effect upon the individual of such agreement is secondary.

Some aspects of morality thought to be commanded by God may have more prosaic causes. One example is the Jewish and Muslim prohibition against eating pork. Jews and Arabs are both Semitic peoples, considering themselves descended from Abraham. They originated in a semi-arid area where the scarce resource was water. Pigs have a lot of short term advantages. They are relatively easy to raise, can eat almost anything, and "you can use every part of the pig but the squeal". Long term, in a semi-arid area, they're a disaster. They simply need too much water. How do you prevent people from doing things with attractive short term benefits that have bad long term consequences that aren't obvious or immediately visible? "Because God said not to!" is one fairly powerful method.

Moral behavior may not be hard wired, but it becomes innate. We soak up our ideas of what is moral through the skin, starting at a pre-verbal age, simply by watching those around us and doing as they do. "I wouldn't do that! It's wrong!" is a gut level reaction, not a reasoned response. (And an awful lot of folks will react angrily to attempts to make it reasoned, by asking "Okay,I understand you feel that way, but why is it wrong?" Such feelings have become part of their sense of self, defining who they are, and questions of beliefs can be interpreted as attacks on those who hold them.)

Likewise, all societies have constraints on behavior, but the question is whether they are internal or external.

Consider the institution of the Duenna in Latin America. The Duenna was an older married female who was companion to and chaperon for an unmarried woman or women. Latin American culture up till about 50 years ago taught a young man that he was hotblooded and passionate, and left alone with an attractive young woman would be unable to control himself and would have his way with her. Women were taught that they were weak and feminine and passive, and would of course be unable to resist the attentions of the man. The culture got around the obvious problems by assuring that young women weren't left alone with men. They were always accompanied by a chaperon.

Our culture assumes a man can control himself and behave appropriately when left alone with a woman. The controls are internal. Latin American culture assumed he couldn't control himself, and external constraints were required. (The Latinos got it from the Spaniards who first colonized the continent. They probably got it from the Moorish Arabs who conquered and ruled a good bit of the Iberian peninsula until they were defeated by Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours. The Muslim woman's burqa stems from the same underlying assumption: a man can't control himself, and must be given no provocation. Cover yourself from head to toe.)

Speaking personally, if I knew the world was coming to an end in a week, I'd be trying to contact and spend time with loved ones, in person if possible or via technology if not, simply to say goodbye, and tell them I loved them and was glad they were a part of my life.
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:31 PM   #33
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Strangely, the end of the world does not scare me so much as to change what I am. I have learned to face death every day; as we should all do. Thing are completely different in that perspective. People become more important, nature becomes more important and as life is revered a lightness of heart is constant.

I'm a good natured person. My first thoughts would be for friends, family, neighbors, seeking all for a last time and just enjoying their company again. I would work at patching up their sorrows of fears. I would take long hikes in the most beautiful places with lots of nature, maybe try creative craft, read beautiful stories, eat gorgeous meals and basically feed on life...shared with others...

I would not like to see that panic controlled lives, that selfishness end others. Life is good, a gift we had. Can we not be thankful for what bright, brief moment we were given when told the end is near instead of wanting more of an existence filled with worries and remorse?

No, I'm not preaching, I'm just one of those silly people lovers, real people...
Owning is irrelevant, we don't even own our life. We can just care for it, as little or as much as we can but only ours not that of others unless it's for their love and good. There is good in every one and it's been a task of mine to find it and expand it. It makes me feel good.


Thank you afa for allowing me this instant of thought. I hope I did not bore you with good intent...
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Old 07-24-2010, 05:36 AM   #34
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Thank you afa for allowing me this instant of thought. I hope I did not bore you with good intent.


Huh ?

Ah well there are so many types of people that one of them is bound to be a people lover

Moral is overall determined by those telling what you can and can not do, but what about criminals than. They know the repercussions, they probably have some sort of moral, yet they do things other people would even think about doing.
So it is probably in each and one of us, that even with the repercussions moral can easily be overwritten.
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Old 07-24-2010, 09:25 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Druid_Elf View Post


Huh ?

Ah well there are so many types of people that one of them is bound to be a people lover

Moral is overall determined by those telling what you can and can not do, but what about criminals than. They know the repercussions, they probably have some sort of moral, yet they do things other people would even think about doing.
So it is probably in each and one of us, that even with the repercussions moral can easily be overwritten.
And you are a people hater? Or someone choked in selfishness?
You have the capacity to be happy. You appear not to be otherwise you wouldn't show such jealousy.
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Old 07-24-2010, 09:47 AM   #36
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It's not jealousy.
Let just I am a natural in mistrust. Go out from the worst, let people prove themselves.
I no longer take for granted that people have their best interests in others.
Call it sceptical, selfish, or down to earth
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:05 AM   #37
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It's not jealousy.
Let just I am a natural in mistrust. Go out from the worst, let people prove themselves.
I no longer take for granted that people have their best interests in others.
Call it sceptical, selfish, or down to earth
I can understand that, we are always confronted to religious missionaries, bombarded by people seeking our possessions and whatever.

What I am for is skipping over all that is social programming, cultural difference and reaching a person, locked in a finite body, predefined morals; concentric cages. Like we all are. I like to reach this gentle soul and spend time with it. That's all. If we can spend time mutually enjoying the moment and the reliefs our cages allow, the better. That's all. Simple, brief and so satisfying. That's people loving.

We all have some person in our lives who we share some of that with, but what is surprising is that you can find this instantly in a great number of people. Seeking them out is thrilling but even more when some person just opens up for the first time. It's about giving from oneself that is never lost, that can only grow, true friendship...
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:10 PM   #38
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Old 07-25-2010, 02:53 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by DMcCunney View Post
Whenever human beings live together in groups, there must be agreement on what constitutes acceptable behavior, for the survival and efficient functioning of the group.
[snip]
Moral behavior may not be hard wired, but it becomes innate. We soak up our ideas of what is moral through the skin, starting at a pre-verbal age, simply by watching those around us and doing as they do.
Very well said, and I agree.


Quote:
One example is the Jewish and Muslim prohibition against eating pork.
[snip]
They simply need too much water. How do you prevent people from doing things with attractive short term benefits that have bad long term consequences that aren't obvious or immediately visible? "Because God said not to!" is one fairly powerful method.
Speaking as a Muslim (officially, at least) I find that an interesting take on the prohibition against pork. Never thought of it that way...

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The Muslim woman's burqa stems from the same underlying assumption: a man can't control himself, and must be given no provocation. Cover yourself from head to toe.)
Again, I agree.

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Originally Posted by yvanleterrible View Post
Thank you afa for allowing me this instant of thought. I hope I did not bore you with good intent...
I don't know why you think you would 'bore' me. Are you under the impression that I have a thing against good intentions? Or that I was advocating the abolishment of morality or values? If so, I'm afraid you've severely misunderstood.

I never said that I think good intentions or morality are a waste of time, nor are they undesirable. I brought up the question because I was wondering where it comes from, and whether there were external factors and stresses that might influence my (or anyone else's) morality. The 'end of the world' thing was really just an excuse to bring about that question, as the scenario seemed sufficiently extreme to bring about radical change.

I found myself curious about my morality, and wanted to consider the philosophical implications of it.
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Old 07-25-2010, 04:12 AM   #40
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I believe that a majority of human beings are "wired" with a basic moral code. Outside influences such as parenting and religon strengthen and expand this code to the societal norm.
Now, what I mean by this innate moral code is basically a gut response. Not thinking to oneself "That is bad/sick/illegal", but actually being physically repulsed by something that is wrong.
And just as this code can be strengthened by outside influences, it can be undermined by them too.
Finally, you have the "human beings" with no innate moral code. The monsters in our midst.
Sociopaths.
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Old 07-25-2010, 05:52 AM   #41
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Finally, you have the "human beings" with no innate moral code. The monsters in our midst.
Sociopaths
Even a sociapath has morals. I read in a magazine that sociapaths have the basics of right and wrong, but it is the brain (and or environment) which is at fault with these people.
Certain regions of the brain act differently than with a normal person, leading them to have no emotions / different emotions.

http://viewzone2.com/sociopathx.html
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:23 AM   #42
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Of course, feeling that something is morally wrong might not stop someone doing it anyway.

An old quote here: "In a world without religion, good people will do good things and bad people will do bad things. It takes religion to make good people do bad things."

Sometimes, of course, religion might be responsible for bad people doing good things, too.

All in all, I think religion has little, if anything, to do with common decency.

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Old 07-25-2010, 09:44 AM   #43
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Despite the very best of intentions, in an environment that brings mankind so close to an ending, one might find oneself forced to compromise more than one might expect.
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Old 07-25-2010, 12:22 PM   #44
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An EndTimes scenario is no way to judge a person's morals.
Survival of the fittest overrides morals.

Sociopaths understand right and wrong.
They do not possess morals.
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Old 07-25-2010, 04:29 PM   #45
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An EndTimes scenario is no way to judge a person's morals.
Survival of the fittest overrides morals.
Even if the scenario precludes survival?
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