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Re: [existlist] Existentialism and the necessity of God...

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  • Beth302002@aol.com
    In a message dated 07/17/2000 7:03:39 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... at ... We seem to be letting it go. don t we? Church attendance is getting smaller and
    Message 1 of 13 , Jul 17, 2000
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      In a message dated 07/17/2000 7:03:39 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
      cyberg0th@... writes:

      > I'd like to start a debate as to whether religion is actually a necessity
      at
      > this point in human evolution...opinions?
      > -Jason

      We seem to be letting it go. don't we? Church attendance is getting smaller
      and smaller. Children are not being taught the the rudimentary ideas of God
      and Jesus and faith. Human evolution.....hmmmmm....I would say it is not a
      necessity.

      I have questions. What has replaced God in our lives? Why is religion no
      longer a necessity? What is going to happen to those of us to whom it is not
      a necessity any more? Do we stop evolving? Do we evolve higher by taking
      responsibility for our own growth, ideas, feelings, what we give back to
      society without the restrictions of the church and the idea of right and
      wrong? Is it us now, and not God? Is God each one of us...and I don't mean
      IN each one of us, I mean is each one of us God? Good topic Jason.

      Just an opinion.

      Beth
    • The Sierants
      Dear Ray: Please clarify what you mean by the necessity of religion. Do you mean the belief in a god, or in organized religion? Some would argue that our
      Message 2 of 13 , Jul 17, 2000
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        Dear Ray:

        Please clarify what you mean by the necessity of religion. Do you mean the
        belief in a god, or in organized religion? Some would argue that our belief
        in science has become a religion. My opinion is that there is a need for
        religion, but on a more personal and individual level. On a lighter note,
        my relationship with my God is a dysfunctional one, based on love and
        respect...we just argue all the time.

        --Peter Sierant
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Ray Zur" <cyberg0th@...>
        To: <existlist@egroups.com>
        Sent: Monday, July 17, 2000 6:02 PM
        Subject: [existlist] Existentialism and the necessity of God...


        > I'd like to start a debate as to whether religion is actually a necessity
        at
        > this point in human evolution...opinions?
        > -Jason
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      • The Sierants
        Another thought about religion... If not religion, then what basis is there for ethics and morality of any kind? Who would teach this morality? What would it
        Message 3 of 13 , Jul 17, 2000
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          Another thought about religion...
          If not religion, then what basis is there for ethics and morality of any
          kind? Who would teach this morality? What would it be based on? Many
          believe now in total hedonism, in satisfying the individual needs without
          conscience. This will only lead to chaos and extreme selfishness in my
          opinion, where everyone is right and everyone would be wrong at the same
          time. So there is a foundation for religion to help teach the less
          cereberal or unstructured or uneducated about the value of good and evil,
          right and wrong.

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: <Beth302002@...>
          To: <existlist@egroups.com>
          Sent: Monday, July 17, 2000 6:31 PM
          Subject: Re: [existlist] Existentialism and the necessity of God...


          > In a message dated 07/17/2000 7:03:39 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
          > cyberg0th@... writes:
          >
          > > I'd like to start a debate as to whether religion is actually a
          necessity
          > at
          > > this point in human evolution...opinions?
          > > -Jason
          >
          > We seem to be letting it go. don't we? Church attendance is getting
          smaller
          > and smaller. Children are not being taught the the rudimentary ideas of
          God
          > and Jesus and faith. Human evolution.....hmmmmm....I would say it is not
          a
          > necessity.
          >
          > I have questions. What has replaced God in our lives? Why is religion no
          > longer a necessity? What is going to happen to those of us to whom it is
          not
          > a necessity any more? Do we stop evolving? Do we evolve higher by taking
          > responsibility for our own growth, ideas, feelings, what we give back to
          > society without the restrictions of the church and the idea of right and
          > wrong? Is it us now, and not God? Is God each one of us...and I don't
          mean
          > IN each one of us, I mean is each one of us God? Good topic Jason.
          >
          > Just an opinion.
          >
          > Beth
          >
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          > >From The Exist List...
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          >
        • Beth302002@aol.com
          In a message dated 07/17/2000 7:40:05 PM Eastern Daylight Time, ... I agree, but is religion doing that now? It s a case of preaching to the choir. Those that
          Message 4 of 13 , Jul 17, 2000
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            In a message dated 07/17/2000 7:40:05 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
            sierant@... writes:

            > So there is a foundation for religion to help teach the less
            > cereberal or unstructured or uneducated about the value of good and evil,
            > right and wrong.
            >
            I agree, but is religion doing that now? It's a case of preaching to the
            choir. Those that go to church don't need the teaching because it is already
            part of their lives. The people who need the teaching...the children who
            need something rock solid in their fragmented lives, are not being reached.
            Jesus or Bugs Bunny...If you were 6,7,8 which would you pick?

            You have to know about something in order to take advantage of it, and too
            few churches are reaching out to the community. I know of two where I live,
            and I am proud of them, but I live in a big city...only two? It also
            snowballs...if your parents did not go to church, or at least did not send
            you to Sunday school, how can you teach your children anything?

            My basis for opinions here is that I am a preacher's daughter, and I was for
            several years, from age 16 to 26, a church organist. The people are not
            reaching out to the church for teaching about God, and the church is not
            reaching the people. The last church that I played in, sent out 8,000
            pamphlets, followed up by phone calls and visits, inviting people in the
            surrounding neighborhoods to come to church. Only 2 out of 8,000 responded.
            My vote is still that organized religion is perceived to be not needed
            anymore, morals are breaking down, christian education is not getting where
            it needs to get.

            I have been on this tirade for months now, I guess since the times of the
            first school shootings. Intellectually or not, existentially or not,
            religiously or not, we are not caring for our childrens souls. And it is
            going to bite us some day soon, worse than it already has.

            And I want to say that I am very aware of the parents that care, and try, and
            teach, and love. I just wish there were more of you. Thanks for my turn on
            the soapbox...shutting up now to listen to others. :o)

            Beth
          • Jared Frailey
            You should live your life the way that you want others to live. If your opinions are right, people should be drawn to them on their merits, and not because
            Message 5 of 13 , Jul 17, 2000
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              You should live your life the way that you want others
              to live. If your opinions are right, people should be
              drawn to them on their merits, and not because they
              "should" or "ought" to do or think something. To me
              morality and ethics are a way for society to say you
              "should" do this, but you "shouldn't" do that.

              The ideas of morality and ethics need to be
              demystified. A group of individuals came up with our
              current morality, therefore it has no more meaning
              than an opinion.

              One point you mentioned was that religion may be
              needed to teach good and evil, or right and wrong, to
              the uneducated. In other words, the ignorant masses
              should be subjected to a group of individuals ideas on
              right and wrong? If left to their own devices, the
              uneducated would most likely develop a sense of right
              and wrong. Remove the brainwashing of man by society,
              government, and religion, and you will have a new
              species of man able to decide what is "right" for
              himself, and what is "wrong."

              You may laugh at the notion of brainwashing, but as a
              child I never questioned the ideas of patriotism,
              marriage, government, capitalism, war, prisons, etc...
              Once I realized that the sources of my information
              were biased, I developed my open opinions. I see a
              society without gods, religions, and governments as a
              society with man thinking for himself.

              I'm done rambling,
              Jared



              -----Original Message-----
              From: The Sierants <sierant@...>
              To: existlist@egroups.com <existlist@egroups.com>
              Date: Monday, July 17, 2000 6:41 PM
              Subject: Re: [existlist] Existentialism and the
              necessity of God...


              Another thought about religion...
              If not religion, then what basis is there for ethics
              and morality of any
              kind? Who would teach this morality? What would it
              be based on? Many
              believe now in total hedonism, in satisfying the
              individual needs without
              conscience. This will only lead to chaos and extreme
              selfishness in my
              opinion, where everyone is right and everyone would be
              wrong at the same
              time. So there is a foundation for religion to help
              teach the less
              cereberal or unstructured or uneducated about the
              value of good and evil,
              right and wrong.
            • Yana Youhana
              ... Question: What do you mean by the above statement? This is a world of acheivments, (dogy dog world), if one wants to live his/her life the way she/he
              Message 6 of 13 , Jul 18, 2000
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                >From: Jared Frailey <lostmaia@...>
                >Reply-To: existlist@egroups.com
                >To: existlist@egroups.com
                >Subject: Re: [existlist] Existentialism and the necessity of God...
                >Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2000 23:29:36 -0700 (PDT)
                >
                >You should live your life the way that you want others
                >to live.
                Question: What do you mean by the above statement?
                This is a world of acheivments, (dogy dog world), if
                one wants to live his/her life the way she/he wanted to
                live, they would be loosers!!!!




                If your opinions are right, people should be
                >drawn to them on their merits, and not because they
                >"should" or "ought" to do or think something.
                I don't think you live anywhere near Silicon Valley
                , SF or NY?

                >
                >One point you mentioned was that religion may be
                >needed to teach good and evil, or right and wrong, to
                >the uneducated. In other words, the ignorant masses
                >should be subjected to a group of individuals ideas on
                >right and wrong? If left to their own devices, the
                >uneducated would most likely develop a sense of right
                >and wrong. Remove the brainwashing of man by society,
                >government, and religion, and you will have a new
                >species of man able to decide what is "right" for
                >himself, and what is "wrong."
                That sounds better.




                >
                >You may laugh at the notion of brainwashing, but as a
                >child I never questioned the ideas of patriotism,
                >marriage, government, capitalism, war, prisons, etc...
                > Once I realized that the sources of my information
                >were biased, I developed my open opinions. I see a
                >society without gods, religions, and governments as a
                >society with man thinking for himself.
                >
                >I'm done rambling,
                >Jared
                >
                >
                >
                >-----Original Message-----
                >From: The Sierants <sierant@...>
                >To: existlist@egroups.com <existlist@egroups.com>
                >Date: Monday, July 17, 2000 6:41 PM
                >Subject: Re: [existlist] Existentialism and the
                >necessity of God...
                >
                >
                >Another thought about religion...
                >If not religion, then what basis is there for ethics
                >and morality of any
                >kind? Who would teach this morality? What would it
                >be based on? Many
                >believe now in total hedonism, in satisfying the
                >individual needs without
                >conscience. This will only lead to chaos and extreme
                >selfishness in my
                >opinion, where everyone is right and everyone would be
                >wrong at the same
                >time. So there is a foundation for religion to help
                >teach the less
                >cereberal or unstructured or uneducated about the
                >value of good and evil,
                >right and wrong.
                >

                ________________________________________________________________________
                Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com
              • Jared Frailey
                I m not sure I could handle others thinking I am a looser. :-) That is part of the problem: people should not worry about what other people are doing, or
                Message 7 of 13 , Jul 18, 2000
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                  I'm not sure I could handle others thinking I am a
                  "looser." :-) That is part of the problem: people
                  should not worry about what other people are doing, or
                  what other people will think. Success and failure,
                  like good and evil, are terms for the individual to
                  define. What I consider good may not be your idea of
                  good, and what I consider to be an achievment may not
                  be your idea of an achievment.

                  I can't help it, I have to quote Thoreau: "Why should
                  we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such
                  desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace
                  with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a
                  different drummer. Let him step to the music which he
                  hears, however measured or far away."

                  >I don't think you live anywhere near Silicon Valley
                  >, SF or NY?
                  Actually, I live in the Bible Belt: Oklahoma to be
                  exact.

                  Regard,
                  Jared







                  ----Original Message-----
                  From: Yana Youhana <yana_youhana@...>
                  To: existlist@egroups.com <existlist@egroups.com>
                  Date: Tuesday, July 18, 2000 2:20 AM
                  Subject: Re: [existlist] Existentialism and the
                  necessity of God...


                  >From: Jared Frailey <lostmaia@...>
                  >Reply-To: existlist@egroups.com
                  >To: existlist@egroups.com
                  >Subject: Re: [existlist] Existentialism and the
                  necessity of God...
                  >Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2000 23:29:36 -0700 (PDT)
                  >
                  >You should live your life the way that you want
                  others
                  >to live.
                  Question: What do you mean by the above statement?
                  This is a world of acheivments, (dogy dog world), if
                  one wants to live his/her life the way she/he wanted
                  to
                  live, they would be loosers!!!!
                  If your opinions are right, people should be
                  >drawn to them on their merits, and not because they
                  >"should" or "ought" to do or think something.
                  I don't think you live anywhere near Silicon Valley
                  , SF or NY?

                  >
                  >One point you mentioned was that religion may be
                  >needed to teach good and evil, or right and wrong, to
                  >the uneducated. In other words, the ignorant masses
                  >should be subjected to a group of individuals ideas
                  on
                  >right and wrong? If left to their own devices, the
                  >uneducated would most likely develop a sense of right
                  >and wrong. Remove the brainwashing of man by
                  society,
                  >government, and religion, and you will have a new
                  >species of man able to decide what is "right" for
                  >himself, and what is "wrong."
                  That sounds better.




                  >
                  >You may laugh at the notion of brainwashing, but as a
                  >child I never questioned the ideas of patriotism,
                  >marriage, government, capitalism, war, prisons,
                  etc...
                  > Once I realized that the sources of my information
                  >were biased, I developed my open opinions. I see a
                  >society without gods, religions, and governments as a
                  >society with man thinking for himself.
                  >
                  >I'm done rambling,
                  >Jared
                  >



                  =====
                  Best wishes,
                  Frailey


                  ----------------------
                  Revering the universe, caring for nature, celebrating life -
                  The World Pantheist Movement: http://www.pantheism.net/index.htm
                • Amber Leigh Griffioen
                  ... But isn t that really the POINT of morality and ethics? We speak often of a moral or ethical duty , but what is that except an idea of what we feel we
                  Message 8 of 13 , Jul 18, 2000
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                    Jared Frailey <lostmaia@...> writes:

                    > You should live your life the way that you want others
                    > to live. If your opinions are right, people should be
                    > drawn to them on their merits, and not because they
                    > "should" or "ought" to do or think something. To me
                    > morality and ethics are a way for society to say you
                    > "should" do this, but you "shouldn't" do that.

                    But isn't that really the POINT of morality and ethics? We speak often of a moral
                    or ethical "duty", but what is that except an idea of what we feel we "should" or
                    "must" do. By living your life "the way that you want others to live", you are
                    saying that were anyone in your exact situation, you would want them to (i.e.
                    you believe they "should") do exactly what you decide to do.

                    > The ideas of morality and ethics need to be
                    > demystified. A group of individuals came up with our
                    > current morality, therefore it has no more meaning
                    > than an opinion.

                    One cannot forget the history behind our moral and ethical "system", however. (Do
                    we really even have a system? Laws, religion, I guess. Anything else?) These
                    "opinions" may be flawed, but they are not completely devoid of merit. One could
                    say "you've come a long way, baby" since the days of slavery. I would also arge
                    that we have a long way to go. (Down with capital punishment!) I'm not saying,
                    we give in and "go with the flow". I mean, just look at what the "Mitmachen" did
                    to Germany in the 30s & 40s. I AM saying that we need to give morality a little
                    more credit than "an opinion".

                    > If left to their own devices, the
                    > uneducated would most likely develop a sense of right
                    > and wrong.

                    But who's to say it's the "right" sense of right and wrong? It would just be
                    another group of people, coming up with a morality for you to question.

                    > Remove the brainwashing of man by society,
                    > government, and religion, and you will have a new
                    > species of man able to decide what is "right" for
                    > himself, and what is "wrong."

                    Even the Aborigines have a sort of society, government, and religion. And my big
                    question is: does society, religion, etc. determine morality, or does morality
                    determine society, religion, etc. This has always made for interesting
                    discussion. Kind of a "Did Adam have a navel?" or "Which cam first, the chicken
                    or the egg?" question.

                    > You may laugh at the notion of brainwashing, but as a
                    > child I never questioned the ideas of patriotism,
                    > marriage, government, capitalism, war, prisons, etc...
                    > Once I realized that the sources of my information
                    > were biased, I developed my open opinions. I see a
                    > society without gods, religions, and governments as a
                    > society with man thinking for himself.

                    Go anarchy! *gg*

                    Anyways, that was my first post to the list, so nice to meet you all. Can't wait
                    for more good discussions!

                    Bis dann,

                    Amber

                    * * * * * * * * * * * * *
                    "I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an
                    independent will, which I now exert to leave you." -Jane Eyre
                    * * * * * * * * * * * * *
                    Amber Griffioen
                    griffioe@...
                    amber_griffs@...
                    http://www.geocities.com/amber_griffs
                  • Tom J
                    Doesn t morality almost entirely begin and end with other people? What good is a personal morality . What is often termed as brainwashing is inevitable,
                    Message 9 of 13 , Jul 18, 2000
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                      Doesn't morality almost entirely begin and end with other people? What good
                      is a "personal morality".

                      What is often termed as "brainwashing" is inevitable, you can't remove it.
                      Even if you think that you have formed your own opinions, they were surely
                      not based on totally original thoughts? We will still always, to an extent,
                      be cogs in a machine.

                      The uneducated are already developing a sense of what is right and wrong and
                      the fact that it has no moral basis derived from respect for a superior
                      being makes it all the more catastrophic. Directionless futility.

                      Tom
                    • Jared Frailey
                      ... I believe everyone has the prejudice that they are right, and everyone else is wrong. :-) What I was trying to say is that if your opinion is that
                      Message 10 of 13 , Jul 19, 2000
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                        > By living your life "the way that you
                        > want others to live", you are
                        > saying that were anyone in your exact situation, you
                        > would want them to (i.e.
                        > you believe they "should") do exactly what you
                        > decide to do.

                        I believe everyone has the prejudice that they are
                        right, and everyone else is wrong. :-) What I was
                        trying to say is that if your opinion is that
                        important to you, you shouldn't try to convert someone
                        to your ideas but set an example. For example, I
                        consider myself to be a pacifist. I don't believe in
                        the use of violence for any purpose, but I arrived at
                        this opinion on my own. By practicing pacifism, I set
                        an example for humanity. The difference between my
                        opinion and morality is that my opinions will not be
                        maintained by the use of coercive measures by society,
                        government, and religion. After all, coercion is
                        violence. :-) And another difference between my
                        opinions and morality is that I don't view my opinions
                        as something "sacred." I can always change my
                        opinions, but changing morality is almost impossible
                        (I'm exaggerating). In other words, I am against
                        morality, but I am for personal ideals and opinions.

                        >I AM saying that we
                        > need to give morality a little
                        > more credit than "an opinion".

                        I will give you that point: Morals are opinions with a
                        history. :-)

                        > But who's to say it's the "right" sense of right and
                        > wrong? It would just be
                        > another group of people, coming up with a morality
                        > for you to question.

                        Is there a right one? No. And why would it be a
                        group effort? I have my own personal values, and they
                        should have their own. As long as the individual
                        isn't harming another person's freedom, the individual
                        should not be restrained by morality or laws.

                        > Even the Aborigines have a sort of society,
                        > government, and religion. And my big
                        > question is: does society, religion, etc. determine
                        > morality, or does morality
                        > determine society, religion, etc.

                        My guess is that morality came first. :-)


                        > Go anarchy! *gg*
                        >
                        > Anyways, that was my first post to the list, so nice
                        > to meet you all. Can't wait
                        > for more good discussions!

                        Actually, I do consider myself to be an anarchist. I
                        fit somewhere between an Individualist Anarchist and a
                        Communist Anarchist. :-)

                        Best Regards,
                        Jared
                      • Jared Frailey
                        ... What good is a personal morality? Whatever good the individual can get out of it. I tend to enjoy producing my own morals (opinions, ideals, etc.) ... I
                        Message 11 of 13 , Jul 19, 2000
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                          > Doesn't morality almost entirely begin and end with
                          > other people? What good
                          > is a "personal morality".
                          What good is a personal morality? Whatever good the
                          individual can get out of it. I tend to enjoy
                          producing my own morals (opinions, ideals, etc.)

                          > What is often termed as "brainwashing" is
                          > inevitable, you can't remove it.
                          > Even if you think that you have formed your own
                          > opinions, they were surely
                          > not based on totally original thoughts? We will
                          > still always, to an extent,
                          > be cogs in a machine.

                          I concede that "brainwashing" is inevitable if you are
                          in contact with other individuals, society, religion,
                          or government. My opinions are not based enitirely on
                          my own original thoughts, but the formation of my
                          opinions was an active venture: I sought and analyzed
                          the opinions of others. Morality is an inactive
                          process: the individual absorbs the opinions of
                          others.

                          > The uneducated are already developing a sense of
                          > what is right and wrong and
                          > the fact that it has no moral basis derived from
                          > respect for a superior
                          > being makes it all the more catastrophic.
                          > Directionless futility.


                          Catastrophic in what way? Is it because they are not
                          developing in a direction that you would have them go?


                          The uneducated people, that I know personally, derive
                          all of their values and morals from their church, the
                          members of their church, and other community members.
                          This to me does seem directionless. My ideal would be
                          where every individual decided what would be "good"
                          and "evil" to them personally. There seems more
                          personal direction in my ideal, but societal,
                          governmental, and religious direction would fade.

                          Best Regards,
                          Jared
                        • Amber Leigh Griffioen
                          ... So if I go through an exhaustive mental process and decide that, to me personally, it would be OK to hit another person in the head with a baseball bat,
                          Message 12 of 13 , Jul 20, 2000
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                            Jared Frailey <lostmaia@...> writes:

                            > The uneducated people, that I know personally, derive
                            > all of their values and morals from their church, the
                            > members of their church, and other community members.
                            > This to me does seem directionless. My ideal would be
                            > where every individual decided what would be "good"
                            > and "evil" to them personally. There seems more
                            > personal direction in my ideal, but societal,
                            > governmental, and religious direction would fade.

                            So if I go through an exhaustive mental process and decide that, to me personally,
                            it would be OK to hit another person in the head with a baseball bat, you'd
                            support that because it was my own personal idea of "good"? Because as soon as
                            you step in and say it's not OK, you are imposing some sort of moral law over me.

                            Sorry if I'm nitpicking,

                            *Devil's Advocate*

                            * * * * * * * * * * * * *
                            "I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an
                            independent will, which I now exert to leave you." -Jane Eyre
                            * * * * * * * * * * * * *
                            Amber Griffioen
                            griffioe@...
                            amber_griffs@...
                            http://www.geocities.com/amber_griffs
                          • Jared Frailey
                            As long as you are not harming another person s freedom, you should be free to act on or think what you wish. I wouldn t be allowed to lock someone in a cage
                            Message 13 of 13 , Jul 20, 2000
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                              As long as you are not harming another person's
                              freedom, you should be free to act on or think what
                              you wish. I wouldn't be allowed to lock someone in a
                              cage or kill them, but I would be free to do anything
                              that does not harm another person's freedom. :-)


                              --- Amber Leigh Griffioen <griffioe@...> wrote:
                              > Jared Frailey <lostmaia@...> writes:
                              >
                              > > The uneducated people, that I know personally,
                              > derive
                              > > all of their values and morals from their church,
                              > the
                              > > members of their church, and other community
                              > members.
                              > > This to me does seem directionless. My ideal
                              > would be
                              > > where every individual decided what would be
                              > "good"
                              > > and "evil" to them personally. There seems more
                              > > personal direction in my ideal, but societal,
                              > > governmental, and religious direction would fade.
                              >
                              > So if I go through an exhaustive mental process and
                              > decide that, to me personally,
                              > it would be OK to hit another person in the head
                              > with a baseball bat, you'd
                              > support that because it was my own personal idea of
                              > "good"? Because as soon as
                              > you step in and say it's not OK, you are imposing
                              > some sort of moral law over me.
                              >
                              > Sorry if I'm nitpicking,
                              >
                              > *Devil's Advocate*
                              >
                              > * * * * * * * * * * * * *
                              > "I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free
                              > human being with an
                              > independent will, which I now exert to leave you."
                              > -Jane Eyre
                              > * * * * * * * * * * * * *
                              > Amber Griffioen
                              > griffioe@...
                              > amber_griffs@...
                              > http://www.geocities.com/amber_griffs
                              >


                              =====
                              Best wishes,
                              Frailey


                              ----------------------
                              Revering the universe, caring for nature, celebrating life -
                              The World Pantheist Movement: http://www.pantheism.net/index.htm
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