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

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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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