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Re: Theos-World Absolute thinking and moral exclusion

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  • Bill Meredith
    Hey Paul. You were sure on the mark in your comments and predictions below ... From: kpauljohnson To:
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 5, 2002
      Hey Paul. You were sure on the mark in your comments and predictions below

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "kpauljohnson" <kpauljohnson@...>
      To: <theos-talk@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2002 10:00 AM
      Subject: Theos-World Absolute thinking and moral exclusion

      > Thanks, Bill, for raising these questions. Just this morning I read
      > something that seems to apply. It was from a social psychology book
      > about attitudes towards gays and lesbians. You noticed that Dallas
      > writes:
      > we are all brother and sister
      > > SPIRITUAL MONADS and have been and will be reincarnating
      > > together. So we might as well treat each other from here on as
      > > members of an immortal family.
      > and
      > >
      > > > I have not been reading fully the posts by Brigitte or Paul
      > > > Johnson -- they disgust me.
      > >
      > Now, it is arguable that people do sometimes publicly express disgust
      > for their siblings; thus there's no real contradiction between
      > Dallas's spiritual ideal and its earthly manifestation. He is, in
      > fact, treating Brigitte and me just like some people *do* treat their
      > brothers and sisters. But one would think that he was referring to
      > how the human family *ought* to treat one another, and not how the
      > human family *actually does* behave.
      > The problem here is, IMO, twofold: absolute thinking and moral
      > exclusion. First, absolute thinking means, as applied to writings
      > about HPB, an extremist approach. For example, any author not
      > seeking to present HPB as a saint must be out to destroy her
      > reputation and thereby harm the Theosophical movement. There are no
      > alternatives; there is no middle ground. You're either a Theosophist
      > as defined by the absolutist, or you're undeserving of the name at
      > all. HPB was either a spotless virgin, or a total fraud. All down
      > the line, everything is black and white with no shades of gray.
      > Relative thinking, the kind that sees nuances and ambiguities, is for
      > sissies.
      > Second, this kind of thinking leads to moral exclusion. Certain
      > persons, in other words, are totally excluded from moral
      > consideration. The rules that apply when dealing with "one of us"
      > are completely suspended when dealing with "them." "They" are fair
      > game for relentless attack, for insults, sometimes for physical and
      > not just psychological violence. And anything "they" say or do in
      > response to abuse is taken as further proof of how much they deserved
      > it.
      > Hence a person can spout the most wonderful moral principles because
      > some source of absolute knowledge was alleged to have revealed them.
      > But those principles only apply to those who have not strayed into
      > moral exclusion. Once a person has crossed the line and become a
      > moral nonperson, harming them is at least excusable and at worst
      > praiseworthy.

      Well, I've probably fallen over the line tonight in my response to Adelasie
      in which I juxtaposed you for Dallas in responding to her comments in hopes
      of making a point.

      > That's a rough paraphrase; perhaps I should post a direct quote.
      > You ask:
      > what exactly disgusts you -- the posts that you don't read fully
      > > or Brigitte and Paul Johnson?
      > I predict you won't get a straight answer or a moment of self-
      > critical reflection in response.

      Bingo. And the only use for all these e-mails we read is as catalysts for
      self-critical reflection. IMO.

      > I am interested in this feeling of disgust to
      > > which you refer. I have felt it before myself. I could not
      > identify the source of such a feeling. Do you feel it at the
      > spiritual level or just superficially by the personality?
      > In light of a previous reference to nausea caused by my posts, I'd
      > say Dallas feels it in his gut-- but then assumes that because it's
      > the gut of someone absolutely devoted to HPB and the Masters, that it
      > must be in alignment with absolute truth and justice.

      After reading his response, I must agree.

      > If it is deep and abiding within the
      > > spirit, what does it mean to say "they disgust me"? For instance
      > if we are
      > > all destined to reincarnate again together, will "they disgust me"
      > again and
      > > again until they change their stripes or I change mine?
      > >
      > Thanks for that encouraging thought :)

      :) you're welcome! have a nice millenium.

      > Relativistically,
      > Paul
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