Why you should be proud to send your kids to Berkeley...
Reply 61 of 62
February 19, 2002 4:56PM
NoahJ, I didn't mean to put you in the camp of the "moral Majority" that would be likened to the Taliban. You are thoughtfull and willing to see a discussin through. But there are those people out there and they are often the kind that would distort a simple story, or incident such as happened in Iowa to get all righteous and bent out of shape:
which is always funny in the light of Chist's words "not one is righteous"
anyway, if you look at my moral definition you will notice that I base my morals on the notion of
Compassion in the face of the Other
: its easy to see this as a principle that can be understood as nearly being thoelogical if you can see that Otherness is that which, because it is beyond us, escapes all catagorization and deserves absolute respect. Also you can see that from such a premise REAL ethical guidelines can be deduced which fall into doing what is right and not doing what is wrong with regards to the actuality of others and Otherness.
Much of what I consider ethical is very influenced by both Buddhist thought and the thought of teh Jewish religious philosopher Emmanuel Levinas.
But sexuality is not such a big moral deal in my view: it is only our twisted denial of the body that makes us equate open sexuality with immorality. The life force is good and should not be denied: as it often is in the name of religion when that religion mistakes the world and the body for evilness. . . and you know that historically many forms of Christianity have done just that. There are many religious forms that are not in denial of the body or life energy (see my post in the masturbation thread) and yet still have discernable moral guidlines
and 'dynamic' does mean change with time, but more appropriately it means change with the apropriateness of what is RIGHT for that time in question.
[ 02-19-2002: Message edited by: pfflam ]</p>
Reply 62 of 62
February 19, 2002 5:15PM
[quote]Originally posted by jesperas:
OK, I would have asked this in the other thread, but the party seems to have moved to this one.
How about an example a little closer to home? Killing is wrong, but what if you were faced with the choice killing in order to protect a loved one, say, a family member from an attacker? Or, what if the choice were between the lives of two strangers (one stranger is attacking a bystander, neither of whom you know. Your choice is to interveine by killing the attacker, or to do nothing and let the bystander die.)
The answer to the first, I think should be obvious, but what about the second? To what do you look to guide your decisions? The Bible? Does the Bible have something to cover this situation?
Or, more on point, what if you were faced with a situation that the Bible does not cover in which to act would violate one of your core beliefs, yet to not act would bring imminent harm to you, a stranger, or a loved one?
You mentioned in the other thread that the "core values" don't change. I think that's true for most people, barring some major idealogical crisis. But things aren't always as black and white as we'd like them to be. Sooner or later, everyone will need to make decisions based a relative situation. Even Christians. Hopefully, though, they will not be as extreme as the ones above, but they will still have to be made nonetheless, and the choices you are faced with may violate your beliefs. To say that you would not make decisions based on a relative morality or relative circumstances is, I think too much of a simplification.</strong><hr></blockquote>
WHen the time comes I will tell you what the answer is to any of these situations. FOr now it is all an exercise in speculation and nothing more. What is to say that you could not merely render unconscious the man attacking the other for example? Your rule of the questions says that one must die, but it is a false choice. The situation will likely effect the outcome, but in the end, whatever is done, I will have to live with the consequences of the choice I made. Will it be the right choice? Maybe, maybe not. I am not perfect. But In the situations given sometimes the right choice can be hidden in the heat of the moment. It does not change the fact that it is wrong to kill, or steal, or bear false witness. The end does not always justify the means.
 And yes, the bible has something to cover all situations. The basic moral principles are pretty much universal. It can be difficult however to know when to apply what. That only comes with maturity, and much study.
[ 02-19-2002: Message edited by: NoahJ ]</p>