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What do we replace Religious Ethical teachings with?
Posted: 27 July 2007 09:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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If we consider what the functions of religion have been throughout the centuries, we see that many of them have been taken over by other disciplines.

I think it more often works the opposite way.  People who manipulate spiritual feelings for their own ends (the usual stuff - prestige, authority, power, money) have tended to try to take over things like education, explanations of phenomena, ethics, etc.  Whatever area of life seems to be important to people will be beset by people trying to establish some supernatural authority over that area in order to establish their own quite mundane authority.  This has been especially true as large organized religions have become powerful in their own right, independently of states or societies, so that individuals and smaller organizations borrow their authority.  Education and science and ethics existed long before Islam ever did, and Islam glommed on to those things and others in a way to serve the interests of people whose authority and power depended on Islam.  The same is true of Christianity - that which helped Christian authorities to advance their power was Christianized.  There is nothing Christian about Christmas—it’s Saturnalia rebranded.  Spiritual feelings themselves are not all that antithetical to secularism, because they need not depend on anything supernatural or human.  You can look at a sunset and feel awe without bringing Jesus into it, but that is of no benefit to a bishop.

And, symmetrically, as these functions are taken over by religions, people have less need of independent, critical thought, and it fades (or they are intimidated by the mundane authority into avoiding it, or keeping quiet).

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Posted: 09 August 2007 08:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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The question makes me think of Mahler’s comments on the symphony. He said it should encompass everything.

We replace the old teachings with everything the world has to offer. We just make sure it has a grounding in fact. To me, that’s Humanism 101.

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I cannot in good conscience support CFI under the current leadership. I am here in dissent and in support of a Humanism that honors and respects everyone.

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Posted: 24 June 2008 04:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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scienceoverreligions - 22 July 2007 08:18 PM
dubito-ergo-credo - 15 January 2007 11:31 PM

What do we replace Religious Ethical teachings with?

U can find simply the correct answer at this in http://www.myspace.com/scienceoverreligions and relative blog.
Maybe LOL.

2 NEW BLOG POSTS

Happiness?

Isn’t happiness only a momentary disposition, state of our mood that we experience when we do something felt as positive and disappears when we experience something bad, painful, etc.?
Isn’t happiness only relative, dependent from the actual judgement about our current situation?
Does absolute happiness exist? No, I think it’s always relative to our current wishes, we never reach absolute happiness or satisfaction and we start to wish something greater if we get something we was craving for.
So have we to aim continuously at reaching an higher stage of happiness or is this race vain and probably without an ultimate finish?
Is it fruitful a vocation toward only a continue research of a hedonist self-realization which oblige us to search always for something more satisfying?
I’m not patronising privation, masochism or priesthood, we have selfish needs too, but as Schopenhauer said, we tend to remember more vividly painful experiences than the positive ones.
I think the only thing we have never to be tired of is a greater knowledge of All.
In my opinion this constitutes the best alternative to the continue attempts of being always “happy”.
The major game we have to play is getting the Explanation of All, maybe if another entity or being exists, the Game was created with this Mission.

An interpretation of suffering

We normally use to avoid suffering and painful experiences, and we consider as normal not being masochist, or at least the majority of us feels in this way. We reasonably tend to create a society, a world without physical and psychic suffering, or at least the majority of us feels in this way.
But let’s suppose for a moment the hypothesis of a world without the suffering experience, as we would live in a sort of Eden. Maybe we would live happily in this hypothetic world without worries,  just living, maybe in a simple manner, maybe always in the same way, forever.
So considering this I thought about a hypothetic function of suffering, about an explanation of its existence.
Suffering makes us asking why we are here and what we are living for, it’s a sort of goad, stimulating painful force who pushes us to try to comprehend All, this is how I explain its existence.
I’m not saying we are obliged to experience intense or moderate suffering, to be masochist or searching compulsorily to suffer for trying to comprehend All.
There’s an oriental saying that Truth doesn’t deserve to be discovered if we hadn’t chances of laughing at It while we were making the try.
I’m only trying to give an intelligible explanation of this experience.
It’s what pushes us to solve the Game.

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Posted: 16 August 2008 06:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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I dont know if these moral codes that are presently in place by religions of every type are working very effectively.past pres. or future.well actually I do know,and no,they are not working.many scholars postulate that these codes in fact,promulgate immoral or unethical behavior.
anyways,in the event(hahahaha)that these world religions are put out to pasture,a new moral code book,house rules or whatever will be totally unnecessary.
it has been proven beyond a doubt that people are born with the desire to help and assist,foster and nurture.violence and conflict are naturally repugnant to humans.obviously mating ritual,and tribal flare-ups will occur,but these are normal and unavoidable! some would say that even other naturally occuring human behavior necessary for human development and evolution are being stymied by these religous moral codes.
as for day to day rules these are set forth by your municipal,county,state and federal agencies.(who unfortunately are sometimes guided by these religous moral codes)
But if these religions were somehow(hahahahaha)stamped out,i’m sure many of these laws would be ammended or edited!

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Row row row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream!

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Posted: 16 August 2008 10:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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rsonin - 27 July 2007 09:51 PM

There is nothing Christian about Christmas—it’s Saturnalia rebranded.

You should look at Brumalia and Juvenalia also.

(Edit: Juvenalia for Saturnalia)

[ Edited: 18 August 2008 01:30 AM by A Voice of Sanity ]
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Posted: 17 August 2008 09:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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How about some logic?

If I conclude it is OK for me to do something to other people then it is only reasonable to conclude that other people should think the same thing.  I would have to be on some kind of ego trip to believe I should be allowed and other people shouldn’t.

So if I can steal whatever I want then everybody should be able to steal whatever they want so I would have to be constantly on guard against people trying to rip me off.

The Golden Rule is really very logical if you just put a little thought into it.

European Christianity really seems to have this negative attitude about people in that they always want to be EVIL and need to be brainwashed into being good.  We have to be SAVED!  Hallelujah Jeezus!!!

psik

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Posted: 18 August 2008 01:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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psikeyhackr - 17 August 2008 09:36 PM

How about some logic?

If I conclude it is OK for me to do something to other people then it is only reasonable to conclude that other people should think the same thing.  I would have to be on some kind of ego trip to believe I should be allowed and other people shouldn’t.

So if I can steal whatever I want then everybody should be able to steal whatever they want so I would have to be constantly on guard against people trying to rip me off.

The Golden Rule is really very logical if you just put a little thought into it.

European Christianity really seems to have this negative attitude about people in that they always want to be EVIL and need to be brainwashed into being good.  We have to be SAVED!  Hallelujah Jeezus!!!

psik

The Catholics had two doctrines: Mental Reservation and Secret Compensation which are interesting.
And the Golden Rule is hardly unique to Christianity.

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Posted: 18 August 2008 02:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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I don’t think we need much rule based ethical teaching at all.

I can imagine circumstances in which I would steal but mostly I wouldn’t. It’s not because I believe I should not steal, it is because there are things which prevent me. One thing is the fear of getting caught but generally it’s not a significant reason. It’s not as if I feel tempted to steal but don’t for fear of getting caught.

The reason I don’t want to steal is because I don’t want to harm the person I steal from. I can imagine a scam where I managed to steal 1 penny from each of 10 million people’s bank accounts and rightly or wrongly I could feel alright about that because I would think it was doing no harm.

Again I don’t believe I shouldn’t harm others, it’s that I don’t want to harm others. What makes me not want to harm others is that I know what it feels like to be harmed and can empathise with them. Hurting them hurts me.

So what I think we need, rather than rules, is key abilities, like the ability to empathise.

I think these abilities can usually be learnt just as rules can.

Stephen

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Posted: 18 August 2008 11:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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If you could loot the bank accounts of war criminals and dictators without detection would you?

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Posted: 18 August 2008 01:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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Back to the old question of whether ethical behavior is based on motivation, intention, or consequences. 

I suppose it depends on whether you were stealing the money to punish them or because you wanted it for yourself.  Or whether you kept the money or turned it over to the victims of the war crimes or to charities. 

Occam

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Posted: 18 August 2008 02:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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Occam - 18 August 2008 01:53 PM

Back to the old question of whether ethical behavior is based on motivation, intention, or consequences. 

I suppose it depends on whether you were stealing the money to punish them or because you wanted it for yourself.  Or whether you kept the money or turned it over to the victims of the war crimes or to charities. 

Occam

I’m more interested in what the basis for ethical behavior ought to be. (Is that a different subject, Occam, or another way of looking at the same thing?)

The answer I’ve come up with for the “ought” question is: the worth and dignity of all persons. (Are members of other species persons? The definition leaves the question open.) It is the life experience that I value, and that I believe all sentient beings value. A sentient being may value the life experience for itself and for others. The ideal state would be that everyone is blissfully and perpetually happy.

How is that best expressed or achieved? Through Kant’s categorical imperative? Through Rawls’ veil of ignorance? Through the Golden Rule in any of its variations? Through the work on game theory and fair division by Steven Brams and others? I haven’t yet found a perfect answer, which is one reason why I’m not a big fan of philosophy - I think it proposes some interesting questions, but they only take us so far.

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I cannot in good conscience support CFI under the current leadership. I am here in dissent and in support of a Humanism that honors and respects everyone.

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Posted: 18 August 2008 02:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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I guess that’s why religion is so seductive to many people; they feel uncomfortable without an answer to “what ought to be the basis for ethical behavior.” 

I have my own ideas of the basis for ethical behavior, and were I able, I would be delighted to impose them on everyone else.  However, everyone else also have their own ideas of this.  Other than setting up some basic assumptions such as: it is preferable for social species to continue their existence,  defining some behaviors that work toward and some that work against that, then defining those behaviors as ethical and non-ethical, respectively, I don’t believe there is an answer to “ought”. 

The value of philosophy, as I see it, is not to answer these questions (theologians and politicians attempt to do that), but rather to raise them, examine them, and help clarify our thinking so we can decide for ourselves what answers we prefer.  I also recognize that the Categorical Imperative is questionable, Rawl’s sounds great, but is pretty damned difficult to put into practice, and it’s easy to optimize positive outcomes for all, but can we really define that as fair?

Your problem, PLaClair, is that you don’t have a big enough ego.  I KNOW[/B] what answers I have chosen and I am certain I’m right.  LOL

Occam

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Posted: 18 August 2008 05:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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Occam - 18 August 2008 02:35 PM

Your problem, PLaClair, is that you don’t have a big enough ego.  I KNOW what answers I have chosen and I am certain I’m right.  LOL

Occam

Just like every Jesus freak?  tongue wink

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Posted: 18 August 2008 06:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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Owww, I’m crushed, AVoC.  LOL

Occam

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Posted: 19 August 2008 02:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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A Voice of Sanity - 18 August 2008 11:25 AM

If you could loot the bank accounts of war criminals and dictators without detection would you?

I might, I’d need a want to do it, which was greater than the want not to harm them, or I suppose I might think they’d be better off without the money.

The thing about moral codes is a war criminal has a moral code every bit as much as you do and yet it doesn’t prevent him from being a war criminal, in fact it probably contributes to his being one. But if he had a greater ability to empathise with his victims, that might well have prevented him from being one.

Stephen

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