In article <6961@emcard.UUCP> mat@emcard.UUCP (W Mat Waites) writes:
>In article <651NETOPRWA@NCSUVM> NETOPRWA@NCSUVM.BITNET (Wayne Aiken) writes:
>In article <6943@emcard.UUCP>, mat@emcard.UUCP (W Mat Waites) sez:
>>Why would thinking about things be "hollow"? Did you mean "difficult"?
>It's hollow because each person comes up with different moral standards.
>Some are vastly different. You have to stay on newsgroups like this for
>the rest of your life with endless discussions of moral points. They can
>never be resolved because each individual's "rationality" is just as
>important as another individual's. If there is disagreement, there is more
>discussion, ad infinitum. That's hollow to me.
Granted, individuals will come to a great many different conclusions on many
things, as each individuals values and perceptions are different. But, in
order for society to function smoothly, it is not necessary to agree on every
little point, only on a few major ones. As long as a society is structured so
that differences of opinion can peacefully co-exist, this diversity can be a
strength instead of a weakness. Regardless of what brand of religion one
practices, or even whether one practices a religion at all, there seems to be
a reasonable consensus on those major points. (ie, it is not a Good Thing to
walk down the street shooting people, etc.)
>>On the other hand, if one's sole justifications for morals is from the
>>pronouncement of some god, then how do you handle cases where these mandates
>>command behavior which may run completely counter to notions of morality?
>>Little things such as genocide, rape, slavery, and many unspeakable atrocities
>>have been actively demanded by certain deities, despite any attempts to
>>sugar-coat such belief systems. Is it possible that even in the religious
>>case, there is an some underlying notion of morality with which even religious
>>tenets are judged worthy of following or ignoring?
>Why do all these responses have a final paragraph that begins:
>"On the other hand?" Are these machine generated???....
Nope, they were on sale at Connectives-R-Us.
>Well, I can't defend "certain deities" when they are unnamed.
"I'm warning you, if you say Jehovah once more......Right! Who
threw that? Come on, who threw that?"
(crowd) "She did...she did....he did...he did..."
"Was it you?"
"But you did say Jehovah.."
(crowd stones her)
"Stop that! Stop it! Now look, no one is to stone anyone until I blow
this whistle. Do you understand? Even, and I want to make this
absolutely clear, even if they do say "Jehovah".
(official is crushed by stones and boulders)
>On the other hand, (hee, hee) I think the sugar coating is flowing both ways.
>I think the Golden Rule is great, and I'm glad to hear you follow it. How
>do you teach it to someone else. What reasoning can you share with someone
>that will cause them to be unselfish.
I'm not altogether sure that people are by default, wretched and depraved
unless thay are "caused" by some external force, to have other positive
qualities such as empathy. People may be naturally "selfish", as far as
maintaining their own happiness and comfort (and survival) goes, but I'd
say that many beliefs which cause selfishness to become malicous to
others are learned behavior. To avoid teaching corrupting values in the
first place would be a natural starting point. For people who are
already corrupted, such as hard-core criminals in prison, I'm not really
sure if there is any piece of reason which they are capable of understanding,
which will cause them to realize the error of their ways and become useful
members of society. They have already accepted quite a bit of unlogical and
irrational beliefs, which has been reinforced by whatever short-term gains
they received by their crimes. In this case, religion seems to be quite good
as a tool for reform, as it seems easier to substitute one non-rational belief
belief system for another, than it is to substitute a rational system for a non
rational one. As far as society goes, all that is necessary is that they don't
commit any more crimes. A system of laws proscribing punishment for unethical
behavior is one way of handling it, and is in fact what we have now. I think
that people should be told of the rational reasons for behaving ethically, and
that this must be backed up by giving them a chance for making it work. (such
as educating criminal while in jail, giving them a positive self-image, etc.)
Maybe that is just hopeful thinking; I don't think that unethical behavior can
every be completely eradicated, but could probably be greatly decreased.
Wayne Aiken firstname.lastname@example.org "You'll PAY to KNOW
PO Box 30904 email@example.com what you THINK!!!"
Raleigh, NC 27622 StarFleet BBS --"Bob"
(919) 782-8171 (919) 782-3095