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Thread: Psalm 14: Who was Jesus' grandpa?

  1. #631
    Super Senior Member CypressDahlia's Avatar
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    I agree. I mean, I wish there was a better way to impart values onto people, but is there really? We won't know until we've at least tried to create one. Right now religion is the only major vehicle through which morals can be conveyed to a large group of people. Even atheism is slowly becoming a religion, toward that end. And though the pursuit of truth is, above all, the highest order of knowledge, we also have to avoid over-rationalization because if everyone comes to the realization that most people are selfish, gutless creatures, then what's to stop that from becoming a standard?

    There has to be a balance between logic and whimsy.

  2. #632
    Super Senior Member Delphinus's Avatar
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    Why are you talking about imparting morals as though there's only one correct set of them? That's pretty culturally imperious.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fenn
    You forgot your F in Modesty.

  3. #633
    Super Senior Member CypressDahlia's Avatar
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    Well, think about what you just said. Surely there is some room for debate but I'm guessing most people would agree that killing innocent people, thievery, adultery and rape are wrong, as they are pretty evident themes in almost all moral codes. I mean is that really even a question.

  4. #634
    999 Knights Member Regantor's Avatar
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    I guess. Logic is certainly necessary if you want to build something that works, that's for certain. But that's my biggest beef with spiritualistic thinking, at the end of the day. It's under absolutely no pressure to produce anything tangible, which is why it is so easily twisted, even more so than cold hard concepts like capitalism.

    For now... I think entertainment is probably a good enough vehicle for teaching people about worthy life goals and the consequences of being a nasty caveman. Most modern work is heavily biased, flawed and pointless, true, but I don't think the idea of forcing companies to up their standards is too much of a romantic notion. Religion reclassified as entertainment in this way is perfectly capable of surviving and delivering it's morals, too, of course.

    As for Del's point... Most cultural morals which are based purely in tradition without having a positive effect should probably not be taken too seriously. Basically with Cypress on that one.
    Last edited by Regantor; 11-06-2011 at 04:31 PM.

  5. #635
    101 Dalmations Member digitek's Avatar
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    We can never really say there is one set of morals, things are always too complex. But it's also very dangerous to say the morals are completely up to the individual. If everyone had a different set of morals, the basics of "killing innocent people, thievery, adultery and rape" etc would be allowed to be more debated - which is fricking scary if you ask me. It would give people some kind of justification for doing these things as they can say "well, these are my morals (or lack of them, w/e), not yours"

  6. #636
    Super Senior Member CypressDahlia's Avatar
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    Exactly, that's why we have to avoid over-rationalization. Consider that rationalization is mostly a psychological method of self-redemption; to ease oneself of the guilt of wrong-doing. If we base our moral code on the rationales of every person, then suddenly every person's faults become reasonable. What's worse if we are too logical about it and remove the concepts of human compassion and empathy, then almost anything becomes acceptable, as evidenced in the Ethics debate thread.

    That's why some whimsy needs to remain intact. We need to keep strong examples of altruism and selflessness relevant. Heroism shouldn't be downplayed. Role models are very necessary.

  7. #637
    Fenn
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    Quote Originally Posted by CypressDahlia View Post
    Exactly, that's why we have to avoid over-rationalization. Consider that rationalization is mostly a psychological method of self-redemption; to ease oneself of the guilt of wrong-doing. If we base our moral code on the rationales of every person, then suddenly every person's faults become reasonable. What's worse if we are too logical about it and remove the concepts of human compassion and empathy, then almost anything becomes acceptable, as evidenced in the Ethics debate thread.

    That's why some whimsy needs to remain intact. We need to keep strong examples of altruism and selflessness relevant. Heroism shouldn't be downplayed. Role models are very necessary.
    Rationalizing while removing human compassion and empathy is irrational. I don't think there is any danger in over-rationalizing, but rather incorrectly rationalizing. Human compassion is not a a magical, fortunate coincidence; it has reasonable purpose to exist. A community that cares for each other makes itself stronger than the sum of its parts: a community that does not is devoured by the few who gain enough power to destroy and devour the rest. Compassion doesn't just help others-it helps us too. If there was no self-beneficial aspect of being kind and sympathetic, humans wouldn't have the capacity for it.

    As for a replacement for religion, I think an adoption of religious community building, stripped of the metaphysical element, would be a very powerful moral force. Religious communities, in my experience:
    - Meet often
    - Care for and monitor one another
    - Work together when challenges arise

    Imagine a secular community group that gathered every Sunday for an hour for group activities, a shared meal, and civil discussion about relevant issues. It would be run by dedicated men and women volunteers, and dependant primarily on charity from its members. This group would also be connected with neighboring groups which support each other.

  8. #638
    Super Senior Member CypressDahlia's Avatar
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    I mean we do have things like that...just nobody is motivated to attend them because they don't feel it's effective or it's 'right'. As in they don't feel not attending those types of functions is 'wrong'. That's where the power of church lies: people actually feel like not going there is wrong. That's why I'm saying that people will generally not do something unless they are convinced, for some reason, that inaction or opposition is wrong. I honestly don't think city hall meetings carry the same gravity as God's angry fist. Of course, I'm not saying this is in any way the right state of mind, it's just...well, that's how it is. So how do we circumvent it?


    And the whole altruism thing is like--like I said, let's not over-rationalize it. I'd rather have my children growing up thinking heroes are heroes because they are selfless and caring, not because they are somehow egotistical, self-entitled beings. Actually, that's exactly what I'm saying not to do. If we continue to downplay acts of heroism, then we end up with no viable role models. It just gives us an excuse never to be selfless and be critical of those who are. Basically it's going to turn everyone into fucking moral philistines. Actually, that is a negative effect of rationalization; it's a self-defense mechanism we employ to make us feel ethically on par with others. Like I don't want my kids growing up going, "oh, he may have saved the lives of three people...but he was probably doing it for fame." Like honestly. Inversely rationalizing the good deeds of good people to bring them down to your level is not any better than rationalizing your own faults to acquit yourself of guilt. It's harmful to society and will only bring standards lower and lower.

  9. #639
    Fenn
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    Quote Originally Posted by CypressDahlia View Post
    I mean we do have things like that...just nobody is motivated to attend them because they don't feel it's effective or it's 'right'. As in they don't feel not attending those types of functions is 'wrong'. That's where the power of church lies: people actually feel like not going there is wrong. That's why I'm saying that people will generally not do something unless they are convinced, for some reason, that inaction or opposition is wrong. I honestly don't think city hall meetings carry the same gravity as God's angry fist. Of course, I'm not saying this is in any way the right state of mind, it's just...well, that's how it is. So how do we circumvent it?


    And the whole altruism thing is like--like I said, let's not over-rationalize it. I'd rather have my children growing up thinking heroes are heroes because they are selfless and caring, not because they are somehow egotistical, self-entitled beings. Actually, that's exactly what I'm saying not to do. If we continue to downplay acts of heroism, then we end up with no viable role models. It just gives us an excuse never to be selfless and be critical of those who are. Basically it's going to turn everyone into fucking moral philistines. Actually, that is a negative effect of rationalization; it's a self-defense mechanism we employ to make us feel ethically on par with others. Like I don't want my kids growing up going, "oh, he may have saved the lives of three people...but he was probably doing it for fame." Like honestly. Inversely rationalizing the good deeds of good people to bring them down to your level is not any better than rationalizing your own faults to acquit yourself of guilt. It's harmful to society and will only bring standards lower and lower.
    Yikes, not my point at all! It's not about downplaying or equalizing, its about affirming the actions of people who are good. It's telling the people who say "there's no point in being kind or generous because I don't get anything from it" that they're wrong--EVERYONE makes out better when we're caring, including you! If you make it out to be this inexplicable altriustic notion inherent in some people, others can use the excuse "I just don't have that."

    Granted, as you said, a city council doesn't hold the same persuasive power as Church. But what about something like the Occupy movement? It doesn't have the same message but as far as bringing people together it sure has done that. What if towns could pull together that many people, or even a portion, every week and make it worth their while. Then those people go to their friends and family and say "You should really come to this, it's really enjoyable and useful!"

  10. #640
    Super Senior Member Delphinus's Avatar
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    Can someone define good, at least for the purposes of this discussion?
    Quote Originally Posted by Fenn
    You forgot your F in Modesty.

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