Our human perogative to question received morality and the status quo.

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Drifterwood, Dec 9, 2008.

  1. Drifterwood

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    I wonder. Were you brought up to be a lemming? Were you eductaed to question everything as your right within a democracy, as a human? Do holy cows serve the purpose of the liberators or the controllers?

    Do you know what I am talking about? :rolleyes:
     
  2. D_Gunther Snotpole

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    If you were brought up as an individualist ... and you become one ... have you been brought up as a lemming?
     
  3. ManlyBanisters

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    Apart from the holy cows bit.... yes.

    I was brought up to question everything - and to questions the answers I got to those questions even if I liked them. One of the greatest gifts my parents gave me.

    If, by 'holy cows', you mean 'untouchable "truths"' then I think they serve both sides. To a degree they serve the controllers because they are perceived by many as 'unquestionable' - but then liberators will always question them regardless and, if they can be shown to be false, or at least false some of the time, then the fact the controllers try to hold them as unquestionable makes it easier to bring things crashing down around the ears of the controllers.
     
  4. Drifterwood

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    The ultimate paradox of the free-thinking lemming :biggrin1:
     
  5. Drifterwood

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    Lord - Holy Sow Divas then. :tongue:
     
  6. D_Gunther Snotpole

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    Ah, thank you ... I was getting disconsolate there.:cool:
     
  7. JustAsking

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    When you say 'received morality', do you mean that which is received from sacred writings or that which is established by a society by consensus?

    If it is the former, I also question most of received morality. As a Lutheran Christian, I am taught that the Bible is not to be interpreted as a book of literal 'law', but that the overall doctrine of God's grace and the need for us to channel it to others is the foundation for any system of morality we create for ourselves.

    In other words, what is received from the Bible is the need for love and compassion and the obligation to contribute to the reduction of misery and suffering in the world.

    The actual living out of those charges can and should be fulfilled within a system of reasonable civil law governing people's rights and behavior. This makes the effort of producing a just and equitable system of civil law a somewhat holy pursuit.
     
  8. Drifterwood

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    With regard to the former, can you distinguish the two?

    The question of scripture is as releveant with regard to a "holy" text as it is to a "constitution" for example. We still seem to have this reverence to the magik of the written word.

    :smile: With regard to the latter. Are you saying that there can be no law without Godness?

    Thanks for posting JA.
     
  9. Bbucko

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    My parents were fond of the expression "do as I say and not as I do", which they expressed without any trace of irony. The hypocracy that was embedded into their belief system made questioning their authority incredibly easy, noble, even. As with everything, words enforce their powerful prejudices on our thinking. Say "rugged individualist" and you speak about someone of high principles and moral character, but say "non-conformist" and suddenly that person's a "troublemaker" and "subversive", words used to denote someone of dubious morality. We admire "rebels" while abhorring sedition.

    Long ago I threw away the playbook of conventional conduct and started the adventure in hedonism, eccentricity and anarchy I call my life with a gleeful zest and sense of purpose. And despite being very much a social creature, I've rarely taken the opinions of others (most particularly strangers) into account when plotting my path. Re-inventing the wheel every time you need one is not for the faint of heart, and I've never really believed in using a safety-net. The biggest payouts come from taking the biggest risks, and I've certainly had my fair share of bumps and bruises along the way. I cannot imagine a time when I'll ever stop seeking challenges.

    Personally I'm not big on the word "morality": it's the province of organized religion, for which I have no time at all. But my actions are informed by a code of ethics which are the backbone of my existence. I make no pretense that this code of ethics is transferable to others; many would probably find it lacking in some key areas and overly harsh in others (most of my goals and standards are rather lofty). Because I base my principles on experience rather than faith or presumption, I find ready-made, preconceived notions of "morality" simplistic and facile. But because they are based on experience and personal observation, they evolve as I do. And I am becoming increasingly relativistic and pragmatic as I get older: most of my idealism became too cumbersome and needed to be ditched along the way.

    But some things, the core tenets of my ethical framework, have remained and been enhanced by some of the odd twists in my fate. I am dismayed by the increase in materialism I've seen over the last 35 years. Reason and intellectualism have been swamped in a fetid flood of emotionalism, chest-beating jingoism and a horrifying level of incuriosity that extends across our entire culture which seems more comfortable with reliance on clichés than thoughtful discourse. As a society, we seem more preoccupied with things (and their acquisition) and political posturing than people and making lives more meaningful, convenient and comfortable. To me, this is an egregious sin, a crime against humanity.
     
  10. Phil Ayesho

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    I do not question for the mere sake of questioning, but for the sake of knowing.

    And I hold all received knowledge up to the same standard of skeptical qualification until it can be supported or eroded by actual evidence.

    And I reserve the highest standard of proof for any ideas I may concoct on my own... under the assumption that I am far more likely to be fooled by myself than by anyone else.

    Morality... as such, is not "received" per se, it is inborn in all social mammals to some degree.
    Even Dogs have a sense of fair play, and morality really is nothing more than an elaboration of fair play applied to social interactions and social structures.

    What is received, however, is the explanatory narrative that folks invent to make sense of our inborn sense of justice.
    Being invented after the fact... I pay none of them much attention.

    And as to how I was raised... My father was a believer... my mother an amused skeptic... I was drawn like wire between these two poles in tension. I understand the comfort and assurance of belief.... but I can not help but be amused at the arrogance of it.
     
  11. Drifterwood

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    In the UK at least, the religious would ay that this is because people have moved away from God. But what I think they are missing is the probability that moving back to a representation of god that alienated them in the first place is unlikely to resolve any presumed spiritual emptiness. Maybe, most people just don't have a big spiritual element and some just aren't interested in exploring it when there is shopping and a game to watch. Perhaps all that people are looking for is comfort and we find that in different ways and at different levels, but ultimately it is the same thing.

    I definitely agree with the latter. The former works more on a scientific level, I think. Other areas of life are more fluid and the answer to one question will be different from day to day and person to person. So I would advocate some questioning just for the sake of questioning. That is pretty difficult because it is easier to think that you have something covered and boxed up and so you can move on to something else. I would advocate this in business, because sure as eggs are eggs, the things you thought you had covered will be the ones that bite your arse.
     
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