Re: Ethics and 'belief'. also below

Posted by
Kathleen Eykamp on Feb 04, 2004 at 21:30

Re: Ethics and 'belief'. (DA Morgan)

I get the feeling from this latest post that you're drifting from your original assertions, Kathleen.

But if I may take a stab at one point you make that seems to be a key point to your whole post:

>We don't live in an ideal society but an opportunistic one, often throwing all ethical decisions to the wind for the ALMIGHTY DOLLAR, in a lose-lose fashion.<

Honestly speaking, I don't see that in the U.S. and I didn't see that in Australia when I was there.

Much of our (Australia's) involvement in the Bush confrontations was not condoned by the populus, nor the taxes imposed to fund that involvement (US Dept of Defence billed every country that DID get involved, for the space our troops took up in Afghanistan ... not done in Iraq yet) but the Australian political system isn't a democracy, in that we CAN vote DIRECTLY for leaders that profess policies to get elected, then are free to act independently. A RARE referendum is thrown in, usually offering one of two choices, neither viable. You are fined if not showing up to vote (or having your name struck off) but are allowed to vote multiple times. Look out, Ted Bush! Better get computer voting in FAST, although it isn't infallible, but a lot closer than the numbers being run HERE.

Nor would I be so general in saying all people are corrupt, but you have to admit ... it seems to be the order of the day, and everyone is doing it, in degrees. I'm saying it can be done without telling lies, breaking mans' laws, and still conform to God's natural law of consequence, because cause and effect we do, wittingly or not. That's forming an ethic or moral code you can live with, starting with training as children, church/external resources in kind when you can find ethical ones (practice what they preach), schools selected for diversity, and teaching them to love learning.

Not all, but most children thrive when nurtured to be curious and to question, giving them the most ethical council and doing your best to demonstrate how it works - why it works, learning from the day of conception.

Others will get so many mixed messages they make a quest of it, studying all philosophies and doctrines, psychiatry/psychology, most faiths, political models, anthropology, genetics, various math disciplines, chemistry, physics and, ya, law. I am primarily self-taught but have accumulated a few degrees along the way, while rasing two sons on my own, and working.

Most succumb to "the Lie". Go with the flow. "Oh, I see ... if I can justify it in my OWN mind, it's ok - or don't get caught if it isn't".

I determined, after having children later in life, my personal code needed tweaking. And my faith is in a God who believes He has the same right - to tweak the guidelines, usually teaching of the consequences of your actions more as cause and effect, rather than damn-nation. If read as a history of the Jews, the Bible reflects a lot of very interesting accounts from mere men whom felt they should "write that down". As such, it has served to fill in whether it was intended that we exploit the possibilities behind usury and opportunism of the capitalistic nature, for example. It answered questions nothing else did, and reflected much of what my other resources concurred to also. It isn't a contest but a quest. The Bible basically says "Spread your wealth, not your diseases".

The Bible also allows one to "deduce", not everything is spelled out for you. If you eat that, it may adjust your metabolic rate in such a way that you are no longer designed to live forever (like many other species, both fauna and flora, on this earth, unless they are over-predated upon). Eve said Lucifer said, "you won't die, you're his masterpiece. Go ahead, eat it." She does, therefore Adam does, and, sure enough, now they no longer eat for pleasure but have to till the soil to maintain, because of this introduced necessary item not intended for eating. And they did, eventually die. They were given choice, they/we choose to eat anyway. It's hypothetical, but says more of our nature than everything put together from ALL my studies, although don't know if I'd have drawn my conclusion not having the background. We aren't born a copy, equal parts from, or a composite of, but a roughly pre-programmed individual DNA being, in greater need of nurturing than MOST. NEED PARENTING. CAN'T crawl from the birth canal and fend for self.

Puts a different twist on the sins of the fathers being borne on their sons. Some say this is unfair, where I see it as inevitable, until certain unhealthy cycles are broken, like child and spousal abuse, drugs et al.

We are born with inherited characteristics that include a brain wired to learn, and only learn, until brain discovers body, and growing control over body to exercise what brain has learned. To interact in degrees. What is programmed into brain has a bearing on it's development, as with body. Body feels hungry but what goes into body feeds it, and someone taught you what you eat, rightly or wrongly.

Those who have been parents appreciate the maiden aunt model, whom knows it all, as hasn't had any. All theory, not applied (by choice or circumstance, no matter). No greater test of resolve, ethics, morals and perimeters nor test of patience, than having children. If you're bright, generally they're bright, and can be brighter than you, or more dependent on you (challenged). They at least have benefit of a parents with a PLAN, rather than fumbling into it, then through it.

As a parent you should feel obliged to show and tell, on demand, how any given thing is assessed before done. Think before you speak. Think it through. Design it, then consign it to a working model. Rather than imposing your dreams on your children, you feed their strengths and teach them how to control their weaknesses. We all have them, and, acknowledged, can be controlled but not confined. They can and still do experiment, but resist you less when learn you're usually right about 'those' things (your strengths).

Which is to say, part of parenting is to provide those to meet your children's needs, if not you - only when they can do it better than you, not for convenience.

When to kill or murder, and the difference. No difference. Life is no more and by your hand. Even your own. I've argued the right to die issue too many times, and, believe if a person wants to die bad enough, they can will it themselves, and no one's hands are dirty. Whomever convinced you you had to physically defend yourself was right, but not he whom said you could kill. anything. The Bible tried to make examples of this by making them kill their best as a sacrifice (so it says) to show the total waste of it. Apparently God liked the smell of burning flesh, but never ate it, or so He says. Don't want to digress ...

The word in the 10 commandments (the 1st 4 addressing your right-ness with god/nature, the last 6 with family and friends, extended human contact) was changed from kill to murder to JUSTIFY by degrees. Law libraries are FULL off examples turning the basic commandments back on themselves, an can trace law that justifies anything. Read "How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World". If you want a good defence go take a martial art structured on defence and reasoning while you counter their blows.

Since some of us know you can live without killing, it becomes a little more black and white, but then I wasn't always a vegetarian.

As for killing in self-defence, personally I have been overwhelmed, but a gun wouldn't have fixed the odds, had I had one, no amount of logic was working, so I cut my losses and mentally withdrew until the assault was over. I was then taken to a hospital to recover, and learned to take back-up whom had to use my approach, only considerably bigger than me. Live and learn/cause and effect. I was assaulted and it could happen again, since I'm so out there, doing my thing, that it irritates people, using me as a mirror.

And we aren't born with a conscience, as I learned studying cannibalism. They didn't feel guilt, bad or anything but vilified for appeasing what they believed to be their God(s), or reparation, or law of the jungle, but they did survive. No one seemed to go on killing rampages (except in revolt against white supremacy) and they maintained a check and balance that 'worked'. It would be safe to say their true God would be the Earth and it's climates, and how that related to their survival, but there was co-operation between tribes/clans, ...

Indigenous people didn't have any problem understanding the concepts of Christian ethics, once explained, but seldom saw it in action, nor could they exchange their history for this fickle and compromising alternative on offer, strings attached everywhere.

Connect the dots, what does that tell you? We are a combination of nature/nurture. They are interdependent out of necessity because human's find it near impossible to survive off the land, without some survival training for the landscape they intend living off of, nor do they come equipped with the instinctual qualities of frogs, not knowing why they eat their skins, and our theorizing about it.

Most of his creations maintain a balance within their environments. We were given the right to invade all others against council, but did so anyway. We think ourselves so self important as to deem ourselves gods, but don't feel compelled to act in a 'godly' fashion.

Those that choose to live by their ethics, don't do it just for the Hell of it. It's not easy, but definitely possible, and brings it's own rewards.

Religious, I'm not. Can't conform to the interpretations and dictates of any faith system, as each wants a different brick in the wall, or to at least build their walls using your bricks, and little else. Down right cynical about that, but faith, I have. Call it optimism, which I used to, but I found no amount of right thinking, accreditation, brilliant history and down right sheer will a person has to bolster their self, and how they came by that self, optimism's still not enough. Necessary training that demonstrates most challenges only served to fine-tune what appeared obvious, but seemed to be put into practice too seldom.

And having a belief/ethic-code doesn't make moving through society any easier, but it gets one to the top faster. It makes people nervous dealing with you because they know you aren't playing around - consider living a serious business and ain't so sure we WILL get another time around, so move with purpose to prepare the way for my children, grandchildren, etc. A many a learned man doth but talk through the cloth of his hat. Never produces anything, only serves to confound, or obstruct or distract.

And I love a good joke, to dance, write lyrics and grow medicinal crops, and am back at Uni taking a bridging course to broaden my mind, not qualifications, necessarily. However, if the right opportunity presents ...

Living it, however, tends to evoke the same types of responses Uncle Al gave - just expected more from him? He demoted himself in so doing, in my opinion, as do most persons. You aren't coming across so staid as to be a bore, and Al is down right repetitive, making him a repetitive bore. But my kids love me as much as I love my mother, while each of us stand alone, living honest lives and make informed decisions, noting not ONLY their own interests. We promote barter, trade and money where practical, and my family is tight with clear goals, objectives and purpose, and own family businesses, with freedom to move between them, based on a common ethic. No room for free-loaders and do-gooders without bringing something constructive to the table. And lots of love - do I dare mention that indescribable unknown in such company? The power of bonded love, unconditional except where same puts your lives at risk, the then the tests may begin. Fight or flight and who actually decided it - your conscious mind or your instinctual one?

Let's say you are looking for a job. You learn, teach yourself, or get training in a specific area you feel you can do well in. Then you go out and try to find a match for your talents. Nothing comes along but you've learned enough with general studies in grade school to get by. You keep plugging away, looking for your moment. One day a friend or aquaintance knows of somebody who could use your talent. In a given pool of need, there are hundreds or thousands of desires/wants. Out of those many, thee are a few who want your specific talent and you use the opportunity.

This would appear self-explanatory. I found parenting pulled me back to teaching several times, in order to contribute first, then influence for needed changes, later. My qualifications in law apply whether I quote them or not, and know how to use the knowledge responsibly. I've made more lateral jump, must be related to Edward D Bono. All were 'opportunities that presented because I was at the right place at the right time, as often as not, but then my interests generally lead me to the first place, and know I didn't always line up the arrangement un/consciously, but then, sometimes I did. Opportunities are mind candy - counting the ways ...

I use an Urban example but it works just as well on a primitive level with a human faced with an environmental potential. Like the humans in Egypt who not only adapted to the annual flooding of their river banks, but used the opportunity to thrive in harmony with it. They didn't think they were being harmoneous with nature. Hell, they built vast stone monuments and buildings that used up great resources. Still, they thrived and grew within their environment by being opportunistic, taking what came their way and adapting, changing, and ultimately thriving.

And died younger and younger, for inner-breeding, until they phased themselves out, unable to perpetuate their branch of this species.

Building an ideal society takes a lot longer and isn't necessary to survival.

Everyone has developed a survival model, whether they acknowledge it or not. What you would actually do in a given situation, however, may or may not over-ride your training or mind-set. To live in the bush/mountains/desert/, etc., you would, however, need to determine, before you get there, what to eat, water reclamation techniques, sheltering methods suitable, dangers, etc.

In the U.S., for example, we have been trying for hundreds of years to build an ideal society. It takes time overcoming the primal survival instincts. We'll make it. There is an unsteady imbalance of optimists and pessimists and good people doing good and bad things and bad people doing bad and good things - all in order to get a bigger reward for themselves and/or their family.

As long as said gain is not at someone else's expense. Win-win and compromise the detail, but not the principle, or ethics behind your code for life.

I do agree with this, but think the transition will take more than an optimistic few, a good dose of the well-intended and the balance mostly perpetrators in one guise or another. I prefer to believe God does direct people, like myself, to stick their necks out once in awhile, and have the hide to handle it. Certainly changed the tone of THIS forum, for a moment or so, and still teach and do tutorials, and have been retired for nearly 10 years .... sort of.

But it works, and in all the various historical economies, nothing works better than the work and reward system of Capitalism. Nothing checks capitalism better than a free Democracy of voting public. And that in turn works best within the framework of a Republic.

In the US, you have referendums, and indirect vote (don't forget those appointed Electoral Voters, representing your votes, but not bound to vote with the majority of those they represent).

In America, the repercussions of a faulty accounting practice that fell Enron, still reverberate over here. Insurance is impossible to get, and no one can afford it, least of all those whom most need it, and God NEEDS to help you, if you try and make a claim, which you're allowed to do ONCE. Across the board, as a DIRECT result of Wall Street accounting firms promoting the practice to make negatives, positives.

I would have greater faith in Japan, pre-invasion, or the South Pacific Islands, but then they're full up with rejected refugees and bombers in protest, generated ALL by a BUSH 'vision'. Has everyone forgotten that Bush dropped a few bombs on Baghdad within weeks of his inauguration, and the 9-11 came after that?

Takes vigilance, you must admit, and not something you can passively lay claim to 'having' (a code of ethics) then not be seen to be utilizing it to your fullest ability for good only. Money, fine! But not JUST for money, without ethics entering in.

The almighty dollar isn't the goal. Lots of gold wasn't the point of the Gold rush: no one planned to stay in the golden hills once they made their fortune. I'm not working because I enjoy going to work and collecting a paycheck at regular intervals. I work because I trade my effort for a measure of freedom. that as long as I can take care of myself, I'm not wholly subject to someone else's rules.

I don't think money is evil. Have plenty, thank you, but am not greedy, nor do I require payment for services rendered but to "pass it on". Wasn't always that way. Now, if they can afford to pay me to do what I don't want, I charge accordingly, but only if what's being asked measures up to my own code of ethics, with a positive objective in so doing. I'm getting old, and can't do all that's asked of me, but as much as I can and remain healthy.

Many of us aren't chasing the almight dollar, but merely grabbing it as we run past GO.


If there is a God, I don't need him. I'd rather live and die by my own devices (and probably will), in a world indifferent to me, than be subject to a God's (biblically speaking) capricious whim and judgement.

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