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Old 05-19-14   #1
feranaja
 
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Default If everything is always relative...

...how does one develop a sense of right and wrong? Or is that a silly old-fashioned notion that should be done away with in this age of everything-is-allowable and justifiable, if someone likes it?

I admit, I am in a little older than many here and was raised with an idea that while we can play around with any and all abstractions, there is an underlying basic right and wrong. To shoot a deer for food is not wrong; to delight in its suffering, to "gutshoot" it as some do in order to prolong it's suffering, is wrong; It indicates a sickness of mind and spirit, which is particular to the human species as a general rule (yes I know animals can be mean). I often feel alone in believing that while sometimes people have to die for the greater good, throwing babies onto a fire for the fun of watching them sizzle is, probably, a bad thing to do.The mindset that supports hedonism at all costs says, no no - we might not like the idea of roasting babies but hey..if somebody derives some benefit from it (personal growth, pleasure) its not ALL bad...

I do, actually, understand the philosophical reasons why people insist that nothing is ever, on a cosmic scale, universally wrong. I get that - despite my very tired brain I am still able to work out things like this. However I can't help but sense that underpinning the violent reactions people have to the very idea of "morality" or "decency"...lies something else. Is it a desire to reject anything conventional - a need to justify one's own Shadow-leanings.. oppositional/defiant disorder? I don't know. All I can say is that when I react to the idea that nothing is ever universally wrong, it's more often those undertones I'm picking up, than the words people use.

I feel a powerful, and yes, chosen(in part) need to contribute to the world in what I understand to be a positive way. I know that for many there are no positives and negatives, or more correctly, no good and evil - but my world is a little different. In my world, all is NOT perfect; cruelty and suffering (needless) abound - human and animal lives are regarded as having value only insofar they can be used for the greed of a select few - there is injustice and horrible suffering and any Initiate of any path should be working toward changing this. It's vastly more complex than I am willing to toss out here, especially so early on a holiday Monday, but I am guided by a strong inner understanding of this and I cannot help but see the whole "everything's relative" and all the objections to a basic sense of right and wrong, as representative of the Shadow of the New Age - over-intellectualization, self-centredness at the expense of the whole.
I cannot see it otherwise...and I have looked long and hard at the question of Evil, for over 40 years have.

So, I thought to open a discussion that is more direct and less abstract. For people who object to the very ideas of right and wrong, who support any kind of behaviour at all as long as it reflects the authentic soul of the individual- how does one find a moral compass? Isn't ANY restriction of inner impulse a bad thing and therefore, should be followed?
In this old-fashioned world of mine, some inner impulses should be identified, and then worked on - not in a repressive way - but in such a way as to prevent them becoming actions. And that Innerwork is, for me, the crux of the Initiatic Path - the exploration of first personal and then, when one is ready, universal Shadow. To stop at the level of perception that recognizes one's own capacity for evil and then celebrates that current, is - for me - the very worst kind of pseudo-mysticism. And whether correctly or not, it seems that a lot of very clever, high-minded intellectualization works to justify that very process.

That's about all I have right now. Respectful discussion is welcomed.
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Old 05-19-14   #2
Cassie
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Default Re: If everything is always relative...

I think that at least in part given our recent conversations here, this post is aimed at me. There is one paragraph in particular which sticks out to me and I would like to address that mainly and then some of the other points perhaps.

Fera said.
"However I can't help but sense that underpinning the violent reactions people have to the very idea of "morality" or "decency"...lies something else. Is it a desire to reject anything conventional - a need to justify one's own Shadow-leanings.. oppositional/defiant disorder? I don't know. All I can say is that when I react to the idea that nothing is ever universally wrong, it's more often those undertones I'm picking up, than the words people use."
I can't help but sense.... It's more often those undertones I'm picking up than the words people use
Well this rings true. In several interactions we have had in recent times I have very much had the impression that you are replying to what you assume I mean or want to imply, rather than what I have actually said.
And that is the problem; because your assumptions about what I might be trying to say are totally and entirely wrong and false. What is worse is that the assumptions you are making are not based on evidence or any form of empathy or sixth sense; your assumptions are based on something much more primal: Prejudice.

You are prejudiced against anyone who self identifies as Left Hand Path because as you repeatedly say, you don't agree with that designation in the first place. And you see it, as you have said in the above post, as nothing more than an excuse to give in totally to the darker side of nature, to be totally selfish, hedonistic and cruel to the obliteration of all other considerations. At least this is the impression that you give.

And you are wrong. Totally 100% wrong.

What I find personally hurtful is the fact that you have known me for a number of years now and I have never said or done anything to deserve being thought of as a cruel or nasty person. In fact I have always tried to be kind and supportive to people here including yourself.

If your stance towards me is some kind of effort to persuade me to change my spiritual direction you are failing on every level largely because you constantly demonstrate your misunderstanding of what LHPs are about, because your prejudice blinds you to the reasoned arguments that people make.

So in that context a few quick comments on the wider points you made in your introductory post to this thread.

IF everything is relative it DOES NOT MEAN THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG. Nobody is saying that.
Moreover on a personal level, I have said to you many, many times that I am not so sure everything is relative and that there may be some actual moral absolutes. I'm just not sure how to define them. That was the philosophical question I was putting out in the other thread. It was not, as you implied, an excuse to say that ultimately everything is okay.

I was also brought up with a fairly strict moral code and an idea of what is right and wrong. I guess most of us here were. You don't have the monopoly on that.
But when discussing the finer points of what is right or wrong we will all have different opinions. So whereas I am sure nearly all people here would find the idea of torturing and killing animals every bit as evil as you do, we might disagree as to why those things happen. Moreover we might disagree with to what extent drugs should be legalised despite the fact that we are all basically good people. Even if there were/are moral absolutes there are always going to be grey areas and differences of interpretation. If some of us come to different conclusions than you it does not mean that we are corrupt, or morally or spiritually inferior to you which is what you seem(even in the above post) to be implying.

Finally I am sure that ALL of us here want to make a positive contribution to the world. Not just you. We are all trying to do so in different ways. I actually think we all deeply respect the work you do with animals. I used to respect other aspects of your spiritual work but I must admit the way you have talked down to me and others over the last year has made me question that respect.

If we didn't value spiritual progression I doubt if any of us would post here at all.

You wanted to frame the discussion in this thread in a particular way that only reflected your prejudices.
Even IF everything were relative there are plenty of ways to know what is right or wrong and the differing opinions that are expressed in this thread and throughout this intelligent and widely eclectic community are proof of that.
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Old 05-19-14   #3
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Default Re: If everything is always relative...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassie View Post
I think that at least in part given our recent conversations here, this post is aimed at me. There is one paragraph in particular which sticks out to me and I would like to address that mainly and then some of the other points perhaps.
It might also be good to consider, it really wasn't "about you" at all. You are - to me - but one of so many I have heard espouse these ideas. It really, isn't all about you. Trust me on that.


Quote:
Fera said.
"However I can't help but sense that underpinning the violent reactions people have to the very idea of "morality" or "decency"...lies something else. Is it a desire to reject anything conventional - a need to justify one's own Shadow-leanings.. oppositional/defiant disorder? I don't know. All I can say is that when I react to the idea that nothing is ever universally wrong, it's more often those undertones I'm picking up, than the words people use."
I can't help but sense.... It's more often those undertones I'm picking up than the words people use
Well this rings true. In several interactions we have had in recent times I have very much had the impression that you are replying to what you assume I mean or want to imply, rather than what I have actually said.
And that is the problem; because your assumptions about what I might be trying to say are totally and entirely wrong and false. What is worse is that the assumptions you are making are not based on evidence or any form of empathy or sixth sense; your assumptions are based on something much more primal: Prejudice.
how exactly do you know this, Cassie?? I have a little magical ability - would you go so far as t grant me that? I do pick up on somethings that lie outside of my so-called prejudices...



Quote:
You are prejudiced against anyone who self identifies as Left Hand Path because as you repeatedly say, you don't agree with that designation in the first place. And you see it, as you have said in the above post, as nothing more than an excuse to give in totally to the darker side of nature, to be totally selfish, hedonistic and cruel to the obliteration of all other considerations. At least this is the impression that you give.
well, one of my best friends is an Initiated priest in the ToS - I think it's really the excesses and problems associated with the paradigm I object to. But to hear me out, you'd need to respect my voice a wee bit. It doesn't seem like you do at all - really, it doesn't.
And, I do tend to give as I get...fair enough?




Quote:
What I find personally hurtful is the fact that you have known me for a number of years now and I have never said or done anything to deserve being thought of as a cruel or nasty person. In fact I have always tried to be kind and supportive to people here including yourself.

If your stance towards me is some kind of effort to persuade me to change my spiritual direction you are failing on every level largely because you constantly demonstrate your misunderstanding of what LHPs are about, because your prejudice blinds you to the reasoned arguments that people make.
Or, it JUST MIGHT BE possible - I simply disagree? Not blind - certainly not trying to dissuade anyone - just expressing my own POV?
MAYBE?



Quote:
IF everything is relative it DOES NOT MEAN THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG. Nobody is saying that.
Moreover on a personal level, I have said to you many, many times that I am not so sure everything is relative and that there may be some actual moral absolutes. I'm just not sure how to define them. That was the philosophical question I was putting out in the other thread. It was not, as you implied, an excuse to say that ultimately everything is okay.
Good to hear that, it did concern me (and hence my post on the matter,a s I've heard this a thousand times here at ESF...


Quote:
I was also brought up with a fairly strict moral code and an idea of what is right and wrong. I guess most of us here were. You don't have the monopoly on that.
I think now it is you reading things in - where did I say I have a monopoly? Just that there could be a generational difference. That was all.

Quote:
But when discussing the finer points of what is right or wrong we will all have different opinions. So whereas I am sure nearly all people here would find the idea of torturing and killing animals every bit as evil as you do, we might disagree as to why those things happen. Moreover we might disagree with to what extent drugs should be legalised despite the fact that we are all basically good people. Even if there were/are moral absolutes there are always going to be grey areas and differences of interpretation. If some of us come to different conclusions than you it does not mean that we are corrupt, or morally or spiritually inferior to you which is what you seem(even in the above post) to be implying.
So sorry you read something I never remotely intended!

Quote:
Finally I am sure that ALL of us here want to make a positive contribution to the world. Not just you.
Where on EARTH did I say I thought it was "just me"?
I greatly respect the attitudes and work of so many members here. I do apologize if it came across that I think only I am doing good work. The people here I respect - so many. That must have been either the way I phrased things - or the way you took them - who knows.




Quote:
We are all trying to do so in different ways. I actually think we all deeply respect the work you do with animals. I used to respect other aspects of your spiritual work but I must admit the way you have talked down to me and others over the last year has made me question that respect.
That's certainly in evidence to many of us here.


Quote:

You wanted to frame the discussion in this thread in a particular way that only reflected your prejudices.
My OUTLOOK. Period fullstop. you see it as prejudice because of the way YOU look at the world.


I'm so sorry you thought this tread was all about you. Without a doubt, it was nothing of the sort.
I was hoping for some intelligent discussion, removed from your thread, is all.
fera
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Old 05-19-14   #4
Cassie
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Default Re: If everything is always relative...

Well FERA, if this thread remains open I will be interested to see other people's opinions. Have a nice day.
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Old 05-19-14   #5
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Default Re: If everything is always relative...

It's a fabulous day so far - thank you. The same to you of course.
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Old 05-19-14   #6
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Default Re: If everything is always relative...

I won't leave Cassie out to dry on this one. Fera, I think your beliefs, which you are of course free to possess, create a polarity in you which then causes polarization in others. Because you believe in an Absolute Morality (that there IS an objective moral GOOD and EVIL) and that this Absolute Morality exists before the fact of any circumstance and outside of any context in which something happens, it is really the definition of prejudice. You are pre-judging and holding that judgement as a lense over the world.
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Old 05-19-14   #7
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Default Re: If everything is always relative...

Thats kind of a distortion of my POV, though. Would it do any good to try and clarify, again? I suspect not.
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Old 05-19-14   #8
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Default Re: If everything is always relative...

I feel the same way I have never said there isn't or shouldn't be moral absolutes for individuals. I just don't believe that UP THERE IN THE SKY there is a floating 'moral absolute' looking down on us ...
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Old 05-19-14   #9
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Default Re: If everything is always relative...

I may be way offbase, but isn't it a different question whether the absolutes are personal, universal/consensual (as in, we SHOULD all believe this way ) or transcendent?
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Old 05-19-14   #10
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Default Re: If everything is always relative...

I also understand the Law of no right or wrong, it is perception. ( this is my very watered down statement, I feel enough has been said about it in length).
I feel, like Fera that to hunt and kill quickly is the best way and to let something suffer on purpose is not the best way.
In my world it is wrong, I know it is never black or white, but to harm with intention is harmful to the person doing it as well as the intended victim, animal or human.
No one will ever change my mind...ever.

Molestation, is not black or white....too many things from past influences can either help someone or make things worse. I understand that as well.

It seems like everyone here is in agreement with most. Just maybe a slightly different understanding. Words are really imperfect.

And, don't we all judge on some level...I hate the fact that I do, but I am guilty.
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