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Originally posted by Indigo_Child
I want to be loved, respected and accepted, but I certainly would not love, respect and accept a rapist. I would do unto them as I would have them not do unto me.
If somebody bullies and terroizes you. You don't react with love, respect and acceptance. You react accordingly.
Nobody just gives their love away to any stranger on the steet; we give it to those who we consider worthy of our love. A teacher does not give his education away to any tom, dick and harry; he gives it to his students. A mother does not mother everybody; she mothers her child.
A person is not his personality. A personality can define his actions. You love them because they are human.
No, I would expect punishment if I did something wrong. Most wrongs come from them not following the golden rule.
And that is selfishness and pride, which is the root of all the problems in the world.
Originally posted by Indigo_Child
I have heard a few people preach the golden rule recently as an absolute maxim by how we should live life. However, I want to bring that into question. As it does not make immediate sense to me.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
So according to this rule we must love, respect and accept others to get the same in return.
I disagree. Before today, you and I have never conversed. However, I have the utmost respect for you and the opinions you've expressed. And, you deserve that respect, until such time that you do or say something that causes me to retract that respect. Sorry if that sounded confusing.
That is my interpretation of the "Golden Rule", as expressed in the varied "religions". And, I believe it is not in contradiction with what you've expressed. When I come into contact with another human being, I believe I should treat them as I want to be treated. That is, until they demonstrate they are undeserving of compassion.
Taking the rapist into consideration. If you met him, for the first time, not knowing he has committed the crime, you will not treat him as a rapist. He is just a person, deserving of your respect. And, if throughout your entire relationship, you never learn of his crime and he never again commits a crime, your respect shoud continue to be extended.
I am not sure your thinking it through completely. I believe the whole point of the golden rule is that: If we all lived by it, there would be no rapists, bullies, or terrorists. Society as a whole would be vastly different if everyone treated strangers the way you say a mother treats her child.
Of course it is a bit silly when you try to make it fit into modern reality. But the golden rule is an ideal, something to strive for, not really something realistic. Of course you can't love a rapist, but what if he/she weren't a rapist? If all of humanity treated each other this way, there would be no crime, and no hate, and people would live in a utopia. Unfortunately human nature tells us to do otherwise. Survival of the fittest, the strong dominate the weak, etc.
Originally posted by eight bits
It is a good question, Indigo.
If you really mean the Christian ideal, then it was not offered as reciprocal. The devotee is to love his or her enemy, period. Nothing about whether the enemy loves you back, stops being your enemy, or endures some torment of psychic guilt in the face of your meekness. The devotee is simply to do it.
I am unsure that analysis of spiritual advice by its "practicality" gets anybody very far. What practical good is accomplished by treating a rapist rudely? Perhaps "you feel better," but what have you changed?
There is nothing in the principle that prevents a devotee from confining the rapist humanely, which may do some practical good. Early leaders in the American penetentiary-prison movement included Quakers, who were radically non-violent Christians. They did not seek to end prisons, but to build good ones, ones that (they hoped) would work, to change the offender while protecting the rest of us in the meantime.
As to the Jews facing Hitler, where is the evidence that a different response by the Jews would have led to a better outcome? What armed resistance there was to the German plan (principally the Warsaw Ghetto uprising), was put down crisply. The Jewish people survived the Holocaust, though many, many Jews did not, and the Jewish people have gone on to build a kick-butt nation state (they are, after all, not Christian radicals). Was a better outcome achievable given the actual facts? That's specualtive at best.
When Arjuna wishes to put down his arms in the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna persuades him not to do so, in part by telling Arjuna that he overestimates what effect his choices have on what actually happens. In other words, Arjuna's consequentialist sense of practicality is unreliable.
Putting aside that Arjuna, like Job, is a moral giant compared with his god, Krishna has a point here about ego, something that gods are experts about. Ego can always come up with a story about how "practical" it is to do what ego wants to do.
One way to understand Jesus is as the advocate of Job, and so of Arjuna. Arjuna was right, Krishna was wrong. Respectively, Job and Yahweh.
Arjuna was not advocating pacifism, but he was advocating a kind of practicality that was lost on Krishna. Oddly, the English word for the kind of self-interest advocated by Arjuna, Jesus, and Job is enlightened. Meh, maybe overclaimed, but maybe not too far-fetched.
The Jews let the injustice against them continue for too long that organized and armed resistance became impossible.
Originally posted by eight bits
Hello, again, Indigo.
My point about the role of the Society of Friends (Quakers) in prison reform was to illustrate how the Chrisitan principle has been practiced by an especially radical group of Christians. That they did not succeed does not mean that they were wrong-headed to try.
The feudal kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an example of many things. I would not have numbered practicality among them. And, of course, it is not just the rapist whom they kill, but the woman as well, if the judge thinks her protests were insufficiently pleasing to Allah. That is practical in one sense: reported rapes will be rare.
The Jews were not, however, and had not been for centuries, a nation-state. Their opponent was a nation-state, with an army. It is difficult to see how a dispersed civilian ethnic group could ever have mounted more resistance than, say, Belgium.
As to Arjuna, reasonable people could differ about his practicality. The terms of his decision, however, were that the only survivors of the battle were to be Arjuna, his brothers, and Krishna. A great deal of the prize is to be destroyed, namely those on both sides who are the best people of the realm.
So, fine if you find Arjuna to be sentimental and idealistic. Although, evidently, it is OK with you if he were to fight against injustice on account of duty, which would be neither sentimental nor idealistic, because... ?
I think Arjuna does an admirable job of cutting through the BS. Krishna persuades Arjuna, of course. Resistance is futile, as the saying goes. But those who expect moral behavior from gods are doomed to disappointment, IMO.