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Absolute Morality: Does it exist?

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posted on Sep, 23 2010 @ 12:23 AM
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reply to post by quantum_flux
 


Seeing the image, it's basically dungeons and dragons but in real life?




posted on Sep, 23 2010 @ 12:57 AM
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reply to post by 547000
 


In the words of the great Carolla "How Dare You!". Albeit, I do know the advantages of looking at life through the perspective of a hexagon (it's easier to rotate a hexagon than it is to rotate a square).



posted on Sep, 24 2010 @ 12:44 AM
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reply to post by quantum_flux
 


The basis of secular morality is that immorality leads to death and destruction whereas morality leads to the evolutionary survival and the progression of genes, memes, and temes (technological memes) of that lead to advancement of universal intelligence.

Karma.

But you need to believe in reincarnation to make that work.

You're reinventing the Wheel.



posted on Sep, 24 2010 @ 01:18 AM
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For the most part, "good" is what allows the society you live in the peace and security that allows successful procreation. Anything that threatens that is generally perceived as "bad." I think this is a result of the unconscious "speech of DNA," which is primarily interested in replicating with variation to allow adaptation to changing environments.

As intelligent, symbol-using creatures, we may concoct a variety of philosophies or religions or moral guidelines to codify this, but we are essentially following the will of our DNA. The interesting thing is, though, that DNA might even be smarter than we are. Because we tend to deal in absolutes, about things that are "forbidden," we make some things illegal that could be beneficial to our species in extreme circumstances.

DNA allows for homosexuality and pedophilia and a host of other sexual deviations, and maintains them through some unknown process (likely pheromones) at roughly the same levels in all societies. Why? Because DNA always wants to keep its options open. If a virus appears that kills heterosexual couples, there will always be a few homosexuals to stay alive and keep the species going (yes, homosexuals/bisexuals can breed outside their preferences). Same thing with practically any sexual deviation you can think of.

Most human cultures don't understand this, though. Science has really only figured it out recently, and as illustrated by religious groups thousands of years old, human cultures are often slow to change. So there's an interesting conflict/interplay going on these days between DNA's desire for variation and diversity and human society's drive for what is "right," as passed down in its holy books and philosophies. It may be too early to bet on an eventual winner, but seeing as how environments have the potential to change practically overnight, I think the smart money will be on DNA. After all, it's playing the long game.

So, absolute morality? Sure. But it only has a couple of basic principles:

* Life is "good."
* Life must continue.

Now, how that's best accomplished is still up for debate.


edit on 24-9-2010 by Blue Shift because: Grammar



posted on Sep, 24 2010 @ 01:27 AM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


karma must have some objective absolute moral authority .
or it will not work.

who imposes the sentence of the new reincarnated life
with the old albatross moral malfunctions on this brand new person.

you do it yourself?
then you are your own God and why not impose being king of the world on yourself?

mother earth does it?
then what idea does mother earth have to do with the hundred of thousands who die at her
bequest each day?

do they come back as aborted baby humans or what.

how does karma answer the issue of aborted babies?
what did they do in their past life? have an abortion themselves?



posted on Sep, 24 2010 @ 04:42 AM
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reply to post by slugger9787
 


karma must have some objective absolute moral authority or it will not work. who imposes the sentence of the new reincarnated life with the old albatross moral malfunctions on this brand new person.

Karma is conceived of as a natural law of the universe. It is often called 'the law of action and reaction'. The principle depends on causality. Things happen to you; you react; that makes other things happen, to you and to others, and these events then cause other events and so on, down the stream of time. As you pass through time in your successive incarnations, you are exposed to the ongoing consequences of your actions in previous lives.

That's how it's supposed to work. And that's why it needs reincarnation.


then you are your own God and why not impose being king of the world on yourself?

Even the gods are said to be subject to karma.



posted on Sep, 24 2010 @ 09:12 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
That's how it's supposed to work. And that's why it needs reincarnation.


That, and accumulated memory. I don't get how people figure that they can get closer to enlightenment if they keep getting reset every go round, though I've read writings of yogis that claim that they can.



posted on Sep, 24 2010 @ 11:29 PM
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Originally posted by adjensen
That, and accumulated memory. I don't get how people figure that they can get closer to enlightenment if they keep getting reset every go round, though I've read writings of yogis that claim that they can.

I don't understand this--could you explain, please?

In Buddhism, a being moving towards enlightenment sheds more and more of its karmic burden through 'right action' and increasing detachment. Memory of earlier lives isn't an element in this process.

edit on 24/9/10 by Astyanax because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 24 2010 @ 11:49 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax

Originally posted by adjensen
That, and accumulated memory. I don't get how people figure that they can get closer to enlightenment if they keep getting reset every go round, though I've read writings of yogis that claim that they can.

I don't understand this--could you explain, please?

In Buddhism, a being moving towards enlightenment sheds more and more of its karmic burden through 'right action' and increasing detachment. Memory of earlier lives isn't an element in this process.

edit on 24/9/10 by Astyanax because: (no reason given)


Without an understanding of cause and effect, or, in the karmic sense, what comes around goes around, how can one advance if each revision lacks an understanding of its source? I suppose that one might claim that the better one's lot is in life, the more likely one is to lead an exemplary life, but I personally find this prejudiced, offensive and illogical.

I have experienced a life that I consider blessed, and I am also a reasonably moral person. However, I do not equate these, aside from the belief that God may have blessed me as a result of the moral choices that I have made. Dismissing God from the equation and substituting karma leaves one with the expectation that I live a moral life because I have been blessed, but to draw this conclusion requires the existence of accumulated memory.

In the absence of it, conscious progression toward enlightenment seems to be a leap in logic, at best.



posted on Sep, 25 2010 @ 12:29 AM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


Without an understanding of cause and effect, or, in the karmic sense, what comes around goes around, how can one advance if each revision lacks an understanding of its source?

It is not about gaining knowledge. If one reduces one's karmic debt during a given lifetime, one is automatically born into conditions that favour the accumulation of less karmic debt in the next--although, of course, one can still screw up royally in any given lifetime. A succession of ever-less karma-ridden incarnations eventually leads the being to the point where he understands that karma is incurred, ultimately, through attachment to the 'ten thousand things'--ie the world--and the way to consciously reduce this attachment. At this point one has attained enlightenment and can begin the process of quitting the wheel altogether and attaining nirvana.



posted on Sep, 25 2010 @ 01:07 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by adjensen
 


Without an understanding of cause and effect, or, in the karmic sense, what comes around goes around, how can one advance if each revision lacks an understanding of its source?

It is not about gaining knowledge. If one reduces one's karmic debt during a given lifetime, one is automatically born into conditions that favour the accumulation of less karmic debt in the next--although, of course, one can still screw up royally in any given lifetime. A succession of ever-less karma-ridden incarnations eventually leads the being to the point where he understands that karma is incurred, ultimately, through attachment to the 'ten thousand things'--ie the world--and the way to consciously reduce this attachment. At this point one has attained enlightenment and can begin the process of quitting the wheel altogether and attaining nirvana.


it is not about knowledge.

how and who measures the karmic debt?
who set this system up? (it seems like a ponzi scheme to keep the humble sheeple, the lower castes, content and happy in their lot due to "well i am just reducing my karmic debt from my past life"

this can be taught hook, line and sinker to a class of anxiety ridden college age students during a weekend workshop.Why do not all these enlightened and nirvana level humans teaching and preaching this system of unatachment to the lower castes.

You know like the Christians who send tens of thousands of missionaries world wide to carry the message of Christianity.


and they have over one and one half million GODS.

Wow, enough to keep the sheeple hopping to the tune of some enlightened person telling them, through fear, that if they do not do such and such the GODS will incur more karmic debt upon you.

And what is all the millions of reincarnations coming back as cattle---that does not make sense---you live your life like a hyptonized sheep and have to come back as a cow.

And all those cows and all the hungry people, come on where is the intelligent common sense in that preposterous accounting system.

The people who buy into that are intellectually lazy and just want some vogue titilating phrase to prattle about so they can feel socially accepted.


live like a sheep and come back as a cow.

At least in Christianity, we are sheep and get to live forever in either heaven or hell.
Our choice, we know the rules going into the ring.



posted on Sep, 25 2010 @ 11:30 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
of course, one can still screw up royally in any given lifetime.


That's the bit that makes it seem unlikely to me (well, there's other stuff, obviously :-) One would have to be really, really into this, like the yogis I've read, to make any appreciable headway, and even then, circumstances can lead one to "screw up royally" anyway. It seems that precious few would ever attain Nirvana, the rest of us just keep rebooting until there's nothing left to reboot into, and then what?



posted on Sep, 27 2010 @ 06:17 AM
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Originally posted by slugger9787
how and who measures the karmic debt?

Okay, okay, we know you're a believer in a personal God, there's no need to make such a song and dance about it.

Why does anyone have to measure it? Does someone measure the gravitational attraction between you and the Earth and decide how hard to make your face hurt when you fell on it again?

Now go away and play with the kids in your own grade, do.


edit on 27/9/10 by Astyanax because: of anatomical misidentification



posted on Sep, 27 2010 @ 06:28 AM
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Yes, the concept of karma only makes sense within the framework of many lifetimes and many worlds, not only this one.

Karma basically says that what happens to you is no coincidence and that you are responsible for the words and actions you put out.

Whether its true or not, Ive found it to be a useful way of relating to reality. To behave as if my words and actions mean something and eventually come back to me, instills a sense of ethics and accountability that does not depend on traditional religious moralistic fear-mongering or the atheist "its all a coincidence" meaninglesness.



posted on Sep, 27 2010 @ 06:29 AM
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Originally posted by adjensen
That's the bit that makes it seem unlikely to me (well, there's other stuff, obviously :-)

I never said it was likely. I don't believe in reincarnation. And karma without reincarnation is simply causality.


One would have to be really, really into this, like the yogis I've read, to make any appreciable headway

Absolutely. The Buddha set out a path for people to follow. It involved complete renunciation of the world and one's relationships, not just with people but with things, animals, objects, concepts, feelings and descriptive moralities. In other words, you have to become a monk, follow the strictures of the Vinaya, meditate daily and even then, nothing is guaranteed.

Later, by popular demand, Gautama created a 'lay rule' for people who couldn't take such extreme detachment from life; but the best you can hope for from following the lay rule is to be reborn into slightly less karma-prone circumstances next time around.


Even then, circumstances can lead one to "screw up royally" anyway.

Not circumstances; oneself. There is room for free will in the system; it's all about the choices you make. The way Gautama saw it, right understanding (not knowledge) would enable you to make the right choice, dictated by compassion for all beings but free of craving. Dodgy, I agree. It leaves no room for the operations of instinct or of pure unreconstructed malice--which sadly, does exist. On the other hand, it nicely solves the free will problem: the more detached you are, the freer your will. This fits well with our everyday experience.


It seems that precious few would ever attain Nirvana.

Yes, that is understood. That's why South Asians don't think much about the hereafter, and why Christianity has always struggled to make converts in South Asia, except among the trading populations of its coasts.


edit on 27/9/10 by Astyanax because: editorialitis



posted on Sep, 27 2010 @ 08:39 PM
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reply to post by quantum_flux
 



I developed a system I call Secular Morality,

interest idea, my friend
but destruction per se cannot be always bad: in Mother - Nature, one species die to give Life for others & to turn Wheel of Evolution



posted on Oct, 4 2010 @ 06:30 AM
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I go off sick for a few days and what--thread over? So what's the consensus? Does absolute morality exist or not?

I was hoping to hear from a few more moral relativists. Where are they all when you need 'em?



posted on Oct, 4 2010 @ 09:18 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


nice
i prefer to say no "Absolute Morality", but "Effective Morality"



posted on Oct, 4 2010 @ 09:53 PM
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Morality has to be an absolute at its base otherwise society doesn't function. It comes down to there has to be a foundation and if the foundation shifts it all falls down like a house of cards. But once you get past the basics of what is absolute, then you get inot what I would call conditional morality which is based on the absolute moral but then with logic, reason and understanding sets a condition that makes certain exceptions.

Killing would be one of these, The absolute is that it would be wrong to kill another person but understanding that while that would be the idea situation, the world is far from an idea place. So we then set certain conditions that where we have fallen short of the idea standard where out of necessity view it as morally tolerable such as defense of oneself or the defense of the weak and innocent.
edit on 10/4/2010 by Jovi1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 4 2010 @ 11:49 PM
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Originally posted by Jovi1
Morality has to be an absolute at its base otherwise society doesn't function.

Are you sure?

Every society applies different moral standards to different members. Most notoriously, social morality usually discriminates between sexes--in most places, a man can get away with behaviour that would result in a woman being called a slut, or worse.

Societies apply different moral standards to rich and poor people. Elvis Presley's father went to gaol for forgery; his crime was to alter a $5 cheque to make the sum look like $15. Robert Maxwell was a thoroughgoing crook and everyone knew it, but that didn't stop him being welcomed into the high places of international society.

Society applies different moral standards to adults and children, which is why juveniles don't serve adult-length sentences in adult prisons.

Society applies different moral standards to people of different races. We all know about apartheid and Hitler's persecution of the Jews. In Eastern Europe, EU member countries regularly marginalize members of the Romani (gypsy) community to this day. Even in America, society officially discriminated against blacks as recently as fifty years ago, and there is still plenty of unofficial discrimination--reflected in education, wage, unemployment and other statistics.

Societies do not collapse due to moral relativism. Societies are always more or less morally relativistic. That's because human beings are. It's our nature--though that doesn't make it right, or absolve us of the moral responsibility to behave fairly and without prejudice towards all.


But once you get past the basics of what is absolute, then you get into what I would call conditional morality... Killing would be one of these.



Killing isn't one of 'the basics'? What's basic to you, then?




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