Morality and Humanity

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Reply Wed 11 Apr, 2007 04:33 am
I have come to the conclusion that a truly human life cannot be seperated from morality. That every human concern is ultimately a moral concern. So that it is incumbent upon us as human beings to learn the virtues, to learn what virtue means.

And if it is correct that mankind was made in the image of God, then truly I have seen him lately in the faces of the weeping, in the expressions of the wounded, the ailing and the stricken.
 
Mr Fight the Power
 
Reply Wed 11 Apr, 2007 07:05 pm
@Pythagorean,
Quote:
And if it is correct that mankind was made in the image of God, then truly I have seen him lately in the faces of the weeping, in the expressions of the wounded, the ailing and the stricken.


What did you see?
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Thu 12 Apr, 2007 02:44 am
@Mr Fight the Power,
I saw suffering that was unreconcilable. I saw a clear view of humanity; a desperate widow of a soldier with her five-year-old son. In a consistency of vision I saw a cataclysm of the heart that was so twisted across the ground, that decorated the wasteland like pock-marks blackening the earth. And in all of it I could gather in my head a kind of metaphysical homeland through the paths of virtue, a kind of promise, a true portrait of humanity itself, of Truth.

This true human heart needs to be collected together or else there can be no world, no reality. How can there be reality without the organization of the heart?

I saw that there is no truth, or, that the truth is that people exist as pieces of human beings alternately drowning inside. And only through a study of virtue that can reconstruct us, only through morality can we ever hope to come to assemble the truth, as one would assemble a pair of eyes, from the heart made whole. The salvation of so many, of maybe way too many, seem to be dependent on this.



An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.
--Martin Luther King
 
boagie
 
Reply Thu 12 Apr, 2007 06:31 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean,

You stike me as taking poetic licence here,as poetry it is compelling, but not as philosophy.What did you intend, a discussion on morality,reality,truth,compassion,salvation and virtue.I think you might get another poet to responed with the like,and that would be interesting, though probably not informative.Narrow it down some,lots of content here,it just has to have some order.
 
Mr Fight the Power
 
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2007 03:54 am
@Pythagorean,
Hmmm, I have never seen that.

When I have seen collected hearts, they are responsible for the deaths of soldiers, and rarely do they heal themselves all that well.

But we see what we want.
 
boagie
 
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2007 09:25 am
@Mr Fight the Power,
Mr. Fight the Power wrote:
Hmmm, I have never seen that.

When I have seen collected hearts, they are responsible for the deaths of soldiers, and rarely do they heal themselves all that well.

But we see what we want.



Mr Fight the power,

Interesting point, you silver tongued devil!



From The War Prayer by Mark Twain


"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it -- for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.
(*After a pause.*) "Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits!"
It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2007 12:19 pm
@boagie,
You both have been trained to despise the notions of morality and virtue. I know and I will state unambiguously that you have been ill-trained. You have been brain-washed by what political oriented persons sometimes call liberalism. It is a political thought-crime to appeal to morality and I know the terrain full well. But I wrote what I saw the best I could.

There has been a politicalization, polemicisation and demonization of the notions of virtue and morality. And you two are living (or dying) proof of it. You think it smacks of God and that is to you an unforgivable sin. You think it smacks of absolutism and white colonialization no doubt. Anyone who has compassion is to you probably, a bigot. No? Then what?

Can someone appeal to the virtues without being labeled evil incarnate here? Is there any permissable appeal to the virtues or morality under your thought-crimes laws? (The answer is no, of course.)

So I will defend my appeals in the name of virtue.
 
boagie
 
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2007 12:51 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean,

You assume far to much.I have no idea what is going on in your private life but I think you need to get a grip.My post was well meaning,if you wish to change your style of communication that is entirely up to you.I think it was Schopernhaur who said we must avoid poetry in philosophy.It is difficult to focus upon a complete landscape in detail,and poetry does tend to create these verbal landscapes.If I have offended you,you do have my apology,as that was not my intent.
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2007 01:16 pm
@boagie,
But he asked me what I saw. How else could I elaborate?

It was not so much the pain that I witnessed it was the idea that humanity seems to live in a morally lawless universe. It was a "vision", as could be known by you from my original message: suffering man as the face of creation. My "Poetry" was therefore consistent with my first post.
 
boagie
 
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2007 01:56 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean wrote:
But he asked me what I saw. How else could I elaborate?

It was not so much the pain that I witnessed it was the idea that humanity seems to live in a morally lawless universe. It was a "vision", as could be known by you from my original message: suffering man as the face of creation. My "Poetry" was therefore consistent with my first post.


Pythagorean,


Perhaps this was the only way you could reply or elaborate, perhaps the failing is either on both ends or on ours.
It does seem self evident to me that we do live in a morally lawless universe,"To god all things are right and good,only to man somethings are and somethings are not."Heraclitus "There is no right or wrong only thinking makes it so" William Shakespeare. I guess the point would be in addressing yourself to others,have you done it in a way to allow a response.I am not entirely clear on what could have caused such confusion between us,but I think intent should be established.If one does not believe in the others good intent,dialogue is pointless.This is something that araises for everyone in this type of communication, do we have enough experience of one another to buffer this sense of being attacked,were across the board sometimes it is real and sometime it is not.Lets think about it, and try to leave this behind us,for the topic is indeed interesting.
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2007 03:00 pm
@boagie,
Boagie, I find nothing confusing. I know where Mr. FTP stands. You seemed to agree with him, but perhaps you don't. We shall see.

But changing the subject, I would ask you as a philosophically inclined person, how do we react in the face of human suffering? What should be our response? I would very much like to hear your opinion on this.

Thank you.
--Pythagorean
 
boagie
 
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2007 03:25 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean wrote:
Boagie, I find nothing confusing. I know where Mr. FTP stands. You seemed to agree with him, but perhaps you don't. We shall see.

But changing the subject, I would ask you as a philosophically inclined person, how do we react in the face of human suffering? What should be our response? I would very much like to hear your opinion on this.

Thank you.
--Pythagorean


Pythagorean,

In the face of human suffering there is only one adequate response,compassion.It is indeed what defines humanity.It is what links us to all living things.It is what is distinct about the consiousness of man,though compassion is indeed found in the animal community,it is not I think developed as highly.Compassion is the foundation of morality, as perfect sympathy.

I suggest that if you are wrong about me in your assumptions, that you just may be wrong reguarding Mr Fight the power.You seem to have set yourself as the standard---------no? Why would you be asking me to prove myself to you?
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2007 06:16 pm
@boagie,
Boagie, now I'm confused. I haven't asked you to prove yourself. I asked you honestly what kind of responses are possible from a philosophical perspective, regarding human misery and suffering.

My response, as you can clearly see, is a response that would bring the ideas of virtue and morality to the fore. Mr. FTP seems to dislike this direction, and that is fine. I don't think I mis-read him. Let him say if virtue is an evil to him.

I was trying to get back to the topic. That is what you yourself requested. So I ask you about human suffering, which was the topic.

The question I would ask of Mr. FTP is: if virtue is the oppressors tool then how do we justify our compassion? How do we heal the open sores on people's hearts?

By the way, I would thank you, Boagie, for making me think more logically and less poetically. You have made me see that this topic is important and can be approached in a more philosophical manner. That is, perhaps, within a more developed philosophy of morality.
 
Pythagorean
 
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2007 07:34 pm
@Pythagorean,
Boagie, Mr. Fight The Power,

Are you saying that I am evil because I think that there exists a need for some kind of good hand to exist in the world?
 
Mr Fight the Power
 
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2007 08:13 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean wrote:
You both have been trained to despise the notions of morality and virtue. I know and I will state unambiguously that you have been ill-trained. You have been brain-washed by what political oriented persons sometimes call liberalism. It is a political thought-crime to appeal to morality and I know the terrain full well. But I wrote what I saw the best I could.

There has been a politicalization, polemicisation and demonization of the notions of virtue and morality. And you two are living (or dying) proof of it. You think it smacks of God and that is to you an unforgivable sin. You think it smacks of absolutism and white colonialization no doubt. Anyone who has compassion is to you probably, a bigot. No? Then what?

Can someone appeal to the virtues without being labeled evil incarnate here? Is there any permissable appeal to the virtues or morality under your thought-crimes laws? (The answer is no, of course.)

So I will defend my appeals in the name of virtue.


I can say with complete certainty that liberalism is a moral viewpoint, and the only thought-crime I would accuse you of is allying it to the mass-murder and suffering of war. I also take exception to you referring to Boagie and I as being "brain-washed", as such dismissive ad-hominems have no place in this discussion.

You will note that I only asked you what is was you saw in those faces that made you think of God. There were two reasons for this: 1) I wanted to get a bearing on what you were actually saying, and whether you were actually attributing human suffering to God, and 2) I had absolutely no disagreement with the rest of your post. Can a person separate himself from morality? No. Can society persist without morality? No.

I do not oppose morality, I oppose the imposition of morality. To me morality and virtue are completely subjective things. Society can only be just, and man can only be virtuous, when morality grows freely from within. And certainly the seeds can be found in every man.
 
boagie
 
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2007 08:21 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean,

The misunderstanding is mine,My apology!!Actually the possiable responses that woud be of interest to me would be compassion in its verious degrees.To speak of those actions which are devoid of compassion,they would necessarily be devoid of virtue,it is to be back in the jungle,nature red in tooth and claw ect...

I suppose an argument could be made for virtue or morality that could be used as a political tool of manipulation.Certainly the psychopathy whom does not feel compassion feels it oppressive and limiting,but he is only known to us when he breaks sharply with normal social sensiablities.Personally I do not like to use the word evil, it carries to many Christian generated connotations,and what they don't like is evil,the world by their doctrine is evil,and must be corrected by man.

As far as justifying our compassion,personally I do not think it necessary to justify what is innate.Perhaps we should work at understanding how compassion creates a human world, but justify,no I do not think so.

Pythagorean,thank you for the compliment,yes I think there is a place for poetry it is a powerful medium,and in serves to some of our finer sensiabilities,just not philosophy.

I am just looking into something called Process Philosophy,I believe Alfred North Whitehead introduced it.I seem to have been lead into this by a process itself,General Systems Theory to Nihilism to the idea reality as relationalism and/or process.Do you know anything about this philosophy?


"Are you saying that I am evil because I think that there exists a need for some kind of good hand to exist in the world?"

No,speaking for myself,I don't believe in evil, but there is bad immoral behaviour.I think out of that innate compassion which is part of the normal human being, we all try to deal with the darker side on a daily bases.
 
Mr Fight the Power
 
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2007 08:25 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean wrote:
Boagie, I find nothing confusing. I know where Mr. FTP stands. You seemed to agree with him, but perhaps you don't. We shall see.

But changing the subject, I would ask you as a philosophically inclined person, how do we react in the face of human suffering? What should be our response? I would very much like to hear your opinion on this.

Thank you.
--Pythagorean


For me, suffering should be aleviated.

I also think that altruistic behavior was a key part of our evolutionary development, and that as a species, are naturally compassionate and sympathetic (I would not assign it as being our distinguishing factor, however, as it can be spotted in other species as well). In fact, these altruistic and basic emotions are a part of the base of my epistemology and ethics.
 
Mr Fight the Power
 
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2007 08:34 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean wrote:
The question I would ask of Mr. FTP is: if virtue is the oppressors tool then how do we justify our compassion? How do we heal the open sores on people's hearts?


I think you will understand my position from my prior posts, but in answer to this: Virtue is not the oppressor's tool, violence, fear, and fraud are the oppressor's tools. Virtue that does not spring from within has, throughout time, been the manifestation of this authoritarian oppression: Virtue ceases to be what one actually believes to be right, but what one is told is right. Virtuous action ceases to be action aimed at what is good, but action aimed at appeasement.
 
boagie
 
Reply Fri 13 Apr, 2007 10:41 pm
@Mr Fight the Power,
Mr Fight the power,

I find it difficult to understand,perhaps you could set up a couple of examples.You do realize that to be in society is a relational process,there is nothing which is going to develop in the individual which is not stimulated from the outside.The self defined,necessarily includes its environment in its defination.There is no such thing as autonomy which inhabits a context.Morality in isolation makes no sense,what would it be realtive too.I guess I am trying to get a handle on your impression of what the individual and/or the individual in society is.The is no magic to the individual considered in isolation,society,the world, is the material of individual operation-----the other half of your mind.

I think we all understand that oppression in society is possiable,but even in this realization that you are at odds with a given value.Your understanding is again gained from without,in other words, it is your environment informing you.It seems to me the only way to avoid this possiability is to exist in isolation,which would be a short existence.

I fear though I have gotten off topic, how does this idea you have play into or decease ones ability to experience compassion in the context of society? Pythagorean,what is it you think we might not be getting in relation to suffering and/or compassion?
 
Mr Fight the Power
 
Reply Sat 14 Apr, 2007 07:49 am
@boagie,
boagie wrote:
Mr Fight the power,

I find it difficult to understand,perhaps you could set up a couple of examples.You do realize that to be in society is a relational process,there is nothing which is going to develop in the individual which is not stimulated from the outside.The self defined,necessarily includes its environment in its defination.There is no such thing as autonomy which inhabits a context.Morality in isolation makes no sense,what would it be realtive too.I guess I am trying to get a handle on your impression of what the individual and/or the individual in society is.The is no magic to the individual considered in isolation,society,the world, is the material of individual operation-----the other half of your mind.

I think we all understand that oppression in society is possiable,but even in this realization that you are at odds with a given value.Your understanding is again gained from without,in other words, it is your environment informing you.It seems to me the only way to avoid this possiability is to exist in isolation,which would be a short existence.


I have never stated that isolation is necessary, only internal motivation.

Just as a man can find beauty in the sunset, so can he find virtue in another man.

Quote:
I fear though I have gotten off topic, how does this idea you have play into or decease ones ability to experience compassion in the context of society?


It doesn't. Only those natural altruistic inclinations we humans possess can affect that.
 
 

 
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