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Posts Tagged ‘morality’

06.07.2010 – My new REVISED 10 commandments

In an effort to regain some much needed perspective in my outlook today, I went through and started jotting down some things that mean a lot to me. As it turned out, it started to look like a good new 10 commandments. A while back I posted Richard Dawkins’ list of new 10 commandments, and while that list is great, I wanted to come up with something a little more personal to me. So, without without further adieu, here’s what I came up with today:

My NEW 10 commandments:

1) Hate not, lest you be hated in return. (Sounds rather biblical don’t you think?) – Through personal experience, I’ve noticed that people, who are bigoted and hateful, really seem to be very miserable in their own lives. I realize that’s a broad-brushed generalization, but it’s truly based on my own personal first-hand observations. I believe if those folks would lose their hatred, their own lives and perspectives would take a turn for the positive.

2) Have unending compassion, tolerance, and forgiveness towards your fellow man – don’t go through life holding grudges. Life is too short to not be able to forgive and forget. Be tolerant of the differences between people of different walks of life. I don’t want them trying to change me, so why should I go out of my way to try to change them. Have tolerance and understand towards ALL people. People of differing race, religion, sexual orientation, etc are all human beings and deserving of the same basic human rights as everyone else. PERIOD!

3) Give! – Be charitable as much as humanly possible. We, in the west (and a lot of the industrialized world) have SO much. There’s always time, money, services, etc that we could spare to help our fellow human beings in need.

4) Value Education and pursue it daily – never stop learning. If not only for yourself, but for the betterment of human society as a whole. Our species will move forward and solve the world’s problems only if our collective understanding and knowledge increases. Learning is a value to everyone, not just the individual.

5) Live in the moment – One of the things that I’ve learned to appreciate about Eastern Philosophy (Buddhism) is their teaching of living in the present moment. Let the past be the past. Don’t worry too much about the future. Just live every moment and be fully aware in that moment. It’s a huge challenge, but I’ve found a lot of relief and beginnings of some inner peace by trying to apply some of this to my life.

6) Never intentionally cause harm to another living creature. – This is a hard one. I’ve found over the last few years incredible value in all living creatures. For example…I am NOT a fan of spiders, and in years gone by I wouldn’t think twice about smashing them to oblivion when one crossed my path. Now, I will actually go out of my way to capture and release them somewhere else instead of killing them. That’s just one small example. I do, though, have some hypocritical thinking when it comes to matters of diet. I do believe that we (humans) are omnivores. We have evolved on a diet of meat and plant life. I sometimes do, though, feel guilty about eating meat now, but I haven’t been able to work out a way around that without becoming a vegetarian, which isn’t exactly appealing to me. Obviously, a work in progress here.

7) Question Everything – this one was on the Dawkins list, but I think it’s definitely one that doesn’t need to be changed, omitted, or otherwise. Always find your own answers. Never take anything for the truth based on authority. In the immortal words of Thomas Jefferson: Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear. (Wait! Did I just take that based on authority?!??!)

8 ) Love those closest to you unconditionally – Family and close friends are the most important thing there is to me. They are the people that know me best, and yet still accept me and love me with all of my shortcomings. At the end of the day, all of the meaningless squabbles are just that…meaningless. Those closest to us are all that matter.

9) Waste Not! – On our tiny, spinning ‘Pale Blue Dot’, resources are not limitless. With a population of over 6 billion, we all need to do our part to cut back and conserve where possible.

10) Live life as if there is no tomorrow! – And there might just BE no tomorrow. We are incredibly fortunate to be alive. Consider the countless billions of stars and planets in the universe, and to the best of our knowledge at this point, WE are the only self-conscious, intelligent life. What an amazing thing. It’s also the ONLY life we get. In my opinion we should live life to the fullest EVERY day. Live, Laugh, Love as my wife’s tattoo says. A better mantra I can’t imagine!

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02.17.2010 – Facebook Fun – Episode 5: Same Sex Marriage

It was only a matter of time. I knew that eventually my fundamentalist minister mom and I would clash on this issue. I remember, when growing up, how homosexuals were demonized by the church and believers. I was sucked into that bullshit mentality for most of my life as well. I wish I could go back and do it all again, but unfortunately, all I can do is try to forget all that, and live life is support of these folks and do what I can to try to break the chain of hate and ignorance surrounding this issue.

Last week, on Facebook, I joined the group “I bet we can find 1,000,000 People who Support Same Sex Marriage.” And I knew full well, that I would get some backlash from my mother. Here’s the conversation that ensured underneath the announcement that I joined that group:

Mom: Romans Chapter 1

Me: i reject that book

Mom: Scientifically unnatural

Me: ignorantly incorrect. do some research

Mom: man is for woman….you’re makin me wonder….

Me: Good. Wonder is a good thing.

For someone who so dramatically denies science in most other areas, I find it rather ironic that you would try to bring it up in this instance. Not to mention that it’s just completely wrong.

Also find it interesting that you waiting until this dropped off of my main page before commenting. Must be trying to avoid having all my like-minded friends call you out on it as well…. See More

Look, you know by now that I don’t buy what your religion is selling. And I’m a supporter of an individuals right to freedom and will support human equality with fervor until the day I die. So, as far as I’m concerned, what consenting adults want to do is between them. As long as no one is hurt in the process. If you don’t support same sex marriage, don’t have a same sex marriage. It’s pretty much as simple as that.

Mom: Good. Wonder is a good thing.

For someone who so dramatically denies science in most other areas, I find it rather ironic that you would try to bring it up in this instance. Not to mention that it’s just completely wrong.

Also find it interesting that you waiting until this dropped off of my main page before commenting. Must be trying to avoid having all my like-minded friends call you out on it as well…. See More

Look, you know by now that I don’t buy what your religion is selling. And I’m a supporter of an individuals right to freedom and will support human equality with ferver until the day I die. So, as far as I’m concerned, what concenting adults want to do is between them. As long as no one is hurt in the process. If you don’t support same sex marriage, don’t have a same sex marriage. It’s pretty much as simple as that.

me: your arguements are silly when you accept the fact that it’s NOT A CHOICE THEY MAKE! AND they are mostly folks who want love and a normal life like anyone else. Unfortunately, people with your take ARE still in control, and have taken away or prevented basic freedoms for these people.

Your argument about an island is just ridiculous. they will always be a minority in society and that’s fine. Besides, in modern society, there’s still plenty of ways for people to procreate without the use of male/female sexual relations. Or do you find artificial insemination also immoral?

they should still have the same rights as everyone else, and I don’t understand what gives other people the right in their minds to push their morality on others. Just because YOU believe what you believe about it, doesn’t mean that everyone does. And I am SOOO glad I’ve learned that in my adulthood and have been able to shed the hate and disgust that I was shown toward them growing up…. See More

ultimately if same sex marriage were allowed, absolutely NOTHING would change for you, or me, or anyone except those that want to be in a committed relationship and are also of the same sex.

Didn’t hear anything else from Mom after that last post, but a like-minded friend chimed in with a couple of posts:

Friend: oh GAWD dont get me started. Marriage has NOTHING to do with religion, dabnabbit!!!! If you research (NOT science, which has NOTHING to do with this.) history, you will find that marriage came about because some government (a dictatorship of all things) decided that their society was being too loose, morally. Its about RIGHTS!!!!!!!!! Ok, I got … See Morekinda started. The arguments AGAINST same sex marriage are just soo….morally and ethically wrong. Again, research how great children have it when they are adopted/brought up in same sex households. Seriously. People need to get INFORMED and stop arguing this with THEIR emotions…and rhetoric. Sorry…just had to say that.

Friend (again): I had to read through this again. I gotta say… your last comment rocks 🙂 Im glad that you, too, have been able to “shed the hate and disgust that I was shown towards them growing up”. If you don’t like homosexuality…DONT PARTICIPATE! 🙂

08.28.2009 – My New 10 Commandments

August 28, 2009 2 comments

I am currently about half-way through reading Richard Dawkins – The God Delusion (yes, i know…what the hell took me so long?!?!?). It is truly VERY well written and I am thoroughly enjoying it.

I’ve just recently gone through his section that talked about a ’10 commandements’ more suited for our modern society. Since, obviously, the biblical ones are not only VERY outdated, but also, not all encompassing and really rather narcissistic from ‘god’s’ perspective.

Anyway, I wanted to post the new list of 10 commandments (based on the list that Dawkins provides in the book) because I think they are really are more applicable to modern life. Here is the list, along with some of my own commentary in parentheses where applicable…

First Commandment: Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you. (Ah yes…the golden rule. Applicable, I think through ALL ages)

Second Commandment: In all things, strive to cause no harm.

Third Commandment: Treat your fellow human beings, your fellow living things, and the world in general with love, honesty, faithfulness and respect. (A worthy, albeit challenging, goal)

Fourth Commandment: Do not overlook evil or shrink from administering justice, but always be ready to forgive wrongdoing freely admitted and honestly regretted. (this has an ‘eastern philosophy feel to it that I really like)

Fifth Commandment: Live life with a sense of joy and wonder. (this is a big one for me. I think when I was young, I HAD this sense of wonder. This amazement with the world and the universe. Though the years of my fundamentalism, a lot of that was taken away and lost. Now that I’ve shed that oppression, I can feel some of the sense of joy and wonder coming back, and it really has been awesome)

Sixth Commandment: Always seek to be learning something new. (yep…a daily pursuit for me)

Seventh Commandment: Test all things; always check your ideas against the facts, and be ready to discard even a cherished belief if it does not conform to them.

Eighth Commandment: Never seek to censor or cut yourself off from dissent; always respect the right of others to disagree with you. (another challenging rule for me personally. It’s hard, but getting easier, to take the mentality that other people are allowed to have opposing viewpoints. I guess it just comes down to the fact that I’ve always been passionate about my beliefs (that damn fundamentalism!).

Ninth Commandment: Form independent opinions on the basis of your own reason and experience; do not allow yourself to be led blindly by others.

Tenth Commandment: Question everything. (and then question it again!)

-eoe-

06.03.2009 – How is this moral?????

Leviticus 25: (New International Version)

44 ” ‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly. 

Exodus 21:

2 “If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything. 3 If he comes alone, he is to go free alone; but if he has a wife when he comes, she is to go with him. 4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free.

    5 “But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’ 6 then his master must take him before the judges. [a] He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.

    7 “If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as male servants do. 8 If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself, [b] he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her. 9 If he selects her for his son, he must grant her the rights of a daughter. 10 If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights. 11 If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money.

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I found some apologists claiming that you can’t resolve our modern thoughts on slavery with the ‘world view’ that was in place in biblical times. I find this amazingly short sighted.

Thes laws came from ‘GOD’. The infallible, unchanging, all-knowing, omnipotent ‘GOD’. World view should have NOTHING to do with it. If God is unchanging and all-knowing, then those ‘LAWS’ still apply today in his eyes. And, as a result, I find ‘GOD’ amazingly immoral.

No-one! Not even ‘GOD’ (who I’m pretty convinced does not exist), has the right to take away the rights of another human being, and OWN them. There’s just no way for me to rationalize this in my head to find a way that this would be considered moral. All these Old Testament, biblical ‘laws’ sound to me like they were created by the people who considered themselves ‘elite’, in order to justify their elitism by claiming that ‘GOD said it is so’. In-sighting fear in the masses is a great way of controlling them.

This issue of slavery is just one of MANY topics in the bible that I find to be completely immoral. And to hear the claims of theist say that the bible or ‘word of god’ is our (human beings) only source of morallity is just beyond my capacity for credulity. If this is the book that our race bases it’s morality on, we are, indeed, in trouble.

-eoe-