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Author Topic: Pagan moral code  (Read 4092 times)

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Black Hat Guy

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Re: Pagan moral code
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2011, 05:17:14 AM »

where as Christians are taught basically if you sin, you can be forgiven. 

Not really.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_sin

Quote
Eternal sins or unforgivable sins or unpardonable sins, are a concept in Christian theology of sins which cannot or will not be forgiven, whereby salvation becomes impossible. It has its origin in several biblical passages.

But then again, pretty much every religion and ethical system has get-out clauses which allow its followers to act like complete and utter dicks.  Hell, even the Buddhists engaged in some pretty savage warfare, historically.  Imagine the convoluted logic required to get Buddhists to engage in violence and killing.  If they can succumb to it, so can pretty much everyone.
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blue

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Re: Pagan moral code
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2011, 07:21:43 AM »


  I guess that most pagans and atheists I know believe is some variation of karma, where as Christians are taught basically if you sin, you can be forgiven.  It seems that there is less incentive there to do the right thing, because supposedly you'll be forgiven, when by karmatic law, your negative actions will always come back to haunt you.

 The catch phrase with many Christians seems to be that " Jesus died for your sins ". Many feel that it's a free pass into heaven regardless of what you did in this lifetime. I don't think anybody can know with a certainty what happens after we die but it eases people's minds and gets them into church.

 In a way though .... it encourages people NOT to take personal responsibility for their choices and actions.

 As i understand it Karma deals with what happens in the afterlife but again ... how can anybody really know ?

 There's an important shade of a difference between Karma and believing in the principle of cause & effect though. They're two things really. The notion that what goes around comes around deals with what's happening right now in this lifetime. It makes people solely for the consequence of their choices.

 For example: Let's say that somebody chooses to persue a vendetta. One person might look at it as evening the score. As a way of keeping things even if you will ....

 Another person might look at that same choice in a different way. They realise that " an eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind. " Because it's bread cast upon the water an act of vengeance also serves to punish the person seeking retribution.

 So ... yes ... it is a stricter moral code. When one realises that they will to reap the harvest of what they've sown right here in this lifetime then it causes them to stop and consider their choices.
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C_A

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Re: Pagan moral code
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2011, 08:16:02 AM »

The OP is happy with the replies, and that is good.  'Nuff said....
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Passer Urbanus

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Re: Pagan moral code
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2011, 03:13:04 PM »

There's an important shade of a difference between Karma and believing in the principle of cause & effect though. They're two things really. The notion that what goes around comes around deals with what's happening right now in this lifetime. It makes people solely for the consequence of their choices.

Karma and cause & effect are the exact same thing.  Karma is just cause and effect, action and reaction.  At least, in its original context that's what it means.  But you're right that, in the West, Karma is nothing like cause and effect.  It's envisioned as more of a vague spiritual force of vengeance that punishes a person because said person did something that some other person didn't like.  Whether you've slighted someone... or they think you've slighted them... or you've just done something they don't like, karma will get you.  But really it's just a psychological tool people use to try to make them feel better in a situation where they're powerless.  If someone breaks into your car, you may never catch and punish the person.  But that's ok because karma will get them.  If someone cuts in front of you in traffic, you can't get out of your car to scream at the driver.  But that's ok because karma will get them.  If someone has slighted you, but you're too meek to stand up to the person or argue for what you wanted, that's ok.  Karma will get them.  And the greatest thing about karma is that it only affects other people.  If you cut in front of me in traffic, causing me to slam on my brakes, then karma's going to get you.  But if I cut in front of you in traffic, causing you to slam on your brakes, then karma won't come after me because, hey, I really needed to get in front of you because I wanted to get home quickly.  So it's like having a strong, destructive force on your side to punish anyone who did or didn't do something without having to worry about it affecting you.

On a different note, pagans aren't any better or worse than Christians or any other religious folk.  We're all human.  We all have flaws.  If you ask a group of pagans about their morals, of course they're going to sound like they can walk on water.  But saying something and actually doing it are two completely different things.  If you asked any group of people about their morals, they'd all sound like they're better than everyone else.  That's cognitive bias for you.  But the truth is we all fall well short of what we say our morals are (assuming you say you have morals, of course).  There's nothing wrong with that.  It just means you're human just like everyone else.
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blue

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Re: Pagan moral code
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2011, 06:25:58 PM »


On a different note, pagans aren't any better or worse than Christians or any other religious folk.  We're all human.  We all have flaws.  If you ask a group of pagans about their morals, of course they're going to sound like they can walk on water.  But saying something and actually doing it are two completely different things.  If you asked any group of people about their morals, they'd all sound like they're better than everyone else. 

  ;)   That's kinda what i was driving at by pulling the bible quotes.

 BHG made some good points too.

 When you start mixing wisdoms from the different systems it's not so clear anymore. Does one system REALLY occupy the moral high ground ?

------------

 I gotta disagree on Karma though. Cause & effect is different.

IE: Someone breaks into your car. The thief is probably living the life of someone that for one reason or another can't earn an honest living. Nine times out of ten it's drug or alcohol related.

 They're human cockroaches bud. Would you want that life ?

 See ... they've created their own environment by the choices they've made.
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Serpentium

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Re: Pagan moral code
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2011, 06:52:25 PM »

That's a crock. Who gets to actually create their own environment? And if this were the case, who would deliberately create themselves  into such an environment? We never completely know what the consequences of our actions are. One mistake or bad judgement call is all it sometimes takes to send someone's life spiralling out of control. Especially where addiction and poverty factors in. Writing someone off as a 'human cockroach' because they broke into your car is a little bit extreme. They're just doing what they need to do to get by.
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dark magus

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Re: Pagan moral code
« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2011, 09:02:28 PM »

(They're just doing what they need to do to get by.)

Not always. When I was 16 I was pulling down an average of $2,000 a month from breaking into cars. I didn't need to. I just liked to beat security camera's and car alarms. I wasn't the spoiled rice kid, but we weren't hurting. I knew a lot of people doing the same thing for the same reasons. Maybe it's a sign of the times today, if most of it is now drug related.

As for Karma......it presumes that someone is watching and keeping track of the things we do. (or cares)
I believe that the only judge we have is ourselves. If the actions we do cause guilt, we will find a way to punish ourselves. If we feel no guilt......Bob's your uncle! 
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blue

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Re: Pagan moral code
« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2011, 03:38:35 AM »

Quote Serp:

That's a crock. Who gets to actually create their own environment? And if this were the case, who would deliberately create themselves  into such an environment? We never completely know what the consequences of our actions are.

Quote Serp:

I created every piece of my reality. It spreads right across this World, and beyond. It even has room for this place, and everyone in it. And their realities.

 Blue:

  ;D
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blue

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Re: Pagan moral code
« Reply #23 on: September 16, 2011, 03:49:57 AM »

As for Karma......it presumes that someone is watching and keeping track of the things we do. (or cares)
I believe that the only judge we have is ourselves. If the actions we do cause guilt, we will find a way to punish ourselves. If we feel no guilt......Bob's your uncle!

 I agree that WE punish ourselves for our sins and that there's no angel up in the heavens keeping tally of our deeds in a book.

 The guilt though ... no ... regardless of whether or not we have to spend the rest of our days feeling remorse has no bearing on the natural outcome of cause and effect.

 IE: Let's say that you are a great nation that's fallen prey to the arrogance of power. You pile up debt upon debt to maintain your position of supremacy over the globe.

 What is the natural outcome of that choice ?

 I'm thinking of the former USSR of course ....  8)

(edited for readability)
« Last Edit: September 16, 2011, 05:07:04 AM by blue »
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Serpentium

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Re: Pagan moral code
« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2011, 05:47:37 AM »

Quote Serp:

That's a crock. Who gets to actually create their own environment? And if this were the case, who would deliberately create themselves  into such an environment? We never completely know what the consequences of our actions are.

Quote Serp:

I created every piece of my reality. It spreads right across this World, and beyond. It even has room for this place, and everyone in it. And their realities.

 Blue:

  ;D
Yeah, I was wondering if someone would pick up on that. One of them is clearly hyperbole, and appears to contradict the other. But I stand by both statements. Realities encroach upon each other all the time, and while we create our own realities, we are certainly not always in control of what we create. Have you never made a poor decision that threatened to bring everything crashing down around you? Or fallen victim to the unseen consequence of a decision that may have been made with the best of intentions? I know I have. Still do, in fact.

But what struck me with your statement is how quick people are to de-humanise others whose realities impinge upon our own. The junky who breaks into your car so he can smoke another rock is fundamentally the same as the rest of us, just living with the consequences of poor decision making. Even as he sneaks off with your stereo under his arm, he is still in the game. He's just rapidly running out of options that the rest of us maybe take for granted.

Take DM's story, for instance. He admits when he was younger, to being a a robber of cars. His motivation was partly money, but mainly self gratification. It obviously worked for him, because he was pulling 2k a monrth. (A lot of money back then) but (I presume) he no longer does this to get what he wants from life. He gets his gratification in other ways. That's a lesson learned, however distasteful the method may have been.
However, let's imagine that at some point, he was caught in the act, and served a couple of years in a Penitentiary, where he learned a few lessons that were not part of his original gameplan.
How different would this man be today?
 Lessons like incarceration and 'Justice' often break people, and leave them with considerably fewer options in their wake. Prison can leave scars on a man that never heal, effectively colouring his life for many years after his release. But to Judge someone, and condemn him to such a fate, we first need to de-humanise him. To see him as some kind of lesser being. Like a "human cockroach". Sounds like such a small and inconsequential thing, I know, and the consequences of your statement are probably not going to ruin anyone's life, or change anyone's reality to any great degree.
But think about this. The guards in WWII Death camps were just ordinary men. Men like you and me. Men who loved their families, had children of their own, aspirations for a better world, yet here they were, loading their fellow men into gas chambers day after day. Okay, they 'made their own realities' too, but to what extent were they caught up in someone else's?

What were the lessons they needed to learn here? Were they victims of circumstance? Or Evil men? If there had been no Nazi's, would these men have taken such a dark road in their lives? Been the monsters we like to think all such people are? Of course not.
All I'm saying, is that their moral breakdown, began when they allowed themselves to begin de-humanising others. For the sake of what probably seemed like an easier path at the time.

Some of these men are still alive. Still living with the scars from those times. As are some of their victims. Are the things that they did back then still colouring their lives today? To the same extent as they colour the lives of those surviving unfortunates on the other side of the wire? After all this time,  I would have thought so. Wouldn't you?
And that whole dark episode of our history all started when someone decided to de-humanise a whole set of people, probably by some small, seemingly inconsequential insult, like 'human cockroach'.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming you for the last Holocaust, or setting you up for the next one. Just trying to point out some of the ways that, for better or worse, we really do create our own realities. And like I said, mine really does have room in it for everyone else's, because (and this is important) I realise that other people's realities are as relevant to them, as my reality is to me. By casually attacking their reality, I run the risk of considerably weakening my own. Where our realities meet, is common ground, so it's important not to destroy those places, simply because of some false, moral indignation. After all, I might need to stand there someday too.
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Snake-Man

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Re: Pagan moral code
« Reply #25 on: September 16, 2011, 11:50:41 AM »

Also, while I'm here:

Would this extend to threatening to harm others for being mocked online?  Again, purely hypothetical.  8)

If one were mocked, and the mocking continued after those doing the mocking were told to stop, then yes, that would be considered provocation.
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Snake-Man

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Re: Pagan moral code
« Reply #26 on: September 16, 2011, 11:53:34 AM »

Well, lets just say, as a purely hypothetical example, someone posted information on a certain subject without making it clear that they had copied it from another person's webpage or providing a link, in the hope someone would think it was their own work and so come across as being smarter than they actually are.

In that case, they'd be guilty of lying by omission.  I wonder what your moral code has to say about that?

That's what's called a "momentary lapse of reason".   ;)
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dark magus

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Re: Pagan moral code
« Reply #27 on: September 16, 2011, 12:46:15 PM »

IE: Let's say that you are a great nation that's fallen prey to the arrogance of power. You pile up debt upon debt to maintain your position of supremacy over the globe.
 What is the natural outcome of that choice ?
I'm thinking of the former USSR of course ....  8)
(edited for readability)

Funny...I was thinking the USA
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Serpentium

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Re: Pagan moral code
« Reply #28 on: September 16, 2011, 12:58:58 PM »

Funny...I was thinking the USA
I was thinking of the UK, and the fall of our glorious Empire. But I think it's safe to say that any modern Government
is a prime example of the abuse of power. In fact, the whole idea, and principle of central government is an abuse of power.
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dark magus

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Re: Pagan moral code
« Reply #29 on: September 16, 2011, 01:48:34 PM »

I was thinking of the UK, and the fall of our glorious Empire. But I think it's safe to say that any modern Government
is a prime example of the abuse of power. In fact, the whole idea, and principle of central government is an abuse of power.

Yep, I agree.

But this is an example of cause and effect. The cause being spending themselves into a hole they couldn't climb out of. The effect being a colapse of a way of life for the people of those nations and very likely for a number of trading nations around the world. There are deeper and more far reaching effects for the U.S. and it's trading partners yet to come. (I really think we are on the brink of a global depression and the colapse of the Chinese economy which could very well bring us to the edge of war) (off topic, maybe we should start a new thread)

With Karma, if you don't have any association to some form of guilt, then there exists no reason to self punish. And remorse is just that...feeling bad or guilty about something you know you should not have done.
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