Morality From Up Above

After reading and participating in this thread, I have been left with a number of lingering questions that I’d like to expound on in this one. Never mind that I am also more than a bit PO’d.

What happened in the aforementioned discussion is nothing new, but merely a continuum of a trend that I’ve experienced for as far back as I can recall. Namely, people judging the actions of others through their own moral prism. In and of itself there’s obviously nothing inherently wrong with that, in fact, I don’t know of any other way of forming a value judgment than to filter our views through our beliefs and past experiences. However, what bothers me to no end is the number of people that that come to their conclusions through an inflexible dogmatic approach. These are the folks that when cornered with reason and logic, invariably resort to the equivalent of “because my [sub]insert deity of choice[/sub] told me so and that’s that.” Which is bad enough on its own demerit, but what really gets my goat is when these Moral Absolutists try to impose their values on me!

Normally, I avoid getting involved in religious discussions for it has been my experience that the outcome is cast in stone before the start. Because once you encounter the Great Wall of Faith, logic is as good as gone and I have yet to find a way to argue without it. The best possible scenario at such times involves polite retreats by all parties involved with magnanimous reassurances to “respect their different views and agree to disagree.” Canned bullshit really, but there you have it. However, as futile as the exercise is likely to be, I’d like to take one additional shot at opening said can. If nothing else, the stench emanating from it is likely to dispel any inclination to do it again in oh, the next century or so. With that said, let the lid come off.

1-How, pray tell, does it make any freaking sense to base your moral values on what [sub]insert deity of choice[/sub] supposedly said X number of years ago? By what twisted logic, exactly, do some of you reach the conclusion that, for instance, sex outside of marriage is a “immoral”? That homosexuality is “evil”? Remember, “my God told me so” makes about as much sense to me as hearing my Mother tell me as a child “because I said so!” (Well, she still does that occasionally and I am 46, but hopefully, you get the point). And no, quoting one book or another is not a valid answer either. I’d like to hear a logical explanation based on empirical knowledge. Anything else will be considered a head-on collision with the Great Wall of Faith – and thus outside of reason and back to “Sky Daddy said no” Yes I know, I am not being “fair”…but hey, you know what? Work with me here, this is the only dimension I know! I am “me of little faith” and there’s not a damn thing you can do about that.

2-After you have hopelessly failed to answer the above, you may proceed to tell me exactly who the fuck do you think you are to judge others by the same values that you can’t make any logical sense of to begin with? Yep, harsh, but that is why I am putting this in The Pit. I’m tired of the run-around. Fact remains that in my mind you have as much right to tell me what to do in my intimacy, as the berserk jerkoff holding the “End of Times” sign in the corner. Which is to say N-O-N-E. Unless of course, you have become the first freaking person in history to come up with a reasonable answer to question number one. And if that’s the case, we will be witnessing a miracle of such magnitude that the world as we know it, will indeed come to an end – making the berserk jerkoff correct. And what are the odds of that happening? Right. Thought you’d say that.

Anyhow, allow me a small disclaimer and let the futility begin.

I have nothing, I repeat, nothing against those that believe in an afterlife and all sorts of other mystical things. Like I said, I don’t much care to discuss it as I think the outcome is predetermined. But once again, lay off the judgments and predictions of doom. Believe me, it’s not helping your cause any. And if none of the above applies to you, easy, no need to reply.

Nothing new, I know. But the Can O’worms really did fall on my lap and I want to give it back to its rightful owners.

Any takers?

Tough call. I learnt that very early when the Sisters in my school would insist that the reasoning behind what they taught us was “because the bible says so”, or other such nonsense. When I insistently questioned them they just danced around the questions.

MG: Why are you against abortion?

Them: It is immoral

MG: But it wasn’t before

Them: We were wrong before

MG: What if you are wrong now?

Them: No, we’re not.

MG: How do you know?

Them: The Holy Father says so…

MG: :rolleyes:

And so it was that Mighty_Girl was the first student in that school to flunk Religious Ed. I admit that nuns are not particularly strong in theology (at least the ones in my school), but there was no arguing with them. So I guess we just have to resign to being the disgusting godless heathens that we supposedly are.

Expect the Spanish Inquisition.

Sorry to respond in that I pretty much agree with you. I read the other thread with much interest and was equally dumbfounded at some of the attitudes there.

My WAG is that people in general like to have boundaries in their life. Boundaries give a sense of security, a sense of knowing that one is cared for. Agreeing with a larger group to share the same limits gives a greater sense of belonging. And if there were no limits we would have anarchy. Isn’t it nice to know that certain laws really do protect us for the most part? Isn’t it great knowing that those who break certain rules risk being punished for it? (I’m referring to laws that protect people and property in case that wasn’t clear.)

Some folks think that in order to be of a certain religion that one must agree with every rule, law, or code that is announced from whatever authority there is of that religion. If they openly disagree, one risks losing benefits of that religion, or any group with a basic set of standards actually. I would suggest that most people don’t agree with 100% of everything their moral authority tells them to believe, but they outwardly say they do or if they do agree totally it is because it gives them that sense of security in knowing they will be taken care of because someone cares enough to set limits for them.

What happens when someone has chosen to believe in those limits and they know of someone else who has a different set of beliefs? Well, damn! Why do they get to do the things I cannot? Rather than question their own set of beliefs and decide that it’s possible to have the same amount of faith, just with different limits, it must be the other person that is wrong. If they are wrong I must help them see the error of their ways or at least make sure they aren’t having any more fun than I am. Even better, if they are hurt somehow, that is automatic proof that I have chosen correctly and they did not. Of course if I get hurt it is either someone else’s fault or it’s a test of my faith and I must show it by restricting myself even more and that means other people get to do even more fun things.

Long story short- misery loves company.


Wash rinse repeat. Substitute Jesuits/Nuns and pretty much the same story. Thankfully, I stopped going to Catholic schools at about ten. Parents went through the motions with the “you have to believe” spiel but their own heart wasn’t in it either. The stuff didn’t make sense then, makes even less now.

Life’s good.

Thanks for your well-thoughtout response. Overall, I agree with what you say – easier to condemm than to question. Group-think, along with systematic indoctrination and fear, are powerful behavioral modifiers. And powerful they must be when people lose the ability to think lucidly. Once they reach that point what could/should be at most, a crutch, becomes a burden.

A type of insanity? Willful ignorace? Brain chemistry? Bliss? Don’t know. Empathy has limits. And that is beyond my own.

Perhaps someone better equipped then I will show up and provide a more satisfactory answer.