Re: MD Is Morality Relative?

From: Ian Glendinning (
Date: Sat Dec 11 2004 - 00:03:10 GMT

  • Next message: Ian Glendinning: "Re: MD Static and dynamic aspects of mysticism and religious experience"

    Mel, (and Platt, embedded)

    I kind of agree.
    I actually don't care / mind / object to where Platt believes these "good
    morals" originate.
    I defend his right to believe in a god (as I've said).

    As someone who holds the MoQ in high regard, I see it as a natural fit with
    the MoQ, and I kind of expect that to be the case with others in this
    discussion group. But we know Platt is looking at morals independant of the
    MoQ. I say OK, fair do's. But why must Platt keep introducing his god into
    discussions that don't "need" it ? If the argument is true "wherever" these
    morals originate, why introduce on particular conceivable source. Surely
    Occam has some place here ?

    The question of "origination" is Platt's not mine.
    As I've said, I really don't care "why", if that means "which purposeful
    being decided" ?
    The answer to that question can only ever be "the omniscient one".

    I accept "this is good" (or not) because it fits empirical reality.
    Why introduce "because god deems it" superfluously ?
    Just to wind me up :-) ?

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "ml" <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2004 4:36 PM
    Subject: Re: MD Is Morality Relative?

    > Hello Ian / Platt:
    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: "Platt Holden" <>
    > To: <>; <>
    > Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2004 7:16 AM
    > Subject: Re: MD Is Morality Relative?
    > > Platt had said pointedly:
    > > > [Quote] For example, my hard-nosed, no-nonsense intellect tells me it
    > would
    > > > be a grievous error to remove from a vital, free society the idea that
    > > > Creator endows certain inalienable rights on every person -- like
    > > > liberty and the pursuit of happiness (to coin a phrase). [Unquote]
    > >
    > > Ian said, with a jaunty air, yet thoughtfully:
    > > > I say
    > > > I absolutely agree it would be unwise to remove the idea that those
    > rights
    > > > are "natural human rights", learned by generations of catastrophic
    > mistakes
    > > > throughout history, but why does their value depend on the
    > > > idea that they are valid rights simply because your Creator created
    > them. I
    > > > genuinely have no wish to insult your spiritual beliefs, but why let
    > them
    > > > get in the way of a top class idea like human rights ? It's almost
    > you
    > > > subscribe to the "opiate of the people" viewpoint, like the masses are
    > > > somehow too dim to understand anything but a simplistic fairy story -
    > don't
    > > > want them asking too many awkward questions, give 'em religion, etc. I
    > find
    > > > that insulting.
    > >
    > Platt replied with restrained dignity:
    > > Many people would find it insulting that you characterize their
    > > belief as a "fairy story." As for human rights, I think it's better to
    > > have them sanctioned by a higher power than by men or majorities who,
    > > whatever excuse, can revoke them "in the public interest."
    > >
    > > But, I could be wrong. My hope was that this group could reconcile
    > > religious belief with intellect to come up with some guiding moral
    > > principles that would help mend the current social divide until the MOQ
    > > becomes more widely accepted. To summarily reject those who believe in a
    > > Creator doesn't seem helpful toward that end.
    > >
    > mel, squeaked from his place in the corner::
    > In some ways it seems almost upside down to discuss
    > WHERE the moral principles originate, when the more
    > important point is that extant moral principles are not
    > respected, other people are not respected, and the
    > result of the failure socially and biologically, not to
    > mention intellectually results in direct justifications
    > of violence.
    > examples: Socially - fundamentalist organizations
    > of any stripe, most visibly now, regard their own as
    > possessing the truth and everyone else as unworthy.
    > "Liberal" writers have no respect for opposition.
    > "Conservative" wirters have no respect for opposition.
    > (both seem rather to prefer the "rhino-ectomy to spite
    > the face" approach to an alternative of compromise.)
    > Biologically, it is the "objectification" of another, a very
    > pointed lack of respect for the Quality of another, as
    > lesser that allows battery, intimidation, and killing.
    > Intellectually, the ease of ridicule that creeps into the
    > treatment of others in print. Chomsky of Friedman,
    > ourselves to each other, myself of Chomsky,
    > everyone of Bush, all betray a similar though more subtle
    > "violence" through lack of respect.
    >'s the diminution...
    > RE: the matter of the Opiate of fairy story faith...
    > People exist at all levels of sophistication and it
    > is best that there are levels by which they are all
    > reached. (Or by which they can manage in life...)
    > As a child is "better" informed with simple explanations,
    > which hopefully are revised and made more complex
    > and complete through life, so too are some people
    > who for whatever reason "stall" at a certain stage of
    > their development.
    > If my NASCAR Billy-Bob neighbor needs to picture a
    > lightening throwing old bearded white guy to keep
    > from beating his wife, then -- it works.
    > If the woman on the block behind finds refuge in
    > an oceanic consciousness that brings compassion
    > then good on 'er.
    > Different levels of sophistication are why this is such
    > a small group...
    > The beauty of MoQ seems to me that the nature of
    > morality becomes interpenetrative to all existence and
    > indivisible from it...inescapable, always shining in your
    > eyes. hmmmm
    > thanks--mel
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