official moral

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Emma_85
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official moral

Post by Emma_85 » Mon Sep 15, 2003 5:44 pm

In the last few months I've noticed just how much people are influenced by our 'official' moral principals. The more if other people are around - the pressure grows. Politicians here are just incapable of some reforms, because of these principals, which are of course greatly influenced by Christianity (as it is the ancient Greeks (the Stoics) ‘invented’ most of these principals).<br />Even in smaller circles this happens. If they don’t believe the moral values are correct they still find themselves acting on them time and time again, just because everyone else does.<br />Can we easily ignore these moral guidelines, which regulate the actions of ourselves and others, or is it nearly impossible to do so?<br /><br />What are your opinions on the subject?
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Re:official moral

Post by klewlis » Mon Sep 15, 2003 5:49 pm

could you be more specific? I'm not sure I know what you mean by "official" morals. Examples?

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Re:official moral

Post by Emma_85 » Mon Sep 15, 2003 6:36 pm

<br />I'm talking about how we nearly always act anywhere public, and that tends to be in a Christian sort of way (help everyone whoever). Charity for example - we send load of aid to countries, which use the food we send to feed their starving people (but the reason they starve is that we send them food, allowing them to spend billions on new war tanks and helicopters to use in war). Of course no one wants them to starve, and so these dictators are being helped to fund a war and everyone knows this. <br />Africa won't be able to get rid of it's problems if people continue to fund their wars... even if it was meant to help the people, not feed the army. The view is: we help wherever we can, it's not our fault if they what happens then. <br /><br />Now that's an example where I think politicians should just at least say that they think this is wrong, because with dictators all around the word see the west as a bunch of nations that give whatever...<br /><br />But no one would ever dare to say thing against giving starving people food, and I think if it was up to me to say give them the food or let them starve (even if in the end just as many would starve as would be killed in war) I would still give them the food. A hard decision....<br /><br />This is an example to show you what I mean, but really I'm talking about day-to-day life as well. Another example: the teachers at my school have to decide who is allowed to stay at my school and who is not at the end of every year. Now if something terrible has happened in someone’s family or something else like that, the teachers all vote that they stay at school, even though they're marks may be really bad. They do this because it's like: we must help in any possible way.<br />The thing is that some teachers don't think that some pupils should be allowed to stay on at school, like if they had bad marks before or just because they say terrible things happen to every one, but other pupils just worked anyway and had an even harder time and it would be unfair towards them. These teachers still vote for them to stay on though in the open vote...
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Re:official moral

Post by Emma_85 » Mon Sep 15, 2003 6:39 pm

Sorry for my grammar and spelling, I'm in a bit of a hurry and I have headace :P
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Re:official moral

Post by klewlis » Mon Sep 15, 2003 6:53 pm

Well, as far as your first example and situations related, I don't think it's a moral issue at all... that is, yes it's good to feed starving people but that is not usually the motive behind our methods and reasons for "helping" poor countries. It is all about politics and economics.. the politicians aren't generally thinking about what is actually *best* for other countries (there are a few noble ones but in general...) but what will help *us* in the long run. It's all very self-serving. We want to help poor countries because they will bring us business... and if that business comes in the form of weapons and wars, so be it... if it comes in more peaceful ways, that's ok too. We just want the money. And SO many politicians are influenced by the rich and powerful citizens and corporations rather than by honest motives. So they turn a blind eye to unfair business practices (sweatshops, et al). On that note I'm glad to see some of the less powerful countries standing up for themselves at the WTO meetings this weekend and forcing the rest of us to pay better attention.<br /><br />As for your second example, I'm unfamiliar with that practice, since we don't do that here. A student doesn't get kicked out unless they really do something bad or really refuse to make any effort. <br /><br />In general I don't have problems with the types of social customs that give the underdog the benefit of the doubt. I'd rather have mercy and compassion than perfect but heartless justice.

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Re:official moral

Post by Emma_85 » Mon Sep 15, 2003 7:49 pm

It's not just the politician, I'm talking about other organisations, too. Like the UN for example or generally any other carities, it's them, too. People ignore the consequences of their actions, and it seems to me it's because they are just unable to do anything that is agains the moral principals of our society. And charity does have something to do with moral, as it's part of our Christian moral beliefs to give as much as we can and love everyone.
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Re:official moral

Post by Emma_85 » Mon Sep 15, 2003 7:54 pm

In general I don't have problems with the types of social customs that give the underdog the benefit of the doubt. I'd rather have mercy and compassion than perfect but heartless justice. <br /><br />What you just said is a perfect example of what our moral system is like and what I'm trying to point out. The thing is that compassion is sometimes harmful or useless if you don't use your brains, too.
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Re:official moral

Post by klewlis » Mon Sep 15, 2003 9:21 pm

[quote author=Emma_85 link=board=13;threadid=645;start=0#6073 date=1063655343]<br />It's not just the politician, I'm talking about other organisations, too. Like the UN for example or generally any other carities, it's them, too. People ignore the consequences of their actions, and it seems to me it's because they are just unable to do anything that is agains the moral principals of our society. And charity does have something to do with moral, as it's part of our Christian moral beliefs to give as much as we can and love everyone. <br />[/quote]<br /><br />That's not necessarily *christian* beliefs... most (all?) religions share the same types of values. <br /><br />I have a great deal of respect for the UN... sure, they make stupid decisions sometimes but I do think they try. When they go out and feed poor countries, and when charities do the same, they are not necessarily ignoring or missing the larger issues at play. They are well aware of the long-term repercussions of funding certain governments, etc, and the US in particular is a potent example of some of these things coming back to bite you later. However, the fact remains that you cannot do anything for a population when they are starving... you cannot educate them or change them or motivate them to work for better government if they are starving and dying in the streets. It's true that sending food is not the final answer... but starving people don't care about politics (unless they're about to revolt) and the millions of AIDS orphans in africa don't give a damn about who is ruling them or why or how... they are looking for food and medicine. Only once those basic needs are met can you start to look at more longterm, beneficial solutions. That's why organizations like World Vision work on not just feeding people but also building communities, providing education, etc... it is a more long-term and healthy vision. <br /><br />As for why we continue to support it, in most cases it is because we feel guilty and need to assuage that in some way. We feel bad that we live so well while others live so poorly, and especially that it is largely our fault that so many others are suffering. So we try to atone for our own lives by sending money and food... and we don't think about anything beyond that immediate gratification.<br /><br />I still don't think it has much to do with any general social morality.... aside from basic human kindness (or guilt, however you want to spin it...)

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Re:official moral

Post by mingshey » Tue Sep 16, 2003 1:51 am

"A mouse driven to the corner will bite the cat" is an old saying in Korea. You might have a similar proverb.<br /><br />Competition is a strong drive for social development. But too harsh a competition would drive the losers to look for another -- usually anti-social -- exit from their miserable situation. So the whole thing is not merely from sympathy, but also from a kind of social intelligence. Sympathy may be, to say, kind of motivation for individuals to serve the social need to reduce the potential crime rate. But I won't say it is intended to be that on purpose. You might say it's the result of social evolution, or whatever.

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Re:official moral

Post by Keesa » Tue Sep 16, 2003 12:31 pm

I used to be a volunteer for an organization here in Alabama called SIFAT, Servants in Faith and Technology. They were a missionary organization, but they had two favorite sayings; first, that a starving belly has no ears, and second, the old saying "Give a man a fish, and he will eat for a day; teach him to fish, and he will eat for a lifetime." SIFAT trains missionaries in "Appropriate Technologies," so that the people can learn to feed themselves, rather than relying on handouts. They have invented things like rope-and-washer pumps, solar cookers made from local trash...many, many other things, all that can be made easily and inexpensively, often from junk, and they teach the people in third-world countries how to make them, even how to sell them, so that a family can start a small business, if they want to. And while they work, they share their message. It's a wonderful concept, I think-teaching people to help themselves. <br /><br />Keesa
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