official moral

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Keesa
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Re:official moral

Post by Keesa » Tue Sep 16, 2003 12:35 pm

Here's a link that explains Appropriate Technologies much better than I can. <br /><br />http://www.cjpeters.com/ATSTUFF/at.htm<br /><br />So, you see, not everyone just goes around handing things out, regardless of what's best for the people. There is hope! :)<br /><br />Keesa
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Bert
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Re:official moral

Post by Bert » Wed Sep 17, 2003 12:27 am

[quote author=klewlis link=board=13;threadid=645;start=0#6080 date=1063660874]<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 don't think I understand you. What do you mean by continue to support it. It being what. Both types of organizations are helpful but in different circumstances.<br />Emergency relief generally is of the 'feed a man a fish' variety, while continued help should concentrate on 'teaching the man to fish'. I don't think I should have to second guess the motives of the people running the organizations that I support.<br />I also don't think we have to feel guilty for living so well.<br />Us living in poverty is not going to help them either.<br />We should feel thankfull for what we have, and be willing to use it for the benefit of others (and not in order to receive 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...)<br /><br />However you want to spin it? You don't mean that they refer to the same thing do you?<br />[/quote]

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klewlis
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Re:official moral

Post by klewlis » Wed Sep 17, 2003 2:38 am

sorry, I may not have been as clear as I should be... so tired and life is wild right now! <br /><br />What I meant was the people's motives in supporting charities is generally mixed... even the motives of charities themselves are mixed... there are many genuine charities and genuine givers... but there are also those who do it for less than honorable reasons.<br /><br />I agree with you that we do not need to feel guilty about living well. I'm not sure how to explain the sense of what I'm thinking... there is this underlying feeling in western society that we need to be helping the poor (maybe this *is* emma's "social morality") because we are better off... and so often our way of life instead directly or indirectly harms others... and so we feel the need to do something about it... whether those motives are pure and honorable is for each person to figure out. But I think that in many cases we give a fish because it's a quick and easy way to feel like we've done our duty, without really making a sacrifice. I can send $33/month to world vision and say, "there, I've done my part for social justice" and leave it at that. It is easy, cheap, and non-sacrificial, but it makes me feel nice that I've done something. Thankfully many of these organizations go the extra mile on the money we send, so it's not wasted. <br /><br />Does that make more sense? It springs from my frustration at world injustice and how entangled my way of life is with the pain of others. I can hardly shop at walmart or buy mutual funds or drink coffee without someone, somewhere suffering for it... and there's nothing I can do about that and no easy answer. And fortunately awareness of such things is growing and certain businesses are being called into account for their business practices, but there is still so much more to be done. I do struggle with how easy my life is, when I go and hang out with street kids and see how *their* lives are, and the things they deal with every day. Where is the justice? And as a Christian I have to ask God some of these tough questions and trust that the scales do balance in the end. <br /><br />Maybe *I* am the one assuaging my guilt... although I hope my motives are more pure than that ;)<br /><br />Sorry if that's off topic... I'm just rambling :)

Bert
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Re:official moral

Post by Bert » Wed Sep 17, 2003 10:21 am

Right. Your rambling clarified it.Thanks

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Hamilton
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Re:official moral

Post by Hamilton » Sat Sep 20, 2003 4:42 am

Natural Law is a useful starting point for these type of discussions.
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Emma_85
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Re:official moral

Post by Emma_85 » Sat Sep 20, 2003 11:43 am

I'm not entirely sure I understand you, Hamilton. It is not natural for people to care for others they've never seen or met before in their lives. Take a look at Greece... they didn't got to a lot of bother to just help any foreigners, until Alexander came along and suddenly they no longer lived in just one polis, but in a small part of a huge empire. Even though the empire didn't outlast his death, the impact it had on the minds of people was still incredible. That was the start of cosmopolitan thinking in Greece, and also of this idea, which Christianity took up, to love and help everyone, whoever or wherever they are, not just the people you know and not just your city.
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Hamilton
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Re:official moral

Post by Hamilton » Sat Sep 20, 2003 12:19 pm

Have you read Greek Ways by Bruce Thornton? Natural Law itself is a fascinating study. While it has traditionally been considered an RC thing, there are several non-Catholics working in Natural Law today.<br /><br />I disagree with your assertions about the Greeks and strangers. I believe that Bernard Knox's intros to Fagles' translations of the Iliad and Odyssey, as well as M.I. Finley's World of Odysseus have a different synopsis of the Greeks and strangers.<br /><br />I've read Victor Davis Hanson's works on Alexander and I believe that Alexander was a homicidal maniac who bastardized Greek Ways in service of theocratic Macedonian aims.<br /><br />I'm feeling pretty peppy today, as you can tell.
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Emma_85
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Re:official moral

Post by Emma_85 » Sat Sep 20, 2003 12:26 pm

I don't think Alexander was 'great' in that way, but it was certainly through his empire that people first started to think of themselves as people of the kosmos and not just of their polis.
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klewlis
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Re:official moral

Post by klewlis » Sat Sep 20, 2003 2:49 pm

<br />It is not natural for people to care for others they've never seen or met before in their lives.
<br /><br />It may not seem natural at first glance. However, I was recently reading about mini-societies with which some sociologists have been experimenting via computers--ie, creating tiny programs to interact in simplified societies like little people. The experiments continually show that at higher levels of evolution, it does prove beneficial for an organism to cooperate with and help other organisms even though they may not seem directly connected... this is because it benefits the society as a whole and therefore the various individuals.<br /><br />Of course, this was all done by computer and not by any real life study of people, and I do question the unquestioned authority of computers in matters of humanity. ;)

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Emma_85
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Re:official moral

Post by Emma_85 » Sat Sep 20, 2003 3:03 pm

The thing is that our human mind is not made for thinking big. We can imagine what the consequences of our actions will be, but only on a small scale. We wouldn't be so stupid with our resources or the environment if we could just realise what we're doing, even though we know for sure that someone will be cross with us if we don't keep a promise. The things we do that will affect humanity in the long run or the country or the world as a whole... it's something our mind can't handle, thinking big like that. <br />Small circles, small timescales that's where our brain does it's job right. So of course humans help each other for the good of the community, but for example only the good of the family or town, not for the good of the whole race. It's something we're not capable of doing naturally, only something that we do, when we take time to think about things.
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