Your OWN personal morality
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01-02-2012, 03:00 PM
Your OWN personal morality
Not what you think a universal morality ought to be, not one of the officially approved moralities (of church or state or any other group of humans) but the morality that YOU live by, your own personal conviction guiding your everyday life.

If you have one that you are aware of, that you are ready to explain to each other.

Jeff asked me in the "Munitions Factory" thread and I gave him my own description the best I could (Post #36).

It would be interesting to see how many of us have clearly identified moral principles and how these principles help us live our lives.
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01-02-2012, 03:23 PM
RE: Your OWN personal morality
Not sure if this is the same thing, but these are a few of the rules I live by:

- I consider it a responsibility to help feed people. Not just my family. I do this by sharing harvests, bringing people to my home for meals, and donating food. (For example, last year I grew a potato patch for the salvation army in my area. Ended up donating over 150 pounds)

- Educating people is pinnacle in my life. I may not be very book-smart, but there are things I know, and I try to take every opportunity to pass that on to others.

- I don't consider the land I have a posession. I am a steward of the land. I am charged with keeping it healthy, and taking from it only what I can without harming it. What I do take belongs to everyone (hence sharing food being a pivotal part of my life)

- Do unto others...I don't care where the saying came from. It's the way I try to live.

- Tolerating something does not equal approving of it. I tolerate many things, so myself and others can live peacefully. When those things begin to harm others, I stop tolerating them and begin acting against them.

.....it's tough to put your morality into words. Thanks for the challenge. I'll think on this some more.

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01-02-2012, 03:46 PM
RE: Your OWN personal morality
An overview (and much more) of my sins and values can be read here

Observer

Agnostic atheist
Secular humanist
Emotional rationalist
Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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01-02-2012, 03:47 PM
RE: Your OWN personal morality
(01-02-2012 03:23 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  - Tolerating something does not equal approving of it. I tolerate many things, so myself and others can live peacefully. When those things begin to harm others, I stop tolerating them and begin acting against them.

I like this one in particular. All too often people equate tolerance with approval or acceptance when all it means is that one tolerates something else.

I tolerate lots of things but as was said, it doesn't mean I agree and just because I do not openly accept something does not mean I am against something or bigoted.

Anyways..no matter what another person has done I always try to understand them and have at least a shred of compassion for them. I will not use slander to dehumanize someone just so I can justify hatefulness.

Like "Stark Raving" it is hard for me to put my morals into words so all I can say is this, I try to do what is right, I try to be respectful and endeavor not to purposely hurt others for the mere sake of being nasty.

I don't like that certain things like abortion exists but I would never think of supporting laws that deny a person their rights. (Ok..I might question their motives) but it is not right to respect only those rights that harmonize with my own views (within reason of course) Ok..that sounded stupid so I'll just be quiet now!

Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return.
To obtain, something of equal value must be lost.
That is Alchemy's first law of Equivalent Exchange.
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01-02-2012, 03:54 PM
RE: Your OWN personal morality
Well a few things I live by are:

- Helping: Most likely I want to help people with acts and not with money. I do not donate to charities. When I see someone on the street who needs help, I do help. Same with friends and family as far as I can.

- Honesty: I hate liars. Not talking about emergency lies. I do not lie (again apart from emergency lies which happened only once in my life). If someone asks me, he will get an honest answer.

- Kindness/professionality: I try to stay kind or at least professional. I won't ever be rude or unfriendly for personal reasons. But I am not afraid to tell someone to "fuck off" in certain situations.

- Nature: I try to be as good as I can towards nature and our planet. I do not own a car, though I would like to sometimes. I recycle most of the time. I don't throw garbage on the road. I walk a lot instead of taking a bus. I behave respectfully towards flora and fauna. (as respectful as I can in this environment)

- Animals: Animals live on this planet together. Counting humans as one race of animals. We are supposed to live next to each other without hurting each other. When I encounter animal cruelty I report to the authorities (beating, not feeding, catching birds in the park, things like that).

- Egoism: A bit of egoism is important for me. Though I like caring for others I will make myself feel good, too. And I will put myself first in certain situations. Especially when it is about my peace of mind.

That's a bit of it... Of course there is a lot more to it but it get's too detailed.
Overall I draw very clear lines for myself for how to act in certain situations. Some things seem cold harded, rude, unfair to others. But I do what I think is best for everyone.
I want to give examples but I notice that my eyes are getting tired.

Edit: just saw you guys talking about tolerance. I am very tolerant towards lot's of things. Only illegal or immoral (in my sense) things will not be tollerated by me.

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01-02-2012, 04:16 PM
RE: Your OWN personal morality
This is pretty tough. I think it's hard because I don't actively try to be a good person.

I generally try to make those in my company feel comfortable and not hurt anyone physically or emotionally unless they really have it coming. I guess I could break it down into understanding, respect, and compassion.

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect.”

-Mark Twain
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01-02-2012, 10:35 PM
RE: Your OWN personal morality
Situational.

Of course, i wasn't hatched under a rock. I was brought up by a conventional family in a normal modern society and heard all the usual tales about overcoming obstacles for the sake of loyalty, defeating dragons for the sake of love; "holding on one minute longer", fighting injustice and defending the weak....
I didn't reject very much of that, but i couldn't live up to it either, and later discovered that most people can't, and many don't care. That's okay - as long as most of us try for common decency most of the time, the world is liveable.
What makes me sad is people jeering at goodness.

I'm neither hero nor villain. I've been guilty of lying and petty larceny, and didn't feel terrible about it; did feel terrible about negligence that led to trouble for someone else. Most of my sins are of omission, caused by cowardice or laziness.
I've done small good deeds, as opportunity presented, and feel pretty good about being generous or kind.
The most important moral principles are compassion and fairness. If i can manage that, more often than not, i'm doing all right.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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01-02-2012, 11:36 PM
RE: Your OWN personal morality
The golden rule --- "do unto others as you would have done unto you" --- is golden for a reason. Or to quote Alestra Crowley "Do what thou wilt, so long as harm shall come to none." Good morals benefit yourself and others, and bad morals cause harm to yourself or others.

Of course there are cases where some people benefit while others are harmed. Even a theist who argues that lying is a sin will find it hard to justify that in the famous example of "lying to Nazis to protect hidden Jews." We all understand that the issue isn't black and white, nor is it easy, but it is simple to form general guidelines --- for instance, one atheist friend suggests "do unto others as they would have done unto them", a slight variation on the golden rule. Tougher cases can always be brought to peers and evaluated, just like any idea can.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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02-02-2012, 09:36 AM (This post was last modified: 02-02-2012 09:45 AM by Zat.)
RE: Your OWN personal morality
I guess I might as well add my own here, even though I have posted it already in the "Munitions Factory" thread.

I am old, my life is almost over, and I have to look back to see what it has been about.

My answer is multifold.

- Develop my potentials as much as I could
- Worship the beauty of this world I was born into
- Worship the power of the human mind to see truth
- Share as much of it as possible with my fellow travelers
- Help those who were not as fortunate as I have been.

In this life there is no room for violence, hate, political systems, ideologies, envy, greed, gluttony, power-seeking, brutality.

I look upon the world as a ONE: one planet, multiple living species, one of which is mine. I want to share and share equally, both with humans and with other life forms.

I know that it is not possible, but in my mind I live in that world and behave as if I was actually living in that world.

I am not a Hungarian, not a Canadian, not a Westerner, not part of any sub-groups – I am a human being living my limited life on this one Planet and trying to make the most of it.

I would never knowingly work in an environment that produces harmful things.

When I go to the store and buy food, I get something from people who worked hard to give me something I need to keep me alive, keep my body healthy and well fed.

I OWE them something in return.

What I owe them has to be equally nourishing to them, equally beneficial to them, to their children, to others.

I know, EVERYTHING can be justified on some level and has been justified, from the beginning of history. By war, by self-defense, by righting a wrong, by purifying a race, by revenge, by god, by the 'marketplace', by group-loyalty.

Justifications are dime a dozen.

Now I can get involved in the justification game – or I can just get out of the entire game and say: “I will do no harm”.

I want to be able to look into the mirror every morning and say, with clear conscience: today I am giving those people something in return -- something that doesn't need justification: food for their table, fixing their plumbing, educating their kids, music, poetry, woodcarving, telling them the truth on Forums. Smile
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03-02-2012, 02:40 AM
RE: Your OWN personal morality
Treat others as you yourself would want to be treated.

You're never going to say the things you want to say.
The things you want to change will usually stay that way
The promises you break outweigh the ones you keep.
Paint upon the wall for the hundredth time.

Jesus Jones
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