Monday, December 20, 2010

An Addendum To My Last Essay

The following is an addendum to my last essay (Believers in the Supernatural) which I have already inserted:

What determines whether an act has been morality initiated is motive (the reason one chooses to act in a particular way). A belief in the supernatural (as history has clearly shown) has never guaranteed obedience to the laws of any religious faith, let alone, adherence to any moral standard.

What’s more, it should be obvious that morality becomes corrupted when our motives are influenced or manipulated by the benevolence and/or fear of God or by any reward and/or punishment.

Therefore, the choice of a particular action or course one chooses (if it is to be moral) must always be carefully and cognitively selected. Morality does not require one to be heroic, to disregard one’s interests over the interests of others. It merely obliges that the basic needs and interests of other sentient beings should always take precedence over one’s wanton desires. In other words, reciprocity is essential. We must care for others as we would like for them to care for us.

Furthermore, morality cannot be arbitrary. In order to truly live a moral life one must treat all living sentient beings with the same consideration and respect, and not just the members of one’s family, community, nation, race, ethnic heritage, gender, religious affiliation, philosophical perspective, political ideology, and/or species. I would also add that morally we are obliged to revere and care for all non-sentient elements of the Universe that provide and sustain life.

Clearly the concept of the supernatural and the ethic of reciprocity originate from the human mind, however, one is most often fashioned and formed from fear and ignorance while the other is inspired by a desire to do what is right and just.


mythopolis said...

" In other words, reciprocity is essential. We must care for others as we would like for them to care for us."

That's the bottom line, I guess. You have to be careful though; in a dog-eat-dog world, some will bite the hand that feeds them.

Owen said...

Dee, have just read this one and the preceeding essay, and can't agree with you more...

Religion is perhaps mankind's most perverse invention. Few things have caused greater amounts of wasted time and energy over the eons, have caused more fear, or caused more irrational, murderous behavior. I'm a firm non-believer in twisted belief systems that wish to instruct me on what I should be thinking or believing. There are so many more interesting things to be doing on this planet.

Dee Newman said...

Remember when George W. mistakenly misquoted the Golden Rule by saying, "Do unto to others as they do unto you."