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Thread: !0 Commandments versus a legal system

  1. Top | #21
    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Ten-Commandments enthusiasts argue "What can be wrong with objecting to murder and theft?" But murder and theft are (1) very easy to object to and (2) only part of the 10C's.

    It's like saying that it's impossible to object to Buddhism because its Four Noble Truths recognize the suffering in our lives and because its Five Moral Rules forbid murder, theft, lying, sexual misconduct, and consuming anything intoxicating.

  2. Top | #22
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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_Eightfold_Path

    The Buddhist 8 Fold Path is derived rationally from observance of causes of human suffering. No god needed. Only monks practice celibacy and poverty. Sex is limited to marriage. No intoxicants. Right livelihood, no work that violates morality.. A true moral code.

    Right View: our actions have consequences, death is not the end, and our actions and beliefs have consequences after death. The Buddha followed and taught a successful path out of this world and the other world (heaven and underworld/hell).[28][29][30][31][note 3] Later on, right view came to explicitly include karma and rebirth, and the importance of the Four Noble Truths, when "insight" became central to Buddhist soteriology.[32][33]


    Right Resolve or Intention: the giving up home and adopting the life of a religious mendicant in order to follow the path; this concept aims at peaceful renunciation, into an environment of non-sensuality, non-ill-will (to loving kindness), away from cruelty (to compassion).[34] Such an environment aids contemplation of impermanence, suffering, and non-Self.[34]
    Right Speech: no lying, no rude speech, no telling one person what another says about him.[27]

    Right Conduct or Action: no killing or injuring, no taking what is not given, no sexual acts, no material desires.[27]

    Right Livelihood: beg to feed, only possessing what is essential to sustain life;[27]

    Right Effort: preventing the arising of unwholesome states, and generating wholesome states, the bojjhagā (seven factors of awakening). This includes indriya-samvara, "guarding the sense-doors," restraint of the sense faculties.[35][34]

    Right Mindfulness (sati; Satipatthana; Sampajañña): "retention," being mindful of the dhammas ("teachings," "elements") that are beneficial to the Buddhist path.[36][note 4] In the vipassana movement, sati is interpreted as "bare attention": never be absent minded, being conscious of what one is doing;[38] this encourages the awareness of the impermanence of body, feeling and mind, as well as to experience the five aggregates (skandhas), the five hindrances, the four True Realities and seven factors of awakening.[34]

    Right samadhi (Passaddhi; Ekaggata; sampasadana): practicing four stages of dhyāna ("meditation"), which includes samadhi proper in the second stage, and reinforces the development of the bojjhagā, culminating into upekkha (equanimity) and mindfulness.[39][8] In the Theravada tradition and the Vipassana movement, this is interpreted as ekaggata, concentration or one-pointedness of the mind, and supplemented with Vipassana-meditation, which aims at insight.

  3. Top | #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by seyorni View Post
    Why do you single out the West?
    I think legal systems in the West -- and i assume you're talking about Europe and the Americas -- tend to be based on abstract principles of fairness and idealism than those in the ancient world. That's not to say this veneer isn't fragile. If people feel threatened or insecure, the desire for order, convention and predictability can still override principle.
    Fairness and legal systems are not the same.

    sometimes the obliviously guilty go free because of the way the system works. A system of fixed rules and imperfect people can never be perfect. Sometimes the innocent are convicted. It is about a system that maintains order over chaos and individual justice.
    Any system that values ethics (avoiding undue harm to people) and fairness will sometimes let the guilty go free and jail the innocent. Fairness and minimizing of unethical actions are optimized when explicit rules and procedures are followed for determining whether a person is guilty of violating behavioral codes. Violation of those procedures will always create unchecked power that leads to the greatest levels of unfairness and immorality.
    IOW, your setting up a false dichotomy between fixed rules and order versus morality, fairness, and justice. While rules and order can be devoid of morality and fairness, morality and fairness in a large society is not possible without them.

  4. Top | #24
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    The way I see it a moral code is a set of rules. Ethics is how you stick to the rules.

    To the ancient Samurai ritual suicide was the ethical thing to do under certain circumstances.

    What is moral is decided by a culture.

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Humans have William the Conqueror to thank for integrating legal structures in occidental culture. Now, if only we could integrate legal with religious aspects of said culture we might have something that works. Unfortunately one needs find soul to achieve this.

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
    Ten-Commandments enthusiasts argue "What can be wrong with objecting to murder and theft?" But murder and theft are (1) very easy to object to and (2) only part of the 10C's.

    It's like saying that it's impossible to object to Buddhism because its Four Noble Truths recognize the suffering in our lives and because its Five Moral Rules forbid murder, theft, lying, sexual misconduct, and consuming anything intoxicating.
    Now this is a good place to stat this thread. So as post 2 Oregon Connection:

    I argue

    Relativism has no place when speaking of morality and ethics because we are talking about human nature.

    Relativism is an essential part of law which is supposed to arbitrate disputes within each culture.

    I don't think one can successfully argue that cultures share human nature since each is divided by technology, place, and disagreement with other cultures.

    So my short answer answer is that morality and law can only be related by the nature of the humans within a culture which is common with that of other cultures. Among these I find that small snippets of criminal law can be related to commonalities in various cultures shared morality relative to murder, theft, coercion, possession, family behavior, as long as caveats mentioned above are illuminated and justified, and a few other moral staples to which I'm willing to negotiate with those here.

    Using the above as a starting point along with your essential distinctions we will at least know what we are up against.

  7. Top | #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    A legal system like in the west is not necessarily about morality and justice. It is about maintaining order.o
    In the time of Moses although stated as from god, it is really a social legal system.

    It promotes order. No adultery or fornication which can lead to conflict. Do not lie or steal, again all about order. Do not bare false witness or make false accusation, again promotes social order and stability.
    https://talkfreethought.org/showthre...lized-behavior

    Quote Originally Posted by no-one-particular View Post
    An objective person is a person with sufficient objectivity to understand that the universe does not revolve around their ego.
    A civilized society is a society whose laws do not revolve around any one person or any one group of people.
    The more a society treats everyone as equals the more civilized it is.

    But treating everyone as equals is not the same thing as treating everyone exactly the same.
    If we treated everyone the way that extroverts want to be treated then people who are introverted would suffer.
    Treating everyone as if they were exactly the same is pseudo-civilization.

    Civilization is an emergent property. It has emerged from the law of the jungle. It is not part of the law of the jungle. It is separate from the law of the jungle. It is beyond the law of the jungle. It is above the law of the jungle. It is something entirely new. Civilization is what separates man from the animals. Humans are (in varying degrees) civilized. Animals are not.


    There are 3 common positions:
    1) The Theist position: There exists a magical and totally selfless being called 'god' that is the source of all morality (godliness) and civilized behavior should be derived from this morality.
    2) The Hyper-empirical position: There is no 'god' therefore there is no morality (godliness) and therefore there is no such thing as civilized behavior (only mob rule) and everyone is free to do whatever they can get away with.
    3) The Rationalist position: Civilization and civilized behavior are emergent properties that arises whenever you have a large number of objective human beings interacting with one another. A civilized society is a society governed by proper laws. Proper laws do not give any one person or any one group of people any special rights. All people have equal rights in a civilized society. Civilized behavior is behavior that respects proper laws, rules, and expectations.


    In the hyper-empirical (autistic) world view, a person is seen as just a "collection of atoms" and since it is not improper to use, abuse, or manipulate atoms to one's own ends it is, therefore, not thought improper to use, abuse, or manipulate people to one's own ends.

    On the face of it, this almost seems reasonable. After all, we are indeed made entirely of atoms (or some other units that can be modeled mathematically). It fails, however, to take into account the emergent phenomena that make a human being so much more than "just atoms". Atoms don't have thoughts, feelings, hopes, dreams, or aspirations but people do. Clearly, being "made of" something (for example atoms) is not the same thing as "being" something.

    Sometimes hyper-empirical people will avoid the phrase "humans are just atoms" and will opt instead for "humans are just animals". Both phrases express the same underlying idea
    Teachers = Trees of knowledge
    Fruit is free
    Will you eat or are you afraid it will bite you?

  8. Top | #28
    Super Moderator Bronzeage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lpetrich View Post
    Ten-Commandments enthusiasts argue "What can be wrong with objecting to murder and theft?" But murder and theft are (1) very easy to object to and (2) only part of the 10C's.

    It's like saying that it's impossible to object to Buddhism because its Four Noble Truths recognize the suffering in our lives and because its Five Moral Rules forbid murder, theft, lying, sexual misconduct, and consuming anything intoxicating.
    We don't object to murder and theft. We argue over the definitions of the words and what is more important, what actions do not fit the definition.

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