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Old 12-02-2007, 12:50 AM   #1
 
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Morality and the human mind--how do we become good or evil?

http://www.time.com/time/specials/20...686619,00.html

This article makes a lot of points, but not necessarily GOOD ones. It would be a good idea to take a look at it, especially the last two pages...

All I can say for now are two things; maybe half of this is questionable, and, what exactly do YOU think? Is this all bullshit, or do you think this article presents some real answers? Just lookin' for some opinions here..
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Old 12-02-2007, 04:18 AM   #2
 
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Re: Morality and the human mind--how do we become good or evil?

The way I was brought up, it taught me as simple as possible and apart from religion (although it corroborates it) that "virtue is apparent, and so is vice". Sorry, but I thought the article was exaggerating to make a dilemma out of the issue thus it lost its importance and credibility to me. Personally, I never had a difficulty in distinguishing right from wrong at all, just hesitation on which path to follow.

I would refute the article paragraph by paragraph, but it'd be really lengthy and bore to tears both readers and myself so the lines above summarizes basically my own point of view.
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Old 12-02-2007, 09:21 PM   #3
 
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Re: Morality and the human mind--how do we become good or evil?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leon
The way I was brought up, it taught me as simple as possible and apart from religion (although it corroborates it) that "virtue is apparent, and so is vice". Sorry, but I thought the article was exaggerating to make a dilemma out of the issue thus it lost its importance and credibility to me. Personally, I never had a difficulty in distinguishing right from wrong at all, just hesitation on which path to follow.

I would refute the article paragraph by paragraph, but it'd be really lengthy and bore to tears both readers and myself so the lines above summarizes basically my own point of view.
Ha ha...you make it sound as if was just a waste of my time to post this article. Maybe it was.

But you're right...the article makes it sound like human beings have trouble with just about everything, and are too stupid to comprehend something as simple as distinguishing right from wrong. I hereby concur with your opinion. XP
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Old 12-12-2007, 12:43 AM   #4
 
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Re: Morality and the human mind--how do we become good or evil?

Do I have to read the article to comment? o_O Cause I dun wanna RLY.

In my heart, I want to do right, yet when presented with the opportunity, I will often choose the 'wrong' or 'immoral' choice. Is it always IMMORAL?! No - yet it conflicts with my conscience...thereby making it 'wrong' for me.

People have asked my my views on certain things: smoking, SMOKING, lying, cheating, etc. etc... Here's my viewpoint: Your conscience is there for a reason. If you do something that violates it - you might feel guilty, be depressed, look for other things to take your mind off-of the wrong you committed against yourself. I think that God gave us - His special creation - this conscience because we HAVE free will. You can choose to do wrong, or you can choose to do right. No one will force you to become a mass murderer or a rapist or a lier...its a conscious or subconscious choice you have to make. Obviously, our governments have instituted guidelines or laws to live by that uphold what most people consider to be givens: freedom of speech, freedom to live out your life w/o oppression or slavery, freedom to choose your religion or signifigant other (in MOST countries.) Yet there's no laws about looking at pornography (except kiddy porn) when you know that it violates your inner compass. Or jail time when you lie to your mother about staying out all night drinking and smoking pot. Yet you still know its wrong and deep within yourself you compromise who you KNOW your meant to be. Still it becomes easier and easier to do so - because you slowly silence that voice inside and I believe that there's a point where God says 'You think that's what you want, you THINK that that will make you happy?! FINE - go get em tiger.'

What do you want to figure out by this discussion - HOW we get right from wrong? Why? WHAT is 'right' and 'wrong'? I honestly don't think that many people here are ready for this conversation - because if RIGHT and WRONG were to be unveiled to them - they would see themselves for who they really are....and THAT - is scary!
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Old 12-12-2007, 10:25 AM   #5
 
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Re: Morality and the human mind--how do we become good or evil?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix Flame View Post
What do you want to figure out by this discussion - HOW we get right from wrong? Why? WHAT is 'right' and 'wrong'? I honestly don't think that many people here are ready for this conversation - because if RIGHT and WRONG were to be unveiled to them - they would see themselves for who they really are....and THAT - is scary!
:-X
I think you could be right about that, in all honesty...but in my mind, I can't help but want to answer one of the questions that you have presented. WHAT is right from wrong is too easy--it all depends on your perspective. Just HOW we come to conclude what is right from wrong, and why...now THAT is something a little more complex.

So let THIS question be stated, and hope that maybe we can come up with some real answers. Anyone up for a shot at it?
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Old 12-12-2007, 02:31 PM   #6
 
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Re: Morality and the human mind--how do we become good or evil?

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I think you could be right about that, in all honesty...but in my mind, I can't help but want to answer one of the questions that you have presented. WHAT is right from wrong is too easy--it all depends on your perspective. Just HOW we come to conclude what is right from wrong, and why...now THAT is something a little more complex.

So let THIS question be stated, and hope that maybe we can come up with some real answers. Anyone up for a shot at it?

In order to be able to answer this question correctly, you have to have an universal understanding of every culture...heck - every individual for that matter. And you probably still wouldn't be 100% accurate in your analysis.

...or you can answer a seemingly unrelated question: 'What is Truth?' If you have an absolute value of something - it is what it is what it is. xD |-8| = 8. =P |Truth| has to be Truth itself. Many people would argue that truth is something that an individual has to search out and find for themselves. Furthermore; nearly everyone would like to be dealt with by other people honestly. What if my 'truth,' or what I consider to be truth conflicts with your idea of truth? A cycle begins and the only way it can be broken is if there is a standard.

Key thought: Without some standard or way to compare our thoughts, beliefs and values to - there can be no absolute truth and no way of knowing what truth is.

This is why you see the plethora of religions and religious systems out there. All of them saying that their's is the right way to paradise - or...whatever. =P

This is also why the world seems to now - more than any time in history - to have more confusion, anger, hate, injustices, greet, intolerance, bigotry......than at any other time. Many people, without a moral compass, simply get lost in the flow. The only values they may or may not have are the ones they either received from their parents, gathered from the people around them, and/or made up themselves. Hmm...beginning to see a connection between Truth and morality?

When Christ was before Pontious Pilate - at his own hearing - he said these words: "For this I was born, and for this I came into the world to...." Think you can fill in the blank?? As everyone - probably all of the spiritual world also - gathered around him to see how he would respond to Pilate's questioning, he simply said "...to testify to the truth." Want to know what Pilate said?? "Truth, what IS truth." Then he turned and walked away from the one individual who could give him one of the most pursued answers to that question.

There's more to go with this conversation, but I need to get ready to leave for work and this is enough to chew on and digest in conversation in the mean time. Check on ya tonight. ]
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Old 12-15-2007, 06:00 AM   #7
 
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Re: Morality and the human mind--how do we become good or evil?

Well...its been a couple of days. Is anyone reading this or should I even continue with my point?

All of it boils down into one thought anyway: God IS Truth. If you want to know know what the truth is...study God. He makes it easy enough. :3

...from Him, you can find out all you want to know about humanity and why we are the way we are.
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Old 12-15-2007, 08:39 PM   #8
 
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Re: Morality and the human mind--how do we become good or evil?

"Truth."

What the truth is, is related in more ways than anyone might think. The choices that people make and the opinions that they share with each other and the world tend to shape and create something in their minds--that is, they tend to create their OWN truth, and the things that define it. Adolf Hitler thought that the world needed to be cleansed, and killing millions of Jews was going to solve that--that was HIS truth, and he thought that he was doing the world a great deed, a great justice. But most other people thought that was WRONG--it was evil and hateful to kill innocent people, no matter what their religion. The Jewish did nothing wrong, nothing at all. And so, what THOSE people considered to be the "truth," was that Hitler was an evil man, an induvidual who had gone insane from his killing spree and that had to be stopped, no matter what it took.

However you look at it, whatever the truth may be--it all depends on perspective. It all depends on the rational, logical, emotional choices that people make, and the actions that they carry out after making those descisions. Whatever may seem "good" in YOUR mind, may be repulsive, even "evil" to someone else.

Science can only go so far when it tries to come up with solutions as to why people think the way they do, why people are they way they are...but it goes on a much deeper level, one that NOBODY will be able to understand. Scientists think that the human mind is capable of anything--and I myself used to think the same thing. But now, I'm just not so sure. =P
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Old 12-22-2007, 03:39 AM   #9
 
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Re: Morality and the human mind--how do we become good or evil?

That was very interesting, Doctor... Very interesting indeed... While I believe that each person holds his own truth, I also believe that somewhere, a line needs to be drawn... No man, or group of men, should be able to decide the fate of an entire religion just on a whim... Coming from my point of view, people of my religion (Wicca), along with the people of other religions, were prosecuted under many circumstances that were bogus... The Salem Witch Trials for example... While people may call Hitler insane for executing the Jews, many did the exact same thing during the Salem Witch Trials... But many view the Witch Trials as fair and just, though it is no different than the Hitler event in which many despise so... The scale on which the execution was committed was much smaller...But, as I said, that is the only difference...

On the point of God, not everyone believes in the same Deities... I, as previously stated, Wiccan... Therefore, I believe in the presence of more than one deity, that is however, a single deity... A Deity that is both male and female, and neither also... So, Reason, if you believe that the Christian God is Truth, then that is perfectly fine... I encourage everyone to express their beliefs... But, no one knows for sure what Deity or Deities exist... I'm not trying to say that everyone is wrong but myself... But I'm saying that it is a possibility that any one religion could hold the "Truth" that exists in the world... But, one cannot know the absolute "Truth" until the afterlife, I suppose... But, until then, I will stand by my beliefs and encourage that everyone stand by their true beliefs as well.

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Old 12-22-2007, 05:27 AM   #10
 
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Re: Morality and the human mind--how do we become good or evil?

WHO views the SWT as 'fair'?! o_O What's fair about killing numerous people because of superstition or religious beliefs or....fill in the blank. Its possible that those people are just ignorant - or stupid, perhaps. x3

You know, to be quite honest...sometimes this seems pointless to me: discussing religion, morality, God/gods, etc. just seems like 'I'm going to believe what I want to - you can believe what you want to...just don't mess with my beliefs and we're all good.'

But there IS Truth. Whether or not people accept it, deny it, choose to believe it - seaching it out - whatever! ._. I understand what the world is like and somewhat how it works. I don't 'preach' at people. Just say what I believe to be truth....but THAT will ultimately pale in comparison to standing before Truth itself as Yoko pointed out. Yes, dying will answer a lot of universal questions. The only REAL question I would ask is: Are you prepared?! Do you know what lies ahead, or are you mearly guessing...science can only explain so much. They can explain how neurons in the brain send impulses back and forth and create a thought....but they can't explain what consciousness really is - or what caused the universe we're in to come into being. Sure, they have 'theories.' But I think anyone - if they were honest with themselves - just OBSERVED nature. Thought a little about what they saw, what they felt and then examined what they believed to see what's going on COULD possibly conclude 'There's just got to be more to life. There's got to be more than what I can see, feel, taste....' How could all this, simply by chance, just come to be?!

Creationism, the Cosmic Battle, the Fall, the plan of Salvation/Redemption of mankind, Prophecies....they might sound somewhat out-there to someone on the outside; someone without spiritual guidance. Yet I bet if people stopped knee-jerking (reacting) and looked for THEMSELVES what these things are, it would probably make a lot more sense than some hairbrained 'man-from-ooze' theory someone cooked-up to mask/hide the truth.

*sigh* In my humble opinion anyway: looking at the evidence from both sides, my mind is made-up. I know you cannot prove to someone beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is ONE, Triune, perfect, just, all-powerful, all-knowing, LOVING, compassionate, immutable God (not even scratching the surface.) But I hope that everyone actually examines that possibility and makes a decision for themselves whether or not they choose to listen to what such a being might have to say on something like death, life, faith, love, wisdom, time, wealth - etc. Life's too short and eternity too long to NOT take a good look.
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Old 12-24-2007, 01:07 AM   #11
 
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Re: Morality and the human mind--how do we become good or evil?

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Originally Posted by Phoenix Flame View Post
I don't 'preach' at people.
Preaching
Quote:
All of it boils down into one thought anyway: God IS Truth. If you want to know know what the truth is...study God. He makes it easy enough. :3

Quote:
This is why you see the plethora of religions and religious systems out there. All of them saying that their's is the right way to paradise - or...whatever. =P
That seemed like an attack against other religions to me but yours is included in that description.

Just speaking my mind.

"I don't care what religion you are what fucking god you believe in. Everyone just knows there are certain things you don't do and things that are wrong. If you don't see that then you aren't connected to yourself very well."
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Old 12-24-2007, 01:42 AM   #12
 
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Re: Morality and the human mind--how do we become good or evil?

Nicely said, blackstar...
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Old 12-24-2007, 03:00 AM   #13
 
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Re: Morality and the human mind--how do we become good or evil?

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... But I'm saying that it is a possibility that any one religion could hold the "Truth" that exists in the world... But, one cannot know the absolute "Truth" until the afterlife, I suppose... But, until then, I will stand by my beliefs and encourage that everyone stand by their true beliefs as well.
That's very true. Any one religion could hold whatever the "truth" is--but we won't really know until we die. But sometimes I wonder; "Why hasn't anyone that's been dead tried to send us any messages from the afterlife?" Maybe it's not possible for some reason--but we still don't know WHY.

Why, who, where. That's what it comes down to, eventually. "Why are we here?" "Who really put us here?" "Where do we go after we die?" Mankind created religion to try and answer these questions, and in turn, it made and implemented some "structure" and "moral values" into society that we still follow today. Of course, since each religion is different in some way, the rules that come with them are all going to be different somehow, and therefore, the answers to all of those basic why, who, where questions won't be the same. If everything's so different, and everyone thinks that they have all the right answers, how are we supposed to come to the real "truth" of those base questions?

This is why I agree with Yoko, saying that nobody will really know until after they're long dead. People can keep believing what they want (and I will, myself,) but I will NOT say that "my way is the only way and I'm right about everything," until I'm dead and gone. =P
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Old 12-24-2007, 03:14 AM   #14
 
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Re: Morality and the human mind--how do we become good or evil?

Very nice, Doctor... And yes, that is why religion was created... Simply to answer those questions... And even within a religion, there are differences in opinions... Christianity being a prime example... Catholicism, Pentecostal, Baptist, Methodist, etc., etc., etc. ... So many religions to choose from... But only one holds the truth... Or perhaps, they all do... But as myself and Doctor have said, no one will know until death...
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Old 12-24-2007, 10:04 AM   #15
 
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Re: Morality and the human mind--how do we become good or evil?

...except the one who died and rose again. = P There's your message from beyond the grave.
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