Morals

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 24, 2014 5:58 PM GMT
    I was thinking recently about popular fables, parables and stories that are supposed to teach people (particularly kids)about morality after watching a BBC debate show.

    I was wondering what people think about using materials outside of religious texts (E.g. The bible)and popular fables (E.g. The boy who cried wolf) such as Star Wars and Harry Potter.

    Personally I learned a hell of a lot from Star Wars about morality and in the later 3 films about liberty, politics and perception.

    Having read and watched Harry Potter I also think those stories have an important part in education too.

    Thoughts?
  • creature

    Posts: 5197

    Mar 24, 2014 6:09 PM GMT
    I've thought about the same thing, trying to figure out how my morals developed. Some of it has to do with my parents and my attendance at a 7th Day Adventist school, but it also has to do with themes found in the shows I watched as a kid.

    So what were they debating?
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    Mar 24, 2014 6:20 PM GMT
    It was a debate on 'can religion damage children?'
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Mar 24, 2014 6:31 PM GMT
    It is a very interesting question, Thom. I know as a kid growing up stories had a big impact on me, as did my parents, my siblings (all oder), other kids, teachers, school, going to church, TV…. all sorts of stuff.

    In my imagination I contrast this to Archaic, tribal times. Imagine growing up in a world where you knew everyone and everyone knew you. Your physical world was basically not much bigger than you could walk in a day. You were related to just about everyone you knew. There was no "media" except for story telling and maybe a few artifacts (tools, hunting weapons, signs and symbols on things -- all of it hand made.) You don't know you're on "a planet." You don't know the Sun is "a star" -- or even what the stars are. You don't know anything about history, except the history you've heard your elders speak. You may not even know what lies over the river or the hill.

    It is very difficult to imagine being alive in such a way, in such a different world. But, of course, to you as the person there, it isn't "different" at all… it's all quite normal. Exactly as it should be. There isn't anything in your world that doesn't have some sort of 'explanation' (even if it is total fiction, you don't know that).

    So… really, perhaps the most fundamental question is, where does our human *need* for ethics and morality come from? Is it something that is apart of human nature? When we look back through the lens of archeology, it appears that all humans everywhere in every age have been "superstitious" -- have had stories about their origins, what is right, what is wrong and so on. Is there something innate in us that is either a) totally delusional or b) intrinsically connected to something 'higher' than ourselves?
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    Mar 24, 2014 6:55 PM GMT
    MikeW saidIt is a very interesting question, Thom. I know as a kid growing up stories had a big impact on me, as did my parents, my siblings (all oder), other kids, teachers, school, going to church, TV…. all sorts of stuff.

    In my imagination I contrast this to Archaic, tribal times. Imagine growing up in a world where you knew everyone and everyone knew you. Your physical world was basically not much bigger than you could walk in a day. You were related to just about everyone you knew. There was no "media" except for story telling and maybe a few artifacts (tools, hunting weapons, signs and symbols on things -- all of it hand made.) You don't know you're on "a planet." You don't know the Sun is "a star" -- or even what the stars are. You don't know anything about history, except the history you've heard your elders speak. You may not even know what lies over the river or the hill.

    It is very difficult to imagine being alive in such a way, in such a different world. But, of course, to you as the person there, it isn't "different" at all… it's all quite normal. Exactly as it should be. There isn't anything in your world that doesn't have some sort of 'explanation' (even if it is total fiction, you don't know that).

    So… really, perhaps the most fundamental question is, where does our human *need* for ethics and morality come from? Is it something that is apart of human nature? When we look back through the lens of archeology, it appears that all humans everywhere in every age have been "superstitious" -- have had stories about their origins, what is right, what is wrong and so on. Is there something innate in us that is either a) totally delusional or b) intrinsically connected to something 'higher' than ourselves?


    I've thought about that too. I studied creative writing at college and we studied the origins of story telling and every story even from the ancient times always follows the same structure called the heroes journey. It always has the same archetypal characters and follows roughly the same structures. This even includes the stories in the bible and other religions.

    I think as people we needed something to help us comprehend things around us like weather, seasons but especially our origin and now it's part of who we are. It's like we have to believe in something... Even atheists put their faith in science to understand their origin. Sometimes that faith can be just as blind as religious faith can be because while science can be 'proven' most of us without a science degree can't always understand all of the evidence/information.
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Mar 24, 2014 7:14 PM GMT
    Thom1993 said...I think as people we needed something to help us comprehend things around us ... Even atheists put their faith in science to understand their origin. Sometimes that faith can be just as blind as religious faith can be because while science can be 'proven' most of us without a science degree can't always understand all of the evidence/information.

    Not to mention our language lags way behind scientific perspectives. We still speak of the "sun rise" and "sun set," although we know it does no such thing. We have "explanations" for everything in the world around us. But how many of us understand these "explanations". Our computers run on electricity--but does anyone *really* understand what that IS?? Oh, sure, we understand it well enough to manufacture it, utilize it, predict what it will do under certain conditions, etc; but when you get right down to the atomic level, what *exactly* is going on there? What *is* an "electron"? Yeah, I know, "a negatively charged particle" -- yeah -- but, "Electrons also have properties of both particles and waves, and so can collide with other particles and can be diffracted like light." icon_idea.gificon_eek.gif

    The point being, sometimes our more ancient myths and traditions, while false (strictly speaking), are more helpful than science in terms of understanding the world. Creation myths are certainly far more interesting than "big bangs" that happen out of a singularity that precedes both space and time (and, thus, by my logic, must be incorporeal, omnipresent, and transcendent). The idea that the cosmos emanates from a sound (word) is sort of intriguing, actually.

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    Mar 24, 2014 7:21 PM GMT
    MikeW said
    Thom1993 said...I think as people we needed something to help us comprehend things around us ... Even atheists put their faith in science to understand their origin. Sometimes that faith can be just as blind as religious faith can be because while science can be 'proven' most of us without a science degree can't always understand all of the evidence/information.

    Not to mention our language lags way behind scientific perspectives. We still speak of the "sun rise" and "sun set," although we know it does no such thing. We have "explanations" for everything in the world around us. But how many of us understand these "explanations". Our computers run on electricity--but does anyone *really* understand what that IS?? Oh, sure, we understand it well enough to manufacture it, utilize it, predict what it will do under certain conditions, etc; but when you get right down to the atomic level, what *exactly* is going on there? What *is* an "electron"? Yeah, I know, "a negatively charged particle" -- yeah -- but, "Electrons also have properties of both particles and waves, and so can collide with other particles and can be diffracted like light." icon_idea.gificon_eek.gif

    The point being, sometimes our more ancient myths and traditions, while false (strictly speaking), are more helpful than science in terms of understanding the world. Creation myths are certainly far more interesting than "big bangs" that happen out of a singularity that precedes both space and time (and, thus, by my logic, must be incorporeal, omnipresent, and transcendent). The idea that the cosmos emanates from a sound (word) is sort of intriguing, actually.



    I've never understood how the big bang disproves creationism anyways. The big bang could be part of intelligent design. God may be some kind of omnipresent force, there may be no creator or maybe God is an ET. I'll never know and I kinda like that because it keeps my mind open. If I was convinced I knew it all it would be harder to give other people's views and fair hearing.
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    Mar 24, 2014 7:37 PM GMT
    ^It disproves the beginning of the Genesis, which states that "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" then said "Let there be light", etc etc.
    Basically it doesn't invalidate the possibility of God having created the Big bang, but just how it had been previously discussed until then.
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    Mar 24, 2014 7:37 PM GMT
    I learned my moral sense from Daffy Duck.
    Oh, wait.
  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Mar 24, 2014 7:47 PM GMT
    Rita said^It disproves the beginning of the Genesis, which states that "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" then said "Let there be light", etc etc.
    Basically it doesn't invalidate the possibility of God having created the Big bang, but just how it had been previously discussed until then.
    Ummm… but what is "Heaven"? What does that word actually represent? "That which is above Earth." But what, then, is "Earth" (in an age that pre-dated the concept of planets as we think of them today)? If we think "Earth" represents a *realm of materiality* (what we might call our space-time continuum), then "Heaven" is what is "above" that (not literally, but, say, in Platonic terms, a realm of "ideas" that are beyond materiality). Then we have "Light". Even physicists understand that *the light we see is not the light they study*. icon_idea.gificon_question.gificon_exclaim.gif That is, "the light we see" is the *consequence* of photons impacting on a nervous system, specifically the human nervous system, which translates these neurological excitations into "the light we see."

    See?

    So, there's also the light of sensitivity, awareness, perception, consciousness, insight, intelligence and possibly even wisdom. Light: it isn't just to keep the saber tooth tigers away anymore.