Obligations and Rights

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Obligations and Rights

Postby Nick_A on May 3rd, 2019, 8:35 pm 

The defense of freedom requires recognition of the principles supporting it. Principles depend on voluntary obligations while rights only depend on the intensity of the demand and political connections. Simone Weil understood the relationship of rights to obligations. She is virtually alone in these times of the accelerated demand for rights but it is at least partial compensation if we can understand why liberty without the moral influence is impossible. She wrote:
“The notion of obligations comes before that of rights, which is subordinate and relative to the former. A right is not effectual by itself, but only in relation to the obligation to which it corresponds, the effective exercise of a right springing not from the individual who possesses it, but from other men who consider themselves as being under a certain obligation towards him. Recognition of an obligation makes it effectual. An obligation which goes unrecognized by anybody loses none of the full force of its existence. A right which goes unrecognized by anybody is not worth very much.

It makes nonsense to say that men have, on the one hand, rights, and on the other hand, obligations. Such words only express differences in point of view. The actual relationship between the two is as between object and subject. A man, considered in isolation, only has duties, amongst which are certain duties towards himself. A man left alone in the universe would have no rights whatever, but he would have obligations.”

― Simone Weil, The Need for Roots: Prelude to a Declaration of Duties towards Mankind


IMO The golden goose providing the balance between rights and obligations has been killed. Its eggs are being eaten. When they are gone we will learn what we have lost and shudder.

Assuming that we agree that a balance between voluntary obligations and rights is essential for maintaining a free society the question for me is if it is possible when the dominant motive for the fallen human condition is the drive for prestige? I agree with Simone Weil that the higher values essential for collective freedom must come from above and certain individuals are necessary to make the world aware of our conscious connection to the above

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/questionofgod/voices/weil.html

Profession of Faith

There is a reality outside the world, that is to say, outside space and time, outside man's mental universe, outside any sphere whatsoever that is accessible to human faculties.
Corresponding to this reality, at the centre of the human heart, is the longing for an absolute good, a longing which is always there and is never appeased by any object in this world.
Another terrestrial manifestation of this reality lies in the absurd and insoluble contradictions which are always the terminus of human thought when it moves exclusively in this world.
Just as the reality of this world is the sole foundation of facts, so that other reality is the sole foundation of good.
That reality is the unique source of all the good that can exist in this world: that is to say, all beauty, all truth, all justice, all legitimacy, all order, and all human behaviour that is mindful of obligations.
Those minds whose attention and love are turned towards that reality are the sole intermediary through which good can descend from there and come among men…………………………………..


If she is right, the secular world strives to eliminate what is essential for freedom to survive. It asserts that as we are, we are able to collectively adopt voluntary obligations for the sake of human rights even though prestige is the dominating worldly emotion.

Do you agree with her or do you believe societal Man, without the help of grace, will become able to “feel” the value of adopting voluntary obligations essential for a functioning free society?
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Re: Obligations and Rights

Postby edy420 on May 3rd, 2019, 9:16 pm 

Define freedom, and functioning free society. What does this look like?
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Re: Obligations and Rights

Postby Nick_A on May 3rd, 2019, 9:58 pm 

edy420 » May 3rd, 2019, 9:16 pm wrote:Define freedom, and functioning free society. What does this look like?


A society capable of furthering the freedom to pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness would look something like this: You may say it is impossible but with the help of grace nourishing the higher parts of the collective human soul, how do we know what is possible?. All we know now is that the concept is rejected so the ideals of the Declaration must also fall to the struggle for power and prestige.

Preamble to the U.S. Declaration of Independence, 1776

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
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Re: Obligations and Rights

Postby edy420 on May 3rd, 2019, 10:49 pm 

A society capable of furthering the freedom to pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness would look something like this


I still dont have a measure, of which to examine and compare to today's society.

You say further the freedom, but by how much?

Could we not further these principles based on agnostic or atheist means?

If the ultimate goal is an utopia, then now we are asking for heaven on earth. This is impossible.

Even in the smallest of God believing societies, evil is still present. Adam and Eve met God first hand, and yet their Son murdered his brother. In a society as large as ours, there will be people who do evil. Some accidentally and others on purpose.

These issues are in direct conflict of an ultimate goal.

But if you simply want to make things better in general, you dont have to convince the entire population. Just as many people as you possibly can.

It starts at the personal level. This is my goal. To humble myself and become an example of Christianity in the hopes that I can save others. My pursuit of happiness. I dont like blanket terms because others people's pursuit of happiness will look completely different. Even liberty changes from person to person.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.


I prefer the term unique. Everyone is born into a certain social status. Wealth and with a unique mental/ physical potential. Someone who is born into poverty, does not have the right to buy a Ferrarri, even if that's what would make them happy. How do you address this?

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.


Looks good on paper. But to me it sounds like war. To change the government you first have to overthrow it. Or do you know which party to vote for?

it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.


While I agree, the Government isn't going to just move over. They beleive they reflect the desires of society first. And secondly they implement what society needs. The average Joe needs a government to provide education, protection and balance so that we can further the freedom to pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Also, they have a bunch of guns and a large group of people trained to use them. How bout we dont go poking the Hornets nest?

I think it important to set a goal. Wed like to have 100% of people achieve happiness for example. Currently were sitting at roughly 40%. So then let's aim for 50%. And preferably achieve this without killing half the population.
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Re: Obligations and Rights

Postby Nick_A on May 4th, 2019, 12:55 am 

Edy

Let me start here and build from there.

I still dont have a measure, of which to examine and compare to today's society.


Would you agree that the purpose of a free society is to create individuals as opposed to forms of secular statism which seeks to create automatons in service to the state? Freedom would further individualism while statism will further collectivism.

You say further the freedom, but by how much?


Enough not to prevent it

Could we not further these principles based on agnostic or atheist means?


I don’t see how. Atheism and agnosticism live by theory. As you know the chief characteristic of the fallen human condition is hypocrisy. It requires the nourishment of grace feeding our higher parts to feel value rather than preach it.

If the ultimate goal is an utopia, then now we are asking for heaven on earth. This is impossible.


But the goal isn’t utopia. The goal is a free society which has the potential to make things better as they get worse through the voluntary acceptance of obligations. Feeling the value of voluntary obligations requires the light of grace which is rejected.

God believing societies often have nothing to do with opening to the help of grace. It is just the result of creating a god in the image of Man. How can this lead to anything good? There will always be evil. The point is that in a free society in which the balance between voluntary obligations and rights exist evil will be transformed by the majority since it is natural to do so.

But if you simply want to make things better in general, you dont have to convince the entire population. Just as many people as you possibly can.

It starts at the personal level. This is my goal. To humble myself and become an example of Christianity in the hopes that I can save others. My pursuit of happiness. I dont like blanket terms because others people's pursuit of happiness will look completely different. Even liberty changes from person to person.


Without the balance of obligations and rights it will never be wanted. Prestige is what is wanted. A lot of modern Christianity is concerned about what to do. The old ideas as explained by Meister Eckhart seem far more reasonable. He suggests not worrying about what to do but rather what we are. If we were different we could feel the value of voluntary obligations and how they are necessity for human rights.


"People should not worry as much about what they do but rather about what they are. If they and their ways are good, then their deeds are radiant. If you are righteous, then what you do will also be righteous. We should not think that holiness is based on what we do but rather on what we are, for it is not our works which sanctify us but we who sanctify our works." Meister Eckhart


I prefer the term unique. Everyone is born into a certain social status. Wealth and with a unique mental/ physical potential. Someone who is born into poverty, does not have the right to buy a Ferrarri, even if that's what would make them happy. How do you address this?


But we are also born equal in our slavery to the fallen human condition. Freedom doesn’t only refer to money but also to the psychology of being and the human impulse to be attracted to the light.

I think it important to set a goal. Wed like to have 100% of people achieve happiness for example. Currently were sitting at roughly 40%. So then let's aim for 50%. And preferably achieve this without killing half the population.


Why should we stick our noses into another’s quest for happiness? Why not further a society which through the help of grace has achieved the balance between voluntary obligations and rights. Then a person will have the freedom to pursue happiness

Yes I know, it is no longer possible in the increasingly secular world which denies the help of grace. But as Simone Weil wrote:

"even if we can't prevent the forces of tyranny from prevailing, we can at least "understand the force by which
we are crushed." Simone Weil


Can we come to understand the human condition and why it prevents us from being normal? I believe we can but we may have to become crushed first before the value of the reality of the balance between voluntary obligations and rights is felt allowing a society to actualize its purpose of creating individuals connecting above and below.
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Re: Obligations and Rights

Postby doogles on May 4th, 2019, 7:14 am 

edy420 and Nick_A

I used the 'Search' box of this forum using the terms 'freedom and rights', and received 643 hits. It's not a new subject here. I'm also realistic enough to know that by the time you read those 643 hits, your brain will be so scrambled that you won't know whether to forget the subject or shoot yourself.

I've personally written a dissertation on the subject elsewhere, starting with an attempt to imagine scenarios in which a single individual has the total freedom to live on his/her own and to do anything and everything he/she wants.

Try it. You will have to conclude that such a state of 'living' is unfeasible and unrealistic and that you won't be able to survive in any productive manner without sharing that life with others. I'll provide all possible scenarios if anyone is interested.

For a satisfactory life, you have to co-habit with others.

I cannot personally imagine or conjure up a scenario in which two or more people can live together in equal happiness and harmony without having sets of rules. Please note the wording used if you have argument with that statement.

All human societies and cultures have rules by which to live. In my current life, we have house rules, hotel rules, library rules, local government rules, State rules and Federal Rules -- all agreed to by consensus or by enacted Local, State and Federal legislatures. From my reading, the longest-existing culture on the planet, that of the Australian aborigine, was almost in a state of psychological subjugation by a system of rituals and taboos that boggled my imagination.

These cover all of our individual RIGHTS in life.

This is not 'Philosophy'; this is 'feet on the ground'.

There are no God-given or Natural rights. The only Natural law is that 'Might is Right'. And every so-called 'God-given' Law has been written somewhere by the hand of a human being.

Where the rules of living are issued by edict, they still spell out your rights in that area of influence. You have to suck it up or wear the penalties imposed by that set of rules. But this is not freedom.

The difference between freedom and tyranny is that in tyranny, you are told what to do. FREEDOM is the right TO HAVE AN EQUAL SAY WITH EVERYONE ELSE ABOUT THE RULES THAT GOVERN YOU AT ANY LEVEL OF YOUR LIFE.

If you have the RIGHT (by rules) to vote at any level about constitutions or government legislations that affect your daily conduct within your culture, you have the maximum of FREEDOM that you can attain anywhere.

Generally (Yes. I know about gerrymandering and all that sort of thing), the majority of votes expresses the 'will' of those who vote. Strangely enough this can be interpreted as the Natural law of 'Might being Right' (by virtue of numbers.

Of course, there are always some of us who buck the Rules in place at any given time, and as a part of 'Freedom' within a group, we always have to have some sort of law enforcement and judiciary. It may sound like a contradiction, but in order to ensure 'Freedom' we need law and order.

That's my view.
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Re: Obligations and Rights

Postby Nick_A on May 4th, 2019, 9:53 am 

doogles » May 4th, 2019, 7:14 am wrote:edy420 and Nick_A

I used the 'Search' box of this forum using the terms 'freedom and rights', and received 643 hits. It's not a new subject here. I'm also realistic enough to know that by the time you read those 643 hits, your brain will be so scrambled that you won't know whether to forget the subject or shoot yourself.

I've personally written a dissertation on the subject elsewhere, starting with an attempt to imagine scenarios in which a single individual has the total freedom to live on his/her own and to do anything and everything he/she wants.

Try it. You will have to conclude that such a state of 'living' is unfeasible and unrealistic and that you won't be able to survive in any productive manner without sharing that life with others. I'll provide all possible scenarios if anyone is interested.

For a satisfactory life, you have to co-habit with others.

I cannot personally imagine or conjure up a scenario in which two or more people can live together in equal happiness and harmony without having sets of rules. Please note the wording used if you have argument with that statement.

All human societies and cultures have rules by which to live. In my current life, we have house rules, hotel rules, library rules, local government rules, State rules and Federal Rules -- all agreed to by consensus or by enacted Local, State and Federal legislatures. From my reading, the longest-existing culture on the planet, that of the Australian aborigine, was almost in a state of psychological subjugation by a system of rituals and taboos that boggled my imagination.

These cover all of our individual RIGHTS in life.

This is not 'Philosophy'; this is 'feet on the ground'.

There are no God-given or Natural rights. The only Natural law is that 'Might is Right'. And every so-called 'God-given' Law has been written somewhere by the hand of a human being.

Where the rules of living are issued by edict, they still spell out your rights in that area of influence. You have to suck it up or wear the penalties imposed by that set of rules. But this is not freedom.

The difference between freedom and tyranny is that in tyranny, you are told what to do. FREEDOM is the right TO HAVE AN EQUAL SAY WITH EVERYONE ELSE ABOUT THE RULES THAT GOVERN YOU AT ANY LEVEL OF YOUR LIFE.

If you have the RIGHT (by rules) to vote at any level about constitutions or government legislations that affect your daily conduct within your culture, you have the maximum of FREEDOM that you can attain anywhere.

Generally (Yes. I know about gerrymandering and all that sort of thing), the majority of votes expresses the 'will' of those who vote. Strangely enough this can be interpreted as the Natural law of 'Might being Right' (by virtue of numbers.

Of course, there are always some of us who buck the Rules in place at any given time, and as a part of 'Freedom' within a group, we always have to have some sort of law enforcement and judiciary. It may sound like a contradiction, but in order to ensure 'Freedom' we need law and order.

That's my view.



You are thinking in terms of freedom and rights but the thread is about the relationship of voluntary obligations and rights necessary for freedom. Why don't we recognize its importance?

For example we read of the importance of gay rights, women's rights, minority rights and so on. But when do you read of women's obligations, gay obligations, minority obligations and so on? It seems absurd but why?
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Re: Obligations and Rights

Postby edy420 on May 4th, 2019, 12:36 pm 

Would you agree that the purpose of a free society is to create individuals


It's a complex question. I'd like to say yes, but with caution.

Collectively, members of society must agree on multiple subjects, which means sacrificing individual beliefs and freedom. Subjects like, is it ok to cause physical harm to others. Can I dump my rubbish in the local creek. Can I slap someone if they dont agree with me. If I were truly free, I'd be able to say yes to all of these.

Then there's grey areas of individualism that can invoke horror in neighbors. For example it's normal for Chinese to eat dog. If my wife saw my neighbor eating a dog, she'd lose her mind and start up a mob to chase them out of town. Or another touchy subject is physical discipline for children. I think a good kick up the arse is sometimes necessary. Other "individuals" like to think it's ok to beat their children to near death.

Even as free individuals, we collectively agree on certain areas of society. And would prefer a collective agreement, as well as enforcement to keep those agreements intact.

While I'm not a fan of anarchy, I also dont want a Hitler running the show. Somewhere in the middle is best, I think. Modern democracy is not quite there yet. But there's many variables that are in play.

Atheism and agnosticism live by theory. As you know the chief characteristic of the fallen human condition is hypocrisy. It requires the nourishment of grace feeding our higher parts to feel value rather than preach it.


Where does this grace come from? My Church teaches that grace is a gift from God. But for someone to acknowledge it, they'd have to have faith, of which is also a gift from God. Free will plays a big part in acknowledging these gifts, but if we make others accept these gifts (force them) then we are no longer advocating a free society. Are you talking about some other kind of grace?

But the goal isn’t utopia. The goal is a free society which has the potential to make things better as they get worse through the voluntary acceptance of obligations. Feeling the value of voluntary obligations requires the light of grace which is rejected.


Voluntary obligation, again, means sacrificing freedom if we want to implement it collectively.

There is no better feeling than helping those in need. Whether it's an obligation is debatable, at least it is in this forum. From a religious point of view, I understand and acknowledge the importance of grace. But how do you break it down and explain it philosophically? You'd have to provide scientific evidence.
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Re: Obligations and Rights

Postby Nick_A on May 4th, 2019, 4:29 pm 

Edy

Collectively, members of society must agree on multiple subjects, which means sacrificing individual beliefs and freedom. Subjects like, is it ok to cause physical harm to others. Can I dump my rubbish in the local creek. Can I slap someone if they dont agree with me. If I were truly free, I'd be able to say yes to all of these.


This is the topic of the thread. As we are, could we adopt voluntary obligations essential to maintain freedom. Do you think we can or must we always devolve into the struggle for power and prestige?

Then there's grey areas of individualism that can invoke horror in neighbors. For example it's normal for Chinese to eat dog. If my wife saw my neighbor eating a dog, she'd lose her mind and start up a mob to chase them out of town. Or another touchy subject is physical discipline for children. I think a good kick up the arse is sometimes necessary. Other "individuals" like to think it's ok to beat their children to near death.


I understand becoming a true individual means becoming oneself and actualizing what is normal for ones being. Plato said that justice is soul knowledge. In other words it is possible that a person can become normal and free of the results of the fallen human condition. We forget that we are the result of the fallen human condition so what we call individuality is really something unnatural. The influence of grace in the world offers the possibility of becoming normal for human being.


"God...does not constrain the will. Rather, he sets it free, so that it may choose him, that is to say, freedom. The spirit of man may not will otherwise than what God wills, but that is no lack of freedom. It is true freedom itself." Meister Eckhart


If the energy of grace permeating the universe, is the energy of God’s love. Can a person become open to receive it? Is Simone right?

"Grace fills empty spaces, but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it We must continually suspend the work of the imagination in filling the void within ourselves."
"In no matter what circumstances, if the imagination is stopped from pouring itself out, we have a void (the poor in spirit). In no matter what circumstances... imagination can fill the void. This is why the average human beings can become prisoners, slaves, prostitutes, and pass thru no matter what suffering without being purified."


Theoretically a society can adopt voluntary obligations in the process of becoming normal and valuing freedom but the effects of technology serve to increase the results of egoistic imagination filling empty spaces in our psyche and preventing the help of grace,

Striving to acquire the balance between voluntary obligations and rights is an important goal. I just don’t know if it is possible as we enter the age of technology and the dominance of egoistic imagination as a human value.
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Re: Obligations and Rights

Postby TheVat on May 4th, 2019, 7:11 pm 


For example we read of the importance of gay rights, women's rights, minority rights and so on. But when do you read of women's obligations, gay obligations, minority obligations and so on? It seems absurd but why?
-- Nick_A


Their obligations, under a nation of laws, are simply the obligations of citizens, e.g. help pay for schools and other public benefitting infrastructure, obey laws, lend a hand in an emergency to the degree that one is capable, etc. The movements to secure rights for specific classes of people is given attention in a specific way when their rights are in some way violated and the violation is particular to that group. If someone refuses to rent you an apartment because you're black (and not because you are female, or Parsi, or gay), then the focus is on how to get justice on the basis of how you are discriminated against, and generally to stop that form of discrimination. We all have common obligation, but may face different and specific abridgements of rights. Each fight for equality before the law has its particular character. Hope that helps
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Re: Obligations and Rights

Postby Nick_A on May 4th, 2019, 9:25 pm 

TheVat » May 4th, 2019, 7:11 pm wrote:

For example we read of the importance of gay rights, women's rights, minority rights and so on. But when do you read of women's obligations, gay obligations, minority obligations and so on? It seems absurd but why?
-- Nick_A


Their obligations, under a nation of laws, are simply the obligations of citizens, e.g. help pay for schools and other public benefitting infrastructure, obey laws, lend a hand in an emergency to the degree that one is capable, etc. The movements to secure rights for specific classes of people is given attention in a specific way when their rights are in some way violated and the violation is particular to that group. If someone refuses to rent you an apartment because you're black (and not because you are female, or Parsi, or gay), then the focus is on how to get justice on the basis of how you are discriminated against, and generally to stop that form of discrimination. We all have common obligation, but may face different and specific abridgements of rights. Each fight for equality before the law has its particular character. Hope that helps


When justice is blind, everyone is equal under the law. This means there are no groups. If it is illegal to deny a person because of employment because of gender the law is the same for men and women. If a person is denied employment because of race it doesn't matter if they re blck or white when justice is blind

That is the point i am making. People consider everyone the same when it comes to obligations but not when it comes to rights. Under these circumstances justice can no longer be considered blind. The most absurd example of this hypocrisy is the concept of hate crimes. Crime is no longer considered equal under the law. When a person kills someone of a protected color It is called a hate crime. If a member of an unprotected color is killed it is just a common crime. Unprotected and protected groups become equal as far as obligations. Justice is no longer blind and just another indication of values being lost necessary to sustain freedom.
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Re: Obligations and Rights

Postby edy420 on May 5th, 2019, 12:39 am 

I agree with TheVat. It's a bad place to be in, but think of it as a work in progress.

Theoretically a society can adopt voluntary obligations in the process of becoming normal and valuing freedom


I'd need a definition of what is normal. But ill omit it here to address your overall argument. What your advocating works well at the individual level. But collectively, it all falls apart. Seemingly, another type of hypocrasy.

but the effects of technology serve to increase the results of egoistic imagination filling empty spaces in our psyche and preventing the help of grace,


My life story, as a reformed game addict. While grace helped me clean up my life, the turning point was absolute destruction. From chaos comes order. How bad do you want order?

Picking on unfair treatment due to race is another complex subject. How many black people have top level lawyers compared to white people. There's always more variables than one, and sometimes the most obvious variable has the least influence. I'm not sure that grace is the answer here.
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Re: Obligations and Rights

Postby doogles on May 5th, 2019, 4:48 am 

Nick_A said "You are thinking in terms of freedom and rights but the thread is about the relationship of voluntary obligations and rights necessary for freedom. Why don't we recognize its importance?

For example we read of the importance of gay rights, women's rights, minority rights and so on. But when do you read of women's obligations, gay obligations, minority obligations and so on? It seems absurd but why?"


Thank you for the response Nick_A.

I can see where I have omitted a step in the discussion. I should have included a step stating that the 'feet-on-the-ground' obligations of all groups, minority or otherwise, are to conform to the full range of rules laid out at all levels of the of the cultures they are in at any given time.

I may be having a small amount of trouble with the term 'voluntary obligations'. As I see it, we all have responsibilities and obligations in cultures when we have freedom and rights but they are somewhat mandatory and not voluntary.

Freedom, as I rationalised in an earlier post, is the right (by rules) to have an equal say with everybody else about the rules that govern us. This, of course, also implies rights (by rules) to free speech (which necessarily need to have specified limits relating to defamation, treason, incitement to violence etc).

Within democratic groups, any person or group seeking changes to the rules of groups must use eloquence of speech and voting rights, rather than violence, to achieve those ends.

Obligations, not just of minority groups, but of everyone, are spelt out by way of the rules of any given culture at every level of life. They also change with time.

Have I missed the point of 'voluntary obligations' of minority groups?
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Re: Obligations and Rights

Postby doogles on May 5th, 2019, 5:01 am 

edy420, I realise that your recent post was not addressed to me but I would like to comment on one point in that post.

You said in your first paragraph "Collectively, members of society must agree on multiple subjects, which means sacrificing individual beliefs and freedom. Subjects like, is it ok to cause physical harm to others. Can I dump my rubbish in the local creek. Can I slap someone if they dont agree with me. If I were truly free, I'd be able to say yes to all of these."

I agree in principle with what you said in this paragraph, but I would like to make a brief comment on the meaning of the words 'free' or 'freedom' as used for verbal communication.

As far as individual liberty is concerned, at the extreme, 'freedom' can be taken to mean something like absolute licentiousness to do as you like when and where you like. As you've rightly implied in your post, that is just not possible in group living. I've made the point that within the context of harmonious group living, nobody has that right unless he/she is an absolute un-empathetic tyrant with an army backing them.

The best it can mean is "having an equal say with everyone else about the rules that govern the group at any given time." And then if the group wishes to stay together, everyone has an obligation to go with the decision of the majority until the next vote. Of course, in 'free' societies people can choose to leave any group if they wish. That was not the case with the Soviet Republics during the 'Cold War'. If they choose to stay, they have obligations to abide by the rules of the time.

Once again, I'd like to say that this aspect of group living is 'feet on the ground' stuff rather than philosophy.

Just a note if I'm slow to reply to any response. I'm going out west for 4 days and just may be out of range of internet reception, but I'll catch up sooner or later.
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Re: Obligations and Rights

Postby PaulN on May 5th, 2019, 11:00 am 

The most absurd example of this hypocrisy is the concept of hate crimes. Crime is no longer considered equal under the law. When a person kills someone of a protected color It is called a hate crime. If a member of an unprotected color is killed it is just a common crime....


This might not accurately describe US law. Murder is prosecuted as murder here, whether it's racially motivated or not. There is no "unprotected color" - if a person is murdered, the DA decides to bring charges based on the intent and premeditation, regardless of other particulars. No murder is just a common crime, as you put it. Hate crime, as a categorization, enters into the charging document only as it would affect the degree of murder, i.e. the intent of the accused to end someone's life. And I don't think you would call it hypocritical to determine mens rea in such a proceeding.

Similarly, if a man ran over a woman, and the prosecutors found that, despite his claims that it was an accident, that he had a long history of expressing hatred for women and wanting to harm them....it seems sensible that the possibility of a hate-driven homicide would be investigated, no?
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Re: Obligations and Rights

Postby TheVat on May 5th, 2019, 12:24 pm 

Seems like a factual rebuttal to Nick's hypocrisy remarks.


A society's focus on the rights of oppressed groups is a way to remedy aberrations of the law, or its enforcement, which cause discrimination. The entire point of movements like that is to secure equal rights, not gain special ones for a group. The notion that oppressed groups seek special rights is a Strawman popularized by the far Right in order to dismiss legitimate struggles for justice and perpetuate a racist system dominated by white so-called Christians. I appreciate that some privileged white guys, who have lived in comfy enclaves where they don't see the oppression happening may genuinely believe that bigotry and discrimination are in the past. You'd have to ignore an awful lot of news to achieve that state of complacency, but many seem to manage. For those of us who have seen injustice and oppression of women, people of color, LGBT, Muslims, et al, there is simply no question that we have a ways to go in securing true equality of all persons before the law and in true acceptance in all aspects of quotidian life.

Perhaps there's a Simone Weil or Jacob Needleman quote that can help you with that, Nick. Hmmm...

https://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/3 ... of-america
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Re: Obligations and Rights

Postby edy420 on May 5th, 2019, 1:03 pm 

Doogles,

This is why I asked for a definition of freedom. When talking about society, it's almost the wrong word to use. Especially considering I was born in to it against my will, or that I cant vote until a certain age.

The best it can mean is "having an equal say with everyone else about the rules that govern the group at any given time.


I feel like, we shouldn't have to redefine terms to suit our situation, just to make us feel better about our situation. People like Nick_A recognize the true definition of freedom, and want what is meant by it. The best we can say is, we have "more freedom" than other countries, or we are "less of a slave" than other countries. But the meaning of freedom is not reflected by our society, we should not say, we are free.

My elders were free. 200 years ago, before the European migration, the Maori were free to do what ever they liked, when ever they liked. Chiefs had authority, and if you didn't agree with him you could beat him to death and take his authority, or move out and start your own tribe. Freedom means rape, murder and theft are normal.

Freedom is ugly and immoral. I dont appreciate sugar coating terms or situations. My situation is, I am a slave to society. That's just my honest opinion, but I'm ok with it because it's better than being free.

I think the goal should be, to achieve the most freedom, without chaos. Absolute freedom, is chaos.

Absolute freedom in harmony, relies on multiple factors, of which are seemingly unobtainable. Mostly that each individual naturally has respect for every other individual. Or we are all educated to a minimum level of understanding (probably super intelligence). Or even the OPs conjecture, we all open up to grace.

Once again, I'd like to say that this aspect of group living is 'feet on the ground' stuff rather than philosophy


Does this include the fact that everyone breaks a rule somewhere at least sometime in their life. For some people, it's not about following the rules, it's about not getting caught. My past cannabis use for example. Its still illegal in NZ. Before becoming Catholic I'd use cannabis, not stop at a stop sign if I was turning left, and not put on my seat belt if driving in a 50km zone. Its feet on ground stuff but only in a broad sense. Now I understand that breaking the law is a venial sin. Me personally, I have no respect for the Government or any subset of rules. I've always done what I want to do. I was free, a lion amongst men. Now I die to self, and I'm a lamb of God. I obey the law against my will, because I trust in Christ. Perhaps even this approach is "feet on ground", but doesn't seem like it. My feet are on Heavens clouds.
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Re: Obligations and Rights

Postby Nick_A on May 5th, 2019, 3:29 pm 

TheVat » May 5th, 2019, 12:24 pm wrote:Seems like a factual rebuttal to Nick's hypocrisy remarks.


A society's focus on the rights of oppressed groups is a way to remedy aberrations of the law, or its enforcement, which cause discrimination. The entire point of movements like that is to secure equal rights, not gain special ones for a group. The notion that oppressed groups seek special rights is a Strawman popularized by the far Right in order to dismiss legitimate struggles for justice and perpetuate a racist system dominated by white so-called Christians. I appreciate that some privileged white guys, who have lived in comfy enclaves where they don't see the oppression happening may genuinely believe that bigotry and discrimination are in the past. You'd have to ignore an awful lot of news to achieve that state of complacency, but many seem to manage. For those of us who have seen injustice and oppression of women, people of color, LGBT, Muslims, et al, there is simply no question that we have a ways to go in securing true equality of all persons before the law and in true acceptance in all aspects of quotidian life.

Perhaps there's a Simone Weil or Jacob Needleman quote that can help you with that, Nick. Hmmm...

https://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/3 ... of-america


You want a Simone quote; no problem:

Equality is the public recognition, effectively expressed in institutions and manners, of the principle that an equal degree of attention is due to the needs of all human beings. Simone Weil


A society's focus on the rights of oppressed groups is a way to remedy aberrations of the law, or its enforcement, which cause discrimination.


The intent of communism is to solve the problem of inequality by making everyone equal in slavery to the all knowing government concerning the needs of all people.

I support public recognition made possible by the spiritual awareness of our fallen human condition and what we lose by it. It makes the vokuntary acceptance of obligations possible,

Here is a Jacob Needleman observation from your link:

Miller: For a government even to suggest that part of its function is to guarantee its citizens’ right to “the pursuit of happiness” strikes me as an essentially mystical undertaking. Has any other nation put forth happiness as part of its vision?

Needleman: If you view happiness in terms of self-realization and spiritual fulfillment, then the great theocracies of ancient times, such as in India and Tibet, were essentially devoted to the happiness of their people. For Plato, and many others after him, the whole purpose of governance was to enable people to relate to “the Good” — his word for God, or “the highest reality.” But of course it may be that no actual government has ever fulfilled that ideal.


The modern view is for people to serve the government. The old fashioned idea was for the government to serve the need for people to experience the "good." I'm old fashioned.
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Re: Obligations and Rights

Postby Nick_A on May 5th, 2019, 3:50 pm 

PaulN » May 5th, 2019, 11:00 am wrote:
The most absurd example of this hypocrisy is the concept of hate crimes. Crime is no longer considered equal under the law. When a person kills someone of a protected color It is called a hate crime. If a member of an unprotected color is killed it is just a common crime....


This might not accurately describe US law. Murder is prosecuted as murder here, whether it's racially motivated or not. There is no "unprotected color" - if a person is murdered, the DA decides to bring charges based on the intent and premeditation, regardless of other particulars. No murder is just a common crime, as you put it. Hate crime, as a categorization, enters into the charging document only as it would affect the degree of murder, i.e. the intent of the accused to end someone's life. And I don't think you would call it hypocritical to determine mens rea in such a proceeding.

Similarly, if a man ran over a woman, and the prosecutors found that, despite his claims that it was an accident, that he had a long history of expressing hatred for women and wanting to harm them....it seems sensible that the possibility of a hate-driven homicide would be investigated, no?



Hate crime, as a categorization, enters into the charging document only as it would affect the degree of murder, i.e. the intent of the accused to end someone's life. And I don't think you would call it hypocritical to determine mens rea in such a proceeding.



I can see myself pondering this as I lie dead on a slab in the morgue. Here I am; a broad shouldered, long nosed, white guy killed by a black guy saying "take that you honkey. The lawyers are arguing: was this a hate crime or did the black guy just have an argument with his girl friend and was in a bad mood? It makes all the difference. Hate crimes are justified for people who have been persecuted
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Re: Obligations and Rights

Postby hyksos on May 11th, 2019, 5:26 pm 

freedom must come from above and certain individuals are necessary to make the world aware of our conscious connection to the above

...certain individuals?

What you are describing is called a theocracy. The west had them before. They only exist today in portions of the Middle East and sub-saharan Africa.

If she is right, the secular world strives to eliminate what is essential for freedom to survive. It asserts that as we are, we are able to collectively adopt voluntary obligations for the sake of human rights even though prestige is the dominating worldly emotion.

Do you agree with her or do you believe societal Man, without the help of grace, will become able to “feel” the value of adopting voluntary obligations essential for a functioning free society?

Okay first of all, this poster, Nick_A has a long extended rapsheet of using the word "secular" outside of its usual dictionary definition and outside of how it is used in any conversation outside this forum.

All government structures in the contemporary western world are Parliamentary Democracies. They are by definition secular societies. Theocracies persist in Yemen, Iran, and some nations of Africa who I can't remember the names of.

Ceteris paribus, the secular world is everything outside of Yemen, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and sub-saharan Africa.

I invite you to read the collected works of Simone Weil in their entirety, and not once will you see her use the phrase : "secular world". That is an insertion by Nick_A's interpretation. And so what this forum poster is doing here is an act of sophistry. He is pretending to side with Simone Weil so that anyone who disagrees with him will be forced to wedge against Weil... but the wedge was created entirely by him.
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Re: Obligations and Rights

Postby Nick_A on May 11th, 2019, 8:29 pm 

hyksos » May 11th, 2019, 5:26 pm wrote:
freedom must come from above and certain individuals are necessary to make the world aware of our conscious connection to the above

...certain individuals?

What you are describing is called a theocracy. The west had them before. They only exist today in portions of the Middle East and sub-saharan Africa.

If she is right, the secular world strives to eliminate what is essential for freedom to survive. It asserts that as we are, we are able to collectively adopt voluntary obligations for the sake of human rights even though prestige is the dominating worldly emotion.

Do you agree with her or do you believe societal Man, without the help of grace, will become able to “feel” the value of adopting voluntary obligations essential for a functioning free society?

Okay first of all, this poster, Nick_A has a long extended rapsheet of using the word "secular" outside of its usual dictionary definition and outside of how it is used in any conversation outside this forum.

All government structures in the contemporary western world are Parliamentary Democracies. They are by definition secular societies. Theocracies persist in Yemen, Iran, and some nations of Africa who I can't remember the names of.

Ceteris paribus, the secular world is everything outside of Yemen, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and sub-saharan Africa.

I invite you to read the collected works of Simone Weil in their entirety, and not once will you see her use the phrase : "secular world". That is an insertion by Nick_A's interpretation. And so what this forum poster is doing here is an act of sophistry. He is pretending to side with Simone Weil so that anyone who disagrees with him will be forced to wedge against Weil... but the wedge was created entirely by him.


For some reason some posters will do whatever the can to avoid a philosophical question and prefer to attempt to devalue it by arguing about some meaningless detail

This post doesn't make any sense. First here is the definition of secularism from Merriam Webster dictionary

Definition of secularism
: indifference to or rejection or exclusion of religion and religious considerations.


Simone doesn't use the word but instead uses the concept which limits the human psych to one level of reality.

Humanism was not wrong in thinking that truth, beauty, liberty, and equality are of infinite value, but in thinking that man can get them for himself without grace. Simone Weil


The secular world rejects the source of grace as well as grace itself and prefers to rely on wishful thinking to transcend the hypocrisy of the human condition. Lottsa luck with that one. But to assert that Simone was not aware of what collective humanity loses by its denial of the help of grace is just silly.
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Re: Obligations and Rights

Postby doogles on May 12th, 2019, 5:01 pm 

Nick_A, I am a member of the secular world. Could you please clarify what you mean by the sweeping statement "The secular world … prefers to rely on wishful thinking to transcend the hypocrisy of the human condition."

I'm having trouble understanding what this human condition is that I use wishful thinking to transcend.

Can you cite any sociological studies to explain what you mean?
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Re: Obligations and Rights

Postby Nick_A on May 12th, 2019, 11:11 pm 

doogles » May 12th, 2019, 5:01 pm wrote:Nick_A, I am a member of the secular world. Could you please clarify what you mean by the sweeping statement "The secular world … prefers to rely on wishful thinking to transcend the hypocrisy of the human condition."

I'm having trouble understanding what this human condition is that I use wishful thinking to transcend.

Can you cite any sociological studies to explain what you mean?



It will be hard to find sociological studies since the premise is beyond sociology as normally understood.

"The secular world … prefers to rely on wishful thinking to transcend the hypocrisy of the human condition."

I will try to offer a basic explanation but of course it is much deeper than that and can only be useful to those seriously concerned with the human condition

The human organism lives as a tripartite essence: thought, emotion, and sensation. They comprise our animal nature as reactions of the lower part of our essence. They react to earthly influences and acquired habits. All these reactions take place on one level of reality: the earth and the domain of organic life. Secularism is really the reactions within this one level of reality

The form of universalism which interests me asserts that the human organism is a mini universe. It is structured in the same way as our great universe but only smaller in scale.

Are you familiar with Plato’s divided line analogy? It asserts that the greater reality is above the line but invisible to our senses. Secularism restricts itself to sensory experience while universalism which offers human meaning and purpose is open to experience above the line.

Higher emotions or what are called higher values and the result of intuition are unnatural for secularism. They do not arise from animal emotion but rather through remembering what is already known: soul knowledge. Einstein understood it which is why he emphasized opening to the higher experience of conscience which had over time devolved into morality. Transcending the problem of the human condition requires opening to the experience of conscience unnecessary for animal life including Man on earth

Animal consciousness is limited to duality. It reacts to opposing influences: yes or no. It dominates the secular world. However the universal perspective which appreciates the human organism structured on levels of reality knows that duality can be experienced from a higher conscious level of reality. This higher perspective reconciles duality and invites the help of grace as a person grows in their conscious perspective.

The goal of the universalist is to consciously open to experience levels of reality or as is said: above and below. At the same time the universalist seeks to open to the experience of objective conscience as opposed to indoctrinated morality.

As we are, living in the animal world, the tendency is to live as a dualist and by morality however it is defined. I am simply saying that living by duality and concepts of morality cannot change anything because it is the source of the human condition justifying hypocrisy to begin with.

1930
"Many people think that the progress of the human race is based on experiences of an empirical, critical nature, but I say that true knowledge is to be had only through a philosophy of deduction. For it is intuition that improves the world, not just following the trodden path of thought. Intuition makes us look at unrelated facts and then think about them until they can all be brought under one law. To look for related facts means holding onto what one has instead of searching for new facts. Intuition is the father of new knowledge, while empiricism is nothing but an accumulation of old knowledge. Intuition, not intellect, is the ‘open sesame’ of yourself." -- Albert Einstein, in Einstein and the Poet – In Search of the Cosmic Man by William Hermanns (Branden Press, 1983, p. 16.), conversation March 4, 1930

“We must create a cosmic man, a man ruled by his conscience.” Albert Einstein, in Einstein and the Poet – In Search of the Cosmic Man by William Hermanns (Branden Press, 1983, p. 133.)


The universalist feels the presence of conscience and the dawning of consciousness in their own being but the question becomes how to proceed. Secularism doesn’t have these concerns. It tells people what to think and do. It assumes indoctrination and imposed morality will solve the problems created by the human condition. It cannot so everything repeats in lawful cycles as written in Ecclesiastes 3
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Re: Obligations and Rights

Postby Nick_A on May 12th, 2019, 11:14 pm 

The purpose of the thread is to ask why secular society can never adopt a balance between voluntary obligations and rights. It cannot since it rejects the quality of consciousness and the opening to conscience necessary to make it possible,
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Re: Obligations and Rights

Postby edy420 on May 13th, 2019, 4:45 am 

Nick_A » 13 May 2019, 16:14 wrote:The purpose of the thread is to ask why secular society can never adopt a balance between voluntary obligations and rights. It cannot since it rejects the quality of consciousness and the opening to conscience necessary to make it possible,



I feel like it's a lot simpler than that. Everyone has their own beliefs. Many are contempt with their way of life so then, have no need to seek a greater good.

If we are happy, then we don't need to rebalanced our lives.

My question is, should people adopt a balance between voluntary obligations and rights. If so, then why?
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Re: Obligations and Rights

Postby doogles on May 13th, 2019, 5:44 am 

Thanks for the response Nick_A. I really did not grasp exactly what you were trying to say, but would I be close if I interpreted your statements to mean that secularists were incapable of thinking about anything to do with 'conscience' or 'consciousness'. And that only those with 'faith' in a 'higher' being or existence can possess such abilities.

You appear to have stated dogmatically and quite clearly that secularists cannot experience "Higher emotions or what are called higher values", and that the "result of intuition are unnatural for secularism". You've also stated that secularism tells people what to think and do, and does not have concerns with 'conscience' and the 'dawning of consciousness in their own being'. It also implies that secularism "assumes that indoctrination and imposed morality will solve the problems created by the human condition", and that it can NEVER adopt "a balance between voluntary obligations and rights".

The implication of course is that secularists only do things they have to do according to the rules of the group they are with at any given time. These rules spell out the rights they have within that group.

Is it fair to say that charity is one example of a 'voluntary obligation', governed by a higher moral of empathy or conscience?

There is no rule that says people have to be charitable. So, if I produced evidence that suggests that secularists and religious adherents become involved in charities in close to equivalent degree, would that make you re-consider some of your assertions above?

This website gives the results and comments on a poll conducted by the BBC - https://www.secularism.org.uk/opinion/2 ... ious-maybe. It reported "If you look at the results, you see that the difference in charitable giving between believers and non-believers is not that big. The headline results state: "Three quarters of people in living in England who practise a religion (77%) have given to charity in the past month. This compares to only two thirds of English people who do not practise a religion (67%). What the poll does not tell us is what the religious people donated their money to. This is important because a similar poll in America ran with the headline that the Southern States of the USA (the ones shown to be most religious) gave significantly more to charity than the Northern States (least religious). But when you took out the donations given directly to churches rather than to humanitarian charities, the figures reversed. The Southern States were donating vast amounts to their churches, most of which was spent directly on church activities such as building maintenance, salaries and proselytising. The Northern States were donating to real charity that directly helped people in need."

Or this one by Gallup - https://news.gallup.com/poll/224378/rel ... teady.aspx - "WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Slightly more than half of Americans (52%) say they have donated money to a religious charity over the past year, down 12 percentage points from the high of 64% who said they did so in 2005. At the same time, reported donations to secular charitable organizations have held steady at or near 75%."

If you look at some of the many studies for comparisons, you need to be able to determine what percentage of 'religious' donations actually go towards church maintenance and furtherance, rather than to human needs.

Is there is enough evidence cited to suggest a reconsideration of your final statement that "It secularism) can NEVER adopt a balance between voluntary obligations and rights."
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Re: Obligations and Rights

Postby edy420 on May 13th, 2019, 6:58 am 

If you look at some of the many studies for comparisons, you need to be able to determine what percentage of 'religious' donations actually go towards church maintenance and furtherance, rather than to human needs


Why differentiate?

I interact with two protestant Churches and I see where a lot of their money goes. The Activate Church just spent a lot of money on new 10 seater vans. Their policy is they pick up anyone at any time and take them anywhere. Even people not from that Church. They also have a youth program that concentrates on giving "troubled" youth something to do. A Pastor there is a good friend of mine and he drives around looking for bored kids to take to the skatepark. He has about 20 Church funded skateboards. If your donating to his Church, then your donating to the community.

The other Church I interact with is through a men's group. The Destiny Church is often in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons, but the group they operate is focused on giving "troubled" men the right tools to become better husbands and fathers. If you donate to this Church then your funding better and safer communities.

These Churches ask for 10% of your income. I'm sure there is some level of profit and/or corruption involved, but that is true for any charity. Out of a dollar a day to support kids in Africa, they only receive a small fraction.

As a Catholic, we donate what we want. Usually I just give change, and then invest donations in other places. Like buying lunch for people who ask for money. Last week I offered a much larger amount in thanks for the miracles I've been blessed with recently. Ironically our Church needs a new roof.

Let's say I have x amount of donation money to spend a week. Where do you suggest I invest this money, that's of greater benifit to the community?
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Re: Obligations and Rights

Postby Nick_A on May 13th, 2019, 5:10 pm 

Doogies

Thanks for the response Nick_A. I really did not grasp exactly what you were trying to say, but would I be close if I interpreted your statements to mean that secularists were incapable of thinking about anything to do with 'conscience' or 'consciousness'. And that only those with 'faith' in a 'higher' being or existence can possess such abilities.


First let me say that I appreciate your attitude. Usually conversations like this deteriorate into condemnation which doesn’t seem to be your way.

Of course secularists think about conscience and consciousness but appreciate these concepts from the perspective of one level of reality. Certain words like art, love, beauty, consciousness and conscience are relative and refer to different levels of understanding. We have to find ways to be specific as to the meaning of words.

Faith IN a higher being is very dangerous and makes a person vulnerable to the dangers of all sorts of idolatry. There is a big difference between faith IN Christ and the faith OF Christ


Luke 17:
5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
6 He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.


Obviously Jesus isn’t referring to him but rather to a human potential. He uses a humorous analogy to describe the power of faith.

The faith of Christ connects levels of reality. We see that we are incapable of sustained faith. We lose it at the slightest provocation.

So blind faith can be considered slavery while faith as a conscious attribute leads to the freedom resulting from a human perspective.

You appear to have stated dogmatically and quite clearly that secularists cannot experience "Higher emotions or what are called higher values", and that the "result of intuition are unnatural for secularism". You've also stated that secularism tells people what to think and do, and does not have concerns with 'conscience' and the 'dawning of consciousness in their own being'. It also implies that secularism "assumes that indoctrination and imposed morality will solve the problems created by the human condition", and that it can NEVER adopt "a balance between voluntary obligations and rights".


Quite true.

Is it fair to say that charity is one example of a 'voluntary obligation', governed by a higher moral of empathy or conscience?

There is no rule that says people have to be charitable. So, if I produced evidence that suggests that secularists and religious adherents become involved in charities in close to equivalent degree, would that make you re-consider some of your assertions above?

There is a lot in your question. First of all the impulse to be charitable can result from either soul knowledge or from indoctrinated morality. There is a big difference between shame and guilt. A person can feel shame because they are a hypocrite wanting to be charitable on Monday while becoming selfish on Tuesday. Another person may feel guilty so give to alleviate guilt. Another may give for the sake of a tax deduction.

The point I am making is that the desire to be charitable is soul knowledge. It is natural for the being of Man. It becomes corrupted as we begin to acquire our personalities. We can cure for charitable reasons and kill for selfish reasons. This is the human condition. The idea here is that this basic contradiction can only be resolved through the awakening to human conscience and soul knowledge which connects above and below. It is only the acquired rejection of the conscious experience of above and below that makes secularism impotent and must result in the opposite of its initial intentions.

Marx said that religion is the opiate of the masses. Simone Weil wrote that revolution is the opiate of the masses. Of course she means that without the help of grace revolutions will eventually lead to the same conditions which inspired the revolution. Water seeks its own level

Is there is enough evidence cited to suggest a reconsideration of your final statement that "It secularism) can NEVER adopt a balance between voluntary obligations and rights."


No, because the quality of “understanding” necessary for a sustained balance between obligations and rights cannot be sustained due to our acquired goals of power and prestige. Consider the many impulses that result in charity and it is obvious how easily it can change into its opposite.
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Re: Obligations and Rights

Postby doogles on May 14th, 2019, 5:59 pm 

Nick_A, once again thank you for the response. But once again I'm having problems trying to understand the points you are making.

For example, one question I asked required a simple 'yes' or 'no' answer - "Is it fair to say that charity is one example of a 'voluntary obligation', governed by a higher moral of empathy or conscience?"

Your response seemed to be somewhere in the next two paragraphs. It did not include the 'higher moral of empathy' or 'conscience' as reasons for the impulse to be charitable, which suggests that your short answer was "No!"

Instead, you seemed to be saying that charity is motivated by 1) soul knowledge (whatever that is), 2) indoctrinated morality (whatever that is), 3) either shame or guilt (I had trouble with the point you were making here), 4) for taxation-reduction purposes, 5) soul knowledge again. As I said, you did not mention 'higher moral of empathy' or 'conscience'.

Can you see where I'm having a problem in understanding the points you are making. I'm trying very hard to interpret what you are saying, but without much success.

This sentence - "It is only the acquired rejection of the conscious experience of above and below that makes secularism impotent and must result in the opposite of its initial intentions.", seems to be defining secularism as 'the acquired rejection of the conscious experience of above and below'. Then somehow this means that "secularism is impotent and MUST result in the opposite of its initial intentions'."

This would mean that all of us secularists are somewhat stupid; it suggests that everything secularism does is counterproductive, and I'm sure this was not your intent.

May I try another tack? I didn't get a direct answer as to whether charity was a good example of what you called 'voluntary obligation'. Could you give me some 'feet-on-the-ground' examples of what you have in your mind of 'voluntary obligations' (Not a definition please) and I'll see if I can find some more comparisons between secularist and religious propensities in those areas.
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Re: Obligations and Rights

Postby Nick_A on May 15th, 2019, 11:37 am 

Doogies

For example, one question I asked required a simple 'yes' or 'no' answer - "Is it fair to say that charity is one example of a 'voluntary obligation', governed by a higher moral of empathy or conscience?"

Your response seemed to be somewhere in the next two paragraphs. It did not include the 'higher moral of empathy' or 'conscience' as reasons for the impulse to be charitable, which suggests that your short answer was "No!"

Instead, you seemed to be saying that charity is motivated by 1) soul knowledge (whatever that is), 2) indoctrinated morality (whatever that is), 3) either shame or guilt (I had trouble with the point you were making here), 4) for taxation-reduction purposes, 5) soul knowledge again. As I said, you did not mention 'higher moral of empathy' or 'conscience'.


My fault. I should have been more precise. Let me try again. First of all do you accept the difference between a priori knowledge and a posteriori knowledge as explained here?

A priori knowledge, in Western philosophy since the time of Immanuel Kant, knowledge that is independent of all particular experiences, as opposed to a posteriori knowledge, which derives from experience.


Soul knowledge is a priori knowledge. Conscience is soul knowledge in that we are born with objective conscience. It has become atrophied from lack of use in society as a whole and the acquired dominance of a posteriori knowledge or acquired indoctrination. Conscience is a priori while indoctrinated morality is a posteriori.

Here is a typical definition of charity:

generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering also : aid given to those in need


The reason your question cannot be restricted to a yes or no answer is because we may know what charity is but don’t know what motivates it. Is an incident of charity motivated by a priori knowledge or objective conscience or by acquired a posteriori knowledge?

Einstein knew that which is why he wrote of the importance of awakening conscience. Simone also knew the dangers of a posteriori conditioning which is why she opposed morality.

“To set up as a standard of public morality a notion which can neither be defined nor conceived is to open the door to every kind of tyranny.” Simone Weil


Do you think society is more influenced by indoctrinated beliefs or soul knowledge including conscience manifesting as charity? Your question requires recognizing the difference between motivations.

This sentence - "It is only the acquired rejection of the conscious experience of above and below that makes secularism impotent and must result in the opposite of its initial intentions.", seems to be defining secularism as 'the acquired rejection of the conscious experience of above and below'. Then somehow this means that "secularism is impotent and MUST result in the opposite of its initial intentions'."

This would mean that all of us secularists are somewhat stupid; it suggests that everything secularism does is counterproductive, and I'm sure this was not your intent.


No, it wasn’t my intent. I was referring to the contention that secularism by definition is third force blind. It reasons by binary dualism. The third force of reconciliation necessary to bring meaning is excluded. Simone Weil describes my belief

Religion in so far as it is a source of consolation is a hindrance to true faith; and in this sense atheism is a purification. I have to be an atheist with that part of myself which is not made for God. Among those in whom the supernatural part of themselves has not been awakened, the atheists are right and the believers wrong.
- Simone Weil, Faiths of Meditation; Contemplation of the divine
the Simone Weil Reader, edited by George A. Panichas (David McKay Co. NY 1977) p 417


As you can see secularism is anything but stupid. IMO it has been indoctrinated often by the corruption of secularized religion to suppress the natural tendency to open to the third dimension of thought which is the path to understanding meaning in the presence of absurdity.

I’ve found that it is equally difficult for the blind believer and the blind denier to admit they may be missing something. Yet the fact that there is a healthy small minority willing to question what we may be missing is a hopeful sign for me at least.
Nick_A
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