Sunday, January 28, 2018

Ethics Important, Religion not so much

So even the Dalai Lama agrees, Ethics are more important than religion. So what about those things that religion can supply, that we give up when we become atheist? Social network? Well, some of us never really had those in religion much anyway.

We do not give up ethics, and in most cases we become more ethical. We become responsible for our own action, our own ethics, and morals. We lose the scrapegoats. We become responsible for all our actions. Ethics is the foundation for the remainder of our lives and by extension our morals. We do give up one source of motivation, but only duty based motivation, to follow the ethics and other behavior, that is the "because god said so" claim. Authority motivation, is what it is, but for some things it is not much good anyway. It is the slave-master relationship.

Many of us who become atheist,did so gradually not over night, it is a gradual growth away from any reliance to total rejection of any god concept. We typically do not get to the clear fork, clear dichotomy, like Pythagoras "live by nature or supernatural" until later. In hindsight, it is a clear choice, and decision.

Along the way we need to realize that there are many different schemes of motivation for ethics. The Stoics used duty to the city state, nation for military service and following of city laws, and virtue ethics for personnel life. Set out the characteristics that you wish to become, and work toward that end. Toward eudaimonia, that word with no English counter, pleasure satisfaction flourishing joy, the result of serotonin mainly. Virtue ethics still leaves the choice of which virtue to follow up to the individual, to a large degree. Following virtue ethics gives us the ability to think that "if there was wrong done, it was not by me."

Cultures utilize the technology that we have and that is limited to that which we can afford or are able to provide. With the great disparity that we have there is tremendous temptation, and in some respects, it is the opulence that creates the greed that drives much theft. It is the lack of sexual release that drives the lust that drives the sexual trial closing that causes the current environment of common male lust. Frequently the females know no boundaries, and this may create some of the problems to start with, aka flirting without any intention of allowing completion, baiting the trap, but it is just a trap that will do us damage. Oh well, in the end we all just die anyway. But it is up to our ethics to keep us out of such traps.

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