Can a guest make a request?
Posted: 12 December 2006 10:04 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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Hello, I just arrived. I was hoping to find here some interesting debate on how can we achieve an interobjective morality not based on religions.

I went to all the forums. I am not particularly interested in any of them. But I am sure this topic should be covered somwhere. It is somehow akin to the "if not god than what" topic in the beyond belief discussion . I have read the end of faith, I am a practicing taoist, and my spiritual life is not based on belief. I am very interested in how both spirituality and morality does not have to be grounded on an irrealistic belief system, but on rationality and experience.

I know Sam is interested in this, as he often speaks about how meditation experiences from Buddhism could be used as first guideline to develop a new spirituality. Now Buddhism is not the only religion who uses meditation. In fact I have a hard time in thinking of any religion who does not have at his core a set of practices that helps a person have direct personal experiences of something trascendental. Now some of those experiences might require that the person joins a set of beliefs. But not all do! Well, can we have a section to discuss those that does not do.

Something like:
"if not god than what"
subtitle: specific, belief free, methods used around the world to achieve and develop a spiritual and moral life.

I know it is somehow strange for someone to make a request as his very first post, but I was very surprised not to find this section, especially considering that Sam seems to be so interested in the topic himself.

Many thanks,
Pietro

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Posted: 13 December 2006 04:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Pietro, buongiorno. Come stai?
The topic has been picked over in various threads and I’m sure there are those a little more talkative than I who will expound.
I think there is general agreement that ethics and morality is an innate sense that is evolutionary. It is strengthened and modified as we age, but in no sense is created by religion. Religion has functioned as a cultural glue that holds us together. If meetings and rituals can be developed that serve the same purpose, religion is unnecessary. Seems football and Nascar are well on their way to filling a niche in this country.

Rod

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Posted: 13 December 2006 05:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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I know Sam is interested in this, as he often speaks about how meditation experiences from Buddhism could be used as first guideline to develop a new spirituality. Now Buddhism is not the only religion who uses meditation. In fact I have a hard time in thinking of any religion who does not have at his core a set of practices that helps a person have direct personal experiences of something trascendental.

You might look up some of the posts here of duncg. He shares some of your interests.

Sorry, I can’t help you. The concept of direct personal experience with something transcendental is utterly alien to me. As nearly as I can tell, all reports of such experience have their basis in wishful thinking, self-delusion, unwarranted confidence in religious teachers or writings—or maybe just dyspepsia or bad conscience. How could anyone experience that which is beyond experience? Some people, let me call them mystics, claim to have direct experience of something transcendental. The rest of us have no adequate reason to believe them since the mystics’ reports of these experiences are contradictory.

I’m reasonably confident that some numbers (such as e and pi and ln 2) are transcendental. That’s enough for me. http://mathworld.wolfram.com/TranscendentalNumber.html

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Posted: 13 December 2006 08:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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[quote author=“Rod”]Pietro, buongiorno. Come stai?
The topic has been picked over in various threads and I’m sure there are those a little more talkative than I who will expound.
I think there is general agreement that ethics and morality is an innate sense that is evolutionary. It is strengthened and modified as we age, but in no sense is created by religion. Religion has functioned as a cultural glue that holds us together. If meetings and rituals can be developed that serve the same purpose, religion is unnecessary. Seems football and Nascar are well on their way to filling a niche in this country.

Rod

Buongiorno!

I have no quarrel with the evolutionary reason for our moral sense. What I do claim is that although as we age we get more clear on our morality (most of us, at least). There are experiences that we can make that can help us in the process. Example, in Italy some bullies have beaten up a kid with Dawn sindrome, putting the video on youtube. They did not went to jail, but to a recovery place to work for the poor. It’s a religious place, but it has no need to be religious. What is important is the experience.

Another example, this time from Taoism (but probably ancient greece had similar things), questioning yourself, on what is right and what is wrong can lead you to develop a sense of morality. It seems obvious, but there are religious tradition where this is done through exercises. Does those exercises need to be done in a religious setting? No, they don’t but they are. Why can’t we collect those exercises, to develop a set of tools that can be used for the man of the 21st century.

A third example, Buddhists work hard to develop a state of the mind that they call compassion. Brain scan on experienced meditators reveal that the brain have a very specific wave pattern. [but forgive me, I have no reference at hand, i think if you need them you need to go to the mind and life institute]. The specific wave pattern seem to suggest that something objective is actually there. Something that normally would be considered beyond science, because it is so hard to measure. But now we can start to measure it. Now. If this thing exist, and if we can make some correlation between people in this state, and a moral, socially helpful, behaviour, then it might start to be interesting to find if there are lay ways to develop it. Ways that do not require any belief system.

Here we have three religion (christianity, taoism, buddhism), who use absolutely down to earth methds to develop morality (ok 2 out of 3 are down to earth!). Methods that in principle can be applied across the spectrum, and do not require in principle accepting an irrealistic set of believes. I claim those experiences and those methods are really important. Because they can be the foundations to a non belief based way to develop morality, beyond what naturally happens when you age.

I claim we need a place to discuss this.

Pietro

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Posted: 12 June 2007 03:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Watch these cuties used by a huge tool owner!
http://nice-females-dicked.org/video?id=1430531

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