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BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules

Pied Piper 30 Jan 06 - 12:41 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 30 Jan 06 - 12:45 PM
Clinton Hammond 30 Jan 06 - 12:48 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 30 Jan 06 - 12:56 PM
Ebbie 30 Jan 06 - 12:57 PM
Ebbie 30 Jan 06 - 01:03 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 30 Jan 06 - 01:10 PM
Amos 30 Jan 06 - 01:16 PM
GUEST 30 Jan 06 - 01:17 PM
greg stephens 30 Jan 06 - 01:22 PM
kindaloupehackenweez 30 Jan 06 - 01:23 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 30 Jan 06 - 01:30 PM
Georgiansilver 30 Jan 06 - 01:34 PM
John MacKenzie 30 Jan 06 - 01:40 PM
TheBigPinkLad 30 Jan 06 - 01:42 PM
Clinton Hammond 30 Jan 06 - 01:45 PM
GUEST 30 Jan 06 - 01:49 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 30 Jan 06 - 01:49 PM
kindaloupehackenweez 30 Jan 06 - 02:10 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 30 Jan 06 - 02:13 PM
John MacKenzie 30 Jan 06 - 02:24 PM
Ebbie 30 Jan 06 - 02:34 PM
John MacKenzie 30 Jan 06 - 02:38 PM
Clinton Hammond 30 Jan 06 - 02:38 PM
SINSULL 30 Jan 06 - 04:04 PM
Amos 30 Jan 06 - 04:27 PM
Jerry Rasmussen 30 Jan 06 - 04:33 PM
TheBigPinkLad 30 Jan 06 - 04:37 PM
Little Hawk 30 Jan 06 - 05:02 PM
Little Hawk 30 Jan 06 - 05:13 PM
GUEST,Boab 30 Jan 06 - 05:51 PM
Once Famous 30 Jan 06 - 05:58 PM
Amos 30 Jan 06 - 06:49 PM
Little Hawk 30 Jan 06 - 06:53 PM
Pied Piper 31 Jan 06 - 11:22 AM
Amos 31 Jan 06 - 11:38 AM
Little Hawk 31 Jan 06 - 11:52 AM
jacqui.c 31 Jan 06 - 01:03 PM
GUEST,Kindaloupehackenweez 31 Jan 06 - 10:06 PM
Little Hawk 31 Jan 06 - 10:10 PM
GUEST,kindaloupehackenweez 31 Jan 06 - 10:16 PM
Little Hawk 31 Jan 06 - 10:54 PM
Ebbie 31 Jan 06 - 11:01 PM
Little Hawk 31 Jan 06 - 11:02 PM
Joe Offer 01 Feb 06 - 03:44 AM
katlaughing 01 Feb 06 - 06:53 AM
SINSULL 01 Feb 06 - 09:31 AM

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Subject: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Pied Piper
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 12:41 PM

Watching the Dawkins program about religion, something struck me about many of the religious people he talked to. They seemed to believe that if there were no explicit rules and punishments from God then every body would just act badly all the time.
As someone who does not believe in God or his punishments and manages to behave in a moral and constructive way most of the time, I wonder if religion appeals to people with lower than average empathy.
By empathy I don't mean an abstract intellectual construct but the concrete physiological effect you get when you see people suffering.
The effect that makes you reach to stop someone from falling before you have time to think, as if it is part of the same system that tries to stop injuries to your own body.
Another example is watching "You've been framed" and making a sharp intake of breathe as someone falls and hits the ground hard.
It seems to me that empathy not fear of punishment is bases of morality.

PP


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 12:45 PM

Ya think Christ didn't have empathy? Chrstians are supposed to strive to live a Christ-like life.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 12:48 PM

" if there were no explicit rules and punishments from God then every body would just act badly all the time"

Seems to me that "Gawd" and his "Rules" have been some of the biggest excuse for some of the most atrocious acts humans have ever committed....


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 12:56 PM

Yahoo! Another anti-religion thread... guess the last one went stale and all we have now is Martin's claim of anti-semitism. That's one thing you can always count on in here: Anti-religion threads..

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 12:57 PM

I didn't get the impression that Pied Piper was implying anything of the sort, Jerry, but that rather he was postulating the premise that maybe those people who so fervently believe that a system of rewards and punishments is the only concept that keeps people from harming each other. That's how I took it.

I remember once when my sister and her family were living in the wilds of Canada without electricity and no close neighbors. A 'near' neighbor came to the door and offered my sister the use of her heat-upon-the-top-of-the-stove iron until sis could get her own. My sister marveled: And she wasn't even a Christian!


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 01:03 PM

I see that my pertinent sentence above got away from me in a garbled fashion. But nemma mind- it's clear enough for my purpose.


As to 'anti-religion' threads, by which I suppose you mean anti-Christianity, it reminds me of something I once read. A guy says, Women always take things so personally! And she says, I don't!


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 01:10 PM

LOL. Ebbie: Maybe it's too early to know where this thread is going. Of course I take threads knocking Christianity personally. But even more importantly, there are countless people I love and respect (including many family members) and I bridle against generalities that are an insult to them. (I also bridle against generalities that are an induslt to the Muslim members of my family, and my Jewish friends.) I'd bridle too, if someone knocked Clinto for being an Atheist, as I have many Ahteist friends I love and respect.

I also bridle against the suggestion that people who have a faith (or religion) are somehow less empathetic than those who don't.

I bridle for all religions.

And I bridle for Atheists.

And brake for animals.

I guess you could say I'm a bridleing type a guy.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Amos
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 01:16 PM

An individual acting ethically does so out of his own insight and sense, which includes a sense of compassion and empathy, but also includes a sense of justice, right action and seeking toward some sort of good. If he filters this through a layer of incantations in Swahili, or a layer of platitudes from the Christian mishmash of rules and doctrines, it can look like he is just complying with rules; but if he has any spark of self-determination in him at all it is a social screen.

An individual who rules his life by others' moral platitudes without considering their consequences and ramifications is not living.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 01:17 PM

I don't think this was meant to be an anti-religion thread but a discussion of why non-religious people are able to live moral lives without adherring to a strict code of religious rules.

I know I can live morally without others telling me the right thing to do. I think that there is an innate sense of what is right and what is wrong. Seems to me that the all of the rules just give the priestly class a means of controlling the masses. In fact, religion seems to relinquish many individuals from taking any personal responsibility what-so-ever.

Of course Jesus had empathy and compassion for others. That doesn't mean, however, that others do not.

Maybe what Pied Piper was wondering is if religion attracts people who are not too sure how to behave without a role model and a set of rules. That does not mean that everyone needs this and it does not mean that non-religious people are without empathy or compassion.

Jerry, I appreciate your discomfort but that is not a reason to squelch a discussion. It soesn't look good on you and makes you seem defensive and fearful.


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: greg stephens
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 01:22 PM

There is a place for empathy in life, but there is also a place for rules. When approaching a busy crossroads, or roundabout, for eample, empathy will get you into hospital. Rules will get you across.


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: kindaloupehackenweez
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 01:23 PM

I dont know if this pertains to this thread. Except for the word "empathy."
When taking classes in upper management practices, Or interaction management. Supervising for quality. There was a practice called.

"Key Principles"

1). Maintain or enhance self-esteem.

2). Listen and respond with "empathy."

3). Ask for help in solving the problem.

kindaloupehackenweez


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 01:30 PM

Hey, Guest... as i say, I bridle against generalities about Atheists, too. Read my last post. Art Thieme has been one of my very dearest friends for most of my adult life and there are very few people I admire as much as him. I could write many, many posts of wonderful, righteous, moral Atheists and Agnostics I love, including family members and one of my sons. When I hear someone who believes in God make a generality about Atheists being immoral, I am on them like a dog on a bone. Not knowing you, Guest, I have every reason to respect you and believe that you are a moral person.
Believing in God is not a prerequisite for living a moral life. And believing in God doesn't "make" anyone moral. The proof of morality is in the pudding.

I am very specifically challenging a reverse kind of statement to the one you are talking about Guest: That religious people have less empathy. Mostly, I am bothered by negative generalityies.

I guess you could say that, in general, I don't like generalities. :-)

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 01:34 PM

O.K so where do you think that feeling comes from...or that little voice in your head that tells you what you are doing is wrong or what you have done is wrong....often when it is 'not' something that you have been taught is wrong. We call it conscience do we...where does it come from?
Best wishes, Mike.


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 01:40 PM

"Seems to me that "Gawd" and his "Rules" have been some of the biggest excuse for some of the most atrocious acts humans have ever committed...."

For once I agree with CH ! I make only this addition to his thought.

Religions and sects have been the cause of most of this world's dissent murder and mayhem, but as Bob Dylan said they all claimed to have "God on Their Side", albeit their particular brand of "God"
It is amazing the excuses that people can find for their particular brand of attempted world domination. The bible for instance has been used to prove often diametrically opposed points of view. Same goes for other religious books too.
Ban all religion it causes death!

Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 01:42 PM

or that little voice in your head

Asked and answered.


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 01:45 PM

" I guess you could say that, in general, I don't like generalities"

It is impossible to speak generally without them...   And valueless to speak specifically to the point of individuality...


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 01:49 PM

"We call it conscience do we...where does it come from?"

We are born with it. You can either listen to it or ignore it.

You don't need an organized religion with priests or ministers or rabbis or anyone else to make you listen to your conscience.


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 01:49 PM

Hey, Clinton, we agree on sumpin'! I was being self-criticizing in my comment about generalities. I make them too, and have to to communicate.. They do require a little care though, to make sure they are true.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: kindaloupehackenweez
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 02:10 PM

Does it all boil down to interpation?

Or like the plate above the New Orleans "Kat house" of which the two bikers of "Easy Rider." Visited when doing Matigra, which stated.

"If God did not exsist, would it be nessisary to invent him?
                                                                   OR could it be that "Hope" is mearly a set-up for disapointment.
or
All thats left when there is nothing else?

I choose interpation. For found myself going in circles with all the other possiblities. And feel the "full circle" to have put me at ease enough to comptemplate other aspects of thought. And allow me keep somewhat of an open mind.

Like the only way ones opinion can be validated, is by respecting the opinion of others.

kindaloupehackenweez


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 02:13 PM

I like your last sentence, kindaloupe. Respecting the opinion of others is the only real way to communicate. Otherwise it's just taking turns getting up on the soap box.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 02:24 PM

Hollywood never was very good at giving credit, where credit is due. That saying above the Kat House door is a quotation from Voltaire
Almost anything Hollywood says, somebody else said it before, and much better.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Ebbie
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 02:34 PM

"Ban all religion it causes death!" Giok

So does life itself, Giok!


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 02:38 PM

OK Ebbie, make that premature death!
G ☺☻


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 02:38 PM

"We're all gonna die... The important thing is not to rush it"
-MacGyver-


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: SINSULL
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 04:04 PM

No. We are not "born with a conscience". Children who are abused and/or neglected during the first few months of their lives do not develop the same social skills or ability to empathise as a child in a loving supportive environment. Later in life, that "missing piece" makes it difficult for them to function as healthy adults. Many simply do not have the same sense of right and wrong as the mainstream does.

"a layer of platitudes from the Christian mishmash of rules and doctrines" Wow Amos. That is harsh. I am an atheist but I respect the beliefs of others and recognize that some need these beliefs to function and/or deal with their own mortality.

I don't think that this thread started as a religion bashing. Pied Piper hasn't taken into account the effect that religious education from birth predisposes people to remain within their family's chosen religion. For some, the "fact" that Christ is god is as rock solid as the knowledge that their mothers love them. They have known it since birth and simply haven't had it challenged or in the face of challenge came to the conclusion that their faith is a critical part of who they are.

I have said this before. I wish I could believe in a set of rules provided by a religion. My life would be so much simpler if I didn't have to decide for myself what is right and wrong especially when there is only a precarious grey area available. And when I screw up, it would be such a relief to obtain forgiveness, dump it on the local father/pastor/rabbi and walk away from it.


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Amos
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 04:27 PM

Sorry, SINS...I wasn't meaning that that mishmash is any worse than the mishmash of rules and doctrines that surround Judaism or any other religion, including voodoo. I was simply making the point that the source of ethics is within you.

If a child is beaten into some other shape in his early years, he may or may not be so suppressed he can't find himself. If he cannot, then he needs a moral code or set of rules to steer by because his self-generated sense of right and wrong has been overwhelmed and buried. That doesn't mean he didn't have it in the first place, though.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 04:33 PM

Too bad people dismiss religion as nothing more than a set of rules, or a mishmash of rules and doctrines. To me, religion is a relationship, driven by love and a desire to live a moral life. In that regard, it is very similar to an Atheist who is trying to live their life out of love and morality.

But then, this thread is another go-round, rehashing each of our own arguments. Kinda like a room full of people all talking at the same time, with no respect for each other. I'm going to bow out here, but I'd just like to reiterate that I value people for who they are, that I try not to judge people for what they believe, I respect anyone who is trying to live a moral life, and I need to focus on living the best life I can rather than judging how others live theirs.

Hopefully, we are all trying to live a righteous life, whatever our beliefs.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: TheBigPinkLad
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 04:37 PM

I think the proof of this particular pudding is in the commonality of things that constitute 'good.' They seem to support and promote the ensurance of procreation and have done since, well, forever.


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 05:02 PM

I agree, Pied, that empathy is the basis of morality, and you don't necessarily need religion (or a belief in God) to develop empathy.

I grew up in a totally nonreligious household, and had no trouble learning basic morality and empathy, despite my lack of belief in God or anything religious.

I later came to believe in God and all kinds of spiritual stuff. I didn't get a sense of empathy from religion...I think it simply came naturally to me, as you have suggested. I found that various religious ideas helped strengthen my empathy for others at times, though.

I note that some people are made more kindly by their religion and some are made less so by it. Interesting! Evidently, religion is like a 2-edged blade. It can cut either way, depending on the intentions of the people using it.

I don't believe in a God that punishes. People who do believe in such a God are inclined to be punitive themselves.

I think the problem in the world is not religion...the problem is destructive behaviour by people who lack empathy (or wisdom)! Those people may be religious, they may be atheists, it really makes little difference in the final analysis. Religion is not inherently either good or bad...it's how you make use of it...like anything else.

The important thing about a man is not whether or not he is religious...but whether or not he is aware of the full ramifications of what he is doing, and has empathy for others. If so, he's probably a good neighbour. If not, watch out.


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 05:13 PM

By the way, the thing that least appeals to me about organized religion is RULES! I do not need someone giving me a whole bunch of rules to follow, and I don't think belief in God requires any such thing.

I will certainly enjoy looking back on all this one day without the bother of hauling this body around! I'm gonna be a spirit, man. I am gonna zip over to Windsor, flip Clinton Hammond the bird, and he won't even see me do it. Then I'm gonna go check out the far side of the moon and talk to my Angels. Then we'll see if there's any sense in coming back here again...after awhile.


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: GUEST,Boab
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 05:51 PM

Pied Piper---why don't you take a decision? It's easy. CHOOSE your God. This "empathy" you write about----why does it exist at all? That it does exist cannot be denied. Your "empathy" has relieved much suffering, accomplished many rescues from death-dealing calamity, given mercy and care to many an "enemy" and fed many a helpless and starving child. I can appreciate your disdain for the long-sustained imposition of utter crap that has been force-fed to much of humanity via the "good book" and its fancy-dress advocates. The truth IS in there, but is smothered by so much mumbo-jumbo, "prophecy" and mind-manipulating additive that it is hardly surprising that it is almost never recognised by rational human beings. How, for instance, can a claim be laid on true Christianity by those who would tempt "converts" by that continual trumpeting of a "Heavenly" reward?
Can anybody tell me truthfully that any description of this supposed destination conveys anything other than of a thoroughly boring place?!? A truly selfless human being acts [through empathy?] without thought of personal reward. That there are rewards accruing is true; but those rewards are tangible and within life's experience, sometimes incidentally taking the form of material gain, but always resulting in spiritual uplift. NOBODY can claim to "know" of this legendary place called "heaven"; and if I can choose mine, let it be a repeat of the life of a laddie born in Scotland, who grew up with wonderful friends, married the world's finest Lady and was blessed by a loving family.
   Stop looking in vain for those fairies, goblins, plagues, miracles and self-fulfilling "prophecies", Pied Piper---you recognise Empathy. Simply change the word to "Love". There is your God.


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Once Famous
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 05:58 PM

Nice to know that some anti-semites are are anti-everything religion. at least they are consistant.


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Amos
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 06:49 PM

How empathetic of you, Martin!

Not.



A


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Jan 06 - 06:53 PM

"Amos-y and Martin-y...live together in perfect harmony...side by side on my 'puter keyboard, oh Lord, why don't we?????" ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Pied Piper
Date: 31 Jan 06 - 11:22 AM

In hindsight perhaps I should have used "some people" in the sentence "I wonder if religion appeals to people with lower than average empathy."
I take your point Greg perhaps I should have been more specific about the type of rules I meant. It's an interesting point; a lot of drivers routinely break speed limits, which results in more severe injuries in accidents. Perhaps the physiological empathy fails in a frame of reference evolution did not equip us for. Maybe giving people direct sensory feedback about the cars speed and lethality would enable people to drive more safely.

PP


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Amos
Date: 31 Jan 06 - 11:38 AM

I don't know the numbers, but I have seen some evidence that above-limit drivers actually cause less accidents than those who go below the speed limit. Wish I had the references to hand.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Jan 06 - 11:52 AM

Well, it is fairly common for non-religious people to base their estimation of religious people on the behaviour of the more obviously bone-headed of religious people, I suppose. Those ones are easier to notice. ;-)

The same is true of the more bone-headed atheists.

In both cases, they tend to go to extremes and be prejudiced unnecessarily. That makes them noticeable.

To put it another way, I've met idiots who were religious, idiots who weren't, and wise and gifted people of both persuasions.

Religion isn't the problem. People with a bad attitude are the problem.


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: jacqui.c
Date: 31 Jan 06 - 01:03 PM

Quite true LH.


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: GUEST,Kindaloupehackenweez
Date: 31 Jan 06 - 10:06 PM

Giok thank you for the info. It has been place in my book of things to remember and things to learn more about. appreacate it, I had no way of knowing that. It was just that quote always is with me.

Ebbie doesnt life, old age, diease, war, accidents, murder, and suicide, cause death.

I like to think in terms of all the possiblities.

Perhaps a "God" whom passes judgement by the scales of justice and weights the pros and cons of how we lived/

Or perhaps a table of elders of uneven number deciding,.Much like that of the surpreme court.

Or the Native American great spirits of ancestrial or animal spirits.

Or of the Zen "To exsist is to suffer and sufferage is the direct cause of desire.

Or the Athiest and we just go back to where we came

Or the Roman belief of "how we live this life will follow us thru eternity.

Or my person favorite the possiblity of reincarnation. In which case i wish to come back as a girls bicycle seat.

And yes even hell. For surely there justice can be served for there are no laws.

And even acoholics have any higher power they choose.

And or like my mom usta say: Religion is something to believe in when there is nothing else left.

Unless you believe that hope is merely a set up for disapointment, Then perhaps you do control your own destiney.

And am sure there are more than 1000 rules.

But as creatures of free will. and if life is what we make of it. why cant we make the hear and know heaven/. and if choice is unlimited i therefore choose a second which is happyness. for nothing else is an option.

Perhaps Interpation, perception, reality, illussion. Surly not science

live free and prosper

kindaloupehackenweez


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Jan 06 - 10:10 PM

No, no....MONEY is something to believe in when there is nothing else left! ;-) Look around you. Go to a casino. Observe the lost souls there making their last desperate attempt to find happiness. You can NEVER have enough money! Ask some corporate CEOs and billionaires about that.


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: GUEST,kindaloupehackenweez
Date: 31 Jan 06 - 10:16 PM

Yes perhaps Money
Isnt it a false idol?
In terms of my reality. You are correct. For one is not truely free until they have enough money to do, what they want, where they want, when they want. And even thou it dont find you happiness it can sure help you have fun looking for it in many places.

But you cant take it with you.

This life vs, the many lives to come. I dont want to go down the food chain.

kindaloupehackenweez


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Jan 06 - 10:54 PM

If you don't want to go down the food chain, here's a solution:

When you die, have your body completely dissolved away to nothing in a huge vat of acid. Presto! No food chain.


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Ebbie
Date: 31 Jan 06 - 11:01 PM

Little Hawk, don't forget the little critters that feed on oil and acid and the basics of organic things. There is no escape.


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Jan 06 - 11:02 PM

Oh, darn.


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 03:44 AM

I think we all have moral codes. That's the way society works. Some moral codes come to us through religious groups, and some come to us through society in general. Religions may have a few more arbitrary or faith-based or unusual rules in their codes - but in general, most moral codes are more-or-less the same. Much of the time, what is "moral" is what "makes sense."

People are at different stages of moral development, and they make moral choices for different reasons. I've been pondering this a lot lately, especially with regards to the morality of litter; because I've been wondering about my 16-yr-old stepson Josh, and whether he ever will be able to pick up a piece of paper off the floor without being told to do it. His stage of moral development is distressingly low.

    My dog, Ralph, loves to pick paper up off the floor. Then he tears it up and makes a bigger mess, and leaves it. Ralph has no moral development at all. I should wring his little neck, but he gets away with it because he's cute. My kids were about the same when they were two.

    Somewhere around the age of three or four, you can get kids to pick things up by telling them to do it - motivating them by either threats of punishment or by creating the illusion that picking things up is fun. Moral codes don't work at this stage - only direct commands get results. Josh is still at this stage, and he's sixteen....

    Now, I don't want to make it sound like my own kids were superior to my stepson, but...Somewhere in their mid-teens, my own kids began picking things up without being told to - although I think they were doing it because they believed this was something they were supposed to do, that this was some sort of moral obligation. This is where moral codes come in. In previous stages, people do things on command. In this later stage, it is at least somewhat voluntary. My kids are approaching thirty, and I think they're still mostly at this stage - although they are starting to do some really remarkable things out of a far more creative moral sense.

    My wife and I pick stuff up all the time - and I think we do it because we like the world to look good. I think we do it mostly because WE want to do it, not because somebody else wants us to do it.
    ...or maybe we do it because our children (and dogs) have figured out that if they don't, we will.


And yes, I think you could say that people at the higher stages of moral development do things out of empathy - but I think that holds true for both religious and non-religious people.

-Joe Offer-

Somebody dumped a six-pack of beer cans at the end of our street last week. I'm still philosophizing about the situation, so I haven't gotten around to picking them up yet. I'm hoping some of the neighbors are morally superior...


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 06:53 AM

*Ahem*...as a Kat in good standing, I think the Easy Rider reference was spelled "Cat!" **bg**


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Subject: RE: BS: One ounce of empathy is worth 1000 rules
From: SINSULL
Date: 01 Feb 06 - 09:31 AM

Yesterday my cats got into my pile of bills and scattered them all over the floor. Seamus, who is visiting, picked it all up one piece at a time and brought it to me. He hoped I would think it was mail and give him a treat for bringing it. I did. Does that make me god in Seamus' eyes? Or just Aunt Mary the easy touch?


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