I am, generally, a moral relativist. I don’t believe that morals are objective or dictated by a God. I, personally, believe that the Universe is rather amoral and is comprised of essences which are both creative and destructive – and this does not make it good or evil.
Rather, I believe that we are social creatures, and as social creatures we develop codes of behavior which are beneficial to society and also, generally, pleasurable on an individual level. No one likes pain… and no one likes their rights infringed upon. This is where the whole “do unto other as you would have them do unto you” comes from, because in an idyllic setting people would not harm others because they would not wish the same harms to be inflicted on them.
However, this is not an idyllic world.
I adhere to a few basic ideals:
In short – be kind, be civil, even friendly to people if they deserve it. If, however, they are assholes, then there is no reason why you can not react in kind. Unless, of course, you want to take the ‘moral’ high ground and be the better person. Sometimes that can show people up even better than getting in that sardonic barb. There’s also the fact that many people are too stupid to understand subtle sarcasm…
Here’s a rather wordy site about Religious Humanism
And one about Moral Relativism
I would like to find less wordy sites – but humanists often tend to like to be rather pedantic. I suppose I am guilty of that to some extent, as well. *grin*
Moderation: perhaps one of the most important things to remember. Nothing exists in terms of black and white. There are some virtues which, when taken to extremes, turn into vices… and there are some vices which, when used in moderation, are necessary and, perhaps, even virtuous. Balance is an underlying part of Creation… the Balance fo the Polarities. Without balance and moderation, little else is possible.
Courage: to stand up for your beliefs and convictions (standing up for your beliefs and rights is not the same as hoisting them on others)
Wisdom: many people have knowledge that they wield wrongly. They should be clubbed with such in equal measure. It is a virtue to know how to use your knowledge, to have some common sense – and to know when to shut up and when to speak up
Individuality: this one doesn’t need an explanation, I should hope. Be yourself, for the love of all things holy and unholy – just be yourself
Personal Responsibility: it is a good thing to take responsibility for your actions and mistakes, and not try to blame everyone else. (Of course, it’s not good to take blame for things that aren’t your fault, either)
Honesty: be honest with others, and be honest with yourself. Don’t delude yourself into a comfortable existence. It will not last. Face down your demons and know who you are – and accept it, or change it.
When asked for your opinion – give it honestly, but be as polite as possible. No one likes to get trashed. If you’re not asked for your opinion, then use wisdom to know whether or not you should give it. “If you have nothing nice to say…” and all that.
If you make a promise – keep it, unless you absolutely can not. Do not make promises lightly. Oaths should always be taken seriously.
Laziness: this one goes without explanation, or at least it should. You want something? Then work for it…
Ignorance: ignorance is not an excuse, especially when the information is so readily available. Ignorance is not Bliss…
Stupidity: willful ignorance falls under this category. Also when you know better, and do it anyway.
Rudeness: being rude without due cause is not cool or tough. It just makes you look like a schmuck.
Weak-Willed: everyone has some weaknesses and everyone has weak moments. But there are those who have no spines, no selves, and can not face the truth of themselves or the world. This bubble is not a good thing.
Conformity: be your damn self.
Lying: I’m well aware of the little white lies we must all use to get by as social creatures. I’m even aware that there are some situations in which lying is the best option – though I would opt for admitting parts of the truth over outright lyng.
That said – do not lie just to be polite. Do not pretend to like someone or be friends with someone you don’t like.
And don’t lie just to save your own ass. Accept responsibility for your actions and fuck-ups.
Hypocrisy: everyone is a little hypocritical sometimes. It seems nigh impossible to escape it. However, there are some people who don’t seem to know how to not be a hypocrite, and I truly can’t stand hypocrites. They always cry freedom of expression and demean others for being ‘closed-minded’ when they are attacked – but turn around and do the same exact thing when given the chance. These are the first people to censor something they don’t like – especially if it makes them look bad. You find them a lot in politics, and as board moderators…
Sycophancy: they say flattery will get you everywhere, and with some people it’s true. The amount of ass-kissing which goes on a regular basis in this world is disgusting.
Important General Rule: Your rights end once they start infringing on another’s. Your rights do not automatically supercede anyone else’s, even though you might like them to or think they do because they’re yours. This is when we have to learn to work together and compromise… or at least avoid each other. You will not get along with everyone – it’s pointless to try… and worse if you fake it. If you must work with someone you loathe, then be civil – nothing more, nothing less.
**Some people may notice similarities between my “rules” and the Eleven Satanic Rules of the Earth and the Nine Satanic Sins. This would be because I do agree with those rules, for the most part. However, I find nothing particularly Satanic about it. I find LaVeyan Satanism to be a mix of Humanism and Hedonism. I agree with much of the humanistic elements of morality… but don’t really go for the Hedonism thing. It lacks balance, and, imo, to do everything that ‘the Church’ tells you not to is not truly individualistic or compelling. I’m all for rebellion… but not for blind rebellion.
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