[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

Re: Objectivity

Aug 31, 1995 10:33 PM
by Eldon B. Tucker


>Pls tell me how you would respond.

>You come home late from work to find a man raping and beating
>your wife. Your instant reaction permanently puts this man to sleep.
>Have you just comitted a crime against humanity or has objective
>truth put a criminal to death?

Your example is complicated. It seems to refer to the distinction
between absolute virtues, like the not taking of life, and the application
of them to specific situations in life. An Ideal can be lived up to, but
does not stand along. In any situation there are a mix of factors, perhaps
opposing ideals at work, at we have to balance and compromise. It's wrong
to become overcome with rage and kill another, but in an act of
self-preservation the judgement of right and wrong requires greater
insight. What we basically have are Ideals, general rules of spiritual
action, and the *use of our moral consciousness* in the situation of the
moment. A certain special type of consciousness is required to evaluate
things in a moral, ethical manner, seeing and balancing all the factors
involved, and come out with a decision that benefits the greatest good.
Most of us don't have this consciousness. It doesn't come from the unthinking
adherance to an arbitrary set of commandments, it requires penetrating
insight into life, insight into oneself and others and what is truly going on.

>Self-preservation reaped survival and justice.
>If the assailant was within the bounds of Objective Morality, he
>would have been in bed with his wife.

Being able to do something, perhaps by force, does not make it right. This
reminds me of something that Brenda showed me last night. It was a short
biographic sketch of a distant ancestor (or friend of that ancestor?) in
Germany. He was jailed for witchcraft in the 1600's, and when his case was
reviewed, he was also given the additional punishment of a few weeks of
torture. Is the right? No. But that is what an authoritarian religion will
often do if it has absolute political power. Since it cannot win by logic or
spiritual persuasion, it uses severe punishment on those who would be

>What if McDonalds were to have placed an addictive drug
>in the Big Mac. Is there one nation in the World that would
>declare this right?

No. Neither brute force nor trickery is right. What is right is an appeal
to the nobler side of people, to their own ability to understand and appreciate
and live unselfish, spiritual lives.

>Why can all societies determine these two to be errors,
>yet through dialog you can determine that there is no

There are Ideals, Virtues, and high standards that we can aspire towards.
There is not, though, easy, clean-cut situations in life where it is easy to
know the best way to act, because life is a compromise, and it is complicated
by many conflicting goods and bads. We weigh a delicate balance at times in
picking "right" from "wrong".

>It makes no sense.

To me, Theosophy makes sense, but until you've studied it, you only
have second-hand opinions about what it consists of to base your judgement.
I'd suggest keeping an open.

>This is not Theosophy it is Liberal Pudding.

Theosophy leads to a sharper perception of what is right, noble, and ideal in
life than a traditional church's approach. We are taught to think for ourselves,
to learn to distinguish the real from the unreal, to open our hearts to the
spiritual and awaken *the divinity within.* There's no politics in that. Some
of us may, in fact, be on any position on the political spectrum.

We're enabled, if we take advantage of the opporutnity afforded us, to progress
must further in being able to tell right from wrong, to tell spiritual from
the non-spiritula, to becoming active forces for good in the world, than
someone who is only taught to pay lip service to some creed, and whose highest
ideal may be to sign up more members for his particular sect. Hopefully you
are not in this bind, yourself, and are able to engage us in a meaningful

-- Eldon

[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application