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Re: Sickly-Sweet Ethics Defined

Aug 06, 1997 00:07 AM
by Titus Roth

"Jerry Schueler" <> asked about my statement

>> ... compassion without careful attention to ethics becomes the opposite of
>> compassion.  Likewise ethics without a cultivated compassion become
>> unethical behavior.

> I disagree with your first observation, but agree with the second.
> Could you please give me an example of the first??

I can care about a person, and out of ignorance not want to hurt their
feelings by telling him or her a helpful truth. Ultimately this harms the
person. With an attention to ethics, I would pause in my well-meaning
caring.  With a right use of that pause, I would banish my ignorance and
make my caring effective.

One can play semantic games by saying, "Well, in the first place you didn't
have real compassion," but I'm trying to talk about two vital polar qualities
and how they need each other and can work against each other if you do not
have a transcendent viewpoint.

> Compassion for others, if genuine, will result in ethical behavior
> automatically.

OK. Let's just say that what you mean by genuine compassion is what I mean by
compassion + ethics.  Achieving genuine compassion requires a knowledge of
Law.  In the end, Law and Love are two faces of the same thing. Yet on our
plane, there are distinct enough expressions of that "same thing" and distinct
problems with emphasizing one pole over another.

> When we worry about "careful attention to ethics" we will always find
> ourselves more worried about ourselves than others.  "Did I do right?"  "Did
> I make bad karma for myself?"  etc, and so on.

That's an assumption based on your concept of ethics. Ethics also relate to
what is right for others. I have tried to describe what I think HPB, Jesus and
various Christian and Hindu sages meant by a clean life. Admittedly, those
words have been used very hypocritically by some and hence have acquired a bad
taste to some. But I find value in them. They do not satisfy you and that's
really OK. The world would be a sorry place if we all had to have the same
concepts. I don't mean to cut off any profitable discussion; I'm just a little
tired of the topic.



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