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"In atheists we distrust"


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#61    White Crane Feather

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 03:05 PM

View PostRlyeh, on 31 December 2012 - 10:49 AM, said:

No, but he might have heard of it.
How about "a the" :D

I guess he likes them then.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
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#62    me-wonders

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 03:51 PM

View PostBeany, on 30 December 2012 - 11:01 PM, said:

How could one possibly believe that ethics/morality are dependent on religious or spiritual beliefs? Especially when so much violence and harm done have been done by people for whom religion is important. If ethics were entirely dependent on religion, then we wouldn't have seen the witch burnings, the Inquisition, the slaughter of Huguenots in France during Louis XVI reign, the Holocaust, or slavery, none of which are morally defensible yet were sanctioned by religious authority. I'm not making a statement about how many Christians participated in or approved of this, or condemning Christianity, but as a consideration that morality is not dependent on religious or spiritual beliefs. If you make the argument that morality IS dependent on religion then you'd have to separate the immoral from the moral Christians, and how would you do that? Because the immoral Christians are people of faith, and yet their religion had little or no impact on their behaviors.

Wait a minute, you went too far.  While your understanding of history is impressive, I think it is important we do not deny human nature, and the need for education, culture and laws, to curb it.  Most people in the world have a history of slavery including the Mongols, before they divided into Christians and Muslims.  Before a man from China convinced Genghis Khan to harvest the cities by demanding tribute, everywhere these people went was a holocaust.  .  I think humans have witch hunts all the time, except their idea of a witch changes.  In modern times it is someone who uses drugs, without good discrimination between a rather harmless drug like pot or a very bad one like meth.  Humans do have the tendency to act like wolf packs, and they project themselves into others.  That is an evil in themselves, they will project into others.  

I want to stress this, because I want to stress the importance of education.  Basically we are as animals, and the quality of humans depends on the culture of their civilization.   It is most important we pay attention to this and use our shared intelligence  to determine what an ideal man and woman are like, and then how do we turn this idea of what ideal people into a culture?   Most seriously, humans without a good culture for social order, have anarchy and this is most certainly is not a good thing!

We take our wealth and abundance and how this makes people more civilized,  for granted, and right now we are living in frightening times.  Our jail is half closed because of budget cuts, at a time when we can not assimilate  enough people into jobs, so we have people who commit crimes on streets unafraid of being punished.  It is not exactly their fault they are committing crimes because how are people with no jobs to survive, or fill up their time and meet their social needs?   If the Tea Party folks have their way, things will get worse, because all assistance programs is have cut, including food assistance.  Already we are killing people by homicide by neglect.  That is what dealing with homeless people by preventing them from sheltering themselves is, homicide by neglect.  Water, food, and shelter are essential to life.  Stable homes are essential to raising civilized children.  If our economy continues to decline and we do not take steps to deal more humanely with the reality, anarchy will increase.


#63    me-wonders

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 04:11 PM

View Postmarkdohle, on 30 December 2012 - 11:28 PM, said:

Not really, if said atheist shows that he has only contempt for those who disagree with him, is overbearing and a prig.  Atheist like this are common, possibly not the majority, but there none the less.  I don't trust strong, militant, overbearing theist either.

peace
mark

I think this is a very good point, however, this can also describe Christians.  Some of them are public figures who think they appear strong, and that is this is how to get things done.  I am very afraid of how these people will resolve our immediate economic crisis.


#64    markdohle

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 04:17 PM

View Postshadowhive, on 31 December 2012 - 02:59 PM, said:

I don't actually think in black and white terms as you claim. If I was talking to you and forming a friendship and it came up you believed in religion, I'd be more suspicious of you. Now this is because of a variety of reasons, most of which can be leveled at extremeists or religions leaders. Now, if as I got to know you better I'd realise 'hey you're not like them' then that extra suspion would go away. However, since I've been burned a lot by religious people and the leadership seems remarkably stupid, I put extra guard's up until I can be sure.

The problem with the 'treat others as you wish to be treated' is this. It is a core belief of religions. And yet I have been treated shamefully by those people. Yet that is ALWAYS ok. They can treat other people like **** on a whim, and yet if I say I'm more suspicious of them I get it thrown back in my face. I think that's a very big problem that religious people can wiggle out of the 'golden rule' whenever they feel like it.

I see your point, so thank you for your clarification.  However, we all lump 'others', an outmoded human instinct that is causing no amount of sorrow and suffering today;  it is sad but understandable.  I do it, you can how I struggle with it on what I said about voiting for an atheist in office.  So we are not that far apart.  The golden rule is not just put out there by religion but by many Philosphers from the ancient past, it is part of us.  Religious people, like atheist or any others who follow whatever path will mature at different rates, or possiby not at all.  The more we are exposed to others faiths and philosiphical thought, the broader we become.  Most people don't fit into sterotypes after they are met and communication can happen, though sad to say, this is quite rare.

I have friends of all faiths and none.  The labels seldom come up, unless we have a dicussion.  Those who are more militiant are not friends and I tend to give them wide berth.  They have issues that I can't help them with.  We life in a world of 'not really knowing", when it comes to ulitimate questions.  That is why I do not look to science for the more important questions that have actuall tortured our speices on our journey.

Peace
mark

Edited by markdohle, 31 December 2012 - 04:18 PM.


#65    Beany

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 04:35 PM

View Postme-wonders, on 31 December 2012 - 03:51 PM, said:

Wait a minute, you went too far.  While your understanding of history is impressive, I think it is important we do not deny human nature, and the need for education, culture and laws, to curb it.  Most people in the world have a history of slavery including the Mongols, before they divided into Christians and Muslims.  Before a man from China convinced Genghis Khan to harvest the cities by demanding tribute, everywhere these people went was a holocaust.  .  I think humans have witch hunts all the time, except their idea of a witch changes.  In modern times it is someone who uses drugs, without good discrimination between a rather harmless drug like pot or a very bad one like meth.  Humans do have the tendency to act like wolf packs, and they project themselves into others.  That is an evil in themselves, they will project into others.  

I want to stress this, because I want to stress the importance of education.  Basically we are as animals, and the quality of humans depends on the culture of their civilization.   It is most important we pay attention to this and use our shared intelligence  to determine what an ideal man and woman are like, and then how do we turn this idea of what ideal people into a culture?   Most seriously, humans without a good culture for social order, have anarchy and this is most certainly is not a good thing!

We take our wealth and abundance and how this makes people more civilized,  for granted, and right now we are living in frightening times.  Our jail is half closed because of budget cuts, at a time when we can not assimilate  enough people into jobs, so we have people who commit crimes on streets unafraid of being punished.  It is not exactly their fault they are committing crimes because how are people with no jobs to survive, or fill up their time and meet their social needs?   If the Tea Party folks have their way, things will get worse, because all assistance programs is have cut, including food assistance.  Already we are killing people by homicide by neglect.  That is what dealing with homeless people by preventing them from sheltering themselves is, homicide by neglect.  Water, food, and shelter are essential to life.  Stable homes are essential to raising civilized children.  If our economy continues to decline and we do not take steps to deal more humanely with the reality, anarchy will increase.

You make a good point. Education, training, nurturing, etc. are all important, along with thoughtfulness about what kind of life we want to create, what's important to us, what will allow us to contribute positively to our communities, what we want to teach our children. It's important because of human nature and our ability and tendency to behave in ways that cause harm. While we are capable of a wolf-pack mentality, we are unlike animals in that we have the capacity to reason, hypothesize, and engage in introspection. We have the ability to consciously choose instead of simply reacting, and I'm all for education, information, and thoughtful choices. Life is hard right now for many people, perhaps it's as much a test for us as it is for them; if so, I think you pass the test, because instead of hating the poor because they're poor, instead of calling the unemployed lazy and wanting a free handout, you remain grounded in compassion and understanding instead of critical judgments. And I think that's necessary to effectively solve the problems we're facing. I don't see any of this being dependent on religion, though.


#66    Beany

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 04:54 PM

View Postme-wonders, on 31 December 2012 - 04:11 PM, said:

I think this is a very good point, however, this can also describe Christians.  Some of them are public figures who think they appear strong, and that is this is how to get things done.  I am very afraid of how these people will resolve our immediate economic crisis.


View Postme-wonders, on 31 December 2012 - 04:11 PM, said:

I think this is a very good point, however, this can also describe Christians.  Some of them are public figures who think they appear strong, and that is this is how to get things done.  I am very afraid of how these people will resolve our immediate economic crisis.

View Postme-wonders, on 31 December 2012 - 04:11 PM, said:

I think this is a very good point, however, this can also describe Christians.  Some of them are public figures who think they appear strong, and that is this is how to get things done.  I am very afraid of how these people will resolve our immediate economic crisis.

I think both of these are descriptions of humans and common human behaviors, irregardless of religious or atheist beliefs. That's the problem for me when we talk about religion. All of them would be just about perfect if they remained an ideal, but once you put humans into the picture it becomes all kinds of messy. Because, I think, life is all kinds of messy. There is such a wide spectrum of IQ, experiences, nurturing of lack of, knowledge, education, economics, geography, cultures & mores, loss, pain, etc. Personally, I often forget that, and I need to do better around this, and practice more compassion & patience than I have been, looking at the person instead of any institution of which they may be a member.


#67    lightly

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 06:00 PM

View PostBeany, on 31 December 2012 - 05:35 AM, said:

For me, a moral & ethical life means acting with integrity, matching ones words with action. It means practicing compassion, generosity, and respecting others, and looking for commonality instead of differences. It means not causing physical, psychological, or spiritual harm to others, and maybe most important, to own the responsibility for one's actions instead of blaming circumstances or other people. It involves honesty with self & others, and committing to help heal and build instead of wounding and destroying. Sometimes it requires that we sacrifice our own momentary pleasures in order to take care of others, And as I've always told me children, sometimes it means doing the right thing, when the right thing may appear to be the hardest path and has no reward. this may sound like a lot, or impractical to some, but millions of people do these things with a hundred small acts throughout their ordinary day. These acts are so common and so ordinary that we often don't recognize for what they really are: indications of a moral & ethical life lived by an essentially good person.

Maybe you've taken a senior out for a meal or taken them food. Maybe you've spent some time listening to a friend express their grief or anger or pain. Maybe you've spoken up in defense of someone, or sat in court with someone to provide emotional support. Maybe you work in a volunteer program, or hung your neighbors Christmas lights for them, or donated toys for Christmas. Or you sat patiently listening to your grandparents tell stories about their life for the hundredth time, or consoled a child who broke one of your possessions instead of losing your temper. Maybe you adopted a pet from the shelter, or .... I think sometimes we underestimate and devalue ourselves, as well as others, by not recognizing how valuable and important these acts are. We're often looking for an opportunity to perform a grand & glorious gesture, when really, we live our lives moment to moment, and the kind & ethical acts we do in these moments, if added up, would more than equal a grand & glorious gesture.

   Thanks  Beany.    So, as per bolded,  you do believe in spirituality?    Do you mind answering if you believe in some sort of divine presence in all of 'creation' ?
  See, that's what puzzles me...   what is morality based on  for  someone that believes we are nothing more than chemical/electrical blobs in a spiritless universe?
For them, is  the golden rule , for example, based on Reason and Logic? ... are love and compassion chemical reactions?

Important:  The above may contain errors, inaccuracies, omissions, and other limitations.

#68    Mr Walker

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 11:38 PM

View PostBeany, on 30 December 2012 - 11:01 PM, said:

How could one possibly believe that ethics/morality are dependent on religious or spiritual beliefs? Especially when so much violence and harm done have been done by people for whom religion is important. If ethics were entirely dependent on religion, then we wouldn't have seen the witch burnings, the Inquisition, the slaughter of Huguenots in France during Louis XVI reign, the Holocaust, or slavery, none of which are morally defensible yet were sanctioned by religious authority. I'm not making a statement about how many Christians participated in or approved of this, or condemning Christianity, but as a consideration that morality is not dependent on religious or spiritual beliefs. If you make the argument that morality IS dependent on religion then you'd have to separate the immoral from the moral Christians, and how would you do that? Because the immoral Christians are people of faith, and yet their religion had little or no impact on their behaviors.
Ethics and moralities are not inately good, they are simply the values of people and societies, based on the beliefs and understandings of those people. So, to sacrifice a maiden to a volcano to make crops grow better, is not necessarily a bad ethical standard or morality, in the society where it occurs. It just seems bad to us in our time and society. Nor was the morality of the plains indians where the abilty to steal and to endure pain was very highly valued and a poor theif or a coward was despised. We live in a time of great changes in social ethics and moralities, but in the past most  times had only a slow evolution of these.

Some modern issues include; is it ethical to eat meat, is it ethical to purchase/consume more than you require to live? Is a materialist/ growth oriented society desirable or sustainable? Should we allow euthanasia, abortion or suicide at any ones wish,  and should society be required to facilitate, support and even pay for these options, if they are a person's right?

Should mentally ill people be kept in care or released into society? Do parents have a right to instill their own beliefs moralities and ethics in their children?. Is social order and safety more important than individual freedoms? Is a woman "asking for it" (whatever it might be) by walking down a street late at night, alone, drunk and scantily clothed?  Is it ethical to treat men and women exactly the same when they are biologically and psychologically very different? Is it ethical to eat whale meat? (or kangaroo meat) Is it ethical to phsically discipline a child?  And so on.
As I've said before, ethics and moralities are not dependent on religious beliefs, but they come from the same source as religious beliefs, and they ARE dependent on human belief. All ethics and moralities are belief based.

ONe basic belief is this. Do you believ that you are more important, more worthy of being kept alive, more valuable, significant or more precious, than any other individual human being?

A person who believes they are, will logically build one entire set of ethical behaviour and moralities on that belief. A person who honestly believes they are not, will logically build an entirely different set of ethics and moralities.

Here's another. Is a physical/ material life more important, or is an inner spiritual life and positive emotional balance more important to a human being? Again, ones beliefs on this will determine a whole set of ethical and moral values.
And a significant one in my mind, is whether you believe individual freedom more important than a safe productive and strong society or,  you believe the freedom of an individual ultimately depends on the strength, integrity and durability of the society in which they live?


Finally, do "you" believe that how others perceive/see and judge you to be more important, or do you believe that only your own belief and judgement about yourself is significant?  The response to that question,  and a persons belief about it, always determines an individuals' ethics, moralities and behaviours.

Edited by Mr Walker, 31 December 2012 - 11:58 PM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#69    me-wonders

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 04:10 PM

I so appreciate the thoughtfulness of the post.  I don't know if anyone cares to go to the economic thread, but our nation was taken off course with a focus on education for technology and economics.  Our dollar is no longer backed by gold, but by our Gross National Product, and we have shifted from honoring the mother who stays home to care for her family, to valuing only those who increase our Gross National Product, exactly like communism did, when it "liberated women" long before the US li"berated women".  This is unfortunately so complex and confused by conflicting issues, but we are no longer organized by family order, and we no longer have shared human values.   We are owned by the beast, and dancing to its tune, with no way out.   Yipes, how to stay on topic?

I am fascinated by the fact that the bible speaks of the beast and suggest will be numbered and identified by the mark of the beast.  Refusing to contemplate this, because it is of the bible, is not healthy, because this speaks of our present reality.   War brought us to the bureaucratic technology of control by numbering everything.  Without doing a census we can know how many people live in the US by looking at the last Society Number handed out, and subtracting the number of deaths.  This number tells us when and where someone was born.  Can you think politics from the angle of a chess player?  This is nothing like the common sense of politics.  It has nothing to do with your personal interest.  It is totally impersonal and helpful in such things as planning a war.

We are now what Eisenhower called the Military, Industrial Complex.  I stress, this is not family order.  It is not family values.  We once taught a strong democracy depends on strong families.  This is no longer taught, and our alinement with government, instead of family, is threatening our liberty.  One forum has driven me away by the hate directed at me for what I am saying.  Especially young men seem to resent what I am saying.   For all its faults, at least religion leads us to believe family is important, and how we treat each other is important, and it warns of us of the beast.


#70    scowl

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 06:17 PM

View Postme-wonders, on 01 January 2013 - 04:10 PM, said:

We are now what Eisenhower called the Military, Industrial Complex.

Actually military expenditures have dropped to a mere 4-6% of the nation's GDP.  This is much smaller than during the days of the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Quote

I stress, this is not family order.  It is not family values.

Yes, it has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Quote

We once taught a strong democracy depends on strong families.  This is no longer taught, and our alinement with government, instead of family, is threatening our liberty.  

Yes, the man was the head of the household and he voted on behalf of the entire family since his wife was not allowed to vote. Ah, the good old days!

Quote

One forum has driven me away by the hate directed at me for what I am saying.  Especially young men seem to resent what I am saying.   For all its faults, at least religion leads us to believe family is important, and how we treat each other is important, and it warns of us of the beast.

If you're talking about Christianity, you're wrong. Jesus encouraged his followers to abandon their families (they did) and dedicate their lives to him instead. In the early days of Christianity, this wasn't a problem because Jesus was expected to return within their lifetimes. As Jesus's return was delayed for some reason, suddenly the need for families was clear since the religion could not survive on converts alone.

The Beast is of course part of Revelation which is the most ridiculous book of the Bible. People have been interpreting it and reinterpreting it for centuries and using it to direct hate and fear to whatever they didn't like (most believe it was originally referring to the Roman Empire). Like Nostradamus, it has never predicted anything accurately.

And these are some of the reasons why atheists reject the Bible. Jesus was against the family values that our so-called Christians support.


#71    me-wonders

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 04:12 PM

I was not talking of any of the forums within this forum, but a completely different forum.  

I am trying to figure out where we might begin a conversation, based on what you know.

What do you understand of symbolism?  

What do you understand of abstract thinking verses concrete thinking?

What do you understand of the Military Industrial Complex?

What do you understand of family order verses military order?


#72    scowl

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 05:05 PM

What do you know about staying on topic?


#73    Mr Walker

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:01 PM

View Postscowl, on 01 January 2013 - 06:17 PM, said:

Actually military expenditures have dropped to a mere 4-6% of the nation's GDP.  This is much smaller than during the days of the Korean and Vietnam wars.



Yes, it has absolutely nothing to do with it.



Yes, the man was the head of the household and he voted on behalf of the entire family since his wife was not allowed to vote. Ah, the good old days!



If you're talking about Christianity, you're wrong. Jesus encouraged his followers to abandon their families (they did) and dedicate their lives to him instead. In the early days of Christianity, this wasn't a problem because Jesus was expected to return within their lifetimes. As Jesus's return was delayed for some reason, suddenly the need for families was clear since the religion could not survive on converts alone.

The Beast is of course part of Revelation which is the most ridiculous book of the Bible. People have been interpreting it and reinterpreting it for centuries and using it to direct hate and fear to whatever they didn't like (most believe it was originally referring to the Roman Empire). Like Nostradamus, it has never predicted anything accurately.

And these are some of the reasons why atheists reject the Bible. Jesus was against the family values that our so-called Christians support.

I dont think so. Remember the commandment to honour thy parents? Christ's point was that if we attach too much importance to any material thing, from money to loved ones, we can miss the opportunity to develop our spiritual sense and  moral values.

This is very true. Spirituailty and our sense of moralities and ethics exist within us, and NOTHING outside us can effect them,

BUT our spirituality also determines how we view and treat others, and christ said to treat others as ourselves. So if we love sefl then we love others. We are also enjoined to see and treat all others as our brothers and sisters.

Hardly the words of someone who asked us to put aside our families. But if we attach ourselves to our families and to their values and moralities then we can be as lost in life as if we attach ourselves to money or material things.

So, put first that which is right, even if it separates you from your family and your family's ethics and behaviours.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#74    Sherapy

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:16 PM

View PostlibstaK, on 29 December 2012 - 10:09 AM, said:

I agree Me Wonders, but see that is the point.  Cause and effect is each individuals responsibility and choice as in which effect they enact with their causes.  There are laws of the land in every nation, these I have no problem with as they are designed to ensure people are safe from harm, particularly from each other.

However, criticizing someone for their religious views or lack of religious view is not our place.  The fact is, if they knew different they would believe different.  Each person can only believe that which they know or understand.  We would need to live their life, walk in their shoes, to understand how they came to their various views on life and I do not believe we can say with any certainty that we would believe any different if we had lived the lives given to others.

The best opportunity we have to help anyone is to be something they can aspire to.  If we present ourselves and our beliefs as a means of being a genuinely better human being with potential for greater understanding then we are standing on solid ground that others may see and wish to share in.

I  agree with you, it is the rules and the willingness to adhere to and follow them that goes along way in fostering  integrity and cooperation. We have many differing perspectives and religions this in and of itself contributes to the chaos. It is the rules we agree to/ have in place that give us common ground. The irony is that at some level we all are following the same rules and if we are not we have to contend with the consequences of those choices  I often think going ones own way is the grand projection whether its  religion or otherwise it is  these rules not what religion a person is or is not. At the end of the day, for me, my trust is given based on  ones ability to follow the rules.

Edited by Sherapy, 02 January 2013 - 11:37 PM.




#75    Sherapy

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 11:28 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 02 January 2013 - 11:01 PM, said:

I dont think so. Remember the commandment to honour thy parents? Christ's point was that if we attach too much importance to any material thing, from money to loved ones, we can miss the opportunity to develop our spiritual sense and  moral values.

This is very true. Spirituailty and our sense of moralities and ethics exist within us, and NOTHING outside us can effect them,

BUT our spirituality also determines how we view and treat others, and christ said to treat others as ourselves. So if we love sefl then we love others. We are also enjoined to see and treat all others as our brothers and sisters.

Hardly the words of someone who asked us to put aside our families. But if we attach ourselves to our families and to their values and moralities then we can be as lost in life as if we attach ourselves to money or material things.

So, put first that which is right, even if it separates you from your family and your family's ethics and behaviours.

MW, what does it mean to you to love others? How do you define this? This question really doesn't require an answer, I simply ask to bring in a point. Loving others can mean many things depending on who you are talking to. One can get too caught up in this idea that there is one "right " way to love others, when there is not.There are many paths to love. What you can say is you have found a way that works for you based on your background and experiences, for you it seems to be religion.

Edited by Sherapy, 02 January 2013 - 11:30 PM.







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