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Two kinds of morality


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#1    Ludwik

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 10:58 PM

Two moralities, theological and marxist

I am reading interesting comments about communist morality, in a book devoted to Judaism, published in 1975. The authors are two rabbis, D. Prager and J. Telushkin. A Catholic or Russian orthodox theologian would probably make similar observations.

Marxists and theologians, they write, "are both motivated by the desire to perfect the world and establish a utopia on earth. ... Both promote all-encompassing worldviews. But they diametrically oppose one another in almost every other way." The authors remind us that communists rejected "all morality derived from nonhuman [i.e. God] and nonclass concepts," as stated in 1920 by Lenin. ... "Marxist morality sanctions any act so long as that act was committed in the interest of [economic and political] class struggle." Nothing that Stalin, and Mao did was immoral, according to such ideology.

Theologians, on the other hand, hold "that morality transcends economic, national, and individual interests." God's commandments are objective rather than subjective. Evil human acts are condemned, no matter what economic or political gains are derived from them. That is the essential difference. Greed in human nature, they emphasize, "may have helped create capitalism, but capitalism did not create greed in human nature."

Theologians also deplore social injustice. But they reject brutal proletarian revolutions because "the roots of evil and injustice lie not in economics or society but in man himself." This has to do with the concept of freedom. "For Marxism, which conceives of the world in materialist terms, bondage is defined solely as servitude to external sources such as slave owners, capitalist bosses, or other forms of material inequality. Freedom is liberation from such servitude." People, as stated in the Communist Manifesto, written by Marx and Engels, must get rid of economic chains binding them. Then they will automatically cease to be evil.

Theologians, on the other hand, see two kinds of liberation, from external and from internal bonds. "Once liberation from external servitude takes place, one must then liberate oneself from internal domination, the domination of one's life by passions, needs, irrationality and wants."  The conflict between theologians and Marxists "is not economic, it is moral." Proletarian dictatorship was practiced in several countries; the results show that "when Marxist revolutionaries attain power they are at least as crual as their predecessors."

Philosophical differences about morality, among different kinds of theologians, are minimal, as far as I know. But not all God-based moralities are equally successful to promoting internal freedom. Why is it so? What can be done to improve the situation, to bring our reality a little closer to "utopia" dreams?

Ludwik

Edited by Ludwik, 07 July 2013 - 10:59 PM.

Autobiography, “Diary of a Former Communist: Thoughts, Feelings, Reality,” is at:
http://csam.montclai...life/intro.html
Based on a diary kept between 1946 and 2004 (in the USSR, Poland, France and the USA.  
Please share this link to a FREE ON-LINE BOOK with others. Thank you in advance.
Ludwik Kowalski, Professor Emeritus, Montclair State University, NJ, USA

#2    JMPD1

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 11:36 PM

This concept shouldn't be surprising.  Theologians ( of any flaver, be they genuine) are not as concerned with the material world, but strive to create a spiritual world for their deity, per that deity's instructions (or interpretation thereof).

Marxist (and to be fair, ALL designers & practitioners of political science) are concerned with the temporal world with all the trappings and perks of the power that flows from a political system/machine.

To summarize, a theologian might say "Better a 100 evil men go free, rather than one innocent man be wrongfully punished."
A Marxist politician would say "Better a 100 innocent men die, rather than let one guilty man harm the State."

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#3    Frank Merton

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 11:59 PM

I don't think things are quite so clear.  Pious fraud has been defended by many a Christian and practiced quietly by many more.


#4    JMPD1

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 12:25 AM

True enough, although I was posting the premis that a true, genuine theologian would not be a fraudulent one.  If it 'twere a perfect world, 'twould be a perfect example.  :)

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#5    GreenmansGod

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 02:44 AM

There is another kind of morality, too. Hippy Pagan dirt worshiping kind of morality. That is a whole different take on morality.

"The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost; for none now live who remember it."  Galadriel

#6    JMPD1

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 03:18 AM

Care to elucidate on that Darkwind?  What, exactly, is "Hippy Pagan dirt worshiping (sic)" morality?

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#7    Mystic Crusader

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 04:16 PM

View PostDarkwind, on 08 July 2013 - 02:44 AM, said:

There is another kind of morality, too. Hippy Pagan dirt worshiping kind of morality. That is a whole different take on morality.

Make love not war?

“Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.” - Blaise Pascal

#8    GreenmansGod

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 10:42 PM

Repect and care for the Earth and her children, have compassion for others,  learn and grow in wisdom and  do no harm, do as you will.

"The world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost; for none now live who remember it."  Galadriel

#9    JMPD1

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 10:46 PM

Not a bad idea at all, DW.   If more folk did that, might be less trouble in the world, no?

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#10    hellig heilige

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 06:24 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 07 July 2013 - 11:59 PM, said:

I don't think things are quite so clear.  Pious fraud has been defended by many a Christian and practiced quietly by many more.
They're not practicing Christianity if they're hiding their faith. :whistle:

Matthew 5:20   
"For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven".




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