Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Morality exists outside religion (#2412)
It isn't hard at all being a good person. I want to be treated well so I treat others well. It is living by example. I don't need a weekly sermon from any dogmatic religion to tell me to be a good person. It is easy enough for me to just be kind and helpful wherever I can be. I don't need some expectation of an afterlife as a reward for being myself. The fantasy that creates is actually a stunt to my own caring and curious growth as a living, evolving human being. What I need are facts and truths in my life, not some hoped for eternity that has little to do with how I live while I am alive. John Stuart Mill is most famously known by me and many many more as the man who put the phrase "do no harm", into my/our lexicon of understandings. Do no harm, is not only a phrase of succinct understanding but it is a moral philosophy by which I base all of my principles. Whatever I do or don't do in life must pass this one simple test, do no harm. This is morality at it's most perfect core. So living in a world where I am not surrounded or encompassed by man made religious doctrines, has actually allowed me to grow as a human being in the least resistant way. I am not dogged by rules and doctrines that are decided by others who would be the voice of religious dogma. Nor am I bound by those rules or made to feel less if I violate them. Now surely not everything is simply solved by a do no harm philosophy. Many times an individual will have to take into account the lesser of greater harms as a path when no harm can be avoided by either action or inaction. Again though, it is the intent of the do no harm ideology that must be followed regardless of the choices that are available. We will fall short and for that it shows us our frailty as humans. But to shackle oneself to a belief system as a fact is not anything I will ever allow to happen to me even under penalty of martyrdom.