?

Log in

No account? Create an account
That guy, whatsisname, Gautama... - John [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
John

[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

That guy, whatsisname, Gautama... [Jan. 22nd, 2007|01:54 pm]
John
That Siddhartha Gautama guy, he was pretty sharp.

See, a long while back, I was trying to think about how morality would look. (Please, remember, when I use "moral", I mean in the sense of real and true goodness, not in the more common meaning which deems safe, consensual sex as a negative moral issue.) If there was morality, what would it look like? If a person was purely moral, what would that person want?

Well, first, if morality is real, I realized that it must be, in some way, absolute. That is, if it's wrong to cause needless harm, it's always wrong to cause needless harm. But, please, let's remember that "absolute" doesn't mean "inflexible". I said it's wrong to cause "needless harm". It certainly isn't wrong to cause "needful harm", nor can it be a 'sin' (if you go for that concept) if every test you have says that the harm you're causing is needful, or that there won't be any harm at all.

So, when you throw the letter Q into a privet bush, you're not doing something immoral. There are, after all, times it just can't be helped.

(Hitchhiker trilogy reference, if anyone missed it)

Then I thought, if this were true, what a moral person would most want is for other people to be moral. If morality was something good, more moral behavior couldn't help but make the world better.

And then I realized that this guy, Gautama, without ever even talking to me, came up with the same idea, that if you were truly free and happy, you'd want others to be similarly free and happy (which includes being moral).

Pretty sharp dude, I gotta say.
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: phinnia
2007-01-22 10:28 pm (UTC)
He was. He was a hoopy frood who knew where his towel was. Although he wasn't attatched to it.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2007-01-26 06:09 pm (UTC)
Chuckle. One of the descriptions of detachment I *loved* was "to be detached is to be equally attached to all".

I could imagine a person saying "but, what, you shouldn't love your family, your spouse, your best friends, more than everyone else?" and I realize that the answer is "no... it's that you should love everyone else as much as your family, your spouse, your best friends".
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: phinnia
2007-01-26 06:40 pm (UTC)
That's a fabulous way to look at - and easier to swallow than 'you shouldn't have attatchment to things/people/etc.'
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)