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Strange thoughts about dualism... [Apr. 11th, 2014|08:59 pm]
Don't ask me why or how but recently, I found myself hearing that monotheism encouraged dualism and started thinking about it, and realizing how crazy-sensible that model could be.

How often do we think that there's a right and a wrong thing, that there's good and evil? I know that I have many times pondered that there might be a kind of universal "right" or "good".

But what if that's ridiculous? I mean, how can you be "good" when there are so many things that happen as a result of our actions?

Were our ancestors good when they burned coal for industry? Without that, much of our modern life would be completely different. But in that time, they dumped both toxins and huge amounts of carbon into the air. There are fish that you really oughtn't eat at all due to mercury content (and a lot of that mercury came from burning coal), and many that you maybe shouldn't eat too much of. Of course, we're probably overfishing all of our stocks anyway, so that problem might not last too long.

It meshes neatly with the idea I had of a fundamental theory of morality - that once you feel you've come to the best moral conclusion you can, then you should do that. (Because what *else* should you do? Something that you feel is less moral/right?) Here, there is no universal standard of good, because people are all different, both in their desires and their perceptions. One person wants a particular forest to stand untouched, another person thinks that's the best forest to use for lumber. They might even agree with each other on the base level of protection of native forests - they might just disagree on the importance of this forest. And in the end, neither of them knows if this forest is better for leaving or cutting down - there isn't any universal standard they can use to inform themselves.

I've seen it said that polytheism views the world as conflicting forces - not good versus evil, but an awareness that forces exist and make changes, and those changes might be assisted or opposed. It's an interesting thought, something upon which to think and philosophize.