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Passions in Poetry

On The General State of Things

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hush
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25 posted 08-02-2003 02:56 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Thanks LR. (Yeah, I'm around now and again...)

Except I wouldn't even hope for as much as you... It would be nice if everyone could do at least one nice thing a day, and love as many people as they can... but my expectations for proper human conduct are pretty simple- if you don't mess with anyone else, or hurt anyone else, you're doing alright.
Essorant
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26 posted 08-02-2003 03:50 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

LR

That's very much where I am going.  What's going on?  I am going into what is in the background, behind the scenes, around the corner, in the bedroom.  I'm not going to ask people of their private things and doings.  I'm not going to physically pry and encrouch into peoples concealed lives nor seek for a social government that does for I feel these things are are up to one's own bosom's government, discretion's fiat.  I go there in imagination based on what I see in public effect. Many have mentality we may do things perverse in private wheres and media and then and then put these away and out of mind to go convey a "real" life and morals- be our right self, do the right things in the right places.   But those just don't happen.  Sexual perversion, and pornography, used to be private but now are very public in streaking advertisements,  sexualities, the way people dress,  the way people talk, have fantasies, make jokes.  Thus, now entertainment is too dependant on these, addicted.  I cannot look into any cultural medium it seems for longer than ten seconds before I come to something lecherous or bordering on being lecherous or pornographic, or it flashes at my face, but it attempts to moves my sexual side  despite my understanding of what is healthy spiritually or physically, natural, and respectful; that I am moved frightens me because soon enough arrive there as well as many flashings of goings on of sexual abuse, rapings, molestation, child pornography, public exhibitionisms etc, etc, etc  And this is just what is public and permitted to be shown broadcast. What of what is going on in private?  Something may be very sexual and indulgent, lightly decadent but the vicious frequency of it will make it lecherous and venomous. Right now I think people are nursing ill frequencies and adding venom by letting freedoms of these dilate so in their own person, besides socially.  It is hard to keep one mind sometimes against certain sexual perversions because the natural desire always yet influences in the background , but this is played upon to an unnatural, extreme extent  many other vices and many crimes.   The way sexuality looks really disturbs me today.   And many peoples of all degrees are responding in the  influence, many too far  to be truly called of the degree they try to blazon on their public life.   Smoking, drugs, gambling, are usually personal fallings in substances, but sexuality is about body to body, soul to soul.  It reflects a lack of honour and protecting each others honour when their is so much sexual vice and sexual misdoings.  
I believe one should be and appear in public and private, one whole mind, figure, and self, not be some fragmented, divided side or split personality, this here and that there, or an enigma or receptacle trying to consume and hold, even tolerate all manyfold tastes, reasons, characters, interests, cultures, religions, sexualities to plays upon these and affect them as a moment is given to take advantage thereof or anything.  One should be himself all around, and able to make morals and choices unconfusedly, or at least for the more part, based on a good sense of direction. Keep one's truth and err from it as little as possible lest it be little a truth.  Some influences, appearances, suggestions will scatter and distract him a bit inevitably and he shall not be sincerely whole at all times, he shall falter in but yet should not fall out of his morals.

[This message has been edited by Essorant (08-02-2003 05:04 PM).]

hush
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27 posted 08-03-2003 10:43 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

'I believe one should be and appear in public and private, one whole mind, figure, and self'

So what you're saying is that what I do behind closed doors should be acceptable in public? Or, to put it another way, I shouldn't do anything in my private life that I wouldn't do in public?

You seem to think that the 'perversion' of sex causes criminal activity and violence- somehow I think sexual repression might have the same effect.
Local Rebel
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28 posted 08-03-2003 03:05 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Well Essorant

That's the problem with Temptation -- it's so tempting.

We all have to learn to deal with that. Asking 'society' to change so that we don't have to be tempted isn't the solution.

If I may ask, and this will help communication, what is your ethical background and first language?
Local Rebel
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29 posted 08-03-2003 09:18 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

Our status symbols arise out of the gulf between the self-conscious "is" and the self-conscious "want to be" that marks all life. No person escapes the inevitable struggle to become what he is not yet. All of us carry a load of self-negativity that expresses itself in our inability to like who we are or to accept what we are.

--John Shelby Spong



From Sin a Description of Our Being
Stephanos
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30 posted 08-03-2003 11:35 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Hush : "my expectations for proper human conduct are pretty simple- if you don't mess with anyone else, or hurt anyone else, you're doing alright."


But even according to these expectations, are things going well?  How does "society" measure up to this?  Is this world marked by an increasing understanding that we would be better off by not messing with others, or hurting others?  

You are offering a moral view of passivity here (one which I agree with BTW), but I think active morality is also commendable, because it adds more of a challenge.  This world is too large and the wires are too crossed for anyone to truly live in a vacuum.  John Donne once wrote that "No man is an island".  In the same way, I think the "victimless crime" concept is carried way too far.  To hurt oneself is always to hurt someone else.   And Essorant is right to suggest that the power of vice rarely remains satisfied with the boundaries of self.  Jesus once said that "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks".  Likewise, out of the abundance of the heart the hand moves.  

Again, it's not that I disagree with you, but I have seen the rule "Do no harm to your neighbor" abused.  It's much too easy to justify.  Almost any depraved lifestyle in it's preliminary stages can hide under this one.  Even the most ruthless of society will still claim that they are merely living for self-interest, and want to hurt no one.  It's just that others seem to always somehow get in the way!  


Stephen.

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (08-03-2003 11:50 PM).]

Stephanos
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31 posted 08-04-2003 12:17 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Essorant: "†And this is just what is public and permitted to be shown broadcast. What of what is going on in private?"


I think this is an astute observation.  Private lives are the building blocks of all Public life.  And Public life is the macrocosm of all private lives.  Therefore, what of the idea that it is taboo to infringe upon individual lives with any kind of moral "oughtness"?  

Don't get me wrong ... Like LR, I want to start with myself.  I know about that Railroad Tie in my eye as well ... Everyone quotes that one don't they?  But how often they leave off the concluding part about actually removing it, and helping their brother remove his.  The message was never supposed to be, "We're all fine with our motes and specks."  Societies which embrace that ideology are in trouble as well.      


Stephen.  

Essorant
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32 posted 08-04-2003 04:05 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Hush,

Yes; in a general sense.  
In a general sense, why should one be anything loth to be or do what he or she will in private and public if it is natural, healthy and respectful?
Do morality and decence only behove in certain places and times?  
Or where this private thing commence morals and decence may adjourn to resume at this appointed public hereafter? Or vice-versa;  some people have very moral interests and inclinations in private and then forget their moral wits when thronged in societies.   Shouldn't morals and character have permanance in each other?  I believe we should base our social laws on morals, but not our morals on social laws.  We should not use them because social laws try to enforce them and for fear of punishment, but rather for that these are our laws whatsoever, and this is our being, society, and future no matter what capacity privatly or socially.  Just like we should not put on a seat belt more to please society's rule in place for it and for fear of getting pulled over and given a ticket than because we are chary for our own safety.  If we had all freedom privately to do what we would we should still put it on as diligently as we shall in public where society will step in otherwise.  The seat belt was not invented so officers could be employed to ensure people would use it and to put penalties around, but for safety.  The officers and penalties are just ways of admonitishing what is in our cheif interestes already but that we sometimes forget or overlook, or ignore.  Well, are not morals similar?  What makes us think moral saftey is this important public but only this much privately?  And that what what is perverse in public is not perverse in private?  If social laws are not present morals should still be.

[This message has been edited by Essorant (08-04-2003 04:08 PM).]

Legion
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33 posted 08-04-2003 04:45 PM       View Profile for Legion   Email Legion   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Legion


quote:
If social laws are not present morals should still be.


But who defines those morals?
Essorant
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34 posted 08-05-2003 02:29 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

LR
Asking 'society' to change so that we don't have to be tempted isn't the solution.

Society is not a concious being itself made of concious beings.
It will never change it, but by changing us we will change society.  Sometimes we use the word "society" and we miss whereupon the true charge is.  I believe the manner of societies is the manner how people put them into one altogether.  If one is not well we need to put us into it better.  And the moral and physical safety in society will be as solid as the effect of sincere (or public and private) interest for it.  I don't feel today very safe about our society, and I feel general earnest for changes is become distracted, and very backward in certain mentalities accepting  perversities in their own persons. We can not charter where all things start, where all things end, but we may see the general operation, the influence of things , and as now, I believe we need to put ourselves into our society better by influencing us better.  We need to have our character and morals more permanant in each other and from their we will make more unconfused choice.

"If I may ask, and this will help communication, what is your ethical background and first language? "

It am unsure how to answer...by ethical background do you mean religion?  
My first language is English as far as I can    

[This message has been edited by Essorant (08-05-2003 02:37 AM).]

Stephanos
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35 posted 08-05-2003 02:36 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

I wonder, is there a social law against assuming a false identity?  I guess it's probably more up to the individual(s) eh?  

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (08-05-2003 02:38 AM).]

hush
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36 posted 08-05-2003 11:49 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

I share a bed with my boyfriend.

I really can't get much more explicit with that unless I want to post in the adult forums, now can I?

Whether or not you think it's immoral that I do this, (you could always just replace 'boyfriend' with 'husband') the point is that certain things are deigned unsuitable for the public eye or audience- that's why we have movie rating systems and private posting forums and- dare I say it?- bedroom doors.

If I am married, it would be agreed by most that it is healthy to have sexual relations with my husband. But is it healthy to have them on the front lawn? In the living room in front of the kids? I'm going to say something I usually don't say- moderation and discretion are the key here. What I do in my bedroom is not suitable viewing material for the entire neighborhood, or at the very least, for minors (I have no moral objection to the swinging culture, although I personally would find it a distasteful thing to do...)

We don't live in a G-rated world.

It's interesting, because if you go to Europe (I went to Italy a couple years back) couples are much mroe open, physically, in public.

The question then becomes, should our attitudes toward what is and isn't poerverse and decadent change, or should society change, or a little of both?

BTW, Stephan, I agree that our society isn't doing so well on the golden rule there, but I'm not so sure that what Essorant pins is really to blame.
Legion
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37 posted 08-05-2003 12:44 PM       View Profile for Legion   Email Legion   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Legion

quote:
I wonder, is there a social law against assuming a false identity?  I guess it's probably more up to the individual(s) eh?


It depends on what you mean by a false identity, if you mean pretending to be somebody or something you obviously are not then that would fall into the category of deception, which is generally classed as socially unacceptable. If however you are referring to simply changing the name by which you wish to be known then that, I believe, would be down to individual choice.

Stephanos
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38 posted 08-05-2003 01:34 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

"But who defines those morals?"


I think there is strong reason to believe that it is not necessary to define morals at all ... if by "define" you really mean to invent.  Ethics are not arbitrary creations of cultures or individuals.  There is an amazing consistency underlying all of the moral codes of History, that speaks loudly of a universality as regarding ethics.  Those who argue against this always point out and magnify the differences which have existed.  But a prolonged look reveals much more similarity than difference.  As C.S. Lewis once wrote, "It is no more possible to invent a new ethics than to place a new sun in the sky.  Some precept from traditional morality always has to be assumed".

I think this is also evidenced by the fact that great moral teachers in History have seldom if ever introduced new things, but have called individuals and societies back to the things they knew already.  The bard and prophet's invection has always been against immorality ... not amorality.


So, while I feel that Essorant's tirade against "perversion" is a bit ambiguous and too broad,  I don't think obscuring a common understanding of decency versus perversion negates what he is saying.  After all, I think this common understanding is there.  And many, many (including myself at times ... ouch) act against this understanding, even while it is internalized.  Again, the charge is that immorality disguised as amorality happens way too often.


Stephen.    

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (08-05-2003 01:37 PM).]

Stephanos
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39 posted 08-05-2003 01:50 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

"if you mean pretending to be somebody or something you obviously are not then that would fall into the category of deception, which is generally classed as socially unacceptable. If however you are referring to simply changing the name by which you wish to be known then that, I believe, would be down to individual choice."

I suppose then that a person doing the latter would not mind revealing their former name then?  Because, in a cyber-setting where identity is not so easliy ascertained, a unannounced name change might also involve a bit of deception.  Over the internet, for example, identity is not immediately obvious because of a lack of visual cues.


Stephen.  

Legion
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40 posted 08-05-2003 02:41 PM       View Profile for Legion   Email Legion   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Legion


quote:
I suppose then that a person doing the latter would not mind revealing their former name then?


I know I certainly wouldnít, which one would you prefer?

Coof
Caul
Coegwyr
Toad
Crazy Eddie
Phaedrus
Shou Lao

Or one of the others?
Stephanos
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41 posted 08-05-2003 03:15 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

"The question then becomes, should our attitudes toward what is and isn't perverse and decadent change, or should society change, or a little of both?"

I guess that would depend upon our view of morality as it relates to society and individuals.  Is society evolving ethically?  Are we corporately inventing our own morality as we go?  Or are we veering from a standard which is more foundational?

If we accept the first view, then morality necessarily becomes arbitrary, no matter how long it takes to evolve.  I see a great problem with this.  How can we react to the ethical "pioneers" and moral avant-gardists?  How can we denounce Nietzsche or the Third Reich?  Sure their "ethics" are shocking and way too radical for most.  But there is nothing in them which could not conceivably be reached and accepted more gradually.  If we stand on this arbitrariness, it seems to me that we can have no more reason to denounce someone as immoral, than to have a problem with the Cambrian explosion.  I use this analogy because Naturalistic evolution, like moral relativism, has no real teleology.  Are gradual changes in ethics acceptable, while sudden explosive changes are not?  If so, why?


If however, we accept that morality is more of a fixed point of reference, then it would be foolish to change one's views of what is perverse just because society is drifting.  But if it is ultimately arbitrary anyway, then it would be "suffering for goodness' sake", when there is actually no such thing ... All needless trouble.  Why not go with the flow and follow the crowd, if it is the path of least resistance?  The broad way is always the easiest.  Of course you know what I believe.  


But it is good to ask, no matter where you stand on this issue, where the path leads.  Monotheistic religions have always spoken of sin and righteousness, punishment and reward.  Pantheistic religions have always spoken of Karma and its consequences.  And humanists have always spoken of cause and effect.  I'm not saying they are all the same, or even that they are all trying to say the same thing.  But they all seem to be commenting on a common text.


Stephen.          
Essorant
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42 posted 08-06-2003 01:29 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

More discoursing than all other creatures I believe we shall take pause and inquire into wit and will and nature and in doing this I think we define morals setting well versed and practiced approach or wont or precedent in our mind and our body.   Discover and remember pulses and lines of being; what ways of thinking, doing,  augment, what diminish, what constructive, what destructive?   What keep the inner , and what the outer timber firm, upright. What keeps our timbering from falling?  It may totter yet we will find ways to keep it all up in the end by approaching again and again and noticing what we need to ammend to make a more availing approach now---we have to support it better.

[This message has been edited by Essorant (08-06-2003 01:39 AM).]

Local Rebel
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43 posted 08-08-2003 12:40 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Stephan

It's Craig...

He's always been a character.  And another one.  And another one.  And another one.  And -- might even be more than one in this thread!

hush
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44 posted 08-08-2003 03:38 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Stephan-

I will agree with both you and Essorant that there is a sense that most people have about morality- a shared point of view. Most people would agree that it's wrong to bash your neighbor's car in with a crowbar, or punch somebody in the face for no reason... or any number of mean things. And I actually just started to write about things that most poeple would think are good, like feeding the poor and hungry and homeless, or working to end race, class, and sexual discrimination... but I think of voices in my past that say things like "Why don't they get a job instead of leeching up welfare money? I could use that money I pay taxes with..." and it's really not so cut and dry now, is it?

I'm terribly exhausted, but the point I'm trying to make is:

What is moral- not decadent- in the bedroom?

Is violence ever just- or at least justifiable?

I think it's easy to say it's wrong to hurt someone... but what's right? What's not wrong in terms of private affairs, and when do those private affairs become important to the public, for the public's well being? Or is it really just the well-being that matters- or the public's scrutiny?

-A tired and nonsensical (I actually almost typed "not making sense" instead of nonsensical...) Amy
Stephanos
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45 posted 08-08-2003 09:06 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

LR,

Thanks.  It all makes sense now.  But why am I the last one to know?

Craig(s),

Why?  

Stephen.



Stephanos
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46 posted 08-08-2003 09:40 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Hush: "it's really not so cut and dry now, is it?"


Surely you're right.  But "not so cut and dry" is a far cry from being subjective.  The Physical sciences are not so cut and dry either, mainly because of our incapacity to grasp and understand it all.  But some still dare believe there is an external universe that exists independently of us.  Likewise many believe that there is a moral standard in the universe that we are all accountable to.  

The only reason I say these things is that generally, whenever anyone speaks of morals, the question invariably pops up, "Well who defines them?"  And questions are always good if the possibility of an answer is assumed.  But mostly, this question comes rhetorically, as if to say "Morals are totally subjective"


I do see that moral principles take on more complexity, when applied to many-dimensioned situations ... such as the "welfare society" you mentioned.  Feed the hungry,...yes.  Feed those who are able to work but refuse to,... no.  It does get down to the question "What is truly helpful to this person"?  I believe in mercy, but enablement is not a true kind of helping.

Likewise, when it comes to sexuality, I believe there is a moral standard that we are acountable to.


Stephen.  
Ron
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47 posted 08-08-2003 11:14 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
But some still dare believe there is an external universe that exists independently of us. Likewise many believe that there is a moral standard in the universe that we are all accountable to.

Let's take your analogy a little further, Stephen.

Would you agree to a federal law making it a criminal offence to even try to invent a perpetual motion machine? Should we be forced, through either coercion or social pressure, to live our lives according to the scientific beliefs of others? Is their "absolute certainty" necessarily enough to make them right?
Local Rebel
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48 posted 08-09-2003 12:33 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

great Ronalogy

Legion
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49 posted 08-09-2003 08:18 AM       View Profile for Legion   Email Legion   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Legion

Why do I change my user name so much?

Because I write so badly but so badly want to write something that is independently verifiable as good.

It took me a couple of hours to distil a page full of reasons in to that one sentence and Iím not sure Iíve even managed to do that with much success. Strangely enough though there is some relevance between those reasons and this thread in that my individual choice of actions is played out within a social environment (PIP).

There are two underlying and recurring themes in these forums that, over the years, have shown themselves to be inextricably linked and yet seemingly diametrically opposed. One is the nature and origins of morality that cements a social group together to produce an acceptable behavioural standard, the other is the apparent selfishness of individuals and their right to freedom of choice. At first glance the two seem incompatible but it may be that interaction between society and the individual is the mechanism which allows both to co-exist. There are many degrees between society and the individual, unfortunately or fortunately depending on how much you value progress, people continue to have individual and differing views while still managing to keep at least one foot in realm of the socially acceptable.

Socially acceptable behaviour is, as far as I see it, an evolving entity, my belief is that society and individual trends within a society are played out and tested against a similar litmus paper to that which evolution is guided by, namely natural selection. Without the diversity caused by individual acts and random happenstance society would be unable to define the watermark of morality, a watermark regulated and adjusted by natural selection to ensure the survival of society as a whole. Social morality is not static nor has it ever been, it changes and evolves to meet and fit to new situations.

Are things getting better or worse?

I believe that society is constantly changing for the better and will do as long as individual choice is maintained and allowed.

--------------------

By the way, just in case youíre wondering, I try to ensure that I only use one username in any one thread or at any one time, doing otherwise would be confusing and bordering on deception.

I can only recall two occasions when I failed in this regard, one was intentional when I posted to blast the failings of my own poem. The other was accidental when a post Iíd already replied to was brought back to the top and I inadvertently replied using a different name.

There may of course be others but if there are they probably fall into the accidental category.


[This message has been edited by Legion (08-09-2003 08:29 AM).]

 
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