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  • Stephanie wrote a new post, Life Driven Purpose, pg 60 3 years, 1 month ago

    “And, by the way, when Jesus announced that we should cut off body parts, he was telling others to harm themselves. There were entire monastic orders that castrated themselves because Jesus said in Matthew 19:12 […]

    • Every year in the United States we read about one or two men who mutilate themselves in order to prove their obedience to Christ. In my opinion, that is immoral.”

      That is worse than immoral, it is sick, a mental disorder.

    • @OP- Every year in the United States we read about one or two men who mutilate themselves
      in order to prove their obedience to Christ.
      In my opinion, that is immoral.”

      I suppose it is marginally better than those who detonate themselves killing other innocent people in obedience to Allah!

    • Hal replied 3 years ago

      Back in the 1860’s in the US there was a man named Boston Corbett. He was walking down the street one day when two prostitutes accosted him and made attempts upon his chastity. He was so shocked by the encounter, and his own reactions to their attentions, that he ran home, took a pair of scissors and castrated himself. Later, after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, his company (he was a soldier in the Union army by this time) caught up with John Wilkes Booth in a barn in Maryland. Corbett spotted Booth through a crack in the boards, took aim and shot him. Which made Boston
      Corbett a famous man. Corbett had been a hatmaker earlier in life, which caused him to become mentally deranged by the absorption of mercury into his system, an occupational hazard at that time. He was, literally, “mad as a hatter.” His fortunes declined in later life due to erratic behaviors. When he died he had been living in a hole dug into a Kansas hillside. So this was a case of self-mutilation due to insanity. Aren’t you glad you asked? (And isn’t history fascinating?)

    • Immoral, sick

      emphasized text and STUPID!

    • Lepus replied 3 years ago

      According to moral values accepted as valid in most societies, we can see it nowadays as immoral… But, well, when this was written, the culture, values, habits and the knowledges were very different. In this way, perhaps this was announced in a metaphoric way, treating about self-penance or, when practiced, signal of deficiency of the epoch in dealing with specific situations or to explain phenomena, only remaining a radical appeal.

      Furthermore, it’s a fact that we suffer the consequences of our beliefs, such as the belief which the global warming is untrue: if we to consider it wrong, all of us can experience the irretrievable changes on the earth’s ecosystem – variation in global temperatures, increasing in sea levels, disorder in biological chains, species extinction etc.

      Self-harm to prove obedience to something can be immoral, when we
      agree that the universal moral law must be don’t hurt ourselves.

      Thus, we should scrutinize the behaviour and morals. It’s a great risk the belief systems that ensure absolutely the truth, advocating actions in a dogmatic way.

      Nevertheless, this isn’t impactful or as immoral as when the personal beliefs come in public sphere affecting many people and jeopardizing your lives.

    • No pain, no gain.

    • Would you please not compare immoral behavior to mental disabilities? Thank you.

    • rietpluim #9
      Jun 22, 2017 at 10:16 am

      Would you please not compare immoral behavior to mental disabilities? Thank you.

      Could you please explain which item or comments you are referring to, and what you mean by that statement.

      Psychotic behaviour often causes people to perpetrate actions which would normally be considered immoral!

    • Could you please explain which item or comments you are referring to, and what you mean by that statement.

      @cbrowm #2 and @John Halas #6
      Also @Hal #4 and @maria melo #5 for bringing up anecdotes about allegedly mentally ill people who have little to do with the subject.

      Psychotic behaviour often causes people to perpetrate actions which would normally be considered immoral!

      First of all: no, they don’t. They do not more often than they do. The most severe atrocities are committed by people considered perfectly normal.

      Also, you’re not a psychiatrist I suppose, and even if you were, you have not examined the monks whom Barker is referring to. Leave the diagnosis to a qualified person please.

      But most of all, you are contributing to the stigma that people with mental disabilities are experiencing more than enough already.

      By the way, something cannot be sick and immoral at the same time. The sick are considered not to be accountable for their actions. Or we wouldn’t call it sickness, would we? The sick deserve sympathy, not criticism.

    • @Alan4discussion

      Quote mining is not a good way to make an argument. The full quote is:

      First of all: no, they don’t. They do not more often than they do.

      The keyword is “often”. Now we may argue how often is often, but the fact remains that there are much more secure institutions for the sane than for the insane.

      Note that I am not denying that mental illness can lead to criminal behavior. I am protesting to the ease with which some commenters link concrete examples of immoral behavior to mental illness. It’s a version of the No True Scotsman really. And it is damaging to people with real mental illnesses.

      From people commenting on a skeptical website, I expect better.

    • A straw man is not a good way to make an argument either. I never said that anyone suggested that ALL of the mentally ill commit crimes or immoral acts.

      trying to include a wider group of mental disorders than is actually being discussed

      Then what disorders were @cbrowm and @John Halas discussing at #2 and #6, exactly?

      And what is your point exactly, @Alan4discussion? Do you think it’s okay to label total strangers as mentally ill just because they committed an immoral act?

      Why not label them atheists? After all, atheists are considered to be immoral, aren’t we?

    • Labels are attributed on the basis of diagnosis of described symptoms in specific acts

      Exactly my point. You nor anybody else commenting in this thread have the authority or the information needed to make such a diagnosis. The fact that somebody auto-mutilates himself is not enough to say that he is ill.

      Is it really too much to ask to not call immoral behavior “sick”? People who actually are sick would be grateful.

    • Marco replied 3 years ago

      Maria Malo, #27

      From which we see that the Gwyneth Paltrows of this world have always walked among us …

    • Marco replied 3 years ago

      Nothing to worry about, Maria!

      I was just thinking of the endless stream of nonsense that comes from the actress Gwyneth Paltrow (just one example: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/nasa-calls-out-gwyneth-paltrows-goop-website-over-pseudoscience-stickers-that-rebalance-your-energy/) and thinking that people like that have always existed. It’s not hard to imagine her coming up with dangerous claptrap such as the verse you quote above if she’d lived 2000 years ago.

    • Dan replied 3 years ago

      This shit from the Book of Matthew is allegory. I’m tired of Barker’s superficiality and concretization.

      You can agree with this (below) or disagree or both; but no one can deny that this is a more considered approach. (Schopenhauer was an atheist, by the way.)

      “When the Church says that, in the dogmas of religion, reason is totally incompetent and blind, and its use to be reprehended, it is in reality attesting the fact that these dogmas are allegorical in their nature, and are not to be judged by the standard which reason, taking all things sensu proprio [on its own], can alone apply. Now the absurdities of a dogma are just the mark and sign of what is allegorical and mythical in it. […]

      “[…] But the bad thing about all religions is that, instead of being able to confess their allegorical nature, they have to conceal it; accordingly, they parade their doctrine in all seriousness as true sensu proprio, and as absurdities form an essential part of these doctrines, you have the great mischief of a continual fraud. And, what is worse, the day arrives when they are no longer true sensu proprio, and then there is an end of them; so that, in that respect, it would be better to admit their allegorical nature at once.”

      –Schopenhauer, Parerga and Paralipomena

    • the great mischief of a continual fraud

      Perfect, and…

      The Great Mischief.

      Should I ever write the book on the moral failure of religion…..

    • Dan replied 3 years ago

      Excellent, Phil! May I commend you for your aesthetic judgment. Some of the best titles are taken from quotes, letters, poems, “scripture”, etc. I am impressed. It is not easy to come up with a great title – whether it is taken from something or not.

      For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Grapes of Wrath, From Here to Eternity…

      I hope you write that book – and if not that one, then another.

    • The Better Angels of Our Nature??

      There are too many books to write at the moment. I’ve publicly committed to these so far-

      The Ancient Amygdala, and Other Tales. (The Evolution of Thinking.)

      to be followed by

      The Tale of Tales. (The Evolution of Thoughts.)

      I want to use “The Better Angels” as a chapter heading in the first book about the Pre-Frontal Cortex. I’ll need many more quotes or truncated quotes on the athlete and the artist, the cynic and the comic.

      I’m sure Schopenhauer can provide….

    • Dan replied 3 years ago

      The Better Angels of our Nature? Not so hot. Been used, recycled. “The Great Mischief”; that was what I liked. I gave a few examples of others that are just as good.

      Using that phrase/book title (Better Angels) as a chapter title works.

      Speaking of thoughts, I had a violent disagreement with an old friend about thought just recently. I was insisting that thought and everything related to it and everything associated with what we call consciousness is biological through and through. He, a Wittgensteinian, is not satisfied with that. S., however, was one of the first thinkers to expose as groundless any attempt to separate any of the various forms of consciousness from the the body. As far as that goes, I would agree with you – and the neuroscientists, who, presumably, assume that that is the necessary point of departure.

      If you need quotes from S, I am the one to ask. I’ve read everything multiple times (except On Vision and Colors, which was way too technical, even though it was published in 1816) — and I know where to look.

      “. . . Genuine and immortal works of art spring only from such direct apprehension. Just because the Idea is and remains object of perception, the artist is not conscious in the abstract of the intention and aim of his work; not a concept, but an Idea floats before his mind; therefore he can give no justification of what he does. He works, as people say, from pure feeling, and unconsciously, indeed instinctively. On the contrary, imitators, mannerists, imitatores, servum pecus, start, in art, from the concept; they observe what pleases and affects us in true works of art; understand it clearly, fix it in a concept, and thus abstractly, and then imitate it, openly or disguisedly, with dexterity and intentionally. . .” WWR, Bk III

    • The Better Angels of Our Nature was a tease.

      I think it a fantastic use of a famous quote, not least because, as a Betterist, I like its honest invocation of moral relativism and because (I like to think) our personal angels can, indeed, be better than those other angels…. I’m just annoyed that Pinker got it first.

      Again S is very perceptive here on the essential intuitive element of great, original art.

    • Dan replied 3 years ago

      Phil

      I thought you’d like that part about the subconscious. (Unconscious?)

      “Better angels.” Lincoln got it firs…. Wait; let me look it up. Nope! Jut googled it. Guess who came up with that one? My man Dickens! Oh yes! It’s from Barnaby Rudge. I read that one too, read all of them.

      In 1861, before his inauguration, Lincoln showed a draft of what he intended to say to William Seward, his Secretary of State. Seward recommended that Lincoln conclude with conciliatory words, and sketched out a few sentences for Lincoln to consider.

      Seward’s rough draft, which has been preserved, contains the expression “better angel.” Twenty years earlier, in 1841, Charles Dickens had used “our better angels” in his novel “Barnaby Rudge.” There is no evidence that Lincoln read Dickens, but Seward did.

    • @45

      My man Dickens! Oh yes!

      Hey pally pal Phil – thanks a million! ~snort~

      😉

    • Dan replied 3 years ago

      @46

      ?

      Don’t get the life driven meaning (or purpose) of this joke.

    • Dan

      Just laughing (with you not at you) at your victory of finding that it was a Dickens quote. If I remember correctly it was Phil who originally committed the faux pas of non-appreciation of Dickens. I’m remembering that past conversation.

      Spent the day wrangling with the sewer/septic designer contractors. Rough crew. After them, everything is excessively pleasant and amusing.

    • The Victory is all mine, chaps.

      I loved Better Angels as a concept and Dan hated it…and guess what?!

      Pretty smug right now.

      His main man started

      Seward’s rough draft, which has been preserved, contains the expression “better angel.” Twenty years earlier, in 1841, Charles Dickens had used “our better angels” in his novel “Barnaby Rudge.” There is no evidence that Lincoln read Dickens, but Seward did.

      Lincoln read Seward’s rough draft in which Seward had scratched out the words”better angel” and substituted in their place “guardian angel of the nation.” Lincoln then turned Seward’s discarded two words into the memorable expression “better angels of our nature.”

      And Lincoln nailed it…..

    • Nice.

      Where the hell is my like button?

    • Dan replied 3 years ago

      My rival’s jabs are piling up. (LOL)

      I like Better Angels when it comes from Dickens the artist, novelist. I don’t like it when it comes from a social scientist.

      “And Dan just landed a light, grazing blow.”

    • Your Better Angel, tolerance of tomfoolery, keeps you safe.

      Hurrah!

      I’m sorry I have been deflected from Dombey and Son to follow my son reading George Elliott, I Middlemarch. he another. We are comparing notes. I will return to it next month….

    • Eliot

      D’Oh

    • Dan replied 3 years ago

      Look Alan, cutting off one’s body parts may sound unhealthy and fanatical; but why be so judgmental? You are condemning, appropriating from without. You are always talking about evidence, right? You’ve never tried cutting off a body part, have you? Ha! Gotcha!

      (A little humor, guys. Keeps one sane.)

    • Dan #55
      Jun 29, 2017 at 4:38 pm

      You’ve never tried cutting off a body part, have you? Ha! Gotcha!

      I have a finger which was stitched back together after a circular saw kicked back and had a go at it!
      Does that count?

    • Dan replied 3 years ago

      Phil

      “Middlemarch”

      This is the place to be “sacrilegious” so I am going to be sacrilegious. I heard that Middlemarch is “one of the greatest novels ever written” so I gave it a good college try. I gave up today in despair. It’s no good. No good. No good, I say! “Intensely boring” (as Carlin said of Los Angeles). Rarified bullshit, and the word “marriage” on every page. (Wuthering Heights was good; too bad Emily Brontë didn’t write more.)

      Alan

      Yes, it counts; but did you enjoy the experience or not? You omitted that important piece of information. (Just kidding. Sorry about the accident. Glad the procedure you had was successful.)