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 Religious principles not so simple

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mephy
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PostSubject: Religious principles not so simple   Wed Jun 06, 2007 5:08 pm

A man approaches Hillel, an elder rabbinic patriarch, in a nervously defiant attitude. " I will embrace Judaism," he says, "on the condition that you can teach me the whole of the Torah while I am standing on one foot."

Hillel replies, "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. That is the whole Torah. All the rest is commentary. Now, go and study."

The story appears in the Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 31a.

I would like to know how others interpret the teachings of the Rabi.

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Last edited by on Wed Jun 06, 2007 5:50 pm; edited 2 times in total
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rogorm

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PostSubject: Re: Religious principles not so simple   Wed Jun 06, 2007 5:42 pm

Most religions have this as a basic teaching. In Christianity it's "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". In general, a pretty good principle. If we all lived by that standard there would be no lawyers!
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tchivai

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PostSubject: Re: Religious principles not so simple   Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:01 pm

"An it harm none, do what you will."

I don't suppose it's quite universal but it -is- in a whole lot of religions, or at the least, some of the more prominent ones.
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BarristerBud

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PostSubject: Re: Religious principles not so simple   Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:23 pm

rogorm wrote:
If we all lived by that standard there would be no lawyers!

Not true...doing unto others requires a culpable mental state higher than recklessness (knowledge or malice). Legally, you can still commit acts of negligence or recklessness, be liable, and will need a lawyer to defend or prosecute your case, be it civil or criminal law.

Thus, I may not INTEND to rear-end my neighbor while picking up my cell phone from the floor of the car while driving, but if I DO, I will likely need a lawyer to pound out how liable I will be for my neighbors injuries.
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rogorm

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PostSubject: Re: Religious principles not so simple   Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:33 pm

Not if your neighbor is applying the same principle. They would ony expect you to be liable for repairs and medical treatment that was actually required.

Of course, in that case, you would probably offer to go beyond the minimal liability, because that is what you would want them to do if they were in a similar situation.

Yeah, I know. Not very realistic, but that's the benefit of discussion. we can theorize things that we know will never happen
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BarristerBud

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PostSubject: Re: Religious principles not so simple   Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:57 pm

Haha, yeah, not likely you would find two honest people like that. But even if you had such, there may very well exist on either parties side, an ignorance of the law.

Say innocent driver's taillights were out, which caused driver 2 to not see him, albeit he was reaching for his phone. Now say that the state has a statutory requirement that someone with a busted taillight is not liable until a driver has actual notice of their inoperable taillight because the legislature does not want to make unaware drivers liable when another party is at fault in the first place.

So then, driver 1 nor 2 knows about this provision in the states statutes, driver 1, being a honest fellow, claims that it is a no fault accident because driver 2 tells him post-wreck that he didn't see him partly because his taillight was out.

In a state without the aforementioned statutory provision, comparative/contributory negligence would apply and each driver would be responsible for their share of behavior proportionate to the damage it caused. However, in the state WITH the provision, even though driver 1 is trying to be a decent fellow, the law provides that he is actually NOT liable at all, and driver 2 is 100% liable.

Thus, they'll need a lawyer to know what the law is so an equitable and just outcome can be reached. Smile
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mephy
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PostSubject: Re: Religious principles not so simple   Wed Jun 06, 2007 8:06 pm

But could the message be any clearer? We hear the words or words similar to the original paraphrased story and we're naturally eager and ready to embrace the ideals. Conciously we believe we can act in such ways. The question is whether we can act upon the moral verbage.

It doesn't seem to be a matter of "study," but a matter of acting. what is there to study and why? And when put to the test, why do we always fail?

Have we not made it to that particular chapter in our study guide?

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rogorm

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PostSubject: Re: Religious principles not so simple   Thu Jun 07, 2007 5:20 pm

mephy wrote:
And when put to the test, why do we always fail?

Ouch. That's a bit cynical, isn't it?
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BMan

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PostSubject: Re: Religious principles not so simple   Sat Jun 09, 2007 11:58 am

Problem with the "Goleden Rule" is that it isn't objective.

Example: I hate it when someone spoils the end of the movie, so even if someone asks me to, I won't do it. Reason being, if they knew the ending, it would give them immediate pleasure, but would ruin the movie. Nay-sayers would disagree, but the director plotted out the movie for a reason. He wants to jar your emotions. He can't do that if you know the ending. Boiled down: You can't tell a joke if the audience knows the punchline.

I got really off the point there. My point WAS that if you don't want something done to you, you don't do it to other people, but maybe they want it done to them.

The "Golden Rule" is too versatile to be perfect.
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rogorm

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PostSubject: Re: Religious principles not so simple   Sat Jun 09, 2007 12:49 pm

Yeah, but you are applying it. You are treating others as you want to be treated by not revealing the end of a movie.
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tchivai

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PostSubject: Re: Religious principles not so simple   Sat Jun 09, 2007 10:20 pm

rogorm wrote:
mephy wrote:
And when put to the test, why do we always fail?

Ouch. That's a bit cynical, isn't it?
And yet... there is a reason that saints are recognized as such, or whatever particular equivalent one has in their religion. It is because those who pass these tests are truly rare indeed.

As for the golden rule... There's a reason that I favour the Wiccan Rede [the one I quoted] better. There's a lot of things I don't like that other people do. The Golden rule infers your personal preferences on others. A very silly example but the principle can be extended to many other things... I don't like liverwurst. I would rather someone not sell me liverwurst, because its nasty. So if I were a grocery cashier ought I refuse to sell it? Of course not, that's stupid. Selling liverwurst to people that -like- it harms absolutely no one, even makes them happy, so go for it.
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PostSubject: Re: Religious principles not so simple   Sun Jun 10, 2007 4:08 pm

rogorm wrote:
Yeah, but you are applying it. You are treating others as you want to be treated by not revealing the end of a movie.

My point is that I'm applying it and not everyone's happy. It's flawed.
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rogorm

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PostSubject: Re: Religious principles not so simple   Mon Jun 11, 2007 8:17 am

I disagree. It's not flawed. You can not be responsible for how other people feel. If you treat them the way you would like to be treated and they get upset, there's really nothing you can do about it. We all have the right to our own feelings, good or bad. Many people are constantly looking for things to feel bad about.
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BMan

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PostSubject: Re: Religious principles not so simple   Mon Jun 11, 2007 1:39 pm

But, the ideal world has everyone happy. How can everyone be happy if something I'm doing is upsetting people.
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PostSubject: Re: Religious principles not so simple   Mon Jun 11, 2007 2:11 pm

People can only be happy if they want to be happy. Unfortunately, whether they realize it or not, some people just love being miserable.

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PostSubject: Re: Religious principles not so simple   Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:56 am

And who says the ideal world has everyone happy? Most growth comes through adversity. Even child birth, what is generally proclaimed as one of the happiest times in a person's life, has a lot of pain involved. If there's one thing that God has made very clear, we're not here just to be happy.
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Knyteowl

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PostSubject: Re: Religious principles not so simple   Tue Jun 12, 2007 12:19 pm

That is very true and I know a few people like that. If there is nothing happening to make them unhappy they find a way to stir something up.
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PostSubject: Re: Religious principles not so simple   Tue Jun 12, 2007 2:59 pm

Well, I'm curious, then. How close would you say our world is to an ideal one?
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PostSubject: Re: Religious principles not so simple   Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:29 am

I think maybe we should ask if there is any such thing as an ideal world? Everyones ideal is different and there would bound to be conflict in it.
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PostSubject: Re: Religious principles not so simple   Fri Jun 15, 2007 4:02 am

Ideal worlds would vary person to person, I imagine... Just think how an individual's psychoses would skew that sort of thing after all. Or even simple personal preferences like ethnic and simple food.
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BMan

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PostSubject: Re: Religious principles not so simple   Fri Jun 15, 2007 5:41 pm

I'm not talking about what's best for one person. An ideal world would be one that makes everyone happy. Myabe my idea of what and ideal world would be differs from someone else's, but then I would say that if not everyone's happy, it isn't ideal.

Also, just because I think this world would be ideal doesn't mean it would be. Example: Jo Blo thinks the ideal world has everyone wearing pumpkins on their head. However, were that situation put into place, he would not be happy.

Did I make sense just now?
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rogorm

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PostSubject: Re: Religious principles not so simple   Sat Jun 16, 2007 9:23 am

I guess we need a definition of ideal. Our friends at dictionary.com have 16 definitions, but I think the one BMan is using is: "regarded as perfect of its kind". That still leaves it u to personal interpretation. What's "perfect" for one won't be for another.

I would submit that we live in an ideal world.
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