Introduction for Paths
Hi, in my last post I introduced the second and third parts of the structure of a life philosophy or spiritual path; a path’s moral code and its code of conduct (where the first part of a path is ones metaphysical belief). Before I introduce the fourth and final part, a path’s code of internal practice, I would like to address some of the feedback that the moral code and code of conduct post generated.
As I stated in my last post one of the major problems of most life philosophies or spiritual/ religious paths is that they blur their moral codes and codes of conduct into one general behavior code.
I tried to explain why it’s important to not have a single, therefore a blurred, code of behavior, but it seems that some readers still thought having two separate codes to guide their behavior or decisions would be a blurring and unnecessary complication.
I cannot stress enough the importance that one should take the time to think about what their actual beliefs are so that that can form a clear/ un-blurred understanding of their path. The basic operating principle of these posts and the center is that having a clear/ un-blurred understanding of one’s path or life philosophy is much more important than which path or life philosophy one picks.
I would go as far as stating that more immoral actions are being committed in the world today by people that are trying to be moral than by immoral people, who are just out for themselves. And one of the major reason you have all these immoral actions by people that are actually trying to be moral (bad actions committed by people with good intentions) is the blurring of moral codes and codes of conduct into a single code of behavior.
For example, the most basic attributes/ abilities of a moral person is the ability to self sacrifice one’s self interest…. their sense of ego……… overcome their biochemical evolutionary instinct for self preservation.
We label the three most basic attributes or abilities to self sacrifice; self sacrificing loyalty (LOYALTY), blind trust (TRUST) and unquestioning faith (FAITH).
Where LOYALTY and TRUST is the ability to be able to risk your physical well being and put aside your fears or anger for the sake of others or your community, to be able to overcome one’s instinct of self-preservation or have the ability to self-sacrifice their own physical welfare for the sake of others or their society/ community. These are the attributes exhibited by firemen, police and other first responders that go above and beyond just doing their jobs and risk their physical well being for their communities and by soldiers who go in harm’s way for their nation….. and it’s also demonstrated everyday by the many good Samaritans, neighbors and friends who also risk themselves for others.
And it’s used by all the parents that willingly do with out for the sake of their children.
The recent terrorist attack (Boston marathon bombing) is an example of the consequences of the blurring of one’s moral code and code of conduct or having just a single code of behavior. As obvious as it seems to most Americans that it was unquestionably an wrong/ immoral act, the bombers felt they were being moral, they were trying to be moral……. they had good intentions.
They were willing to self-sacrifice their lives for what they thought were very moral reasons…. Before you smash your computer, I’m not trying to justify their actions, their actions were immoral, and there is no justifiable excuse for what they did. Let me go even further, their so called self-sacrificing good intentions don’t mitigate their immoral actions; in their case the old saying “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions” is probably totally appropriate.
In this case two people used their self sacrificing levels of FAITH, TRUST and LOYALTY in their leaders, to their religion and of their chosen community to set off bombs that killed and maimed innocent women and children in the belief they were protecting their religion and their community.
The above illustrates three very important points; first while a moral person needs to develop the ability to have self sacrificing levels of FAITH, TRUST and LOYALTY, having this ability doesn’t in itself make you moral, and even if you add in having good intentions you still aren’t necessarily being moral. The attributes of FAITH, TRUST and LOYALTY are tools, tools in themselves are not innately good or evil, but they can be used to facilitate either good actions or bad actions. It’s like fire, fire can be used to heat a house or be used to burn down a house, cook your food or to injure or kill someone.
Second that even though they had good intentions (to protect their religion and community), the blowing up of innocent people was immoral. So even if one is using noble or self sacrificing attributes with good intentions, their actions can still be wrong/ immoral.
The third point is how does having a clear moral code and code of conduct help prevent people having good intentions from using their moral attributes in an immoral way/ action?
First one has to be able to clearly identify what part of their intentions is code of conduct and what part is an action that’s dependent on their moral code. In this case the two parts of their plan was their intention to defend their religion/ society and the action to set off a bomb to blow up innocent women and children.
So as I stated before one’s code of conduct concerns intentions and the activities one should experience. In this case the intention to defend one’s faith/ society is part of a code of conduct, but their moral code would contain a rule prohibiting the murder/ killing of innocent women and children. Yes they should self sacrifice for their society and religion, but no they shouldn’t kill innocent women and children.
And when your code of conduct conflicts with your moral code, the moral code supersedes the code of conduct. The morality of your action should always supersede the value of your intentions.
Their use of a blurred single code of behavior… one should defend their religion/ ‘society’ led to the single decision that was guided by their intentions. Where having a separate code of conduct and moral code would require two decisions, the test of the code of conduct’s intentions would be follow by an evaluation by the moral code of the morality of the actions being planned.
I want to thank those of you that did respond to the previous posts with questions or comments and encourage you to send questions or comments on any future or past posts.
Next post we will examine the fourth and last part of a life philosophy, to be continued…………..