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Fantastic Doc On Morality, Sex, And The Meaning Of Life


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This was very good Vigile. Thank you for posting. I found this video to really make a lot of sense to me although I do think it is going to take a long time before 'non-religious' morality begins to take shape.

 

I like how they talked about the issue of 'sin' and that when they conducted surveys', they found out that religious people 'sinned' as much as non-religious people, except that the religious carried more guilt. They stated that the 'sin's' of the religious, forced many to lie and feel tremendous guilt. I can relate to that. My gawd, I used to go crazy in prayer everyday because I thought a terrible thought about someone. Even acting out sexually with your own husband caused terrible guilt for so many people.

 

I love how they said that 'goodness'  and kindness is a natural part of our physiology. But so is cruelty, disgust, fear....all built in us for our survival. These qualities are built into us and rooted there for reasons - it's not because of 'sin', but natural instincts.

 

They talked about how important empathy is and that one must try to put themselves in the shoes of another. This way, we can keep that one commanment in the bible....''Do unto other's as you would have done unto you''.

 

The other thing I found interesting is what they called 'otherization'.....people who do not belong to your tribe and 'demonizing' people who are different than you. (like gays or Jews)

 

I couldn't believe how the woman go to doctors to have surgery to get their virginity back because they were so feared for their lives. Can you imaging living in that kind of terror?

 

They seem to think that 'change' happens every 200 years......hopefully we are getting ready.. maybe we're at 199 years now and you and I will live to see a much better world. I do have my doubts that I will see this in my lifetime, but I recognise that things in many ways are getting better. 200 years ago, it was normal to keep slaves, but now it seems barbaric to even think about it. The video spoke about the rate of certain negative behaviors is starting to decline including the wars and number of people who are killed in warfare. This is good news! I was surprized to hear that we do live in a more civlized world because it seems so crazy to me..

 

I'm not sure if the world will get any better without religion? I think to a certain degree, it does keep some people 'in line'. We are going to have to push a lot of 'empathy' buttons in a whole lot of people, to turn around this nightmare of separation between the species . Empathy is what we need to make things more 'moral'. It does seem to inticate the the world is becoming a little more humanistic. I can't seem to see it but the video certainly indicates this 'gooder' news.

 

 Poor ole' humans....what a bunch we are!!! I am glad to have at least lived to see a more rational world starting to take place.

 

I enjoyed this - I love to learn this new information.. Thank you.

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Good synopsis Margee.  I also liked the example of how we appear to equate disgust with immoral behavior.  It makes sense biologically, as the disgust response can keep you free from harmful diseases and such.  When we experience a transference of the same to things like homosexuality, then it becomes problematic and can only be resolved through use of reason.

 

So many of societies ills work like this.  Jingoism and prejudice appear to flow from group/tribal behavior that keep us safe from harm in the state of nature, but which can then lead to major problems when pluralistic societies are formed.  These too need to be overcome via reason, which means education and cultural paradigm shifts. 

 

There's no easy answers, but it's clear that proclamations from Mt Sinai pales in comparison to pure reason when it comes to effective change. 

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Although I am not a fan of Dawkins, I did enjoy watching this video, especially toward the end. I think a rational approach to life is best, but so few achieve it.

 

Perhaps this may be an unpopular view, but I still think the vast majority need some kind of strong moral teaching as children, such as the school the black guy was running at the beginning of the film. I really think most need some kind of reward/punishment thing until they are old enough to understand things and work them out rationally for themselves.  I don't necessarily mean threaten kids with hell, but teach consequences for bad actions. Perhaps karma?

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