Philosophy :

{ Second Entry on this page: Sunday, March 11th, 2018 – 12:55 am Atlantic time —> -1˚C / +30˚F & Light Snow is Falling. }

“I have gained this from philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law.” – Aristotle

— I remember reading an article in the Sunday Boston Globe – probably in the summer of 1968.
— Somebody with scholarly credentials had studied stages of moral Growth. Let me see how well I can communicate this:

Stages of Moral Growth
— One peculiar thing about moral growth is that people at a lower level of their moral growth believe that those who are at a higher level are either immoral or amoral.

— The researcher broke Moral Growth down into six stages:

— 1.) Infancy: Whatever feels good is good. { Wet Diaper = Bad. Dry diaper, warm mommy, full stomach = Good! }

— 2.) Toddler Level: Whatever Mommy and Daddy say is the ultimate good. Your life and well-being are totally dependent on your parents’ good graces. They lay down the law and you embrace it, believe it, and hope to stay alive by following their decrees.

— 3.) Grammar School Level: When children are plunked into a ‘society of their peers’ – Mommy and Daddy’s insight and advice no longer apply. “Momma’s boys” get beat up on the playground. ‘Tattletales’ are targets for at least humiliating taunts – Morality becomes a survival strategy – You thrive or suffer according to the values of your circle of friends. You conform to the will of the not-always-very-wise group of children around you. { Those who get stuck at this level end up being ‘gang-bangers’ for life. } And here’s a perfect example of how someone who has learned to live by a ‘higher’ set of morals would be perceived as immoral by someone at a younger level: Little brother sees big brother smoking a cigarette. Mommy and Daddy say smoking cigarettes is bad. Big brother smokes because he has to subscribe to the values of his gang of friends. Little brother tells Mommy and Daddy about big brother’s evil deed. —> Big brother refuses to protect little brother from younger bullies which that big brother could easily have scared away.

— { There are no guarantees that anybody will grow through all, or even most of these levels. }

— 4.) Junior High School / Middle School Level. “My Country – Right or Wrong!” Those who make it this far in their moral development have broadened their scope and come to the conclusion that the values of their ‘King and Country’ – or sometimes smaller groups —> Their tribe or village, city – region – ethnicity – race – religious dogma – political party – represent the ultimate good in this universe. { Quite a few human beings make it this far. }

— 5.) Rigid Higher Morals – The conscientious objector level – ‘There is a Higher Authority!’ – A significant minority or individuals in most societies reach this level, they come to the conclusion that – “Hey, wait a minute, ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill!’ means ‘Thou shalt not kill’ – and not, ‘Thou shalt not kill unless your King, Queen, President (or whatever) – says you should kill!’ -” —> And the ‘My Country Right or Wrong!’ people believe that those who stand up alone against the majority of their neighbors because of their commitment to principal – which is an act of bravery not a lot of people are willing to even contemplate —> The level 4 guys believe the level 5-ers who subscribe to a rigid set of moral laws – are cowards, traitors, —> moral deviates of some kind or other.

— 6.) “Extenuating Circumstances are the rule here” – An even smaller minority reach this top level. – They realize that strictly living by the rigid set of unbreakable rules is not always the most moral way to live. – The rigid view that ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill – Under Any Circumstances!” becomes questionable – when, for instance – you see a guy with three assault rifles and five belts with huge clips of bullets for those rifles heading for a prime defense position and know he’s about to try to kill as many unsuspecting, unarmed civilians as possible. If you don’t try to stop him – are you at least a little bit guilty of allowing those murders to happen? And yeah, maybe you can try to take him down with a lucky shot to his knees, but – you might have to try to stop this guy any way you can. Will God stop you at the Pearly Gates, or have somebody waiting there to pat you on the back and tell you all about the lives you saved even though you may have thought you just might be placing your immortal soul in danger by taking that chance and making that choice?

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— That { above } article made a lasting impression on me – At one point I made up a chart plotting parallels with Sigmund Freud’s theory of sexual growth { libido } – different levels of political belief and a system of comparative ethics – And I revised that chart several times to change a word or two here and there – At one point I thought the lowest level of political belief was ‘selfish anarchism’ and the highest level was ‘Enlightened anarchism’ { “Love – and Do as Thou Wilt” } {{ Where the most highly evolved individuals didn’t need any outside authority telling them what they believed was right or wrong because they will always have already considered everybody’s highest good before making even their most mundane decisions. }} — Shrug — it made sense at the time…

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This page came with this blog ( and all other WordPress blogs ) with a pretty lame suggested profile of somebody I’d probably not want for a friend – and I couldn’t let that stand as it was – So, on January 25th of 2018 – I changed their ‘About Me’ page to whatever this is becoming:

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I actually had a pretty good night last night –

I believe I was four years old, maybe five, very shortly after I was christened in the Episcopalian Church in the USA. { Basically the same as the Anglican Church up here in Canada – } One night, before I fell asleep I heard a voice ask, “Do you know who I am?” – I answered, “Yes, you’re my grandfather-” I thought somehow my great grandfather had found a way to use my bed springs as a telephone line. We had a short conversation. He told me that someone important where he was thought I would make a pretty good creative writer and if I accepted that, certain changes would be made in the path my life would take from that day forward. He asked if I would want to accept that change in whatever fate I had agreed to before being born. I said, “Yes.” & I have since come to believe that a lot of us on this planet have been ‘called’ to become writers, historians, scribes, artists, and ‘witnesses’ with the responsibility to pay attention to what is going on around us, to create works of art and poetry and fiction and non fiction, to become teachers and reporters and talk show hosts and maybe just somebody’s crazy old relative – because the highest powers on the other side want us to keep those who won’t listen to the highest Beings of Light, even over there – informed – and it’s our job to fill in anybody who’ll listen. Sometimes it’s painfully obvious that the dark side has their own scribes and ‘spin doctors’ and propagandists to try to get their version of this ‘reality’ hammered into the minds of those who don’t trust their own senses.

So anyway, I was thinking that too many of us race through our lives trying to live up to someone else’s standards, and conform to someone else’s vision of what we should be and what we should do. We too often listen to too many not-so-nice people with their agendae, who try to tell us what to do and try force us to live by their standards and their rules and, in general, sacrifice any vision we come into this life with and conform to their warped quests for power and glory and comfort – at our expense.

And when we get a bit older, we wonder why we never stopped to catch out breath and connect as deeply with the people we love as we should – And maybe we get the sinking feeling that somebody else used us and we never had the chance to live our own lives the way we wanted to, the way we should have when we came into this life to create something positive and share the Divine plan for ‘Heaven on Earth’ with everyone – and spread as much love and understanding as we knew we could.

— Sigh, so have a nice day – { And that line down a bit is there in case I lose my mind and forget where to click on what to get into the ‘admin’ section of this here blog … }

— Um, Have a nice life ….

 

~~~~~ Jim

 

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