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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

NeoNote — Good and evil

Obviously I am not heathen, but I question that phrase "forces of darkness." Our World has both light and darkness, both are necessary for life, death, growth and renewal.

Perhaps it is just me, but I have issues with assigning good to light and evil to darkness. I probably have issues with the dualistic ideas of good and evil too. Sometimes what is "evil" for one group is "good" for another. If they are anything like the ones I've argued with, your "extreme right ideologies" probably see inclusiveness as very evil and damaging. I disagree, but it is their "evil."



Ah, now that is an interesting bit.

Bonewits pointed out that dualism, especially religious dualism, quickly shifts things to IS and IS NOT. If something IS NOT on the approved list, it is evil because the definitions and underlying assumptions don't allow any other possibility.

Long story short, without monotheism, the meaning of good and evil aren't so clear cut. It tends to be more in the nature of "this HELPS my tribe/city/nation" and "this HURTS my tribe/city/nation." It becomes relative and based on cost/benefit. It depends more on individual judgement and less on an Official List of "THOU SHALT NOTS."

But, since Bonewits is on the Disapproved List, this is just academic, right? An accused sexual predator and pedophile couldn't possibly have had good ideas…



I disagree.

I agree that unrestrained greed and unrestrained tribalism are bad. But so is unrestrained sex, unrestrained pacifism, unrestrained sugar, unrestrained sunbathing, unrestrained hair dyeing, unrestrained television, and unrestrained concrete. A little goes a long way, or as the old saying goes, moderation in all things.

Competition keeps us honest and is one big reason why we try to make things better.



*grins* I may bring the philosophy bit out. I enjoy it, I practice it, and I encourage it.

I was thinking about the Greeks and some of the philosophy of the Golden Mean, although the Buddhist version applies too.

Specifically I was thinking about self-discipline and responsibility. The Ethic of Reciprocity is usually associated with Christianity but predates Christianity and exists independently in other cultures. One of my party tricks is showing how people can build an entire social, ethical, and legal system using the EoR and without depending on authority granted from an Official Religion. And that brings us to unrestrained.

If we are talking about ethical restraints, those restraints have to be self-imposed. It's not really ethical otherwise. If a choice is imposed by force, it's not really a choice, is it?

Self-restraint goes right back to the EoR. If I want to be treated right, it's in my best interest to treat others right. We expect others to act morally and honorably. That gets into defining the Other which is a long subject. I'm going to skip that for our discussion here.

Every morning I have a glass of citrus juice with my breakfast. But it's a water glass, not a juice glass. Is that excessive? Some might say so. But it's my breakfast and my choice. As long as I am not depriving or harming others, then how is it anyone else's business?

That brings us to greed. If I want to continue having OJ, somehow I have to do something that someone else wants and is willing to pay for. With the division of labor, that becomes the free market. Voluntary exchanges between mutually consenting adults. To get what I want, I have to provide something they want.

Competition brings the second keystone of the free market: I can do better than that! Most fail, but the successes change everything.

You're absolutely right pointing out that competition doesn't mean destroying the other (odd how that word keeps cropping up). But the free market means that a company or person has to offer at least as much value as those around them, or someone else will sell.

It's not just buying and selling. Most people reading this site chose paganism or an alternative religion because that religion offered something that they couldn't get elsewhere.



One of the things I recently added to my lexicon, the two most important phrases in human history (www DOT neowayland DOT com SLASH lexicon SLASH tt SLASH #two)

“Let me help.”

“I can do better than that!”


And yes, I gave credit to Star Trek for the first.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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Religion is dangerous

Religion is dangerous. The people in power have always realized this. Either they must tame it — make it all about how King Zork enjoys the Will of Heaven —or keep a heavy, cast iron lid on it.

The trouble with religious people is that they are not always loyal enough — to the king, to the government, to the Party, to the corporation.

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Revelation

When a person assumes that his or her revelation is the only true one, it only says that this person has had very few religious revelations and hasn't realized how many there are.
— Margot Adler, Drawing Down the Moon
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A narrow slice of life, but now and again pondering American neopaganism, modern adult pagans & the World.

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