Last Update: 24 Apr 00

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(R) I must definitly disagree with 'Do unto others as you you would have them do unto you' What if you love pain and it turns you on sexually? You would want others to hurt you and so you could justify hurting others cause that's how you'd like to be treated?
(MB) The point here is not so much that you want to inflict pain so much as you are looking for sexual gratification. If, by hurting somebody else, you are not providing them with such gratification, then you are not treating that person as you would have them treat you.

(R) Or what if you are a xtian and preaching the word is how you would want others to treat you, so you feel justified in preaching to everyone else.
(MB) Most Xtians who engage in such preaching don't feel that they need to others to preach to them. After all, there is no point in preaching to those who have already heard and believed what is being preached.

(R) The whole Golden Rule concept falls apart because every individual has a different concept of what they would like done to them.
(MB) If one considers not just *what* is done, but *why* it is done, I think that the Golden Rule will still hold up in most cases.

(R) I believe that right and wrong, good and evil, or whatever, exist only in individuals, although we as a society artificially create a group morality that all must obey to some extent. (or appear to). But in the end it is the individuals choice to accept or reject these "group rules".
(MB) While this is true, it's an indication that "morality" exists on many levels. At each level, the majority determines what is "moral". If a level contains only one person, then he *is* the majority and he decides his own morality.

(R) On another vein the phrase "You can do whatever you want, as long as it doesn't hurt someone else" really annoys the crap out of me too. If you subscribe to that mode of thought you are forever at the mercy of people who will try to control your behaivour by claiming that it hurts them. In order to be human and to be free, you must make decisions yourself.
(MB) Aren't we *already* at the mercy of such people? So long as humans try to control each other, that's going to be the case. So long as we have societies who govern themselves by laws based on majority rule, that's going to be the case. What's needed is some rationality about what "hurts" others.

(R) On the subject of morality, I think Robert A. Heinlein summed it up best when he wrote: "All sin lies in hurting other people unneccesarily"
(MB) I can buy that. If we are going to be social creatures, then we are well advised not to cause any unnecessary harm to our fellows.

(R) I have always took this to mean that no matter what you do somebody will be offended, so trying to please others is a game that's impossible to win. The best you can do is be true to yourself, and if someone claims they are 'hurt' that's too bad.
(MB) That's where majority rule combined with reason comes in. Anybody can claim anything they want, but if they can't get the majority to agree with them about some proposed "offense", then they're just blowing smoke. Individuals will do or claim almost anything that will provide them with some ultimate advantage over their peers.

(R) On the other hand, if you go out of your way to hurt others, that is the only true evil.
(MB) Here, I agree with you without reservation.

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