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TWO KINDS OF MORALITIES, MARXIST VERSUS THEOLOGICAL

 

I am reading interesting comments about communist morality, in a book devoted to Judaism, published in 1975. The authors are two rabbis, D. Prager and J. Telushkin. A Christian theologian would probably make similar observations.

 

Marxists and theologians, they write, "are both motivated by the desire to perfect the world and establish a utopia on earth. ... Both promote all-encompassing worldviews. But they diametrically oppose one another in almost every other way." The authors remind us that communists rejected "all morality derived from nonhuman [i.e. God] and nonclass concepts," as stated in 1920 by Lenin. ... "Marxist morality sanctions any act so long as that act was committed in the interest of [economic and political] class struggle." Nothing that Stalin, and Mao did was immoral, according to such ideology.

 

Theologians, on the other hand, hold "that morality transcends economic, national, and individual interests." God's commandments are objective rather than subjective. Evil human acts are condemned, no matter what economic or political gains are derived from them. That is the essential difference. Greed in human nature, they emphasize, "may have helped create capitalism, but capitalism did not create greed in human nature."

 

Theologians also deplore social injustice. But they reject brutal proletarian revolutions because "the roots of evil and injustice lie not in economics or society but in man himself." This has to do with the concept of freedom. "For Marxism, which conceives of the world in materialist terms, bondage is defined solely as servitude to external sources such as slave owners, capitalist bosses, or other forms of material inequality. Freedom is liberation from such servitude." People, as stated in the Communist Manifesto, written by Marx and Engels, must get rid of economic chains binding them. Then they will automatically cease to be evil. 

 

Theologians, on the other hand, see two kinds of liberation, from external and from internal bonds. "Once liberation from external servitude takes place, one must then liberate oneself from internal domination, the domination of one's life by passions, needs, irrationality and wants."  The conflict between theologians and Marxists "is not economic, it is moral." Proletarian dictatorship was practiced in several countries; the results show that "when Marxist revolutionaries attain power they are at least as crual as their predecessors." 

 

Philosophical differences about morality, among different kinds of theologians, are minimal, as far as I know. But attempts to impose morality are not very successful. Why is it so? What can be done to improve the situation, to bring our reality a little closer to "utopia" dreams? 

 

Ludwik 

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Philosophical differences about morality, among different kinds of theologians, are minimal, as far as I know. But attempts to impose morality are not very successful. Why is it so? What can be done to improve the situation, to bring our reality a little closer to "utopia" dreams?

Doing what you're suggesting would not be an improvement.

But, if you wanted to do it, you would have to start by shutting down the Internet, banning any books and media on Reason, establishing religious schools every child would be forced to go to, and forbidding the teaching of science, reading, writing, mathematics and logic in those schools.

Once you turned the human race into unthinking, uneducated savages, as they were back when Christianity dominated the Western world, imposing your morality on them would be easy.

Edited by Nicky

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One does not "impose" morality. There is no morality where there is no choice. Also, both moral systems you describe are subjective and based on irrational assumptions. The angst you seem to reveal is common and results from the moral abyss most people find themselves in. The first step is to learn what morality is.

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One does not "impose" morality. There is no morality where there is no choice. Also, both moral systems you describe are subjective and based on irrational assumptions. The angst you seem to reveal is common and results from the moral abyss most people find themselves in. The first step is to learn what morality is.

 

and kawalski, in order to make this discovery you will need to drop the mystical belief in an external existent morality, written in the stars or the fabric of the universe.. commanding all humans what is wrong or right, and what to do or not to do... no such thing exists, although it is the only kind of morality you have ever conceived of, the only kind you have ever been told of (other than Objectivist morality).  These things that constitute morality have only ever been and will ever be mental contents.  The choice of what those things are of course can have a basis in reality of you choose it to.

 

Stop thinking of "we", "us", "utopia", "Right and Wrong", but of "you" and your life and long range happiness.  What is your mental content to be, what content will you choose to guide your actions and influence your metal processes and why? Keep in mind that in choosing the mental content, the guide to action and its principles, you cannot ignore facts of reality, and in fact how you and reality interact to your potential benefit or destruction is precisely what informs those contents and is exactly what makes that choice "objective".

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 Philosophical differences about morality, among different kinds of theologians, are minimal, as far as I know. But attempts to impose morality are not very successful. Why is it so? What can be done to improve the situation, to bring our reality a little closer to "utopia" dreams? 

 The reason that imposing such a morality on everyone else doesn't work, is because people will only stand for it if they already agree with you.

The human mind cannot be domesticated.  If you attempt to domesticate [enslave] those who disagree with you, they will fight tooth and nail against it or else they will lose any desire to live.

 

People do not sit still while you do such things.  People will think.  They will solve, they will innovate, they will find ways around you- and through you, if necessary.  And that is what makes this utopia impossible.

It has nothing to do with original sin and everything to do with reason.

 

So what can be done for it?

"Give me liberty or give me death."  Specifically, the answer to your question is genocide; nothing less could suffice because anything less would be a problem that we would inevitably solve.

 

If genocide doesn't appeal to you then consider liberty; hands-off capitalism.

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On 7/8/2013 at 9:00 PM, Harrison Danneskjold said:

The human mind cannot be domesticated.  If you attempt to domesticate [enslave] those who disagree with you, they will fight tooth and nail against it or else they will lose any desire to live.

I wonder if what you mean is that the human mind "should" not be domesticated. That enslavement will backfire for the enslaver. But that's not what most countries nowadays believe in. From what I can see, most think that: You can enslave some as long as you have a "base" that will support you. Syria with Assad is like that. China is like that. There are other examples too including manifestations here.

I have not studied political science but I am willing to bet that their bottom line conclusion is: Domesticate the population to the point that you (the government) can't get away with it anymore. Until then, it's okay.

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On 11/4/2017 at 12:00 AM, Easy Truth said:

I wonder if what you mean is that the human mind "should" not be domesticated. That enslavement will backfire for the enslaver. But that's not what most countries nowadays believe in.

I suppose it would've been clearer to say that the mind cannot be forced. 

All of the whips and chains in the world can't force a single mind to function if it truly doesn't want to (in Atlas Shrugged there's a scene involving John Galt's torture which illustrates this). For reasons that're somewhat technical (it'd take a while for me to outline them but they're mainly about Neuroplasticity), although you might be able to force someone's mind for a day or two by opening up their skull and literally rewiring their brain, you'd only be able to control them in a very unreliable, hit-or-miss fashion for a very short time. And I can't think of a more extreme method than that; if you can't force a mind by literally, surgically altering it, what does that mean for trying to do it by bribes or guns or tears?

 

The Jurassic Park maxim that "life will find a way", which is actually true of any living organism, applies to human beings in a number of completely unique ways because of this.

But I probably shouldn't have used the word "domesticate" (my bad - sorry) because training an animal not to attempt to escape, but to cooperate with you and eat out of your hand (which is how we can keep animals around without always having dogs and cattle running through the streets Jurassic-Park-style) also seems to be what makes things like China possible. No amount of guns can enslave someone; they certainly help but in and of themselves they can't do it (analogous to the biological function of an enzyme); what makes it possible is their own willingness to submit and obey and not to grab the whip out of their master's hand at their first opportunity.

So, far from it being impossible to domesticate people, that seems to be a fundamental prerequisite of slavery.

 

On 7/8/2013 at 7:53 AM, kowalskil said:

What can be done to improve the situation, to bring our reality a little closer to "utopia" dreams? 

 

On 7/8/2013 at 11:00 PM, Harrison Danneskjold said:

 "Give me liberty or give me death."  Specifically, the answer to your question is genocide; nothing less could suffice because anything less would be a problem that we would inevitably solve.

 

I know this apology is four years overdue but it's better late than never, right? 

I can't find any justification for responding to the OP as if he was plotting to install some sort of dictatorship. I'm sorry about that, man. I can't remember what in the Hell I was thinking, but whatever it was, I seriously question its relation to the facts of reality (if it even had any).

 

---

Anyway. The upshot of it is that you can't force a mind, @Easy Truth.

 

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