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Featured What does it mean to be a better person?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Israel Khan, Jan 15, 2020.

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  1. dianaiad

    dianaiad Well-Known Member

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    You might well be. Probably are.

    So what?

    Being a 'better person' involves two things, I think; what you think of yourself, and what others think of you. That is, are you obeying your internal moral and ethical standards as you perceive them, and do you do better at that every day?

    ....and...when others look at you, can they say 'this is a person who not only does not harm anybody, but someone I can trust to help me if I need it?

    If both things are true of you, then you are a 'better person.' The question is, are you better today than you were yesterday?
     
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  2. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    The standard model human, regardless of nation, comes with a built-in moral kit ─ child nurture and protection, dislike of the one who harms, like of fairness and reciprocity, respect for authority, loyalty to the group, and a sense of self-worth through self-denial. Other parts of the kit are mirror neurons for empathy, and a conscience (the sense that some rules of how to act aren't just a personal view but have universal application).

    So I'd say that in there somewhere is the foundation for being a good person ─ along with good manners, of course.
     
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  3. wandering peacefully

    wandering peacefully Which way to the woods?
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    If you are a person who loves your family and try to always act to help others and yourself in a positive way, you are a moral person.
    If you do not harm others and treat other life and yourself with compassion you are a moral person.
    If you carefully consider your actions and the outcomes before acting in an effort to do no harm, you are a better person.

    Don't do to others what you would not want done to you and if it takes a life time of trying, as long you keep trying you will be a better person.

    No gods are required. And certainly not religions which often are hypocritical about the morals presented within them. I would say that is not a good source to look to if you are seeking to be a better person.
     
  4. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    ha...caught you

    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
    it is written

    but the standard is not written anywhere but within you
    you are the standard
    you are your book of life

    so then....back to scripture.....
    the kingdom of heaven is within you

    I believe we end up alongside others that think and feel as we do

    How else to be happy?
    How else to be fair?

    and you will KNOW the better person you have become
    by the likeness you find yourself surrounded
     
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  5. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    this part I agree with

    but it unravels the dogmatic practice

    OH YEAH!
     
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  6. Certainty For Eternity

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    The whole problem with society, is that it has by and large turned away from God. In doing so, society has lost its moral compass. Who then is the judge of what is right and wrong? What was once evil is now called good, and what was once good is now evil. God made the whole universe and everything in it, including me and you. He knows what is right and wrong, because He does all things perfectly. Without a moral compass, it is like trying to build a house without a foundation. Eventually it will crumble. Like Sodom and Gomorrah, the mighty Roman Empire. Empires come and go as long as man thinks he is his own master. Certainty for eternity
     
  7. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    If a man consume lots of alcohol and beats his wife and children, yells at them, ranting and raving then no one will see him as being a good person. But if he stops drinking and refrains from anger, sees the good in his family and is kind and respectful then most will agree he is on my way to being a better person.

    Sometimes changes are clear to others and ourselves, other times more subtle.

    To be moral is to try to become the best we can be. We all have an innate capacity for good. If religion better enables us to become better people and make clear our purpose then we should follow that religion. If religion make us worse and we become hateful and estranged from others then best we don’t have that religion.

    It is my belief we each have the capacity to know and worship God but that is hard prove. The best proof is if I live it and become an example of the change we wish to see in the world.

    What works for one person may not for another. If no religion make us better then have no religion. I made my choice long ago and have no need to impose my choice on others. I could prove the principles of a number of faiths as being good moral guides. Often it is as simple as love, truth and compassion.
     
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  8. stvdv

    stvdv Well-Known Member

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    Not with an "innocent pure tribe". When mind took lead and soul contact (conscience) was lost, they started seeing "other".
     
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  9. Mock Turtle

    Mock Turtle Compassion, understanding, and tolerance.
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    One way of looking at it, however, another is - what were our ancestors doing before God came on the scene (allowing if you will that this did occur according to scripture(s)), and that morality almost certainly existed prior to such - one might like to look at evolution and what the behaviour of other animal species informs us about this. And perhaps there is an aspect of projection when you see evil all around - conforming to your idea of what is evil - rather than accepting that our behaviour changes due to a variety of reasons, many of which are not under our individual control. If God does things perfectly then he has obviously failed in one of his creations - us - if we are so bad now. Which is it then, God the failure or God not creating perfection?
     
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  10. stvdv

    stvdv Well-Known Member

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    My moral compass is my conscience.

    No need for a "Bible" , unless moral compass is off. Then be careful which "Bible" to pick.

    Some contain very violent verses. Easy to poison your conscience,and achieve the opposite you had in mind.
     
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  11. stvdv

    stvdv Well-Known Member

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    Or:
    "God is not judging IF you behave imperfect"
     
    #51 stvdv, Jan 16, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
  12. deci belle

    deci belle New Member

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    The OP's issue is meaning, ie, what does it mean to be a better person. I don't believe this topic can be construed as an exclusivity lodged in rational comparisons and moral constructs based on culturally derived protocol. After all, human being is inconceivable.

    There is a point to baseline societal injunctions and moral imperatives, and each societally derived system is unique, yet vaguely universal. But the point isn't what makes a better person, it is what does it mean to be a better person.

    Certainly, there is an overwhelming constituent on these forums based on a ratio-syncretic formality void of nonpsychological experience. It is the nonpsychological which is universal, in terms of unity. In the parlance of buddhism, the psychological apparatus of the being that is going to die is the point of departure into the nexus of sameness within difference, which is not unity per se. But before I lose the reader at this point, I will hasten to add that any "better" person has already grasped the fact that accepting "sameness within difference" isn't the person. That's right— ego doesn't do that (not without logically claiming credit to some god-like selflessness, or else incurring second-guesses to that effect). It's not ego's fault because that's ego's function. In not using ego to deal with the world habitually (and unskillfully), one discovers that it's not the person, it's just one's inherent essential nature, discovered for the first time. The meaning of sameness within difference is only in its application. It's not a thing. It's not a pan-human sentiment based on people at all. It's people's inherent nonpsychological capacity that constitutes undifferentiated unity underlying the spiritual ramifications of actually applying the power of mutually responsive sameness within difference.

    This isn't buddhism or taoism, sufism or anything derivative of religious nomenclature. It's not philosophy. It's just a description of reality befitting the capacity of real human being— which isn't limited to rational liturgical references or virtually beginningless social systems of behavioral engineering.

    The import of all authentic teaching, is not so much in bridging the so-called gap between difference and unity, but in actually seeing undifferentiated unity itself in the midst of delusional existence (existence IS delusion). One who does so in everyday ordinary affairs would be an expression of what it means to be a better person, in terms of enlightening practice.

    Which is, to say the least, a matter of self-refining practice. And to transcend rote morality and even psychological capacities, such self-refining practice can be said to be endless. How else would one come to ascend to heaven in broad daylight?

    The meaning of a better person might be termed an inconceivability of itself. The meaning of which is not only beyond words, but the power of such meaning can take one beyond the word itself, to its source.



    ed note: typo in 3rd paragraph
     
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  13. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    The idea of man being made in God's image always appealed to me.
     
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  14. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    This makes sense. I also see a general pattern in human beings concerning this. I think this is why humans sense of morality around the world is starting to be more and more agreed upon. Although that self-interested anthropocentrism is what is keeping us from being at peace in the world.
     
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  15. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    I fully agree with this. Certain religious morality and the morality of certain ideologies makes the moral immoral and the bad good.

    My biggest problem with "good is whatever i believe god says is good" is that it is a sign of indoctrination and those speaking on behalf of that "God" can convince followers to act contrary to what they genuinely believe to be moral.

    And there have been loads of people killed because different Gods said so. The scary thing is that only one of these Gods (or pantheon of Gods) exist, at worst none ever existed, which means that loads of the human raced died for a lie.
     
  16. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    I agree that morality is based on feelings. I also think that certain feelings are common across the board of humanity. If everybody is happy and love each other then nobody will want another to be harmed.

    My problem with certain religions is that it assumes what will bring a person happiness. When I was religious I was told what would bring me happiness because the Bible said so, yet in reality it didn't make me happy at all. So for instance I was told that a lot of socialising would make me happy, but that statement ignored that I am an introvert, so lots of socialising drains my energy and makes me miserable. I was told that preaching a lot will make me happy, but in fact it didn't, whereas extensive deep Bible study did.
     
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  17. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    Completely agree with you here.
     
  18. Israel Khan

    Israel Khan Well-Known Member

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    Where does the above passage come from? It pretty awesome and thought provoking.
     
    #58 Israel Khan, Jan 16, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
  19. Fool

    Fool ALL in all
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    click on the text, it'll show you.


    allahu akbar a slave to love, or servant of god. he who wishes to be greatest must be a servant to love, i am that i am


     
  20. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    That's interesting. So as I read through the Bible, I got a completely different understanding than what I was taught I should have. Of course just about every Christian I discussed the Bible with has a different interpretation of it so I figured why should any have any consideration for my own understanding of the Bible.

    Kind of gave up dealing with it as most are certain that their own interpretation is the only correct view of God.
     
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