Re: Theos-World Absolute thinking and moral exclusion
Feb 05, 2002 08:32 PM
by Bill Meredith
Hey Paul. You were sure on the mark in your comments and predictions below
----- Original Message -----
From: "kpauljohnson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, February 05, 2002 10:00 AM
Subject: Theos-World Absolute thinking and moral exclusion
> Thanks, Bill, for raising these questions. Just this morning I read
> something that seems to apply. It was from a social psychology book
> about attitudes towards gays and lesbians. You noticed that Dallas
> we are all brother and sister
> > SPIRITUAL MONADS and have been and will be reincarnating
> > together. So we might as well treat each other from here on as
> > members of an immortal family.
> > > I have not been reading fully the posts by Brigitte or Paul
> > > Johnson -- they disgust me.
> Now, it is arguable that people do sometimes publicly express disgust
> for their siblings; thus there's no real contradiction between
> Dallas's spiritual ideal and its earthly manifestation. He is, in
> fact, treating Brigitte and me just like some people *do* treat their
> brothers and sisters. But one would think that he was referring to
> how the human family *ought* to treat one another, and not how the
> human family *actually does* behave.
> The problem here is, IMO, twofold: absolute thinking and moral
> exclusion. First, absolute thinking means, as applied to writings
> about HPB, an extremist approach. For example, any author not
> seeking to present HPB as a saint must be out to destroy her
> reputation and thereby harm the Theosophical movement. There are no
> alternatives; there is no middle ground. You're either a Theosophist
> as defined by the absolutist, or you're undeserving of the name at
> all. HPB was either a spotless virgin, or a total fraud. All down
> the line, everything is black and white with no shades of gray.
> Relative thinking, the kind that sees nuances and ambiguities, is for
> Second, this kind of thinking leads to moral exclusion. Certain
> persons, in other words, are totally excluded from moral
> consideration. The rules that apply when dealing with "one of us"
> are completely suspended when dealing with "them." "They" are fair
> game for relentless attack, for insults, sometimes for physical and
> not just psychological violence. And anything "they" say or do in
> response to abuse is taken as further proof of how much they deserved
> Hence a person can spout the most wonderful moral principles because
> some source of absolute knowledge was alleged to have revealed them.
> But those principles only apply to those who have not strayed into
> moral exclusion. Once a person has crossed the line and become a
> moral nonperson, harming them is at least excusable and at worst
Well, I've probably fallen over the line tonight in my response to Adelasie
in which I juxtaposed you for Dallas in responding to her comments in hopes
of making a point.
> That's a rough paraphrase; perhaps I should post a direct quote.
> You ask:
> what exactly disgusts you -- the posts that you don't read fully
> > or Brigitte and Paul Johnson?
> I predict you won't get a straight answer or a moment of self-
> critical reflection in response.
Bingo. And the only use for all these e-mails we read is as catalysts for
self-critical reflection. IMO.
> I am interested in this feeling of disgust to
> > which you refer. I have felt it before myself. I could not
> identify the source of such a feeling. Do you feel it at the
> spiritual level or just superficially by the personality?
> In light of a previous reference to nausea caused by my posts, I'd
> say Dallas feels it in his gut-- but then assumes that because it's
> the gut of someone absolutely devoted to HPB and the Masters, that it
> must be in alignment with absolute truth and justice.
After reading his response, I must agree.
> If it is deep and abiding within the
> > spirit, what does it mean to say "they disgust me"? For instance
> if we are
> > all destined to reincarnate again together, will "they disgust me"
> again and
> > again until they change their stripes or I change mine?
> Thanks for that encouraging thought :)
:) you're welcome! have a nice millenium.
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