Do you believe in universal standards of right and wrong? What "code of conduct" applies to everybody?

regardless of their upbringing?


thank you for your comments

19 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    In order to live, we must act.

    In order to act, we must make decisions.

    In order to make decisions, we must have a code of values guiding these decisions.

    To have a code is not a choice; the only choice we have is to base that code on reason and reality, or to base it on whatever undigested slogans or half-remembered bad advice pops into our heads whenever we need to make a decision.

    People can physically survive on the latter. However, people are beings of conceptual consciousness; using the power of minds is the reason why survived in a world with animals faster and more powerful than we are. To realize that level of cognitive potential requires more than merely coasting through life and it has a reward: a specific conscious state. I will elaborate on this a bit later, as it will become more clear.

    Values are things that we would be willing to act to gain or to keep. A value is not necessarily intrinsic to objects themselves, nor are they subjective and arbitrary. "Goodness" in a value depends on a measure of that value relative to some aspect of reality. Because we must remain alive to pursue values at all, it holds that, the more a value supports our lives, the better that value is.

    Ultimately, the self is the ultimate ethical purpose. However, this does not necessite ignoring people and sacrificing others to yourself. Indeed, holding specific individuals as values (such as, for example, I do with my wife) does much more for your life than doing without those people.

    A "virtue" is a behavior by which a person will gain or keep a value. They are guidelines about how to act. Some virtues (I won't list them all here) are:

    -Productivity. constantly working towards your values. This doesn't mean not to rest; indeed, resting is necessary to have enough energy to work towards what you are trying to achieve. Rather, you should always be working towards your goals. Mindlessly spending time on things unimportant to you really is ultimately a waste.

    -Honesty. To identify reality clearly so that you can make wise decisions accordingly. Honesty with others allows trust to flow between you and others, allowing you to work together to further your values.

    -Integrity. This means not divorcing your mind from reality. If you believe that acting in a certain way is right, then you take those actions, even if the people around you might harbor disagreement.

    The outcome, following this system, is the achievement and maintainence of the values you live by. The conscious state achieved by doing so? Happiness. By happiness, I don't mean mindless diversion, but the content peace of mind that comes from always knowing that everything you desire is in your reach, and that the people you hold dearest are being taken care of to the best of your ability.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The cultures of the world all have codes of conduct, even the ancient ones, and many of these codes predate the writing of the various books of the Bible and almost all predate each cultures first exposure to the Bible. Where did the Greek Philosophers gain their insights? Did Socrates have no morals? Was Pythagoras lost? Confucius? Buddha? The American tribes? Eskimos?

    Much of what is contained in the Old Testament is simply the conduct codes of the ancient Middle East. Some of these codes are commonly found in cultures all over the world, such as the prohibition against murder, but many are unique to the region and were never adopted by anyone else, like the prohibitions against eating pork or working on Saturday. Many are tribal rules, such as the requirement for a man to marry and have children with his brother's widow in order to ensure the survival of the tribe. Much of the New Testament is a reinterpretation of the older Biblical laws from the perspective of a culture that had been exposed to Greek and Roman thought for several centuries.

    We have access to thousands of years of religion, history, philosophy, ethics and sociology from all over the world. We can see what worked well, and what didn't work so well, and we acknowledge that many things should never be allowed to happen again, such as genocides, witch burnings and Inquisitions. We do not believe that any group or culture has had all of the answers, and we refuse to be tied to laws that should be abandoned and rules that do not work. Claiming to have all of the answers is a dangerous game, and claiming to be the "One True Path" has led to some of the most horrific abuses and tragedies in human history.

    "A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death." - Albert Einstein, "Religion and Science", New York Times Magazine, November 9, 1930

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Humans (and many other highly developed organisms, like dolphins and apes) have developed their own moral standards. The Code of Hammurabi was developed long before the "creation" of the 10 commandments. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen by revolutionary France in 1789 has been adopted as an ethical guideline for the rest of the world. These ethics develop over time as organisms learn that they must work together in a society, and the freedom liberty and so on are one of the many standards that keeps a free society from tearing at the seams.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    we are often forced to fallow a system even tho we know that it is not right . God looks over this . as it is the law of the land . yet throughout history laws have been made that defies Gods orders . its not uncommon . Laws are based on the Roman Catholic . I know this will be looked down on . But anyone that has knowledge knows this is true . The Romans have made it an art of defying GODS laws .yet it is there teaching that dominates .

    The Laodicean Church was a Christian community established in the ancient city of Laodicea (on the river Lycus, in the Roman province of Asia Minor). The church was established in the earliest period of Christianity, and is probably best known for being one of the seven churches addressed by name in the Book of Revelation (Rev. 3.14-21).

    I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot I wish that you were cold or hot. 'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.'Because you say, to this church God is most displeased . yet knowing and believing we still fallow its false teaching . and worship Idol Gods . and use the teachings to condemn and enslave the people .

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  • 1 decade ago

    The 10 Commandments. The God-given moral law.

  • 1 decade ago

    Humanistic Rationalism

  • elyon
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I believe the Bible is the word of God and is the ultimate authority for moral conduct and truth. And yes, it applies to all, whether they believe it or not. Because the truth cannot be changed.

  • 1 decade ago

    The 10 commandments are a good standard to live by. If you take the first one off, you can hand that out to anyone, atheist, Christian, Buddhist, whatever.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Acts 24: 16

    And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offense toward God, and toward men.

    That code of conduct is embedded into our conscience. We are born with it and yes it applies to everybody. Therefore not one of us has an excuse for any wrong doing.

    Thanks for the question and God Bless.

  • Moni
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    In a social set up we can't be Selfish.

    Our first religion should be to see that others are not put to hardship.

    We should be the most happiest when we find others Happy.

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