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Social Order for a Chaotic World
There are many problems facing the current generation, world and society. Plumes of questions on ethics and humanity rise like smoke from the ashes of civil war, world war and civil rights. There are many problems facing the current generation, world and society. Plumes of questions on ethics and humanity rise like smoke from the ashes of civil war, world war and civil rights. Questions about ethics, morality, and social standards consume and confuse the minds of American citizens. Modern culture, called Postmodernism, will be analyzed and discussed, as well as religion in general and other sets of social conduct, called “morality”, that have appeared in the world. The overall point is to show that some set of social code is necessary for order and democracy to live. There has to be a set of social standards in order to ensure that our constitution lives on.
Ironically, a current issue in the United States is religion. Though not directly stated, the acts of the government to remove 'under God' from the pledge of allegiance, and 'in God we trust' from the money. This is intended, it can be sure, to promote freedom of religion and to prevent a national religion from emerging. This is all well and good, however there are still many prejudices and fear amongst the people for there not to be a leader who believes in something. Despite our adherence to ‘freedom of religion’ we haven’t ever had a president who openly practiced Islam, or Buddhism, or anything side from Christianity or the basic principles thereof.
The Ultimate goal of life should be the attainment of peace. Peace is found in spirituality for material things come and go with the years, but our spirit your self, you must always have. We need inter-human harmony, not from religion, but from understanding. "What we cannot do without are these basic spiritual qualities," (Dalai Lama, ethics for a new millennium.) Spirituality concerns those qualities of action such as Love, Compassion, Patience, Tolerance, forgiveness, contentment, a sense of responsibility, which brings happiness to others as well as the self.
Any religion in and of itself is useless, a man-made institution and varying greatly from region to region. It is important to acknowledge that man has consciousness can be strengthened and grow like the body, through meditation and by practicing the fore mentioned spiritual virtues. This practice, quite naturally, develops ethical behavior, because, as one learns of their own spiritual nature, they realize the interconnectedness of everything by some unseen force. Ethics are a set of social standards, which allow for social harmony, therefore, ethical standards are set by what is in the best interest of all. This concept was part of the Founding fathers ideals when they created the constitution and there has been a great push recently for established universal rights. Again, this realizes the natural dependency everything has on one another. Humans especially must realize that they need one another to survive and to exist.
Perhaps the most famous moral code hails from Medieval Europe, where knights and kings held fast to certain standards of benevolence and kindness: Chivalry. “Chivalry is dead” has been heard often in the past decade or so, but it seems that there are few who realize what Chivalry was. Although there were some ‘common knights’ that practiced chivalry, the majority consisted of middle aged men, most often in their forties, whose children were gone and whose wife could take his absence. The nature of Chivalry was a “warrior monk” and members were expected to live as monks: in poverty with few garments and nothing flashy, they were expected to be humble, kind, generous, and merciful and to devote themselves entirely to God. Essentially, their sole purpose was to serve their God in battle, for the sake of faith and religion.
Great virtue and morality is attainable, however, without the aid of religion. Feudal Japan, and even some of modern Japan, held belief in a code of ethics known as Bushido (Literary: 'Military-knight-way' or 'warrior way'). After many centuries of thought and cultivation, Bushido became something like the blood of Japan and, it has been said, that if you cut a living part of Japan it will bleed Bushido: the essence of their cultural practice. As suggested previously, Bushido was quite separate from any religion in so far as it held no common deity, yet the morality and virtue practiced by the samurai is remarkable and often times observed more closely and tenderly by the Samurai than many religious leaders. So why did the Samurai seek virtue? To the Samurai, virtue was a quest for strength and courage, bringing a balance between spirit and physical, holding true with the Asian traditions of yin and yang. Swordplay and the martial arts developed the body, while virtues such as patience, temperance, humility and self-control developed the spirit and character of the individual.
Samurai are often noted for their swords, and in the general population, the image of a "Japanese dude in a kimono carrying a sword" is the classical image. Under bushido, the sword made the samurai and was much more than just a strip of steel used for killing. It was the symbol of a Samurai's very soul, his dignity and his honor. The blacksmiths of these swords would pray and burn incense before even lighting their forge and, as the sayings go, they would pour their entire spirit and energy into the forging of the sword. It was this intensity of work that is said to give the Samurai's sword its edge, and it was from this that the saying "The sword is the soul of the samurai."
Perhaps it was the feeling of honor that inspired the samurai to great feats of courage and devotion. There is an account of a lord of who had a certain steward who would greet him every day holding a metal handled fire prod. One day the master took the fire prod and heated it in the fire, placed it in its usual place, then went about his business as usual. A short while later, the master arrived as usual and the steward was found with the prod as usual. Though the steward's hand was obviously being terribly burned the Steward acted as though nothing was wrong. Immediately the master took the prop from his servant.
Though extreme, this story emphasis the loyalty that Samurai should posses, and the constancy of character to remain the same even under extreme pain. A similar anecdote is again of a steward, called a retainer, and a master. The retainer and the master were traveling, when suddenly the master began yelling and beating the retainer with his walking stick. After a short while the stick flew from the masters hand and fell down the slope of the hill. The retainer immediately stood, and ran down the hill after the stick, brought it back to his master and knelt so that the master could continue beating him.
It is important to note that 'master' and 'steward (retainer)' are inadequate descriptions of the relationship between these individuals. The retainer was bound to his master, in the mind of the retainer,
Postmodernism - current state of mind
Under current thought there is no absolute right or wrong; everything is relative, truth is relative, right is relative. "My truth is not your truth." This whole mind set is highly confusing to anyone who tries to think of a moral standard, because "there is no absolute truth" is disproved by itself, because, by nature, it is an concrete statement, and therefore absolute. This statement could apply to nature either, as it would disprove Newton’s Laws, it would mean that the earth does not orbit the sun, the moon does not orbit the Earth. This current thought must, therefore, only be applicable to morality and social standards to be anything near useful as a precedent.
From the relatively recent civil rights movement of the sixties our current thought has derived the concept of “entitlement”. This thought goes something like “Because I am a minority, the government should take care of me.” or “Because I am a single mother, people should take care of me.” and “Because I am an American citizen, I shouldn’t have to do anything.” Through and through the concept is highly lazy and it is this thought that has, undoubtedly, labeled this generation the “Me generation.”.
Although this may be true, this thought is derived from equality. In the Civil Rights movement of the sixties both African Americans and women were allowed full legal equality. This was a major step up in society and yet it seems that it climbed too quickly and left the United States light-headed and confused. There is no set of rules to follow, although soon after civil rights it was required that there be integration in all public schools and that there can be no discrimination based upon race, sex or religion, this advancement of equality leads to prejudice against the makers. By pushing the equality of minorities the equality of the majority is forgotten.
A comment found in "The Ugly Truth," (2009, starring Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler.) ran to the effect that "Men are very simple: they are highly visual and ultimately only want sex. Any guy who claims differently is lying." this observation is interesting, and could breed various debates on social depravity, morality etc. but that is not the point. Under that train of thought an honestly "decent man" is homosexual, shy, psychotic, or has some deep religious conviction, and decency for the average man becomes something like a show; a game played in order to make the ultimate intimacy all the better.
Sexual orientation has been the subject of much debate in recent years. Some argue that homosexuality is against some precept like God or nature, while others argue that it's a matter of choice. I will not say which is more correct, because this is not a matter of 'right' or 'wrong' but of constitutionality. Constitutionally it doesn't matter is some one is homo- or hetero- sexual, they are equal before the law. That being said, this issue must be addressed for social harmony. To follow our constitution, we cannot tell homosexuals "you may not rally for rights," and we cannot tell the anti-homosexuals "You cannot make a stand against homosexuals," That being said, all American citizens have the right to life and pursuit of happiness, 'gay marriage' and homosexual couples adopting children is part of that. It is not a question, as it is for the Christians, or morality. It is a question of constitutionality, allowing gay-marriage allows the homosexual individuals to pursue happiness, and does not interfere with other citizens' pursuits.
Using the United States founding documents (The Constitution with it's amendments and the Declaration of Independence) as precepts for moral practices. "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" Since, we have been "endowed...with certain unalienable rights." it is necessary to recognize that to ensure freedom for all some things must be restricted. These documents were created to ensure that, especially today, all citizens of the United States have equal protection of the law and that justice judge all in accordance with that law, weighing each side to find which is in accordance with the law. Under this ideal "right" and "wrong" are not moral standards but a question of whether or not someone’s rights have been infringed upon. Murder becomes wrong not because it is against some religious precept, but because it denies the right to life and liberty to another person. Adultery for the same reason, for modern society religion of any sort is thought to not be an absolute truth, so moral standards have to be established on grounds of humaneness and that these standards are to ensure the betterment and advancement of the world.
All these things taken into consideration it is virtually impossible to establish a moral or ethical standard for the United States from religion, so we must draw social precedents from our constitution and other founding documents so that our nation and freedom will be preserved. The question to weigh what is moral or immoral for the United States, then, can no longer be 'is this action right before God?' but 'How does this action affect the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness; the rights, of those around me?' essentially, the question being asked is: "is this action humane?" by this standard killing is not wrong in and of its self, but is wrong because it causes disjunction and sorrow to occur within a piece of society. It is therefore necessary to kill the killer so that social harmony is restored. This applies to any and all crimes; rape causes emotional hurt (disturbing right to life and happiness); stealing interferes with the right to life. Morality must be based on politeness and behaving humanely.
Law is something of a problem in recent, not so much because it is complicated, but because it is over thought. What 'equality' means in the context of our law is that all people, regardless of race, sex, or religion, have a multitude of doors open to them. It doesn't matter if a person is a man or a woman teacher, they should be paid the exact wages. But not blindly, salary wages should be based upon experience and education. That is natural and expected. An interior designer who has had thirty years of experience, a masters degree in design, and hundreds of jobs-well-done would be expected to earn more per job than a designer fresh out of college.
Discrimination is a major part of American history, the Pilgrims came to here to be free of religions prejudice, and many immigrants come to the U.S. so they may do as they please without fear of being killed. Again, however, with the major influx of different religions, some are subsequently discriminated against. In recent years Christians and Muslims have been the main target of ridicule for their intrinsically radical nature. In essence it is because they both hold a sort of "join or perish" type motto (they hold that there is absolute truth). This discrimination falls drastically short of Constitutional principle. As it is seen today, whether Taoist, Muslim, Jew, Christian or Buddhist one could be president, or hold a public office, so long as they are American citizens, regardless of their interests.
In reality our mayors, governors, representatives, senators and our president do not necessarily have to like the United States or it's citizens, and, with a touch of misguided management, could throw a sock into the weaving. But it is this potential that makes the United States such a diverse place and the land of opportunity, because no matter what happens the republic democracy will remain. Standing tall as a beacon of freedom or low and beaten to a bloody pulp as a symbol of materialism and selfishness. All because the Constitution allows for the active creation and metamorphosis of the government.
Sexual orientation has been the subject of much debate in recent years. Some argue that homosexuality is against some precept like God or nature, while others argue that it's a matter of choice. I will not say which is more correct, because this is not a matter of 'right' or 'wrong' but of constitutionality. Constitutionally it doesn't matter is some one is homo- or hetero- sexual, they are equal before the law. That being said, this issue must be addressed for social harmony. To follow our constitution, we cannot tell homosexuals "you may not rally for rights," and we cannot tell the anti-homosexuals "You cannot make a stand against homosexuals,"
That being said, all American citizens have the right to life and pursuit of happiness, 'gay marriage' and homosexual couples adopting children is part of that. It is not a question, as it is for the Christians, of morality. It is a question of constitutionality, allowing gay-marriage allows the homosexual individuals to pursue happiness, and does not interfere with other citizens' pursuits. Not to say everyone will like this, there will be those who claim that their hearts sunk and were filled with sorrow when this was allowed, but that is how the American dream must work.
Our nation is at stake, without a code of conduct or honor to guide future generations out United States of America will fall to ruin. A set of social standards must revolve around social harmony through the idea of humaneness: doing things in such a way so that your personal pursuit of life, liberty and happiness does not interfere with those basic rights of other individuals. In doing this our nation and our world will be preserved.