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OfflineCaptainJailew
Apathetic and Idon't care

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 398
Loc: Central Texas
Last seen: 11 years, 6 months
Being just and mericful
    #4038196 - 04/10/05 08:25 PM (11 years, 7 months ago)

In my Philosophy of Religion class our professor told us that it is impossible for an action to be both perfectly just and perfectly merciful, therefore presenting a problem with (many) western religions' notion of God. Of course many of the students were aghast at this assertion and kept trying to come up with instances in which one action could be seen as both perfectly just and perfectly merciful, all of which fell to the instructor's logic.

Thinking about this later, I couldn't come up with one, and I was wondering if anyone had any situations or decisions which could be considered both just and merciful.


--------------------
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds" - Albert Einstein



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InvisiblePsychoactive1984
PositiveCynicist
Male
Registered: 02/06/05
Posts: 3,546
Loc: California, Monterey Coun...
Re: Being just and mericful [Re: CaptainJailew]
    #4038317 - 04/10/05 09:04 PM (11 years, 7 months ago)

Euthenasia...

The person in quesiton is suffering as a result of their condition, it's just to kill them, and it is merciful as well. (In consideration to the person not wanting to live as a result of the condition)

Just in the sense of it being justified in terms of the individual having ownership of their body, and hence should have the last say as to what happens to it in terms of everything (body mutilation e.g. tattos/piercings, substance use, and how they wish to utilize it sexually/physically/spiritually).

Merciful to the extent that... they're suffering. Well, seems to be both to me anyhow.


--------------------
"Their is one overriding question that concerns us all: How can we get out of the fatal groove we are in, the one that is leading towards the brink?" Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
"We may not be capable of eradicating the corruption of reason, but we must nevertheless counter it at every instance and with every means." Dan Agin
"Politics is the best religion and politicians are the worst followers."
-It's ok to trip as long as you don't fall.
-Substance over Style.
-Common sense is uncommon.


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Offlinethe_phoenix
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Registered: 07/07/04
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Re: Being just and mericful [Re: Psychoactive1984]
    #4038487 - 04/10/05 09:52 PM (11 years, 7 months ago)

Perhaps perfectly merciful is not to be taken literally, but in the sense that the fundamental (existence,good) is primary to conventionality (non-existence, evil); ultimately both existence and non-existence co-exist in something that exists insofar as we attach a label to it?the Ineffable, the Nameless Tao. This is the structure of the universe, so as everything always ultimately ends well, it all ends perfectly justly.

Both statements are true if you look at it from a certain non-literal perspective; among other things one that views God not as an individual entity but as the infinite universe itself. But it is a matter of debate, among for example different branches of Buddhism, as to whether or not everything ultimately does end well, in a form of existence.


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InvisiblePsychoactive1984
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Re: Being just and mericful [Re: the_phoenix]
    #4038511 - 04/10/05 09:59 PM (11 years, 7 months ago)

Perhaps the hook in the your teachers line was the inclusion of perfection...

Their is no absolute perfection in any form except in what humans percieve as such.

meh, in terms of what I believe, Euthenasia more then adequately fits the bill.


--------------------
"Their is one overriding question that concerns us all: How can we get out of the fatal groove we are in, the one that is leading towards the brink?" Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
"We may not be capable of eradicating the corruption of reason, but we must nevertheless counter it at every instance and with every means." Dan Agin
"Politics is the best religion and politicians are the worst followers."
-It's ok to trip as long as you don't fall.
-Substance over Style.
-Common sense is uncommon.


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InvisibleeMotionALLmotion
DivineeMotive....

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 759
Loc: The Symphony of Lights......
Being "Just" and Mericful.... [Re: Psychoactive1984]
    #4039109 - 04/11/05 12:44 AM (11 years, 7 months ago)

I was wondering if anyone had any situations or decisions which could be considered both just and merciful.
.
1)  Showing Unconditional Love towards a stranger or friend/family....
2)  Doing unto others as you would have them do unto you, stranger or friend/family....
3)  Destruction of one's Ego....
4)  Realigning with your positive self esteem....
5)  Praying for someone that is suffering in some way, stranger or friend/family....
6)  Helping someone truly in need, stranger or friend/family....
7)  Lifting someone up whith words of truth about them, stranger or friend/family....
8)  Freely sharing ideas for the Betterment of mankind....
9)  Forgiving those that trespass against you, stranger or friend/family....
10)  Playing freely with a child of a stranger or friend/family....
11)  Teaching someone knowledge you know that they wish to learn, stranger or friend/family....
12)  Seeking GOD's glory, as a choice to seek the "light" of truth....  :heartpump:
13)  Standing up for truth in the face of adversity....
14)  Accepting someone for who they are....
15)  Smiling at a passerby for no other reason than to do it....
16)  Finding a solution to a problem, instead of just recognizing a "problem"....
17)  Apollogizing to someone you have lied to, or "wronged"....
18)  Respecting your parents, even tho~ they may give you reasons to "not respect" them....
19)  Listening to someone that needs to talk to someone....
20)  Opening the door for a stranger or friend/family....
.
.
I don't know what "logic" your profesor is bound too, but these all popped into my head in an instant.... 
Perhaps he will find one suitable within these 20  to fit into his riddle....    :heart:


--------------------
Uni-VersALL      MasterPeace
eMotive  :sun: Divinity NowThere Infinity :sun:  eMelody


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OfflineCaptainJailew
Apathetic and Idon't care

Registered: 11/10/04
Posts: 398
Loc: Central Texas
Last seen: 11 years, 6 months
Re: Being "Just" and Mericful.... [Re: Psychoactive1984]
    #4039772 - 04/11/05 03:07 AM (11 years, 7 months ago)

After more discussion with my professor through email he was more forthcoming with his definitions of God's mercy and justice. He says mercy should be defined as

Quote:


A person, x, is merciful if and only if (1) Y is suffering, (2) X feels bad because Y is suffering (3) X does something, A, that is good for Y because Y is suffering, (4) X does not owe A to Y

Thus God can not be merciful (perfectly) since he is not capable of feeling "bad" (he is immaterial) and he is perfectly happy, nothing can make him sad.





and justice

Quote:


An action A is just if an only if there is a person P and there is a person Q such that in doing A, P gives Q what P owes Q.
A person P is (perfectly) just if and only if P does many just actions and no unjust actions.





TomCat/emotion - I think many of your examples would be merciful, but not necessarily just. When you open a door for a stranger you do not "owe" that person anything, so your action is an act of random kindness which (may be) undeserved, thus making it mercy. Had the stranger opened the previous door for you, then yes, opening the door for them would be a just action. I think the same logic can be applied to many of your examples (from my prof's point of view) - I think this is basically just a semantic question which seems to be most of what the discussions in class are over. The subjectivity of language and establishing definitions before we can actually begin any philosophical investigation.


--------------------
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds" - Albert Einstein



Edited by CaptainJailew (04/11/05 03:08 AM)


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InvisibleeMotionALLmotion
DivineeMotive....

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 759
Loc: The Symphony of Lights......
Re: Being "Just" and Mericful.... [Re: CaptainJailew]
    #4039884 - 04/11/05 03:56 AM (11 years, 7 months ago)

If you truly respect all strangers, or anyone, doesn't it make all actions "just"....?
(Note, I am not saying to not be aware of other's actions of possible disrespect....)
.
.
2) Doing unto others as you would have them do unto you....
If you go by this philosophy, all things are "just" in your actions of respect for others, making them merciful acts, and maybe ending up "just" in the other person's reciprocated actions.... 
.
.
"Simple" cause and effect, as effect is always the cause - for the next effected cause.... 
Cause and Effect are both sides of the same coin, and both have to be taken into account.... 
I am not sure if your professor will agree with this, but hey, he doesn't have to, it is his riddle....!
.
.
Example....:
When you open the door for someone out of mercy, friendlyness, kindness, selflessness, mindfullness, or out of respect for a fellow person, the justice *may* be shown thru a friendly smile, or a simple curtious gesture of "thank you"....  This reciprocated action would be justice served for the selflessness or mercy shown....  And perhaps that might open a door to a conversation, and even friendship in time....  Perhaps starting as an act of mercy, and ending up to be "just" - but never to be expected....  :heart:
.
.
.
It would be interesting to hear what your professor says about "selflessness", and how it relates to Justice and/or Mercy....  :sun:


--------------------
Uni-VersALL      MasterPeace
eMotive  :sun: Divinity NowThere Infinity :sun:  eMelody


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