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Author Topic: Religion and Ethics  (Read 2103 times)

rocquelaire

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Religion and Ethics
« on: August 23, 2011, 08:25:13 am »
Hi all,

I've been reading "Living with Honour: A Pagan Ethics" by Emma Restall Orr and it has certainly given me a lot to think about! I thought a discussion about ethics would be interesting. So, here are my questions:

1) How much of your ethics come from your religion?

2) Does your religion provide clear ethical guidelines or do you have to work it out as you go along?

3) If your religion has nothing to say on ethics then how do you work yours out?

And of course I'm interested in other things people have to say not covered in my questions :)

Rocquelaire
Ashael Rising My debut novel, a tale of a tribal medicine woman, protecting her world from soul-sucking invaders. Crowdfunding now.

Nyktelios

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Re: Religion and Ethics
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2011, 09:15:58 am »
Quote from: rocquelaire;15032
Hi all,

I've been reading "Living with Honour: A Pagan Ethics" by Emma Restall Orr and it has certainly given me a lot to think about! I thought a discussion about ethics would be interesting. So, here are my questions:

1) How much of your ethics come from your religion?

2) Does your religion provide clear ethical guidelines or do you have to work it out as you go along?

3) If your religion has nothing to say on ethics then how do you work yours out?

And of course I'm interested in other things people have to say not covered in my questions :)

Rocquelaire

 
I try to follow the Greek virtues, but I don't see them as being "religious", exactly. They aren't commandments in the Christian sense, but more like cultural guidelines for good behaviour and social harmony. The ancient Greeks had no sense of something being "religious" - what we would consider religious they would see in relation to either piety or culture. Ethical guidelines were related to society and culture as a whole, not separate from religion, but not solely religious either.

There was the value of xenia, the guest-host relationship usually translated as hospitality that dictated proper social behaviour, for example. It was not necessarily religious, although people in need of hospitality were sacred to Zeus, and the way a person approached the gods also followed this reciprocal code of social behaviour. The gods were shown hospitality by giving them gifts/offerings, and in return they would reciprocate the hospitality they were shown. Something like xenia was "religious" in that it was sacred to Zeus and it was connected to the way people honoured the gods, but mainly it was a cultural value for proper social behaviour that influenced conceptions of piety, not a commandment revealed by the gods punishable by eternal hellfire if a person transgresses it.

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