ETHICS & VALUES IN DRUIDISM

This forum is for discussing all aspects of Druidry as a spiritual path.
Forum rules
If you find a topic of interest and want to continue the discussion then start a new topic under The Hearthfire with a similar name and add a link back to the topic you want to continue.
To copy a link just copy the url on the top left of your browser and then put in your post, highlight it and press the url button.
User avatar
Kernos
OBOD Druid
Posts: 5152
Joined: 02 Feb 2003, 16:19
Gender: Male
Location: Lost in the Woods in the Ozarks, USA
Contact:

ETHICS & VALUES IN DRUIDISM

Postby Kernos » 12 Jul 2005, 15:59

Please see the revised article on the OBOD web site:

Ethics & Values in Druidism

What do you think?

:awen:
Last edited by Kernos on 12 Jul 2005, 17:06, edited 1 time in total.
ImageImageImageHelp I'm Falling Thru A Hole in the Flag

"Time is the Image of Eternity."

Time is the Fire in which we burn.

User avatar
Merlyn
OBOD Druid
Posts: 8738
Joined: 02 Feb 2003, 23:56
Gender: Male
Location: By candle light, penning the dragon's dream.
Contact:

Postby Merlyn » 12 Jul 2005, 16:15

I think it's a good think tank of ideas Kernos.
The basic values like these are found during our journey. But discussion and exploration of these ideas are very important.
In two words: "very OBOD"

Cheers!
:merlyn1:
Image :emerit:
Dyro, Dduw, dy nawdd;
ac yn nawdd, nerth;
ac yn nerth, ddeall;
ac yn neall, gwybod;
ac o wybod, gwybod yn gyfiawn;
ac o wybod yn gyfiawn ei garu;
ac o garu, caru Duw.
Duw a phob daioni.

User avatar
Seeker
OBOD Druid
Posts: 3054
Joined: 26 Sep 2004, 20:17
Gender: Male
Location: Turtle Island
Contact:

Postby Seeker » 12 Jul 2005, 17:11

Very interesting! And an area of thought that should be spoken of more often...
"Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
Matsuo Basho

User avatar
Tinne
Posts: 334
Joined: 14 Jan 2004, 00:47
Gender: Male
Location: The give it All Up, Get i't while You Can Shop , At the crossroads between Nirvana and Oblivion
Contact:

Postby Tinne » 15 Jul 2005, 02:08

Greetings,
Personally i think it strange that we need to explain our ethical stance. for one it will imediatly begin the dogma, as all written codes of conduct have been it will be mis interpreted by whoever wishes to exploit it.
second ,druids as a whole honour their ancestors and learn from them it don't take to much to suss out that they live by a code and if you want to get further into druidry it is important to abide by the code.
This sort of statment in my mind does more harm that good, it encourages followers, people who want all the answears and sdon't want to think things out for themselves, do we need that?
So all in all i think its dumbing down the values and principles that we do adhere to it panders to people who prefer their wisdom gleaneed as opposed to earned.
Peace into power into peace.
Tinne.
Life is what you make of it.

User avatar
Tinne
Posts: 334
Joined: 14 Jan 2004, 00:47
Gender: Male
Location: The give it All Up, Get i't while You Can Shop , At the crossroads between Nirvana and Oblivion
Contact:

Postby Tinne » 15 Jul 2005, 02:28

P.S.
as to the issue of truth, that in it self could be debated ad infinitum, there are many streams of thought that would suggest that 'truth' is a construct.
to present extracts from an ancient moral code is imo tasking a liberty, and is why people like the welsh nationalists get really mad at us, seed thoughts are different extracts of song or poem to meditate upon yes , but to pick out usefull points from a complex and to some sacred code is not on.
if the obod wants to explain it's styance why not ponit the inqiureer to a libary where some truly great thinkers have left us a wonderfull heratage.
anyway i'm off to a festival for the weekend,(lemon jelly,zion train steve harley and ronnie size hope i din't come across as pouty,)
flowers and trees
tinne
Life is what you make of it.

User avatar
Merlyn
OBOD Druid
Posts: 8738
Joined: 02 Feb 2003, 23:56
Gender: Male
Location: By candle light, penning the dragon's dream.
Contact:

Postby Merlyn » 15 Jul 2005, 03:51

Good insights Tinne,
As always.
Interesting reading in the page is the quote below. It is the Nwyfre or the "inner light" IMO that "is" the Druid.

Flowers and rain, dance!
Always
:merlyn1:
Apart from the work of Myers and Nihtscad, little has been written about ethics in contemporary Druidism since most Druids are keen to avoid the problems caused by dictating a morality to others. So much suffering has resulted throughout history because one group of people have decided that it is good to do one thing and bad to do another. Just as most Druids have avoided dictating which type of theology someone should adopt, so too have they avoided telling each other, or the world, how to behave.

Nevertheless, most Druids have a highly developed sense of ethical behaviour, which is usually implicit in their actions, rather than being explicitly stated by them. A person can only act ethically if they hold to certain values, and by talking about these values we can avoid the pitfall of suggesting ethical guidelines which can then so easily turn into a dogma which condemns those who do not follow it. Instead of imposing a code of conduct upon people, we can return to Myers’ suggestion to practice a Druidry that helps us become a certain kind of person, out of whom ethical behaviour naturally arises.
Image :emerit:
Dyro, Dduw, dy nawdd;
ac yn nawdd, nerth;
ac yn nerth, ddeall;
ac yn neall, gwybod;
ac o wybod, gwybod yn gyfiawn;
ac o wybod yn gyfiawn ei garu;
ac o garu, caru Duw.
Duw a phob daioni.

Philip
OBOD Druid
Posts: 384
Joined: 07 Feb 2003, 10:19
Gender: Male
Location: Lewes, Sussex
Contact:

Postby Philip » 16 Jul 2005, 12:36

Hiya!
I'm so glad Tinne (with his usual panache) has challlenged the Ethics page. I think it's important to discuss Druid ethics for three reasons:
1. Other writers on Druidry speak about Druid ethics and we are trying to present different views, not just one approach. When I saw that Emma Restall-Orr, Brendan Myers and Athelia Nihtscad had all written on the subject I tried to give a summary, or at least taste, of their views, and then gave mine, which attempt to circumvent some of the problems of taking about ethics by talking about values instead (for the reasons stated in the section quoted by Merlyn above).
2. If the ancient Druids developed the Brehon laws, then they certainly thought a great deal about ethics, because judgements emerge from having a particular ethical stance.
3. I think we're in an exciting phase historically. Many of us (particularly those drawn to Druidry and Paganism) have thrown off much cultural and reigious conditioning. But still we find ourselves having to make moral choices. But now we have the option of developing a sense of our ethics out of choice rather than conditioning. It can become a conscious process rather than one of indoctrination.

Yours from a very hot hillside in Sussex,

Philip /|\

User avatar
Loosh
Posts: 1891
Joined: 08 Aug 2003, 00:32
Gender: Female
Location: Puget Sound
Contact:

Postby Loosh » 16 Jul 2005, 22:50

So much wisdom here! I do tend to hold with Tinne on this. If the basis for Druid laws and morality is based on Truth (am I right so far?) what about certain risk taking personalities who, in their search for Truth are led beyond the current restraints of Christian morality?? I think this is where the meaty stuff is. This is where dilemnas are found--like the medical ones. I am amazed that Hippocrates Oath--"First do no harm" still holds! And I think that the Celts did give a lot of credit to the Greeks and the Greeks to the Celts, too.

Dogma is just a figleaf anyway! :o
Image

User avatar
Seeker
OBOD Druid
Posts: 3054
Joined: 26 Sep 2004, 20:17
Gender: Male
Location: Turtle Island
Contact:

Postby Seeker » 17 Jul 2005, 00:01

I must admit that I see no problem with a discussion of ethics.

In any discussion, different opinions are put forth, but nothing in the nature of the discussion means that it will be put forth as an explaination or definitive stance that would, or could be, considered dogma. I also agree with Tinne, though, I don't believe OBOD should be explaining what "their" stance as an organization is but, instead, should point to other resources to let the path finder make their own decision. I also a believe that there is a difference between ethics and morals; with the latter having more religious overtones and the former having more secular inferences.

Just my opinion...
"Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
Matsuo Basho

User avatar
Dryadia2
OBOD Druid
Posts: 10055
Joined: 02 Jun 2005, 18:10
Gender: Female
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, USA
Contact:

Postby Dryadia2 » 17 Jul 2005, 00:41

Greetings!

Aren't Truth, Ethics, Values, and Morals subjective anyway?
With as many people of differing backgrounds and ideals represented in OBOD, we still find a 'commonality' amongst ourselves.
It seems to me, the message in the "Ethics & Values in Druidism" boils down to:
Taking responsibility for our thoughts, feelings and actions leads to acting responsibly towards others, and the world needs responsible people now more than ever.
Peace and Blessings,
:dryadia: /|\
I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than any city on earth - Steve McQueen

User avatar
Merlyn
OBOD Druid
Posts: 8738
Joined: 02 Feb 2003, 23:56
Gender: Male
Location: By candle light, penning the dragon's dream.
Contact:

Postby Merlyn » 17 Jul 2005, 05:03

Hi Philip, Tinne and all,
I find this page >BeliefsIs core to the values and Ethics discussion.

Druidry enjoys a freedom that is so important now. As explained below in the quote, Fully understanding the many spiritual insights of others, frees us to live spiritually with the world more fully IMO.
Whether they have chosen to adopt a particular viewpoint or not, the greatest characteristic of most modern-day Druids lies in their tolerance of diversity: a Druid gathering can bring together people who have widely varying views about deity, or none, and they will happily participate in ceremonies together, celebrate the seasons, and enjoy each others’ company – realizing that none of us has the monopoly on truth, and that diversity is both healthy and natural.
This kind of spiritual reformation in philosophy and religion seems to me to be a giant step forward now. It is partly made possible but also necessary, by this age of instant communication and diverse cultures, expanding and integrating as we do now.

I think it truly is a very progressive and interesting topic to explore. And I also agree it is duly important to take responsibility to ensure it is a path of discovery, not a set of rules or book of doctrine.

I think these two important aspects should be given equal respect in Druidry.

Star and stone
Merlyn
Image :emerit:
Dyro, Dduw, dy nawdd;
ac yn nawdd, nerth;
ac yn nerth, ddeall;
ac yn neall, gwybod;
ac o wybod, gwybod yn gyfiawn;
ac o wybod yn gyfiawn ei garu;
ac o garu, caru Duw.
Duw a phob daioni.

User avatar
Tinne
Posts: 334
Joined: 14 Jan 2004, 00:47
Gender: Male
Location: The give it All Up, Get i't while You Can Shop , At the crossroads between Nirvana and Oblivion
Contact:

Postby Tinne » 19 Jul 2005, 14:34

Post festival greetings one that is all,
We pagans all begin our work isolated, we tap into something and as we work with it we realise that we have to make ethical and moral judgments, when we meet up we find we mostly depending on our paths have very similar veiws, to me this is proof enough that we have accessed a group conciousness. Ergo all 'work is done within that conciousness, it cant be passed to anyone or accessed by any other means .
Western ethics and morals are irrelevent look at the world for all the great religious moral codes , people are being bombed, old folk left to rot, forest and seas polluted. It is an ideology. We live in the real world we touch and see and smell it everyday, most of us devote our spare time to helping to ease suffering or to help with the aquisition and transmission of knowledge.
Religions try to make out they invented kindness, compassion,love, sorry they don't own a monopoly.
The old societies had to make laws to control the populace but any attempts to find a srtand that we can weave into today is just falling prey to the ecclectisism that is muddying the stream as everyone dives for acorns.
It is important that we stand by our morals ans ethics but to try to explain them to a culture that TRYS TO MAKE EVERYTHING IN ITS OWN IMAGE IS JUST PIDDLING IN THE WIND.
As to those that like to set themselves up as spokespoeple they need to sort themselves out for we all know that it is in the silence that wisdom is gained.
Love and flowers
totally sunburned and georgeous looking
tinne.
Life is what you make of it.

User avatar
Tinne
Posts: 334
Joined: 14 Jan 2004, 00:47
Gender: Male
Location: The give it All Up, Get i't while You Can Shop , At the crossroads between Nirvana and Oblivion
Contact:

Postby Tinne » 19 Jul 2005, 14:51

While i'm at it , whats all this gender unkown, i think we need either a few more choices to reflect our divercity or just gender irrelevant. Ethical and moral codes are transmitted if you get my gist.
If you are a sensitive you can see into peoples hearts, read the signs of their body language it's a lot easier than trying to discern portents from the flights of geese, but just as usefull.
Druid wisdom cannot be spoon fed ,it must be searched for, the unknown is an important aspect of the journey,but it leads to copious amounts of the amber nectar.
Sometimes it is hard to say everything about a system is wrong it has to be rejected, but getting rid of the baggage makes the journey easier. To me preists/ immans/gurus are excess baggage. The systems they present do not work in the real world. For years they have been channelling human creativity and resources which they have used to build eddiffices to their own glory, whose ideal can never be recognised without dominion.
Now eastern philosophy is a different matter and if i had the heart of a poet i think i would know it.
from the hollow hills
tinne.
Life is what you make of it.

User avatar
Tinne
Posts: 334
Joined: 14 Jan 2004, 00:47
Gender: Male
Location: The give it All Up, Get i't while You Can Shop , At the crossroads between Nirvana and Oblivion
Contact:

Postby Tinne » 20 Jul 2005, 00:47

PPS.
You circumnavigate very gracefully Phillip.
:)
with love
tinne
Life is what you make of it.

User avatar
Wolfwalker
Posts: 2440
Joined: 05 Sep 2003, 00:26
Gender: Male
Location: Eastermost land in North America
Contact:

Postby Wolfwalker » 20 Jul 2005, 01:00

If as I get a sense of your comments above, that I can agree that it is entirely possible for Truth and indeed Wisdom to be both subjective as well as objective, from dogmatism and from life itself. Life, which is to say Being, is subjective or objective, purely dependent on the individual. One values their own life, freedom to think, learn, observe and just to Be.
Yet it is equally true there are those for whom the self is nothigness, which can be as has been alluded to above, taken to extremes. A person may not hold life, either their own or that of others in any reverence or regard. They do not care about freedom, learning, growth (either inner or external), nor do they care to observe or give heed to watching or adhereing to any morality or ethical grounding at all unless one is to consider a lack of ethics a system. These persons do not care if life is or is not, and whether they or anyone evolve as a being.
I agree that much of society, Eastern, Western, and otherwise has become far too mired in the dogmatism and the assumptions of organized religions and the political "systems" they have fostered or interwoven into. This must not be confused with legality and a lack of the right to Be and think, live, learn grow or respect whatever or whoever one chooses to.
Case in point, prior to confederating with Canada, the Dominion of Newfoundland, where i live, was polarized on sectarian lines, such that the major political parties were traditionally allied with certain religious factions... to the extent that the Roman Catholic Archbishop had proclaimed that those voting for a certain party in the coming elections and supporting them in the subsequent plebescite whether to confederate with Canada would have the sacraments of that church withheld from them. For voting with their brain, conscience or personal beliefs!!? Religious sectarianism threatened to rend the country into bits; that was prevalent up until approximately fifty four ago; six years ago, having in 1949 confederated with Canada, the same people in many cases, and their sons and daughters, even grandchildren, voted in another plebiscite, to abolish the church operated school system in Newfoundland. I was working as a returning officer in my district and almost every person voting was overheard making the same comment.."it is time for the divisions to end/ or be ended"...
Despite a Catholic majority that had been threatened if they voted for the Liberal party that sought confederation and by a narrow margin voted to confederate, also cast votes to tear down the walls so that our children might be allowed the right to choose what they would believe, practise or not, that dogmatism of any particular sect or religion would be banished from the classroom from then on. I think the masses voted to hope, to choose, to learn without the oppressive burden of religion upon them, and in so doing chose to Be with all the freedoms that implies... freedoms to find one's own truths, form one's own wisdom and evolve into the Being one choses to become, rather than be forced to be. It did not mean an abandonment of all ethical systems and laws, no more than it meant there would be no more classrooms or teachers. Life is imperfect as are the beings that live it, human, animal, fish, plant, bird, or any other... consequently, all life being imperfect, so also all ethics and ife and Being are imperfect. That does not excuse attempting to live in ways that would hope to perfect them to their highest level of Being however.
blessings, /|\, Peter
Love people and use things, NOT use people and love things...

User avatar
Merlyn
OBOD Druid
Posts: 8738
Joined: 02 Feb 2003, 23:56
Gender: Male
Location: By candle light, penning the dragon's dream.
Contact:

Thoughts

Postby Merlyn » 20 Jul 2005, 01:57

Interesting thoughts Wolfwalker,
In the insights of Druidry, or better defined as neo-Druidry, and the ethics we find by study of the inter-relationships we have between our inner self and the cosmos, nature and the humanity we live in I find a common need in our diversity of culture.
If we say "as above, so below" basic as that is, humanity takes it to a very dangerous extreme. We know our life will end, and so we grow to expect that the cosmos will too. And perhaps it will in a few billion years.. But in so obsessing, religious doctrine brings to us the end of days prophecy, Armageddon.
Neo-Druidry as Philip and others have explored it with us, brings focus to our day, and life as precious and in our path we learn that we can no longer need to obsess over "the end of days".
The panic of knowing the world might end and in our life time (reason tells us this is very unlikely) we may be judged by the collective soul, God or God of gods, has driven our human need for religion to obsession and insanity. And by this very insanity we may well kill our selves off, yet the earth and cosmos will barely blink.
People are striving to pro-create just to crush their adversary, commit suicide just to kill their hated religious counterpart in the name of their very own god.
Thinking life on earth is "sin" worthless or a time to subjugate, is truly IMHO the biggest waste of this precious gift I can imagine. All of this due to the writings of men who say their words are that of god.
Compassion ... only to those who repent for not believing such fairy tales? Hardly compassion in my view.
Doctrine that suggests that anyone who is not a member of a specific religion is an infidel, Gentile or to be executed, enslaved or worse?


No... no more. It is time to bring an end to such insane obsession.

Responsibility was once a task to protect one culture from another that is why such books were written so very long ago. Hate and murder anyone who isn't like yourself??? Religion??? God told us to do so??? The Old testiment and the Koran are bone chilling!

Now it seems our responsibility is to protect humanity from such misunderstanding of old outdated doctrine. These values of religion do not work in our cultures today. Yet the churches and mosques cling to them as "holy" and "sacred"

I believe in the rediscovery of our selves and that justice of nature we hold dear. The Druid renaissance is just that, to stand in awe of all creation like a child, and ask all of the questions now, for ourselves, today.

When we do so, we hear, we see, and we feel. And we are free of fear for any end of days doom, thought that our life is nothing but sin, or nothing at all.

But most important, I feel, is that we accept and understand each other and that we know that we all feel this way, and we all have the inner light, not just a chosen one or few. This very important understanding is at the core of Druidy and it's values as I know it.

It is time to accept that no one human is divine over any other, but instead rejoice and sing out that we are all children of our god/dess.

In this I pray so hard and so much.

Rain and flowers dance

so should we

Merlyn
Image :emerit:
Dyro, Dduw, dy nawdd;
ac yn nawdd, nerth;
ac yn nerth, ddeall;
ac yn neall, gwybod;
ac o wybod, gwybod yn gyfiawn;
ac o wybod yn gyfiawn ei garu;
ac o garu, caru Duw.
Duw a phob daioni.

User avatar
Fae
OBOD Ovate
Posts: 648
Joined: 03 Feb 2003, 17:11
Gender: Female
Location: in the wilds of the centre of the universe
Contact:

Postby Fae » 20 Jul 2005, 12:29

Tinne;

Thank you for your timely words. I find that I too agree, Druidry if lived, especially OBOD does not require dogma or rules on morals or ethics.

Simply put, if we live in harmony with nature, what could we possibly be doing wrong.

To those who require dogma or rules on morals or ethics, perhaps you need to rethink your path.

I came to Druidry, especially OBOD because I am a free thinker and can in all honesty control myself in a socially and morally acceptable fashion, therefore I require no body of men/women to tell me what to do, or how to think.
Peace from the branches of the Mighty Oak
--------------------------------------------------------
Image
http://celticsageholistictherapy.com/home

Dair Ciúin
Posts: 1673
Joined: 15 Feb 2005, 02:19

Postby Dair Ciúin » 20 Jul 2005, 14:04

To those who require dogma or rules on morals or ethics, perhaps you need to rethink your path.
Those who prefer an organised religious structure in our journeys may be a dwindling minority here, but I certainly don't believe we need to rethink our paths. I'm not wishing to argue, and am aware that remark was intended a personal opinion, but isn't tolerance a virtue here? I've added a copy of something I've previously written on this board below.
I know many shudder at the thought of an organised, dogmatic religion. But to me, it is more about allowing those who share similar concepts to work and celebrate together, rather than dictating the exact path which its members must adhere to. Many tend to forget that there is a certain degree of variance between the beliefs of a religion's individual followers - even among the more "stricter" faiths.

User avatar
Merlyn
OBOD Druid
Posts: 8738
Joined: 02 Feb 2003, 23:56
Gender: Male
Location: By candle light, penning the dragon's dream.
Contact:

Postby Merlyn » 20 Jul 2005, 15:01

Hi Ithilas,
I think religious reform is the forward thinking of those who find religion their path.
A person will find what works and feel it is right. Ethics and values of religion can progress and be wonderfuly insightful.
I think it is a small minority who cling to old doctrine as the only way to worship. But if that few are the leaders of an organized religion, it can be hard to reform IMO.

isn't tolerance a virtue here?

Yes, but so is the love of justice. discussion of this area is vital to know when compassion and tolerance enable and become abused. This is a very good point you have brought up, one of the harder ones to work with IMO.

Merlyn /|\
Image :emerit:
Dyro, Dduw, dy nawdd;
ac yn nawdd, nerth;
ac yn nerth, ddeall;
ac yn neall, gwybod;
ac o wybod, gwybod yn gyfiawn;
ac o wybod yn gyfiawn ei garu;
ac o garu, caru Duw.
Duw a phob daioni.

User avatar
Fae
OBOD Ovate
Posts: 648
Joined: 03 Feb 2003, 17:11
Gender: Female
Location: in the wilds of the centre of the universe
Contact:

Postby Fae » 20 Jul 2005, 15:17

My comments were not intolerant in the least. Let me explain a little further. I was saying that with respect to bringing dogma into Druidry that in my opinion it is not a necessary evil.

Once Man/Woman start making rules and codes, it no longer leaves you to search for the way to live in harmony with all, but becomes a mandate which you must follow.

We then assume that those who are making the rules, know what they are doing, and they also assume we do not wish to make those decisions for ourselves.

Sorry to those who need someone to tell them how to think, feel and believe, I personally don’t require it. This is only my opinion, not necessarily of those who read it.
Peace from the branches of the Mighty Oak
--------------------------------------------------------
Image
http://celticsageholistictherapy.com/home


Return to “Discuss Druidry”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests