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
Whitemane
OBOD Bard
Posts: 1418
Joined: 19 Jan 2012, 21:21
Gender: Male
Location: Columbus, OH, USA
Contact:

Re: ETHICS & VALUES IN DRUIDISM

Postby Whitemane » 09 Jun 2013, 13:42

To quote the Bard ( that bard):

Above all, to thine own self be true.
Then, as surely as night must follow day,
Thou canst not be false to any man.

Not sure if I got the quote (from Hamlet) completely right, but what it means is that you stand by your beliefs and lead by example. Maybe you can change a couple of minds, and that is an achievement...
Whitemane, I have always understood this quotation differently - as a call to be honest with oneself. If you don't lie to yourself, then you don't present a false face to the world. Which, for me,sits rather nicely with:
"10. Uphold the Truth, starting with yourself.
"11. Be sure in your convictions, particularly when judging or accusing someone, but also when debating. Ask yourself: are you really sure? Do you really know that this the case?"

And, when I read:
"3. You do still live in society and are bound by its rules...", to me, this means that we can't set ourselves above the communities to which we belong and in which we are nourished and protected. It doesn't follow, as I understand it, that where these communities fail in their function, they can't be challenged and changed. Instead, it points to an area of potential vulnerability: there is a tendency among spiritual groups to see themselves as 'special' and therefore exempt from the rules by which everyone else abides. An example might be crimes of Catholic priests, which some in their church's hierarchy consider not crimes but sins, to be judged by god, not society.

Or consider: quite apart from my horror as a mild-mannered lentil-burger-eater at hearing this... I was once :huh: stunned to be told by a local pagan gal that a particular group she belonged to often went hunting with spears, regardless of local hunting laws... errrm... because as it was their spiritual right.... Now I didn't in fact believe her on this one - Salt Spring is home to all manner of flakes, myself included - but the attitude is worrying, I think.

What do you think?

Blessings on the occasion of the 'New Moon in June',

Deb
I don't think there is a great deal of difference between us, and I don't think my reading of the quote implies that I should allow those who break the rules of society to be exempt from the consequences of their actions, regardless of status. In fact, I don't even address that point in my post.
May the long time sun shine upon you,
All love surround you,
And the pure light within you,
Guide your way on.

User avatar
DebMc
OBOD Bard
Posts: 25
Joined: 17 May 2013, 16:04
Gender: Female
Contact:

Re: ETHICS & VALUES IN DRUIDISM

Postby DebMc » 09 Jun 2013, 15:39

Sorry Whitemane! Only the first half of my post is directed at you, and only because I wanted to quote your quote AND use the special button labeled "quote" :grin:

The latter paragraphs are put out there more generally, and are not directed at you, or at anyone in particular. I should have prefaced my remarks better, to make this clear.

There is a knack to writing in forums, and I'm a clutz.

User avatar
Whitemane
OBOD Bard
Posts: 1418
Joined: 19 Jan 2012, 21:21
Gender: Male
Location: Columbus, OH, USA
Contact:

Re: ETHICS & VALUES IN DRUIDISM

Postby Whitemane » 09 Jun 2013, 15:56

Sorry Whitemane! Only the first half of my post is directed at you, and only because I wanted to quote your quote AND use the special button labeled "quote" :grin:

The latter paragraphs are put out there more generally, and are not directed at you, or at anyone in particular. I should have prefaced my remarks better, to make this clear.

There is a knack to writing in forums, and I'm a clutz.
Ooops! no problem :tiphat:
May the long time sun shine upon you,
All love surround you,
And the pure light within you,
Guide your way on.

User avatar
Aoife
OBOD Bard
Posts: 130
Joined: 21 Jul 2011, 16:03
Gender: Female
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Contact:

Re: ETHICS & VALUES IN DRUIDISM

Postby Aoife » 14 Jun 2013, 07:12

I didn't read all the comments, so I have no idea if this has already been asked, but does the the sacredness of life extend to being anti-abortion?
I know it's a tough issue and many people are divided on that subject, but personally I am pro-choice and I don't believe it to be seriously out of line with our ethics. In my mind you need to consider the consequences of keeping a child you aren't ready for. Consider the quality of life you could provide.
Still curious if anyone knows the answer. :-|
Image

User avatar
treegod
OBOD Druid
Posts: 2141
Joined: 26 Apr 2007, 16:28
Gender: Male
Location: Catalonia, Spain
Contact:

Re: ETHICS & VALUES IN DRUIDISM

Postby treegod » 14 Jun 2013, 08:41

I didn't read all the comments, so I have no idea if this has already been asked, but does the the sacredness of life extend to being anti-abortion?
I know it's a tough issue and many people are divided on that subject, but personally I am pro-choice and I don't believe it to be seriously out of line with our ethics. In my mind you need to consider the consequences of keeping a child you aren't ready for. Consider the quality of life you could provide.
Still curious if anyone knows the answer. :-|
It's an interesting and loaded issue, and, in a way, yes, I think abortion doesn't really match with a view that life is sacred. On the other hand the amount of horror stories I've heard about abortions taking place when it's judged illegal make me think that abortion is the better option. Legal abortion is "less evil" than illegal abortion; it is regulated and safer. So I'm pro-choice, and even more so since I consider free will to be sacred too. And responsibility too.

In an ideal world we wouldn't need abortion; there'd be no such thing as an "inconvenient pregnancy" of any kind. But instead of thinking "this is the way the world should be" I apply it to my life and take responsibility for my sperm. And so far it's worked.

The world is not an ideal place, so we need to find ways of making our personal ethics work in the circumstances, instead of thinking that the world should match up to our principals perfectly.

User avatar
Hennie
OBOD Druid
Posts: 1307
Joined: 04 May 2006, 04:22
Gender: Male
Location: Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Contact:

Re: ETHICS & VALUES IN DRUIDISM

Postby Hennie » 14 Jun 2013, 09:04

If you can predict that mother and child will have a hell of a life, is anti-abortion a pro-life choice? Does quality of life count in this choice - I think it does. And to be really honest, speaking as a man, I should hush, for it's a woman's choice always (in the end, or it should be).

User avatar
Mountainheart
OBOD Bard
Posts: 384
Joined: 24 Nov 2008, 22:26
Gender: Male
Location: Yorkshire
Contact:

Re: ETHICS & VALUES IN DRUIDISM

Postby Mountainheart » 14 Jun 2013, 09:29

I'd like to throw another question in: about the assumption about the 'sacredness of life'. As druids I don't think there will be many who disagree with the 'sacredness of nature' but is life itself sacred? Isn't death just as sacred? I wonder if as a society we sometimes struggle too hard to maintain life at all costs? Is all life sacred just because it is alive? Is there any sacredness in keeping someone 'alive' in a persistent vegetative state? Is there anything sacred about preventing the abortion of a foetus who we know will have a tortuous life due to a severe genetic disability, for instance?

User avatar
Hennie
OBOD Druid
Posts: 1307
Joined: 04 May 2006, 04:22
Gender: Male
Location: Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Contact:

Re: ETHICS & VALUES IN DRUIDISM

Postby Hennie » 14 Jun 2013, 09:57

I have written instructions, in multiple copies, in witch I state under what circumstances I want the doctors to abstain from medical action. So no resuscitation, and no starting of life-prolonging actions when I am in a coma, except for treatment of obvious pain, extreme trouble breathing, and no feeding or giving water. But these are my wishes, can only hope the docs will follow. And I wouldn't want to have rules for this, that were including the whole population. To some a vegetable state obviously is preferred to death, so grant them that, for some time at least.

User avatar
skydove
OBOD Ovate
Posts: 910
Joined: 22 May 2008, 19:04
Gender: Female
Location: Warwickshire
Contact:

Re: ETHICS & VALUES IN DRUIDISM

Postby skydove » 14 Jun 2013, 11:53

If all life were sacred nothing would get eaten then there would be no life.
Is the actual living of a life a sacred experience and the death of that life an equally sacred act?

Is sacredness a purely human concept of moralists and intellectuals rather than the vast bulk of the population of the world?
Is that why are there so many of us and why we don't limit our population to enable as many species as possible to flourish?

Should the worlds population still have the right to breed themselves out of existence or should we act before it happens? Would it be those same moralists and intellectuals who could take that decision ?
Image 2010 SB Image2011 LI Image Image2011 SB
'much of what she heard from the trees was her own self echoed back'
http://www.suerodger.moonfruit.com/.
December 2013 Seminar - Mask Making with Plaster Bandages

Image

User avatar
Sciethe
OBOD Ovate
Posts: 552
Joined: 03 Oct 2012, 22:34
Gender: Male
Location: Berkshire UK
Contact:

Re: ETHICS & VALUES IN DRUIDISM

Postby Sciethe » 14 Jun 2013, 22:30

I'd like to throw another question in: about the assumption about the 'sacredness of life'. As druids I don't think there will be many who disagree with the 'sacredness of nature' but is life itself sacred? Isn't death just as sacred? I wonder if as a society we sometimes struggle too hard to maintain life at all costs? Is all life sacred just because it is alive? Is there any sacredness in keeping someone 'alive' in a persistent vegetative state? Is there anything sacred about preventing the abortion of a foetus who we know will have a tortuous life due to a severe genetic disability, for instance?
To my way of thinking all things are sacred, alive or not. A living thing is sacred, but not specifically because it is alive. Alive is one of the things it is as a sacred being of its kind. So a stone on the beach is as sacred as I am, and perhaps more important because it is almost immortal. Human concerns such as life at all costs are rightly important to us as humans, but as a Druid I also strive to be alive to the strands that stones and plants weave through the complexity that is Gaia. I sometimes feel that our consciousness blinds us to the spiritual "thingness" that is a quality of the unconscious beings that throng in the world. I truly believe that death is only a transition, not an ending, and that existence is a process with many transformations. On the other hand I do not feel that we as individuals have the right to judge the quality of another existence.

Semi logical conclusion- I'd not agree with aborting a severely disabled foetus, how are we to know what it will experience? Conversely the right to die is something that should be extended to us by the state.
S
For in his morning orisons he loves the sun and the sun loves him. For he is of the tribe of Tiger. Christopher Smart

User avatar
Whitemane
OBOD Bard
Posts: 1418
Joined: 19 Jan 2012, 21:21
Gender: Male
Location: Columbus, OH, USA
Contact:

Re: ETHICS & VALUES IN DRUIDISM

Postby Whitemane » 15 Jun 2013, 01:04

Holding life sacred is not the same as expecting immortality.

It is more about striking a balance between our own lives and all the life around us.

It is the nature of human biology that we need to take other lives to sustain our own, but we can find a way of life in which we minimize the life taken, and maximize the chances of other life flourishing.

When we die, may it be possible for people to say we have lived lives that allowed life in all its forms to flourish.
May the long time sun shine upon you,
All love surround you,
And the pure light within you,
Guide your way on.

User avatar
Aoife
OBOD Bard
Posts: 130
Joined: 21 Jul 2011, 16:03
Gender: Female
Location: San Luis Obispo, CA
Contact:

Re: ETHICS & VALUES IN DRUIDISM

Postby Aoife » 15 Jun 2013, 08:02

I don't know if "life being sacred" goes as far as some people take it. (I'm expecting to be misunderstood about how I phrased that) Some people don't like eating meat and that's fine but I don't know if it's more sacred than actually eating meat. I think it's fine to eat meat; I think respecting sacrifices made by the animal so we can have meat on the table is something that should be done. (Like thanking the spirit) It doesn't mean you have to abstain from eating meat. Appreciating life and the planet doesn't mean there isn't a food chain and that our species wasn't adapted to omnivore-ism. We were designed to eat both and so we should if we are so inclined.

On the pro-life/choice thing it's a complex issue and it is largely determined by how much people actually know about abortions; the times it takes place and why and if they belief that life starts at conception. I'm sure nobody "wants" an abortion, to some people it's more of a need. A lot of times, when it happens, it's when it's a zygote; a collection of cells; and it's a quick in and out thing. Other times it's more drastic but the whole ripped up baby thing that people place on their protest signs are usually in the case of medical emergencies. I don't know if I'd choose to have one myself, but I know I'd like the right to make the decision.
Image

User avatar
wtx001
OBOD Bard
Posts: 107
Joined: 03 Nov 2011, 12:46
Gender: Male
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: ETHICS & VALUES IN DRUIDISM

Postby wtx001 » 27 Jun 2013, 17:28

If all life were sacred nothing would get eaten then there would be no life.
Is the actual living of a life a sacred experience and the death of that life an equally sacred act?

Is sacredness a purely human concept of moralists and intellectuals rather than the vast bulk of the population of the world?
Is that why are there so many of us and why we don't limit our population to enable as many species as possible to flourish?

Should the worlds population still have the right to breed themselves out of existence or should we act before it happens? Would it be those same moralists and intellectuals who could take that decision ?
I figured that life means the entire system and every living being in it as well as its intended role within. I agree with your later statement how our species has appointed itself in charge. But I believe we have the least right of all to pick what is sacred despite our brains. Our race is separating itself from the system and creating its own.
"The wise man must be patient, must never be too hot-hearted, nor too hasty of speech, nor too fearful, nor too glad, nor too greedy for wealth, nor ever too eager to boast before he has thought clearly." -The Wanderer

tensen
OBOD Bard
Posts: 28
Joined: 29 Jul 2013, 14:44
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: ETHICS & VALUES IN DRUIDISM

Postby tensen » 13 Aug 2013, 19:45

I know I step into this conversation late, but I don't consider all life being sacred meaning nothing should be eaten.
I recognize the term sacred as in deserving of respect. And consider that sacrificing something can mean both making sacred to us in this life, and in giving it to the gods.

So it just means that things should be arbitrarily killed without reason.

It also means I can apply the same concept to how I feel about abortion. I respect the choices of the parents. Although I hope they recognize the gift given to them, and if there isn't a physical or mental reason against the birth to hope they try for birth and adoption.

User avatar
katie bridgewater
Posts: 473
Joined: 09 Jan 2009, 19:50
Gender: Female
Contact:

Re: ETHICS & VALUES IN DRUIDISM

Postby katie bridgewater » 14 Aug 2013, 10:09

So it just means that things should be arbitrarily killed without reason.
Is this actually what you meant to say? If so, respect your right to an opinion, but disagree with it entirely...

User avatar
Whitemane
OBOD Bard
Posts: 1418
Joined: 19 Jan 2012, 21:21
Gender: Male
Location: Columbus, OH, USA
Contact:

Re: ETHICS & VALUES IN DRUIDISM

Postby Whitemane » 14 Aug 2013, 11:36

So it just means that things should be arbitrarily killed without reason.
Is this actually what you meant to say? If so, respect your right to an opinion, but disagree with it entirely...
I'm hoping he meant to write "should not be"...
May the long time sun shine upon you,
All love surround you,
And the pure light within you,
Guide your way on.

tensen
OBOD Bard
Posts: 28
Joined: 29 Jul 2013, 14:44
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: ETHICS & VALUES IN DRUIDISM

Postby tensen » 14 Aug 2013, 14:20

Uh, yeah... most definitely missing the not in that sentence.

And not meaning actually sacrificing something as in an act of killing. I looked at what I wrote and hope I wasn't unclear enough in how I wrote it to be misinterpreted. Please take the best of all possible answers out of it.

User avatar
Aphritha
OBOD Bard
Posts: 1457
Joined: 20 Jun 2012, 00:34
Gender: Female
Contact:

Re: ETHICS & VALUES IN DRUIDISM

Postby Aphritha » 14 Aug 2013, 18:12

Ah...everyone loves a good typo...:D


User avatar
Kris Hughes
OBOD Bard
Posts: 120
Joined: 26 Dec 2011, 16:23
Gender: Female
Location: Clatskanie, Oregon
Contact:

Re: ETHICS & VALUES IN DRUIDISM

Postby Kris Hughes » 14 Aug 2013, 21:15

To focus on life vs death is a very dualistic way of looking at things.

As an example - I have no problem with people raising cows in a nice social herd, where they get to go out into a large pasture and eat grass and be cows. If these cows also get milked or some get slaughtered to be eaten, that's fine with me. To me, if "life" is sacred, then that means each moment of life should be treated as a sacred moment. If the good moments far outweigh the bad, then we are doing a good job (or perhaps we are just leaving things to nature, and doing nothing!). Every cow-like animal living a natural or wild life will die, too. Either to feed a predator or from some accident or disease. It may feel some fear and pain when that time comes. Nature has equipped it to cope admirably with this.

Nature equipped us to cope admirably with death, too, I'm sure, but our crazy reasoning human brains, and our perfectly natural instinct to preserve our species got us muddled up, and we got to thinking that preserving life was the important thing, rather than living it. Now we see many societies that will not allow any human to be killed - not the suffering, not the dying, not the suicidal, not the unwanted unborn - and yet will stand by while all kinds of misery and suffering befalls its fellow beings, even the members of its own species.

We like simple rules like "don't kill anything" but most of us are happy to kill bacteria, or the dustmites in our carpet, or a carrot. Thinking along the lines of "don't cause chronic suffering, ever, and cause as little hurt and damage as you otherwise can" requires us to think ethically on a minute to minute basis. Always a less attractive option.
"Your horse is your mirror." ~ Linda Parelli

My Blog http://www.godeeper.info/blog.html


Return to “Discuss Druidry”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests