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If you are perfectly good, why do you need a guide to good.  Guides are for those who don't know how.

 

But ...

 

Chuang Tzu says that "the perfect man is of pure spirit, neither death nor life concern him, nor is he interested in what is good and bad."  If the sage transcends good and bad how can he be good?

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16 minutes ago, Starjumper said:

Chuang Tzu says that "the perfect man is of pure spirit, neither death nor life concern him, nor is he interested in what is good and bad."


Lao Tze said: Please don't interfere with nature.
Chunag Tze: Please don't let nature interfere with me.

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18 hours ago, virtue said:

Dao is the universal function and sentient beings have relationships that engender de.

 

 

Are we saying de = virtue? I'm trying to describe this form without applying it to the concept of a subjective good or bad. It's often very hard for people to understand.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Starjumper said:

If you are perfectly good, why do you need a guide to good.  Guides are for those who don't know how.

 

But ...

 

Chuang Tzu says that "the perfect man is of pure spirit, neither death nor life concern him, nor is he interested in what is good and bad."  If the sage transcends good and bad how can he be good?

 

What do "perfect" and "pure" mean without any Good? There is however a difference between ultimate good and good as something relative to bad. Hence Confucians can say, with Wang Yangming, "There is neither good nor evil in the mind-in-itself" yet also call the mind-in-itself supremely good.

Edited by SirPalomides
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5 hours ago, Rara said:

Are we saying de = virtue? I'm trying to describe this form without applying it to the concept of a subjective good or bad. It's often very hard for people to understand.

 

Leading to...

 

58 minutes ago, SirPalomides said:

There is however a difference between ultimate good and good as something relative to bad.

 

@virtue What say ye?

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Good and Bad are utterly subjective mental notions.

 

They are concretized in our minds between the ages of 0-7 resulting in our notions of what is moral, normal, good, bad, beautiful, noble... etc.  This is why 'normal' actions and foods in Papua New Guinea, often seem totaly crazy and backwards/insane to those who grew up in Manhattan, or Alabama and vice versa. 

 

Good and Bad are not determined by some Arbiter of Tao, or Gods.

They derive from one driving principle in each of our lives. 

 

What I enjoy is Good.  What I do not enjoy is Bad.

These things will be determined by our Society and our Family.

 

By age 7, changing these notions requires immense effort, or catastrophic/intense change of conditions.

 

 

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3 hours ago, silent thunder said:

What I enjoy is Good.  What I do not enjoy is Bad.

These things will be determined by our Society and our Family.

 

I am going to retrospectively "like" your post for the first half, but I question this. Such things can be, like environmental factors and influences. But didn't a little 3 or 4 year-old you, once get drawn to something because you liked it?

 

I mean, I found Power Rangers alone and that way I knew I was into martial arts. I know that sounds funny, but it's true. It was my inspiration and none of that put on me.

 

Sorry if I've missed your point, though. I know we are talking about morality, but if we are talking about enjoyment, that covers a whole new spectrum.

 

3 hours ago, silent thunder said:

By age 7, changing these notions requires immense effort, or catastrophic/intense change of conditions.

 

There's a science to this, and even a Christian though. Although, I thought the age might be younger. Something about being past a certain age, our personality is all but made up for life.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/6/2020 at 2:39 PM, ReturnDragon said:

 

Chapter 5
01. Heaven and Earth have no mercy,
02. Treating all things as straw dogs.
03. Sages have no mercy,
04. Treating people as straw dogs.

 

My understanding is Straw dogs are important.  Serving roles during certain temple holidays.  They are not worthless, nor are they long lasting.  People and things, wither, change comes, the new inevitably rises.  During their time, treat worldly things and people with due respect, they all play a role. 

 

After their role, the old straw dogs are discarded and the cycle moves on. The universe doesn't hold on tight, neither should we.

Edited by thelerner
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21 minutes ago, thelerner said:

My understanding is Straw dogs are important.  Serving roles during certain temple holidays.  They are not worthless, nor are they long lasting.  People and things, wither, change comes, the new inevitably rises.  During their time, treat worldly things and people with due respect, they all play a role.


That is only one side of the story. After the ritual ceremony, the straw dogs were tossed on the floor in storage. People might be stepped on them. Kids might play with them. Lao Tze used straw dogs as a carefree item which falls into context of Chapter five.

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, silent thunder said:

Good and Bad are utterly subjective mental notions.

 

You are speaking of morality, not ethics.

 

Now that we have dusted off the edgy concept of ethical relativism (only morals are relative), let's be more discerning henceforth.

 

Good is what helps generating merit (altruism, benevolence, charity, etc.) and/or releasing karmic bindings. Bad is squandering merit and/or accumulating karma of selfishness and self grasping. Thus good and bad are objectively measurable even if we experience the world as subjectively created and interdependent. It's entirely another matter whether we are able to be fully aware of the extent of our actions' merits and karmic tethers.

 

On 4/8/2020 at 11:51 AM, Rara said:

Are we saying de = virtue? I'm trying to describe this form without applying it to the concept of a subjective good or bad. It's often very hard for people to understand.

 

No, it's not that simple because the essence of ethics is pre-critical. De in the classical sense is doing the right thing without having care for the consequences, i.e. while being free and spontaneous in abiding to one's pure spirit. The sage is called virtuous because he acts perfectly normal so without any self-consciousness about it and not because he fancies acting like good.

 

For further study here is a link to the chapter 18 of Dao De Jing with many translations.

Edited by virtue
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5 hours ago, virtue said:

De in the classical sense is doing the right thing without having care for the consequences,


The description of de(), here, is the virtue of morality(道德) which is the Confucian philosophy.

In Lao Tze's philosophy: If one has followed the principle of Tao, then, it was said one has the virtue of Tao(道德) .  

 

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, virtue said:

You are speaking of morality, not ethics.

 

Now that we have dusted off the edgy concept of ethical relativism (only morals are relative), let's be more discerning henceforth.

Morality is the topic and morality is a distillate of ethics. 

 

Ethics are subjective, not objective.  They are a human creation of mind, based on our subjective interpreted experience of life.  Nothing in human mind is objective aside from its unadulterated nature, which is, much like dao, usually beyond the ken of mind to experience itself... ineffible, untouchable, gossamer and beyond concretization.  (though saturated in rationalization which is again purely subjective.)

 

What is beneficial to us is considered merit filled.  But this is not applicable cross species. 

 

Our President (and our Imperialist 250 year Empire) is a prime example of the subjectivity of ethics.  Given the opportunity, should one crawl into 45's mind, would find he is in his own mind a beacon of ethical behavior.  And he is aghast at how he is villified and attacked by the ignorant who 'should appreciate him and all his efforts'.

 

Ethics are subjective.  This is exemplified in how readily we rationalize that we should go to war for the good of correcting the bad in others.

 

Quote

 

Good is what helps generating merit (altruism, benevolence, charity, etc.) and/or releasing karmic bindings. Bad is squandering merit and/or accumulating karma of selfishness and self grasping. Thus good and bad are objectively measurable even if we experience the world as subjectively created and interdependent. It's entirely another matter whether we are able to be fully aware of the extent of our actions' merits and karmic tethers.

Who is this Arbiter who is fully aware and who measures good and bad objectivity?

This is a self/societal generated mental notion, created in mind. 

 

This Arbiter does not exist, (or exists in each of us) from in our own personal projections.

 

Self interest is what derives notions of merit and occur on the surface of our minds.  And these notions are built upon the foundation of what is good to us and what is bad to us based on what is pleasant and unpleasant. 

 

Who is the Arbiter who can see all ends and know that any given seeming act of kindness will not result in catastrophe and far greater suffering than non-interference?  It's a mind game of cat and mouse.  What you find good is good to you... but not to all.  Why do we have constant wars?  Because those folks over there, don't share our notions of good and bad and they need (for their own good and ours) to be forced to comply with our notions of ethical, moral behavior, to make the world better.

 

Better for whom?

 

Assuming one has their finger on the pulse of Objective Morality and Ethics and thus knows what is best for another is a recipe for becoming justified in imposing one's own notions of morality on another 'for their own good'.  This is a recipe for deep catastrophe and was behind many of the genocidal actions of humanity's past and present.

 

It's usually a derivative as well, of Naive Realism.  Assuming one has the perspective to see reality in total and without any distortions, makes one the innate Arbiter.  What I see is reality as it is...

 

If you don't agree, then you are not seeing undistorted reality and it is then my obligation to correct this in you.

To let it go would be lacking in merit.

 

That is subjective assumption, projective and naive realism in action, in my experience.

 

Good and Bad are human creations and change through life as our interpretations of reality shift.

6 hours ago, virtue said:

No, it's not that simple because the essence of ethics is pre-critical. De in the classical sense is doing the right thing without having care for the consequences, i.e. while being free and spontaneous in abiding to one's pure spirit. The sage is called virtuous because he acts perfectly normal so without any self-consciousness about it and not because he fancies acting like good.

De is another deeply mis-interpreted concept in my experience of Dao.

 

It's not linked to superficial notions of good and bad.  Johnny took out his neighbor's garbage, or helped their child in a street fight is not an example of De.

 

To me De is a concept derived from the characteristics of a being.  Johnny's De is one of protectiveness and helpfulness.  Not that Johnny has De  because he engages in those activities... the activities Johnny engages in reveal his De, his virtues, his characteristics.

 

It is the De of Grass to be green and fragrant and to grow readily with water and sunlight.

Edited by silent thunder
finished a partial sentence.
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Posted (edited)

Justified is the most terrifying concept in humanity to me.

And it is born of Naive Realism and a 'Good strong Ethical Code'. 

It's behind genocidal wars, racism, superstitious xenophobia... count the list.

Thinking you have, through your small human perception and thinking process, found The One Truth is a foundation for dangerous projectionism in my experience.

 

Look at our President again.  Facts are of no use.  His tunnel of reality is unassailable.

 

My Father in Law was an Army Captn and a prime example of this superficial atrocity waiting to happen due to thinking Ethics are objective.  He was a career Tank Commander (multi Vietnam tours, taught tank strategy to NATO allies for years) in short, he is a retired professional murderer.  He spent 20 years orbiting the globe murdering people he'd never met, and teaching others how to do the same in order to 'do good'.  Which functionally amounted to filling the coffers and the protection of Murican interests in foreign resources mostly.

 

He systematically tortured his children, (for their own good).  Because he was absolutely sure he knew what was good and bad in all situations.

 

He's an echo of the subjective nature of Ethics/Morality and a living example of Naive Realism run amok, giving birth to the subjective nature of morality and ethics and why I consider justified to be one of the most terrifying concepts in human interaction.  Justified leads to obligated. 

 

The three layers of truth of one such as he, who considers himself the Arbiter of The Truth.

 

Founding Premise:  Naive Realism.  He believes he sees the world and reality as it is, 100% accurately with no distortions.  What is good to him and bad to him is The Truth and should be the same for everyone... after all, Ethics are Objective and he sees the world accurately and thus by right of perception, is the Arbiter.

 

1.  He sees The Truth and shares it with you.  If you don't agree with his notions of what is right and wrong, good and bad, it is because you do not understand.  You do not see the world accurately (the way he does).  At first he very patiently attempts to teach and correct you so you see the world correctly.  Very good intentions. 

 

2. If you don't understand The Truth of what is right and wrong after painstaking instruction, then you are either incapable, or non-compliant.  This is when bullying and threats of punishment are generated, for your own good, to coerce your non-compliance, or to simply enforce you to act correctly when you are incapable of seeing The Truth for yourself.

 

3.  Finally there is Justified Action.  If after the first two, you still don't/can't fall in line with The Truth, then you are either hopelessly broken (an innate threat to the rest of 'civilized' society because you are incapable of understaing), or even worse, you are actively seeking to make the world worse through your acting contra-puntal to what is right. 

 

At this point he is not only justified to subdue you and correct you , but is morally obligated to take action against you.  Not just for your good, but for the good of reality.

 

Who is the Arbiter of The One Truth?

 

Edited by silent thunder
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You seem to be saying murdering people around the world and torturing one's children are a bad thing, no? On what basis do you assume that?

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Murdering people and torturing children is not evil, it's destructive.

 

My mind interpreting it as repulsive is what then tends to assign it the human moniker of Evil, or Bad.

 

Feeding people and educating children is not good, it's nurturing.

 

Destruction and Nurturing are non personal forces. 

 

Decay is not bad.  Death is not bad.  It is the engine of life.  Without decay there is no life. 

The Decay in your gut right now, the war of the intestines, fuels the vitality of your overall health.

 

Many of our assumptions of life rest wholly on the level of myopia at which our perception rests.

The warfare of my digestive system... markedly destructive on one level, is nurturing on the level of the entire organism.

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25 minutes ago, SirPalomides said:

So your dad was just doing his part in the process of life.

Read again mate.  Not my Dad.  My wife's. 

 

And he was no Dad.  Her was simply her Father.

 

Nearly any man can father a child; but not every man can be a Dad.

 

And yes, he is as he is, in this world.  His obsessively destructive naive nature caused us to cut ties with him formally and completely.  Not out of spite, or cruelty, but out of health and necessity.  There are some folks, we have come to realize, that come into our lives to teach us that there are some people we cannot allow to remain in our lives, if we wish to thrive and be whole.

 

Some folks are so destructive that to remain in their presence is to become complicit in one's own demise.

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, ReturnDragon said:

The description of de(), here, is the virtue of morality(道德) which is the Confucian philosophy.

In Lao Tze's philosophy: If one has followed the principle of Tao, then, it was said one has the virtue of Tao(道德) .

 

Your pseudo-scholarly proclivity again betrays your fundamental lack of understanding.

 

De is de exactly like wisdom is the same universal wisdom in all spirituality.

 

De is universal although we may see highlights of it in filiality and other relations that may usually be thought as being governed by morality. In that case morality is just the conventional expression of de and not a separate instance of it. If a self-ascribed Confucian was acting outwardly moral but without de, then that would just be plain hypocrisy.

 

There is no separate de in Daoism, Confucianism, and Christianity. Behold, the Christ instructed:

 

Quote

But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.

 

https://biblehub.com/matthew/6-3.htm

 

It really is the same principle that I have been describing about not being self-conscious about ethics.

Edited by virtue
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3 minutes ago, virtue said:

 

Your pseudo-scholarly proclivity again betrays your fundamental lack of understanding.

 

De is de exactly like wisdom is the same universal wisdom in all spirituality.

 

De is universal although we may see highlights of it in filiality and other relations that may usually be thought as being governed by morality. In that case morality is just the conventional expression of de and not a separate instance of it. If a self-ascribed Confucian was acting outwardly moral but without de, then that would just be plain hypocrisy.

 

There is no separate de in Daoism, Confucianism, and Christianity:lol:Behold, the Christ instructed:

 

 

It really is the same principle that I have been describing about not being self-conscious about ethics.


I am sorry of being a Chinese. I know I shouldn't have had learnt how to interpret Chinese classics. I should have learnt from westerners is because they knew it all and better.

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1 minute ago, ReturnDragon said:

I am sorry of being a Chinese.

 

You should instead be sorry for acting passive-aggressive and falsely implying that I endorse ethnic discrimination.

 

1 minute ago, ReturnDragon said:

I know I shouldn't have had learnt how to interpret Chinese classics.

 

You haven't showcased much learning from any classics at all, I am afraid. Having no wisdom nor learning, you shouldn't (yet) make attempts to make interpretations then. It's a severe demerit to disseminate spiritual disinformation.

 

1 minute ago, ReturnDragon said:

I should have learnt from westerners is because they knew it all and better.

 

What makes you think I'm a Westerner?

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1 minute ago, virtue said:

 

What makes you think I'm a Westerner?


I really don't know but you sure talked like you were educated by them.

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8 minutes ago, ReturnDragon said:


I am sorry of being a Chinese. I know I shouldn't have had learnt how to interpret Chinese classics. I should have learnt from westerners is because they knew it all and better.

 

Classic fallacy of giving yourself more credit because of your ethnic heritage, exactly what @Walker has mentioned before. 

 

Nobody is saying westerners know better than people who are Chinese. 

 

What is being said, however, is that you do not possess any academic or formal qualifications that show you understand it. You are translating based off of Baidu, and linguistics is one thing, but actual knowledge of history and subject matter beyond the very broad (and 99% of the time wrong) things you say with such generalizations means that you're no different than a high school kid holding a Spanish dictionary and saying he understands what Jorge Luis Borges, Pablo Neruda, and Miguel de Cervantes are saying in their respective poetry and literature: direct translation that doesn't convey the context at all, nor do they understand the references and innuendo and allusions. 

 

Here's an example of your style of literal translation, from a six-word short story in English using very bad translation, word by word rather than proper grammar.

 

English: For sale: baby shoes--never worn. 

 

RidiculousDragon: 出售婴儿鞋决不旧.

 

Direct Google Translate ignoring all nuances of the language (I do know how to say it in Chinese, by the way...) and this is exactly what you do with Baidu. 

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3 minutes ago, ReturnDragon said:


I really don't know but you sure talked like you were educated by them.

 

A far better education than your self-appointed authority for everything Chinese that would have you laughed at in everyone from academia to martial arts to TCM. 

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6 minutes ago, virtue said:

You should instead be sorry for acting passive-aggressive and falsely implying that I endorse ethnic discrimination.

 

 

He does this a lot. 

 

7 minutes ago, virtue said:

You haven't showcased much learning from any classics at all, I am afraid. Having no wisdom nor learning, you shouldn't (yet) make attempts to make interpretations then. It's a severe demerit to disseminate spiritual disinformation.

 

Misinformation if the information is wrong, but disinformation if it's knowingly and deliberately wrong. Even when he's corrected, he insists he's still right, contrary to people with actual authority. I have shown his work to some friends in academia who are professors in well-known institutions and they found him to be worse than middle school students watching YouTube videos and going on Wikipedia

 

8 minutes ago, virtue said:

What makes you think I'm a Westerner?

 

I would have thought you were from Antarctica. :D

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