From the Fifth Century B.C.E. we have the warnings of the Greek's
about Hubris which became codified by Pope Gregory in the Fifth
Century C.E. as Pride and so on to Shakespeare's warnings in the
tragedies a thousand years later, so on to Raskolnikov and
Dostoevsky's portrait of the self absorbtion that must become madness.
The common thread is that Pride is the progenitor of the notion that
the other is as nothing in comparison to the self and that it can be
objectified to the point where there is no obligation to acknowledge
the other as part of the same world that the self inhabits.
This thinking allows the Hubrist to violate the commonly held beliefs
of the society that he dwells in, at his whim, when it is these
commonly held beliefs which describe society, and their violation is
the basis of Sociopathy.
The primacy of Pride in the order of the Deadly Sins is not a mere
description of its position in a numerical order but is rather a call
to recognize it as the basis for all of the other sins.
It is then Pride which allows someone to claim as his own that which
does not belong to him, in violation of any concept of morality that
has been expressed in Western Culture for at least twenty five hundred
Seen in this way, this taking is not a small act. Although the sum
may be small, the implications are vast.
Should we teach our children that stealing a small sum is of small
consequence or should we teach them that stealing is wrong?
Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker
Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania
Well, to paraphrase a recent President, it depends on whet your
definition of "stealing" is. :-)
Is it stealing to take something that doesn't belong to you? Yes.
Is it stealing to find something that has been lost and keep it for
yourself when there is no way to determine who the true owner is?
Moral dilemma time for some; a black and white issue for the rest with
most probably coming down on the side of "keep it". Most states have
laws regarding lost items and in many places, you turn the item over
to the police and after so many days, if no one has claimed it, it
belongs to the finder.
Unfortunately, many moral concepts have been little more than concepts
in Western Culture. For example, museums throughout Europe and
America (the British Museum, most notably) are filled with artifacts
taken from around the world without regard to legal ownership. There
is a debate over whether the archeologists who collected these
artifacts were plunderers or preservers.
Is it any wonder that this debate is going on over a few dollars?
On Thu, 16 Oct 2003 20:41:08 GMT, email@example.com (LRod)
Worse than that: Heaven, where you won't know a SOUL!
Which reminds me. There are only two things to worry about...
Iguana: The other green meat!
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