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Author Topic: Your Gods and their ethics  (Read 3937 times)
Nehet
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« Topic Start: December 08, 2009, 11:27:18 pm »

Just curious:  Have any of you ever had the experience that a deity was telling you to do something that went against your ethical principles?  Or, have you ever gotten the sense that a God did something wrong, or made a mistake? 

How would that "mistake" affect your relationship with that God?  Would you still choose to honor Them, assuming this kind of unethical action didn't take place all the freakin' time?

Personally, I have not had the experience that the Gods have told me to do anything blatantly unethical.  I have, at one point, gotten the sense of one of them admitting to doing something that may not have been the wisest course of action.  I am not certain if that's what was actually said.  The message might have not been "I wish I'd done this differently", so much as "I wish I could have done this differently. but given the circumstances, I had no choice" ( The context of this is very personal and I won't go into details.  )

I definitely get the sense that Gods are highly evolved beings who have a wider view of reality than we are, and a deeper knowledge of the consequences of their actions.  So, I do not believe they would make mistakes very often given that knowledge.  At the same time, if the Gods do make mistakes, those mistakes can happen on a cosmic scale (myth of Sekhmet, anyone?). Mythology is full of stories of Gods making mistakes.  Perhaps this was part of the process of how the universe formed. Perhaps even the Gods had to learn their lessons before creation could progress forward.  I don't know.  I'm pulling theories out of my bum, here, but what does everyone think?

If the Gods see things on a grand cosmic scale and do have a greater understanding of cause and effect...does that excuse behavior that hurts beings on a smaller scale?  Do  you attribute what seems to be "unethical" behavior to a process of them breaking eggs to make a omelet, or is it just plain wrong?

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« Reply #1: December 08, 2009, 11:35:57 pm »

If the Gods see things on a grand cosmic scale and do have a greater understanding of cause and effect...does that excuse behavior that hurts beings on a smaller scale? 

For me, a lot of the things my various deities have had involvement in... well, I just never get any of the 'whys' behind them. I never get any explanation or justification or even a "Because I said so." I am never completely assured of the motives or intentions behind things my deities have requested of me, why They choose to blow the winds of fate this way or that. I've always been used to not fully trusting Coyote, but Coyote is my spirit misguide, and somehow not-exactly-a-God-but-is-definitely-Godlike - I think some of my other patrons I think learned bad habits from him.
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« Reply #2: December 09, 2009, 01:40:40 am »

Have any of you ever had the experience that a deity was telling you to do something that went against your ethical principles?  Or, have you ever gotten the sense that a God did something wrong, or made a mistake? 

 To answer this question, yes and no. Vague enough?

 In my dealings with the divine characters in my life I have almost never been asked to do anything that I would not have done had the situation arose without Their coaching. There may have been things that I did not enjoy doing, but felt that they were the correct decisions in that situation.

 There has been one instance in which I was swayed to do something that went against my principles and wishes at that time. I was asked to do something, legal, that I have very strong objections to and would not have done with out my god insisting that it was the right thing to do. However, I had such trust in my deity that I allowed it to occur without protest, and in retrospect, had I known the eventual outcome and the reasons why he was pushing for this, I would have made the same decision.

 Most of the times I would go against Their wishes, I am allowing fear to over take my own senses. I have various issues in my relationship with the divine, mistrust being a major one after several grievous incidents where my once blind faith in anything with a halo was abused. After this I’ve found that most contact with the Divine leads me to panic attacks and my once thriving relationship with the deity of choice has suffered. This now ingrained fear has lead me to make more bad decisions for my spiritual and religious relationships and health than I could ever have for seen before these transgressions. But, I was not pushed to make these choices by MY deity, and that is why I still follow him.

If the Gods see things on a grand cosmic scale and do have a greater understanding of cause and effect...does that excuse behavior that hurts beings on a smaller scale?  Do  you attribute what seems to be "unethical" behavior to a process of them breaking eggs to make a omelet, or is it just plain wrong?

 I think my god is wrong A LOT. However, I’m usually mistaken and must later remind him about how much I love him and that he might miss me if he were to smite me off the face of the planet.

 I think he does make decisions I may not agree with at the time due to human emotions or ethics, but logically I must accept that they are the decisions that must be made. That’s why we have gods (and goddesses).I believe that in most (healthy) bonds, between deity and conscious, interactive worshiper, there is one of patience and good intentions on both parts.

 However, I also believe that sometimes misfortune is simply not preventable. To extremely warp a largely Christian metaphor; I see the relationship as that of the Shepard and their flock. It is the Shepard’s job to tend to the well-being of the ENTIRE flock. If he has a hundred sheep and they’re all starving, some must be slaughtered for the good of the all. It is only truly fair to do this at random, and while there may be some bending of the rules to save favorite sheep, eventually every sheep’s ticket comes due. No one can live forever, even if your god would spare you from the worst of the harsh realities of life, they cannot save you from your fate as a mortal being. I cannot pray to my god to be freed of my death sentence merely a stay of execution and a promise for something quick and relatively painless.

 I believe most of the decisions we see as WRONG are really ones based in logic and the pursuit of the greater good. No, it is not fair some people must die, but try to imagine a world where no one ever died and the great mess that humanity would be in.

 I also feel that gods (and goddesses) have personalities and emotions much like human beings, and may sometimes make decisions that are in the best interest of their own feelings. However, I love my gods and know they would never do anything like that…   Wink

 On an unrelated note: My post lengths are getting out of control...
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« Reply #3: December 09, 2009, 07:31:00 pm »

I've always been used to not fully trusting Coyote, but Coyote is my spirit misguide, and somehow not-exactly-a-God-but-is-definitely-Godlike - I think some of my other patrons I think learned bad habits from him.
Heh.  Things the Chaotic Canine says a lot:  "Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time!"  "Hey, that would have been great if it had worked!"  And variations on the theme.

His ethics are not my ethics, but I knew that going in.

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« Reply #4: December 09, 2009, 09:05:14 pm »

Heh.  Things the Chaotic Canine says a lot:  "Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time!"  "Hey, that would have been great if it had worked!"  And variations on the theme.

His ethics are not my ethics, but I knew that going in.

Sunflower

I also get a lot of, "Well, what did you do that for?!"

/facepalm
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« Reply #5: December 09, 2009, 10:10:50 pm »

Just curious:  Have any of you ever had the experience that a deity was telling you to do something that went against your ethical principles?  Or, have you ever gotten the sense that a God did something wrong, or made a mistake? 

How would that "mistake" affect your relationship with that God?  Would you still choose to honor Them, assuming this kind of unethical action didn't take place all the freakin' time?

......................

If the Gods see things on a grand cosmic scale and do have a greater understanding of cause and effect...does that excuse behavior that hurts beings on a smaller scale?  Do  you attribute what seems to be "unethical" behavior to a process of them breaking eggs to make a omelet, or is it just plain wrong?

So far, no.  Diana has actually pushed me to tell the truth, when I my first thought is, "Well what's one more little white lie?" or "Dammit, do I really have to be honest here?" 

That's not to say there haven't been times when I think she would have preferred I not be honest.  Sometimes honesty just gets you in trouble (something I sorely wish would change already....).  Especially with where I work now, once or twice I've gotten the sense of, "Yes, I know s/he is better off knowing, but did you have to tell it to someone who might twist the facts around?  And in light of that, did you really have to say who exactly was involved?" 

I made a vow years ago to be honest as often as I can, so unfortunately while Diana admires my efforts to keep that vow, sometimes it can't be done; she often sees such moments before I do.  We don't always agree on when those situations happen.  She's certainly made some errors in judgment, which hasn't changed anything between us in a major way.  Perhaps the biggest change is that I've grown quite comfortable with having a deity who isn't perfect, doesn't apologize for being imperfect, and still is able to admit when she's wrong.

I've come to learn that the Diana I know is terribly practical.  I'm sure she was like that back in Roman times, though; I think it's part of her overall nature, and it's only now that I'm in a position where being practical is important, that I see it.  She's got a bit of a mischievous streak, but has never insisted I do something that would lead to tears (unless they were tears of laughter). 

If she ever did ask me to do something that went against my principles in a big way, well, she knows I'd like to hear a good reason for it.  I guess it sounds very arrogant, but I want a reason, even if it's a somewhat cryptic one, before I do something of that nature.  I keep waiting to hear her say, "Because I said so."
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« Reply #6: December 09, 2009, 11:54:23 pm »

If she ever did ask me to do something that went against my principles in a big way, well, she knows I'd like to hear a good reason for it.  I guess it sounds very arrogant, but I want a reason, even if it's a somewhat cryptic one, before I do something of that nature.  I keep waiting to hear her say, "Because I said so."

I'm the same way.  I've argued with my Gods because I've sometimes gotten the sense that they were telling me to do something that I didn't understand.  It's never been anything "wrong", just things that might not make sense to me at first glance. 

I'm like one of those five-year-olds who is always asking her parents "why?".  I wouldn't be surprised if the Gods didn't occasionally find my questions just as exasperating as parents who have kids at that age.   Grin

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« Reply #7: December 10, 2009, 12:42:25 am »

I keep waiting to hear her say, "Because I said so."

I haven't gotten that, but recently, I have gotten "figure it out."
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« Reply #8: December 10, 2009, 12:50:33 am »

Just curious:  Have any of you ever had the experience that a deity was telling you to do something that went against your ethical principles?

No. My gods don't tell me to do anything. For me, it doesn't work like that.

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Or, have you ever gotten the sense that a God did something wrong, or made a mistake?  


In one myth, one of my gods rapes a goddess--a fairly common occurrence in the Greco-Roman myths, but a singular one in mine. The consequences are colossal, and cosmically bad.

In another myth, a goddess tries to help humankind, only to unwittingly unleash madness upon us.

So yeah, my gods definitely do make mistakes.
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