Wednesday, February 15, 2012

After Virtue–The Mind, the foundation for improvement or the fickleness of a floozy

After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory, Third Edition (Paperback)... Cover Art

A friend of mind, a Christian minister who studied a bible school here in Dallas, sent me this question.

Hi Nityananda,
I was reading a book on ethics and was wondering what you might think
of one of its ideas ("After Virtue" by Alasdair MacIntyre).
He talks about a threefold scheme for thinking about ethics/virtue/character:
- A humanity that exists in a somewhat lower state (greed, etc.)
- A humanity that progresses to realizing the goals of humanity
(mature, humility, sacrifice, etc.)
- A process of growing that uses the mind to consider and change
habits towards humanities goal
I was curious what you think of this idea.  Perhaps parts of it sound
good and other parts not as much.


My reply:

I would not agree with it. 

It was said that "- A process of growing that uses the mind to consider and change

habits towards humanities goal"

however true ethics are beyond the scope of the mind.  True ethics come from God.  Knowledge about and from God is not revealed by the mind but by God Himself.  God has spoken the word and He has given us those who very life are the word.   Even if one has a revelation that should be first validated by the scripture, and those who emulate it such as the guru, and the previous saints. 

The mind is the birth of speculations.  It accepts and rejects proposals based on our attachments.  If one is wholly attached to God then the mind is friend, however if we are attached to adoration, distinction, fame, wealth, power, pride, comforts, and so forth our mind will be our very own enemy.  The mind of the thief justifies his thievery.  Everyone has heard the "path to hell is paved with good intentions".  Therefore no sane mane will put faith in his mind for the mind is like an unfaithful woman, it may act against us at any time.  The intelligent put their faith in God.

Proper ethics means proper perspective.  If one cannot distinguish the soul from the body, one will then not have the sufficient awareness of the being that is meant to be benefited.  There may be something comfortable for the body and may be pleasing to mind but that same thing can also be detrimental for the actual person, the soul.  Without this soul vision one does not know truly how to please oneself and others.  The search for happiness can be the cause of all distress.  Because without soul vision our ventures for this pleasure comes at other's expense.  To experience the pleasure of wealth others must be poor.

Because of a lack of soul vision we had slavery for the slave was said to have no soul

Because of a lack of soul vision women could be mistreated for women were said to have no soul

Because of a lack of soul vision billions of helpless creatures are unnecessarily slaughtered because animals are said to have no soul.

As the blind man should not lead blind, the mind should be governed by the purified intelligence passed down from God.

Jnana Chakshus, Sastra chakshus

Your humble servant,
Nityananda Chandra Das

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