As mariner suspected, suggesting the definition of pieces that together comprise a base for religious practice is challenged by many who have unique beliefs already in place. Mariner has no business disturbing established religious practices. He attempted this complex issue because in our current global state our ethics, morals, scruples, whatever one would choose to call them, are in disarray. Global society operates entirely under a moral base that humans can change whenever they desire. The difficulty is identical to people desiring, quite sincerely, to lose weight and improve their physical condition. Why is it that perhaps only one person in 1,000 or even 10,000 achieves the goal and the rest fail? The one achiever believed the rules were beyond modification and were mandated.
The shift from a singular, untouchable source of rule began with the book ‘Situation Ethics’ written by the priest Joseph Fletcher in 1966. His intent was to say no written or believed set of rules can be the source of faith; only love, the actual act of love qualifies as a measure of faith. His point was that written material or habitual behavior was not qualified to represent God – only love was authorized to do that – only an act of love could represent God. Fletcher said only love could be exercised best in a situational event.
Needless to say, readers picked up on the idea of an ethic that is relative to the situation but overlooked the hard part: loving God’s world, especially God’s people; to emphasize again, the act of loving. Several religious leaders and theologians took up the cause of situational ethics as a means of fine tuning moral behavior but that was not Fletcher’s intent.
Fifty-one years later, situational decision making prevails but the love part hasn’t been around for years. In fact, as an influence on general society, even religious institutions look more like dried figs – believing participants notwithstanding.
The first part of the Starter Kit tried to share some principles about how belief in a perfect entity works. Perfect entities can’t change. One would think they could change like a chameleon but in fact, a perfect being is perfect – nothing is able to change or perfectness would not have been. The mariner also spoke of seeking a non-anthropomorphic perfection; humans after all, are not perfect.
But it is from an ethical source that cannot be changed by any human or any participant in the state of duality that our instructions must come. Like the one successful person who achieved weight loss, believed in the unchangeable principle; to be true to their ethic they couldn’t change if they wanted to change.
The last part of the Starter Kit will be posted in a few days. Perhaps by then the reader will find a divine source of wisdom in which to root their stable and righteous morals. Perhaps like Fletcher you will be able to love.