"Everything in moderation." - I have no idea who said this.
But let me go one step further, and say, "Everything in moderation, consideration, and observation."
Atheists have a difficult time trying to convince theists that they do have a moral code, and that it has nothing to do with sacred scriptures or a god. I have met a few theists on myspace that almost 'get' us, but there will always be a little line they can't cross. One can never understand what it really feels like and how different the world view can change until fully accepting their probably isn't a god, at least there isn't any of the Abraham inspired gods. If by some chance I'm wrong in that department, then I still say that those gods deserve no worship or respect. Closed.
So what do people like me believe to be moral and immoral? To each their own, but most will agree with the following statements somewhere below. Before I dive into them, let me explain to you about the degrees in which an act can break down into. On a scale of 1 - 5 (1 being 'evil' and 5 being 'high praised', 2.5 being 'unnoticed'), each will have a number before, during, or after each scenario. Each act will be proceeded by the word, 'Syn', which means together, along with, or at the same time. A Syn can have many sides as opposed to sin's two. I have replace 'sin' with 'Syn' for this reason: a sin is something labeled evil in the eyes of the christian God, and is narrowly viewed. Sense there is no god, I have chosen a replacement. And because the world is not black and white, 'sin' is no longer in, for everything has fallen in the shady grey areas.
Lying sometimes is not a bad thing, nor is lying to someone an act of evil. It can be a bad thing and can lead down a rough road, if one does not use this tool in its proper form. Lying can be a good thing and a bad thing, but rarely does it ever turn into evil or high praise.
4.5 ex.: Your daughter has two big zits on her face. She covers it up the best she can and asks if you can tell they're still there. You tell her, "You have zits on your face? Wow! You could have fooled me!" even if you can still see them. The reason? Because you don't want her walking around school feeling self-conscience about her appearance. You want her to be relaxed to learn and develop good social skills. Telling a lie that will have a good chance of helping someone is okay. Even if she gets to school and half way through the day, someone points them out, that's half a day of feeling confident, rather than the entire morning worrying over something so silly.
1.5 ex.: You spend half your paycheck at the casino, but tell your wife that you dropped your wallet somewhere and it was returned empty. She was counting on that money to buy food for the kids and the two of you to eat the whole week. This is bad. The reason? Because this guy probably has a gambling problem and needs help. He's lying, which means no one knows he needs help. Plus, he's a family man with responsibility. Eventually he will get caught, but by then, his life could be really fucked up.
2.5 ex.: A cop pulls you over for speeding. You tell him it's because you have the shits and you really needed to get to a bathroom fast. He gives you a ticket, and you keep to the speed limit for the next few days, weeks, or months. This doesn't really even matter. It isn't good nor bad. The reason? Because it didn't hurt anyone. The guy lied, but still got the ticket. He slowed down for awhile as well. A show of hands who has broken the speed limit recently? Don't be a hypocrite!
Coveting can go lead to great things, or it can lead to a downfall. The third example shows how it is sometimes harmless.
5.0 ex.: Wanting the best, or at least better, has been the fuel to fire ingenuity in our world. Coveting the better lab, the better computer, the better car, the better store... all have great benefits. The reason? To covet something in hopes of it not only helping yourself, but others as well, is a very good thing, worthy of high praise.
1.0 ex.: Wanting land so badly, a person kills for it. Wanting a woman so desperately a person would would end the lives of many to get her. Wanting the best weapon in case someone pisses you off, and then lay to waste an entire city. All of these, are acts of evil. The reason? When a desire over rules your good senses, it will ruin you with the possibility of harming others.
2.5 ex.: An man mortgages his family's home to buy a yacht, because a couple people in the neighborhood have one, and he want's to show how awesome he is. He get's laid off of work and ends up losing his yacht, along with his house. His wife had money put aside for a rainy day, and they found a smaller house, not as nice, but they could still be together. This happens a lot, but this is neither good nor bad. The reason? People will always want the cool new products, toys, and junk, and many will go crazy and forget to plan ahead. This isn't wrong, but just a mistake, one which will leave an important lesson behind it.
Greed has a bad reputation, but not all forms of greed are to be feared.
4.9 ex.: This guy really wants to get all these great high-tech toys, like a new computer, big screen TV, new game systems, etc. But to get them he needs money. He becomes obsessed with getting the money he needs to afford his dream. There aren't any jobs in his field that pay enough to get him there, so he goes to school to get a better education. Upon completing his BS degree, he is making a comfortable salary. Still, it's not enough to fulfill his dream. So he goes back to school, to further his education to get an even better job. While going attending school, he writes a best seller novel, and makes it big. Now he has what he needs to get everything he craved in life. But after buying everything he wanted, he noticed a huge lump some was left. He sets up a scholarship program to help further others along in life, and creates charities to help medical sciences progress. This is slap-on-the-back congratulations! The reason? His greed for money wasn't wholly consumed upon only gaining money, but gaining money to complete a desire. Once completed, so did the greed. His greed never hurt no one, but instead helped society as a whole.
1.0 ex.: A person owning a large share in a particular field of business, knowing his profits are exceeding his need. The person continues about their day, not caring that they are hurting the common citizen. This person thinks that the more money they have, the more their place in life appears secure. This person has been told repeatedly that their company has caused problems and that people are suffering because of it. They brush it aside because their greed has turned evil. The reason? Anytime that greed causes either physical harm, psychological harm, or causes displeasure among the neighbors and citizens as a group, becomes an evil thing. The pagan code of conduct, "Harm ye none." should be applied daily, and with every person.
This is the stopping point of this blog. Please check back for part 2 of the Syn: The New Code for living a Moral Life.
"Have a Synful day!"
*** Please note that 'Syn' in it's context, meaning, and spelling are a creation (believed to be original) of Jason (Jasyn) Taylor. Use of it is permitted only if referred back to me as creator and never to be used to make money without giving me my cut. ;) ***