Philosophical, ethical and moral questions

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Philosophical, ethical and moral questions

Post by Quiet on Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:38 pm

I heard an interesting talk at one of our better churches today on death. It covered a broad range of issues: what death actually means, how it happens, suicide, the death of a child, what happens immediately after death, euthanasia, predetermination and so on. It was a simple but articulate and thoughtful presentation.

Many years ago now, a dearly loved younger family member died through suicide. She is in a good place now, happy with other family members who have passed. She has communicated with me through mediumship - in fact, did so through the demonstrations yesterday - but has done so previously as well. I will always miss her of course, sometimes with sadness, sometimes with humour and always with love. I know that we will meet again and am so grateful for the mediumship which allowed contact with her in recent years. I need no sympathy about this but it is a good introduction into a discussion about these profound matters.

I don't think that Spiritualism has any particular position on suicide, abortion or other sensitive moral issues and I tend not to read articles in Spiritualist magazines about these things. I have read with interest the views of Silver Birch and Ramadahn on suicide with interest. They seem to be quite hard. It is almost that we definitely have to serve our time here, else we might have to do the 'time' in the next dimension. I wondered whether those spirits were still influenced by the mores of their times or whether their views reflect the Natural Law. But then the Natural Law would allow a person to learn by the experience of grief, hopelessness or fear which underpins actions like suicide.

I do believe that compassion would always surround anyone who passed through suicide or euthanasia. There are things and reasons in heaven and earth that are beyond our comprehension. As John O'Donohue commented in one of his poems, there is sometimes a Divine script for a person's life that may be unknown to the rest of us.

I am ambivalent about abortion. I just don't know. I understand the reasons for people having abortions but have never myself been in that situation so have not had to make any choices about it. I know people who have. Some were deeply torn by the decision and some seemed unaffected.

I think we are all bound by the laws of society but these laws are not always ethically or morally based so that raises other questions Smile

Any comments from others? I hesitated to post this but I think these question come up often enough in spiritualist communities to make it safe to do so. The core issues revolve around the nature and purpose of life, personal responsibility and personal choice - our freedom to make our own choices in the overall scheme of things.

Which leads me to the matter of knowledge, individual choice and responsibility. This is where moral decisions are based. I imagine that Spiritualism would endorse that approach - in everything, every aspect of life - not just the life and death ones mentioned above.



Last edited by Quiet on Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:12 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Philosophical, ethical and moral questions

Post by hiorta on Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:06 pm

SB did underline that motive would qualify the action and I wouldn't argue with that, although he took the view that it is better in the longer term to go through with a consequence than short circuit it.

This qualifying motive view seems to be far better than any doctrinal removal of choice for the individual. There must be many folk who agonised over such dilemmas and who is to say, in the case of abortion, which choice is the easier option. The Spiritual undertanding of the individual is so important in such situations.
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Re: Philosophical, ethical and moral questions

Post by KatyKing on Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:31 pm

Phew.... big issues Q. David Hopkins had a piece on abortion in PN a cuple of issues back and got flak. My cop out is that as a man I have no rights to voice any opinion. Suicides I've come across are all much happier in Spirit than they were here but devastated by hurts they've left behind. I suppose there's a healing eventually but where I've been involved it's because someone who loves them is sitting opposite. Euthanasia again has to be own choice but danger in that is who calls the shots if we're out of it? Sadly some folk are greedy to get their hands on the cash or the house. I love my lads to bits but they do seem to like this house and the eldest covets my allotment so I'm hoping to be able to ask for the plug to be superglued into its socket should the cards ever fall that way and have told them so. :-)
Morality is subjective and we can no more have a collective morality than we can don a common overcoat. One size doesn't fit all and one man's meat is immoral to a vegan. But we can all mutually agree to define then abide by an ethical code. That said... 'ethically' one was a bit uncomfortable recently after reading Borgia's... Life in the World Unseen. Think that could be dangerous in fragile hands and intuited that it had taken more than one over before their time [what do you reckon to it Les?].
Some think Spiritualism has to do with death but its optimistic message is all about living well and to the best of each person's gifts and abilities by and through love both here and beyond.
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Re: Philosophical, ethical and moral questions

Post by Quiet on Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:02 pm

hiorta wrote:SB did underline that motive would qualify the action and I wouldn't argue with that, although he took the view that it is better in the longer term to go through with a consequence than short circuit it.

This qualifying motive view seems to be far better than any doctrinal removal of choice for the individual. There must be many folk who agonised over such dilemmas and who is to say, in the case of abortion, which choice is the easier option. The Spiritual undertanding of the individual is so important in such situations.

Thanks hiorta. I agree with your summation of Silver Birch's probable overall views,

I need to actually take notes on what I read. None of those books are indexed which makes them challenging to study systematically.

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Re: Philosophical, ethical and moral questions

Post by mac on Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:14 pm

Quiet wrote:
hiorta wrote:SB did underline that motive would qualify the action and I wouldn't argue with that, although he took the view that it is better in the longer term to go through with a consequence than short circuit it.

This qualifying motive view seems to be far better than any doctrinal removal of choice for the individual. There must be many folk who agonised over such dilemmas and who is to say, in the case of abortion, which choice is the easier option. The Spiritual undertanding of the individual is so important in such situations.

Thanks hiorta. I agree with your summation of Silver Birch's probable overall views,

I need to actually take notes on what I read. None of those books are indexed which makes them challenging to study systematically.

I've had to do just the same.

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Re: Philosophical, ethical and moral questions

Post by Quiet on Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:19 pm

KatyKing wrote:Phew.... big issues Q. David Hopkins had a piece on abortion in PN a cuple of issues back and got flak. My cop out is that as a man I have no rights to voice any opinion. Suicides I've come across are all much happier in Spirit than they were here but devastated by hurts they've left behind. I suppose there's a healing eventually but where I've been involved it's because someone who loves them is sitting opposite. Euthanasia again has to be own choice but danger in that is who calls the shots if we're out of it? Sadly some folk are greedy to get their hands on the cash or the house. I love my lads to bits but they do seem to like this house and the eldest covets my allotment so I'm hoping to be able to ask for the plug to be superglued into its socket should the cards ever fall that way and have told them so. :-)
Morality is subjective and we can no more have a collective morality than we can don a common overcoat. One size doesn't fit all and one man's meat is immoral to a vegan. But we can all mutually agree to define then abide by an ethical code. That said... 'ethically' one was a bit uncomfortable recently after reading Borgia's... Life in the World Unseen. Think that could be dangerous in fragile hands and intuited that it had taken more than one over before their time [what do you reckon to it Les?].
Some think Spiritualism has to do with death but its optimistic message is all about living well and to the best of each person's gifts and abilities by and through love both here and beyond.

I think I saw some headlines about abortion in one of the spiritualist newspapers and made a choice not to read the article. From memory it seemed to be about the views of Colin Fry's guide.

Where I work we hear many tales of elder abuse around property and inheritance. Housing and education are so expensive now that many children are expecting the inheritance from their parents to give them a start in these areas.

There are legal and social ways around these dilemmas and we should explore them. Governments generally lack the courage, however. Families don't help themselves by not discussing these issues when there is time. Nobody ever thinks life can be really rocky and people not as you expect. We don't always know how to live in even the most practical ways, do we?

Because we just don't know when the foetus becomes a human being, I am uncertain about the morality of abortion. I also think it is the woman's choice and she deals with the moral consequences which may be none at all. It does not affect me personally, however.

Trouble is, everyone has some part in all these questions.

People are careless about contraception and some of the Churches are against it. I feel sad that children with disabilities are being aborted because people just don't think they can cope. Society doesn't really help them either I feel sad that late term (6 months) abortions are becoming more common and feel really uneasy about this.

Complex questions - yes. But it is good to work them through. I don't think the law and society generally are up to dealing with some of these issues.

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Re: Philosophical, ethical and moral questions

Post by hiorta on Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:28 am

""Because we just don't know when the foetus becomes a human being"" Quiet.

SB gives it as 'the moment of conception', Quiet.
My apologies for mentioing SB again, it's just that, of all I've read, SB consistently chimes with some inner monitor.
(I tried the 'quote' button in this and it quoted an entire post - different from this one in discussion. I hope this way is suitable?)

SB seems to see the issue from the point of view of the incarnating soul and it being denied expression by having its Earthly experience artificially terminated for perhaps cosmetic reasons.
As a mere male however, my opinions would not be based on a full understanding of this complex matter.
I've had folk for Healing who had almost indelible distress in later times when realisation of what their earlier action brought to another soul.
We only see Life from the shorter perspective, unfortunately.
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Re: Philosophical, ethical and moral questions

Post by Quiet on Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:40 am

hiorta wrote:""Because we just don't know when the foetus becomes a human being"" Quiet.

SB gives it as 'the moment of conception', Quiet.
My apologies for mentioing SB again, it's just that, of all I've read, SB consistently chimes with some inner monitor.
(I tried the 'quote' button in this and it quoted an entire post - different from this one in discussion. I hope this way is suitable?)

SB seems to see the issue from the point of view of the incarnating soul and it being denied expression by having its Earthly experience artificially terminated for perhaps cosmetic reasons.
As a mere male however, my opinions would not be based on a full understanding of this complex matter.
I've had folk for Healing who had almost indelible distress in later times when realisation of what their earlier action brought to another soul.
We only see Life from the shorter perspective, unfortunately.

Thanks hiorta.

I don't mind you quoting Silver Birch at all. I am studying his lectures at the moment.

Yes, I read his views in the same way. They are what we were taught in Catholicism, though I am not likening Silver Birch's views to that creed.

Some people say that the spirit may not enter the soul at conception but later. In reality we just do not know. That sounds a little bizarre, doesn't it? You'd think a spirit or group of spirits of Silver Birch's stature would know.

My position is that abortion should be unnecessary if people had the right to contraception and the knowledge and resources to use it. Men should take some responsibility as well. But what to do in the case of unwanted pregnancy through rape, ignorance or just not having the resources to use contraception?

My own feeling is that the Natural Law would take into account circumstances. It is such a big issue. I am relieved that I do not really have to make a judgement. I know women who have been very badly affected by abortion and others to whom it has been a life saver.

It does bother me that so many abortions occur and I wonder if it does signify ignorance, poor access to contraception or sheer carelessness.

However, these are just questions o which there are no answers.

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Re: Philosophical, ethical and moral questions

Post by zerdini on Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:19 pm

I don't mind you quoting Silver Birch at all. I am studying his lectures at the moment.

Silver Birch didn't give 'lectures'.

He was the guide of Hannen Swaffer's Home Circle.

Questions were asked by circle members or submitted by readers through PN.

I knew both Ivy Northage and Ursula Roberts who did give lectures on various aspects of Spiritualism.

I was disappointed, however, to witness their demonstrations of the continuity of life which, in my opinion, were extremely poor.

i chaired meetings for them so saw everything at first hand.

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Re: Philosophical, ethical and moral questions

Post by Left Behind on Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:36 pm

The article by Colin Fry was in Two Worlds, a few issues back.

TW also reviewed a book about suicide, in the current issue.

Both were con on the respective topics.

On abortion, I am opposed to the idea of the idea of abortion on demand, or that it's a woman's right to choose. The proper times to be making your choice are in whether and when to have sex, and what you're doing to prevent getting pregnant in the first place.

Hacing said that, I wouldn't outlaw abortion in the case of pregnacies resulting from rape (statutory as well as forcible), or where the mother's life is in danger, or where the child's likely to be seriously defective.

As to suicide, I believe it's wrong to throw away the life you were given. However, I wouldn't condemn someone faced with incurable, horrible pain or debility who opted to end it. Or a situation where you were about to be taken prisoner by the enemy in wartime, and possessed critical info that you feared revealing under torture or brainwashing.

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Re: Philosophical, ethical and moral questions

Post by Quiet on Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:21 pm

zerdini wrote:
I don't mind you quoting Silver Birch at all. I am studying his lectures at the moment.

Silver Birch didn't give 'lectures'.

He was the guide of Hannen Swaffer's Home Circle.

Questions were asked by circle members or submitted by readers through PN.

I knew both Ivy Northage and Ursula Roberts who did give lectures on various aspects of Spiritualism.

I was disappointed, however, to witness their demonstrations of the continuity of life which, in my opinion, were extremely poor.

i chaired meetings for them so saw everything at first hand.

"Lectures' was the wrong choice of word. I was simply referring to the texts that are available. Smile. Thanks for pointing that out.

What a wonderful experience to have seen these things first hand. I am usually enthralled by trance talks.


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Re: Philosophical, ethical and moral questions

Post by KatyKing on Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:29 pm

Then there was that Irish Kamikaze pilot Yamashita O'Toole.
He flew forty missions before he retired.
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Re: Philosophical, ethical and moral questions

Post by Quiet on Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:10 pm

KatyKing wrote:Then there was that Irish Kamikaze pilot Yamashita O'Toole.
He flew forty missions before he retired.

No doubt to sit around sipping shamrock saki Smile

Seriously, I am usually enthralled by trance speaking. Very much so in the first few years. The very act of overshadowing seemed to me to be quite miraculous. Some trance lectures are very much worth listening to. Others have less relevance to me.

Best of all were the times when our then teacher's spirit communicators answered individual questions from us. If you had any doubts they would leave you after those and you'd get a sense of the nature of the spirit communicators. I loved those sessions.

Zerdini, I would be interested in hearing accounts of those times if you care to share them.

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Re: Philosophical, ethical and moral questions

Post by Quiet on Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:33 am

I just read David Hopkins article on the "Psychic News" website and thought it was one of the gentlest, kindest articles I've read on this subject. I copied it actually.

I didn't realise that PN made these sample articles available in full. Makes me a little more determined to effect a successful registration on their problematic web site Smile

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Re: Philosophical, ethical and moral questions

Post by KatyKing on Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:24 pm

Surprisingly few comments posted on PN website under that article on abortion by David Hopkins but he did get flak in the paper and his piece in latest PN is around freedom of expression.
I thought he wrote sensitively but was surprised he chose that topic until Sue Farrow said she'd commissioned the piece to elicit responses.
Didn't work obviously.
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Re: Philosophical, ethical and moral questions

Post by Quiet on Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:47 pm

KatyKing wrote:Surprisingly few comments posted on PN website under that article on abortion by David Hopkins but he did get flak in the paper and his piece in latest PN is around freedom of expression.
I thought he wrote sensitively but was surprised he chose that topic until Sue Farrow said she'd commissioned the piece to elicit responses.

Didn't work obviously.

Seems an odd motive to solicit an article. What can you tell from responses? You get the opinions of a few people which are not a general gauge on community opinion.

Spiritualism has no view on abortion or issues like that. Some spiritualists may but it is their opinion only.

The article was kind and insightful. It would have had a gently educative role in terms of kindness and understanding. Bravo to Psychic News for publishing it.

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Re: Philosophical, ethical and moral questions

Post by KatyKing on Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:11 pm

I agree Q. Posted something similar under it on PN site. I think Sue was hoping for a response rate similar to the earlier Margaret Preece SNU issue. Issues that stir response boost circulation and it could have been a flyer but it wasn't followed. Probably because we as a movement are pretty laid back. Certainly the few responses tended towards the anti camp one going so far as to almost accuse David of taking a position which he patently wsn't doing in his well balanced thoughtful piece.
IMHO and it is a cop out I know and an opinion David doesn't share...
Men have no right to comment on abortion one way or t'other.
If some men will then fair play but not moi.
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Re: Philosophical, ethical and moral questions

Post by Admin on Sun Apr 15, 2012 12:06 am

I think one of teh problems in the responses section is that for most articles you need to be an online member Katy. I am not sure what status the people buying the printed copy have in registering on the site, whether they can or, if they can, whether they realise that.

I suspect we will get a mix of online responses and traditional letters.
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Re: Philosophical, ethical and moral questions

Post by KatyKing on Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:07 pm

That's a point Jim. Looks like print-only subscribers can't see or post on most pieces on PN website.
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