Making Children Moral

Discussion of articles that appear in the magazine.

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Walker
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Re: Making Children Moral

Post by Walker » Sat Jan 26, 2019 9:40 am

Carlos Castaneda was recently referenced on the forum.

Castaneda told a story about how to make a child moral by changing his view, or changing the direction of his vision.

The story condensed:

A man did not know how to handle his young son, who was defiant. The advice to the father was to arrange two meetings for such a son.

The first, he was to meet the corpse of a boy his own age, such as a funeral viewing (Castaneda used other examples.) The boy should be allowed to touch the corpse if he wants to, but not with his left hand, and not on the abdomen.

The second meeting was to occur shortly after the first. A scary adult stranger (an overwhelming force) was to surprise the boy when he was alone and give him a severe spanking (I think CC said beating), then just let him go.

The father of the child should then comfort the boy, his son.

What do you (anyone? anyone?) think of that, other than a basketful of questions?

dorothea
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Re: Making Children Moral

Post by dorothea » Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:47 pm

Weird and clearly not acceptable nor likely to be effective. teaching morality is a lost cause: we've been at it since the Garden of Eden and we're still as nasty as ever. There's Aristotle's practical morality line that might be worth more attention, but he was pessimistic about any changes after early childhood. You can make big changes sometimes with some kids by - in a case I know - taking them away from home camping for a couple of weeks. Maybe we should stop trying to teach moral rules and virtues and concentrate on making it clear that all rules and virtues are all contested - and try to make them aware of personal responsibility like little existentialists. I've written a textbook advocating this but can't interest any publisher.

Walker
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Re: Making Children Moral

Post by Walker » Sat Jan 26, 2019 5:45 pm

Weird cuts a wide swath.

Would you agree that “primitive” narrows the distinction between CC’s anecdote and any other way to instill morality in the children?

If so agreeable that primitive narrows the scope, and there is no rational reason not to be, then a further narrowing is possible to eventually isolate the true catalyst of change from bad behavior to good moral behavior, which we can call the elemental and non-reducible cause.

Nick_A
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Re: Making Children Moral

Post by Nick_A » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:42 pm

,Would you say that Simone’s sense of morality was taught or did she “remember” what made the moral response to suffering normal for her even at such a young age? Why do we feel the striving to understand suffering so unique that an opera would be written for her?

https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/th ... 19c09.html
Very few children develop a political consciousness, but Simone Weil was different and precocious almost from the moment she was born in 1909. At the age of six, she gave up sugar as a gesture of solidarity with French soldiers during World War l. By the time she was 10, the 20th century French philosopher, mystic and activist had declared herself a Bolshevik. (Later, she attacked Trotsky in print while also, arranging for him to stay in her parents' apartment in Paris while he attended secret political meetings. This paradoxical behaviour was typical of Weil.)..............

Walker
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Re: Making Children Moral

Post by Walker » Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:04 pm

Re: political consciousness

A political sense is a sense of fairness.
This is how politicians know how to be unfair via non-negotiation.

Children have an inherent sense of fairness. This can be demonstrated at Christmas when the little one gets a new toy. The child starts to play with the toy. When another child wants it, an authority (adult) full of ego feels compelled to teach the child about sharing.

The lesson to the little one is, you just got something new and cool that was desired, but now you must give it up just because some other kid wants to check it out.

And on top of that, the kid being taught to share must watch the other kid play with the new toy, perhaps through tears of suffering.

The kid being taught sharing knows this isn’t right because of the inherent sense of fairness, which has just been discovered via unfairness.

This is how people inherently know that socialism is deeply unfair.

The knowledge is inherent, and discovered via unfairness (from the system and the overseers).

Did Weil live long enough to discover that?

A taste of Rand
A taste much sweeter
Than bland


*

To suffer unfairness causes frustration, an aspect of dukkha.
Frustration is an habitual association of emotion with energy.
From quotes and comments about Weil, her habitual association of energy was with intellect and not emotion.

Some people get frustrated and think.
Some people get frustrated and get emotional.
It’s habitual.

Is the cause of the habit nature or nurture?

It can be either one.
Weil was likely a natural.

What do the facts say?

Charm
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Re: Making Children Moral

Post by Charm » Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:42 pm

Philosophy Now wrote:
Tue Dec 11, 2018 12:28 am
In the first part of our mini-series on moral education, Michael Hand considers whether schools should be involved in trying to make children moral.

https://philosophynow.org/issues/127/Ma ... dren_Moral
Did I ever reply to this??? Children are moral.. All children bond, and it is this bond which begins with mother and child expanded to all of community, and perhaps even to humanity that is morality.. On the other hand, what people teach is rational, what can be justified by reason.. All reason, every line of reasoning is based upon a certain out come which is: The survival, and benefit of the reasoner- Alone.. No one can reason themselves to death.. Logic is of the living, and death as an outcome is illogical.. This is never the case with morality.. Consider morals as Morale, and this is a condition of any body of people considered as a spiritual quality..

The antipode of morale is Physic, the physical condition of the body.. Logic is of the physical world, and its concerns are purely physical.. Logic might preserve the individual, but what is the individual out of his community???.. Logic makes us all the last of the Mohegans while emotionally, that is: irrationally, we find our centers in our communities.. Thought is in every respect the enemy of morality.. Injustice is always justified while morality needs no justification..

You could say to everyone as a law: If anything you want to do demands justification, you should not do it.. In a society such as ours where immorality is a constant quality, only worse here, and better there; and is rife in every facet of our lives- it is best to save education only for the teaching of concepts because the moral lesson is easily botched.. Again, this is because morals are never logical from the perspective of the individual..

School should be a place where only reason is taught, and all true concepts are the result of reason... It is in families, in communities, in society, and among humanity that the bonds of affection should be strengthened rather than exploited.. Is this happening??? The flag is waved and the kids are induced with patriotic feelings which are moral of themselves- to go and slaughter humanity as they feel the humanity die within them.. How much war would there be without profit???

For what degree of fellow feeling would one person slaughter another while numbing human sensitivity??? Only in a context of logic where every conceivable evil is justified in the survival of the individual is such murder called good.. It is the individual as a notion that is unsustainable with reason.. What is the individual??? The individual alone is above all else: Sterile.. The idea of the individual is intellectual sterility...

When human equality was first considered as law, in the Roman Law of Nations- which is the basis for our Natural Law, it was not the individuals who were considered as equal, but the nations of people.. Each person stepping out of his community was governed by Ethos, and as is obvious from the word, each was representative of his Ethnic group.. This was the way people saw each other, and was the way each saw themselves..

The idea of the individual is a false conception of people.. We are biologically dioecious.. Life is not an individual quality.. We exist, but the life within us dies within us, or is passed through generations as we received it.. The primitive, seeing himself as a member of his community saw also that the community was his center and his life.. This situation with its own logical relationships is not obvious because communities are fractured, and weak.. Law destroys communities simply by making community defense, community obligation, and community control of its members impossible.. Even the family as a vestige of community is weak, and the bonds of love and morality must often be invoked with children because parents have no power over their own, and children cannot be compelled in their responsibilities to their own..

How can schools which accept before all else the reality of the individual then teach the primacy of community???.. How can they, charged with teaching reason and knowledge then turn to teaching emotion and unreason as bonds of community always are.. We think we are higher than animals, but it is animal instinct that holds humanity in a moral relationship.. Those who try to teach morality more often teach immorality.. Socrates in the end was moral and he submitted to the will of his community which was his life, but for every Socrates there are many Sophists who see the individual as an abstraction of society, and- see reason separated from Ethics, and useful only for the individual..

Belinda
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Re: Making Children Moral

Post by Belinda » Mon Jan 28, 2019 6:16 pm

It's proper for schools to train children to be well mannered towards each other. I said "train" and I meant train. For two reasons young children need to be trained in basic good behaviour before they become morally mature. One reason is that children attend schools before they are morally mature and the schools have to ensure that children there are safe so there should be rules and adequate supervision. The other reason for basic training in good social manners is that unless bullying and other unkindnesses are disallowed it's hard for learning to happen.

As children's moral capacities mature the children should be taught moral education which is not the same as basic training, as education implies reasoning and more.

Charm, I am sure you could find a book that explains the methods used by educators to teach moral and social education.

Nick_A
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Re: Making Children Moral

Post by Nick_A » Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:15 pm

Walker
A political sense is a sense of fairness.
This is how politicians know how to be unfair via non-negotiation.

Children have an inherent sense of fairness. This can be demonstrated at Christmas when the little one gets a new toy. The child starts to play with the toy. When another child wants it, an authority (adult) full of ego feels compelled to teach the child about sharing.

Here is the problem as I see it. Plato was right in asserting that higher values are the product of soul knowledge. At the same time the need to establish a pecking order is animal knowledge. The pecking order is established with children by who has acquired prestige.

This article by Jim Grote is very uselful for anyone trying to understand why society is as it is in the context of its human potential. Children like adults are motivated by the need for prestige. We even feel prestige when we are honored for doing “good” things as opposed to being normal as Plato described.

A child has many conflicting emotional impulses. A sense of fairness may be one but if they lose prestige by being fair how long will it take to join the struggle for prestige?

What would it take for a child to no longer to be governed by the shallow strutting of prestige because they feel something more valuable? Who is there who has acquired the alternative necessary to offer the alternative?

That is why Simone Weil has become so attractive to so many. She lived her philosophy and followed the path of truth over the path of prestige. Of course this is poison for secularism which seeks power through prestige so seeks to destroy this quality of awakening in the young for the sake of indoctrination. But regardless, when we appreciate that a child like an adult lives in two worlds: the animal and the spiritual. We cannot just deny the animal and the natural impulse to establish a pecking order but to offer something we have become socially incapable of. The appeal of the collective vs. the need to be an individual so as to become themselves not for prestige but for truth.

A parent who understands must find a school which respects both the animal and the spiritual man so they can eventually become connected. But they soon realize that all they hear is BS. Now what to do?



https://opcentral.org/resources/2015/01 ... ial-force/
THE SPIRITUAL ORIGIN OF SOCIAL CONFLICT

………………..In order to understand Weil’s analysis of social force, we will stress an anatomy rather than a physiology of prestige. Prestige could be examined sociologically by describing the patterns within its operations. For example, weakness is always despised and strength always praised or people always exercise the full amount of power at their disposal.(18) But if the operations of prestige are to make sense, a prior justification for those operations must be presented. At first glance it is easier to understand the social mechanism in terms of a drive for tangible goods (Marx) or bodily satisfaction (Freud) rather than as a drive for prestige. In order to clarify the nature of prestige it is helpful to classify the psychological/spiritual needs that prestige fulfills.

Prestige is the appearance of being in control. The central plot of every cop show on television glorifies the hero who never loses control, even in the most adverse circumstances. Just revenge is always his or hers by the end of the show. The praise of control is the soul’s automatic reflex to the threat of affliction. Affliction is the absence of control. And, ultimately all human beings succumb to natural forces beyond their control.

To acknowledge the reality of affliction means saying to oneself: I may lose at any moment, through the play of circumstances over which I have no control, anything whatsoever that I possess, including those things which are so intimately mine that I consider them as being myself. There is nothing that I might not lose. (19)
Affliction is not so much physical pain as this lack of control. The intense pain that an athlete endures in training is not an affliction, because the athlete is in control. In contrast, an individual strapped to a torturer’s chair experiences intense affliction before the torturer ever touches his or her body.

To classify this need for control further, we can subdivide it into the need to receive honor from others and the need to give honor to others. These two needs are the fuel of the social mechanism. They are the dual sides of the master-slave relationship. The master needs recognition, and the slave needs security. These two needs can be further sub-divided into their respective micro or psychological dimensions and their macro or sociological dimensions. The need for honor might be subclassified into the need for personal identity and the need for political power; the need to honor into the need for heros/idols and the need for social stability. The first two needs (the “master” needs) are distinguished by Weil in a fragment from Gravity and Grace:

We read, but also we are read by other. Interferences in these readings. Forcing someone to read himself as we read him (slavery). Forcing others to read us as we read ourselves (conquest). A mechanical process. More often than not a dialogue between deaf people …. Every being cries out to be read differently. (20)
Weil uses the term “reading” to refer to the emotional judgments we make of each others’ characters.

The need for identity comprises the innocent quest of human beings to gain self-knowledge by distinguishing themselves from one another. And yet this healthy need inevitably causes conflict because the individual ego does not have precise boundaries in which to define itself nor is it self-sufficient in its defining. Since the ego is primarily an urge to be recognized, its existence is at the mercy of other egos. Weil’s entire social analysis is an extended meditation on this simple fact…………………………..

Walker
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Re: Making Children Moral

Post by Walker » Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:19 pm

Nick_A:

A case can be made that human weaknesses attributed to secularism can be perceived as a lack of spirituality, and a case can be made that human weaknesses are even caused by secularism.

Methinks that’s the case you make.

That might be true as far as it goes, but it doesn’t get to the root, which is non-dualism. It is not the truth that transcends circumstance. What it is, is a serious and earnest interpretation rooted in intellect.

Non-dualism is physical.

The loss of dualistic delusion is a physical experience.

e.g., In homage to brevity, imagine in the past when you discovered a new insight that was so overwhelming that it made you lose your lunch. Perhaps death appeared, to banish delusion. Perhaps a moment of clarity about an assumed truth appeared, to banish delusion.

The true loss of delusion is first a physical experience.

Does dualistic thought cause non-dualistic, physical loss of delusion?
No. First the body knows the unknown, then dualistic thought catches up to what the body knows, like the first scientist who remembered his dream of DNA.

The loss of a delusion that was acquired post-biological birth reveals a different discovery about the nature of mind. This discovery reclassifies spirituality and secularism in the ordering of understanding causation.

- The loss of ignorance is first physical … then thoughts follow after that.

- The cause of ignorance is rooted in thought and the loss of ignorance is physical no-thought … then thoughts follow after that.

The physical loss of delusion is first physically felt in the heart, then in the stomach, then the mind, then the ego jumps in to claim credit for the whole kit and caboodle. But even when the ego doesn’t jump in as king of the hill, the loss of delusion is first felt in the heart, physically.

The delusion that gets lost, in the sense of being left behind like a raft of knowledge, doesn’t even have words or concepts or associations until later.*

For instance, when hatred (as delusion) is discovered to be missing from the quiver.

* For instance, when the delusion of hate is lost, love reveals first in the heart, then the stomach, then the mind and then the ego. The body regulates its appetites, mind is sharpened, and so on.

Nick_A
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Re: Making Children Moral

Post by Nick_A » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:26 pm

Walker
A case can be made that human weaknesses attributed to secularism can be perceived as a lack of spirituality, and a case can be made that human weaknesses are even caused by secularism.

Methinks that’s the case you make.

That might be true as far as it goes, but it doesn’t get to the root, which is non-dualism. It is not the truth that transcends circumstance. What it is, is a serious and earnest interpretation rooted in intellect.

Non-dualism is physical.

The loss of dualistic delusion is a physical experience.
I agree. The physical experience begins when a person experiences that they have been third force blind unaware that the perception of reality is a triune rather than a dualistic experience. When we have this experience it resonates in the body as you described.

Rather than teaching morality to children as the source of human meaning and purpose, how can we provide what is necessary to open the mind to experience the third force which reconciles duality?

iMod
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Re: Making Children Moral

Post by iMod » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:22 am

Walker wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:04 pm
The kid being taught sharing knows this isn’t right because of the inherent sense of fairness, which has just been discovered via unfairness.
I don't believe the child knows this is unfair. The most we can reasonable say is that the child feels constrained and is upset. One of the things we need to learn from life, either when we are still young children or if we have been allowed to become selfish adults, is that what upsets us is not necessarily wrong.

That truth is the root and source of all ethics.

Walker
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Re: Making Children Moral

Post by Walker » Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:00 pm

iMod wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:22 am
Walker wrote:
Mon Jan 28, 2019 3:04 pm
The kid being taught sharing knows this isn’t right because of the inherent sense of fairness, which has just been discovered via unfairness.
I don't believe the child knows this is unfair. The most we can reasonable say is that the child feels constrained and is upset. One of the things we need to learn from life, either when we are still young children or if we have been allowed to become selfish adults, is that what upsets us is not necessarily wrong.

That truth is the root and source of all ethics.
I think there is a distinction between frustration and upset that’s worth considering.

Upset is a reaction to frustration.
However, upset is not the same as frustration.

Upset is a reaction within a stage of development.

Within another stage of development, frustration does not cause upset.

Development can be arrested when upset becomes an habitual reaction; a crutch to hang onto because it’s effective.

Walker
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Re: Making Children Moral

Post by Walker » Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:24 pm

Nick_A wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:26 pm
Rather than teaching morality to children as the source of human meaning and purpose, how can we provide what is necessary to open the mind to experience the third force which reconciles duality?
To paraphrase Belinda, teach them to behave.

The activating enzyme that transforms teaching to behave into moral action by the taught, is love.

In the conditions of a secular government educational environment, the appropriate expression of love during the teaching is compassionate, human attention*.

All the processes of how that comes about is for the scientists to prove.

To establish order in your immediate surroundings as best you can invites Grace, which may accept.

* Not attention from a screen.

Walker
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Re: Making Children Moral

Post by Walker » Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:57 am

Nick_A wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:26 pm
Rather than teaching morality to children as the source of human meaning and purpose, how can we provide what is necessary to open the mind to experience the third force which reconciles duality?
I think perhaps what you ultimately seek to teach the child is psychological freedom from boundaries so that mind-created boundaries that inhibit freedom of mind may be transcended, resulting in a self-realized individual, which results in an improved society.

It may be a hard thing for a parent to accept, but it is not the role of a parent to free a child’s mind.

A parent must supply the boundaries from which a child learns to be free from, as an adult.

The boundaries are necessary for a child to fully develop human access to mind in a safe and secure environment.

After childhood, an adult learns about freedom from boundaries within the context of obeying and incorporating every rule and custom of society into psychological freedom.

The role of the parent is not to teach freedom from boundaries because psychological boundaries instilled during childhood by the parent are an aspect of the boundaries to be transcended, and part of the parent.

Neither is it the role of government-curriculum schooling to teach freedom from boundaries.

It’s unreasonable to expect enlightened wisdom of life from a child in an adult’s body who is warehoused in institutionalized schooling during parental working hours.

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Re: Making Children Moral

Post by -1- » Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:34 am

Nick_A wrote:
Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:26 pm
Rather than teaching morality to children as the source of human meaning and purpose, how can we provide what is necessary to open the mind to experience the third force which reconciles duality?
Easy does it.

I am a bit surprized, Nick_A, that you had to ask. It's really simple, any five-year old child who is somewhat well-versed in hermenutical heroics, could tell you the following:

Take a rod, and keep punishing the child with it until he or she flawlessly recites all the books of Plato, in which Socrates is the main character and hero/ protagonist.

If the child asks, "Daddy, what's the third force which reconciles duality?" then spank him, or her, and send the child to bed without dinner or washroom privileges.

If the child still doubts the martyrdom of St. Augutaunatunga the Vamp, then force him or her in the middle of winter to be tied to a whipping post, and to spend the night there wearing nothing but an apron and a sign tattooed to his or her forehead and back, which sign says, "Quo tempera abitur quant si pur uppe, obi shit secatur polemi equus."

After all the Bible says, "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction shalt drive it far from him."

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