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 Post subject: A Bridge Between Religionists and Believers in Justice
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:43 am 
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“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


I believed this my whole life.

I don't anymore.

While I do think that, on the whole, humanity is connected and very, very interdependant, I also think injustice can be very strong. Injustice for some can be a huge incentive for others who profit from the imbalance.

While an individual is completely reliant on other human beings to survive, people are also incredibly sophisticated, applying ingenious levels of all types of talent to defend their own self-interest.

I believe it is totally possible that people could manage to engender and perpetuate injustice on others forever, for as long as people exist, while still incentivizing the imbalance for themselves.

To me, there is no metaphysical balance-maker. It is off-kilter and nowhere in the universe is gravity, inertia, or momentum leading individual choices to an inevitable cosmic correction.

That's why we have to create it.

While I know that many religious people will disagree with much of these thoughts, hopefully the end is something we have in common. Believers, do we have common ground?


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 Post subject: Re: A Bridge Between Religionists and Believers in Justice
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:26 am 
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I don't see how your comments contradict Dr. King's in any way. You can both be right, can't you?

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 Post subject: Re: A Bridge Between Religionists and Believers in Justice
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:54 am 
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Dr. Shades wrote:
I don't see how your comments contradict Dr. King's in any way. You can both be right, can't you?

Because there are plenty of people who exploit without negative repurcussions. There are edges of the garment that are shredded and parts with holes, and other sections which are completely untouched.


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 Post subject: Re: A Bridge Between Religionists and Believers in Justice
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:06 am 
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If everyone who exploited received negative repercussions, that would be justice. King didn't say that the world already had perfect justice. If you once thought that this was what his words about connectedness meant, then you're right to change your mind—but I don't think King ever meant that.

He said that injustice tends to spread. That definitely includes people getting away with exploitation—and that kind of injustice certainly does spread. Factory workers in poorer countries are exploited by local corporations, for example; that's injustice that's happening far away from me. Some of their products show up on shelves where I shop, though, and I buy them because they are remarkably cheap for their value. Now I'm exploiting those workers, too. And I'm getting away with it. Injustice has spread.

If I don't want to be part of that injustice, then unfortunately it really isn't a realistic option for me to just avoid buying any products of exploited labor. They're everywhere. The only way I can really be sure that I'm not involved in exploitation is to make sure that there's no exploitation anywhere. I think that's what King meant.


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 Post subject: Re: A Bridge Between Religionists and Believers in Justice
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:30 am 
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Physics Guy wrote:
If everyone who exploited received negative repercussions, that would be justice. King didn't say that the world already had perfect justice. If you once thought that this was what his words about connectedness meant, then you're right to change your mind—but I don't think King ever meant that.

That's certainly not what I thought he meant.

Quote:
He said that injustice tends to spread. That definitely includes people getting away with exploitation—and that kind of injustice certainly does spread. Factory workers in poorer countries are exploited by local corporations, for example; that's injustice that's happening far away from me. Some of their products show up on shelves where I shop, though, and I buy them because they are remarkably cheap for their value. Now I'm exploiting those workers, too. And I'm getting away with it. Injustice has spread.

If I don't want to be part of that injustice, then unfortunately it really isn't a realistic option for me to just avoid buying any products of exploited labor. They're everywhere. The only way I can really be sure that I'm not involved in exploitation is to make sure that there's no exploitation anywhere. I think that's what King meant.

What I take issue with, as I said in my OP, is the sense of total mutuality and mutual destiny that he conveys. As if there is some universal karma or cosmic justice at some point.


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 Post subject: Re: A Bridge Between Religionists and Believers in Justice
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:31 am 
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My main point, though, is that, if you believe in some higher cosmic power, but I don't, we may still have something in common: living a higher morality now and expecting integrity and good morals of others now.


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 Post subject: Re: A Bridge Between Religionists and Believers in Justice
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:28 pm 
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Meadowchik wrote:
What I take issue with, as I said in my opening post, is the sense of total mutuality and mutual destiny that he conveys. As if there is some universal karma or cosmic justice at some point.

But that's what I said: his quote doesn't actually convey anything about cosmic justice, but rather the opposite. He's saying that injustice contaminates everything, not that there's some kind of cosmic justice that ensures that the unjust are punished. His message is that you can't just leave the world to go to hell because you are personally righteous. If there is injustice somewhere else, it will reach you.

I think you've confused what he said by reading into it other sayings that may have used some similar words. King's concept of connectedness is exactly the opposite of those views that say we don't have to do anything because the connected universe will automatically ensure justice. He says we have to do things about injustice because otherwise the connected universe will make all of us unjust.

I don't actually know much at all about Martin Luther King's ideas. I'm just reading that one quote you gave, and it seems to me to fit very well as a bridge between religious and non-religious believers in justice, because it is a call to action based on a dangerous kind of connectedness that everyone should recognize because it's a practical fact.


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 Post subject: Re: A Bridge Between Religionists and Believers in Justice
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:24 pm 
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Physics Guy wrote:
Meadowchik wrote:
What I take issue with, as I said in my opening post, is the sense of total mutuality and mutual destiny that he conveys. As if there is some universal karma or cosmic justice at some point.

But that's what I said: his quote doesn't actually convey anything about cosmic justice, but rather the opposite. He's saying that injustice contaminates everything, not that there's some kind of cosmic justice that ensures that the unjust are punished. His message is that you can't just leave the world to go to hell because you are personally righteous. If there is injustice somewhere else, it will reach you.

I think you've confused what he said by reading into it other sayings that may have used some similar words. King's concept of connectedness is exactly the opposite of those views that say we don't have to do anything because the connected universe will automatically ensure justice. He says we have to do things about injustice because otherwise the connected universe will make all of us unjust.

I don't actually know much at all about Martin Luther King's ideas. I'm just reading that one quote you gave, and it seems to me to fit very well as a bridge between religious and non-religious believers in justice, because it is a call to action based on a dangerous kind of connectedness that everyone should recognize because it's a practical fact.


By using injustice and justice like he does, as if they are independent of us, I do see the implication of cosmic justice.

We are the creators of justice. It is not taught or granted by some higher power.


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 Post subject: Re: A Bridge Between Religionists and Believers in Justice
PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:34 pm 
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Walt Whitman gave a profoundly religious variation on this theme when he said, "By God! I will accept nothing which all cannot have their counterpart of on the same terms".

Whitman was speaking the pass-word primeval and giving the sure sign of democracy.

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 Post subject: Re: A Bridge Between Religionists and Believers in Justice
PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:05 am 
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moksha wrote:
Walt Whitman gave a profoundly religious variation on this theme when he said, "By God! I will accept nothing which all cannot have their counterpart of on the same terms".

Whitman was speaking the pass-word primeval and giving the sure sign of democracy.

I think Martin Luther King was speaking religiously, as well, as a Reverend and civil rights activist.


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 Post subject: Re: A Bridge Between Religionists and Believers in Justice
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:49 am 
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I also like another quote from Reverend King, “Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

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