Sunday, May 15, 2011

Morals vs Ethics in the Pagan Life

Time flies when you're feeling icky.  I've been under the weather for the last week or so and have not been posting like I should.  I do apologize for this.  However, I did venture out last night to my first ever Pagan gathering.  It is my understanding that there was supposed to be a ritual but unfortunately it was postponed.  Instead, we had a little miniature class on Ethics vs Morals.  Very interesting stuff.

You see morals are nothing more that a person conforming to standards of what is right or just in behavior, meaning what others believes to be right or wrong.  Ethics, on the other hand, is a set of principles of right conduct.  You see the difference?  Here's an example:  Sally, a wife, asks John, her husband, for some personal time in the bedroom.  John doesn't feel like performing at the moment because he is involved in an online game of poker and doesn't want to walk away from his online friends.  Sally's friend from Temple comes over to do some studying.  John tells Sally's friend, "Hey, my wife has needs that I don't feel like fulfilling at the moment.  Would you go in there and take care of her for me?"  Now here's the question:  Is it ethical for Sally's friend to do what John asks?  Yes, it is ethical.  He was asked to do it.  Is it moral?  Probably not.  But in the realm of Paganism, we don't deal so much in morals we deal in ethics.  Unfortunately, so many of us come from Judeo-Christian homes and therefore Morals have been drilled into our heads.  So when presented with a situation like the one above, we immediately think "Oh no.  That's wrong.  I can't do that.  It wouldn't be right", because we're thinking morally not ethically. As far as John is concerned, you'd be doing him a favor.

Now I'm not saying this is something that happens every day.  It is simply an example that was presented last night that stuck in my brain.  The point here is to always be mindful of your ethics in any situation.  Do not hold yourself to the morals of others.  To do so will inhibit your magickal workings as well as your daily life. 


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