Western Ethics and Morality

The Old Testament era sacred writings are the most widely recognized basis of Western ethics and morality. Yet, to this we must add the distillation of the ancient and modern philosophers on moral law. By combining the logical-intellectual philosophers with the mystics' emotional and devotional approach, we can more clearly discern the roots of our ofttimes paradoxical belief system.

As we study the scanty historical records of the ancient philosophers' lives, beliefs and teachings, we find that the search for meaning in life has always led man to examine the nature of morality as an essential element in how we interact with the universe. We know that an objective standard of conduct does exist.

We know that an objective standard of conduct
does exist.

We call this standard the moral imperative, which is our personal compulsion to right action, arising from the voice of conscience or the sense of right and wrong, which varies from soul to soul, based on the soul's choices and experiences. This soul influence has led the honorable leaders of every civilization to establish an objective ethical standard of conduct and behavior, a moral compass.

Whenever and wherever evil, hedonism and moral relativism have subverted our moral and ethical standards, the result is decadence and decline in that culture. Plato wrote of this issue in the Protagoras dialogue and in the Republic. The dilution of ethical standards by the cancer of moral relativism always greases the slide into immorality, and mob rule, posing as democracy, and barbarism results. As philosopher George Santayana wrote,

"Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. In the first stage of life the mind is frivolous and easily distracted; it misses progress by failing in consecutiveness and persistence. This is the condition of children and barbarians, in whom instinct has learned nothing from experience."

To see the proofs of this, witness the final decadence and fall of the Greek democracies; witness the decline and fall of the Roman Republic into demagoguery and dissipation; witness the slide of Europe and the Christian West into the brutality of the Dark Ages. Finally, view the rising tide of materialism, hedonism, moral relativism and secular humanism in the Western cultures and nations, and understand that the barbarism of unenlightenment stands at our gates today.

Philosophers on Moral Law

We invite you to explore the thoughts and contributions of the Masters of Philosophy that we have assembled here. It is but the barest minimum to start, yet if we spark the interest of a single soul to grow and know more, we shall have succeeded in our intent.

Be assured that philosophy, as we present it here, is no mystery but is accessible to all earnest seekers after truth. Philosophy is the love of wisdom, and to the pioneering mystic traveling the Via Christa, wisdom is best represented by this well-known verse: Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 2:5. Every embodied soul has access to the same divine mind. The only price is the effort you are willing to expend to open that door.

To navigate the realm of philosophy, we provide a pilot's rutter by which to trace the emergence of The Word in the form of Idealism as taught by philosophers in the Western World, from Pythagoras to the present day. We begin with the Ancients and draw the line at Aristotle. Next are the Neo-Platonists, from Plotinus to Dionysius the Areopagite. The so-called Moderns begin with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. By eliminating the materialists, atheists, hedonists, utilitarians and mere pragmatists, we have bridged an abyss of ethical confusion. We have also bypassed the German ports of Kant, Hegel, and Lotze, which appeared promising but led to tedium.

Instead we plotted our course for Great Britain for the next flowering of Idealism, planted by Benjamin Jowett, who translated Plato's unparalleled body of work into English for the first time in 1871. His efforts, with those of his student, T. H. Green, led to a rebirth of Plato's Idealism through the works of mind created by Bradley, Bosanquet, and Taylor. They, in turn, passed on Plato's gifts to Royce, the American.

We include references to provide a reading guide, and have recommended texts for more in-depth study of these great minds and avenues of interest. Never, never, never cease to learn, and thus you can be assured that your God-given mind will never be closed to Truth because we have the mind of Christ. – 1 Corinthians 2:16.

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