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a major purveyor and perpetrator of the Ethics of Sacrifice

Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater

In order to contrast the New Ethics of Integrity with all the major ethical systems that I know about, I am only intending to distinguish those aspects of those systems which call for sacrificing Now for the Next and sacrificing Oneself for the Others. And, although not so common, it would also include aspects of those systems which indulged Now at the expense of Next or Oneself at the expense of Others. 

Ethical systems expressed through and promoted by religions

The majority of these ethical systems, although not all, as in the ethical system endemic within the Chinese culture regardless of any religion, are expressed through the variations of the major religions. To name a few: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Sikhism, Bahaism, Confucianism, Taoism, Jainism, Shintoism, Mormonism, Baha'i, Spiritism, and Cao Dai. In addition to these, almost one billion people are adherents to hundreds of other religious groups, especially prominent in China, Africa, Vietnam, and Laos.

Personally, I've either studied or had some exposure to Catholicism, Baptists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Scientology, Christian Science, Quakers, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Mormonism, Universalist Church, Unity Church, Assemblies of God, and Sukyo Mahikari.

Ethical systems expressed by non-religious people

Currently, about 1.25 billion people or 16% of the world's population do not subscribe to any religion. Yet, if you survey the ethical beliefs of these people, you'll find that the overwhelming majority of them are also afflicted by the Old Ethics of Sacrifice

Chinese as an example of non-religious people heavily afflicted by the Old Ethics of Sacrifice

As a resident of China for over 21 years and having coached one-on-one over a thousand Chinese clients, friends, and acquaintances regarding their life problems, I attest firsthand that Chinese people are up to their eyeballs in both Now-Next and Oneself-Others conflicts.


Based upon an expansive data collected by WIN-Gallup in 2004, 68% of Chinese self-identified as "convinced atheists" and 23% claimed "non-religious," leaving "religion" to make use of the remaining 9% of Chinese people. In general, the Old Ethics of Sacrifice, although it is often taken up with a vengeance by various religions, doesn't require religion to infect and become endemic within a population.

Special note: I'm aware that some of these percentages do not consistently add up to 100%. For example, if China is 91% non-religious, that's already 1.27 billion people, which already "uses up" the 1.25 billion people of the whole world that are non-religious, as reported by another source. Some explanation of these discrepancies is because the calculations were based upon data from different years. Regardless, there are some generalizations here that we can rely on.

It's not black and white: separating the wheat from the chaff

Religions and other vehicles for ethical systems provide many benefits to those they influence. They could not survive if they didn't.


For example, a sense of community and mutual support is often provided by a religious community. I applaud this.


Another example, many Christians feel a sense of lessened self-blame because of the idea and experience of unconditional love and acceptance from God and Jesus Christ. This is a valuable benefit. However, this benefit of forgiveness still assumes and reinforces the idea of good and bad, of right and wrong...the idea that there is something that forgiveness is needed for. It reinforces the walls of the HOGAB and the Old Ethics of Sacrifice in the process of providing relief.

Unfortunately, leaving these benefits aside, the package deal of those same systems often inflicts deep suffering upon those of us who believe in the rightness of those Now-Next and Oneself-Others conflicts that those ethical systems promote. The only aspects of those systems that I'm challenging are those that create unnecessary suffering by supporting and perpetuating the conflicts between Now, Next, Oneself, and Others. In other words, I am questioning the necessity of those systems, when providing such benefits as they do, to also include the suffering that is necessitated from those systems promoting ideas that necessitate Now-Next and Oneself-Others conflicts. 

Examples of religious systems that support Now-Next and Oneself-Others conflicts

Who are the Christians? What ethical beliefs do they support?

Because there are so many types of Christians in the world, to call someone a Christian has virtually no meaning, except to probably indicate a belief in the historical person called Jesus Christ as someone who had and has some God-granted power and moral authority.   

Of the 2.4 billion Christians worldwide (as of 2022), one-half are members of the Catholic Church. The next major grouping of Christians are called Protestants, claiming 800 million to one billion devotees. These are divided among over 200 denominations in the United States and as many as 45,000 globally! What the members of each of these denominations "believe" as right and ethical is diverse. And then there are over 250 million Christians who are classified as members of Eastern Christianity, the largest group of which is the Eastern Orthodox Church. 

Catholic: grave offense, which is one of the elements that constitutes mortal sin. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “It is God who remains the sovereign master of life. … We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us. It is not ours to dispose of” The Church holds that one's life is the property of God, and to destroy that life is to wrongly assert dominion over God's creation, or to attack God remotely


Although it is wrong to take one’s own life, a person who does so may not be responsible for his or her actions. Only God can fully understand and judge the situation. Elder M. Russell Ballard said:

“Obviously, we do not know the full circumstances surrounding every suicide. Only the Lord knows all the details, and he it is who will judge our actions here on earth.

“When he does judge us, I feel he will take all things into consideration: our genetic and chemical makeup, our mental state, our intellectual capacity, the teachings we have received, the traditions of our fathers, our health, and so forth”

Baptist : Suicide is “taking life into our own hands” and wrongly “putting ourself in the place of God,” he said. But it’s “not helpful or good theology” to say suicide victims automatically go to hell because of the way they died. Mental illness and suicide “cannot take away my new birth” or “rip away the Holy Spirit.”

Agustine: “For Augustine, a person who commits suicide enters into eternity with a mortal sin upon their conscience, from which they cannot repent.”

Martin Luther: Martin Luther, believed suicide victims were not automatically damned to hell. However, Luther said in one of his Table Talk discourses that “this ought not be taught to the common people, lest Satan be given an opportunity” to tempt them toward suicide.

Buddhist: For Buddhists, since the first precept is to refrain from the destruction of life, including one's self, suicide is seen as a negative act. If someone commits suicide in anger, he may be reborn in a sorrowful realm due to negative final thoughts.[6][7] Nevertheless, Buddhism does not condemn suicide without exception, but rather observes that the reasons for suicide are often negative and thus counteract the path to enlightenment.[8] With that said, in thousands of years of Buddhist history, very few exceptions are found.

Hinduism: In Hinduism, suicide is spiritually unacceptable. Generally, taking your own life is considered a violation of the code of ahimsa (non-violence) and therefore equally sinful as murdering another.

In Jainism, suicide is regarded as the worst form of himsā (violence) and is not permitted.

Islam clearly forbids suicide as a verse in the Quran instructs:

"And do not kill yourselves, surely God is most Merciful to you."

Suicides are frowned upon and buried in a separate part of a Jewish cemetery, and may not receive certain mourning rites. In practice, every means is used to excuse suicide—usually by determining either that the suicide itself proves that the person was not in their right mind, or that the person must have repented after performing the deadly act but shortly before death occurred. Taking one's own life may be seen as a preferred alternative to committing certain cardinal sins.[42] Most authorities hold that it is not permissible to hasten death to avoid pain if one is dying in any event, but the Talmud is somewhat unclear on the matter.[43] However, assisting in suicide and requesting such assistance (thereby creating an accomplice to a sinful act) is forbidden, a violation of Leviticus 19:14 ("Do not put a stumbling block before the blind"), which is understood as prohibiting tempting to sin as well as literally setting up physical obstacles.[44]

Christian Scientist Then a thought came very quietly, "As man falleth asleep, so shall he awake" 1 . At first I didn't see what it had to do with my situation, but it kept on coming to me as I lay there. As I thought about it, I began seeing that it was a very relevant point indeed. When one goes to sleep, he wakes up in the same place where he fell asleep. I had assumed suicide would bring peace and release from my troubles. But then I realized I would wake up still having to deal with a mortal sense of existence. Death would never solve my problems. Mary Baker Eddy, the Founder of Christian Science, states it clearly in Science and Health—just after those words I'd remembered: "As death findeth mortal man, so shall he be after death, until probation and growth shall effect the needed change." (And see what she says about suicide in Miscellaneous Writings, p. 52, lines 18-10.) Understanding this gave me the incentive to strive for freedom, to work for a healing.


  • Suicide is seen as a rejection of God's plan for humans and is forbidden to followers of the religion. The religion teaches that the souls of adherents can "suffer spiritually" if they commit suicide, but recommends that bereaving families be comforted.[14]

Altruistic suicide

While many religions have traditionally prohibited suicide when motivated by despair, certain forms of suicide, for the community or for a greater good, are permitted, and at times, even celebrated.

In his classic work “On Suicide,” French sociologist Emile Durkheim used the term “altruistic suicide” to describe the act of killing oneself in the service of a higher principle or the greater community. And consciously sacrificing one’s life for God, or for other religious ends, has historically been the most prominent form of “altruistic suicide.”

Recently, Pope Francis has added another category for sainthood, that of giving up one’s life for another, called “oblatio vitae.” Of course, both Christianity and Islam have strong conceptions of martyrdom, which also extend to intentionally giving one’s life in battle. For example, the Crusader Hugh the Insane self-destructively leapt out of the tower of a besieged castle in order to crush and kill Turkish soldiers below.

Most religions get a bit softer on suicide compared to before

What are Catholics taught to believe that perpetuate the Now-Next and Oneself-Others conflicts?

-compare suicide atttidues

-all have some do's and don'ts or contexts they insist on

athelist, agnositcs, sp

making each other wrong, not to mention other religions (although closer together often making wronger)

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