Newage Ethics - Nobody is ever wrong!


I was reading an interesting article recently about newage ethics, the concept of the Cosmic Humanist and such relativistic thought processes.

It made me wonder about the prevelant attitude that everyone is right, doing their own thing, believing their own stuff which is picked out from hundreds if not thousands of options and which, when boiled down, doesn't really allow for anyone to be wrong. Yet this seems to fly in the face of Universal or spiritual truths which then set me thinking about characters like King Canute.

Though it feels right and appropriate that more and more people are able to question cultural paradigms and beliefs, I wonder whether we are at risk of throwing the baby out with the bathwater when we try to accept that everyone has a right to do as they please in the name of their spiritual practice or beliefs?

For example, if a person has a business selling spiritual items or services, at what point can anyone stop to think about the balance between making a living from the sale of honestly, well prepared and genuinely useful products and creating new spiritual products which seem to fit a certain need in that seller's beliefs yet which may not be sound or even necessary? If we leave this to personal ethics, where do those ethics come from, who taught them to us and are the even suitable or true?

By allowing everyone to use a kind of pick-n-mix attitude to their spiritual, ethical beliefs, are we not in danger of just saying "anything goes" so just get on with it?

I know there is the old proviso 'and harm none' but how can any of us fully understand the consequences of our beliefs and actions if we have no cultural or well established spiritual yard stick by which to measure them?


I kind of agree with you - but have recently been in a HUGE argument about moral relativism on another forum, and...


tough, innit...

I think the CRITICAL thing is critical THOUGHT.


I think the CRITICAL thing is critical THOUGHT.
Amen. Here in America there has been such a big push to let everyone be who they are and do what they want (without obvious harm to another); they are preaching "Don't discriminate!" No problem there, but people seem to be confusing discrimination with discernment, which we DO need. The spiritual "do your own thing" has its drawbacks in that there are often no parameters and no one to hold us accountable for anything, so we may end up choosing less than ethical behavior while denying it as such. It's easy to shout about rights and discrimination to keep people from questioning your motives and morals.


Viewed on its own, the article does make some valid points. Although it cites books and articles most of which were published 25 to 30 years, the philosophies espoused therein have permeated our culture and worldview for better or worse.

However, a quick spin around that web site indicates that Summit Ministries has its own agenda. They want your teens and young people so they can indoctrinate, er, instruct them in Christianly (their term not mine) thinking while still impressionable in an entire set of conferences which no doubt come with a hefty price tag. In other words, they have their own set of dogma they're peddling. Hence the rather untimely article slamming "New Age" beliefs from the prior century which they still view as competition.


However, a quick spin around that web site indicates that Summit Ministries has its own agenda.
Absolutely - the "What do you think?" questions at the bottom of the article makes that pretty clear.


Very interesting Goldenwolf. Thanks for that information. Ok then, ignoring that particular article, I wonder if the argument still stands because all too often now we see spirituality as a kind of free-for-all where everyone's belief (delusional or otherwise) and often based on half understood knowledge of varying different traditions is, as Bodhiseed says, seems to be forcibly accepted out of some cultural move towards a totally liberal agenda.

Bodhiseed - Yes, discernment but without the critical, judging the person, aspect (except when the person repeatedly and knowingly harms or seeks to gain unrealistically at the expense of others).

But then we have had snake oil salesmen for a long, long time . . . Perhaps there is no way to shield people from being taken in by the plausible yet pointless when they are desperately seeking something?


ooh good article Milfoil!
I would love to live in a world where anyone can believe what they want and worship what they want. But and the big reality but, people use it to discriminate against each other and disrespect it each other. someone being gay is right for someone and for someone else it's against their ethical beliefs and that is right for them as well. But the person against the other person's rights will use it against them with arguments "they are wrong" in their ethics! You could replace the gay analogy with a woman not covering her head or face or so many different examples.

Sadly I think personal ethics are really about tolerance because we don't all agree! I don't agree with anyone whose ethics discriminate or repress anyone but people who follow that chain of thought believe they are right on it! it becomes a question "who is more right?"


Perhaps there is no way to shield people from being taken in by the plausible yet pointless when they are desperately seeking something?

I think this is where PERSONAL responsibility comes into play for making one's own choices.


I think this is where PERSONAL responsibility comes into play for making one's own choices.

Yet this supposes that each person is intellectually, emotionally and psychologically able to discern. I know I haven't always been so and when there is a lack of experienced guidance from a strong and balanced source, then everyone flounders.


I read the ABOUT US and although it says it isn't about man made religion, is all about Jesus, which is fine for those with that belief system. The article obviously comes from a very Christian viewpoint site. I am not suggesting the article doesn't have some merit, certainly the world has changed, but I think in some ways for the better. Decades ago, we were taught not to question, we were the faith of our family. Yes, people changed faiths sometimes, but questioning, developing our own belief system wasn't exactly something that was encouraged in many households then. I believe in questioning what I believe and why. Ultimately we ARE responsible for our actions, whether we have a traditionally religious viewpoint, combine religions or have our own spirituality. It would be handy if there could be one, infallible, strong and balanced source in the world to decide all issues, but I wonder who that source could be and who would decide.