In the past four years I have embarked upon an elevated quest for self-improvement and enlightenment that first manifest itself after leaving the residence of my parents, primarily during my incarceration that began in 1990. One of my beneficial and satisfying accomplishments has been teaching myself to read. My library is extensive, filled with books in shambles – notes protruding, spines bent or broken, pages folded and notations throughout the margins. The more I study the more I come to the realization that I have an affinity to a particular lifestyle and that I have naturally come to adopt the practices I read about before I have read about them. This has convinced me of the legitimacy of what I am going to share with you today. It was organic in its nature and is the resultant effect of experiments conducted using myself as the test subject. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Make a suggestion for me to write about.
Nothing loses or alienates an audience like using logic to dispel long-held beliefs or practices. My confidence in you gives me the courage to plow ahead though. As most of my decisions have a logical basis for action so it was with the infrequent cleansing of the ole icebox. As the temperatures rapidly dropped towards the predicted low of 20 on a late November evening I decided I would clean out the refrigerator in the morning. The kitchen would be plenty cold by then. It only made sense being that the foods would stay cool on the 40 degree floor while not much warm air would be able to enter the food compartments.
My cleaning products consisted of a bowl of water and a sponge. Just days earlier I had effectively used the same on my counter tops during the monthly cleaning. On a weekly or slightly less often basis I will clean my dishes, utensils and cutting boards. While engaged in this my thoughts wandered upon soap commercials, then the various so-called public service advisories about proper cleansing of food storage and prep areas and finally the examples set by my parents and others. None of that has influenced me though or not so to the point that I have enlisted any as my guide for cleansing rituals.
My cleaning rituals are far from the norm. As time passes I find that they have digressed to the methods of simpler times. Absolutely no cleansers come into contact with my food storage or preparation areas. For the surfaces with an oily residue I will use hot water instead of cold.
My cleanliness sense extends beyond the kitchen. I never have my suits dry cleaned instead preferring to wash them by hand in cold water. The daily wear goes through the machine with a little soap, sometimes some bleach with the whites. I wash my hands with regular bar soap but ensure that I never come into contact with antibacterial soaps. I may shower -- approximately three times a year – as a light rinse for a few minutes. I'll run a bar of soap through the dead locks protruding from my scalp that hang to my waist. I suppose that is it.
Yet, even with the lack of commercial cleaning products, I don't encounter the ailments or other maladies that marketers would lead you to believe that I should be suffering eternally. I recall a visit to the local health department sometime during my divorce proceedings [2000-2002] for treatment of a sinus infection. Prior to that I had a follow-up surgery in 1990 for repair of my leg which was damaged in that near death collision a year earlier. Thankfully this was during my incarceration and paid for out of the US Treasury's coffers :)
This seemingly contradiction piqued my curiosity. As I have completed my forty-fourth post utero year of existence I am confounded at my rejection of modern 'safe practices' and lack of medical interventions. I know that I had illnesses as a child but in the 25 years since I have availed myself of western medical intervention once. Oh there have been the few bottles of nose spray or some OTC swelling reducers for sprains and teeth ailments but nothing else. I think it has been dietary changes that eliminated the allergies.
It was upon studying a Chinese fasting ritual that I happened upon phrases such as purifying the mind, cleansing the soul and detoxifying to promote wellness. The various cleanliness related phrases started popping to the fore of my mind. Dirty movies - Wash away your sins etc. There was a common connector that I noticed in these – morality. It just hadn't occurred to me earlier.
I suppose like many people the answer is there before our eyes but without the clarity of focus we just can't see it. Humankind has long associated morality with cleanliness and immorality with impurity or dirtiness.
So, as it would seem that if there is a correlation between morality and cleanness then would it not be logical to draw the correlation between washing and the removal of dirtiness or immorality as it may be considered? The idiom Wash away your sins seems to implicate this relationship just as pornography being referenced as dirty movies implicates the contrary such that pornography is seen as immoral. Of course one of the most widely known idioms about disinfecting is Cleanliness is next to godliness. The implication there being clean is associated with goodness or morality. An internal cleansing as in that of the mind or spiritual as it may be invokes the cleanliness-morality connection in Purify the soul.
I then explored the idea of a correlation between the use of cleaning products and immorality. I thought about people I have known throughout my life and my perception of their moral character. In my assessment those whom I have considered to have high morals are less concerned with cleaning while the inverse is true. Not only had I drawn a correlation between morals and the use of cleaning products but similarly I recognized the same with their rates of illness or levels of success and adversity.
I then expanded my quest to the realm of a general association between morality and well-being. Thus, I seek to demonstrate that there is a clear causal relationship between morality and well-being or good fortune as you may call it. Additionally, beyond implication but instead directly, that disease and ailments or other adversities are the result of immorality. Tolstoy in saying, “How can one be well...when one suffers morally?”[fn1] seems to support this contention.
The first barrier that I encounter is the seeming contradiction in 'bad' things happening to 'good' or morally upstanding people. Immediately I think of the phrase one man's trash is another man's treasure. The words – 'bad' and 'good' – therefore must be rather subjective. One sees an object as useless, damaged, 'bad' while another sees it as useful, repairable, 'good'. Protagoras, Spinoza, Hume and other philosophers provide a rational basis for the exactness of objective language by distinguishing the inexactness of “good” and “bad”. I suppose one of my greatest frustrations is in the inability of common people to communicate – a factor that plays heavily into high conflict parenting.
Recently I saw a listing on eBay for “Lot of 150 DVD movies”. As I skimmed the list my brain subconsciously counted the titles and projected a thought of a bit over 100, nowhere near 150. A deliberate count determined the list to be 105. Inclusive of the multi-disc titles there were about 150 discs total. The title should have read “Lot of 150 movie DVD's” conveying the quantity of movie related discs not the number of movie titles.
So to address the 'bad' things happening to 'good' or morally upstanding people paradox I had two tasks; define what is moral and determine whether an experienced result is good or bad.
This was clarified through establishing definitions. Morality has been muddled by it's application through the construct of the organized cults and their texts proscribing associated objective list of moral and immoral or 'sinful' behaviours. Establishing morality or rightfulness through an item-by-item list would be an effort in futility. It is the same dilemma I encountered when helping to rewrite the Indiana Parenting Time Guidelines. Both custodial and non-custodial parents were clamoring for me to get language added that would delineate the precise rights and responsibilities of each parent in the relationship. The objective being to remove the subjectivity from the judge and the perceived biases that unjustly deny a parent of his or her rights, so it is claimed. But it is precisely subjectivity that makes a judge, a judge. Such subjectivity is essential because not all children and parents come to the court with the same dynamics. Likewise, morality must be viewed subjectively because not all people possess the same intelligences or developmental progress nor are they subjected to the same experiences or culture.
The American Psychiatric Association notes that “[a]pplying Personality Disorder criteria across cultural settings may be especially difficult because of the wide cultural variation in concepts of self, styles of communication, and coping mechanisms.” and that “[i]deas that may appear to be delusional in one culture . . . may be commonly held in another.”[fn2] Thus, if behaviours cannot be held as normal or as psychopathological then neither can they be viewed absolutely as moral or immoral.
Friedrich Nietzsche believed that we have to assess the value of our values since values are relative to one's goals and one's self. In doing so there can be no absolute right or wrongs but actions must be assessed against the society, the individual, the circumstances and the motivations of the actor.
I raised this subjectivity issue in my Lunch Special guide. For instance driving through a school parking lot at 2:00 a.m. doing 50mph on a Sunday night while it is well lit and there are no other vehicles or people around is harmless on its face. The same action at 3:00p.m. later that afternoon as the children are released from school would be hideously irresponsible and dangerous. Then there is also the consideration of driver competency.
David Gerrold spoke of morality being relative as in velocity “Morality—like velocity—is relative. The determination of it depends on what the objects around you are doing. All one can do is measure one's position in relation to them; never can one measure one's velocity or morality in terms of absolutes.”[fn3] What may be an immoral action for you may not be the same for me. Likewise what you do in one circumstance could be immoral but the same action in a different setting would be moral. Ernest Hemmingway put it another way in saying, “[W]hat is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.”[fn4] Hemingway's subjective approach to morality accepts the more realistic humanist approach which has a genetic basis. Brandon Sanderson likewise observed, “I believe that my own morality - which answers only to my heart - is more sure and true than the morality of those who do right only because they fear retribution.”[fn5] Thus, morality is based upon the will of men individually. A will that is altruistic at its root.
The argument for a strict objective moral set of rules is that the subjectivity of man is no more of a moral code than the wind – that it can be ever shifting and therefore cannot be moral. Nietzsche counters that “A moral system valid for all is basically immoral.”[fn6] Yet, the various cults lay down texts of code establishing the rules of behaviour for the adherents to each for which their followers claim as the basis of their morality. That is, if they do not violate the proscribed code of conduct for their cult then they are moral. In a more relaxed approach cult followers will profess their morality by proxy in that being a follower of the cult is analogous to high morality. This is no more objective than Hemminway's standard though. Individuals will assess on their own what it means to be a follower – strict adherence to scripture, professing allegiance to the cult, adornment with cult symbolism or participation in rituals. The best way I can demonstrate the fallacy of a claimed adherence to one of the cults with being a correlation to morality is to use a quote by Robert W Cox – “Saying that you are moral because you believe in a god is like saying you are an economist because you play monopoly.” [fn7]
Albert Einstein expressed the fallacy of cult based morality this way. “It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I also cannot imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere... Science has been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.”[fn8] Essentially Einstein argued that good behaviour motivated by avoidance of pain [punishment] is not moral because it has no organic basis. Being that if there wasn't the belief in an omniscient observer that the individual would cease to act morally. That is not morality but rather compliance to avoid pain.
Richard Dawkins said it succinctly – “Do you really mean to tell me the only reason you try to be good is to gain God's approval and reward, or to avoid his disapproval and punishment? That's not morality, that's just sucking up, apple-polishing, looking over your shoulder at the great surveillance camera in the sky, or the still small wiretap inside your head, monitoring your every move, even your every base thought.”[fn9] This is why agnostics and atheist have demonstrated greater moral behaviour than the claimed adherents to the cults. [fn10] Their moral behaviour is organic in their origins, true to their nature, rather than thrust upon them as a heavy handed rule which must be observed. Ayn Rand supported the notion that morality has an organic basis in that it results in happiness for the individual – “Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness—not pain or mindless self-indulgence—is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.”[fn11]
Organic morality is the result of an evolutionary process. Throughout the animal kingdom we see cross-specie symbiotic relationships. Even the predator-prey relationships can be viewed as symbiotic – not altruistic – in that the prey provides a source of life support – food – to the hunter. At the same time that hunter makes the prey stronger – as a specie – by weeding the inferior members out of the gene pool. Contemporary humanity has rejected and subverted the evolutionary specie strengthening mechanics – survival of the fittest – and replaced it with unnatural standards. These may include safety procedures or equipment, falsified physical attributes and the use of a monetary system as a demonstration of fitness. Yet, one thing survives – a universal abhorrence towards those who harm others. As these members of society are ostracized, whether it be through incarceration or public scorn, they are removed from the gene-pool. Thus, this establishes the universal criterion for morality – do no harm. This was the solitary basis of the early pagan cults which held that whatever you put out to the world comes back to you in a magnified form. Much like Newton's Third Law of Motion: whenever one object exerts force on another, the second object exerts an equal and opposite force on the first. That is, in physics, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction It was thus believed that if you harmed a person, an animal or your environment that the force of Unity would cause you to suffer a greater harm by other people, that animals would harm you and that your land would become inhospitable or barren. The scientific community is embracing on a greater level that matter and thought are inexorably intertwined. Certainly it is so with immunological functioning in the human body. Martin Luther King Jr., supported the natural view of morality rather than a system of rules proscribed by man. He said, “The first principle of value that we need to rediscover is this: that all reality hinges on moral foundations. In other words, that this is a moral universe, and that there are moral laws of the universe just as abiding as the physical laws.” [fn12]
Mahatma Gandhi believed that morality could be judged by mans relationship to animals – “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”[fn13] I further referred to animals in the morality section of my Lunch Special guide saying, “Making the decisions that harm yourself, others around you and the environments of yourself often are done to make life easier but are immoral. These generally go against nature and when you fight nature you make life difficult and ultimately lose. An easy example is milk selection. For humans the most beneficial milk is a woman's breast milk. But once a baby is weened from the mother's breast most people select cow's milk over readily available goat's milk. Unlike cow's milk, goat's milk is naturally homogenized. The homogenization process for cow's milk releases Xanthine Oxidase, a free radical. Free radicals are a known carcinogen. Yet, people continue to do the immoral act of selecting homogenized cow's milk instead of goat's milk for themselves and their children as though fighting cancer through interdiction and paying the costs are easier. If you live by the credo of do no harm then your moral lifestyle, will be rewarded where it counts – in this lifetime with prosperity and well-being.” We are all aware of the horrendous conditions in which milk cows are raised which are clearly immoral. David Foster Wallace articulated his thoughts on the animals as food issue this way -- “Is it possible that future generations will regard our present agribusiness and eating practices in much the same way we now view Nero's entertainments or Mengele's experiments? My own initial reaction is that such a comparison is hysterical, extreme - and yet the reason it seems extreme to me appears to be that I believe animals are less morally important than human beings; and when it comes to defending such a belief, even to myself, I have to acknowledge that (a) I have an obvious selfish interest in this belief, since I like to eat certain kinds of animals and want to be able to keep doing it, and (b) I haven't succeeded in working out any sort of personal ethical system in which the belief is truly defensible instead of just selfishly convenient.”[fn14] Essentially Wallace is conceding that the current agribusiness may be an immoral practice but rationalizes his behaviour and failure to adopt the belief that it is immoral. But I, rather, do declare it to be immoral. It violates the universal moral of do no harm. The current industrialized livestock operations produce huge amounts of waste product that damage our watershed, leave the landscape barren and treat animals not as living beings but merely as a raw product to be “manufactured” into finished goods.
Just as Wallace lamented about being unable to work out any sort of personal ethical system that defends the agribusiness is just selfishly convenient many others simply resort to their cult training. The Bible says that man owes no allegiance to animals or the Earth and that both can be subjugated at will without recourse[fn15]. Rationalizing or justifying immoral acts through cult ideology does not eradicate the consequences of the immoral act. As Bernard E. Rollin said, “Immorality sanctified by tradition is still immorality.”[fn16].
I have long been interested in the concepts of ethics and morally, especially as it relates to the judiciary. In the realm of sociological effects I was intrigued by the concept of sanctioned morality such as those established through the cults or government. It was with this yearning some 25 or so years ago that I embarked upon a quest to gain the knowledge of what truly is moral, what are the tangible consequences of immorality and where do atheist and agnostics fall into the morality paradigm.
Ayn Rand wrote in Atlas Shrugged - “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for me to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed or enforced nor objectively interpreted - and you create a nation of law-breakers - and then you cash in on guilt.”[fn17] Thus, government may only circumscribe immorality enforceable through sanction. Government cannot, as the phrase is used throughout the congressional halls, legislate morality. That is, morality must be organic in origin and emanate from the individual. It is that realization that provides the logical support for atheist and agnostics exhibiting greater moral fortitude than the devoutly pious.
This was confirmed by a study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science. Study co-author and University of California, Berkeley social psychologist Robb Willer said in a statement. "The more religious . . . may ground their generosity less in emotion, and more in other factors such as doctrine, a communal identity, or reputational concerns." That is they so based altruism upon an extrinsic standard not an inherent desire. This was based in part on data from a national survey of more than 1,300 American adults taken in 2004. In that survey generous behaviors was strongest in people who were atheists or only slightly religious. [fn18]
In much the way that children are indoctrinated into the omniscient monotheist cults – the threat of withholding or bestowing gifts upon them by a festively clad fat man who knows when you've been naughty and when you've been nice – the pious conform to a standard of morality based upon a similar threat. But as I have said, compliance is simply compliance under threat of an adverse repercussion. Such pain avoidance is simply in our nature. Ironically, benevolence would not appear to conform with the underlying objective of any living organism – self-preservation.
If the scope of ensuring a fruitful existence the realm of selfish acts can be applied abstractly. An act of benevolence or compassion towards fellow man while not providing an immediate direct benefit to the actor himself nevertheless is beneficial. The benefits may be extrapolated from the sociological spectrum. Has the actor gained greater favour in the community? Is he perceived as more trusting in which he may be rewarded with greater opportunities for reciprocal gains? More succinctly is this person viewed as more fit to be a parent in the eyes of the opposite gender thus ensuring survival of the benevolent gene-pool?
In the Western world there appears to be a greater pursuit of licentious pleasures than those in other societies where pleasures may be derived from benevolence or compassion towards the community. This appears to manifest itself in both population trends and the breadth of well-being. Americans are a world leader when it comes to disease[fn19], obesity [fn20] and, in the industrialized portion, in some forms of dietary malnutrition [fn21]. Yet their replacement rate dwindles. That is, the rate of population expansion is generally greater in societies whose practices are in conformity with the natural world rather than those who seek to dominate the Earth.
Abrahamic cults specifically adhere to a domination of Earth standard. [fn22] The consequences of such a proscription are becoming more acute on both micro and macro levels. Those who do not harmonize their existence to the environment in which they reside are themselves suffering the adverse consequences. The industrialization of societies which seek to rape and pillage the resources of a delicately balanced environment supporting the coexistence of living organisms are reaping the deleterious effects of their self-indulgence. This has recently been observed in Beijing where the once authoritarian socialist government has embraced capitalism to satisfy the western demand for goods. Beijing now has the most polluted air on Earth and the residents are increasingly feeling the adverse effects. Americans openly embrace the rapid and harmful industrialization of China by placing environmental standards on industrial operations that prevent manufacturing for occurring domestically.
It becomes apparent once presented with the evidence that morality, when measured under a legitimate rubric, is broadly associated with well-being. So for the meat of this article it is necessary to apply the polishing of moralistic behaviours with the child custody decision criterion. These are enumerated in the Indiana family law code under Title 31 Article 17 Chapter 2 Section 8 for dissolution of marriage and its companion, IC 31-14-13-3, for paternity cases.
(1) The age and sex of the child.
It is never too early to begin the process of setting your children's moral compass. In fact you do so from the time they are first exposed to you. Your behaviours are what children at an early age rely upon most to guide them. It continues throughout the time they reside and interact with you. The type of behaviours that you model to your children should be appropriate to their age.
(2) The wishes of the child’s parent or parents.
On it's face this may seem as though it is an overly broad category. In reality it is a much more concisely enumerated factor. Specifically it relates to the parenting time and custody of the children. Your wishes and those of the other parent will be affected by your lifestyle, disposition and attitude towards the other parent. If you are morally sound then you will desire a custody determination that provides the best arrangement for your child. You will be considerate of the other parent's feelings and feasibility to provide care. You will never attempt to deprive the child of parenting time with the other parent out of spite, anger or resentment towards the other parent. Once you have achieved tranquility any of those feelings you have had will be gone.
(3) The wishes of the child, with more consideration given to the child’s wishes if the child is at least fourteen (14) years of age.
The wishes of your children should not be considered in the realm of a contest. Rather consider the more abstract wishes that children will have. These will range from wanting reunification of the family to total independence, less your financial support of course. Consider the primary motivation of your children – self interest. They will have wants that directly benefit themselves. These can be accommodated but without you being manipulated. If you have established confidence in yourself you will find it much easier to avoid manipulation. Through learning effective communication techniques your children will not only confine their behaviours within your bounds but will be appreciative of your boundaries. As for the enhancement at age 14 think of it this way – driving from home to the store is analogous to the weight given to the child's wishes. Getting the parking spot closest to the building is analogous to the additional weight given for being age 14. Based upon my conversations with numerous judges you should not think of your child attaining the age of 14 as being the catalyst for a change in the parenting time or custody order.
(4) The interaction and interrelationship of the child with:
(A) the child’s parent or parents;
This is the factor that judges give the greatest weight to generally. In my experience child custody decisions are not about the law but, instead, are judgments based upon parenting skills and behaviours. It is what you do with your child that counts. If you are of sound moral character then the appropriate behaviours will follow.
(B) the child’s sibling;
This is one of the factors that is of necessary consideration but over which you have little control. The basis of this factor is the presumption of maintaining cohesion among siblings is best. However, I am seeing judicial officers at greater ease with splitting children especially those who are heavily involved with school and extra curricular activities.
(C) any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interests.
This is a factor where you can have great impact or none. Primarily we are looking at subsequent spouses on both sides along with extended family, child care providers and frequent associates – including your child's friends. This is a factor in which your moral compass will guide the behaviours and consequently the decision of the judge. Family members and your subsequent partners will follow your lead. You set the boundaries of your child care providers and the limits of their use including, to some extent, by the other parent.
(5) The child’s adjustment to the child’s:
A home built upon a moral foundation will adequately provide for the needs of the children. Home is much more than a building. This is why the term 'home' is used in place of 'residence'. The term embodies the concepts that do not fall within the structural medium. A parent with a strong moral foundation will provide a home which secures, nurtures and supports the child. Likewise, this type of parent will seek to ensure that the other parent is doing the same and will take non-judgmental steps to assist the other parent when needed. This can be a difficult step for parents in conflict and will contradict the advice of most attorneys. After you have resoundingly forgiven the other parent, and yourself, for any past transgressions – real or perceived – you will be ready to assist the other parent for the benefit of your child. Recall that what you put out comes back to you in magnified proportion. That is a law of Unity.
(B) school; and
Children spend a considerable portion of their waking hours confined to a school. Thus, we have a moral obligation to ensure that such school provides for the supplementation of the child's education through academic disciplines. Additionally, the school should provide a safe and nurturing environment to facilitate learning. Many parents will expend greater efforts in selecting an automobile for lease or purchase than will be done for seeking a school or daycare center to meet these needs of the child. That is neglectful and by any measure immoral which subjects that parent to an attack in a contested custody case.
Much like the school the same considerations should be given to the community in which one resides. Establishing a domicile is one of the most fundamental of choices one can make. We all live where we have decided. If a parent is domiciled in a high crime area that is because that was his or her choice. Rural or urban, polluted or clean, remote or connected – each factor is based upon decisions made. None can be considered more moral than another but must each be viewed in their totality. Although unlikely, the home in the polluted area that is not conducive for a child with asthma to play outside may still be more convenient to a better educational institution, the other parent's residence and be in a safer area.
(6) The mental and physical health of all individuals involved.
The spectrum of health provides true insight into the morality and fitness of a parent. When it comes to making proper decisions this is of paramount importance. The health condition that one chooses to have whether it be diabetes melittus, a BMI of 20 or depression demonstrates character traits and behaviours that are relevant to child custody placement. Substance “addictions”, once debated as a moral versus biological condition, have now been clearly demonstrated through empirical evidence to be a matter of willpower and judgment[fn23] Since children learn by example and are subject to the environment – including observational opportunities – that their parents provide, a parent's moral character which is manifest in his or her well-being is of great importance in a custody ruling. A parent who uses drugs for relief of various stressors should not be surprised to find her or his child experimenting with street drugs or stealing them from the drug cabinet in the house. Both users seek the same end result – pain relief. The parent has demonstrated a chosen method. The child has used his or her opportunities to facilitate the demonstrated method of relief.
(7) Evidence of a pattern of Domestic Violence by either parent.
Engaging in Domestic Violence is by its very nature immoral. Domestic Violence harms the target, perpetrator and collateral members of the family. Behaviours are modeled to children. Whether one attempts to shield children from the direct impact of DV, that is witnessing an actual incident, they are not shielded from the broader implications of DV. Domestic Violence demonstrates a lack of respect for the target and perpetrator as well as a lack of intelligence. These deficiencies will be apparent to a child through regular daily interactions. In pursuing a more beneficial child custody decision it is imperative that any DV on the part of the parent seeking a custody improvement ceases. Pursuing a moral lifestyle ensures that this happens. Additionally an increase in intelligence should be a side effect as the perpetrator's brain is taxed with the challenge of thinking through conflict rather than being expressed through explosive acts of rage.
(8) Evidence that the child has been cared for by a de facto custodian, and if the evidence is sufficient, the court shall consider the factors described in section 8.5(b) of this chapter.
Creating a child only to abandon his care to others is neglectful, immoral and clearly informs the child that he is not wanted by you. People who have not adequately prepared for the birth of their children and bring them into neglectful situations are immoral at their core. That is not to say that any efforts at remediation should be abandoned though. A parent who has chosen to neglect the responsibility of child care can just as easily make the decision to embrace that responsibility and attempt to reverse the harm that he or she is imposing upon the child. A moral stance in regards to the responsibility of child rearing will most likely ensure a child custody placement that reflects that decision.
I trust that you can agree that living a truly moral life and demonstrating moralistic behaviours is beneficial to your well-being and that of your children. Actions are not without consequences. Adverse consequences are preceded by adverse actions. What may seem convenient, insignificant or harmless may not be when examined under the guise of morality. The consequences may not be direct, immediate or foreseeable but they will come.
As long as you eat properly, breathe deeply of fresh, clean air, avoid excessive physical and emotional stress, and live in harmony with the world around you, you will maintain a stable internal environment that will allow you to thrive. Living in a manner in opposition to your natural balance will result in constant flux and stresses that will produce adverse results and may cost you a meaningful relationship with your children.
Whatever measure you use to gauge morality I suggest that you try another: the amount of cleaning products one uses or one's preoccupation with cleansing itself. Culturally we already recognize this. We refer to a rat as 'dirty' or a low person as a rat, yet rats cleanse themselves extensively and more often than humans.[fn24]
 “How can one be well...when one suffers morally?” ― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
 American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, 1994. pgs. xxiv, 281.
 “Morality—like velocity—is relative. The determination of it depends on what the objects around you are doing. All one can do is measure one's position in relation to them; never can one measure one's velocity or morality in terms of absolutes.” ― David Gerrold, Star Hunt
 “About morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.” ― Ernest Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon
 “Must someone, some unseen thing, declare what is right for it to be right? I believe that my own morality - which answers only to my heart - is more sure and true than the morality of those who do right only because they fear retribution.” ― Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings
 “A moral system valid for all is basically immoral.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
 Saying that you are moral because you believe in a god is like saying you are an economist because you play monopoly. Robert W Cox
 “It seems to me that the idea of a personal God is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I also cannot imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere... Science has been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.” ― Albert Einstein
 “Do you really mean to tell me the only reason you try to be good is to gain God's approval and reward, or to avoid his disapproval and punishment? That's not morality, that's just sucking up, apple-polishing, looking over your shoulder at the great surveillance camera in the sky, or the still small wiretap inside your head, monitoring your every move, even your every base though.” ― Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion
 The ARIS report, released March 9, 2009, found in 2008, that 34.2 million Americans (15.0%) claim no religion, of which 1.6% explicitly describes themselves as atheist. Yet, atheist make up only 0.21% of the federal prison population. source: Denise Golumbaski, Research Analyst, Federal Bureau of Prisons, compiled from up-to-the-day figures on March 5th, 1997
 “Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness—not pain or mindless self-indulgence—is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.” ― Ayn Rand
 “The first principle of value that we need to rediscover is this: that all reality hinges on moral foundations. In other words, that this is a moral universe, and that there are moral laws of the universe just as abiding as the physical laws. (from "Rediscovering Lost Values")” ― Martin Luther King Jr., A Knock at Midnight: Inspiration from the Great Sermons of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
 “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
 “Is it possible that future generations will regard our present agribuisness and eating practices in much the same way we now view Nero's entertainments or Mengele's experiments? My own initial reaction is that such a comparison is hysterical, extreme - and yet the reason it seems extreme to me appears to be that I believe animals are less morally important than human behings; and when it comes to defending such a belief, even to myself, I have to acknowledge that (a) I have an obvious selfish interest in this belief, since I like to eat certain kinds of animals and want to be able to keep doing it, and (b) I haven't succeeded in working out any sort of personal ethical system in which the belief is truly defensible instead of just selfishly convenient.” ― David Foster Wallace, Consider the Lobster and Other Essays
 Genesis 9:2, King James Bible - And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered.
 “Immorality sanctified by tradition is still immorality.” ― Bernard E. Rollin
 “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for me to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed or enforced nor objectively interpreted - and you create a nation of law-breakers - and then you cash in on guilt.” ― Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
 Saslow-Willer; Atheists and agnostics are more driven by compassion to help others than are highly religious people, a new study finds. Social Psychological and Personality Science, July 2012
 Age standardized breast cancer rates are as high as 99.4 per 100 000 in North America. Eastern Europe, South America, The lowest incidence rates are found in most African countries. The United States ranks seventh overall worldwide in total cancer rates. Source: WHO Global Burden of Disease, 2004.
 Average weight of Americans is 178 pounds; 127 pounds in Asia. Source: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine based on the 2005 WHO SURF report.
 More than 75 percent of Americans are deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of bone conditions such as osteomalacia, as well as autoimmune diseases, certain cancers and obesity. Source: Archives of Internal Medicine, 2009.
 Genesis 1:28 King James Bible - And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.
 National Institute on Drug Abuse - A Cognitive-Behavioral Approach: Treating Cocaine Addiction
 Isamu Rats - http://isamu.weebly.com/index.html
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