To live rightly…
“It’s not living, as such, that’s important. It’s living rightly.”~Zeus
I have heard some christian evangelists say that an atheist/agnostic saying “to live rightly” would be an oxymoron. That an atheist has no grounding with which to build “rightly” living. What is right? Is it all subjective as so many claim? And yet most atheist have a sense of “morality” a sense of “right” and “wrong”.
Many feel outraged when they hear of “horrors” , of injustice….
When I heard the quote from Zeus, on The Immortals I was immediately struck with …”LIKE”. I liked it very much. The connotation that one can just go through the motions, just exist…or be more…
That there was in fact different types of living that could be compared. Living….JUST living…or more…
It also brought to mind this quote by Marcus Aurelius,
“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”
When someone asks how a person who does not believe in a god, (or rather does not believe there is enough evidence to warrant belief in a god/gods) believe their IS way to live rightly? ….or “live a good life”? how is “good” then defined?
Romans had a specific set of virtues, (as can be found http://www2.hawaii.edu/~lanning/maximus.html .
I propose that anyone can develop a standard for “right” living, and that many will even agree in our current society upon many virtues.
In the Immortals, Zeus is specifically challenging Theseus to live for more than just himself. To widen his circle beyond himself, and his mother. To care for all of mankind. We have that ability as well.
To make our circle as small or large as we like. And we have the ability to leave rippling effects upon the pond around us…or walk alone….