Someone made a comment on my post about no Taoist giving his opinions on the issue of abortion. They brought up a point about values. He said, surely we need to value human life. Without values life would be meaningless…
I can only talk about myself here.
Not giving voice to my values doesn’t mean I don’t have some. It means that they don’t need to be expressed. I don’t think it is always beneficial to everyone for me to express them. It can hurt or offend others, and it can hurt me.
Here was my response to him:
Chapter 5 of the Tao Teh Ching (a Taoist text) says that the sage (wise or enlightened person) manages unspoken guidance. Surely, if my ‘way’ is right and beneficial, people will see that and gravitate towards it- without my having to tell them what my ‘way’ is.
Suppose I tell someone what positive things to value, and even make a decent argument for it, and they adopt that value. That change that has taken place may never be as strong as a change in them that happened spontaneously and originated from inside.
Chapter 13 of the Tao Teh ching says “Therefore those who embody nobility to act for the sake of the world seem to be able to draw the world to them, while those who embody love to act for the sake of the world seem to be worthy of the trust of the world.” The value is there, but, it is reflected in action rather than taught by words- they EMBODY their values.
Besides- what makes me, or any man, a moral authority? My life has been brief, my perspective and beliefs are subjective, and my perception of the whole world is limited. And if I state a value today, I may grow and learn that my value was wrong and change that value tomorrow (having already taken a position on an issue). Socrates said that he knew that he was intelligent because he knew that he knew nothing.
The more I learn about our human world and the natural universe around me, the more I realize that I know nothing… And the more I draw back from saying that I know anything.