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Old 04-03-2010, 01:55 PM
 
Location: East Coast U.S.
1,513 posts, read 1,397,072 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agnostic soldier View Post
Your concience tells you the difference between right and wrong. Your concience is therefore the basis for your moral judgements, irregardless of faith, religion race, sex or sexual orientation.
Oh, you must mean "Jiminy Cricket" theology.

What happens when two 'conciences' happen to disagree?

Relativity - right? Personal opinion...what's right for you is right for you and what's right for me is right for me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by agnostic soldier View Post
You still haven't sold me on the notion that transcendent law is necessary for a basis for moral judgements. You even disprove your argument by the fact you don't practice slavery.
I'm not selling anything. You stated that you didn't understand why a transcendent law is necessary and I offered to explain in due course.

I'm really not making an argument...and I have a sensible reason for not practicing slavery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by agnostic soldier View Post
Yes. Why do you think it's wrong?
"Thou shalt not commit murder."

Transcendent law from a Transcendent Being.

You state that it's wrong. People like Pol Pot, Joe Stalin and Adolf Hitler saw the murder of millions as justified based on their own utilitarian reasons. By what basis would you judge them as being wrong?

Quote:
Originally Posted by agnostic soldier View Post
As I said before, atheists have a concience which tells them the difference between right and wrong, which is therefore their basis for moral judgements. This is obviously not so for many christians.
...and I'll accept your indictment of Christianity as soon as you explain how it is that you are able to have any moral basis for laying down judgments on anyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by agnostic soldier View Post
Slavery, infanticide etc.
Here is some friendly advice: Stick to philosophy - bag theology and hermeneutics.
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Old 04-03-2010, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Western NC
651 posts, read 1,244,869 times
Reputation: 497
Great post, ovcatto.

I've read several of CD's morality debates and I've noticed that 'relative' is thrown out like it's a dirty word. I agree, when the relatives are coming for a visit, I grind my teeth and the term relative becomes associated with a whole bunch of problems. But, when I'm making a decision, such as, do I buy little Johnny's expensive life saving medicine this month or do I pay the credit card bill, I suddenly go all relative. Not paying a bill and not buying medicine are both immoral in my eyes, but not buying Johnny's meds has a greater relative cost. So, I buy the meds and haggle with the credit card company. (This is purely hypothetical but in this economy it probably happens, a lot.)

What many theists don't seem to understand is you do not follow unchanging transcendent law. You are just as relative as the atheist. How do I know? Well, many Christians will say that they don't follow most of the OT laws. These laws were handed down by God, the unchanging transcendent authority. But, it just so happens that the unchanging transcendent authority changed his mind in the NT and now those old silly laws don't have to be followed. Sounds, sort of, relative to me.

I think we can all agree that some laws are essential for group cohesion. As ovcatto noted, rules against stealing and murder are two examples that you will find in every human society. Interestingly, we also see these same rules in other animal societies but that's for another discussion. We differ in that I don't believe these basic rules come from a transcendent being. These are simply products of evolution; as in, my genes won't survive very long if I'm the group outcast.

Relative is not a bad word. Of course, modern societies don't agree with every aspect of ancient morality. I, for one, don't want to live in a society that strictly follows ancient moral codes. You get atrocities like stoning rape victims and murdering those that break away form their birth religion. Ancient people could not comprehend the types of societies we live in and the technology we use everyday. Our modern lawmakers struggle to keep the laws current with changing technology. Do you remember the Terry Schiavo uproar? Ancient peoples would never face a situation like that and the bible does not address it. It can't. And it shouldn't.

I'm not ashamed of the term relative morality. That simply means that I don't blindly follow the rules. I think about the effects of my actions and why the rule exists or should exist in the first place. I don't have to turn to ancient and outdated scriptures to form an opinion. Instead, I use my brain to make these decisions. I'm relative and proud of it.
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Old 04-03-2010, 03:21 PM
 
31,385 posts, read 31,051,757 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maia160 View Post
What many theists don't seem to understand is you do not follow unchanging transcendent law. You are just as relative as the atheist.
Of course they are as relative as anyone else, no matter what they attempt to argue.

I remember when I was in Catholic school sitting in religion class reading, High Times (not the one I would later read). There was a column called "Dear Father Pat" where kids would write in asking for advise about kid sort of problems. One of the most recurrent questions was, "Father Pat, is French kissing a sin" (ok, I'm old). Father Pat would reply, "it depends."

It DEPENDS??!?!

Yes, my son, it depends if sticking your tongue down some girls throat was done in lust or as affection! Now that's relative.
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Old 04-03-2010, 06:11 PM
 
2,930 posts, read 2,249,503 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmiej View Post
You do realize of course, these passages you're quoting are from Judiaism, not Christianity.

so, the O.T. is for the Jews & the N.T. is for the Christ followers?
is the O.T. not the foundation for the N.T.?
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Old 04-03-2010, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Richland, Washington
4,070 posts, read 4,964,859 times
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Tigetmax, I'm wondering how you can say what Hitler did was wrong. If you have to have a transcendent law for a basis for moral judgements, then it follows that any ideology based on a transcendent being/law all have equally valid morals, and therefore the morals of those ideologies are relative and you can't say that x ideology is immoral/moral. Nazism is based on a transcendent being/law. It therefore follows that you can't say what Hitler did was wrong. Also, why do you think that slavery is wrong when your transcendent law says it's right? Also, you're ignoring the fact that people like Stalin and Pol Pot were sociopaths which means they don't have a concience. So yes, I can say what they did was wrong. You, on the other hand(at least in the case of Hitler) cannot say what they did was wrong.
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Old 04-03-2010, 10:04 PM
 
31,385 posts, read 31,051,757 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigetmax24 View Post

You state that it's wrong. People like Pol Pot, Joe Stalin and Adolf Hitler saw the murder of millions as justified based on their own utilitarian reasons. By what basis would you judge them as being wrong?
This is about the silliest argument!

By what basis do we judge mass murder wrong, we judge these acts wrong as a result of 150,000 years of collective human experience!
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Old 04-04-2010, 04:47 AM
 
Location: East Coast U.S.
1,513 posts, read 1,397,072 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agnostic soldier View Post
I'm wondering how you can say what Hitler did was wrong.
Did you read my post?

Transcendent law can only come from a Transcendent Being.

Quote:
Originally Posted by agnostic soldier View Post
If you have to have a transcendent law for a basis for moral judgements, then it follows that any ideology based on a transcendent being/law all have equally valid morals,
So, according to your 'logic' (term applied loosely here), if someone were to invent an ideology based, let's say, on the transcendent nature of the tooth fairy, and then proceed to make up all sorts of law that is claimed to be transcendent law, we would then conclude, using your 'reasoning' here, that tooth fairy law is as valid as any other law?

You appear to be leaving out the element of truth.

In truth, does a Transcendent Being exist?

Does Jesus exist?

Is Christianity true?

Quote:
Originally Posted by agnostic soldier View Post
...and therefore the morals of those ideologies are relative and you can't say that x ideology is immoral/moral.
Again, you neglect the concept of truth. It naturally and logically follows that all ideologies cannot be true because truth cannot be contradictory.

Now, I suppose you could logically assert that all false ideologies are relative.

Quote:
Originally Posted by agnostic soldier View Post
Nazism is based on a transcendent being/law.
Hitler claimed to be a Christian when he thought it would help him to achieve political ends. He believed that the ends justified the means. He was also an avowed atheist and greatly admired Nietzsche. This, by the way, was why he and his cohorts were able to rationalize the murder of millions of people - it's all relative don't you see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by agnostic soldier View Post
...It therefore follows that you can't say what Hitler did was wrong.
"It therefore follows" that Hitler was obviously wrong. The ends are not justified by the means and morality is not relative.


Quote:
Originally Posted by agnostic soldier View Post
Also, why do you think that slavery is wrong when your transcendent law says it's right?
I say the Transcendent Law says it's wrong. You say the Transcendent Law says it's right. You say tomayto...I say tomawtow...

Quote:
Originally Posted by agnostic soldier View Post
Also, you're ignoring the fact that people like Stalin and Pol Pot were sociopaths which means they don't have a concience. So yes, I can say what they did was wrong. You, on the other hand(at least in the case of Hitler) cannot say what they did was wrong.
This is just ignorance on parade. Please get up to speed on some real history and inform yourself. Keep in mind that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.


Now, are you going to get back on topic and explain how it is that you, as an atheist, are able to levy moral judgments from a relative perspective?
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Old 04-04-2010, 05:46 AM
 
701 posts, read 658,148 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agnostic soldier View Post
I assume you think that your 'basis' for moral judgements comes from the christian god. It therefore follows that you find the practice of slavery to be moral and should be encouraged since the bible encourages it and says it's moral. The flaw in your argument is that you probably find slavery to be immoral which says that your basis for moral judgements doesn't come from your religious beliefs. It in fact comes from the same place that atheists do. It's your concience.
The Bible neither encourages it nor states that it is moral, and yes I did read those texts. There is a difference between the slavey of a few centuries ago and the slavery mentioned in the Bible. Much of the slavery in the OT and even into the NT, were slaves by choice, which was a lot more common in those days. People would choose servitude as a means to pay off debt or simply provide for their family. Slavery, as it is most commonly viewed by people today is wrong and morally reprehensible, for it is primarily based on regarding other races as sub-human, and forcing them against their will.
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Old 04-04-2010, 05:58 AM
 
2,930 posts, read 2,249,503 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HalfNelson View Post
The Bible neither encourages it nor states that it is moral, and yes I did read those texts. There is a difference between the slavey of a few centuries ago and the slavery mentioned in the Bible. Much of the slavery in the OT and even into the NT, were slaves by choice, which was a lot more common in those days. People would choose servitude as a means to pay off debt or simply provide for their family. Slavery, as it is most commonly viewed by people today is wrong and morally reprehensible, for it is primarily based on regarding other races as sub-human, and forcing them against their will.
good points
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Old 04-04-2010, 06:04 AM
 
701 posts, read 658,148 times
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just want to point something out with regards to the OT vs NT and what laws were meant for all time and which were meant for the times they were given. Any study, of the various laws and ordinances given to the Israelites, will show that God gave clear distinctions between the various laws in how they were written down. Maia160's comment above, brought this point to mind. There is only one set of laws, given by God, that were carved in stone. The 10 Commandments. Why would only 10 be "carved in stone"? Maybe because God understood that these 10 were the only ones that were to be unchanged for all time? The rest of the Hebrew law was written on paper scrolls and placed next to the Ark of the Covenant. I agree with Maia160 that ancient people could not comprehend the societies that we would have today, however it would appear that God knew that some things were for, but a moment in time, and others would be applicable for all time. Just another indication for me of the divine inspiration of God's Word.
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