OrthodoxChristianity.net
August 30, 2014, 04:44:02 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Dissent within religion  (Read 2415 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Veniamin
Fire for Effect!
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA Diocese of the South
Posts: 3,372


St. Barbara, patroness of the Field Artillery


« on: January 06, 2008, 06:31:06 PM »

Atheism just doesn't work because it leaves no foundations for moral values and I want moral values.

I'm totally calling BS on that point.  Having known a few atheists who held to a moral code, atheism does leave room for moral values.  They might not be derived from the same ultimate source whence we derive ours, but that doesn't mean that they don't exist.  A moral code based on respecting the fundamental dignity of human beings, simply because they're human beings, is still a moral code and in the final analysis, is it really that far from a Christian morality based on the worth of each person as a being created in the image of God?  Just because Orthodoxy contains the fullness of truth doesn't mean that others are totally devoid of it.  Even a hardened atheist might unwittingly recognize and cling to some shreds of the truth.
Logged

Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl. ~Frederick the Great
Credo.InDeum
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Roman Rite Archdiocese of Perth
Posts: 85



« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2008, 06:45:02 PM »

I'm totally calling BS on that point.  Having known a few atheists who held to a moral code, atheism does leave room for moral values.  They might not be derived from the same ultimate source whence we derive ours, but that doesn't mean that they don't exist.  A moral code based on respecting the fundamental dignity of human beings, simply because they're human beings, is still a moral code and in the final analysis, is it really that far from a Christian morality based on the worth of each person as a being created in the image of God?  Just because Orthodoxy contains the fullness of truth doesn't mean that others are totally devoid of it.  Even a hardened atheist might unwittingly recognize and cling to some shreds of the truth.

I didn't say that atheists have no moral values and I didn't say that an atheist cannot develop a theory of morals or ethics. I said that there are no foundations for moral values. By which I mean that there is no intrinsic bed-rock upon which to build moral values in atheism, there is just whatever theory or whatever whim takes one's fancy. You could use evolutionary biology, platonic ideals, stoicism, or something else as a starting point but there is nothing inherent in atheism that will let you decide which theory is the right one (if that even matters in the context of atheism).
Logged

God does not simply rule by power ...His power is that of sharing in love and suffering ...God becomes small so that we can grasp his nature. - Benedict XVI
Νεκτάριος
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,437



« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2008, 06:48:56 PM »

Atheism just doesn't work because it leaves no foundations for moral values and I want moral values. Other monotheistic religions like Judaism just seem more petty and uninviting than Christianity. And polytheism just seems completely silly.

That's how I see cynicism's place in religion. I don't want to be a cynic because I don't think that it offers anything constructive and absolutely nothing valuable. It is like looking for nothing but faults in something that's good and I can't see any reason to look for faults in everything.

I think it's best to move this to a new thread. 

It is entirely incorrect to say that atheism and its various forms have no ethical values.  In fact I'd argue that a great deal of my non-religious friends live far more ethical lives than many of those who trumpet their own religiosity.  Secular humanism is definitely has a value system to it.  And many of those values have deeply influenced modern Christianity.

Polytheism is no more or less logical than monotheism.  For that matter, many forms of polytheism are no more polytheistic than Christianity with our assortment of saints, angels, demons etc. 
Logged
Νεκτάριος
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,437



« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2008, 06:59:57 PM »

I didn't say that atheists have no moral values and I didn't say that an atheist cannot develop a theory of morals or ethics. I said that there are no foundations for moral values. By which I mean that there is no intrinsic bed-rock upon which to build moral values in atheism, there is just whatever theory or whatever whim takes one's fancy. You could use evolutionary biology, platonic ideals, stoicism, or something else as a starting point but there is nothing inherent in atheism that will let you decide which theory is the right one (if that even matters in the context of atheism).

That is no more or less valid than crafting an ethical system from within a theistic system.  There are very wide opinion within Christianity even (from a quaker to the full excesses of Caesaropapism).  You have theists such as Osama bin Laden - so a morality based on theism is no sure guide to ethical living.

If you are going to argue against atheism, at least do it some justice:
Alternative Tradition: a Study of Unbelief in the Ancient World
Western Atheism: a Short History
Logged
Veniamin
Fire for Effect!
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA Diocese of the South
Posts: 3,372


St. Barbara, patroness of the Field Artillery


« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2008, 07:13:27 PM »

I split out the relevant posts from the Science thread and moved them here.
Veniamin, NRT Moderator
Logged

Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl. ~Frederick the Great
Veniamin
Fire for Effect!
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA Diocese of the South
Posts: 3,372


St. Barbara, patroness of the Field Artillery


« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2008, 07:26:41 PM »

I didn't say that atheists have no moral values and I didn't say that an atheist cannot develop a theory of morals or ethics. I said that there are no foundations for moral values. By which I mean that there is no intrinsic bed-rock upon which to build moral values in atheism, there is just whatever theory or whatever whim takes one's fancy. You could use evolutionary biology, platonic ideals, stoicism, or something else as a starting point but there is nothing inherent in atheism that will let you decide which theory is the right one (if that even matters in the context of atheism).

Still BS.  Christian morality is based upon our faith; in other words, our entire foundation for moral values is predicated upon something that we cannot verify and instead simply trust is true based on what limited evidence we have to go by.  Granted, I think I'm having faith in the correct thing, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm ultimately taking a stand based on faith.  Similarly, although atheists are having faith in the wrong thing, because it's a matter in which they can't have any verification means that ultimately, it's still a matter of faith.  Either our respective stands are founded upon an equally firm bedrock, or they're founded upon equal leaps of faith.

On the other hand, if you were the recipient of a direct communication from the Lord wherein he laid out your entire theology for you and proved it, that's a different story (and do be so good as to share that experience with us). 
Logged

Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl. ~Frederick the Great
Credo.InDeum
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Roman Rite Archdiocese of Perth
Posts: 85



« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2008, 07:55:34 PM »

Still BS.  Christian morality is based upon our faith; in other words, our entire foundation for moral values is predicated upon something that we cannot verify and instead simply trust is true based on what limited evidence we have to go by.  Granted, I think I'm having faith in the correct thing, but that doesn't change the fact that I'm ultimately taking a stand based on faith.  Similarly, although atheists are having faith in the wrong thing, because it's a matter in which they can't have any verification means that ultimately, it's still a matter of faith.  Either our respective stands are founded upon an equally firm bedrock, or they're founded upon equal leaps of faith.

On the other hand, if you were the recipient of a direct communication from the Lord wherein he laid out your entire theology for you and proved it, that's a different story (and do be so good as to share that experience with us). 

seems to me that Christian moral values are derived from Jesus Christ and who he is.
Logged

God does not simply rule by power ...His power is that of sharing in love and suffering ...God becomes small so that we can grasp his nature. - Benedict XVI
Νεκτάριος
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,437



« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2008, 08:03:27 PM »

seems to me that Christian moral values are derived from Jesus Christ and who he is.

That's nice, but there seems to be no solid consensus on these matters.  Is this Tolstoy's ethical system or the ethical system that justified witch trials and the inquisition? 
Logged
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2008, 08:04:41 PM »

seems to me that Christian moral values are derived from Jesus Christ and who he is.
Then why do Christian moral values change? Why was usury a serious, excommunicable sin once and now is the basis of our economy with even the Vatican Bank lending money with interest?
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Credo.InDeum
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Roman Rite Archdiocese of Perth
Posts: 85



« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2008, 08:11:33 PM »

Then why do Christian moral values change? Why was usury a serious, excommunicable sin once and now is the basis of our economy with even the Vatican Bank lending money with interest?

hold on, that's a trick question isn't it?  Cool
Logged

God does not simply rule by power ...His power is that of sharing in love and suffering ...God becomes small so that we can grasp his nature. - Benedict XVI
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2008, 08:21:50 PM »

hold on, that's a trick question isn't it?  Cool

Not really. It's something that has bugged me for some time. Both Eastern and Western Penitentials list usury (charging interest on a loan) as a serious sin with a period of excommunication being the correction for it. In the last two centuries, suddenly it becomes completely acceptable. If indeed the Christian prohibition against usury was "based on Christ" Who is "the same yesterday and today", then either Christ has changed, or it was never based on Christ to begin with, but rather, is culturally determined. And if so, then how many other "Christian" moral values are also culturally determined?
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Credo.InDeum
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Roman Rite Archdiocese of Perth
Posts: 85



« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2008, 08:50:40 PM »

Not really. It's something that has bugged me for some time. Both Eastern and Western Penitentials list usury (charging interest on a loan) as a serious sin with a period of excommunication being the correction for it. In the last two centuries, suddenly it becomes completely acceptable. If indeed the Christian prohibition against usury was "based on Christ" Who is "the same yesterday and today", then either Christ has changed, or it was never based on Christ to begin with, but rather, is culturally determined. And if so, then how many other "Christian" moral values are also culturally determined?

OK, I'll take a nibble after saying something ...

My post ... the one that's sort of spawned this thread through a weird kind of metamorphosis that I do not pretend to understand or agree with ... it was intended as irony, I am sure it was ironic and I am sure it was clear that it was irony ... but somehow my Latin aint working and the Greek translator in my babelfish failed too ... and all this english is just way too confusing .... [I hope it is clear that this is parody too ...]

Now back to the nibble ... what has shifting canon law or shifting civil legislation got to do with moral values. Usury, which is charging a fee for using capital, was against ancient Israeli law, and it may even get a negative mention in the new testament but neither case is addressing the underlying moral principle at stake which seems to be that since we receive all of our capital from God's grace then we should be like him and graciously give to others. But I guess confusing underlying moral value with specifics of legislation is such a common difficulty that it is likely impossible to avoid, maybe we just don't have the necessary equipment to tell the difference after all Israel confused them all the time and we do to - note: I am no exception - so we have usury as a serious sin, but why was it a sin ... did the economy back in the day when that bit of law was thought up have much inflation and who was rich enough to make loans anyway? I bet it was the rich right?? The folk who ran everything right? You know, rich folk back then got rich by having power which they exploited and taking bribes - which amounted to the same thing as having power - so maybe just maybe the laws about usury in the old testament related to the way their politics of power and their economy worked. Now we have an economy culture that frowns on bribery, imprisons corrupt officials when they get caught, has significant inflation, and charges interest ... it is all a hugely different kettle of fish so why should things stay the same? I can't see a good reason in a case like usury.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2008, 05:46:43 AM by Credo.InDeum » Logged

God does not simply rule by power ...His power is that of sharing in love and suffering ...God becomes small so that we can grasp his nature. - Benedict XVI
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2008, 09:06:30 PM »

what has shifting canon law or shifting civil legislation got to do with moral values.

If canon law is not based on morality, then what on earth is it based on?
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Credo.InDeum
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Roman Rite Archdiocese of Perth
Posts: 85



« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2008, 09:18:40 PM »

If canon law is not based on morality, then what on earth is it based on?

A hundred million things AND moral values. Canon law is not exactly the same as the doctrine of the faith.
Logged

God does not simply rule by power ...His power is that of sharing in love and suffering ...God becomes small so that we can grasp his nature. - Benedict XVI
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2008, 09:19:58 PM »

Now we're arguing that usury isn't a sin? I have oft times seen it ignored, but rarely defended. Usury is, at its essence, taking advantage of someone who cannot afford a good now by forcing them to pay you extra for it in the future; it is a taking advantage of those who do not have by those who have and seek to increase their wealth at the expense of the disadvantaged. It remains today what it always was an enriching of the wealthy at the expense of the poor.

If things like this evolve to become acceptable to christian moral theology how can we claim to have some absolute moral code that places our theology above atheistic humanist philosophy? In fact, it would seem that Christian moral theology has the potential to be even more realistic, since we can (as we have before, consider the inquisition) overturn our moral principle of love of neighbour on the basis that we are 'doing God's will'. At least atheists don't have that cop-out, potentially making their moral code more stable and more absolute.
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
Credo.InDeum
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Roman Rite Archdiocese of Perth
Posts: 85



« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2008, 09:28:20 PM »

I wish I had a Picture of the host above the scriptures, it would be a better symbol than just the scriptures ...
Logged

God does not simply rule by power ...His power is that of sharing in love and suffering ...God becomes small so that we can grasp his nature. - Benedict XVI
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2008, 09:45:00 PM »

I wish I had a Picture of the host above the scriptures, it would be a better symbol than just the scriptures ...

Okay...
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
Veniamin
Fire for Effect!
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA Diocese of the South
Posts: 3,372


St. Barbara, patroness of the Field Artillery


« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2008, 10:20:44 PM »

I wish I had a Picture of the host above the scriptures, it would be a better symbol than just the scriptures ...

I'm not tracking...
Logged

Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl. ~Frederick the Great
Credo.InDeum
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Roman Rite Archdiocese of Perth
Posts: 85



« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2008, 05:44:22 AM »

Okay...

 laugh

I am thinking about the symbolism that such a picture gives of the idea of word become flesh as per saint John's prologue and as per John chapter six. And also i guess as a reminder that reversing that gift - making flesh become word - is all too common in debates. By which I mean that the reality of human life and all the wonderful variety that physical creation gives to us seems to fade into a shadow existence when it gets reduced to words. ... sorry, just a tiny bit of musing there  Smiley
Logged

God does not simply rule by power ...His power is that of sharing in love and suffering ...God becomes small so that we can grasp his nature. - Benedict XVI
Credo.InDeum
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Roman Rite Archdiocese of Perth
Posts: 85



« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2008, 06:07:59 AM »

Now we're arguing that usury isn't a sin? I have oft times seen it ignored, but rarely defended. Usury is, at its essence, taking advantage of someone who cannot afford a good now by forcing them to pay you extra for it in the future; it is a taking advantage of those who do not have by those who have and seek to increase their wealth at the expense of the disadvantaged. It remains today what it always was an enriching of the wealthy at the expense of the poor.

If things like this evolve to become acceptable to christian moral theology how can we claim to have some absolute moral code that places our theology above atheistic humanist philosophy? In fact, it would seem that Christian moral theology has the potential to be even more realistic, since we can (as we have before, consider the inquisition) overturn our moral principle of love of neighbour on the basis that we are 'doing God's will'. At least atheists don't have that cop-out, potentially making their moral code more stable and more absolute.

I am thinking that usury is permitted as a dispensation and not as a change in how the ideal is seen. Folk in our society could not live without buying in to the system of borrowing at interest. If the Church demanded that Christians not participate in that system then wouldn't she be demanding that Christians cease to be in the world? This is not to say that our culture's views on usury and the economy and power structures is good it is not good.
Logged

God does not simply rule by power ...His power is that of sharing in love and suffering ...God becomes small so that we can grasp his nature. - Benedict XVI
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2008, 06:33:22 AM »

I am thinking that usury is permitted as a dispensation and not as a change in how the ideal is seen. Folk in our society could not live without buying in to the system of borrowing at interest. If the Church demanded that Christians not participate in that system then wouldn't she be demanding that Christians cease to be in the world? This is not to say that our culture's views on usury and the economy and power structures is good it is not good.

Not exactly, there is no reason to condemn those who are compelled by circumstance to pay the usurer to get by; the only condemnation necessary is of the usurer who forces these poor people into this situation.
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
Credo.InDeum
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Roman Rite Archdiocese of Perth
Posts: 85



« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2008, 07:03:05 AM »

Not exactly, there is no reason to condemn those who are compelled by circumstance to pay the usurer to get by; the only condemnation necessary is of the usurer who forces these poor people into this situation.

Point the people to an interest-free bank and watch its funds get borrowed by the wealthy and moderately wealthy until there are no funds left.

Even the Grameen Bank lends with a fee.
Logged

God does not simply rule by power ...His power is that of sharing in love and suffering ...God becomes small so that we can grasp his nature. - Benedict XVI
Keble
All-Knowing Grand Wizard of Debunking
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 3,408



« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2008, 12:28:15 PM »

Now we're arguing that usury isn't a sin? I have oft times seen it ignored, but rarely defended. Usury is, at its essence, taking advantage of someone who cannot afford a good now by forcing them to pay you extra for it in the future; it is a taking advantage of those who do not have by those who have and seek to increase their wealth at the expense of the disadvantaged. It remains today what it always was an enriching of the wealthy at the expense of the poor.

Ah, but the flip side of this (in the USA at least) is that for instance purchase of a house through a mortgage doesn't work exactly this way. One must, after all, having housing. What the mortgage does is allow the substitution of the installment payment for the rental payment that would otherwise be entailed. On that level, forbidding "usury" simply means privileging the wealth of landlords over that of bankers.

Never minding that lay knowledge of economics is even less convincing than that of lay science (and notwithstanding the pitiful state of economics in the large), the more interesting question of Christians is how one can talk about working ethically within a system that has already been declared corrupt. On what level is it really a problem that investment allows the rich to get richer?
Logged
GiC
Resident Atheist
Site Supporter
Merarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Mathematician
Posts: 9,490



« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2008, 02:24:01 PM »

Ah, but the flip side of this (in the USA at least) is that for instance purchase of a house through a mortgage doesn't work exactly this way. One must, after all, having housing. What the mortgage does is allow the substitution of the installment payment for the rental payment that would otherwise be entailed. On that level, forbidding "usury" simply means privileging the wealth of landlords over that of bankers.

Not exactly, you technically get a loan and use your house you buy with it as collateral and this loan is given with interest, it's usury plain and simple. Now, whether or not usury is a sin is really not that important, a good argument could be made that maintaining our modern economy is more important that some theological ideal of virtue, perhaps Christian theology is just outdated here and needs to be changed. But we can at least be honest and admit that even Christian moral theology is relativistic.

Quote
Never minding that lay knowledge of economics is even less convincing than that of lay science (and notwithstanding the pitiful state of economics in the large), the more interesting question of Christians is how one can talk about working ethically within a system that has already been declared corrupt. On what level is it really a problem that investment allows the rich to get richer?

I don't think that anyone's questioning the importance of banking and loans in the modern economy; I, at least, am simply saying that we should admit that we condone usury and as a result that our moral theology is subject to change.
Logged

"The liberties of people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." -- Patrick Henry
Keble
All-Knowing Grand Wizard of Debunking
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 3,408



« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2008, 11:40:41 PM »

Not exactly, you technically get a loan and use your house you buy with it as collateral and this loan is given with interest, it's usury plain and simple.

Well, it would be plainer and simpler had you taken it as a response to your statement about who was being privileged.

Quote
Now, whether or not usury is a sin is really not that important, a good argument could be made that maintaining our modern economy is more important that some theological ideal of virtue, perhaps Christian theology is just outdated here and needs to be changed.

Or maybe it was always just bad theology.

Quote
But we can at least be honest and admit that even Christian moral theology is relativistic.

I don't know about honesty, unless you're willing to pin down what you mean here.
Logged
Tags: atheism  morality  Ethics 
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.093 seconds with 52 queries.