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Author Topic: The Mystery of Evangelical Atheists  (Read 11023 times) Average Rating: 0
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Gebre Menfes Kidus
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« Reply #45 on: October 31, 2009, 07:04:39 PM »

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When you deny this eternal and ultimate Good (i.e. God), then you forfeit any claim to objectivity in your appeal for your morality.

Now that I think about it, I suppose it depends on how you defiine the term objective. If by that word you mean "based on facts" or something along those lines, then I would say that my morality has some degree of objectivity to it. If, on the other hand, you are merely equating the term objective with absolute, then I'd agree that you can't have objective morality without God.

Btw, thank you for saying "with respect". I'm not always the nicest person, and sometimes I go off on people, but generally I value civility and try to remain peaceful.

I always appreciate the class with which you make your arguments. You tend to avoid the Straw Man, which makes your points much more valid than the usual tripe from Dawkins and Hitchens.

I know that I can be offensive sometimes in how I state things. I'm trying to work on that.

Selam
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« Reply #46 on: October 31, 2009, 09:01:11 PM »

The concepts of morality and good point to an ulitmate, eternal, and objective standard of morality and good. When you deny this eternal and ultimate Good (i.e. God), then you forfeit any claim to objectivity in your appeal for your morality.

Yeah. How can anyone possibly know whats good and kind if their ethics are based on reason, observation and empathy for the suffering of others instead of fear of hell or hope of heaven?
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« Reply #47 on: October 31, 2009, 09:20:40 PM »

If, on the other hand, you are merely equating the term objective with absolute, then I'd agree that you can't have objective morality without God.
I know a few Buddhists who might disagree.
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« Reply #48 on: October 31, 2009, 09:47:00 PM »

The concepts of morality and good point to an ulitmate, eternal, and objective standard of morality and good. When you deny this eternal and ultimate Good (i.e. God), then you forfeit any claim to objectivity in your appeal for your morality.

Yeah. How can anyone possibly know whats good and kind if their ethics are based on reason, observation and empathy for the suffering of others instead of fear of hell or hope of heaven?

I don't think your sarcasm makes a very good point. You are basically asserting a false dichotomy between reason and faith. Also, most Orthodox Christians do not derive their empathy for their fellow man from the fear of hell or the hope of heaven. They are empathetic toward their fellow human beings because they see in them the image of God, and they intuitively and cognitively recognize the material and spiritual value of the Truth of the Golden Rule.

Selam
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« Reply #49 on: October 31, 2009, 09:51:10 PM »

laugh  We also provide the world with holy martyrs like Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya; look at our evil plans...   Wooooooo *spooky, cliche ghost noise*
No. That is not you, but me who comissioned the icon of Holy Martyr Zoya. You try to stop it. Because you know that to defete Lucifer three things are necessary: The Icon, The Prayer, and The Fiery Sword of Archangel Michael. One thing will be missing - the Antichrist will take over Russia. Thats why you work so hard to prevent The Icon.
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« Reply #50 on: October 31, 2009, 10:54:02 PM »

laugh  We also provide the world with holy martyrs like Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya; look at our evil plans...   Wooooooo *spooky, cliche ghost noise*
No. That is not you, but me who comissioned the icon of Holy Martyr Zoya. You try to stop it. Because you know that to defete Lucifer three things are necessary: The Icon, The Prayer, and The Fiery Sword of Archangel Michael. One thing will be missing - the Antichrist will take over Russia. Thats why you work so hard to prevent The Icon.


Hm.  I thought Lucifer was already defeated with the death and resurrection of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ. 

I was totally unaware that He had come again as Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya.
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« Reply #51 on: October 31, 2009, 11:22:52 PM »

No. That is not you, but me who comissioned the icon of Holy Martyr Zoya. You try to stop it. Because you know that to defete Lucifer three things are necessary: The Icon, The Prayer, and The Fiery Sword of Archangel Michael. One thing will be missing - the Antichrist will take over Russia. Thats why you work so hard to prevent The Icon.

I don't believe in Lucifer, so I doubt I am working for "him" to try and stop a Hero of the Soviet Union from being canonised (and an icon made of her) in a Church I am not a member of.   Though I do find your cult-like fanaticism, surrounding what seems to just be a built up propaganda piece for the Soviet Union at the time (and nostalgic Russians), quite disturbing.
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« Reply #52 on: October 31, 2009, 11:25:00 PM »

The concepts of morality and good point to an ulitmate, eternal, and objective standard of morality and good. When you deny this eternal and ultimate Good (i.e. God), then you forfeit any claim to objectivity in your appeal for your morality.

Yeah. How can anyone possibly know whats good and kind if their ethics are based on reason, observation and empathy for the suffering of others instead of fear of hell or hope of heaven?

I don't think your sarcasm makes a very good point. You are basically asserting a false dichotomy between reason and faith. Also, most Orthodox Christians do not derive their empathy for their fellow man from the fear of hell or the hope of heaven. They are empathetic toward their fellow human beings because they see in them the image of God, and they intuitively and cognitively recognize the material and spiritual value of the Truth of the Golden Rule.

Selam

^^^To get back on point...

Selam
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« Reply #53 on: October 31, 2009, 11:40:31 PM »

The concepts of morality and good point to an ulitmate, eternal, and objective standard of morality and good. When you deny this eternal and ultimate Good (i.e. God), then you forfeit any claim to objectivity in your appeal for your morality.

Yeah. How can anyone possibly know whats good and kind if their ethics are based on reason, observation and empathy for the suffering of others instead of fear of hell or hope of heaven?

I don't think your sarcasm makes a very good point. You are basically asserting a false dichotomy between reason and faith. Also, most Orthodox Christians do not derive their empathy for their fellow man from the fear of hell or the hope of heaven. They are empathetic toward their fellow human beings because they see in them the image of God, and they intuitively and cognitively recognize the material and spiritual value of the Truth of the Golden Rule.

Selam

^^^To get back on point...

Selam

But why most you see another human being as an image of God to treat them well?  Within humanism, you just see them as a fellow human being, one worthy of autonomy, someone to to assist in times of need, someone to help progress to greater happiness, someone to nurture emotionally, intellectually, etc.  We are pack/social animals, and in the past we have been extremely tribal, but we are entering into an era where we truly see each other as being human.  It is evolutionary and humbling.  But, where you view someone as unique and worthy of protection as an image of God, a humanist views the same, but based on the person being Homo sapiens sapiens.  I do believe there is a universal morality we both strive for, and though many key things we would agree on, we do separate in some areas about what is "moral" or not, and of course, where this morality is coming from.  You would tend to believe morality is two-fold: 1) Passed down through religion, 2) Naturally instilled into us by God.  I agree that various tenants of many religions provide a great moral guideline, but I would argue that is it not due to God, but rather humanity rationally viewing how we live together and what we need to maintain our survival and our progress.  Therefore, in certain cases, I would view certain outlooks as rather dated and in need of reform.

Edit:  Sorry about editing this Gebre, in case I switched around some things while you were responding.
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« Reply #54 on: November 01, 2009, 12:04:13 AM »

^^Humanists and Orthodox Christians do not share a “universal morality”.  To humanists, morals are situational. Men/women set these standards and personal pleasure is the most valued of these. Orthodox Christians have fixed morals and ethics established by our God. These fixed morals do not change.
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« Reply #55 on: November 01, 2009, 12:06:52 AM »

Some comments to your post below in red.

The concepts of morality and good point to an ulitmate, eternal, and objective standard of morality and good. When you deny this eternal and ultimate Good (i.e. God), then you forfeit any claim to objectivity in your appeal for your morality.

Yeah. How can anyone possibly know whats good and kind if their ethics are based on reason, observation and empathy for the suffering of others instead of fear of hell or hope of heaven?

I don't think your sarcasm makes a very good point. You are basically asserting a false dichotomy between reason and faith. Also, most Orthodox Christians do not derive their empathy for their fellow man from the fear of hell or the hope of heaven. They are empathetic toward their fellow human beings because they see in them the image of God, and they intuitively and cognitively recognize the material and spiritual value of the Truth of the Golden Rule.

Selam

^^^To get back on point...

Selam

But why most you see another human being as an image of God to treat them well?  Within humanism, you just see them as a fellow human being, one worthy of autonomy, someone to to assist in times of need OK so far, someone to help progress to greater happiness Now you have a problem, for who defines "happiness?" A crack addict would define happiness as an abundant supply of crack cocaine., someone to nurture emotionally Again, who or what defines and determines "emotional nurture?", intellectually, You may be OK here, but still you must specifically define what you mean by "intellectually."etc.  We are pack/social animals, and in the past we have been extremely tribal, but we are entering into an era where we truly see each other as being human. Really? Abortion is far more accepted today than it was in your so-called "tribal erra."  It is evolutionary and humbling. Evolutionary theory is anything but humbling. It leads to the hubris of humanism, which leads to two extremes: 1) the autonomy of the individual which leads to the oppression of the masses; and 2) the herd instinct which leads to the oppression of the individual   But, where you view someone as unique and worthy of protection as an image of God, a humanist views the same, but based on the person being Homo sapiens sapiens. And yet from a purely biological and rational basis, homosapien life begins at conception; yet the unborn homosapien life has no objective value of worth from a humanist presuppostion.   I do believe there is a universal morality we both strive for, and though many key things we would agree on, we do separate in some areas about what is "moral" or not, and of course, where this morality is coming from. If there is a "universal morality," then only two options exist: 1) the material universe created this morality; or 2) the creator of the universe created this morality. Since the material cannot create the immaterial, then it stands to reason that there is an immaterial Force (God) from which objective morality is derived. You would tend to believe morality is two-fold: 1) Passed down through religion, 2) Naturally instilled into us by God.  I agree that various tenants of many religions provide a great moral guideline, but I would argue that is it not due to God, but rather humanity rationally viewing how we live together and what we need to maintain our survival and our progress.  Therefore, in certain cases, I would view certain outlooks as rather dated and in need of reform. Essentially, you are at this point asserting a pragmatic and utilitarian worldview which is fraught with ethical and moral dilemmas.

Selam
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« Reply #56 on: November 01, 2009, 12:17:58 AM »

To humanists, morals are situational.
I'd disagree with the wording "situational".  I'd rather say organic.  Human society is evolving, and through reason and experience, we develop our view of morality.

Quote
Men/women set these standards and personal pleasure is the most valued of these.
I'd say personal happiness must be valued, but humanism also emphasises "individual participation in the service of humane ideals" which, through through civic duty and benefiting society, will bring about greater happiness for more people.  Humanists are far from being as selfish as you would like to view them.

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Orthodox Christians have fixed morals and ethics established by our God. These fixed morals do not change.
Which I view as a great thing, but I don't believe a religious creed is needed for moral life.  In addition, I believe certain views of morality are antiquated.  Where you would mention we are all "fallen", and that is why certain moral beliefs are not being followed at all or as often; I would think that organic morals are needed and healthier, since we are all human.
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« Reply #57 on: November 01, 2009, 12:33:33 AM »

To humanists, morals are situational.
I'd disagree with the wording "situational".  I'd rather say organic.  Human society is evolving, and through reason and experience, we develop our view of morality.

Quote
Men/women set these standards and personal pleasure is the most valued of these.
I'd say personal happiness must be valued, but humanism also emphasises "individual participation in the service of humane ideals" which, through through civic duty and benefiting society, will bring about greater happiness for more people.  Humanists are far from being as selfish as you would like to view them.

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Orthodox Christians have fixed morals and ethics established by our God. These fixed morals do not change.
Which I view as a great thing, but I don't believe a religious creed is needed for moral life.  In addition, I believe certain views of morality are antiquated.  Where you would mention we are all "fallen", and that is why certain moral beliefs are not being followed at all or as often; I would think that organic morals are needed and healthier, since we are all human.

The humanist idea of "organic morality" is equivalent to a greenhouse effect where everything is in flux, ebb, and flow. "Organic morality" dismisses inhumane atrocities such as the holocaust as merely part of some "organic evolution." But within a materialistic worldview, morality cannot evolve because evolution by definition implies growth and progress towards an objective universal ideal.

Christianity rejects the "cycle of life" theory that attempts to incorporate a spiritual morality within its materialistic framework.

Selam
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« Reply #58 on: November 01, 2009, 01:22:04 AM »

Gebre:

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"Now you have a problem, for who defines "happiness?" A crack addict would define happiness as an abundant supply of crack cocaine"
"Again, who or what defines and determines "emotional nurture?"

Happiness:  People define their own happiness and their goals for progress.  But Humanism also emphasises the awe in the simplicity of our very human existence.  There will be a diverse amount of lifestyles, but we are all still human.  Humans are social animals, and most seek relationships and a yearn to progress and belong.  Enriched, free personal lives encourage us to enrich others lives, with an open mind.

Emotional nurture: People define what they need emotionally.  You look after others' welfare, protect their autonomy and freedoms, do not force indoctrination on them, etc.

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You may be OK here, but still you must specifically define what you mean by "intellectually."
Provide the opportunity to learn and study their interests, free from theistic limitations or intervention.

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Really? Abortion is far more accepted today than it was in your so-called "tribal erra."
I don't completely agree.  You can find anthropological evidence of the knowledge and "acceptance" of abortions in classical times and later, within parts of Europe, in south central and eastern Asia, etc.  Also, this depends on when people view a fetus as becoming human or if it is human from the start.

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Evolutionary theory is anything but humbling.

I'd have to disagree, I find the study of evolution and cosmology to be two of the most humbling fields.  But I suppose for others it might not be.

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It leads to the hubris of humanism, which leads to two extremes: 1) the autonomy of the individual which leads to the oppression of the masses; and 2) the herd instinct which leads to the oppression of the individual
I'd disagree.  I would say humanism would have a much better chance at finding a balance than you give it credit for.  Humanism isn't some 1984 police state, nor is it a state of anarchy.  I would say it could be the same in a religious state, but it would likely only lead to the 2nd extreme.  Either in the form of a theocratic state or a antiquated "Divine Rule" state.

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And yet from a purely biological and rational basis, homosapien life begins at conception; yet the unborn homosapien life has no objective value of worth from a humanist presuppostion.
You are making it sounds like all Humanists are "pro-abortion".  They tend to follow the strain of many liberal Christians.

"For society as a whole, as well as for the children themselves, it is better if every child is a wanted child.  However, abortion is not the best way of avoiding unwanted children, and improved sex education, easily available contraception, and better education and opportunities for young women, can all help to reduce the number of abortions. But as long as abortion is needed as a last resort, most humanists would agree that society should provide safe legal facilities. The alternatives, which would inevitably include illegal abortions, are far worse."  Source

I also don't believe it is such a rational basis.  Science would take into account viability outside of the womb, mental facility, vital organ formation, quality of life if induced, etc. to determine the viability as a person.  I believe instead of spending countless funds on anti-abortion protests and causes, that science (technology and treatments that will allow for a embryo/fetus to survive outside of a womb at a much earlier date and develop properly) and education are keep to reducing abortion numbers.

Quote
If there is a "universal morality," then only two options exist: 1) the material universe created this morality; or 2) the creator of the universe created this morality. Since the material cannot create the immaterial, then it stands to reason that there is an immaterial Force (God) from which objective morality is derived.
I disagree.  I believe without a creator, humanity, as intelligent, social animals, can formulate morality.

Quote
Essentially, you are at this point asserting a pragmatic and utilitarian worldview which is fraught with ethical and moral dilemmas.
Well, I would argue human nature is utilitarian to a degree.  "Humanism is a democratic and ethical life stance, which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. It stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethic based on human and other natural values in the spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities." would sum it up alright, I suppose.  Source

Quote
The humanist idea of "organic morality" is equivalent to a greenhouse effect where everything is in flux, ebb, and flow. "Organic morality" dismisses inhumane atrocities such as the holocaust as merely part of some "organic evolution." But within a materialistic worldview, morality cannot evolve because evolution by definition implies growth and progress towards an objective universal ideal.
I wouldn't say flux, I would say progressive.  We started off in a primitive state, and we are improving.  Will there be bumps and drops on the way?  Of course, we are human.  Inhumane atrocities such as the holocaust, slavery, etc., are not tossed aside, they are brought to the forefront as examples of what a lack of reason and lack of dignity for our fellow humans leads to.  They are inspirations and lessons to learn from.  It stimulates social evolution.

Also, evolution does that require an objective universal ideal.  Humanity as a species is biologically evolving.  We have no idea what we will be like in several miilions of years, but we are evolving nonetheless to more complex organisms.  Who knows what Homo novus might be like.  Aside from that, I do believe our morality is progressing, even if I am unsure where it might completely lead us.

---

Sorry if this ended up a little messy.  I included both posts and had to pick through my original one.  I doubt we will come to an agreement at the end of this, but it is interesting to see your stance on issues and your views of humanism.  Sometimes people treat humanism as pure moral anarchy, but it is not the case.
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« Reply #59 on: November 01, 2009, 02:35:27 AM »


"For society as a whole, as well as for the children themselves, it is better if every child is a wanted child. 
In America, every baby IS a wanted baby.  The average wait time to adopt a non-family member's child  is over 5 years. There are 6 adoptive families waiting for every available infant. The average wait time to adopt a Down's Syndrome infant is over 18 months.

This was a perfect example of the Humanism personal pleasure standard: "I will chop up my baby into itty bitty bits if I won't personally gain any pleasure from it. Since there is no God but me, I will excuse my selfish and homicidal actions and state that it is better if every child is a wanted child." (me, me, me, its all about me)

Humanists have not progressed out of the preconventional stage of moral development.  This is the stage of moral development of 8-10 year old children. 
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« Reply #60 on: November 01, 2009, 02:48:28 AM »

Come on, ms.hoorah, don't be shy, tell us how you really feel  Smiley

I think many people would identify me as a humanist, though I'm not sure whether that's the case or not. Whatever the case may be, I am primarily pro-life, in spite of the fact that I don't derive my morals from a revelation from God, or even based on attributes I think describe God (e.g. "God is love").
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« Reply #61 on: November 01, 2009, 02:54:23 AM »

Every child a wanted child; every slave a wanted slave; every Jew a wanted Jew...  Roll Eyes


Selam
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« Reply #62 on: November 01, 2009, 03:55:07 AM »


"For society as a whole, as well as for the children themselves, it is better if every child is a wanted child. 
In America, every baby IS a wanted baby.  The average wait time to adopt a non-family member's child  is over 5 years. There are 6 adoptive families waiting for every available infant. The average wait time to adopt a Down's Syndrome infant is over 18 months.
Assist science in finding ways to develop and nurture an embryo/fetus outside of the womb.  Then certain women would have, in their minds, a viable option rather than a) an abortion or b) bringing a child to term [which they would rather avoid, for a host of possible reasons].

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This was a perfect example of the Humanism personal pleasure standard: "I will chop up my baby into itty bitty bits if I won't personally gain any pleasure from it. Since there is no God but me, I will excuse my selfish and homicidal actions and state that it is better if every child is a wanted child." (me, me, me, its all about me)
No, a perfect example of Humanism would be trying to curve unwanted pregnancies and abortions through better sexual education (I went to a publicly funded school, and sex-ed was atrocious), increased information and education about contraception, increasing awareness of those wanting to adopt child and the benefits of it (honestly, you never hear about adoption besides the odd soft news story or a scam), secular counselling, etc.  You are not going to eliminate abortion, whether it is legal or illegal.  Though Humanists place a great deal of importance on quality of life, there are a variety of social and civil factors many will weigh as well.  Humanism, also, isn't monolithic, though many are pro-choice.  Some are against abortion except in extreme (and very rare) cases (rape, incest, mother's life is in danger), others believe that it is a viable option and a right for women. 

It is your faith that causes you to believe a person is formed at the moment of conception, this isn't science, this isn't anything else.  Yet, I do believe it will be science and science alone that will curve abortions (some argue it already has through ultrasounds), since it provides people with options that respect their freedoms, their reasoning, their quality of life, etc.  But of course, who wants that.  We can have individuals who would rather push a religious/philosophical view of what makes a person, trying to bastardise science in the process, and impose it on those who don't support their creed.  That isn't selfish at all... "You must listen to ME, MY God is right, MY Church is right, MY line of thinking is the only correct one, why can't you possibly think like ME?"  Humanism is about informed decisions coupled with options and freedoms, those that will benefit the individual AND humanity (you seem to want to remove the HUMAN [as in HUMANity] factor from Humanism).

I personally hope that abortions are practically eliminated (I know that it will never be completely stopped), but I know that faith, nor laws, nor imposed alien morality, nor badgering the women will do any good.  Science/technology  alone will help, whether it is through greater ultrasound imaging, the ability to eliminate the chances of terrible diseases and disabilities, the ability to extract even an embryo from the womb and have it flourish and grow into healthy child, contraception that allows for 100% protection from pregnancy without permanent procedures, etc.

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Humanists have not progressed out of the preconventional stage of moral development.  This is the stage of moral development of 8-10 year old children. 
I know... who wants a moral system based around reason, protection of individual freedoms and natural rights, the right to a good quality of life, the emphasis on humane and social benefits, values the amazing gifts (science, art, etc) that has propelled our specie forward, and continues to push for the never-ending pursuit of knowledge through observation and experimentation?  Also, how could I forget about all the evil, and hedonistic humanists of the past, who have advanced social justice, human rights, our general quality of life, science (from astrophysics to evolutionary biology and everything in between), and the arts (literature, drama, photography, painting, etc.)?

Humanism is not a synonym for selfishness.  "Social responsibility" is a basic tenet echoed by humanists and humanist organisations worldwide.  There is an understand and a celebration of the the interdependence we share, not only with our fellow humans but with the natural world around us.
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« Reply #63 on: November 01, 2009, 04:12:24 AM »

To humanists, morals are situational.
I'd disagree with the wording "situational".  I'd rather say organic.  Human society is evolving, and through reason and experience, we develop our view of morality.

And one day, as Nietsche noted, we will outgrow morality as we know it altogether.

Men/women set these standards and personal pleasure is the most valued of these.
I'd say personal happiness must be valued, but humanism also emphasises "individual participation in the service of humane ideals" which, through through civic duty and benefiting society, will bring about greater happiness for more people.  Humanists are far from being as selfish as you would like to view them.

Again, the problem is not those humanists who want to conserve and live of the dividends of the moral capital their theist forefathers bequeathed them, but those who want to sqander it (who tend to be on the hedonistic side).  Once spent, the humanists have no means to build those assets up again.




Orthodox Christians have fixed morals and ethics established by our God. These fixed morals do not change.
Which I view as a great thing, but I don't believe a religious creed is needed for moral life.

Stalin agreed with you.  How you going to tell him he's wrong?



Quote
 In addition, I believe certain views of morality are antiquated.  Where you would mention we are all "fallen", and that is why certain moral beliefs are not being followed at all or as often; I would think that organic morals are needed and healthier, since we are all human.

Including Stalin.

The concepts of morality and good point to an ulitmate, eternal, and objective standard of morality and good. When you deny this eternal and ultimate Good (i.e. God), then you forfeit any claim to objectivity in your appeal for your morality.

Yeah. How can anyone possibly know whats good and kind if their ethics are based on reason, observation and empathy for the suffering of others instead of fear of hell or hope of heaven?

I don't think your sarcasm makes a very good point. You are basically asserting a false dichotomy between reason and faith. Also, most Orthodox Christians do not derive their empathy for their fellow man from the fear of hell or the hope of heaven. They are empathetic toward their fellow human beings because they see in them the image of God, and they intuitively and cognitively recognize the material and spiritual value of the Truth of the Golden Rule.

Selam

^^^To get back on point...

Selam

But why most you see another human being as an image of God to treat them well?  Within humanism, you just see them as a fellow human being, one worthy of autonomy, someone to to assist in times of need, someone to help progress to greater happiness, someone to nurture emotionally, intellectually, etc. 


Yes, and Mao's great leap forward was a wonderful demonstration of assisting his comrades in times of need and helping his comrades progress to greater happiness, nurturing the masses emotionally (nothing like the high of a Mao rally), and intellectually (the little classes on the Little Red Book was probably the largest education program in history.  The Hundred Flowers Campaign was a wonderful application of autonomy.



We are pack/social animals, and in the past we have been extremely tribal, but we are entering into an era where we truly see each other as being human.  It is evolutionary and humbling.

Yes. The wonders of history ending, as Prof Francis Fukuyama has shown. Roll Eyes



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But, where you view someone as unique and worthy of protection as an image of God, a humanist views the same, but based on the person being Homo sapiens sapiens.


In the survival of the fitest, he's just someone else on the food chain.


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I do believe there is a universal morality we both strive for, and though many key things we would agree on,

And what of those things you and comrades Stalin and Mao disagree on?

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we do separate in some areas about what is "moral" or not, and of course, where this morality is coming from.  You would tend to believe morality is two-fold: 1) Passed down through religion, 2) Naturally instilled into us by God.  I agree that various tenants of many religions provide a great moral guideline, but I would argue that is it not due to God, but rather humanity rationally viewing how we live together and what we need to maintain our survival and our progress. 

...and that's where the Nazis come in....

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Therefore, in certain cases, I would view certain outlooks as rather dated and in need of reform.

So did they.
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« Reply #64 on: November 01, 2009, 04:25:26 AM »

And one day, as Nietsche noted, we will outgrow morality as we know it altogether.
Whole overman argument right?

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Again, the problem is not those humanists who want to conserve and live of the dividends of the moral capital their theist forefathers bequeathed them, but those who want to sqander it (who tend to be on the hedonistic side).  Once spent, the humanists have no means to build those assets up again.
What moral capital of theists?  These ideals stem more from deists than theists, which I would argue, were mostly humanists anyways.

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Stalin agreed with you.  How you going to tell him he's wrong?
He didn't adhere to the need for social responsibility and humane ideals.  And before you say "Stalin believed that, Stalin agreed with you, etc"... he didn't.  He didn't protect the dignity of human life (which he didn't respect, just ask Ukrainians), the right to freedom/autonomy (again, Stalin and communism weren't fans), etc.

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Including Stalin.
He was human?  Yes, I would agree.
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« Reply #65 on: November 01, 2009, 04:29:29 AM »

The concepts of morality and good point to an ulitmate, eternal, and objective standard of morality and good. When you deny this eternal and ultimate Good (i.e. God), then you forfeit any claim to objectivity in your appeal for your morality.

Yeah. How can anyone possibly know whats good and kind if their ethics are based on reason, observation and
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empathy for the suffering of others
instead of fear of hell or hope of heaven?

Not objective.  And Orthodox morality isnt' based on a fear of hell or hope of heaven.
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« Reply #66 on: November 01, 2009, 04:30:15 AM »

If, on the other hand, you are merely equating the term objective with absolute, then I'd agree that you can't have objective morality without God.
I know a few Buddhists who might disagree.

Really? Would at least some buddhists believe that their morality was absolutely correct, then? On what do they base that certainty? Reason? Experience? I'm unfamiliar with Buddhism except for a few introductory books on it.
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« Reply #67 on: November 01, 2009, 04:32:14 AM »

Just the facts that humanists like to sweep under the rug.  I used to tell a good atheist friend of mine, the problem is not that you are moral, the problem is that you don't have a basis to make your fellow atheists moral who don't want to be.
One could always make rational/common-sense arguments for morality.
1) Common sense isn't common. 2) one can't make non-theist arguments for morality which stand up to rational scrutiny.
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« Reply #68 on: November 01, 2009, 04:34:06 AM »

Perhaps if the people here would define how they are using the word objective, that would be of some help. As I said in a previous post, when it comes to my own morality, whether it is objective or not depends on how you define the term. For example, one definition of objective is "not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased: an objective opinion." Using this definition, my morality would be partly objective, but not fully, as I rely on facts but also am influenced by subjective experience. On the other hand, if people are using the term objective as merely a synonym for divinely-inspired, then certainly I wouldn't claim that my morality is objective.
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« Reply #69 on: November 01, 2009, 04:46:14 AM »

Without God, all things are possible, and human rights, basic or otherwise, don't exist.  No argument can be made to their existence without recourse to a higher authority.
With God, all things are possible.  People will do things that violate all logical sense, in belief of "greater glory".

And, as I've shown with St. Luke's quote, such people violate all Christian values.  To do something for "greater glory" you have to get rid of absolutes first, which humanism has done.  As someone pointed out, it merely takes a week or two of post-Christian society to match the work of the centuries old Inquisition (leaving aside its connection to the "enlightenment").


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Humanism does not require a higher authority,

yes, so it claims.  Of course, humanists like Mao and Stalin have no use for a higher authority.

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yet you see people striving for individual and common good through secular means.


http://geopolicraticus.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/destroy_old_world.jpg

Just the facts that humanists like to sweep under the rug.  I used to tell a good atheist friend of mine, the problem is not that you are moral, the problem is that you don't have a basis to make your fellow atheists moral who don't want to be.
No one has a basis to make anyone else "moral".  An atheist can choose to be a humanist, or not.  A Christian can choose to follow their Church's/Christs teachings, or they can choose not to.  The only difference is when an Atheist is immoral, they are "godless".  When a Christian is immoral, they are "fallen".

The only difference is that when a Christian is immoral, they can be shown the standard (e.g. St. Luke 9 above).
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,24104.msg370232.html#msg370232

Haven't been to Washington I see.
Not my favourite place to be.  I've been there before when Clinton and then when Bush were in power.  Though I heard secular rabbling here and there, it was definitely the Jewish and fundamentalist Christian lobbies constantly trying to dictate the government's direction.

It has been years since I worked there in the former height  of the Democrats, back in the days of the ACLU, NAMBLA (where I first was made aware of this organization, through its lobbyist), the Nuclear Freeze, NARAL etc.  Did Newt do away with these so much.....?


The fact that the Darwinists continue to insist on their dogma being taught as truth surely shows the need for it.
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,15104.0.html

A sound scientific theory vs a creation myth on part with that of the Hindu, Greco-Romans, etc?  Why not teach The Theogony of Hesiod in science class too?

The Theogony has more in common with Darwin than Genesis, so I'm not sure of your point.
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« Reply #70 on: November 01, 2009, 05:00:31 AM »

ialmisry,

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Without God, all things are possible,

I've never really heard for sure, did Dostoevsky actually say that, or is it simply an idea attributed to him? It's an interesting companion to Matt. 19:26. It's sort of like the combination of the verses in Matt. 12:30 and Mark 9:40. I guess you Christians like to have your bases covered! Smiley  Anyway, I don't see anything wrong with all things being possible without God, so long as you don't say "all things are morally permissable without God," which would be incorrect in my opinion.

The Russian is Если Бога нет, то всё дозволено.

And it is incorrect only because there is a God. The God.

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and human rights, basic or otherwise, don't exist.  No argument can be made to their existence without recourse to a higher authority.

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I don't think there is such a thing as absolute morality. Nonetheless, I believe that morality can be seen as being on a continuum, between very good and very evil. The good things wake us up out of our intellectual, moral and spiritual slumber, while the evil things sink us further into apathy and sleepiness. In that sense, I do believe that some things are good while others are evil, but this is a practical and naturalistic rather than a God-revealed or absolute morality.


And therefore all well fine and good for you, but Comrade Stalin and Comrade Mao have other ideas.


Quote
This morality was not handed down by a God in a revelation to mankind, but has been coded into humanity by nature, and has been figured out by humans as they have developed cultures and societies over thousands and thousands of years. Thus we know that you shouldn't murder, shouldn't steal from others, and so forth.


Survival of the fitest.  Murdering and steling play their part.

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Now you may not agree with arguments of morality through nature, or morality arrived at through cultural evolution,


My agreement or disagreement are of no relevance.  That's the prolem with humanism.

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but I can still make them, and I don't need to rely on a God to do so.


You don't have to take gravity into account when you design a house, but there are consequences....

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What's more, I can still say that some of these moral rules should be enforced on everyone, and I don't need a God to do so.


You can say anything you like.  Who is obligated to listen?

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You may argue that I have no absolute or eternal basis for doing this, but that argument only has force if I think I need an absolute or eternal basis, which I don't.

LOL.  Relativism blows open wide that hole through which Comrade Stain and Comrade Mao (not to mention der Fuehrer) pass their divisions.



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Essentially you're just preaching to the Christian choir with your argument that you need a God to have morality.

Besides the intrinsic value of warning the choir of wolves, anyoe can make a statement that they do not need anything.   You can state you do not need food.  the proof is 6 months done the road....
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« Reply #71 on: November 01, 2009, 05:14:11 AM »

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Survival of the fitest.  Murdering and steling play their part.

Actually it's survival of those best able to pass on their genes. I've already done my part, but peaceful coexistence with other humans increases the chances that my daughters will live long enough to reproduce. So far from encouraging murdering and stealing, darwinian evolution--whether God-driven or not--encourages things like not murdering, not stealing, etc. Not that it willfully encourages it, of course.

Quote
LOL.  Relativism blows open wide that hole through which Comrade Stain and Comrade Mao (not to mention der Fuehrer) pass their divisions.

Actually if I had to put a term on it, I'd say that my morality is contextual, not relativisitic. Not that I expect that such a distinction will make much of a difference to you, just thought I'd mention it.

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Besides the intrinsic value of warning the choir of wolves, anyoe can make a statement that they do not need anything.   You can state you do not need food.  the proof is 6 months done the road....

Very true. But the point still remains, if you're trying to convince me that I'm wrong, you're not coming close. If all you're doing is warning the choice of to pay no mind to the apostate, then that's fine.
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« Reply #72 on: November 01, 2009, 07:10:14 AM »

The concepts of morality and good point to an ulitmate, eternal, and objective standard of morality and good. When you deny this eternal and ultimate Good (i.e. God), then you forfeit any claim to objectivity in your appeal for your morality.

Yeah. How can anyone possibly know whats good and kind if their ethics are based on reason, observation and empathy for the suffering of others instead of fear of hell or hope of heaven?

I don't think your sarcasm makes a very good point. You are basically asserting a false dichotomy between reason and faith. Also, most Orthodox Christians do not derive their empathy for their fellow man from the fear of hell or the hope of heaven. They are empathetic toward their fellow human beings because they see in them the image of God, and they intuitively and cognitively recognize the material and spiritual value of the Truth of the Golden Rule.

Selam
Is empathy impossible for those who do not "see" the Image of God in their neighbour?
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« Reply #73 on: November 01, 2009, 07:15:49 AM »

If, on the other hand, you are merely equating the term objective with absolute, then I'd agree that you can't have objective morality without God.
I know a few Buddhists who might disagree.

Really? Would at least some buddhists believe that their morality was absolutely correct, then? On what do they base that certainty? Reason? Experience? I'm unfamiliar with Buddhism except for a few introductory books on it.
Rather than think of it in terms of their morality being viewed as "absolutely correct", it is better understood as a belief that some moral principles are absolute. For instance, in Zen Buddhism which lacks a deity, Harmlessness is an absolute moral principle.
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« Reply #74 on: November 01, 2009, 09:09:12 AM »

If, on the other hand, you are merely equating the term objective with absolute, then I'd agree that you can't have objective morality without God.
I know a few Buddhists who might disagree.

Really? Would at least some buddhists believe that their morality was absolutely correct, then? On what do they base that certainty? Reason? Experience? I'm unfamiliar with Buddhism except for a few introductory books on it.
Buddhist morality is based on the idea that the moral valence of one's intentions and acts (karma) leads to a corresponding material and mental result (vipaka). That is, if one's intentions and acts are based on compassion and wisdom, the material and mental results will be positive both for you and for others.

Buddhists see this as a process that is "absolutely" correct; that is, this process happens universally. I put "absolute" in quotes, because this process is absolutely true in the universe of matter, energy, and consciousness in which we live. And, yet, this morality was not "created". It simply is how things operate in the phenomenal world. It will be true whether a Buddha says so or not.

(This is not to say that everything that happens to you is a result of your own actions, however; things happen that are a result of non-personal causes. This is also not to say that people should be left alone to 'suffer' through the results of their past actions, as in "Let him suffer; he must have done something bad in a past life": such disregard of peoples' suffering is the antithesis of what it means to be compassionate and wise.)

This Buddhist morality is based on the word of the Buddha, as well as on the applied rationality toward the observation of cause-and-effect in the world, and on the personal experiences of Buddhists throughout the centuries.

As the author of Galatians 6:7 said, "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps [experiences vipaka] what he sows [creates karma]."
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« Reply #75 on: November 01, 2009, 11:03:47 AM »

ozgeorge, Jetavan,

Thank you for the thoughts/answer on Buddhism, much appreciated. Smiley
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« Reply #76 on: November 01, 2009, 07:44:39 PM »

And therefore all well fine and good for you, but Comrade Stalin and Comrade Mao have other ideas.
Ialmisry, do you have any intelligent reason for bringing Stalin and Chairman Mao into this discussion, or should I just chalk this up as another example of a variant of Godwin's Law?
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« Reply #77 on: November 02, 2009, 01:27:00 PM »

I think people prefer a dogmatic morality to a real system of morality because it's easier. However, it is a most immoral of systems, it is derived from the morality necessary for the most basic and primitive tribal system to function, it is designed to favour those in power and oppress those without political influence and, by doing so, maintain order in the tribe. It blames rape on victims, it condones the beating of slaves and condemns slaves who seek their liberty, it allows for executions based on hearsay, it essentially codifies tyranny.

As the world has developed, this moral code has been seen by all to be inadequate, even the faithful have attempted to explain away their own moral codes, attempting to draw abstract truths then drawing conclusions from those abstract truths that are directly opposed to the original moral code they claim to live by. But, in truth, while it would be preferable to dispense with these archaic codes entirely, I am glad for the dishonesty and self-deception of those who follow them, it would be far worse for us if these codes were taken literally as they are in the Islamic world.

Unfortunately, while the bloody details of these moral codes are no longer in effect, there is a lingering danger from them, namely their simplicity. 'Morality' is nothing more than a neurological inhibition that aids in the continuance and protection of our species, in fact it can be seen to varying degrees in every social animal. Without at least a very rudimentary 'morality' no group of animals, be they humans, apes, or horses could live in a social context, which, for many of these species, would mean their extinction. So with these humble beginnings, it's no surprise that people prefer an easy and simple system of morality; however, our society is no longer so simple and basic, we have created great civilizations and nation-states, we have instituted international bodies and laws amongst nations, the morality of the tribe does not always apply to our current situation. In the ancient codes we see severe punishments for intra-societal violence, but inter-societal violence is accepted even to the extreme in the Old Testament where not only tribal acts of violence against other tribes was tolerated, but even individual acts of violence against outsiders in certain situations. If one starts with the assumption that you are always in direct conflict over scarce resources with other tribes, essentially in a constant state of war, then this is a reasonable moral code when members of another tribe are, at all times, essentially enemy soldiers. But as more defined civilizations emerged, the simplicity was lost. Occasional states of peace, rather than constant war, between equals became more viable. And things further changed with the development of economies so that even between unequal powers, peace may be more advantageous between both powers because of economic concerns. With the economic and industrial changes of the 18th and 19th centuries these changing conditions started to affect even things such as property. Slavery, while still advantageous in an agricultural economy was less useful in an industrial economy, making it's continuation a hindrance rather than aid in truly advancing a civilization due to excessive competition against a fledgling, but increasing vital, sector of the economy. In certain circumstances even personal use of material property had to be questioned (aggressive monopolies, paying employees in vouchers for a company store, etc.) as it was no longer the case that while using my property as I see fit may not help you, but it doesn't harm you. Rather it did harm people and not just no an individual level, but monopolizing the workforce and forcing competitors out of business caused harm to entire segments of the economy, it caused harm to society itself and thus the moral codes and regulations had to again be updated. In a constantly changing world, we must have, by necessity, a constantly changing morality.

But throughout history there has been one absolute standard of morality: the advancement of one's tribe, city, civilization, empire, nation-state, etc....the advancement of society. Even relativistic morality shares in this absolute, but it's not so much an absolute principle of morality as it is the evolutionary definition of morality. If something is not aimed at advancing and continuing society, it's simply not morality. It may or may not be 'good' (whatever that means), but it's not 'moral'.

Now we may argue what constitutes 'society' is it merely our own family? Our tribe? Our Nation? All humanity? All intelligent entities? My guess is that with our current social development we're somewhere between Our Nation and All Humanity; though I believe our society being defined in terms of intelligence is approaching faster than most dare dream...as it should.

But this debate is not the essence of moral relativism, one can take any one of these definitions of society and form an absolute moral code, I wish they wouldn't, but they can and do. Moral relativism is simply the acknowledgment that the morality of a situation depends on, is relative to, a multitude of factors. One must determine how they interplay and what the ultimate impact on society is. Furthermore, the direction one believes society should advance must also be taken into account. An environmentally-driven morality and a technology-driven morality are both valid, though sometimes opposed to each other; but as both seek to advance society in their own way they can both be considered 'moral'. As to which one we should embrace, that's not so much a question of morality, but a question of how a society believes they should develop; it's more a political question than a moral one.

Of course, we can't have a conversation like this without abortion coming up, it's a favourite topic of those who take a simplistic approach to morality. But it's never been a simple question; granted, in the ancient world abortion was less common because of the lack of medical advancement, but an equivalent practice, exposure, was VERY widespread. Those who take a simplistic approach to morality would say, 'you're killing a baby, that's wrong.' But when resources are scarce, the answer isn't so simple. In a small tribal system, you had to have a balance of those who can work and those who can't. Too many children, too many non-productive mouths to feed, could lead to widespread shortages and starvation, threatening the entire society. Insufficient children, this imbalance in the workforce is simply delayed and you'd have the same problem a decade later. The stakes (survival of an entire civilization) may not be quite as high today, but the complexities still exist and will exist as long as we have a scarcity of resources. Do we spend money allowing fetus with inadequate brain development to be born, then spend resources to raise it, possibly even having to expend resources throughout its entire life without any productivity in return? Or do we use those resources to send a promising but disadvantaged youth through college? Or should I say several disadvantaged youths through college? Allowing them to climb out of poverty, make a better life for themselves and their family, and even contribute back to society allowing the cycle to continue? Is it beneficial to harm the career of a promising doctor or scientist who became pregnant on the roll of the dice that her offspring will be more beneficial to society? You're rolling against the house on that one. This is not a false dichotomy, every time resources are put to one use, they are deprived from another and it's not enough to look at the specific situation, you must take into account all related impacts of your decision...that's why morality is relative and why a dogmatic approach will do far more harm than good, a decision made in ignorance is rarely the best decision.

With that said, contraception is an obviously better 'more moral' choice since it takes far fewer resources for the same impact.
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« Reply #78 on: November 02, 2009, 01:56:12 PM »

The problem I see with atheism as a public policy is that it ends ups killing a great deal more than do any other system.  With all the various religious persecutions attributed to 'Christians' all lumped together, you can't even get near the numbers perpetrated by atheistic regimes.  I think atheists can be good folks as individuals, but they can get dangerous when put in a room by themselves.  That's the same argument many of them have against us, but I think the numerical differences in regards to outcomes are indeed telling.

Of course, I have found that pushy atheists and pushy 'Christians' share the common trait of insecurity and ego issues.

Moral of the story: human fallenness cannot be avoided in an 'system.'  That's true of any utopian plan, atheistic or otherwise, though some manage the human impulse to selfishness better than others.
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« Reply #79 on: November 02, 2009, 03:08:39 PM »

Quote
Survival of the fitest.  Murdering and stealing play their part.

Actually it's survival of those best able to pass on their genes. I've already done my part, but peaceful coexistence with other humans increases the chances that my daughters will live long enough to reproduce. So far from encouraging murdering and stealing, darwinian evolution--whether God-driven or not--encourages things like not murdering, not stealing, etc. Not that it willfully encourages it, of course.

Yes, it does.  Whether from the traumatic insemination of the bean weevil
http://rahne-everson.livejournal.com/2009/03/23/
to the ethnic cleansing that ensures that the right people live long enough to reproduce.

Quote
Quote
LOL.  Relativism blows open wide that hole through which Comrade Stain and Comrade Mao (not to mention der Fuehrer) pass their divisions.

Actually if I had to put a term on it, I'd say that my morality is contextual, not relativisitic. Not that I expect that such a distinction will make much of a difference to you, just thought I'd mention it.

A rose by any other name has thorns just as sharp, and needs the same manure to grow.

Quote
Quote
Besides the intrinsic value of warning the choir of wolves, anyoe can make a statement that they do not need anything.   You can state you do not need food.  the proof is 6 months done the road....

Very true. But the point still remains, if you're trying to convince me that I'm wrong, you're not coming close. If all you're doing is warning the choice of to pay no mind to the apostate, then that's fine.
[/quote]

That suffices.  But the fact remains you assertion is still unsupported.
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« Reply #80 on: November 02, 2009, 06:29:23 PM »

As the world has developed, this moral code has been seen by all to be inadequate, even the faithful have attempted to explain away their own moral codes, attempting to draw abstract truths then drawing conclusions from those abstract truths that are directly opposed to the original moral code they claim to live by. But, in truth, while it would be preferable to dispense with these archaic codes entirely, I am glad for the dishonesty and self-deception of those who follow them, it would be far worse for us if these codes were taken literally as they are in the Islamic world.
I wonder, though, whether any "moral code" can ever be absolute and immutable. While I think there are particular moral values which are absolute and immutable, a moral code (the guide as to "how to live" those values) can and does change. Do you think this is dishonest?
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« Reply #81 on: November 02, 2009, 06:39:25 PM »

As the world has developed, this moral code has been seen by all to be inadequate, even the faithful have attempted to explain away their own moral codes, attempting to draw abstract truths then drawing conclusions from those abstract truths that are directly opposed to the original moral code they claim to live by. But, in truth, while it would be preferable to dispense with these archaic codes entirely, I am glad for the dishonesty and self-deception of those who follow them, it would be far worse for us if these codes were taken literally as they are in the Islamic world.
I wonder, though, whether any "moral code" can ever be absolute and immutable. While I think there are particular moral values which are absolute and immutable, a moral code (the guide as to "how to live" those values) can and does change. Do you think this is dishonest?

No, that's not dishonest...as long as you leave the Judeo-Christian holy books out of the formation of these values.
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« Reply #82 on: November 02, 2009, 06:53:57 PM »

As the world has developed, this moral code has been seen by all to be inadequate, even the faithful have attempted to explain away their own moral codes, attempting to draw abstract truths then drawing conclusions from those abstract truths that are directly opposed to the original moral code they claim to live by. But, in truth, while it would be preferable to dispense with these archaic codes entirely, I am glad for the dishonesty and self-deception of those who follow them, it would be far worse for us if these codes were taken literally as they are in the Islamic world.
I wonder, though, whether any "moral code" can ever be absolute and immutable. While I think there are particular moral values which are absolute and immutable, a moral code (the guide as to "how to live" those values) can and does change. Do you think this is dishonest?

No, that's not dishonest...as long as you leave the Judeo-Christian holy books out of the formation of these values.
Of all the classical texts I may use to reach moral conclusions, why must the Judeo-Christian ones be the only ones I exclude? Is the Bhagavad Gita OK to use? Is the Dao De Jing OK? Are Plato, Aristotle, Sophocles, Aristophanes OK?
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« Reply #83 on: November 02, 2009, 07:05:24 PM »

By the way GiC, its good to see you again!
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« Reply #84 on: November 02, 2009, 07:28:32 PM »

As the world has developed, this moral code has been seen by all to be inadequate, even the faithful have attempted to explain away their own moral codes, attempting to draw abstract truths then drawing conclusions from those abstract truths that are directly opposed to the original moral code they claim to live by. But, in truth, while it would be preferable to dispense with these archaic codes entirely, I am glad for the dishonesty and self-deception of those who follow them, it would be far worse for us if these codes were taken literally as they are in the Islamic world.
I wonder, though, whether any "moral code" can ever be absolute and immutable. While I think there are particular moral values which are absolute and immutable, a moral code (the guide as to "how to live" those values) can and does change. Do you think this is dishonest?

No, that's not dishonest...as long as you leave the Judeo-Christian holy books out of the formation of these values.
Of all the classical texts I may use to reach moral conclusions, why must the Judeo-Christian ones be the only ones I exclude? Is the Bhagavad Gita OK to use? Is the Dao De Jing OK? Are Plato, Aristotle, Sophocles, Aristophanes OK?

I just figured I'd pick on those because they're the ones most likely to be taken seriously on this board. Wink I'd have the same objections to using the Code of Hammurabi or the Quran. But perhaps I'm being a bit unfair in my generalizations. I misspoke a bit, I have no objection to using various ancient texts be it the judeo-christian scriptures, or the Tao Te Ching, or the Bhagavad Gita, or even the Quran for that matter...provided they're used as philosophical texts and not as dogma. As long as one does not view them as the inerrant word of some deity and recognizes them as the best attempts of humans to make a system of rules that will allow their society to both thrive and prosper. So long as we can view them in their proper context and give an honest criticism, we may be able to learn from their methods if not from their conclusions; and maybe some conclusions are still applicable, but if so we should be able to arrive at these conclusions independently, even if the sources are used for guidance. It's not so much the scriptures that are the problem, I believe those who write them did so in good faith for what they saw as the common good; the problem is when they become unquestionable dogma, forcing us to take bad conclusions that are clearly immoral in a modern context (and, arguably, even immoral if their context is taken into consideration...I don't believe their treatment of women, homosexuals, or slaves can ever truly be justified as moral and acceptable, though I may be able to allow a moral justification for the institution of slavery RELATIVE TO THEIR SOCIAL CONTEXT) as divinely inspired.

It's dogma that's contrary to morality more so than a particular text. And while you may be able to think rationally and not blindly follow every dictate of the Law of Moses or even every statement of St. Paul for that matter, there are unfortunately too many won can't; or perhaps even more sinister and dangerous, many who dismiss the ones that are merely inconvenient but not harmful (dietary laws, sanitation laws, etc.), but wish to violently enforce ones that are truly immoral (oppression of women, murder of intellectual dissidents (blasphemers, heretics, etc.), murder of homosexuals, etc.). That's the true danger of so-called 'divine texts'.

Btw, It's good to see you again too George. Wink
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« Reply #85 on: November 02, 2009, 07:28:52 PM »

ialmisry,

Quote
Yes, it does.  Whether from the traumatic insemination of the bean weevil to the ethnic cleansing that ensures that the right people live long enough to reproduce.

So you gave two examples, one not involving humans, and the other not involving evolution.

Quote
A rose by any other name has thorns just as sharp, and needs the same manure to grow.

Like I said, "Not that I expect that such a distinction will make much of a difference to you". That's an ad hominem, I admit that.

Quote
That suffices.  But the fact remains you assertion is still unsupported.

I've not tried to defend my position, just give an overview of it.
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« Reply #86 on: November 02, 2009, 07:39:52 PM »

I apologize if I have erroneously labeled Carl Sagan as an atheist. I did so based on his statement:

"There is and has never been anything in the universe other than matter.”

Selam
In a sense he's right as God transcends the universe if the universe is defined as all that is matter.
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« Reply #87 on: November 02, 2009, 07:51:56 PM »

I apologize if I have erroneously labeled Carl Sagan as an atheist. I did so based on his statement:

"There is and has never been anything in the universe other than matter.”

Selam
In a sense he's right as God transcends the universe if the universe is defined as all that is matter.

I doubt if that's what he means, because I doubt if he believed in God Transcendent. Also, I reject the idea of a Trascendental God who is not at the same time an Immanent God. Christ lived in the material universe, even though He was Lord over it. Thus, we must never accept the definition of the universe as purely material.

Selam
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« Reply #88 on: November 02, 2009, 07:54:03 PM »

I apologize if I have erroneously labeled Carl Sagan as an atheist. I did so based on his statement:

"There is and has never been anything in the universe other than matter.”

Selam
In a sense he's right as God transcends the universe if the universe is defined as all that is matter.

I doubt if that's what he means, because I doubt if he believed in God Transcendent. Also, I reject the idea of a Trascendental God who is not at the same time an Immanent God. Christ lived in the material universe, even though He was Lord over it. Thus, we must never accept the definition of the universe as purely material.

Selam
I agree that God is immanent as well.
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« Reply #89 on: November 03, 2009, 05:27:36 AM »

I misspoke a bit, I have no objection to using various ancient texts be it the judeo-christian scriptures, or the Tao Te Ching, or the Bhagavad Gita, or even the Quran for that matter...provided they're used as philosophical texts and not as dogma.
I would actually agree with you here. But I think that this is unremarkable in that the vast majority of Christian Scripture is not actually "dogma" in the "Apostolic" Churches anyway (Orthodox, RC, Anglican...etc...).
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