OrthodoxChristianity.net
August 01, 2014, 12:20:34 AM *
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: A desire for immortality.  (Read 737 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Shiny
Site Supporter
Muted
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Groucho Marxist
Jurisdiction: Dahntahn Stoop Haus
Posts: 13,267


Paint It Red


« on: February 22, 2011, 03:36:21 AM »

I've been thinking about this for awhile now, but at the heart of every man there is a deep seeded desire/hope that one wants to live on after death? Am I the only one who is frightened that if there wasn't life after death, there would be some sort of mad scramble to increase one's longevity even if it means killing other people to attain it?

I'm pretty vague on this subject, but I was curious if anyone had a bit more insight on this than I do.
Logged

“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

– St. Ambrose of Milan
theo philosopher
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 315



« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2011, 04:04:55 AM »

It really boils down to an existential argument - almost every creature on this earth seeks to avoid death. Why? Because Romans 8 shows that all of creation knows it's meant for more. We're a creation that was created with eternity dripping off of us, but rejected it for the temporal.

The materialist might say it's our survival instincts, but then fails to tell us why we have the desire to survive in the first place. Saying, "Oh, it's innate" just doesn't cut it; why do we desire to survive?
Logged

“Wherefore, then, death approaches, gulps down the bait of the body, and is pierced by the hook of the divinity. Then, having tasted of the sinless and life-giving body, it is destroyed and gives up all those whom it had swallowed down of old." - St. John of Damascus
NorthernPines
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 934



« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2011, 11:43:03 AM »

I've been thinking about this for awhile now, but at the heart of every man there is a deep seeded desire/hope that one wants to live on after death? Am I the only one who is frightened that if there wasn't life after death, there would be some sort of mad scramble to increase one's longevity even if it means killing other people to attain it?

Yes, I think you're the only who thinks that! Cheesy j/k

Considering that many people who believe in life after death are in a "mad dash" to kill people so they can achieve eternal paradise themselves, (ie: Terrorists, Christian Crusaders etc) I would say I really disagree with your view/fear. Everyone I know who doesn't believe in life after death (or is skeptical of it) tends to see life a bit more precious and fragile than many religious people, including myself at times. After all if as a believer I "screw up" in this life, what they heck, there is always the next. Smiley This life means little if it is but a shadow of the things to come; I see this in many of my Christian friends (mostly Evangelical Protestant ones) who don't take the time to enjoy the life we have here and now on earth because  we are "sojourners here on earth" as they say. (the world is fallen and evil etc)

Let put this another way, if YOU knew there was no life after death, would you all of a sudden go around killing people to attain a longer life? If so what does that say about YOU as a moral person?

It's like Christians who say "if I knew there was no God I'd do all the evil things I wanted to!" I ask myself, "Really? You mean the only reason you even pretend to be a moral person is because you are afraid of God sending you to hell or punishing you? That kind of makes you an amoral individual, doesn't it?"

 I admit I used to say the same thing until I actually thought about WHAT it was I was saying and what it said about me as a human being. I guess if the "fear of God" is what keeps a few people in line and doing good, well I suppose that's okay, but in the end don't these people usually find ways of justifying their immoral actions anyways? (God told me to kill that little old lady crossing the street, God told me to kill 3000 people in a high rise building etc.)

There are millions of millions of people who do not believe in life after death and they are perfectly moral, peaceful and loving human beings, who wouldn't hurt a fly and do good and live moral lives for the sake of goodness itself. Evil people are going to do evil things whether they believe in God/afterlife or not. Don't believe me . . . just look at Church history and you'll see that belief in an afterlife never stopped anyone from committing evil acts.

If belief in an afterlife and a judgment is the only thing keeping me from acting badly, then I need to rethink my relationship to Christ, and really truly reflect on why it is I follow Him, and really consider if I love Him, or only love what He can do for me. (keep me out of hell) If we love God as we love ourselves we'll do good and live well out of this love for Him and we won't need the rules and regulations, the "thou shalt nots"....

For those who don't believe, again the evidence weighs against your fear I think.

Interesting question though, to say the least.








Logged
Aindriú
Faster! Funnier!
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Cynical
Jurisdiction: Vestibule of Hell
Posts: 3,918



WWW
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2011, 11:53:38 AM »

Am I the only one who is frightened that if there wasn't life after death, there would be some sort of mad scramble to increase one's longevity even if it means killing other people to attain it?

Stem-cell research*

There is a large crowd demanding more stem-cell research, BUT not just stem-cell research. Stem-cell research and use from any source and procedure. Aborted fetuses, unethical implementation, harvesting cloned embryos, etc. are examples of people who are making a "mad scramble to increase one's longevity". "How dare you forbid this form of medical research! I could save my life one day!"


It's like Christians who say "if I knew there was no God I'd do all the evil things I wanted to!" I ask myself, "Really? You mean the only reason you even pretend to be a moral person is because you are afraid of God sending you to hell or punishing you? That kind of makes you an amoral individual, doesn't it?"

I think it was Fr. Hans Jacobse that pointed out modern secular society is currently riding the post-Christian wave. That is, much of the secular "morality" is a remnant worldview from the Christian mindset. Those that don't participate in this are otherwise given pause from societal laws.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2011, 11:57:26 AM by Azurestone » Logged


I'm going to need this.
theo philosopher
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 315



« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2011, 12:08:00 PM »

Quote
This life means little if it is but a shadow of the things to come; I see this in many of my Christian friends (mostly Evangelical Protestant ones) who don't take the time to enjoy the life we have here and now on earth because  we are "sojourners here on earth" as they say. (the world is fallen and evil etc)

Perhaps you'll be happy to know that some Protestants are starting to lose their quasi-gnostic view of the world and waking up to the fact that God created us for this world as well as the life to come. Not a huge contingent, but they do exist.

Quote
Let put this another way, if YOU knew there was no life after death, would you all of a sudden go around killing people to attain a longer life? If so what does that say about YOU as a moral person?

It's like Christians who say "if I knew there was no God I'd do all the evil things I wanted to!" I ask myself, "Really? You mean the only reason you even pretend to be a moral person is because you are afraid of God sending you to hell or punishing you? That kind of makes you an amoral individual, doesn't it?"

The answer to the first question is a partial yes while the answer to the second question is, "That's a misunderstanding of a good argument" (not by you, but by those who argue exactly how you worded it).

Would I go around killing people in order to increase my own life? Depends on who it is. If the person was an embryo, as an atheist I'd ask, "why not?" As an atheist I would have to put value in human utility and not in the human nature, as such a nature couldn't exist. So if there was no God, what would be the problem in taking the homeless or others who contribute nothing to society and using them for medical research or other means that would help increase the longevity of the whole's life?

And notice that I'm not taking any extremist view here; sadly, these are becoming common views among some non-theists and even some distant theists. But of course, if God doesn't exist or He exists, but is transcendant, then the ethic I provide makes perfect sense; it increases both the utility and survival of the human species.

As for the second one, while I wouldn't do whatever I wanted, I would do what provided the most utility for my life and those around me. I would be a less moral person.

There is no shame in admitting that the existence of God changes the game. All morality flows from God and we know what is good only because He is good, so of course the actual existence of God changes everything. So too does being a Christian. And it is the fear of God that makes us moral, but not some, "please don't zap me into bits or cast me into eternal Hell" type of fear, but rather a respect for who He is. We should be moral out of love towards Him and a desire to become more like Him; so God is still the end-goal in Christian ethics. But, perhaps because I'm a bit pragmatic, if the fear of Hell makes some people moral, especially new Christians, then so be it. I only pray they'll eventually begin to obey God out of love.

Quote
There are millions of millions of people who do not believe in life after death and they are perfectly moral, peaceful and loving human beings, who wouldn't hurt a fly and do good and live moral lives for the sake of goodness itself. Evil people are going to do evil things whether they believe in God/afterlife or not. Don't believe me . . . just look at Church history and you'll see that belief in an afterlife never stopped anyone from committing evil acts.

I wouldn't say they are perfectly moral, especially those who have heard about Christ. Perfect morality comes from Him because He is virtue, He is morality. Thus, to reject Him (I speak of those who have knowledge of Christ as Christ) is to reject the source of morality, so while they may be more moral than most Christians, they certainly aren't saints.

Quote
If belief in an afterlife and a judgment is the only thing keeping me from acting badly, then I need to rethink my relationship to Christ, and really truly reflect on why it is I follow Him, and really consider if I love Him, or only love what He can do for me. (keep me out of hell) If we love God as we love ourselves we'll do good and live well out of this love for Him and we won't need the rules and regulations, the "thou shalt nots"....

For those who don't believe, again the evidence weighs against your fear I think.

And I think that's what it boils down to. Although I think you would agree that for many new converts to Christianity, fear is sometimes the driving motive. But as we grow in love in Christ, we begin to grow in Him out of the love we have for Him. We're like children really; at first we know not to do "that" otherwise we'll get a swat or a timeout. Eventually, however, we see how pleased our parents are when we do good things and out of love for our parents we begin to do what we can to please them...that is, of course, until we become teenagers. Smiley




Am I the only one who is frightened that if there wasn't life after death, there would be some sort of mad scramble to increase one's longevity even if it means killing other people to attain it?

Stem-cell research*

There is a large crowd demanding more stem-cell research, BUT not just stem-cell research. Stem-cell research and use from any source and procedure. Aborted fetuses, unethical implementation, harvesting cloned embryos, etc. are examples of people who are making a "mad scramble to increase one's longevity". "How dare you forbid this form of medical research! I could save my life one day!"


It's like Christians who say "if I knew there was no God I'd do all the evil things I wanted to!" I ask myself, "Really? You mean the only reason you even pretend to be a moral person is because you are afraid of God sending you to hell or punishing you? That kind of makes you an amoral individual, doesn't it?"

I think it was Fr. Hans Jacobse that pointed out modern secular society is currently riding the post-Christian wave. That is, much of the secular "morality" is a remnant worldview from the Christian mindset. Those that don't participate in this are otherwise given pause from societal laws.


Excellent post and observation.

It will be interesting to see how ethical and caring for life our culture is once we've lost any semblance of a Judeo-Christian ethic. While it won't be anarchy, I do invision something similar to Pagan Rome where life simply wasn't as valued as it has been under Christianity.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2011, 12:09:44 PM by theo philosopher » Logged

“Wherefore, then, death approaches, gulps down the bait of the body, and is pierced by the hook of the divinity. Then, having tasted of the sinless and life-giving body, it is destroyed and gives up all those whom it had swallowed down of old." - St. John of Damascus
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 12,535


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2011, 12:12:33 PM »

I remember seeing Jack La Lane the exercise Guru on late night TV about 10 years ago. All he could talk about was that he did not intend to die. He was obsessive. As those of you know who remember him, he was an early fitness and exercise-diet guru long before such stuff got popular. He certainly was very fit. He died a few weeks ago....... So it goes.

Here are some words of Wisdom from Jack:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkdYrAQJu6g&NR=1&feature=fvwp

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEboAJf9UVc
« Last Edit: February 22, 2011, 12:13:13 PM by Marc1152 » Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Iconodule
Uranopolitan
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania)
Posts: 6,861


"My god is greater."


« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2011, 02:04:32 PM »

People have had all kinds of mad schemes for achieving immortality on their own. Some Chinese alchemists ended up poisoning themselves (or gullible emperors) with mercury or other lethal substances in the attempt. Today, we have our own pitiful gropes for longevity, ranging from plastic surgery to fitness obsession to transhumanism.
Logged

"A riddle or the cricket's cry
Is to doubt a fit reply." - William Blake

Quote from: Byron
Just ignore iconotools delusions. He is the biggest multiculturalist globalist there is due to his unfortunate background.
Marc1152
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 12,535


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2011, 02:24:00 PM »

Quote
This life means little if it is but a shadow of the things to come; I see this in many of my Christian friends (mostly Evangelical Protestant ones) who don't take the time to enjoy the life we have here and now on earth because  we are "sojourners here on earth" as they say. (the world is fallen and evil etc)

Perhaps you'll be happy to know that some Protestants are starting to lose their quasi-gnostic view of the world and waking up to the fact that God created us for this world as well as the life to come. Not a huge contingent, but they do exist.

Quote
Let put this another way, if YOU knew there was no life after death, would you all of a sudden go around killing people to attain a longer life? If so what does that say about YOU as a moral person?

It's like Christians who say "if I knew there was no God I'd do all the evil things I wanted to!" I ask myself, "Really? You mean the only reason you even pretend to be a moral person is because you are afraid of God sending you to hell or punishing you? That kind of makes you an amoral individual, doesn't it?"

The answer to the first question is a partial yes while the answer to the second question is, "That's a misunderstanding of a good argument" (not by you, but by those who argue exactly how you worded it).

Would I go around killing people in order to increase my own life? Depends on who it is. If the person was an embryo, as an atheist I'd ask, "why not?" As an atheist I would have to put value in human utility and not in the human nature, as such a nature couldn't exist. So if there was no God, what would be the problem in taking the homeless or others who contribute nothing to society and using them for medical research or other means that would help increase the longevity of the whole's life?

And notice that I'm not taking any extremist view here; sadly, these are becoming common views among some non-theists and even some distant theists. But of course, if God doesn't exist or He exists, but is transcendant, then the ethic I provide makes perfect sense; it increases both the utility and survival of the human species.

As for the second one, while I wouldn't do whatever I wanted, I would do what provided the most utility for my life and those around me. I would be a less moral person.

There is no shame in admitting that the existence of God changes the game. All morality flows from God and we know what is good only because He is good, so of course the actual existence of God changes everything. So too does being a Christian. And it is the fear of God that makes us moral, but not some, "please don't zap me into bits or cast me into eternal Hell" type of fear, but rather a respect for who He is. We should be moral out of love towards Him and a desire to become more like Him; so God is still the end-goal in Christian ethics. But, perhaps because I'm a bit pragmatic, if the fear of Hell makes some people moral, especially new Christians, then so be it. I only pray they'll eventually begin to obey God out of love.

Quote
There are millions of millions of people who do not believe in life after death and they are perfectly moral, peaceful and loving human beings, who wouldn't hurt a fly and do good and live moral lives for the sake of goodness itself. Evil people are going to do evil things whether they believe in God/afterlife or not. Don't believe me . . . just look at Church history and you'll see that belief in an afterlife never stopped anyone from committing evil acts.

I wouldn't say they are perfectly moral, especially those who have heard about Christ. Perfect morality comes from Him because He is virtue, He is morality. Thus, to reject Him (I speak of those who have knowledge of Christ as Christ) is to reject the source of morality, so while they may be more moral than most Christians, they certainly aren't saints.

Quote
If belief in an afterlife and a judgment is the only thing keeping me from acting badly, then I need to rethink my relationship to Christ, and really truly reflect on why it is I follow Him, and really consider if I love Him, or only love what He can do for me. (keep me out of hell) If we love God as we love ourselves we'll do good and live well out of this love for Him and we won't need the rules and regulations, the "thou shalt nots"....

For those who don't believe, again the evidence weighs against your fear I think.

And I think that's what it boils down to. Although I think you would agree that for many new converts to Christianity, fear is sometimes the driving motive. But as we grow in love in Christ, we begin to grow in Him out of the love we have for Him. We're like children really; at first we know not to do "that" otherwise we'll get a swat or a timeout. Eventually, however, we see how pleased our parents are when we do good things and out of love for our parents we begin to do what we can to please them...that is, of course, until we become teenagers. Smiley




Am I the only one who is frightened that if there wasn't life after death, there would be some sort of mad scramble to increase one's longevity even if it means killing other people to attain it?

Stem-cell research*

There is a large crowd demanding more stem-cell research, BUT not just stem-cell research. Stem-cell research and use from any source and procedure. Aborted fetuses, unethical implementation, harvesting cloned embryos, etc. are examples of people who are making a "mad scramble to increase one's longevity". "How dare you forbid this form of medical research! I could save my life one day!"


It's like Christians who say "if I knew there was no God I'd do all the evil things I wanted to!" I ask myself, "Really? You mean the only reason you even pretend to be a moral person is because you are afraid of God sending you to hell or punishing you? That kind of makes you an amoral individual, doesn't it?"

I think it was Fr. Hans Jacobse that pointed out modern secular society is currently riding the post-Christian wave. That is, much of the secular "morality" is a remnant worldview from the Christian mindset. Those that don't participate in this are otherwise given pause from societal laws.


Excellent post and observation.

It will be interesting to see how ethical and caring for life our culture is once we've lost any semblance of a Judeo-Christian ethic. While it won't be anarchy, I do invision something similar to Pagan Rome where life simply wasn't as valued as it has been under Christianity.

Like this?   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Sp-VFBbjpE
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
NorthernPines
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 934



« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2011, 04:06:17 PM »


Perhaps you'll be happy to know that some Protestants are starting to lose their quasi-gnostic view of the world and waking up to the fact that God created us for this world as well as the life to come. Not a huge contingent, but they do exist.

Note I said these were MY Christian friends. I did not in any way mean to pigeon hole all Evangelical Protestants; just the ones I know. Grin

 


Quote

Would I go around killing people in order to increase my own life? Depends on who it is.


Seriously? From your posts I just don't believe this to be the case. If it is the case, please forgive me for offending you, past present and in the future, just in case we meet in person someday. Grin






Quote
As for the second one, while I wouldn't do whatever I wanted, I would do what provided the most utility for my life and those around me. I would be a less moral person.

When you say the most utility, what does that mean? Again I see CHRISTIANS do this sort of thing all the time. They steal, cheat, lie, commit adultery, get divorced, beat their wives and kids, a fear of hell hasn't done a thing to make these people moral. Those who just defraud people do so to "streamline" their lives or to make things "more productive" in business ventures etc. Do atheists do this? Sure. But so do members of all religions. (well except maybe Amish...lol!)

While I once said the same things you just did, "yeah if there were no God I would do anything, including killing that man I'm ticked off at", I didn't "really" mean it. If there is no afterlife or no God, I would NOT all of a sudden begin to live a horrible life, stealing candy from babies, and cheating lil ole' ladies out of their bingo money. I just could NOT do such a thing. I know that atheists also do not do these things, despite the common assumption by Theists that Atheists are all immoral freaks. I just don't see evidence of that at all, in history or in my own personal experience.


Quote
There is no shame in admitting that the existence of God changes the game.


Actually I think we were talking about an afterlife and not the existence of God, one is not necessarily a by product of the other.


Quote

I wouldn't say they are perfectly moral, especially those who have heard about Christ. Perfect morality comes from Him because He is virtue, He is morality. Thus, to reject Him (I speak of those who have knowledge of Christ as Christ) is to reject the source of morality, so while they may be more moral than most Christians, they certainly aren't saints.

Certainly you knew when I used the phrase "perfectly moral" I did not mean they were morally perfect, or perfect in their morality. Just a common expression "he's a perfectly nice person" does not mean he is 100% perfect in his "niceness".


Quote
Quote
If belief in an afterlife and a judgment is the only thing keeping me from acting badly, then I need to rethink my relationship to Christ, and really truly reflect on why it is I follow Him, and really consider if I love Him, or only love what He can do for me. (keep me out of hell) If we love God as we love ourselves we'll do good and live well out of this love for Him and we won't need the rules and regulations, the "thou shalt nots"....

For those who don't believe, again the evidence weighs against your fear I think.

And I think that's what it boils down to. Although I think you would agree that for many new converts to Christianity, fear is sometimes the driving motive.


Yes, I agree that it is, but should it be? I'm not so sure. However we'll never agree so I'll agree to disagree at the outset and live the fun debates to you all! Smiley






« Last Edit: February 22, 2011, 04:07:22 PM by NorthernPines » Logged
Tzimis
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 2,374



« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2011, 05:11:34 PM »

I've been thinking about this for awhile now, but at the heart of every man there is a deep seeded desire/hope that one wants to live on after death? Am I the only one who is frightened that if there wasn't life after death, there would be some sort of mad scramble to increase one's longevity even if it means killing other people to attain it?

I'm pretty vague on this subject, but I was curious if anyone had a bit more insight on this than I do.

It's ironic that yeast is known to have the properties of immortality and that both bread and wine both contain yeast.
Logged

Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
Shiny
Site Supporter
Muted
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Groucho Marxist
Jurisdiction: Dahntahn Stoop Haus
Posts: 13,267


Paint It Red


« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2011, 05:32:28 PM »

Considering that many people who believe in life after death are in a "mad dash" to kill people so they can achieve eternal paradise themselves, (ie: Terrorists, Christian Crusaders etc) I would say I really disagree with your view/fear. Everyone I know who doesn't believe in life after death (or is skeptical of it) tends to see life a bit more precious and fragile than many religious people, including myself at times. After all if as a believer I "screw up" in this life, what they heck, there is always the next. Smiley This life means little if it is but a shadow of the things to come; I see this in many of my Christian friends (mostly Evangelical Protestant ones) who don't take the time to enjoy the life we have here and now on earth because  we are "sojourners here on earth" as they say. (the world is fallen and evil etc)

That's a good point, from a gnostic perspective anyway.

Quote
Let put this another way, if YOU knew there was no life after death, would you all of a sudden go around killing people to attain a longer life? If so what does that say about YOU as a moral person?
What I meant by my comment was if I had to kill people in order to keep my immortality, then I would. I'm in the perspective that immortality in this world would be very dangerous.


Quote
It's like Christians who say "if I knew there was no God I'd do all the evil things I wanted to!" I ask myself, "Really? You mean the only reason you even pretend to be a moral person is because you are afraid of God sending you to hell or punishing you? That kind of makes you an amoral individual, doesn't it?"

But the Christian who makes that comment is correct. Think about it, if there was no God and I am not judged for the actions I do on this Earth, why would I care about someone else's feelings, wants or desires except for my own? This is exactly why Dostoevsky said "Without God everything is permissible and if you kill God you also kill man." Nothing would stop me from raping women, blowing up someone I loathed, looting stores, etc.

Quote
I admit I used to say the same thing until I actually thought about WHAT it was I was saying and what it said about me as a human being. I guess if the "fear of God" is what keeps a few people in line and doing good, well I suppose that's okay, but in the end don't these people usually find ways of justifying their immoral actions anyways? (God told me to kill that little old lady crossing the street, God told me to kill 3000 people in a high rise building etc.)
But if you remove God, in place of it you have moral relativism. What you may classify as being a human being could be completely different than what I classify myself as a human being. There would be no measuring stick to confirm who is right or wrong.

Quote
There are millions of millions of people who do not believe in life after death and they are perfectly moral, peaceful and loving human beings, who wouldn't hurt a fly and do good and live moral lives for the sake of goodness itself.
That's because those atheistic countries (I think Sweden comes to mind) is that they derive morality from Christian ethics. They believe that being peaceful is a good thing, but have nothing to support that belief as to why.

Quote
Evil people are going to do evil things whether they believe in God/afterlife or not. Don't believe me . . . just look at Church history and you'll see that belief in an afterlife never stopped anyone from committing evil acts.
Well of course they are, but if we believe in God, to be more specific Christ, then we can discern from those that really love Him or not.

Quote
If belief in an afterlife and a judgment is the only thing keeping me from acting badly, then I need to rethink my relationship to Christ, and really truly reflect on why it is I follow Him, and really consider if I love Him, or only love what He can do for me. (keep me out of hell) If we love God as we love ourselves we'll do good and live well out of this love for Him and we won't need the rules and regulations, the "thou shalt nots"....
But your original proposition is if we removed God. What stops me from acting badly is because I have experienced the Risen Christ, and as St. Paul says if He is not risen then we are still in our sins and can keep doing debauchery until we die.

For me thought if God doesn't exist, why should I follow a strict moral code?
Logged

“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

– St. Ambrose of Milan
theo philosopher
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 315



« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2011, 06:02:53 PM »

Quote
Seriously? From your posts I just don't believe this to be the case. If it is the case, please forgive me for offending you, past present and in the future, just in case we meet in person someday. 

Ha!

I was thinking more along the lines of the unborn, infants, elderly, the poor, etc. If God didn't exist (and let's take this hypothetical to the impossible, believing that we somehow exist when God doesn't), what obligation would I have to those who get in my way and society's way? Think of the person who is perpetually on welfare, sucking away tax dollars. Such a person has no utility to society, so wouldn't it be better for society to kill such a person or simply let such a person die?

Remember, we have to remove our human nature from the equation. Because even atheists were made by God, most are going to look upon such a person and simply feel an obligation and then attempt to rationalize their innate feeling. But sans God, why not shave off a few people from our numbers?

Quote
When you say the most utility, what does that mean? Again I see CHRISTIANS do this sort of thing all the time. They steal, cheat, lie, commit adultery, get divorced, beat their wives and kids, a fear of hell hasn't done a thing to make these people moral. Those who just defraud people do so to "streamline" their lives or to make things "more productive" in business ventures etc. Do atheists do this? Sure. But so do members of all religions. (well except maybe Amish...lol!)

I should make it clear that I'm not talking about what is, but rather about ought. So yes, Christians behave in unethical ways, but we have a standard provided to say that action x is wrong and is especially wrong for a Christian. Without God, however, the standard for evaluating x goes away.

So will atheists live moral lives? Yes, but such moral lives are typically contrary to their meta-ethical views and contradictory to their atheism; instead, they act ethical because they're made in the image of God, not because they have a reason to be ethical. And they (along with Christians) act unethically because our wills aren't aligned with God's - we humans are contradictions.

Quote
While I once said the same things you just did, "yeah if there were no God I would do anything, including killing that man I'm ticked off at", I didn't "really" mean it. If there is no afterlife or no God, I would NOT all of a sudden begin to live a horrible life, stealing candy from babies, and cheating lil ole' ladies out of their bingo money. I just could NOT do such a thing. I know that atheists also do not do these things, despite the common assumption by Theists that Atheists are all immoral freaks. I just don't see evidence of that at all, in history or in my own personal experience.

But that's not what I'm saying. I'm not referring to people who get in my way or killing someone for a promotion at work - if God didn't exist then such anarchical actions wouldn't be productive for the survival of our species. However, if God didn't exist - of if I didn't believe God existed - then what obligation would I have to the severely crippled?

For instance, as a Christian when you look at a child who is severely handicapped, to the point that he's in a wheelchair and must have 24/7 care, but is still alive (that is, not vegetative and not dying), you view him as a glorious creation of God and therefore worthy of life, even if it's a life we don't understand. But someone who consistently lives the atheist worldview sees someone we should put to death out of compassion for the type of life the person lives and for the utility of the State (and I reference you to Peter Singer, a respected "Philosopher" at Princeton who teaches this very thing, and he's not really in the minority in such a view). This is not some extremist view I'm taking or a strawman I'm building up, but an actual argument that comes from atheist ethicists I've read and some I know.

So would we kill someone for cutting us off in traffic? No. Would we kill the invalid who can't offer anything to society, or the one who will always take more from society than he can give? Yes.

Quote
Actually I think we were talking about an afterlife and not the existence of God, one is not necessarily a by product of the other.

Yes and no. I happen to believe that the logical conclusion of God existing and us existing because of Him is that there is an afterlife.

Regardless, we are moral ultimately because of our belief in God, not necessarily an afterlife. We're moral because we're afraid of what God will do to us once we're dead.

But let's be honest, if there isn't an afterlife then there is no justice. In fact, I would argue that being moral because there is an afterlife is perfectly legitimate and that such an argument comes from the Bible. Paul argued that if there is no resurrection (that is, afterlife), then we should eat and drink, for ultimately it wouldn't matter. He says even further that living a good life means nothing without the resurrection.

So while we should ultimately be good because we love God, we should also recognize that what we do on earth has impacts elsewhere, which is a reason for being moral.

Quote
Certainly you knew when I used the phrase "perfectly moral" I did not mean they were morally perfect, or perfect in their morality. Just a common expression "he's a perfectly nice person" does not mean he is 100% perfect in his "niceness".

Fair enough, but I would argue that while an atheist can be moral without God, he cannot be "good" in the sense of "holy." That goes for anyone actually, Christians included. Only until we submit to Christ and place Him as the head of our lives and begin to become like Him can we become more than moral, which is holy.

But Christ is the foundation of all ethics and all virtue comes from Him because He is virtue, He is goodness, so if we deny Him, we have denied the virtues. We might live virtuous lives, even lives better than some Christians, but ultimately we aren't "good."

Quote
Yes, I agree that it is, but should it be? I'm not so sure. However we'll never agree so I'll agree to disagree at the outset and live the fun debates to you all!

No, we actually agree. Smiley

I wasn't saying it should be that way, merely that it is that way sometimes. It should be out of love, but for some it's not. Each grows according to how each is called.

Logged

“Wherefore, then, death approaches, gulps down the bait of the body, and is pierced by the hook of the divinity. Then, having tasted of the sinless and life-giving body, it is destroyed and gives up all those whom it had swallowed down of old." - St. John of Damascus
Tags:
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 0.106 seconds with 40 queries.