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  #121  
Old 12-10-2021, 3:39 PM
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Originally Posted by bugsy714 View Post
But I propose that the old yardstick had some fundamental flaws that the new yardstick has the opportunity now to address

As a person who favors the old yardstick this might feel icky to you but it does not mean that it is negativefor society as a whole. Just different from what you’re used to
All I'm asking is to be able to use the same moral relativism that was used to opt out of the "old yardstick" in order to create the "new yardstick," to opt out of the "new yardstick" myself. If your yardstick is supposedly evolving and arbitrary, I can pick the "old yardstick" if I want to, without being persecuted through being called various names, no?

And, it's just a *part* of society that is using the "new yardstick." They don't represent everyone, they don't speak for everyone, their beliefs/religion are just that - personal views. Correct?
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  #122  
Old 12-10-2021, 3:47 PM
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It is my view that religious beliefs are being phased out as the need for magical explanations are put to pasture by technical explanations and understanding
That's a complete misunderstanding of the discussion we are having.

Religion and science are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they address different aspects of human existence. When talking about morality, science and technology have absolutely nothing to do with either.
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  #123  
Old 12-10-2021, 9:07 PM
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Does the morality exist outside religion? Can it exist even in principle without a higher power as the source of authority?

.
No
No


Lot of good arguments were posted already supporting my answers above.

Can't determine right from wrong if there's no set standard.
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  #124  
Old 12-10-2021, 9:23 PM
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Which brings me to the main question. Can an atheist be a moral person? Not whether an atheist can act in a way that we would consider moral, but can an atheist even define the concept of morality. .
No
An atheist rejects absolute morality (which I define to be "a code of absolute right and wrong"), since they reject a divine lawgiver; therefore, immoral.

I know a lot of kind, even-tempered atheists, but ultimately, he's immoral since he lives by his own code of right and wrong.

I see this merely as a definition such as bachelor is a single male.
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  #125  
Old 12-11-2021, 3:56 AM
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Yeah I agree humanity gives us many reasons to not have faith in humanity :-)

So if humanity is the ultimate arbiter of right and wrong.... where does that leave us?

That being said look how far we’ve come and how far we can continue to go so overwhelmingly humanity strives forward despite our shortcomings

Have we really gone very far? We can wipe out life on the entire planet I suppose, if that's "progress".

There was a time when humans did not have any concept of a higher power, the species survived

Historically, when was this time - I believe that very few if any societies ever existed that were "godless", though the concepts of "god" have varied greatly. Arguably the current "american god" (no caps on both is deiiberate!) is currently such a jumbled mess, it's best described as "everyone doing what seems right to them" - quite Biblical really.

There was a time when we had a strong concept of a higher power, the species survived

Perhaps we are in a transitional period moving away from the old concepts and into A new level of understanding of the cosmos and our place in it


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You've fallen for the "original sin" or rather the ORIGINAL LIE - "you shall be like God". The premise that man is the highest being, capable of determining what is right or wrong, and so forth. Man is the master of his own fate. I've heard it described as the arrogance of standing in the middle of nature and screaming into that vastness that "I am god"! This as absurd an arrogance as one can imagine when you think about it.


Again I will ask you to consider that if we are nothing more than a cosmic accident, morality becomes virtually meaningless beyond a mind bending exercise. We are of no more relative value than a housecat, a tree, or a virus. We are random accidents of a mathematically incalculable series of events over which we have had no control. "Morality" would be nothing beyond how you feel today, and it can just as easily be different tomorrow... cosmically and relatively (since we are addressing relativism) it is meaningless. You or I will be "here" for a short time, and our opinions and feelings most likely will not have any real noticeable difference in the greater scheme of things.

BUT if the cosmos IS a creation of something/someone we struggle to understand, and that someone/something actually cares about us, wants to have a relationship with us, and wants us to make moral choices as a part of that relationship... now there might just be an OBJECTIVE morality/truth. one that goes far beyond you or I...

I sense you are wrestling with a great question that is gnawing within you. Perhaps a "knocking at the door"... An interesting thing about God is that I know many believers have experienced that same feeling. Just keep asking, many "skeptics" have seen "proof" that altered their lives by just asking God to reveal Himself. Questions DO get answers if asked with an open heart and mind...

I think you've already inherently realized you and "society" are NOT "god" (other than in the little "g" sense). This presents you with a challenge... anyone who seriously accepts that challenge will find it life changing.
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  #126  
Old 12-12-2021, 12:08 PM
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1911Ronin, again you miss the point. There is no point in me trying to further explain a point you are unwilling to see. I will summarize with this.. morality is subjective, just because society as a whole can agree on something DOES NOT mean, you (the individual) have to agree. This is why crime, murder, rape, theft, etc. still exists. I don't think very many people in today's society believes slavery was right, but in the days slavery existed here, the general consensus was that it was right (at least in the southern states) that does not mean individuals in both the north and south didn't believe it was wrong. I am no longer engaging.
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  #127  
Old 12-12-2021, 12:39 PM
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TL;DR...

It is axiomatic that those who don't believe in God,

arbitrarily make themselves gods.

History has established this beyond reasonable doubt...
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  #128  
Old 12-12-2021, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Wordupmybrotha View Post
No
An atheist rejects absolute morality (which I define to be "a code of absolute right and wrong"), since they reject a divine lawgiver; therefore, immoral.

I know a lot of kind, even-tempered atheists, but ultimately, he's immoral since he lives by his own code of right and wrong.

I see this merely as a definition such as bachelor is a single male.

Yes I believe that was the sticking point you and I kept hitting as well.

The notion that an atheist could live in a manner that is in discernible from the morality of a religious person yet still be in moral because they do not believe a supernatural power set that code in the univer so I would say that the common understanding of the word and moral has to do with one’s behavior rather than the source of one’s behaviore


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  #129  
Old 12-12-2021, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by GlockN'Roll View Post
TL;DR...

It is axiomatic that those who don't believe in God,

arbitrarily make themselves gods.

History has established this beyond reasonable doubt...

This is a great demonstration of the mental construct in which religious folks live

If a person does not believe in a God then how could they believe they are being God like?

What are the traits of a person who makes himself into a god?


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  #130  
Old 12-12-2021, 4:50 PM
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1911Ronin, again you miss the point. There is no point in me trying to further explain a point you are unwilling to see. I will summarize with this.. morality is subjective, just because society as a whole can agree on something DOES NOT mean, you (the individual) have to agree. This is why crime, murder, rape, theft, etc. still exists. I don't think very many people in today's society believes slavery was right, but in the days slavery existed here, the general consensus was that it was right (at least in the southern states) that does not mean individuals in both the north and south didn't believe it was wrong. I am no longer engaging.

Grobie,

You are confused. Please take an ethics course at a local college.

1. You have provided no evidence that morality is subjective. To say that peoples views differ and therefore morality is subjective is known as the is/ought fallacy.

2. You fail to distinguish between cultural relativism and subjectivism.

3. You seem to be espousing subjectivism, which renders all moral reasoning incoherent, makes people immune to criticism, and renders the individual infallible. All actions are justified on your view.

These are standard problems with your view. There is nothing new here.


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  #131  
Old 12-13-2021, 10:07 AM
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...yet still be in moral because they do not believe a supernatural power set that code in the univer...
It's not believing in supernatural power. Replace "God" with "nature" if that works for you - "And the nature created universe and Earth...," or "there is only one nature..."

In the context of morality, it doesn't matter why you accept certain axiomatic value system, or even which axiomatic system you will accept. What matters is that you need an axiomatic value system, which an atheist cannot have by definition. Remember, what is "axiom" in mathematics is "God" outside mathematics, something we believe or accept without proof or questioning.
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  #132  
Old 12-13-2021, 10:11 AM
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If a person does not believe in a God then how could they believe they are being God like?
They don't believe they are God-like, the others see them as attempting to be God-like.

It works like, e.g., "being a bad person." If a person declares he doesn't believe in good or bad, how can that person believe he's a bad person? He can't. But others can.

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What are the traits of a person who makes himself into a god?
He believes he can create morality and simply declare that it is THE morality of the society. That would be one trait.
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  #133  
Old 12-20-2021, 2:55 PM
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It's not believing in supernatural power. Replace "God" with "nature" if that works for you - "And the nature created universe and Earth...," or "there is only one nature..."

In the context of morality, it doesn't matter why you accept certain axiomatic value system, or even which axiomatic system you will accept. What matters is that you need an axiomatic value system, which an atheist cannot have by definition. Remember, what is "axiom" in mathematics is "God" outside mathematics, something we believe or accept without proof or questioning.
seems to be that "nature" tends to mean the strong will take from the weak.
religion is the opposite, is it not?
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  #134  
Old 12-21-2021, 12:55 PM
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Atheists are not moral, because they are not honest. No truly honest person can be an atheist.
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  #135  
Old 12-25-2021, 12:05 AM
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Atheists are not moral, because they are not honest. No truly honest person can be an atheist.
That's not true. And that's my honest Atheist opinion. Not believing in gods has nothing to do with morality in the first place.

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  #136  
Old 12-28-2021, 12:58 PM
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That's not true. And that's my honest Atheist opinion. Not believing in gods has nothing to do with morality in the first place.
Where does your "morality" come from? You just picked a set of rules that work for you? And how is that different from someone who is "immoral" (per your definition) and does what he wants anyways?
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  #137  
Old 12-28-2021, 2:52 PM
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Religion is man’s search for God.
Christianity is God’s search for man.

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Luke 19:10
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  #138  
Old 12-28-2021, 4:37 PM
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Correct !

Psalm 1
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  #139  
Old 12-30-2021, 12:51 AM
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72grabber: if you were truly intellectually honest with yourself, you could not be an atheist. Atheism is constant internal denial of your brain and all your senses being acutely aware that our existence could not be due to chance. If you can't be honest with yourself, how can you be moral?
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  #140  
Old 01-01-2022, 12:35 PM
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So, it's actually quite interesting. The few members who commented along the lines "I am an atheist, but I am a moral person" never came back to explain where their moral authority is coming from.

Looks like there is indeed this deep need to define and abide by moral principles, but that people are confused about where it comes from. It explains why so many in the "urban left" and especially younger adults rely so much on wokeism, government-forced language redefinition and feelings to try to create a moral society - when they don't understand the source, they try to make it up on the go.
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  #141  
Old 01-01-2022, 12:37 PM
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So, it's actually quite interesting. The few members who commented along the lines "I am an atheist, but I am a moral person" never came back to explain where their moral authority is coming from.

Looks like there is indeed this deep need to define and abide by moral principles, but that people are confused about where it comes from. It explains why so many in the "urban left" and especially younger adults rely so much on wokeism, government-forced language redefinition and feelings to try to create a moral society - when they don't understand the source, they try to make it up on the go.

Or perhaps it is programmed into our species through years of evolution and our species developed the intelligence to personify it and call that instinct God


Species that do not act in a evolutionarily sustainable way go away. There aren’t many moral sharks in the ocean but when it comes to collaborative species these traits are inborn
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  #142  
Old 01-05-2022, 8:06 AM
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Or perhaps it is programmed into our species through years of evolution and our species developed the intelligence to personify it and call that instinct God


Species that do not act in a evolutionarily sustainable way go away. There aren’t many moral sharks in the ocean but when it comes to collaborative species these traits are inborn

This doesn't get at the point. What does the supposed evolutionary origins of morality have to do with what makes any moral norm binding - that it is something we ought to do and are bad if we don't. "Murder is wrong" as a binding moral norm is not explained by evolutionary processes.

And you can't use "programmed" language because that implies a programmer. There is no guiding intelligence in an evolutionary construct.

As stated earlier, your view logically implies morality is a fiction of convenience, nothing more. There is nothing really wrong with acts like rape, murder, and cannibalism on your view.


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  #143  
Old 01-07-2022, 12:16 PM
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Or perhaps it is programmed into our species through years of evolution and our species developed the intelligence to personify it and call that instinct God


Species that do not act in a evolutionarily sustainable way go away. There aren’t many moral sharks in the ocean but when it comes to collaborative species these traits are inborn
i believe religion is a product of evolution once the species evolves to the point where the weak and feeble minded can use tools or weapons to kill their genetic superiors.

i also believe IVC has a point when he asks "where do atheists obtain their standards of morality?" when they have lived entirely in a society that was based on christian standards of morality.
are they not simply adopting religious standards, while maybe tossing out the rules they don't like or aren't capable of following (like being faithful)?
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  #144  
Old 01-11-2022, 10:17 AM
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I've been absent for a while and have enjoyed reading this thread. Some thoughtful responses. And some dumb ones too.

I'll just add that many people of Judeo-Christian persuasions forget that the original sin, as described in Genesis, wasn't disobedience. Nor was it eating a fruit. It was vanity. And above all, it was the desire to know good from evil -- to be like God/the gods.

So to those who claim to know what morality is as a universal, absolute concept and that they know what it is, I say, "Spit out that fruit!" The fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is how one separates from God and finds death, not life. The sooner you can learn to accept perpetual ignorance of such things, the sooner you can quit judging others and their choices, learn to love people, learn to accept the world as it is (rather than what you think it should be) and learn to accept yourself and your humanity.

Spit out that fruit!
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  #145  
Old 01-11-2022, 10:37 AM
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Morality can't exist amongst believers.

To do good when you don't believe that someone is always watching you, ready to reward or punish you based on your behavior, is the only truth of morality.

If you believe in a higher power, you have never done anything moral or selfless. You've just been trying to get the right answers on a test, proctored by whatever deity your parents taught you was in charge.
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  #146  
Old 01-11-2022, 11:05 AM
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I've been absent for a while and have enjoyed reading this thread. Some thoughtful responses. And some dumb ones too.

I'll just add that many people of Judeo-Christian persuasions forget that the original sin, as described in Genesis, wasn't disobedience. Nor was it eating a fruit. It was vanity. And above all, it was the desire to know good from evil -- to be like God/the gods.

So to those who claim to know what morality is as a universal, absolute concept and that they know what it is, I say, "Spit out that fruit!" The fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil is how one separates from God and finds death, not life. The sooner you can learn to accept perpetual ignorance of such things, the sooner you can quit judging others and their choices, learn to love people, learn to accept the world as it is (rather than what you think it should be) and learn to accept yourself and your humanity.

Spit out that fruit!

This is heresy. It was a disobedience. And the Law which represents moral knowledge is good, it just can't save you. Read the apostle Paul on this.

And the new testament is full of very specific prohibitions and accounts of sinful dispositions. Are you superior to the apostle Paul? Where does your theology come from?


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Old 01-11-2022, 11:06 AM
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Morality can't exist amongst believers.

To do good when you don't believe that someone is always watching you, ready to reward or punish you based on your behavior, is the only truth of morality.

If you believe in a higher power, you have never done anything moral or selfless. You've just been trying to get the right answers on a test, proctored by whatever deity your parents taught you was in charge.

This is a very reductivist view of Religion in general and Christianity in particular. Reading th Gospels might help.


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  #148  
Old 01-11-2022, 11:52 AM
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This doesn't get at the point. What does the supposed evolutionary origins of morality have to do with what makes any moral norm binding - that it is something we ought to do and are bad if we don't. "Murder is wrong" as a binding moral norm is not explained by evolutionary processes.

And you can't use "programmed" language because that implies a programmer. There is no guiding intelligence in an evolutionary construct.

As stated earlier, your view logically implies morality is a fiction of convenience, nothing more. There is nothing really wrong with acts like rape, murder, and cannibalism on your view.


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Well in this case nature would be the programmer selecting the organisms that will make it to the next breeding cycle and along with them the behaviors that created that success

I post to you that there is no such thing as a binding moral norm, just the moral norms that the society that you live in has established within us

There are plenty of societies in which rape and murder and even cannibalism or norms. So what makes your norm different from their norm?


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Old 01-11-2022, 12:02 PM
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Well in this case nature would be the programmer selecting the organisms that will make it to the next breeding cycle and along with them the behaviors that created that success

I post to you that there is no such thing as a binding moral norm, just the moral norms that the society that you live in has established within us

There are plenty of societies in which rape and murder and even cannibalism or norms. So what makes your norm different from their norm?


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Nature is a collection of physical objects and laws. It can't program anything. You need a more accurate description. Programming is the product of minds.

Name the society that, at present, condones the things you suggest. Even if you could, my norms differing from their norms has no bearing on the existence of an objective moral norm.

Do you believe we have improved morally as a culture and nation from some past moral views? You can't say yes without an objective scale on which to improve.

Bindingness is an intrinsic property of a norm. If your norms aren't binding, then they aren't norms, are they? It's like saying you ought not to murder but if you murder that's okay.


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Old 01-11-2022, 12:48 PM
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For the relativists

https://rintintin.colorado.edu/~vanc...0/Rachels1.pdf




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Old 01-11-2022, 1:09 PM
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Nature is a collection of physical objects and laws. It can't program anything. You need a more accurate description. Programming is the product of minds.



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I hope you understand the difference between metaphor and reality.

Programming needs a programmer like patterns need designers -- metaphorically. There are troves of data that definitively prove that randomness creates patterns all the time. And once a random event happens, other events result -- some causal and some with their own bit of randomness. It's a beautiful and awesome thing to behold. A person could get downright spiritual about it. No designer/programmer required. Just time.
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Old 01-11-2022, 1:20 PM
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I hope you understand the difference between metaphor and reality.

Programming needs a programmer like patterns need designers -- metaphorically. There are troves of data that definitively prove that randomness creates patterns all the time. And once a random event happens, other events result -- some causal and some with their own bit of randomness. It's a beautiful and awesome thing to behold. A person could get downright spiritual about it. No designer/programmer required. Just time.

Of course. But what do you mean by randomness? Events taking place in a universe governed by physical laws is bound to create patterns. Except DNA is a warehouse of genetic information. It is beyond mere patterns. And it's open question as to whether there is enough evolutionary time to bring about conscious creatures such as ourselves without any form of design. To date, consciousness remains elusive, and does not admit of a durable physical explanation.

But this is now getting off topic. And my other objections remain unanswered.


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Old 01-11-2022, 1:20 PM
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This is heresy. It was a disobedience. And the Law which represents moral knowledge is good, it just can't save you. Read the apostle Paul on this.

And the new testament is full of very specific prohibitions and accounts of sinful dispositions. Are you superior to the apostle Paul? Where does your theology come from?


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Heresy? Yes! No doubt. So what? Does orthodoxy give you comfort? Does it make it easier for you to dismiss the idea? You might want to dig a bit deeper into yourself on that.

So, if moral knowledge was so good, then why was it forbidden? What was God afraid would happen if humans were to understand the difference between good and evil? I submit that He knew that we'd imagine that we were, indeed, gods ourselves, sewing the seeds of our own destruction. And, yea, here we are... doing our thing... I'm not a Christian. But there's some beautiful mythology with it's own kind of truth in your book -- for those who can put orthodoxy aside and look at it in its own context. Funny how it can look right at you and still not see it for a lifetime.

Where does my theology come from? Who cares? But it is funny how some Pharisees asked similar questions of a few others you hold in high esteem.

Superior to Paul? No. Not superior to any other hairless ape that ever lived. But Paul was an idiot on many points. Just as human as the rest of us. Salvation by grace -- good one. Celebacy as a good thing -- stupid as it gets.

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Old 01-11-2022, 1:35 PM
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Heresy? Yes! No doubt. So what? Does orthodoxy give you comfort? Does it make it easier for you to dismiss the idea? You might want to dig a bit deeper into yourself on that.

So, if moral knowledge was so good, then why was it forbidden? What was God afraid would happen if humans were to understand the difference between good and evil? I submit that He knew that we'd imagine that we were, indeed, gods ourselves, sewing the seeds of our own destruction. And, yea, here we are... doing our thing... I'm not a Christian. But there's some beautiful mythology with it's own kind of truth in your book -- for those who can put orthodoxy aside and look at it in its own context. Funny how it can look right at you and still not see it for a lifetime.

Where does my theology come from? Who cares? But it is funny how some Pharisees asked similar questions of a few others you hold in high esteem.

Superior to Paul? No. Not superior to any other hairless ape that ever lived. But Paul was an idiot on many points. Just as human as the rest of us. Salvation by grace -- good one. Celebacy as a good thing -- stupid as it gets.

Your analysis fails to distinguish between motive and action. The choice was to trust Jehovah or not. Vanity isn't an action; it is a distorted passion. The actual taking of the fruit was the action. It was the action that was forbidden. So, your Genesis analysis lacks a crucial distinction.

That aside, at what point specifically is Paul erroneous in his reasoning? Any idiot can lable someone else an idiot.


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Old 01-11-2022, 1:46 PM
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That aside, at what point specifically is Paul erroneous in his reasoning? Any idiot can lable someone else an idiot.


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Hahahaha!!! Never mind. If you can't figure that one out, then I wish you all the best.
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Old 01-11-2022, 1:51 PM
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Hahahaha!!! Never mind. If you can't figure that one out, then I wish you all the best.

2/10 on question dodging skills.

This is a morality post, so if you have nothing insightful to ad, please move along.


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Old 01-11-2022, 3:48 PM
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2/10 on question dodging skills.

This is a morality post, so if you have nothing insightful to ad, please move along.


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You're not looking for insights. You're looking for answers. Nice, neat, simple, black/white answers. What's the fun in that? Answers teach you to be a good follower. Insights teach you how to navigate. But they rarely lead to answers.
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Old 01-14-2022, 12:42 PM
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If you believe in a higher power, you have never done anything moral or selfless. You've just been trying to get the right answers on a test, proctored by whatever deity your parents taught you was in charge.
Which would be the argument of moral relativism, and particularly the argument for a society to try to "legislating morality" - anything that such a society collectively comes up with, they can only codify through a law since there is no other moral authority.

And this explains why in CA we have "plastic bag" and "plastic straw" laws, where some people are genuinely upset if I go to the store and buy a few extra plastic bags because I don't know how many I'll need. They deeply
believe
(akin to a religious belief) that what I am doing is wrong because they enacted a law that in spirit says I shouldn't use plastic bags. To them, my actions are immoral and the only authority is a law that (again to them) is not strong enough in preventing me from acting in a certain way.

So, if we now have a society that tries to legislate morality, how do I exercise my own "religious freedom" to be protected from zealots who would force their own, made up, moral norms on me?
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Old 01-14-2022, 12:50 PM
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Morality can't exist amongst believers.
On a separate note, where else can morality exist even in principle?

Morality, as a non-nature defined, non-scientific and highly human-specific concept requires a moral authority which by its very nature must be axiomatic. Any axiomatic restraint by a group of people, when forced on another group of people, is essentially a religious intolerance. An atheist exercising religious intolerance on other people (by forcing his views and values) is just rejecting someone else's axioms for his own, not using some generic pre-existing "truths" or universal "moral norms."
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Old 01-15-2022, 9:44 PM
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A couple of you questioned what morals and judgements are common across the globe and what is more regional culture. If you want to do a little reading on that subject, I have a book recommendation:

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
by Jonathan Haidt

https://www.amazon.com/Righteous-Min.../dp/0307455777
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