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BAMAPHIN 22
06-17-2008, 09:58 AM
Early this morning, gay and lesbian couples were surely lining up at county clerk's offices across the state to exercise their new right to marry, bestowed on them last month by the California Supreme Court.

In its controversial decision, the court insisted that these same-sex marriages would not "diminish any other person's constitutional rights" or "impinge upon the religious freedom of any religious organization, official or any other person." Religious liberty would be unaffected, the chief justice wrote, because no member of the clergy would be compelled to officiate at a same-sex ceremony and no church could be compelled to change its policies or practices.

And yet there is substantial reason to believe that these assurances about the safety of religious liberty are either wrong or reflect a cramped view of religion.

The case for same-sex marriage, reduced to its essentials, is an attractive one. It is that the government in a liberal democracy ought not to impose any one moral vision on its citizens; moral decisions ought to be, as much as possible, a matter of private choice and not law.

But it should not follow that having allowed same-sex couples to come out of the closet, as it were, that religious people should in turn be confined to the sanctuary.


http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-stern17-2008jun17,0,5628051.story

Dolphan7
06-17-2008, 12:58 PM
Well that is the question isn't it? I mean if the Gay Agenda's only goal is to have marriage rights, then this should be a non-issue. Couples can wed at court rooms or find a willing preacher to perform the ceremony, maybe even find a church to have it in as well. No problem so far.

But if the Agenda's real goal is to shut down churches for speaking out that homosexuality is a sin, then that is a concern for sure. What we will see is a very conservative church, against same sex marriage, be forced to perform such unions against their will. I have no hope that the California Supreme Court will favor religious freedom over individual rights. This is a train wreck wating to happen. You think the country is divisive on this issue now, wait till the Gay Agenda starts to interfere with churches right of religious freedom.

Shame on the California Supreme Court for allowing this to happen. This just opened a Pandora's Box.

dlockz
06-17-2008, 03:58 PM
I think its silly that anybody brings up gay rights trampling religious freedom when religion that has always played a part in trampling on personal freedom and liberties. Gays getting married in reality is such a non issue but of course churches constantly get thier congregation in an uproar and try to get states to rule based on religion. its ridiculous how many states had religious leaders push marriage amendments onto ballots and the pure shame of it is that these should not be amendment issues. Its as ridiculous as having an amendment barring interracial marriage. Basic rights should not be a matter of what the majority thinks because at one point there has to be some kind of protection of the minority right.

Blackocrates
06-17-2008, 04:38 PM
Well that is the question isn't it? I mean if the Gay Agenda's only goal is to have marriage rights, then this should be a non-issue. Couples can wed at court rooms or find a willing preacher to perform the ceremony, maybe even find a church to have it in as well. No problem so far.

But if the Agenda's real goal is to shut down churches for speaking out that homosexuality is a sin, then that is a concern for sure. What we will see is a very conservative church, against same sex marriage, be forced to perform such unions against their will. I have no hope that the California Supreme Court will favor religious freedom over individual rights. This is a train wreck wating to happen. You think the country is divisive on this issue now, wait till the Gay Agenda starts to interfere with churches right of religious freedom.

Shame on the California Supreme Court for allowing this to happen. This just opened a Pandora's Box.


Your first paragraph is correct. Your second paragraph is just a bunch of rubbish and scare tactics. The gay marriage issue has always been and will always be about government allowing it. It has never been about gays wanting ceremonies in a church. A chuch is an indepedent body that cannot be forced to do anything it doesn't want to. An analogy would be that you sue me because I refuse remodel your house after you asked me to. It makes absolutely no sense nor is there any legal standing. If you brought a suit like that to court you would be sanctioned and possibly held in contempt.
There is no pandora's box, only scare tactics from those conservatives that are ignorant on the issue.

Conservative christians are having a really difficult time seeing this as a state/government issue and not a church issue. It doesn't always have to be about the church. Believe it or not some people don't want anything to do with the church.

Dolphan7
06-17-2008, 05:12 PM
Your first paragraph is correct. Your second paragraph is just a bunch of rubbish and scare tactics. The gay marriage issue has always been and will always be about government allowing it. It has never been about gays wanting ceremonies in a church. A chuch is an indepedent body that cannot be forced to do anything it doesn't want to. An analogy would be that you sue me because I refuse remodel your house after you asked me to. It makes absolutely no sense nor is there any legal standing. If you brought a suit like that to court you would be sanctioned and possibly held in contempt.
There is no pandora's box, only scare tactics from those conservatives that are ignorant on the issue.

Conservative christians are having a really difficult time seeing this as a state/government issue and not a church issue. It doesn't always have to be about the church. Believe it or not some people don't want anything to do with the church.My second paragraph is only the concern. I hope you are right and it won't be an issue. I can't make that claim at this time. I will have to wait and see. I have seen too many instances of liberal judges legislating from the bench (as in this most recent California case)against the church to feel as comfortable as you.

We will have to watch and see.

dlockz
06-17-2008, 05:21 PM
I truly wanna know what the great fear about gay marriage is?

Tetragrammaton
06-17-2008, 05:44 PM
I truly wanna know what the great fear about gay marriage is?

Happiness scares people.

Religious institutions should not be required to perform ceremonies they deem against their beliefs, and I doubt it will happen. If it did, most civil libertarians would rise up against it.

I hope no church allows them to marry, so that way, when Florida legalizes gay marriage, people will come to me to be married (I am an ordained minister).

Dolphan7
06-17-2008, 05:58 PM
I truly wanna know what the great fear about gay marriage is?

It isn't fear. It is a matter of what is right, and what is wrong. Plain and simple. People of high moral standards consider it to be wrong.

Blackocrates
06-17-2008, 06:04 PM
It isn't fear. It is a matter of what is right, and what is wrong. Plain and simple. People of high moral standards consider it to be wrong.

I have high moral standards and I don't think gay marriage is wrong with regards to the state granting it. I think our high divorce rates, bad parents, bad spouses and such are wrong.

dlockz
06-17-2008, 06:15 PM
It isn't fear. It is a matter of what is right, and what is wrong. Plain and simple. People of high moral standards consider it to be wrong.


Just because a certain religious segment see it as immoral does not mean it should be illegal. So should sex out of wedlock be banned and legislated because its considered immorral. Legality and morality are two seperate issues. Its silly to legislate religion.

Tetragrammaton
06-17-2008, 07:10 PM
People of high moral standards consider it to be wrong.

No. I would say the two women that had been together 55 years before they could marry yesterday have high moral standards.

Love is part of a high moral standard. Self superiority is not.

This is coming from you, D7? You were just talking about relative truth in the McCain thread. You know morality isn't black and white.

MoFinz
06-17-2008, 07:19 PM
Personally, i don't begrudge gays the right to civil unions, or even marriage. Whether i think it's right or wrong, that matter is between them and The Creator. One day i'll answer for my life, just as they will. I'm secure in my salvation, so what someone else does here on earth doesn't affect me or my salvation.

God Bless 'em, whether it's right or it's wrong. They ( and I) need all the help we can get.

Dolphan7
06-17-2008, 08:19 PM
Happiness scares people.

Religious institutions should not be required to perform ceremonies they deem against their beliefs, and I doubt it will happen. If it did, most civil libertarians would rise up against it.

I hope no church allows them to marry, so that way, when Florida legalizes gay marriage, people will come to me to be married (I am an ordained minister).I hope you are right, but I have my doubts and will reserve my opinion till such a time as it has been clearly challenged and rebuked.

Tetragrammaton
06-17-2008, 08:24 PM
I hope you are right, but I have my doubts and will reserve my opinion till such a time as it has been clearly challenged and rebuked.

For all the flak the ACLU gets, they defend all forms of freedom, even Westboro. They would be on the side of the churches should this happen (and the ACLU throws around a lot of weight).

I think there will be instances where the government will try to force institutions to accept them, but the uproar over it will stop it.

Blackocrates
06-17-2008, 08:33 PM
My second paragraph is only the concern. I hope you are right and it won't be an issue. I can't make that claim at this time. I will have to wait and see. I have seen too many instances of liberal judges legislating from the bench (as in this most recent California case)against the church to feel as comfortable as you.

We will have to watch and see.

But there is no standing. A church has always had the right to deny people a ceremony in their church, it happens everyday. I know preachers who refuse to marry people if they don't attend counseling sessions through him. Some of those people then move onto another church until they find one that accepts them. A church cannot be forced to do anything they don't want to do. They don't have to marry anybody, ever. There is absolutely no legal standard to sue for, nor will there ever be. Just like I said earlier I can't force you to do something, and you can't force me to do something. Same goes for a church.

I don't know why you have this wait and see approach. There is absolute no reason or logic behind your caution. You may not understand the law, which is fine, many people don't.

Dolphan7
06-17-2008, 08:41 PM
No. I would say the two women that had been together 55 years before they could marry yesterday have high moral standards.

Love is part of a high moral standard. Self superiority is not.

This is coming from you, D7? You were just talking about relative truth in the McCain thread. You know morality isn't black and white.The two women who waited 55 years to get marrried isn't an example of morality, but of patience.

We don't get to decide what is moral or not, only the Creator gets to do that. He sets the standard. I don't know why you guys can't grasp this concept. Man does not get to set the rules. We have no basis to define right or wrong without a set standard. We can't set the standard ourselves.

Many in here myself included think 911 terrorists are wrong. Yet they believe that they are right. So which side is right, and which is wrong? They have their standard, we have ours. Which one is right? See the dilemna? The standard has to come from God. Hey if God didn't exist, I would say hey have it it, do whatever sick things you want to do, just don't do it around me. And people can tell me the same thing. But God does exist. There is an absolute truth and moral standard. I can't deny that in order to appease some people.

My comment in the other thread is in direct reference to American politics and has no bearing on God's truth and His morality. It is just a sad testament to how low American politics has sunk, and American society in general when people claim that their relative truth is what matters. That there is no absolute standard, and whatever I want to beleive in is what counts as truth. People can go the their grave thinking that if they want, but will eventually find out the real truth.

Hey I have said in here many times that gay marriage will one day be allowed in every State of the Union. Doesn't mean I have to agree with it, or accept it. And if this is all there is to the Agenda then so be it. But I have a sneaking suspicion that it isn't the end. And that is my biggest concern.

Does anyone remember the photographer in New Mexico found guilty of declining to accept a job to film a gay wedding? Her clear rights to freedom of religion were violated. This is how it all starts.

I reserve the right to withhold final opinion on this until this has been challenged and defeated.

Dolphan7
06-17-2008, 08:51 PM
For all the flak the ACLU gets, they defend all forms of freedom, even Westboro. They would be on the side of the churches should this happen (and the ACLU throws around a lot of weight).

I think there will be instances where the government will try to force institutions to accept them, but the uproar over it will stop it.Ah yes, the - Anti Christian Lawyers Union! :wink:

I hope that they do indeed take the side of the church. I know they have in the past, but it is miniscule.

Dolphan7
06-17-2008, 08:58 PM
Just because a certain religious segment see it as immoral does not mean it should be illegal. So should sex out of wedlock be banned and legislated because its considered immorral. Legality and morality are two seperate issues. Its silly to legislate religion.I agree. This countries laws long ago separated from the moral laws. Hello Roe v Wade anyone? The concern isn't to allow Gay marriages, although I think that will adversely effect society in the long run. The concern is what is next. Religious freedom vs. individual rights.

I hope and pray that there will be plenty of places to marry these people, but all it takes is one couple with a vendetta and it's in the courts and then we will see just where religious freedom rates when it comes to individual rights. I dare anyone to tell me that there aren't any gay couples out there that would just love to take down a church. The anti-christian backlash from the gay community is loud and clear.

We will have to wait and see.

Dolphan7
06-17-2008, 08:59 PM
Personally, i don't begrudge gays the right to civil unions, or even marriage. Whether i think it's right or wrong, that matter is between them and The Creator. One day i'll answer for my life, just as they will. I'm secure in my salvation, so what someone else does here on earth doesn't affect me or my salvation.

God Bless 'em, whether it's right or it's wrong. They ( and I) need all the help we can get.Well said. Couldn't agree more.

Dolphan7
06-17-2008, 09:05 PM
But there is no standing. A church has always had the right to deny people a ceremony in their church, it happens everyday. I know preachers who refuse to marry people if they don't attend counseling sessions through him. Some of those people then move onto another church until they find one that accepts them. A church cannot be forced to do anything they don't want to do. They don't have to marry anybody, ever. There is absolutely no legal standard to sue for, nor will there ever be. Just like I said earlier I can't force you to do something, and you can't force me to do something. Same goes for a church.

I don't know why you have this wait and see approach. There is absolute no reason or logic behind your caution. You may not understand the law, which is fine, many people don't.

I understand judges in liberal communities that see things differently than I do.

True churches have the right to refuse services to anyone, but based on sexual preference and orientation? Once we make that a constitutional right, and through gay marriage it is one step closer now, then what? Refusing to wed someone in your church based on sexual preference would be considered discrimination at that point.

No - I think I have a valid basis for my caution. If I am wrong, and I hope I am, then that is ok with me too.

Blackocrates
06-17-2008, 09:21 PM
I understand judges in liberal communities that see things differently than I do.

True churches have the right to refuse services to anyone, but based on sexual preference and orientation? Once we make that a constitutional right, and through gay marriage it is one step closer now, then what? Refusing to wed someone in your church based on sexual preference would be considered discrimination at that point.

No - I think I have a valid basis for my caution. If I am wrong, and I hope I am, then that is ok with me too.

A church can refuse services for any reason or no reason at all. It will always be that way. Remember in the eyes of the law a church is a private individual. They can disciminate all they want. You don't have to let anybody in your home when they knock and ask to come in. You don't have to have a reason, or you could have any reason. I can't sue you if you don't allow me into your home. It's as simple as that. That's why I keep saying there is no standing, it's a ridiculous hypothetical.

Back to the real issue. Gays have only wanted to be able to get married. To have the same rights as others. Govermental rights. It's always been about receiving the same benefits as other married couples. It's never been about a ceremony.

Tetragrammaton
06-17-2008, 09:32 PM
We don't get to decide what is moral or not, only the Creator gets to do that. He sets the standard. I don't know why you guys can't grasp this concept. Man does not get to set the rules. We have no basis to define right or wrong without a set standard. We can't set the standard ourselves.

If man doesn't set the rules, then no one does. There is a faction of the world that does not believe in a Creator, and those that do cannot agree on who it is. We cannot rule based on the guidelines of a religion.


Many in here myself included think 911 terrorists are wrong. Yet they believe that they are right. So which side is right, and which is wrong? They have their standard, we have ours. Which one is right? See the dilemna? The standard has to come from God. Hey if God didn't exist, I would say hey have it it, do whatever sick things you want to do, just don't do it around me. And people can tell me the same thing. But God does exist. There is an absolute truth and moral standard. I can't deny that in order to appease some people.

But a majority of intelligent Muslims agree that what those nineteen did was wrong. That is only a dilemma to those without a compass. The United States was founded on a moral compass that is not necessarily Christian, as a majority of the Founding Fathers were deists.

Most religions, and most non religious people, agree on what is fundamentally right and wrong. Murder, theft, rape, ripping people off, these are almost universally agreed upon, except for people who should and are punished. We have been arguing over these principles for two hundred years.

Besides, the Book can be twisted. Slaveholders justified their ownership of human beings by claiming they are bringing them to God. Psychos that bomb abortion clinics do this as well.


Does anyone remember the photographer in New Mexico found guilty of declining to accept a job to film a gay wedding? Her clear rights to freedom of religion were violated. This is how it all starts.

That is tricky. She shouldn't have been fired, especially when there are plenty of other photographers that would love to make money. But I don't see it as discrimination. I cannot deny waiting on a table at Steak N Shake because I don't like them because I am the one discriminating.

dlockz
06-17-2008, 09:51 PM
I agree. This countries laws long ago separated from the moral laws. Hello Roe v Wade anyone? The concern isn't to allow Gay marriages, although I think that will adversely effect society in the long run. The concern is what is next. Religious freedom vs. individual rights.

I hope and pray that there will be plenty of places to marry these people, but all it takes is one couple with a vendetta and it's in the courts and then we will see just where religious freedom rates when it comes to individual rights. I dare anyone to tell me that there aren't any gay couples out there that would just love to take down a church. The anti-christian backlash from the gay community is loud and clear.

We will have to wait and see.


Well Im sure the church would love to be able to keep gats from doing almost anything so i dont get your point. I mean how many fearmongers from the churches are exagerrating the affects of gay marriage. Gay marriage has zero real affect on the rest of us but some christians want to act like it will destroy our whole moral fiber. Im sure the anti gay backlash is much stronger from the church lol.

WSE
06-18-2008, 01:01 AM
It isn't fear. It is a matter of what is right, and what is wrong. Plain and simple. People of high moral standards consider it to be wrong.

no, people of your moral standards feel it to be wrong. Because they are yours does not mean all consider them to be "high"

I think I have high moral standards because I believe people should be able to do what they want unless it hurts other people of course.

umpalu
06-18-2008, 03:10 AM
Well that is the question isn't it? I mean if the Gay Agenda's only goal is to have marriage rights, then this should be a non-issue. Couples can wed at court rooms or find a willing preacher to perform the ceremony, maybe even find a church to have it in as well. No problem so far.

But if the Agenda's real goal is to shut down churches for speaking out that homosexuality is a sin, then that is a concern for sure. What we will see is a very conservative church, against same sex marriage, be forced to perform such unions against their will. I have no hope that the California Supreme Court will favor religious freedom over individual rights. This is a train wreck wating to happen. You think the country is divisive on this issue now, wait till the Gay Agenda starts to interfere with churches right of religious freedom.

Shame on the California Supreme Court for allowing this to happen. This just opened a Pandora's Box.

I respect your opinion, but this really is the most ignorant post I have ever read on this site and there have been some bad ones. I am 100% not gay and this offends even me. They love as we love and want a union the same as we do. It is not an agenda, it is about equal rights under the law and this is what the country was founded on. Your opinion is completely backwoods and ignorant. May there be one or two radicals that might make it an agenda? probably. Don't group the whole into a select ignorant few who might try it if it would even happen to begin with.

Dolphan7
06-18-2008, 01:30 PM
I respect your opinion, but this really is the most ignorant post I have ever read on this site and there have been some bad ones. I am 100% not gay and this offends even me. They love as we love and want a union the same as we do. It is not an agenda, it is about equal rights under the law and this is what the country was founded on. Your opinion is completely backwoods and ignorant. May there be one or two radicals that might make it an agenda? probably. Don't group the whole into a select ignorant few who might try it if it would even happen to begin with.First off, this was a rather respectful discussion until you decided to post. I suggest that if you say that you respect someone, you may consider using different words to demonstrate that respect.

Secondly it is an agenda, or a movement, or a crusade or whatever word suits you.

Thirdly there is an agenda beyond just gay marraige that is harmful to this country. This is why gay marriage is wrong for America. It opens the Pandoras Box so to speak.

Just read:

http://www.beyondmarriage.org/full_statement.html

and

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/002/938xpsxy.asp

Dolphan7
06-18-2008, 01:50 PM
no, people of your moral standards feel it to be wrong. Because they are yours does not mean all consider them to be "high"

I think I have high moral standards because I believe people should be able to do what they want unless it hurts other people of course.This is why moral relativism can't work.

You claim your morals are high.

I claim my morals are high.

Another poster claimed his morals are high.

By what standard are we to measure exactly how high our morals are?

See the dilemna?

This is why man can't determine right and wrong for himself. It must come from God, and based on that points to the existance of God.

Can you tell me that I am wrong to believe that marriage is one man one woman?

You can't without providing the basis,or standard, that you are using to determine why I am wrong.

Dolphan7
06-18-2008, 02:21 PM
If man doesn't set the rules, then no one does. There is a faction of the world that does not believe in a Creator, and those that do cannot agree on who it is. We cannot rule based on the guidelines of a religion.I agree we cannot run this country by religious morals. But that does not mean that whatever the government allows is right. Consider Row v Wade. Abortion is legal in this country, but tht doesn't mean it is right. The constitution may grant rights and protections so that people can live in peace and freedom, but that ins't truth or morality. It is a mere manmade guideline that is ever changing. Slavery was once acceptable, so the morals of that time were much different than today. This is why man can't set the standard. One he has no authority, second it will always change.





But a majority of intelligent Muslims agree that what those nineteen did was wrong. That is only a dilemma to those without a compass. The United States was founded on a moral compass that is not necessarily Christian, as a majority of the Founding Fathers were deists.
But on what basis do they claim they were wrong? What standard do they use? Which one do we use? See the dilemna?

Here is a link to demonstrate exactly how christian most of the founding fathers were. Your Diest claim is unfounded but for a few.

http://www.shalomjerusalem.com/heritage/heritage19.html


Most religions, and most non religious people, agree on what is fundamentally right and wrong. Murder, theft, rape, ripping people off, these are almost universally agreed upon, except for people who should and are punished. We have been arguing over these principles for two hundred years.Yes but why do we all feel that we ought to consider these things wrong? Where does it come from?


Besides, the Book can be twisted. Slaveholders justified their ownership of human beings by claiming they are bringing them to God. Psychos that bomb abortion clinics do this as well.Certainly mans abuses of the bible are evident. That does nothing to subtract from the evidence of an absolute truth. It only confuses people and that is a shame.




That is tricky. She shouldn't have been fired, especially when there are plenty of other photographers that would love to make money. But I don't see it as discrimination. I cannot deny waiting on a table at Steak N Shake because I don't like them because I am the one discriminating.Well the court decided differently. She didn't get fired, it was her own company!

ih8brady
06-18-2008, 07:53 PM
This is why moral relativism can't work.

You claim your morals are high.

I claim my morals are high.

Another poster claimed his morals are high.

By what standard are we to measure exactly how high our morals are?

See the dilemna?

This is why man can't determine right and wrong for himself. It must come from God, and based on that points to the existance of God.

Can you tell me that I am wrong to believe that marriage is one man one woman?

You can't without providing the basis,or standard, that you are using to determine why I am wrong.


Your making the arrogant assumption that A) Your God exists, cares about us B) Your holy book is written by God C) All other gods are false.


I say that absolute truth in morality does exists and can be found naturally and innately. It is is our genes and blood on basic moral rights and wrongs. Just as our simian cousins display both altruism and selfishness, we know innately about the golden rule and peaceful living. Some people chose not to follow it(immorality) some do follow it.

Dolphan7
06-18-2008, 08:51 PM
Your making the arrogant assumption that A) Your God exists, cares about us B) Your holy book is written by God C) All other gods are false.


I say that absolute truth in morality does exists and can be found naturally and innately. It is is our genes and blood on basic moral rights and wrongs. Just as our simian cousins display both altruism and selfishness, we know innately about the golden rule and peaceful living. Some people chose not to follow it(immorality) some do follow it.
Arrogant assumption? No my friend I am making a confident statement of faith.

You can't find absolute truth in nature or in mankind. 911 terrorists have their view of morality and truth. You have yours. Each side has it's proponents. Which one is right? You can say all day long that they are wrong, but you have no basis to make that claim. They would laugh in your face. What standard are you appealing to make that claim. You see the dilemna?

Here is a more on subject topic - Homosexuality. Some say it is wrong. Others say it is right. Which one is right? Which one is wrong? What standard do we use?

Here is another one. Murder. Some say it is ok, others say it is wrong. Who is right? And you can't point to the law and say it is illegal. I can show you gang infested neigborhoods all across the country that don't give a darn about the laws. Murder is second nature to these thugs.

Without an absolute standard - set by our creator - we have no basis to say what is right and what is wrong for mankind. Certainly we can install governments to protect us and punish those that break the laws, but that isn't the standard. Tell that to 30 million and counting unborn children killed by the governments approval of abortion on demand. So even a government, being run and influenced by fallible men, can be wrong. That can't be the standard.

The standard has to come from above.

WSE
06-18-2008, 11:53 PM
This is why moral relativism can't work.

You claim your morals are high.

I claim my morals are high.

Another poster claimed his morals are high.

By what standard are we to measure exactly how high our morals are?

See the dilemna?

This is why man can't determine right and wrong for himself. It must come from God, and based on that points to the existance of God.

Can you tell me that I am wrong to believe that marriage is one man one woman?

You can't without providing the basis,or standard, that you are using to determine why I am wrong.


na, we should use our brains and think instead of read what our morals should be out of a book.

Tetragrammaton
06-19-2008, 12:13 AM
Dolphan7, you know what you are talking about and you make good points. But I think you are wrong in raising questions such as


Here is another one. Murder. Some say it is ok, others say it is wrong. Who is right? And you can't point to the law and say it is illegal. I can show you gang infested neigborhoods all across the country that don't give a darn about the laws. Murder is second nature to these thugs.

We can all agree on things like that. The civilized world is almost unilaterally in agreement with that.

Why? Like you, I follow a very old system of rules. The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, for starters.


We hold these truths to be self-evident (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-evidence), that all men are created equal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_men_are_created_equal), that they are endowed by their Creator (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creator_deity) with certain unalienable Rights (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inalienable_rights), that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life%2C_liberty_and_the_pursuit_of_happiness).

I would certainly think we can all agree on that. There are disagreements over specifics, sure. Is abortion murder? When does ones freedom interfere with someone else? We argue these all the time, and it helps to get the public involved. That is probably what you are talking about in regards to churches being forced to marry.

I see life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as a perfect moral code.

It allows the Christian to not allow gays in their church while allowing that same person to marry their partner.

This isn't to you, D7, more a general: Does anyone think gay marriage will lead to more homosexuality? That seems to be what some in the far right are implying.

ih8brady
06-19-2008, 01:39 AM
na, we should use our brains and think instead of read what our morals should be out of a book.

Quite beautifully put. :up:

HurriPhin
06-19-2008, 02:11 AM
na, we should use our brains and think instead of read what our morals should be out of a book.

Ah, it's much more than a book, the bible is the living word God.

Dolphan7
06-19-2008, 11:32 AM
na, we should use our brains and think instead of read what our morals should be out of a book.Right, but then we get thinking like Hitler's Nazi Germany, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden just to name a few from this century.

Dolphan7
06-19-2008, 12:14 PM
Dolphan7, you know what you are talking about and you make good points. But I think you are wrong in raising questions such as



We can all agree on things like that. The civilized world is almost unilaterally in agreement with that.

Why? Like you, I follow a very old system of rules. The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, for starters.



I would certainly think we can all agree on that. There are disagreements over specifics, sure. Is abortion murder? When does ones freedom interfere with someone else? We argue these all the time, and it helps to get the public involved. That is probably what you are talking about in regards to churches being forced to marry.

I see life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as a perfect moral code.

It allows the Christian to not allow gays in their church while allowing that same person to marry their partner.

This isn't to you, D7, more a general: Does anyone think gay marriage will lead to more homosexuality? That seems to be what some in the far right are implying.Hey the constitution and bill of rights is a great document for governing a people who cherish their freedoms and is a beacon the world over for those who seek the same things we some times take for granted. It is the best form of government known to man. But it isn't a moral code, it can't be. It changes too much. It took us almost 100 years to solve the issue of slavery, and we are still struggling with race issues even to this day sadly. No, pursuit of happiness can mean too many things to too many people I am afraid. The Life and Liberty part is fairly straight forward, but that last part - Pursuit of Happiness - can mean one thing to one person and an entirely different thing to another. It's too vague. An example would be gay marriage. The government (eventually) will allow this to happen, but that isn't a stamp of approval or denial from the government on moral grounds. The government isn't making a moral statement on the issue, it is simply the result of consitutionality ( as argued) and equal rights and protections for it's citizens. The morality of the act is in hot dispute from coast to coast. You can look at abortion and get the same result. Just because the government allows you to do it, doesn't mean that it is something that a person should do!

Hey we don't want the government to legislate morality - we hear that all the time right? - so we definitely don't want the basis for our morality to be the Constitution! Kinda defeats the purpose of that statement.

As to your last question - Will gay marriage lead to more homosexuality?
No It will only lead to more homosexual marriages! Homosexuality has been around for ages. It isn't anything new. The only thing new is the legalized marraige part. No I think society has more influence on whether there is more homosexuality - the more it is promoted, taught to our children, all the stigma removed from it, etc.....this has an influence on how people view the act and how they clssify it's morality. This society has done a very good job, and continues to do so, in desensitizing us to things that are morally wrong; sex outside of mariage, divorce, drinking to abandon, abortion, lying, stealing, cheating and even murder.

No the Constitution is a manmade form of government, not a moral basis. It is a good way to govern, but then again it wouldn't apply to let's say radical muslims because their pursuit of happiness is to kill you and me because we dont' believe in Allah! It's great for America, but that's about it. It is great for a people who want to define their own rules, expecially a people whose morality changes over time. For this the Consititution is a great tool.

No the Consitution although well written and executed, is influenced and superceded by a more historic document, one that is the basis for right and wrong, unchanging, applicable and is the best source for learning how to live in a right relationship with God, and your fellow man.

rafael
06-19-2008, 03:13 PM
Ah, it's much more than a book, the bible is the living word God.

It's a book that claims the world is 6000 years old.

Dolphan7
06-19-2008, 03:19 PM
It's a book that claims the world is 6000 years old.
No it doesn't. If you can show me where in the bible it states that the earth is 6000 years old I will rescind my statement.

ih8brady
06-19-2008, 03:23 PM
It should be noted that Jefferson's " life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" was based on moral guidelines as it was lifted directly from Epicurus, the great Greek philosopher. The idea behind it is that these three virtues are under the prerequisite that they do not violate each other of one another. So under constitutional and Epicurean guidelines, it is in fact wrong to kill an infidel even if it causes happiness because it violates someone's life and liberty and ends their pursuit of happiness.

Dolphan7
06-19-2008, 03:30 PM
It should be noted that Jefferson's " life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" was based on moral guidelines as it was lifted directly from Epicurus, the great Greek philosopher. The idea behind it is that these three virtues are under the prerequisite that they do not violate each other of one another. So under constitutional and Epicurean guidelines, it is in fact wrong to kill an infidel even if it causes happiness because it violates someone's life and liberty and ends their pursuit of happiness.Well that works, if you believe in Epicurial Guidelines. Somehow I don't think Islam subscribes to that philosophy.

rafael
06-19-2008, 03:43 PM
No it doesn't. If you can show me where in the bible it states that the earth is 6000 years old I will rescind my statement.

The 6000 year old age is established from all the "begats" that go from Adam & Eve all the way to the birth of Jesus. The Bible has a specific number of generations, the names of those people in that generation, and their ages. It allows Biblical research to calculate the calendar dates for any event in the Bible, including the creation story.

Clearly that literal interpretation is wrong (one example of many) and it illustrates why the bible shouldn't be taken as a literal truth.

ih8brady
06-19-2008, 03:51 PM
Well that works, if you believe in Epicurial Guidelines. Somehow I don't think Islam subscribes to that philosophy.

Um, yes, of course. Islam, as are most religions, is rather violent. It's founding prophet was a warrior and it's empire spread through the sword. No denying that.

Dolphan7
06-19-2008, 05:08 PM
The 6000 year old age is established from all the "begats" that go from Adam & Eve all the way to the birth of Jesus. The Bible has a specific number of generations, the names of those people in that generation, and their ages. It allows Biblical research to calculate the calendar dates for any event in the Bible, including the creation story.

Clearly that literal interpretation is wrong (one example of many) and it illustrates why the bible shouldn't be taken as a literal truth.Like I said, show me where the bible states the age of the earth, any age, and anywhere, in the bible. It does not.

What you have described are men who "think" they understand the lineages and assume that it calculates to 6000 or so years. We can't be sure, and since the bible does not say specifically, we can't say that it does.

I agree the bible should not be taken literally for the whole thing. There are parts that are to be taken literally, then there are parts to be taken metaphorically, and then there are parts that should be taken figuratively and on and on etc....it all depends on the context. Proper Exegesis and a good dose of Hermanuetics is required.

WSE
06-19-2008, 05:51 PM
Right, but then we get thinking like Hitler's Nazi Germany, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden just to name a few from this century.

nice try, but here is the difference

my belief is that people should be able to do what they feel is right unless they hurt innocent people

obviously the people you mentioned do not apply, lol

gays who want to marry do apply. It affects nobody but them. It does not hurt innocents.

Dolphan7
06-19-2008, 07:18 PM
nice try, but here is the difference

my belief is that people should be able to do what they feel is right unless they hurt innocent people

obviously the people you mentioned do not apply, lol

gays who want to marry do apply. It affects nobody but them. It does not hurt innocents.People have been able to do what they want without hurting anyone else for years now. The question is - is it moral. The government allowing such behavior does not determine it's morality, but only it's legality.

You can do what you want, create your own reality/morality. But you can't state that it is right over any other morality. That is the discussion. You have no basis of right and wrong outside your own little world (not meant as derogatory).

I understand what you are saying, that if everyone in the world would just keep their own morals as long as it doesn't harm anyone else, wow that would be great. And for the most part that is the United States. The debate is - whose morality should it be.

But the reality is that while most may agree, some won't and then what? On what basis do you have to say that those few are wrong, and yours is right? You don't have a basis to say that becasue your morality is only good for you, and those who agree with you. Those others' morality may be to kill you because you don't believe in their form of morality. See the problem?

So unless you subscribe to an absolute standard of morality, you have no basis to cry foul. You can live your life by your morality, and you can get the government to allow you the freedom to practice your morality, and hope that same government will protect you from those who seek to kill you because of your morality, but you won't be able to make an absolute right or wrong assessment outside your own.

It gets back to my age old question. Prefaced by this scenario - you agree that the 911 terrorists were wrong for what they did. Right? Now on what basis are they wrong. What standard should we apply? You could say well my morality says they are wrong and should be punished for it. But now you are applying your morality to them, and you can't do that, because now you have effected their right to create their own morality. See the dilemna?

rafael
06-19-2008, 07:50 PM
Like I said, show me where the bible states the age of the earth, any age, and anywhere, in the bible. It does not.

What you have described are men who "think" they understand the lineages and assume that it calculates to 6000 or so years. We can't be sure, and since the bible does not say specifically, we can't say that it does.

I agree the bible should not be taken literally for the whole thing. There are parts that are to be taken literally, then there are parts to be taken metaphorically, and then there are parts that should be taken figuratively and on and on etc....it all depends on the context. Proper Exegesis and a good dose of Hermanuetics is required.

That's the problem. Everybody gets to pick and choose what morality is and then claim that it's the word of God.

Dolphan7
06-19-2008, 08:01 PM
That's the problem. Everybody gets to pick and choose what morality is and then claim that it's the word of God.Well there are certainly some real good examples of that, but we know what and who they are. Most of Christiandom agree on the basic tenets of Christianity, with few exceptions, especially on the issue of salvation. There are many other differences and such on the "non-essentials", but on the important things there is much concensus.

rafael
06-19-2008, 08:07 PM
Well there are certainly some real good examples of that, but we know what and who they are. Most of Christiandom agree on the basic tenets of Christianity, with few exceptions, especially on the issue of salvation. There are many other differences and such on the "non-essentials", but on the important things there is much concensus.

A catholic priest once told me that "the only that should be taken from the bible is to love one another... everything else is opinion on how to do that". If more people followed that principal there would be a lot less intolerance in the world.

Dolphan7
06-20-2008, 12:22 PM
A catholic priest once told me that "the only that should be taken from the bible is to love one another... everything else is opinion on how to do that". If more people followed that principal there would be a lot less intolerance in the world.Well that is basically right, and a great way to start, but there is much much more to it than that. Loving someone doesn't mean accepting and/or approving everything they do. Loving someone doesn't mean letting people do whatever they want to you. Loving someone doesn't mean forgiving someone when they haven't asked for that forgivness, nor feel repentent. You can love someone and not like them at the same time, or not like what they do.

If the implication from this priest is that everyone get together around a campfire and sing koombaya and everything will be ok, well.. that ain't reality, and it isn't biblical either, but that is no surprise when dealing with the catholic church.

dlockz
06-20-2008, 04:56 PM
Well that is basically right, and a great way to start, but there is much much more to it than that. Loving someone doesn't mean accepting and/or approving everything they do. Loving someone doesn't mean letting people do whatever they want to you. Loving someone doesn't mean forgiving someone when they haven't asked for that forgivness, nor feel repentent. You can love someone and not like them at the same time, or not like what they do.

If the implication from this priest is that everyone get together around a campfire and sing koombaya and everything will be ok, well.. that ain't reality, and it isn't biblical either, but that is no surprise when dealing with the catholic church.


I really find it funny when so called christian groups stand around with signs like all such and suches will go to hell, or God hates fill in the blank.
I once walked over to a sign holder of the last statement and told him how stupid that sounded. Needless to say I got less than a christian answer. I thought it was not on us to judge but of course people want to control everybody's else' life. In reality Gay marriage has no real affect on society or thier morals but many religious groups want to push thier own agenda. Back in the day many churches were just as opposed to interacial marriage with many of the same silly justifications. I do realize it is somewhat differant but in reality if people raise thier children the right way and to know right from wrong they should not get confused by what other people do.

rafael
06-20-2008, 05:27 PM
Well that is basically right, and a great way to start, but there is much much more to it than that. Loving someone doesn't mean accepting and/or approving everything they do. Loving someone doesn't mean letting people do whatever they want to you. Loving someone doesn't mean forgiving someone when they haven't asked for that forgivness, nor feel repentent. You can love someone and not like them at the same time, or not like what they do.

If the implication from this priest is that everyone get together around a campfire and sing koombaya and everything will be ok, well.. that ain't reality, and it isn't biblical either, but that is no surprise when dealing with the catholic church.


IMO the implication is that we shouldn't let one group decide what's moral for everybody else based on their interpretation of the bible. You just said:

"Most of Christiandom agree on the basic tenets of Christianity, with few exceptions, especially on the issue of salvation. There are many other differences and such on the "non-essentials", but on the important things there is much concensus."

Why is their consensus opinion worth anymore than anybody else's?

Dolphan7
06-20-2008, 06:43 PM
I really find it funny when so called christian groups stand around with signs like all such and suches will go to hell, or God hates fill in the blank.
I once walked over to a sign holder of the last statement and told him how stupid that sounded. Needless to say I got less than a christian answer. I thought it was not on us to judge but of course people want to control everybody's else' life. In reality Gay marriage has no real affect on society or thier morals but many religious groups want to push thier own agenda. Back in the day many churches were just as opposed to interacial marriage with many of the same silly justifications. I do realize it is somewhat differant but in reality if people raise thier children the right way and to know right from wrong they should not get confused by what other people do.We call those type of people "Bullhorn Man".

That is is guy that stands in a crowded plaza with a bullhorn and some pamphlets, shouting across the plaza that sinners will go to hell and Jesus is the answer etc.....handing out pamplets to people as they walk by.

Or the example you provided is much worse.

What some people have to understand is that christians are human too, and because of that they make mistakes and sometimes don't do the right thing all the time. And because of that people take away from that the wrong view of what Jesus is all about, and what God is all about. Don't get me wrong - Jesus would be the first to tell someone that they are a sinner and that if you don't get right with God, you will go to hell. He did it many times in the NT. But He is the Son of God, he can do that with all the authority granted to him by the Father. We should show a little more restraint as followers. Sometimes we et it wrong and come on too strong. And then there are those who don't even follow the bible to begin with like the clowns at Westboro Baptist.

What non-believers need to keep in mind is not to shoot the messenger and miss the message. The Truth of the Gospels is still true, even though the messenger didn't do his job right.

Certainly Gay marriage has an effect on society. What this is remains to be seen, but it is only one small part of a larger picture. And that is - God has blessed this country for 200 years, however, as we can see in the Old Testament, when a country chooses bad leaders, bad things happen and God removes his blessing from them. With bad leaders come bad decisions and laws. Roe v Wade is one such law. Tampering with human life is another one. This marriage law in California, although not nationwide yet, is another such law. The irresponsibility of our Congress when it comes to financial matters. Some would argue the irresponsible involvement in unneccessary wars like Vietnam and Iraq. and the list goes on and one, and we haven't even considered what private citizen and business do to a society. The old question comes up "Does art depict society, or does society influence art?" And the answer is - who cares because the end result is that our society is permeated with pornography, sex outside of marraige, sex with children, murder for stupid reasons (not that there ever is a good reason), teaching our childen about sex, all sorts of sex, teaching our children Evolution and that there is no God we all got here by accident, corrupt politicians/government, materialistic selfishness, Greed, worship of the almighty dollar....and the list just goes on and on. It is no wonder the muslims don't want what we are exporting into their region of the world. The point is all this stuff has an effect on society and it has an effect on how much God involves himself in that society. This country has lost it's ability to blush. I wonder how much longer God will wait, how much more can he take?

Dolphan7
06-20-2008, 06:56 PM
IMO the implication is that we shouldn't let one group decide what's moral for everybody else based on their interpretation of the bible. You just said:

"Most of Christiandom agree on the basic tenets of Christianity, with few exceptions, especially on the issue of salvation. There are many other differences and such on the "non-essentials", but on the important things there is much concensus."

Why is their consensus opinion worth anymore than anybody else's?
Because the concensus opinion isn't really an opinion, it is careful study and research over thousands of years, by highly trained and educated scholars who use biblical Exegesis to determine the biblical writers original intent and how it applies to us today. It can only mean one thing. The writers didn't write it to mean more than one thing. There is only one truth, not several. And because there is only one truth, there is only one standard, one moral absolute, one moral guideline. Christianity can prove itself intellectually and logically if one allows himself the mindset to completely and throughly examine it. You could spend a lifetime comparing all the religions of the world and at the end you would have all the others piled up on one side and Christianity on the other side - it is that unique!

I agree that no one person or group should decide the morality of another person or group. Man is a Zero when setting the moral standard for anyone. But God can! And he gave us all the ability to choose or deny Him. We all have the free will to do that. Sadly, most will reject God.

rafael
06-20-2008, 09:46 PM
Because the concensus opinion isn't really an opinion, it is careful study and research over thousands of years, by highly trained and educated scholars who use biblical Exegesis to determine the biblical writers original intent and how it applies to us today. It can only mean one thing. The writers didn't write it to mean more than one thing. There is only one truth, not several. And because there is only one truth, there is only one standard, one moral absolute, one moral guideline. Christianity can prove itself intellectually and logically if one allows himself the mindset to completely and throughly examine it. You could spend a lifetime comparing all the religions of the world and at the end you would have all the others piled up on one side and Christianity on the other side - it is that unique!

I agree that no one person or group should decide the morality of another person or group. Man is a Zero when setting the moral standard for anyone. But God can! And he gave us all the ability to choose or deny Him. We all have the free will to do that. Sadly, most will reject God.

I find it incredibly scary that people think like that. It's still interpretation. It's still opinion. Language is too limited to ever be thought of as being able to be only read one way. And the bible is even worse b/c you're talking about a document that was translated back from another language after the original was lost. That's the legal equivalent of double hearsay (another example of evidence that is considered unreliable). Even if you had the words perfect you'd still be applying them out of context b/c we're looking at them without the same experiences as the people they were meant for. Then it was edited and added to in order to accommodate the legal whims of it's time. Even during that process the meanings were hotly debated. So it's simply ridiculous to claim that the meanings are singular and crystal clear now.

To give you another legal example, highly trained legal scholars are charged with determining the legislative intent of laws written within the last few years. I've spoken to legislators on several occassions and to a man they say that the legislative intent is usually misinterpreted. And that's without the additional hurdles of language translation and a couple of thousand years of missing context.

And I've studied many religions. I completely disagree that christianity is unique. In fact, in just one example almost every christian holiday is an adaptation of an earlier pagan holiday.

I also disagree that most will reject God. If it's truth it will reveal itself in time. It's just that to find God you have to look in your self rather than to a highly inconsistent bible or to the self serving prattle of any church.

Dolphan7
06-21-2008, 12:54 AM
I find it incredibly scary that people think like that. It's still interpretation. It's still opinion. Language is too limited to ever be thought of as being able to be only read one way. And the bible is even worse b/c you're talking about a document that was translated back from another language after the original was lost. That's the legal equivalent of double hearsay (another example of evidence that is considered unreliable). Even if you had the words perfect you'd still be applying them out of context b/c we're looking at them without the same experiences as the people they were meant for. Then it was edited and added to in order to accommodate the legal whims of it's time. Even during that process the meanings were hotly debated. So it's simply ridiculous to claim that the meanings are singular and crystal clear now. Biblical Exegesis takes into consideration the implication on the people it was written to, as well as many other things. They have done an outstanding job of it. If you do any research on this subject you will find that the translation challenges over time have been miniscule. The Dead Sea Scrolls confirm that we have made very accurate translations and copies of the texts. You say language is too limited to be thought of in only one way - well then in 2000 years your words that you posted here will have numerous meanings. Is that your intent? I didn't think so.


To give you another legal example, highly trained legal scholars are charged with determining the legislative intent of laws written within the last few years. I've spoken to legislators on several occassions and to a man they say that the legislative intent is usually misinterpreted. And that's without the additional hurdles of language translation and a couple of thousand years of missing context.Well thankfully the languages the bible were written in are not as complex and confusing as the "legalese" we use in our government. It isn't as complicated as some would have you believe.


And I've studied many religions. I completely disagree that christianity is unique. In fact, in just one example almost every christian holiday is an adaptation of an earlier pagan holiday.Most Christian Holidays were not practiced in the bible, so they are manmade, therefore not biblical. The only exception I can think of is Easter, before all the manmade stuff got added like bunnies and candy and eggs.....Again I don't even think there is a refernce to any celebration in the NT about Jesus Death Burial and Resurrection. I know the Passover was a dual celebration for both Jews and Christians at one point, but they don't coincide anymore since Easter is based on the lunar calendar now.

So you don't think Christianity is unique? What do you make of Jesus then?


I also disagree that most will reject God. If it's truth it will reveal itself in time. It's just that to find God you have to look in your self rather than to a highly inconsistent bible or to the self serving prattle of any church.There are billions of people living and who have passed on throughout history. What you are saying is that there are billions of ways to get to heaven, you just have to find in yourself the answer. So the neighbor who cheats on his wife, steal your paper every now and then, drives like a maniac, cusses his butt off, and is generally a louse....is going to take up camp in heaven right next to you because he too has his own "inner" view of what God is all about. You see why that can't work?

Hey you can beleive in what you want, but that ain't truth. If you choose to reject Jesus Christ - you better be 1000% sure you are right about that, because if you are wrong......you will stand alone before God and have to answer for every deed you did, good....and bad. And if you don't have the Jesus get out of hell free card in your pocket, even the smallest of sins - like stealing a pencil from the office, will get you a lifetime sentence.

If I am wrong....I lived a great life, was a great husband, great father, good citizen, had a great life on earth... and then....poof! Nothing. Gone.

Flip Tanneflop
06-21-2008, 03:24 AM
Heres my problem with this whole argument.......What the **** are people arguing about?

I dont understand why anyone has a problem with two gay people getting married. No one is forcing anyone to be gay or marry someone of the same sex. So why the **** do people who arent gay give a **** what other gays do in regards to marriage? I just dont understand.

Why do certain christians continue to stick their noses in other peoples business that has nothing to do with them? Its not as if the gay people who want to get married are asking to burn someones house down or something.

Personally, I couldnt give less of a **** what two people I dont know and dont care about do when it comes to marriage. I dont understand why it isnt perfectly legal to marry gay people in every state. Its not as if the two people arent going to be gay if they dont get married. So whats the big deal?

This is possibly the stupidest debate Ive ever seen that gets so much media attention. They based an election on this **** 4 years ago?????:unsure: WOW. Some of the people in this country are so ****ing stupid its mind boggling.

Flip Tanneflop
06-21-2008, 03:46 AM
I really find it funny when so called christian groups stand around with signs like all such and suches will go to hell, or God hates fill in the blank.
I once walked over to a sign holder of the last statement and told him how stupid that sounded. Needless to say I got less than a christian answer. I thought it was not on us to judge but of course people want to control everybody's else' life. In reality Gay marriage has no real affect on society or thier morals but many religious groups want to push thier own agenda. Back in the day many churches were just as opposed to interacial marriage with many of the same silly justifications. I do realize it is somewhat differant but in reality if people raise thier children the right way and to know right from wrong they should not get confused by what other people do.

Thats a great point I bolded. Basically what I was saying in my post. Its just stupid. For some reason christians think its their duty to make everyone think the same way they do. Why they cant just mind their own ****ing business for a change is unfathomable. Just go do your worship voodoo bs and let the gay people do what they do. Whats the big deal?

The gay people think most of the chrisitians are crazy(and theyre right), and the christians think the gays are sinners(I can understand why they dont care for the gay thing). I just dont understand why they care so much what others do so long as it dosent harm anyone else.

IMHO religion causes more harm to society than anything, but if thats what people want to do....go for it.

As for me, Im watching pregame all morning on Sundays and gearing up to watch the phins kick some ***. Just minding my own business here in America excercising my freedoms(what little I have left). Thats what Christians need to start allowing people to do and quit cutting into **** that has nothing to do with them.

rafael
06-21-2008, 12:52 PM
Biblical Exegesis takes into consideration the implication on the people it was written to, as well as many other things. They have done an outstanding job of it. If you do any research on this subject you will find that the translation challenges over time have been miniscule. The Dead Sea Scrolls confirm that we have made very accurate translations and copies of the texts. You say language is too limited to be thought of in only one way - well then in 2000 years your words that you posted here will have numerous meanings. Is that your intent? I didn't think so.

I have done my research on the subject. I've even read some of the translations of the Dead Sea Scrolls myself. And while some of the texts we have match up very closely it is also clear that the bible itself was very edited (as I mentioned earlier). One small example which you might find significant is that neither Jesus nor his followers are ever mentioned despite the fact that the Qumran community existed during the time of Jesus' ministry. The religious community has been quick to claim that they were right b/c words (not necessarily meanings) matched up to some of the texts but they've ignored the inconvenient differences.

There are substantial translation challenges. In fact there have been dozens of books written on those challenges (probably more but that's what I've seen). A subject doesn't get that much coverage b/c it's miniscule. And I can only assume you don't speak any other languages b/c if you did then it would be obvious that words don't mean the same things in different languages and cultures. I speak three languages now and can make myself understood in a couple of others (barely) so I have some experience here. The reality is that even when dictionary definitions match up the meanings can vary widely. And Arabic is considered one of the most difficult languages to translate from b/c of their heavy use of analogies. Without context the meanings of analogies are guesses at best.

And of course my my words can be read with numerous meanings. You completely misconstrued my intent in your last paragraph above. Why would it be any different in 2000 years.





Well thankfully the languages the bible were written in are not as complex and confusing as the "legalese" we use in our government. It isn't as complicated as some would have you believe.

That's not even close to true.



Most Christian Holidays were not practiced in the bible, so they are manmade, therefore not biblical. The only exception I can think of is Easter, before all the manmade stuff got added like bunnies and candy and eggs.....Again I don't even think there is a refernce to any celebration in the NT about Jesus Death Burial and Resurrection. I know the Passover was a dual celebration for both Jews and Christians at one point, but they don't coincide anymore since Easter is based on the lunar calendar now.

So you don't think Christianity is unique? What do you make of Jesus then?

Easter is clearly an adaptation of the spring ceremony honoring the pagan god Ester. The flood story can be traced back to the Sumarians (sp?). Baptism was a principal initiation ritual in both christianity and paganism. They both share the ritual meal of bread and wine which symbolize the god-man's body and blood. In fact, an inscription to Mithras reads: "He who will not eat of my body and drink of my blood, so that he will be made on with me and I with him, the same shall not know salvation." sound familiar? The magi brought gold, frankincense and myrrh. A Pagan belief from the 6th century BCE states that these are the precise materials to use when worshiping God. There are more similarities to paganism but I hope you get my point.

As for Jesus, his life story is very similar to many older god-men. Dionysus was also the product of a virgin birth. Both Dionysus and Jesus celebrated a Last Supper with his 12 disciples before his death. Dionysus is described in Euripides' play The Bacchae as bringing a new religion to the people, being plotted against by the leaders, being arrested and appearing before the political ruler. Dionysus said to his captors "You know not what you are doing..," almost replicating Jesus' words at the cross. He was unjustly accused and executed. All of these themes are seen in the Gospels.

Another figure which many scholars see similarities to Jesus in is the Egyptian Horus. Here is a comparison of some of their life events (not done by me):

Event Horus Yeshua of Nazareth, a.k.a. Jesus
Conception: By a virgin. By a virgin.
Father: Only begotten son of the God Osiris. Only begotten son of Yehovah (in the form of the Holy Spirit).
Mother: Meri. Miriam (a.k.a. Mary).
Foster father: Seb, (Jo-Seph). 9 Joseph.
Foster father's ancestry: Of royal descent. Of royal descent.
Birth location: In a cave. In a cave or stable.
Annunciation: By an angel to Isis, his mother. By an angel to Miriam, his mother.
Birth heralded by: The star Sirius, the morning star. An unidentified "star in the East."
Birth date: Ancient Egyptians paraded a manger and child representing Horus through the streets at the time of the winter solstice (typically DEC-21). Celebrated on DEC-25. The date was chosen to occur on the same date as the birth of Mithra, Dionysus and the Sol Invictus (unconquerable Sun), etc.
Birth announcement: By angels. By angels.
Birth witnesses: Shepherds. Shepherds.
Later witnesses to birth: Three solar deities. Three wise men.
Death threat during infancy: Herut tried to have Horus murdered. Herod tried to have Jesus murdered.
Handling the threat: The God That tells Horus' mother "Come, thou goddess Isis, hide thyself with thy child." An angel tells Jesus' father to: "Arise and take the young child and his mother and flee into Egypt."
Rite of passage ritual: Horus came of age with a special ritual, when his eye was restored. Taken by parents to the temple for what is today called a bar mitzvah ritual.
Age at the ritual: 12 12
Break in life history: No data between ages of 12 & 30. No data between ages of 12 & 30.
Baptism location: In the river Eridanus. In the river Jordan.
Age at baptism: 30. 30.
Baptized by: Anup the Baptiser. John the Baptist.
Subsequent fate of the baptiser: Beheaded. Beheaded.
Temptation: Taken from the desert of Amenta up a high mountain by his arch-rival Sut. Sut (a.k.a. Set) was a precursor for the Hebrew Satan. Taken from the desert in Palestine up a high mountain by his arch-rival Satan.
Result of temptation: Horus resists temptation. Jesus resists temptation.
Close followers: Twelve disciples. Twelve disciples.
Activities: Walked on water, cast out demons, healed the sick, restored sight to the blind. He "stilled the sea by his power." Walked on water, cast out demons, healed the sick, restored sight to the blind. He ordered the sea with a "Peace, be still" command.
Raising of the dead: Horus raised Osirus, his dead father, from the grave. Jesus raised Lazarus from the grave.
Location where the resurrection miracle occurred: Anu, an Egyptian city where the rites of the death, burial and resurrection of Horus were enacted annually. Hebrews added their prefix for house ('beth") to "Anu" to produce "Beth-Anu" or the "House of Anu." Since "u" and "y" were interchangeable in antiquity, "Bethanu" became "Bethany," the location mentioned in John 11.
Origin of Lazarus' name in the Gospel of John: Asar was an alternative name for Osirus, Horus' father, who Horus raised from the dead. He was referred to as "the Asar," as a sign of respect. Translated into Hebrew, this is "El-Asar." The Romans added the prefix "us" to indicate a male name, producing "Elasarus." Over time, the "E" was dropped and "s" became "z," producing "Lazarus."
Transfigured: On a mountain. On a high mountain.
Key address(es): Sermon on the Mount. Sermon on the Mount; Sermon on the Plain.
Method of death By crucifixion. By crucifixion.
Accompanied by: Two thieves. Two thieves.
Burial In a tomb. In a tomb.
Fate after death: Descended into Hell; resurrected after three days. Descended into Hell; resurrected after about 30 to 38 hours (Friday PM to presumably some time in Sunday AM) covering parts of three days.
Resurrection announced by: Women. Women.
Future: Reign for 1,000 years in the Millennium. Reign for 1,000 years in the Millennium.

Hopefully you can read this ok. The point is that there are clearly many similarities among christianity, paganism and egyptian religions.



There are billions of people living and who have passed on throughout history. What you are saying is that there are billions of ways to get to heaven, you just have to find in yourself the answer. So the neighbor who cheats on his wife, steal your paper every now and then, drives like a maniac, cusses his butt off, and is generally a louse....is going to take up camp in heaven right next to you because he too has his own "inner" view of what God is all about. You see why that can't work?

Hey you can beleive in what you want, but that ain't truth. If you choose to reject Jesus Christ - you better be 1000% sure you are right about that, because if you are wrong......you will stand alone before God and have to answer for every deed you did, good....and bad. And if you don't have the Jesus get out of hell free card in your pocket, even the smallest of sins - like stealing a pencil from the office, will get you a lifetime sentence.

If I am wrong....I lived a great life, was a great husband, great father, good citizen, had a great life on earth... and then....poof! Nothing. Gone.

That's not even close to what I said. Being a good person is based on loving your fellow man. It's not based on which god you pray to. And if there is a heaven, getting in or not getting in will be based on having been a good person. It is not going to be based on having a get out of jail free card.

And I'm glad for you if you've been a good husband etc. but I don't believe that intolerance is a virtue and that telling people that they will burn in hell for not sharing your belief is one of the things that any creator would list as one of your good deeds.

Dolphan7
06-23-2008, 04:50 PM
I have done my research on the subject. I've even read some of the translations of the Dead Sea Scrolls myself. And while some of the texts we have match up very closely it is also clear that the bible itself was very edited (as I mentioned earlier). One small example which you might find significant is that neither Jesus nor his followers are ever mentioned despite the fact that the Qumran community existed during the time of Jesus' ministry. The religious community has been quick to claim that they were right b/c words (not necessarily meanings) matched up to some of the texts but they've ignored the inconvenient differences.Well you are one of the more intelligent posters we have and that is a good thing! At least you are not just repeating the same old fallacies being told out there. If you have had the opportunity to review the DSS yourself then I am envious. Good for you! What we know of the DSS is that they predate the oldest texts known at that time, 1947, by 1000 years, and comparisons are about 99% accurate. Differences were spelling and punctuation issues, nothing that takes away from the meaning of the text. The concern you brought up about Jesus not mentioned in any of the scrolls is simply because the scrolls were OT scrolls. Qumran existed only until about 70 AD. The NT hadn't yet been widely distributed, and in many cases had not been written yet. It is believed that the NT was completed well before AD70, except for the writings of John, which were believed to have been completed in AD90-95. So because Jesus is not mentioned, does not take away from the authenticity of the DSS's. And as a side note it is important to understand that we are aware of copying errors and margin gloss. And these are clearly noted in footnotes in every bible. They are clearly identified and if you open up a bible you should see in the very beginning an explanation of symbols used throughout the bible for text such as these. So it isn't like it is being ignored. It is very much being disclosed.


There are substantial translation challenges. In fact there have been dozens of books written on those challenges (probably more but that's what I've seen). A subject doesn't get that much coverage b/c it's miniscule. And I can only assume you don't speak any other languages b/c if you did then it would be obvious that words don't mean the same things in different languages and cultures. I speak three languages now and can make myself understood in a couple of others (barely) so I have some experience here. The reality is that even when dictionary definitions match up the meanings can vary widely. And Arabic is considered one of the most difficult languages to translate from b/c of their heavy use of analogies. Without context the meanings of analogies are guesses at best. Certainly there are challenges. That is not in debate. But the meaning of the Gospels isn't that complicated to translate. It has been successfully translated into hundreds of languages to date, and that work is continuing today.

I am not surprised that there are lots of books to question the authority and accuracy of the bible. It is a unique document in history, which makes huge claims about God and Jesus and about our condemned state. It is really no surprise. In fact it is expected. Many have charged on with intent to discredit and prove the bible wrong, only to either give up, convert to Christianity, or maintian it's authority and yet still reject it. I mean if one can discredit the bible, then there would be no accountability for our actions, and there is the rub, this is one of the most prevelant reasons for rejecting God and Jesus and the bible - to escape accountibility. People want to continue to live their life like "they think is good enough". People want to accept God on "their" terms. The bible doesn't teach that at all. So in order for people to reject the bible and it's implication to every soul on the planet, the bible has to go. It has to be discredited. And many have tried, and yet here it stands today just as powerful as it was 2000 plus years ago. By the way there are hundreds of books supporting the bible too.


And of course my my words can be read with numerous meanings. You completely misconstrued my intent in your last paragraph above. Why would it be any different in 2000 years.The issue isn't that your words can be read with numerous meanings. The point is that you wrote it with only "one" meaning. That is what biblical scholars do, they determine the original intent of the author, among many other things. Context is real important!










Easter is clearly an adaptation of the spring ceremony honoring the pagan god Ester. The flood story can be traced back to the Sumarians (sp?). Baptism was a principal initiation ritual in both christianity and paganism. They both share the ritual meal of bread and wine which symbolize the god-man's body and blood. In fact, an inscription to Mithras reads: "He who will not eat of my body and drink of my blood, so that he will be made on with me and I with him, the same shall not know salvation." sound familiar? The magi brought gold, frankincense and myrrh. A Pagan belief from the 6th century BCE states that these are the precise materials to use when worshiping God. There are more similarities to paganism but I hope you get my point.And like I said Easter Holliday isn't biblical. It is manmade.



As for Jesus, his life story is very similar to many older god-men. Dionysus was also the product of a virgin birth. Both Dionysus and Jesus celebrated a Last Supper with his 12 disciples before his death. Dionysus is described in Euripides' play The Bacchae as bringing a new religion to the people, being plotted against by the leaders, being arrested and appearing before the political ruler. Dionysus said to his captors "You know not what you are doing..," almost replicating Jesus' words at the cross. He was unjustly accused and executed. All of these themes are seen in the Gospels.

Another figure which many scholars see similarities to Jesus in is the Egyptian Horus. Here is a comparison of some of their life events (not done by me):
We are well aware of these similarities. Mythris, Dionysus, Horas et al. The implication you are making is that the Jews of the first century borrowed from Pagan beliefs and writings, plagiarized them into the NT. At first glance it appears that this is what happened. But when you really sit down and think it through, it makes no sense that they would do this. Here is why:

All the doctrines of the NT are found in the OT, which predates many if not all of these pagan beliefs. Suggesting maybe that if there was any borrowing going on, it was from the Jewish OT.

Prophetic teachings of Jesus as the son of God (Zech. 12:10 (http://www.carm.org/kjv/Zech/Zech_12.htm#10)), born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14 (http://www.carm.org/kjv/Isaiah/Isaiah_7.htm#14)), was crucified (Psalm 22 (http://www.carm.org/kjv/Psalms/Psalm_22.htm#1)), the blood atonement (Lev. 17:11 (http://www.carm.org/kjv/Lev/Lev_17.htm#For)), rose from the dead (Psalm 16:10 (http://www.carm.org/kjv/Psalms/Psalm_16.htm#10)), and salvation by faith (Hab. 2:4 (http://www.carm.org/kjv/Hab/Hab_2.htm#1)). And there are many more.

Jesus fulfilled over 300 prophesies about Himself from the OT.

Many of the cultures of the Mediteranean areas had many similarities being mostly agrarian societies. This will undoubtedly develop theological themes based upon observable events, i.e., the life, death, and seeming resurrection of life found in crops, in cattle, and in human life. It would only be natural for similar themes to unfold since they are observed in nature and since people created gods related to nature. Jewish Writers infused God into their writings with Miracles and Prophesies, and there is clearly historical and archeological accuracy in the OT. So clearly we can see that the OT wasn't based on mythological characters, but on history, archeology, the presence of miracles and not only prophesy, but fullfilled prophesy. The idea of a blood sacrifice and a covering for sin is found in the first three chapters of Genesis when God covered Adam and Eve with animals skins and prophesied the coming of the Messiah.

No the source for Christian doctrine is the OT, not pagan myth.

Secondly the NT was written by Jews who were devoted to the legitimacy and inspiration of the Old Testament scriptures and possessed a strong disdain for pagan religions. It would have been blasphemous for them to incorporate pagan sources into what they saw as the fulfillment of the sacred Old Testament scriptures concerning the Messiah.

Also, since they were writing about Jesus, they were writing based upon what He taught: truth, love, honesty, integrity, etc. Why then would they lie and make up stories and suffer great persecution, hardships, ridicule, arrest, beatings, and death all for known lies and fabrications from paganism? It doesn't make sense. I have made the point that we know people will die for what they believe to be true. Just look at the 911 hijackers for an example of that. But we find it extremenly hard to believe that people will die horrible deaths for something that they "know" is false. 11 of the 12 Apostles died in the name of Jesus, many horrible deaths. All they had to do was recant their belief in Jesus and they could have lived. They didn't. So to suggest that they lied and borrowed from Paganism really is a huge stretch of faith.



That's not even close to what I said. Being a good person is based on loving your fellow man. It's not based on which god you pray to. And if there is a heaven, getting in or not getting in will be based on having been a good person. It is not going to be based on having a get out of jail free card.All we have to do is be a good person, and we are going to heaven. 911 hijackers lived a good life according to their belief. According to this dosctrine of Good enough, they will be taking up camp right next to you in heaven. You ok with that? You see why this doesn't work?



And I'm glad for you if you've been a good husband etc. but I don't believe that intolerance is a virtue and that telling people that they will burn in hell for not sharing your belief is one of the things that any creator would list as one of your good deeds.God will look at my accurately handling the truth of God as a good deed. My sharing with you and others the truth of the bible will not be considered bad in the eyes of God. Sometimes telling someone the truth, knowing that it isn't something they want to hear, is a tough job. But it has to be done. As long as it is done with love. Now I hope that I haven't told you that you will burn in hell, not in those horrible terms. I have shared with you the truth of the bible, and it's implications to you. I have done that in a respectfull and intelligent and loving way, (I hope). So if you want to accuse me of being intolerant, then what you are really saying is that God is intolerant. And you would be right. God is intolerant of those who reject him. Don't shoot the messenger.

PS; Some source info I used is from a man named Matt Slick.

rafael
06-23-2008, 08:24 PM
Well you are one of the more intelligent posters we have and that is a good thing! At least you are not just repeating the same old fallacies being told out there. If you have had the opportunity to review the DSS yourself then I am envious. Good for you! What we know of the DSS is that they predate the oldest texts known at that time, 1947, by 1000 years, and comparisons are about 99% accurate. Differences were spelling and punctuation issues, nothing that takes away from the meaning of the text. The concern you brought up about Jesus not mentioned in any of the scrolls is simply because the scrolls were OT scrolls. Qumran existed only until about 70 AD. The NT hadn't yet been widely distributed, and in many cases had not been written yet. It is believed that the NT was completed well before AD70, except for the writings of John, which were believed to have been completed in AD90-95. So because Jesus is not mentioned, does not take away from the authenticity of the DSS's. And as a side note it is important to understand that we are aware of copying errors and margin gloss. And these are clearly noted in footnotes in every bible. They are clearly identified and if you open up a bible you should see in the very beginning an explanation of symbols used throughout the bible for text such as these. So it isn't like it is being ignored. It is very much being disclosed.

Certainly there are challenges. That is not in debate. But the meaning of the Gospels isn't that complicated to translate. It has been successfully translated into hundreds of languages to date, and that work is continuing today.

I am not surprised that there are lots of books to question the authority and accuracy of the bible. It is a unique document in history, which makes huge claims about God and Jesus and about our condemned state. It is really no surprise. In fact it is expected. Many have charged on with intent to discredit and prove the bible wrong, only to either give up, convert to Christianity, or maintian it's authority and yet still reject it. I mean if one can discredit the bible, then there would be no accountability for our actions, and there is the rub, this is one of the most prevelant reasons for rejecting God and Jesus and the bible - to escape accountibility. People want to continue to live their life like "they think is good enough". People want to accept God on "their" terms. The bible doesn't teach that at all. So in order for people to reject the bible and it's implication to every soul on the planet, the bible has to go. It has to be discredited. And many have tried, and yet here it stands today just as powerful as it was 2000 plus years ago. By the way there are hundreds of books supporting the bible too.

The issue isn't that your words can be read with numerous meanings. The point is that you wrote it with only "one" meaning. That is what biblical scholars do, they determine the original intent of the author, among many other things. Context is real important!









And like I said Easter Holliday isn't biblical. It is manmade.

We are well aware of these similarities. Mythris, Dionysus, Horas et al. The implication you are making is that the Jews of the first century borrowed from Pagan beliefs and writings, plagiarized them into the NT. At first glance it appears that this is what happened. But when you really sit down and think it through, it makes no sense that they would do this. Here is why:

All the doctrines of the NT are found in the OT, which predates many if not all of these pagan beliefs. Suggesting maybe that if there was any borrowing going on, it was from the Jewish OT.

Prophetic teachings of Jesus as the son of God (Zech. 12:10 (http://www.carm.org/kjv/Zech/Zech_12.htm#10)), born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14 (http://www.carm.org/kjv/Isaiah/Isaiah_7.htm#14)), was crucified (Psalm 22 (http://www.carm.org/kjv/Psalms/Psalm_22.htm#1)), the blood atonement (Lev. 17:11 (http://www.carm.org/kjv/Lev/Lev_17.htm#For)), rose from the dead (Psalm 16:10 (http://www.carm.org/kjv/Psalms/Psalm_16.htm#10)), and salvation by faith (Hab. 2:4 (http://www.carm.org/kjv/Hab/Hab_2.htm#1)). And there are many more.

Jesus fulfilled over 300 prophesies about Himself from the OT.

Many of the cultures of the Mediteranean areas had many similarities being mostly agrarian societies. This will undoubtedly develop theological themes based upon observable events, i.e., the life, death, and seeming resurrection of life found in crops, in cattle, and in human life. It would only be natural for similar themes to unfold since they are observed in nature and since people created gods related to nature. Jewish Writers infused God into their writings with Miracles and Prophesies, and there is clearly historical and archeological accuracy in the OT. So clearly we can see that the OT wasn't based on mythological characters, but on history, archeology, the presence of miracles and not only prophesy, but fullfilled prophesy. The idea of a blood sacrifice and a covering for sin is found in the first three chapters of Genesis when God covered Adam and Eve with animals skins and prophesied the coming of the Messiah.

No the source for Christian doctrine is the OT, not pagan myth.

Secondly the NT was written by Jews who were devoted to the legitimacy and inspiration of the Old Testament scriptures and possessed a strong disdain for pagan religions. It would have been blasphemous for them to incorporate pagan sources into what they saw as the fulfillment of the sacred Old Testament scriptures concerning the Messiah.

Also, since they were writing about Jesus, they were writing based upon what He taught: truth, love, honesty, integrity, etc. Why then would they lie and make up stories and suffer great persecution, hardships, ridicule, arrest, beatings, and death all for known lies and fabrications from paganism? It doesn't make sense. I have made the point that we know people will die for what they believe to be true. Just look at the 911 hijackers for an example of that. But we find it extremenly hard to believe that people will die horrible deaths for something that they "know" is false. 11 of the 12 Apostles died in the name of Jesus, many horrible deaths. All they had to do was recant their belief in Jesus and they could have lived. They didn't. So to suggest that they lied and borrowed from Paganism really is a huge stretch of faith.


All we have to do is be a good person, and we are going to heaven. 911 hijackers lived a good life according to their belief. According to this dosctrine of Good enough, they will be taking up camp right next to you in heaven. You ok with that? You see why this doesn't work?

God will look at my accurately handling the truth of God as a good deed. My sharing with you and others the truth of the bible will not be considered bad in the eyes of God. Sometimes telling someone the truth, knowing that it isn't something they want to hear, is a tough job. But it has to be done. As long as it is done with love. Now I hope that I haven't told you that you will burn in hell, not in those horrible terms. I have shared with you the truth of the bible, and it's implications to you. I have done that in a respectfull and intelligent and loving way, (I hope). So if you want to accuse me of being intolerant, then what you are really saying is that God is intolerant. And you would be right. God is intolerant of those who reject him. Don't shoot the messenger.

PS; Some source info I used is from a man named Matt Slick.

The various points here are becoming unwieldy so if you don't mind I going to try to narrow it down a bit.

First, I believe that there are basic standards for right and wrong. You can not just live by what you're calling a "good enough" code and be a good person. What I don't believe is that the bible is the sole definition of that. I believe that much of what you have accepted as God's word is nothing more than human interpretation. These are human's with personal biases and political agendas. Even if the DSS were perfectly accurate that would not prove that every word in the bible is the word of God. IMO the bible is a book that was written, translated and edited by men. And these men with the same foibles as the rest of us are saying what they interpret is absolute right and wrong.

Second, christianity is not unique and is not original. The information about Horus (gathered from hieroglyphics) which so closely resembles the story of Jesus predates the bible by a couple of thousand years. Many of the pagan and Hindu beliefs also predate christianity.

Dolphan7
06-24-2008, 12:07 AM
The various points here are becoming unwieldy so if you don't mind I going to try to narrow it down a bit.

First, I believe that there are basic standards for right and wrong. You can not just live by what you're calling a "good enough" code and be a good person. What I don't believe is that the bible is the sole definition of that. I believe that much of what you have accepted as God's word is nothing more than human interpretation. These are human's with personal biases and political agendas. Even if the DSS were perfectly accurate that would not prove that every word in the bible is the word of God. IMO the bible is a book that was written, translated and edited by men. And these men with the same foibles as the rest of us are saying what they interpret is absolute right and wrong.

Second, christianity is not unique and is not original. The information about Horus (gathered from hieroglyphics) which so closely resembles the story of Jesus predates the bible by a couple of thousand years. Many of the pagan and Hindu beliefs also predate christianity.
I agree there are basic standards for right an wrong. Where those standards come from is in debate obviously. I leave you with this - man cannot determine moral absolutes for man. Only God can do that. You claim that murder is wrong, and you appeal to a standard created by your own mind, and many agree with you, even me. But 911 hijackers don't agree with you and so what standard do you appeal to to say that they are wrong and you are right. That is why absolute moral standards, and truth, must come from God, and if they must come from God, then that begs of His existance does it not?

The OT was written from 2000 BC to 400 BC. It predates practically everything, considering that the oral records of the OT are even much older. Egyptian writing could have been the product of what is called Trans-cultural diffusion, basically the spread of ideas, languages, technologies and yes religion from one culture to the next. We know that Egypt traded with Mesopotamia, those trade routes went right through what is today known as Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. Jewish OT begs of what is called Heliocentric Diffusionism Theory which states that all cultures originated from one culture. The bible speaks about this clealy in Genesis account of the Tower of Babel. All peoples at that time were of one culture, one language, and then God confused them, gave them different languages and caused them to disperse across the world. Many of the Oral doctrines of the Jewish OT would have been known to these new cultures having once been of one culture and one language. Keep in mind that these cultures in this area of the world shared many beliefs and practices being agrarian societies as I mentioned earlier. So it isn't any surprise to find many similarities among ancient cultures.


But even if it isn't the oldest record of such things, it does not mean that it borrowed from Pagan cultures. Remember that the Jews were very independent of pagan cultures and practices. It would have been blasphemous to borrow from those cultures. The Jews of the OT did everything they could to keep themselves pure and clean from such pagan influences. Your insinuation that The Jewish OT, and the Christian NT, were borrowed and plagiarized and basically fraudulent, is simply not true, nor is it provable outside of mans varying opinions. And you simply ignore the reasons I posted earlier.

What I find interesting is you doubt the writers of the OT and NT, of which you have no way of knowing for sure, yet you fully accept and believe the writings of other ancient cultures, of which you also have no way of knowing for sure. That screams of bias to me. And there you have it.

rafael
06-24-2008, 12:12 PM
I agree there are basic standards for right an wrong. Where those standards come from is in debate obviously. I leave you with this - man cannot determine moral absolutes for man. Only God can do that. You claim that murder is wrong, and you appeal to a standard created by your own mind, and many agree with you, even me. But 911 hijackers don't agree with you and so what standard do you appeal to to say that they are wrong and you are right. That is why absolute moral standards, and truth, must come from God, and if they must come from God, then that begs of His existance does it not?

You misunderstand me. I do believe in God. I just don't believe that the bible is necessarily, completely and exclusively his word. I believe parts of it is but it is the part that is shared with many religions. No one religion has it all right or can serve as the moral barometer for the rest of the world. The basic teachings of most religions are remarkably similar. Those similarities are the basic truth.


The OT was written from 2000 BC to 400 BC. It predates practically everything, considering that the oral records of the OT are even much older. Egyptian writing could have been the product of what is called Trans-cultural diffusion, basically the spread of ideas, languages, technologies and yes religion from one culture to the next. We know that Egypt traded with Mesopotamia, those trade routes went right through what is today known as Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. Jewish OT begs of what is called Heliocentric Diffusionism Theory which states that all cultures originated from one culture. The bible speaks about this clealy in Genesis account of the Tower of Babel. All peoples at that time were of one culture, one language, and then God confused them, gave them different languages and caused them to disperse across the world. Many of the Oral doctrines of the Jewish OT would have been known to these new cultures having once been of one culture and one language. Keep in mind that these cultures in this area of the world shared many beliefs and practices being agrarian societies as I mentioned earlier. So it isn't any surprise to find many similarities among ancient cultures.

I'm not surprised that there are similarities. I think those are the basic truths. I think if more people focused on the similarities instead of the differences, the world would be a better place. I think most of the religious problems in the world come from the fundamentalists of each religion. The extremists, whether they be Muslim, Catholic, Evangelical or whatever, are the ones that are going around trying to tell everyone what to do.


But even if it isn't the oldest record of such things, it does not mean that it borrowed from Pagan cultures. Remember that the Jews were very independent of pagan cultures and practices. It would have been blasphemous to borrow from those cultures. The Jews of the OT did everything they could to keep themselves pure and clean from such pagan influences. Your insinuation that The Jewish OT, and the Christian NT, were borrowed and plagiarized and basically fraudulent, is simply not true, nor is it provable outside of mans varying opinions. And you simply ignore the reasons I posted earlier.

What I find interesting is you doubt the writers of the OT and NT, of which you have no way of knowing for sure, yet you fully accept and believe the writings of other ancient cultures, of which you also have no way of knowing for sure. That screams of bias to me. And there you have it.

I think it's bias to assume that any one belief has more truth in it than any other. I'm not claiming that paganism or Egyptian religion is any more accurate than the bible. I'm saying they're all basically the same thing. And those basics are good.

Dolphan7
06-24-2008, 12:35 PM
You misunderstand me. I do believe in God. I just don't believe that the bible is necessarily, completely and exclusively his word. I believe parts of it is but it is the part that is shared with many religions. No one religion has it all right or can serve as the moral barometer for the rest of the world. The basic teachings of most religions are remarkably similar. Those similarities are the basic truth.



I'm not surprised that there are similarities. I think those are the basic truths. I think if more people focused on the similarities instead of the differences, the world would be a better place. I think most of the religious problems in the world come from the fundamentalists of each religion. The extremists, whether they be Muslim, Catholic, Evangelical or whatever, are the ones that are going around trying to tell everyone what to do.



I think it's bias to assume that any one belief has more truth in it than any other. I'm not claiming that paganism or Egyptian religion is any more accurate than the bible. I'm saying they're all basically the same thing. And those basics are good.
I understand what you are saying. Good debate.:up:

bigC
08-13-2008, 01:15 PM
It's not just about moral standards, it's about what the Bible says about what is acceptable in God's sight. A person would have to believe that the Word of God is the final authority on God's thoughts. I do believe that. It comes down to a matter of if people believe what the Bible says or they don't. It comes from revelation of what the Word says, because people argue all the time about interpetations of scripture. Bottom line, any version of the Bible, King James, New King James, New International Version, The Message, etc...it says homosexuality is not pleasing to God and He declares it sin, just like fornication, adultery and other sin. He's against sin, but He loves the sinner, it's the sin that separates us from Him.

ohall
08-13-2008, 01:19 PM
IMO gays should have all the rights that are appropriate. I have no bias about ppl being happy and living the way that makes them happy. This is America after all.

My only concern is if they (same sex couples) want to use the word "marriage" to define their union. I just feel that word should be kept reserved for opposite sex couples. IMO there needs to be some kind of separation between the two unions.

The biggest thing to me is to basically leave it up to each state. I don't think the FED government should have a say in this.

cwsox
08-14-2008, 12:57 AM
The thread title should be: Is the possession of full American civil rights a threat to religious bigotry, hatred, and the attempt to let a small group of religious dictators define the right so others? Can't we just return to the good old days of the Salem witch trials? Can we have Christian ayatollahs?

147 years ago when the Civil War began to preserve slavery, 40 years ago when Dr. King was murdered, today if you listen to the Christian Nation and Christian Identity groups, they defended/defend their racism based on what they said the Bible said. Ever wonder why we have Southern Baptists and Northern Baptists? Why until 20 years ago there was a southern Presbyterian church body and a northern one? Why the Methodists, Lutherans, and almost every church body in America in 1860 split along geographic lines? It was because one group said that slavery, the inferiority of blacks, and opposition to equal rights and civil rights for all was a threat to their religious beliefs and their religious way of life.

And today if you listen to the ayatollahs of Iran, or Osama bin Laden, or James Dobson, and the Christian right, you have the same teachings, just a change of name of they group that they hate.

Oh just like in slavery: we love our ne-groes, they just aren't equal to us, now we have the same cliches about hating sin and loving sinners - we love the people we hate and the people that we would civil rights to.

There are claims in this thread about what the Bible says.

1. The religious text of any religion is not the US Constitution and in fact the Constitution says " Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" and it violates the constitution, it defames America, it tramples on our nation, to attempt to write in to law, or defend any law, that denies full equal rights to all.

2. What is claimed the Bible says, in this thread, is wrong, bogus, inaccurate.

May I point out that I have a Masters in Divinity from one of America's more prominent seminaries and have served the Church all of my adult life and the question of what the Bible actually says - as opposed to what people say it says - is a central question to my life. I don't mention my seminary studies, my degree, and my church service to claim that I am special or anything other than a person for whom these issues are a subject of a lifetime of study because of their centrality to the faith that I given my life to, the faith of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church of Jesus Christ. I follow the great Swedish pietist P. P. Waldenstrom and ask: where is it written?

In fact no where in the sacred texts does it say anything about homosexuality. Not a thing. Nothing.

The claim that "any version of the Bible, King James, New King James, New International Version, The Message, etc...it says homosexuality is not pleasing to God and He declares it sin, just like fornication, adultery and other sin" is wrong, pure and simple. It is wrong as to the Hebrew and Greek original texts, it is wrong to the King James Version (check it to see, brother) and it is wrong to the best of translations, including those of the American Bible Society. In fact, the only translations of the sacred Scriptures that use the word "homosexuality" or its cognates dated from the 1970s and are published by politically conservative publishers with an agenda that is not an agenda that includes faithfulness to the Biblical texts.

(By the way, King James of the King James Version, King James VI of Scotland and I of England, was homosexual.

A good starter discussion on the Bible and the word "homosexual" is Walter Wink's work: http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=1265

A comment on what God hates: no where in any way, shape, or form, does God ever say, in Scriptures, that God hates homosexuality, or adultery, or anything of the sort. Where is it written? Read the Bible with accuracy. It is wrong to put words in God's mouth. The Scriptures use the word "hate" with great delicacy, and very, very, very rarely. One of the very few examples is in Amos 5. A very instructive chapter (and book) to be read by all. What God hates is the religious practices, God hates the worship, of those who claim to love God but ignore the plight of the poor, who exalt wealth over caring for those who are poor and are suffering, those that practice or ignore injustice and the abuse of the poor. God's words, not mine. You want to talk about what God hates, then the issue is the worship of the rich who in their lives practice neglect or injustice against the poor.

If one wishes to agree with the ayatollahs, Osama bin laden, James Dobson, Ted Haggard, and other illuminaries in their views on homosexuality, one is free to do so. That takes us back to the Constitution. What one is not free to do is to take one's religious beliefs and impose them on others by sanction of law. You don't like gay marriage? Don't have one. And there is no way that the exercise of a civil and legal right tramples anyone's religious freedom, especially those religious folks who choose to trample on the rights of others. It is the religious right doing the trampling.

Of course many Christians and Jews, people of the sacred Scriptures, support full marriage equality. In fact, the US church body with its roots in America's Christian origins, the United Church of Christ, the direct successor of the Pilgrims and Puritans, endorses marriage equality. http://www.ucc.org/lgbt/ In many American church bodies as well as in major portions of Judaism, especially Reform Judaism, marriage equality is supported and same sex unions are performed, often with the use of the word "marriage." So no one has a right to claim that "religious people" "oppose" "gay marriage." Not true at all. It is fair to say that some do, and some do not. Some devout Christians and Jews, deeply faithful, believe the the practice of marriage equality under law is indeed a witness to faith teachings and reinforces religious freedom.

Dolphan7
08-14-2008, 01:57 AM
Is the word pedophilia in the bible? If it isn't, it's ok then?

ih8brady
08-14-2008, 09:52 AM
Is the word pedophilia in the bible? If it isn't, it's ok then?


Holy ****! Is D7 conceding there's morality outside the Bible?

Dolphan7
08-14-2008, 01:05 PM
Holy ****! Is D7 conceding there's morality outside the Bible?:lol:

bigC
08-14-2008, 04:18 PM
Cwsox,
Read Romans Chapter 1 verses 18-32, but especially verses 26 and 27. By the way, I am not forcing anything on anybody, people have to choose to recieve Jesus as Lord and Savior, it's not forced upon. We have an obligation to say the truth though, Jesus prayed in John 17:17 that we(believers) would be set apart by the truth and that His Word is truth. It's truth whether a person chooses to believe it or not, if I did not believe it, it would still be the Truth.

ih8brady
08-14-2008, 07:39 PM
Cwsox,
Read Romans Chapter 1 verses 18-32, but especially verses 26 and 27. By the way, I am not forcing anything on anybody, people have to choose to recieve Jesus as Lord and Savior, it's not forced upon. We have an obligation to say the truth though, Jesus prayed in John 17:17 that we(believers) would be set apart by the truth and that His Word is truth. It's truth whether a person chooses to believe it or not, if I did not believe it, it would still be the Truth.

I was actually going to make a thread on this, but I am glad that at least some of the christian posters here hold this principle and tenet. Which leads me to the question: why support theocracy? why not join (both believers and non-believers) for a battle in favor of freedom of religion and choice? Or is it that these Christians are among the believers who support democratic principles?

Dolphan7
08-14-2008, 09:37 PM
I was actually going to make a thread on this, but I am glad that at least some of the christian posters here hold this principle and tenet. Which leads me to the question: why support theocracy? why not join (both believers and non-believers) for a battle in favor of freedom of religion and choice? Or is it that these Christians are among the believers who support democratic principles?I don't think any Christian wants a Theocracy, not deep down inside. But that does not mean that we idly sit by and watch our government pass laws that go in the complete opposite direction. We have just as much say so in our government as anyone else right?

bigC
08-15-2008, 07:26 AM
Exactly Dolphan7. We have a say, we are the Body of Christ and we have to stand up for what we believe. It's not that we are against standing with non-believers, I have quite a few friends who do not believe as I do. We have to present what God says though, even at the threat of alienation or backlash.

ih8brady
08-15-2008, 01:32 PM
So, you're retracting your earlier remarks? People shouldn't have the choice to accept Jesus or not? So long to the "render onto what is Caesars" passage? The government should mandate prayer, subsidize churches, etc? I'm confused.

Do you not see the benefit of religious freedom extends even to the country's most popular religion?

Dolphan7
08-15-2008, 01:37 PM
So, you're retracting your earlier remarks? People shouldn't have the choice to accept Jesus or not? So long to the "render onto what is Caesars" passage? The government should mandate prayer, subsidize churches, etc? I'm confused.

Do you not see the benefit of religious freedom extends even to the country's most popular religion?Not sure who you are responding to here.

ih8brady
08-15-2008, 01:38 PM
I don't think any Christian wants a Theocracy, not deep down inside. But that does not mean that we idly sit by and watch our government pass laws that go in the complete opposite direction.


Perhaps, you don't, in which case good for you but many of the leaders of the superchurches and their ideologues are seeking to turn the USA to the United Christian States of America. People like Mike Huckabee openly admit to wanting to alter and pervert the USCon into a hybrid of the Bible.



We have just as much say so in our government as anyone else right?

Of course Christians should and ought to partake in our republic's democracy but as soon as they (or any other group) attempt to sneakily dissolve the Bill of Rights and our other basic freedoms, then they are not participating in a liberal democracy but rather destroying it.

A free country can not be theocratic.

Dolphan7
08-15-2008, 02:14 PM
Perhaps, you don't, in which case good for you but many of the leaders of the superchurches and their ideologues are seeking to turn the USA to the United Christian States of America. People like Mike Huckabee openly admit to wanting to alter and pervert the USCon into a hybrid of the Bible.I can't speak for everyone, but any Christian worth his or her salt knows that we can't create heaven on earth, and deep down no one wants a Theocracy. Even Mike Huckabee. I think all he wanted was a change in Abortion laws and a definition and protection of Marriage, which we have every right to fight for as free Americans.





Of course Christians should and ought to partake in our republic's democracy but as soon as they (or any other group) attempt to sneakily dissolve the Bill of Rights and our other basic freedoms, then they are not participating in a liberal democracy but rather destroying it.

A free country can not be theocratic.I wouldn't be so quick to lay blame on the side of Christians when accusing them of sneakily dissolving the Bill of Rights. Our very own government has done more to dissolve those rights than any one group could ever accomplish. Just the simple fact of forced education and indoctrination of our children into state run beliefs should give anyone a cause for alarm.

cwsox
08-18-2008, 02:35 AM
Is the word pedophilia in the bible? If it isn't, it's ok then?

cheap shots, playing "gotcha," is a very poor way of attempting to with maturity discuss Biblical issues.

So I will pretend, contra to my knowledge of you, that you are asking an innocent, fair question sincerely seeking information.

Did you read the Wink piece to which I linked? (I'd bet: No.)

Ever take a college or masters level ethics course? If that is not in the immediate future, whether you might intend to some day or not, I highly recommend Bonhoeffer's Ethics http://www.amazon.com/Ethics-Dietrich-Bonhoeffer/dp/068481501X
and also suggest the super saver and get Cost of Discipleship with it. I offer these book suggestions with actual love for I feel you would find these both very helpful and speaking to you in a complementary, helpful manner for your faith tradition, since his work is not written in any sense along the American Christian fault lines. Many different traditions within the American churches have found that these two books speak to them, to us all.

The Biblical ethic requires covenant between people and covenant can only be made by those of ability to consent, and that would place it in the hands of parents, or in the individuals depending on the culture of the era or a certain situation.

A child for their society's definition was incapable of entering in covenant and thus the action would be rape which is proscribed with punishments laid out.

Dolphan7
08-18-2008, 01:59 PM
cheap shots, playing "gotcha," is a very poor way of attempting to with maturity discuss Biblical issues.

So I will pretend, contra to my knowledge of you, that you are asking an innocent, fair question sincerely seeking information.

Did you read the Wink piece to which I linked? (I'd bet: No.)

Ever take a college or masters level ethics course? If that is not in the immediate future, whether you might intend to some day or not, I highly recommend Bonhoeffer's Ethics http://www.amazon.com/Ethics-Dietrich-Bonhoeffer/dp/068481501X
and also suggest the super saver and get Cost of Discipleship with it. I offer these book suggestions with actual love for I feel you would find these both very helpful and speaking to you in a complementary, helpful manner for your faith tradition, since his work is not written in any sense along the American Christian fault lines. Many different traditions within the American churches have found that these two books speak to them, to us all.

The Biblical ethic requires covenant between people and covenant can only be made by those of ability to consent, and that would place it in the hands of parents, or in the individuals depending on the culture of the era or a certain situation.

A child for their society's definition was incapable of entering in covenant and thus the action would be rape which is proscribed with punishments laid out.The whole point of my response was to your post that since homosexuality isn't mentioned in the bible that it therefore is not a sin, then we can apply that same logic with other words not mentioned in the bible - simply to point out the fallacy of such logic and thinking. It is obvious that pedophilia is forbidden, using the same biblical exegesis used for determining Homosexuality is wrong.

I remember reading about another man who made these same statements about homosexuality and the bible. I can't remember his name, but the man was a devout Christian and was totally in agreement that it was indeed a sin. But then something happened and he changed his view. He became a homosexual. So much for his credibility. Wink uses many of the same error filled reasons to support homosexuality that this man does. As I was reading it as per your suggestion I was immediately noticing the obvious flaws having had this discussion many times before. And I was preparing to rebut every single one of his claims, until I realized that it had already been done.

http://peacebyjesus.witnesstoday.org/Homosexuality_and_the_Bible_Wink.html#Some

There are professors at the University of Arizona that dedicate whole walls decorated with pieces of paper that say "Look at me, I am Smart", who don't believe in God and believe that we all came from some slime pond billions of years ago. So please understand that having a piece of paper that says I am smart doesn't in fact make one "Smart". When I think of these professors and Mr. Wink and his followers I think of this prophetic verse from Timothy.


2TI 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,
2TI 4:4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.Or this one from Romans:


RO 1:21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
RO 1:22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
RO 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.As for the issue of homosexuality, pedophilia or any sexual sin, I prefer to hear what Jesus had to say on the subject.


MT 5:17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.
So any reference to homosexuality in the OT is supported by Jesus. He does not deny it's authority.



MT 15:19 " For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.


Fornication = Any sex outside marriage. Jesus even says simply thinking about it is immoral.

So for those who say "ok then we'll just get married", well that is a start, but just who can get married and to whom?

Here is what Jesus says about that?


MT 19:4 And He answered and said, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE,

MT 19:5 and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’?

MT 19:6 "So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." Jesus clearly identifies that any sex outside marriage is a sin. He then defines what marriage is. He upholds the OT which clearly defines homosexuality as a sin. To me that is all the evidence I need on the subject. I don't need Mr Wink and the likes of him to try to re-interpret what Jesus clearly has already addressed.

Are we to believe that Mr. Wink has the correct view of God's position on homosexuality, after thousands of years and thousands of scholars have studied the scriptures exhaustively and in great detail?

Ok all you Christians - sign up for Mr Winks correct view of the bible. Christianity has been wrong since...well.....the OT! Oh and by the way Jesus was wrong.

Right!

I think I'll pass.

Marino613
08-19-2008, 12:22 AM
This is why moral relativism can't work.

You claim your morals are high.

I claim my morals are high.

Another poster claimed his morals are high.

By what standard are we to measure exactly how high our morals are?

See the dilemna?

This is why man can't determine right and wrong for himself. It must come from God, and based on that points to the existence of God.

Can you tell me that I am wrong to believe that marriage is one man one woman?

You can't without providing the basis,or standard, that you are using to determine why I am wrong.

But the problem of moral relativism still applies even with Christianity in the picture.

First, to be fair, he indeed provided his standard. He, perhaps arbitrarily, decided that "do no harm" is his high moral standard.

You have decided that your interpretation of the Bible is your standard. You claim it is an absolute standard, but in order for it to be absolute, you need to be able to rationally and objectively prove that there is a God and that this book in fact reflects God's will. Until such proof is forthcoming (I am not claiming it doesn't exist, just as I won't claim that evidence for the existence of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva doesn't exist. I just haven't been lucky enough to hear anything that is logically convincing), it is just as arbitrary. So, we are stuck. You have your faith and the poster you were responding to has his. His just happens to not care if a guy shtups another guy, so long as it is consensual.

On a different point, I don't agree that the problem of moral relativism points to the existence of God. Why should it? My desire for an objective foundation for ethics doesn't mean that one must exist. Nihilism may be distasteful, but it is an equally reasonable option, and indeed, with Occam's razor, it may be more reasonable as it does not require positing the existence of a grand entity called God. Furthermore, even if their must be an objective foundation for morality, why does it have to be the God in the Christian Bible? Maybe there is some non-God based foundation for morality, like Karma, that would still provide an objective foundation for ethics. IMO, moral relativism only points to our inability to find a solid foundation for ethics and not to any particular foundation, no matter how faith inspired, that is ultimately based on pure speculation and narrative artistry.

Marino613
08-19-2008, 12:30 AM
AS to the original question, how can Gay rights be a threat to religious freedom? Wanting to get married is not the same thing as wanting to force a church official or community to officiate. The former legitimately falls in the realm of rights. The latter would be violating the rights of the religious institution. Unless one were to claim that gay marriage by its very nature violates the rights of certain religious people because they don't want it to happen, there is no reason it should affect anyone who is not directly involved in the actual marriage.

One should not confuse a legitimate claim of rights with a (generally paranoid IMHO) agenda to force churches and individuals to act against their conscience. The article should either read, Gay activists have fought for rights or Gay activists may fight for more than rights and want to trample religious freedom (maybe some extremists do), but not that somehow gay rights inherently may violate religious rights. That strikes me as largely inflammatory with nor sound reasonable basis.

Dolphan7
08-19-2008, 12:10 PM
AS to the original question, how can Gay rights be a threat to religious freedom? Wanting to get married is not the same thing as wanting to force a church official or community to officiate. The former legitimately falls in the realm of rights. The latter would be violating the rights of the religious institution. Unless one were to claim that gay marriage by its very nature violates the rights of certain religious people because they don't want it to happen, there is no reason it should affect anyone who is not directly involved in the actual marriage.

One should not confuse a legitimate claim of rights with a (generally paranoid IMHO) agenda to force churches and individuals to act against their conscience. The article should either read, Gay activists have fought for rights or Gay activists may fight for more than rights and want to trample religious freedom (maybe some extremists do), but not that somehow gay rights inherently may violate religious rights. That strikes me as largely inflammatory with nor sound reasonable basis.When I read this it reminds me of the Mormons who basically were forced to prohibit polygamy in order for Utah to be admitted to the union. This was a violation of their religious freedoms and rights at that time. With the advent of gay marriage hitting the mainstream today, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Mormons, or some off shoot branch, try to re-instate plural marriage again.

I am not a Mormon, nor do I support them or plural marriage.

Just drawing a parallel of the two issues.

Marino613
08-19-2008, 12:18 PM
When I read this it reminds me of the Mormons who basically were forced to prohibit polygamy in order for Utah to be admitted to the union. This was a violation of their religious freedoms and rights at that time. With the advent of gay marriage hitting the mainstream today, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Mormons, or some off shoot branch, try to re-instate plural marriage again.

I am not a Mormon, nor do I support them or plural marriage.

Just drawing a parallel of the two issues.

The parallel is funny because there it is both a case of a violation of religious and personal freedom and not a conflict between the two.

I am a bit more of a civil libertarian in these matters. So long as they are consenting adults who know that they are entering a polygamous marriage, I think it should be legal. I personally would never do such a thing myself and would try and talk my children out of it, but I can't understand why it should be illegal.

Dolphan7
08-19-2008, 12:52 PM
Good points and thank you for posting!:up:


But the problem of moral relativism still applies even with Christianity in the picture.

First, to be fair, he indeed provided his standard. He, perhaps arbitrarily, decided that "do no harm" is his high moral standard.That isn't an absolute standard though. Without one, we can all provide our version of a standard and call it higher than any other. But without an objective standard, there is no way to determine whose morality is the right one, or how high or low ones morality stacks up against the standard (because there isn't one). There is no way to measure it. This is one reason why moral relativism can't work. It points to the existance of God, or at the very least, to be fair, the existence of a law or morals "giver".


You have decided that your interpretation of the Bible is your standard. You claim it is an absolute standard, but in order for it to be absolute, you need to be able to rationally and objectively prove that there is a God and that this book in fact reflects God's will. Until such proof is forthcoming (I am not claiming it doesn't exist, just as I won't claim that evidence for the existence of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva doesn't exist. I just haven't been lucky enough to hear anything that is logically convincing), it is just as arbitrary. So, we are stuck. You have your faith and the poster you were responding to has his. His just happens to not care if a guy shtups another guy, so long as it is consensual.
Just a couple corrections here. I don't have an interpretation of the bible. I use several interpretations already in existence, that basically all say the same thing. Just to be clear. I don't have my own version. Secondly I agree that the presence of an absolute morality points to a higher being and yes the burden of proof lies on the one who claims that it is his or her specific God, in my case The Christian God of the Bible, that is the creator of these absolute morals. But it isn't my job to prove as much as it is the skeptics job to evaluate it for himself.



On a different point, I don't agree that the problem of moral relativism points to the existence of God. Why should it? My desire for an objective foundation for ethics doesn't mean that one must exist. Nihilism may be distasteful, but it is an equally reasonable option, and indeed, with Occam's razor, it may be more reasonable as it does not require positing the existence of a grand entity called God. The problem of relative morality certainly points to "something" out of our control. I call that God, you call it something else maybe I don't know. The nihilists call it "It just is". The Nihilists will cry foul when they are wronged, but that cry appeals to a basic sense of right and wrong, which points to a standard of morality, which demands an objective truth to measure the standard of morality. Otherwise the Nihilist has no claim to cry foul.


Furthermore, even if their must be an objective foundation for morality, why does it have to be the God in the Christian Bible? Maybe there is some non-God based foundation for morality, like Karma, that would still provide an objective foundation for ethics. IMO, moral relativism only points to our inability to find a solid foundation for ethics and not to any particular foundation, no matter how faith inspired, that is ultimately based on pure speculation and narrative artistry.Here you can apply Occams Razor because the foundation of objective and absolute morality is simply the one that claims that it has indeed the authority to make that claim. That is the God of the Bible. No other religion makes that claim.

Mankind has searched far and wide for a foundation for morality outside divine authority and has not come close to finding one. It is a futile effort in my opinion. The simple search for one just points to our belief that there needs to be one, yet some just don't like to idea of it coming from a Creator God.

Marino613
08-19-2008, 05:52 PM
Good points and thank you for posting!:up:

Your welcome :beer1:


That isn't an absolute standard though. Without one, we can all provide our version of a standard and call it higher than any other. But without an objective standard, there is no way to determine whose morality is the right one, or how high or low ones morality stacks up against the standard (because there isn't one). There is no way to measure it. This is one reason why moral relativism can't work. It points to the existance of God, or at the very least, to be fair, the existence of a law or morals "giver".
I don't disagree. I am claiming that your standard, to the outsider, is also arbitrary even though you situate it in a narrative and belief structure that is compelling to you and many other people.


Just a couple corrections here. I don't have an interpretation of the bible. I use several interpretations already in existence, that basically all say the same thing. Just to be clear. I don't have my own version. Secondly I agree that the presence of an absolute morality points to a higher being and yes the burden of proof lies on the one who claims that it is his or her specific God, in my case The Christian God of the Bible, that is the creator of these absolute morals. But it isn't my job to prove as much as it is the skeptics job to evaluate it for himself.
Forgive me. It is the traditional interpretation that you adopt as your own that to an outsider is just one more option. I would like to point out though that while it may be the "skeptic"'s job to evaluate it, it is not necessary that one needs to be an active skeptic. If Christianity is not my cultural milieu and it is simply one choice on the buffet, I need not taste it.



The problem of relative morality certainly points to "something" out of our control. I call that God, you call it something else maybe I don't know. The nihilists call it "It just is". The Nihilists will cry foul when they are wronged, but that cry appeals to a basic sense of right and wrong, which points to a standard of morality, which demands an objective truth to measure the standard of morality. Otherwise the Nihilist has no claim to cry foul.
I personally wish that were the case, but it seems to me that it only points to the fact that people have different standards of right and wrong and have a difficult time finding an objective basis with which to determine which one, if any, are correct. If it points to something being out of control, it is that I cannot control the hearts/minds of my fellow and force my standards on him or her.

IMO, moral relativism does not arise out of a situation where there is one clear answer for everyone to find. Rather it arises precisely because, even if there is one objective standard, it is so difficult to find. Sadly, if anything, the variety in people's POV on morality more likely points to the lack of a genuine objective moral standard and not to the necessity of its existence.

My main responses specifically to what you wrote are a) A true nihilist doesn't cry "foul" and b) an appeal to a basic "sense" of right and wrong only points to a shared standard of morality (an intuitive sense that we may have in common), not an objective standard. If we agree to a social contract where we will be nice to each other, or where we will rub each others bellies, and that is the culturally accepted norm, we may try to appeal to it with the hope that the other likely was raised similarly and feels similarly whether through cultural indoctrination or instinct. If someone breaks that norm, you are correct that one would have no absolute claim that the person wronged us without an absolute standard, but it doesn't mean that we cannot appeal to a relative standard in hopes that the person complies or that the social authorities back us up.

I will add that there is a socio-economic foundation for it in that more of us thrive when we respect certain "basic" moral principles than otherwise, so we have added incentive (and potentially a biological imperative) to find common ground.


Here you can apply Occams Razor because the foundation of objective and absolute morality is simply the one that claims that it has indeed the authority to make that claim. That is the God of the Bible. No other religion makes that claim.
I don't agree that Christianity is the only religion that makes that claim. Certainly Judaism and Islam also make that claim. Many forms of Buddhism and Hinduism do as well.

Even within christianity, that claim is not unified. The catholics have made that claim and even grabbed the power for it for centuries, but protestants contest that the church has that authority.

Because I do not see a singular voice on absolute authority for morality, the occam's razor point falls away.

Besides, [edit: although it isn't exactly what you claimed] it may create a Machiavellian atmosphere where those who have the power to assert an absolute authority must therefore have metaphysical backing. I don't think that is a reasonable way of figuring out an objective standard of morality.


Mankind has searched far and wide for a foundation for morality outside divine authority and has not come close to finding one. It is a futile effort in my opinion. The simple search for one just points to our belief that there needs to be one, yet some just don't like to idea of it coming from a Creator God.]1) The simple search indicates a strong desire that there be an objective foundation for morality, and it may even indicate our belief that there must be one. It does not indicate that one actually exists.
2) It is not that people are searching for a foundation of morality "outside divine authority". They are simply searching for a foundation for morality of which divine authority is one suggested answer. Rather than characterize them as not "liking" the idea of God (which could be seen as a bit condescending), I would state that some just don't find the concept of a creator God compelling intellectually, philosophically,logically, or spiritually and therefore dismiss it as a possible foundation for morality in the same way you may dismiss a secular foundation for morality. It is just one more option.

Dolphan7
08-20-2008, 03:20 PM
I personally wish that were the case, but it seems to me that it only points to the fact that people have different standards of right and wrong and have a difficult time finding an objective basis with which to determine which one, if any, are correct. If it points to something being out of control, it is that I cannot control the hearts/minds of my fellow and force my standards on him or her. Exactly! That is why we have moral relativism, because man cannot set an absolute standard for man. Moral relativism exists, it just doesn't work.


IMO, moral relativism does not arise out of a situation where there is one clear answer for everyone to find. Rather it arises precisely because, even if there is one objective standard, it is so difficult to find. Sadly, if anything, the variety in people's POV on morality more likely points to the lack of a genuine objective moral standard and not to the necessity of its existence.I would add that not only is it hard to find, for some people, it is that people don't want to admit to an absolute moral standard, because as we are all humans, we all want it our way, our way is the right way for me etc....and if there is an absolute moral standard, most peoples personal standard comes into question when measured against that absolute standard. It is called accountability. Face it - people don't want to be held accountable, so they create these relative morals to live within that make them feel better.


My main responses specifically to what you wrote are a) A true nihilist doesn't cry "foul" and b) an appeal to a basic "sense" of right and wrong only points to a shared standard of morality (an intuitive sense that we may have in common), not an objective standard. If we agree to a social contract where we will be nice to each other, or where we will rub each others bellies, and that is the culturally accepted norm, we may try to appeal to it with the hope that the other likely was raised similarly and feels similarly whether through cultural indoctrination or instinct. If someone breaks that norm, you are correct that one would have no absolute claim that the person wronged us without an absolute standard, but it doesn't mean that we cannot appeal to a relative standard in hopes that the person complies or that the social authorities back us up. That is just it, you would be appealing to an absolute standard that you "feel" everyone should adhere to. Knowing that some may buck the standard doesn't erase the "feeling" that they ought accept the standard. That feeling of oughtness points to an objective absolute moral standard of truth.


I will add that there is a socio-economic foundation for it in that more of us thrive when we respect certain "basic" moral principles than otherwise, so we have added incentive (and potentially a biological imperative) to find common ground.
I don't agree that Christianity is the only religion that makes that claim. Certainly Judaism and Islam also make that claim. Many forms of Buddhism and Hinduism do as well.Christianity, Islam and Judaism all point to the same God. Hindism and Buddhism may speak of many truths, but they never claim an absolute standard of morality, more up to the individual than anything.


Even within christianity, that claim is not unified. The catholics have made that claim and even grabbed the power for it for centuries, but protestants contest that the church has that authority.Certainly there are deviations of moral authority within "manmade" churches. But the bible is clear on it. You can't point to man's mis-applied knowledge of the bible to say that the bile doesn't speak of absolute truth. I wouldn't take on authority anything the Catholic church says about anything.



]1) The simple search indicates a strong desire that there be an objective foundation for morality, and it may even indicate our belief that there must be one. It does not indicate that one actually exists.

2) It is not that people are searching for a foundation of morality "outside divine authority". They are simply searching for a foundation for morality of which divine authority is one suggested answer. Rather than characterize them as not "liking" the idea of God (which could be seen as a bit condescending), I would state that some just don't find the concept of a creator God compelling intellectually, philosophically,logically, or spiritually and therefore dismiss it as a possible foundation for morality in the same way you may dismiss a secular foundation for morality. It is just one more option.And I would argue that given the intellectual and logical proof of the God of the Bible, people would still reject it because it means accountability, and people don't want to be held accountable.

Marino613
08-20-2008, 04:51 PM
Exactly! That is why we have moral relativism, because man cannot set an absolute standard for man. Moral relativism exists, it just doesn't work.

I never disagreed, I am saying that, to the non-Christian, Christianity is just another example of man trying and failing to set an absolute standard for man. Christians may assert that it is an absolute standard from God, just as some atheist philosophers assert an absolute standard from natural teleological foundations, but, to a non-Christian who does not find any compelling evidence for Christianity, it is just another option and therefore still subject to the relativistic limitations of humankind. So, it doesn't work, but unless you are convinced by Christianity, it doesn't offer a solution.


I would add that not only is it hard to find, for some people, it is that people don't want to admit to an absolute moral standard, because as we are all humans, we all want it our way, our way is the right way for me etc....and if there is an absolute moral standard, most peoples personal standard comes into question when measured against that absolute standard. It is called accountability. Face it - people don't want to be held accountable, so they create these relative morals to live within that make them feel better.
I am very wary of psychological explanations proffered as to why groups of people hold to a certain philosophical position, in this case why people discount God as a factor in their moral lives (whether due to a lack of existence or some other reason). Has anyone done a study on a sociological, psycholigical, or even cognitive behavioral level as to why some people don't accept it? Without that, it is merely anecdotal at best based on the people you have met, or perhaps a projection of your own personal feelings onto atheists and others. I mean no disrespect, but I see no solid basis for assuming that motivation.

One could just as easily speculate as to the ulterior psychological motivations behind Christians for accepting the Bible. Of course, I am sure you have heard Atheists make these exact arguments, and I have to say, I find them just as compelling as a psychological explanation (fear, projection of a parent figure, a useful tool for cowing the weak, etc.) and just as anecdotal and baseless.

Sorry, it is a pet peeve of mine because I think it disrespects the integrity of the believer (whatever they believe, whether religious or other) and is often besides the point.

Bottom Line: The problem of subjective differences in moral standards at most points to a difficulty in finding such a standard, potentially due to its lack of existence and maybe due to some other motivational factor. Of EQUAL concern is that those who claim to have discovered an absolute standard may also have ulterior motivational factors. My point is that it does not prove that such a standard must exist and in no way serves to point to such a standard.


That is just it, you would be appealing to an absolute standard that you "feel" everyone should adhere to. Knowing that some may buck the standard doesn't erase the "feeling" that they ought accept the standard. That feeling of oughtness points to an objective absolute moral standard of truth.
Again, I disagree. It AT MOST only points to a feeling that one ought to exist, not to the fact that it does exist. People feel many things that they want (safety, immortality of youth, etc.) It doesn't mean there must be a metaphysical reality behind it.

I also offered an alternative in discussing questions of appeal to an absolute moral standard which is a shared relative standard. I can appeal to a shared relative standard as well. I may think my relative standard is universal, or I may be aware that it is relative, but the mere act of appealing to a standard doesn't mean I assume that standard is objective, just shared.



Christianity, Islam and Judaism all point to the same God. Hindism and Buddhism may speak of many truths, but they never claim an absolute standard of morality, more up to the individual than anything.
It may be a nit-picky point but Islam and Judaism (mainstream) would both disagree with the concept of God manifesting as a human being and being 3 and 1 together, so it isn't necessarily the same. You could probably get around that point, but I thought it should be made. Furthermore, these are 3 different religions (with many variations within them as well). The dispute is not only about whether God is the absolute standard of morality, but what standard God actually sets out, and there are differences between and within these faiths, so the simplicity of an occam's razor point is indeed complicated. All 3 claim to be the absolute standard, so which one is it? And if 3 can, why not more (indeed there are more, and more ones can crop up as well).

Secondly, I "absolutely" disagree with your characterization of Buddhism and Hinduism. While it is true that some streams of Buddhism and Hinduism don't claim an absolute standard of morality, and many of these strands have been popularized in the west, these vast traditions definitely have their own versions of absolute ethical standards which is commonly explained through the doctrine of Karma. This is not the place to go into a long explanation of Karma, but in a Buddhist context (and not as much in a Hindu context which is theistic), Karma is a law of cause and effect that is not situated in the authority of a deity but in the natural functions of the sentient mind. But it does create an absolute standard in that it means murdering people will universally and objectively lead dire consequences and being charitable to good consequences.



Certainly there are deviations of moral authority within "manmade" churches. But the bible is clear on it. You can't point to man's mis-applied knowledge of the bible to say that the bile doesn't speak of absolute truth. I wouldn't take on authority anything the Catholic church says about anything.I wasn't claiming the bible doesn't speak of absolute truth (although I think the bible is a very complicated work that doesn't always give an absolute answer, even though in some cases it clearly does). I was responding to your claim that:


Here you can apply Occams Razor because the foundation of objective and absolute morality is simply the one that claims that it has indeed the authority to make that claim. That is the God of the Bible. No other religion makes that claim.Well, the protestants have God claiming one thing and the catholics have God claiming that there is an immaculate pope who is a moral authority. My point is there is no simple one that claims such authority, therefore occam's razor does not apply. (There are other arguments against this application of Occam's razor as well. Besides, your use of occam's razor was only relevant in response to what is still a hypothetical in my mind, namely that there must be an absolute moral standard. I used occam's razor to state that the simplest explanation is that there is no standard, as sad as that makes me.)


And I would argue that given the intellectual and logical proof of the God of the Bible, people would still reject it because it means accountability, and people don't want to be held accountable.I won't repeat what I wrote earlier about projecting psychological motivations to those who disagree with your theology -- you can read it again:d-day:

I have a feeling that the next step in this pleasant philosophical conversation would be a baseline disagreement as to whether there is in fact logical proof of the veracity and sole authority of the Christian Bible. Otherwise, to the outsider, you are providing just one more option for a moral standard and doing nothing to alleviate the issue of moral relativism other than saying "mine isn't relative because it comes from God" to which the outsider will just respond,"I don't believe what you believe and see no reason to adopt your theology, so I think it is still manmade".

Dolphan7
08-20-2008, 06:44 PM
I never disagreed, I am saying that, to the non-Christian, Christianity is just another example of man trying and failing to set an absolute standard for man. Christians may assert that it is an absolute standard from God, just as some atheist philosophers assert an absolute standard from natural teleological foundations, but, to a non-Christian who does not find any compelling evidence for Christianity, it is just another option and therefore still subject to the relativistic limitations of humankind. So, it doesn't work, but unless you are convinced by Christianity, it doesn't offer a solution.

I am very wary of psychological explanations proffered as to why groups of people hold to a certain philosophical position, in this case why people discount God as a factor in their moral lives (whether due to a lack of existence or some other reason). Has anyone done a study on a sociological, psycholigical, or even cognitive behavioral level as to why some people don't accept it? Without that, it is merely anecdotal at best based on the people you have met, or perhaps a projection of your own personal feelings onto atheists and others. I mean no disrespect, but I see no solid basis for assuming that motivation.

One could just as easily speculate as to the ulterior psychological motivations behind Christians for accepting the Bible. Of course, I am sure you have heard Atheists make these exact arguments, and I have to say, I find them just as compelling as a psychological explanation (fear, projection of a parent figure, a useful tool for cowing the weak, etc.) and just as anecdotal and baseless.

Sorry, it is a pet peeve of mine because I think it disrespects the integrity of the believer (whatever they believe, whether religious or other) and is often besides the point.

Bottom Line: The problem of subjective differences in moral standards at most points to a difficulty in finding such a standard, potentially due to its lack of existence and maybe due to some other motivational factor. Of EQUAL concern is that those who claim to have discovered an absolute standard may also have ulterior motivational factors. My point is that it does not prove that such a standard must exist and in no way serves to point to such a standard.

Again, I disagree. It AT MOST only points to a feeling that one ought to exist, not to the fact that it does exist. People feel many things that they want (safety, immortality of youth, etc.) It doesn't mean there must be a metaphysical reality behind it.

I also offered an alternative in discussing questions of appeal to an absolute moral standard which is a shared relative standard. I can appeal to a shared relative standard as well. I may think my relative standard is universal, or I may be aware that it is relative, but the mere act of appealing to a standard doesn't mean I assume that standard is objective, just shared.


It may be a nit-picky point but Islam and Judaism (mainstream) would both disagree with the concept of God manifesting as a human being and being 3 and 1 together, so it isn't necessarily the same. You could probably get around that point, but I thought it should be made. Furthermore, these are 3 different religions (with many variations within them as well). The dispute is not only about whether God is the absolute standard of morality, but what standard God actually sets out, and there are differences between and within these faiths, so the simplicity of an occam's razor point is indeed complicated. All 3 claim to be the absolute standard, so which one is it? And if 3 can, why not more (indeed there are more, and more ones can crop up as well).

Secondly, I "absolutely" disagree with your characterization of Buddhism and Hinduism. While it is true that some streams of Buddhism and Hinduism don't claim an absolute standard of morality, and many of these strands have been popularized in the west, these vast traditions definitely have their own versions of absolute ethical standards which is commonly explained through the doctrine of Karma. This is not the place to go into a long explanation of Karma, but in a Buddhist context (and not as much in a Hindu context which is theistic), Karma is a law of cause and effect that is not situated in the authority of a deity but in the natural functions of the sentient mind. But it does create an absolute standard in that it means murdering people will universally and objectively lead dire consequences and being charitable to good consequences.

I wasn't claiming the bible doesn't speak of absolute truth (although I think the bible is a very complicated work that doesn't always give an absolute answer, even though in some cases it clearly does). I was responding to your claim that:
Well, the protestants have God claiming one thing and the catholics have God claiming that there is an immaculate pope who is a moral authority. My point is there is no simple one that claims such authority, therefore occam's razor does not apply. (There are other arguments against this application of Occam's razor as well. Besides, your use of occam's razor was only relevant in response to what is still a hypothetical in my mind, namely that there must be an absolute moral standard. I used occam's razor to state that the simplest explanation is that there is no standard, as sad as that makes me.)

I won't repeat what I wrote earlier about projecting psychological motivations to those who disagree with your theology -- you can read it again:d-day:

I have a feeling that the next step in this pleasant philosophical conversation would be a baseline disagreement as to whether there is in fact logical proof of the veracity and sole authority of the Christian Bible. Otherwise, to the outsider, you are providing just one more option for a moral standard and doing nothing to alleviate the issue of moral relativism other than saying "mine isn't relative because it comes from God" to which the outsider will just respond,"I don't believe what you believe and see no reason to adopt your theology, so I think it is still manmade".

Look, this discussion has taken on several branches of independent debate that have become too cumbersome to maintain. I will just go back to my original argument which is this:

Absolute Morality gives us a clear sense of right and wrong. Without an Absolute Morality, we have no basis of right and wrong. Not so say that some societies have have developed a good set of laws to live by, but that isn't absolute, but only good for that particular society.

I put forth the 911 terrorists who killed 3000 innocent people. Are they wrong? If they are wrong on what basis are they wrong? They will claim they are right. How do we determine which side is right? It is a stalemate. We can't without an absolute standard. To answer the question of which one is right demands an absolute higher standard than the two opposing standards.

Now that can lead to the discussion of where does this higher standard come from.

We know that man cannot apply an absolute standard to man. He has no authority nor ability to do so. Moral Absolutes don't exist in nature, in matter. That just eliminated everything on this planet. Where does that lead us?

It points to the existance of God, or something outside this world. It does not prove it, nor is it intended to. But it leads one to think that since nothing on this earth can define it, it must come from outside our sphere.

Marino613
08-20-2008, 08:52 PM
Look, this discussion has taken on several branches of independent debate that have become too cumbersome to maintain. I will just go back to my original argument which is this:

Absolute Morality gives us a clear sense of right and wrong. Without an Absolute Morality, we have no basis of right and wrong. Not so say that some societies have have developed a good set of laws to live by, but that isn't absolute, but only good for that particular society.

I put forth the 911 terrorists who killed 3000 innocent people. Are they wrong? If they are wrong on what basis are they wrong? They will claim they are right. How do we determine which side is right? It is a stalemate. We can't without an absolute standard. To answer the question of which one is right demands an absolute higher standard than the two opposing standards.

Now that can lead to the discussion of where does this higher standard come from.

We know that man cannot apply an absolute standard to man. He has no authority nor ability to do so. Moral Absolutes don't exist in nature, in matter. That just eliminated everything on this planet. Where does that lead us?

It points to the existance of God, or something outside this world. It does not prove it, nor is it intended to. But it leads one to think that since nothing on this earth can define it, it must come from outside our sphere.

I hear it.

I agree with the first part about the apparent futility of finding moral absolutes founded in nature and humanity.

I just disagree that it points to the existence of God. I have seen equally valiant attempts to prove morality from nature as from the existence of some omnipotent supernatural entity. I have yet to see one succeed, so they are all in the same boat in my book.

Dolphan7
08-20-2008, 11:53 PM
I hear it.

I agree with the first part about the apparent futility of finding moral absolutes founded in nature and humanity.

I just disagree that it points to the existence of God. I have seen equally valiant attempts to prove morality from nature as from the existence of some omnipotent supernatural entity. I have yet to see one succeed, so they are all in the same boat in my book.Ok that is fair. I think if there wasn't any disagreement, this would be a very boring forum.

I leave you with this. How can we create an absolute morality for all on this planet? If you can't answer that it leaves only one other choice, it must come from above. The best we can do is relative morality, of which we have seen the best and worst of that over time.

Good discussion though. :up:

Bumpus
08-21-2008, 09:58 AM
(sigh) I've been gone from FH for the better part of the summer, and I come back to find this debate...

Just a question, D7. Taking two of your statements into account:


Arrogant assumption? No my friend I am making a confident statement of faith.

You can't find absolute truth in nature or in mankind. 911 terrorists have their view of morality and truth. You have yours. Each side has it's proponents. Which one is right? You can say all day long that they are wrong, but you have no basis to make that claim. They would laugh in your face. What standard are you appealing to make that claim. You see the dilemna?

Here is a more on subject topic - Homosexuality. Some say it is wrong. Others say it is right. Which one is right? Which one is wrong? What standard do we use?

Here is another one. Murder. Some say it is ok, others say it is wrong. Who is right? And you can't point to the law and say it is illegal. I can show you gang infested neigborhoods all across the country that don't give a darn about the laws. Murder is second nature to these thugs.

Without an absolute standard - set by our creator - we have no basis to say what is right and what is wrong for mankind. Certainly we can install governments to protect us and punish those that break the laws, but that isn't the standard. Tell that to 30 million and counting unborn children killed by the governments approval of abortion on demand. So even a government, being run and influenced by fallible men, can be wrong. That can't be the standard.

The standard has to come from above.

... and then later on (post #43) ...


I agree the bible should not be taken literally for the whole thing. There are parts that are to be taken literally, then there are parts to be taken metaphorically, and then there are parts that should be taken figuratively and on and on etc....it all depends on the context. Proper Exegesis and a good dose of Hermanuetics is required.

Now, the Holy Bible was written by people, right? And, if as you say, "the Bible should not be taken literally for the whole thing." - then, does it not stand to reason that the standard set by this text which (again as you imply) has parts that are up to interpretation, do not set an absolute standard?

Is it possibile that you are simply using your faith, and your interpretation of the Bible to make a moral decision as to what is right and what is wrong that will impact the lives of others?

Dolphan7
08-21-2008, 01:04 PM
(sigh) I've been gone from FH for the better part of the summer, and I come back to find this debate...

Just a question, D7. Taking two of your statements into account:
Welcome back!:up:







Now, the Holy Bible was written by people, right? And, if as you say, "the Bible should not be taken literally for the whole thing." - then, does it not stand to reason that the standard set by this text which (again as you imply) has parts that are up to interpretation, do not set an absolute standard? The whole bible is subject to interpretation, just that some parts are easier than others. The bible was written by men who were inspired by God. It 's not like they were all alone just putting words down on paper. Also even parts that are deemed to be literal need to be understood just as well as a metaphor. When interpreters of the bible, of which I am not one so I don't have "my interpretation", undertake the task of understanding what the author meant, they use sound biblical exegesis and hermeneutics. You use hermeneutics every day.

Let's say you hear a co-worker make this statement "Oh I'm going to kill that Jackson!" Do you call 911? Or do you understand that he is just angry at Jackson? You are using hermeneutics to correctly understand the context of your co-workers statement. Your co-worker is speaking figuratively or metaphorically.

Now if some of your co-workers are heading out to lunch and you ask them where are you going to eat and one responds, "we are going to Applebees", do you not believe they are going to Applebees? Of course not. Your co-worker is speaking literally.

So you understand the difference between one co-worker and another simply by using hermanuetics. You understand their intent, the context of what they said and to whom they said it, and about whom or what they were referring to.

Biblical Exegesis is a little more involved but also very important in understanding ancient texts.

The point is that we can understand the whole bible (except those parts of prophesy that have not come to pass) whether written literally, figuratively, metaphorically, symbologically, etc......and it doesn't take away from the authenticity or authority of the bible.

Here is more info on both devices used to understand the bible.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exegesis

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermeneutics

I think you are under the assumption that anything not literal in the bible is therefore questionable because it needs interpretation. The whole bible needs interpretation, so one is left with either accepting it as a whole, or rejecting it as a whole. There can be no in between.


Now on to your question. I have proposed that because man cannot set an absolute standard on man, and nature is incapable of doing that, that there is only one other logical result - it must come from above. Now I say that is from the Judeao/christian God of the Bible, but as Marino613 pointed out, that could be from other sources of religion as well. I just poiint out that only Judeo/Christian God makes the claim of absolute morality and truth. Now that is debatable no doubt, but no other religion makes that case "better" than the bible.




Is it possible that you are simply using your faith, and your interpretation of the Bible to make a moral decision as to what is right and what is wrong that will impact the lives of others?Again I don't interpret the bible. That has been done by far more educated and experienced scholars than me.

What I have proposed is the dilemna of moral relativism and how it doesn't work, pointing to the existance of an absolute morality, and then pointed out that that morality cannot come from anywhere but God logically speaking and offer that the Christian God as the source of that absolute morality.

So....without using the bible.....Are the 911 hi-jackers wrong? But more importantly why are they wrong? Can you provide an objective standard to answer these questions?

Bumpus
08-21-2008, 01:43 PM
:lol:

Damn, bro ... you must have been incredible at dodge ball in grade school.:lol:

As for the "I never claimed to interpret..." - OK, fine ... then let's just say that you accept and agree with some who have made that their work. Fair?

My problem with many of your statements is that you show a tendency to base your opinions upon faith. And, while this is fine, you also tend to expect everyone else to accept your opinions as if they were (pardon the pun) the Gospel truth.

For example:

The whole bible is subject to interpretation, just that some parts are easier than others. The bible was written by men who were inspired by God. It 's not like they were all alone just putting words down on paper.
You simply don't know that. You believe that to be the case based on your faith, but you do not know that for a fact.


So....without using the bible.....Are the 911 hi-jackers wrong? But more importantly why are they wrong? Can you provide an objective standard to answer these questions?
Yes, they were wrong. They were wrong because it is unacceptable to murder innocent people in order to further a cause, no matter what the cause may be. However, I cannot for the life of me figure out what that has to do with gay rights trampling religious freedom.

If anything, your statements in this thread make it seem as if once again religion would love to trample upon the rights of homosexuals. Take a step back. Everyone is entitled to live their lives in relative peace. Why does the topic of gay marrage seem to frighten you so?

Marino613
08-21-2008, 03:59 PM
Ok that is fair. I think if there wasn't any disagreement, this would be a very boring forum.

I leave you with this. How can we create an absolute morality for all on this planet? If you can't answer that it leaves only one other choice, it must come from above. The best we can do is relative morality, of which we have seen the best and worst of that over time.

Good discussion though. :up:


Thanks. Very thought provoking! :hi5:

Dolphan7
08-21-2008, 05:58 PM
:lol:

Damn, bro ... you must have been incredible at dodge ball in grade school.:lol:Well it certainly wasn't intended to be a dodge. Perhaps I didn't understand your question?. Perhaps I didn't explain my answer well enough? Perhaps you didn't understand my answer? I don't know, but I certainly have every intention of trying to answer your questions to the best of my ability.


As for the "I never claimed to interpret..." - OK, fine ... then let's just say that you accept and agree with some who have made that their work. Fair? It isn't a matter of whether I agree with it or not. I trust that the interpretations are sound, whether I like or agree with what it says in the end or not is not relevant.


My problem with many of your statements is that you show a tendency to base your opinions upon faith. And, while this is fine, you also tend to expect everyone else to accept your opinions as if they were (pardon the pun) the Gospel truth.I speak of what the Bible says and what the Christian faith is in general. If you choose to not agree with it, that is certainly your prerogative.


For example: It 's not like they were all alone just putting words down on paper.

You simply don't know that. You believe that to be the case based on your faith, but you do not know that for a fact. I know that for a fact. That does not mean I can prove that fact to you. I trust that the bible is the word of God. You may not accept that as fact, and that is your prerogative as well. There are many things I accept on faith alone, but there are many things that I know to be true. The truth of the Bible is one of those things.



Yes, they were wrong. They were wrong because it is unacceptable to murder innocent people in order to further a cause, no matter what the cause may be. However, I cannot for the life of me figure out what that has to do with gay rights trampling religious freedom. Ok, playing the advocate here, The 911 murderers feel that it is acceptable to murder innocent people, for any cause. Who is to say they are wrong? What is your basis for saying they are wrong? The whole point of this discussion was relative morality which says that anyone can create their own truth and morality, but they would then have no right or basis to claim anyone elses morality is right or wrong. Not without an absolute standard.


If anything, your statements in this thread make it seem as if once again religion would love to trample upon the rights of homosexuals. Take a step back. Everyone is entitled to live their lives in relative peace. Why does the topic of gay marrage seem to frighten you so?Homosexuality or gay marriage does not frighten me. The discussion isn't about fear of it, or acceptance or non-acceptance of it. It is about calling it what it is. Homosexuality is wrong. Gay marriage is wrong. There is a right and a wrong on this subject. In your view, you have no right whatsoever to say that my view is wrong becasue you believe that we should all have and live by our own set of values and standards - relative morality. Well if you live in that world, then no one can claim right or wrong. See the problem with your position?

Just like on what basis can you say the 911 hi-jackers were wrong?

On what basis can you say that my position on homosexuality is wrong?

Show me the foundation. You can't, because there isn't one. Relative Morality is just that, there is no right and wrong outside of each one's individual standard.

In order for you to point and say look - That is wrong, you are appealing to a higher standard, an absolute morality. We do it all the time. And we do it because deep down inside we feel there is an absolute standard.