Welcome to FinHeaven Fans Forums! We're glad to have you here. Please feel free to browse the forum. We'd like to invite you to join our community; doing so will enable you to view additional forums and post with our other members.



VIP Members don't see these ads. Join VIP Now
Page 6 of 11 FirstFirst ... 2345678910 ... LastLast
Results 51 to 60 of 103

Thread: James Holmes confirmed to be an atheist

  1. -51
    TheWalrus's Avatar
    1/7/14

    Status:
    Offline
    WPA:
    Join date:
    Dec 2011
    Posts:
    8,038
    vCash:
    28586
    Thanks / No Thanks
    If the Israelites didn't already know that murder and robbery were wrong, they never would have survived long enough as a people to "receive" the 10 commandments in the first place. I mean, think about it. Why was Moses mad at Aaron for building the golden calf while Moses was up on the mountain with God? It's not Aaron's fault that he had no commandments and therefore no morality. The same goes for Cain. He had no commandments, therefore he must have thought that killing his brother was perfectly acceptable behavior.

    Except, of course, that's bull****.

    Why is having a code of morality justified whether God is placed at the head of it or not? Because just as species evolve, so does society. It is the exact same mechanism, one of trying rules, discarding some, adopting others... changing as conditions change.

    Morality helps society function. It provides order. It regulates acceptable behavior. It settles disputes. The better it does those things, the more the society flourishes. The more a society flourishes, the more it's morality spreads and therefore the more prevalent the people who believe in it become. A physically inferior group of humans working together, under a code of self sacrifice and discipline, will invent a better weapon, produce a better crop, build a better defensive wall, train a superior army... and will therefore always crush a physically or even mentally superior but less organized foe. That is the power of society and the morality that helps drive it, as history has shown over and over again. "God" is merely the figure at the top of the morality pyramid, a supernatural policeman who inspires the fear and awe that best incentivises the following of the "rules."

    Certain basic rules (such as the moral "wrongness" of murder and theft and the moral "rightness" of self sacrifice) make so much common sense they have evolved in virtually every society on Earth, just as, say, two eyes make evolutionary common sense. The violation of those rules is "wrong" the way a mother pig refusing to nurse her young would be "wrong," in that it stands in violation of the evolutionary principles that allowed pigs to flourish. Humans have only added an extra layer of complexity and understanding to their behavior, which gives us the strength to adapt quickly but also the "burden" having enough intelligence to question and doubt.

    This kind of understanding of morality might not appear to be as "absolute" as the God of the Bible, but that's only if you don't know that the God of the Bible is as shifty and ever changing as society itself (and for good reason. Only a relevant God can perpetuate the society that believes in him). What's particularly interesting about Christianity is that it has held on to the Old Testament. This has value, I suppose, in that it allows itself to be painted as the fulfillment of prophesy. But to accept the whole Bible is to accept that God has changed his mind about many things that were previously important. The ridiculous detail and punitive nature of Numbers and Leviticus, after all, is strikingly different from the broad-stroked hippie philosophy of the New Testament, in which one need only accept Jesus Christ as one's personal savior (if you are of one denomination), or to follow on from this acceptance not with a strict adherence to a minutely detailed code of conduct, but by the repentance of sin (which either way has been taken care of) and the doing of good works that shows your commitment to the faith. The way the "Golden Rule" is interpreted today stands in stark contrast to the ritual slaughter of whole peoples and of the rape and slavery condoned by God or -- in the case of the plagues of Egypt -- the outright murder of children by the Holy Spirit.

    All of the major Western religions are outdated relative to a modern context, and it's no surprise to me that the largest growing "religion" in the United States is athetism (though it's ridiculous to consider the negation of religion to be religion). Poll after poll shows that strict Judiaism has largely been abandoned in favor of a more secular approach. Christianity is fighting a losing battle by directly challenging scientific discovery and standing it's ground on a few arcane passages. Islam has been bisected into a pre-Middle Ages barbarism and a more liberted -- though still somewhat severe -- modern faction.

    It probably won't be in any of our lifetimes but it seems to me a new "God" is coming, and that sometime in the future the Bible will be treated how we treat The Illiad and The Odyssey today. Eventually something will be invented to fill the void but not be saddled with the shabby hocus pocus of the Bible.

    It will still -- just as the Bible is -- be an invention of man. It will still serve the same purpose of societal control, of divine inspiration for it's rules. It will still be possible to see the system for what it is and reach a more complete awareness of the mechanism.
    Last edited by TheWalrus; 08-10-2012 at 11:42 AM.
    Quote Quote  

  2. -52
    Statler Waldorf's Avatar
    Bench Warmer

    Status:
    Offline
    WPA:
    Join date:
    Jun 2005
    Posts:
    1,259
    vCash:
    1246
    Loc:
    Oregon
    Thanks / No Thanks
    Quote Originally Posted by tylerdolphin View Post
    OH! You mean exactly like humans!


    You see you just refuted your own position again. You would certainly say that murder, rape, and war are morally wrong, and yet you claim your whole concept of morality derives from the fact that humans are social animals who like other animals have developed certain behaviors for living together. However, as I pointed out many animals behave in a manner that you claim is morally wrong. So are we animals and get to behave how other social animals do or are we humans created in the image of God and are moral creatures that are held to a higher standard of behavior? You can’t have it both ways, I am sorry.


    So your argument is that slavery was necessary? I suppose you would have supported slavery during the civil war because slaves were vital to the cotton industry. Holy ****. You cant even see how stupid that is?
    Again, you are committing the fallacy of equivocation, slavery in Bible times cannot be compared to slavery in the 18th and 19th century. American slavery would have been both morally wrong in Bible times as well as current times because it was beyond brutal; hence why the vast majority of abolitionists were Christians. You still have not given me a logically defensible definition of morality, so your moral objections to the Bible are a bit meaningless right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheWalrus View Post
    If the Israelites didn't already know that murder and robbery were wrong, they never would have survived long enough as a people to "receive" the 10 commandments in the first place. I mean, think about it. Why was Moses mad at Aaron for building the golden calf while Moses was up on the mountain with God? It's not Aaron's fault that he had no commandments and therefore no morality. The same goes for Cain. He had no commandments, therefore he must have thought that killing his brother was perfectly acceptable behavior.


    I really wish more non-believers would actually study the Bible to save me some time here. The Bible is quite clear that man is also born with a form of natural understanding of what is a violation of God’s law (read Paul’s letter to the Romans), hence why Cain knew he was not supposed to kill Abel. The commandments didn’t all of the sudden establish morality; they were a written revelation from God so no man could even attempt pleading ignorance.


    Why is having a code of morality justified whether God is placed at the head of it or not? Because just as species evolve, so does society. It is the exact same mechanism, one of trying rules, discarding some, adopting others... changing as conditions change.


    Man is fallible, God is not. You don’t even live your life consistent with what you just stated above, I am sure you do not support the killing of homosexuals in the Middle East, and yet that is their own “code of morality” that they are experimenting with. I am sure you think what the Nazis did was morally wrong, and yet that was their own experimentation with a new moral code. You see, you don’t even believe the stuff you say is true. You act as if objective morality exists and has always existed, and yet this is only possible if the God of the Bible exists because he owns His creation.

    Morality helps society function. It provides order. It regulates acceptable behavior. It settles disputes. The better it does those things, the more the society flourishes. The more a society flourishes, the more it's morality spreads and therefore the more prevalent the people who believe in it become. A physically inferior group of humans working together, under a code of self sacrifice and discipline, will invent a better weapon, produce a better crop, build a better defensive wall, train a superior army... and will therefore always crush a physically or even mentally superior but less organized foe. That is the power of society and the morality that helps drive it,


    So let me pin you down here in order to hold you to your own stated beliefs above, so you believe that any behavior that greater ensures the survival a society is morally good behavior and any behavior that hurts the survivability of a society is morally wrong behavior? Fair representation of your position?


    as history has shown over and over again. "God" is merely the figure at the top of the morality pyramid, a supernatural policeman who inspires the fear and awe that best incentivises the following of the "rules."


    Where has history shown us this?

    Certain basic rules (such as the moral "wrongness" of murder and theft and the moral "rightness" of self sacrifice) make so much common sense they have evolved in virtually every society on Earth, just as, say, two eyes make evolutionary common sense. The violation of those rules is "wrong" the way a mother pig refusing to nurse her young would be "wrong," in that it stands in violation of the evolutionary principles that allowed pigs to flourish. Humans have only added an extra layer of complexity and understanding to their behavior, which gives us the strength to adapt quickly but also the "burden" having enough intelligence to question and doubt.


    An appeal to common sense is a logical fallacy. Is morality defined as what best allows the species to survive? The society? The family? The individual?

    This kind of understanding of morality might not appear to be as "absolute" as the God of the Bible, but that's only if you don't know that the God of the Bible is as shifty and ever changing as society itself (and for good reason. Only a relevant God can perpetuate the society that believes in him). What's particularly interesting about Christianity is that it has held on to the Old Testament. This has value, I suppose, in that it allows itself to be painted as the fulfillment of prophesy. But to accept the whole Bible is to accept that God has changed his mind about many things that were previously important. The ridiculous detail and punitive nature of Numbers and Leviticus, after all, is strikingly different from the broad-stroked hippie philosophy of the New Testament, in which one need only accept Jesus Christ as one's personal savior (if you are of one denomination), or to follow on from this acceptance not with a strict adherence to a minutely detailed code of conduct, but by the repentance of sin (which either way has been taken care of) and the doing of good works that shows your commitment to the faith. The way the "Golden Rule" is interpreted today stands in stark contrast to the ritual slaughter of whole peoples and of the rape and slavery condoned by God or -- in the case of the plagues of Egypt -- the outright murder of children by the Holy Spirit.


    If this is truly what you understand the Bible to teach then how can you even hope to argue with a Christian if you hold to such a gross misconception of what covenant theology is and how God works with His creation in dispensations and how salvation is actually obtained? I think to call your argument above a straw-man would be a bit of an understatement.

    So are you really suggesting that the God of the Bible did things that were morally wrong?

    All of the major Western religions are outdated relative to a modern context, and it's no surprise to me that the largest growing "religion" in the United States is athetism (though it's ridiculous to consider the negation of religion to be religion). Poll after poll shows that strict Judiaism has largely been abandoned in favor of a more secular approach. Christianity is fighting a losing battle by directly challenging scientific discovery and standing it's ground on a few arcane passages. Islam has been bisected into a pre-Middle Ages barbarism and a more liberted -- though still somewhat severe -- modern faction.


    Actually Mormonism is growing far faster than atheism is in America, but either way that’s completely irrelevant. Something isn’t true just because a growing number of people believe it is. Come on now, I thought atheists were supposed to know a thing or two about logical reasoning.


    It will still -- just as the Bible is -- be an invention of man. It will still serve the same purpose of societal control, of divine inspiration for it's rules. It will still be possible to see the system for what it is and reach a more complete awareness of the mechanism.


    You seem to be awfully long on assertions and conjecture and disappointedly short on facts and support for your claims, oh well I have learned not to get my hopes up too high in such conversations. Pleasure talking with you.
    Total Depravity
    Unconditional Election
    Limited Atonement
    Irresistible Grace
    Perseverance of the Saints
    Quote Quote  

  3. -53
    TheWalrus's Avatar
    1/7/14

    Status:
    Offline
    WPA:
    Join date:
    Dec 2011
    Posts:
    8,038
    vCash:
    28586
    Thanks / No Thanks
    Quote Originally Posted by Statler Waldorf View Post
    I really wish more non-believers would actually study the Bible to save me some time here. The Bible is quite clear that man is also born with a form of natural understanding of what is a violation of God’s law (read Paul’s letter to the Romans), hence why Cain knew he was not supposed to kill Abel. The commandments didn’t all of the sudden establish morality; they were a written revelation from God so no man could even attempt pleading ignorance.
    If man is given a "natural understanding," why then are covenants necessary? Did God originally think that a "natural understanding" would be enough but then realized it wasn't and decided to codify these laws in writing? How could an omniscient being not know this was going to happen -- and/or why didn't he just make the "natural understanding" more forcefully clear in the human heart -- and how many people died or had things stolen from them before seeing the laws in print?

    Man is fallible, God is not. You don’t even live your life consistent with what you just stated above, I am sure you do not support the killing of homosexuals in the Middle East, and yet that is their own “code of morality” that they are experimenting with. I am sure you think what the Nazis did was morally wrong, and yet that was their own experimentation with a new moral code. You see, you don’t even believe the stuff you say is true. You act as if objective morality exists and has always existed, and yet this is only possible if the God of the Bible exists because he owns His creation.


    The concept of "objective morality" as a religion person claims to understand it does not exist. Outside of a few moral tenets that all peoples everywhere have deemed immoral (genocide, for example), morality is subjective, and this is true even within the confines of religion. Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox Christians all follow the same texts, yet each disagrees vehemently with each other over certain details, and indeed one can look back in their history where their interpretations of certain passages have changed. How did this happen? A special revelation from God? A new prophet?

    These differences extend down from person to person, with each emphasizing different things, or differing with their church over this matter or that. When you get down to it, what each person chooses to accept is determined by the vagarities of their own value systems and experiences, not by an understanding of God that exceeds all others. It is all a personal choice, whether a religious person admits it or not.

    What seperates me from the devout is merely that I am aware of this. It is not actually a different process. My judgement of the heinous acts of others comes from the same place as anyone else's: from my own personal revulsion.

    So let me pin you down here in order to hold you to your own stated beliefs above, so you believe that any behavior that greater ensures the survival a society is morally good behavior and any behavior that hurts the survivability of a society is morally wrong behavior? Fair representation of your position?


    It is not a fair representation of my opinion, no. I was merely trying to explain the origins of morality. Each person makes their own choices, but the parameters of these choices are largely dictated by their upbringing and environment (which is largely dictated by the above factors). Only a few moral precepts seem inexorably built into humanity, or are else so essential as to seem ingrained. Chief among these being the wrongness of murder and the wrongness of theft. But I feel free to choose which moral precepts I accept and which ones I do not. This process does not have the self-righteous weight of divine authority to back it up but it does have the advantage of being true to the nature of morality.

    So are you really suggesting that the God of the Bible did things that were morally wrong?
    Do you believe that murdering children -- as the Holy Spirit does in Exodus -- is morally right? Or perhaps to pin it down more specifically, do you believe that the morality expressed by the Bible flows from God's own morality -- in other words, things he believes are right -- or are presented as rules for humans to follow? If it is the former, God would be bounded necessarily by his own morality, which the murder of children would be in contradiction with.

    Actually Mormonism is growing far faster than atheism is in America, but either way that’s completely irrelevant. Something isn’t true just because a growing number of people believe it is. Come on now, I thought atheists were supposed to know a thing or two about logical reasoning.


    A misrepresentation of my point in either case, which was that the major Western religions are out of step with modern morality and are thus falling by the wayside. Mormonism is growing because Mormons breed prodigiously.

    You seem to be awfully long on assertions and conjecture and disappointedly short on facts and support for your claims, oh well I have learned not to get my hopes up too high in such conversations. Pleasure talking with you.


    An amusing accusation from someone who accepts the existance of a supreme being that created us and judges us without having a shred of evidence to support it.
    Quote Quote  

  4. -54
    Statler Waldorf's Avatar
    Bench Warmer

    Status:
    Offline
    WPA:
    Join date:
    Jun 2005
    Posts:
    1,259
    vCash:
    1246
    Loc:
    Oregon
    Thanks / No Thanks
    If man is given a "natural understanding," why then are covenants necessary? Did God originally think that a "natural understanding" would be enough but then realized it wasn't and decided to codify these laws in writing? How could an omniscient being not know this was going to happen -- and/or why didn't he just make the "natural understanding" more forcefully clear in the human heart -- and how many people died or had things stolen from them before seeing the laws in print?


    I think you mean commandments, not covenants. Man’s moral desires were corrupted by sin, in fact- apart from God’s common grace man desires to do nothing good. The law was established as a standard for man to measure himself by, for him to see how utterly helpless he is apart from God’s grace.

    The concept of "objective morality" as a religion person claims to understand it does not exist. Outside of a few moral tenets that all peoples everywhere have deemed immoral (genocide, for example), morality is subjective, and this is true even within the confines of religion. Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox Christians all follow the same texts, yet each disagrees vehemently with each other over certain details, and indeed one can look back in their history where their interpretations of certain passages have changed. How did this happen? A special revelation from God? A new prophet?


    You asserting that objective morality doesn’t exist certainly doesn’t make this the case. As I pointed out, you don’t even live your life this way since I am sure you would deem what the Nazis did as morally wrong even though the Nazis didn’t believe it was. That right there proves morality is not completely subjective. People disagreeing over what scripture means doesn’t at all prove scripture is fallible, it merely proves that people are; which of course is completely consistent with Christian teaching.

    These differences extend down from person to person, with each emphasizing different things, or differing with their church over this matter or that. When you get down to it, what each person chooses to accept is determined by the vagarities of their own value systems and experiences, not by an understanding of God that exceeds all others. It is all a personal choice, whether a religious person admits it or not.


    People are fallible, God’s word is not. I am not entirely sure why you keep trying to prove a point that I as a Christian agree with. People disagreeing over what a source means in no way proves the source isn’t adequate or infallible, just that people disagree with one another.

    What seperates me from the devout is merely that I am aware of this. It is not actually a different process. My judgement of the heinous acts of others comes from the same place as anyone else's: from my own personal revulsion.


    So if you didn’t feel a personal revulsion when you witnessed a rape then rape would be morally acceptable behavior? Why is your feeling of revulsion superior to rapists’ feelings of pleasure and power? Since you are being completely arbitrary your position possesses no more logical weight than someone else’s completely arbitrary standard of morality.

    It is not a fair representation of my opinion, no. I was merely trying to explain the origins of morality.


    I never asked for your opinion on where you thought morality came from.

    Only a few moral precepts seem inexorably built into humanity, or are else so essential as to seem ingrained. Chief among these being the wrongness of murder and the wrongness of theft.


    Well obviously there are murderers and thieves, so not everyone views these as morally wrong behaviors. Why are these morally wrong behaviors in your opinion?

    But I feel free to choose which moral precepts I accept and which ones I do not. This process does not have the self-righteous weight of divine authority to back it up but it does have the advantage of being true to the nature of morality.


    So since you chose your own precepts that you accepted, could someone choose to accept the precept that rape is morally right behavior? If not, why not?


    Do you believe that murdering children -- as the Holy Spirit does in Exodus -- is morally right? Or perhaps to pin it down more specifically, do you believe that the morality expressed by the Bible flows from God's own morality -- in other words, things he believes are right -- or are presented as rules for humans to follow? If it is the former, God would be bounded necessarily by his own morality, which the murder of children would be in contradiction with.


    The just wages of sin was death, so God giving sinners what they justly deserved is not inconsistent with His just and good character at all. You making a moral charge against God doesn’t make a wink of sense though since you just said that you are free to choose your own moral precepts in your opinion, isn’t God then allowed to choose His own moral precepts too? You’re just not very consistent in your views of this.

    A misrepresentation of my point in either case, which was that the major Western religions are out of step with modern morality and are thus falling by the wayside. Mormonism is growing because Mormons breed prodigiously.


    Christianity’s view of morality was also out of touch with the Nazi’s view of morality, that doesn’t magically mean that Christianity’s views were wrong in 1939 anymore than it means they are wrong today. It just means society is sliding back into amoral behavior again.

    An amusing accusation from someone who accepts the existance of a supreme being that created us and judges us without having a shred of evidence to support it.


    I don’t need evidence when I have deductive logical proof of His existence which trumps your appeals to induction any day of the week.

    I would still like for you to explain your views on morality a bit though since it seems to me that you are shifting the standards around a bit.

    Are there acts that are always wrong no matter when they take place and where they take place?
    How do we know whether action A is morally wrong or morally right?
    Quote Quote  

  5. -55
    TheWalrus's Avatar
    1/7/14

    Status:
    Offline
    WPA:
    Join date:
    Dec 2011
    Posts:
    8,038
    vCash:
    28586
    Thanks / No Thanks
    Quote Originally Posted by Statler Waldorf View Post

    I think you mean commandments, not covenants. Man’s moral desires were corrupted by sin, in fact- apart from God’s common grace man desires to do nothing good. The law was established as a standard for man to measure himself by, for him to see how utterly helpless he is apart from God’s grace.
    So are man's moral desires corrupted by sin or does he desire to do nothing good without God's grace? You're being contradictory.

    Also, explain why God gave man such a weak natural understanding of his laws in the first place that they later needed to be written down? Why have them written down when it is possible as a Supreme Being to simply make the laws more naturally clear? In the interval before the written laws were established, how many people were condemned by God to hell (keep in mind humans existed in their modern evolutionary state for about 200,000 years before the period covered by the Bible begins)?

    Do you think perhaps these poor souls appealed once the rules were written down for a reduction in their sentence, given that natural understanding and grace apparently makes so little impact?

    You asserting that objective morality doesn’t exist certainly doesn’t make this the case. As I pointed out, you don’t even live your life this way since I am sure you would deem what the Nazis did as morally wrong even though the Nazis didn’t believe it was. That right there proves morality is not completely subjective. People disagreeing over what scripture means doesn’t at all prove scripture is fallible, it merely proves that people are; which of course is completely consistent with Christian teaching.


    I have my own views on morality and act on them and defend them. There's nothing "objective" about that but... so what? There's no objective right or wrong to what color I paint my house but I still feel justified in having strong feelings about it. And if my neighbors and I get together and tell the guy down the street that he can't paint his house some objectionable color, we don't need to go find where in Leviticus it says what color houses should be before we do it.

    Each of us chooses our own morality. Even the religious. If there is even one precept in the Bible which you do not accept or follow -- and perhaps there isn't in your case -- you are merely doing in part what the non-religious do in whole.

    I think you would agree that there is a natural human instinct for objective moral truths. We hunger for the clarity presented by them. But that, to me, is all the more reason to distrust anything or anyone that proffers such answers. The desire is in itself corrupting. Therefore we must be all the more vigilant and distrusting, especially when -- in the case of the Bible -- the explanation is accompanied by silly hocus pocus.

    People are fallible, God’s word is not. I am not entirely sure why you keep trying to prove a point that I as a Christian agree with. People disagreeing over what a source means in no way proves the source isn’t adequate or infallible, just that people disagree with one another.


    A document so vague as to lend itself to endless interpretations is by definition flawed. If the Bible were truly the work of an all powerful and perfect being who wanted to get a certain message across, it would make itself clearer. As it is, no two people on Earth will agree on the interpretation of every line.

    The Bible is flawed because it was conceived and written by people. The "divinely inspired" crowd never seems to make their reckoning with this. Either the words relay the message of God or they don't. If they do, then why is it filled simultaneously with vagueness and also with passages that describe acts either sanctioned by God or performed by the Holy Spirit that are now considered reprehensible by the modern standards of that same religion. And if it is in some way or another not the word of God, then how are the faithful supposed to separate the wheat from the chaff, and why would God allow his word to be relayed in such a shabby manner?

    So if you didn’t feel a personal revulsion when you witnessed a rape then rape would be morally acceptable behavior? Why is your feeling of revulsion superior to rapists’ feelings of pleasure and power? Since you are being completely arbitrary your position possesses no more logical weight than someone else’s completely arbitrary standard of morality.


    Objective morality does not exist. That does not make all moral viewpoints arbitrary.

    Well obviously there are murderers and thieves, so not everyone views these as morally wrong behaviors. Why are these morally wrong behaviors in your opinion?


    So since you chose your own precepts that you accepted, could someone choose to accept the precept that rape is morally right behavior? If not, why not?


    The only way to assert the moral wrongness of murder, theft and rape is to deny the moral perfection of the Bible, since all of those actions -- and more -- are condoned at different points in that book.

    There are aspects of Biblical philosophy -- not theology, but philosophy -- that I find morally compelling. The Golden Rule is a good example of this. It represents not merely good sense but arises from the same evolutionary benefits that gave us empathy.

    That's probably why nearly every religion -- including those that existed long before Judiasm and/or have little else theologically in common with Christianity -- has some version of it.

    The just wages of sin was death, so God giving sinners what they justly deserved is not inconsistent with His just and good character at all. You making a moral charge against God doesn’t make a wink of sense though since you just said that you are free to choose your own moral precepts in your opinion, isn’t God then allowed to choose His own moral precepts too? You’re just not very consistent in your views of this.


    So it is truly your belief that the murder of children -- some young enough never to have ever made a conscious choice of any kind -- is actually justifiable because God does it? Does this being truly have no shame and no limits at all? Richard Nixon's justification for the Watergate coverup -- that if the president does it, it's not illegal -- must strike you as a perfectly reasonable position for him to take.

    Supreme beings -- assuming they exist -- indeed have the ability to choose their own moralities. That doesn't mean I have to follow them or hold up their moral philosophy as an unchallengeable perfection.

    You still haven't answered my question about whether you believe the moral precepts of the Bible flow from God's own morality or are merely rules for us puny humans to follow. The implications of that difference are quite stark.

    Christianity’s view of morality was also out of touch with the Nazi’s view of morality, that doesn’t magically mean that Christianity’s views were wrong in 1939 anymore than it means they are wrong today. It just means society is sliding back into amoral behavior again.


    Well, nearly the entire German high command were confessing Catholics and yet only Josef Goebbels was excommunicated, and that's because he married a protestant.

    I'm always amused by the way people look back and see anything to be nostalgic about. Point me to a time more peaceful, more equal, more tolerant, than the present. Interesting, isn't it, how the major worries and killing of the present are all the result of religious tension?

    Do you think it's a coincidence that the United States -- for all it's flaws -- is the most inclusive, tolerant and democratic nation in Earth's history... and also one of the most secular?

    I don’t need evidence when I have deductive logical proof of His existence which trumps your appeals to induction any day of the week.


    Nonsense. The Bible makes clear the primacy and necessity of faith. Since proof by definition negates the possibility of faith, all "proofs", whether they be yours or St. Thomas Aquinas', can instantly be disregarded as hogwash.

    If there is indeed some sort of non-Christian supreme being, you might be able to prove their existence, but no proof of the existence of the Christian God can be taken seriously.
    Last edited by TheWalrus; 08-15-2012 at 12:57 PM.
    Quote Quote  

  6. -56
    -=DolfanDave=-'s Avatar
    Perennial All-Pro

    Status:
    Online
    WPA:
    Join date:
    Nov 2004
    Posts:
    3,760
    vCash:
    8269
    Loc:
    Miami
    Thanks / No Thanks
    the crusades?

    sure, they didnt have guns, but they sure did **** up a lot of people
    Quote Quote  

  7. -57
    Starter

    Status:
    Offline
    WPA:
    Join date:
    Sep 2011
    Posts:
    251
    vCash:
    1199
    Thanks / No Thanks
    There will come a day that you will confest that jesus christ is lord the bible says every knee shall bow and every tounge will confest that jesus christ is lord lets just hope and pray that you find christ before judgment day
    Quote Quote  

  8. -58
    Statler Waldorf's Avatar
    Bench Warmer

    Status:
    Offline
    WPA:
    Join date:
    Jun 2005
    Posts:
    1,259
    vCash:
    1246
    Loc:
    Oregon
    Thanks / No Thanks
    So are man's moral desires corrupted by sin or does he desire to do nothing good without God's grace? You're being contradictory.


    That’s not contradictory at all; man desires to do nothing good apart from God’s grace because his desires were corrupted by sin.

    Also, explain why God gave man such a weak natural understanding of his laws in the first place that they later needed to be written down? Why have them written down when it is possible as a Supreme Being to simply make the laws more naturally clear? In the interval before the written laws were established, how many people were condemned by God to hell (keep in mind humans existed in their modern evolutionary state for about 200,000 years before the period covered by the Bible begins)?


    God didn’t give man his weak understanding of His laws; man’s weak understanding was a result of Adam’s fall. Man earned his weak understanding because of what his representative did in the garden. The commandments were not given to Israel so that they might have a road map to follow to salvation, but rather so that they could see how utterly impossible salvation is to obtained apart from the redemptive work of the Messiah. By attempting to follow God’s law, man was exercising his faith in the coming Messiah because many of the laws in the Mosaic covenant were designed to foreshadow the work the coming Messiah would accomplish. Pre-Christ man was saved by grace through faith just like post-Christ man; he simply exercised that saving faith differently. Hence why the signs of the older Covenants are no longer in play and the sign of the New Covenant is. I do not accept your timeline for man’s existence however.

    Do you think perhaps these poor souls appealed once the rules were written down for a reduction in their sentence, given that natural understanding and grace apparently makes so little impact?


    Nope, I think when standing before God all will accept their punishment because they will know they are guilty. Even one sin is enough to justly deserve hell, and God knows we all commit far more than just one.


    I have my own views on morality and act on them and defend them. There's nothing "objective" about that but... so what? There's no objective right or wrong to what color I paint my house but I still feel justified in having strong feelings about it. And if my neighbors and I get together and tell the guy down the street that he can't paint his house some objectionable color, we don't need to go find where in Leviticus it says what color houses should be before we do it.


    Now we are getting somewhere! I like the painting analogy, so let’s stick with it. So you just said that you get to decide what color you paint your house correct? Ok, I am following you to that point, but then you turn around in the very next sentence and say you and your friends would be justified in stopping another man from painting his house an objectionable color. How on earth do you feel justified in doing this? You just said that there was no right or wrong color to paint your house and you get to decide this for yourself. Why can’t he decide this for himself? Saying there is an “objectionable” color that he could decide to paint his house right there implies there are objective standards that you are using to appeal to. How do you determine what color is objectionable and what color is not?

    Each of us chooses our own morality. Even the religious. If there is even one precept in the Bible which you do not accept or follow -- and perhaps there isn't in your case -- you are merely doing in part what the non-religious do in whole.


    No because people will still be held accountable for the parts of the Bible they choose not to follow. Choosing not to follow the standard doesn’t mean that person is changing the standard, they are simply not following it, which warrants God’s judgment.

    I think you would agree that there is a natural human instinct for objective moral truths. We hunger for the clarity presented by them. But that, to me, is all the more reason to distrust anything or anyone that proffers such answers. The desire is in itself corrupting. Therefore we must be all the more vigilant and distrusting, especially when -- in the case of the Bible -- the explanation is accompanied by silly hocus pocus.


    No I think people are built with a natural understanding that they are a creation; that is why you see them gravitating towards laws and rules of behavior, because they know that they are not solely accountable to themselves. So since you have stated several times that we choose our own morality, can someone choose a morality that commands them to make others conform to their idea of morality or is that not allowed?

    A document so vague as to lend itself to endless interpretations is by definition flawed. If the Bible were truly the work of an all powerful and perfect being who wanted to get a certain message across, it would make itself clearer. As it is, no two people on Earth will agree on the interpretation of every line.


    Well no that wouldn’t be the very definition of being flawed; it’s merely the definition of being vague. I am not sure where you get this idea that God desperately wants to convey a message to all natural man and the document is just too poorly written to do so. I think scripture is quite clear that apart from God’s grace, man is completely incapable of positively responding to the Gospel, which in many cases even includes understanding it. We even see this when Jesus is asked why he used parables. Every person that God wants to understand the gospel will understand it, that’s not a problem at all. I don’t think scripture is really that complicated or vague, I think it’s an amazingly consistent and clear document.

    The Bible is flawed because it was conceived and written by people.


    No, people’s interpretations of the Bible are flawed because they are sinful creatures.


    The "divinely inspired" crowd never seems to make their reckoning with this. Either the words relay the message of God or they don't. If they do, then why is it filled simultaneously with vagueness and also with passages that describe acts either sanctioned by God or performed by the Holy Spirit that are now considered reprehensible by the modern standards of that same religion.


    Depends on what acts you are referring to, “the religion” sanctioning an act or not is irrelevant since that’s a decision not up to the members of the religion.

    And if it is in some way or another not the word of God, then how are the faithful supposed to separate the wheat from the chaff, and why would God allow his word to be relayed in such a shabby manner?


    A shabby manner? The Bible is the best attested piece we have from antiquity by far, even old Bart Ehrman agrees with that. I think its manner of transmission is nothing short of extraordinary.

    Objective morality does not exist. That does not make all moral viewpoints arbitrary.


    Actually it does, because it makes them dependent upon man. Why didn’t you answer my question about the rapist? Why does your emotional response to the act somehow trump his?

    The only way to assert the moral wrongness of murder, theft and rape is to deny the moral perfection of the Bible, since all of those actions -- and more -- are condoned at different points in that book.


    Well that’s actually not an accurate statement, but either way why do you keep changing the subject? Do you not actually have a consistent reason as to why you view those acts as morally wrong?

    There are aspects of Biblical philosophy -- not theology, but philosophy -- that I find morally compelling. The Golden Rule is a good example of this. It represents not merely good sense but arises from the same evolutionary benefits that gave us empathy.


    Well that’s good to know.


    So it is truly your belief that the murder of children -- some young enough never to have ever made a conscious choice of any kind -- is actually justifiable because God does it? Does this being truly have no shame and no limits at all? Richard Nixon's justification for the Watergate coverup -- that if the president does it, it's not illegal -- must strike you as a perfectly reasonable position for him to take.


    Why do you think those children were innocent? They were sinners too; we have all fallen short and are sinners. Not waking up in hell and being given some chance at life, no matter how brief it may be, is actually a form of grace, so we all get better than we deserve. So God is in fact gracious to all of His creation. Again, you are appealing to some objective form of morality that would apply to God, even though you keep claiming we get to all determine our own morality which would put you in no position to say anything God did was wrong at all.

    Supreme beings -- assuming they exist -- indeed have the ability to choose their own moralities. That doesn't mean I have to follow them or hold up their moral philosophy as an unchallengeable perfection.


    Sure, you can choose not to follow His rules, but crying about it after the fact certainly won’t get you anywhere when you’re standing before Him. You’re a pretty sharp fellow though; I think you’ll figure this entire thing out before that time comes though. :- )

    You still haven't answered my question about whether you believe the moral precepts of the Bible flow from God's own morality or are merely rules for us puny humans to follow. The implications of that difference are quite stark.


    I guess it depends on which commandment you are referring to. Different commandments were given to us for different reasons and different times, some of the commandments were given to the Israelites merely to set them apart from other tribes, some were given for sanitary reasons (like not eating shellfish at certain times of the year), and then some were given because they violate a part of God’s holy character (lying, murder, and theft). Some commandments were given about how we are to act towards God, some were given for how we are to act towards one another. Either way though, defying God is morally wrong no matter how insignificant the commandment may seem, so often that was what was morally wrong about breaking the commandment, not the act itself. If God told us all to not speak on Sundays, and somebody spoke on a Sunday, their action would be morally wrong because they were defying God, not merely because they spoke on a Sunday.

    Well, nearly the entire German high command were confessing Catholics and yet only Josef Goebbels was excommunicated, and that's because he married a protestant.


    Why are you wasting your time bashing Catholics in a conversation with a Reformed Christian? I defend God, His son, and His word, not the Catholic Church.

    I'm always amused by the way people look back and see anything to be nostalgic about. Point me to a time more peaceful, more equal, more tolerant, than the present. Interesting, isn't it, how the major worries and killing of the present are all the result of religious tension?


    Please tell me you’re not really part of that whole “religion is the cause of all evil” crowd are you? People fight each other over Soccer games for crying out loud, people are evil. I do not agree that we are in some great age right now though, many historians actually believe that 16th century Geneva was the most peaceful and civilized community ever established and it was totally devout Christian.

    Do you think it's a coincidence that the United States -- for all it's flaws -- is the most inclusive, tolerant and democratic nation in Earth's history... and also one of the most secular?


    What are you talking about? 80 percent of Americans believe in God, it is in fact the most religious developed nation in the world. More people in America believe in angels than they do in evolution. Maybe this is the reason it’s the most powerful nation in history, no?

    Nonsense. The Bible makes clear the primacy and necessity of faith. Since proof by definition negates the possibility of faith, all "proofs", whether they be yours or St. Thomas Aquinas', can instantly be disregarded as hogwash.


    You’re committing the fallacy of equivocation; scripture does not use the word faith as you just used it above. Changing the meaning of a word in the middle of a debate to prove a point is a logical no no. Scripture is quite clear that we can rely on logic and reasoning to spread the Gospel and still have faith in God’s promises, the apostle Paul did this in Greece.

    If there is indeed some sort of non-Christian supreme being, you might be able to prove their existence, but no proof of the existence of the Christian God can be taken seriously.

    Whether you take something seriously or not is irrelevant, the fact that you can prove anything at all is proof of the Christian God’s existence. There’s no way around that.
    Last edited by Statler Waldorf; 08-17-2012 at 06:20 PM. Reason: Fixed quote
    Quote Quote  

  9. -59
    TheWalrus's Avatar
    1/7/14

    Status:
    Offline
    WPA:
    Join date:
    Dec 2011
    Posts:
    8,038
    vCash:
    28586
    Thanks / No Thanks
    Quote Originally Posted by Statler Waldorf View Post
    That’s not contradictory at all; man desires to do nothing good apart from God’s grace because his desires were corrupted by sin.


    So before his desires were "corrupted" what were they? If they were good, then why did he sin?

    The commandments were not given to Israel so that they might have a road map to follow to salvation, but rather so that they could see how utterly impossible salvation is to obtained apart from the redemptive work of the Messiah. By attempting to follow God’s law, man was exercising his faith in the coming Messiah because many of the laws in the Mosaic covenant were designed to foreshadow the work the coming Messiah would accomplish.
    The Old Testament does not read this way at all. The laws there are meant to be followed for their own reasons, and far from saying that they are merely meant to foreshadow the Messiah, God promises good things and threatens awful things for not following them on their own account. Consider this passage in God's own words (for brevity, I'm leaving a few things out. This is Leviticus 26):

    3 If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; ...
    9 ...I will look on you favorably and make you fruitful, multiply you and confirm My covenant with you.

    11 I will set My tabernacle among you, and My soul shall not abhor you.

    12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people. ...

    15 And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: ...

    25 And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy. ..

    29 And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.

    So... was that bull****, then? Because it sounds like God's saying if you don't follow his rules because they're his rules, he makes you eat your children.

    Why would God set these rules if it they were impossible to follow? Did he not know they were impossible to follow? Did he not care? And these are not eternal punishments. Everything -- good and bad -- is to be received on Earth.

    I do not accept your timeline for man’s existence however.


    Yeah, no kidding. What timeline do you accept and why?

    Nope, I think when standing before God all will accept their punishment because they will know they are guilty. Even one sin is enough to justly deserve hell, and God knows we all commit far more than just one.


    So define for me where you get your list of sins. Is it from the New Testament only? From the New Testament and Old Testament? You still haven't answered whether you take the entire book literally.

    Now we are getting somewhere! I like the painting analogy, so let’s stick with it. So you just said that you get to decide what color you paint your house correct? Ok, I am following you to that point, but then you turn around in the very next sentence and say you and your friends would be justified in stopping another man from painting his house an objectionable color. How on earth do you feel justified in doing this? You just said that there was no right or wrong color to paint your house and you get to decide this for yourself. Why can’t he decide this for himself? Saying there is an “objectionable” color that he could decide to paint his house right there implies there are objective standards that you are using to appeal to. How do you determine what color is objectionable and what color is not?


    If the color of your house affects the value of my house (and it can), then it is perfectly justified. Communities often set standards relative to the color a person can paint their house and the way one must maintain their lawn so that eyesores do not drag down the value of everyone's property. People are generally understood to have freedom so long as it does not affect other people (playing loud music at night being another example of this). Associations vary in their strictness and in their rules, and make their laws plainly known. By living in a community with those standards, it is understood you have agreed to live by them.

    It is society in microcosm.

    It is not for me generally to have to defend where I get my own ethics. I acknowledge without reservation that it's difficult to justify by the standards of the religious. But it is also beside the point, since I reject the existence of that standard entirely.

    My whole argument here is not to claim that I have all the answers. I do not generally accept overall philosophies or systems of thought and certainly not the supernatural as an explanation for anything. In practice such an acceptance always leads to a corruption of truth as skeptical inquiry is thereafter always perceived as an attack rather than considered on it's merits. To buy in is to lose one's objectivity.

    It is for you, who claim to have the answers, to defend those answers.

    No because people will still be held accountable for the parts of the Bible they choose not to follow. Choosing not to follow the standard doesn’t mean that person is changing the standard, they are simply not following it, which warrants God’s judgment.


    What standard? The Bible is vague in parts, or contradictory. How can God judge someone for following a text that it is not plainly clear? Your interpretation might be different from the person next to you, yet only one (if that) can represent God's intention?

    No wonder we can't avoid sin. We can't even know what sin is!

    So since you have stated several times that we choose our own morality, can someone choose a morality that commands them to make others conform to their idea of morality or is that not allowed?


    People can choose whatever "morality" they wish. But society has the "right" (for lack of a better word) to act to protect itself from such a person should that be necessary. And societies have the "right" to oppose each other. People have the "right" to advocate for their viewpoints and want to see them made universal.

    Well no that wouldn’t be the very definition of being flawed; it’s merely the definition of being vague.
    How can vagueness not be a flaw when the failure to follow what is being communicated leads to punishment? It would be like if I told you to come over to my house "later" and you show up in two hours and I punch you in the face for being an hour late.

    Every person that God wants to understand the gospel will understand it, that’s not a problem at all. I don’t think scripture is really that complicated or vague, I think it’s an amazingly consistent and clear document.


    Okay, just as a for instance: was Jesus a God, or merely a man? Or was he half man, half God? Or was he part of God? Or a manifestation of God?

    Why didn’t you answer my question about the rapist? Why does your emotional response to the act somehow trump his?


    I'm repulsed by rape for the same reason you are. It cannot be that either of us are repulsed by rape because of the Bible since rape is condoned by the Bible.

    Well that’s actually not an accurate statement, but either way why do you keep changing the subject? Do you not actually have a consistent reason as to why you view those acts as morally wrong?


    Because there is no such thing as "morally wrong" as you use the term. You keep trying to hold me to a standard I don't accept even exists. The term "morality" can only be used casually.

    Why do you think those children were innocent? They were sinners too; we have all fallen short and are sinners. Not waking up in hell and being given some chance at life, no matter how brief it may be, is actually a form of grace, so we all get better than we deserve.

    How can "falling short" by cursing, or planting the wrong crops next to each other or eating pork mean we deserve worse than this:

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

    A God that would create a soul merely to throw them into the pit reminds me of a child annihilating ants with a magnifying glass. How could anyone get on bended knee for a hypothetical creature such as that?

    Again, you are appealing to some objective form of morality that would apply to God, even though you keep claiming we get to all determine our own morality which would put you in no position to say anything God did was wrong at all.


    I reject these notions of objective morality and have made that clear more than once. I only appeal to Christian ideals and morals to show that God is not consistent with them, and then ask for an explanation. If the Bible can say on the one hand that "what you do to the least of these, you do to me," and on the other hand say rebellious children can be lawfully stoned to death, how does that not represent a contradiction?

    Such a thing is for the believer to answer.

    Why are you wasting your time bashing Catholics in a conversation with a Reformed Christian? I defend God, His son, and His word, not the Catholic Church.


    But his word was that Peter was the rock upon which he would build his church.

    Please tell me you’re not really part of that whole “religion is the cause of all evil” crowd are you? People fight each other over Soccer games for crying out loud, people are evil.


    People are evil. They kill each other for all kinds of ****ty reasons. And one of those reasons is religion. I don't view it as the cause anymore than guns are the "cause" of gun deaths. But it can help fuel the instinct, and where the instinct lives it can be like gas on a flame.

    But as I've said before, I view religion as a byproduct of social evolution. It would be idle of me to claim that and say that it had not been a benefit to humanity (or at least, humanity's survival) in some way.

    Scripture is quite clear that we can rely on logic and reasoning to spread the Gospel and still have faith in God’s promises, the apostle Paul did this in Greece.


    Whether you take something seriously or not is irrelevant, the fact that you can prove anything at all is proof of the Christian God’s existence. There’s no way around that.


    The foundation of Christianity is that one believes because of the authority of God. One accepts that authority without evidence. That leap is what faith is. And without it, as the Bible says, it is impossible to please God, or have a relationship with him.

    The God of the Christian Bible would not allow proof of his existence to exist because such proof would negate the necessity of faith. As it says in Romans, "For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance."

    One does not need faith to say that if I think therefore I am. It cannot be refuted. It is self evident.

    Any proof of the Christian God is self negating by definition. You might in theory be able to prove that there is some sort of Supreme Being (if one exists, then proof is at least theoretically possible), but proof of the Christian God is not possible even in theory.

    ..............

    I think the overall point I'm trying to make might be getting lost in this sort of tit for tat. The basic idea is that if you say your moral beliefs flow from scripture, then you must be able to say with certainty what all the moral positions of the Bible really are. The vagueness of the Bible makes this impossible to achieve. The combination of "turn the other cheek" and "do not throw your pearls before swine," for example. Just how are those moral viewpoints to be reckoned? How is the Old Testament to be reckoned with the New? There is no unified standard by which to judge it as a document as none exists within the document. The result is that people are left to their own subjective interpretations, which exactly the outcome religion seeks to avoid. The Bible is flawed because people wrote it and people are flawed. If it were truly inspired by God, it would be unequivocal.

    The second thing is that to claim that morality flows from scripture it is necessary that you accept all of it. Every word. Because if you don't -- if you disagree even in the smallest degree on the smallest point where it is clear -- then you have to explain from where the morality you're drawing on to make that disagreement originates (which in practice is always the same morality that informs your own interpretation of the whole). How can a moral authority from outside the Bible exist to the believer? How, indeed, can the believer condemn rape, murder and slavery when the Bible condones all three. Is it your belief that women should only speak with veiled heads in recognition of their secondary status in the order of creation, as St. Paul did?
    Last edited by TheWalrus; 08-20-2012 at 03:17 AM.
    Quote Quote  

  10. -60
    Statler Waldorf's Avatar
    Bench Warmer

    Status:
    Offline
    WPA:
    Join date:
    Jun 2005
    Posts:
    1,259
    vCash:
    1246
    Loc:
    Oregon
    Thanks / No Thanks
    So before his desires were "corrupted" what were they? If they were good, then why did he sin?


    Scripture doesn’t tell us what Adam’s will was like; all we know is that it was not corrupted by the fall prior to eating the fruit. Scripture does tell us what man’s will is like after the fall.

    The Old Testament does not read this way at all. The laws there are meant to be followed for their own reasons, and far from saying that they are merely meant to foreshadow the Messiah, God promises good things and threatens awful things for not following them on their own account. Consider this passage in God's own words (for brevity, I'm leaving a few things out. This is Leviticus 26):


    The New Testament provides clarity concerning the Old Testament and the book of Hebrews (Chapter 8) is quite clear that the laws of the Mosaic Covenant were replaced by the New Covenant. The apostle Paul explains what the purpose of the Mosaic laws were several times in his letters.



    Why would God set these rules if it they were impossible to follow? Did he not know they were impossible to follow? Did he not care? And these are not eternal punishments. Everything -- good and bad -- is to be received on Earth.


    Man, by his own fault was incapable of following God’s law; of course God knew this when He established the covenant with man; hence why He extended His grace to fallen man thus making it possible for man to obtain salvation through Christ’s work on the cross. God of course was in no way obligated in doing this, fortunately for mankind’s sake He is a gracious God and not merely a just God.

    Yeah, no kidding. What timeline do you accept and why?


    Scripture gives the complete genealogical history of man that can be traced all the way up through Christ.



    So define for me where you get your list of sins. Is it from the New Testament only? From the New Testament and Old Testament? You still haven't answered whether you take the entire book literally.


    Well of course I take the whole book literally, but I am sure when you use that word you do not mean it in its correct meaning, unfortunately the word has taken on a bit different meaning than its original one in recent times. I think the actual moral laws laid out for mankind are totally consistent throughout the Old Testament and New Testament; those laws apply to everyone. Christian ethics is a pretty solid field of study because even newer behaviors can be deemed moral or immoral using scripture.

    If the color of your house affects the value of my house (and it can), then it is perfectly justified. Communities often set standards relative to the color a person can paint their house and the way one must maintain their lawn so that eyesores do not drag down the value of everyone's property. People are generally understood to have freedom so long as it does not affect other people (playing loud music at night being another example of this). Associations vary in their strictness and in their rules, and make their laws plainly known. By living in a community with those standards, it is understood you have agreed to live by them.


    So you are saying that a behavior is morally wrong if it negatively affects another person? So then you’d have to agree that you telling the man he can’t paint his house a certain color is morally wrong since you are negatively affecting his freedom to paint his house whatever color makes him happy right? Why is the value of your home more important than his happiness when it comes to painting his house? That seems like a completely arbitrary standard.

    It is society in microcosm.


    Can someone opt out of this social contract or are you going to negatively affect their freedom to opt out by forcing them to agree to the terms of the contract? Wouldn’t that also be morally wrong given your above definition of morality?

    It is not for me generally to have to defend where I get my own ethics. I acknowledge without reservation that it's difficult to justify by the standards of the religious. But it is also beside the point, since I reject the existence of that standard entirely.


    Sure you say you reject the existence of the standard, but it’s pretty apparent you still live your life like such a standard exists since none of the definitions of morality you have provided to date seem to be consistent with how I am sure you live your life. That’s the whole point, you live your life as if the Christian worldview is true and yet you say you don’t believe it is true.

    My whole argument here is not to claim that I have all the answers. I do not generally accept overall philosophies or systems of thought and certainly not the supernatural as an explanation for anything. In practice such an acceptance always leads to a corruption of truth as skeptical inquiry is thereafter always perceived as an attack rather than considered on it's merits. To buy in is to lose one's objectivity.


    Interesting, I couldn’t help but notice that you seem to appeal to an objective standard of truth, what is this standard? Where did it come from? How does someone know whether something is “true” or not?

    It is for you, who claim to have the answers, to defend those answers.


    According to whom?

    What standard? The Bible is vague in parts, or contradictory. How can God judge someone for following a text that it is not plainly clear? Your interpretation might be different from the person next to you, yet only one (if that) can represent God's intention?


    Which parts of the Bible do you feel are vague or contradictory? I don’t believe I have seen any such verses, lying, murder, stealing, bestiality, adultery, etc. all seem to be clearly wrong throughout scripture. Although given your definition of morality I am not sure that many of these acts could actually be defined as morally wrong.

    No wonder we can't avoid sin. We can't even know what sin is!


    Claiming you don’t understand the law isn’t a just excuse for breaking it, try that defense in a court of law sometime and see how far it gets you.

    People can choose whatever "morality" they wish. But society has the "right" (for lack of a better word) to act to protect itself from such a person should that be necessary. And societies have the "right" to oppose each other. People have the "right" to advocate for their viewpoints and want to see them made universal.


    “Right?” Where does that right come from? Where does the moral right that “societies have the right to protect themselves” come from? Also from societies? That seems a bit circular, “societies have the right to be the moral standard for all who live in them because that’s what societies have determined is morally acceptable” So if one society believes that killing homosexuals is morally right and one society believes it is morally wrong, then is killing homosexuals morally right or wrong behavior?

    How can vagueness not be a flaw when the failure to follow what is being communicated leads to punishment? It would be like if I told you to come over to my house "later" and you show up in two hours and I punch you in the face for being an hour late.


    I don’t agree with you that scripture is vague when it comes to moral commandments; I merely think people like to create fictitious loopholes in something so that they feel justified in their disobedience. Paul is clear in his letter to the Romans that man is without excuse and cannot plea ignorance because even Creation itself attests to God’s holy attributes and that all men know God exists in their heart, they merely suppress this knowledge in unrighteousness .

    Okay, just as a for instance: was Jesus a God, or merely a man? Or was he half man, half God? Or was he part of God? Or a manifestation of God?


    Jesus was fully man and fully divine.

    I'm repulsed by rape for the same reason you are. It cannot be that either of us are repulsed by rape because of the Bible since rape is condoned by the Bible.


    So you’re not going to answer the question? Rather you’re going to make some red herring argument about the Bible condoning a behavior it clearly never condones? Okay.

    Because there is no such thing as "morally wrong" as you use the term. You keep trying to hold me to a standard I don't accept even exists. The term "morality" can only be used casually.


    According to whom? You asserting morals are merely casual rules doesn’t make it so.

    How can "falling short" by cursing, or planting the wrong crops next to each other or eating pork mean we deserve worse than this:

    Simple, because we sinned against an infinitely just and good God; so even the smallest of sins against His glory and holiness deserves hell.
    Again, you are being totally inconsistent in your views. You just stated above that laws of morality are just “casual” laws to be obeyed and that you are complete naturalist, and yet you then get enraged when this man does this to his daughter? That’s completely contradictory, why can’t he choose his own morality just like you stated you did? To add on to that, where do you get this notion that he had any choice in the matter? If you’re a naturalist, you’re forced to believe that his choices in life are just a result of the natural chemical processes taking place in his brain. He had no choice in that matter according to your worldview, natural law compelled him to do those things. This is just another example of you behaving in a manner that only makes sense if your worldview is completely false. Fortunately we live in a world where that man will receive justice for his choices, and he would have done so even if we had never caught him because he is owned by God.

    A God that would create a soul merely to throw them into the pit reminds me of a child annihilating ants with a magnifying glass. How could anyone get on bended knee for a hypothetical creature such as that?

    Nice straw-man representation of God, however it doesn’t prove anything though. Again though, you’re being inconsistent, God can’t choose his own morality like you say you are allowed to do? How are you in any position to object to what God does, you just said that objective morality doesn’t exist? Be consistent please!


    I reject these notions of objective morality and have made that clear more than once.


    Noted, but you arbitrarily rejecting something doesn’t magically disprove it, so you’re going to have to do better especially considering you behave as if objective morality does in fact exist.


    I only appeal to Christian ideals and morals to show that God is not consistent with them, and then ask for an explanation.


    Huh? The Christian position is that morality derives directly from God and God alone, so it is impossible for God to be “inconsistent” with them since they are derived from him. That’s as absurd as saying, “That meter stick isn’t a meter long.” Of course it is, it’s very standard of “meter-ness”.

    If the Bible can say on the one hand that "what you do to the least of these, you do to me," and on the other hand say rebellious children can be lawfully stoned to death, how does that not represent a contradiction?


    I don’t see how that is contradictory at all, if the very judge of what is right and wrong allowed for under the laws of His covenant with His creatures the stoning of rebellious children then of course that would be acceptable behavior under that covenant because He is the final authority on morality.


    But his word was that Peter was the rock upon which he would build his church.


    “The Rock” that the church is built on in Matthew 16 is Jesus, not Peter. This is quite obvious in the original Greek.


    The foundation of Christianity is that one believes because of the authority of God. One accepts that authority without evidence. That leap is what faith is. And without it, as the Bible says, it is impossible to please God, or have a relationship with him.


    Again, you are equivocating on the word “faith”, that is not the definition for faith that scripture uses. So for you to use it is logically fallacious. When a person says they have “faith” in their wife, this does not mean this faith is based off of no evidence, it merely means they trust in her promises and abilities.

    The God of the Christian Bible would not allow proof of his existence to exist because such proof would negate the necessity of faith. As it says in Romans, "For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance."

    Where do you get the notion that the verse in Romans is referring to God’s existence? Romans 1 is quite clear that everyone knows God through the things that are made. So there is proof of His existence, in fact Paul says this proof is so obvious that everyone knows He exists.

    One does not need faith to say that if I think therefore I am. It cannot be refuted. It is self evident.


    What? God’s existence is self-evident, that’s the whole point of Romans 1. Not to mention, you believe dozens of things based solely on faith, I bet you believe your memory is generally reliable even though there is no way to prove that it is; the same goes for your senses. So even if you were using the proper definition of faith, your point would still be moot because you yourself live by faith every day.

    Any proof of the Christian God is self negating by definition.


    No, rather any proof at all assumes the Christian God exists.

    The Bible is flawed because people wrote it and people are flawed. If it were truly inspired by God, it would be unequivocal.


    Nope, people’s interpretations of the Bible are flawed because people are flawed.

    The second thing is that to claim that morality flows from scripture it is necessary that you accept all of it. Every word. Because if you don't -- if you disagree even in the smallest degree on the smallest point where it is clear -- then you have to explain from where the morality you're drawing on to make that disagreement originates (which in practice is always the same morality that informs your own interpretation of the whole). How can a moral authority from outside the Bible exist to the believer? How, indeed, can the believer condemn rape, murder and slavery when the Bible condones all three. Is it your belief that women should only speak with veiled heads in recognition of their secondary status in the order of creation, as St. Paul did?


    You just highlighted the whole problem with your position. All of your moral objections towards scripture are completely meaningless because you yourself have denied that a standard of morality exists. So by appealing to a standard that would apply to what God says or does or what even people in scripture say or do is completely self-refuting. Take your last sentence for example, where do you get the notion that men and women must be treated exactly the same at all times and in all situations? That seems to be a pretty objective rule for someone who states objective rules do not exist.
    Quote Quote  

Similar Threads

  1. Atheist Eschatology
    By Eli_Manning in forum Religion Forum
    Replies: 53
    Last Post: 08-07-2012, 11:16 PM
  2. Atheist Spirituality
    By rob19 in forum Religion Forum
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-22-2011, 01:15 PM
  3. Roport: 4 game suspension for Holmes confirmed
    By bpackers13 in forum Beasts of the AFC East
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-12-2010, 06:59 PM
  4. The Atheist
    By PHANTASTIC 13 in forum The Lounge
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 10-17-2006, 10:49 AM
  5. James Jackson Mini Update/DE Holmes now a Packer
    By Nublar7 in forum Miami Dolphins Forum
    Replies: 34
    Last Post: 08-25-2004, 09:21 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •