Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by Serfin' USA, Sep 13, 2012.
Have you done this your entire life?
I'm not really sure that I have always treated others as equals. I'm fairly certain that I've always respected the right of others to make their own decisions.
I have to agree with you. People tend to get their moral compass from authority figures, or they intellectualize one, unless they latch onto an ethical framework from which they can find the answers as to what is right or wrong. I think the same is true for most Christians, hence your abolitionists who not only followed Jesus' words, but adopted his ethics, versus most Christians from early times to the 19th century who accepted the authority of the Church when it determined slavery to be acceptable. Keep in mind that slavery was with Christianity for a very long time, and a significant number of, if not most, slaves were white up until the 17th century.
I am an atheist, yet I try to follow the ethics of Jesus as I believed them to be in my personal life. That includes compassion and unconditional love. That fits hand in glove with the natural law ethic, which stems from self-ownership, which I follow as the basis of my politics.
Today, most people get much of their ethics from the state, by virtue of many years of government education, and give it little thought through much of their lives.
Jesus didn't love everyone.
*Insert pictures of people face palming*
I don't even know where to start. The counter argument seems too simple to even type out.
It's funny that you say Christians don't ignore the bad parts of the Bible and then you go on to talk about how Jewish slaves are treated and completely leave out anything about other slaves which are treated like crap and can be forced to work FOR LIFE. The Bible NEVER condemns slavery. The Bible condones it. Israelites were commanded or allowed to march up to cities and either slaughter everyone or take them as slaves. Women could be wife/sex-slaves. There were no laws saying that you COULDN'T own slaves. And Jesus NEVER condemned slavery. Not ONCE. Comparing sin to slavery is simply showing that sin can trap and control you like slavery. It's not saying slavery is sin and you know it. This is a pathetic attempted to squeeze condemnation of slavery out of a comparison.
Yeah, that's morality.
Is this really your defense? "Yeah, they were forced to work and they could be beaten, but hey, they got saturday's off!"
And my internet's sorta slow, so I'm not viewing that youtube video right now. But my morality is generally based on empathy.
The asnwer is no, we have all broken the Golden Rule.
Now see, that was not so hard, was it?
Slavery is equated with sin in the Bible. Jesus said it himself and it was what he came to overcome. Jesus seemed to think that sin was worse than being a slave. What has ones heart held captive I think is far worse than holding their physical body. He came to set our hearts free from sin and not take us out of a world of sin.
Slaves also got the Sabbath off. No other nation gave slaves this option. Face it, you would have been better off a slave under the Hebrews than in any other culture. As for beating slaves, what were they suppose to do, cut their wages to get them to work? At the time slavery was probably looked at as a better option than not being able to survive.
I understand what you're saying, but again, this shows how relative morality is.
Even religion moves the goalposts depending on the cultural context, which is why it's hard for me to take the notion of an absolute morality deriving from God seriously.
Slavery is commanded and condoned in the Bible. Once again, you ignore the bad stuff you claim Christians don't do. And Jesus never condemned slavery. Simple as that. Again, you completely ignored non-Jewish slaves in your post about people not ignoring the bad parts of the Bible. Are you just going to pretend you didn't drown in irony?
lol, wow, that almost makes me want to be a slave. wtf
Therefore, slavery with the Israelites was awesomely fun and we can ignore the fact that they were forced to work or die, and that they could be owned their entire lives and beaten to a bloody pulp.
Oh. My. God. I did not realize you were completely insane. Sorry for attempting to reach you with some sort of rational reply. lol, you're hopeless.
I would not say morality is relative, I would say it is complex at times because God is complex as well as the world. For example, God commanded us not to kill, but then commanded us to render an eye for an eye. So if someone murders, are we not commanded to kill them? It seems as though it is a contradiction, but is it? If the underlying law is love, then what of the murdered person? Where is the justice? In addition, what of those still living? Should they be subject to murder as well? Is this a loving thing to do? In relation to every harsh judgement, such as Sodom and Ghomrrah or the Great Flood, what we have on the receiving end is abject wickedness. To get a taste just read the account of Lot as the men of the city of Sodom would follow strangers who came their in order to gang rape them.
What God sees is the big picture as where man strains at the letter of the law, usually to try and use it as a weapon for his own advantage or to attack those we don't like. Conversly, God is working to acheive salvation to be brought to mankind. This must be done in accordance to man's free will. To do this he needed a willing participant in Abraham. After all, God gave us free will so why would he violate it? Then through Abraham he brought forth a nation in order to bring the Messiah would would give us all salvation. Consider the obstacles of creating that nation. In terms of slavery, we assume it is all bad. However, the nation of Israel were allowed to grow to great numbers under the protection of the Egyptian empire. Otherwise they would have been in constant battle for their own survival. Not only that, they left with all a great deal of Egyptian gold.
Another example is Jesus chasing the money changers out of the temple with a whip. Why would he do this when he taught us to turn the other cheek? Again, keep in mind that the goal is the salvation of man. Therefore, the Temple was a place for God and man to commune and the money changers were in the way, so to speak. However, if a someone does you "wrong", how are you to reach that person in relaiton to salvation? Is it to strike back? Clearly this will only lead to more retaliation. However, if you turn the other cheek it causes the otherh person a moment of pause. The question must be asked, why are you not striking me back? We get a breif oppurtunity to show the other person that they are not really our adversary. Things are not what they appear to be. When self interest takes a back seat to something greater than ourselves it makes one stand out like a sore thumb. I can say that I've reached someone using this technique, but more often than not it fails. What must be done, however, is to lay down your own interests in favor of God's. If this is done then we will have some success which is better than no success at making the world a better place.
Life is, indeed, very complex.
Rationally, we can weigh the pros and cons of actions by what the repercussions are. So yes, murder does make sense in the case of self-defense or the defense of others, when the odds of subduing a threat nonlethally are low. Although many religious viewpoints disagree with it, it can also be rationally deduced that euthanasia makes sense when the patient is suffering horribly and gives prior consent.
To me, free will is the biggest issue I have with religion. Is it really free will if God created everything knowing ahead of time what our actions would be? That seems more like we're just following through on a program or "God's plan." Although I don't subscribe to the idea of predestination, if I was Christian I would be tempted to take that view given what we are to believe is true of God.
While I do admire the pacifism of Christ, it helps to illustrate the extreme differences between the Old Testament and New Testament in terms of forgiveness. It's a simple question, but it bears repeating. If God is all-powerful, then why did he have to sacrifice his own son to grant us forgiveness? Why didn't he just do it on general principle?
Again, the problem with infinite power is that it entails infinite responsibility. If we are to believe that an omnipotent being is ruling over all of this universe, then ultimately, what happens is up to him, not us. We're only acting as we were designed to.
I would argue that he did love everyone, unconditionally, as that was the key to heaven that he sought to share. On the other hand, he might not have liked some people or even actively disliked them.
How's this for unconditional love?
Malachi 1:3 (NKJV) = But Esau I have hated, And laid waste his mountains and his heritage For the jackals of the wilderness.”
Romans 9:13 (NKJV) = As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”
Hate is just a metaphor for love, maaaan.
It is the old conundrum of how an all powerful and all knowing God can give us free will? However, if he is really all powerful, he should be able to give us free will even though he may know the end result. Otherwise he is not all powerful. Looking at prophesy, it is obvious he knows the end result. In this sense there is predestination and zero surprises for the Almighty, but I believe free will plays a part.
So why is free will so important to give mankind? I believe it has to do with God being a God of love. Without free will a mutual loving relationship is not possible. Without free will, it would be like God loving or rejecting himself. In short, it would be like playihg tic tac toe with yourself. Why would the Almighty have an interest in that? If you ask me, the interest in man is that he has VOLUNTARILY surrendered some of his power via our free will.
This is also why faith is so important. For you see, faith in God is merely agreeing with what he says and trusting in him. Faith is merely aligning your will with that of the Almighty. As the scriptures say, faith equal righteousness. If God is all knowing and the source of all righteousness, then the only way to attain righteousness is to do his will. It is the perfect plan. Without faith, however, God is powerless to work in our lives because our consent has not been given.
Right, and he should be able to create a boulder that's too heavy for him to lift. There are certain things that just can't be done because they defy what is possible.
Yeah, a god of love who wants a loving relationship with us would obviously threaten us with eternal (*)(*)(*)(*)ation in order to get us to "choose" him. Yeah, that makes sense. By that logic, rape doesn't exist if a guy says "have sex with me or get shot in the face." I mean, this is a loving guy who just wants a woman to have sex with him, and she can CHOOSE not to. She'll get shot in the face, but hey, that was her choice.
Yeah, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster demands your faith as well. Without logic and evidence, the argument for the FSM is just as valid. If the only think you have is a demand for faith, no religion stands over another.
Why did God need to bring his Son to earth to die for us? I have thought about this and believe I have some insight.
There is such a thing as spiritual law. For example, God gives us free will. After all, if God chose to give us free will, why would he then take it from us later? It is only man that desires to take free will from us and it is often packaged as trying to "save" us from ourselves, but God does not work that way. In short, God has imposed on himself a law that he must follow which is to allow men free will. As I have already indicated, the only way to choose God is to walk in faith, which is nothing more than free will in action to align ones will with God's.
At the very beginning, God told Adam and Eve that if they sinned that they would taste death. This is a spiritual law that requires us all to die someday because we were all born in sin. So why is this a spirtual law? It is because God is a God of life and is holy. He can no more take part of sin than you or I can fly to the moon by flapping our arms. In addition, he is the source of all life. So if we willingly reject God, then he must withdraw. So what happens when the God of life and love withdraws from us? What is the only outcome possible? Is it not death? In addition, once we have chosen death can we take it back? No.
Then enters Jesus. He was born of a virgin so he is immune from sin at birth. He then is able to overcome sin throughout his life until his death on the cross. However, death has no rights to him because he did not sin. In a way, Jesus conquered death because it had no rights to him. Now Jesus stands as our advocate. So if Jesus is our advocate, when we die death has no rights to us as well.
Oh, and if you're a Christian, free will is not even Biblical.
You sir have broken the Golden Rule, which is to do unto others as you would have them do to you. So what penalty should you experience if any? Should you be held accountable? Let me guess, Satan made you do it. Better yet, point the finger at Eve.
Our Biblical example of God is Jesus in the flesh and his teachings. Jesus shows us that we have been given mercy in the form of grace. That is, assuming you are sorry for the above transgression. If not, by all means just curse his name and continue on your merry way.
Again, just because God knows what we will do in no way negates free will. What part of this do you not understand?
I can even predict what people will do once I get to know them even though I have no power over them.
Is it your contention that I'm a biblical literalist or see the Bible as a source of morality? Far from it. I'm able to dispense with the inconsistencies, or look for the hidden meaning in stories, when seeking the truth.
But the Flying Spaghetti Monster did not have the insight into the hearts of men to attract an entire world to him. In addition, Jesus existed, the Flying Spaghetti Monster never did.
The law of love is what makes us tick. Love is a phenomenon that we cannot measure or look at or even prove it exists, yet it is the most important thing in our lives. It is where the material world ineracts with the spiritual. Most religions tell us as much, however, Jesus goes a step further. He says that his followers must love their enemies. After all, even sinners love those who love them back. This is where mortal man meets the supernatural because this is not natural to love those who wish you dead. It is the perfection of the law of love.
While I wouldn't say that, there is the teaching of Jesus in which he exhorts his followers to hate their fathers and mothers and brothers and sisters. From the perspective of forgiveness and unconditional love, this makes sense. He's not exhorting them to hate those people, but those relationships which make them attached and cause them to love some more than others and, as we see every day, hurt others in order to protect the concept of family and blood relations. Why is your father, or your mother, or your child more deserving of love than any other human being? Attachment to family keeps you from awakening to the kingdom of heaven that is within you.
As far as God hating Esau, well, maybe there's an exception to the rule.
The verse you are referring to is in reference to man loving others more than God or Christ. If God is really the source of all love and only desires our best, then siding with others that counter this will is anything but loving. Such things become idols in our midst.
As for God "hating", I dare say this has nothing to do with God hating someone, rather it has to do with hating their actions.
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