why the bible is not needed for morality

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by IowaGuy, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. IowaGuy

    IowaGuy Hunter-Gatherer

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    A counter-argument to the morality argument for a God (from a Christian standpoint) in "I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist":

    Not only is a biblical standard for morality predicated on “absolute truth”, but even once we get past the absolute truth prerequisite, counterpoints for moral relativism can be found both within Christianity and outside of Christianity. Actually the bible (supposedly the base for morality) is also the best evidence for moral relativism. But let's look first at an example outside the Abrahamic faiths.

    If God is needed for a moral compass, then logically humans without God in their belief system would not have a moral compass and would therefore be “lost” morally. This would include Buddhists who don’t believe in supernatural deities or “God”.

    So why, after the tsunami and Fukushima disaster, when there was no law and order, wasn’t there widespread looting and raping/pillaging in Japan where 95% of population is Buddhist? Why didn’t these people, who according to the author don’t have a moral compass, act immorally when the opportunity presented itself?

    Ghandi wasn’t a Christian, why was he such a moral person? What did he use as a moral compass?

    Within Christianity/Judaism, if morality is absolute and not relative, is God’s Word and laws eternal and immutable throughout time? If morality is absolute and not relative, why are the Ten Commandments still followed as “God’s Law”, but the following laws (many from the same book of the bible as the commandments) from the Literal Word of God are no longer followed:

    - homosexual activity punished by death
    - adultery punished by death
    - bastards not allowed in church
    - beating of slaves, breeding of slaves condoned by God's law
    - women can’t speak in church
    - raped woman can become your wife if you pay a certain fine
    - polygamy condoned by God's law

    Even with the bible as the "absolute moral standard", Jews/Christians' morals have changed as God's Word is applied to a changing society (relativism). Jesus himself changed some of God's standards for morality, did he not? How can morality have an "absolute" biblical standard, when the bible itself has undergone moral relativism?
     
  2. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    In Roman Catholicism the foundation of morality is natural moral law (evidenced widely in the Pauline epistles), that's the starting point.

    Did He, or did He illuminate the spirit contained within the letter?

    And either way, whether you see His words adding to or subtracting from God's Law, what does that tell you about Jesus, and the way in which He was perceived by Hid followers and His enemies ... for either way, if He is not God, then what He has done is blasphemy.

    There is the human dimension, and always man will live up to, or fall short of, the mark.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  3. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    It's called conscience, or "having the law written on your heart." It's a human thing. :)
     
  4. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    A more telling point however, is that the testimony of the mystics who have seen 'beyond the veil', to coin a phrase, all concur that the separation between the two worlds, as it were, is a moral one ...

    God bless

    Thomas
     
  5. IowaGuy

    IowaGuy Hunter-Gatherer

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    Would you consider "natural moral law" the same as "conscience"?

    Is "natural moral law" relative to a particular society at a particular place in time?

    Does "natural moral law" come from a creator ("God"), or do humans develop it on their own?
     
  6. Divos

    Divos New Member

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    The best way, is to step away from Humans and look upon our Cousins Chimpanzees, are they Moral?

    Chimpanzee sharing food - YouTube

    Chimpanzee can Share,

    Even Cats
    Cat tries to revive dead friend - YouTube

    Gorillas
    WTF: Toddler Falls in Gorilla Cage - YouTube

    Gorillas/Cats/Chimps don't Circumcise there young, they don't prey 7 times a day to Allah, Read bibles, so? why should we?


    Religion steals true human morals, its evil and Not Natural.

    The Problem is, Religious people don't realize that thy are Animals
     
  7. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Well NML should shape conscience, yes, but whether we hear accurately what conscience is saying is another matter.

    No, NML is founded in the nature of the cosmos, which is relational.

    Society is un-natural in that sense, it's a construct and, of course, it construes it's own notion of moral law accordingly, sometimes close to the real and the true, sometimes far from it.

    It's written into nature, like the laws of physics. Whether one belives in God as its author, or nature, or whatever, is a secondary issue.

    What I would say is that secular societies have so far demonstrated a fundamental failure to implement a set of moral values independent of religious traditions ... furthermore, I don't see how they can, as the philosophical and metaphysical dimensions of the world's great religious traditions have adequately covered that ground.

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  8. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercuræn

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    Seattlegal has got it right, it's conscience it is a human trait. I find it interesting how so many religions take away the individual and relegate responsibility onto something supernatural. Our conscience is our moral yardstick, not some Platonic Dæmon, Diety, or Power That Be.
     
  9. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    Thomas, could you elaborate on this? I don't really understand at all, so if you could explain it like I'm 12.

    Do you mean that society as a whole should implement a common morality? I have never thought of society as responsible for a common morality. Where would that morality originate, parliament?
     
  10. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    The Tao. (See chapter 38 of the Tao Te Ching--Ron Hogan version is ok)
     
  11. Ben Masada

    Ben Masada New Member

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  12. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Go with Seattlegal — Tao Te Ching, Chapter 38.

    There is a people somewhere who live in caves. Their mythology is that everyone is standing at the mouth of his own cave, but the cave leads back into a tunnel, and all the tunnels lead to one spot in the heart of the mountain.

    What I mean is, if we were as we are supposed to be, then there would be no need to legislate ... we would just do the right thing. It would come naturally.

    There's an old Tommy Cooper joke:
    Man: "Doctor, my right arm hurts when I do this."
    Doctor: "Well don't do it, then."

    Jesus: "Go and sin no more"

    God bless,

    Thomas
     
  13. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    "It's written into nature, like the laws of physics. Whether one belives in God as its author, or nature, or whatever, is a secondary issue.

    What I would say is that secular societies have so far demonstrated a fundamental failure to implement a set of moral values independent of religious traditions ... furthermore, I don't see how they can, as the philosophical and metaphysical dimensions of the world's great religious traditions have adequately covered that ground."

    This is such a crucial and profund point. Moral Law (NML) exists objectively outside of "thou shalts". Like physics, however, one must have the tools to read the laws. Secular societies are good with the math and philosophy (corrupt as it is) for physics but really, really poor with the empathy and loving-kindness required for NML. Why? I dunno. But I hazard to guess it is because we (Western European Culture) have emphacized the material and the individual over the spiritual and the collective.

    Very good, Thomas, my reverse twin. Pax et amore omnia vincunt!
     
  14. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    You can't enforce love and empathy. (It's a free-will thing.)
    Making the profane (public common space) sacred (as something set aside--in this case--set aside from spirituality) makes it difficult for the spirituality to needed to manifest NML in the common space, no?
     
  15. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    Again, I prostrate myself before you SG. Really excellent points, both.

    Pax et amore omnia vincunt!
     
  16. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercuræn

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    What kind of love? There are different forms of love and some if not all are behavioral and mechanistic.

    For instance the loves of mating are romantic which enables selection, sexual which enables mating to occur, and attachment which enables parenting and security.

    All of these stages are created by t[FONT=&quot]hree distinct neural circuitrys, including neurotransmitters, and also three behavioral patterns[/FONT], all of which are part and parcel of the natural selective process and mechanism of the physical universe.
     
  17. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    Buddhist terms: the four immeasurables: metta, karuna, mudita, upekkha.
    {Loving kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity}
     
  18. radarmark

    radarmark Quaker-in-the-Making

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    "deja moo.... the feeling we have been though all this manure before."

    Seriously, keep posting those links for my sake. I amy even be learning something (what is that saying about an old curmudgeon?).

    Pax et amore omnia vincunt!
     
  19. seattlegal

    seattlegal Mercuræn Buddhist

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    lol, at the risk of causing extreme irony within this thread (bible/scripture not needed for morality,) I'm going to post some tasty suttas for you, radarmark, that might shed some light on these things, (rather than try to enforce them.)

    Kalama sutta (verse 16 lists the four immeasurables, but it doesn't come through clearly in English translations.)

    Kataniya Metta Sutta (just because it is so tasty)
     
  20. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercuræn

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    1. Loving-kindness (Pāli: metta, Sanskrit: maitri) towards all: the hope that a person will be well; "the wish that all sentient beings, without any exception, be happy."[11]
    2. Compassion (Pāli and Sanskrit: karuṇā): the hope that a person's sufferings will diminish; "the wish for all sentient beings to be free from suffering."[11]
    These first two use the word 'Hope' . . . it is a desire for this

    1. Empathetic Joy (Pāli and Sanskrit: mudita): joy in the accomplishments of a person — oneself or another; sympathetic joy; "the wholesome attitude of rejoicing in the happiness and virtues of all sentient beings."[11]
    I like empathy . . . it is human

    1. Equanimity (Pāli: upekkhā, Sanskrit: upekṣā): learning to accept loss and gain, praise and blame, and success and failure, all with detachment, equally, for oneself and for others. Equanimity is "not to distinguish between friend, enemy or stranger, but regard every sentient being as equal. It is a clear-minded tranquil state of mind - not being overpowered by delusions, mental dullness or agitation."[12]
    Why detachment? Why are we always removing human qualities from ourselves with these religions/belief system? I don't believe in equality either, not in a racist or creed stance but in that some people and things are better for you than others, the others are to be avoided.
    Not being overpowered by delusion, relusion, or agitation is a good thing, I like that.
     

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