Why is everyone's life valuable?

RJM

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and not the 12 tribes of Israel?

I don't see why not: except I would qualify it as the 12 family clans making up the Tribe (nation) of Israel. It's just terminology.

Each family has its own inner laws and customs, under the tribal umbrella. A bit like state/federal admin, perhaps?
 

RJM

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Within the tribe, murder is murder. Outside the tribe, it's not?
 

Lux

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Oh us humans, definitely.

And we have to dehumanise the 'other' to justify killing them. Because we need their land, or for whatever reason.

The settlers in America, Africa etc, excluded the 'natives' from the need to treat them as human? The law for 'people' did not include natives.

We have to dehumanise the 'enemy' -- which perhaps carries your point that a regard for human life IS an unbuilt human quality?
That's the nature of us animals ... That's why we need God for us not to be beasts.

Demagogues create and/or inflame a sense of insecurity among the populace and tell them who is to blame. Tribal mentality is so deeply rooted in group animals that it's easy to draw out the "us v. them" mentality from us since many would follow this concept 'instinctively'. This is the animalistic instinct I described in my earlier post, and I'd have to say this is actually 'natural' for any group animals including humans to ensure their own survival and prosperity.

So when Jesus said "Love your enemies", this was unbelievably abnormal especially then, when tribalism was a common practice. He is telling us not to be ruled by group mentality, iow, he's telling us to go against our animalistic instinct that's built in us to help us survive.

Some may say, "Well, if we love our enemies, they'd love us back" ... Well that's a possibility, but what are the chances of that compared to they'd just kill you anyway? Why take that kind of chance? Why is that necessary when your group is stronger than the other groups? Defeating enemies before they might defeat us would be a better bet, that's what animalistic instinct would tell us.

Further, the even more staggeringly amazing 'earthshaking'(yes literally, the Bible says so ;)) thing is that Jesus actually showed compassion for the Roman soldiers when they were killing him. He asked those soldiers to be forgiven. This was the most staggering thing I have ever come across; this does not make any sense 'biologically', AT ALL.

How can this mindset come from "the survival of the fittest", that you care about the welfare of your killer when you're dying at his hand? How does a person develop this kind of unbelievable (and some would say misplaced) compassion based on natural selection? I have to believe this is something so faaaaar 'supreme' (or you could say 'strange' also) than any animal would ever develop on their own. So, after a long struggle in my head, I finally concluded that Jesus was not of this world.
 
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Haven't got a clue what all this talk of tribes is about. So I'll back up a page or so.

I see "survival" as a self-centered animalistic instinct that we're all saddled with, "conscience" as a divine instinct that keeps reminding us of our true nature, the part that's made in the image of God. There always is a tug-of-war between these different types of instincts. In some occasions, animalistic instinct wins, in other times, divine instinct wins.

This is certainly a possibility. Can't say it is wrong. From my pov, the statement could be said almost exactly the same way, except the 'divine' influence in the mind is just as natural as the 'animal' instinct.

In point of fact, the reptilian brain, at the base of our much more complex brain, is the center of the self serving survival instincts we have. The animal brain has many of the higher function brain capacities of humans, though not all.
 

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This is certainly a possibility. Can't say it is wrong. From my pov, the statement could be said almost exactly the same way, except the 'divine' influence in the mind is just as natural as the 'animal' instinct.

In point of fact, the reptilian brain, at the base of our much more complex brain, is the center of the self serving survival instincts we have. The animal brain has many of the higher function brain capacities of humans, though not all.
Yes, natural to us humans, because we're designed with a receptor that catches God's voice, or enables us to feel what the transcendent mind feels, is more like it.

The way we always try to reflect on our conscience as to what to do is checking with this divine receptor inside of us, which some would describe as 'an inner voice'.

It's not natural to other animals' brains to process this way even tho we all went thru supposedly the same evolution. Why didn't other animals develop "a conscience" like ours?

You may say "well my dog has a conscience 'cuz when he gets caught digging into a trash can, he'll have this look 'uh-oh' and immediately lays down flat on the floor" ... But this is actually different from having a conscience. The dog knows he's not supposed to do that because you trained him not to.

I don't think the dog thinks "it's wrong" to dig in trash cans, rather, he thinks "it's something humans don't approve of" and he doesn't want to be punished or scolded because he regards you as the boss, the stronger. (Doesn't sound familiar? ... Oops, don't tell my wife!) So, wild dogs or untrained dogs couldn't care less.

In the animal world, whatever 'gets you in trouble' would be a wrong thing to do and everything else would be fine ... That's how animals decide dos and don'ts. But in the human world, it is wrong to abuse others even when you are the strongest that no one can punish or retaliate against.
 

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Yes, natural to us humans, because we're designed with a receptor that catches God's voice, or enables us to feel what the transcendent mind feels, is more like it.

It's a fair statement. I cannot prove you wrong. Neither can you prove you are right. This is the ultimate stumbling block in these discussions. In the end, we are left with what makes more sense to each of us individually.

It's not natural to other animals' brains to process this way even tho we all went thru supposedly the same evolution. Why didn't other animals develop "a conscience" like ours?

Two statements combined into one here. Can you prove that animals do not have the God receptor? I rather think they do. Only for them it is turned on all the time. What they do not have is the conscience to make choices about the divine. This is part of my Pantheism coming out though. As everything is part of the whole, everything is connected to the whole, and knowingly so. We humans are different from everything else for only one reason. We have the ability (curse?) to doubt the reality that contains us.
 

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Such a dim view of life... I don't know what I'd think , what perspectives I'd have, if that was my base.

If WHAT was your base?
 

Lux

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It's a fair statement. I cannot prove you wrong. Neither can you prove you are right. This is the ultimate stumbling block in these discussions. In the end, we are left with what makes more sense to each of us individually.
I agree with you 100% here. This is why it's ultimately each individual's choice.

Two statements combined into one here. Can you prove that animals do not have the God receptor? I rather think they do. Only for them it is turned on all the time. What they do not have is the conscience to make choices about the divine. This is part of my Pantheism coming out though.
This is a very good point I never really thought of ... Other animals do have the same receptor, but they can't decipher God's messages because they don't have the tool (conscience) to do so .... Interesting! Another something for me to ponder over ... Thanks friend!

As everything is part of the whole, everything is connected to the whole, and knowingly so. We humans are different from everything else for only one reason. We have the ability (curse?) to doubt the reality that contains us.
I don't disagree at all. I do feel that everything is spiritually connected. That's why we even care about other species lives. Some of them are our food, but we don't like them being treated poorly while they are alive. We know that all living things are precious, their lives are not to be taken lightly.

Yup. You can call it a curse in a way ... we're expected to do much much much more than just to survive ... But if God exists, it'll all pay off ;)
 

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Such a dim view of life... I don't know what I'd think , what perspectives I'd have, if that was my base.
Reading this, it seems like you think this is Corbets view of life, where I think that it is a historical observation?
 

wil

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As a people we are becoming more.peaceful, less violent, providing more and more rights to previously disenfranchised segments f society.... Yet less religious... Oops.
 

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As a people we are becoming more.peaceful, less violent, providing more and more rights to previously disenfranchised segments f society.... Yet less religious... Oops.
You mean less 'organized'-religious? Many people still say they're 'spiritual' tho?
I never really understood the significant difference between being religious and spiritual ...
 

wil

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You mean less 'organized'-religious? Many people still say they're 'spiritual' tho?
I never really understood the significant difference between being religious and spiritual ...
Belief in G!d, higher being, universal spirit...is waning....6-10x more nonbelievers today than 70 years ago...similar around the world...

Yet 42% of Americans believe the earth is less than 10k old and a literal biblical creation...

http://time.com/4283975/god-belief-religion-americans/
 

Lux

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Belief in G!d, higher being, universal spirit...is waning....6-10x more nonbelievers today than 70 years ago...similar around the world...

Yet 42% of Americans believe the earth is less than 10k old and a literal biblical creation...

http://time.com/4283975/god-belief-religion-americans/
It doesn't matter how many say they believe in God or don't. God's voice is like gravity. It works on ya whether you believe it or not. If someone says I don't believe in gravity anymore, would he suddenly float in the air?

And you won't be a better person just because you say you believe. There's a difference between believing it in your head and believing it in your heart. The latter can be subconscious.
 

Lux

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Well hells bells then! Shut down the forum...
So your beef is with the science deniers and not about people being religious, I take it? You're not suggesting that we should all abandon the beliefs in supernatural because of those science deniers, are you? That's like throwing the baby out with the bath water ...

Of course you don't have to believe the way I believe, but I don't know why you are offended by the idea that God could be equally talking to disbelievers even unknowingly to them.

If I had to guess, you had some really bad experiences with some bigoted folks who call themselves 'Christians' and you are still mad at them subconsciously. So you don't want them to be right. You don't want what they call God to exist. Because if believing in that God makes people self-righteous s.o.b., we'll be better off without it. ... Well that was the case for me anyway.

I was actually very delighted when I heard the analogy of homing pigeons from a Christian I met online ... "Wow, there are Christians who think people can be genuinely good without believing in their God! And they think their Savior is looking after disbelievers regardless ... What a difference from if-you-don't-believe-you-rot-in-hell kinda folks ... "

Well, call me crazy for joining the belief that withstood the test of time (two bloody thousands years! I mean literally, 'bloody'; persecution, religious wars, etc) ... After a careful consideration, I realized, 'God did it' makes more logical sense to me than 'It just happened' regarding our universe and our lives ... This is the choice I made and I'm very happy with it. Of course you should make your own decision on God however you think is right for yourself.
 
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wil

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The issue I have is convenience...

Should a priest rape a young boy the response is he obviously isn't a Christian...

Should an atheist risk his life helping someone...it was obviously G!d coaching him.
 

Lux

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The issue I have is convenience...

Should a priest rape a young boy the response is he obviously isn't a Christian...

Should an atheist risk his life helping someone...it was obviously G!d coaching him.
Then I have to go back to the questions I asked you twice and you never answered.

Q1 - So, before we discovered the existence of the geomagnetic field, pigeons weren't following it because we didn't know that's what they were doing?

Q2 - Claiming that you believe in God, doesn't mean anything. Do you believe the people who say "I'm a good person" are always good people?
 
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