Moral Question for Theists

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Moral Question for Theists

 Hey kids!

I was hoping some christians could put these examples into an order for me in terms of which is most Good:

A woman passes by a homeless person starving to death and...

--Gives him a dollar.

--Ignores him.

--Gives him her last dollar even though she has two kids at home to feed.

--Gives him her last dollar.

--Gives him a dollar even though she has two kids at home to feed.

--Kicks him in the stomach for being a deadbeat.

--Gives him a dollar even though she has two kids at home to feed.

 

And explain to me how they decided on that order and how each decision was rooted firmly on the bible and nothing else.

Just think it'll be fun.

 


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 One option repeated,

 One option repeated, forgive me, baby Jesus.


Atheistextremist
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It's not the administrative error

 

That will earn you an eternal bare-arsed spanking from the red-skinned dude Smarty - it's the fact you don't love the lord your god with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. Personally, I think having such intense feelings for a domineering intergalactic pen friend would be weird, to say the least.

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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smartypants wrote: Hey

smartypants wrote:

 Hey kids!

I was hoping some christians could put these examples into an order for me in terms of which is most Good:

A woman passes by a homeless person starving to death and...

--Gives him a dollar.

--Ignores him.

--Gives him her last dollar even though she has two kids at home to feed.

--Gives him her last dollar.

--Gives him a dollar even though she has two kids at home to feed.

--Kicks him in the stomach for being a deadbeat.

--Gives him a dollar even though she has two kids at home to feed.

 

And explain to me how they decided on that order and how each decision was rooted firmly on the bible and nothing else.

Just think it'll be fun.

 

or she could point him to community resources which would aid his long-term reintegration into society.  

but i can see how that option doesn't fit into your little setup.  


mellestad
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It doesn't matter, they're

It doesn't matter, they're both going to roast in hell.

 

There are only a handful of Christian theists on this site anyway, I wish there were more.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

That will earn you an eternal bare-arsed spanking from the red-skinned dude Smarty - it's the fact you don't love the lord your god with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. Personally, I think having such intense feelings for a domineering intergalactic pen friend would be weird, to say the least.

Who's the "red-skinned dude?"


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jmm wrote:smartypants

jmm wrote:

smartypants wrote:

 Hey kids!

I was hoping some christians could put these examples into an order for me in terms of which is most Good:

A woman passes by a homeless person starving to death and...

--Gives him a dollar.

--Ignores him.

--Gives him her last dollar even though she has two kids at home to feed.

--Gives him her last dollar.

--Gives him a dollar even though she has two kids at home to feed.

--Kicks him in the stomach for being a deadbeat.

--Gives him a dollar even though she has two kids at home to feed.

 

And explain to me how they decided on that order and how each decision was rooted firmly on the bible and nothing else.

Just think it'll be fun.

 

or she could point him to community resources which would aid his long-term reintegration into society.  

but i can see how that option doesn't fit into your little setup.  

LOL Excellent question dodge.


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jmm wrote:smartypants

jmm wrote:

smartypants wrote:

 Hey kids!

I was hoping some christians could put these examples into an order for me in terms of which is most Good:

A woman passes by a homeless person starving to death and...

--Gives him a dollar.

--Ignores him.

--Gives him her last dollar even though she has two kids at home to feed.

--Gives him her last dollar.

--Gives him a dollar even though she has two kids at home to feed.

--Kicks him in the stomach for being a deadbeat.

--Gives him a dollar even though she has two kids at home to feed.

 

And explain to me how they decided on that order and how each decision was rooted firmly on the bible and nothing else.

Just think it'll be fun.

 

or she could point him to community resources which would aid his long-term reintegration into society.  

but i can see how that option doesn't fit into your little setup.  

Is it just me or does this post reek of socialism? We can't have that!


humblesmith
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Well, if the assignment is

Well, if the assignment is to answer strictly from the bible, I'm not sure it's possible to make a perfect sequence of this little exercise. We can know from Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan (a similar situation) that helping him is better than ignoring him. Following this principle it's obvious that kicking him would be even worse. We can also draw conclusions from situations such as Rahab's lie that protected two people's lives, which gives us the principle that ethics can be ordered, with greater principles, such as human life, being more important than telling the truth. Therefore since the "give him a dollar even though she has two kids at home to feed" is a bit of a moral dilemma, we would say there would be an ultimate answer to that if we knew more circumstances. So looking strictly at the bible, we can get them mostly sequenced, but I don't think all.

What's a more interesting question to me is: How can a person who believes that the only thing that exists is matter and energy come up with the concept of "good" in the first place, let alone the concept of more good and less good? If atheism is true, then the only thing that really exists is molecules in motion, and "good" and "evil" have no universal meaning. Vinegar and baking soda reacting on the counter is neither good nor bad, it just is. So my question to the atheists is "If you came upon a starving homeless man, would shooting him and stealing his wallet be any different than ignoring him or helping him?"


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humblesmith wrote:Well, if

humblesmith wrote:

Well, if the assignment is to answer strictly from the bible, I'm not sure it's possible to make a perfect sequence of this little exercise. We can know from Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan (a similar situation) that helping him is better than ignoring him. Following this principle it's obvious that kicking him would be even worse. We can also draw conclusions from situations such as Rahab's lie that protected two people's lives, which gives us the principle that ethics can be ordered, with greater principles, such as human life, being more important than telling the truth. Therefore since the "give him a dollar even though she has two kids at home to feed" is a bit of a moral dilemma, we would say there would be an ultimate answer to that if we knew more circumstances. So looking strictly at the bible, we can get them mostly sequenced, but I don't think all.

What's a more interesting question to me is: How can a person who believes that the only thing that exists is matter and energy come up with the concept of "good" in the first place, let alone the concept of more good and less good? If atheism is true, then the only thing that really exists is molecules in motion, and "good" and "evil" have no universal meaning. Vinegar and baking soda reacting on the counter is neither good nor bad, it just is. So my question to the atheists is "If you came upon a starving homeless man, would shooting him and stealing his wallet be any different than ignoring him or helping him?"

Good and evil only exist as human constructs, and are given meaning by the culture and individual.  That explains why morality changes based on individuals and cultures, as well as why it changes through time.  If morality were an absolute it would never change, and it obviously shifts drastically over time.  Good and evil are not universal even with religion.

Your example is ridiculous.  Who would want to live in a society where people are randomly murdered for little gain?  The idea is ridiculous, society would collapse and we would never make it past the tribal stage.  I want to live to be an old, happy, rich man and die a peaceful death.  For that to happen my best bet is to encourage a stable, cooperative society.

Now, if it were a *rich* person, maybe I would murder them.  Homeless people don't tend to have much cash, but rich people...or maybe he has some gold teeth?  Also, if it was a starving baby I might consider starting a BBQ.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


Atheistextremist
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Satan

smartypants wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

That will earn you an eternal bare-arsed spanking from the red-skinned dude Smarty - it's the fact you don't love the lord your god with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. Personally, I think having such intense feelings for a domineering intergalactic pen friend would be weird, to say the least.

Who's the "red-skinned dude?"

 

He's red skinned isn't he? You've seen Hellboy - just like him but um, hornier.

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

smartypants wrote:

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

That will earn you an eternal bare-arsed spanking from the red-skinned dude Smarty - it's the fact you don't love the lord your god with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. Personally, I think having such intense feelings for a domineering intergalactic pen friend would be weird, to say the least.

Who's the "red-skinned dude?"

 

He's red skinned isn't he? You've seen Hellboy - just like him but um, hornier.

 

 

LOL I guess I wasn't indoctrinated enough. I thought you were talking about someone with a sunburn.


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mellestad wrote:Good and

mellestad wrote:

Good and evil only exist as human constructs, and are given meaning by the culture and individual.  That explains why morality changes based on individuals and cultures, as well as why it changes through time.  If morality were an absolute it would never change, and it obviously shifts drastically over time.  Good and evil are not universal even with religion.

Your example is ridiculous.  Who would want to live in a society where people are randomly murdered for little gain?  The idea is ridiculous, society would collapse and we would never make it past the tribal stage.  I want to live to be an old, happy, rich man and die a peaceful death.  For that to happen my best bet is to encourage a stable, cooperative society.

Now, if it were a *rich* person, maybe I would murder them.  Homeless people don't tend to have much cash, but rich people...or maybe he has some gold teeth?  Also, if it was a starving baby I might consider starting a BBQ.

 

If good and evil only exist as human constructs, and are only given meaning by culture and individual, then we are stuck in a tribal stage that we can never get out of. For then we would never have any grounds for looking at the next culture or individual and saying "You're wrong." Whatever the next culture or individual held to be OK, would be OK for them, no matter what we thought about it. In this system, we have just lost the ability to look at any act in any culture anywhere, including one that would follow through with your joke about infant killing, and say that it is wrong. For the most egregious acts ever conceived by man, all we would be able to say was "I don't like it, but if they say it's good, it must be OK for them."

While you are correct that individual moral acts can change over time, I still maintain that moral principles are universal and absolute. For example, no one ever holds that it's OK for me to steal their stuff. They might think it OK for them to steal my stuff, but no one, anywhere, ever held that it was OK for me to steal their stuff. People might disagree on how many wives are acceptable, but no one ever held it OK to have any woman you want, especially if it was me taking their woman.

And you are also correct when you say "Who would want to live in a socieity where people are randomly murdered for little gain?" I agree, no one would ever want to live in a society where that would happen. In fact, it would universally be considered wrong. So I'm glad you agree that this is a universal morality held by all cultures. 

 

 


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humblesmith wrote:mellestad

humblesmith wrote:

mellestad wrote:

Good and evil only exist as human constructs, and are given meaning by the culture and individual.  That explains why morality changes based on individuals and cultures, as well as why it changes through time.  If morality were an absolute it would never change, and it obviously shifts drastically over time.  Good and evil are not universal even with religion.

Your example is ridiculous.  Who would want to live in a society where people are randomly murdered for little gain?  The idea is ridiculous, society would collapse and we would never make it past the tribal stage.  I want to live to be an old, happy, rich man and die a peaceful death.  For that to happen my best bet is to encourage a stable, cooperative society.

Now, if it were a *rich* person, maybe I would murder them.  Homeless people don't tend to have much cash, but rich people...or maybe he has some gold teeth?  Also, if it was a starving baby I might consider starting a BBQ.

 

If good and evil only exist as human constructs, and are only given meaning by culture and individual, then we are stuck in a tribal stage that we can never get out of. For then we would never have any grounds for looking at the next culture or individual and saying "You're wrong." Whatever the next culture or individual held to be OK, would be OK for them, no matter what we thought about it. In this system, we have just lost the ability to look at any act in any culture anywhere, including one that would follow through with your joke about infant killing, and say that it is wrong. For the most egregious acts ever conceived by man, all we would be able to say was "I don't like it, but if they say it's good, it must be OK for them."

While you are correct that individual moral acts can change over time, I still maintain that moral principles are universal and absolute. For example, no one ever holds that it's OK for me to steal their stuff. They might think it OK for them to steal my stuff, but no one, anywhere, ever held that it was OK for me to steal their stuff. People might disagree on how many wives are acceptable, but no one ever held it OK to have any woman you want, especially if it was me taking their woman.

And you are also correct when you say "Who would want to live in a socieity where people are randomly murdered for little gain?" I agree, no one would ever want to live in a society where that would happen. In fact, it would universally be considered wrong. So I'm glad you agree that this is a universal morality held by all cultures. 

 

I'm so glad that you agree the 'universal' parts of morality only exist as an evolutionary necessity.  Christ, I hate when people do that, it makes you sound like a prick.

The parts of morality that seem universal are there because societies would not function without them.  Many cultures flourished for longer than America ever did and they practiced human sacrifice, slavery and infanticide.  So what does that mean?  It means that morality is cultural.  Unless you are saying that stealing is worse than infanticide, slavery and human sacrifice.  In which case your moral compass needs to be re-adjusted.

Why would we be stuck in the tribal stage?  Why wouldn't we be able to say someone is wrong?  Are you saying that unless God tells us what to say we just won't say anything?  Why do humans need an edict from God to do something?  God never said anything negative about slavery (the Bible even orders it!), but most civilizations now condemn it.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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We'd be stuck in a tribal

We'd be stuck in a tribal stage becuase, if "good and evil only exist as human constructs, given meaning by each culture" then each culture can practice whatever they well please, up to and including the worst thing any of us could think of, and there's nothing we can say against it. The minute we woud tell someone else that they are wrong, we've just admitted that there are morals that cross the cultural boundaries and aren't defined by culture. In your statements, you're saying that infanticide is worse than stealing. Of course, you are correct. But we can only say this is correct because you and I are both working within a universal moral standard that applies to everyone. If, on the other hand, "good and evil only exist as human constructs, given meaning by each culture" then we could only say   that infanticide was worse than jaywalking in our culture, and not for anyone else. If morals were relative, there could be another culture that held to a set of morals upside-down from  ours, and  to them we could not say infanticide was worse than jaywalking.  The minute we say that morals are determined by culture, we give up the right to say to another culture that anything they do is wrong.

Of course this is all academic until the other culture holds that the greatest moral good is to kill us, in which we then agree that some of the other culture's morals must be changed, and quickly. Any way you slice it, we either end up in moral anarchy or hold to universal morals that apply to everyone.

At least to some degree. As you correctly pointed out, it is obvious that many cultures have differeng laws, to one degree or another. But they're not as different as we might think.....C. S. Lewis made an appendix in his book The Abolition of Man where he gathered legal codes from every culture he could find, and showed how similar they all were. It works like this: different cultures disagree on the number of wives that is morally allowed, but no culture anywhere holds that a man can have any woman he wants.

 

 

 


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humblesmith wrote:We'd be

humblesmith wrote:

We'd be stuck in a tribal stage becuase, if "good and evil only exist as human constructs, given meaning by each culture" then each culture can practice whatever they well please, up to and including the worst thing any of us could think of, and there's nothing we can say against it. The minute we woud tell someone else that they are wrong, we've just admitted that there are morals that cross the cultural boundaries and aren't defined by culture. In your statements, you're saying that infanticide is worse than stealing. Of course, you are correct. But we can only say this is correct because you and I are both working within a universal moral standard that applies to everyone. If, on the other hand, "good and evil only exist as human constructs, given meaning by each culture" then we could only say   that infanticide was worse than jaywalking in our culture, and not for anyone else. If morals were relative, there could be another culture that held to a set of morals upside-down from  ours, and  to them we could not say infanticide was worse than jaywalking.  The minute we say that morals are determined by culture, we give up the right to say to another culture that anything they do is wrong.

Of course this is all academic until the other culture holds that the greatest moral good is to kill us, in which we then agree that some of the other culture's morals must be changed, and quickly. Any way you slice it, we either end up in moral anarchy or hold to universal morals that apply to everyone.

At least to some degree. As you correctly pointed out, it is obvious that many cultures have differeng laws, to one degree or another. But they're not as different as we might think.....C. S. Lewis made an appendix in his book The Abolition of Man where he gathered legal codes from every culture he could find, and showed how similar they all were. It works like this: different cultures disagree on the number of wives that is morally allowed, but no culture anywhere holds that a man can have any woman he wants.

 

I'm a little confused as to why you think a society would give up the ability to criticize other's morals simply because morality is relative.  People can argue about anything they want, whenever they want, without God stepping in and granting an absolute answer.  God does not endorse political philosophies, but humans argue, fight and kill each other all the time.  Why is politics different from morality?  I would argue they are the same, and reality demonstrates my point of view.

And again, the cultural similarity between laws seems to be those laws that are necessary for humans to thrive.  Without prohibitions against murder, humans would murder themselves extinct, therefor no societies exist where murder is 'ok'.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.