Believers are Morally Lazy

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Believers are Morally Lazy

This is purely inflammatory, but I can't resist. Here's what I'm suggesting:

While a person without an absolute set of rules must weigh each moral decision carefully, the One True Text believer merely defers the task to an old book, absolving themselves of responsibility, and escaping the difficult work of thinking through the problem. Furthermore, it is morally lazy to do so.

Have fun.

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I agree. However, as you

I agree. However, as you said, relying on the One True Text absolves one of any moral responsibility, which means that people who commit murder and violence in the name of the One True Text are not morally responsible for their actions, and therefore ought to be granted immunity from wrongdoings.

As for holding the One True Text responsible, how is this done? Are we to act as Xerxes, striking the Hellespont with 300 lashes?


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Quote:relying on the One

Quote:
relying on the One True Text absolves one of any moral responsibility, which means that people who commit murder and violence in the name of the One True Text are not morally responsible for their actions, and therefore ought to be granted immunity from wrongdoings.

I think that this is a misinterpretation of the OP's argument.

It appears to me that the OP is not saying that people who follow the OTT are not morally responsible for their actions, but instead that they are lazy because they haven't bothered to determine why something might be immoral.

That is, someone following a book says "X is immoral because of the text," which can lead to strange results (e.g. "the text says wearing red on wednesdays is punishable by death, therefore it must be so, and I don't need to understand why" ).  Instead, to be morally upright, it would be better to determine why something might or might not be moral, which would hopefully yield a more functional society (arguably the point of morally to begin with, although probably not if you follow the OTT).


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Fish wrote:Quote:relying on

Fish wrote:

Quote:
relying on the One True Text absolves one of any moral responsibility, which means that people who commit murder and violence in the name of the One True Text are not morally responsible for their actions, and therefore ought to be granted immunity from wrongdoings.

I think that this is a misinterpretation of the OP's argument.

I imagine that you are correct. I confess I was merely hoping to give some life to what was otherwise a very lonely looking topic.

Quote:
It appears to me that the OP is not saying that people who follow the OTT are not morally responsible for their actions, but instead that they are lazy because they haven't bothered to determine why something might be immoral.

That is, someone following a book says "X is immoral because of the text," which can lead to strange results (e.g. "the text says wearing red on wednesdays is punishable by death, therefore it must be so, and I don't need to understand why" ).  Instead, to be morally upright, it would be better to determine why something might or might not be moral, which would hopefully yield a more functional society (arguably the point of morally to begin with, although probably not if you follow the OTT).

I agree that this was meant to be the gist of the opening post.


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HisWillness wrote:This is

HisWillness wrote:

This is purely inflammatory, but I can't resist. Here's what I'm suggesting:

While a person without an absolute set of rules must weigh each moral decision carefully, the One True Text believer merely defers the task to an old book, absolving themselves of responsibility, and escaping the difficult work of thinking through the problem. Furthermore, it is morally lazy to do so.

Have fun.

Ohhhhh inflammatory, I like this all ready.

Moral absolutes do not exist outside an idealist point of view. <Insert name of holy text here> says murder is wrong. However, murder and genocide are ok if <insert name of deity here> says its ok. History is rife with examples of the supposed "moral" side commiting acts that are morally questionable. I could rationalize killing Hitler if knew it would save the lives of million, however <insert name of holy text here> says it's wrong. Absolute morals are naturally incompatible with our "human" view of the world as I see it. The bible, quran or whatever are claimed to be the perfect moral law, but this is a mighty incredible claim. They aren't even good guidelines because moral dilemmas are not a choice between what is right and what is wrong. Moral dilemmas are the choice between two, or maybe more, difficult outcomes.

Not sure I agree with the OP on one key point. I believe they are lazy in that it is easier to demonize atheists as immoral instead of looking into a mirror and asking whether or not one of their own views stand up to scrutiny.

"Always seek out the truth, but avoid at all costs those that claim to have found it" ANONYMOUS


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LosingStreak06 wrote:I

LosingStreak06 wrote:

I imagine that you are correct. I confess I was merely hoping to give some life to what was otherwise a very lonely looking topic.

Oops, sorry.  Carry on then.


 


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LosingStreak06 wrote:I

LosingStreak06 wrote:

I agree. However, as you said, relying on the One True Text absolves one of any moral responsibility, which means that people who commit murder and violence in the name of the One True Text are not morally responsible for their actions, and therefore ought to be granted immunity from wrongdoings.

It would be funny if you could use the Nuremberg defense with a book. "I was only reading orders!" And thank you, the topic was pretty lonely. I have a feeling it's because the believers haven't hit it yet.

What's amazing to me is that despite lots and lots of encouragement from the major monotheistic texts, we've abandoned stoning people to death as a punishment. Surely only an absolute superior entity could tell us what is moral, except we figured out for ourselves that stoning people to death would be vile and barbaric. I wonder how we reached that conclusion without a holy book. It's like ... it's like we have methods of discerning right from wrong independent from any book.

Naw, that's too unbelievable.

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fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


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I always found a bit suspect

I always found a bit suspect that a deity would enlist men to write a book about something when he could just as easily imprint the morality he wanted directly into our neurology.


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LosingStreak06 wrote:I

LosingStreak06 wrote:

I always found a bit suspect that a deity would enlist men to write a book about something when he could just as easily imprint the morality he wanted directly into our neurology.

I always found it a bit suspect that an omnipotent deity could want anything. I mean, how is that even possible? Omnipotence means you get everything you want right away. You don't have to wait, it's just done. You can't be disappointed. If you could be disappointed, it means you're not omnipotent.

I think that actually negates sin, too.

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This is the main reason I

This is the main reason I oppose worship on principle. By blindly obeying any person or rule, you are unable to be a morally responsible individual. The right course of action always depends on the situation, so in determining whether to obey a rule, one should consider the reasons for that rule and whether they apply to the situation. To deny one that right is wrong.

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Tanath wrote: To deny one

Tanath wrote:
 To deny one that right is wrong.

Or at the very least, oppressive. It's also massively condescending. "Well, since we know you can't make moral decisions, here are the rules."

Some people will even say, "That's okay for stupid or lazy people, because otherwise they wouldn't be good." But that's assuming exhaustive knowledge of all people, which is ridiculous, and still condescending. I mean, I understand the metaphor of original sin, but as an ideology, it just sucks. How paranoid and control-freakish is it to believe that everybody is bad until brow-beaten?

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Hold on there. I wouldn't

Hold on there. I wouldn't suggest we shouldn't make/have rules. I'm saying they should be treated as guidelines, and people shouldn't be punished solely for breaking a rule. If someone breaks a rule, their actions should be considered in the context of the situation, and the reasons for the rule should be considered to see whether they're applicable. 

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HisWillness

HisWillness wrote:

LosingStreak06 wrote:

I always found a bit suspect that a deity would enlist men to write a book about something when he could just as easily imprint the morality he wanted directly into our neurology.

I always found it a bit suspect that an omnipotent deity could want anything. I mean, how is that even possible? Omnipotence means you get everything you want right away. You don't have to wait, it's just done. You can't be disappointed. If you could be disappointed, it means you're not omnipotent.

I think that actually negates sin, too.

Did I just have an epiphany or has everyone else come up with this already?  God is omnipotent, therefor he is bored.  That's why he's such a s.o.b.!  Bored and having fun torturing piddling little humans, starting wars, etc.

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Tanath wrote:Hold on there.

Tanath wrote:
Hold on there. I wouldn't suggest we shouldn't make/have rules.

I'm not talking about a practical process of law, I'm talking about afterlife-style punishment.

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Bulldog wrote:Did I just

Bulldog wrote:
Did I just have an epiphany or has everyone else come up with this already?  God is omnipotent, therefor he is bored.  That's why he's such a s.o.b.!  Bored and having fun torturing piddling little humans, starting wars, etc.

I don't know if you just had an epiphany, but I'm pretty sure someone else has come up with this - it's a pretty simple argument. I'd love to hear someone chime in and give it a name, which is kind of why I posted it.

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LosingStreak06 wrote:I

LosingStreak06 wrote:

I always found a bit suspect that a deity would enlist men to write a book about something when he could just as easily imprint the morality he wanted directly into our neurology.

Perhaps through the means of an icy, fruity beverage? Eye-wink

 

As for the OP, I would think that if everyone agreed that the One True Text was the OTT, then any infidels could be erased and, generally, society would function smoothly...

 

Oh, wait, we've been trying that for the last 5,000 years....

Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.
Isaac Asimov


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daedalus wrote:Perhaps

daedalus wrote:

Perhaps through the means of an icy, fruity beverage? Eye-wink

 

You forgot creamy. But I've never found language to be a very compelling form of communication. Text is, often, even more barren. Subconscious drives are much more motivating, if you ask me, than any volume of texts. In the instance of the Smoothie, I don't need to read that the Smoothie is delicious. I don't even need to be told that the Smoothie is delicious. I can taste it. And while taste can be described in words, it cannot be experienced as such. This, I think, makes it much more intuitively appealing than some god who advertises himself in books, magazines, with multi-national corporations backing him, and through word-of-mouth viral marketing.


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HisWillness wrote:Tanath

HisWillness wrote:

Tanath wrote:
Hold on there. I wouldn't suggest we shouldn't make/have rules.

I'm not talking about a practical process of law, I'm talking about afterlife-style punishment.

Well, punishment is punishment, and rules are rules, but there'd have to be an afterlife for there to be punishment in it.

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HisWillness wrote:Bulldog

HisWillness wrote:

Bulldog wrote:
Did I just have an epiphany or has everyone else come up with this already?  God is omnipotent, therefor he is bored.  That's why he's such a s.o.b.!  Bored and having fun torturing piddling little humans, starting wars, etc.

I don't know if you just had an epiphany, but I'm pretty sure someone else has come up with this - it's a pretty simple argument. I'd love to hear someone chime in and give it a name, which is kind of why I posted it.

I'm almost positive Nietzsche said something like god could not stand himself, therefore he created the universe and us so as to have a distraction and deviate his attention from having to contemplate himself, which would render us as a sick reality show. However I can't remember for the life of me the exact source for that.

 

 

Damn, if we are just a cosmic reality show, that means we all are just a bunch of Paris Hiltons, nooooooooo!!! I feel dirtyyy!!!!!

*runs off to take a loong bath*

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HisWillness wrote: It would

HisWillness wrote:

 


It would be funny if you could use the Nuremberg defense with a book. "I was only reading orders!" And thank you, the topic was pretty lonely. I have a feeling it's because the believers haven't hit it yet.

What's amazing to me is that despite lots and lots of encouragement from the major monotheistic texts, we've abandoned stoning people to death as a punishment. Surely only an absolute superior entity could tell us what is moral, except we figured out for ourselves that stoning people to death would be vile and barbaric. I wonder how we reached that conclusion without a holy book. It's like ... it's like we have methods of discerning right from wrong independent from any book.

Naw, that's too unbelievable.

What sort of filthy free thinking talk is that?How could we ever know right from wrong if not for a magically deity...I demand you be stoned.

Ya it's pretty strange how you won't see people offering up animal sacrifices when their holy book seems so fond of it.That would incur the wrath of alot of different groups pretty quick,and is a little messed.I doubt the average theist has the stomach to slaughter a live animal and sprinkle it's blood everywhere.So how did we get to the conclusion that it's cruel and wrong without a deity telling us? We couldn't possibly have evolved into more civilized,humane people.

On the original point,who is a better person morally at the end of the day?The one who has no eternal reason to  be,but is a good person because they want to be and try to be,or the one who is good because their holy book says so and they don't want to risk eternal punishment.

 

Psalm 14:1 "the fool hath said in his heart there is a God"-From a 1763 misprinted edition of the bible

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"Believers are Morally

"Believers are Morally Lazy"  ------ geezzzz ?

Damn problem of Babel. 

1. Believers , I believe I AM AWAKE ?

2. Morally ,  please fuck me ?

3. Lazy , me like lazy ?

I hate language It does't work very well, 

ummmm I must meditate ... I must evolve !!!

Shit,  this hurts ...... so to the better , hurry up evolution ..... 

[ Will , you rock , me just messing with words as usual .... ]


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HisWillness wrote:What's

HisWillness wrote:

What's amazing to me is that despite lots and lots of encouragement from the major monotheistic texts, we've abandoned stoning people to death as a punishment. Surely only an absolute superior entity could tell us what is moral, except we figured out for ourselves that stoning people to death would be vile and barbaric. I wonder how we reached that conclusion without a holy book. It's like ... it's like we have methods of discerning right from wrong independent from any book.

Naw, that's too unbelievable.

 

I am coming in late here i know that much...but what do you mean when you say WE? We as western civilization? or WE as the human race? Because death by stoning because a holy book says so.....still happens.


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latincanuck wrote:I am

latincanuck wrote:

I am coming in late here i know that much...but what do you mean when you say WE?

I mean modern western civilization, yeah. Like slavery, stoning still happens, sure. And it's still the stupidest punishment for adultery I've ever heard of. Even "an eye for an eye" is better than that, and that one's just childish.

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Dude. You're on Teh

Dude. You're on Teh Intarwebs, being inflammatory, on a site that routinely gets argumentative...

 

How on earth can you call anyone ELSE lazy? Being inflammatory on the net? That takes, like, negative effort! Smiling

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


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HisWillness wrote:Even "an

HisWillness wrote:

Even "an eye for an eye" is better than that, and that one's just childish.

 

How on earth is "eye for an eye", childish?

 

its revenge... justice in its most base form

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BMcD wrote:Dude. You're on

BMcD wrote:

Dude. You're on Teh Intarwebs, being inflammatory, on a site that routinely gets argumentative...

How on earth can you call anyone ELSE lazy? Being inflammatory on the net? That takes, like, negative effort! Smiling

Touché!

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fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


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The Doomed Soul wrote:How on

The Doomed Soul wrote:

How on earth is "eye for an eye", childish?

Follow me here: an eye for an eye ... for adultery.

I don't even know how you'd manage that logistically.

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fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


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HisWillness wrote:Follow me

HisWillness wrote:

Follow me here: an eye for an eye ... for adultery.

I don't even know how you'd manage that logistically.

 

That only works if your society proclaims your spouse to be YOUR property (yay slave!)

Now if he raped my wife... do i get the option to rape him or his wife?

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The Doomed Soul wrote:That

The Doomed Soul wrote:

That only works if your society proclaims your spouse to be YOUR property (yay slave!)

Now if he raped my wife... do i get the option to rape him or his wife?

Which brings us back to childish.

By the way, I love the comic strip suggestion in your signature. I know some people for whom the punishment should be exactly as described (flaming zombie wildlife, etc.) Of course, that's just for being themselves.

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HisWillness wrote:Which

HisWillness wrote:

Which brings us back to childish.

By the way, I love the comic strip suggestion in your signature. I know some people for whom the punishment should be exactly as described (flaming zombie wildlife, etc.) Of course, that's just for being themselves.

Despite my joke, i still see nothing childish about revenge o_O in any form it takes...

 

How about we dont call it childish, how about... primitive?

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On reasons and rules

Tanath has said that "if someone breaks a rule, their actions should be considered in the context of the situation, and the reasons for the rule should be considered to see whether they're applicable."

This is all well and good, but is not quite as simple as it seems.  A rule cannot contain the moment of application - I mean to say that a rule cannot tell you when to apply the rule or refrain from applying it.  A rule may be more or less general/specific, but it lacks particularity.

Taking any religious rule, the reason for applying it or not will therefore be a separate reason from the rule itself, and may be religious or non-religious (it may also be contained in the holy texts or there may be no indication in the texts).  If the reason for applying/not applying the religious rule is non-religious then it problematises religious morality; if the reason for applying the rule is itself religious then it does not suffer from the same problem, but does suffer from the particularity void of all rules and requires deeper thought than simple rule-adherence which is often a feature of religious morality.

Another issue is the different orders of reasons for decisions - a first order reason is a reason involved in the weighing of reasons (reasons for or against going to the pub on a particular Wednesday, for example) whereas a second order reason (closely related to the concept of 'exclusionary reasons' insofar as they exclude first order reasons, is a reason whether to decide for a reason (for example, a decision that you'll only go to the pub at weekends, regardless of the reasons on any particular Wednesday).  Religions are heavy on second order reasons but rather light on the former, when it comes to moral commandments: they say in effect "ignore the reasons for or against X (abortion for example) - just don't do it, because god says so."


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The Doomed Soul

The Doomed Soul wrote:

Despite my joke, i still see nothing childish about revenge o_O in any form it takes...

 

How about we dont call it childish, how about... primitive?

 

I can see 'childish', but I think 'immature' in the sense of a society that's not developed sufficiently to move beyond that point might be a better word for it.

Primitive's a good one, but not necessarily on the mark. Some fairly low-tech cultures get past the eye-for-an-eye thing into 'how do we make this asshole useful to us?' stuff. Still, as long as we remember we're not talking about technological, but cultural development, I think 'primitive'... or maybe 'savage' might work pretty well.

 

And btw, re: Richard:

"Kill yourself and roll a rogue. We'll wait." Eye-wink

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Brit-nonthesit wrote:Tanath

Brit-nonthesit wrote:

Tanath has said that "if someone breaks a rule, their actions should be considered in the context of the situation, and the reasons for the rule should be considered to see whether they're applicable."

This is all well and good, but is not quite as simple as it seems.  A rule cannot contain the moment of application - I mean to say that a rule cannot tell you when to apply the rule or refrain from applying it.  A rule may be more or less general/specific, but it lacks particularity.

Which is why you need to think for yourself.

Brit-nonthesit wrote:

Taking any religious rule, the reason for applying it or not will therefore be a separate reason from the rule itself, and may be religious or non-religious (it may also be contained in the holy texts or there may be no indication in the texts).  If the reason for applying/not applying the religious rule is non-religious then it problematises religious morality; if the reason for applying the rule is itself religious then it does not suffer from the same problem, but does suffer from the particularity void of all rules and requires deeper thought than simple rule-adherence which is often a feature of religious morality.

The reason for following a rule or not will always be seperate from the rule itself, but there must be some criteria by which one chooses whether or not to follow a rule. Since no rule will be applicable in all situations, one must always consider the reasons for a rule and whether they're applicable. The problem you mention is broader than religion. Any sense of morality that requires always obeying any or all rules (or a person) requires giving up the choice of whether or not to obey, and is actively shirking one's moral responsibility.

Brit-nonthesit wrote:

Another issue is the different orders of reasons for decisions - a first order reason is a reason involved in the weighing of reasons (reasons for or against going to the pub on a particular Wednesday, for example) whereas a second order reason (closely related to the concept of 'exclusionary reasons' insofar as they exclude first order reasons, is a reason whether to decide for a reason (for example, a decision that you'll only go to the pub at weekends, regardless of the reasons on any particular Wednesday).  Religions are heavy on second order reasons but rather light on the former, when it comes to moral commandments: they say in effect "ignore the reasons for or against X (abortion for example) - just don't do it, because god says so."

I'm not sure this "first order" and "second order" ethical reasoning is a valid or useful distinction. Or perhaps you just need to explain what you mean better. What about principles?

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BMcD wrote:And btw, re:

BMcD wrote:


And btw, re: Richard:

"Kill yourself and roll a rogue. We'll wait." Eye-wink

 

FOR PONY!!!

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I've always considered that

I've always considered that religious systems are not really about 'real' morality. They are much more analogous to an inferior version of our secular legal systems, because they rely so much on commandments, prohibitions, and extreme carrot and stick (heaven and hell, etc)  'encouragement'. Inferior because of lack of proportionality, excessive delay in administering justice, and no proper appeal and advocacy system.

The nearest they get to true ethical guidelines to assist us with practical moral decision-making is some version of the Golden Rule, which is ultimately subjective and, while it has some merit, not really adequate to the task on its own.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


HisWillness
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BobSpence1 wrote:I've always

BobSpence1 wrote:

I've always considered that religious systems are really about 'real' morality. [...] Inferior because of lack of proportionality, excessive delay in administering justice, and no proper appeal and advocacy system.

No kidding. But I think that was probably the original intent. The mixing of law and superstition, I mean, was by accident. People reacted like pigeons in Skinner's experiments exposed to random reward, but then were able to write some of the superstition down as law. So while some of the laws may have merit (thou shalt not kill is still good as a law), some others that can be found in Leviticus (shit, just pick a passage) are completely insane.

BobSpence1 wrote:
The nearest they get to true ethical guidelines to assist us with practical moral decision-making is some version of the Golden Rule, which is ultimately subjective and, while it has some merit, not really adequate to the task on its own.

Kind of like communism, which is a great idea on paper, but hasn't really played out well in reality.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


BobSpence
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Damn, when reading your

Damn, when reading your response I realized I had omitted the word 'not' in the first part of that post.... (now corrected).

Although I feel from your response you got the spirit of my post.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


Religious_Rebel
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ites bredren

I just thought I'd add that at the Catholic high school school (no I'm not Catholic) I went to we had a piss easy ethics class that nearly everyone did bad in except for the nerds and myself.  I believe I had one of two A's in the entire course and by that I mean counting the other classes.  I could very well be wrong in my statement that it was "piss easy", but the arguments I'd see being made against the teacher were just downright scandalous...    The man (teacher) was working on his PHD in Ethics, and was on his 5th year of doing so, so he did very well against these kids, but they had nothing to do with what he had to say.   Most anything you can list in the field of ethics that is NOT debatable came up to debate because these young men (it was an all boys school.... SIGH) only knew how to "stick to their guns" so to say.

So for this reason (and many others) I don't only agree with the original poster but I know it's true and think it goes even further than what he had to say.  BobSpence made an excellent argument too but not only is it inferior, it is all too often just plain wrong.   Hope I didn't bore you too much.

 

It is said the great ones catch teardrops in their hands.