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Old 11-25-2001, 12:16 AM   #1
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Exclamation Morality and the bible

Just felt like starting a new topic on whether y'all think that the bible is a good source of morality. (Not quite sure if this should be in the other forum opps)

My personal opinion is that it isn't. One of the reasons being that there are as many interpretaions of morality from the bible as there are christians (well almost).

I believe morality should be based on Humanism in accordance with respect for the individual. To assume the bible to be an absolute framework would be as nonsensical to humanity as an absolute inertial reference frame was to Albert Einstein.

Of course, it is often said by True Christians [TM] that humanity would plummet into chaos without the bible's guidance and without God's guidance.

Thoughts anyone.
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Old 11-25-2001, 05:21 AM   #2
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Hi father (R.I.P.) was named Daniel, so some people called me Daniel's just keep coming up with good questions... I like the contrast between the AE outlook and the way some look for absolutes in an old book with many authors, translations and endless differing opinions on what anything means... KUTGW......we need more articulate thinkers like you in our threads......I agree with your attitude.
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Old 11-25-2001, 02:11 PM   #3
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The problem danielboy is that it doesn't work. I notice you suggest that we should all build a morality on humanism.

Vut you idea suffers from a serious problem, known simply as, "The Big Sez Who".

At least christianity with all its problems is able to appeal to a transcendant law maker, and derive authority from him.

Man centered morality however only derives authority from man, which of course only really works if it is enforced at the point of a gun.

Or at least that seems to be the lesson of history.

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Old 11-25-2001, 02:52 PM   #4
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"At least christianity with all its problems is able to appeal to a transcendant law maker, and derive authority from him."

Hey that's just the way the Egyptians, Babylonians, Romans appointed their leaders, God says I should be in charge.
An old but useful trick.
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Old 11-25-2001, 04:50 PM   #5
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Christianity suffers from exactly the same 'sez who?' problem. It simply becomes the 'sez whic interpretation?' problem.

All morality is subjective if God does not exist.

If God exists, morality is still subjective because as humans we each have to choose which morality to follow.

We have no way of determining what is objectively moral except through our own subjective interpretation.

Thus, all morality is subjective(although some of us may be lucky enough to have subjectively chosen the actual objective moral standard - assuming such a standard exists - as our own).

Christianity, or any other revealed religion, is no escape from this dilemma.

As we all can generally agree that our own personal suffering is bad, it is not such a big step to make the assumption that other people's suffering feels as bad for them. From here, it is no big step to make moral laws that apply to all. Subjectivity is not that big a hurdle to overcome - the answer to the question 'Sez who?' is the person asking the question.
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Old 11-25-2001, 06:09 PM   #6
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One question: Do you know what makes you happy? Do other people express their opinions of what makes them happy? [okay its two questions]

What I'm trying to show is that in my opinion humanity should be focusing on maximising the welfare of its constituents. Isn't that what we all want - happiness (Yes! Even christians, but i think they prefer it after they have died)? [ok this makes a third question.]

But you may wonder what if someone's happiness is another's sorrow. That the pursuit of happiness by one person lessens the happiness of another [for example a serial killer may find killing hapless people amusing - but we can't let one do it, not continuosly anyway] In such cases we simply need to compromise: each person is entitled to maximise his happiness within the limits of respecting other people's individuality. With this axiom, we can thus structure our morality and judiciary accordingly. This is my theory anyway.

It may occur to some of you that I happen to be an economics student. Economics is based on one simple assumption that all economic agents will always seek to maximise its welfare within the restriction of the law [at least for the market economy]. And oddly enough, this rule works out well for the majority as I've studied. This is where I draw my inspiration.

Building morality on a religion might have worked to maintain order in the past, during the ages of isolated civilisations. Now that there are so many religions [not to mention 38000 denominations of just one of those religions], do you believe they can unite to worship only one lord? No operation of mass conversion has occured anytime in the past 50 years and yet we still get radicals slamming planes into skyscrapers.

In addition, I need to emphasise how morality based on religion can at most create only order. To be able to use a framework would be to stick to it. However, it is apparent that societies change and cultures evolve. Thus people's perception of happiness change. With humanism, at least the framework follows close behind the need. Religion [as most christians would concur], however, does not change or must not be allowed to change, or else it loses its absolute framework and its credibility. Just two centuries ago, christians take slavery as a given, 100 years later one group defended slavery while another opposed it. Both groups used the bible as justification. A further 100 years later, slavery is taboo and associated only to sexual bondage by christians [well 'TRUE CHRISTIANS (TM)' anyway].

That's all I have to say for now anyway.

Pardno my spellnig

[ November 25, 2001: Message edited by: Danielboy ]
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Old 11-26-2001, 08:35 AM   #7
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Moving to the morality forum...
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