Common Sense vs. The Bible.

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by PoliticalChic, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    1. In a recent thread, one of my usual opponents took the opportunity to explain how common sense is a far better guide to life than the Bible, as there are so many outdated ideas therein. Here, he explains: “…there are a whole bunch of Bible Rules you don't follow... You don't own slaves, stone your neighbors for working on the Sabbath, kill your gay neighbor, ask the town to help you stone your kids when they talk back, chop off body parts as punishment for crimes….I have a simpler approach. Does my action hurt someone? If not, there's nothing immoral about it. Does what you are doing effect me in any way? If not, it's none of my business. No sky pixies, no goofy verses about slaughtering animals to appease sky pixies, and so on.”


    2. The first thing that occurs to me, is that many with his views subscribe to views far more inimical to society. ‘The Left says of the Right, “You fools, it is demonstrable that dinosaurs lived one hundred million years ago, I can prove it to you, how can you say the earth was created in 4000BCE?” But this supposed intransigence on the part of the Religious Right is far less detrimental to the health of the body politic than the Left’s love affair with Marxism, Socialism, Racialism, the Command Economy, all of which have been proven via one hundred years of evidence shows only shortages, despotism and murder.’ David Mamet, “The Secret Knowledge.”

    a. So much for the idea that more intelligent folks oppose religion.




    3.Now for the idea that the rational, the common sense method is better than religious morality. Can a human being be good without reference to God? Sure. As the saying goes, ‘Standing in a church doesn’t make you a good Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.’
    Sure….there could be good pagans….or bad religious folks. While it is true that one can be moral and good and not religious, the idea does not work for all or even most.

    4. Why? Because there is no force behind reason. Take slavery as an example. There is no rational way to convince the slaveholder that he shouldn’t own and sell his fellow man: it makes a great profit, makes his life easier. He can even claim that his slaves live longer and better than many free men.
    “Having been created as a free society, the concepts required to support slavery required ideological justifications that other slave societies had not found necessary. The most essential justification was the assertion that the enslaved were so different that the principles and ideals of the country didn’t apply to them. Imagine the contortions that had to go into the idea that the slaves lacked the feelings that would cause them suffering from degradation, hard work, or the destruction of family ties.” Thomas Sowell, “Ethnic America,” chapter eight.

    a. Take as an example, a sadist who gets satisfaction from murdering children. If there is no God who declares that such an act is wrong, then my arguing such is simply my opinion versus that of the murderer. Without God, good and evil are a matter of taste. Cheat on a test? Lots of rational reasons, including the ubiquitous "everyone does it."

    b. Maybe humanity really doesn't need to hold that there's a transcendent source for right and wrong. Maybe we're so wonderful a species that we can do it without any reference to something above us." But after the Holocaust and Gulag, I find that to be very, very unrealistic. (Dennis Prager radio show.)





    5. But wait! The law imposes morality!
    Now, you are making my argument. Where does the law come from?
    “The Bible is the wisdom of the West. It is from the precepts of the Bible that the legal systems of the West have been developed- systems, worked out over millennia, for dealing with inequality, with injustice, with greed, reducible t that which Christians call the Golden Rule, and the Jews had propounded as “That which is hateful to you, don not do to your neighbor.” It is these rules and laws which form a framework which allows the individual foreknowledge of that which is permitted and that which is forbidden.
    Mamet, Op.Cit.

    a. What atheists who speak in terms of good and evil have done is appropriated religious dialogue for themselves. They have kidnapped our way of speaking and said what was rooted in God doesn't need God any longer. Can We Be Good without God




    6. If there's no God - making ourselves the source of ethics for everybody, or declaring that nobody can be the source of ethics for anybody, and therefore morality is, again, purely subjective. Abortion may be legal, and a woman’s right….but this doesn’t it is ethically right. The Greeks believed in a version of same in which they placed deformed babies on the hillside. The reason I use the Greek example of ugly children is not because we do it today, but because they had reason on their side. Reason supports a lot of things, as for example, a very liberal position on abortion. If there is no God, "Love your neighbor as yourself" is just a good idea. That's why it is written, incidentally, in Leviticus, "Love your neighbor as yourself, I am God." I, God, tell you to be decent to other people.
    Dennis Prager, a lecture.
     
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  2. BecauseIKnow
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    I wonder what Christians have to say about this, especially the few who are really educated on the Bible. Avatar and Emily.
     
  3. BecauseIKnow
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    Are you saying religious people who belong to any of the 3 abrahamic religions don't use any reason?
     
  4. BecauseIKnow
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    I don't think religious people look at it in your way of logic.

    So you might think you are disproving them post after post.

    But they don't think your way, you think in one way.
     
  5. Votto
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    Votto Gold Member

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    There are a lot of topics to cover in the OP. I think we should being one by one.

    Let's start with slavery. We are introduced with the concept of slavery in the Bible as the children of Israel are held captive for about 400 years in hard labor. God then raises up Moses to free them, an obvious condemnation of slavery. However, the Mosaic law inexplicably reinstitutes slavery. Why?

    When I look at slavery within the Israeli nation, I see some interesting differences. Slaves were afforded freedom after so many years of slavery. No where else in the world at that time was this the case. Also, every slave had the Sabbath to rest. Again, no where else in the ancient world was this the case. The fact remains that the world at that time was a very dark place where the majority lived in slavery. Although the Mosaic law did not end slavery, it seems to have been the beginning of the end in my view. In fact, I would even argue that the Mosiac law which instituted the Sabbath is why we even have a weekend to rest today. Back then, people survived via tribes, but some fell through the cracks. Slavery seems to have been a method for survival. Then if they could get back on their feet in 7 years they could start over.

    Jesus once said something interesting. He once said that he who sins is a slave of sin. The implication being that once sin overtakes you, it shackles you in chains. This also seems to be a condemnation of slavery. After all, if God gives us free will who is man to take it? Looking back at human history, as I have said in the ancient world slavery was the status quo. It seems to me that man's sin nature is the cause of such bondage as man tries to enslave his fellow man. And we see this continued today as men try to attain power over his fellow man and herd them around like cattle. It is instinctive, and only God seems to have the power to oppose them.
     
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  6. JoeB131
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    JoeB131 Diamond Member

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    I'm glad you included my original statement, since you spend the next six paragraphs addressing just about everything else to avoid the point. .

    Nice quote for a stupid person... but what did that have to do with the original point about morality and religion? Incidently, ascribing everyone who thinks that the runaway crony corportism is a bad thing (demonstrated by the disaster that was 2008) is a Marxist is just lazy thinking. So your first crack at the topic, and you try to change the subject to something no one was actually discussing here.



    Again, this wasn't the point. I know a lot of religious people who are nice folks, and a few athesists who are dicks. And vice versa. What did this have to do with my point?

    The bible contains a lot of batshit insanity that the people of the time considered "MOral", but would get you thrown in prison today. So how can you claim the bible is the source of all morality.


    I think you miss an important point here. Slavery can ONLY exist if society and law supports it. Otherwise, the slave could run away the first time he's asked to do something he doesn't like. Soceity for thousands of years condoned slavery.. until people- not religion, not a magic man in the sky- decided it was wrong.



    No, murdering children is wrong because it harms a child and by extention his family. It's like you ignore my argument, or maybe you just didn't understand it.

    "I have a simpler approach. Does my action hurt someone? If not, there's nothing immoral about it."

    Wow. that was pretty simple, wasn't it? A moral standard that was pretty clear cut, without the need for a God.





    Prager? Sowell? Can I give you a bit of advice. Expand your horizons, read opinions from both sides, and kind of make up your own mind.

    the thing is, God did nothing about the Holocaust, and these were supposedly his "Chosen" people it was happening to. The people who carried out the Holocaust wore belt buckles that read "Gott Mit Uns" (God With Us) and God didn't object one little bit.

    We are not a wonderful species. We are apes that like to eat meat and are a little too clever our own good. But believing in imaginary friends in the sky doesn't change that. And we are probably closer to that morality to day than the people who wrote the bible were.





    Except this isn't really the case. Most of our common law and morality actually comes from the Pagans. Christianity itself is a weird melding of Judiasm, Zoroasterism and Greco-Roman theology that contains so many contradictions, you have had hundreds of years of people killing each other over whether wafers turn into Jesus or not.



    Only 2 billion of the world 7 billion people believe in the Christian God. Maybe three billion if you admit that Muslims worship the same God, but you guys don't go there. Most people are moral without that particular sky pixie. Most people would be moral with no sky pixies. Some people are immoral with them. God =/= Morality.


    The Greeks didn't expose ugly children, they exposed ones that were so deformed they weren't expected to live. Keep in mind, we are talking Iron Age medicine, and even up until the 18th century, the infant mortality rate was still pretty high.

    People in that time period didn't get attached to babies the way we do today. It was too iffy of a proposition. Life in general was cheap in that time period, which is why the bible - which again, you argue is a source of "morality" - really didn't place a very high premium on it.

    Ironically, for all your Ayn Randian spew, the Bible actually was more interested in the welfare of the tribe, which is why it proscribed such harsh punishments for things like marrying outside the tribe or disobedient children or even being gay.
     
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  7. PoliticalChic
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    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

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    As you know, the colonists were religious Christians, and, as you suggest, looked to the Bible for instructions.

    1. The first Africans brought in captivity to colonial Virginia in 1619 became indentured servants, like the white indentured servants who were common at that time. Both were released as free people after a set number of years.
    Maldwyn Allen Jones, “American Immigration,” p. 13, 32.

    a. How and when this changed to perpetual slavery for blacks is unclear, but by the 1640’s, Africans brought to Virginia no longer had indenture contracts. Yet as late as 1651, some Negroes whose period of indenture expired were still being assigned land for themselves, as were the white indentured servants.
    Franklin, “From Slavery to Freedom,” p. 71-72.

    b. The first explicit law passed in America that recognized slavery as a perpetual condition, extending to future offspring, appeared in 1661 in Virginia.
    Franklin, Ibid.


    2. One reason for slavery-indentured service status in antiquity was that in order to obtain some benefit, folks had to put up collateral. For much of history, the only collateral one owned was themselves.
    So capitalism's emphasis on private property helped end slavery.
     
  8. JoeB131
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    The African Slave Trade didn't begin in Virginia.

    It began in Spanish America, when the Indians were dying off too fast from the diseases the Europeans were introducing and being worked to death, and they needed to bring in cheap labor. This happened a lot earlier than 1619.

    Point is, one human being owning another is wrong, no matter how you slice it.

    And any God who didn't recognize that was hardly "infallable". Much less moral.
     
  9. PoliticalChic
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    "The African Slave Trade didn't begin in Virginia."

    Could you point out where the post claimed that the African Slave Trade began in Virginia?

    No?


    Now, why would you include such extraneous material....
    So....you stated that as an attempt to regain some reputation as though you could point out an error? Is that it?


    Only one who was being beaten senseless in the debate would stoop to such.....I see, now it makes sense.
     
  10. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    You certainly don't, if you did you wouldn't believe a pig fucking pedophile was a prophet.

    You would also have read the post before replying.
     

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