Why do you believe in the inherent GOODNESS of man?
I believe that, left to our own instincts and devices, we are selfish creatures who would only work in our own self interest.
Watchpig why do you have to stir it up. If you don't believe in God why don't you just keep it to yourself and not bother others with it.
If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him - Voltaire
I'm going with Charlie on this one. I do not believe in the inate goodness of mankind. Without laws and religion (the source of a preponderance of civil laws), the drive for self-preservation would rule the day.
Firearms - it's good to have someone stir the pot once in a while to get our reasoning and debating skills fired up.
I believe that many good people and some bad ones exist in this world but I think without religion to help guide us and provide us with a moral center the world would be a much darker place.
Charlie and Bryant, as stated in my blog God did not write the Bible, Koran or Torah men did. Therefore the since these "holy" books were the product of men it is men not God that has given us our moral center.
Firearms, why do you go on about gun issues? Why don't you just shut up and let everyone alone?
why do you believe your name is WATCHPIG? because you want to. i do the same. because i want to. shouldnt that be good enough for you??
Most religious people believe that those holy works were INSPIRED by God, but physically written by man. Even the Greeks believed they were inspired by the Muses.
The only two times that God has physically appeared (that come to mind at 7am) are when He inscribed the 10 Commandments on the tablets of stone, and in the Steven King novel "The Stand," when 'the hand of God' appeared and detonated the atomic weapon, killing Randall Flagg and Las Vegas.
Either would have been awe inspiring, but the second has definite drawbacks.
I have often wondered why so many people of religion have such low opinions of their worth that they need the direction of a superior being. It suggests almost a desire for inferiority, a need to be the underdog. This could be due to the injection of standard religious ideas at an early age, preventing the natural development of self, as normally experienced by others, when growing up.
When religion provides a definition of such qualities as “goodness” or morality it negates the necessity for considering their real meaning.
I saw a motto recently which kind of summed it up:
“Morality is doing right, no matter what you are told.
Religion is doing what you are told, no matter what is right”
It's good enough for me wildturkey, you can believe what you want. I'll do the same but I am sick and tired of all of the "holier than thou" people trying to shove their religion in my face so a little turnaround is fair play.
Define 'right' please. Please let us know if that is YOUR definition or a copy/paste. Please let us know how you determined THAT particular definition to be correct.
BTW - I disagree with your 'motto.' Christianity is based on freedom of choice - a person chooses to follow God, or not. True Christianity is not compulsory.
I appreciate your candid demostration of self directed morality. "...I am sick and tired of all of the "holier than thou" people trying to shove their religion in my face so a little turnaround is fair play." Is this part of the "inherent goodness of man"?
Jesus encourages me to turn the other cheek. Which of us is behaving morally?
Charlie, morality is subjective to the whim of the observer. In this case the written body of religious text can be helpful as a rough guide. In my opinion it is amoral for religious zealots to attempt to manipulate others to “force” them to convert to that zealot’s way of thinking. Let’s be honest here the goal of all religions like any cult is to subjugate and cultivate its following. I admit man needed religion to move beyond his primitive self and to help him organize a moral and social hierarchy but this is no longer the dark ages and humanity must now slip away from these bonds in order to grow. Still I will not try to force you to do this you must come to these conclusions yourself.
And, if I do not come to these conclusions myself, will you continue to refer to me as a "zealot" or "primitive" in a subtle yet undeniable attempt to lberate me from the "cult" and force me to your way of thinking?
This particular shoe fits a lot of feet, eh?
No Charlie that would be you putting words into my mouth a common tactic I have come to expect from you. If you choose to believe in God or follow any particular religion I have no disrespect for your choice. What I cannot respect is people who try to push religion upon me.
It’s okay Charlie I understand that me asserting my opinion is upsetting to the way you perceive religion and you therefore feel the need to compartmentalize my comments in a way that will make you feel better about yourself.
Now you are being condescending to me.
I did not put those words in your mouth, I used your words in correct context in an attempt to demostrate the hypocrisy of your position. Sorry you missed that.
You have no 'disrespect' for my choice - OK, but do you/will you RESPECT my choice - even in your unspoken thoughts? If not, then I believe you are no better than the 'zealots' you claim to despise.
There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.
Have a good day.
pig stated " people trying to shove their religion in my face ".
if you dont like whats being shoved in your face, dont just stand there spitting. MOVE YOUR FACE.
its like pissing in the wind. dont just stand there and cry about getting wet. TURN AROUND!!!! u so smart.
That is making you no better than them, Watchpig. I have a question - can you explain existence without acknowledging a higher power?
Charlie:- you want me to define the meaning of “right”? (09:41am) I am sure that you know I could come back with any number of definitions such as “that which is not wrong”, but according to the “motto” under discussion it is doing the morally correct thing whatever distractions may be present.
Please now allow me use your favorite discussion ploy and ask you in turn:
Do you consider religion (or a religion) to be a set of morals and therefore a form of morality which also requires religious obedience? And does this create a conflict?
And if so does pure morality, therefore, trump religion as it requires simply doing the right thing?
By the way, I disagree with your statement that Christianity is based on freedom of choice, “a person chooses to follow God, or not” is not a choice as to not follow God would not be Christian.
"Faith Based"...sorry, I tried, I really did...I wish I could..but I can't, I really want too, but it just won't add up. Don't get me wrong, I can't prove otherwise..BUT..:(
I do not mind (and usually welcome) a chance to explain my views. I am the same person - in person or on the blogs. I am not afraid to state what I believe, nor to hear criticism of my beliefs.
I believe that religion is a belief/faith in a higher power - God. There certainly is a set of morals that God expects/prefers us to follow. However, God understand that humans will not be able to follow the code 100% 24/7, that our selfish nature will influence some of our decisions. In order to encourage moral behavior, there are penalties and there is a mechanism to acknowledge fault (confession and forgiveness). I acknowledge that at times I stray from the moral code - unintentionally sometimes, intentionally at other times. I try to be honest about my sins, and when I do sin, I ask forgiveness. I also recognize that there may be consequenses to my choices. I may not like them, but I accept them.
I have never felt a conflict between doing right and following the moral code, because (to me) they are the same. The moral code being - God's code. I am sure the 'obediance' you refer to is church code. I do not agree with all of it, therefore I do not follow all of it.
I am a Methodist, though I have not always been. I have had many Christian and even Jewish influences. But in methodism, John Wesley gave a 'hierarchy' of guidance - first the Scripture, then the acknowledged validated writing and traditions of the church, and then our own God-given brain, intelligence and intellect. I use all three - as best I can.
I could give you a short list of preachers with whom I have had many a discussion about this. I guess the answer is that pure morality trumps human religion, but pure morality and pure religion are the same for me.
Lastly, Christians consider God to be one entity with three distinct manifestations; that relationship is not completely understood. Therefore, at times, I use 'God' to represent all three. But you are right, not following God would not be Christian, but then, if you choose not to follow God (overall - as in atheist), you cannot be a Christian by definition.
Hey pig - where's the answer to my question?
Passin - you deny there is a higher power? Are you blind? How do YOU explain existence?
Charlie, thanks for taking the time to share some of your beliefs and how you got to this point. I’m short on time now but would like to respond later.
Mystery, No, I don’t deny that there is a higher power, any more than I deny that there is not one.
No, I am not blind, but if you believe that I am, isn’t writing the question a bit of a waste of time?
How do I explain existence of what?
“Morality is doing right, no matter what you are told. Religion is doing what you are told, no matter what is right.”
Like it passinthru. Think we'd live in a better world if more people were brave enough to live that. Christianity would probably be sticking closer to the red letters if that were the case too.
Mystery the laws of physics, not the will of God, provide the real explanation as to how life on Earth came into being. IMHO
Mystery, you go around in circles asking variations of the same question. One which has no acceptable answer for you other than, "Yes, there is a God." You are not debating a position, you're being dogmatic about your position, period.
Climegeist, watchpig and passin; as a generality you're using the term morality without defining it - or the source of the definition. "Morality is doing the right thing" - whose morality? Is it your individual definition of right and wrong? Where did you arrive at your concept of morality?
Whether God exists or not can never be proven. Just as the theory of the Big Bang can never truly be proven but only inferred through mathematical extrapolation of observed quantum mechanics. Or the theory of evolution - two theories to which I do ascribe.
I believe morality and God are two separate constructs. You can be a moral person without believing in God. You can believe in God and not be a moral person.
It's an interesting, if pointless, debate.
Maybe so, Bryant, because the existence of a higher power is the only explanation that makes any sense. :)
No, Mystery, it is not the only explanation that makes sense. It may be the only explanation that makes sense to you.
The problem is that it doesn't matter if you believe or don't believe most people aren't going to change their mind because of a debate with someone of the opposite belief. If you don't believe like myself, there are plenty of scientific theories to explain enough about the world and universe to satisfy without the creationist myths. And the counter point is that if you do believe there are enough unexplainable things still left in the universe to take the out of saying well since I'm not smart enough to understand this then god must of did it.
There was a time when religions were needed so that people wouldn't just go around killing, raping, and eating things that would make them sick because it wasn't prepared correctly, this time was called the Dark Ages. Today we have a legal system in place to stop people from hurting and stealing from others and we have a government agency regulating food preparation.
The belief in god is a nice myth, because we are a smart enough to understand death and fear it. However I think we would possibly have a better society if people realized that there is no happy ending perfect place they are going after they die and instead put forth all their efforts to making this life on this earthly world the perfect heavenly place they wish existed.