Religion as socially-accepted mental illness

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Magical Realist, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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    Then what value is the scripture if it can be used to fit any conduct you want to consider moral?
     
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  3. jayleew Who Cares Valued Senior Member

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    Moral conduct itself can be perceived as good or evil depending on the ethical system and the circumstances or perspective. Good and evil do not change, what constitutes them does. For example, slavery was moral and now it isn't, but we know slavery is evil. The value of scriptures is the fact that it can change based upon ethical paradigms of the present. It is its strength as a moral compass, but also a weakness as a compass because in the wrong hands it is deadly. The scriptures contain power.
     
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  5. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

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    But you argued that it was capable of supporting any moral action.
    What good a compass that points everywhere at the same time?
    Anyone can hold it up and say "look, it says we're going in the right direction".
    But it only points where you already want it to lead you.
    So its only power is over those who let it have power over them.
    That is not an inherent power.
    That is just weakness in the ones over which it has power.

    Who is to say what is "good" or "evil"?
    Is there an objective setting?
    Why is slavery "evil" if not only in reference to morals or current ethics?
     
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  7. Balerion Banned Banned

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    Exactly!
     
  8. Balerion Banned Banned

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    Scripture doesn't change. Slavery is not an evil in it ever, even though we all agree today that it is. All that ever changes is what believers are willing to accept and what they aren't.
     
  9. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    The scriptures (Bible) contain no coherent morality or message. We see what we want to see in them, making them less than useless, since they also provide cosmic justification for whatever you have already decided they mean.
     
  10. Mazulu Banned Banned

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    Uninformed rubbish. Here is a restatement of the golden rule.
     
  11. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    What value is the US Constitution if it can (and has been) used to justify any conduct you want to consider constitutional?
     
  12. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    So you want people to stone you to death for, say, disrespecting your parents?
     
  13. Mazulu Banned Banned

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    I'd follow the golden rule. Verbal discipline suffices.
     
  14. Mazulu Banned Banned

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    The US constitution restricts the power of government. I think that is very valuable. That's why the police can't search your house without a warrant or take away your guns on a whim..
     
  15. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    So you reject Biblical morality?
     
  16. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Ah, but different people see it differently! For example, some support the right of government to take away your guns or search your house without a warrant - and indeed, those two things are legal under specific circumstances.

    Yet still, even though people disagree over how to interpret it, it's still quite valuable as a document.
     
  17. Mazulu Banned Banned

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    There are a few teachings I reject. But the world is a better place for having Christians. it's definitely a religion with teeth. But I would much rather live in a Christian country than a Muslim country. Wouldn't you?
     
  18. Mazulu Banned Banned

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  19. jayleew Who Cares Valued Senior Member

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    Great points. I am only stating that it is a compass that points everywhere and therefore can support any moral decision. It isn't stuck in time like Spidergoat was suggesting. Its usefulness has run out for me however and it is a double-edged sword. The altruistic base ethics in scriptures are a good starting point. It comes with a built-in enforcement system too (a supernatural person watching you) to make a person self-disciplining.

    Slavery is evil because of its destruction of living. Life without living is not worth existing. Every life deserves a chance to live according to their own means. Slavery is living according to another's means and therefore not living according to its own means. If something causes a life to lose its ability to live within its means, then it is evil. Evil is something that threatens the core meaning of life: to exist and to live.
     
  20. jayleew Who Cares Valued Senior Member

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    It is a dangerous business. The one coherent message in the book is altruism. It's always about helping your fellow man. The scriptures say even to pray for your enemies. You can't get more altruistic than that.
     
  21. jayleew Who Cares Valued Senior Member

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    Excellent point. Although Christians did have that Crusade. If another one comes, then I might change my line.
     
  22. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    It makes no difference. The only reason I might prefer a predominately Christian country is that those are the countries who's fundamentalism has been tempered by the enlightenment, Democracy, science and humanism.
     
  23. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    It also creates enemies by dividing the world into believers and unbelievers. It justified slavery, and it continues to justify abusing children with the fiction of hell, as well as unrealistic notions about sex. And you can be altruistic without it, so what's the point?
     

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