Evolution vs. creation

Matto, i truly enjoy your courtesy---and your wonderful ideas, of course.

Please allow me to provide you here with my definition of "religion."

You spoke about there being a problem with religions and war. Then you exopressed your fear of the atrocities occuring in the Middle East, blaming such hatred between humans on the foundation of ancestral prejudices handed down generation after generation. And you voice your profound opinion that the cause of such differences which brings about the destruction of mankind is ridiculous. You add that, seemingly, the solution to the cessation of all such vile calamities that strike down and destroy people would be to "eliminate religion." Finally, you ask the very meaningful question, "Where do we go from here?"

Let us, to begin with, consider the word "religion," itsel. The Merriam Websters tells us it has Latin and Middle English (ME = French) roots. Besides the meaning of "supernatural constraint, sanction," (from the Latin) the other meaning is "to restrain" "to tie back" (from ME). I presume religion exists to "restrain" man, to hold him back, through belief in goodness, from commiting such actions which are irreligious or, in other words, restrain him from immorallity; since "religion," as defined in the dictionary, is "a system of moral principles."
Now we must consider the true purpose of religion. Moses, Christ, Buddha, Mohammad, all had one singular purpose in submitting themselves to their enemies' cruel treatment (persecution). These great men who founded Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism and Islam, had one singular purpose, and that was to bind together, to make to come together, to unite mankind into one common bond. They had no other purpose but to bring together the sincere and truthful under those splendid banners of peace and love. To this testify all Holy Scripture. Now, since these founders established such once great social systems with the power of unifying peoples of divers races and opposing opinions, we may infer that the purpose underliening "religion" is to unite people. But a cursory glance at the state of the followers of these ancient religions reveals the pathetic truth that they are not united under one common faith. My question is, why? Please allow me to continue....

Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism and Islamism are all divided into many sects. A sect is a branch that has diviated from its source. But let me make this clearer and use Christianity as an example.

Christ revealed His religion and for three years planted the seed thereof in the hearts of those who loved Him and understood His Words. This seed in time grew into a stalwart tree; the tree of Christianity. However, soon men appeared who claimed to be "Christians" but who disagreed with certain items of faith (the Holy Trinity, Baptism, Ressurrection, etc.). Thus it was that Luther separated himself from the Faith by founding Protestanism with items of belief that differed from Christianity as practised by the majority. Others did the same. Today we have the Mormons, the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Catholics (Catholisism itself is divided into yet smaller divisions, as well), and a hundred others. Thus, from that original seed that Christ planted, a mighty tree grew. But with the mighty tree branches started to appear. And these branches are what we term "sects." Catholism, for example, is not a true "religion" but a sect, a branch stemming from the tree. Christ founded Christianity, not Catholicism. Similarilly, Mohammad founded Islam, not the Shiite or Sunni sects. These are branches from the original tree.

We see today that Christians fight among themselves, as we see Muslims and Buddhists and Jews, etc., do the same.

My conclusion is that we must not rid ourselves of true "religion." Religion is not the problem. The problem is in man himself when he becomes arrogant, conceited, blind to all spiritual matters, and seeks to dominate others with those vile and contemptible powers borne of his limited and ephemeral selfish imagination. No! Religion, TRUE religion, is absolutely not the problem. On the contrary; we should turn in all meekness to the true founders of religion but let go, nay, shun! all those worthless idols invented by the ill-minded who firmly hold their sect as the only truth!

Please forgive me the length of this post.

Science and Religion definetly go hand in hand. But, it's the science of the mind that's what pretains to Religion. The bible is a book of history of the consequences of how people think. Psyhciatry is the study of the mind, and the state of mind is the being, and if the being is made by God/The Natural Ways, then psychiatry is the study of God. As there are only two basics concepts operating in the universe, the ways of the material and the ways of the spiritual, that leaves only two possibibilities from which to recognize life, those are, from a material point of view, or a spiritual point of view. Thus also, that leaves only two possible prospects for interpretation of the bible, and they would be from the perspective of the only two basics that are possible, materially or spiritually. Now then, the fact of the situation is that what has been promoted through the centuries is the material points of view because in the fall of man the interpretation of "person" was changed to physical where-as before the fall it was spiritual. The changes that took place on account of the fall is that "person" began to be recognized according to physical abilities . In the European ideals is where one can see these changes in a more prominent discription with names such as Miller, Carpenter, Smith, Farmer, Woodman, Cutter, Tinker, Etc. It is the present interpretations of life toward the physical that is causing us all our problems as we want to see the affects and effects of the existance of others and benefit from them in terms of their labors. If it can be agreed that this physical interpretaion of self and others is what's the basis of our problems the the only other alternative is the spiritual insights to solve the problems. When one realizes that there is no person without the physical (as there must be a fuctioning brain in order for there to be person)he can see that the material/physical and spiritual go hand in hand. The body is a tool of the person, and in turn the person at some point must be the tool of the body, but regardless, each is not the other just as the hand is not the wrench and both are needed to bring about a result. Everything presently is a result of something which was before it. Material came from its direction and from the material there formed a brain. And in the brain is where is the person. At the outset the brain contained mere inference, and inference is an automatic process of forageing and survival. Inference is what a baby has at birth when it is hungary and wants to feed. It is not taught nor is it cognitively aware but it still does the things to promote it's own physical life. After a while the baby learns to grasp things without being taught as the situation "inferes" that process as no one needs teach it to grasp. Inferences are the basics to remain alive and do the necessary simple things to live, and that is also a God of type. Before the bibical beginning other things become added to the inferences and a slight ability of cognitives developes that allow life to proceed with more direction and will begins. And along with will, "person" is formed and all the traits of being inhumane and humane appear and become intact. In our case, at a certain point intelect becomes acute by which one gains the ability to comprehend and connect facts in which an acute cognitive decision can be extrated to bring about a predetermined or prospective result. Comprehension of facts can be applied to understand both the material connections and also the spiritual ones. Bibical Creation is that very process of cognitive beings sorting out the traits of the inhumane (animal traits) from the humane traits, and electing to proceed with life according to the humane traits only, which makes man. The 7 days are the process of enlightenment to arrive at that decision. The waters above the firmament are the animal traits which were divided off from the waters below, human traits, both understood as states of mind/waters. The reason that the waters above are the animal traits is because the animal is a superiority seeker to be "above" others. Before bibical creation there was only animal and it was from creation that came man/the human. "God/Way, is the inner powers of those at that era used to bring about the result, of course along with the powers of reasoning. As events pass a longing and an attraction developes to return to the former (the other trees in the garden, commonly refered to as an apple) and so they did, returning to that from whence they came, animal mentality, (Animal being/soul-dust of the ground)(earth= soul) It was at the institutions of Babylon the Great where everything of our time began. The tower of Babylon in material form was never built. It took the place of the waters above the heavens and they began to tower above each other as before creation, and recreated themselves to their preferences of the animal in the world of force and counterforce, greaters and lessors. And that's the world we still have today, and will be so until once again we refigure ourselves back to creation of which the man Jesus was representative of. No, he's not phoney, he was true man, only. And he is now present once again on the earth.

Wishful thinking, my friend. While it would be just awesome if all religious people really upheld the original ideals of their religion -- you must realize that such a thing is just as impossible as Communism. People are not perfect, and people are not innately good -- they are lazy, and they are selfish. That is why communism didn't work, and that is why religious brotherhood will never be a reality. And, as long as you give people excuses to segregate into sects, they will do so, and they will hate each other's guts. But what's even worse, they will be doing it for arbitrary reasons -- over disputes between mythologies, of all things! That's why I say: out with religion! Take away yet another major excuse for sectarianism, force people to think critically about the world -- and perhaps they would be less likely to behave irrationally. That's, of course, also an ideal -- but I think we can approach my ideal much more readily than we can approach yours.



Not quite sure what you're leading up to, with the discussion of 'humane' vs. 'inhumane'. If you define indulgence and selfishness as inhumane, then you are talking about very human traits indeed. On the other hand, higher animals possess many of the virtues one would call 'humane'.

But regardless, the issue debated here is the worthiness of religion. While it might help you form a metaphorical interpretation of reality, I don't see where you go from there.

I am; therefore I think.

[This message has been edited by Boris (edited June 30, 1999).]
Dumarrier, thanks for the comments in your last posting -- although I do pick up the sarcastic vibes, they are none the lees true.

I'd like to clarify something from my last message, which, to me not that I look upon it again, seems a little bizzare.

I'm not a Nazi and I'm against violence unless it's a last restort thing. My last sentence stating about picking up where Hitler left off was composed of dry sarcasm.

In my last message, I wanted to point out something that my origional message lacked. This whole religious war bit needs to be named. If religion can get credit for the good then it shall indeed get credit for the negative.

However I lack the knowledge required when it comes to current religious wars, and I really don't care whats happing over there at this moment; simply because I think it's all pointless. As far as I can tell, religious loonies are running around with machine guns claiming the land they stand on is divinly theirs and the death toll rises daily.

So I guess what I was trying to say was that the whole "package" of religion isn't all good. But then some of you could argue that it isn't good at all.

Anyways, my apoligies for the "profound" message back there. The way I put it into context was unneccessary.


[This message has been edited by MaTTo (edited June 30, 1999).]
Also, another thing, Boris has shown me that maybe can get by without religon. I'm not sure what to think.

All I see is, that we don't have any real problem right now as I speak with religion, so who needs to make it into something that could turn out worse?

Boris, what has turned you into such a cynic?

If giving up religion, as you have, means looking at the world with such contempt, as you do - I'll keep my religion!

Bev :(

You express a conservative viewpoint. I.e. if we can get by with what we have, why try to risk it all and strive for more? But you see, if all we ever do is sit on our butts and never risk anything, then we will get nowhere. Trying new things always involves risk, and it always involves making mistakes, and paying for them -- but that's the only way you can ultimately improve.


I'm not a cynic. I like to depict myself as a realist -- i.e. I try to never express or support clearly idealistic, groundless claims or goals. My philosophy is this: if it can *never in principle* be achieved, if it can *never in principle* be known or conceptualized, if it can *never in principle* even be validated, it's useless and pointless. There's got to be at least a small grain of credibility. Religion's got none.

I am; therefore I think.
Boris, your reply to my post is well taken.

Your opening sentence, "Wishful thinking, my friend," conveys, in my estimation, the thought of someone who has not quite understood my post. My whole point was very simple, really: people use the word "religion" too loosely without understanding its meaning and label all sects as "religions" and conclude that religion is no good when the culprits are the sects. I must ask you, Boris, to be honest and authentic in your response to the following question: What crime did Christ commit that we should say He was no good? For, you see, Christ was the founder of Christianity and by blaming Christianity (a religion) for the atrocities committed by the Pope (the Crusades, for example, where millions died for one of the vilest causes in existence) would be a true mark of the lack of insight and perception.

I am of the profoundest conviction that religion is the light of humanity and without it you and i would not be able to continue living as noble, respectful and dignified human beings. It was the Ten Commandments of Moses that allowed generations to learn how to apply spiritual principles in their social behavior in contrast to their prior habits of being. Now, if a jew murders another jew, or anyone else, is Moses to blame? This is my point. If someone who calls himself a "Christian" commits adultery is Christ to blame? For did not Christ expressedly tell His followers to abide by the rule of Moses with regards the item, "Thou shalt not commit adultery"?
It is man's disobedience of Divine Law which causes misery for himself and in the world. Such disobedience has given sway to the creation of millions of sects.

The other point you suggest is that it is impossible for "...religious people [to uphold] the original ideals of their religion," and that this impossibility is "...just as impossible as Communism" because people are imperfect [and] that is why religious brotherhood will never be a reality."

On the surface, dearest Boris, the impossibility of religious brother sounds like a good arguement for no one could argue the point that human beings are imperfect and certainly it is not with an imperfect instrument that we may bring about the creation of a perfect one. The imperfection of the human being is an obvious and evident fact. However, let us return to the mention of Christ (we could use Moses or Muhammad or Buddha as examples here and it would bring forth the same result). You will agree, if you've ever read the accounts of Jesus' life in the New Testament, that Christ was a poor man. He had no army, no material wealth of any kind; he was poor and destitute and laid his head on a rock each evening to use as a pillow. He had no home but was a wanderer from place to place preaching what He said came not from Himself but from God. He was meek, lowly, humble. A cursory understanding of the life and Teachings of this man of God would readily bring to the perceptive mind the contradiction to your statement. Christ was perfect!!! (as were Moses, Mohammad, Buddha). Within the embrace of His divine perfection this man, alone and unaided, poor and armyless, in all His meekness and humbleness, brought to their knees the wealthiest, most powerful and most reknown kings of the earth. Millions of people of different racial, cultural and political backgrounds did Christ unite under one banner of love for Him. He, solely with His Word, brought into existence a religious brotherhood the likes of which humanity had not experienced before Him!

As time passed, men interpreted the Teachings of Christ, adding their own limited understanding and sharing this with believers. The Holy Scriptures were tampered with. This is when the power of cohesion inherent within the Teachings that issued from a perfect Christ lost its effect. When man turns his heart to the vain imaginings invented by the arrogant and power-hungry mongrels, the sheep are scattered, not reunited. Yet, my point is that Christ did create that religious brotherhood (as history testifies). In like manner, Moses, Buddha and Mohammad also created this religious brotherhood. God will most certainly bring another Prophet who will do the same thing once again. "The time is nigh!" :)

In your closing remarks you state, "...force people to think critically about the world --and perhaps they would be less likely to behave irrationally. That's, of course, also an ideal -- but I think we can approach my ideal much more readily than we can approach yours.:

I believe we need to combine both your ideal and mine and create a balance, Boris. Man cannot live on reason alone, much less on religion alone. A balance of the mind and heart are necessary--and moderation is a wonderful virtue! You'll agree with me that most of the greatest men the world has known balanced their belief in a Divine Creator with their rational faculty. Einstein was one of these. Socrates was another. There are countless others. Balance is needed. Without it the universe would collapse.


[This message has been edited by dumaurier (edited June 30, 1999).]

I can't agree with your definition of religion at all I'm afraid. You narrowed 'true' religion so far down to the point it has no meaning at all anymore. What kind of foolishness is it to proclaim that the only true religion is the one that is founded by figures as Mohammed, Boedda, Jezus,...
First of all their lives have not been recorded on a impartial device, neither wrote anything themselves, others did and they got their information from again others or had to remember the words of their teachers.
Also you are implying as if these guys had the actual intend to found something like a religion, with the possible exception of Mohammed (but then again his real purpose was to unite the tribes of Arabia) this was clearly not the case.
I propose therefor a different definition of religion :
A religion is a set of ideas founded and constructed around a basic amount of dogmas.

A dogma is a proposition founded on a certain autority. This autority can be a person, an institution, a habit or a scripture which itself is based on one of the tree previous but can become an autority of its own.

we are midgets standing on the backs of giants,

[This message has been edited by Plato (edited July 01, 1999).]

I do not intend to speak for others, so this post is a response to your proposition concerning the dogma of religion. what u propose is that written history is the source of consideration of the three named above; it is the principals that are of relevance. what u are relaying is the fact that man, as witness, is likely to distort
teachings as they apply to conditions implied upon them. this is the impartiality u speak of, these events are entagled with political strife and revolutionary thought. actions speak for themselves under these circumstances. as you purport authority and idea to be the definition of religion, a construction of dogmas, this is not entirely
incorrect; however it does not discount the
three aforementioned. it is a matter of detail
in context of existing text. sometimes one is left unsatisfied simlpy because what is read does not apply to oneself at the given time.
just as Dumairier proposes, why not try a bit of a mix? is everyone so afraid that they will lose their own principles of individuality? could it be that this is the
cause of our stalemate? perhaps we find 'strength' in feeling that we are correct and others need 'our' enlightenment. is it that we hold on to our dreams because they get us through the day, turning away from valuable insight that poses a challenge to our dear
perceptions. throughout life, we become conditioned through our associations. we relate to matters in the way we see fit. if something is uncomfortable, we recognize this immediately sometimes we 'react', other times, we allow another to contribute to our personal process of learning/expansion. at times we edit this input, and begin (once again) to find a sense of partiality. something along the way has been lost, and something gained. the sensation one is left with becomes the interpretive dogma, as extracted from the process of our own insight and relationship to apprehensive reaction.
in a drawing, any two points may exist in any given location, connect them and now there is a relationship directly applied between them,
add another point and connect these, who knows what forms may be created this way; the more we experiment, the more shapes we can find.
I think it is you who misunderstood my post. But let me reply to your reply.

Jesus, Mohammed or Buddha are not on trial here; religion is. As in a set of dogmas, rules, rituals and preconceptions about the world that is supposed to be internalized without question and submitted to with all due sheepishness.

I would like to counter your claim that "man cannot live on reason alone". Unless you are going to proclaim that I am not a man, you've got an obvious counterexample right in front of you.

Balance is not any kind of reason to accept religion. For example, history has always been composed of peace and war, alternating in a 'balance' of sorts. Would you now argue that war is therefore acceptable?

I imagine many smart people proclaimed themselves religious because:

1) they were afraid of persecution (either from Christians, or later from Communist-bashers)
2) they were raised with their religion and couldn't picture an alternative mindset.
3) they simply didn't care enough about atheism vs. religion to commit any serious thought to the virtues and vices of each, or to join vigorous discussions on the issue.
4) they were quite brilliant within their area of expertise, but rather less proficient in the topic of interest here.
5) they were forced into religion by peer-pressure.
I could go on...

In truth, people have indeed lived with religion alone, and with reason alone. The question is, who was better off. And contrary to the repeated claims of the hordes of reconciliationists on this board, religion and reason are not compatible! In fact, by and large religion defies reason, and vice versa!

Also (and I'm tired of having to repeat this again and again) we should realize that neither the Q'ran, nor the Bible, nor even the Torah laid the grounds for ethical or moral behavior. These behavioral principles are inherent in us; they are what you may call instincts; they are what makes any human (or non-human) tribe hang together. These moral principles can be derived by pure mathematics, if one assumes that a coherent group of distinct, about equally capable, selfish individuals, endowed with a semi-free will, is to hang together. Aside for our natural tendencies toward some moral-correctness, the various morals and ethics can be upheld purely based on the principle that they make societies coherent, and individuals happy on the whole. No religion is necessary to enforce or promote the various morals; they can be promoted by reasoned argument, and enforced by both parental upbringing and laws. Note that such an arrangement would leave ethics flexible, and adaptable to unforseen developments -- so one wouldn't have to use a stone-age ethical framework to reason about such things as human cloning, or animal experimentation. And, as long as ethical frameworks evolve within the bounds of reason and critique, they are likely to remain robust and relevant to their time period -- contrary to what many religious people seem to assume.

Finally, let me say that I do not condemn or in any way belittle Christ, or Buddha, or whomever. They were indeed outstanding individuals, and role models to imitate. However, they were role models only as far as behavior, life goals, and relationship to other people -- they were not even by a long shot valid conveyors of world-knowledge. And on religious side of things they were as full of it as any other layman.

I am; therefore I think.
Boris, thank you for your reply.

As much as i would like to continue debating with you, i must cease doing so. The seeker after truth has ceased playing with toys long ago.

Your statement that

"...neither the Q'ran, nor the Bible,
nor even the Torah laid the grounds
for ethical or moral behavior. These behavioral principles are inherent
in us; they are what you may call instincts..."

bakes a cake and eats it too (no offense). I'm afraid i will have to call it quits.

The sun is visible for all to see but the blind, though they strive for a hundred thousand years, will never be able to see its splendour.

Please do enjoy yourself with your rational debates.

Boris : Don't stop just because dumaurier gave up , your posts are some of the few that I can read with out yawning , your understanding of human behavior and ability to convert your thoughts into words are refreshing and in my humble opinion , your statements are valid .

if you have read the response i have given about reincarnation, none of these men were layman. one would find it dubious to place ones terms of vital integrity into the face of inequity. what remains is what has not been burned to ashes in the attempts of revolution. should we seek to realize the messages of these important lives, we should sift through these applications of 'dogma' .
the convictions of a people united under a
'dogmatic' cause can bring considerable commotion, though the validity of their claims may lie in subjegation and naivety.
there are men such as Julius Ceasar , leaders
of great eras, but in the end it was a mark of power. an attempt to 'right the wrong' by
influencing or consuming the surroundings into submission. 'let the people be mine' -so to speak. an important message from the great three is 'let the people be themselves' . without these three, this world would surely not be the same, three less 'laymen' could not have changed the world . one could say that mankind has succeeded in obscuring these
messages over time, as the general populace chuckles at the monk who has understood his life.

another time . .
I would plead for a different approache to religion and its relations to moral and happiness.
First of all I must agree with Boris, moral codes are clearly a natural outcome of the evolutionary process withing herd animals. There are computer simulations and life examples in nature to confirm this point. This however also applies to technological and scientific evolution of humans. It is a bit harder to proof but since every human society (and it appears also higher primates like chimps) has develloped some kind of technology and science to explain how the technology works, one could say that the formation of technology and science are as natural to an intelligent species as moral codes.
In order to progress into fields like religion, technology and science one needs people entirely devoted to them. Hence the importance of people like Boedda, Mohammed, Socrates, Aristotle, Newton, Descartes, Edison, ...
These are examples of people who really excelled in their field and took it several stages higher but they were also a child of their times. History works in two stages, one slow and steady pace and one with swift revolutions. These revolutions happen when certain critical points are met then at these times of revolution suddenly, figures emerge who lead the way to a new period of steady pace. One could compare it with the changing of aggregate state of water with changing temperature. Ice warms up slowly up to a certain point where temperature and outside pressure suddenly make it melt, during the melting process there is no change of internal temperature but once everyting is melted the temperature begins to rise again.
Religion addresses questions as :
Why are we here ?
Where do we come from and where are we going ?
These are profound questions that are clearly outside the domain of science but must be solved anyway. Our curiousity simply demands it...

we are midgets standing on the backs of giants,

[This message has been edited by Plato (edited July 02, 1999).]

Religion indeed addresses the very important questions of why and what we are. However, aside from addressing these questions religion certainly doesn't do much. For example, how about actually *answering* these questions to everybody's satisfaction?

I am; therefore I think.

Do you mean something like one religion for everyone ? That is a bit difficult since religion doesn't use objective criterea as science does. Still it furfills a certain longing in the human nature so there lies its purpose. It's one might say the outing of the irrational in the human spirit. People want the magic and as much they want the mystery, they are afraid of it. There lies the true attraction of religion, therefor I dare say that everyone has some form of religion.

we are midgets standing on the backs of giants,
An absurdity has been posted here which requires clarification.

The absurdity is stated thus:

"...neither the Q'ran, nor the Bible, nor even the Torah laid the grounds for ethical or moral behavior. These behavioral principles are inherent in us; they are what you may call instincts..."

This is one of the greatest absurdities of the century. Its utterance could only originate within a mind neglectful of careful contemplation. Its roots are firmly grounded in the labyrinth of imagination.

Let us look deeper into the meaning of the three keywords used in the above statement:

ETHICS: the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation;

MORALITY: a doctrine or system of moral conduct teaching a moral lesson;

INSTINCT: a) a largely inheritable and unalterable tendency of an organism to make a complex and specific response to environmental stimuli without involving reason; b) behavior that is mediated by reactions below the conscious level.

Source: Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dict. 10th Ed. 1997

Ethics and Morality require conscious thought whereas "instinct," as the Webster's clearly explains, is behavior not requiring conscious thought. In psychology we know that the quality of human actions and reactions are based on thought (not on our instinctual responses as the withdrawing of your hand from fire). Take away thought and we are no better than animals that are devoid of thought! The quality of human actions and reactions is determined by morallity and ethics (by what we believe). Animals do not think before acting or reacting; they use instinct and instinct does not require conscious thought.

Now, concerning the affirmation about the Holy Books, this is a very sad statement. All Holy Books have been revealed for the sole purpose of leading man "to the right path" of virtuous behavior; of ethical and moral conduct. It is the only reason why the Holy Books are given to mankind. Without such guidance man is lost and no better than an animal. Mohammad, addressing the Jews, said, "We gave Moses the Scripture and the Criterion (Between right and wrong): There was a chance for you to be guided aright."

Anyone eager of sincere investigation may search any Holy Book himself to discover the truth of what is said here. I shall simply provide brief extracts to prove the point.

I begin with several extracts from the New Testament and follow this by quotes from the Qur'an and Buddhist Scripture. My point is to prove that all Holy Books are the foundation upon which are laid the grounds for ethical or moral behavior.

From the New Testament, Christ said:

1. Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

2. Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

3. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

4. It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

5. Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

6. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.

7. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

8. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

From the Qur'an, Mohammad said:

1. O ye people! Adore your Guardian-Lord, who created you and those who came before you, that ye may have the chance to learn righteousness (AL-BAQARAH)

2. And cover not Truth with falsehood, nor conceal the Truth when ye know (what it is).

3. ...show patience, Firmness and self-control; who are true (in word and deed); who worship devoutly; who spend (in the way of God); and who pray for forgiveness in the early hours of the morning. (AL-I-IMRAN)

4. To orphans restore their property (When they reach their age), nor substitute (your) worthless things for (their) good ones; and devour not their substance (by mixing it up) with your won. For this is indeed a great sin.

5. If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, Marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice. (AN-NISA)

6. If ye (but) eschew the most heinous of the things which ye are forbidden to do, We shall expel out of you all the evil in you, and admit you to a gate of great honour. (AN-NISA)

7. (Lawful unto you in marriage) are (not only) chaste women who are believers, but chaste women among the People of the Book, revealed before your time,- when ye give them their due dowers, and desire chastity, not lewdness, nor secret intrigues if any one rejects faith, fruitless is his work, and in the Hereafter he will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good). (AL-MA'IDAH)

8. O ye who believe! stand out firmly for God, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear God. For God is well-acquainted with all that ye do. (AL-MA'IDAH)

9. It is no fault in the blind nor in one born lame, nor in one afflicted with illness, nor in yourselves, that ye should eat in your own houses, or those of your fathers, or your mothers, or your brothers, or your sisters, or your father's brothers or your father's sisters, or your mother's brothers, or your mother's sisters, or in houses of which the keys are in your possession, or in the house of a sincere friend of yours: there is no blame on you, whether ye eat in company or separately. But if ye enter houses, salute each other - a greeting of blessing and purity as from God. Thus does God make clear the signs to you: that ye may understand. (AN-NUR)

From the Buddhist Scripture:

1. To speak or act with a defiled mind is to draw pain after oneself, like a wheel behind the feet of the animal drawing it.

2. Whoever does harm to an innocent man, a pure man and a faultless one, the evil comes back on that fool, like fine dust thrown into the wind.

3. All fear violence, all are afraid of death. Seeing the similarity to oneself, one should not use violence or have it used.

4. Even if richly dressed, when a man behaves even-mindedly and is at peace, restrained and established in the right way, chaste and renouncing violence to all forms of life, then he is a brahmin, he is a holy man, he is a bhikkhu (true Buddhist monk).

5. Where is that man in the world who is so restrained by shame that he avoids laziness like a thoroughbred horse avoids the whip?

6. If one would only apply to oneself what one teaches others, when one was well disciplined oneself one could train others. It is oneself who is hard to train.

And in conclusion, my dear friends, i'd like to present to you a little gift. It's called the "Metta Sutta":

The Buddha's Words on Kindness

This is what should be done
By one who is skilled in goodness,
And who knows the path of peace:
Let them be able and upright,
Straightforward and gentle in speech.
Humble and not conceited,
Contented and easily satisfied.
Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways.
Peaceful and calm, and wise and skillful,
Not proud and demanding in nature.
Let them not do the slightest thing
That the wise would later reprove.
Wishing: In gladness and in safety,
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be;
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born,
May all beings be at ease!

Let none deceive another,
Or despise any being in any state.
Let none through anger or ill-will
Wish harm upon another.
Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings:
Radiating kindness over the entire world
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depths;
Outwards and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding.
By not holding to fixed views,
The pure-hearted one, having clarity of vision,
Being freed from all sense desires,
Is not born again into this world.

Peace be upon the sincere of heart


you do hold animals in very low estime don't you ? You make them look like computer programs who only react according to their programming.
Do you have a dog ?
If so have you already observed its behavior ? Haven't you sometimes found it peculiarly intelligent ?

Yet you say :
Animals do not think before acting or reacting; they use instinct and instinct does not require conscious thought.

Do you think that man is freed from his instincts ? He is as submitted to them as are animals, this is normal because he is an animal ! They are the basic drive to almost everything that man does. Conscious thoughts provide for us as well as animals a way to canalise these drives and ajust them to their surroundings. Humans have proven to be the most succesfull in this, they develloped languages which enabled them to communicate and refine those thoughts.

All Holy Books have been revealed for the sole purpose of leading man "to the right path" of virtuous behavior; of ethical and moral conduct. It is the only reason why the Holy Books are given to mankind. Without such guidance man is lost and no better than an animal.

Why is it then that dolfins are known to resque humans at sea ? Or why a dog would give it's life to protect his love ones ? Or that orphaned chimps are raised by other members of the group ? Or that primitive tribes found in the jungle of Borneo or the Amazone have their moral values and codes ?

You must realise that the holy books that you talk about are the result of intense thought and debate over more then a thousand years. Of course they show a higher standard of moral then what is custom around chimps but you must realise they both are very similar and therefor have the same root. The holy books rules are ajusted to our more complex form of existance and are therefor much better elaborated.
Same thing goes for the sticks that chimps use to scoop up termites while we use forks and knifes (or chopsticks) to scoop up our food.

we are midgets standing on the backs of giants,
Before you go and call objective fact obsurdity, Dumaurier, please ask yourself what world you are living in.

The very definition of instinct that you quoted should have shown you the light. Quoting your quote: "behavior that is mediated by reactions below the conscious level." If you are going to claim that that our higher cognitive functions are not affected by subconscious processes, I would have to conclude that you are a ghost of some monk who died in seclusion several centuries ago and now came back to spread his 'wisdom' among us mortals. Give it some thought. Give it some actual thought, and stop citing from scriptures and holy writings -- they are dogmas; they are not the sources of Truth! It is the world around you that is a source of truth. Take your eyes off that religious caleidoscope, and take an unhindered look at reality, with an inquiry in mind.

I also assume you have not ready any posts in my Evolution vs. Creation (note the capital 'C') thread. There, I have explained at length the connections between physics, evolution, instincts, ethics and morality. Go ahead, take a look. See how open your mind really is.

In conclusion:
Read Plato's post, observe animals, pick up a cognitive psychology book, and pay attention to science. You are undoubtedly a great scholar of anscient religion; however your knowledge of the more modern findings is sadly lacking.

I am; therefore I think.