Bible Discussion: What Is Morality?

What Is Morality?
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Andrew W
2004-07-25 05:08:12 EST
A survey has shown that only about 4% of the worlds population are atheists.
Most people believe in some sort of god.
Another survey showed that the vast majority of people in jails are
christians or other believers (supposedly bad christians and bad members of
other religions).
This high number may be simply because of the small number of atheists in
the world. Therefore the most dangerous people in the world are bad
christians etc. because there are so many of them.

The question is, if good christians didn't have religion to make them good
then would they still be good?
Are they only moral because of their fear of hell and their desire for a
reward?
Why are there kind and compassionate atheists in the world?
What is morality?
Is it love, kindness, compassion and tolerance towards others or is it
simply obedience to one's god?


--
Andrew W.

"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save
you..."
~ Jesus. The Gospel of Thomas.

Religion Exposed!
http://members.optusnet.com.au/~ajwerner



Bob Young
2004-07-25 08:45:05 EST


Andrew W wrote:

> A survey has shown that only about 4% of the worlds population are atheists.

Assuming your 4% is correct I guess we are dealing here with those 'thinking
people' who are declared atheists.

But try talking to 'Mr. Average' about religion, he may not be an atheist but
he is likely to laugh when you broach the subject of religion and walk away
saying something like "I've no time for that kind of rubbish mate, I'm off to a
ball game after I get a beer"

These are not atheists, they are simply 'disinterested non believers' and if
you start counting them you may well come up with a figure more like 40%!

Bob
Hong Kong

>
> Most people believe in some sort of god.
> Another survey showed that the vast majority of people in jails are
> christians or other believers (supposedly bad christians and bad members of
> other religions).
> This high number may be simply because of the small number of atheists in
> the world. Therefore the most dangerous people in the world are bad
> christians etc. because there are so many of them.
>
> The question is, if good christians didn't have religion to make them good
> then would they still be good?
> Are they only moral because of their fear of hell and their desire for a
> reward?
> Why are there kind and compassionate atheists in the world?
> What is morality?
> Is it love, kindness, compassion and tolerance towards others or is it
> simply obedience to one's god?
>
> --
> Andrew W.
>
> "If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save
> you..."
> ~ Jesus. The Gospel of Thomas.
>
> Religion Exposed!
> http://members.optusnet.com.au/~ajwerner


D*@nomail.com
2004-07-25 13:52:42 EST
On Sun, 25 Jul 2004 20:45:05 +0800, bob young <alaspectrum@netvigator.com> wrote:

>
>
>Andrew W wrote:
>
>> A survey has shown that only about 4% of the worlds population are atheists.
>
>Assuming your 4% is correct I guess we are dealing here with those 'thinking
>people' who are declared atheists.

Are you saying that atheists are for some reason 'thinking people'?
If so, how do you figure that? To me it seems that atheists aren't
thinking it all through. God may exist, and he may not. If not, there is
no way a person could know that. If he does, it's very possible and
more than likely that some people do know it. That being the case,
anyone who chooses to be an atheist is making no more of a thinking
choice than a person who chooses to be a Southern Baptist, or a
Muslim, or a Hindu, or any other religious belief, and quite likely they are
making less of a thinking choice than many who do believe in God.

>But try talking to 'Mr. Average' about religion, he may not be an atheist but
>he is likely to laugh when you broach the subject of religion and walk away
>saying something like "I've no time for that kind of rubbish mate, I'm off to a
>ball game after I get a beer"
>
>These are not atheists, they are simply 'disinterested non believers' and if
>you start counting them you may well come up with a figure more like 40%!
>
>Bob
>Hong Kong
>
>>
>> Most people believe in some sort of god.
>> Another survey showed that the vast majority of people in jails are
>> christians or other believers (supposedly bad christians and bad members of
>> other religions).
>> This high number may be simply because of the small number of atheists in
>> the world. Therefore the most dangerous people in the world are bad
>> christians etc. because there are so many of them.
>>
>> The question is, if good christians didn't have religion to make them good
>> then would they still be good?
>> Are they only moral because of their fear of hell and their desire for a
>> reward?
>> Why are there kind and compassionate atheists in the world?
>> What is morality?
>> Is it love, kindness, compassion and tolerance towards others or is it
>> simply obedience to one's god?
>>
>> --
>> Andrew W.
>>
>> "If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save
>> you..."
>> ~ Jesus. The Gospel of Thomas.
>>
>> Religion Exposed!
>> http://members.optusnet.com.au/~ajwerner


D*@nomail.com
2004-07-25 14:06:58 EST
On Sun, 25 Jul 2004 19:08:12 +1000, "Andrew W" <nospaam_ajwerner@optushome.com.au> wrote:

>A survey has shown that only about 4% of the worlds population are atheists.
>Most people believe in some sort of god.
>Another survey showed that the vast majority of people in jails are
>christians or other believers (supposedly bad christians and bad members of
>other religions).
>This high number may be simply because of the small number of atheists in
>the world. Therefore the most dangerous people in the world are bad
>christians etc. because there are so many of them.
>
>The question is, if good christians didn't have religion to make them good
>then would they still be good?

If God doesn't exist, could anything actually be good? Even if he
does, what would make something good because God says it is?

>Are they only moral because of their fear of hell and their desire for a
>reward?

That would vary from person to person, and from one situation to
another for each individual person.

>Why are there kind and compassionate atheists in the world?

You don't have to believe in God to be considerate of others. On
that topic though, most if not all of the organizations I'm aware of
which try to help people are doing so in service to God.

>What is morality?
>Is it love, kindness, compassion and tolerance towards others or is it
>simply obedience to one's god?

Wouldn't we have to take that on a case by case basis? And in
some cases it could involve more than one of the things you mentioned
above, and likely some cases could involve things you did not mention.

What of things like these:
_________________________________________________________
Leviticus 20
1 The LORD said to Moses,
2 "Say to the Israelites: `Any Israelite or any alien living in Israel who
gives[1] any of his children to Molech must be put to death. The people
of the community are to stone him.
[...]
9 "`If anyone curses his father or mother, he must be put to death. He has
cursed his father or his mother, and his blood will be on his own head.
10 "`If a man commits adultery with another man's wife--with the wife of his
neighbor--both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.
11 "`If a man sleeps with his father's wife, he has dishonored his father. Both
the man and the woman must be put to death; their blood will be on their
own heads.
12 "`If a man sleeps with his daughter-in-law, both of them must be put to
death. What they have done is a perversion; their blood will be on their
own heads.
13 "`If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have
done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be
on their own heads.
14 "`If a man marries both a woman and her mother, it is wicked. Both he and
they must be burned in the fire, so that no wickedness will be among you.
15 "`If a man has sexual relations with an animal, he must be put to death, and
you must kill the animal.
16 "`If a woman approaches an animal to have sexual relations with it, kill both
the woman and the animal. They must be put to death; their blood will be on
their own heads.

Numbers 15
32 While the Israelites were in the desert, a man was found gathering wood on
the Sabbath day.
33 Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and
the whole assembly,
34 and they kept him in custody, because it was not clear what should be done
to him.
35 Then the LORD said to Moses, "The man must die. The whole assembly
must stone him outside the camp."
36 So the assembly took him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as the
LORD commanded Moses.
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
would it really be moral to obey God in those ways? If not, would it have been
at some time? Why would it have been then, but not today?

John Ings
2004-07-25 14:46:46 EST
On Sun, 25 Jul 2004 17:52:42 GMT, dh_ld@nomail.com wrote:

>>Assuming your 4% is correct I guess we are dealing here with those 'thinking
>>people' who are declared atheists.
>
> Are you saying that atheists are for some reason 'thinking people'?
>If so, how do you figure that?

Because theism is proselytized. People are persuaded to adopt it, or
worse, learn it at their parent's knee. Those who later choose atheism
usually do so as a result independent thought against peer pressure.

> To me it seems that atheists aren't
>thinking it all through. God may exist, and he may not. If not, there is
>no way a person could know that. If he does,

There's no way to know that either. So suspension of belief, or
agnostic-atheism, is the thinking man's choice.

>it's very possible and
>more than likely that some people do know it.

Know that God exists? No, That's impossible.
Just as impossible as knowing God does not exist.

>That being the case,

But it isn't the case...

>anyone who chooses to be an atheist is making no more of a thinking
>choice than a person who chooses to be a Southern Baptist, or a
>Muslim, or a Hindu, or any other religious belief, and quite likely they are
>making less of a thinking choice than many who do believe in God.

The chances of any God there may be being anything like the deities
man imagines for himself are exceedingly remote.

## Is man one of God's blunders, or is God one of man's?



John Ings
2004-07-25 15:00:01 EST
On Sun, 25 Jul 2004 18:06:58 GMT, dh_ld@nomail.com wrote:

>>The question is, if good christians didn't have religion to make them good
>>then would they still be good?
>
> If God doesn't exist, could anything actually be good?

Sure. Good and Evil are subjective issues, like beauty, they are in
the eye of the beholder.

>Even if he
>does, what would make something good because God says it is?

Indeed.

>>Are they only moral because of their fear of hell and their desire for a
>>reward?
>
> That would vary from person to person, and from one situation to
>another for each individual person.
>
>>Why are there kind and compassionate atheists in the world?

And why does Buddhism, an atheist religion, have a better track record
as far as intolerance and mayhem is concerned than Christianity?

> You don't have to believe in God to be considerate of others. On
>that topic though, most if not all of the organizations I'm aware of
>which try to help people are doing so in service to God.

SAY they are trying to help people and be a source of moral suasion.
Christianity has been peddling its "peace on earth and goodwill toward
men" mantra for centuries, yet has blood on its hands up to the
elbows.

>>What is morality?
>>Is it love, kindness, compassion and tolerance towards others or is it
>>simply obedience to one's god?
>
> Wouldn't we have to take that on a case by case basis?

OK, how about the case of the man who, after a lifetime of crime, gets
religion on death row and becomes a truly contrite true believer in
Jesus. He goes unpunished the NT promises, but his victims who are
unbelievers will suffer eternal torment. This is Christian morality...

## Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum.


D*@nomail.com
2004-07-25 16:51:08 EST
On Sun, 25 Jul 2004 11:46:46 -0700, John Ings <nodamned@spam.org> wrote:

>On Sun, 25 Jul 2004 17:52:42 GMT, dh_ld@nomail.com wrote:
>
>>>Assuming your 4% is correct I guess we are dealing here with those 'thinking
>>>people' who are declared atheists.
>>
>> Are you saying that atheists are for some reason 'thinking people'?
>>If so, how do you figure that?
>
>Because theism is proselytized. People are persuaded to adopt it, or
>worse, learn it at their parent's knee. Those who later choose atheism
>usually do so as a result independent thought against peer pressure.
>
>> To me it seems that atheists aren't
>>thinking it all through. God may exist, and he may not. If not, there is
>>no way a person could know that. If he does,
>
>There's no way to know that either. So suspension of belief, or
>agnostic-atheism, is the thinking man's choice.
>
>>it's very possible and
>>more than likely that some people do know it.
>
>Know that God exists? No, That's impossible.
>Just as impossible as knowing God does not exist.
>
>>That being the case,
>
>But it isn't the case...
>
>>anyone who chooses to be an atheist is making no more of a thinking
>>choice than a person who chooses to be a Southern Baptist, or a
>>Muslim, or a Hindu, or any other religious belief, and quite likely they are
>>making less of a thinking choice than many who do believe in God.
>
>The chances of any God there may be being anything like the deities
>man imagines for himself are exceedingly remote.
>
>## Is man one of God's blunders, or is God one of man's?
>


Andrew W
2004-07-25 17:32:31 EST
"bob young" <alaspectrum@netvigator.com> wrote in message
news:4103AB50.190CB794@netvigator.com...
>
>
> Andrew W wrote:
>
> > A survey has shown that only about 4% of the worlds population are
atheists.
>
> Assuming your 4% is correct I guess we are dealing here with those
'thinking
> people' who are declared atheists.
>
> But try talking to 'Mr. Average' about religion, he may not be an atheist
but
> he is likely to laugh when you broach the subject of religion and walk
away
> saying something like "I've no time for that kind of rubbish mate, I'm off
to a
> ball game after I get a beer"
>
> These are not atheists, they are simply 'disinterested non believers' and
if
> you start counting them you may well come up with a figure more like 40%!
>
> Bob
> Hong Kong


I agree. Very few people want to discuss God. In fact even many believers
avoid talking about him. It's like he's an embarrassing relative who's
boarding in the back room.
I would say that we're here to live and experience life in this realm, not
to seek out someone who's hiding in another realm, and not by reading his
semi-autobiography.

--
Andrew W.

There are two things that mankind will never need to say to God. One is to
shut up and the other is to disappear.


Religion Exposed!
http://members.optusnet.com.au/~ajwerner



Andrew W
2004-07-25 17:38:40 EST
<dh_ld@nomail.com> wrote in message
news:h1s7g09vptode6e91olpmbv424o08oab2v@4ax.com...
> On Sun, 25 Jul 2004 20:45:05 +0800, bob young <alaspectrum@netvigator.com>
wrote:
>
> >
> >
> >Andrew W wrote:
> >
> >> A survey has shown that only about 4% of the worlds population are
atheists.
> >
> >Assuming your 4% is correct I guess we are dealing here with those
'thinking
> >people' who are declared atheists.
>
> Are you saying that atheists are for some reason 'thinking people'?
> If so, how do you figure that? To me it seems that atheists aren't
> thinking it all through. God may exist, and he may not. If not, there is
> no way a person could know that. If he does, it's very possible and
> more than likely that some people do know it. That being the case,
> anyone who chooses to be an atheist is making no more of a thinking
> choice than a person who chooses to be a Southern Baptist, or a
> Muslim, or a Hindu, or any other religious belief, and quite likely they
are
> making less of a thinking choice than many who do believe in God.


With believers it's not so much thinking, but speculation.


--
Andrew W.

Christianity and Islam have little to do with goodness. They are mostly
about obedience.

Religion Exposed!
http://members.optusnet.com.au/~ajwerner



Mike Bugal
2004-07-25 17:40:58 EST
"Andrew W" <nospaam_ajwerner@optushome.com.au> wrote in message
news:41037881$0$28274$afc38c87@news.optusnet.com.au...

<snip>

"Morality" seeks to make people conform to the biblical standard of "holiness"
without the inward change of heart nor indwelling of the Holy Spirit that
produces the real thing.

"Morality" is like taking a sow from the pen, washing it up and putting a clean
white wedding gown on it... thinking that will make it the Bride.

"Morality" seeks to legislate and regulate behavior, not so that the person will
be kept from hell but so that the modern Christians won't have to be confronted
with their sin and made uncomfortable with the world their own carnality and
spiritual immaturity has produced. That's why the "Defense of Marriage
Amendment" and the state laws banning gay marriage are needed... not to outlaw
homosexuality or lesbianism, but so that the modern Christian won't have it in
their face on their way to heaven.

"Morality" is something that modern Christians are more than willing to get
involved pushing since it involves very little self examination, very little
dying to self and puts no more requirement on "their time" than making a phone
call, writing a letter or sending an e-mail. They can convince themselves that
they are "making a difference"... all the while ignoring the fact that neither
the Savior, nor the apostles nor the early church ever tried to get one law
passed or in anyway change the government of one of the most wicked regimes to
ever rule. Instead He and they taught "be ye holy, for I am holy" and followed
Jesus' command to "preach the gospel, make disciples by baptizing and by
teaching them to follow all that I have commanded" (Matthew 28:18-20 and Mark
16:15-16 capsulated). They changed the world by changing the people...one at a
time.

"Morality" is a smoke screen and a deception. Only Holiness matters... and that
only comes with salvation.

His and Yours,

Mike Bugal
Heartland Christian Ministries
http://www.hcm2.org


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