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Origin of Morality

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Pah, Jul 19, 2004.

  1. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    Bertrand Russell, in Why I Am Not a Christian poses a dilemma of sorts for the Christian view of the origin or morality.

    In other words, if God is good, right and wrong must have preceded God and have come from somewhere other than God. I have heard the argument that the genocide and infanticide of the tribal Jews was, although commanded by God, morally right in God’s eyes (sort of a “do as I say and not as I do” approach). God’s annihilation in the flood of all but a few “righteous” individuals is seen as a good thing. But if God can see “wrong” in Adam’s sin, then “wrong” must have been there before God existed.
     
  2. tigrers99

    tigrers99 Member

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    I have heard and seen this argument before too. This is usually what they say; "How do we really know that God is good, without INDEPENDENT VERIFICATION?" Well, even if INDEPENDENT VERIFICATION just happened to be found, it still would not be enough! That is a fact.

    This parallels about what Jesus said about the rich man (whose soul was in torment) wanting Lazarus to rise from the dead so the rich man's brothers would repent and not also end up in torment. Jesus said if the brothers would not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither would they be persuaded if someone rose from the dead. (Luke 16:19-31)
     
  3. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    This is a restatement of the question posed by Socrates. i.e.,

    There is no independent Christian morality in any meaningful sense of the word. What Christianity offers is the (false, in my opinion) promise of reward and punishment.

    An interesting presentation on the origin of morality can be found in Edward O. Wilson's The Biological Basis of Morality.
     
  4. KBC1963

    KBC1963 Active Member

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    Good thread Pah.

    I will give this a whack and see what happens.

    It is my understanding that Good and Evil are relative to the one making the rules, Every rule or law that GOD made was based on how he is, so his laws are a reflection of himself and when you do something that goes beyond those laws then it is wrong and becomes a sin and it appears that we don't have this morale code as part of our inate being as is shown by the following verses:
    Ro 7:7
    ¶ What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

    Isa 7:14
    Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
    Isa 7:15
    Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.
    Isa 7:16
    For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings.

    It has been shown over time that many peoples that were not guided by GOD's laws would do whatever they saw fit at that time, i.e...
    1) canibals that eat humans
    2) sacrifice of children and babies to gods
    3) racial killings and hate
    4) siblings killing each other for power
    and tons of other examples.
    So I would say that when a man is born his morale code is dictated by the family and those he lives amongst and what is unthinkable for us would just be another ordinary thing for that person.

    The following verse proves that evil/sin/wrong did exist prior to mans creation:

    Ge 3:22
    ¶ And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

    and it probably correlates to these verses:

    Eze 28:14
    Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
    Eze 28:15
    Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

    So it is my assumtion that satan "the anointed cherub" was the first to disobey GOD and desired to have what GOD has and this occured before the creation of man.
    I would say that until there was a creation of any sort then evil could not exist, so right and wrong, good and evil come into existense as a direct relationship between creator and created and without the existence of both parties then there is no right or wrong.
    In any case right and wrong is a determination by the one that can enforce it, so in essence GOD has said to us either obey my government or cease to exist and since he has power to enforce his will then our concept of right and wrong is based on GOD himself.

    It should be noted that GOD has allowed that satan should stay alive and in this way he can test us to see if we will obey him or not so we do have another power out there that is trying to shape our concept of right and wrong which is why there is such disparity of those concepts, Here is a fine example of those 2 forces at work:

    GOD says that because eve allowed the first human sin to occur then women cannot speak in his churches

    Satan's influence says to women now " hey we are equal to men and we should have equal rights in all things so GOD must be sexist.

    So now we have those who are created judging the creator because of the influences that satan has inspired and tho it may seem right for them to see things that way they are in fact decieved.
    Just imagine for a moment that you create 2 knives and they are very similar in all respects and you determine that you want the first one to cut meat and the second to cut bread and since you are the creator you can enforce that rule if you wish, then one day you go to cut some meat and the bread knife says "hey I have the right to be used as the meat knife" and goes on to explain from its point of view why it should be chosen in a manner equal to the meat knife. what would your reaction be? what if your reason for setting that rule was beyond the comprehension of the knives themselves?

    The facts are like this we are the created and we should without question obey the one we owe our very existence to.
     
  5. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    KBC

    I'm not sure you addressed the question and understood the ramifications of the answer.

    If God, as you say, makes up the rules then God is not good or evil.

    If God is good, than a standard of good preceded God.
     
  6. Lightkeeper

    Lightkeeper Well-Known Member

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    This would mean there is no beginning or end.
     
  7. phantom

    phantom Member

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    so if good and evil preceded a God...
    would good and evil eventually have to be two ancient entities unto themselves?

    why not even skip the middle man (God), and say that the world is inspired by these two entities?
     
  8. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    I would think that if there were antecedent, it might be just another god - a god of gods, so to speak. If you do think the supernatural "inspires" the world, then what would be wrong in considering the god of the bible to be an underling with jurisdiction over the bible's readers.

    To be honest, I'm not sure how Lightkeeper's comment fits into any of this. It may be what Lightkeeper says nehgates all discussion.
     
  9. Lightkeeper

    Lightkeeper Well-Known Member

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    You said" If God is good, than a standard of good preceded God." This would mean that the good would preceed the good that preceded God and on and on. This means there couldn't be a beginning.
     
  10. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    Ah, a recursive search for good. But wouldn't that search be satisfied when an agent, neither good nor evil, declares good.

    But it is an interseting idea you introduce.
     
  11. Lightkeeper

    Lightkeeper Well-Known Member

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    I am commenting on your statement. I didn't introduce the idea.
     
  12. InHisService

    InHisService New Member

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    How could good evil or preexist God? there is no one there to act good or evil.
    God is good, he ALLOWS free will - that is where the evil comes from. people and/or angels chose to leave His will.
     
  13. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    We certainly think that genocide and infanticide is evil. When God commanded the death of all of some of the neighboring tribes of the "chosen", "free will" was confined to obeying or disobeying God. If you exercised "free will" in not obeying the command to annihilate a people, weren't you doing good?

    When God acted alone, as in the case of the great flood, which killed without mercy all living things except that which was on the ark, was God exercising his "free will" or was he just plain evil?
     
  14. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

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    Free will in and of itself is intrinsically good, but it can be excercised for evil. "Which killed without mercy"? Do you have the right to say that the inhabitants were not offered mercy? Noah spent 200 years building the ark and warning people and no one listened. God is all-merciful, and I think the idea that death is evil is another fallacy that you take for granted. Death is just another part of life, and everyone must syffer it.

    Free will does not mean that any choice is good, it means that you will not be forced to do good. You will be shown the difference and you have the right to make the choice.

    You seem to make a ton of assumptions about God's motivations as you mercilessly trash His will.
     
  15. Pah

    Pah Uber all member

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    Please show in biblical verse where God offered "mercy".

    I do not find 200 hundred years as part of Genesis 6 but I do find in verse 18 where God make a covenant with Noah alone. Hehehe, the others were "written off" and there was no need to "preach" to them.

    According to Genesis 7:6 Noah was 600 years old (incredible in light of Genesis 6:3 which limited man's life span to 120 years) when the "rains" came.
    When Noah was 500 years old, he sired three sons (Genesis 5:32) Within those 100 years, God spoke to Noah regarding the ark. In Genesis 6:18, God spoke to Noah about his sons, his wife and the wives of his sons.

    Where, Dan, did you get this bit of trivia regardin 200 years and "warning" people. It seems to go against the Bible.

    This barbaric god offered no mercy to those killed in the flood, nor to any of the tribes he commanded to be annhilated (there was also an instance where some of the "chosen" were killed on orders - without mercy). I would be pleased if you could quote chapter and verse where God offered mercy to any of these people before killing them.

    You miss the circimatance of what I said. God commanded - the free will was to obey God or not - the choice of disobeying God seems the more "good".

    Not an assumption, Dan, but a logical statement from the facts of a literal Bible.
     
  16. trishtrish10

    trishtrish10 Active Member

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    i think the key to right and wrong is our free-will, which God gave us and which he also has as we are made in his image. just like God we have the freedom to sin unless he interfers with his supernatural powers. also God created time which will end one day. he was begotten not made. he always was, is and always will be just like us. that's called eschatology. everything has happened, called deja vu or already seen. because God is pure goodness, if we make it to heaven we will also be pure goodness. God made us in his image because he didn't want robots. we don't have to love, it's our choice and God knows what we will choose. sometimes he tests us, and is made happy when we choose to do good or not do bad. sure we are weak compared to him, but it is in our weakness that he is made strong.
     
  17. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

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    1) God showed mercy to the town Jonah was hoping to see thrashed. Maybe you should read that one over again. He also showed mercy to the Hebrews in Exodus; to the harlot in Josh. 6; I could point out a hundred more, but it's pointless, you get the picture.

    2) Genesis 6:3 does not limit man to 120 years. This is a common misconception made by people who don't understand the scriptures. It means that in 120 years from that date the flood would wipe out humanity. "Methuselah" means "He dieth and He sendeth out." The flood came in the year he died. He was righteous, y'know, God wasn't gonna kill him, so He said that when Methuselah died the floods would come, and He knew it was gonna be 120 years. Many people have lived beyond 120 years since then. Are we to believe God's decree was just overlooked? This 120 years, when "the longsuffering of God waited," was the time period when Noah preached and tried to save other people; but they all laughed at him. I rounded up to two hundred for some reason. It should be 120.

    3) I'll give you just one. When Ai defeated the Israelites God told them it was because someone had taken the "accursed thing." God showed Joshua who it was but Joshua narrowed down the search slowly in an effort to give Achan a chance to come forward before he was rooted out. This was a way in which the Lord offered mercy but it was denied. Achan was stoned and burned with His family and all his possessions.

    4) But it's not "the more good." If you have faith then you know obeying God is the only "good" choice you can make. Your arrogance would have gotten you stoned had you lived in the times of the ancient Israelites.

    5) You don't understand the Bible at all. You only think you understand what other incompetent scholars breastfeed you.
     
  18. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Great post Dan!

    Just remember that it's hard for pah to read Scripture without the Holy Spirit to guide him/her......

    Peace,
    Scott
     
  19. dan

    dan Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. I appreciate it.
     
  20. trishtrish10

    trishtrish10 Active Member

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    scott, i've read many of ure posts and u r brilliant.
    as u know, a monk many centuries after Christ derrived our present calendar of which a year is based upon. it's called the Gregorian calendar. in ancient times years were much shorter. that's why many people lived what we thought were longer lives, which in fact were much shorter than today's average due to disease. 40-50 years was the average compared to the present 75 for americans(u.s.)

    i was bored tonight so decided to get on the internet.
     
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