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Author Topic:   Morality! Thorn in Darwin's side or not?
Cedre
Member
Posts: 350
From: Russia
Joined: 01-30-2009


Message 181 of 438 (516744)
07-27-2009 9:38 AM
Reply to: Message 180 by caffeine
07-27-2009 8:50 AM


Re: Simple and obvious
There being a God doesn't solve any philosophical problems about where an absolute morality can come from.

In fact it does, God is an absolutely moral being, meaning that whatever he does is moral and as a result is whatever he instructs us to do. So to the believer the question of where absolute morality comes from has never been a quandary in any way, for the reason that the believer has long recognized that since God is an absolutely moral being, rape, hate, murder and other such acts are immoral because they have been judged to be so by the spring of absolute morality.

Conversely, atheist cannot declare any act to be immoral for they are speaking only subjectively, their viewpoints do not transcend all cultures, nations and societies. An atheist cannot say murder is wrong, then he would have to answer the question why it is wrong, by whose standards, Americasí standards, Britainís standards, South Africaís standards, or maybe by his own standards.

What is more God has every right to judge and condemn those who turn away from His absolute moral code, and decide to pursue their own self-determined morality, if human judges can do this in human courts based on what they deem to be morally correct and morally depraved, it follows that the eternal God the starting point of absolute morality can be expected to carry out righteous judgment in His own court as he sees fit in line with his righteousness and complete justice. God does indeed solve any and all philosophical problems with ease for what is impossible with man is possible with the Lord God Almighty.


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Cedre
Member
Posts: 350
From: Russia
Joined: 01-30-2009


Message 182 of 438 (516751)
07-27-2009 10:24 AM
Reply to: Message 178 by Blue Jay
07-27-2009 7:45 AM


Re: Simple and obvious
Well, this isn't true: the ultimate standard championed by most atheists

I will stop you right there Bluejay, championed by whom? Most theists you say, not even by all and definitely not by all the inhabitants of the earth. Your retort does nothing at removing the subjectivity that morality is forsaken with once God has been removed from the picture; all you have done is define morality in terms of atheist s philosophies. You can barely call this an absolute standard, but merely the standard of the atheists in question.

The decision that one should not expect better treatment than is given to others does not require the existence of God: all it requires is a realization that there is no objective, rational reason to consider oneself particularly special.

Why should morality be defined along those particular lines? But you are missing the point here, at least you have admitted that morality is subjective, but if it is subjective, how can you expect everyone else to adhere to a decision that has been subjectively reached, how can you say that it is wrong to lie if lying is only subjective? It doesnít make any sense.

Not even the golden rule sufficiently explains, in fact it doesnít explain why a particular action should be morally wrong across the world, for it still doesnít take away the subjective nature of morality that exists without God, who is the ultimate standard. Morality will still be subjective even in the face of the golden rule, thus a reply like the golden rule doesnít help solve the problem in anyway.
What Iím saying is this the golden rule isnít the ultimate standard we are looking for, therefore murder is still not wrong or right, if it continues to be subjective it is neither. For in a subjective world no absolutes can exist.
And furthermore different people have different tastes, George Bernard Shaw once said, ďDonít do unto others as you would have them do unto you Ė their tastes might be different!Ē Suppose I have only a moderate aversion to hurting people, while my masochistic neighbor has a passion for being beaten. If I am obliged by the Golden Rule to maximize the satisfaction of preferences, then it seems I morally ought to beat him.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 178 by Blue Jay, posted 07-27-2009 7:45 AM Blue Jay has responded

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Cedre
Member
Posts: 350
From: Russia
Joined: 01-30-2009


Message 183 of 438 (516754)
07-27-2009 10:40 AM
Reply to: Message 179 by Stile
07-27-2009 8:46 AM


Re: Where is the absolute morality?
Let's say we have two people. Both are good, decent folk. One is a good, decent person because she decided that she'd rather be a good person than a bad person. The other is a good, decent person because he decided to follow God's ultimate standard.

Firstly I would ask you to reveal the standard you employed in measuring these persons to be good, decent folk, how did you determine that if morality is merely subjective?

I can show you that the morality I accept is based in reality. It is an objective system that is based on a single, basic, subjective concept: making people sad is wrong, making people happy is good.

What can I say here, it is your accepted morality, just don't shove it down the throats of other people, they have their own accepted moralities. This exactly what I have been saying without God morality becomes something that people can accept, drop and handle as they wish, its like a fashion trend, in today out the next day.

Edited by Cedre, : No reason given.


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 Message 179 by Stile, posted 07-27-2009 8:46 AM Stile has responded

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Granny Magda
Member
Posts: 2380
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007


Message 184 of 438 (516757)
07-27-2009 11:12 AM
Reply to: Message 177 by Cedre
07-27-2009 7:04 AM


Re: The "Laws of Morality" (continued)
Hello Cedre,

quote:
The world owes the existence of morality to a moral God.

You seem awfully sure of that. To be as certain as that, you must surely have reams of compelling positive evidence.

Can we have a look?

What is your evidence for this? When did it happen?

Mutate and Survive


"A curious aspect of the theory of evolution is that everybody thinks he understands it." - Jacques Monod
This message is a reply to:
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Stile
Member
Posts: 3393
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 185 of 438 (516759)
07-27-2009 11:18 AM
Reply to: Message 183 by Cedre
07-27-2009 10:40 AM


The impotent thorn
Cedre writes:

Firstly I would ask you to reveal the standard you employed in measuring these persons to be good, decent folk, how did you determine that if morality is merely subjective?

Umm... you quoted my answer to that in your own post:

Stile writes:

I can show you that the morality I accept is based in reality. It is an objective system that is based on a single, basic, subjective concept: making people sad is wrong, making people happy is good.

Cedre writes:

This exactly what I have been saying without God morality becomes something that people can accept, drop and handle as they wish, its like a fashion trend, in today out the next day.

Except you're wrong. Even with God morality is something that people can accept, drop and handle as they wish. And they do, as we can see how immorallity and corruption is a problem in all societies, regardless of how much they respect God.

First, you have not shown that an absolute morality exists.
Second, even if it does, everyone still has a subjective choice to accept or reject the absolute system. Which means... all the problems you simply claim that an absolute moral system deals with are completely incorrect.

The issue goes a bit deeper than the superficial. It really doesn't matter what's called "good" and "bad" or even what really is good and bad.
What matters is people's actions and the results of those actions.

Even if there is an absolute moral system that says "thou shall not steal"... do you really think this is going to stop thiefs from stealing??

What stops theifs from stealing does not depend on the existence of an absolute moral system of judgement.

What stops theifs from stealing is the result of their actions and the reprucussions of the rest of society.

Now, again, do you think people are going to punish a theif because "he broke an absolute system of morality??" That's ridiculous. People punish a theif simply because they want to protect what's theirs and attempt to teach (or force) the theif not to do it again.

As you can see, the existence of an absolute moral system is completely irrelvent to:
-why the theif wants to steal
-why the theif actually does steal
-why the rest of the people want to stop the theif
-why the rest of the people want to punish the theif
-how the rest of the people actually punish the theif

So.. if an absolute moral system is completely irrelevent, why do think it's so important? What possible difference is it going to add to the situation?

Thanks for your posts. We've moved from saying "you can't show that an absolute system of morality exists" to saying "even if an absolute moral system does exist, it is useless, irrelevent and completely impotent."

Well done.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 183 by Cedre, posted 07-27-2009 10:40 AM Cedre has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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themasterdebator
Inactive Member


Message 186 of 438 (516760)
07-27-2009 11:32 AM
Reply to: Message 181 by Cedre
07-27-2009 9:38 AM


Re: Simple and obvious
In fact it does, God is an absolutely moral being, meaning that whatever he does is moral and as a result is whatever he instructs us to do. So to the believer the question of where absolute morality comes from has never been a quandary in any way, for the reason that the believer has long recognized that since God is an absolutely moral being, rape, hate, murder and other such acts are immoral because they have been judged to be so by the spring of absolute morality.

Conversely, atheist cannot declare any act to be immoral for they are speaking only subjectively, their viewpoints do not transcend all cultures, nations and societies. An atheist cannot say murder is wrong, then he would have to answer the question why it is wrong, by whose standards, Americasí standards, Britainís standards, South Africaís standards, or maybe by his own standards.

What is more God has every right to judge and condemn those who turn away from His absolute moral code, and decide to pursue their own self-determined morality, if human judges can do this in human courts based on what they deem to be morally correct and morally depraved, it follows that the eternal God the starting point of absolute morality can be expected to carry out righteous judgment in His own court as he sees fit in line with his righteousness and complete justice. God does indeed solve any and all philosophical problems with ease for what is impossible with man is possible with the Lord God Almighty.

If this were true then we would see a very consistent interpretation of religious text for 1 religion compared to all others. That does not happen because every religious text is extremely open to interpretation as a moral guide. It does not provide a clear moral standard for behavior. As such, it does not provide absolute morals. Absolute morals would require 0 room for subjective interpretations because that subjective interpretations stops it from being an absolute statement.

Edited by themasterdebator, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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themasterdebator
Inactive Member


Message 187 of 438 (516761)
07-27-2009 11:36 AM
Reply to: Message 185 by Stile
07-27-2009 11:18 AM


Re: The impotent thorn
First, you have not shown that an absolute morality exists.
Second, even if it does, everyone still has a subjective choice to accept or reject the absolute system. Which means... all the problems you simply claim that an absolute moral system deals with are completely incorrect.

It gets even worse than this. Because an absolute moral system would have to be clearly spelled out so humans would always know what is moral, but no such system exists. All religious texts require considerable subjective interpretation. Now, the only way this would make sense with an absolute God is if God has decided to not tell humans what right and wrong are which would then beg the question of "what is the purpose of the religious texts?'


This message is a reply to:
 Message 185 by Stile, posted 07-27-2009 11:18 AM Stile has acknowledged this reply

  
onifre
Member (Idle past 1029 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 188 of 438 (516769)
07-27-2009 12:18 PM
Reply to: Message 181 by Cedre
07-27-2009 9:38 AM


Re: Simple and obvious
In fact it does, God is an absolutely moral being, meaning that whatever he does is moral and as a result is whatever he instructs us to do.

Which "god" specifically?

Is it all gods that are moral beings or just the one you subjectively chose to believe in?

Allah, Vishnu, Thor, Apollo, Zues...are these all moral beings, or just the one in the Christian Bible?

Please be specific.

Conversely, atheist cannot declare any act to be immoral for they are speaking only subjectively, their viewpoints do not transcend all cultures, nations and societies.

So when a Muslim blows himself up in the name of his "one true moral being," is this to be accepted as a moral act?

When a Christian kills an abortion doctor in the name of his "one true moral being," is this too a moral act?

Or are these acts subjectively interpreted by all people as immoral?

What is more God has every right to judge and condemn those who turn away from His absolute moral code

So would it be fair for Allah to judge you and condemn you for not being Muslim and turning away from his moral code?

Would it be fair for Zues, or Apollo, or Vishnu, or Thor, to condemn you for turning away from their moral codes?

Or is it just the moral code of the god you subjectively feel is the right one?

God does indeed solve any and all philosophical problems with ease for what is impossible with man is possible with the Lord God Almighty.

Which "god" specifically?

- Oni


If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little.
~George Carlin
This message is a reply to:
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Perdition
Member (Idle past 1316 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 189 of 438 (516782)
07-27-2009 1:22 PM
Reply to: Message 181 by Cedre
07-27-2009 9:38 AM


Re: Simple and obvious
In fact it does, God is an absolutely moral being, meaning that whatever he does is moral and as a result is whatever he instructs us to do.

First of all, how do we know God is moral?

1) God says he's moral, and just defines whatever he wants to do is moral. This makes morality subjective, it's just that God gets to make this subjective decision rather than each of us, as it appears.

2) Objective morality exists in the Universe and God just happens to match this objective morality. If this objective morality exists, then we don't need God, we can find the morality on our own. Thus God is irrelevant to morality.

Since I can't come up with another option, which of these do you think describes the actual universe?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 181 by Cedre, posted 07-27-2009 9:38 AM Cedre has responded

Replies to this message:
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caffeine
Member
Posts: 1600
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 190 of 438 (516898)
07-28-2009 4:22 AM
Reply to: Message 181 by Cedre
07-27-2009 9:38 AM


What problem for evolutionary theory?
In fact it does, God is an absolutely moral being, meaning that whatever he does is moral and as a result is whatever he instructs us to do. So to the believer the question of where absolute morality comes from has never been a quandary in any way, for the reason that the believer has long recognized that since God is an absolutely moral being, rape, hate, murder and other such acts are immoral because they have been judged to be so by the spring of absolute morality.

All you have done here, though, is define 'moral' as 'what God wants'; which doesn't explain to me why this should matter to anyone other than God.

And, again, this is all still tangential to the actual subject of the thread - does the existence of morality pose a serious problem for Darwinian evolution. For this to be the case, it would be necessary to show that natural selection should not be expected to favour traits which lead people to try and behave morally and create moral rules. If natural selection can do this, then it doesn't matter whether or not those moral rules have a dubious philosophical foundation - they pose no problem for evolutionary theory.

Edited by caffeine, : Corrected gibberish sentence.


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Parasomnium
Member (Idle past 774 days)
Posts: 2191
Joined: 07-15-2003


Message 191 of 438 (516903)
07-28-2009 7:11 AM
Reply to: Message 181 by Cedre
07-27-2009 9:38 AM


Human standard: the Golden Rule
Cedre writes:

An atheist cannot say murder is wrong, then he would have to answer the question why it is wrong, by whose standards, Americasí standards, Britainís standards, South Africaís standards, or maybe by his own standards.

Well, how about a human standard? An atheist is human, after all. The vast majority of humans does not relish the prospect of being murdered, so it stands to reason that murder is almost universally acknowledged as being morally wrong. More generally, most people don't like to be treated wrongly in any way. So a good rule, one that holds almost universally, would be: "don't do to others what you don't want done to you". This is also known as the Golden Rule and it occurs in almost any culture you care to think of, probably because it is not very hard to come up with. Maybe that's why it's even in the Bible.

And if it's a human standard, then it has evolved, just as any other aspect of human beings has evolved. I don't see why this would be a problem for Darwinism.


"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." - Charles Darwin.

Did you know that most of the time your computer is doing nothing? What if you could make it do something really useful? Like helping scientists understand diseases? Your computer could even be instrumental in finding a cure for HIV/AIDS. Wouldn't that be something? If you agree, then join World Community Grid now and download a simple, free tool that lets you and your computer do your share in helping humanity. After all, you are part of it, so why not take part in it?

This message is a reply to:
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Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 776 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 192 of 438 (516912)
07-28-2009 8:09 AM
Reply to: Message 182 by Cedre
07-27-2009 10:24 AM


Re: Simple and obvious
Hi, Cedre.

Cedre writes:

Bluejay writes:

Well, this isn't true: the ultimate standard championed by most atheists...

I will stop you right there Bluejay, championed by whom? Most theists you say, not even by all and definitely not by all the inhabitants of the earth.

You didn't say "universal": you said "ultimate."

No opinion is currently universal.

-----

Cedre writes:

Your retort does nothing at removing the subjectivity that morality is forsaken with once God has been removed from the picture

And, morality is still subjective if God is part of the picture. Getting a reward (e.g. going to Heaven) for behaving in a certain manner doesn't mean that said behavior is objectively correct: all it means is that somebody who is able to give rewards agrees with you.


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


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 Message 182 by Cedre, posted 07-27-2009 10:24 AM Cedre has not yet responded

  
Cedre
Member
Posts: 350
From: Russia
Joined: 01-30-2009


Message 193 of 438 (516916)
07-28-2009 8:46 AM
Reply to: Message 191 by Parasomnium
07-28-2009 7:11 AM


Re: Human standard: the Golden Rule
Well, how about a human standard?

This is not possible for each and every human has a standard that if not slightly remarkably disagrees with the standard of the next human. This is something that becomes very apparent after having spoken to just a few handful of passers on the street, I bet on my life that every person will have a different view regarding what they deem to be morally correct and wrong. In an earlier post of mine, I presented as an example of these varying standards that people have the unending fuss in the States re abortion, this exists because people feel differently about different matters.

The slave drivers of American slave trade who forcibly removed black people from their lands and put manacles around their necks did not share the presently adopted standard of the world that All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, as stipulated in article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Nazi Germany also appeared not to grasp the concept of that same article they followed a different standard. The crux of the matter is this, people abide by varying standards therefore there is no human standard.

Furthermore just because a large group of people share the view that human life is valuable and ought to be respected doesnít make this a moral law, at best it is simply a extensively held opinion, this is the situation the minute morality is said to be subjective it cannot be expected to prevail universally. Because it is not an absolute thing rather it is relative, relating only to a particular group. As an example the Muslim religion regard it to be a moral law that womenís faces and bodies be concealed behind a yashmak, will it make any sense for the Muslims to expect every single woman in the world to also wear yashmaks, but it is a moral law isnít it? Hence I have been saying that morality is reduced to the status of mere opinion if it loses its absolute nature, in other words if God is removed from the picture.

More generally, most people don't like to be treated wrongly in any way.

I believe I have partly touched on this point already in my previous paragraphs and earlier posts. But I would like to add this, atheist are quick to say might doesnít make right concerning God, but they employ the same argument they mock to back their political theories. An atheist reasoning that the preferences of the majority be always respected is no different from a theist saying, follow God for he is mighty and powerful, only in the atheist case the power is invested in the hands of the majority. So I wonder if the majority declare that the existence of the black race is immoral (indeed this has already happened, think of the holocaust, slavery) and thus every black must be chucked out, I wonder if it would be morally correct to kill blacks because a bunch of people say it is. This kind of reasoning is laughable to say the least.
I already tackled the golden rule in a previous post, and right now I have nothing more to say about it.


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Cedre
Member
Posts: 350
From: Russia
Joined: 01-30-2009


Message 194 of 438 (516922)
07-28-2009 9:16 AM
Reply to: Message 189 by Perdition
07-27-2009 1:22 PM


Re: Simple and obvious
First of all, how do we know God is moral?

I have said in an earlier post that we owe the morality present in the world to God that is of course, if God exists and I personally believe he does due to the meaninglessness that would so suddenly enshroud our existence if he didn't. If God was immoral then I think we would expect to notice several things, firstly I doubt if He was evil that he would create beings that are able to tell between what is right and wrong, Wouldnít it have made more sense for him him to have created an immoral world without any morality in it at all, no remorse no pity, no love; if God was evil in fact wouldnít he wreak havoc on this earth, by the abuse of his power? I think that the fact that you are still alive tells something of Godís character, namely that he is moral, I believe that he is keeping you alive intentionally, perhaps until the day you realize your faults and turn to him in repentance.

1. God says he's moral, and just defines whatever he wants to do is moral. This makes morality subjective, it's just that God gets to make this subjective decision rather than each of us, as it appears.

No, it doesnít make morality subjective, God is an absolutely moral being, and therefore whatever he says is absolutely moral and nothing less.

2. 2) Objective morality exists in the Universe and God just happens to match this objective morality. If this objective morality exists, then we don't need God, we can find the morality on our own. Thus God is irrelevant to morality.

Objective morality exist because God exists, morality as it is passed down from God isnít tempered with, Godís morality is absolute because God is an absolutely moral being, morality is not decided by God per se rather it is just there because it is a part of his good nature. It doesnít exist separate from God that is it isnít a force apart from God, it stems from Godís nature, and character. And morality doesn't stem from the cosmos because the cosmos themselves were created by God.

Edited by Cedre, : No reason given.

Edited by Cedre, : No reason given.


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Perdition
Member (Idle past 1316 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 195 of 438 (516937)
07-28-2009 10:49 AM
Reply to: Message 194 by Cedre
07-28-2009 9:16 AM


Re: Simple and obvious
I have said in an earlier post that we owe the morality present in the world to God that is of course, if God exists and I personally believe he does due to the meaninglessness that would so suddenly enshroud our existence if he didn't. If God was immoral then I think we would expect to notice several things, firstly I doubt if He was evil

Stop right there. How can God be evil, if there is no morality extant in the universe with which to judge him as such before he "creates" morality?

that he would create beings that are able to tell between what is right and wrong,

According to you, they can't tell between right and wrong, they need God to tell them what is right and wrong.

Wouldnít it have made more sense for him him to have created an immoral world without any morality in it at all, no remorse no pity, no love; if God was evil in fact wouldnít he wreak havoc on this earth, by the abuse of his power? I think that the fact that you are still alive tells something of Godís character, namely that he is moral, I believe that he is keeping you alive intentionally, perhaps until the day you realize your faults and turn to him in repentance.

Do you know the term sadism? If you're a sadistic monster who enjoys inflicting pain or seeing people in pain, you don't want your subject to die. You want to keep him alive as long as possible. And if you're really sadisitc, you'll give him reprieves now and then, to keep hope up, and to make sure they feel the pain and fear as much as possible every time they are forced to descend into it again.

No, it doesnít make morality subjective, God is an absolutely moral being, and therefore whatever he says is absolutely moral and nothing less.

But, if morality doesn't exist independent of God, then he's the one defining it. If he's defining it, he can define it however he wants, and surprise, surprise, he defines "good" as "whatever I like and want." Doesn't that sound like what everyone in that position would do? And it is very much subjective. It's arbitrary, and plucked clear out of nothingness.

You seem to be trying to assert an objective morality that exists independent of God, that he conforms to, but that is impossible for us to recognize unless God shows us. Why would you think this is so? If it exists outrside of God, why do we need God to tell us what it is?

Objective morality exist because God exists, morality as it is passed down from God isnít tempered with, Godís morality is absolute because God is an absolutely moral being, morality is not decided by God per se rather it is just there because it is a part of his good nature. It doesnít exist separate from God that is it isnít a force apart from God, it stems from Godís nature, and character. And morality doesn't stem from the cosmos because the cosmos themselves were created by God.

Ok, so morality stems from god, god claims that anything that stems from his is good, therfore morality from god is good because god says everything from his is good. Don't you see the inherent circular reasoning here? How can we objectively know that God is moral if the onyl thing that shows it is God himself?

If I create a Universe in my backyard science lab and I create life in that universe, and I say, that whatever I want is good, and I want you all to bow down and worship me, sacrifice your food to me, and kill people who disagree with you, does that mean these things are good, because I said they are, and I said that whatever I say is good?

If it doesn't work for me, why does it work for God? If he's setting the rules, that makes them subjective, he just has enough power to impose them on all of us. Though he seems to do a very bad job of it, since, as you say, no one agrees 100% on what's moral, so either God's doing a poor job, or he doesn't want us to know what's really "good."

Edited by Perdition, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 194 by Cedre, posted 07-28-2009 9:16 AM Cedre has not yet responded

    
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