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Author Topic:   Moral high ground
Tangle
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Posts: 9538
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


(3)
Message 265 of 318 (646360)
01-04-2012 12:01 PM
Reply to: Message 263 by New Cat's Eye
01-04-2012 10:42 AM


CS writes:
But if we're talking about things like the global flood... How does the Flood myth take away any moral high ground from Christianity?
Assuming God (any God) killed virtually every living thing on earth, then He is a genocidal tyrant and by definition, takes the lowest moral position we know of.
Similarly anyone who continues to support such a murderer, knowing His actions, must be on the lower moral rung also.
So atheists win on a technical knockout. Can we talk about something less bonkers now?

Life, don't talk to me about life.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 263 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-04-2012 10:42 AM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 267 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-04-2012 12:21 PM Tangle has replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 9538
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 271 of 318 (646375)
01-04-2012 1:00 PM
Reply to: Message 267 by New Cat's Eye
01-04-2012 12:21 PM


CS writes:
Most people know The Flud was a myth.
Many people know that the bible is entirely myth of course.
The trouble is, there's no agreement amongst Christians which bits are myths and which bits are real so it's difficult to argue with you as a group; you just have to say "ah, but I don't believe that bit"
Are you're going to say that all the bad things God does in the bible are myths? If not, you can just substitute the flood myth in my statement with whatever atrocity you believe in - it still works.

Life, don't talk to me about life.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 267 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-04-2012 12:21 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 273 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-04-2012 1:59 PM Tangle has replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 9538
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 275 of 318 (646388)
01-04-2012 2:44 PM
Reply to: Message 273 by New Cat's Eye
01-04-2012 1:59 PM


CS writes:
Nonsense. It contains some facts
i'm not quite sure what to do with that.
I think it's probably best that we both pretend you didn't say it ;-)
I'm still having trouble making the connection: How does believing that their god did something in the past that was bad, make them a bad person? Lets say we have a person we could all argree on, at face value, was a morally good person. How would learning that they believe in a god that did something bad, change our perception of their morality? How would it change their actual morality? Isn't is pretty much irrelevant what they believe?
A couple of issues here.
1. An all perfect, all knowing and loving god surely can't do anything bad?
2. The connection is that if someone worships a god that does bad stuff and accepts the bad stuff as fact, then we have a moral conundrum. It's one thing admiring Hitler for his organisation, leadership, vision etc; but if that person continued to admire Hitler with the full knowledge of his role in the holocaust, we'd question his morality wouldn't we?

Life, don't talk to me about life.

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 Message 273 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-04-2012 1:59 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 276 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-04-2012 2:54 PM Tangle has replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 9538
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 283 of 318 (646405)
01-04-2012 3:35 PM
Reply to: Message 276 by New Cat's Eye
01-04-2012 2:54 PM


CS writes:
Why? Do you think there's not one true thing in the Bible
um, !'m sure there are lots of true things in the bible, it's quite a big book, if would be an immense achievement if it was pretending to tell the truth but delivered total lies. My slight amazement was in hearing a Christian saying that the bible contains only some true stuff. But I think I understand what you mean.
So you didn't explain to me how to make the connection... Can you?
um (x2) I explain that in the bit where I say this "The connection is that etc"
I don't judge people's morality by their admirations, but by how they conduct themselves. Is that really what you think morality should be judged on? Fucking beliefs!?
Well personally, I'm not too concerned with people's morality - but I do make general judgements about them on what they 'fucking' believe - if they are extreme; don't you?
I tend not to get on with people who claim that homosexuals are an abomination, that black people should go home (or similar racist remarks), the women should stay out of the workplace, that atheists can't gain political power or that Noah built an ark.
If someone shared with me their admiration of Hitler, I would tend to think fairly badly of them and I suspect that you would too.
But we are talking about extremes here. Not the majority.

Life, don't talk to me about life.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 276 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-04-2012 2:54 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 284 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-04-2012 3:49 PM Tangle has replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 9538
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


(2)
Message 288 of 318 (646418)
01-04-2012 4:09 PM
Reply to: Message 284 by New Cat's Eye
01-04-2012 3:49 PM


CS writes:
No, I make judgements about how they conduct themselves... because, well, that's what morality is. As I said, beliefs are irrelvant.
You're trying to disconnect behaviour and beliefs - which is obviously wrong. If you didn't believe that it was Allah's will you wouldn't strap a bomb on yourself and blow up a train full of people.
Beliefs influence behaviour - for good or for bad.

Life, don't talk to me about life.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 284 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-04-2012 3:49 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 290 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-04-2012 4:25 PM Tangle has replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 9538
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


(1)
Message 294 of 318 (646440)
01-04-2012 4:47 PM
Reply to: Message 290 by New Cat's Eye
01-04-2012 4:25 PM


CS writes:
But the actual belief, itself, doesn't go into weighing up the morality. We're already talking about bad things that have happened, the crux is whether or not they were motivated by religion.
I think you're being a bit disingenuous here, you must know that having an immoral belief has a bearing on the morality of the individual - religious or otherwise.
The Religious motivation simply follows. I doubt you would deny that having a strong Chritian belief can lead to many good behaviours, so you must accept that when in the hands of deluded extremists it can also lead to bad behaviours. So much is self-evident.
Or do you say otherwise?

Life, don't talk to me about life.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 290 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-04-2012 4:25 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 297 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-04-2012 4:54 PM Tangle has replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 9538
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


(1)
Message 298 of 318 (646450)
01-04-2012 5:14 PM
Reply to: Message 297 by New Cat's Eye
01-04-2012 4:54 PM


CS writes:
I don't think that 'having a belief' is a bad thing that can be used to weigh up the attrocities caused by religion.
Then we agree. Like I say, this is a bonkers thread.
What these debates always lack is balance. As Perdition has already said, there's a spectrum here. Personally, I tend to view Christians that believe in a vengeful god, floods and young earths as dangerous and dim. But those that have a more sensible attitude to their religion, allowing for metaphor and room for science's discoveries about our world, are generally more a force for good than bad. (Although quite wrong-headed of course :-)

Life, don't talk to me about life.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 297 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-04-2012 4:54 PM New Cat's Eye has seen this message but not replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 9538
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 311 of 318 (646571)
01-05-2012 11:16 AM
Reply to: Message 308 by New Cat's Eye
01-05-2012 10:47 AM


Re: Moving on
CS writes:
All these people drank cyanide-laced Kool-Aid in what is apparently a mass suicide. Its very easy to say that all these deaths were religiously motivated, blame the religion, and convince yourself that religion was a bad thing because of this.
It's very easy to say that those deaths are religiously motivated simply because they more than likely were. The only reason those people were where they where was because they were followers of their religious leader. The were deluded, in the true meaning of the word.
But suppose your hypothesis was true and that some of them were not followers but were killed anyway - that would still count as a religious killing; of an even worse kind.

Life, don't talk to me about life.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 308 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-05-2012 10:47 AM New Cat's Eye has not replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 9538
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.1


(4)
Message 316 of 318 (646684)
01-06-2012 5:51 AM


Counting the numbers of deaths on both sides of this argument is not in anyway a measure of morality. For many reasons:
1. "In the name of". Whilst it is true that some wars and persecutions have been carried out in the name of Christianity or islam or (insert religion here), it's clear that the main motivation has always been power, ownership and control with religion providing the excuse. On the atheist side, no wars have been carried out in its name but several totalitarian regimes lead by atheists have performed horrific genocidal acts. But again, this is the nature of power.
2. Quantum. Even if it was possible to add up the deaths on each side it would be meaningless without allowing for the efficiency of modern weaponry and population sizes. Deaths would need to be weighted averages proportioned over time. The absurdity of this calculation is evident when you consider what damage a few dirty nuclear bombs or a biological weapon could do in the USA in the hands of a few Islamic extremists.
3. You can't generalise to the particular. An individual atheist is as likely to kill as a Christian and equally capable of doing good. That's just a statement of the obvious. And, as has been asked several times but never rebutted "what moral act can a christian perform that an atheist can not?"
4. Time. Morality is not absolute - despite the claims of extremist Christians. Our attitude to death, torture, slavery, freedom, homosexuality, women, democracy etc has changed over time.
5. Developed Society. We have developed strong secular institutions that have largely replaced the religion regulation of bad behaviour, most notably the Law and by providing welfare services, education and health.
All these things have made the argument of who owns the moral high ground utterly redundant in modern societies.
I have one reservation. Some religious organisations are dangerous and morally corrupt. But we shouldn't judge all people who have religious beliefs by the light of their extremists.

Life, don't talk to me about life.

  
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