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Author Topic:   Moral high ground
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1748 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 301 of 318 (646486)
01-04-2012 7:27 PM
Reply to: Message 262 by Straggler
01-04-2012 10:36 AM


Re: What is Religious Motivation?
quote:
If God kills a bunch of people for having the temerity to not not believe in him or follow his doctrines surely this qualifies. No?
My focus is on the specific stories, not a generality. Show me that that is the issue in any of the verses shared in Message 11.

In the flood story we aren't told that God required belief or obedience to specific rules. We aren't told that God gave humans any direction concerning how to behave. God saw how the humans behaved and he didn't like what he saw. He destroyed what he created. Show me where the religion is in that story.

This thread isn't about whether God's actions in the stories were good, bad, fair, or unfair. It is about the motivation behind the act. Just because God did it or ordered it, doesn't mean the motivation was religious in every event. Show me the ones that actually involve a religious motivation.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 262 by Straggler, posted 01-04-2012 10:36 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 305 by Butterflytyrant, posted 01-05-2012 8:26 AM purpledawn has not yet responded
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Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 1258 days)
Posts: 3808
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


(2)
Message 302 of 318 (646506)
01-04-2012 10:10 PM
Reply to: Message 299 by New Cat's Eye
01-04-2012 5:32 PM


Re: Topic Drift
CS writes:

I'd say ones that are tenets of the religion should be counted on the religiously motivated side.

I don't think behavioral tenets that can be found throughout the animal kingdom, from rats to chimps--share, mate for life, help those in distress, don't kill each other frivolously, etc.--can be counted exclusively for the religious.


"If you can keep your head while those around you are losing theirs, you can collect a lot of heads."

This message is a reply to:
 Message 299 by New Cat's Eye, posted 01-04-2012 5:32 PM New Cat's Eye has acknowledged this reply

    
Butterflytyrant
Member (Idle past 2713 days)
Posts: 415
From: Australia
Joined: 06-28-2011


(1)
Message 303 of 318 (646513)
01-04-2012 11:41 PM
Reply to: Message 267 by New Cat's Eye
01-04-2012 12:21 PM


Bingo!
Hey CS,

Against a very small subset of Christianity... Most people know The Flud was a myth. How does that myth being in the Bible lower the morality of Christianity, in general?

The inroduction of the killings in the bible are only relevant to that very small subset of Christianity, the people who 'know' the flood is a historical event.

I covered this extensively in Message 95 to PD.

My point was that the deaths mentioned only need to be taken into account by those who believe they are hirtorical events. This does not effect the morality of christianity in general, just those who believe the bible is a history book.

That is the point I have been making since PD arrived arround message 30.


I could agree with you, but then we would both be wrong

Butterfly, AKA, mallethead - Dawn Bertot

"Superstitions and nonsense from the past should not prevent us from making progress. If we hold ourselves back, we admit that our fears are more powerful than our abilities." Hunters of Dune Herbert & Anderson

2011 leading candidate for the EvC Forum Don Quixote award


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 responded

Replies to this message:
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Chuck77
Inactive Member


(2)
Message 304 of 318 (646539)
01-05-2012 3:25 AM


Summation (even tho one post early)
I believe the entire Bible is the inspired Word of God.

That doesn't give anyone the right to judge my morality.

Funny tho, that this thread was started to expose certain Christians who claim to be morally superior, and yet I would say it's not the Christians being exposed in this thread as claiming the moral high ground.

Edited by Chuck77, : No reason given.

Edited by Chuck77, : No reason given.


  
Butterflytyrant
Member (Idle past 2713 days)
Posts: 415
From: Australia
Joined: 06-28-2011


Message 305 of 318 (646551)
01-05-2012 8:26 AM
Reply to: Message 301 by purpledawn
01-04-2012 7:27 PM


Re: What is Religious Motivation?
Purple Dawn,

My focus is on the specific stories, not a generality. Show me that that is the issue in any of the verses shared in Message 11.

This has been done. By more than one poster now. It is not necessary to analyse every individual story. Once the judeo-christian god makes a divine judgement that people should die for not following his rules or being corrupt in his eyes, and then either uses a supernatural event (plague, flood, rain of fire etc) to kill people, uses his magic to kill someone (pillar of salt) or commands people to kill for him, it is a religious act.

Are the miracles of God religious acts? If you wants to try to seperate the negative acts of god, then you will have to lose the good poitive acts of god as well. Where does this leave god?

In the flood story we aren't told that God required belief or obedience to specific rules. We aren't told that God gave humans any direction concerning how to behave. God saw how the humans behaved and he didn't like what he saw. He destroyed what he created. Show me where the religion is in that story.

Gen 6:5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Gen 6:7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

Gen 6:11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.

Gen 6:12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

So God judged man. He judged that man had become wicked. He judged that they had become corrupt. They failed Gods judgement. He regretted making them because they did not please him. They were evil in his eyes. Was there a jury?

But he did not kill everyone, he decided tnhat he should save one guy and his family. How did he make this choice?

Gen 6:8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

Gen 6:9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

Gen 7:1 And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.

Noah walked with God. Noah was not corrupt. God liked him. Noah followed the commands of God. Ans what did Noah do after he had survived the flood?

Gen 8: 20 And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

He built an alter to God and cooked up a burnt offering.

The Judeo-Christian God passed divine judgement over people he saw as violent and corrupt. He decided to save the man who was righteous before God. He saved the guy who was leading a life that was pleasing to him. Then he created a supernatural flood to kill everyone not pleasing to him. The first act of the guy who survived was to make a burnt offering.

Tell me again why you cant see the religious motivation there?

This thread isn't about whether God's actions in the stories were good, bad, fair, or unfair. It is about the motivation behind the act.

That is not what this thread is about. This is where you have taken the thread. Up to about post 30, the thread was about something different.

The thread was a challenge for those who believe that they stand on the moral high ground due to the greater death toll of atheism to defend that position.

You have usurped the thread and taken us on an essentially pointless journey because you cannot see the obvious.

Can you use your admin powers to extend this past the usual post limit because the issue has yet to really be discussed in detail as I have had to repeatedly discuss the same thing with you.

ABE: I double my request to continue the debate particularly in light of Chuck77's post above.

Edited by Butterflytyrant, : No reason given.


I could agree with you, but then we would both be wrong

Butterfly, AKA, mallethead - Dawn Bertot

"Superstitions and nonsense from the past should not prevent us from making progress. If we hold ourselves back, we admit that our fears are more powerful than our abilities." Hunters of Dune Herbert & Anderson

2011 leading candidate for the EvC Forum Don Quixote award


This message is a reply to:
 Message 301 by purpledawn, posted 01-04-2012 7:27 PM purpledawn has not yet responded

    
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 306 of 318 (646561)
01-05-2012 10:08 AM
Reply to: Message 301 by purpledawn
01-04-2012 7:27 PM


Re: What is Religious Motivation?
If killing people for disobeying or displeasing God doesn't constitute a religious killing then I am genuinely perplexed as to what does.

PD writes:

God saw how the humans behaved and he didn't like what he saw. He destroyed what he created. Show me where the religion is in that story.

Where isn't the relgion in that story?

If I were to kill a load of people because I thought they were acting in a way I thought God would dislike it would be a religious act. Obviously.

I don't see why God cutting out the middle man and doing the deed himself makes the act any less qualifying as a religious killing.

PD writes:

This thread isn't about whether God's actions in the stories were good, bad, fair, or unfair. It is about the motivation behind the act. Just because God did it or ordered it, doesn't mean the motivation was religious in every event. Show me the ones that actually involve a religious motivation.

Well if acting out the wishes of God isn't religious what is?

PD writes:

My focus is on the specific stories, not a generality.

OK. But the specific stories are all religious aren't they?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 301 by purpledawn, posted 01-04-2012 7:27 PM purpledawn has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 307 of 318 (646562)
01-05-2012 10:14 AM
Reply to: Message 264 by New Cat's Eye
01-04-2012 10:57 AM


Re: What is Religious Motivation?
CS writes:

But a more overarching god, who's will just be's done, shouldn't really count as having some religious motivation.

Are god willed miracles religious acts?

Seriously - I don't see how any act that comes about as the will of God can be disqualified as a religious act. It would seem to be innately religious practically by definition.


This message is a reply to:
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 308 of 318 (646565)
01-05-2012 10:47 AM
Reply to: Message 300 by Perdition
01-04-2012 6:01 PM


Moving on
I'm not assigning it to atheism, I'm just saying that religion doesn't have a monopoly on the merit. Here, we get into the same problem with assigning deaths. Is the charity performed because of religion, or is there another motivation.

Yup, I think that's an important part of all this. Its easy to take a birds-eye view of a situation and say: "look at how much bad influence their religion had on those dummies, wow, religion is so bad". But its a lot more complicated than that.

What we need to try and do is figure out which acts are religious, and which are maybe more cultural or even ingrained in what it means to be human.

Indeed, especially for counting up things on the religious side... for how often do people follow a religion more for the cultural reasons rather than from sincere belief?

For example, the Jim Jones massacre... I'll assume you're familiar with it.

Take a look at this image:

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.

But what if you learned that many people didn't know the drink was laced? Or that most of the children were forced by their parents? Or that those who refused to drink were forced to at gun-point?

What if you learned that many of the people there were crying for help and calling themselves prisoners? That any sign of dissent lead to public beatings?

For the assertion droids out there: I'm not going to provide evidence that all that is necessarily true. I'm asking them as questions. Consider it hypothetical if it will.

909 people died... how many of those people were motivated by religion to kill themselves? How many disbelieved the religion but were still there anyways?

How many of those 909 deaths should be chalked up to religiously motivated? How many were culturally motivated? How many were straight victims? If Jim Jones knew it was all a sham, but was just tricking people to do what he wanted, is that even a religious attrocity at all?

When religion is used as a tool, then I don't blame the religion.

Upon re-read, I think I should make it apparent that I do think some of those deaths in the Jim Jones massacre were religiously motivated, that some of them really believed all of that and wanted to kill themselves and that religion, itself, can be blamed for that.


But I guess I agree. If we're going to assign a particular act of violence to religion, we should find acts of "goodness" that have religious motivations as well.

Thanks for acknowledging that.

But you just said that atheism has no tenets. So, if we're going to try to use these calculations to compare, we're going to have tenet after tenet propped up by religion and the atheists are going to have nothing.

The original quoted called for a comparison of the deaths caused by atheist regimes, and that allows for some counting.

If atheists do an action about as often as religious people do, it should be considered a human attribute and not religious.

Its gonna get fuzzy tho, because it seems that being religious is a human attribute in itself...

What most of these types of calculations come down to is, if we got rid of all religions, would the net effect make the world better or worse.

Consider that in the early stages of civilization, religion played a big part in keeping people together. I don't think we'd have civilization as we know it without religion.

Many atheists would argue that many wars would be eliminated (not all, by a long shot) but most of the good things, like charity, community, sense-of-purpose, etc would still exist.

So, if removing an institution would eliminate some unnecessary deaths, but have no effect on the good things being done, doesn't that mean the effect of that institution is a net negative?

I suppose, but its all in hind sight from here. Orphanages and hospitals, etc., were set-up by religious people. Its just too hard to imagine how things would be different is there weren't any religious people to begin with.

Now, I'm actually curious, hypothetically, what would happen to the charities done under the auspices of religions, if the religion were abandoned. Would someone keep them going from a moral compulsion, or would they just stop operating, leaving only the non-religious charities in operation? If that were the case, the calculation becomes more complicated.

Yeah, I have no idea.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 300 by Perdition, posted 01-04-2012 6:01 PM Perdition has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 309 of 318 (646566)
01-05-2012 10:49 AM
Reply to: Message 303 by Butterflytyrant
01-04-2012 11:41 PM


Re: Bingo!
The inroduction of the killings in the bible are only relevant to that very small subset of Christianity, the people who 'know' the flood is a historical event.

Those people aren't here debating with you. Move on and address what the rest of us are actually talking about.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 303 by Butterflytyrant, posted 01-04-2012 11:41 PM Butterflytyrant has not yet responded

  
hooah212002
Member (Idle past 113 days)
Posts: 3183
Joined: 08-12-2009


Message 310 of 318 (646568)
01-05-2012 11:00 AM
Reply to: Message 308 by New Cat's Eye
01-05-2012 10:47 AM


Re: Moving on
For example, the Jim Jones massacre

Yea....I addressed this in Message 100. It seemingly got bypassed. I WILL say that your "hypothetical" assertion that they didn't know is false because he told them exactly what they were doing. They all WANTED to die. The parents told their children they were going to die.

Or that most of the children were forced by their parents?

Just the same as parents force them to go to church, or get baptized, or get circumsized. No one except the religious claim that children know what religion they want. As a matter of fact, many atheists now will claim that indoctrination is child abuse. A child is not "a christian child" or "a muslim child" just as they are not a "republican child" or "a democrat child". Have you never seen the documentary "Jesus Camp"?????

Or that those who refused to drink were forced to at gun-point?

They weren't.

What if you learned that many of the people there were crying for help and calling themselves prisoners? That any sign of dissent lead to public beatings?

Again, all patently false. These people believed what Jim Jones was telling them. They wanted to die. They knew that when they followed him to Guyana.

If you are going to use an example, especially if it is one of the most gruesome, don't try and downplay just to save the face of religion.

How many of those 909 deaths should be chalked up to religiously motivated?

Every single one of them.

{abe}
I should note that I have found evidence that renders all statements I have made on this matter to be false. I should have done better research before spouting off about it. I will leave my original words here to shame me.

Edited by hooah212002, : No reason given.


"There is no refutation of Darwinian evolution in existence. If a refutation ever were to come about, it would come from a scientist, and not an idiot." -Dawkins

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 yet responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7101
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.7


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 yet responded

  
AdminPhat
Administrator
Posts: 1923
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-03-2004


Message 312 of 318 (646583)
01-05-2012 12:37 PM


Summation Mode
Keep in mind that this topic is now in summation mode.

Thanking you all in advance


    
jar
Member
Posts: 31519
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


(1)
Message 313 of 318 (646586)
01-05-2012 12:56 PM


Summation
Christianity certainly cannot lay claim to any "Moral high ground".

The history of Christianity is filled with genocide, the intentional destruction of other cultures, religions, dress and cultures. In particular Christianity has been intolerant of Jews instituting pogrom after pogrom where Jews were forcibly driven from their property, confined to proscribed areas, forced to leave a country or denied the right to work outside of particular industries.

As Christianity expanded from the Middle East it first destroyed all other existing religions and cultures in each area of expansion. When it expanded into the "New World" it continued that program destroying and banning the practice of the religions, cultures and customs of all those already living in the "New World".

In the area that became the US, Native American Children were forcibly taken from their families, forbidden to speak their language or wear their clothing, had their hair cut and were forced to adopt Christianity.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

  
nwr
Member
Posts: 5586
From: Geneva, Illinois
Joined: 08-08-2005


(2)
Message 314 of 318 (646591)
01-05-2012 1:38 PM


My "summary"
Distrust anyone or any group that claims the moral high ground.

Those who occupy the moral high ground demonstrate this in their behavior, not in their claims.


Jesus was a liberal hippie

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 315 of 318 (646635)
01-05-2012 7:22 PM


Entire discussion is academic
The New Testament and the Gospels reflect a moral code of extremely high standards. Unfortunately those who claim to be Christians almost invariably fail to follow much of Jesus example.

In fact many people justify not following Jesus example by picking and choosing parts of the Old Testament to follow, and then defining morality as being those parts of the Bible they do revere.

By and large, people who claim to be Christian are hypocrites and have no claim to any moral high ground that any non-hypocrite would appreciate.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. The proper place to-day, the only place which Massachusetts has provided for her freer and less desponding spirits, is in her prisons, to be put out and locked out of the State by her own act, as they have already put themselves out by their principles. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

  
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