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FrGamble
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December 29th, 2011 at 6:50:54 AM permalink
Quote: s2dbaker

Quote: FrGamble

It is obvious that God for some reason wants to be more intimate and share in our lives in a deeper way than just staying up in the clouds and saying, "hocus pocus...there all is better...on you go."

It's not obvious to me, please explain. It makes no sense at all to me that an omnipotent, omnipresent everlasting being would "want" at all.



This omnipotent, omnipresent, and everlasting being wants you, wants to get to know you, wants to spend eternity with you. I know it's crazy you'd think God wouldn't really care about little old me or you, that he has something better to do than worry about if I love Him or not, but that is His only concern. The God of the Universe knows the hairs on your head and knew you from your mother's womb, He loves you. As I tried to mention before this is the problem with your good idea for a magic, hands-off approach to salvation, it doesn't show the depth of God's love for humanity.
s2dbaker
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December 29th, 2011 at 8:15:21 AM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Quote: s2dbaker

Quote: FrGamble

It is obvious that God for some reason wants to be more intimate and share in our lives in a deeper way than just staying up in the clouds and saying, "hocus pocus...there all is better...on you go."

It's not obvious to me, please explain. It makes no sense at all to me that an omnipotent, omnipresent everlasting being would "want" at all.



This omnipotent, omnipresent, and everlasting being wants you, wants to get to know you, wants to spend eternity with you. I know it's crazy you'd think God wouldn't really care about little old me or you, that he has something better to do than worry about if I love Him or not, but that is His only concern. The God of the Universe knows the hairs on your head and knew you from your mother's womb, He loves you. As I tried to mention before this is the problem with your good idea for a magic, hands-off approach to salvation, it doesn't show the depth of God's love for humanity.

But you said it was obvious that He wants.... I'm not seeing that. Please explain.
Someday, joor goin' to see the name of Googie Gomez in lights and joor goin' to say to joorself, "Was that her?" and then joor goin' to answer to joorself, "That was her!" But you know somethin' mister? I was always her yuss nobody knows it! - Googie Gomez
EvenBob
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December 29th, 2011 at 9:39:58 AM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

This omnipotent, omnipresent, and everlasting being wants you, wants to get to know you, wants to spend eternity with you. I know it's crazy you'd think God wouldn't really care about little old me or you



No, to me its crazy to think he does. It reduces
the universe to a Parker Bros board game, and
thats frightening as hell. Just flip the box lid over
and you'll see the rules and rewards and punishments
of playing the game. People who are born into
religion seldom think it thru, they seldom see how
nutty it sounds. They just accept it, they drink the
KoolAid.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
FrGamble
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December 29th, 2011 at 2:07:33 PM permalink
Quote: EvenBob

No, to me its crazy to think he does. It reduces
the universe to a Parker Bros board game, and
thats frightening as hell. Just flip the box lid over
and you'll see the rules and rewards and punishments
of playing the game. People who are born into
religion seldom think it thru, they seldom see how
nutty it sounds. They just accept it, they drink the
KoolAid.



Man we must just be wired differently because I think it is only the religious who have really thought things through when it comes to this life. Usually when atheists begin to really draw conclusions and think things out to their logical ends you have lots of conversions. I grant you that there are many religious people who don't really think about their faith but they usually have some type of conversion experience as well or their faith just drifts away.
My vision of hell is a world that has no rules and no consequences to our actions. It is amazing to me that people accept the idea that this life is all there is, you've got to be drinking more than the kool-aid to believe that?!?
EvenBob
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December 29th, 2011 at 3:27:21 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Usually when atheists begin to really draw conclusions and think things out to their logical ends you have lots of conversions.



So you think atheists have never thought things out? How
did they become atheists, then, bad genes?

Quote: FrGamble

My vision of hell is a world that has no rules and no consequences to our actions.



Do you really think threats of what happens
to them in the after life is what stops people from
commiting crimes? Our prisons our full, we can't
even stop people with threats of what happens
in THIS life.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
rxwine
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December 29th, 2011 at 3:37:10 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Usually when atheists begin to really draw conclusions and think things out to their logical ends you have lots of conversions.



Well, you take your belief from a book that obviously had left out actual transcripts of conversations with Jesus. If we only published the best of FrGamble, people would have a different impression. (which is not just true of you, but anyone)

The second big problem is the idea that a god would need or designate spokespeople.

This thread may already have as much or more dialogue than the entire words spoken by Jesus in the NT.
There's no secret. Just know what you're talking about before you open your mouth.
EvenBob
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December 29th, 2011 at 4:20:43 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Usually when atheists begin to really draw conclusions and think things out to their logical ends you have lots of conversions.



Here's an evangelical preacher who did the opposite.
He 'thought things through' and became an atheist.

Losing Faith in Faith



(no, thats not the Wiz on the cover)
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
Nareed
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December 29th, 2011 at 4:31:21 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Man we must just be wired differently because I think it is only the religious who have really thought things through when it comes to this life.



Back home we call this chauvinism. I move we call it that here, too ;)

Quote:

Usually when atheists begin to really draw conclusions and think things out to their logical ends you have lots of conversions.



I'm glad I've had all my shots...

Quote:

My vision of hell is a world that has no rules and no consequences to our actions.



Visions of dancing chep shots aside, what atheists can have, and not all or most of them ever get, is freedom from the arbitrary rules of religion. This does not mean freedom from rules, just from arbitrary ones. Such freedom can pave the way for wonders, like Frank Lloyd Wright did in architecture.

Consequences can't be done way with. Read up Niven's Laws, namely "Nature doesn't care if you're having fun."

Quote:

It is amazing to me that people accept the idea that this life is all there is,



It's not an idea, it's what all known facts point towards. You can accept it and make the most of your life, and find comfort if you need it, or deny it and waste your life on a vain hope.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
MathExtremist
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December 29th, 2011 at 5:45:52 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

My vision of hell is a world that has no rules and no consequences to our actions. It is amazing to me that people accept the idea that this life is all there is, you've got to be drinking more than the kool-aid to believe that?!?


You've repeated this sentiment numerous times, but I think you're committing a logical fallacy that "a world that has no rules" is a necessary consequence of "the idea that this life is all there is". For starters, this world absolutely has rules, and there are many obvious (and equally many non-obvious) consequences of our actions. Human societies have been crafting laws since prehistory, long before any concept of monotheism, before even the concept of the afterlife (which predates Christianity by thousands of years).

So why do you conclude that an afterlife is a prerequisite to a rule-based society when the historical evidence clearly shows otherwise?

Here's a little philosophy homework, if I may be so bold. Your world-view requires several core beliefs to be true in order to serve as a foundation for your morality. One of those is that your lot in the afterlife is predicated on your thoughts and actions in this life. To put it crudely: if you're bad, you go to hell; if you're good, you go to heaven. Now suppose you learned that heaven and hell did not exist, and that "this life is all there is" is the truth. Your philosophy homework, if you choose to tackle it, is to derive an alternate social justification for being good and not bad, or alternately to conclude that no such justification exists without the promise of heaven and the threat of hell.
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
EvenBob
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December 29th, 2011 at 6:28:55 PM permalink
Quote: MathExtremist

Now suppose you learned that heaven and hell did not exist, and that "this life is all there is" is the truth.



I suspect 'this is all there is' forever. Thats why when
a priest from an Eastern religion becomes 'enlightened',
he's never in a hurry to do anything. If you want to
listen to him, fine. If you don't, fine. You'll get it
eventually, even if it takes forever.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
FrGamble
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December 29th, 2011 at 7:15:50 PM permalink
Quote: MathExtremist


Here's a little philosophy homework, if I may be so bold. Your world-view requires several core beliefs to be true in order to serve as a foundation for your morality. One of those is that your lot in the afterlife is predicated on your thoughts and actions in this life. To put it crudely: if you're bad, you go to hell; if you're good, you go to heaven. Now suppose you learned that heaven and hell did not exist, and that "this life is all there is" is the truth. Your philosophy homework, if you choose to tackle it, is to derive an alternate social justification for being good and not bad, or alternately to conclude that no such justification exists without the promise of heaven and the threat of hell.



I love philosophy and happy for the homework. All of these discussions have really helped me in my faith so I'm happy to do a little extra work. Let me start the work by honestly stating the questions I will need to try to overcome if I am going to try and find an alternate justification for being good and not bad:

- If ultimately we and everything else is destined for a slow cold death is being good or bad really only rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic?
- Can there be any real good or bad without some objective truth or foundation that says so or is canabalism equal to veganism depending only on the circumstances of time and place?
- How do we choose to do the right or good thing when it goes against our own self interests or desires? How are we motivated to do good when the going gets though if this life is all there is?
- I worry that this discussion is much easier for atheists and theists who are sitting in their homes at a computer with full bellies and I wonder if the idea of "this life is all there is" gets more and more disgusting and unfair when you move from the 1% to the 99%?

I'm sure I'll come up with some more questions but any help anyone can offer while I go to think and pray about ME's homework would be appreciated.
Wizard
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December 29th, 2011 at 7:53:23 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

If ultimately we and everything else is destined for a slow cold death is being good or bad really only rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic?



I find this opinion both scary and sad. Is every church full of people who are scared into submission by the man in the sky who will punish them for being bad? Some don't even try to be good, but do whatever they wish because, as the bumper sticker says, "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven."

To answer the question of the OP, my life philosophy is that the earth is not 7 billion independent people. No, there is a common humanity that binds all of us. When you harm your fellow man you don't just break a social contract with him/her, but all mankind. This social contract is not limited to humans, but is evidenced in many mammals. For example if one chimps picks bugs out of another's chimps hair the favor is likely to be returned. Perhaps I'm just responding to evolutionary programming, but I can live with that.
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
MathExtremist
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December 29th, 2011 at 9:10:11 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

To answer the question of the OP, my life philosophy is that the earth is not 7 billion independent people. No, there is a common humanity that binds all of us. When you harm your fellow man you don't just break a social contract with him/her, but all mankind. This social contract is not limited to humans, but is evidenced in many mammals. For example if one chimps picks bugs out of another's chimps hair the favor is likely to be returned. Perhaps I'm just responding to evolutionary programming, but I can live with that.


You *must* live with that. Indeed, you (and the rest of us) are here precisely because we had those traits and behaviors which allowed us to be. To paraphrase J.K. Rowling, we (H. sapiens) are the ones who lived.

"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
MathExtremist
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December 29th, 2011 at 9:25:39 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

- Can there be any real good or bad without some objective truth or foundation that says so or is canabalism equal to veganism depending only on the circumstances of time and place?


Slavery: good or bad? It was a widespread custom in human society for thousands of years, and the Church itself did not condemn it until relatively recently. The bible even has passages regulating it: "Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property." (Leviticus 25:44-45)
Quote: FrGamble

- How do we choose to do the right or good thing when it goes against our own self interests or desires? How are we motivated to do good when the going gets though [sic: tough] if this life is all there is?


That is precisely my question. In the given scenario where heaven/hell/afterlife do not exist, how do you justify being good rather than bad -- or can you?
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
Wizard
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December 29th, 2011 at 9:33:58 PM permalink
Quote: MathExtremist

In the given scenario where heaven/hell/afterlife do not exist, how do you justify being good rather than bad -- or can you?



Quote: FrGamble

Can there be any real good or bad without some objective truth or foundation that says so or is canabalism equal to veganism depending only on the circumstances of time and place?



He already said he can't. As FrG wrote, without any higher authority, veganism (is that a word?) is morally equivalent to cannibalism.

I'd like to think that, although he won't admit it, that there is innate "goodness" in FrG. The religious can never admit that, because then the need for religion would start to fall down like a house of cards.
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
RogerKint
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December 29th, 2011 at 9:38:43 PM permalink
This thread definitely proves that no one can piss further than an atheist on the internet.
100% risk of ruin
Nareed
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December 30th, 2011 at 6:54:02 AM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

- Can there be any real good or bad without some objective truth or foundation that says so or is canabalism equal to veganism depending only on the circumstances of time and place?



Bad one. You imply the only objective truth is that made up by men, and eprhaps women, long dead who claimed to speak on behalf of god.

Quote:

- How do we choose to do the right or good thing when it goes against our own self interests or desires? How are we motivated to do good when the going gets though if this life is all there is?



Your questions contrdict each other. it's a common belief that self-interest is wrong, with the more consistent saying it's always wrong. The opposite is true: self-interest is good. Poeple act the most decent when they care for their self-interest, and when they understand the importance of self-respect and self-esteem (I love the word "self" is extremely useful philosophically).

So, why shoulnd't I steal my employer's money rather than get some of it through work? Because I wouldn't want to be the kind of person who thinks herself so useless she needs to steal in order to have any money at all.

But this subject would need a thread of its own, and I'd need mroe time to post on it.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
boymimbo
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December 30th, 2011 at 8:10:27 AM permalink
Sigh.

While many people have knowledge of this "social contract", there are many who don't. They are raised not knowing the difference between right or wrong because their parents don't teach them. Or perhaps they learn the difference between right and wrong but choose wrong because it gives them the parental attention that they need. Or perhaps the parents have a fault of their own -- father's an abuser, mother's a drunk, and the children learn a skewed view of the world.

It's tough out there. For us who live in the Western world, there's a good chance that we were born with nurturing parents and that we learned the differences between right and wrong. There's a good chance that we went to good schools, continued on to college and learned to coopearate and thrive socially with our homosapiens counterparts. FrGamble talks about the 1% / 99%, but I think probably a good 20 - 30% of us in the western world grow up in less than ideal conditions. I think the number approaches 80 - 90% in the undeveloped world.

With less than ideal conditions, some people need a crutch to live their lives and to learn the differences between right and wrong. That's where religion, in all of its flavors and varieties, can play a very positive part in people's lives. For the rest of us who don't need that crutch, we make the choice on our belief system. Some choose athiestism. Some choose a flavor of religion, not as a crutch necessarily, but as a choice. Some use it for political and social advantages and for networking. Some use the church as a community. Some use the church to feel good about themselves. Some people are truly fearful that the "man in the sky" will punish them for being bad and go for those reasons. Others are truly altruistic and attend church to truly serve their Godl. For the major religions out there, they thrive and do well because there are plenty of reasons to go to church. I can't mock that.

Most of the people on this forum are intelligent enough for self-reflection. We are in the minority, in my opinion. The opinions seen in this thread for example contradict worldwide polls and north american polls. 90% of Americans believe in a God. 23% of Canadians do not believe in a God.

In any case, the bible is a major text that teaches the differences between right and wrong through its various parables, lessons, and commandments. We wring out hands around the validity of the death penalty for example based on Judeo-Christian beliefs, whereas following the Koran, we would have absolutely no problem with the death penalty. We wring out hands around the validity of abortion (is it murder?) and made the decision that the unborn is in the mother's hand and that she is free to choose killing their unborn where as if we followed the bible abortion would be illegal. Is it okay to steal to feed our starving selves or children? There are difficult moral decisions in life that may need to be made, and it is our upbringing mainly that determines how we deal with those particular situations.

Parents going through divorce with children are forced to make difficult moral decisions. Most parents choose to do things in their own best interests rather than care for the interests of the children. That's why child support law and access laws were made -- because parents are more interested in revenge rather than doing the right thing for their child. Taking care of your children should be the number one thing that should be in a social contract, but many, if not most divorcing parents ignore this, despite the "common humanity that binds all of us".

So, I see religion as being a very valuable component of society today.
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!
Mosca
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December 30th, 2011 at 8:21:55 AM permalink
I haven't seen that believing in a god, or being extremely religious, has helped anyone avoid acting in an anti-social manner. Prisons are full of religious, pious, believing criminals. Churches of all stripes, not just Christian, are full of both good people and criminals.... just like the rest of society. When we look to church leaders, we see the same thing. We see priests, imams, rabbis, and preachers who rape, murder, and commit economic crimes of opportunity (not burglary, because it's a lot easier to embezzle).

My admittedly limited observation is that religious people and non-religious people mix about the same on the social/anti-social scale.
A falling knife has no handle.
EvenBob
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December 30th, 2011 at 10:22:04 AM permalink
Quote: Mosca

When we look to church leaders, we see the same thing. We see priests, imams, rabbis, and preachers who rape, murder, and commit economic crimes of opportunity



Even a cursory examination of the Catholic Church of old
shows it to be one of the most corrupt organisations society
has ever known. It was all about power, getting power and
keeping it at all costs. All in the name of god..
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
FrGamble
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December 30th, 2011 at 12:22:14 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

He already said he can't. As FrG wrote, without any higher authority, veganism (is that a word?) is morally equivalent to cannibalism.

I'd like to think that, although he won't admit it, that there is innate "goodness" in FrG. The religious can never admit that, because then the need for religion would start to fall down like a house of cards.



I think it is the innate "goodness" of every human being that builds the unshakable foundation of religion. We are made in the image and likeness of God, there is something unique and special in us as human beings that separates us from all of God's wonderful creatures. I know people find this very humancentric (is that a word?) but it is not meant to say that the rest of creation is not important but just that human beings are the most important of all creation. Religion is about calling people to reach their potential and be who they were created to be, good and wonderful!
odiousgambit
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December 30th, 2011 at 12:32:02 PM permalink
Quote: MathExtremist

You *must* live with that. Indeed, you (and the rest of us) are here precisely because we had those traits and behaviors which allowed us to be. To paraphrase J.K. Rowling, we (H. sapiens) are the ones who lived.



Are you sure this chart is just not something made up by somebody with a sense of humor? Take a look at Homo Erectus!
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!”   She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
s2dbaker
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December 30th, 2011 at 12:32:46 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Religion is about calling people to reach their potential and be who they were created to be, good and wonderful!

Satanists might disagree with that.
Someday, joor goin' to see the name of Googie Gomez in lights and joor goin' to say to joorself, "Was that her?" and then joor goin' to answer to joorself, "That was her!" But you know somethin' mister? I was always her yuss nobody knows it! - Googie Gomez
EvenBob
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December 30th, 2011 at 12:33:56 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

but just that human beings are the most important of all creation.



Based on what? Because you're human? I have a dog
and a bunch of cats, I guarantee they all think they're
the most important in the world.

Certain Indian tribes believed that wherever you're
standing is the center of the universe. The holy man
would designate a tree and declare it a holy tree because
the universe existed around it. Think about it. If the
universe is truly infinite, you are the center of it. So is
my dog or cat. Every person is the center of the universe.
Is that awesome, or what.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
Nareed
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December 30th, 2011 at 1:43:33 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

I think it is the innate "goodness" of every human being that builds the unshakable foundation of religion.



Hmm. That sounds like a challenge to me :)

Quote:

We are made in the image and likeness of God,



I truly hope not.

Quote:

there is something unique and special in us as human beings that separates us from all of God's wonderful creatures.



well, leaving the designer in chief out of it, you're right. There's a qualitative difference between humans and animals. And that's the human mind. Alone of all living being as yet known, we can reason conceptually and rationally.

Quote:

I know people find this very humancentric (is that a word?)



I think the word you want is "homocentric."


Quote:

Religion is about calling people to reach their potential and be who they were created to be, good and wonderful!



I couldn't disagree more, but I wont' argue. Instead let me just say:

Have a hapy new year.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
FrGamble
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December 31st, 2011 at 5:36:13 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed


I couldn't disagree more, but I wont' argue. Instead let me just say:

Have a hapy new year.



Even though I too could not possible disagree with you more, thanks for the good thought provoking discussions and a very Happy New Year to you!
FrGamble
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January 4th, 2012 at 9:44:17 AM permalink
Quote: MathExtremist


Here's a little philosophy homework, if I may be so bold. Your world-view requires several core beliefs to be true in order to serve as a foundation for your morality. One of those is that your lot in the afterlife is predicated on your thoughts and actions in this life. To put it crudely: if you're bad, you go to hell; if you're good, you go to heaven. Now suppose you learned that heaven and hell did not exist, and that "this life is all there is" is the truth. Your philosophy homework, if you choose to tackle it, is to derive an alternate social justification for being good and not bad, or alternately to conclude that no such justification exists without the promise of heaven and the threat of hell.



My first thought is that we can justify being good without Heaven and Hell for the sake of the "common good". This "common good" I would define as, what would be beneficial for all. Now is it possible to have some good that was indeed beneficial for ALL? I think we may need to add, "based on an objective standard" to our definition of the common good. This would be important because many will argue what is truly beneficial for them. In fact what is truly beneficial for me I might not want to accept either. To make what is beneficial some objective and universal norm would allow us to say things like just because you don't want to stop smoking you still should because it is for the common good or it would enable us to say things like just because you don't want health care insurance you should get it for the common good.

Of course we could also change the definition of common good to: what would be beneficial for the greatest number of people. This would lead to a kind of vote for morality. Can we really accept morality based on what the most people want? What if 51% of people decided it was okay to punch short people in the face or more shockingly that people could be discriminated against because of race or creed or sexual orientation? Another question this change in our definition brings up is: Can morality, that which is morally good or evil, change? If the answer is yes ask yourself if you can seriously imagine the killing of the innocent, dishonesty, or rape as a moral good? It can be demonstrated that our interpretation of what is good based on some fundamental, objective, and universal moral truth can change. The example of slavery for example begins to change and is finally eliminated as a legal institution based on the deepening of the incomparable value and dignity of every human person and their right to freedom. Jesus Christ is the greatest example of a teacher who helped humanity to see that awesome dignity of the human being. It seems then that we have to go back to our original definition and strive to make the common good what is truly good - not just for the majority - but rather what is good for ALL based on an objective standard and for all times. We can acknowledge that we grow in our understanding and interpretations of those natural and moral norms that are inherent to who and what we are as humans.

So if the "common good" is really just "the good", let us just shorten this justification for doing good to just say: We should do good for goodness sake. I like this definition. I think of the Santa Claus coming to town, "You better be good for goodness sake." This seems to me a justification for doing good outside of the reality of Heaven and Hell.

However, this does require us to recognize a universal moral law that we did not put together and which all people are obligated to obey. For the sake of argument we can ground this morality in the process of evolution or in God. If we deny this idea of a universal good for ALL people the justification for doing good because it is good (and we are not the arbiter of if it is good or not), quickly unravels into doing good for my own selfish reasons or the untenable and unlivable situation where there is nothing that is intrinsically good or evil.

Now there are consequences in the here and now that teach us these natural and universal moral norms. For example sexual promiscuity leads to unwanted pregnancies, disease, and low self-esteem. Cheating and stealing makes us feel bad and fills us with the eventual dread that we will get caught (which usually happens). However for these consequences to really change people and motivate them to do good we as a society would have to greatly devalue things like personal fortunes and see this as a sign of hoarding and selfishness rather than success. Fame would need to come from outside the movies or the sports fields. Our greatest heroes and competitors would be trying to outdo each other in kindness and we would celebrate someone who was loving. We would need to reward these types of people above all else - the honest, the peacemakers, the healers, the generous.

The most important thing in all of life would be to share with others and to care for them. It would need to be an incessant priority above all others to make sure that no one would go hungry, that no one was homeless, that no one felt unloved, that no one lacked the basic necessities of life, because this life would truly be all there is - hence the highest honors would go to the good, the generous, and the unselfish. Let me close this brief philosophical homework with a quote from Jesus who taught us to pray the Our Father; "Thy Kingdom come, they will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven."
EvenBob
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January 4th, 2012 at 11:20:57 AM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

So if the "common good" is really just "the good", let us just shorten this justification for doing good to just say: We should do good for goodness sake. I like this definition.



My favorite modern philospher, Alan Watts, was the
head religious guy, the vicar, maybe, at the University
of Chicago in the late 40's. After giving Sunday sermons
for 3 years, he realized the whole Christian message
could be narrowed down to: 'Behave. Be good.' He got
sick of it and quit and went and studied zen for the rest
of his life. He said the Christian message was just too
'thin' for him.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
odiousgambit
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January 4th, 2012 at 12:10:09 PM permalink
Quote: MathExtremist



Saw this again. I would say to Mr.r Rorschach it is a well hung waiter balancing a tray over his head who is aroused by some hot chick.
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!”   She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
Nareed
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January 4th, 2012 at 4:58:22 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

My first thought is that we can justify being good without Heaven and Hell for the sake of the "common good".



You should be good because it's to your benefit to deal honestly and fairly with others and to respect their rights. What more reason do you need?
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FrGamble
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January 5th, 2012 at 12:45:58 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

You should be good because it's to your benefit to deal honestly and fairly with others and to respect their rights. What more reason do you need?



To make doing good only about your own personal benefit is not always going to lead you to deal honestly and fairly with others, nor respect their rights. There has to be a higher reason to do good than your benefit or for too many people you will not be doing good at all.
Nareed
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January 5th, 2012 at 1:17:36 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

To make doing good only about your own personal benefit is not always going to lead you to deal honestly and fairly with others, nor respect their rights.



Why not? It works for me.

Quote:

There has to be a higher reason to do good than your benefit or for too many people you will not be doing good at all.



Why has there got to be one?
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EvenBob
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January 5th, 2012 at 1:47:57 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

To make doing good only about your own personal benefit is not always going to lead you to deal honestly and fairly with others, nor respect their rights.



Why not? The Church for hundreds of years only
acted in its own self interest and didn't give a
whit who's rights they violated. Ever hear of forced
conversions? Now they're lecturing us on what
'doing good' means? Talk about irony..
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
FrGamble
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January 5th, 2012 at 6:03:25 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

Why not? It works for me.

Why has there got to be one?



I'm sure it does work for you, but does it work for others? What happens in those times when it is not in your best interest to tell the truth for example because you might get in trouble or strictly seeking your own best interest would be justification to take what is not yours? This reasoning based on self benefit would also lead to as many different moral rights and wrongs as there are people.

The secret is that if you really want what is best for you than you should do what is best for others. This type of selfless concern inspires others to do the same for you and that type of mentality begins to spread. Even if others do not return your generosity you are filled with a sense of peace. This peace does not come from doing only what is good for you it comes from simply doing what is good.
Nareed
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January 5th, 2012 at 6:23:25 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

I'm sure it does work for you, but does it work for others? What happens in those times when it is not in your best interest to tell the truth for example because you might get in trouble or strictly seeking your own best interest would be justification to take what is not yours?



Those are three questions:

1) it does work for tohers. it works for most people, whether they realize it or not.
2) I do lie on occasion when it is to my advantage and when the lie isn't too great. This requries further discussion.
3) If I steal, I'm giving implicit permission to everyone, yourself included, to steal from me. Fair is fair, and morality allows only one standard. Therefore I don't steal.

Quote:

The secret is that if you really want what is best for you than you should do what is best for others.



That'sa vicious circle, and I do mean vicious. It puts me,a dn everyone, in a posiotion of doing what's best for you, so you'd what's best for someone else, and so on until eventually someone gets around to doing what's best for me. No thanks. Neither a slave nor a slave-driver should anyone be.
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FrGamble
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January 5th, 2012 at 7:28:36 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

Those are three questions:

3) If I steal, I'm giving implicit permission to everyone, yourself included, to steal from me. Fair is fair, and morality allows only one standard. Therefore I don't steal.



Exactly morality allows only one standard that is the same for everyone and we should do good and not steal because it is good to do so not because it does or does not benefit me.
Nareed
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January 5th, 2012 at 8:09:21 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

Exactly morality allows only one standard that is the same for everyone and we should do good and not steal because it is good to do so not because it does or does not benefit me.



That's what you get from separating morality from living: an abstract moral ideal with no connection to life or reality. You should be good, because it's good to be good.

Whereas I think you should be good because it's to your benefit to be good.
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FrGamble
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January 5th, 2012 at 8:28:21 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

That's what you get from separating morality from living: an abstract moral ideal with no connection to life or reality. You should be good, because it's good to be good.

Whereas I think you should be good because it's to your benefit to be good.



I have a feeling we are about to get dizzy from going around and around. Listen, you have no greater supporter of the fact that it is to your benefit to be good. However this benefit to you is not always obvious at the moment, in fact sometimes it might not be obvious in your lifetime but ME gave me strict restrictions to not mention the afterlife. You have to trust that doing good even when it is challenging, inconvient, and not what you want to do is always the best play. This is why it is better to say we should do good for goodness sake or something similar because doing good for your own benefit (even though eventually it will be to your benefit) is not always easy to see in the moment.
Nareed
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January 5th, 2012 at 9:11:36 PM permalink
Quote: FrGamble

I have a feeling we are about to get dizzy from going around and around.



Suit yourself :)

Quote:

Listen, you have no greater supporter of the fact that it is to your benefit to be good.



We're not talking about the same thing. You'll eventually come up with how something that is self-destroying to an individual would be good for her because it will help her secure a place in Heaven, or god will pay her back, or some Judeo-Christian form of karma. And you won't have any more support for such arguments than you have for the existence of god. So if you want to stop before you get dizzy, by all means let us stop now.


Quote:

However this benefit to you is not always obvious at the moment, in fact sometimes it might not be obvious in your lifetime



Ah, if this were a trial, I'd rest right there.
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boymimbo
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January 5th, 2012 at 9:14:52 PM permalink
I daresay that the Bible really has very inconsistent examples of what "good" is. For example, up until about the middle of the 20th century, slavery was considered "good". Humanity in southern america had no problem with segregation, despite the fact that most of these people were law abiding Christians, who probably thumped the bible and said there was nothing bad in the bible that denounces slavery.

And sometimes, "good" is taken too far to the political extremes. For example, is it good to give homeowners loans that they can't afford? It's great that 85% of these folks can afford the homes, but is a 15% default rate good for the nation?

It reminds me of the Star Trek episode where the planet's "bible" was from the gangs of the early 20th century in Chicago. Their morality and ethics was based on that book.

So, as great a book as the bible is, humanity is far more capable of producing a set of ethics and morals that reflect our scientific understanding and social progress. For example, studies that show that members of the animal kingdom are gay and that homosexuality may be genetic has paved the way of acceptance for these folks. We've learned that disempowering someone based on their sex, religion, disability, and race are bad things... that's relatively new social progress that is really based on nothing that the bible says. And the judgement is still out there on many important issues: abortion, the death penalty, crime and punishment, welfare, and so on and so forth.
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!
RogerKint
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January 5th, 2012 at 9:24:17 PM permalink
Again with the slavery thing. You seem as though you're making the same mistake as the people calling themselves Southern "Christians" (Christians abolished slavery also). You DO realize that slavery 2,000-2,500 years ago meant something completely different than it does now right? Slavery in the Bible is probably equivelant to having an employee under modern-day capitalism. The Bible NEVER calls slavery good or bad; It just lays down rules.

Go on praising modern man if you'd like but don't bash the Bible in order to do it; it only hurts our position.
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EvenBob
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January 5th, 2012 at 9:38:08 PM permalink
Quote: RogerKint

Slavery in the Bible is probably equivelant to having an employee under modern-day capitalism. The Bible NEVER calls slavery good or bad; It just lays down rules.



Yeah, um, try reading your Bible again. You were
allowed to beat your slaves half to death, as often
as you liked. You could buy a young girl and make
her your concubine, your sex slave, completely
against her will. Any babies born to slaves you owned
were yours forever. Know any modern day employee's
that fall under any of these categories?
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
RogerKint
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January 5th, 2012 at 9:40:53 PM permalink
Bob, I'd like chapter and verse please. Especially since there's a little something called "The year of jubilee" in which all slaves were set free. This happened every 7th year. Sort of a sabbath day of years.
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MathExtremist
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January 5th, 2012 at 9:45:47 PM permalink
Quote: RogerKint

Bob, I'd like chapter and verse please. Especially since there's a little something called "The year of jubilee" in which all slaves were set free. This happened every 7th year. Sort of a sabbath day of years.


No. Only the men -- women stayed slaves. And I think you're confusing the 7-year period for men with the jubilee which happened every 50 years.

Regardless, the Bible clearly condones and regulates the sale of one's daughter to another man for the purpose of either (a) that man taking her for his wife or (b) that man giving her to his son for his wife:
Quote: Exodus 21:7-9

If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as male servants do. If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself, he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her. If he selects her for his son, he must grant her the rights of a daughter.



I'm not suggesting that WikiPedia is the most credible resource, but it does have a lengthy treatment of the subject:
The Bible and slavery
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RogerKint
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January 5th, 2012 at 9:56:38 PM permalink
I'm not going to pretend to be an expert on the Bible but I have read and studied much of it. Chapter and verse for this being "forever" and chapter and verse for this being "good" please. I've heard many people say the Bible says "money is the root of all evil" which it does not say. There's a difference between "condoning" and giving guidelines in which some things exist.

For example: Matthew 19 NIV
3Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

4“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’a 5and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’b? 6So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”

7“Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

8Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

10The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”

11Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given."

I'm only saying this because the position boymimbo took is easily defensible by Christians when looked at in overrall context.

Edit: In other words he's just preaching to the choir of atheists. This is what the "priest" has been accused of. So far this pissing contest has been much of the same on both sides. Olly-olly-oxen-free's who pick a side and hide. This thread needs a mediator who can take punches from both sides and call out either side for inaccuracies.
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EvenBob
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January 5th, 2012 at 10:01:30 PM permalink
Quote: RogerKint

Bob, I'd like chapter and verse please.



Chapter and verse was published here a few
days ago, in this thread or the No God thread.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
RogerKint
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January 5th, 2012 at 10:12:03 PM permalink
I've been following this thread loosely and have not seen any scripture in which the Bible calls slavery either "good" or "forever".
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EvenBob
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January 5th, 2012 at 10:16:52 PM permalink
Quote: RogerKint

I've been following this thread loosely and have not seen any scripture in which the Bible calls slavery either "good" or "forever".



That was the point. Slavery is obviously the worst
human rights violation there ever was, yet Jesus
or Paul or anybody never said a word against it.
And yes, its was just as bad then as it was in 1860.
Slavery is slavery.
"It's not called gambling if the math is on your side."
RogerKint
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January 5th, 2012 at 10:20:06 PM permalink
You win... and yet slavery is still a huge problem amongst our species. You were saying about your praise for modern man?
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Nareed
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January 6th, 2012 at 6:46:41 AM permalink
Quote: RogerKint

You DO realize that slavery 2,000-2,500 years ago meant something completely different than it does now right? Slavery in the Bible is probably equivelant to having an employee under modern-day capitalism.



So god laid all the terrible plagues on Egypt, including the murder of thousands fo innocent children, because of a labor dispute? Man, he has even the XIX Century rail unions beaten all hollow! Or you have a very distorted view of free employment.

Quote:

The Bible NEVER calls slavery good or bad; It just lays down rules.



What would you think of a person who said "I take no position on rape, but if you must do it be considerate of the woman and don't beat her up too much."
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