Some time ago I watched a discussion between Sam Harris and Craig, and I must admit, I'm confused about this "relative morality" concept. After a little research (very little though) I found this one site that said things about rape always being wrong and somehow that proves god exists. I'm really lost here. Not that that argument makes sense, but I still don't understand the whole point about arguing over this. Can someone please help me with this? I joined this community in hopes of learning more, so it's time to start, huh?

I apologize for my bad English and ignorance, but appreciate all the help I can get.

Tags: Ethics, Morality, Relative

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It appears we are mostly in agreement here. Although these definitions are personal, they come from some shared ideas.

Your use for the word 'god' corresponds to my understanding of the word 'idolatry.'

However, you're funny- saying there is a real meaning of the word 'god' that you have personally accepted, while at the same time believing that my words are not valid because I made them up.

You do realize that all of the ideas we have are made up.

Your use for the word 'god' corresponds to my understanding of the word 'idolatry.'

Then your understanding of the word idolatry is incorrect.

believing that my words are not valid because I made them up.

Correct. They're not. No definition of god is even remotely similar to "the new condition that occurs when two identities understand each other". Definitions you've completely made up which do not correspond to any dictionary and are not used or understood by anyone other than yourself are not valid.

A table is a flat surface with 4 legs. It's also an arrangement of data into columns. It has several other meanings as well, but a table is never "the love I feel for bunnies when they wrinkle their noses."

I understand your position. You want to be able to announce what is correct and incorrect, it's an old stance. The fact that you have never heard of the ideas I am saying is reason enough in your mind to reject them.  Instead, you believe the correct meaning for the word 'god' is something absurd, then you reject that as well.  Idolatry is the worship of anything but the true god – the word 'god' in your definition is not only not true, it is non-existent, as such it is idolatrous.  I also reject the idolatrous meaning for the word 'god.' It is nonsense.

"the new condition that occurs when two identities understand each other" is a paraphrase of: Matthew 18:20  20For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Certainly, you can read a sentence anyway you like. Choose for yourself the meaning that is most useful for your purpose – or not.

 I should mention that Freud said tables (you know the ones with legs) frequently represent female genitals. I'm sure you didn't know that when you associated it with a feeling of love "for bunnies when they wrinkle noses," or else it would have made too much sense and you would have chosen a different example.

You cant possibly be serious.

This is some kind of joke where you are pretending to type as someone who is high on mescaline right?

This isn't a matter of what "I believe" to be correct. Idolatry is the worship of idols, or physical objects as gods according to every dictionary in the English language. No one here was doing that. We were simply having a discussion about gods no one here even believes in, apparently yourself included.

I get the impression from your other comments that you actually believe god is everywhere and everything. You're one of those "God is love" and "God is the connection between souls" kinda hippies, correct? I guess that means God is also hate, and the disconnection between enemies, and a parasitic worm burrowing in the eye of a small child somewhere in the world right now.

Freuds opinion on what tables represent has absolutely nothing to do with the definition of what tables are. You will not find "a representation of female genitalia" in any dictionary next to the word table. And I have no clue why you think comparing female genitalia to the emotions people feel when looking at cute bunnies is a comparison that just "makes too much sense".

Wow. Just. Wow.

Objective morality is possible without concepts of 'god' as you've defined them. I offered that objective morality is possible by merely including the idea of self and other. In this case, the word 'other' is anything that is not self. Those ideas seem simple and sufficient enough.

I took minimal poetic license with your "love the bunnies" idea, because I thought it was funny.

"Female genitalia are symbolically represented with hollow objects ... houses with entrances, ...... material such as wood and paper as well as objects... : a table, a book... symbolize the same." http://library.thinkquest.org/C005545/english/dream/freud.htm

1. pet the bunny: Female masturbation.

When Tanya's boyfriend fell asleep she pet the bunny to get off. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Pet%20The%20Bunny

What did you say? "a table is never 'the love I feel for bunnies when they wrinkle their noses.'" Yeah? And you're telling me you can't see the humor? Okay.

You guy's didn't study liberal arts in school, did you? It's not necessary for everything to be solid and literal. Language has been used in a metaphorical, symbolic manner with excellent results for centuries. wow wow - I just thought you knew.

Here's a definition you might respect because someone else made it up: "Idolatry etymologically denotes Divine worship given to an image, but its signification has been extended to all Divine worship given to anyone or anything but the true God." http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07636a.htm

Therefore, a definition of God that is not true is idolatrous. It is similar to saying, "God is a statue." Of course, I don't think you believe your definition is true. How can it be? It makes no sense. It's only there because a bunch of other people use it in a similar context. You don't believe it, so you aren't idolaters – however those that do believe it must be idolaters because they believe in a false god. In any case, to say "x doesn't exist" requires knowing what you mean by "x"  and "exist."  It's always possible that one word can mean two different things.

It is only natural that you would try to position me into some prior systems that you have encountered and rejected, I mean, why not? It's safe, easy and it's all you know. However, I said that one definition for the word 'god' is "the new condition that occurs when two identities understand each other." You asked for a reference, I gave you a direct quote from the Bible (as good as it gets for this kind of stuff.) Of course, your introduction of the idea that "God is love" is a direct quote from the Bible, too. Even though it's been seriously misused, and you were imputing it to me, it's less idolatrous than "God is a supernatural being...etc.," and it comes from a markedly different understanding of the subject.

 The various definitions for the word 'god' and how it is used also represent philosophical positions. Like you, I have a philosophical position. I don't see that derision is called for – unless you're just kidding around, to add a little more intensity.

1. Anything can be a euphemism for something sexual.

2. No one was "worshiping" anything in this discussion

3. Bible passages are not dictionaries.

4. I think you're just smacking the keyboard until words pop out on the screen. Most of what you say is nonsensical.

Objective morality is possible without concepts of 'god' as you've defined them. I offered that objective morality is possible by merely including the idea of self and other. In this case, the word 'other' is anything that is not self. Those ideas seem simple and sufficient enough.

Uh, no. Nothing at all that you wrote there makes any sense whatsoever to anyone other than you.

"NewAdvent.org"? What else would you expect them to say?

Freud also said that sometimes a cigar is just a good smoke --

sometimes

@onecae - at a point in the past, earlier for Muslim philosophers and near the Age of Reason for some Christian philosophers, the two groups, separately of course, reached a conclusion that god doesn't exist in a physical place, i.e., "heaven," but rather within each of us. I could go into more detail, but I would have to make sure that every detail was precisely correct, or my statements would be picked apart, and I really don't have time for that, but check some history of religion books, you'll find it's in many of them.

Some believed that whole, "god is light" thing, and felt that "sparks" of that light went into everything, animate and inanimate. One group even went so far as smoking great amounts of tobacco, to "release the sparks" - I, on the other hand prefer to empty a bottle of beer, for the same reason - at least that's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it! Which reminds me --

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