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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"Morality pertains to defining right and wrong behavior." No, it would be more accurate to define morality in terms of right and wrong behavior themselves, not on defining right and wrong behavior.

Morals are prescribed. In being moral, the only question is how best to conform to the prescription.

An ethical person has a more difficult job, which is that of looking at possible choices in their context and making a decision based on those considerations as well as the consequences of his action.

The moral Christian will obey his father even if what his father tells him to do is something that may cause pain and/or harm to others. He may oppose abortion based on Thou Shalt Not Kill by viewing the death of the foetus as a kind of murder whereas the death of the mother in childbirth is natural and God's Will.

Both of those would be analyzed in a totally different way by an ethical person than by a moral person.

Everything is objective in some sense much in the way that "Everything exists once properly categorized" (e.g., unicorns exist as mythical beings).

"Morals are prescribed. In being moral, the only question is how best to conform to the prescription."

The other side to that is how best to write the prescription.

Hey I just wanted to put my input in. Some people might read your post and think that, that's what Christians think. I'm a Christian so I'm typing this for people out there and yourself. I think you missed some Christian values while posting about a moral Christian. Anyways...A moral Christian is obligated to obey God first and he/she in obedience to God first, would disobey his/her father in committing sin. When it comes to authority, God is always at the top. So no I think you got it wrong. For the next one about abortion vs a mom dying during childbirth... big difference. One is murder and the other is ideally sacrifice. Think about this... say someone pulled a gun out on "Bob" and was about to shoot you... Bob's mom out of love for him, pushes him away but she get's killed in the process. Mom dies because he loved his son that much. She was willing to risk her own life for him. This is God's will yeah, acts of love...and a mom giving child birth willing to risk her life for her child, that's God's will, acts of love. To be willing to lay down our life for another person, in love for that person, is a showing of love. In that context that I gave... that's God's will. Any other context you make up.... I'm not talking about that. I'm talking the context I'm giving which is in Christian Faith and which is something you were talking about. So yeah there's some Christian values you missed. The values are: God's authority and Love. A mom sacrificing herself in childbirth out of love for her child would be ideal in my opinion which is rooted from God's will. Thanks for reading.

So I was even more curious about the little dilemma you think was there and I looked through a Christian site on the topic and sure enough I found 2 great verses that show what I mean about obeying parents... you don't ALWAYS have to obey them...  Ezekiel 20:18-19

18 “But I said to their children in the wilderness, ‘Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols. 19 I am the Lord your God: Walk in My statutes, keep My judgments, and do them;

So you see... it all goes back to obeying God. The reason why were to honor our father and mother and in other verses it says to clearly obey them... is in obedience to God. In the verses I pointed out above.. it's clear that obeying those fathers as defined in verse 18. Then in 19, God speaks and say "I am the Lord your God: Walk in My statutes, keep My judgments, and do them;"


Another nice verse says this...Acts 5:29 29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.

Father and mother are just mankind.... we ought to obey God rather than men. Again it all goes back to obeying God.... the reason why honor your father and mother exist in the first place is because of obedience in God, ya know the God of Love, Truth, Justice and everything that's good. So yeah, hope that helped.

18 “But I said to their children in the wilderness, ‘Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols. 19 I am the Lord your God: Walk in My statutes, keep My judgments, and do them;

So you see... it all goes back to obeying God. The reason why were to honor our father and mother and in other verses it says to clearly obey them... is in obedience to God. In the verses I pointed out above.. it's clear that obeying those fathers as defined in verse 18. Then in 19, God speaks and say "I am theLord your God: Walk in My statutes, keep My judgments, and do them;"

It seems whatever you want to do, obey your parents or not, you can find a Bible passage that explicitly or, by interpretation, allows you to justify doing anything you want. Strangely, either way you're obeying God, aren't you?

Short answer to your post is..... context


Long answer to your post... is no of course its not anything I want to do, it's just a matter of how its done... its like violence... some people out there might think "cauing pain" is always wrong... nomatter what... but I think its clear that it can sometimes be wrong and sometimes be ok. I dont have to tell you how causing pain can be wrong. I think we can all imagine some examples of that easily. But how can it be good? Self-defense, Surgery, Child-birth, ... or how about a life and death situation where say... you went mountain climbing and a boulder fell on your arm and you couldnt get out... your best choice of survival would be to cut off your arm... causing a lot of pain. Would that be evil? How about Self-defence? Surgery? Child-birth? Are they evil because pain is being caused? Of course not... like-wise in obeying parents, context, the reason why is what really matters. As far as I understand that's I think at the moment.

Those who do not know how to live must make a merit of dying.
-George Bernard Shaw

Living for someone takes a different kind of understanding than dying for someone.  I mean, once you've decided to be here living, it becomes personal, full of purpose, meaning, conflict and guts.  But you can die for almost any reason and the living will evaluate it in some positive manner, even though as far we can prove, it makes no difference to the dead.



@Lucas - I see nothing wrong with your English, you should hear my Brazilian Portuguese!

Thanks!

I think the fact that the Bible is replete with examples of God approving rape (and murder) illustrates the concept of “relative morality” quite well. 

The thing is that although the Bible exists, "god" doesn't exist.  So, who was 'approving rape (and murder)'?  Is it still being approved? If it's not still being approved, then why does it still happen?

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