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Thats because there is good and evil in the world. Then there is a knowlegde of good or evil that is morals. If there are morals there has to be a universal moral standard. IF there is a universal moral standard there has to be one true God.
How do you jump from "if there is a universal moral standard" to "there has be be one true God"? There's absolutely no reason to jump to that kind of conclusion. You are not using deductive reasoning here; the presence of morality does not necessarily mean there is a god. There are many other viable explanations. You've created a false dichotomy.
First of all, we know there is not a "universal" moral standard. Secondly, morality can be explained easily. There is no communal benefit to being "evil" because the tribe will disown the village hoarder/murderer/thief. Who wants to be around someone like that? The tribe works together for mutual benefit and comes up with a standard way to behave that is good for everyone and not just one person. An individual benefits from acting appropriately. Only the rogue jerk reaps the benefits of being a loner, but if everyone behaved in that fashion, everyone would lose.
This is such an old argument, and it really amazes me that Christians believe humans would be reduced to criminals without the Bible as an instruction manual... especially with all the violence prescribed by the beloved Yahweh. Oh, but it's okay to murder babies if they belong to the city of "sinners". But I thought we weren't held responsible for the sins of our fathers? Oops... is that a contradiction? Of course not! God's ways are mysterious and we can't judge him when he kills thousands of innocent people! What a great example for morality he is!
"We know there is not a "universal" moral standard" ? Think : "Golden Rule".
"Morality can be explained easily. There is no communal benefit to being "evil" because the tribe will disown the village hoarder/murderer/thief. Who wants to be around someone like that?" Think : Bankers.
The "Golden Rule" is not necessarily universal, Richard. To say that it is shows a lot of naivety.
I bet there are Christian Bankers. My point is not that people are all good; my point is that morality can exist without the Bible or an instruction manual. Yes, there will always be people who take advantage of others.
I think the thing that Christians miss is that atheists don't believe people are all moral or naturally "good". There is a communal advantage to being moral and not murdering each other. Yes, if people can get away with bad behavior, many will certainly try. There are, however, moral people that do not believe the same way you do. There are moral and immoral atheists; there are moral and immoral Christians; there are moral and immoral Buddhists, etc.
We're ANIMALS... so of course we're not always going to do the right thing. We're going to display selfish behavior sometimes. Other times, we're going to be sacrificial and do what's right for the common good. We don't need a book to tell us to be moral because there are NATURAL ADVANTAGES to being good! That's the point. Does that mean a person will always be moral? NO. I'm sure you've broken your own rules time and again, but that just proves you're human.
The reason govt is in place is so that we can deal with those who are corrupt (Bankers). Our system isn't perfect, however... obviously. But not all bankers are evil, Rich. There are laws in place that are supposed to deal with those who are. Many get away with crimes, but you cannot name even one system of government that operates perfectly. Not even the Bible can give an example of when its method ever achieved the utopia we all envision. The Garden of Eden is allegedly the closest we'll ever come. Even two SINLESS humans apparently couldn't get it right. That's a design flaw, however. If even the original, perfect prototypes failed, it's ridiculous to expect their "sinful" progeny to do better. Your god failed, sir.
Interesting Cara - thanks.
Indeed we are animals - and part fish apparently - but I am saying we are moral, reasoning animals (moral beings) which make us uniquely human. Our nearest relative, the monkey, doesn't come close to this uniqueness. Try getting a monkey to read & understand my last sentence, and then reply to it !
Of course, our 'morality' is bound up with the punishments & rewards of any given society (& genetic ancestry), but it is important - in my view - to understand how little we are saying when we are saying that.
There's far more going on to my mind - our moral nature cannot be 'explained away' on that simplistic level - and that's why I have a serious problem with certain evolutionary psychologists.
I take your point about our 'design flaw' - but to underestimate our 'dark side' (eg evil) while 'throwing stones' at a "failed' God is one of Man's dangerous delusions.
Oh, I forgot you were the one who equates morality with reading and writing. I really don't understand how you draw that parallel but, for the record, there are gorillas who can use sign language and communicate with humans. And yes, there are primates who display morality and systems of governance. You really should watch some science/nature channels.
Who's trying to explain away the punishment/reward system? Of course it's not that simple. I enjoy hearing good news from those I love; I also enjoy witnessing positive events that occur across the globe. I want others to succeed! Evolutionary psychologists are not trying to "explain away" our moral nature, but actually explain it.
Morality is not unique to humans, and of course that's the major point you and I (or you and others on this site) cannot agree on. Evo Pyschs are trying to explain morality, and contend that there are natural advantages to being good. Over the millenia, those advantageous traits became more than simply a reward/punishment system. Humans now care for each other in ways that are, yes, much more complex. No one is denying that. What we are not convinced of, however, is that morality exists because some deity created it.
Richard, I know you are defensive of your god; protective even. You must maintain the notion that he is perfect in order to accept him. Well, the god described in the Bible is not perfect, nor is he good. The fact that Christians like yourself make excuses for his mistakes leaves me completely disturbed. When an computer programmer's code won't execute the way it's supposed to, it is not the code's fault; it's the programmer's fault. No one would ever think to blame the code! Anyone who would is delusional. The programmer failed. The creator failed. It's NEVER the other way around.
Anyway, Yahweh created evil: "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and *create evil*: I the LORD do all these things."
Isaiah 45:7 KJV (of course, the more recent translations makes it all a bit more PC)
There was no evil before your god created... well... anything. He created Lucifer, knowing full well how that would turn out. He created human kind, knowing full well how that would turn out. You know, if Yahweh actually exists, then I do not doubt for one moment that he is dangerous... and a cruel tyrant. I wouldn't doubt for a minute that he'd send all of his creation to the fiery pits of Hell, even those who are innocent. And for what? Because I wouldn't acknowledge his goodness? What a petty being. Yahweh embodies all the worst characteristics of humanity, and condemns those characteristics in us.
You really should stop making excuses for this guy, or find another god that's actually a MORAL being.
But what about Matt 5:17-19, and the whole rest of the chapter?
17Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
19Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Basically, in the following verses, Jesus takes the laws that are already in the OT a step further. Committing adultery is wrong, but even thinking of it is now a sin. No credit is given for abstaining from temptation. That seems more extreme to me, not less. Not to mention the verses where Jesus commands his followers to take up the sword. The fact that he rejects the OT is ridiculous. Talk about cherry picking...
When did Jesus fullfill the law ? when he died on the Cross.
Who's comandments do I follow . Moses who lead me out of the desert.
No I follow Jesus commands which as u pointed out have parralells and differences. We don't just not break the law. we dont even think about breaking it.
Jesus doesnt reject the old testiment but he changes it.
We no longer have to do the sacrificial laws or the punishment laws or kosha laws in levicticus
Exactly why anyone would quote either of those two nefarious volumes is beyond me; both are ridiculous in the extreme and when humanity finally realizes that fact and tosses them out of siciety along with all other such absurd volumes/works, we will all be far better off for it.
In Diderot's words, "Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest" are the truest ever written, and I can easily live by them.