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What the World Needs is Less Religion, and More Humanitarians...Desperately

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posted on May, 28 2008 @ 08:54 AM
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reply to post by bigbert81
 


When people make such statements like in the OP, they fail to realize that everything people are involved in is a double edged sword with both the potential to benefit and harm:

Religion.
Science.
Technology.
Education.
Government.
Medicine.
Media.
Sex.
And even love.

It's like saying let's have an anarchical government because we're tired of crooked politicians and governments, not allow any more inventions or patents due to weapons that have caused so much harm, stop loving others because we only get hurt, etc.

This subject has been brought up on ATS many times. Do they not understand how much good religious societies and charities have done? Do they not understand the spiritual peace religion brings the individual? It is such a naive thing to say and this thread reminds me of the verse, 'There is a way that seems right unto man...' What you are saying, Bert, might make sense to you at first but if you open your eyes a bit more you will see how wrong you are. Everything that is wrong with the items on the above list become harmful because of human action- not by themselves.

I also want to address this statement of yours in particular:


We should be pulling together to get past bigotry and set aside differences to advance further as a society.


This simply isn't going to happen any time soon because we are again dealing with people. Even if religion magically disappeared off the face of the earth tomorrow we would still have hatred due to:

Racial/Ethnic differences.
Politics.
Corrupt government.
Natural resources.
Power/Greed.
Caste orders.
Etc.

This is a humorous image but it makes a good point. We can be idealists all day long but a little bit of realism never hurt either. You want a perfect world without suffering? Then this is what it would take:



[edit on 5/28/2008 by AshleyD]




posted on May, 28 2008 @ 09:03 AM
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Originally posted by Bigwhammy
In India they say killing cows is immoral. In the USA we eat cows. Bigbert says that means we have a different moral law. Bigbert is wrong. Indians believe that people are reincarnated into cows. So your grand pa might be in a cow. Do Americans believe in eating grandpa? No. See the The Moral law is the same.


Not quite my friend. Indians do not eat cows due to a historic protection placed upon them by the sages. This was because Indian society was agrarian based, and people relied upon their cows to provide milk and their bulls to till the soil. So killing a cow would be tantamount to economic suicide... it would be like eating a winning lottery ticket!

The reason that most Indians today dont eat beef is that it has become a socially inculcated taboo. Those who ate cows were outcast historically, so it became a highly undesirable thing to do. Therefore it is not a moral issue, but a social issue.

As to the issue of moral absolutism- it becomes a very difficult issue because I can see the good intentions that people have with morality derived from God.

However when does one man's supposed "absolute innate morality" defile the natural rights and morality of another person? To give you an example, Bobby Jindal- Governor of Louisiana believes in repealing Roe vs Wade, and additionally outlawing all abortions- no exceptions for rape or incest.

To me that would be a horrific intrusion of Governor Jindal's morality upon women who may be forced to carry and raise the child of a rapist. It would additionally, I believe, be highly immoral to allow the birth of a child resultant of incest... the clinical data shows severe incidence of foetal abnormality.

So while I agree with you Mr Whammy, that Secular Humanism is not a philosophy to uphold; I must simultaneously disagree with you about the consequences of Moral Absolutism. Needless to say, Hitler and Stalin thought that they had the moral absolute... millions died as a result.

Hence I ask is it not better that no man be allowed force his will upon another?



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 10:39 AM
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reply to post by 44soulslayer
 



There are MANY reasons why Indians don't eat beef.

Faq on Indian culture
Q Why don't the Indians eat beef? Why are Indian cows holy?
A

*

Indians consume milk on a daily basis, and the cow as a provider of milk, is equated to one's mother (hence the expression Gomäta = mother cow)
*

Traditionally, Indians had cows in every household. They were part of the family, with names and personalities. Just like one would not hurt/eat their pets, the Indians did not hurt the cows and respected them.
*

The cow has a special role in the Hindu mythologies; Kamadhenu is a wish-fulfilling cow. A cow is also depicted as vehicle of several deities.
*

Many social reform movements in India (Jainism, Buddhism, the Bhakti Movement, Gandhi's non-violent movement) advocated non-violence, and no cruelty to animals. So in India, other animals also (like elephants, mice, monkeys) are considered holy.

That said, many ethnic communities do eat beef in India. The cow meat is consumed by Roman Catholics, Anglo-Indians, and several other non-Brahmin Hindu communities.

Slaughter of the cows is banned in several states, as it is offensive to some Hindus.



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 10:56 AM
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reply to post by Clearskies
 


In my opinion there are only two reasons for and against the consumption of beef:

Against: Social taboos, percieved religious significance

For: Cow-protection an ancient relic, Vedas do not mention protection of cows.

Personally I am an Indian Brahmin Hindu and yet I do eat beef. Hinduism is a highly varied religion. Within its ranks you may find atheists, theosophists, philosophers, deists, dualists, monists and even those who would normally be called Christians. The school of thought which I most identify with is Advaita Vedanta, and much like Vivekananda, I believe in a modern, philosophical approach to my religion. (Incidentally, much like him I also believe that Christ was an incarnation of God).

In my opinion, cow "worship" is a vestige of a social taboo and has no grounding in scriptures. Of course, most others will disagree.



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 11:47 AM
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reply to post by Bigwhammy
 


Ok, this is getting ridiculous. Either pick one thread to have this debate, or stop debating. I shouldn't have to have this exact same discussion on 2 different friggin' threads. But you just HAD to hunt me down after I left because you just kept repeating the same things over and over again with name calling. Very mature.

You know, I used to be like you. I never understood how some people could do the things they do until I stepped in their shoes and saw it from their views. You seem just dumbfounded that atheists and humanists can have morals. It must be difficult to handle. Well, one day when you get older, perhaps you'll step outside of your little box and look at the world around you and see that people are living and thriving without abiding by your views.



Damn you are hard headed.


Wow. Good quote. Original too. Tell me, where did you get that from?

And BTW, are we now relying on Christian websites to get your point across? I mean Jesus-is-Savior.com is your source?



I can not let your sophistry prevail unopposed. It would be immoral.


Wow, another original quote from you. And you say that you don't keep repeating yourself over and over again...




The battle for humankind's future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: A religion of humanity -- utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to carry humanist values into wherever they teach. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new -- the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism.


-John J. Dunphy, from his award winning essay The Humanist

Other reading by John:

Photos of Victims Speak of the Holocaust
Old Soldiers Fading Away
Battlefield Momento



Humanism = no values


See, this is where you have gone wrong. In your made up world, unless you are religious, you have no morals to live up to. That is wrong. I'll say it again, but I'll be cool like you and bold it this time. That is wrong. Values are created through society, therefore, despite your delusions of grandeur, wait, here, let me bold that too, delusions of grandeur, me and other non-religious people DO in fact, have morals/values.



Moral laws are NOT variant depending upon the society we live


Uggggh. Yes they are.



Moral relativism has steadily been accepted as the primary moral philosophy of modern society.

Studies indicate 75% of American college professors currently teach that there is no such thing as right and wrong. Rather, they treat the questions of good and evil as relative to "individual values and cultural diversity."


Getting tired of seeing the same stuff we've already covered again? I sure am getting sick of having to post it TWICE. Like I've already said, feel free to tell these college professors that you are right and they are wrong. 3/4 of them huh? That's a pretty big majority.



The Moral Law does not change.


Yes, it does. What might be right for one society might not work for another. It changes based upon society, just as swear words do. Are you getting tired of this yet, we have been going around like this for days now.



Is it ok to kill babies? Hell no! That's why pro choice people have to force themselves to believe that life doesn't start a certain number of weeks - or they would have to face the fact that they are guilty of murder. Everyone agrees killing innocent children is wrong - so to kill babies - you have to convince yourself they aren't human. How do you do that? Enter the atheist humanist scientists to tell you they aren't human...


And do you know why this is? Not because 'God has inscribed it upon you' BS, but because this doesn't fit with the morals which our society and these people have developed as being right. They have learned that this is not morally correct through society and their parents, not through some magical inscription in their hearts.

BTW, I love the picture for effect. Really fits in, you know, gets your point across.




In India they say killing cows is immoral. In the USA we eat cows. Bigbert says that means we have a different moral law. Bigbert is wrong.


Firstly, who are you talking to?

Second, if one thing is acceptable in one society, but frowned upon in another, then yes, there is a different set of morals. I don't quite get how you cannot get that.

A belief system that focuses on the betterment and quality of all human life is better. When will you see that even if there is a God, he left us a long time ago. We need to pull together to thrive and improve our lives, each and every one. We can be great without always having to look for a deity in the sky. Not with Ego-atheism which you are REALLY focused on, but with a religion that focuses on people and human life and thriving instead of a 3rd object from which we get nothing back.



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 12:25 PM
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Originally posted by bigbert81
Ok, this is getting ridiculous. Either pick one thread to have this debate, or stop debating. I shouldn't have to have this exact same discussion on 2 different friggin' threads. But you just HAD to hunt me down after I left...


If you make a thread, they will come.


So are you upset because you are getting dissenting views instead of unanimous agreement? Whammers is just bringing in an opposing view. It happens.



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 12:30 PM
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reply to post by AshleyD
 


Hi Ashley!

*waves in a dorklike fashion*

The reason I said that is because me and Whammy are having the exact same debate with the same words getting thrown around in another thread other than this one, and I'm just tired of having to reply with the same stuff twice.



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 12:38 PM
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reply to post by AshleyD
 


Suffering goes hand-in-hand with living. There will never be a world without it.



We should be pulling together to get past bigotry and set aside differences to advance further as a society.


I am well aware that this will not happen any time soon. We are still so uncivilized in this world that people will not look past this for some time to come. Dr. Michio Kaku explains our level of society very well. He's mostly referring to technology, but the same still pretty much holds true. He explains a class 1, 2, and 3 society, and says that we are still in stage 0. Sad really.



This subject has been brought up on ATS many times. Do they not understand how much good religious societies and charities have done?


And it seems to me that Christians do not realize the power of humans without needing religion to back them up. Look at the increasing number of secular charities and compare that with the fact that it's much harder for these to get funding than religious charities, yet they continue to pop up. Now, also consider that there are only just over 1 billion non-theists in the world today, and look at the rate at which more atheists are popping up as well. Now, with all these things considered, you cannot tell me that you cannot see the good that non-theists are capable of and the potential they possess in the name of humans and society.



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 01:03 PM
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reply to post by bigbert81
 


I have very close friends whose lives are in danger as missionaries as we speak. My mother will be in Africa on missions in 2 months. Even though I find your statements immoral and repugnant, I believe you actually think humanism is moral. You are ignorant not evil. But humanism is evil. Humanism is nothing but a grotesque perversion of Christian charity.

HUMANISM on the right = Facism

HUMANISM on the left = Communism

Between the right - facism - and left- communism- Humanism the constant evil that fuels both. Hitler and Stalin that is humanism's true legacy.

I contend that humanisms problem is based on moral relativism.

bigbert has told me point blank morality is relative.




Ok, this is getting ridiculous. Either pick one thread to have this debate, or stop debating.


You're right. And because I do not approve of the tactics you used in the other thread. I propose we have a scored debate in a formal ATS debate forum on the topic of "Is Morality Relative or is There A Moral Law." I have already contacted the moderators about the procedures for this.

We need to agree on a format...

I propose the basic outline:



Point/Counterpoint Debate Template

Point/Counterpoint is intended to keep things short and sweet.

1. Participants agree on a topic and who goes first.

2. Participants will take turns, and each will contribute three posts total:

a. Opening statement.

b. Rebuttal.

c. Closing statement.


3. Posts may contain links but not ex quotes and may not be over 2000 characters long.

4. No more than 24 hours may elapse between each post.

5. Once the last participant posts a closing statement, the debate is over.

As with all templates, these terms can be modified by mutual agreement before a debate begins.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------

I also propose these basic rules:
1. Any violation of the terms of a debate will result in a forfeiture.

2. Debate posts may not be edited by participants for any reason.

3. Any participant may voluntarily forfeit at any time.

4. Forfeitures are final.

5. Only agreed-upon participants may post to a debate thread.

6. As with all forums, the AboveTopSecret.com Terms And Conditions Of Use apply.

7. Quoting external sources is strictly forbidden. Members are permitted to reference links as sources, but they are not permitted to quote external sources. The only quotes that should be used in these debates are that of their opponent's replies.


I am not sure how ATS does the scoring. I would like to hear from a Mod on that.


So BigBadBert are you up to the challenge?

I'm ready to deny some ignorance.





[edit on 5/28/2008 by Bigwhammy]



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 01:12 PM
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Originally posted by bigbert81
And it seems to me that Christians do not realize the power of humans without needing religion to back them up. Look at the increasing number of secular charities and compare that with the fact that it's much harder for these to get funding than religious charities, yet they continue to pop up.


And that's great. We can always use more charities- secular/state or religious. The point I am trying to make is you seem to be targeting the symptom (religion) and not the cause (people). Religions and secular states both engage in humanitarian efforts and religions and secular states both have caused some major damage past and present. It would be like me saying we need to eradicate secularism due to the damage it has caused. Religion, like the other factors listed by me above, has the power to help and hinder. So does secular humanism.

What you are basically implying would be similar to if I said something like we need to plan pregnancies in order to have more female children due to the fact men are stereotypically the aggressors who start wars and hold mankind back. Or saying women do so much good that they must be better than men who are preventing us from reaching enlightenment. That would be an erroneous statement because men and women both have their fine points and disadvantages just like religion and secularism both have theirs. Not a perfect analogy but you can see where I am going with it.

Religion = good and bad.
Secularism = good and bad.
People = good and bad.
Etc.


Now, also consider that there are only just over 1 billion non-theists in the world today, and look at the rate at which more atheists are popping up as well. Now, with all these things considered, you cannot tell me that you cannot see the good that non-theists are capable of and the potential they possess in the name of humans and society.


I won't say that because I agree with you to an extent. Non-theists can do good and contribute to humanity. But so do theists and those are the ones I am defending because religion is what the OP is criticizing. So, we can't call for the death of religion or secularism in an effort to take humankind to new heights because they both have their places in society.



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 01:40 PM
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The term Secular Charity is an Oxymoron

The word charity comes from Christianity. The whole idea of loving your neighbor as your self is Christian.


Originally in Latin the word caritas meant preciousness, dearness, high price. From this, in Christian theology, caritas became the standard Latin translation for the Greek word agapē, meaning an unlimited loving-kindness to all others, such as the love of God. This much wider concept is the meaning of the word charity in the Christian triplet "faith, hope and charity", as used by the King James Version of the Bible in its translation of St Paul's Letter to the Corinthians. However the English word more generally used for this concept, both before and since (and by the "King James" Bible at other passages), is the more direct love. (See the article Charity (virtue))


Since most charities are Christian. By the principal of occams razor the best solution for suffering in the world is more Christianity. Bert wants less which is not logical.

I have never denied that people can do good works without believing in God. Bert keeps dishonestly saying that I am contending non Christians do not have morals. Bert is just making straw men. That's why I have challenged him to a more formal debate.

That all people have morals is actually the basis of my argument against humanism. Bert makes my case for me - but he does not realize it. That's why a formal debate is necessary. he refuse to acknowledge his logical inconsistencies. Of course secular humanists can do moral acts. Humanism is false simply because by definition it says humans are the source of morality. But humans do not make morality they simply discover it.

Did Sir Issac Newton create the law of gravity or discover it?

Do atheists actually believe things fall because of Science?

The Moral Law is the Same.



[edit on 5/28/2008 by Bigwhammy]



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 04:54 PM
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reply to post by Bigwhammy
 


Uggggggh.

Who the hell are you talking to? If we are going to debate, wouldn't it make more sense to stop doing it here?

Now, here's the thing, I really DON'T want to spend my time in a formal debate, so I am willing to say agree to disagree. This will take up much time, so an agreement here would suit me more; however:

If that does not suit you, and you absolutely insist, I will debate you. You must agree however to stop with the childish insults and accusations for which I've had to retaliate. I feel like I'm debating with a crybaby. No more name calling either.

I assume the premise will be 'Humanism: The Harbinger of a New Age, or the Destruction of Our Civility'. Yeah, sounds good doesn't it? Sometimes I just surprise myself. The alternative was 'Humanism: Good or Bad'. I like the first one better.



But humans do not make morality they simply discover it.


Jesus Christ! This is the point I've been arguing with you, and you call it 'strawmen'? For the millionth time, quit with the childish accusations. Oh what, are you going to call me another name and hurt my wittle feelings?

Society has created morals and people 'discover'/learn them through living, they don't discover inscriptions on their hearts. Hence the whole construction of building morals I've posted TWICE for you now. God hasn't put anything on our hearts to discover, we simply learn it from society, much as a child learns to share or talk.



Did Sir Issac Newton create the law of gravity or discover it?


Oh good God. Is this what we're resorting to? Completely different scenarios to make our points? Hmmm, let's see here...did man create laws, or did they just 'discover' them. If you go with discover, you might want to have a little chat with the legislative branch of the gov't.

Uggggh, this is going to be a long couple days.

EDIT: To make the titles italiCIZEEEEOOOOd



[edit on 5/28/2008 by bigbert81]



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 05:22 PM
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Just dropped by to say I would really like to see that debate between Whammy and Bert.

I wish you both the best of luck if you go ahead with it. Whammy I hope you address the issue of moral absolutism.

Watching this space with interest



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 06:56 PM
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Originally posted by bigbert81
reply to post by Bigwhammy
 


Uggggggh.


Devistating humanist logic? ...or maybe just bad pizza?





Who the hell are you talking to?


The reader. This isn't our private chat room if you didn't realize...



If we are going to debate, wouldn't it make more sense to stop doing it here?


Have you stopped yet? Please contact the mod junglejake, he needs to confirm.



Now, here's the thing, I really DON'T want to spend my time in a formal debate, so I am willing to say agree to disagree. This will take up much time, so an agreement here would suit me more; however:


I gave a modest proposal that only takes 3 posts each please take the trouble to at least read it.



If that does not suit you, and you absolutely insist, I will debate you. You must agree however to stop with the childish insults and accusations for which I've had to retaliate. I feel like I'm debating with a crybaby. No more name calling either.


That is the reason I proposed a debate. I'm not a crybaby for pointing out intellectual dishonesty. The issue is I don't know who you are debating it is not me .You completely distort and misrepresent what I write and respond to your own fiction - as if you refuted me. But you are only talking to yourself.

I propose a moderator judged debate. Then an impartial party can read it and no need to bicker. Again why don't you read the terms I proposed the rules were stated- they came from the ATS debate forum



I assume the premise will be 'Humanism: The Harbinger of a New Age, or the Destruction of Our Civility'. Yeah, sounds good doesn't it? Sometimes I just surprise myself. The alternative was 'Humanism: Good or Bad'. I like the first one better.


"Sometimes I just surprise myself."


Yeah bigbert you amaze me too. You completely ignored the format proposal. The debate rules and also the suggested topic. Typical. That's exactly why I want a judge.
]
My objection to humanism comes from the propaganda you posted.



"Humanism entails a commitment to the search for truth and morality through human means in support of human interests. "


In the interest of the efficiency of a 3 post debate that I proposed above - let's focus on the relevant issue . You claimed "Morality is Relative"

I suggested the topic "Is Morality Relative or is there an Objective Moral Law"

My debate proposal above

Again the mod junglejake said you can respond to him by u2u right away and we iron out the details.


EDIT : Or to make more fair an neutral - we can just use that point from the humanism propaganda.



"Humanism entails a commitment to the search for truth and morality through human means in support of human interests. "


Fair enough?




[edit on 5/28/2008 by Bigwhammy]



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 08:45 PM
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reply to post by 44soulslayer
 


I too eagerly await bigberts response to the challenge. Secular humanism is a logically incoherent position to morality - "the road to hell is paved with good intentions."


Originally posted by 44soulslayer

The reason that most Indians today dont eat beef is that it has become a socially inculcated taboo. Those who ate cows were outcast historically, so it became a highly undesirable thing to do. Therefore it is not a moral issue, but a social issue.


Ok I'm not an expert on Hindus & cows -Mooo- the moral law still does not change.

Indians believe it morally wrong to destroy sacred things.
Americans believe it is morally wrong to destroy sacred things.

The difference is not Morality it is in what is perceived as sacred.



As to the issue of moral absolutism- it becomes a very difficult issue because I can see the good intentions that people have with morality derived from God.

However when does one man's supposed "absolute innate morality" defile the natural rights and morality of another person? To give you an example, Bobby Jindal- Governor of Louisiana believes in repealing Roe vs Wade, and additionally outlawing all abortions- no exceptions for rape or incest.

To me that would be a horrific intrusion of Governor Jindal's morality upon women who may be forced to carry and raise the child of a rapist. It would additionally, I believe, be highly immoral to allow the birth of a child resultant of incest... the clinical data shows severe incidence of foetal abnormality.

So while I agree with you Mr Whammy, that Secular Humanism is not a philosophy to uphold; I must simultaneously disagree with you about the consequences of Moral Absolutism. Needless to say, Hitler and Stalin thought that they had the moral absolute... millions died as a result.

Hence I ask is it not better that no man be allowed force his will upon another?


Just because people have disagreements about details of complicated moral situations does not mean there is not an absolute standard of right and wrong. People obviously make lots of mistakes and some people intentionally behave immorally.

People seldom get it wrong in simple situations. Well all know killing people is wrong. I contend even Hitler knew killing was wrong. Thatis why he dehumanized the jews by calling them an inferior race. That's why abortionist dispute the humanity of a fetus.

Killing is absolutely wrong. That doesn't make the world perfect. So killing maybe necessary to defend innocent life. In such situations we still appeal to the objective moral law. If there is no objective standard how can you make comparisons about what is "more" good or "better than" when you do that you are comparing to an objective standard.

So if a enemy soldier is trying to kill you. Your survival begets a defense. I will wager you will still feel bad when you see his blood on the ground. He was following orders too. Soldiers often have nightmares about killing their enemies. Even though it was necessary -you know it's wrong - the moral law did not change. We then enter the realm of situational ethics...

I think your objections to Absolutism are more objections to people who claim to always be able to determine truth - Even in the Bible people struggled with ethics and sought the advice of the wise. Remember King Solomons solution to the 2 women claiming to be the mother of the same Baby?



[edit on 5/28/2008 by Bigwhammy]



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 09:31 PM
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reply to post by Bigwhammy
 




The reader. This isn't our private chat room if you didn't realize...


Sooooo, are we giving a speech or having a debate? Make your mind up before you continue.



I gave a modest proposal that only takes 3 posts each please take the trouble to at least read it.


Love the assumptions. I did read it, and it doesn't change anything. But maybe you'll sound cool if you accuse me of not reading it, you know, for your 'readers'.



You claimed "Morality is Relative"

I suggested the topic "Is Morality Relative or is there an Objective Moral Law"


And you proposed 'morality is absolute', so I suggest we just stick with the title theme 'Moral Relativity vs. Moral Absolutism'. Hmmm, let me see here:



Because morality is absolute.


Yep, that about sums it up.



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 09:43 PM
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I agree very much with you, the problem however is that religions, as well as Government is a control mechanism, and those who pull the strings do not willingly give up control of that control.

You might like some of these other areas where I posted similar thinking about the societal problems, some of the ways they should be dealt with, as well as the true cause of the problem, the system itself.

A World At War With Itself

A Nation At War - Racism

Muslim's Are Not The Problem, You Are!!!

You might also like the Blackwater thread in My signature as well.

Humanitarian's are a rare breed these days.




[edit on 28-5-2008 by SpartanKingLeonidas]



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 09:53 PM
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Thanks SpartanKing, I appreciate the post and I'll definitely have to check those links out.



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 10:00 PM
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reply to post by Bigwhammy
 




Humanism In Real World Application


I feel that this quote needs a post of it's own. What Whammy (you know, for my readers
) here has done, is confuse the word 'Humanism' with 'Moral Relativity'. Moral relativity is a fact. Humanism goal is to help life flourish and leave the world a better place.

en.wikipedia.org...

Don't make the same mistake Whammy here has done by confusing the 2. These pictures have nothing to do with humanism, only moral relativity and ego-atheism. Sure, secular humanism includes moral relativity (because it's real), but it also has it's own set of morals which of course, define it, and because the alternative is accepting a moral code by God, to which secular humanism does not recognize, and morals are found through society, making them relative. Moral relativity can of course go both ways, good and bad, but then again, I guess it's all relative.

There is such thing as RELIGIOUS HUMANISM, so I'll assume that Whammy here has forgotten or did not know about it.

Once again people, this is a picture of moral relativity and ego-atheism, not humanism.




[edit on 5/28/2008 by bigbert81]



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 11:01 PM
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Here is an excellent article:



One of the theocratic right's most frequent accusations is that liberals and secular humanists (in one zealot's words, "two battalions of the devil's army") have caused most of the world's problems by perpetuating the concept of moral relativism. Right-wing Christians like Ralph Reed of the Christian Coalition define relativists as people who don't believe in truth or even in the concepts of right and wrong.

In reality, of course, the left is not populated with moral anarchists. We do believe in right and wrong. Countless numbers of us dedicate our lives to fighting injustice and trying to shed light on life's fundamental truths. We simply believe that some questions have more than one correct answer.

Reed and his flock claim to exist in a world of moral absolutes. They are, however, as relativistically inclined as the rest of us. Their assumption is that, without divine intervention, humans cannot rationally assess ethical dilemmas and ultimately do what is good, fair, and just. Christian fundamentalists claim to look to "God's revealed and unchanging law" for answers to life's complex ethical questions. They believe that the Bible not only holds all the answers but also is to be interpreted literally. It is, after all, "the word of God."

The most common non-Christian response to this idea is that imaginative interpretations allow the Bible to contain the appropriate passage to prove or rationalize just about anything. A bewildering maze of seemingly contradictory passages provides a theological minefield through which apologists must carefully tread; and it is in their attempts to rationalize these contradictions that the relativity of fundamentalism emerges.

For example, how does the loving and forgiving God of the radical Christians view some common human behaviors? If you work on Sunday, Exodus 35:2 says that you shall be "put to death." Cursing your mother or father is also punishable by death, according to Matthew 15:4. My guess is that you'll find few Christians who would agree today with the morality of those punishments. Why? Because relativism must play a role in our analysis of moral and ethical issues. We don't live in a static world of absolutes.

In the moral universe, there is a big difference between general rules and rigid laws. Immanuel Kant's The Critique of Practical Reason illustrates this point quite well. Kant used logic and reason to propose the existence of the categorical imperative, which impels us to "act as if the maxim of our action were to become . . . a universal law of nature." Without going into all the details, Kant concluded that, in light of the categorical imperative, it was always wrong to tell a lie--even to a murderer stalking your friend.

How many people, Christian or otherwise, would not lie in that situation? Is lying therefore an absolute moral wrong? No, because ethics are inescapably situational. Although there is general agreement across the ideological spectrum that lying is wrong, there are still situations in which it is the morally correct thing to do.

At this point it is probably important to point out that, just as no humanist would claim to speak for all humanists, the Christian Coalition does not speak for all Christians. If the coalition were a denomination all by itself, it wouldn't even come close to being one of the largest Christian denominations. Not only does the Christian Coalition not represent the views of most Christians, but some of the finest watchdog activity on the so-called religious right is done by religious groups like the Interfaith Alliance. Everything is not absolute in the Christian world. Not all Christians are striving for an ultraconservative, authoritarian, theocratic society.

Then, too, it seems ironic that these right-wing culture warriors would condemn relativism, since Christianity is a model of relativism. Note the hundreds of Christian denominations; there are at least 19 kinds of Baptists alone. Even the "religious right" is made up of evangelicals, fundamentalists, charismatics, Pentecostals, and various other orthodox believers. It is precisely because of relativism that these religious institutions even came into existence. There is no absolute agreement on dogma or even on Bible translations among the believers.

Similar denominations are often split by their stands on secular as well as theological issues. Prophetlike pronouncements based on scripture provide pious validation for the secular views of religious leaders. Take Pat Robertson, for example. His standing as the spiritual leader of a right-wing political movement depends on his being able to decide what the Bible has to say about the Federal Reserve Board or which provisions of the Communications Act of 1996 God favors. It seems like quite a task, but he seems to be able to do it with relative ease.

Finally, I mentioned that we liberal secular humanists believe that questions can have more than one correct answer. So in the interest of looking at as many sides of the issue as possible, perhaps we should look to the Bible for social and economic policy positions. Let's start by making Isaiah 10 the passage of choice for welfare policy: "Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless."


SRC: findarticles.com...

Very good read, and does an excellent job of explaining.





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