reply to post by Grimpachi
Thanks for the discussion, a reasonable "give and take" on a serious subject doesn't happen here everyday. Are you sure we can't meet at the
corner pizza place and spend about four hours exploring this subject?
Oh well, I'll try to offer some answers.
I agree with you that as far as religion's teaching goes it has offered us about everything we need in the area of moral behavior. The future might
bring on new questions, but basically we know what's good and bad. But even though we've been told, we're not doing very well at learning our
lessons. I believe that religion reminds us of those lessons, speaks up when large numbers have forgotten them, and most importantly, passes those
lessons from generation to generation.
I shudder at the thought of the Public School system being responsible for teaching right and wrong. They can't even teach arithmetic. Further, how
is consistency maintained? Just about anyone on ATS will offer an opinion on how badly mangled the Constituion has been in just the last 200 years.
What would we do to moral rules in 2000 years?
I also agree with you that guilt and despair can cause terrible damage. Some day, when your buying the second pitcher of beer, I'll tell you a true
story. The problem here, I believe, is a lack of balance. Sure, God is almighty and just, and a terrible guy to have as an enemy. I believe he has
the patent on smiting. But, he is also a forgiving and loving God. No matter what a killer, or other sinner, may have done, we can get forgiveness
and be welcomed back home, made pure and blameless to Him.
People seem to swing to opposite extremes, going far away from where they should be. There may be a reaction to lawlessness, with people emphasizing
the judging God, but then swing the other way saying God loves you, you can do anything you want, believe in Him or not, mock Him or not, it's all
On cloning in general, I don't have a particular problem. Truth and science are good things. As you know, it's how we use the science that's
sometimes a problem. My position is clone away, it sounds fine to me. BUT. As you probably would guess, I'm not excited about slicing up an embryo
to get cells for the procedure. At some time in the process, a fertilized egg is a human, I just draw that line earlier than some.
You're also right that cloning an entire human would pose moral questions. My best guess is that the Church would condemn that, but as far as I
know, it hasn't been addressed yet. As I say, I'm guessing.
but the whole idea of a deity favoring one group over another is a giant wall placed between humanity.
Is it possible that people
don't know their religions? Maybe they're not being taught by their leaders? Surely, people must remember that Jesus was sent to save everyone,
every people. Now, I can see someone saying to another "We're both looking for truth, and this is what my religion has taught me. It looks solid
to me and I'd like you to consider it." But it stops there. You may never walk on the same path so there might be some distance between the two of
you, but hatred or anger? That's not only crazy, it's wrong.
Every human, I believe, faces an eternal existence. Either good or bad. I take it to be one of my responsibilites to influence those I meet away
from hate and toward love, away from lies and toward truth. Their religion doesn't matter, their race doesn't matter, they are brother humans. I
don't want to be faced in eternity by someone I had insulted who will say to me "You made me so angry. I was filled with hate toward you. From
that day forward the hatred in my heart just kept growing. Now, I'm doomed."
And I agree with you again. Not only elected representatives, but every adult should be aware of the general truths that science has discovered.
Now, some of these general truths turn out to be wrong a generation later, but still we should know about them. For me, I don't see significant
conflicts between science and religion. They often agree (thinking about archaeology and history as sciences), but it's good to remember they're
playing different games on different playing fields.
As for your last paragraph, your "dream." I agree it would be attractive, but it's going to take more than a few hours at the pizza shop to figure
out how that would work.