1. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    08 Sep '06 08:38
    Why not talk about Good for a change. Does the concept of the Good necessarily entail some sort of religious belief or can we all try to be Good without it?
  2. Standard memberDavid C
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    08 Sep '06 08:56
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Why not talk about Good for a change. Does the concept of the Good necessarily entail some sort of religious belief or can we all try to be Good without it?
    What a silly question. It's impossible to have good without God. For as we now know scientifically, Good is really the absence of Evil. Without God, you'd be consigned to a life of drug abuse, child abuse, spouse abuse, Human Rights abuse, animal abuse, welfare abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, and gout.
  3. Standard memberdj2becker
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    08 Sep '06 09:33
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Why not talk about Good for a change. Does the concept of the Good necessarily entail some sort of religious belief or can we all try to be Good without it?
    By what process is evil distinguished from good and vice versa?
  4. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    08 Sep '06 09:48
    Originally posted by dj2becker
    By what process is evil distinguished from good and vice versa?
    Why not respond to my question rather than drag evil into everything.
  5. Standard memberKellyJay
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    08 Sep '06 12:322 edits
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Why not talk about Good for a change. Does the concept of the Good necessarily entail some sort of religious belief or can we all try to be Good without it?
    I like what you said.

    Jesus said He was the way, the truth, and the life and that no one
    comes to God except through Him.

    John 14:5-7 (New International Version)

    5Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"
    6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."


    Jesus also said,

    Mark 10:18 (New International Version)
    18"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone.

    God lights our paths before us, He can give us wisdom, and He does
    want us to walk in truth, in love and grace. If you study the scriptures
    you will see that He wants our yes to be yes, our no to be no. He
    wants us to be authentic before Him and man, walking in truth in
    light of God's love, grace, and mercy. Knowing that God must forgive
    each of us for our short comings, our sins, our evil selfish deeds
    we should be forgiving people too, not putting road blocks before
    others that Jesus died for, that Jesus loves that God is calling to
    Himself. God deals with us as we are real, where we judge others
    we acknowledge some form of truth that we will be held accountable
    for, so it is better to walk in grace and mercy.
    Kelly
  6. London
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    08 Sep '06 12:40
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Why not talk about Good for a change. Does the concept of the Good necessarily entail some sort of religious belief or can we all try to be Good without it?
    I guess the question I have is how a non-religious morality can avoid being fundamentally rooted in the particular time and/or culture of the philosopher.
  7. Standard memberdj2becker
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    08 Sep '06 12:48
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Why not respond to my question rather than drag evil into everything.
    The aim of a question is usually to open up presuppositions within a person's statement and to form an entry point for a discussion.
  8. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    08 Sep '06 13:15
    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    I guess the question I have is how a non-religious morality can avoid being fundamentally rooted in the particular time and/or culture of the philosopher.
    Is Plato's concept of the Good religious?
  9. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    08 Sep '06 13:161 edit
    Originally posted by dj2becker
    The aim of a question is usually to open up presuppositions within a person's statement and to form an entry point for a discussion.
    My opening post was a question. You could have engaged with it.
  10. London
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    08 Sep '06 13:50
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Is Plato's concept of the Good religious?
    Partially. But that may be beside the point.

    Could you elaborate what you mean by Plato's concept of the Good? If you're simply referring to the eternal Idea/Form of the Good, then it means very little as we still do not know whether a particular action/attribute corresponds to it.
  11. Upstate NY
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    08 Sep '06 14:12
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Why not talk about Good for a change. Does the concept of the Good necessarily entail some sort of religious belief or can we all try to be Good without it?
    Good question, however I should like to split it up into two categories, to wit:

    1. Is it necessary to use a theistic framework to explain good (and evil for that matter)?
    2. Can we be good outside of theism?

    The second question is easier to answer and can be handily addressed existentially. All you have to do is observe someone being kind to someone else and you know that you do not need to be a theist to do good.

    The first question is more complex. The concepts of good and evil, its antithesis, are rooted in the idea of a moral law, i.e. a means to define good and evil. Please note that I do not mean necessarily that the moral law defines what deeds are good and evil, but that it defines the concepts themselves. At the same time, I would like to address this at an existential level as this avoids what would otherwise be a dry academic excursion only.

    For example, before humans existed, would it have been wrong to murder? If so, then this means that the moral law existed before humanity came into being. This begs the question, "Where did the moral law come from?" Certainly not from man, only that mankind is subject to it. Since infinite regressions are a logical impossibility, we must posit an obsolute moral lawgiver.

    I realize that the idea of a moral lawgiver has been attacked many times, but it must be addressed. One cannot simply say that the moral law came from man, but at the same time one cannot deny its existence. Is a materialistic definition of the universe sufficient to explain the existence of a moral law? Nietzsche, for example, certainly didn't think so.
  12. Standard memberPalynka
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    08 Sep '06 23:27
    Originally posted by Ristar
    For example, before humans existed, would it have been wrong to murder? If so, then this means that the moral law existed before humanity came into being.
    First of all, murder has no meaning unless there is a being capable of moral thoughts either as the 'murderer' or the victim.

    Secondly, murder is also a subjective term. A tribe (or cult) sacrificing a virgin girl to please a certain god is equivalent to murder to me, but it is not to them. Or think about the death penalty, for another example.
  13. Upstate NY
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    09 Sep '06 01:08
    Originally posted by Palynka
    First of all, murder has no meaning unless there is a being capable of moral thoughts either as the 'murderer' or the victim.

    Secondly, murder is also a subjective term. A tribe (or cult) sacrificing a virgin girl to please a certain god is equivalent to murder to me, but it is not to them. Or think about the death penalty, for another example.
    To address the second point first:

    A definition of terms is called for. Murder is indeed a form of killing, but I don't think anyone would assert that a mother who kills defending her baby from imminent peril is guilty of murder. Murder would have to be defined in the orthodox manner, i.e. the taking of life for selfish purposes, many times with malice aforethought. The particular example of ritual sacrifice of human life does also, of course, beg the inclusion of the law of non-contradiction; i.e. in this case one side says that human sacrifice is objectively right, and another side says that it is objectively wrong. They cannot both be right. But this business is perhaps out of scope and worthy of a separate thread.

    Armed with the above definition, murder is objectively wrong at all times and in all circumstances because by definition, it implies that, at the least, two moralizing inidividuals are present in order for the act to take place. Thus its worth and meaning are independant of the existence of said individuals.

    But to keep to the topic of good, here is a pleasant thought for everyone's rumination: what is the highest good? How good can a person get? What deeds make you feel great with no guilt that your deed has been somehow tainted with selfishness? What would be the "ultimate good act?"
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