1. Joined
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    05 Sep '15 19:124 edits
    Seems most religions have a set of moral codes to be followed. Ostensibly "believers" would adhere to them simply because they believe that they are right.

    Of course, for most if not all religions it's not that simple. There are all manner of interesting self-centered beliefs when it comes to adherence.

    The most basic set of self-centered beliefs involve the gaining of "rewards": reciprocity, e. g., karma; afterlife, e. g., nirvana, "heaven", "eternal life"; et al.

    And of course the counterpart of the gaining of "rewards" which is the avoidance of "punishments" such as "hell".

    Even more self-centered is the set of beliefs involving the concept of being able to gain the "rewards" and avoid the "punishments" via "substitution" . This usually entails making some type of personal "sacrifice" in lieu of adherence - be it food, animals, or what have you. Essentially the "believer" chooses the less burdensome of adherence and personal "sacrifice".

    Perhaps the most self-centered belief of all involves "believers" gaining the "rewards" and avoiding the "punishments" via "substitution" with God making the "sacrifice" for them. Essentially the "believer" chooses the less burdensome of adherence, personal "sacrifice" and the "free gift".

    EDIT: Also quite self-centered is the belief that it's impossible to adhere to the moral code which serves to relieve the "believer" of guilt.
  2. Cape Town
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    05 Sep '15 19:26
    My favorite question on this topic is 'would you give up your seat in heaven to someone else if the option was available'? It seems like the loving thing to do. most people I have asked have declined to give a straight answer usually arguing that the option isn't available so they don't have to think about it.
  3. Joined
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    05 Sep '15 19:46
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    My favorite question on this topic is 'would you give up your seat in heaven to someone else if the option was available'? It seems like the loving thing to do. most people I have asked have declined to give a straight answer usually arguing that the option isn't available so they don't have to think about it.
    Not really the topic I had in mind, but an interesting question nevertheless.
  4. Joined
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    05 Sep '15 21:46
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    Seems most religions have a set of moral codes to be followed. Ostensibly "believers" would adhere to them simply because they believe that they are right.

    Of course, for most if not all religions it's not that simple. There are all manner of interesting self-centered beliefs when it comes to adherence.

    The most basic set of self-centered beliefs in ...[text shortened]... hat it's impossible to adhere to the moral code which serves to relieve the "believer" of guilt.
    Lawrence Kohlberg called this level of moral development "pre-conventional" because it is so self-centered that it doesn't take into account the moral conventions of society.

    Level 1 (Pre-Conventional)

    1. Obedience and punishment orientation

    (How can I avoid punishment?)

    2. Self-interest orientation

    (What's in it for me?)
    (Paying for a benefit)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Kohlberg's_stages_of_moral_development

    We hear it being relied on all the time on this forum.
  5. Standard memberRemoved
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    05 Sep '15 22:19
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    Seems most religions have a set of moral codes to be followed. Ostensibly "believers" would adhere to them simply because they believe that they are right.

    Of course, for most if not all religions it's not that simple. There are all manner of interesting self-centered beliefs when it comes to adherence.

    The most basic set of self-centered beliefs in ...[text shortened]... hat it's impossible to adhere to the moral code which serves to relieve the "believer" of guilt.
    Hello T.O.O., yes religion can be manipulative and wrong in my opinion. But my interest in your posting this is, do you reject a moral code? And if not, who do you think gets to proclaim one? Who sets the rules?
  6. Standard memberRemoved
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    05 Sep '15 22:27
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    My favorite question on this topic is 'would you give up your seat in heaven to someone else if the option was available'? It seems like the loving thing to do. most people I have asked have declined to give a straight answer usually arguing that the option isn't available so they don't have to think about it.
    Would I? No...it is not the right or loving thing to do. It would be going against God's justice and will.
  7. Subscribersonhouse
    Fast and Curious
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    05 Sep '15 23:17
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    Would I? No...it is not the right or loving thing to do. It would be going against God's justice and will.
    Why do you assume you and not the other bloke deserves the seat in heaven?
  8. Hmmm . . .
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    06 Sep '15 01:46
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    My favorite question on this topic is 'would you give up your seat in heaven to someone else if the option was available'? It seems like the loving thing to do. most people I have asked have declined to give a straight answer usually arguing that the option isn't available so they don't have to think about it.
    That is precisely the question.
  9. Hmmm . . .
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    06 Sep '15 01:473 edits
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    Would I? No...it is not the right or loving thing to do. It would be going against God's justice and will.
    I disagree emphatically. Can I say that I would do so for just anyone? No. And that is my failure at radical agape. But are here those that I love enough to do so? Emphatically--I cannot imagine doing otherwise. I cannot imagine that doing otherwise would represent love.

    I don't mean to imply that this is because I'm somehow "good". Just that I know a love deep enough that there are those for whom I cannot imagine doing otherwise.
  10. Hmmm . . .
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    06 Sep '15 02:02
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Why do you assume you and not the other bloke deserves the seat in heaven?
    I'm pretty sure that CB does not assume that, He just thinks that to act otherwise would contravene God's will. I disagree with him.
  11. Standard memberKellyJay
    Walk your Faith
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    06 Sep '15 02:10
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Why do you assume you and not the other bloke deserves the seat in heaven?
    Who said anyone deserves a seat in Heaven?
  12. Hmmm . . .
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    06 Sep '15 02:19
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    Not really the topic I had in mind, but an interesting question nevertheless.
    A well thought out OP, that gets at the twists and turns that can be involved—but I think that twhitehead has offered (in encapsulated form) precisely the counter to such self-centeredness.

    Further, I would suggest (without having the time now to look up various texts) that it is when we act in that way (“laying down”—literally, “placing”, so it doesn’t just mean dying—one’s life for another) without even premeditation (“Lord, when did we . . . .?” ) that is the ideal that is set. I am far from it.
  13. Hmmm . . .
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    06 Sep '15 02:29
    NRS 1 Corinthians 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. 9 For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; 10 but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

    NRS John 15:13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down [literally, to place] one's life for one's friends.

    NRS 1 John 3:16 We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us-- and we ought to lay down [literally, Put/place] our lives for one another.

    Matthew 22:37 He said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

    NRS Galatians 5:14 For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
  14. Standard memberlemon lime
    go phish
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    06 Sep '15 02:50
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    Seems most religions have a set of moral codes to be followed. Ostensibly "believers" would adhere to them simply because they believe that they are right.

    Of course, for most if not all religions it's not that simple. There are all manner of interesting self-centered beliefs when it comes to adherence.

    The most basic set of self-centered beliefs in ...[text shortened]... hat it's impossible to adhere to the moral code which serves to relieve the "believer" of guilt.
    I think there is a more practical way of looking at this other than calling it self centered. If there was such a place as 'chess heaven', and only those who played by the rules were allowed to be there, could limited access be called 'self centered' because rule breakers are denied?

    I've played informal OTB games with a few people who habitually nag and complain during games in order to distract and intimidate their opponents. The worse OTB player I've ever encountered didn't understand the rules of castling, insisted I made up the en passant rule to justify making what he called an illegal move, and once grabbed a piece I had just moved and 'put it back'. But he put it back onto a different square, and then said "You can't get there from here." Needless to say, after a few games with this clown I refused to play any more games with him.

    The point of this being, would it be self centered to only allow those who play by the rules access into 'chess heaven'? And is it unfair and self serving to deny access to rule breakers?
  15. Hmmm . . .
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    06 Sep '15 03:17
    Originally posted by lemon lime
    I think there is a more practical way of looking at this other than calling it self centered. If there was such a place as 'chess heaven', and only those who played by the rules were allowed to be there, could limited access be called 'self centered' because rule breakers are denied?

    I've played informal OTB games with a few people who habitually nag a ...[text shortened]... s access into 'chess heaven'? And is it unfair and self serving to deny access to rule breakers?
    I’m running out of steam for the night—but, yes, that is a well-argued analogy. (And likely indicative that this will be a good thread.) But—

    That is just why I think the gospel is a scandal and foolishness (1st Corinthians 1:23): because it undoes our desire for signs or wisdom (including signs of reasonableness, the practical wisdom of fairness and justice).

    If the sovereign realm (basileia—“kingdom” ) of God is just for those who abide by the rules—no need for the gospel at all.
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