1. Standard memberSwissGambit
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    07 Jan '14 07:15
    The Bible is a more versatile book than many of its practitioners realize. There are passages in it that can be used to support almost any position on issues you may wish to take. If you are warlike, you like OT stories of conquest. If you are peaceful, you like Jesus' teachings on meekness and being slow to anger.

    If you are a chauvinist, you go with the Apostle Paul's restrictions on women, from not permitting them to teach, and submitting to their husbands as unto the Lord. If you are a fan of gender equality, you point to the heroism of Esther, the faith of Moses' mother, and the purity and innocence of the virgin Mary. You point out stories in the Bible where wise women have taught men a thing or two, like the lady who convinced her town to execute a traitor so King David would not destroy their city.

    If you are a gay-basher, you read Leviticus and Paul literally. If you are a gay supporter, you insist that Paul's passages were actually condemning the Roman practice (of that time) of taking young (underage) males as sexual consorts.

    If you are a slaveholder, you point out Noah's cursing of his son, Ham, the (alleged) father of blacks, and other Pauline admonitions that slaves must obey their masters. If you are an abolitionist, you point out Gal 3:28's "there is no slave or free...but we are all one in Jesus".

    When I look at history, I don't see religion leading the morals of society. Quite the opposite. Progress happens; religion resists, but eventually succumbs to the pressure and falls in line with the rest of society.

    I think in a couple decades, gays will get married in churches and nobody will think much of it.

    Ironic that so many people consider the Bible to be unchanging in its moral direction despite its successful incorporation into many various societies with (sometimes radically) different moral codes.

    Also ironic that Bible believers insist that Bible is the best evidence of the existence of an objective moral code.
  2. Standard memberkaroly aczel
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    07 Jan '14 08:371 edit
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    The Bible is a more versatile book than many of its practitioners realize. There are passages in it that can be used to support almost any position on issues you may wish to take. If you are warlike, you like OT stories of conquest. If you are peaceful, you like Jesus' teachings on meekness and being slow to anger.

    If you are a chauvinist, you go with ...[text shortened]... le believers insist that Bible is the best evidence of the existence of an objective moral code.
    "..can be used to support almost any position ..."

    ...as is reflected in the 40 000+ denominations of Christianity.
  3. Standard membersonship
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    07 Jan '14 13:235 edits
    Originally posted by SwissGambit
    The Bible is a more versatile book than many of its practitioners realize. There are passages in it that can be used to support almost any position on issues you may wish to take. If you are warlike, you like OT stories of conquest. If you are peaceful, you like Jesus' teachings on meekness and being slow to anger.


    When I was a very young man who just began to read the Bible, one passages that I really liked was in Ecclesiastes 11:9. It said -

    "Rejoice, young man, in your childhood, and let your heart be merry in the days of your youth; and walk in the ways of your heart and in the sight of your eyes."

    It was around 1969. And Wow! The Bible was not so bad, I thought. It seemed like it was telling me to "Do Your Own Thing". Now I liked that. And I even had permission in this holy book -

    " ... walk in the ways of your heart and in the sight of your eyes."

    I thought "As a young man I have the permission from the Bible to do my own thing. That's just great."

    But the next part of the passage, which I liked to ignore, I finally had to consider also. Here is the entire passage:

    "REJOICE, YOUNG MAN, in your childhood, and let your heart be merry in the days of your youth; and WALK IN THE WAYS OF YOUR HEART and in the sight of your eyes.

    BUT ... know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment."
    [my emphasis]

    It was that pesky second part of the passage I finally had to give more consideration to. There would be judgment. It was not "Do Your Own thing! There is no accountability." Rather it was "Do Your Own Thing. But for all these things God will bring you into judgment."

    I learned that my conscience would not allow me to just always gleefully point to some Bible verse confirming my already established attitude. I would be judged by God for my actions.

    I began to want to be more careful. "Maybe I ought look more deeply into this Book. Maybe I ought to try to ascertain what is the real spirit behind these words. What really does this God before whom I will be judged, want. "

    You see, there is not just the words on a page in a Book. There is a living God behind the book who has imparted His Holy Spirit in my being. Maybe I can fool a lot of people, that I am justified and have the Bible confirming my actions. But there is absolutely no fooling of the living God.

    Also ironic that Bible believers insist that Bible is the best evidence of the existence of an objective moral code.


    I don't know if it is the best or only evidence of a objective moral law. I think it is evident that it has the answer to problem of universal need of redemption. It may impose duties and moral obligations. But for certain it offers the deepest pardon and redemption from inevitable infractions against that ultimate moral law giver.

    Because both ultimate responsibility and ultimate reconciliation are testified in one revelation, many of us are compelled to take it more seriously.

    Tell me. If you say that perhaps man is the measure of all things and we need not God, then which man ?
  4. Joined
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    07 Jan '14 13:39
    Originally posted by sonship
    [b]The Bible is a more versatile book than many of its practitioners realize. There are passages in it that can be used to support almost any position on issues you may wish to take. If you are warlike, you like OT stories of conquest. If you are peaceful, you like Jesus' teachings on meekness and being slow to anger.


    When I was a v ...[text shortened]... If you say that perhaps man is the measure of all things and we need not God, then which man ?[/b]
    There is no universal need of redemption.

    That is an invented problem by religions.

    They are selling the 'solution' to the problem they invented.
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    07 Jan '14 14:281 edit
    Originally posted by sonship
    Tell me. If you say that perhaps man is the measure of all things and we need not God, then which man ?
    If you say....


    He didn't. Next question.
  6. Standard membersonship
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    07 Jan '14 14:33
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    There is no universal need of redemption.

    That is an invented problem by religions.

    They are selling the 'solution' to the problem they invented.


    This is not logical to me. For if there were power structures that wanted to use the sacred to oppress others, that they would propose the oppressed need redemption, but not the oppressors.

    The Bible however emphatically teaches that all are in need of redemption and reconciliation to God.

    "And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened; and another scroll was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by the things which were witten in the scrolls, according to their works." (Rev. 20:12)

    It doesn't just say "the little guy down there, oppressed, he was called to account for his deeds and be judged by God."

    It says "the great and the small" .

    Sorry, it is universal. And the scrolls contain no errors but are infallible records kept by God. So it is not that the big bad religious power structures (and some do exist) get off while everyone underneath is judged. It is universal.
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    07 Jan '14 14:44
    Originally posted by sonship
    [b]There is no universal need of redemption.

    That is an invented problem by religions.

    They are selling the 'solution' to the problem they invented.


    This is not logical to me. For if there were power structures that wanted to use the sacred to oppress others, that they would propose the oppressed need redemption, but not the o ...[text shortened]... wer structures (and some do exist) get off while everyone underneath is judged. It is universal.[/b]
    which of the worlds major religions do you think have been made up by men?
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    07 Jan '14 15:23
    Originally posted by stellspalfie
    which of the worlds major religions do you think have been made up by men?
    I think all religions have great amounts of matters of the invention of human imagination. But I do not know all the world's religions. Most of the ones I do know may also contain some element of truth.

    Probably the more element of truth they contain the greater number of people will find something in it to cling to.

    Christianity, has been subjected to a huge amount of man made embellishment.

    God is not a religion. God is a living God, a living Person.
  9. Standard membersonship
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    07 Jan '14 15:261 edit
    He didn't. Next question.


    Next question ? If there is no absolute moral law then it doesn't make any difference what we do. Does it ?

    That's the next question. If no God and no transcendent morality what difference does it make what I do to you ?
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    07 Jan '14 15:59
    Originally posted by sonship
    He didn't. Next question.


    Next question ? If there is no absolute moral law then it doesn't make any difference what we do. Does it ?

    That's the next question. If no God and no transcendent morality what difference does it make what I do to you ?
    It makes a lot of difference.
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    07 Jan '14 16:271 edit
    Originally posted by sonship
    He didn't. Next question.


    Next question ? If there is no absolute moral law then it doesn't make any difference what we do. Does it ?

    That's the next question. If no God and no transcendent morality what difference does it make what I do to you ?
    Moral 'laws' do not have to be absolute to be effective, valuable, or true.

    Morality is about how sentient beings interact with one another in such a way as
    to maximise the well-being of each other.

    In a given situation with many discrete possible courses of action [there] may not be
    an absolute best course to which all others are inferior. Or [there may be] no means of telling if
    such a course exists. But the fact that such a course doesn't exist, or that its
    impossible to determine, doesn't mean we can't spot bad courses of action, or
    rate different courses of action as being better or worse than others.

    Chess is a good [analogy].

    If you were given a chess position on a game in progress and were asked what the best
    next move to make was you might not be able to tell which all the possible moves
    would be the best, and there may in fact be several moves that if you followed all the
    possible consequences of each, would present equally good chances of victory.

    However the fact that you might not be able to determine for this board what the best
    possible move was, [doesn't mean you wouldn't] know that a move that would present your opponent
    with the opportunity to checkmate you next move would be a really bad move.

    Once you realise what morality actually is, a system of rules and codes for sentient beings to
    use when interacting with each other that maximises their collective and individual well-being,
    then you can see that actions can be tested objectively against each other to determine
    there relative moral goodness [which course's of action lead to maximised wellbeing].
    And thus give a system of secular morality that is non-absolute, is objective, and is relative.

    Without any contradiction.


    You can say that one moral choice, or system, is better than another objectively without
    having any absolute yardstick to measure against.


    And as no absolute yardstick is known to exist....
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    07 Jan '14 16:54
    Originally posted by sonship
    He didn't. Next question.


    Next question ? If there is no absolute moral law then it doesn't make any difference what we do. Does it ?

    That's the next question. If no God and no transcendent morality what difference does it make what I do to you ?
    its worrying that you think like that.
  13. Standard membersonship
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    07 Jan '14 17:01
    Moral 'laws' do not have to be absolute to be effective, valuable, or true.


    Didn't answer my question yet. What difference does it make what I do to you if there is no Ultimate Governor, no Ultimate Judge for me ?

    You'll get over it if I do you dirt. I'm pretty sure. And if you don't? Well, it could be worse. It could be me.

    No God - what difference does it make how we rip each other off ?


    Morality is about how sentient beings interact with one another in such a way as to maximise the well-being of each other.


    Yea, I notice that Josef Stalin thought pretty much the same way.
    To whom will Josef Stalin be finally accountable in your preferred Godless universe ?



    In a given situation with many discrete possible courses of action their may not be an absolute best course to which all others are inferior.


    There are difficult problems in math.
    There are difficult problems in morality also.
    I quite agree that some moral problems are rather difficult to figure out.

    Here's the difference. This lead me all the more to believe that there is a perfect God ultimately warning us that we ALL need to be forgiven.

    You see, difficult moral issues led some people to assume there could be no ultimate Right morality and therefore no ultimate good and righteous God. That is not my reaction to the problem of difficult moral situations.

    My reaction is that all the more someone like Jesus Christ speaks the truth warning that everyone is going to come up short before God. And He has come that all who believe in Him may be justified in Him.

    But if you argue that no perfect code written in human language could possible cover all the nuances of human situations, I agree. Too many of the final issues are of the heart, the innermost motive, the innermost inclination.

    This makes Jesus Christ all the more persuasive to me as the testimony of a Perfect Man, the only one Perfect Man. So I should listen then to what Jesus Christ goes on to say.

    "As the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me shall live because of Me." (John 6:57)

    I need to take Him in. I need to receive Him in His form as spiritual food. I need to "eat" Him. I need to internalize this One who knows how to live by the Father's uncreated and perfect life. I need to "eat" Him because you are what you eat.


    Or no means of telling if such a course exists. But the fact that such a course doesn't exist, or that its impossible to determine, doesn't mean we can't spot bad courses of action, or rate different courses of action as being better or worse than others.


    There are situations in which no written code could tell you exactly what you should do. There is a Holy Spirit who is Jesus Christ in His pneumatic form who always can tell us how to abide in Him, and HE will do the thing right. Not only so in the action, that is, but in the inner motive, inclination, and thought life.

    So Paul said that he only desired to be found in the living and available and experiential Christ - "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain ... be found in Him, not having my own righteousness which is out of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is out of God and based on faith."

    You see the Law was not given primarily to keep, to the one and only theocratic nations of Israel. The Law was given to expose man's inescapable need for redemption from God.

    Man has laws. Then he has to amend them, and amend them, and amend them some more. He has to add, and add, and add to cover the infinite variety and nuances of ethical situations. And also he has to amend them because in man's depravity he usually figures out a way to do evil regardless.

    So the complaint of "But no perfect moral code" encourages rather than discourages me to seek the Savior's forgiveness and the Lord's indwelling Holy Spirit to live through.

    And I will look at you other sentences perhaps in the next post.
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    07 Jan '14 17:03
    Originally posted by sonship
    I think all religions have great amounts of matters of the invention of human imagination. But I do not know [b] all the world's religions. Most of the ones I do know may also contain some element of truth.

    Probably the more element of truth they contain the greater number of people will find something in it to cling to.

    Christianity, h ...[text shortened]... t of man made embellishment.

    God is not a religion. God is a living God, a living Person.[/b]
    you earlier said that a man made religion would exclude the ruling people from the controlling rules of the religion.........well have a look around at all the other religions in the world. i cant think of any that exclude the ruling classes. so does that mean non of them are man made?? or does it mean people making up religions understand that it looks dodgy if you exclude yourself from the rules?
  15. Standard membersonship
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    07 Jan '14 17:06
    its worrying that you think like that.


    One atheist said "Well if you need the Bible to be good to me then by all means use your Bible."

    But the point here is that there is no rational basis for good behavior. I may like to be good and feel better to be good. But I also feel better to, say, eat chocolate ice cream as opposed to vanilla.

    So I hear what you mean by "You worry me." But you have taken away any real rational basis for ethical behavior. It is all relative. And if either one of us is in the mood to be good, well, we might do so for awhile though we really don't know rationally why we're obligated to do so.
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