1. Cape Town
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    03 Apr '13 17:59
    This is addressed to those who claim that atheists cannot have a system of morality and that theism provides the only reasonable system of morality.
    This claim it seems to me has flaws right from the beginning. It almost assumes in its statement that both theists and atheists understand what is and is not moral and the real problem is justifying that knowledge, not the knowledge itself.
    So the theist above is saying "We both know what is right, but my religion puts it in writing, whereas you atheists don't have it in writing."
    However, the biggest problem I see is that if theists claim their religion explains morals then why do they never set out how it actually does so?
    One explanation offered is that whatever God decides is good, is good. But this clearly contradicts claims that 'God is good' which assumes that morality is a more universal rule that even God can be measured against.

    So, can any theists who believe their religion explains the source of morality explain how it does so?
  2. Territories Unknown
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    03 Apr '13 18:34
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    This is addressed to those who claim that atheists cannot have a system of morality and that theism provides the only reasonable system of morality.
    This claim it seems to me has flaws right from the beginning. It almost assumes in its statement that both theists and atheists understand what is and is not moral and the real problem is justifying that kno ...[text shortened]... theists who believe their religion explains the source of morality explain how it does so?
    Morality is a standard of living among men which has little to do with the Christian life--- it's really far beneath the level of living God has created for man.

    Any person walking on the planet, regardless of affiliation, is able to live morally.

    Big deal.
  3. Joined
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    03 Apr '13 18:372 edits
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    This is addressed to those who claim that atheists cannot have a system of morality and that theism provides the only reasonable system of morality.
    This claim it seems to me has flaws right from the beginning. It almost assumes in its statement that both theists and atheists understand what is and is not moral and the real problem is justifying that kno theists who believe their religion explains the source of morality explain how it does so?
    Jesus explained the "source of morality" thusly:

    Matthew 7
    12“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

    This concept has been recognized in various cultures (both theistic and non-theistic) throughout history, so clearly it is not the exclusive possession of any given "god", "gods" or a "god" at all for that matter.

    BAHA'U'LLAH:

    "O son of man! If thine eyes be turned towards mercy, forsake the things that profit thee and cleave unto that which will profit mankind. And if thine eyes be turned towards justice, choose thou for thy neighbour that which thou choosest for thyself."
    (Baha'u'llah, The third Leaf of the Most Exalted Paradise, Tablets, p. 64)

    BUDDHISM:

    "Hurt not others with that which pains yourself or in ways that you yourself would find hurtful. One should seek for others the happiness one desires for one's self"
    (Udana-Varqa, 5:18)

    HINDUISM:

    "This is the sum of duty: do naught unto others that which would cause pain if done unto you."
    (Mahabharata 5:1517)

    "Do not to others what ye do not wish done to yourself; and wish for others too, what ye desire and long for, for yourself. This is the whole of Dharma, heed it well."
    (The Celestial Song, 2:65)

    ZOROASTRIANISM:

    "That nature ONLY is good when it shall NOT DO unto another whatever is not good for its own self."
    (Dadistan-i-Dinik, 94:5)

    "Whatsoever is disagreeable to yourself do not do unto others."
    (Shayast-na-Shayast 13:29)

    That which is good for all and any one, for whomsoever - that is good for me. What I hold good for self, I should for all. Only Law Universal, is true Law."
    (Zoroaster, Yasana-Gathas)

    JAINIST:

    "A man should wander about treating all creatures as he himself would be treated."
    (Sutrakritanga 1.11.33)

    SIKH:

    "Precious like jewels are the minds of all. To hurt them is not at all good. If thou desirest thy Beloved, then hurt thou not anyone's heart."
    (Guru Aranj Devji 259, Guru Granth Sahib)

    CONFUCIANISM:

    "Do not unto others what you would not have them do unto you."
    (Analects, 15:23)

    "If one strives to treat others as he would be treated by them, he will come near the perfect life."
    (Book of Meng Tzu)

    WESTERN SCHOOLS:

    "What you wish your neighbors to be to you, such be also to them."
    (Pythagorean)

    "We should conduct ourselves toward others as we would have them act toward us."
    (Aristotle, from Plato and Socrates)

    "Avoid doing what you would blame others for doing."
    (Thales)

    "Do not to your neighbor what you would take ill from him."
    (Pittacus)

    "Cherish reciprocal benevolence, which will make you as anxious for another's welfare as your own"
    (Aristippus of Cyrene).

    "Act toward others as you desire them to act toward you"
    (Isocrates)

    TAO:

    "Pity the misfortunes of others; rejoice in the well-being of others; help those who are in want; save men in danger; rejoice at the success of others; and sympathise with their reverses, even as though YOU WERE in their place."

    "The sage has no interests of his own, but regards the interests of the people as his own. He is kind to the kind, he is also kind to the unkind: for virtue is kind."
    (T'ai Shang Kan Ying P'ien)

    NATIVE AMERICAN:

    "Love your friend and never desert him. If you see him surrounded by the enemy do not run away; go to him, and if you cannot save him, be killed together and let your bones lie side by side."
    (Sur-AR-Ale-Shar, The Lessons of the Lone Chief)

    "Do not kill or injure your neighbor, for it is not him that you injure, you injure yourself. But do good to him, therefore add to his days of happiness as you add to your own. Do not wrong or hate your neighbor, for it is not him that you wrong, you wrong yourself. But love him, for The Great Spirit (Moneto) loves him also as he loves you."
    (Shawnee)

    "Respect for all life is the foundation."
    (The Great Law of Peace)

    AFRICAN TRADITIONAL RELIGION:

    "A SAGE is ingenuous and leads his life after comprehending the parity of the killed and the killer. THEREFORE, neither does he cause violence to others nor does he make others do so."
    (Yoruba Proverb, Nigeria)

    "One going to take a pointed stick to pinch a baby bird should first try it on himself to feel how it hurts."
    (Yoruba Proverb, Nigeria)

    ISLAM:

    "Not one of you is a believer until he desires for another that which he desires for himself."
    (Muhammad, 40 Hadith of an-Nawawi 13)

    "Do unto all men as you would they should do unto you, and reject for them that which you would reject for yourself."
    (Mishkat-el-Masabih)

    JUDAISM:

    "What is hateful to you, DO NOT to your fellow man. That is the law: all the rest is commentary."
    (Talmud, Shabbat 31a)

    "Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbor as thyself: I am the LORD."
    (Moses, Leviticus 19:18)

    CHRISTIANITY:

    "All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them."
    (Matthew 7:12)

    "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
    (Luke 6:31)

    BAHA'I WORLD FAITH:

    "Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself."
    (Baha'u'llah, Tablets, p. 71)

    "Lay not on any soul a load which ye would not wish to be laid on you, and desire not for any one the things ye would not desire for yourselves."
    (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings LXVI, p. 128)

    "Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst not have ascribed to thee, and say not that which thou doest not. This is my command unto thee, do thou observe it."
    (Baha'u'llah, The Hidden Words, Arabic # 29)

    "Choose for thy neighbor that which thou choosest for thyself."
    (Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 30)

    http://www.uhj.net/the-golden-rule.html
  4. Standard memberwolfgang59
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    03 Apr '13 20:04
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    Morality is a standard of living among men which has little to do with the Christian life--- it's really far beneath the level of living God has created for man.

    Any person walking on the planet, regardless of affiliation, is able to live morally.

    Big deal.
    looks obvious to me that twhitehead is asking
    theists for whom it is a big deal
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    03 Apr '13 20:18
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    looks obvious to me that twhitehead is asking
    theists for whom it is a big deal
    is this about being moral whilst sitting down?
  6. Joined
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    03 Apr '13 20:343 edits
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    This is addressed to those who claim that atheists cannot have a system of morality and that theism provides the only reasonable system of morality.
    This claim it seems to me has flaws right from the beginning. It almost assumes in its statement that both theists and atheists understand what is and is not moral and the real problem is justifying that kno theists who believe their religion explains the source of morality explain how it does so?
    It almost assumes in its statement that both theists and atheists understand what is and is not moral and the real problem is justifying that knowledge, not the knowledge itself.


    Yes, this is a good observation. (This is also somewhat related to the bit of contradiction that holds both that humans have been imbued with an inherent sense of knowledge of moral right/wrong by God AND that somehow it was still necessary for God to send His son -- who also happens to be Himself -- down to somehow establish and teach us such things.) I think the claim is better put as something like, roughly, that the theist, on the basis of his theism, has a good explanatory and inferential framework or program from which to justify moral commitments; whereas the atheist can have no such framework. This claim is usually made by theists who clearly have virtually no educational background in secular ethics.

    The claim is obviously false. The atheist, in virtue of his atheism, is committed to virtually nothing regarding morality, so what bearing could his atheism have on his explanatory/inferential framework for ethics? Of course, he cannot be committed to the idea that morality hinges critically or constitutively on some god(s). Therefore, what this theist would really need to show is that ethical theories that cannot appeal to some divine agent are bankrupt. But this is laughable. In fact, just the opposite is more the case: any ethical theory that holds that morals depend constitutively on some divine agent is bankrupt, not the least of which because it will fail to some Euthyphro-like dilemma.
  7. Standard membersonship
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    04 Apr '13 11:241 edit
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    Jesus explained the "source of morality" thusly:

    Matthew 7
    12“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

    This concept has been recognized in various cultures (both theistic and non-theistic) throughout history, so clearly it is not the exclusive possession of any given "god te]
    Very interesting comparisons. I would also like to see your comparable quotations from the world religions to a couple other statements of Jesus.

    For example - could you list the comparable teachings to this ?

    "Jesus therefore said to them, truly, truly, I say to you, Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life within yourselves ... He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me and I in him.

    As the living Father has sent Me and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me." (See John 6:53,54,56,57)


    Can you show us where another religious teacher said we must eat him or her in order to live ?

    Can you likewise show us a teaching that a Teacher would come to live within his followers and abide in them ? I mean that he and God Himself would together come into them and dwell in them.

    "Jesus answered and said to him, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make an abode with him." (John 14:23)

    Show us who of he/she and God coming into man to live in man.
  8. SubscriberFMF
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    04 Apr '13 11:542 edits
    Originally posted by sonship
    sonship: For example - could you list the comparable teachings to this ?

    "Jesus therefore said to them, truly, truly, I say to you, Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life within yourselves ... He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me and I in him.

    As the living Father has sent Me and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also shall live because of Me." (See John 6:53,54,56,57)


    sonship: Can you show us where another religious teacher said we must eat him or her in order to live ?



    How is this of any relevance whatsoever to other religions?
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    04 Apr '13 13:144 edits
    Originally posted by FMF
    sonship: For example - could you list the comparable teachings to this ?

    [b]"Jesus therefore said to them, truly, truly, I say to you, Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life within yourselves ... He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me and I in him.

    As the living Father has sent Me and I r in order to live ?



    How is this of any relevance whatsoever to other religions?
    [/b] ToO's comment was this: [/b]

    Jesus explained the "source of morality" thusly:

    Matthew 7
    12“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

    This concept has been recognized in various cultures (both theistic and non-theistic) throughout history, so clearly it is not the exclusive possession of any given "god", "gods" or a "god" at all for that matter.

    [/b]

    The purpose of my quotations was a request to find a moral / spiritual / religious teacher which also spoke comprable to the quotations I provided. It was a question.

    The essence of ToO's post was that what Jesus spoke was not unigue. I agree to an extent. (All truth is God's truth). The so called "golden rule" has many corresponding teachings as ToO pointed out.

    I have the right to further examine if this Teacher Jesus is paralleled in other major aspects of what He spoke also.

    And one is the emphatic teaching that He and His Father God would enter into His lovers to abide in them.

    Now let's see what ToO will submit if any, of parallel moral / spiritual / reiligious teaching that a TEACHER had to be eaten or enter Himself with God into His disciples.
  10. Standard membersonship
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    04 Apr '13 13:20
    Originally posted by ThinkOfOne
    Jesus explained the "source of morality" thusly:

    Matthew 7
    12“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

    This concept has been recognized in various cultures (both theistic and non-theistic) throughout history, so clearly it is not the exclusive possession of any given "god ...[text shortened]... te]
    Jesus explained the "source of morality" thusly:

    Matthew 7
    12“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.


    I am not sure if this speaks of the SOURCE of morality. It speaks of the essence and summation of the Law and the Prophets.

    I think the SOURCE of the Law and the Prophets then would be what Christ would teach as the source of morality.

    Ie. "And Jesus said to him, Why do you call Me good? No one is good except One - God." (Mark 10:18)

    Perhaps this passage is better from Jesus in locating the source of goodness and relatedly morality. The One - God is the only one in possession of "good" as its source.
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    05 Apr '13 16:00
    Originally posted by sonship
    ToO's comment was this: [/b]

    [quote] Jesus explained the "source of morality" thusly:

    Matthew 7
    12“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

    This concept has been recognized in various cultures (both theistic and non-theistic) throughout history, so clearly it is n ...[text shortened]... ching that a TEACHER had to be eaten or enter Himself with God into His disciples.[/b]
    The essence of ToO's post was that what Jesus spoke was not unigue.

    Actually the point of my post was to show that not only can non-theists have a basis upon which to build a moral framework, but that this basis has been recognized throughout history by many different cultures both theistic and non-theistic. Not only that, but it was the same basis recognized by Jesus.

    The point of the OP was to address the oft-heard claim that "atheists cannot have a system of morality and that theism provides the only reasonable system of morality." From what I can tell, the claim is simply a desperate and disingenuous attempt by theists (mostly Christian from what I've seen) to "justify" their faith to others and perhaps themselves. Perhaps you should try to straighten them out, since it is blatantly false and therefore undermines that intention.
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    05 Apr '13 16:021 edit
    Originally posted by sonship
    Very interesting comparisons. I would also like to see your comparable quotations from the world religions to a couple other statements of Jesus.

    For example - could you list the comparable teachings to this ?

    [b]"Jesus therefore said to them, truly, truly, I say to you, Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have h him." (John 14:23)


    Show us who of he/she and God coming into man to live in man.[/b]
    If you've read my previous post, hopefully you understand that this is not pertinent to the point of my earlier post or to the topic of this thread.

    That said, if you want to discuss what Jesus meant by "He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me" start another thread and I'll join in.
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    05 Apr '13 16:06
    Originally posted by sonship
    Jesus explained the "source of morality" thusly:

    Matthew 7
    12“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.


    I am not sure if this speaks of the SOURCE of morality. It speaks of the essence and summation of the Law and the Prophets.

    I think the SOURCE of ...[text shortened]... edly morality. The One - God is the only one in possession of [b]"good"
    as its source.[/b]
    The reason I put "source of morality" in quotes was to indicate that it was not my choice of words. "Basis" would have been the word I would have chosen. That said, from what I can tell, TW was using the word "source" in that sense.
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    05 Apr '13 16:17
    Originally posted by sonship
    "And Jesus said to him, Why do you call Me good? No one is good except One - God." (Mark 10:18)
    Preach to us on that. I found it puzzling in my Christian youth. Was Jesus saying he fell short of goodness?
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    05 Apr '13 17:461 edit
    Originally posted by Paul Dirac II
    Preach to us on that. I found it puzzling in my Christian youth. Was Jesus saying he fell short of goodness?
    I think Jesus may have been saying that if you are ready to call Him good you have to be ready to call Him God.

    Only God is good.

    But the Bible is truly a living book. Praying over the passage will open up layers of edifying significance.
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