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Old 08-17-2010, 10:43 PM   #16
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"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable". - H. R. Mencken.
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Old 08-17-2010, 10:57 PM   #17
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"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable". - H. R. Mencken.
As an aside, I respect those who wish to remain in the material realm, even if I can't. I always found metaphysics to be more interesting; at my most introverted, I can be rather engrossed with those kind of "improbable" questions.
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Old 08-18-2010, 12:25 AM   #18
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I always found metaphysics to be more interesting
Right there with you.
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Old 08-18-2010, 12:30 AM   #19
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"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable". - H. R. Mencken.
Interesting. I tend to think faith "may" be defined other ways, and some of those probably include logic.
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Old 08-18-2010, 12:33 AM   #20
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Nothing but respect
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Old 08-18-2010, 12:34 AM   #21
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Humbly, I am glad my knowledge was able to be put to good use. I hope we can continue to have interesting religious discussions in this place, as it's still something I contemplate quite regularly. Take care!
Keep fighting the good fight, Melon. You're a beautiful, gifted man. It may have taken 5 or 6 years to get through to me, but you did (along with the Holy Spirit, of course).

Great passage by the way. More Christians should meditate on it before engaging the world.
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Old 08-18-2010, 11:43 AM   #22
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Hi Aeon,

I haven't read your post. Since, I don't venture into FYM very ofter. But, I would like to say that what you have done is very brave and compassionate. I respect you for that. It is difficult for all of us to admit a wrong doing or to change our opionion. I think you are setting a great example. Something everyone can learn from and I thank you for this.

God bless.
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:58 PM   #23
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"There is no consensus of what is right or wrong even within the Bible."


Aeon, do you really believe that?

For example, is the commandment against stealing not clear?
Open to personal interpertation?

Are morals and truth all relative?
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:02 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by the iron horse View Post
"There is no consensus of what is right or wrong even within the Bible."


Aeon, do you really believe that?

For example, is the commandment against stealing not clear?
Open to personal interpertation?

Are morals and truth all relative?
Dishonest argument.

A logical case can be made for why stealing is wrong. I'm pretty sure you know that AEON (and most of the rest of us) understand and accept that. The logical case for why homosexuality is wrong is harder to make.
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:03 PM   #25
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That's an unfair bit of cherry-picking, iron horse. Taken in the context of his entire post(s), I think it's clear what he's talking about.
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Old 08-21-2010, 10:22 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by the iron horse View Post
"There is no consensus of what is right or wrong even within the Bible."


Aeon, do you really believe that?



For example, is the commandment against stealing not clear?
Open to personal interpertation?

Are morals and truth all relative?
I think the point that Jesus makes is that all morals and truth are "relative" in their proximity to love. If you aren't motivated by love for another, then it doesn't matter how well you follow the other laws.

Even your example of stealing - some could argue that someone "stealing" from the rich that robbed from the poor, and then gave it back to the poor is doing the right thing. Circumstantial.

When does killing become murder? Circumstantial. When does ambition become greed? When does passion become lust? There is no clear line you can draw that will define every single possible circumstance. Jesus, in his wisdom, understood this. He essentially says stop debating about the specific applications of the law - just love and you will be doing the will of God. Love covers the multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).

Now, I understand that some will say that obeying the law IS love - love for God. But I do find it interesting that in several places the "love thy neighbor" commandment is stated without "Love God" - (traditionally the Great Commandment is twofold - love God and love your neighbor). Does this mean that loving God is no longer important? I don't think so. I think it means that loving your neighbor IS loving God.

Even if you so think homosexuality is a "sin", we are not to call it out. We are not to judge. We are called to love, and love without an agenda. We shouldn't love with the hope of "changing" someone. Simply love. I accept that I can't understand homosexuality. But there are a great many things I don't understand. When I pray for clarity and how I should consider the topic, my heart tells me the same thing it always tells me about human relationships "just love."
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Old 08-21-2010, 10:12 PM   #27
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Knocking 'em out of the park today, Aeon.

Your point about love as the motivation is a keeper.
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:57 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the iron horse View Post
"There is no consensus of what is right or wrong even within the Bible."


Aeon, do you really believe that?

For example, is the commandment against stealing not clear?
Open to personal interpertation?

Are morals and truth all relative?
Maybe we could all just appreciate his thread for what it is rather than getting into the same old back and forth about the Bible and religion.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:46 AM   #29
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Wow, AEON, that was a very honest post. Thanks very much for sharing! I hope that others discussing this topic, and other topics, can come to a similar conclusion.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:48 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the iron horse View Post
"There is no consensus of what is right or wrong even within the Bible."

Aeon, do you really believe that?

For example, is the commandment against stealing not clear?
Open to personal interpertation?

Are morals and truth all relative?
Is it moral because God say so or does God say so because it is moral? I think that old dilemma is ignored by those who continually claim "objective" morality from a very subjective text.

If you want to argue that God sets the rules I think it turns morality into an argument from arbitrary authority. The way in which some Jews and Christians are willing to defend tales of ethnic cleansing because it was sanctioned by their God illustrates the nasty places this way of thinking leads. I'd also point to the popes pronouncements against "moral relativism" whilst his racket covers up child rape and promotes the spread of AIDS through misinformation as an example of moral absolutism gone awry.

Ethics is very important and a good starting point is to examine the merits of "traditional" morality in different areas.
- Individual liberties such as freedom of speech and belief (or non-belief)
- Equal treatment of LGBT persons
- Human rights
- Reproductive rights
- Social welfare
- Biomedical research
- Animal welfare
- Environmental responsibility
- The wrongs or rights of war

Religious morality has had historical influence over these issues for better or worse but I think it prevents actions that reduce suffering. Promoting hatred of people because of their sexuality is one of the most overt examples of this. Same-sex love deserves as much respect and protection as opposite-sex love and I haven't seen a good argument against it.

I feel that somebody with a more flexible and informed morality is capable of making decisions with better outcomes according to observable effects than a moral absolutist. In this thread AEON has demonstrated that his capacity for kindliness helped him accept and respect people in spite of previously held opinions. I suspect that it's a good deal easier to do that when not burdened with theology, but that only makes this change more admirable.
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