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Old 07-12-2006, 02:02 AM   #1
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Originally posted by melon




Of course, this is where the diversion issues like gay marriage, flag burning, and school prayer come in to save the day for the GOP.


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To many of us - the cultural issues are even more pressing than the economic ones.




[*** Post carried over from a split thread per request ~ yolland ***]
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Old 07-12-2006, 08:03 AM   #2
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To many of us - the cultural issues are even more pressing than the economic ones.
And that's where I think those "many" are stupid. If you wish to live your life conservatively, then do it. Don't force everyone else to live your life and your values. If you don't like gay marriage, don't have one. If you don't like flag burning, don't burn a flag. And school prayer? You spend 8 hours a day in school and 16 hours outside of it. So spend part of those 16 hours in prayer in your own way, in your own church, in your own community of believers. I don't want government legislating their own personal beliefs onto me.

It might surprise people that I live my own life rather conservatively. I've gotten into more than one argument over abortion, for instance--why I would never have one and never encourage others to have one either. However, I recognize that each of us has a conscience and that each of us will have to reconcile our actions with God. I don't need the Christian Taliban to make those personal decisions of conscience for me.

Leave government to what they should be doing: economic issues, tax issues, etc. Basically, I want government to do what I'd expect the CEO and board of directors of a company to do. I'm sorry. A CEO and board of directors that worries about something like gay marriage, flag burning, and school prayer are a CEO and board of directors that are not doing their job.

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Old 07-12-2006, 10:22 AM   #3
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To many of us - the cultural issues are even more pressing than the economic ones.


and this is precisely what i think is wrong with this country.

the fact that some are more worried about whether or not i can get married than they are about the looming social security crisis leaves me dumbfounded.
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Old 07-12-2006, 03:41 PM   #4
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Originally posted by melon


And that's where I think those "many" are stupid. If you wish to live your life conservatively, then do it. Don't force everyone else to live your life and your values. If you don't like gay marriage, don't have one. If you don't like flag burning, don't burn a flag. And school prayer? You spend 8 hours a day in school and 16 hours outside of it. So spend part of those 16 hours in prayer in your own way, in your own church, in your own community of believers. I don't want government legislating their own personal beliefs onto me.

It might surprise people that I live my own life rather conservatively. I've gotten into more than one argument over abortion, for instance--why I would never have one and never encourage others to have one either. However, I recognize that each of us has a conscience and that each of us will have to reconcile our actions with God. I don't need the Christian Taliban to make those personal decisions of conscience for me.

Leave government to what they should be doing: economic issues, tax issues, etc. Basically, I want government to do what I'd expect the CEO and board of directors of a company to do. I'm sorry. A CEO and board of directors that worries about something like gay marriage, flag burning, and school prayer are a CEO and board of directors that are not doing their job.

Melon
Brother - your logic is all over the place.

If we take your augments to their logical (or rather illogical) conclusion - you are in essence promoting anarchy. "If it feels good to you - then do it."

Any society, no matter how liberal, would soon consume itself.

We can never escape the fact that a democratic government will reflect the values of its citizens. That is why it is my hope that our government will base its laws on Objective Moral Laws. (I tend to think for instance, that murder is an Objective Moral Law, and that it should be illegal regardless of how it makes a potential murderer “feel”)
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Old 07-12-2006, 08:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon


And that's where I think those "many" are stupid. If you wish to live your life conservatively, then do it. Don't force everyone else to live your life and your values. If you don't like gay marriage, don't have one. If you don't like flag burning, don't burn a flag. And school prayer? You spend 8 hours a day in school and 16 hours outside of it. So spend part of those 16 hours in prayer in your own way, in your own church, in your own community of believers. I don't want government legislating their own personal beliefs onto me.

It might surprise people that I live my own life rather conservatively. I've gotten into more than one argument over abortion, for instance--why I would never have one and never encourage others to have one either. However, I recognize that each of us has a conscience and that each of us will have to reconcile our actions with God. I don't need the Christian Taliban to make those personal decisions of conscience for me.

Leave government to what they should be doing: economic issues, tax issues, etc. Basically, I want government to do what I'd expect the CEO and board of directors of a company to do. I'm sorry. A CEO and board of directors that worries about something like gay marriage, flag burning, and school prayer are a CEO and board of directors that are not doing their job.

Melon
Great post, melon.
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Old 07-12-2006, 11:52 PM   #6
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Originally posted by AEON
Brother - your logic is all over the place.

If we take your augments to their logical (or rather illogical) conclusion - you are in essence promoting anarchy. "If it feels good to you - then do it."

Any society, no matter how liberal, would soon consume itself.

We can never escape the fact that a democratic government will reflect the values of its citizens. That is why it is my hope that our government will base its laws on Objective Moral Laws. (I tend to think for instance, that murder is an Objective Moral Law, and that it should be illegal regardless of how it makes a potential murderer “feel”)
I'll be honest. Reading your lines of reasoning in this thread honestly made me ill today (I probably should not lurk at work, since I believe it to be professionally unethical to post, use IM applications, or write personal e-mails at work). I earnestly questioned the value of actually returning to this thread, as I know that what I say will mean nothing.

When I read your pontification on "Objective Moral Law," the first person I was reminded of was Ayatollah Khomeini. In contrast to Ayatollah Khameini, Khomeini actually did the occasional interview. What struck me was how he would say, in a completely sincere and matter of fact manner, is that he earnestly felt that he had brought democracy to the people of Iran. But, he said, because the good people of Iran are Muslims, they would, of course, "vote" for a theocracy.

Your comments about the "Objective Moral Law," the unwavering belief that the public supports your "Objective Moral Law," and your belief in how it should shape government is no different than what Ayatollah Khomeini believed for Iran. You just have different religions.

I am disturbed on a few levels here. For one, this is a line of thinking that has *always* been foreign to me. In my religious education, I was taught to set myself to a higher standard of life, regardless of the civil law. I was taught to believe that secularism was both the way to live in a pluralistic society, but also the way to keep government out of religion to keep it from corrupting religion. It was the best way. I still believe it to be the best way.

In terms of what is right and wrong in a pluralistic society, humanism provides plenty of philosophical basis without instituting any one religion. Humanism unilaterally condemns all the obvious things that religion would condemn, such as murder and rape. Where humanism does better than religion in a pluralistic society is when it comes to the gray areas. And that's the philosophical basis upon which our Constitution was written. It's what gives us freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of association--no matter how unpopular our ideas or beliefs are. Because if it was up to religion, we'd be the Christian version of Iran. After all, some despot would wake up one day and decide that his idea of "Objective Moral Law" somehow applies to everyone.

What I advocate is not anarchy. It's being rational. It's being tolerant. It's understanding that no matter what I believe about the Bible or whatnot, as long as nobody is being hurt, who cares? Freedom of religion means that you can make your advocacy and urge people to act in whatever manner you please. Freedom of religion also means that you can walk away and say "No thanks." But what you advocate takes away that freedom. That's the difference.

I don't care what kind of nonsense you believe about the Bible. I don't care if, despite all the depth and breath of research into sexual orientation, that you still believe that it is changeable. I don't care if you believe that there's a leprechaun and a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. That's your right. But don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining, because no amount of arguing is going to change the fact that you're wrong.

Melon
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Old 07-12-2006, 11:56 PM   #7
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Originally posted by melon


I'll be honest. Reading your lines of reasoning in this thread honestly made me ill today
I 100% agree!!! And I debated whether to respond to his post, but I figured it was off topic and decided not.

I'm glad you did.

Thanks...
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Old 07-13-2006, 01:08 AM   #8
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Originally posted by melon


I'll be honest. Reading your lines of reasoning in this thread honestly made me ill today (I probably should not lurk at work, since I believe it to be professionally unethical to post, use IM applications, or write personal e-mails at work). I earnestly questioned the value of actually returning to this thread, as I know that what I say will mean nothing.

When I read your pontification on "Objective Moral Law," the first person I was reminded of was Ayatollah Khomeini. In contrast to Ayatollah Khameini, Khomeini actually did the occasional interview. What struck me was how he would say, in a completely sincere and matter of fact manner, is that he earnestly felt that he had brought democracy to the people of Iran. But, he said, because the good people of Iran are Muslims, they would, of course, "vote" for a theocracy.

Your comments about the "Objective Moral Law," the unwavering belief that the public supports your "Objective Moral Law," and your belief in how it should shape government is no different than what Ayatollah Khomeini believed for Iran. You just have different religions.

I am disturbed on a few levels here. For one, this is a line of thinking that has *always* been foreign to me. In my religious education, I was taught to set myself to a higher standard of life, regardless of the civil law. I was taught to believe that secularism was both the way to live in a pluralistic society, but also the way to keep government out of religion to keep it from corrupting religion. It was the best way. I still believe it to be the best way.

In terms of what is right and wrong in a pluralistic society, humanism provides plenty of philosophical basis without instituting any one religion. Humanism unilaterally condemns all the obvious things that religion would condemn, such as murder and rape. Where humanism does better than religion in a pluralistic society is when it comes to the gray areas. And that's the philosophical basis upon which our Constitution was written. It's what gives us freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of association--no matter how unpopular our ideas or beliefs are. Because if it was up to religion, we'd be the Christian version of Iran. After all, some despot would wake up one day and decide that his idea of "Objective Moral Law" somehow applies to everyone.

What I advocate is not anarchy. It's being rational. It's being tolerant. It's understanding that no matter what I believe about the Bible or whatnot, as long as nobody is being hurt, who cares? Freedom of religion means that you can make your advocacy and urge people to act in whatever manner you please. Freedom of religion also means that you can walk away and say "No thanks." But what you advocate takes away that freedom. That's the difference.

I don't care what kind of nonsense you believe about the Bible. I don't care if, despite all the depth and breath of research into sexual orientation, that you still believe that it is changeable. I don't care if you believe that there's a leprechaun and a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. That's your right. But don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining, because no amount of arguing is going to change the fact that you're wrong.

Melon
I hope you are now feeling better If you are sick, I hope you feel better soon. If you are feeling better, I have a few questions for you.

Just so I am clear, which of these statements are you advocating:

1) There is no Objective Moral Law,
2) There is only an Objective Moral Law in Melon’s obvious black and white areas
3) The only Objective Moral Law is “as long as nobody is being hurt, who cares?” (does the “nobody” include the person hurting himself?)

Melon, you are obviously an intelligent and articulate person. But I am having a difficult time understanding where you are coming from philosophically or theologically. It is possible that I am misunderstanding some of your statements. On one thread you advocate Personalism – which is a religious view and teaches the absolute, inherent value of a human being. I believe you would probably consider this an Objective Moral Principle – if not an Objective Moral Law. But in this thread, it seems you are asserting that you do not want the government to endorse, enforce, and protect any “Objective Moral Laws” Does this include Personalism – which would then include the government protection of civil rights?

Then, if I am following your argument correctly, would that not also mean that you should be similarly compared to the Ayatollah Khomeini because you want the government to enforce your ideology?
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Old 07-13-2006, 08:27 AM   #9
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Originally posted by AEON
I hope you are now feeling better If you are sick, I hope you feel better soon. If you are feeling better, I have a few questions for you.

Just so I am clear, which of these statements are you advocating:

1) There is no Objective Moral Law,
2) There is only an Objective Moral Law in Melon’s obvious black and white areas
3) The only Objective Moral Law is “as long as nobody is being hurt, who cares?” (does the “nobody” include the person hurting himself?)

Melon, you are obviously an intelligent and articulate person. But I am having a difficult time understanding where you are coming from philosophically or theologically. It is possible that I am misunderstanding some of your statements. On one thread you advocate Personalism – which is a religious view and teaches the absolute, inherent value of a human being. I believe you would probably consider this an Objective Moral Principle – if not an Objective Moral Law. But in this thread, it seems you are asserting that you do not want the government to endorse, enforce, and protect any “Objective Moral Laws” Does this include Personalism – which would then include the government protection of civil rights?

Then, if I am following your argument correctly, would that not also mean that you should be similarly compared to the Ayatollah Khomeini because you want the government to enforce your ideology?
There is no such thing as "objectivity." Period. All of our morals, all of our philosophies, everything is filtered through the eyes of human experience, human culture, human fears, human prejudices, and even the time we live in. The Bible is no different. It is an accurate reflection of its time, no different than any of its literature contemporaries, and, likewise, there is demonstrable evidence that how the Bible is intepreted has vastly changed over time. After all, 2000 years ago, people looked at the Bible and became obsessed with avoiding idolatry. Today, people look at the Bible and, for some reason, have become obsessed with sex. This is not under question, because 2000 years of Christian writings and even different Biblical translations over this same time span have demonstrated this.

This is not a call to inaction. This is, instead, both a call to humility and reevaluation. By admitting that we are not in full possession of the truth and by admitting that we may not be in full possession of "God's will," it is admitting that we are human and do not know everything. I would think that this would be a given.

However, when it comes to law, we live in a pluralistic society. In a nation of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Wiccans, agnostics, atheists and more, if only *one* religion is correct, which religious law do you mandate on your society? Because, after all, if only one religion is correct, that means that their moral laws should be the only ones legislated and everyone else should be forced to convert or killed. Right?

That's where humanist philosophy comes in. Humanist philosophy is meant to find an ethical common ground in a pluralist society. Humanism and religion have common ground in many respects. They reject murder, rape, robbery, and would support probably the vast majority of laws today. It is obviously the "gray area" where we run into trouble time and time again. Humanism, in an effort to understand that each religion is different when it comes to their own gray area, comes up with the idea that if it does not cause harm, then it should not be illegal. This, as such, allows people of various religions to coexist with each other and then have everyone live according to their own religion's moral laws when it comes to that "gray area."

This has been the revolutionary success of the United States. Our Founding Fathers were not conservative Christians; they were highly influenced by Enlightenment-era philosophy, and that's why the entire basis for our country is steeped in heavy humanist philosophy (and, just for the record, any mention of "the Creator" is a blatant reference to Enlightenment-era deism, not conventional Christianity). This is what prevents us from becoming Northern Ireland, where not even two different Christian religions can co-exist peacefully.

You have strong personal religious convictions, and there's nothing at all wrong with that. I am not here to convince you otherwise. However, I am here to convince you that other people have vastly different and equally strong personal religious convictions. This does not make them atheists. This does not make them anarchists. This does not make them evil. This is just reality.

As such, I make a strong distinction between civil law and moral law. Civil law should be based strictly on humanist principles, and the debate on secular arguments that can withstand logical scrutiny. Secular arguments against gay marriage have floundered when applied to facts and logic. However, I do believe that an effective argument against abortion could be made on a humanist level. Likewise, I also believe that an effective argument against drugs could also be made on a humanist level. But, obviously, both issues remain in debate within the gray area.

Moral law should understandably be to a higher standard, but with each individual having a different sense of moral law based on their religion, their denomination within their religion, and their own personal relationship with God. That's where I say that if you believe that homosexuality is morally wrong, don't partake in it. But don't, for a minute, believe that your understanding of morality should be forced on everyone else in America, because not everyone believes that your morality is right. I have more than demonstrated that I have a different view that is not based on "anarchy."

Melon
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Old 07-13-2006, 10:21 AM   #10
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There is no such thing as "objectivity."
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Wow. So you are saying that if I took a small baby into the sink and cut him up into tiny pieces while he was alive and screaming is not "objectively" wrong? Or that the Nazi experiments of castrating young Jewish boys is not "objectively" wrong?

That's a tough stance my good man. If you do not think that these things are absolutely and objectively wrong - then you should seriously consider the consequences of such a line of thinking.

But you are right, I am redirecting the thread. I will start a seperate one later on this subject.
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Old 07-13-2006, 07:24 PM   #11
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Wow. So you are saying that if I took a small baby into the sink and cut him up into tiny pieces while he was alive and screaming is not "objectively" wrong? Or that the Nazi experiments of castrating young Jewish boys is not "objectively" wrong?

That's a tough stance my good man. If you do not think that these things are absolutely and objectively wrong - then you should seriously consider the consequences of such a line of thinking.
You are making far too many assumptions here.

The first thing I'd like for you to do is to define "objectivity." The trouble is with this word is that it is far too loaded with connotations to be meaningful. When I use the word, I use it denotatively; and in that respect, "objectivity" is a fallacy, because *everything* is filtered through subjective human eyes and minds. Period.

Your example is so preposterous as to be laughable, but I will entertain it for example purposes. The question you should be asking is not if it is "objectively wrong," but why you would consider it to be wrong. This can be argued both in Biblical and humanist terms. The Bible has a specific prohibition against murder, while humanism would condemn it in the fact that the right of someone to kill is superceded by the right of someone to live (and this is why I made the point to say that anti-abortion arguments could be made using humanist philosophy. It is not the exclusive purview of liberalism.).

Frankly, this long-running argument of what constitutes objectivity and subjectivity is tired. Ultimately, the question is is meaningless.

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Old 07-13-2006, 07:42 PM   #12
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You are making far too many assumptions here.

The first thing I'd like for you to do is to define "objectivity." The trouble is with this word is that it is far too loaded with connotations to be meaningful. When I use the word, I use it denotatively; and in that respect, "objectivity" is a fallacy, because *everything* is filtered through subjective human eyes and minds. Period.


Melon


Funny - there are HUGE debates on this in modern Philosophy, especially because many Atheist philosophers are now trying to assert there is an objective moral law (without God, of course) – but you dismiss it as if it is just some petty nuisance. Melon says "period" and that makes it so.

Forget reading the philosophers that have discussed this from Plato to Kant to Nietzsche to Willard. Melon says "period" so it is a non-issue.

A wikipedia definition of objectivity:

Objectivity, as a concept of philosophy, is dependent upon the presupposition distinguishing references in the field of epistemology regarding the ontological status of a possible objective reality, and the state of being objective in regard to references towards whatever is considered as objective reality. Inherent to the distinction is a paradoxical notion that despite the various meanings or definitions assigned to the concept by various disciplines, schools of thought, or individual philosophers, there is ultimately a body of knowledge representative of a single reality.
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Old 07-13-2006, 07:44 PM   #13
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Maybe we need a new thread...
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Old 07-13-2006, 07:51 PM   #14
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Maybe we need a new thread...
yeah...I keep getting sidetracked...sorry.
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Old 07-13-2006, 07:54 PM   #15
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Is there such a thing as an objective moral law?

Is there such a thing as an objective moral law? Or is all morality essentially subjective or relative?
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