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Old 06-14-2005, 03:32 PM   #46
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Originally posted by MaxFisher
Melon- Lewis would argue that a sense of right and wrong does not come from the Bible, Koran, or any other religous book but that we are born with it already programed into our souls. If I slept with an atheists wife, his reasons for being angry with me would have nothing to with any biblical verse or passage. His sense of outrage over my actions would originate from an inborn sense that he had been wronged. Lewis would say that this internal sense of right and wrong validates a Higher Power's moral programing of the human race.
Well, I think that's an interesting point, except that anthropological observations would disagree. The King of Swaziland just took on his 20th wife or something like that. His father had 45 before he died. We, on the other hand, would feel morally wronged by committing bigamy.

Our sense of outrage and morality, anthropology would argue, is wholly a cultural construct that's instilled into us at a young age. And it, really, doesn't have much to do with parents, necessarily. School is often the master of socialization, and how one's peers react will often determine how you react. If your peers are racist, you would be more likely to be racist yourself and see that as a normative outrage. At the turn of the century, it was common to be outraged over interracial marriage. In fact, there was a push for a constitutional amendment to ban interracial marriage around 1915 or so.

Pacific islands were ripe territory for anthropological observations in the mid-20th century before Christians evangelized them and destroyed their cultures. Margaret Mead was able to dismiss the idea that "teenage rebellion" was genetic, as was commonly thought due to Freud.

I admire C.S. Lewis and his thoughts, and I think he is unfairly claimed as "conservative," when I think his writings are, thankfully, ideologically neutral and can appeal to Christians of all stripes--liberal or conservative. I just have to disagree with him here on the basis of the evidence, unfortunately.

Melon
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Old 06-14-2005, 03:37 PM   #47
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Irvine- There is no law against sleeping with my friends wife. And no court of law would ever punish me for doing so. My decision to not sleep with her is based on the fact that I believe it is wrong to do so. Isn't that a moral decision?

yes, for you.

there are many couples out there who are perfectly happy swinging. it works best for them. you do what you want, they do what they want, and everyone is happy because no one is getting hurt.

that would not happen, however, if we had morals dictated to us by whatever higher power was deemed to be infallible.
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Old 06-14-2005, 03:41 PM   #48
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Anyway, speaking of being morally outraged by swinging, that's perfectly okay. I'm not of the opinion that one has to live their life as liberal as the laws dictate. I am very much in favor of maximum personal freedoms, as long as they do not infringe on others' rights to life, liberty, and happiness. In terms of my own personal morality, people would likely consider me to be fairly traditional and old fashioned. Except that when people think of gay people, I'm automatically labelled a radical leftist. Ignoring gender labels, I live my life quite conservatively probably, but I don't insist that others do the same, that's all.

This is where I talk about public morality versus personal morality.

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Old 06-14-2005, 03:58 PM   #49
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Originally posted by melon
Anyway, speaking of being morally outraged by swinging, that's perfectly okay. I'm not of the opinion that one has to live their life as liberal as the laws dictate. I am very much in favor of maximum personal freedoms, as long as they do not infringe on others' rights to life, liberty, and happiness.
Exactly. If someone wants to live their life in a more liberal fashion, great, if they want to live their life in a more conservative fashion, that's great, too.

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Old 06-14-2005, 04:38 PM   #50
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all those secular humans do. via the apparatus of laws and government.
By majority vote? Loudest voice? Most compelling "victim" story?
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Old 06-14-2005, 04:39 PM   #51
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Morality is personal. Each person has to decide what their morality is going to be. I have my moral views, and they are very different from those of my own siblings. No one can force their moral views on anyone else.
Sadly, that means it can ebb and flow with personal whimsy. Today stealing is wrong, but you better keep you stuff locked because tomorrow it might not be wrong for me.
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Old 06-14-2005, 04:45 PM   #52
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By majority vote? Loudest voice? Most compelling "victim" story?
Funny you object to that, because fundamentalist Christianity tries to put gay initiatives up to a vote constantly, because they know how bigoted most of America is.

In terms of Biblical pronoucements, they were made like any law was made back then: by autocratic pronouncement from the king.

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Old 06-14-2005, 04:46 PM   #53
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Sadly, that means it can ebb and flow with personal whimsy. Today stealing is wrong, but you better keep you stuff locked because tomorrow it might not be wrong for me.
See, I hate these kind of whimsical arguments. Stealing infringes on others' life, liberty and happiness; hence, it deserves to be illegal.

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Old 06-14-2005, 04:51 PM   #54
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See, I hate these kind of whimsical arguments. Stealing infringes on others' life, liberty and happiness; hence, it deserves to be illegal.

Melon
But what else do you get when a moral compass just a "personal thing"?
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Old 06-14-2005, 04:53 PM   #55
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Funny you object to that, because fundamentalist Christianity tries to put gay initiatives up to a vote constantly, because they know how bigoted most of America is.

In terms of Biblical pronoucements, they were made like any law was made back then: by autocratic pronouncement from the king.

Melon
Just looking for guiding principles that are consistently applied.



I'll take the Biblical pronouncements made by the King of Kings.
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Old 06-14-2005, 04:56 PM   #56
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Just looking for guiding principles that are consistently applied.
Looking through history, you won't find that. It's always more of a "me first" mentality. I say the greatest test to see where your church's mentalities lie is to cut off the donations to the collection plate and see what they do.

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I'll take the Biblical pronouncements made by the King of Kings.
"Love one another"? That's Jesus' sole commandment. I tend to think that secular humanism lives up to that more than Christianity these days.

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Old 06-14-2005, 04:57 PM   #57
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But what else do you get when a moral compass just a "personal thing"?
Funny. We don't seem to have a rash of crime coming from atheists. On the contrary, the highest divorce rates and highest crime rates are in the Bible Belt.

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Old 06-14-2005, 04:59 PM   #58
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But what else do you get when a moral compass just a "personal thing"?
Because morals aren't laws (and you certainly know that).
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