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Politics, religion, AND sex!

by GregD
posted 08-03-2012 11:06 PM


39 replies so far

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Jim Finn

1749 posts in 1676 days


#1 posted 08-03-2012 11:31 PM

– with the sole justification that it is considered by the proponents of the law to be an immoral act?

Like murder or slavery?

-- In God We Trust

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GregD

637 posts in 1890 days


#2 posted 08-04-2012 01:35 AM

Murder and slavery, and many acts that are held by many to be immoral, also have practical implications that would justify making them illegal, so no change there.

-- Greg D.

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trickshot

10 posts in 1272 days


#3 posted 08-04-2012 01:47 AM

Not sure where you’re going with this. What would you like to do legally that you can’t do now that most would consider immoral?

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Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1822 days


#4 posted 08-04-2012 02:24 AM

I think that Scalia is right in a purely legalistic sense. A legal code is society’s attempt (often imperfect) to codify it’s ideas of morality and ethics. Since it’s impossible to satisfy every one’s ideas, the legal code can only reflect the opinions of the majority. When and if those opinions change, the legal code should change also.

Our constitution has the nasty habit of getting in the way of laws prohibiting things that “everybody knows” are wrong. Since it’s the foundation of our legal system it can and does supercede other laws. It’s the job of the Supreme Court to decide if the other laws are unconstitutional.

Today, we find the concept of slavery totally immoral and have laws reflecting that belief. Slavery, however, predates written records and apparently existed around 11,000 years ago. For millennia, slavery was acknowledged by the legal systems of many civilizations. The concept of slavery being immoral is actually a relatively new idea (only a few hundred years old) in the western world that wasn’t accepted by the majority until the 18th century. At that time the abolitionists finally won the day and the practice was outlawed.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

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grizzman

7193 posts in 2057 days


#5 posted 08-04-2012 02:35 AM

everything stated in the first post is against the commandments of god, this is a wood working site, where the subjects in the forums are suppose to be able to be viewed by our children, and this garbage needs to be taken of, i shall flag it…until its gone..wood working is what we want here, not this vile junk.

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

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grizzman

7193 posts in 2057 days


#6 posted 08-04-2012 02:45 AM

morality was and is established in the scriptures, the holy bible stands against it all,,,,,by who, how about the god of heaven and earth, and his son Jesus Christ…...everyone living on this earth wll be judged by the god of this earth, its also stated in the book of mormon , just how the lord feels on this subject, the best thing to do is to remove this and take it to a different site, wood working is what we want to discuss here…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

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derosa

1557 posts in 1590 days


#7 posted 08-04-2012 03:45 AM

The US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the following in his dissent to Lawrence v. Texas:

State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of Bowers’ validation of laws based on moral choices. Every single one of these laws is called into question by today’s decision; the Court makes no effort to cabin the scope of its decision to exclude them from its holding. See ante, at 572 (noting “an emerging awareness that liberty gives substantial protection to adult persons in deciding how to conduct their private lives in matters pertaining to sex” (emphasis added)). The impossibility of distinguishing homosexuality from other traditional “morals” offenses is precisely why Bowers rejected the rational-basis challenge.

(p. 590 of the ruling; p. 33 of the pdf available here)

Scalia is stating that it is, in fact, acceptable to enact a law with the specific intent to criminalize an act that is deemed immoral.
Fridays are always slow days here or this could illicit a serious $#*t storm.
It is the duty of the nation to create laws that keep the society as a whole on the straight and narrow and whether we acknowledge them or not many of those laws are based upon morals and ethics, far more then the sex laws, and they are necessary for the good of the population overall if government is doing its job correctly. Many of the sexual laws exist because there are negative ramifications for the individuals or society as a whole and that fact needs to be recognized and acknowledged as well even if those who would be for the legalization don’t wish to admit the fact.
Just for your list
bigamy- typically bad for the family unit, many children in such families actually experience a lot of neglect because such families typically will be larger, the most recent Time magazine lists some of the frequent cases. Societal if a significant number of men take more then one partner this has the potential to leave a large number of men without partners. This has the potential to increase cases of sexual assault, kidnapping, and rape. There is a lot of discussion around the imbalance of the sexes in China due to their one child policy. Although bigamy wouldn’t create as large a problem as china will experience the concerns are similar. The exception to this would be a scenario with a population disproportion weighted towards women such as in post Peloponnesian war Athens where it was promoted.

same-sex marriage- historically an issue when dealing with the need to keep population levels rising particularly in early society. One of the few old morals that can fall. Today this has the benefit of creating a pool of people who can adopt but aren’t adding the the overflowing gene pool unless they resort to medical intervention. The bible isn’t as anti this in the way many fundamentalists would want it to, it isn’t however sanctioned or blessed in the bible. In modern times about as important as not mixing fabrics or eating shrimp.

adult incest-known cause of birth defects, creates a medical issue for the society and can produce some messed up children.

prostitution- gray area, unless heavily regulated prostitution in very good at spreading illness and disease and for such should be avoided. Not to mention what it can do to the bodies, minds and mentality of the prostitutes.

masturbation-no longer outlawed, very few places actually did so with the exception of public indecency.

adultery- marriage is a government contract between two people, and if done with a religious leader a contract that includes the believer’s respective god. That would make it a breach of contract to start with. Also complicates the marriage should someone get knocked up potentially leading to a father who is caring for someone else’s child or splitting the father’s time between two families which isn’t the best for the family he is contractually obligated to. Can also introduce disease into the relationship and cause harm in other ways. A stable relationship of course being better for the upbringing of children which is also better for the society as a whole.

fornication-if this is anal or oral then they are also no longer illegal those laws being struck down long ago. Partially necessary in the past due to issues of cleanliness.

bestiality-this one should be obvious, but can introduce strains of diseases into the population that they aren’t equipped to deal with. I remember this being discussed at one time as the possible reason for aids entering into the population, no idea if that idea has been destroyed or still entertained. There are however cases of people getting venereal diseases this way and passing them to their spouses as well. Also bad for the animal which may not be equipped to deal with the penetration.

obscenity- more to do with noise pollution, just as people don’t want to listen to a boom box cranked out swearing can be a major nuisance not to mention a build up to bigger trouble when it is two people swearing at each other.

Most all of these can and do have an overall negative effect that can be bad for the society through the spread of disease, the creation of medical issues or the destabilization of family units which are necessary for the overall health of the whole. For these reasons a government does have the right to regulate morality and ethics with an eye to the overall well being of the whole provided it doesn’t cause undue harm.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

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GregD

637 posts in 1890 days


#8 posted 08-04-2012 04:10 AM

Sawkerf -

Scalia clearly thinks that the US Constitution allows for legislating morality. I am not qualified to comment on constitutional law. But I assert that legislating morality is a bad idea and goes against the spirit of at least the Declaration of Independence. To begin with, there is no single view of morality. And how does freedom of religion work where the majority imposes its morality on everyone? There is also the idea that “limited government” is a good idea, and I propose this as one desirable limit.

Grizzman -

I respect your decision to believe in your God and to make your personal decisions according to your faith. I ask you to extend the same consideration to me – to make my personal decisions according to my faith. My beliefs are different from yours. I kinda thought “freedom of religion” was my right as a citizen of the US. If you think this discussion is inappropriate, by all means bring it to the attention of the site owners.

-- Greg D.

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GregD

637 posts in 1890 days


#9 posted 08-04-2012 04:33 AM

derosa -

Didn’t see your post while I was writing mine.

Most all of these can and do have an overall negative effect that can be bad for the society

This meets my criteria for a valid reason to make something illegal. And you seem quite comfortable legalizing those specific acts that don’t pass this test. I see no significant incompatibility between our positions.

The only thing I would quibble with is that I think we should look to our religious leaders to keep us on the straight and narrow, if indeed it is our choice to follow that path. The government should be limited, I think, to fixing potholes and keeping my pursuit of happiness from interfering inappropriately with yours.

-- Greg D.

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Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1822 days


#10 posted 08-04-2012 01:40 PM

Our Constitution does allow legislation of morality. The most famous case was the 19th amendment which prohibited the manufacture, transport, sale, and consumption of alcohol. It passed after a decades long movement by temperance groups which finally gathered enough support to amend the Costitution. As we all know, it failed miserably and was repealed when public sentiment shifted against it.

I agree that such attempts are wrong, but no legal system can prevent them because legal systems reflect the opinions of the majority ratrher than the opinion of a single person. We’re fortunate enough to have a core document (the Constitution) that’s written broadly enough to allow challenges to those attempts which often result in them being struck down.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

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Gene Howe

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#11 posted 08-04-2012 02:02 PM

Codifying ethics or morality is most often ineffective in a free society.
Good laws are those that attempt to prevent physical harm to a person or his property, theft, and those laws that protect human rights.
Laws that attempt to regulate other behavior are simply unsustainable and, often ignored.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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derosa

1557 posts in 1590 days


#12 posted 08-04-2012 03:04 PM

The only thing I would quibble with is that I think we should look to our religious leaders to keep us on the straight and narrow, if indeed it is our choice to follow that path. The government should be limited, I think, to fixing potholes and keeping my pursuit of happiness from interfering inappropriately with yours.

Largely agree and probably only disagree over minor small points. The main issue is discovering what the societal issues can be which isn’t always the most obvious and then determining if such legislation will cause more harm then good. Making something like bestiality illegal harms very few people, it benefits animals and is better for the overall health of the society. Making homosexuality illegal harms a lot of people and since homosexuality doesn’t cause any significant harm and can actually be of benefit by creating stable family units that can adopt it is silly to legislate against. Churches can of course always make their own determination for their own denomination, and some blindly will.

Our Constitution does allow legislation of morality. The most famous case was the 19th amendment which prohibited the manufacture, transport, sale, and consumption of alcohol. It passed after a decades long movement by temperance groups which finally gathered enough support to amend the Constitution. As we all know, it failed miserably and was repealed when public sentiment shifted against it.

true but it was a valuable piece in showcasing the underlying abuses that were happening in the home by drunken husbands and fathers and helped to create and grow an atmosphere of understanding and intolerance for the abuses that has helped get us to this point. It can be a fairly fine line that the government has to walk in such legislation. Similar to our current war on drugs. Does making weed illegal create more issues then it solves, I’ve lost three friends to drunk drivers and one really mess himself up while drunk on a bicycle. Never had that issue with stoners, weed societally seems much less harmless then beer so tight regulations on both should be the methodology, beer probably where it should be and weed legalized to the same level. Same can’t be said for a lot of other drugs which would fail the harm/benefit test and therefor should remain illegal.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

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Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1822 days


#13 posted 08-04-2012 03:24 PM

Gene-
I would go so far as to say that codifying ethics or morality is always ineffective. Do our laws against murder or theft stop those acts? Can the fact that most of us don’t kill or steal, be attributed to the existance of the law or just our own sense of ethical or moral behavior? Would the rates of killing and stealing change much if those laws disappeared, or would we continue pretty much as we already are?

Your mention of “human rights” intrigues me. Can you tell me exactly what those are? Can you tell me who made the list? As the product of a judeo-christian society, I have an idea of what human rights are, but is my idea somehow better (or worse) than the ideas of someone else raised in a different society?

Grizzman-
I’m with Greg in saying that you’re free to have and express your opinions. They aren’t for me, but I won’t presume to attempt to impose my beliefs on you as long as you give me the same consideration.

Your desire to hide this discussion from children makes me wonder if you’re afraid to let them see points of view other than your own. Wouldn’t it be better if they took your position because they found it more in tune with their beliefs rather than because they never had the opportunity to hear and evaluate anything else?

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

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Bertha

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#14 posted 08-04-2012 04:05 PM

prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity
.
Yes, please;)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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poopiekat

3747 posts in 2488 days


#15 posted 08-04-2012 04:12 PM

While we’re at it, let’s make liquor illegal, too.
What could go wrong?

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

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Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1822 days


#16 posted 08-04-2012 04:59 PM

Are you a Jesuit, Rev? You seem to be arguing that the end justified the means. – lol

Yes, the temperance movement called attention to the abuses caused by consumption of alcohol, and – like all effective propaganda campaigns – amplified them to create the belief that they were the norm rather than the relatively few that they actually were.

After the rush of “doing good” had passed, the majority of society realized that they had really screwed up and it became fashionable to ignore the law. That, of course, led to the growth of organized crime who followed the basic premise of any successful business by finding a need and filling it. By the late ‘20s, even the temperance movement recognized that prohibition had failed (it solved one relatively small problem but created a much larger one) and were calling for its repeal.

We’re in roughly the same place with the “war on drugs”. Many of us believe that it’s a total failure and when/if that becomes a majority opinion the laws will change.

None of this alters the fact that we can (and do) try to legislate morality. It’s perfectly legal and we usually feel pretty good about it, but making it actually work is a whole ‘nuther ball game.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

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GregD

637 posts in 1890 days


#17 posted 08-04-2012 05:14 PM

I am not so suspicious of Grizzman’s motives. He may be motivated by the understandable desire to shield children from some of life’s unpleasantness. Not all topics are appropriate for all people at all times. This can be taken too far as Sawkerf suggests, but I don’t see much evidence of that so far.

My proposal is that we consider our legal system as nothing more than our collective agreement on how we are going to manage our competing interests while living in proximity to each other. The law is about what is acceptable behavior and what is unacceptable behavior. Our laws are to determine what is legal and illegal. Our religious beliefs are to determine what is right and wrong. The two are not completely independent, but they are very different. Bad things happen when we forget this difference.

-- Greg D.

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derosa

1557 posts in 1590 days


#18 posted 08-04-2012 05:44 PM

Not a Jesuit, also not arguing the end justifying the means, merely pointing out that there can be some benefit to such laws even if the law eventually fails.

Al, you left bestiality in there? Should we all be worried for you?

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

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trickshot

10 posts in 1272 days


#19 posted 08-04-2012 07:25 PM

I’m sorry but I don’t understand how someone that doesn’t believe in a higher power, a power that gave others “laws” to live by, knows right from wrong.

Seems to me if you don’t believe in God, who says not to kill people, then you don’t believe in this premise and therefore you should think it is ok to kill. Why does this thinking not pass mustard?

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Sawkerf

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#20 posted 08-04-2012 07:53 PM

trickshot -
The belief that killing is wrong existed long before the emergence of monotheism? Many early civilizations who believed in other gods had laws against killing.

Why would atheism necessarily mean that the atheist embraces the opposite of any law approved of by a god? Is it impossible for us to share a belief without agreeing on the source of that belief?

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

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Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1822 days


#21 posted 08-04-2012 08:09 PM

Greg-
Your proposal is precisely on target. All legal systems from the most primitive taboos to the most arcane (Talmudic Law) are nothing more than an attempt to reach a consensus of what constitutes acceptable behavior within a group. The enduring systems accept changes. The inflexible systems are doomed.

Rev-
No one has argued that no good can come from bad law. The initial question was “Can we legislate morality”? The answer is “Yes we can, and we try it all the time”. IMHO, a better answer would be “Yes, we can but we need to do so with the utmost caution.” I’m no Talmudic scholar, but I understand that many points of Talmudic law took generations of debate before they were implemented. Maybe they’re onto something. – lol

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

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GregD

637 posts in 1890 days


#22 posted 08-04-2012 08:14 PM

trickshot -

I am not well read on the topic, but secular humanism my be one answer to your question.

If one is willing to accept, for whatever reason, the premise of the quotation from the Declaration of Independence, it is pretty clear, I think, that murder is a bad idea. Even without accepting that premise I suspect careful consideration would find a lot of negative consequences for society that allows murder.

-- Greg D.

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Gene Howe

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#23 posted 08-04-2012 08:17 PM

Hey Sawkerf,
In my belief system, a “right” is a moral principle. It defines our freedom of action in a social context. There is actually only one fundamental right, that is our right to our own life. All others flow from that. i.e, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

A “right” pertains only to action. Physical compulsion, coercion or interference by others limits our freedom, and IMO is immoral and deadly to the human spirit. Also, IMO, this concept was the impetus for much of our Constitution.

So for all of us, as individuals, a right is the moral sanction of our freedom to act on our own judgment, for our own goals and by our own uncoerced choice. Our individual rights impose no obligations on others. Nor do other’s rights impose any obligations on us as individuals, except to not violate or impede another’s free exercise of his rights.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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trickshot

10 posts in 1272 days


#24 posted 08-04-2012 09:20 PM

Greg – I agree with what you are saying about the quote. Killing is bad.

Sawkerf – I guess my problem with an atheist that believes some things and not others is just that. I don’t understand how someone can say they don’t believe in God but believes what He has taught us to be a good idea. If you believe the 10 Commandments, for example, to be a good idea, then why not believe in the person that provided them? As a atheist, you must be taught some form of right from wrong. I hope. So if you say that comes from man, well then where to man learn right from wrong?

And I’m not arguing at all. I’m just trying to learn.

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Sawkerf

1730 posts in 1822 days


#25 posted 08-04-2012 10:24 PM

Is it only atheists who believe some things and not others? If all Christians believed the same things, would there be all of the different denominations with often very different beliefs?

The 10 Commandments are the basis of judeo-christian law, but were they unheard of before Moses brought them down the mountain? Those laws were been part of many civilizations beliefs long before Moses got them. Why did they have to be handed to us by some diety? They could just as easily have begun with a bunch of cavemen working out ways to stay focused on hunting and survival instead of spending time whacking another group of cavemen over the head with a rock.

IMO, man figured out “right” from “wrong” by a lot of trial and error which eventually led to “this works” and “that doesn’t”. To assume that those ideas could have only come from a “higher power” sells us short. I think that we’re smarter than that, but if you want t obelieve that it took a “higher Power” to inspire that kind fthinking you’re free to do so.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

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Sawkerf

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#26 posted 08-04-2012 10:28 PM

Gene-
Ok, that’s the definition from your belief system. Is your list the only list? Is someone with a dfferent list immoral?

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

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trickshot

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#27 posted 08-04-2012 11:43 PM

Sawkerf – I got caught generalizing didn’t I? While you’re right that each denomination teach and believe different things, they don’t differ from the teachings of the commandments. Some are more conservative and others are more liberal, but I would argue their moral compasses all point pretty close to the same direction.

Yeah, I don’t know if the commandments were being taught before Moses. I’m guessing not. This is why he had to lead the children of God out of Egypt. To escape the killing, prostitution, slavery, etc.

I also believe that God allowed man to live on this earth with free will and the first how ever many years, man wasn’t doing so hot doing things on their own. So he had to send His son to teach us right from wrong and send the plates to Moses.

I think you’re correct that we are smarter NOW than the average person 2,000 years ago. But are we smarter morally? Based on all the killings, robberies, adultery, fornication, prostitution, cheating, etc. I don’t think so. I would argue that once we stopped teaching morals in school, it’s gotten worse and worse every generation.

My guess is that you were taught good morals at an early age, but not from an atheistic point of view but a theistic one. So when you decided to become atheist, you already had the solid foundation of having good morals.

And yes, I do think anyone can have high moral standards.

Great discussion.

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Charles Maxwell

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#28 posted 08-05-2012 12:08 AM

John Adams noted that – paraphrasing – ”...this Republic could only survive if it’s people remain committed to moral and religious life.” There should never be a reason to create law that legislates what happens in the privacy of the bedroom! I think your choice to quote the Declaration of Independence is spot on. Two thumbs up. I’d take it one step further . . . That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness

-- Max the "night janitor" at www.hardwoodclocks.com

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Sawkerf

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#29 posted 08-05-2012 12:32 AM

And many of the non judeo-christian belief systems also point in the same approximate direction.

I’m quite sure that other religions didn’t use the same 10 commandments that Charlton Heston brought down off of the mountain. (Oops, I meant Moses. – lol) They may have had more (or fewer) than ten, and some were probably different. Some, I’m sure, overlapped.

I don’t think that we’re really that much smarter than the ancient civilizations. We have better technology, but technology isn’t a substitute for intelligence. My money says that a Bell curve of the Hittite’s IQ would neatly overlap one of our own. They probably had a different sense of morality than ours, but it worked for them. I’ll bet that their per capita rate of killings, robberies, adultery, fornication, prostitution, cheating, etc approximates ours.

I was delighted to see you call me an atheist. That tells me that I’ve been completely successful in this discussion. I truly enjoy a good debate and am well known (by friends and family) to sometimes take positions that I don’t necessarily believe in. I do it to challenge someone to examine their beliefs – or sometimes just for the sheer cussedness of doing it. You really don’t know what – if any -religious beliefs I have, do you? – lol

I did have a good upbringing, however. My parents weren’t overly religious and I was influenced more by the Boy Scout Oath than the 10 Commandments. I will tell you that I first questioned religious dogma while studying for the God and Country award as a Boy Scout. The preacher leading the group encouraged us to question authority and I suspect that he was a little disappointed at where my questions took me.

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

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trickshot

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#30 posted 08-05-2012 01:00 AM

Sawkerf – Sorry for saying you are if you aren’t. For some reason I interpreted that you were. Scouts Honor! Eagle Scout myself! Yes, I don’t have a clue. lol

I guess the “question authority” came from the sixties. (wasn’t born yet) But I think it’s ironic that those same people that used to question authority are now the ones in government and academia telling us “what to do”.

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Sawkerf

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#31 posted 08-05-2012 01:55 AM

You gotta watch that generalizing. It will bite your ass every time. – lol Know what you know, but as soon as you say “I think” you’re on shakier ground.

Eagle Scout here, too and very much a child of the 60’s. I was born a few months before the official start of the “baby boom” and grew up in a small midwestern town where conformity was the key to acceptance and a successful life. I knew that I wanted to leave there, but couldn’t really have said why. Oddly enough, my Mom (the poster child of small town conformity) knew that I would leave. She told me that several years later.

The 60’s were a real eye opener for me. I was in the Navy and went to several countries where I became fascinated with the people and their culture. For as many differences as I saw, there seemed to be a lot of similarities to what I had grown up with. Language often got in the way, but honesty, respect, and fairness always managed to come thru.

Those 60’s non-conformists weren’t quite as radical as they thought they were. I did three tours in Nam and my experiences with the “counter-culture” didn’t impress me very much. Anyone not conforming to their beliefs was an enemy. Hey, few of us wanted to be in Nam, but we weren’t quite ready to run off to Canada either. Many of them went into government and/or academia and became “progressives” who are convinced that they’re the only ones with viable answers. Ahh, the wheel turns and turns. – lol

-- Adversity doesn't build character...................it reveals it.

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GregD

637 posts in 1890 days


#32 posted 08-05-2012 02:13 AM

IMO, man figured out “right” from “wrong” by a lot of trial and error which eventually led to “this works” and “that doesn’t”. To assume that those ideas could have only come from a “higher power” sells us short. I think that we’re smarter than that, but if you want t obelieve that it took a “higher Power” to inspire that kind fthinking you’re free to do so.

The advantage of choosing to use the “this works” and “that doesn’t” process when considering legislation is that it still works even when there are theological differences of opinion. Further, the policy or practice of allowing an individual to do anything that has no substantive impact on others has a lot of advantages. It will allow for as much religious diversity as possible – maximizing freedom of religion. It will also appeal to those – libertarians and others – that have a greater trust in the judgement of the individual than the judgement of the government.

The one down side is you have to accept that others have the right to do some things that your beliefs hold as immoral.

-- Greg D.

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Gene Howe

6058 posts in 2183 days


#33 posted 08-05-2012 04:05 AM

Hey again, Sawkerf,

”Ok, that’s the definition from your belief system. Is your list the only list? Is someone with a dfferent list immoral?”

Nope. That’s just how I believe and what governs my actions. Others can believe anything they find convenient. I can only judge their morality by their actions but, that judgment is generally kept to myself. One can only hope others do the same.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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DKV

3194 posts in 1258 days


#34 posted 08-05-2012 11:38 PM

Trickshot this is for you.

Cultural anthropologists have long recognized how all human societies have similar basic norms of moral conduct. Marc Hauser, professor of evolutionary biology at Harvard University, has just published a paper about additional studies showing that people’s moral intuitions do not vary much across different religions all around the world. From an evolutionary perspective, that means that human morality is very old—old enough to pre-date any religion that exists today. Furthermore, basic morality is highly resistant to religious influence—most people easily reject religious rules that violate their basic moral intuitions. Rather, religions all tend to confirm and support human morality, because that essential morality sustains our schemes of social cooperation.Hauser concludes that”... religion cannot be the ultimate source of intra-group cooperation. Cooperation is made possible by a suite of mental mechanisms that are not specific to religion. Moral judgments depend on these mechanisms and appear to operate independently of one’s religious background. However, although religion did not originally emerge as a biological adaptation, it can play a role in both facilitating and stabilizing cooperation within groups, and as such, could be the target of cultural selection.” [read the entire article here… ]The rich diversity of supernatural fantasies hides their common function: to enhance willing obedience. Religion did not evolve independently from, or earlier than, our moral capacities. Morality is independent from religion, while religion is dependent on human morality. And that’s a good thing.

-- Have fun and laugh alot. Life can end at any moment. You old guys out there know what I mean...

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Gene Howe

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#35 posted 08-06-2012 01:09 PM

DKV,
Thanks for posting Hauser’s newest compilation. His conclusions provide loads of insight and fertile ground for future discussion.
His logic is unassailable in his conclusion that ”religion cannot be the ultimate source of intra-group cooperation. Cooperation is made possible by a suite of mental mechanisms that are not specific to religion. Moral judgments depend on these mechanisms and appear to operate independently of one’s religious background.
Then, maybe I find his thoughts so logical because they seem to validate my own beliefs.
Funny how that works.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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DKV

3194 posts in 1258 days


#36 posted 08-06-2012 03:01 PM

Gene, here is a question for you. Why do we need validation from other woodworkers to discuss what we want in this forum? Why are they trying to extinguish any thought process that does not coincide with theirs? This is a woodworking site is just their excuse to get rid of discussions that they see are in conflict with their political and moral views. Man is innately curious and desires to share with others his ideas and conclusioms. I do not seek validation on my beliefs..I only seek the right to express them. As an example, I see Joe as someone who is polar opposite of any discussions I would care to have with him and find that he is unchangeable in his opinions. What is my solution? I leave him alone. I do not attempt to banish him or ridicule his beliefs. I cannot have any kind of fullfilling conversation with him and accept that. Others should similarily follow my process.

-- Have fun and laugh alot. Life can end at any moment. You old guys out there know what I mean...

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jmos

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#37 posted 08-06-2012 03:15 PM

Trickshot, I am an atheist. In the spirit of what has so far been a very civil and productive conversation, I respectfully submit the following items to consider.

No matter what religion we accept, the majority of the world’s population disagrees with us. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_religion There are hundreds of actively practiced religions in the world, and many of those practitioners believe their religion is true, and yours is not. I’m not aware of any of those religions that accept murder, stealing, assault, rape (although this one gets a bit soft n some cases). It’s rather interesting that all the religions have basically converged on very similar ‘commandments.’

Is something moral because God decrees it, or do we apply our own innate morality to God’s actions? In the Bible God commanded the extermination of more than one entire race of people (men, women, children, livestock, sometimes getting to keep the virgin women for their own); was this moral? I think most Christians today will be very uncomfortable saying this was moral, and will try to reconcile these passages in some way. But if God commanded it it had to be moral, right? Or is it that we inherently know this is immoral. If we inherently know this is immoral, where does this knowledge come from?

We have to remember (unless you don’t accept evolution) that humans are primates, who are social animals who evolved in groups. We can look at group species an see much of our own morality reflected, especially in primate groups. We see altruism in chimps, as well as other social behaviors. Our morality evolved to reflect what enables the group to stay cohesive and thrive.

Where we get on really shaky ground is trying to codify very specific religious doctrine into common law. We may pass laws barring close relatives from marrying and having children because of the genetic consequences, but passing laws barring homosexuals from marrying has no such logical basis. IMHO, laws that are only based on the specific doctrine of the Bible, or any holy book, makes for bad public policy

I would be happy to discuss any specific question you might have about being a non-believer.

-- John

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Gene Howe

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#38 posted 08-06-2012 06:16 PM

DKV,
LJs is undoubtedly one of the most free and open woodworking forms on the net. That being said, like you, I feel it’s not a place in which I would seek validation of my moral precepts. Nor will I engage in denigrating another’s beliefs in an open and public forum.
As you aptly observe, man is a curious lot. I am, as you seem to be, always interested in reading or hearing others’ opinions and conclusions. And, like you, if I find them tiresome, they are ignored.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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dbray45

2618 posts in 1531 days


#39 posted 08-08-2012 02:09 PM

What happens between consenting adults in their bedroom is their business – not mine! From what I understand, that (in my mind) could be pretty weird.

Passing laws as to what one thinks and can do based upon what is moral – I am not talking about rape, murder and the like, goes down very slippery slopes. Last I heard, there were 1200 viable religions on the planet. Every one of them are what they believe – to be true and credible. I have no issues with any of them until one belief decides that another has to be destroyed – and there are a few that believe this – actively.

I would think that people, as we mature as an entity on this earth, would grow up and respect each other—- not this week.

-- David in Damascus, MD

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