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  1. #1
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    SC: Is Morality Divine?

    Are there any documents that define a standard of morality that are not rooted in spirits, the divine or aliens, i.e. the unknown? It would seem that man is incapable of defining "what ought to be" and hence yield control to a higher power to ensure the implementation of morality. The seems to be done typically with a carrot-stick approach. The carrot is typically a heaven; the stick obviously being a hell (also unknowns).

    Can/Does morality exist without an unknown entity to enforce it?
    Only what can happen does happen. ~Watchmen
    When the Standard is defined you will know how right or wrong you are.
    electricShares - a work in progress

  2. #2
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    Re: SC: Is Morality Divine?

    How about first, I ask for your definition of morality... The definition of morality which I accept, generally speaking, would imply that all morality comes from man, just by its definition. Since you allow that it might not, I fear you may be working from another definition of which I am unaware.
    "And that, my lord, is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped." ~ Monty Python


  3. #3
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    Re: SC: Is Morality Divine?

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    How about first, I ask for your definition of morality... The definition of morality which I accept, generally speaking, would imply that all morality comes from man, just by its definition. Since you allow that it might not, I fear you may be working from another definition of which I am unaware.
    I am not trying to necessarily define what morality is specifically. There are different moralities - what a Christian feels is immoral may be moral to a Muslim. This code is defined in their religious texts by a higher power. If I were pressed to define morality it would go something like: Morality is what ought to be. Now, "what ought to be" is subjective to one's society - so what ought to be for one person may not necessarily be true for another.

    My point is that this vision of what ought to be is defined by a higher power, not from man. My question is are their moral standards that exist without the divine to enforce the standard. Is there some secular text(s) that exist on how one ought to behave? And note, I am not asking for something like an Atheist bible that is labeled as such. I am looking for something that is indifferent to the existence of a high power.
    Only what can happen does happen. ~Watchmen
    When the Standard is defined you will know how right or wrong you are.
    electricShares - a work in progress

  4. #4
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    Re: SC: Is Morality Divine?

    That you presume that supposed holy texts are divine is going to count me out of this conversation, otherwise I would propose that those and all other "external" sources which people allow to define their individual morality are just as man-made as my morality which is not based on any text.
    "And that, my lord, is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped." ~ Monty Python


  5. #5
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    Re: SC: Is Morality Divine?

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    That you presume that supposed holy texts are divine is going to count me out of this conversation, otherwise I would propose that those and all other "external" sources which people allow to define their individual morality are just as man-made as my morality which is not based on any text.
    For the purposes of this discussion, I entertain the idea that sacred texts are divine in nature meaning there content came directly from what we currently believe to be supernatural. Aside from the texts that claim divinity and specify a version of morality, are there any texts that are indifferent to divinity? After the thousands of years of human history, one would think there would be an establishment of morality that is based on something other than a god(s).

    [LP - you are actually getting ahead of me here]

    Let's take for example the Christian axiom:
    Thou shall not murder.

    Why is it that a god must give us this imperative? Why couldn't man develop this imperative himself? I understand, LP, that you hold the position man, for all intensive purposes, did create that for himself. So the question I posit: Why does that axiom (or any other) need to be masked under the cloak of divinity?
    Only what can happen does happen. ~Watchmen
    When the Standard is defined you will know how right or wrong you are.
    electricShares - a work in progress

  6. #6
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    Re: SC: Is Morality Divine?

    Quote Originally Posted by snackboy View Post
    Are there any documents that define a standard of morality that are not rooted in spirits, the divine or aliens, i.e. the unknown? It would seem that man is incapable of defining "what ought to be" and hence yield control to a higher power to ensure the implementation of morality. The seems to be done typically with a carrot-stick approach. The carrot is typically a heaven; the stick obviously being a hell (also unknowns).

    Can/Does morality exist without an unknown entity to enforce it?
    Of course morality exists without some great super natural being presiding over it.

    Example:
    My daughter sees the news and sees a man went to jail because he murdered someone. Her NATURAL question is why did the guy kill the other guy? It's just wrong to do that. Why couldn't they talk about their differences? Now she is seven. We ain't religious at my y house at all. she just GETS that. She understands that there are other ways to work out her problems.

    The smart thing about what the writers of the Bible did was explain things like this: The law is NOT for the righteous....it's for the wicked.

    In other words YOU that are moral beings.....don't need it (until Jesus comes along with that faith business). You aren't going to be bad in the first place. It's for all those killing and screwing people that need that law. It's so THEY have an example of what is right.

    Now of course that's all fine and dandy 4,000 years ago. But then man starts to smarten up and say, "Ya know....I DON'T need this religion becuase I just KNOW how to act." Enter JEsus with....you can't get to heaven with out FAITH in me thus changing the game forever.

    Most people know how to be good decent people. Some people don't for whatever reason. Thus the God thing becomes a thing to dangle over their head in HOPES that they stop doing what they are doing. How do you get a criminal to get it together assuming that they are actually sane? You dangle the idea of Hell in front of them.

    Basically religion is defering to a higher power that you can't argue with because it's not of this Earth. How can you win that battle? You can't thus you HOPE the bad person gets right with Jesus or they will keep doing the crap you hate.

    In Heaven there is no beer. That's why we drink it here.

    Rogue Cardinal, Member of the God-Awful Atheist Syndicate


  7. #7
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    Re: SC: Is Morality Divine?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Cardinal View Post
    Of course morality exists without some great super natural being presiding over it.

    Example:
    My daughter sees the news and sees a man went to jail because he murdered someone. Her NATURAL question is why did the guy kill the other guy? It's just wrong to do that. Why couldn't they talk about their differences? Now she is seven. We ain't religious at my y house at all. she just GETS that. She understands that there are other ways to work out her problems.
    But it is not always wrong to kill someone else - is it? What makes it right in one situation and wrong in another?

    Let me try this: The Bible offers a singular morality. Is there a documented secular single morality? If not, why not after thousands of years of human history? If yes, the what is it and what is it based on?

    Saying that we all know how to act may be intuitive, but it doesn't seem apply to everyone, especially those in other countries that are just trying to survive - kill or be killed.
    Only what can happen does happen. ~Watchmen
    When the Standard is defined you will know how right or wrong you are.
    electricShares - a work in progress

  8. #8
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    Re: SC: Is Morality Divine?

    Quote Originally Posted by snackboy View Post
    But it is not always wrong to kill someone else - is it? What makes it right in one situation and wrong in another?
    It's a tough row to hoe. I'm currently on the fence as to whether or not killing someone can ever be moral, or just an immoral act we're sometimes unable [or incapable of seeing ways] to avoid.
    Quote Originally Posted by snackboy View Post
    Let me try this: The Bible offers a singular morality. Is there a documented secular single morality? If not, why not after thousands of years of human history? If yes, the what is it and what is it based on?
    Personally, I think it's due in part to the fact that man-made morality is inherently flawed. There's always going to be problems with whatever man-concocted moral system there is. But with a moral system that defaults to a divine source, there's no real arguable point. "Dude knows everything, ergo, he's right and you're just being obtuse." It's a lot harder to argue that there's a flaw with a divine moral system than it is with a human moral system.
    Quote Originally Posted by snackboy View Post
    Saying that we all know how to act may be intuitive, but it doesn't seem apply to everyone, especially those in other countries that are just trying to survive - kill or be killed.
    You don't even need foreign countries (a bit of a bizarre word combination since I've never heard of a domestic country). You've got tons of prisons here in the US that are packed to the brim with fellas who didn't seem to grasp their own intuitive morality.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

  9. #9
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    Re: SC: Is Morality Divine?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    It's a tough row to hoe. I'm currently on the fence as to whether or not killing someone can ever be moral, or just an immoral act we're sometimes unable [or incapable of seeing ways] to avoid.
    You don't think killing someone who is actively trying to kill you is "moral?"
    "And that, my lord, is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped." ~ Monty Python


  10. #10
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    Re: SC: Is Morality Divine?

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    You don't think killing someone who is actively trying to kill you is "moral?"
    I debate the idea with myself. On the one hand, our natural reaction is to fight back. Almost every view of any form of morality is an agreement that that killing is okay under such circumstances. But then again, would it be moral (or righteous since I prefer that word, it just sounds better) to kill him? Or would the moral thing be to wear him down, or perhaps not even fight back but to take the death he's dealing without fear?

    I don't know, I think overcoming your natural instincts to stand up and tell your attacker, "You can't take anything from that I'm not giving up" says a lot about your moral character.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

  11. #11
    Annalie
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    Re: SC: Is Morality Divine?

    You're essentially back to the more fundamental debate:
    "If torture is acceptable in your society, we shall not condemn you" Discuss. etc etc.

    Personally, I would view 'morality' as social expectation. Moral diversity throughout different cultures is evidence enough that there are no standards or what I assume you are questioning in regard to absolute morality. So, no, other than religious texts, I don't believe that there is or ever will be a guide to what is right, and what is wrong... unless we have a world-wide dictatorship...and even then, implementation of such a system would be impossible.

  12. #12
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    Re: SC: Is Morality Divine?

    Quote Originally Posted by snackboy View Post
    But it is not always wrong to kill someone else - is it? What makes it right in one situation and wrong in another?

    Let me try this: The Bible offers a singular morality. Is there a documented secular single morality? If not, why not after thousands of years of human history? If yes, the what is it and what is it based on?

    Saying that we all know how to act may be intuitive, but it doesn't seem apply to everyone, especially those in other countries that are just trying to survive - kill or be killed.
    The situation is what makes it right. If someone is trying to kill me and I am defending myself....I am justified if the end result of that conflict is death for the other person.

    If that person is trying to kill me because I killed someone maliciously then are they not justified in trying to kill me?

    Killing for NO GOOD reason is morally bankrupt. Now the issue becomes what makes a good reason.

    Well if we look at the Bible....that good reason could be not sleeping with your dead brothers wife and giving her an heir and shooting your load on the ground......this is why God whacked Onan.

    Perhaps, according to the Bible, you live in the wrong place and God decided one day that other people should live there and your whole people should be killed....woman and children and all.....as happens in the Bible.

    You'll have to excuse me again if I don't take a particular liking to the reasons people get killed in the Bible....especially when God is involved.

    There are morally void killings in the Bible by God himself and the followers of God. Therefore they cannot tell me how to live. I can only hope to not follow in their footsteps and do the same horrific things they had done.

    The Bible SAYS a lot of things. Doesn't mean that the people in the story follow through well with what the Bible says....thus the height of morality certainly isn't in the Bible or from some cosmic being with super powers.

    There closest thing you will find to a singular documented moral code is what is offered up in man's laws. Admittedly a lot of these are founded upon religious texts and ideas. Just because a group of people has bought into an idea attributed to a cosmic being doesn't mean that in fact these things were handed down by some supreme cosmic being. What has really happened is that things have been refined over time and things have been deemed unacceptable my man.

    The Bible represents Christina morality and thinking. Yet there are vast other religions that have their own writings and lo and behold they do not line up line for line. So which God is right? Which god is wrong? Who's to say it's not all made up by man tired of dealing with the immoral section of humanity.

    After all....even the Bible says that the LAW is made for the WICKED.....not the righteous......because the righteous already KNOW what to do and how to act.

    In Heaven there is no beer. That's why we drink it here.

    Rogue Cardinal, Member of the God-Awful Atheist Syndicate


  13. #13
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    Re: SC: Is Morality Divine?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Cardinal View Post
    The situation is what makes it right. If someone is trying to kill me and I am defending myself....I am justified if the end result of that conflict is death for the other person...
    It would seem so. But fundamentally what give you that right, what makes the action moral? What is the root baseline for your decision? How do you know? Hyde seems to be of the opinion while the action may be just, it may not be moral.

    And I want to be careful about making this about specific instances in the Bible (or other religious doctrine).

    Quote Originally Posted by Annalie
    Personally, I would view 'morality' as social expectation. Moral diversity throughout different cultures is evidence enough that there are no standards or what I assume you are questioning in regard to absolute morality. So, no, other than religious texts, I don't believe that there is or ever will be a guide to what is right, and what is wrong... unless we have a world-wide dictatorship...and even then, implementation of such a system would be impossible.
    I think that "social expectation" would be more descriptive of law rather than morality. However, it may be the closest that we can get as humans without divine intervention.

    Let's do a small experiment here. Suppose I created a race of robots and I want to make them moral beings to themselves and to their creators, i.e. me. Courtesy of Asimov, we program all robots with the Three Laws of Robotics:

    1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
    2. A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
    3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.


    Is this enough to define a morality? Are there any scenarios that you can think of where the robot could behave in an immoral manner?
    Only what can happen does happen. ~Watchmen
    When the Standard is defined you will know how right or wrong you are.
    electricShares - a work in progress

  14. #14
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    Re: SC: Is Morality Divine?

    Quote Originally Posted by snackboy View Post
    It would seem so. But fundamentally what give you that right, what makes the action moral?
    What doesn't give me the right?

    Morality is just a concept. It's something that man says must be so. IF you get enough like minded individuals to buy into it you win. The issue is that there was a time that people didn't buy in. When you could go out and screw whomever was available it was damn hard to buy into the idea that you should only be shackin' up with one person. But if you attach GOD to that.....boom....you can't argue with God.

    What is the root baseline for your decision?
    Each instance has it's own set of values that one must make a judgement call on.

    After all....if say someone is trying to kill me....I COULD justify killing them first as a good thing, thereby ending the possibility that they would ever try to kill me again. However I could say that they should live and understand that I am the better man and thus should bugger off. This is all fine and dandy until that day I get sick and am not up to normal snuff and they cease the chance to thus end my life at an opportune time. Perhaps I should have killed htat person when I had the chance. OR perhaps they will see my greatness and superiority and thus humble themselves before me for the rest of my days and appreciate the time I spared their life.

    Anyone of those scenario's could play out. Unfortunately in the heat of the moment you don't have time to ponder all the possibilities. In a life and death struggle it just seems to fly out the window and animal instincts take over.

    I'm not a violent man....but I can be put into situations, as any man can....where a man would do what he normally would not do.

    How do you know? Hyde seems to be of the opinion while the action may be just, it may not be moral.
    It's an individual call. Some feel like me.....some feel like Hyde. Hyde doesn't even know exactly where he stands on the issue admittedly. I think he's rather repulsed by the idea of killing but cannot doubt the idea that in the back of his head he is capable in specific situations to pull the deed off.



    And I want to be careful about making this about specific instances in the Bible (or other religious doctrine).
    At the end of the day it's always been man that figures out what should and should not be. It's how man sells it to other men that becomes the issue.....thus deflecting the blame from man and letting the masses quibble about that which is really BS.

    In Heaven there is no beer. That's why we drink it here.

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  15. #15
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    Re: SC: Is Morality Divine?

    So the basic consensus here is that humanity cannot define a "morality" for itself and relies on the [perceived] supernatural for what defines morality. Individually and naturally, we know right from wrong in the sense of our own individual survival. But when acting with another person, we seem to need some level of mitigation that is bigger than either individual.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Cardinal
    It's how man sells it to other men that becomes the issue...
    This amplifies my point above.

    I posit that morality from the divine was an inevitable event in human history. There is always a leader in a tribe, someone who holds the tribe together. Bees have the queen bee, ants have the queen ant, gorillas have the alpha male. Man is no different other than the fact man, unlike other animals, can record history. I believe what happens is that the strongest men become the leaders. The leaders that survive become elders because of their experience. Some elders become legends. Legends become myths. Myths become gods.

    People naturally aspire to be like their leaders because that ensures survival. Leaders naturally want to inspire their followers to ensure the leaders' survival. Yet, they don't want to be challenged in their leadership position. So they create a set of rules on how to act and over the course of time those rules become a book. But rules, in of themselves, are not very interesting, so leaders create stories or parables to tell their followers. And these stories will refer to legends, myths and gods to give the stories more weight and history.

    Over time, the books of rules gain a life of their own - the history behind the book is lost, and only the content of the book remains. And like people, only the strongest of the books survive, i.e. only the strongest gods survive. And hence we are left with the "morality" we have today.
    Only what can happen does happen. ~Watchmen
    When the Standard is defined you will know how right or wrong you are.
    electricShares - a work in progress

  16. #16
    Bea Moreira
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    Re: SC: Is Morality Divine?

    Quote Originally Posted by snackboy View Post
    Are there any documents that define a standard of morality that are not rooted in spirits, the divine or aliens, i.e. the unknown? It would seem that man is incapable of defining "what ought to be" and hence yield control to a higher power to ensure the implementation of morality. The seems to be done typically with a carrot-stick approach. The carrot is typically a heaven; the stick obviously being a hell (also unknowns).

    Can/Does morality exist without an unknown entity to enforce it?
    Does an unknown entity ever enforce it? Only in our imaginations, I think. People like to think that sinners (immoralists) are going to pay for their deeds. But are they really?

    I don't think morality exist. I don't think there is an innately "good" or "bad" action.

    I believe people who killed others should go to jail to be not punished, but to be reformed, and to be given, eventually, a second chance. That's why I am against death penalty. Prisons, in my view, should have classes, counselors, and so on.

    Our laws are based on the fact that we want to protect ourselves from ourselves, but it doesn't necessarily means that what is unlawful is immoral.

    "Herd instinct - Wherever we encounter a morality, we also encounter valuations and an order of rank of human impulses and actions. These valuations and orders of rank are always expressions of the needs of a community and herd: whatever benefits it most - and second most, and third most - that is also considered the first standard for the value of all individuals. Morality trains the individual to be a function. The conditions for the preservation of different communities were very different; hence there were very different moralities. Considering essential changes in the forms of future herds and communities, states and societies, we can prophesy that there will yet be very divergent moralities. Morality is herd instinct in the individual. Nietzsche (The Gay Science)"

 

 

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