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  1. #1
    david koe
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    Help from the Masters

    Hello ODN Masters,

    I am an old member that has come back to life. Although I have not posted anything to the forum for quite some time, I have kept up with the community by reading the various posts. Let me say first, I am no great logical scholar to be sure (hence the reason I do not post very often). With that said, I do know that when it comes to logical thinking that this is the place to go. I am in need of you assistance. I wish to present to you a logical argument that I hope you can help me with to make sure that it is a logically valid argument, the substance of the argument is not the aim of this post. That can be debated in another forum if you wish. I just need to know if it is logically valid.

    The context of this matter, I feel, should be addressed. It has to do with the past election in Nov. I am a member of the Church and the Sunday after the election, our minister basically came out and said that it was a sin to have voted for Pres. Obama. We had 3 individuals walk out during the sermon. This has never really sat well with me and is the reason that I have come up with the argument that I wish for you to look at. Here it is:

    Major Premise:
    Voting for candidate x, whose policies go against the will of Christ, encourages those policies and is sinful.

    Minor Premise #1
    Pres. Obama's policies go against the will of Christ.

    Minor Premise #2
    I voted for Pres. Obama.

    Conclusion:
    Voting for Pres. Obama is sinful.

    Again, is this a logically valid argument?

    Thank you for your consideration in this manner

  2. #2
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    Re: Help from the Masters

    The overall shape of the major premise that you have outlined is the policy that has informed a great number of Catholics over the years, most specifically as it relates to the abortion issue. From a purely logical point of view, provided that a few basic requirements are met, the form is logically valid from what I can see.

    The burden of proof for the major premise lies in showing that the following are true:

    1) That the candidate has expressed support for or enacted policies that either promulgate sin, discourage righteous action, or are directly sinful in themselves.
    1a) You must demonstrate how the policies in question work to accomplish the above.

    2) That the candidate has expressed support for or enacted policies that directly contradict the will of Christ. This will be a little trickier, as the stated reasons for pursuing policies are often reported as being more altruistic than they ultimately end up being in practice, but this is difficult to prove without calling into question the veracity of the candidate.... which is sometimes considered an extraordinary claim, depending on who you're debating.

    3) That the policies that have been supported or enacted have actually caused effects that violate the will of Christ (or the precepts of the Church, if we take the extra step and say that the Church is the executor of Christ's will on earth). This one seems to be straightforward as long as you have your facts straight and have a clear reason for why you believe the facts line up the way they do.

    4) That in supporting a candidate whose policies are either directly sinful, promulgate sin, discourage righteous action, or violate the teachings of the Church, a person is committing a sinful act himself. This may or may not be trickier, because a person's motives may be pure... and sin requires the consent of the will. If a person is either a low information voter or actually believes all the altruistic promises a candidate makes, then demonstrating intention to commit sin may be problematic. However, if the voter knows that a person's stated positions and policies are sinful and that the candidate intends to do things that are sinful with the office, then I would say it's a pretty safe argument that voting for that person is a sin.


    Now... keep in mind, even though the logical form is valid, you may find that you run into some pretty stiff opposition and challenges to support even some of the most basic claims in this argument. But... the overall form appears to be valid.
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  4. #3
    david koe
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    Re: Help from the Masters

    Thank you for the reply Talthas. I appreciate your incite in this matter. I recognize the difficulties in determining the truth of the premises to be sure. My problem with what was said from the pulpit is that the same could be said for Mr. Romney and the policies that he himself endorses. The minister does not see that the voting for Mr. Romney was sinful. This seems to me that there is an inconsistency in the thinking which is illogical, of course if the major premise is in fact true. I guess the next logical question would be this, if the major premise was in fact true, then it could be logically deduced that it is also sinful to have voted for Mr. Romney.

  5. #4
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    Re: Help from the Masters

    Quote Originally Posted by david koe View Post
    Thank you for the reply Talthas. I appreciate your incite in this matter. I recognize the difficulties in determining the truth of the premises to be sure. My problem with what was said from the pulpit is that the same could be said for Mr. Romney and the policies that he himself endorses. The minister does not see that the voting for Mr. Romney was sinful. This seems to me that there is an inconsistency in the thinking which is illogical, of course if the major premise is in fact true. I guess the next logical question would be this, if the major premise was in fact true, then it could be logically deduced that it is also sinful to have voted for Mr. Romney.
    Valid points.

    I think that the resolution for the issue in the Cathoilc church, at least, has been to prioritize certain issues as a more serious matter of morality than other issues. For people that believe in the difference between mortal sin and venial sins, the distinction is pretty easy to make.
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    Re: Help from the Masters

    I largely agree with Talthas here. I think the crux of the argument (IMO) is the "and is sinful" addition in the major premise. Since any particular candidate is a package of policies it would need to be discussed if this premise is valid if any one of those policies is a sin, if 20%, a majority, whatever...

    I would prefer to rephrase the Major Premise as:

    P1: Candidate X has a set of policies.
    P2: One of those policies (or 10%, 60%, whatever) encourages or creates sin.
    P3: Supporting that Candidate is supporting that set of policies
    P4: Supporting those policies is a sin.


    A bit more wordy, but I think a bit more precise as to where a disagreement might lie.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
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    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


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  8. #6
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    Re: Help from the Masters

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I largely agree with Talthas here. I think the crux of the argument (IMO) is the "and is sinful" addition in the major premise. Since any particular candidate is a package of policies it would need to be discussed if this premise is valid if any one of those policies is a sin, if 20%, a majority, whatever...

    I would prefer to rephrase the Major Premise as:

    P1: Candidate X has a set of policies.
    P2: One of those policies (or 10%, 60%, whatever) encourages or creates sin.
    P3: Supporting that Candidate is supporting that set of policies
    P4: Supporting those policies is a sin.


    A bit more wordy, but I think a bit more precise as to where a disagreement might lie.
    It seems to me that any attempt to quantify a candidate's policies by percentage is doomed to failure because it is essentially an arbitrary distinction. At least if we have clearly defined criteria of mortal vs venial sins, it becomes a matter of simply figuring out how serious the sins promulgated by the candidate will be.
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  9. #7
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    Re: Help from the Masters

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    It seems to me that any attempt to quantify a candidate's policies by percentage is doomed to failure because it is essentially an arbitrary distinction. At least if we have clearly defined criteria of mortal vs venial sins, it becomes a matter of simply figuring out how serious the sins promulgated by the candidate will be.
    I agree which is why I left that part somewhat nebulous. I think that would be a bit more subjective. Would any policy being a sin make the vote a sin or would it be more sin than good? Etc. That is a specific support to debate, but the structure would remain.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions. -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  10. #8
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    Re: Help from the Masters

    I think you have to examine the "game" of voting in US presidential elections.

    Generally you have 3 choices
    1. Vote for a major candidate with a reasonable chance of winning
    2. Vote for a minor party candidate with no chance of winning
    3. Decline to vote

    If your concern is the morality of the policies of the candidates, you have to then look into moral theory. For instance if you are a consiquensialist, you have to consider the consequences of your action whatever the intent. If you are concerned about intent and purity, you have to look at the intent. There are lots of shades here depending on how you see moral duty.

    I think if intent is your concern, then you should vote for a minor party candidate that best fits your moral view. You would be making a positive choice to support a given set of values.

    If you are into consequence, its much more complicated.

    #3 Could result in sinful policies by abrogation as a result of your inaction, though if no available candidates are free of sinful policies then you have no good option

    #2 Is similar to #3 in that short term, it does nothing to influence the outcome and thus your lack of direct action could be considered culpable. Long term you could see yourself as building towards a solution to the problem. So you have to weight those two things together.

    #1 Becomes a more critical decision of which candidate you feel is going to have the least sinful impact. The argument you present doesn't take this into consideration, that it is poorly worded and should be saying Obama is more against the teachings of Christ than Romney. If it truly means only to say that anyone who is not in full alignment with Christ is eligible, then very few candidates would likely be someone you could vote for.


    ---- as to the premise ----

    I don't know of much about Obama that is against the teachings of Jesus. He professes to be Christian. Abortion is likely the main issue they are concerned about, and indeed Obama has supported programs that would enable women to get abortions.

    Firstly: Jesus did not preach about abortion one way or another, presumably he would be against it, but we don't know. The catholic church for many centuries did not oppose abortion before quickening. I would agree that it seems against the spirit of the overall faith, but Jesus never actually discussed it. I'm sure you have your own opinion on the matter.

    Secondly: Jesus was not a person to order others what to do. He simply warned of the consequences of sin. He also specifically said that you should worry over your own salvation, and not the salvation of others. If abortion is a sin, then its a sin to perform or have one. But that doesn't make it a sin to allow others to do so, or a sin not to stop them from doing so. Jesus did not preach about punishing others for sin. He in fact assures us that God does that and you should worry for your own soul.

    So I think you could make a case here that Obama is not going against the will of Jesus unless Obama is promoting or performing abortions. Having a legal stance to allow them is not itself sinful as sin is not about the laws of man but the laws of god and an individuals willingness to submit to them. Furthermore it may be presumptuous to say what Jesus would think when Jesus never said anything about it.

    The only other issue might be Gay marriage. There I think Jesus has some words to say on it and does not approve. Yet again, Jesus never said you should go around stopping other people from sinning, he instead focused heavily on people minding their own sinfulness and being as good an individual as they can be.

    Finally, one thing Jesus was consistent and adamant about was giving charity as an act of goodness. In this respect Obama is well in line with Christian principles and Romney perhaps less so. (Though neither would oppose charity, one seeks to make it part of the state apparatus and the other somewhat less so.) I would say the policies of Obama are more generous in spirit than Romney, especially with respect to things like immigration. Would Jesus turn back a hungry man because he crossed a dividing line decided by politics? I don't think so. Though he may have said such things are not directly of his concern, and that the hungry immigrant had a greater chance of salvation than the powerful politician.
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  11. #9
    Bundu
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    Re: Help from the Masters

    Yes, the argument is logically valid, but if you plan to present it to someone I would rewrite it in standard form:

    1. It is a sin to vote for a candidate who supports policies that go against the will of Christ.
    2. Obama is a candidate who supports policies that go against the will of Christ.
    3. So, it is a sin to vote for Obama.

    Minor Premise #2 is unnecessary and should be left out unless you want to make line 3 a subconclusion and follow it with:

    4. I voted for Obama.
    5. I committed a sin.

    Anyway, the argument is valid, but like Talthas mentioned, you'll have to defend the truth of premises 1 and 2.

  12. #10
    david koe
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    Re: Help from the Masters

    Thanks for the replies, they are indeed a help. I knew I came to the right place.

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    Re: Help from the Masters

    I was thinking about it this morning. I'm not sure it does necessarily follow.

    Take the following situation.

    There is a tie in the electoral college.

    There is a tie in the vote in your state.

    There are two candidates, X (insert some politician you think has policies that are sinful) and Hitler.

    The House of Representatives will elect Hitler in the case of a tie.

    So here we would see that voting for a lesser evil would likely not be a sin right? Because your non-vote would also facilitate a greater evil into power?

    Yet all the premises are still true from the OP (or whatever the restated argument is).

    That indicates to me that the conclusion does not necessarily follow from the premises.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions. -G.K. Chesterton
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  15. #12
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    Re: Help from the Masters

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    So here we would see that voting for a lesser evil would likely not be a sin right? Because your non-vote would also facilitate a greater evil into power?
    Yep, that was what I was getting at. The system of voting could mean that not voting could result in the same outcome as voting, or possibly a worse outcome. But it depends on a consequence view of moral action.

    aka You should never lie vs You should never lie unless it prevents a greater moral harm.
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  16. #13
    Bundu
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    Re: Help from the Masters

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I was thinking about it this morning. I'm not sure it does necessarily follow.

    Take the following situation.

    There is a tie in the electoral college.

    There is a tie in the vote in your state.

    There are two candidates, X (insert some politician you think has policies that are sinful) and Hitler.

    The House of Representatives will elect Hitler in the case of a tie.

    So here we would see that voting for a lesser evil would likely not be a sin right? Because your non-vote would also facilitate a greater evil into power?

    Yet all the premises are still true from the OP (or whatever the restated argument is).

    That indicates to me that the conclusion does not necessarily follow from the premises.
    Haha, interesting scenario. :D

    The form I listed is certainly valid. You seem to be implying that voting for candidate X, who promotes sinful policies, is not a sin if candidate Y promotes more sinful policies. This is simply a refutation of premise 1, not a counter-example of the argument form.

    This may even be a case of merely verbal dispute with OP assuming a deontological view of sin while you're implying a consequentialist view.

  17. #14
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    Re: Help from the Masters

    Quote Originally Posted by Bundu View Post
    The form I listed is certainly valid. You seem to be implying that voting for candidate X, who promotes sinful policies, is not a sin if candidate Y promotes more sinful policies. This is simply a refutation of premise 1, not a counter-example of the argument form.
    I was responding to the original OP's formulation. But you are correct that I would be rejecting P1 in that case. And your statement does follow (though I disagree with P1). Would, in this case there be no non-sinful action you could take?
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions. -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  18. #15
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    Re: Help from the Masters

    Aaaaaannddd....

    Godwin's Law is still in effect.






    This is why intention is important in the distinction between sinful behavior and behavior which is not sinful. If you know that Candidate A supports genocide and you vote for him anyway, then you are committing a sin because your vote helped elect a genocidal politician. The blood is on your head for your part in the electoral process. If, however, you vote for someone who lies to the public and espouses policies and goals that he does not really intend to carry out, or if he is duplicitous about his beliefs, then people who vote for him under the false pretenses are not morally culpable unless it can be shown that a reasonable person should have been able to recognize the deception if they were willing to see it.
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    Re: Help from the Masters

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    Secondly: Jesus was not a person to order others what to do. He simply warned of the consequences of sin. He also specifically said that you should worry over your own salvation, and not the salvation of others. If abortion is a sin, then its a sin to perform or have one. But that doesn't make it a sin to allow others to do so, or a sin not to stop them from doing so. Jesus did not preach about punishing others for sin. He in fact assures us that God does that and you should worry for your own soul.
    Are you familiar with the Biblical principle of sins of omission and commission?

    It could be summarized by this: "So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin." James 4:14

    The key idea here is "knows the right thing to do."

    It sounds like what you're saying with "that doesn't make it a sin to allow others to do so" that if we witness someone raping a child for example, without attempting to stop them, that divine law does not hold us accountable in some way. If that's what you mean, I would argue with that.
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  20. #17
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    Re: Help from the Masters

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Are you familiar with the Biblical principle of sins of omission and commission?
    Somewhat, though that link helps not at all.

    It could be summarized by this: "So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin." James 4:14
    Sure, but this is speaking as an individual, not as a body of legal authority. You should do the right thing, not "You should force everyone else to do the right thing."

    It sounds like what you're saying with "that doesn't make it a sin to allow others to do so" that if we witness someone raping a child for example, without attempting to stop them, that divine law does not hold us accountable in some way. If that's what you mean, I would argue with that.
    Jesus doesn't directly teach much about situations like these. He speaks repeatedly about your own actions and feelings and how you should direct those two things in concert with God. He is not one to go tell you to punish the wicked or go crusading for justice. He tells you to have peace and love in your heart and show it to others. We only have one story that I know of where Jesus witnesses an act of immorality and takes an active part in stopping it, which is when he overturns the tables of the money changers.

    So presumably were Jesus to witness a rape he would use his powers to stop the rape. But that is different from advocating a state authority to create a law prohibiting rape. Jesus is about your personal actions, not the actions of a collective group. Jesus didn't speak to politics or the like outside of those of the temple. Only he could sanctify the world, he doesn't call on his followers to do it for him. He calls on people to sanctify themselves through/with him, by your will through his power.

    Voting for president is a long way from preventing an abortion. Its probably about one of the least effective things you can do to save lives apart from doing nothing at all. The president at best has an indirect effect on it through supreme court appointments but even there the court is bound by president and simply following the law. And even when the law of the land was no abortions, there were a great many performed regardless.

    Far more powerful is to simply find people considering abortion, and work with them to find a way they can keep their child or adopt it to someone else. Supporting the welfare of the mother and child are probably the most direct and effective ways at preventing abortion. It however requires a sacrifice of time, attention, and money.
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  21. #18
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    Re: Help from the Masters

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    ure, but this is speaking as an individual, not as a body of legal authority. You should do the right thing, not "You should force everyone else to do the right thing."
    Right, we can't enforce doing the right thing. However the point being is -- just because we should not enforce morality, doesn't necessarily remove accountability when we allow evil to triumph or when elected leaders allow evil to triumph.

    Jesus doesn't directly teach much about situations like these. "
    Sure he does. He teaches about not committing adultery (Mathew 5); he teaches about not mistreating children (Luke 17:2) to name a few.

    He speaks repeatedly about your own actions and feelings and how you should direct those two things in concert with God. He is not one to go tell you to punish the wicked or go crusading for justice. "
    Right, he states nothing will pass from the law, as every jot and tittle of the law will be fulfilled.

    He tells you to have peace and love in your heart and show it to others. We only have one story that I know of where Jesus witnesses an act of immorality and takes an active part in stopping it, which is when he overturns the tables of the money changers."
    He challenges immorality when Mary Magdalen is about to be stoned for her adulterous lifestyle and he stops the stoning and tells her rather directly: "To go and sin no more."

    So presumably were Jesus to witness a rape he would use his powers to stop the rape. "
    Or maybe today he would just send someone who was willing to stop it. That sounds practical doesn't it?

    But that is different from advocating a state authority to create a law prohibiting rape."
    I think rape is a crime in America.

    Jesus is about your personal actions, not the actions of a collective group. "
    You can't have one without the other. The one makes up the many. "A City set on a hill" is not about one person. It's about a society. How do you think salt loses its flavor in a society?

    And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:

    You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.1 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:13

    Voting for president is a long way from preventing an abortion.
    I would agree. At this point, his influence is on the nomination of the Supreme Court Justices.

    And even when the law of the land was no abortions, there were a great many performed regardless. "
    What?

    Far more powerful is to simply find people considering abortion, and work with them to find a way they can keep their child or adopt it to someone else."
    Heart to heart is good, however I think a more powerful way is in the "teach a man to fish philosophy." Objectively educate with scientific facts young adults and teens about all the stages of human development from conception. Our knowledge and technology has greatly advanced in this area. I think if people know better, they would do better and thus an objective, scientific education on the issue would probably greatly reduce the vulnerability to unwanted pregnancies. You would think that this is common sense, right?
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    Re: Help from the Masters

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    He is not one to go tell you to punish the wicked or go crusading for justice. He tells you to have peace and love in your heart and show it to others.
    Actually, this is not true. Jesus's last command to the faithful before his Ascention into Heaven was "Go and teach all nations." He gave us the Great Commission with the intention that we should, in fact, go crusading for justice and teaching people the right way to live. When combined with the examples we have of Jesus intervening directly to stop hypocrisy, immorality, and injustice, it's pretty clear that Jesus didn't intend for Christians' love for the world to be shown just by being peaceful and friendly toward everyone, though I'm sure that's part of it when it's appropriate to do so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    We only have one story that I know of where Jesus witnesses an act of immorality and takes an active part in stopping it, which is when he overturns the tables of the money changers.
    Aside from the halting of the stoning of the adulterer, we also have Jesus intervening in the synagogues when the Pharisees were turning away beggars and the crippled. He didn't physically stop anyone, but he did call them out in public and heal the sick on the Sabbath, in defiance of Temple Law.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    So presumably were Jesus to witness a rape he would use his powers to stop the rape.
    I hope by "powers," you mean to include the possibility of physical intervention on his part or that of his disciples.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    Jesus is about your personal actions, not the actions of a collective group.
    Actually... Jesus is all about the actions of both the individual *and* the group... it's called the Church. But to be more specific, the last commandment that Jesus gave his disciples before he was betrayed was that they love each other. Love requires that there be interaction between people, not just an internal process that relates only to oneself. The entire purpose of the Church is to love the world in the way that Jesus commanded us to do. That can't happen on a purely personal level.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    Voting for president is a long way from preventing an abortion. Its probably about one of the least effective things you can do to save lives apart from doing nothing at all. The president at best has an indirect effect on it through supreme court appointments but even there the court is bound by president and simply following the law. And even when the law of the land was no abortions, there were a great many performed regardless.
    Voting for someone who will sign immoral bills into law or veto bills that prevent moral injustices is hardly ineffectual or inconsequential.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    Far more powerful is to simply find people considering abortion, and work with them to find a way they can keep their child or adopt it to someone else. Supporting the welfare of the mother and child are probably the most direct and effective ways at preventing abortion. It however requires a sacrifice of time, attention, and money.
    I don't see why this is an either/or proposition... Christian charity demands that we might do both our civic duty and the work on a personal level, not just one or the other.
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    Re: Help from the Masters

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Right, we can't enforce doing the right thing. However the point being is -- just because we should not enforce morality, doesn't necessarily remove accountability when we allow evil to triumph or when elected leaders allow evil to triumph.
    How are you going to not allow evil to triumph without enforcing morality? I feel like you haven't really thought this through. The question at hand here is should you not vote for a person because their policy is to not make a given act illegal. Not if they personally promote or participate in the act, but that they don't advocate using the state monopoly of force to ensure that other people don't do it.

    So this is all about if you think it is morally right to use force to control the moral behavior of others. The pastor says its a sin if you don't support using force to stop immoral behavior. I am arguing that is not the kind of approach Jesus would take.

    Right, he states nothing will pass from the law, as every jot and tittle of the law will be fulfilled.
    He was talking about the laws of god, not the laws of man, which is what we are discussing. And of course Christians disregard large portions of God's law with the excuse that those laws only applied to the Isrealites.

    He challenges immorality when Mary Magdalen is about to be stoned for her adulterous lifestyle and he stops the stoning and tells her rather directly: "To go and sin no more.
    What really strikes me here is you don't realize this only supports my argument. Stoning adulterous was the law, it was the society/states effort to punish immoral behavior. Jesus intervened to stop that punishment, going against a state mandate that tries to prevent people from committing adultery. Jesus opposed a secular law enforcing a biblical moral principle. He instead advised the adulterer not to sin any longer and thus left the actual moral choice to her.

    Substitute an abortionist for an adulterer in the same story. Jesus would not have been for punishment for the law breaker. He would have freed the abortionist from those trying to enforce a law against it. In that election Obama was the more Jesus like candidate, not advocating for stoning the law breaker, Romney would be the less Jesus like advocating we do use force to control that behavior.

    Or maybe today he would just send someone who was willing to stop it. That sounds practical doesn't it?
    No, that sounds like abdicating responsibility. Jesus didn't rely on other people to take on his moral responsibilities.

    You can't have one without the other. The one makes up the many. "A City set on a hill" is not about one person. It's about a society. How do you think salt loses its flavor in a society?

    And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:

    You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.1 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:13
    None of that tells you to go out and punish the sins of others. It is telling you to be a good example and to be proud of it and not hide your goodness.

    What?
    http://www.now.org/issues/abortion/r...foreafter.html
    Approximately 50% of all maternal deaths resulted from illegal abortion during the first half of the 20th century

    Estimates of the annual number of illegal abortions in the 1950s and 60s range from 200,000 to 1.2 million, even though abortion procedures were unsafe and often life-threatening, in addition to being illegal

    During the 1950s and 60s, each year an estimated 160 to 260 women died from illegal abortions, while thousands more were seriously injured

    Abortion is a difficult thing to police and control. Making it illegal primarily meant that abortions were performed outside of medical facilities or using drugs prepared by armatures. If a woman is determined to end her pregnancy, little can be done to stop her. Abortions were not as common when it was illegal, but it was still quite common.

    Heart to heart is good, however I think a more powerful way is in the "teach a man to fish philosophy." Objectively educate with scientific facts young adults and teens about all the stages of human development from conception. Our knowledge and technology has greatly advanced in this area. I think if people know better, they would do better and thus an objective, scientific education on the issue would probably greatly reduce the vulnerability to unwanted pregnancies. You would think that this is common sense, right?
    Common sense to you perhaps. But no. And you misunderstand what I was advocating. Its not about heart to heart, its about money. The largest number of women choose abortion because they can't afford to be a mother, 25% cite that as their primary reason. If you were willing to pay to support the mother and child you could cut abortions by 1/4 or more.

    The knowledge of human development is not enough. I understand it quite well and I think abortion in early stages is perfectly reasonable. I am much less comfortable with abortion in later stages of development, but I am a morally principled person, and many people are not, especially when faced with life changing events like pregnancy.

    Your approach is not likely to have great success and for the most part it already is well known information.

    ---------- Post added at 03:16 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:05 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    Actually, this is not true. Jesus's last command to the faithful before his Ascention into Heaven was "Go and teach all nations."
    Yes Talthas, to Teach. Not to Rule, to Teach. Not to control, to Teach. Not to dominate, to Teach. Not to order, to Teach. I am not discussing if someone teaches morality, we are discussing whether someone should legislate morality.

    He gave us the Great Commission with the intention that we should, in fact, go crusading for justice and teaching people the right way to live.
    And some Christians had to go and **** that up by killing those who opposed them rather than simply teaching them. Cursade is a word invented to pervert Jesus's teaching into man's iron fist. Jesus was not a crusader, he was a teacher.

    When combined with the examples we have of Jesus intervening directly to stop hypocrisy, immorality, and injustice, it's pretty clear that Jesus didn't intend for Christians' love for the world to be shown just by being peaceful and friendly toward everyone, though I'm sure that's part of it when it's appropriate to do so.
    Jesus did not do such things. Jesus instructed people in how to be true to god. He did not run around forcing anyone to obey, only telling them they should.

    Aside from the halting of the stoning of the adulterer, we also have Jesus intervening in the synagogues when the Pharisees were turning away beggars and the crippled. He didn't physically stop anyone, but he did call them out in public and heal the sick on the Sabbath, in defiance of Temple Law.
    Again, he did nothing to force anyone to his way of thinking, he only taught and invited others to follow.

    I hope by "powers," you mean to include the possibility of physical intervention on his part or that of his disciples.
    Why not himself? The man can walk on water and materialize food, I'd think he could stop a rapist if he wanted to.

    Actually... Jesus is all about the actions of both the individual *and* the group... it's called the Church.
    Jesus never built a church, nor did he call on his followers to do so. His message was a personal one, for each man to accept god. God was his church, not some organization of clerics.

    But to be more specific, the last commandment that Jesus gave his disciples before he was betrayed was that they love each other. Love requires that there be interaction between people, not just an internal process that relates only to oneself. The entire purpose of the Church is to love the world in the way that Jesus commanded us to do. That can't happen on a purely personal level.
    Again, Jesus didn't found a church. Men did that. Jesus didn't ask people to force one another to be just, men did that. Jesus consistently told those who watned to follow God to be good people. His message was ever focused on the individual and their walk with god.

    Voting for someone who will sign immoral bills into law or veto bills that prevent moral injustices is hardly ineffectual or inconsequential.
    What laws do you mean?

    Most of the types of moral issues Christians complain about are those allowing people to do things you consider immoral, not those that force immoral behavior on people. At default there are no laws preventing behaviors, so laws are barriers to actions, not calls to actions.

    You want laws to enforce morality, Jesus never ever advocated any such thing.

    I don't see why this is an either/or proposition... Christian charity demands that we might do both our civic duty and the work on a personal level, not just one or the other.
    I am saying you should take the most effective course and focus your efforts there.
    Feed me some debate pellets!

 

 
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