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  1. #1
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    Secular Morality vs. Non-Secular Morality

    I'll try to keep this as short as possible.

    For the purposes of this debate, the terms are defined as follows:
    Morality: A system of standards & values used to evaluate actions as being good or bad with respect to the standards & values.
    Secular Morality (SM): A moral system (morality) which deals with morality outside of religious/theistic/dogmatic traditions and/or claims.
    Religious, or Non-secular Morality (RM): A moral system (morality) which is based on religious/theistic/dogmatic traditions and/or claims.

    This OP is not concerned with pointless questions or arguments surrounding subjective vs. objective morality - it deals solely with the moral systems which demonstrably/actually exist. Lines of argumentation relying on unsupported claims of subjectivity or objectivity will be disregarded.

    In order to determine which moral system is superior, the following criteria will be considered:
    1. The applicability of the system and it's standards & values to its participants.
    2. The system's ability to improve or be improved by its participants.
    3. The system's ability to provide reliable results according to its standards & values.
    4. The system's ability to resolve conflicts/disputes about its standards & values.

    Additional criteria may be suggested at any time.

    The following assessments can be made of each system according to each criteria:
    1.
    SM:
    - The source of the (standards &) values is internal
    - The values are based on the views of the participants
    - By definition serves the interests of the participants
    - Authority comes from a demonstration that the results achieve the goals set by participants
    - The authority is accepted by the participants

    RM:
    - The source of the values is external
    - There is no direct link between the values and the participants
    - Does not necessarily serve the interests of the participants
    - Relies on external authority
    - The authority is imposed on the participants

    2.
    SM:
    - Dynamic, permit, and encourage change
    - Change is driven by the goal of better serving the participants
    - Uses past experience in order to ensure the change best serves the participants

    RM:
    - Rigid, not conducive to change, and the goal of change is not necessarily to better serve the participants
    - If change happens, the source & authority is external & not necessarily applicable to the participants
    - Usually changes happen only due to changes in SM, again external

    3.
    SM:
    - Builds on past experience & improvements, therefore there are less new/unknown situations encountered and the system is better at dealing with future situations
    - Has the express goal of providing reliable results, with checks & balances to identify whether the system is achieving that goal
    - Complex & flexible, ensuring better results by allowing for discussion & modifications when providing results

    RM:
    - Not necessarily intended to provide reliable results
    - Unable to adapt in order to do so

    4.
    SM:
    - Conflict resolution is based on skeptical inquiry, rational justification, data, demonstrable results
    - Relies on rational discussion/debate & evaluation of evidence
    - Inclusive, discussions take place between the participants

    RM:
    - Relies on conquest, coercion or conversion
    - Rigid & divisive, conflicts aren't actually resolved, but the conflicting parties simply converted

    Based on the above criteria, it's clear that secular morality is superior to religious (non-secular) morality.

  2. #2
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    Re: Secular Morality vs. Non-Secular Morality

    I would object to 4.
    - SM conflict resolution is based on skeptical inquiry. ..etc.

    I would say that the millions of dead people from the conquest driven secular social morals of socialists countries would be evidence against this.
    Pointing to RM that has the same effect would not answer this objection.

    The objection is, that SM is not defined inherently by the traits of #4, and has shown a drastic and repeated tendency to contradict this standard. So it is false and should not be accepted as a true statement.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

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    Re: Secular Morality vs. Non-Secular Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I would say that the millions of dead people from the conquest driven secular social morals of socialists countries would be evidence against this.
    Unfortunately, those examples are from regimes which wouldn't be recognized as truly SM as defined by the OP since they are all based in dogmatic ideologies. This is more commonly known as the Atheist Atrocities Fallacy. History has already illuminated for us the use by Stalin of the very same dogmatic infrastructure in the form of the pre-existing religious tyranny that proved to be the perfect vehicle for his godless religion of Communism. Hitler expressly confirmed multiple times that he was doing god's work. These were atrocities committed in the name of dogmatic ideologies, not secularism. Nobody in their right mind would say that the problem with Communist Russia or the Holocaust is that there was too much skeptical inquiry going on.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    The objection is, that SM is not defined inherently by the traits of #4, and has shown a drastic and repeated tendency to contradict this standard. So it is false and should not be accepted as a true statement.
    SM as defined in the OP inherently implies a rejection of dogmatic ideology and therefore indeed does inherently value skeptical inquiry.

  4. #4
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    Re: Secular Morality vs. Non-Secular Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by FUTUREBOY
    Unfortunately, those examples are from regimes which wouldn't be recognized as truly SM as defined by the OP since they are all based in dogmatic ideologies. This is more commonly known as the Atheist Atrocities Fallacy. History has already illuminated for us the use by Stalin of the very same dogmatic infrastructure in the form of the pre-existing religious tyranny that proved to be the perfect vehicle for his godless religion of Communism. Hitler expressly confirmed multiple times that he was doing god's work. These were atrocities committed in the name of dogmatic ideologies, not secularism. Nobody in their right mind would say that the problem with Communist Russia or the Holocaust is that there was too much skeptical inquiry going on.
    They were not Religious atrocities, they were "state" atrocities. Atrocities done in the name of the state, not in the name of a religion.
    So it doesn't fall under RM.

    Or else SM doen't exist in reality.


    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    SM as defined in the OP inherently implies a rejection of dogmatic ideology and therefore indeed does inherently value skeptical inquiry.
    How is the OP different than a dogmatic ideology?
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

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    Re: Secular Morality vs. Non-Secular Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    They were not Religious atrocities, they were "state" atrocities. Atrocities done in the name of the state, not in the name of a religion.
    So it doesn't fall under RM.
    The definition is quite clear:
    SM: A moral system (morality) which deals with morality outside of religious/theistic/dogmatic traditions and/or claims.

    Therefore, such dogmatic regimes are not considered truly secular, not in their ideologies, nor in their actions. Again, all this has already been illuminated for us by history. There are many reasons why the Stalinistic regime is not considered to be secular, the simplest being their dogmatic enforcement of state atheism, which, by definition, is a violation of the core principle of secularism. Do you honestly think that the differences between non-dogmatic secularism and repulsive and cultish regimes such as Stalinism, or the similarities between Stalinism and other dogmatic religions have not already been considered ad nauseam?

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    Re: Secular Morality vs. Non-Secular Morality

    Again, how is the op not dogmatic in regards to SM?

    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    Therefore, such dogmatic regimes are not considered truly secular, not in their ideologies, nor in their actions. Again, all this has already been illuminated for us by history. There are many reasons why the Stalinistic regime is not considered to be secular, the simplest being their dogmatic enforcement of state atheism, which, by definition, is a violation of the core principle of secularism. Do you honestly think that the differences between non-dogmatic secularism and repulsive and cultish regimes such as Stalinism, or the similarities between Stalinism and other dogmatic religions have not already been considered ad nauseam?
    First I'm completely willing to accept your rejection of the counter example I gave. My problem is that I don't see the OP as then internally coherent so as to apply it to reality in a meaningful way.
    By lumping atheism in with religion, you basically have covered the gambit of beliefs under "RM". Leaving nothing for SM to include except that which you cherry pick.

    For example the way you have answered the Atheist atrocities appears to be an appeal to how it hurt the "non participants". Same with Nazies. Which simply pushes them in the RM when they just as well could have been called SM effects.

    Given your definition, what weight is given to those in the SM society that don't adhere to SM? What happens if such morality is conductive of putting people like Stalin and others in power (hypothetical)?

    What are some actual examples of SM as you describe at work? (A question to help direct your explanation).
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

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    Re: Secular Morality vs. Non-Secular Morality

    MT, I provided a clear explanation of why your counter examples (which weren't at all specific, btw, you'd have to be less vague for them to be considered seriously) aren't considered secular according to the definition. If you have a problem with the definition, that's fine, but really, the fact that a regime which dogmatically enforces any kind of belief (or lack thereof, in the case of Stalinism) by definition violates the core principle of secularism is nothing complicated.
    Of course, many do call those examples (which ones, btw?) secular, but as explained, this is incorrect, if only for the above-stated reason, but there are others.

    As for examples of SM, these are literally everywhere (another indication of SM's superiority). Don't tell me you can't think of one place in the world where the society makes moral decisions based on facts and evidence instead of dogma. But more importantly, this isn't really the point, and there's no value in nitpicking every single example we have of SM in the world and trying to show something bad about them in order to win some pointless points. The point is that, when considering the moral systems we have available to us, secular morality is by far superior to any religious morality, based on the criteria provided.

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    Re: Secular Morality vs. Non-Secular Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    As for examples of SM, these are literally everywhere (another indication of SM's superiority). Don't tell me you can't think of one place in the world where the society makes moral decisions based on facts and evidence instead of dogma.
    If they were literally everywhere then it should be fairly easy to just answer the question, no?

  9. #9
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    Re: Secular Morality vs. Non-Secular Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    MT, I provided a clear explanation of why your counter examples (which weren't at all specific, btw, you'd have to be less vague for them to be considered seriously) aren't considered secular according to the definition. If you have a problem with the definition, that's fine, but really, the fact that a regime which dogmatically enforces any kind of belief (or lack thereof, in the case of Stalinism) by definition violates the core principle of secularism is nothing complicated.
    Of course, many do call those examples (which ones, btw?) secular, but as explained, this is incorrect, if only for the above-stated reason, but there are others.
    Yes, and I said I was willing to accept that the counter examples don't fall into SM as you have defined it.
    My objection has moved then to the second point.


    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    As for examples of SM, these are literally everywhere (another indication of SM's superiority). Don't tell me you can't think of one place in the world where the society makes moral decisions based on facts and evidence instead of dogma. But more importantly, this isn't really the point, and there's no value in nitpicking every single example we have of SM in the world and trying to show something bad about them in order to win some pointless points. The point is that, when considering the moral systems we have available to us, secular morality is by far superior to any religious morality, based on the criteria provided.
    No, I can't think of any. Especially any that are not applied "dogmatically". I think you definition is logically incoherent, and self defeating.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

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    Re: Secular Morality vs. Non-Secular Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    No, I can't think of any. Especially any that are not applied "dogmatically". I think you definition is logically incoherent, and self defeating.
    Have it your way, dude. If you want to play games and pretend that you don't know what it means when even your very own government bases its morality on principles such as rational examination of evidence instead of dogmatic ideologies, then I don't see any point in continuing a discussion with you.

    ---------- Post added at 02:43 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:42 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    If they were literally everywhere then it should be fairly easy to just answer the question, no?
    Again, that's not the point, as already explained.

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    Re: Secular Morality vs. Non-Secular Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy
    Again, that's not the point, as already explained.
    So you won't provide an example of a SM even though you stated that they are "literally everywhere". It sounds like you can't actually provide an example and are trying to avoid supporting your point.

    I Challenge to support a claim. you to support your claim that "As for examples of SM, these are literally everywhere". If it's as easy as you make it out to be, then you should have no trouble.

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    Re: Secular Morality vs. Non-Secular Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by Freund View Post
    So you won't provide an example of a SM even though you stated that they are "literally everywhere". It sounds like you can't actually provide an example and are trying to avoid supporting your point.
    I Challenge to support a claim. you to support your claim that "As for examples of SM, these are literally everywhere". If it's as easy as you make it out to be, then you should have no trouble.
    Again, regardless of the fact that one was already provided, this is, as already explained, irrelevant to the point of the discussion. My "trying to avoid" it is because I have no desire to engage in gotcha games. The topic is that, when considering the moral systems we have available to us, secular morality is by far superior to any religious morality, based on the criteria provided. Either address the topic or move along.

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    Re: Secular Morality vs. Non-Secular Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    Have it your way, dude. If you want to play games and pretend that you don't know what it means when even your very own government bases its morality on principles such as rational examination of evidence instead of dogmatic ideologies, then I don't see any point in continuing a discussion with you.
    As I generally consider my gov to be based on moral principles of a Dogmatic religious base, I don't see how that supports your point.
    I see the ideology of communism as an official form of "secularism". They are certainly dogmatic, but I think that is where your OP fails, in that any form of gov is going to be Dogmatic, and any form of morality is going to be dogmatic in nature.
    Which makes your definition exclusion of dogmatic, logical impossible.

    I appreciate your time, and if you feel you have explained it to the best of your ability, then thanks for your effort.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

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    Re: Secular Morality vs. Non-Secular Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    As I generally consider my gov to be based on moral principles of a Dogmatic religious base, I don't see how that supports your point.
    That's unfortunate, but understandable. With regard to the usual and incorrect theistic claim that the country was built on religious principles, whether it was or wasn't is completely irrelevant to the principles which govern (and should govern) it today.

    But since you brought it up, we need only look to John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who both explicitly explained that the country is definitely not founded on religion. The Declaration of Independence itself proclaims that the source of authority is internal (SM), not external (RM) with: "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed". Further, the way in which the declaration (and other documents before it after which it was fashioned) refers to natural laws again coincides with the SM principle of rational inquiry and discussion or evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I see the ideology of communism as an official form of "secularism".
    To repeat again once for another time, dogmatically enforcing any kind of belief (including a lack thereof) is by definition a violation of the core principle of secularism, and therefore any regime guilty of such conduct cannot (and indeed is not) considered to be secular.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    They are certainly dogmatic, but I think that is where your OP fails, in that any form of gov is going to be Dogmatic, and any form of morality is going to be dogmatic in nature.
    You are obviously confused about what it means to be dogmatic, which is to enforce something incontrovertibly. This is the exact opposite of how democratic governments work.

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    Re: Secular Morality vs. Non-Secular Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    But since you brought it up, we need only look to John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who both explicitly explained that the country is definitely not founded on religion. The Declaration of Independence itself proclaims that the source of authority is internal (SM), not external (RM) with: "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed". Further, the way in which the declaration (and other documents before it after which it was fashioned) refers to natural laws again coincides with the SM principle of rational inquiry and discussion or evidence.
    Is that forwarded dogmatically?

    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    To repeat again once for another time, dogmatically enforcing any kind of belief (including a lack thereof) is by definition a violation of the core principle of secularism, and therefore any regime guilty of such conduct cannot (and indeed is not) considered to be secular.
    So then SM can't be enforced at all?

    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    You are obviously confused about what it means to be dogmatic, which is to enforce something incontrovertibly. This is the exact opposite of how democratic governments work.
    the end result seems the same. Be it by democratic agreement by the majority onto the minority, or by dictatorship. The end is a rule applied dogmatically.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

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    Re: Secular Morality vs. Non-Secular Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Is that forwarded dogmatically?
    No, it's forwarded as fact. I guess you're trying to make a clever gotcha here, but you obviously misunderstand what it means for something to be asserted incontrovertibly, as would be required for something to be dogmatic, compared to facts which are offered to support a conclusion. You have every right to try and dispute the conclusion with your own facts, which is precisely opposite to something being incontrovertible.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    So then SM can't be enforced at all?
    Enforcing something is not dogmatic. If we agree that the use of force is acceptable in certain circumstances (criteria which are subject to change, and often do change - the exact opposite of something being incontrovertible), there's nothing wrong with that.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    the end result seems the same. Be it by democratic agreement by the majority onto the minority, or by dictatorship. The end is a rule applied dogmatically.
    Again, you misunderstand then, what it means for something to be dogmatic. A rule which is applied by authority granted democratically, a rule which is determined based on facts and reasoned evidence and agreed upon as a result of rational discourse, is the furthest thing from dogma which is asserted incontrovertibly. I'm sure you've experienced laws being changed in your lifetime, and legal definitions being updated or improved upon - this is literally the antithesis of incontrovertible dogma. The SM processes behind those changes, by definition, are not incontrovertible, and therefore not dogmatic.

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    Re: Secular Morality vs. Non-Secular Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    Enforcing something is not dogmatic. If we agree that the use of force is acceptable in certain circumstances (criteria which are subject to change, and often do change - the exact opposite of something being incontrovertible), there's nothing wrong with that.
    What about when people don't agree. specifically the minority.


    Quote Originally Posted by FUTURE
    Again, you misunderstand then, what it means for something to be dogmatic. A rule which is applied by authority granted democratically, a rule which is determined based on facts and reasoned evidence and agreed upon as a result of rational discourse, is the furthest thing from dogma which is asserted incontrovertibly. I'm sure you've experienced laws being changed in your lifetime, and legal definitions being updated or improved upon - this is literally the antithesis of incontrovertible dogma. The SM processes behind those changes, by definition, are not incontrovertible, and therefore not dogmatic.
    Two things. First, I have seen religion do this in regards to us law. So religion is not inherently opposed to this.
    Second, you seem to have switched from morals to legality. Those are two different things. I am not aware of any moral system that was voted on at all ever. Much less applied to those who disagreed in a non dogmatic way.
    I apologize to anyone waiting on a response from me. I am experiencing a time warp, suddenly their are not enough hours in a day. As soon as I find a replacement part to my flux capacitor regulator, time should resume it's normal flow.

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    Re: Secular Morality vs. Non-Secular Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    What about when people don't agree. specifically the minority.
    Your example is yet again quite vague. Are you referring to a political, racial, ethnic, religious, etc. minority?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I am not aware of any moral system that was voted on at all ever.
    Nor did I say one was.

    ---------- Post added at 09:37 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:19 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Just because an action is accepted does not make it right, morally; it makes it liked or imposed.
    Tell me, is it simply accepted that cutting off your head will harm you, or is it a fact? You seem to miss the point about how SM uses objective assessments to determine whether an action is considered good or bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    The question is why do the thoughts of one relative, subjective individual (who influences others) equal what is 'good'? Is it because of he and the other participants 'liking' his system of thought, or is there a standard that is best that he can appeal to?
    SM relies on rational discourse, the examination of data & facts, and objective assessments, in order to determine which actions serve the goals of the system.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    SM does not have one that is best, nor could it make one up.
    The standards aren't simply made up. The standards are based on what's inherently in the participants' best interests. Your claim that they're just "made up" is a common claim by theists regarding the inherent subjectivity of any society's goals. It's something which no society ever has been able to avoid regardless of where they claim to get their morals, but there's nothing wrong with it. Do you honestly think people are just sitting around, "making up" standards arbitrarily?

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    If the Being is all-knowing, then He would know what is best, and He would be the standard that best is derived from by subjective human beings.
    Really? On what basis are you saying that an all-knowing being should have any authority over a society which has the ability to determine for themselves what they think their standards should be? This is the main point behind the authority being external vs. internal.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    People would start calling good as evil and evil as good.
    Would you call punishing someone indefinitely for a finite crime good?

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    "Encourage change" would be a problem.
    How so? When an opportunity to change & improve something is identified, a secular system encourages the discussions which would lead to the change. Religious systems, on the other hand, do not encourage change.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    How would the participants ever arrive at a best?
    With reasoned discussion and rational examination of available evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Without a fixed best how could the participants know that what they believed was good? (The idea of best is that there is nothing better and if the participants can't appeal to a best - everything is changing - how can they say their system of thought is any better than any other?)
    Again, by having reasoned discourse and showing that a certain standard meets the goals of their system better than another. When faced with limited options, one can certainly be identified as the best available.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    This type of SM philosophy is what people fight over - a disagreement on what is better or best.
    In SM, armed conflicts only occur when one party is not willing to participate in the reasoned discourse which would resolve the disagreement, or, more commonly, when the party is not SM, but RM and dogmatically asserting their inferior system.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    You throw around words like good and better and best, but what they equate to is what you prefer/like, since your system is ever changing.
    No, they equate to what is demonstrably better at serving our goals. Again, nobody is simply saying "I like this or that" arbitrarily.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Is Thou shall not kill, Thou shall not steal, Thou shall not lie, Thou shall not commit adultery, Thou shall not covet something that belongs to someone else, a bad thing?
    No, but again, what identifies and validates these as bad things is not simply that they're written about in a book, but that they are demonstrably against the goals of our society. These assessments, however, are subject to change. Killing someone, for example, is in some circumstances the best available action to take, in which case it would not be bad to do so.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    The 'Golden Rule' is what most religious beliefs are based upon, although I only defend ONE, the Judeo-Christian system of belief. I will argue with you against any other system of thought and belief.
    Really? So when the Israelites were performing the instructions in Going to War, they were actually operating on the Golden Rule?

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Improvements provided that the system has built on what is right, instead of what is thought by the individual and his adherents to be good.
    Again, the system is built on what is demonstrably better at achieving the society's goals, not just one what an individual and their adherents think is good.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Hitler (and other depots) built on a system, that if realized, would have resulted in the extermination of whole classes of human beings, such as the Jews.
    Hitler claimed he was doing the work of God. He dogmatically enforced his religious opinions on Germany by force of the army, and each soldier had "God with us" on their belt buckles. SM allows us to objectively determine that what Hitler did was wrong by examining the available evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Now, if there is no best or ultimate, fixed standard, how do we even get to best, let alone good? Good is whatever works, or whatever one person or group can pressure others to accept.
    Again, it's not pressure, but reasoned discourse.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    So Thou shall not kill, lie, steal, covet, etc., (love your neighbor as yourself) is not providing the most reliable results, results that we should follow?
    Whether a standard can provide results is completely separate to whether the standard is intended to do so, which was the point.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Adaptation means that best has not been found, followed, or known.
    And this is the situation we find ourselves in. Anything else is just unsupported claims.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Based on whose skeptical inquiry, whose rationale, whose data, whose demonstratable results.
    The participants'.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Inclusive discussions?
    Yes, inclusive discussions, since the discussions take place between the participants.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    I see what is happening on campuses around your country where conservative views are ostracized and squashed. That is what happens when SM is questioned and criticized.
    No, that is what happens when rational discourse breaks down.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    No, not conquest or coercion in the case of Christianity but choice.
    I'm sorry, but this is simply wrong. There are numerous examples in history where religions, including Christianity, were forced onto unwilling participants.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    It relies the individual recognizing there is One who has our best interested in mind and it depends upon the obedience of the INDIVIDUAL to doing what is good or best because the revelation of God has changed their whole being.
    Yes, all hail Zeus! No, wait, Allah! Or was it Thor? This is what it means to fail at a rational examination of evidence. In any case, what you describe here is precisely what I referred to in my point which included conversion.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Superior in whose SM view (Kim Jong-un, President Xi's, an oppressive military junta, or Putin's)?
    As previously explained, these regimes are not SM, but RM, since they are all dogmatic and are not based on the best interests of their participants.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Because an individual or group says their changing view is superior to another groups views does not make it so unless there is an ultimate standard that their view can be measured by?
    But we don't have what you are referring to as an ultimate standard - only claims of one. In any case, the measurement is the evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    Hitler did not like Jews. Kim Jong-un does not like Americans.
    These are both RM.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    President Xi ... Putin
    These are both RM in their dogmatic approach to the state's involvement in religion.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2 View Post
    If these atheistic and agnostic regimes achieve their goals, the world will be a radically changes place. Once the Judeo-Christian system of thought is supplanted, anything is possible).
    Again, they are not atheistic or agnostic regimes.

    Thank you for your post, Peter!

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    Re: Secular Morality vs. Non-Secular Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    Just because an action is accepted does not make it right, morally; it makes it liked or imposed.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Tell me, is it simply accepted that cutting off your head will harm you, or is it a fact? You seem to miss the point about how SM uses objective assessments to determine whether an action is considered good or bad.
    Sure it will harm you - fact.

    Is it accepted that abortion violently kills an innocent human being? If so, then why are there so many abortions (millions every year) if it is considered harmful to cut off (pull off) someone's head?

    So, on those thoughts (cutting off someones head), is abortion good or bad considering how many are decapitated, injected or mutilated?

    Warning for graphic content showing decapitated unborn human beings:

    http://clinicquotes.com/wp-content/u...2/08/david.jpg
    http://clinicquotes.com/wp-content/u...08/ablate5.jpg
    http://clinicquotes.com/wp-content/u...08/ablate8.jpg
    http://clinicquotes.com/wp-content/u...slit-small.jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    The question is why do the thoughts of one relative, subjective individual (who influences others) equal what is 'good'? Is it because of he and the other participants 'liking' his system of thought, or is there a standard that is best that he can appeal to?
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    SM relies on rational discourse, the examination of data & facts, and objective assessments, in order to determine which actions serve the goals of the system.
    That depends on what SM regime and system of thought or control you/one live(s) under, such as China or North Korea, or Russia.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    SM does not have one that is best, nor could it make one up.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    The standards aren't simply made up. The standards are based on what's inherently in the participants' best interests. Your claim that they're just "made up" is a common claim by theists regarding the inherent subjectivity of any society's goals. It's something which no society ever has been able to avoid regardless of where they claim to get their morals, but there's nothing wrong with it. Do you honestly think people are just sitting around, "making up" standards arbitrarily?
    The standards are merely made up if there is no ultimate standard as the measure. It just depends on who makes them up and where you live. Civilization (when you can call it that) is replete with such examples of different (harmful) standards. Western culture, influenced by the Judeo-Christian system of thought, makes it more tolerant to live in than some atheistic or alternate systems.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    If the Being is all-knowing, then He would know what is best, and He would be the standard that best is derived from by subjective human beings.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Really? On what basis are you saying that an all-knowing being should have any authority over a society which has the ability to determine for themselves what they think their standards should be? This is the main point behind the authority being external vs. internal.
    The Bible is the basis I use.

    An omniscient and omnipotent being would know best, and if He chose to exercise His sovereignty by revealing what is best (Himself), then we would be responsible for living according to His standard or face repercussions. As His creatures in His creation, we would eventually have to answer for the wrong we have done.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    People would start calling good as evil and evil as good.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Would you call punishing someone indefinitely for a finite crime good?
    Yes, if God created humanity to live forever. Punishment would be separation from His presence, since why would He allow someone who wanted to do their own sinful will to live in His presence for eternity? That each man to his own standard in heaven would be the kind of hell we see so often on earth where one person decides to do extreme evil to someone else. If a person wants to live a selfish and self-centered life, pleasing themselves and their desires, then they will be judged as such and separated from His presence. If you do not want to acknowledge His purity and majesty, nor submit to His will (which meets its fulfillment in Jesus Christ) here on earth, you will find yourself living according to your heart's desire, along with everyone else who is wanting to live according to his or her own will on the flip side of this life. I'm sure you can imagine the inhumanity that will ensue, without any restraint from God if the same kind of inhumanity and freedom was allowed in heaven.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    "Encourage change" would be a problem.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    How so? When an opportunity to change & improve something is identified, a secular system encourages the discussions which would lead to the change. Religious systems, on the other hand, do not encourage change.
    How so? Why is your system of thought any better than my opposing mode of thinking in a relative, subjective world of ideas? Why is your opinion of improvement any 'better' than Hitler's idea of change, or Kim Jong-un's? You are just lucky you live in a culture that is significantly influenced by Judeo-Christian beliefs.

    The problem with 'improvement' is who discusses what 'better' is and why is their relative standard the standard that all others SHOULD be fashioned after? If you are just a biological bag of atoms that fizzes one way, and me another, according to my electro-chemical reactions then what makes your opinion any better than mine? NOTHING. It just makes it the system fostered on others by force.

    Better needs an ultimate best in which to measure qualitative values against or else whose 'best' are we to believe? The very nature of best is better than all others. Since you are not omniscient how do you determine all the computations of a particular system of thinking as to its goodness? You don't. Your idea of utopia becomes a living hell once the scenario starts to play out. Look at every country that implemented communism. But when you adopt the Judeo-Christian system of thought things work better because it is based on a best. After all, is it better not to murder/kill another INNOCENT human being? Is it better not to steal, not to lie, not to commit adultery, not to covet? If you say it is not better to tell the truth, then why would you be able to trust anything anyone else told you if they lived according to such a standard?


    [QUOTE=PGA2How would the participants ever arrive at a best?[/QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    With reasoned discussion and rational examination of available evidence.
    Given that you think your reasoning is 'better' than my reasoning, and if there is no ultimate measure, why SHOULD your reasoning be better than mine? If I am starving why would it be in my best interest to share with you? When shortages of food or economic crisis occur, it is more often than not that every man is for himself or his family. There is no reasoning available, operating on a secular morality, that I would share with you what I grew to feed my family, even if I have a little more than my family needs at present, if it ultimately means their survival over yours. But as a Christian, I would forgo my earthly existent to look after yours along with my family, instead of my own.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    Without a fixed best how could the participants know that what they believed was good? (The idea of best is that there is nothing better and if the participants can't appeal to a best - everything is changing - how can they say their system of thought is any better than any other?)
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Again, by having reasoned discourse and showing that a certain standard meets the goals of their system better than another. When faced with limited options, one can certainly be identified as the best available.
    You have a reason or reasons that may very well oppose my reasoning. Your reasoning may meet your idea of reasonable but obviously the Judeo-Christian system of thought does not meet your standards of logic/reason or else you would believe it. How does 'loving your neighbor as yourself' seem unreasonable? How does an ultimate qualitative value that best can be know from and better can be compared to seem absurd? If it does seem ridiculous, then what is your final standard that you derive best from? It is a subjective standard, right? You don't have an ultimate, final standard, do you? You make one up, or someone else does for you because you use words like good and better that change as more and more reasoning requires you to redefine what is good. Not so long ago abortion and same-sex marriage were considered taboo by both our North American societies. Which system of thought is better, the one we used to hold or the one we hold today (because both are opposites and both can't be equally right). Which social system is better, the one adopted by the USA or the one chosen by Kim Jong-un, the Vatican, or Saudi Arabia, regarding abortion or same-sex marriage? Why SHOULD your social group get to choose? And what about those in your greater society who disagree with the spoon-fed masses or the elite who pass the laws? Why can't these sub-cultures be right also? If you say they both can be right, you run into a problem of a logical contradiction. Which is the true standard? In a relative world, please explain why your system is the true standard, or do you just want to foster your atheistic views by force on everyone so we can all live as you dictate?

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    This type of SM philosophy is what people fight over - a disagreement on what is better or best.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    In SM, armed conflicts only occur when one party is not willing to participate in the reasoned discourse which would resolve the disagreement, or, more commonly, when the party is not SM, but RM and dogmatically asserting their inferior system.
    Conflicts happen when one system of thought is imposed on another system of thought that goes against the will on the native system.

    Reasoned in whose mind? A secular mindset. Why is your mindset any better than mine? Define your ultimate best standard, so I may determine if it is better. Is your gauge ultimately yourself? Which relative individual or group holds the keys to best if not you?

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    You throw around words like good and better and best, but what they equate to is what you prefer/like, since your system is ever changing.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    No, they equate to what is demonstrably better at serving our goals. Again, nobody is simply saying "I like this or that" arbitrarily.
    Better in whose mind, yours? Why is your mind's view better than mine? Because YOU prefer it?

    Let's get down to concrete examples. What is your view on abortion? It is, or SHOULD it be, the woman's right to choose?

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    Is Thou shall not kill, Thou shall not steal, Thou shall not lie, Thou shall not commit adultery, Thou shall not covet something that belongs to someone else, a bad thing?
    No, but again, what identifies and validates these as bad things is not simply that they're written about in a book, but that they are demonstrably against the goals of our society.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    These assessments, however, are subject to change. Killing someone, for example, is in some circumstances the best available action to take, in which case it would not be bad to do so.
    They are subject to change in your system of thought because you can't grab onto an ultimate best or final measure of comparison. You're always trying to get to best but never can. 'Better' is only as good as those who believe it until someone else comes along and explains their subjective views are better yet. If others decide to accept those beliefs, then what was once considered better is now jettisoned and replaced by another relative opinion. That view is opposite of what was once thought better. You can never get to best in a changing system of thought regarding qualitative values.

    Go figure.

    Is killing an innocent human being for the fun of it ever right?

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    The 'Golden Rule' is what most religious beliefs are based upon, although I only defend ONE, the Judeo-Christian system of belief. I will argue with you against any other system of thought and belief.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Really? So when the Israelites were performing the instructions in Going to War, they were actually operating on the Golden Rule?
    They were operating on the principle of justice (God's justice). These people groups living in the Promised Land practiced evil. Some, such as the Ammonites, practiced human sacrifices.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_sacrifice

    Deuteronomy 18:9-12 (NIV)
    Occult Practices
    9 When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you.


    What is more, these people groups would have obstructed God's plan by eradicating the Jews from the land or corrupting them to do evil (which they did). They would have (and did) persuade them to adopt foreign gods who are not the Only true God.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    Improvements provided that the system has built on what is right, instead of what is thought by the individual and his adherents to be good.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Again, the system is built on what is demonstrably better at achieving the society's goals, not just one what an individual and their adherents think is good.
    'Better' in whose mind? In any given society many (sometimes countless) subcultural groups oppose the central system of thought.


    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    Hitler (and other depots) built on a system, that if realized, would have resulted in the extermination of whole classes of human beings, such as the Jews.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Hitler claimed he was doing the work of God. He dogmatically enforced his religious opinions on Germany by force of the army, and each soldier had "God with us" on their belt buckles. SM allows us to objectively determine that what Hitler did was wrong by examining the available evidence.
    No, Hitler used Christianity as a means to an end. Mein Kampf deals with a social Darwinian system of thought - the strong survive. Many people claim they are Christians, some even think it is their birthright, yet do not display an ounce of Christian fruit in their actions.

    "Adolf Hitler's religious beliefs have been a matter of debate; the wide consensus of historians consider him to have been irreligious and anti-Christian. In light of evidence such as his vocal rejection of the tenets of Christianity, numerous private statements to confidants denouncing Christianity as a harmful superstition, and his strenuous efforts to reduce the influence and independence of Christianity in Germany after he came to power, Hitler's major academic biographers conclude that he was irreligious and an opponent of Christianity."

    "Once in office, Hitler and his regime sought to reduce the influence of Christianity on society. From the mid-1930s, his government was increasingly dominated by militant anti-Christians like Goebbels, Bormann, Himmler, Rosenberg and Heydrich whom Hitler appointed to key posts. These anti-church radicals were generally permitted or encouraged to perpetrate the Nazi persecutions of the churches. The regime launched an effort toward coordination of German Protestants under a unified Protestant Reich Church (but this was resisted by the Confessing Church), and moved early to eliminate political Catholicism. Hitler agreed to the Reich Concordat with the Vatican, but then routinely ignored it, and permitted persecutions of the Catholic Church."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religi...f_Adolf_Hitler

    "Hitler’s religious beliefs have been the source of much misinformation. Some argue that while Hitler paid lip service to Christianity, he was actually an atheist. Others argue that Hitler was an occultist. The reality is that Hitler adhered to a system of belief that may be classified as pseudo-Christian and extremely heretical."

    "His closest friend as a youth, August Kubizek, said, “For the entire period that I knew Adolf Hitler, I do not think he attended mass.”2 Hitler affirmed his lack of interest in religion as a youth, saying in 1942, “At thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, I no longer believed in anything, certainly none of my friends still believed in the so-called communion, only a few totally stupid honor students!”"

    http://www.equip.org/article/was-hitler-a-christian/

    Anyone who alters the message of Christianity is not a Christian. They do not worship God in spirit and in TRUTH. Hitler did not recognize the OT and many parts of the NT, including Matthew and the writings of Paul. He shaped his Positive Christianity to resemble Aryian teachings, a false gospel.

    Anyone who calls what he believed Christian is sadly mistaken.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    Now, if there is no best or ultimate, fixed standard, how do we even get to best, let alone good? Good is whatever works, or whatever one person or group can pressure others to accept.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Again, it's not pressure, but reasoned discourse.
    Whose reason?

    What you see as 'reasoned discourse' I regard as a propaganda machine that tries to drown out opposing views (just like Hitler did). I perceive my conservative reasoning as drowned out in much of your/my culture, including gatekeeping institutions of higher learning (the school system, colleges, and universities), the Democratic Party/Liberal Party, Holywood, and the liberal-minded mass media. These (and other liberal groups) control the mainstream view held by your/my society.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    So Thou shall not kill, lie, steal, covet, etc., (love your neighbor as yourself) is not providing the most reliable results, results that we should follow?
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Whether a standard can provide results is completely separate to whether the standard is intended to do so, which was the point.
    Either the standard I listed is positive and provides the most reliable results that we SHOULD follow, or it does not. Are you saying such a standard does not?

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    Adaptation means that best has not been found, followed, or known.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    And this is the situation we find ourselves in. Anything else is just unsupported claims.
    It is the type of situation YOU find YOURSELF in, but don't include me in your system. I do NOT share the same value system that you or many in your culture does in many instances. If you can prove that the Christian system of thought is a sham then, you have a point. I do not believe you can.

    Explain to me how you can arrive at better in an ever changing sytem of thought in which best has not been defined or realized and the term better rests.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    Based on whose skeptical inquiry, whose rationale, whose data, whose demonstratable results.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    The participants'.
    Sure!

    Stats can be used to bolster any system of thought. You can poll 1,000 people in a city that is largely Democratic. Not only this, but statistics measure both empirical data and abstract opinions, opinions that are based on a qualitative value system (that, in your case, is continuously changing depending on a number of factors, one such being who is in power).

    In your very country, it is in with the new and out with the old concerning many of the policies Obama implimented. Trump is replacing them. Show me that Trump's plans are worse regarding, for instance, Planned Parenthood, by showing me that the value system Obama held on that abortion issue has a fixed and final reference point or don't talk to me about better. Why should I believe that a standard that is continually morphing is better now than it used to be?

    Regarding statistics:

    http://www.tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations
    http://www.news1130.com/2011/11/21/y...th-statistics/

    "There are, of course, problems with using statistics as evidence. Let me remind you of a famous saying: "There are three ways to not tell the truth: lies, damned lies, and statistics." What you must do is ask yourself some questions: who did the study that came up with the statistics, what exactly are the statistics measuring, who was asked, how were they asked, and compared with what? If one believes in the truth of statistics (and there are many such), then how does one explain that the same Presidential candidate can be 20 points ahead and 5 points behind his opponent in the polls at the same time? After all, both polls are "statistics". What you must be examine, if you wish to use statistics as evidence, are the above questions.
    1. Who Did the Study
    2. What are the Statistics Measuring
    3. Who was Asked?
    4. How Were They Asked?
    It is not only the respondents but the questioners that contribute their own prejudice to the gathering of facts.
    Two things that are used in surveys and statistical studies are questions and answers. First, let's examine the questions.
    Researchers generally have an idea what their research is looking for. They thus formulate questions that will illuminate their research, either pro or con. Prejudice can creep in when a researcher unconsciously words questions in such a way that the answers support his or her contention or opinion. Various questions of this type are leading questions, loaded questions, and double-barreled questions.
    5. Compared with What?
    Finally, you need to examine statistics to determine what are the comparisons being drawn and are they relevant and valid.

    http://public.wsu.edu/~taflinge/evistats.html

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    Inclusive discussions?
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Yes, inclusive discussions, since the discussions take place between the participants.
    Inclusive of who? Is a liberal university campus like Berkeley inclusive? Are women who choose to destroy their offspring being inclusive? Are those who object to a Christian saying "Merry Christmas" being inclusive? Are those who form a different opinion on any particular issue being inclusive when they exclude others? Are the Palestinians or Iranians inclusive of the rights of Israel to exist? Is Kim Jong-un being inclusive regarding his people or the rest of the world?

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    I see what is happening on campuses around your country where conservative views are ostracized and squashed. That is what happens when SM is questioned and criticized.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    No, that is what happens when rational discourse breaks down.
    Right, but a large group of people holds the view that what they believe is right/true without 'right and true' being locked down. For them, it can mean whatever they want it to say/mean. These people do not want a rational discourse; they want what they like to be made legal. This is the same case for you unless you have an ultimate standard/measure/reference point that can be appealed to. Do you have such a standard? If not, don't tell me what you like is BETTER than what I like.

    If I like to boil and eat human beings that oppose my views because that is my preference, and the majority and legal position of my culture, and I can get away with doing this because my culture accepts this view I hold then, what makes my opinions on such issues any less right than your opposing views, if you live in my culture? Your system of thought has no final reference point or measure to argue otherwise. In fact, if I appeal to my culture as the ultimate consensus I can say that it is your views that are wrong, and you will be the next guest in my cauldron, thank you very much!

    If it is all relative to culture or all relative to an individual, how can you say that Obama's America is any better than Hitler's Germany, or Kim Jong-Un's North Korea?

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    No, not conquest or coercion in the case of Christianity but choice.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    I'm sorry, but this is simply wrong. There are numerous examples in history where religions, including Christianity, were forced onto unwilling participants.
    Christianity is a heart issue. You cannot be forced to believe in a God if you deny He exists, even if the culture forces you to conform with its religiosity and rituals outwardly regarding Christianity.

    But if God changes your mind by His Word, Son, Spirit, then you will choose Him over your other ultimately worthless beliefs.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    It relies the individual recognizing there is One who has our best interested in mind and it depends upon the obedience of the INDIVIDUAL to doing what is good or best because the revelation of God has changed their whole being.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Yes, all hail Zeus! No, wait, Allah! Or was it Thor? This is what it means to fail at a rational examination of evidence. In any case, what you describe here is precisely what I referred to in my point which included conversion.
    No, not Zeus, or Allah, or Thor. God, as revealed in the Bible, has given justifiable evidence of His existence. I would argue that Zeus, nor Allah, nor Thor has. If you wanted to investigate the claim, which is another discussion, I would invite you to disprove biblical prophecy on the evidence available. I don't see the Qu'ran, for instance, as offfering the same degree of accountability for its claims.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    Superior in whose SM view (Kim Jong-un, President Xi's, an oppressive military junta, or Putin's)?
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    As previously explained, these regimes are not SM, but RM, since they are all dogmatic and are not based on the best interests of their participants.
    Why does a system have to be determined on the best interests of its participants and who determines what are the best interests without an ultimate best reference point? Do they just make a best up? Please answer the question as to your definition of best interests. If you need a specific example, take abortion, or what is the overall best interests of a society.

    Also, Xi's China is not an RM value-based system, neither is Kim Jong-un's NOKO. Atheists put themselves in place of God by being their own gods.

    "North Korea is an atheist state where public religion is discouraged."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_North_Korea

    "The Chinese government is officially atheist."

    "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreligion_in_China

    As for Putin, he was raised an atheist and later claimed to be Russian Orthodox. Does he live the Christian life - no.

    People claim to be all kinds of things that are not true.

    For instance, Jesus narrowed the field of what a believer was.
    1. A believer in Him (John 14:6)
    2. Someone who does not deny Him and follows Him (Matthew 16:24; Matthew 12:30)
    3. Those who worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24). If you worship a false view of God then you do not worship God as He is but an idol, a false god.
    4. Those who claim to have faith but their life shows otherwise can be questioned (Matthew 3:8; Matthew 3:10; Matthew 7:16; Matthew 12:33)....And so on.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    Because an individual or group says their changing view is superior to another groups views does not make it so unless there is an ultimate standard that their view can be measured by?
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    But we don't have what you are referring to as an ultimate standard - only claims of one. In any case, the measurement is the evidence.
    You don't. You do not have what is necessary for such a standard. If my system of thought and belief is true then, I have an ultimate standard of appeal and measure.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    Hitler did not like Jews. Kim Jong-un does not like Americans.
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    These are both RM.
    Very debatable with Hitler. For sure, he was not a Christian, even though during his early years of power his WORDS said he was and he professed an aberrant Christianity for a while.

    As for Kim Jong-un, show me your evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    President Xi ... Putin
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    These are both RM in their dogmatic approach to the state's involvement in religion.
    "China's Leader Xi Jinping Reminds Party Members to Be 'Unyielding Marxist Atheists'....there is a widespread attack on religious institutions in China. More than 1,700 churches have had their crosses torn down in the country’s east, according to activists, and many have been completely demolished. Muslims in China’s far-western state of Xinjiang have been hit with bans on beards, veils as well as fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. Religious sects like the Falun Gong have long complained of persecution...Certainly, Xi thought it was necessary to emphasize in his weekend speech that CCP cadres must act as “unyielding Marxist atheists … and bear in mind the party’s tenets.”..According to William Nee, China researcher for Amnesty International, obligatory Marxist atheism has been conspicuously absent from party decrees over the past two or three decades. No longer. “It’s not a change per se, but it’s significant when that message is being reinforced by the highest levels,” Nee says." - Time

    http://time.com/4306179/china-religi...uddhist-tibet/

    Quote Originally Posted by PGA2
    If these atheistic and agnostic regimes achieve their goals, the world will be a radically changes place. Once the Judeo-Christian system of thought is supplanted, anything is possible).
    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Again, they are not atheistic or agnostic regimes.
    The Chinese and North Korean ARE. The Russian were and a high percentage of Russians are not only communist but also atheist, brought up in the communist system by founders who were atheists (Stalin and Lennin).

    People's Republic of China
    Main article: Irreligion in the People's Republic of China
    A WisdomAsia survey, commissioned by WIN-Gallup International, conducted from 1 November, 2014, to 15 November, 2014, found that 61% of the People's Republic of China were "convinced atheists."

    "China has the world's greatest irreligious population...In comparison, only 14% considered themselves to be religious.[10] More recently, a 2015 Gallup poll found the number of convinced atheists in China to be 61%, with a further 29% saying that they are not religious compared to just 7% who are religious"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irreligion_in_China

    List of atheists:
    Xi Jinping (1953–): General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and President of China.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_atheists_in_politics_and_law

    "There are no known official statistics of religions in North Korea. North Korea is an atheist state where public religion is discouraged. Based on estimates from the late 1990s and the 2000s, North Korea is mostly atheist and agnostic, with the religious life dominated by the traditions of Korean shamanism and Chondoism. There are small communities of Buddhists and Christians...This cult of the Kims, together with the doctrine of Juche (self-reliance) are said by some to have religious overtones. Juche appeared in the 1960s as an idea of national autonomy but it has developed universal characters. The doctrine proclaims that human beings should break free of any dependency on spiritual ideas and realise that, working together, they can achieve all their goals without supernatural assistance...Kim Il-sung criticized religion in his writings, and North Korean propaganda in literature, movies and other media have presented religion in a negative light. Kim Il-sung's attack on religion was strongly based on the idea that religion had been used as a tool for imperialists in the Korean peninsula. He criticized Christians for collaborating with the United Nations' forces against him during the Korean War, although he praised Christians who supported him.
    Accounts from the Korean War speak of harsh persecution of religion by Kim Il-sung in the areas he controlled...Religion was attacked in the ensuing years as an obstacle to the construction of communism, and many people abandoned their former religions in order to conform to the new reality. On the basis of accounts from the Korean War as well as information from defectors, an interpretation has held that the North Korea was the only state in the world to have completely eradicated religion by the 1960s..."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_North_Korea

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    Thank you for your post, Peter!
    Thank you for yours too, Futureboy, and for addressing my arguments and concerns!

    Peter

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    Re: Secular Morality vs. Non-Secular Morality

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    SM allows us to objectively determine that what Hitler did was wrong by examining the available evidence.
    I think a lot of people here are unfamiliar with the process you are describing in this thread. Perhaps you could take this example and use it to show us how the SM objectively determines that Hitler's actions were wrong?
    "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.


 

 
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