crispybits wrote:Also, the religious are the ones contending that there is some absolute moral truth, and that this is given to us by God. Using the same source they use for judging this absolute morality, and then asking if God fits this absolute moral code, seems perfectly reasonable to me.
It makes as much sense as saying that any rule OK for an adult should be OK for a 2 year old child.
I'm not talking about the rules, I'm talking about the principles behind those rules. You would tell an adult to be nice to others in a different way to the way you would tell a 2 year old to play nice with his 2 year old friends, but the basic principle underlying both is "be nice to other people". If the underlying message is one of love, respect, tolerance and whatnot then surely we should expect God to also apply those principles to his actions. There are many examples where the God of the bible (both new and old testament) acts contrary to those underlying principles.
For one among very many examples, Jesus is all about mercy most of the time, but then also threatens eternal excommunication/torment (depending on the interpretation of certain biblical verses) to those that don't follow his way and accept him/his Dad as subjects of worship. (Matthew 10:33 "But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." - so deny Jesus as your saviour and you're not getting into our special sky club).
PLAYER57832 wrote:Moral truth and absolute truths are 2 different things. I would say it is fundamental to Christianity that God exists, created the universe, etc.
Most other things are not truly "absolute truths" or "absolute moral truths". The few exceptions permeat societies, are not solely held by Christianity. Even most of what we would consider "absolutes" are exepted in various specific circumstances.
To pick a repugnant example, there is a story in the Bible about a man who lies with his daughters to give them children. Absolutely against both Judaic and Christian law. Yet... if there were a nuclear holocaust and no other men were around, would that moral "absolute" stay?
When it comes to God versus man, a lot of the rules are about "this is God's choice, not humanities' choice". This is a big part of why Christ replaces a long series of rules with 2 rules... "love thy God and love thy neighbor as thyself. Those other things were guidelines, rules for people who wanted rules they could follow... but they wound up tying people up in trivialities. Its similar to changes parents go through when kids grow. Ultimately, in one sense, the goals and even the "rules are really the same...that is, the real "rules" for each age are to "stay safe", "be 'good' [per the standards of the soceiety].. etc. BUT, how those goals are communicated to a 5 year old will differ, because their ability to understand and circumstancesdiffer so widely.
If a man and his 2 daughters were the only ones left alive, then the social contract can be changed with the agreement of the parties to better suit the new "society". It happens on a gradual and larger scale all the time. If the man drugged and raped his daughters then I think I would probably still term that an immoral act even if it saved the human race in the future (because the individual's health must be considered as well as that of the society). If the daughters voluntarily decided to have kids with their Dad then probably not so bad at all.
On the second point, firstly Christ said quite clearly in the sermon on the mount that he was not there to change any of the rules already in place, or to remove them from the rulebook. But even then if we say that those two rules "love God and love thy neighbour" then God comes up short. An all powerful, all loving being would never condemn one of his creations to eternal excommunication/torment because he built it in such a way that meant that for whatever reason (either intellectual/emotional or societal/cultural) they could not believe in him and genuinely love him. As mentioned in another post on here or the gay marriage thread, love is not a choice it's an emotional response (and I'll requote that argument here if you want to go over it)
john9blue wrote:maybe... sounds crazy, but... maybe different beings should have different moral expectations?
there's a reason we don't punish animals for murdering each other. hell, we don't even punish kids as harshly as we punish adults for identical crimes.
OK, so as a human being, with finite capability for different actions, and with a finite capacity for love, compassion and mercy, I am taught that I must: (to quote Matthew 5:43-48)
43Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
And yet an all powerful being, with an infinite capability to do anything, and with an infinite capacity for love, compassion and mercy isn't going to do the same? Will he accept non-believers into heaven? Will he do good to those that hate him?
Ah no, I remember now, he'll condemn us all to eternal excommunication/torment. OK then.... guess he's still a scumbag.