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Thread: type of religion belief

  1. #26
    Back leonmarino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kohlrak
    We'll all eventually know who's right,..
    Oh? Sorry, I don't get that one.
    Quote Originally Posted by kohlrak
    ...but right now we all do need to learn how to co-exist.
    Yes.

  2. #27
    kohlrak
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    Oh? Sorry, I don't get that one.
    We'll eventually know which way was the right to go, weather it be a particular religon such as atheism, christianity, ect. of if none of us is right at all.

  3. #28
    Regular Member uloocn's Avatar
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    no right or wrong

    Quote Originally Posted by kohlrak
    We'll eventually know which way was the right to go, weather it be a particular religon such as atheism, christianity, ect. of if none of us is right at all.
    I think the function of belief is to get a harmonious soul.

  4. #29
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    I think the function of belief is to get a harmonious soul.
    If you beleive in a religion that includes souls/spirits/ghosts, you tend to also beleive that it's in danger. For those who do not beleive in those particular types of religions have nothing to worry about according to their beleif. To actually sit down and talk about the purpose of religion would be contraversal, simply because how religions handle the meaning of "afterlife" (and how they handle it includes certain religions to not beleive in such).

    In short, if you're saying that it's purpose is to get along with yourself, you do not see the point of view of those who beleive in souls.

    I don't know if you'll understand what i said above, even i am having trouble understanding my own words at this point. (It's because religion is an issue that's almost impossible to become one sided about. And the 2 paragraphs above are pointing out that the "purpose(s)" of religion(s) cannot be described because of this problem.)

  5. #30
    Happy 4321go's Avatar
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    In fact ,I have the religion belief .I follow my father ~ he influence me

    There are many temple and church in China .

  6. #31
    *+Mangaka/Illustrator+* sketchytiger's Avatar
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    "If you want to rule people, you had better impose Buddhism;
    If you want to invad others, you had better impose Christianism;
    If you want to destroy all, you had better impose Moslemism;"

    Where did you get this info? and it's not Moslemism *sounds retarted ^^;;* It's Islam ^0^;;
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  7. #32
    Regular Member pharaoh21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uloocn View Post
    I am a Chinese and I have belief but have no religion belief.
    From my point of view ,I have a word on the 3 major religions in the world:Buddhism,Christianism, and Moslemism. maybe I am not correct ,just say out...
    If you want to rule people, you had better impose Buddhism;
    If you want to invad others, you had better impose Christianism;
    If you want to destroy all, you had better impose Moslemism;
    I take all 3 comments as insults esp the one regarding Christianity.

  8. #33
    retrodisease retrodisease's Avatar
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    religion to me is another reason for somebody else to feel powerful. there are many religions (beliefs or whatever call it what you may) that were and still are being established for control. somebody needed to feel good about themselves and so they invented some off the wall brainwash.
    now this is religion then there is philosophy. if you can find moral resoning through readings, of whatever scripture you read, without being consumed by somebody elses ideas then you are safe.
    to me all religions are cut throat. i am not trying to offend anybody by the way. but i say what i want so that's that.
    anyway, it seems like any religions you choose to follow you will be condmend to some fireiy abyss. so why stress the confusion.
    i am a firm believer and follower of ones own ideas. no hell comes form that except the persecution one may face simply because they have stepped outside the bounds and is looking for their own inner strength, without giving something else credit that did not actually make them feel like they have accomplished something.
    is religious concepts really manifest?
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    Ai Shi Te Ru. Ish Libe Dish. Lu'Bim Ta. Ti Amo.
    .Je T'aime. Ja Kocham Ciebie. Wo Ai Ni .Volim Te .Te Ubsec
    .I love you.

  9. #34
    Banned sabro's Avatar
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    Vanilla Religion.

    Only non-offensive, non descript or anti-religious opinions should be expressed here in my opinion. All others may result in bad karma and a sudden loss of functionality. We are all unusually happy without reason, and discussing issues from a religious perspective could be offensive to those who consider any contributions by practioners of a faith to be not only prosletyzing, but offensive.

    Be very wary.

  10. #35
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    I am an atheist,nothing to comment here.

  11. #36
    Junior Member Constantine's Avatar
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    If you want to rule people, you had better impose bushism;
    If you want to slash others, you had better impose terrorism;
    If you want to destroy all, you had better impose annihilism.

    I don't like politics. I may get arrested if I say something wrong. Aha.

  12. #37
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    Pot calling the kettle black

    Quote Originally Posted by Buntaro View Post
    A person from China complaining about religion...? This is official Chinese propoganda, and we need to stand up against it.
    The Chinese Communists have thrown out all religion, and one result is that an entire generation of Chinese people are living without religious morals. The post above is the unfortunate result of that.
    The Chinese government is also on the road to destroying the morals of the people.
    Someone from California, talking about morals.
    Take a hard long look at where you are.
    In general chinese famlies care for their elderly and the grandparents take care of the grandchildren so parents can work.
    They eat together the first base of morals to eat and be with your own family.
    In urban over zone California, not really the soap box to be standing on to discuss morals or is this post the result of the general double morals of the US. people with their 60 million who cannnot read and write.

  13. #38
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    must reading for all religions

  14. #39
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    Lightbulb Yes but, atheists have not reason for their morals.

    This is an old post so maybe not worth commenting on, but I read Mycernius's post where he says he is an atheist and thinks you don't need religion to live with a high standard of morals.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mycernius View Post
    Just to let you know I'm an atheist.
    Is living without religious morals really a bad thing? You don't need religion to live with a high standard of morals
    That is no doubt true. However, I wonder where his high standard of morality comes from. And if the next person does not have a high standard of morality, you are stuck. There is nothing you can do or say about it is there? If there is no absolute standard of morality imposed from an eternal God, then in the end, it doesn't really matter how we live our lives. When we die there is no judgment. So some may choose to live what we would call "moral lives" from a religious viewpoint while others may choose to live a very immoral life. If there is no judgment when we die, if there is no God to bring moral justice to bear on humans after death, then outside of personal desire, there is no real reason to live a moral life. Some may choose to do so and others are just as free to choose not to do so. You cannot say that any one particular way of life is right or wrong, good or bad, moral or immoral. It is just a matter of personal opinion and choice.
    However, it is interesting though that Mycernius seems to think it is good to live a "moral life" though, whatever he means by a moral life. I wonder why he thinks that. Could it be because God wrote His moral code on our hearts when He created us? Could it be that our consciences are given to us by God to reflect His laws?
    I wonder why he thinks his way of living is better than someone who chooses not to live according to his particular idea of what "high moral standards" are. How do we define what high moral standards are anyway? Is his idea of high moral standards really right? How do we know? I guess it would come down to personal opinion wouldn't it.
    In other words, an atheist cannot justify his ideas of morality. That means that Hitler's morality is no better or no worse than his. To say his morality is better would be a bit arrogant. Who is to say that the chemical processes in his brain are more accurate than the chemical processes in Hitler's brain that produced Hitler's brand of morality? Does might make right? Why or why not? When it comes down to it, we have to admit that there cannot be any ultimate right and wrong in an atheistic worldview.
    So if Mycernius lived in Hitler's time and his parents were taken to the gas chambers, he could not say it is wrong, at least in the ultimate sense of the word.(since that kind of morality cannot exist in a world without a God who is over humans.) He could say that he doesn't think it is right. Or that he doesn't like it. Or that it used to be illegal.(At that point it was not illegal.) After the war, the courts also agreed with him that it was wrong, but still that is only a human viewpoint and there is no ultimate punishment for Hitler. If he would have won the war, he would have gotten away with it. Many murderers get away with their crime. How utterly unfair if there will never be any ultimate justice.
    Our hearts cry for justice in this world. Why? Why is justice better than injustice? Why is love any better than hate? Why is honesty any better than dishonesty? The biblical answer is that God Himself is just, honest, and love. Morality is defined by the character of God himself. If there is no god, no one can definitively say that love is better than hate, honesty than dishonesty, or justice than injustice. It all comes down to a matter of personal opinion - personal taste.
    However, even if it was something that was not illegal, I'm sure Mycernius would cry foul if someone with a low view of morality treated him in an unjust way. But that is not possible in his worldview. He would be making amoral judgment that his worldview does not permit. We can't have it both ways. Atheists want to borrow the idea of morals from the Bible without having to deal with the God who established those morals. But you cannot separate these two. And anyway, why would you want to? A God who encourages this kind of moral life cannot be a bad guy, can He? Either there is a God who established ultimate morality and wrote his laws on our hearts as Romans 2: 14,15 says, or there is no such god. If that is the case, in the end, it doesn't really matter how we live our lives. Free? Oh yes. Wonderfully free. But this type of freedom comes at an unforgivable price. It forces us to admit that our lives are meaningless. And no one can live life if they really think that life is meaningless. If there is no judgment after death, no justice, no ultimate morality, no ultimate rules we must follow, it follows that it doesn't matter how we live our lives in the ultimate sense. One chooses to be "good" and one chooses to be "bad"(These terms are meaningless because there is no ultimate standard to define them). So you are free to live however you want. There is no god to whom you have to be responsible to. Go ahead and live it up! What wonderful freedom?! I can live my life however I want to. I can have sex with my neighbor's wife if I want to. But I don't want my neighbor to have sex with my wife that's for sure. I don't want him to infringe on my life. He is not free to live however he wants to. I want him to respect my property. I want him to be kind to me. I want him to treat my children with respect. No way Jose! I don't want him to live his life however he wants to if it infringes on my freedom.
    But then you need to be careful not to infringe on other's freedom.

    Hmm. Seems like we have a bit of an inconsistency here. I want to live my life however I want to. I don't need God to live a moral life. But I don't want others to live as if they are free if it infringes on me. Can't have it both ways, can we?

    What happens if your neighbor does treat you with disrespect and make life miserable for you? Is he doing something wrong? No, because there is no ultimate right or wrong. Hmm. It seems that this kind of idea is one that doesn't really work in real life. You can't live by atheistic standards unless you impose restrictions on others. But who are you to impose restrictions on others. They are not binding. You don't have authority. This is where you need God. So if you can't live in harmony with your worldview, what good is it? I wonder if it is really true or not.

    thoughts to ponder
    tj

  15. #40
    The Hairy Wookie Mycernius's Avatar
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    I take it your religious from that rather long post. I have had this canard come up no end of times from theists, "Atheists are immoral, atheists are ammoral. You need religion for your morals. God/religion is where morals come from". There are the typical quote from the bible. "The bible says it true, so it must be true because it is in the bible" This is called circular reasoning. Plus the bible says a lot of things that are not so nice. Other logical fallacies you have shown are strawmen and false fallacies, but I will address some of the issues.

    Point one: Morals come from society, not from some holy book. If you really want to look at biblical morals then by all means try and show they are good. Like most theists you will miss out all the bad ones, or say Jesus changed the OT rules.

    Point two: If you look through societies around the world murder, stealing and general unpleasantness are not tolerated. This points more to something within humans that something divinely inspired. After all only one third of the planet is christian, which rather points that christian god isn't the one that put morals on everyone, or allah, vishnu, insert deity here.

    Point three: If we look back through history on the people in the church we don't exactly see paragons of virtue. Corruption, lying, stealing, threatening violence, doing violence, condoning murder, commiting murder, manipulation for their own power. Some of this still goes on from the so called morally religious.

    Point four, and the most important: This thread is not for this, but for your type of religious belief. So keep it on topic.
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  16. #41
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    Mycernius,
    First let me apologize if my post is off topic. I was just responding to your post so I don't quite understand how it is off topic. I'm not sure what you mean when you say "This thread is not for this, but for your type of religious belief. So keep it on topic."

    I had better get clarification before I do more harm.

    tj

  17. #42
    No rain in Seattle! grapefruit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tokyojim View Post
    If there is no absolute standard of morality imposed from an eternal God, then in the end, it doesn't really matter how we live our lives.
    This type of thinking that people do not behave morally without threat or reward from God sounds most scaring to more secularly oriented people. Does that mean that you would behave immorally if there was no God? If that was really true, then I would trust morals of atheists. After all, one could stop believing in God. When that day arrived, I would not want to be close to a religious person, if what you are saying was true.
    When we die there is no judgment. So some may choose to live what we would call "moral lives" from a religious viewpoint while others may choose to live a very immoral life. If there is no judgment when we die, if there is no God to bring moral justice to bear on humans after death, then outside of personal desire, there is no real reason to live a moral life. Some may choose to do so and others are just as free to choose not to do so. You cannot say that any one particular way of life is right or wrong, good or bad, moral or immoral. It is just a matter of personal opinion and choice.
    As Mycernius pointed out, I also believe moral standards are shaped by society. They are not a matter of personal opinion. I like to live morally because I donft want to be branded as immoral by other members of the community where I belong.
    In other words, an atheist cannot justify his ideas of morality. That means that Hitler's morality is no better or no worse than his. To say his morality is better would be a bit arrogant. Who is to say that the chemical processes in his brain are more accurate than the chemical processes in Hitler's brain that produced Hitler's brand of morality? Does might make right? Why or why not? When it comes down to it, we have to admit that there cannot be any ultimate right and wrong in an atheistic worldview.
    Moral standards change as society evolves. Nobody said anything about slaving long time ago.

  18. #43
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    Well, there was another reply, so I hope it is OK to reply to this.

    Grapefruit, how's life in Seattle? Nice to hear from you.

    I'm afraid you misunderstood what I said in my post. Of course people can and do behave "morally" whether or not there is a threat or reward from God. I am saying there is no ultimate reason to do so. It is simply a matter of choice. The fact that many atheists still behave "morally" is testimony to the fact that God gave us a conscience and that He wrote His laws on our hearts.

    When at atheist behaves "immorally", he is not being inconsistent with his worldview. Same when he behaves "morally". His worldview can make no ultimate statements about morality.

    However when a Christian acts immorally, he is not being consistent with his worldview. That is the difference. Both sin when they live immorally, but one is living inconsistent with his worldview.

    Now your idea of what is moral or immoral is probably different from my idea because I stick to what the Bible says. For instance, I believe that sex outside of marriage, pornography, and looking at women/men with lust is wrong. I believe that divorce is for the most part wrong. I believe that lying is wrong in almost all instances. I believe that getting drunk(not drinking per se) is wrong. I believe that self-promotion, selfishness, and self-centeredness is wrong, although I cannot say that I do not sin in this area.

    I really have no idea what I would be like if I didn't believe in God. We all have a natural tendancy to sin so if I hadn't grown up in a Christian family where my parents modelled God's love and taught me biblical morals, who knows where would I be now? I certainly wouldn't be here in Japan telling people about Jesus. I might be in jail for murder. Who knows? I might be an alcoholic or a drug addict. I might be a company president in the States. I simply cannot tell you how I would live my life if there was no God. If there was no God, my parents would not have experienced a relationship with Him, they would not have taught me that stuff.

    But at the same time, if there was some way that you could prove to me that there is no god, would I all of a suddenlive my life differently than I do now? Yes and no. I"m happy with my life as it is. But because my purpose in life is to live for God's glory, because I believe that my life belongs to Him, dropping those beliefs would probably influence my actions to a certain extent. For instance, I am a missionary pastor in a church here in Japan and I would probably stop that job as it would probably be difficult to continue that if I knew there was no god. Would I turn into a murderer? Probably not, but I wouldn't fear any future punishment from God when I die if I did. The Bible says that "The fear of the Lord is to turn away from evil." It is the same principle as police and fines. If you know there are no police around, are you more likely to speed? Probably yes. If you know they are there, are you more likely not to speed? Of course. The same is true of a person who believes in God. If I believe in God, I am less likely to go out and get drunk knowing that it is a sin and that God holds me accountable. So there is a healthy fear of God or should we call it a deep respect for God and His Word that we all should have. However, the real motivation for living the Christian life is not fear, but love. I have already been forgiven for my sins. Jesus already took my judgment upon himself(paid my fine -if you will) at the cross so the Bible says that I will not come into judgment. Once is enough. The debt has been paid! So my motivation for living for God now is love for Him. I'm grateful for what He has done for me. And I want to use my life to be a blessing to others just as He gave His life for me.

    I can't imagine myself not believing in God, but let's say something happened and I quit my faith. Still I have God's moral law written in my heart and I have my god-given conscience. As much as I try and deny it, it is there and it would make me feel uncomfortable when I did what I knew was wrong. And yes, like you, I probably would want to fit in with society around me. Jesus had a good idea when He said "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." So I doubt that I would really behave "badly" whatever badly means.

    You seem to think that you are a moral person, and take pride in that, but actually, I think you are an immoral person.(no offense intended) Why? I bet you have broken every one of God's top ten laws. Even if you have not ever worshipped any genuine idols, I bet you have idols in your heart that you serve. Instead of worshipping God, you treat yourself and the things of this world as more important and valuable than Him. This is spiritual idolatry. I'm sure you have used God's name in vain at least once. You probably do not keep the Sabbath. You probably have disobeyed your parents numerous times and not honored them as God desires. You probably have really hated someone in your heart at some point, which Jesus said was the same as murder. You have probably lusted after a woman or man in your heart which Jesus says is adultery. You have probably lied many times and stolen at least one little thing in your lifetime. You have probably committed the sin of coveting things that others own. If so, you are guilty of breaking all of the top 10 commands of God. Yet you think that you live a moral life? Not in God's eyes. No one does!(including me of course!) That is why Jesus came to die in our place. If we don't accept Jesus' death for us, then our sins remain unforgiven and we will be held responsible for them when we die. The bible says "The wages of sin is death." meaning spiritual death - eternal separation from God. A holy God who is a righteous Judge cannot just overlook sin. That would be sin for God and that is one thing He cannot do.

    Let's try evaluating your life on the basis of what Jesus said. He summed up all the Old Testament laws in two little sentences. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, strength, soul, and mind." And, "Love your neighbor as yourself." How about that? Have you kept even these two commands that Jesus says are the most important commands of all? If not, how can you call yourself moral? You do so because you reject God's standards and compare yourself to the generally in vogues standards of morality in our day. What is considered moral in Seattle may not always be considered mral where I come from, but does that really change the fact of it being right or wrong? I doubt it. You wouldn't really want to say that it was moral for Hitler to gas all those people until he lost the war and then it suddenly became an immoral act in that society? No, I think there are absolute standards of morality that cross all cultures and eras.

    You say that you want to live morally because you don't want to be branded as immoral by other members of the community. Great. I understand. It is a matter of like and dislike isn't it? If you happen to like to live that way, fine. But others don't give a ++++ about that. SO IS IT WRONG FOR THEM TO LIVE THEIR LIFE THEIR WAY EVEN IF SOCIETY DISAPPROVES? That is what I want to know. This is the problem! You cannot call anything truly "right" or "wrong" in your worldview. Just better or worse, out of vogue, or in vogue, popular or unpopular. But you cannot borrow from the Christian world view and make a moral judgment and say something is atually right or wrong. That would be arrogant.

    And, if it is not actually wrong, as long as you are willing to ignore what some people think of you, what is to keep you from living an immoral life? If it is not right or wrong, ultimately, it doesn't really matter how you live. The only ramifications are getting caught by the cops, being looked down upon by some people, etc.

    However if you believed there was a God to whom you would give an account to some day, even you would live your life differently than you do now, I'm sure. Why? The police example above is proof enough.

    Yes, societal moral standards change, but God does not change and His standards do not change either. Murder is still a sin and will be forever no matter what society believes or what the laws say. Abortion is a good example of this. It is legal to kill an unborn person in the US, but it is murder in God's eyes. Just because it is legal doesn't mean it is "moral".
    Jesus fulfilled the OT law and we are told us that He freed us from the Law. So certain of the OT commandments are no longer applicable to us in this age. Some would accuse God of changing His standards, but the standards themselves did not change. As society changes certain laws are no longer necessary and new laws become necessary to deal wtih new situations. You have some of that in the Bible as well. Still the laws are based on the same moral principles.

    Sorry, I've rambled on too long.

    tj

  19. #44
    No rain in Seattle! grapefruit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tokyojim View Post
    The fact that many atheists still behave "morally" is testimony to the fact that God gave us a conscience and that He wrote His laws on our hearts.
    Does it mean if atheists do not behave morally, it is testimony to the fact that God did not give us a conscience and that He did not write his laws on your hearts?

    Now your idea of what is moral or immoral is probably different from my idea because I stick to what the Bible says. For instance, I believe that sex outside of marriage, pornography, and looking at women/men with lust is wrong. I believe that divorce is for the most part wrong. I believe that lying is wrong in almost all instances. I believe that getting drunk(not drinking per se) is wrong. I believe that self-promotion, selfishness, and self-centeredness is wrong, although I cannot say that I do not sin in this area.
    I'm sure many conservative societies in the world will agree with your idea of what is moral or immoral.

    I really have no idea what I would be like if I didn't believe in God. We all have a natural tendancy to sin so if I hadn't grown up in a Christian family where my parents modelled God's love and taught me biblical morals, who knows where would I be now? I certainly wouldn't be here in Japan telling people about Jesus. I might be in jail for murder. Who knows? I might be an alcoholic or a drug addict. I might be a company president in the States. I simply cannot tell you how I would live my life if there was no God. If there was no God, my parents would not have experienced a relationship with Him, they would not have taught me that stuff.
    Well, many christians commit crimes and become drug addicts, too. I don't think it has anything to do with believing in God.

    But at the same time, if there was some way that you could prove to me that there is no god, would I all of a suddenlive my life differently than I do now?
    I cannot prove that there is not god. You also cannot prove that there is god. So, it is futile to discuss it. I respect your belief, and I am....not an atheist.

    It is the same principle as police and fines. If you know there are no police around, are you more likely to speed? Probably yes.
    No. I don't want to speed and increase my chance of hitting someone, possibly killing. It has nothing to do with religion. I simply do not want to kill another person.

    If you know they are there, are you more likely not to speed? Of course.
    Sure, it is true.

    You seem to think that you are a moral person, and take pride in that, but actually, I think you are an immoral person.
    I don't think I'm a moral person. I'm an average person.

    (no offense intended) Why? I bet you have broken every one of God's top ten laws. Even if you have not ever worshipped any genuine idols, I bet you have idols in your heart that you serve. Instead of worshipping God, you treat yourself and the things of this world as more important and valuable than Him. This is spiritual idolatry. I'm sure you have used God's name in vain at least once. You probably do not keep the Sabbath. You probably have disobeyed your parents numerous times and not honored them as God desires. You probably have really hated someone in your heart at some point, which Jesus said was the same as murder. You have probably lusted after a woman or man in your heart which Jesus says is adultery. You have probably lied many times and stolen at least one little thing in your lifetime. You have probably committed the sin of coveting things that others own. If so, you are guilty of breaking all of the top 10 commands of God.
    I agree.

    Yet you think that you live a moral life? Not in God's eyes. No one does!(including me of course!) That is why Jesus came to die in our place. If we don't accept Jesus' death for us, then our sins remain unforgiven and we will be held responsible for them when we die. The bible says "The wages of sin is death." meaning spiritual death - eternal separation from God. A holy God who is a righteous Judge cannot just overlook sin. That would be sin for God and that is one thing He cannot do.
    I think I was talking who is more moral and who is less moral.

    What is considered moral in Seattle may not always be considered mral where I come from, but does that really change the fact of it being right or wrong? I doubt it. You wouldn't really want to say that it was moral for Hitler to gas all those people until he lost the war and then it suddenly became an immoral act in that society? No, I think there are absolute standards of morality that cross all cultures and eras.
    Hitler is an extreme case. I never said gassing people were considered moral back then in Germany. What happened to the slave example I gave? What about witch hunting? What about Crusades? Weren't them considered legitimate back then?

    You say that you want to live morally because you don't want to be branded as immoral by other members of the community. Great. I understand. It is a matter of like and dislike isn't it? If you happen to like to live that way, fine. But others don't give a ++++ about that.
    It is not the matter of choice. Anthologists say conducts deemed inappropriate in a given society will receive sanctions from other members of the society. You do not have choice. People have to follow what others say, since nobody lives by himself. Without the help of the community one cannot live. So, any member of a society cares about how other members see him/her.

    SO IS IT WRONG FOR THEM TO LIVE THEIR LIFE THEIR WAY EVEN IF SOCIETY DISAPPROVES? That is what I want to know. This is the problem!
    I don't think it is wrong. It will simply make one's life harder to live. That is the reason I don't want to do things that other members of my community view immoral.

    You cannot call anything truly "right" or "wrong" in your worldview. Just better or worse, out of vogue, or in vogue, popular or unpopular. But you cannot borrow from the Christian world view and make a moral judgment and say something is atually right or wrong. That would be arrogant.
    I never said the Christian world view is wrong. Indeed I follow the moral values based on the Bible, since world views that people have here in Seattle are largely based on the Christian view, I have no choice.

    And, if it is not actually wrong, as long as you are willing to ignore what some people think of you, what is to keep you from living an immoral life? If it is not right or wrong, ultimately, it doesn't really matter how you live. The only ramifications are getting caught by the cops, being looked down upon by some people, etc.
    I dont think so. Even if there is no police officer around me, I would never desire to kill another human being. Simply because I do not prefer being killed, thus I do not want to inflect the same pain to others.

    Yes, societal moral standards change, but God does not change and His standards do not change either. Murder is still a sin and will be forever no matter what society believes or what the laws say. Abortion is a good example of this. It is legal to kill an unborn person in the US, but it is murder in God's eyes. Just because it is legal doesn't mean it is "moral".

    Jesus fulfilled the OT law and we are told us that He freed us from the Law. So certain of the OT commandments are no longer applicable to us in this age. Some would accuse God of changing His standards, but the standards themselves did not change. As society changes certain laws are no longer necessary and new laws become necessary to deal wtih new situations. You have some of that in the Bible as well. Still the laws are based on the same moral principles.
    I agree with the fact God does not change and his standards do not change. However, people's interpretation of the Bible changes. For instance, people used to interpret the time recounted in the Bible literally to calculate how old the world is. After the advancement of science, that literal interpretation was abandoned.

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    Grapefruit, thanks for your reply. I like the way you use quotes. I don't know how to do that. Anyway, sorry this reply is so lat. I wrote once, but for some reason it didn't post. So I'll try again.
    TJ: The fact that many atheists still behave "morally" is testimony to the fact that God gave us a conscience and that He wrote His laws on our hearts.
    G reply: Does it mean if atheists do not behave morally, it is testimony to the fact that God did not give us a conscience and that He did not write his laws on your hearts?
    TJ reply: Good point. No, the reason is that we are not robots. God gave us a free will. We are responsible to choose to do what is right, but we do have the freedom to choose whatever we want. When either atheists or believers choose to do what is wrong, they violate their conscience and sin against God and their fellow man. What if an atheist doesn't think something is wrong? Of course, then he is not violating his conscience. Generally accepted morals have changed and so some people no longer feel certain things are wrong when in actuality they are. It is still a sin, but not a wilful sin at that point.
    Plus, you violate your conscience so much that pretty soon what you used to think was absolutely wrong doesn't bother you any more.
    TJ: Now your idea of what is moral or immoral is probably different from my idea because I stick to what the Bible says. For instance, I believe that sex outside of marriage, pornography, and looking at women/men with lust is wrong. I believe that divorce is for the most part wrong. I believe that lying is wrong in almost all instances. I believe that getting drunk(not drinking per se) is wrong. I believe that self-promotion, selfishness, and self-centeredness is wrong, although I cannot say that I do not sin in this area.
    G reply: I'm sure many conservative societies in the world will agree with your idea of what is moral or immoral.
    TJ reply: Yes, but are they right? Is that how we should define morality? Why or why not? And what is moral for me might not be moral for you doesn't work either does it? That might work as far as what TV programs to watch, but what about when it comes to how we treat our fellow man? One thinks it is OK to steal and one doesn't. However if he steals from me, I'm not going to be very happy about it.
    TJ: I really have no idea what I would be like if I didn't believe in God. We all have a natural tendancy to sin so if I hadn't grown up in a Christian family where my parents modelled God's love and taught me biblical morals, who knows where would I be now? I certainly wouldn't be here in Japan telling people about Jesus. I might be in jail for murder. Who knows? I might be an alcoholic or a drug addict. I might be a company president in the States. I simply cannot tell you how I would live my life if there was no God. If there was no God, my parents would not have experienced a relationship with Him, they would not have taught me that stuff.
    G reply: Well, many christians commit crimes and become drug addicts, too. I don't think it has anything to do with believing in God.
    TJ reply: Good point. You are right of course. The point is though that when they do that, they know they are violating the law of God and must give account to Him. For an atheist to do that requires no such decision to commit a sin. For him, there is no such thing as sin. His worldview makes no demands on him as to what kind of a life to live. He is totally free. In other words, it makes it easier for an atheist to "sin" than for a Christian.
    TJ: But at the same time, if there was some way that you could prove to me that there is no god, would I all of a sudden live my life differently than I do now?
    G reply: I cannot prove that there is not god. You also cannot prove that there is god. So, it is futile to discuss it. I respect your belief, and I am....not an atheist.
    TJ reply: OK, fine. You asked me if I would behave immorally if there was no god. I was just responding to that question. I respect your belief as well. Of course no one can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt whether there is a God/god or not. I believe the evidence lines up on the positive side though.
    TJ: It is the same principle as police and fines. If you know there are no police around, are you more likely to speed? Probably yes.
    G reply: No. I don't want to speed and increase my chance of hitting someone, possibly killing. It has nothing to do with religion. I simply do not want to kill another person.
    TJ: If you know they are there, are you more likely not to speed? Of course.
    G reply: Sure, it is true.
    TJ reply: That is the point I was trying to make. Obeying to avoid a fine or in the case of moral obedience, obeying to avoid violating God's authority and incurring a penalty is just one reason for obedience. The presence of police does help to hold back speeders. The existence of God does have an effect of holding back evil in this world to a certain extent. Of course, that doesn't hold true when it comes to atheists who don't believe in God. They would obey for whatever personal reasons they may have such as not wanting to appear to be immoral to others, etc. But since their worldview does not prohibit immorality, they are free to live however they want when it comes down to it.
    TJ: You seem to think that you are a moral person, and take pride in that, but actually, I think you are an immoral person.
    G reply: I don't think I'm a moral person. I'm an average person.
    TJ reply: Just wondering what standard of morality you used to make this judgment of yourself. I guess your own standard or what you perceive to be the general standard of society? Without a well defined standard of morality, all talk of what is moral and what is immoral is really meaningless. Unfortunately, when God judges us, He will no judge us on the basis of the currently in vogues standard of morality of our times. He uses His own standard and by His standard, no one passes the test. That is why He had to send Jesus to die in our place to take the penalty for our sins so that those who believe do not have to pay for their own sins for eternity.
    Grapefruit, why is it may I ask that you do not live as a moral person and only an average person? That doesn't seem to bother you. Is it because in the end you don't think it matters whether you live a moral life or just an average life? Do you believe that when you die you will stand before God and give account for your life?
    TJ: What is considered moral in Seattle may not always be considered moral where I come from, but does that really change the fact of it being right or wrong? I doubt it. You wouldn't really want to say that it was moral for Hitler to gas all those people until he lost the war and then it suddenly became an immoral act in that society? No, I think there are absolute standards of morality that cross all cultures and eras.
    G reply: Hitler is an extreme case. I never said gassing people were considered moral back then in Germany. What happened to the slave example I gave? What about witch hunting? What about Crusades? Weren't them considered legitimate back then?
    TJ reply: Hitler may be an extreme case, but doesn't it point out the fact that there are certain things that are considered absolutely wrong across the board? Now I think that Hitler thought it was an OK thing to do back then. Maybe most common people did not, but that was the law back then. Hitler was only trying to speed up evolution a little bit and give it some direction. For goodness sakes? What could be wrong with that?
    Yes, the Crusades, witch hunting, etc are examples of sins of the Church. I think the Church hired a lot of nonchristians to do it's dirty work but they are still responsible. But the point is, that here the Church is violating God's law, but Hitler was violating no law in his mind.
    And of course, there is quite a difference in the results and numbers of deaths. Just Hitler alone probably is responsible for killing more people than Christians in all of history put together. Add in Stalin, Pol Pot, Lenin, Mao, Amin, N. Korea, etc. and it is overwhelming proof of the POTENTIAL danger of atheism.
    TJ: You say that you want to live morally because you don't want to be branded as immoral by other members of the community. Great. I understand. It is a matter of like and dislike isn't it? If you happen to like to live that way, fine. But others don't give a ++++ about that.
    G reply: It is not the matter of choice. Anthologists say conducts deemed inappropriate in a given society will receive sanctions from other members of the society. You do not have choice. People have to follow what others say, since nobody lives by himself. Without the help of the community one cannot live. So, any member of a society cares about how other members see him/her.
    TJ reply: Well if that were the case, we wouldn't need jails or police would we. I'm not sure I see the evidence for what these anthropologists say. I think people do have a choice. And many choose to violate the standards of their society hoping they will not be caught. In Japan, the young people are rebelling against the customs and morals of their parents. They don't care what the older generation thinks of them or they wouldn't live like that. Besides if that really were true, then morality would not change.
    TJ: SO IS IT WRONG FOR THEM TO LIVE THEIR LIFE THEIR WAY EVEN IF SOCIETY DISAPPROVES? That is what I want to know. This is the problem!
    G reply: I don't think it is wrong. It will simply make one's life harder to live. That is the reason I don't want to do things that other members of my community view immoral.
    TJ reply: An atheist cannot claim it is wrong. You are right that it might make their life a bit harder, but it is not wrong. Nothing is wrong in the absolute sense in that worldview.
    TJ: You cannot call anything truly "right" or "wrong" in your worldview. Just better or worse, out of vogue, or in vogue, popular or unpopular. But you cannot borrow from the Christian world view and make a moral judgment and say something is atually right or wrong. That would be arrogant.
    G reply: I never said the Christian world view is wrong. Indeed I follow the moral values based on the Bible, since world views that people have here in Seattle are largely based on the Christian view, I have no choice.
    TJ reply: I'm sorry, I guess I was assuming you were an atheist since you were arguing that point. You didn't say the Christian worldview is right either. If there is no God, then there is no absolute morality. The whole idea of morality is strange if there is no God. Atheists borrow from the Christian worldview all the time and like to pretend they are moral, but they cannot even define the word. They have no standard against which to make that judgment. Saying something is wrong does not fit with the atheistic worldview.
    TJ: And, if it is not actually wrong, as long as you are willing to ignore what some people think of you, what is to keep you from living an immoral life? If it is not right or wrong, ultimately, it doesn't really matter how you live. The only ramifications are getting caught by the cops, being looked down upon by some people, etc.
    G reply: I dont think so. Even if there is no police officer around me, I would never desire to kill another human being. Simply because I do not prefer being killed, thus I do not want to inflect the same pain to others.
    TJ reply: Those are very valid reasons, but like I said, there are others who are willing to take the chance and speed.(I'm sure you have done so as well.) There are others who actually willingly inflict pain on others. However, an atheist can only say that it violates what he considers to be society's current in-vogue standard of morality. But that is an arbitrary changing standard which in the end is meaningless. If a person doesn't want to live by that standard, they are free not to. An atheist can give no real compelling reason why a person should live by the current idea of morality outside of practical reasons like you mentioned in your post.
    Yes, an atheist can live a relatively moral life without believing in God, but he can just as easily live an immoral life without believing in God. It is harder for a Christian to live an immoral life because it violates his own moral conscience.
    TJ: Yes, societal moral standards change, but God does not change and His standards do not change either. Murder is still a sin and will be forever no matter what society believes or what the laws say. Abortion is a good example of this. It is legal to kill an unborn person in the US, but it is murder in God's eyes. Just because it is legal doesn't mean it is "moral".
    Jesus fulfilled the OT law and we are told us that He freed us from the Law. So certain of the OT commandments are no longer applicable to us in this age. Some would accuse God of changing His standards, but the standards themselves did not change. As society changes certain laws are no longer necessary and new laws become necessary to deal wtih new situations. You have some of that in the Bible as well. Still the laws are based on the same moral principles.
    G reply: I agree with the fact God does not change and his standards do not change. However, people's interpretation of the Bible changes. For instance, people used to interpret the time recounted in the Bible literally to calculate how old the world is. After the advancement of science, that literal interpretation was abandoned.
    TJ reply: Hmm. Some people still do, including myself. That literal intepretation was only abandoned by those who allow the worldview of naturalism to determine scientific truth. I do not believe that scientists can come up with the right answers to the questions they have if they will allow no supernatural causes from the get go. It is only a philosophical reason they have for not being willing to even consider the role of intelligence in the creation of this universe and life. No wonder they are so frustrated and cannot figure out how it all happened. They can study for thousands of years and still they will be no closer to answering the question than they are now. In fact, they will be further away. The more discoveries they make, the more complicated they are finding that life is. Microbiology opened up the world of the cell over the last 40 years, but the discoveries have not stopped. It keeps getting harder and harder to explain it all by natural means. They tell us that someday they'll figure it out. Well, that is a statement of faith. They do not know that. I do not believe they will ever figure it out if they leave God out of the picture. My idea is a statement of faith as well. Both evolutionists and Christians must use faith. They interpret the same evidence according to their worldviews. It is the interpretation that is different, not the evidence. But if their worldview is wrong, then JUST MAYBE their interpretation of the evidence is wrong as well.
    cheers,
    tj

  21. #46
    The Hairy Wookie Mycernius's Avatar
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    Please don't use the term Evolutionist. One, it is a fact, not a belief system; two, there are plenty of christians who accept evolution. Even the catholic church does.

    It keeps getting harder and harder to explain it all by natural means.
    Rather better than saying magic did it though. Science limits what we know because of what we can do. As technology advances than our experiments advance. 15 years ago the couldn't even take pictures of extra-solar planets. We can do that now
    Extrasolar planets
    God of gaps is running out of places to hide.

  22. #47
    No rain in Seattle! grapefruit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tokyojim View Post
    TJ: The fact that many atheists still behave "morally" is testimony to the fact that God gave us a conscience and that He wrote His laws on our hearts.
    G reply: Does it mean if atheists do not behave morally, it is testimony to the fact that God did not give us a conscience and that He did not write his laws on your hearts?
    TJ reply: Good point. No, the reason is that we are not robots. God gave us a free will. We are responsible to choose to do what is right, but we do have the freedom to choose whatever we want. When either atheists or believers choose to do what is wrong, they violate their conscience and sin against God and their fellow man.
    Then, according to your arguments, no matter what atheists do, their moral and immoral behavior ends up verifying God's will. How about this explanation, then? God did not give us a conscience. But, since human beings are not robots. We humans are by some biological reasons can have a free will. When either atheists or believers choose to do what is wrong, they are considered evil by the other members of the community.

    What if an atheist doesn't think something is wrong? Of course, then he is not violating his conscience. Generally accepted morals have changed and so some people no longer feel certain things are wrong when in actuality they are. It is still a sin, but not a wilful sin at that point.
    Plus, you violate your conscience so much that pretty soon what you used to think was absolutely wrong doesn't bother you any more.
    So, you agree that conscience is something modified by people.

    And what is moral for me might not be moral for you doesn't work either does it? That might work as far as what TV programs to watch, but what about when it comes to how we treat our fellow man? One thinks it is OK to steal and one doesn't. However if he steals from me, I'm not going to be very happy about it.
    Isn't that why we have civil laws?

    G reply: Well, many christians commit crimes and become drug addicts, too. I don't think it has anything to do with believing in God.
    TJ reply: Good point. You are right of course. The point is though that when they do that, they know they are violating the law of God and must give account to Him. For an atheist to do that requires no such decision to commit a sin. For him, there is no such thing as sin. His worldview makes no demands on him as to what kind of a life to live. He is totally free. In other words, it makes it easier for an atheist to "sin" than for a Christian.
    So, are you saying if you don't have religion, people do not have demands as to what kinds of life they want to live? That's crazy. Didn't you also say God gives conscience everyone? Then, I don't understand why believers feel more difficult.

    TJ reply: That is the point I was trying to make. Obeying to avoid a fine or in the case of moral obedience, obeying to avoid violating God's authority and incurring a penalty is just one reason for obedience. The presence of police does help to hold back speeders. The existence of God does have an effect of holding back evil in this world to a certain extent. Of course, that doesn't hold true when it comes to atheists who don't believe in God. They would obey for whatever personal reasons they may have such as not wanting to appear to be immoral to others, etc. But since their worldview does not prohibit immorality, they are free to live however they want when it comes down to it.
    But, I believe Christianity allows a person to go to heaven as long as he admits his sin and believes in Jesus isn't it? Then, it does not matter how much sin you have ended up committing. So, ultimately no fine to sins committed isn't it? Then, what is the difference?

    Grapefruit, why is it may I ask that you do not live as a moral person and only an average person? That doesn't seem to bother you. Is it because in the end you don't think it matters whether you live a moral life or just an average life? Do you believe that when you die you will stand before God and give account for your life?
    I thought I stated clearly why I want to be a moral person. I don't want to be conceived by the other members of the community to be immoral. Since, I'm average, I'm not so concerned about morality.

    TJ reply: Well if that were the case, we wouldn't need jails or police would we. I'm not sure I see the evidence for what these anthropologists say. I think people do have a choice. And many choose to violate the standards of their society hoping they will not be caught. In Japan, the young people are rebelling against the customs and morals of their parents. They don't care what the older generation thinks of them or they wouldn't live like that. Besides if that really were true, then morality would not change.
    Even inside of jails, inmates check on each other. They are going to be unwritten rules to follow.

    Atheists borrow from the Christian worldview all the time and like to pretend they are moral, but they cannot even define the word. They have no standard against which to make that judgment. Saying something is wrong does not fit with the atheistic worldview.
    Is there something wrong about using moral values found in teachings of religions for making our society better? I don't believe ideas belong to any single entity or group (you are not trying to copyright moral teachings in the Bible, aren't you? ) If some idea sounds good and useful, what is wrong using it?

    TJ reply: Those are very valid reasons, but like I said, there are others who are willing to take the chance and speed.(I'm sure you have done so as well.) There are others who actually willingly inflict pain on others. However, an atheist can only say that it violates what he considers to be society's current in-vogue standard of morality. But that is an arbitrary changing standard which in the end is meaningless. If a person doesn't want to live by that standard, they are free not to. An atheist can give no real compelling reason why a person should live by the current idea of morality outside of practical reasons like you mentioned in your post.
    Yes, an atheist can live a relatively moral life without believing in God, but he can just as easily live an immoral life without believing in God. It is harder for a Christian to live an immoral life because it violates his own moral conscience.
    What you're saying doesn't sound like Christian to me. I thought Jesus taught us that everyone has sin irrespective occupation, race, gender, etc. Then, why do you like to treat believers and non-believers differently???

    TJ: Yes, societal moral standards change, but God does not change and His standards do not change either. Murder is still a sin and will be forever no matter what society believes or what the laws say.
    I don't think so. The word "muder" simply refers to the killing of a human being in an immoral way. Other types of killing have been described with different words, human sacrifice, capital punishment, war, etc.

    Abortion is a good example of this. It is legal to kill an unborn person in the US, but it is murder in God's eyes. Just because it is legal doesn't mean it is "moral".
    Not precise. We do not call what has not been born a "person." I agree killing an unborn person is immoral, but I don't know what defines a person. If it is at the late stage of pregnancy, many people do go against abortion. So, it is the matter of when the "embryo" becomes a "person".

    G reply: I agree with the fact God does not change and his standards do not change. However, people's interpretation of the Bible changes. For instance, people used to interpret the time recounted in the Bible literally to calculate how old the world is. After the advancement of science, that literal interpretation was abandoned.
    TJ reply: Hmm. Some people still do, including myself. That literal intepretation was only abandoned by those who allow the worldview of naturalism to determine scientific truth.
    Then, what do you call those people? Aren't they the majority of the believers? To me, those people's view is a reflection of the advancement of science.

    I do not believe that scientists can come up with the right answers to the questions they have if they will allow no supernatural causes from the get go. It is only a philosophical reason they have for not being willing to even consider the role of intelligence in the creation of this universe and life. No wonder they are so frustrated and cannot figure out how it all happened. They can study for thousands of years and still they will be no closer to answering the question than they are now. In fact, they will be further away.
    No they are not frustrated, because these types of questions are not something scientists study. It is religious people who are frustrated because religious people ask these kinds of questions. As Mycernius-san pointed out, science does not examine supernatural causes.

    The more discoveries they make, the more complicated they are finding that life is. Microbiology opened up the world of the cell over the last 40 years, but the discoveries have not stopped. It keeps getting harder and harder to explain it all by natural means. They tell us that someday they'll figure it out.
    I don't think those who claim are saying things would happen in our life time.

    Well, that is a statement of faith. They do not know that. I do not believe they will ever figure it out if they leave God out of the picture. My idea is a statement of faith as well. Both evolutionists and Christians must use faith. They interpret the same evidence according to their worldviews. It is the interpretation that is different, not the evidence. But if their worldview is wrong, then JUST MAYBE their interpretation of the evidence is wrong as well.
    cheers,
    tj
    Again, scientists are not interested in the worldview. Only religious leaders who misunderstand the goals of science become insecure and start to criticize science.

  23. #48
    No rain in Seattle! grapefruit's Avatar
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    Ten Commandments from Wikipedia say
    2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery;

    3 Do not have any other gods before me.

    4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

    5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me,

    6 but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.

    7 You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.

    8 Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.

    9 For six days you shall labour and do all your work.

    10 But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work―you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns.

    11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and consecrated it.

    12 Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

    13 You shall not murder.

    14 You shall not commit adultery.

    15 You shall not steal.

    16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

    17 You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.
    4 seems to be violated these days. Aren't figures of Jesus idols?
    9 is definitely violated by many Americans. The definition of work in 10 is highly subjective. Conservative Jewish people seem to be very strict on this.
    Also, Numbers 10 and 17 sounds like supporting slavery. 12 is very much violated in the US from the standards of Asians.
    So, in sum, numbers 4, 9, 10, and 12 seem to rely the definitions of the words used such as "idol", "labour", "work", and "honor". To me the interpretations of these words shifted as society changed; they have not been absolute.

  24. #49
    The Hairy Wookie Mycernius's Avatar
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    5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me,
    This is a good example of the so called morals of God. It gets jealous, one of the mortal sins, and not happy with just punishing you will also punish the innocents of your transgressions. A bit like punishing a murderer and also his children, grandchildren and great grand children with the electric chair.

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