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Thread: Where do they come from?

  1. #41
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackwater View Post
    ULtimately, folks, I believe, and come just short of being able to say "know," that morals almost always come from our relationship with whatever "Higher Power" we or they recognize in our lives. And there's a component of what's good for us, long term, certainly. I believe that's part of the reason, though, that God gives our morals to us - to help us keep ourselves whole and prosperous. After all, God DOES want us to be that way! But I wondered what others thought, and now I know a little more about that than I did berfore. Always good to learn. A few posts are just more spewing of nihlistic cynicism, but that seems to be inevitable on this board. What a waste of what could have been good, human effort and breath.
    The thing you need to realize about us "Nihilistic Cynicists" is that on the way to deciding that there probably isn't any ultimate point to many things, we spend a lot of time asking what the actual point IS.

    In the case of what the point was for the origin of moral code, review post #6 (me) and post #12 (EDG). The point was that we do what we need to survive and that interactions with others have consequences. Not getting stomped into the mud by your fellow man requires adopting a certain set of behaviors. Not having your children get stomped into the mud by your fellow man requires imparting the rules for that set of behaviors. The smart adult figures out what is required by the situation and modifies his behavior, but his children are brainwashed into that behavior by whatever convincing fiction he decides to tell them (such as "because God said so"). So at it's core, morals could be said to come from various combinations of laziness, fear, and lack of physical prowess.

    An example of the flip side of that might be Ghenghis Khan - certainly not lazy, didn't have cause to be afraid of much, and was able to take what he wanted to the extent that it's estimated that 1 in 200 men alive today (1 in 10 in Mongolia) are his descendant. When you're enough of a bad, bad donkey that you don't NEED to get along with your fellow man, you don't NEED to play by the significantly more touchy-feely rules that the rest of us do. Ghengis certainly qualified as a successful Darwinian Competitor. Most of us are conditioned to not instantly flock to his behavioral banner - we INSTINCTIVELY do, but since we don't all have Ghengis' magic combination of "herd bull" attributes, we don't typically act on those instincts for fear of the stomped-into-the-mud reasons mentioned above.

    So here's a riddle for the framework of your Christian ethos: Ghengis Khan had his set of morals that kept him unquestionably "whole and prosperous". Is that the way God wanted him to be, and did he fulfill God's mandate? My point is that he managed to do quite well for himself on a code of being a ruthless tyrant and probably went to bed at night feeling quite good about it. For the rest of us, remaining whole and prosperous requires a very different behavior set that typically does NOT lead to 10% of the local population having your DNA a thousand years later. Given that, how do your reconcile the two? Does God want the lion or the sheep? I suspect you decide which you are by how frequently you find yourself covered in mud.
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  2. #42
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    I am not participating so much, but I am interested in the discourse.
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  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigslug View Post
    The thing you need to realize about us "Nihilistic Cynicists" is that on the way to deciding that there probably isn't any ultimate point to many things, we spend a lot of time asking what the actual point IS.

    In the case of what the point was for the origin of moral code, review post #6 (me) and post #12 (EDG). The point was that we do what we need to survive and that interactions with others have consequences. Not getting stomped into the mud by your fellow man requires adopting a certain set of behaviors. Not having your children get stomped into the mud by your fellow man requires imparting the rules for that set of behaviors. The smart adult figures out what is required by the situation and modifies his behavior, but his children are brainwashed into that behavior by whatever convincing fiction he decides to tell them (such as "because God said so"). So at it's core, morals could be said to come from various combinations of laziness, fear, and lack of physical prowess.

    An example of the flip side of that might be Ghenghis Khan - certainly not lazy, didn't have cause to be afraid of much, and was able to take what he wanted to the extent that it's estimated that 1 in 200 men alive today (1 in 10 in Mongolia) are his descendant. When you're enough of a bad, bad donkey that you don't NEED to get along with your fellow man, you don't NEED to play by the significantly more touchy-feely rules that the rest of us do. Ghengis certainly qualified as a successful Darwinian Competitor. Most of us are conditioned to not instantly flock to his behavioral banner - we INSTINCTIVELY do, but since we don't all have Ghengis' magic combination of "herd bull" attributes, we don't typically act on those instincts for fear of the stomped-into-the-mud reasons mentioned above.

    So here's a riddle for the framework of your Christian ethos: Ghengis Khan had his set of morals that kept him unquestionably "whole and prosperous". Is that the way God wanted him to be, and did he fulfill God's mandate? My point is that he managed to do quite well for himself on a code of being a ruthless tyrant and probably went to bed at night feeling quite good about it. For the rest of us, remaining whole and prosperous requires a very different behavior set that typically does NOT lead to 10% of the local population having your DNA a thousand years later. Given that, how do your reconcile the two? Does God want the lion or the sheep? I suspect you decide which you are by how frequently you find yourself covered in mud.
    Whew! That's the longest defense of the "survival of the fittest" that I've seen in quite a while! But you've missed the point entirely, and haven't really answered the question I asked. What I want to know is where you believe morals originate from, and it seems self-evident that you think it comes from the survival instinct. But what it takes to survive varies according to when you live and where. And yet, morals seem to be nearly universal. It's my belief that all real morals come from God, and that we innately know right from wrong. I believe that when God breathed the breath of life into us, He instilled within us certain knowledges that He fully intended that we be endowed with.

    So you stick to your survivalist beliefs. I'll stick with my God. One day, we'll both know who "won" this little debate.

  4. #44
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    Stick with your god if you want but people all have morals because they all want to survive.
    Your god has NOTHING to do with it.
    The pre-Columbian Aztecs had morals of some sort to fit their own culture but it is guaranteed that they never heard of you Christian god. Like wise for the Incas, the Inuits and most of Africa at that time.
    In fact all human had some sort of behavior patterns that helped them survive long before there was a bible. Modern man has been around about 100,000 years give or take a few and the bible is only recent artifact of man's imagination. Give it another 100,000 years and it will be long forgotten like the religion of the ancient Eqyptians. I think defending a particular religion is more of an ego trip than any exercise in critical thought and logic. People just cannot stand the notion of devoting their thoughts to a dead end faith for nothing at all. After all you can or will look very foolish spending all that time, energy and thought for essentially zero gain. And religion does exist for gain. If there was nothing to gain you would not believe or pay attention to your imaginary friend - who wants to strike you dead if you deny he exists.
    So where the tenets taught by a particular religion help a people survive that religion is really nothing more than another survival technique.
    Religions do not always work. Ask the Aztecs. Some thing in the belief system of Easter Islanders drove them to waste their labor and natural resources on the large stone monoliths. They also had wars between the long ears and the short ears and the population nearly collapsed and disappeared. Their morals did not work out so well. Neither do Christian's morals.


    Quote Originally Posted by Blackwater View Post
    Whew! That's the longest defense of the "survival of the fittest" that I've seen in quite a while! But you've missed the point entirely, and haven't really answered the question I asked. What I want to know is where you believe morals originate from, and it seems self-evident that you think it comes from the survival instinct. But what it takes to survive varies according to when you live and where. And yet, morals seem to be nearly universal. It's my belief that all real morals come from God, and that we innately know right from wrong. I believe that when God breathed the breath of life into us, He instilled within us certain knowledges that He fully intended that we be endowed with.

    So you stick to your survivalist beliefs. I'll stick with my God. One day, we'll both know who "won" this little debate.
    Last edited by EDG; 09-07-2019 at 12:30 AM.
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  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackwater View Post
    But what it takes to survive varies according to when you live and where. And yet, morals seem to be nearly universal. It's my belief that all real morals come from God, and that we innately know right from wrong.
    While I would say this country is undoubtedly born of Christian morals (and still heavily influenced by them today), that cannot be said of many places.

    Rwanda, 1930s Germany, China, damn near everywhere in the Middle East do not subscribe to your moral compass. In fact the list would likely be shorter if we identified those places that do share our morals.

  6. #46
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    In Law School, back in the day, numerous discussions were held, both in and out of class, about whether or not there was "natural law". Whether that was a moral code woven into creation itself. Our founders thought there was, and they wrote it into the Declaration of Independence and the Constition. The founders were heavly influenced by the writting of John Locke. Our entire legal system and Rule of Law was shapped by this dynamic.

    E. Stanley Jones in his Christian writtings "The Way", stated that God created the world to operate in certain moral ways, which are inculcated in the Christian faith. To go against these morals, is to rub the furr of Universe in the wrong direction. If you followed the Christian "way" you get results, if you don't, you get consequences.

    I have yet to find myself in disagreement with either the Founders or E. Stanley Jones.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Char-Gar View Post
    In Law School, back in the day, numerous discussions were held, both in and out of class, about whether or not there was "natural law". Whether that was a moral code woven into creation itself. Our founders thought there was, and they wrote it into the Declaration of Independence and the Constition. The founders were heavly influenced by the writting of John Locke. Our entire legal system and Rule of Law was shapped by this dynamic.

    E. Stanley Jones in his Christian writtings "The Way", stated that God created the world to operate in certain moral ways, which are inculcated in the Christian faith. To go against these morals, is to rub the furr of Universe in the wrong direction. If you followed the Christian "way" you get results, if you don't, you get consequences.

    I have yet to find myself in disagreement with either the Founders or E. Stanley Jones.
    I can agree that it’s easier in this country if you follow a certain moral compass. To extend that to the rest of the world seems a bit naive to me. The ability to be bribed is what keeps officials alive is some parts of the world. Smuggling is the best job available in others.

  8. #48
    Boolit Grand Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T_McD View Post
    I can agree that itís easier in this country if you follow a certain moral compass. To extend that to the rest of the world seems a bit naive to me. The ability to be bribed is what keeps officials alive is some parts of the world. Smuggling is the best job available in others.
    There is the thing called "sin" that accounts for your illustrations. Sin is alive all over the world and thrives in this country as well. Having "natural law" does not mean that people follow it wholesale. That is why humankind needed a Savior.

    However that is Christian thinking and so no need to tell me it is BS, because I can intuit your response. You are not a Christian, so Christian thinking means nothing to you.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

  9. #49
    Boolit Master

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    I read through all the posts since my last one, and two thoughts come to mind:

    I don't believe at all that "reason" is something we're all gifted with. I think that reason is not in-born, but that it is learned. Start with the old thing about "Johnny-- don't touch the stove. It's hot. You'll get burned." But, Johnny touches the stove, and gets burned. If Johnny is a bright boy he'll not only learn (1) not to touch a hot stove, but (2) to heed warnings given, and even (3) to assess the danger offered by other objects. Johnny gets an allowance weekly, and is warned by his parents not to spend all his money for foolish things as something will probably come along that the really wants or needs. Financial disaster follows, but Johnny learns to budget his income, so that later in life he will be able to make his car payments and pay the rent. I think that "reason" is actually an accumulation of experience, applied by some with more success in life than by others. "Reason" is learned, not given. The prisons are full of people who never learned to reason. Classes on "Reasoning" and "Logic" are offered by many universities, just as are classes on mathematics. If we all had the gift of reason there would be no need to study it further, even as if we were born knowing the answer to 2+2 we wouldn't need to take math. What we are gifted with is the ability to learn. Again, some more so than others.

    Secondly, the Vikings. They may well have been influenced in their later behavior by the adoption of Christianity. I used to be a bit interested in them, but it is really hard to get a comprehensive handle on their history. They were tribes that made much of their living by raiding. Eventually, after having read many times that the reason for their disappearance as a raiding people was clouded by the obscurity of time and a lack of them keeping a detailed written history, I read and article that offered the viewpoint that originally they were "have nots". When they discovered that the peoples living to their south possessed things that they wanted like livestock and various commodities they decided to take it. They quit raiding and began to live a more settled life when they got it. I find that to be very humorous, but there may be some truth to it. After all, when you don't have "stuff" and want "stuff", and then you get the "stuff", why continue to risk your lives on long sea voyages and mortal combat?

    So, jerking myself back to the original thrust of the thread, where do morals come from? Obviously they have to be learned. You can debate all you desire about whether they were learned by the giving of the 10 Commandments or through survival of the fittest, but either way, they were learned. Personally, I believe in God, and I believe that God created the Universe and everything in it, and that it operates within certain laws and principles He established. To some extent I do believe that things are altered by survival of the fittest, in that some things have disappeared, various species, but I see nothing new that probably wasn't here from the beginning. I think morals were with us from the beginning, (God did not approve of Cain killing Abel, and assessed a penalty) but they were perverted and ignored (just like today) until God looked and saw nothing but wickedness and evil. Hence the great flood and a new beginning. But it can not be said that no law or morals existed prior to the flood. For example, the Israelites were commanded to make sacrifices on certain days which usually involved lambs as being clean animals. But Noah, who preceded the Israelites, was commanded to take two of every animal onto the ark, but more of the clean animals that were suitable for sacrifice. Therefore, it's not really much of a stretch to draw the conclusion that the sacrificial laws existed before the flood, as did a set of laws and morals of which God approved, When the pre-flood people turned their backs on the laws and morals he destroyed them. Following the flood he again presented them through Moses, making it very clear what the penalties would be were they agreed to and then not followed. The Israelites agreed to follow them, later turned away and suffered the consequences. With the first coming of Christ, the basic laws and morals did not change, but a way was provided to avoid the penalty. If you do not believe in God or the Holy Bible you can not comprehend this. If you do not believe that laws and morals are "right", meaning proper and non-evil, but that they exist only because of the fear of mutually assured destruction through death and violence, then you are an adherent to an evil system and a participant thereof. How much better to do the right thing because, as Char-Gar said, it is part of the order of things the Creator built into the Universe, and which he has repeatedly tried to explain to us.
    Last edited by Der Gebirgsjager; 09-20-2019 at 03:36 PM.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by EDG View Post
    Stick with your god if you want but people all have morals because they all want to survive.
    Your god has NOTHING to do with it.
    Wow! That's an awfully blanketed statement, isn't it??? Who appointed you as the final arbiter of the reasons things happen in this world? Who are you to instruct me, when it's you who turns away from so many well established "facts," just because you WANT to disbelieve???

    Disbelieve if you wish. Not even God will deny you that right. But to declare God doesn't exist ..... well, that's a stretch in the big majority's understanding of the universe and beyond. And you can preach your deceit until a very hot spot freezes over, and you won't affect a single Christian's belief. We're inpervious to your nihlistic cynicism, and your grandiose declarations that you "KNOW" things you can't possibly know. But what is it that drives a man, normally equipped mentally, to assume such a hateful posture towards Christ? What could you possibly gain from that? THis seems to deny your position that survival is man's greatest and possibly only real motivation, doesn't it?

  11. #51
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    [QUOTE=Blackwater;4737220]..... your grandiose declarations that you "KNOW" things you can't possibly know.[quote]

    EDG claims to follow "science", saying science has supposedly declared there is no God but that's not true. Science, as such, cannot and has not said anything of the sort but a lot of spiritually "iggerant" scientists have. However, even Albert Einstein recognised that creation is too well ordered to be accidental.

    It takes massive audacity - and a lot of smug conceit - for anyone to proclaim that things they know nothing about do not, ip so facto, exist. Real scientists aren't that foolish ... and a lot of very real scientists are Christians. (Perhaps EDG could send them his list of science books that could properly explain why he's sure all of them are wrong?)

    ... what is it that drives a man, normally equipped mentally, to assume such a hateful posture towards Christ? What could you possibly gain from that? THis seems to deny your position that survival is man's greatest and possibly only real motivation, doesn't it?
    Now that question IS indeed a puzzle. I often wonder why a few insistent pagans strive to poop on other people's dinner plate. It's spiritually repugnant on one level but it also gets amusing to watch; what do they hope to accomplish? And, already knowing they won't change a thing, why do they continue striving to do it?

    Note: It's been said that one way of defining foolishness is to keep doing something the same way over and over while hoping for a different result eventually. Does anyone here think that's a good scientific method for our persistent critics???
    Last edited by 1hole; 10-02-2019 at 06:19 PM.

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