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beansprouts

S/O Good and Evil

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Good-All things created by God. God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. Gen 1:31a

 

Evil-What happens when God's presence is removed.

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Simple answer: Good = things that draw us to God; Evil = things that draw us away from God.

 

There is nothing that is neutral but there can easily be a lack of thought or appreciation of the nature of something on our part. For example you could argue that a sunrise has no moral value but you can look at the sunrise and be filled with wonder for God's creation and drawn to Him.

 

By this argument, the contents of my toddler's nappies are inherently evil. :lol:

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You have to have something as a point of reference, or as your moral compass to define good vs. evil. For most people that's the Bible or religion. Without this, the philosophy your left with is that which seems to be growing in our culture, "relativism".

 

Relativism is the philosophical position that all points of view are equally valid and that all truth is relative to the individual. This means that all moral positions, all religious systems, all art forms, all political movements, etc., are truths that are relative to the individual. Of course, this is incredibly hypocritical of those who profess that all points of view are true, yet reject those who profess absolutes in morality. It seems that what is really meant by the moral relativists is that all points of view are true except for the views that teach moral absolutes, or an absolute God, or absolute right and wrong.

 

Okay then? I evidently woke up at 3:30 A.M. just to post that :mellow:. So knock it off!

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You don't ever want me to get my house clean or go to bed, do you?!?!?!:drool:

 

I am avoiding my own long list of housework, chores, and holiday preparations :lol:

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You have to have something as a point of reference, or as your moral compass to define good vs. evil. For most people that's the Bible or religion. Without this, the philosophy your left with is that which seems to be growing in our culture, "relativism".

!

I don't need the bible to tell me that murder is wrong. I don't need religion to tell me that choking my kids, stealing, causing physical or emotional harm to another human or animal is wrong. Why do I know this, then? Perhaps that "knowing" is innate to all humans and is developed more in some than in others. Perhaps it is due to how I was raised.

 

Beans, you're asking some good questions. Unfortunately, I have a feeling this thread will also digress into people debating specific bible quotations.

 

I do believe that good and evil exist, but do not believe that "good" is only that which is associated with the christian god and all else is evil. This would negate all "good" done by all other religious groups in the world (some who were doing "good" prior to christianity's beginnings) as well as every good thing done by those who do not follow any specific religion. Not that I want this to dissolve into a debate about which religion has done more "good" or more "evil." History will show us that any organized religion has the capacity to do both on a monumental scale (perhaps because humans have the same capacity?).

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I don't need the bible to tell me that murder is wrong. I don't need religion to tell me that choking my kids, stealing, causing physical or emotional harm to another human or animal is wrong. Why do I know this, then? Perhaps that "knowing" is innate to all humans and is developed more in some than in others. Perhaps it is due to how I was raised.

 

Beans, you're asking some good questions. Unfortunately, I have a feeling this thread will also digress into people debating specific bible quotations.

 

I do believe that good and evil exist, but do not believe that "good" is only that which is associated with the christian god and all else is evil. This would negate all "good" done by all other religious groups in the world (some who were doing "good" prior to christianity's beginnings) as well as every good thing done by those who do not follow any specific religion. Not that I want this to dissolve into a debate about which religion has done more "good" or more "evil." History will show us that any organized religion has the capacity to do both on a monumental scale (perhaps because humans have the same capacity?).

 

We are going to see two threads of discussion here. We who are Christians accept the Bible as our authority, and as we discuss the issue among ourselves, it is only natural that we will be using the Bible to back up our arguments. However, it is my hope that people of other faiths will not feel shut out by this. Please do bring in sources and perspectives from your own view point, this is what I am most interested in as I already know my Bible quite well ;)

 

ETA: It is my experience as well as yours that minds don't change. So let's not make the goal here to convince others of our point of view. Instead let's try to just explain how we see things, understand the other viewpoint, and then walk away knowing more and peacefully disagreeing where necessary.

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I don't need the bible to tell me that murder is wrong. I don't need religion to tell me that choking my kids, stealing, causing physical or emotional harm to another human or animal is wrong. Why do I know this, then? Perhaps that "knowing" is innate to all humans and is developed more in some than in others. Perhaps it is due to how I was raised.

 

But *why* are those things wrong?

 

I do believe that good and evil exist, but do not believe that "good" is only that which is associated with the christian god and all else is evil. This would negate all "good" done by all other religious groups in the world (some who were doing "good" prior to christianity's beginnings) as well as every good thing done by those who do not follow any specific religion. Not that I want this to dissolve into a debate about which religion has done more "good" or more "evil." History will show us that any organized religion has the capacity to do both on a monumental scale (perhaps because humans have the same capacity?).

 

But, again, it begs the question, "What is the definition of 'good' and what is the definition of 'evil'?" How can we claim that anyone has done "good" or "evil" if we don't define the terms?

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I don't need the bible to tell me that murder is wrong. I don't need religion to tell me that choking my kids, stealing, causing physical or emotional harm to another human or animal is wrong. Why do I know this, then? Perhaps that "knowing" is innate to all humans and is developed more in some than in others.

 

 

Forgive the presumption, but you seem to have missed my point entirely. I didn't state that the Bible or religion IS the authority. I stated the Bible and religion (of any kind) are used as a compass to determine what is right and wrong/good or evil. The Bible in this country is the foundation behind the laying out of our government and of all of our earliest laws.

 

My point is simply that you need SOMETHING to determine what is good vs bad. My point was specifically to direct you to the definition of "relativism" which is exactly what your talking about in your post above. Without a "Source" reference, there is NO DEFINITION OF GOOD OR BAD - it's relative only to what any individual choses as his/her definition to be. You say you don't need the Bible to tell you murder is wrong, well WHO says it IS wrong? I don't buy that it's an innate belief. There were times, and there still are places, where murder is not viewed as wrong. Somewhere, from some source, the notion has to arrive at what is good vs. bad, and it doesn't just come from good parenting, somewhere there is/was a source. For most of history, that source has been religion. That was my point.

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What I find interesting is, most religions agree on what is evil. That it is "evil" to murder, "evil" to choke your kids, etc. But, for some reason, we can't agree as a society what is evil or right or wrong.

 

Also, unless I'm wrong, the predominant religion represented on these boards is Christianity (for those who practice a religion). Which is probably why so many people use it as a reference. If you're not going to use the Bible, or the Torah, or the Koran (or some other religious guideline) as a reference for what is good or what is evil, than what are you going to use? And, for those of you who aren't Christian, or don't practice any religion at all, I'm not asking this with disrespect. It is truly for my own curiosity, and for the sake of this discussion. I freely admit I base my decision of Good and Evil on the Bible. I know people who base it on the Torah. If we don't base it on something like that, what do we base it on?

 

Sorry if I'm not making sense, Beans is making me think awfully hard when I'm supposed to be on break!

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Even when I was an atheist, I felt there was a great deal of wisdom to be found in the Bible. I agreed with the Ten Suggestions... at least the last four or five... definitely three. It was all that "God stuff" I had a problem with...

 

Is this how others feel, or was I just totally out there?

 

(Well, I was, am, and probably will always be "out there", but I think you know what I mean.)

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The Bible in this country is the foundation behind the laying out of our government and of all of our earliest laws.

 

This is simply not so. Allusions to "God" are noticeably absent in our American Constitution and our founders were products of the Enlightenment believed in human reason.

 

My point is simply that you need SOMETHING to determine what is good vs bad. My point was specifically to direct you to the definition of "relativism" which is exactly what your talking about in your post above. Without a "Source" reference, there is NO DEFINITION OF GOOD OR BAD - it's relative only to what any individual choses as his/her definition to be. You say you don't need the Bible to tell you murder is wrong, well WHO says it IS wrong? I don't buy that it's an innate belief. There were times, and there still are places, where murder is not viewed as wrong. Somewhere, from some source, the notion has to arrive at what is good vs. bad, and it doesn't just come from good parenting, somewhere there is/was a source. For most of history, that source has been religion. That was my point.

 

This is also not so. Lack of religion does not equal "relativism".

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This is simply not so. Allusions to "God" are noticeably absent in our American Constitution and our founders were products of the Enlightenment believed in human reason.

 

SpyCar, what do know about the treaty of Trioli? Isn't this widely accepted as an example of the US Government denying that it is a Christian-based nation? I think it was the late 1700's or early 1800's? I need to do some research, I think.

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