5/26/2012 | Share this article: View CommentsBy JC ~
I swear I am not making this up.
I subscribe to a priest's FB stuff because, honestly, some of what he posts is really interesting to me. However, in a recent post, we got into a discussion about moral laws (e.g. "Go kill all the Jews and Gypsies") to which I responded that when the law is immoral it's our duty to disobey it. Here's where the conversation went from there:
|English: The inside of an Orthodox church. Greek Orthodox Church. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
John, let me ask you this: You say "When the law is immoral, it is our duty to disobey," and "the law itself is insipid." On what basis do you call a law immoral? Without God as guide and teacher, ultimately there is no arbiter of morality except oneself.
Your question is based on a common fallacy. To state that one cannot be moral without god is not well thought out.
For the sake of argument, let us suppose that there are moral laws that are absolute. If that is true, God must be bound by them, yes? But God has committed murder (both personally committing genocide and ordering his people to do so), adultery (impregnating the wife of Joseph), left a murderer and alduterer unpunished (taking out the punishment on the innocent child conceived by Bathsheba instead (and where does the anti-abortion crowd stand on THAT issue?)), instructing his people to steal from other people that they conquered, intentional obfuscation (Matthew 13:13), and coveting (Exodus 20:5).
If we say that the Judeo-Christian god is moral, then genocide and slavery are morally justified and the only thing Hitler did wrong was try to wipe out people without getting god's permission first. Even as late as Colossians we read that a slave should submit to his/her master - not that slavery is immoral.
As a moral guide, any deity you name falls horribly short of a worthy standard.
Indeed, this is why I left Christianity. When comparing "God the Father" to any human father I have ever known, not one man that I could think of failed to be superior to god. If we say "god is good" and look at the god of the Bible, we come away baffled.
What many religious fail to admit is that morality is not strictly a human characteristic. Here's a good example:
Indeed, many religious hate to admit that humans are actually part of the animal kingdom, despite all the evidence.
Morality is innate in many species. It is far more complex in humans, to be sure, but what of that? We are complex creatures.
I would also point out that your presupposition is proven erroneous by human history. There is not one theistic society that has failed to screw over anyone of a different faith.
Moreover, 2 Cor 5:17 is a bald-faced lie. Christians are not a "new creature" at all! They have the same nature as every other human being. They just obsess over their human failings more than most. Want proof? Explain to me why the church is so fractured? Even among Orthodox Christians, all y'all are like Scottish clans that war with each other. Same goes for every religion ever known to man. There is nothing "new" about Christians at all.
That said, how can one claim that a person cannot be moral without god? If that was true, why aren't atheists all debauched? How is it possible for us to be moral when we deny that any god exists? The premise is flawed.
John, I know you'll take this as a copout, but this forum was long ago designed not for debate. As my info tab explains, "My main intent is to inform and embolden and give resources to Christians to speak out on certain "politically incorrect" issues, such as euthanasia, destructive embryonic stem cell experimentation, cloning, homosexuality, Islam, etc.
I post the truth about abortion, for instance, and inform Christians of what the mainstream media doesn't give coverage to. Additionally, I post because I believe we Orthodox (and clergy in general) need correction for our compromise on these issues. My posts are not for everybody. I don't write them to be, and I don't intend them to be. Those I actively try to find and ask for FBfriendship are Christian clergy (bishops, priests, pastors, elders, ministers, brothers, trustees, deacons, deaconesses, monks and nuns), and serious Orthodox Christian faithful.
But I don't turn down anyone for FBfriendship. So, sometimes my confrontational style and the topics of my posts offend some people I don't intend or want to offend. For instance, I wouldn't post what I post about Islam to Muslims. A different approach entirely is required, just for the sake of kindness. I wouldn't post what I post about abortion to women who are hurting in its aftermath. I would, of course, take a completely different approach and attitude. Please keep this in mind as you consider beFBfriending me. ***It is beyond the scope of my posts to debate about the merits of Christianity or a Biblical worldview. My posts are designed for those who already surrender to Christ and are seeking to submit to God's Word, as the Church has taught it.*** It's not my intent to debate at all, but to inform, correct and encourage."
Again, I'm sure you'll consider this a copout, and perhaps it is, but I don't have the time to debate whether there is a God or whether He is the source of truth or right/wrong for us. Perhaps this forum is not for you. There are many other forums which seek to reach out to atheists with evidence of God's reality. I wish you the best.
I do find it odd that you would pose the question then dismiss the answer, yes.
I have become too accustomed to
ability to speak rationally to any issue and willingness to discuss the things he posts. He and I do not agree on much but I have learned a lot from him and trust his judgment because he thinks first and understands his opponent well. I acknowledge he is a rarity.
Since you and I cannot have such an honest dialogue with one another, I'll keep my yap shut on your posts hitherto.
I will say, though, that what troubles me most about people in general is that they are unwilling to even consider a point of view outside of their own cherished beliefs. Therefore, not only do they not understand the people around them, they don't even understand why what they believe to be true is (or isn't) valid. Hence, they never really grow. To my mind, there is nothing more blessed than to have your opinions and beliefs challenged because, in the end, those challenges wipe away the dross and leave only the pure gold behind (or reveal the material to be iron pyrite).
:::JC passes silently out of your life forever:::
Now, I give the guy full credit for still responding after I stated that I was sick of hearing the religious whine about how they are losing their religious freedoms, citing that the fact that they are able to whine in public is evidence that they aren't.
But I find it distressing that this leader in the church is not interested in answering the questions that need to be answered. These people just want to bitch and moan and feel persecuted.
I would literally pay money right now if anyone could find a Christian leader who would honestly debate "God is a prerequisite to morality" in a public forum with me or anyone else in our little community here. The sad thing is that I am no intellectual giant and even I could easily win that debate.
(BTW - thanks to whoever posted the Frans de Waal video.)