But he is implying he is rejecting God because of him not needing a moral teaching.He is rejecting God based on one thing
You aren’t going to be able to argue someone into faith by convincing them of their personal need for Christian morality. That’s a dead end, if you ask me.
Oh… from that angle my response would be to explain my own reasons for belief (with further explanations here and here or reasons for Christianity in particular) none of which are this reason which he has no need for any more than I do.
Turn or burn?
This may seem to contradict something else which I often say, which is that God never meant for us to navigate the moral landscape on our own. Perhaps so many people readily agreed because of the moral argument, but clearly that is not what I meant. But more to the point, just because it is theoretically possible for us to discover morality on our own, that doesn’t mean we would be able to do so quickly. Clearly we can see from human history that it has been a hard road even getting as far as we have… and that is with a little divine help (or so Christians believe Jesus represents) along the way.
That’s what it sounds like, right? I mean some people are convicted of their sinfulness and need of grace and that is what draws them to Christ, but it’s usually a bit more nuanced than “I know I broke Christian rules, so I must need a Savior.”
Yeah … I’m just feeling it. Gonna pass.
Aye. But if it sounds like turn or burn, i.e. repent of your lack of conservative Jewish morality writ larger or go to Hell, that ain’t nuanced. I must be missing something. Now me, I’m totally convicted of my sinfulness - depths of which no one has suffered but me; I’ve done enough harm, but I know I could have done much worse and don’t know how I didn’t - and don’t find grace sufficient, it does not alleviate my pathological shame. I have caused harm that has harmed me and that cannot be wiped away as if it were never done; my being pulled from the fires of Hell leaves me still burning or at least scarred with keloids and the PTSD of it all. Even knowing that all will be well for me and all whom I have sinned against does not fix that. Which is common human experience I know. Not being able to share this with any Christian friend is… on the edge of amusing. Before and with God! Right here right now. But hey, that’s me. I’m a bit of an outlier I know.
If there is no God, then the morality of Jesus is still the greatest achievement of evolution. If there is a God, then His morality is shown in revealing Himself at all, in His helpless solidarity and implicit apology, in the universal salvific faithfulness of Christ in whom we all are and ought to be to each other.
His wounds will fix mine and everyone else’s.
Ah, don’t play that game, no, me neether. A polite ‘No thank you’ should suffice. The trouble is Christianity and Islam insist that you’ve already chosen burn unless you choose otherwise. You can be as moral as you like, as you can be, as saintly as George Mueller, but if you don’t believe, that is the unforgivable sin. Faith without morality is dead but morality without faith gets you tortured forever in Christianity and until you’re annihilated after the law of diminishing returns in Islam.
Great aren’t they?
[Apparently my comment above reiterating the morality of God (as an aspect of Morality And God) from a Protestant and Islamic perspective, i.e. turn or burn, is off topic and must be censored, despite being engaged with earlier in the thread. Admittedly such Godly morality bares no relationship to golden rule human morality in the OP. But that does demonstrate that natural, evolved, golden rule morality, from which the divine excludes itself, needs no divine input as in the Euthyphro dilemma.]
That certainly seems to be a prevalent view but thankfully not a universal one. Thankfully for the well being of the exceptions. It isn’t really about me. Seeing no way out of holding such a view is a violence to the soul of those who hold it.
That is an interesting question, Nick. And Christy has a really good answer, from what I see. I do recall, some years back, seeing an article in a magazine regarding an issue similar to this one. The theme of that article was the result of some studies done long ago to determine the big WHY of the late 20th century—that is (was) WHY did so many good Germans go along with the ideas they went along with. And “of course!!” someone did a psychological study on all this…long story short" they discovered that if you develop the right rationale for an action, you can get people to DO ANYTHING. …ANYTHING!!* This is why humanity has “always” needed a solid source of morality, beyond what we cook up for ourselves. Evolution shmevolution! (in this case!) We evidently DO need an outside standard of right or wrong because we are SO GOOD at lying to ourselves at times. (Any dieter knows the “lying to ourselves” part). Hope this helps and have a nice day.
Regardless of how we got here, if we accept as true that we are made in the image of the creator, are we not by the very fiber of our beings, compelled to some standard?
We don’t. We find the claim meaningless. Nice bit of poetry. But the empty hubris it generates isn’t worth it. Unfortunately as in your language. We all have some standard. Very, very few Christians have Jesus’. And some non-Christians do.
Not my claim.
Although this claim of the scripture that you refer to as poetry (I do love the sound of it), does create the frame of reference for the rest of scripture, including the morality of Jesus.
What’s an ancient Jewish creation myth got to do with Jesus’ morality?
I think the best answer to a question like that is to just let it hang out there whipping in the breeze, pregnant with the desire for verbal battle.
I wish you the best Klax.
Nicely done Robert. I don’t see any connection whatsoever between the Beatitudes and the ancient Jewish metaphor for the human condition, apart from it being part of the enculturation that Jesus transcended. Perhaps somebody else can?
You’re definitely preaching to my choir. I think a literal emphasis on creation sets up the same risk of losing the young as does a young earth or denial of evolution. I tell myself that it is hard to rebuild the whole ship at once while at sea and perhaps reform has to be paced. But I agree with what I hear you saying, that it emphasizes the wrong things value-wise.
That’s at the personal level. But at the social level, there are principles of morality that are empirically universal: that is, no known society says they are Bad Things. Here’s one list:
- Help your family.
- Help your group.
- Return favors.
- Be brave.
- Defer to superiors.
- Divide resources fairly.
- Respect others’ property.
Of course, there are a lot of details to disagree about here. What counts as courage? Who are your superiors? What is property?
Sure but what is property, who are your superiors…and what does “help your family/group” mean…And the concept of helping those who do not belong to your group – did this just come from our genetic code? or did it have to be introduced? and what is the source of that? There is the concept of us having been created in the image of God, so that some things (which may seem universal) may fall into the category of a reflection of the divine image ---- though marred at this point… And since it is marred — i.e., is your definition of personal property the same as mine? from culture to culture that also might be different and also within cultures if I decide that I could use your property better than I think you are using it —since those innate traits (whatever the list) have been corrupted, there is a need for a moral code outside of us…as well as a law code, which in some societies is, or has been, nearly the same thing. Not a small topic, for sure!!