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Thread: Is religion really the root of all evil?

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    If you are saying that the "Golden Rule" is an objective code necessary for co-existence, then I disagree with you.

    Slavery goes against the Golden Rule, yet many civilizations prospered for hundred of years with it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMojo1 View Post
    If you are saying that the "Golden Rule" is an objective code necessary for co-existence, then I disagree with you.

    Slavery goes against the Golden Rule, yet many civilizations prospered for hundred of years with it.
    At detriment to the slaves, no? If that was a desirable ethic, why did we abolish slavery? The golden rule!

    This is the dichotomy in dogmatic scripture. It is advocates the golden rule, but then ignores it in practice.

    From Wiki,
    The Golden Rule or ethic of reciprocity is a maxim,[2] ethical code, or morality[3] that essentially states either of the following:
    • (Positive form): One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.[2]
    • (Negative/prohibitive form, also called the Silver Rule): One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated.
    This concept describes a "reciprocal" or "two-way" relationship between one's self and others that involves both sides equally and in a mutual fashion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post

    At detriment to the slaves, no? If that was a desirable ethic, why did we abolish slavery? The golden rule!
    Is slavery abolished completely? There are many in the sex trade slavery that would differ with this.

    As to common slavery, it existed for thousands of years. This fact goes against your argument. There are many people who did agree with the golden rule, yet still owned other human beings. They subjectively decided that the golden rule didn't apply to their slaves.


    Sources:
    http://www.usborderpatrol.com/Border_Patrol880_3.htm
    http://www.canadafreepress.com/index...-tibet-border/
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMojo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post

    At detriment to the slaves, no? If that was a desirable ethic, why did we abolish slavery? The golden rule!
    Is slavery abolished completely? There are many in the sex trade slavery that would differ with this.
    And do you consider sex slavers evil? I do, by the law of the golden rule.

    As to common slavery, it existed for thousands of years. This fact goes against your argument. There are many people who did agree with the golden rule, yet still owned other human beings. They subjectively decided that the golden rule didn't apply to their slaves.
    If you want to go back far enough we can also point to the Bonobo chimpanzee which in fact practices the Golden Rule. They make love, not war and welcome strangers with food and lovemaking.

    Unfortunately we did not follow the same road as this close hominid cousin, but instead followed the road and behaved like the other close cousin, the Common Chimpanzee, which is probably also the first hominid to believe in a higher power.
    Another example of a symbiotic relationship of species is the honey bee. While it is not aware of the golden rule, it practices it and as a result almost all flowering plants on earth are dependent on its tireless labor.

    More recently, we can look at Washington and Jefferson who both advocated the golden Rule. However as they lived in a society where slavery was completely accepted they remained slave owners during their life times. Remember in those days, a free slave was fair game to anyone, but by all accounts both treated their slaves relatively well, and both granted freedom to many slaves in their wills.
    It was Lincoln who actually applied the tenets of equality and the result was a devastating civil war. Change comes slowly and at a price.

    The point I am trying to make is that the Golden Rule is not a universal constant (determinism), but a free will action in recognition of a fundamental ethical concept. A symbiotic relationship among humans always is more productive and successful, than war and discrimination by religious dogma.

    We still ignore this rule among humans and with many other high order (intelligent) animals such as gorillas, urangutans, dolphins, whales, octopi and probably several more.

    As has been said by others, man is not inherently evil, but we are still ignorant. We just got smarter, not wiser.

    For the theists; if any species is worthy of heaven, it is the simple honey bee.
    Last edited by Write4U; April 14th, 2012 at 02:02 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post

    And do you consider sex slavers evil? I do, by the law of the golden rule.
    It doesn't matter if 100 percent of the people posting on this forum consider sex slavers evil. Are we conducting a poll to prove a universal moral code? Your sample is too small.
    As to common slavery, it existed for thousands of years. This fact goes against your argument. There are many people who did agree with the golden rule, yet still owned other human beings. They subjectively decided that the golden rule didn't apply to their slaves.
    If you want to go back far enough we can also point to the Bonobo chimpanzee which in fact practices the Golden Rule. They make love, not war and welcome strangers with food and lovemaking.

    Unfortunately we did not follow the same road as this close hominid cousin, but instead followed the road and behaved like the other close cousin, the Common Chimpanzee, which is probably also the first hominid to believe in a higher power.
    Why is it unfortunate? That is just your point of view. What evidence do you have that chimpanzees believe in a higher power? That's ridiculous.
    Another example of a symbiotic relationship of species is the honey bee. While it is not aware of the golden rule, it practices it and as a result almost all flowering plants on earth are dependent on its tireless labor.

    More recently, we can look at Washington and Jefferson who both advocated the golden Rule. However as they lived in a society where slavery was completely accepted they remained slave owners during their life times. Remember in those days, a free slave was fair game to anyone, but by all accounts both treated their slaves relatively well, and both granted freedom to many slaves in their wills.
    It was Lincoln who actually applied the tenets of equality and the result was a devastating civil war. Change comes slowly and at a price.

    The point I am trying to make is that the Golden Rule is not a universal constant (determinism), but a free will action in recognition of a fundamental ethical concept. A symbiotic relationship among humans always is more productive and successful, than war and discrimination by religious dogma.

    We still ignore this rule among humans and with many other high order (intelligent) animals such as gorillas, urangutans, dolphins, whales, octopi and probably several more.

    As has been said by others, man is not inherently evil, but we are still ignorant. We just got smarter, not wiser.

    For the theists; if any species is worthy of heaven, it is the simple honey bee.
    I got stung by a honeybee. It must have forgotten the golden rule.
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    [QUOTE=Harold14370;319884][QUOTE=Write4U;319831]

    see below
    Last edited by Write4U; April 14th, 2012 at 05:18 PM. Reason: duplicate posting
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post

    And do you consider sex slavers evil? I do, by the law of the golden rule.
    It doesn't matter if 100 percent of the people posting on this forum consider sex slavers evil. Are we conducting a poll to prove a universal moral code? Your sample is too small.
    A poll is not necessary, the ethical question was answered by the supreme court in 1839 -1840 in Amistad slave trials.

    Harold
    As to common slavery, it existed for thousands of years. This fact goes against your argument. There are many people who did agree with the golden rule, yet still owned other human beings. They subjectively decided that the golden rule didn't apply to their slaves.
    W4U
    If you want to go back far enough we can also point to the Bonobo chimpanzee which in fact practices the Golden Rule. They make love, not war and welcome strangers with food and lovemaking.

    Unfortunately we did not follow the same road as this close hominid cousin, but instead followed the road and behaved like the other close cousin, the Common Chimpanzee, which is probably also the first hominid to believe in a higher power.
    Harold
    Why is it unfortunate? That is just your point of view. What evidence do you have that chimpanzees believe in a higher power? That's ridiculous.
    Quoting a long time observer of the Bonobos, "they are the only chimp who can sleep soundly and wake up, knowing that they won't be attacked by their neighbor"

    During a monsoon, while all the members of a troup seek shelter, alpha (common) chimps have been observed to run around wielding sticks, waving it to the sky, beating the bushes and screaming in an obvious display of defensive aggression toward this "unseen enemy" which throws water at him and makes him uncomfortable. From there it is a small step to a god (Lilith, Zeus, Thor, etc).

    W4U
    Another example of a symbiotic relationship of species is the honey bee. While it is not aware of the golden rule, it practices it and as a result almost all flowering plants on earth are dependent on its tireless labor.

    More recently, we can look at Washington and Jefferson who both advocated the golden Rule. However as they lived in a society where slavery was completely accepted they remained slave owners during their life times. Remember in those days, a free slave was fair game to anyone, but by all accounts both treated their slaves relatively well, and both granted freedom to many slaves in their wills.
    It was Lincoln who actually applied the tenets of equality and the result was a devastating civil war. Change comes slowly and at a price.

    The point I am trying to make is that the Golden Rule is not a universal constant (determinism), but a free will action in recognition of a fundamental ethical concept. A symbiotic relationship among humans always is more productive and successful, than war and discrimination by religious dogma.

    We still ignore this rule among humans and with many other high order (intelligent) animals such as gorillas, urangutans, dolphins, whales, octopi and probably several more.

    As has been said by others, man is not inherently evil, but we are still ignorant. We just got smarter, not wiser.

    For the theists; if any species is worthy of heaven, it is the simple honey bee.
    Harold
    I got stung by a honeybee. It must have forgotten the golden rule.
    I stipulated that bees are not aware of a golden rule, they just act in accordance (by natural selection).

    As far as being stung; this defensive action cost the bee its life in defense of the hive. What were you doing there anyway, beating the hive with a stick?
    How can you be sure it was an Italian honeybee and not a hybrid "killer bee" which we so stupidly introduced into the bee population?
    Last edited by Write4U; April 14th, 2012 at 05:06 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    [

    A poll is not necessary, the ethical question was answered by the supreme court in 1839 -1840 in Amistad slave trials.
    What is the supreme court, some kind of high priesthood? Did they not also hand down the Dred Scott decision?
    Quoting a long time observer of the Bonobos, "they are the only chimp who can sleep soundly and wake up, knowing that they won't be attacked by their neighbor"
    Lucky for them the other chimps can't cross the river.
    During a monsoon, while all the members of a troup seek shelter, alpha (common) chimps have been observed to run around wielding sticks, waving it to the sky, beating the bushes and screaming in an obvious display of defensive aggression toward this "unseen enemy" which throws water at him and makes him uncomfortable. From there it is a small step to a god (Lilith, Zeus, Thor, etc).
    That's just dumb.
    I stipulated that bees are not aware of a golden rule, they just act in accordance (by natural selection).

    As far as being stung; this defensive action cost the bee its life in defense of the hive. What were you doing there anyway, beating the hive with a stick?
    How can you be sure it was an Italian honeybee and not a hybrid "killer bee" which we so stupidly introduced into the bee population?
    How come the workers have to work like slaves and the lazy old drones just lie around doing nothing? How horribly unjust.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post

    A poll is not necessary, the ethical question was answered by the supreme court in 1839 -1840 in Amistad slave trials.
    What is the supreme court, some kind of high priesthood? Did they not also hand down the Dred Scott decision?
    C'mon, Harold, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill 0f Rights are founded on the Golden Rule. Why are we arguing about that? It is dogmatic religion which consistently ignores this humane ethic.

    W4U
    Quoting a long time observer of the Bonobos, "they are the only chimp who can sleep soundly and wake up, knowing that they won't be attacked by their neighbor"
    Harold,
    Lucky for them the other chimps can't cross the river
    Any Bonobo, even from a different troup, is welcomed with hospitatility+. When food is plentifull, Bonobos even tolerate and share with unrelated species. The common Chimp never does, in fact they form hunting (war) parties against their own kind. Very much like man today.

    W4U,
    During a monsoon, while all the members of a troup seek shelter, alpha (common) chimps have been observed to run around wielding sticks, waving it to the sky, beating the bushes and screaming in an obvious display of defensive aggression toward this "unseen enemy" which throws water at him and makes him uncomfortable. From there it is a small step to a god (Lilith, Zeus, Thor, etc).
    Harold,
    That's just dumb.
    ok, strike the names and substitute "raingod". But perhaps hubris prevents you from recognizing the inherent intelligence of higher species. Just because they have no flexible vocal chords, that does not mean they are stupid. Not so long ago, an illness was considered possession by an "evil spirit". Was that dumb or ignorance?

    W4U
    I stipulated that bees are not aware of a golden rule, they just act in accordance (by natural selection).

    As far as being stung; this defensive action cost the bee its life in defense of the hive. What were you doing there anyway, beating the hive with a stick?
    How can you be sure it was an Italian honeybee and not a hybrid "killer bee" which we so stupidly introduced into the bee population?
    Harold,
    How come the workers have to work like slaves and the lazy old drones just lie around doing nothing? How horribly unjust.
    There are no "old drones". Drones cannot feed themselves and young drones are fed by females until a new queen requires mating. After the mating the females refuse too feed them and they die.
    Last edited by Write4U; April 14th, 2012 at 08:57 PM. Reason: accuracy
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    The initial intent of the Bill of Rights were for White Males who were land owners.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMojo1 View Post
    The initial intent of the Bill of Rights were for White Males who were land owners.
    First I must apologize for using the BOR in my argument.

    It was the Declaration of Independence on which Adams made his case. The DOI related to the virtual enslavement of White Americans by the Crown of England.

    But it does not make much difference, does it? The justices on the supreme court during the Amistad trials, were almost all slave owners themselves.

    John Quincy Adams made his case of a "personal moral investment" in the meaning of the Declaration of Independence so persuasively that the justices "in good conscience" could no longer ignore this universal ethic.
    His main thrust was the eternal law of nature wherein every person is free. And it was that law - the eternal law - on which Adams staked his claim.
    JOHN QUINCY ADAMS FOR THE DEFENSE - Awesome Stories

    This is the fundamental tenet of the Golden Rule.
    Last edited by Write4U; April 14th, 2012 at 09:25 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    But it does not make much difference, does it? The justices on the supreme court during the Amistad trials, were almost all slave owners themselves.

    John Quincy Adams made his case of a "personal moral investment" in the meaning of the Declaration of Independence so persuasively that the justices "in good conscience" could no longer ignore this universal ethic.
    That trial wasn't about ending all slavery, simply returning those slaves back to their homeland. Slavery in America continued. Slavery continued in the territories controlled by the British, French, Portuguese, Berbers, and Spaniards.
    It was anything, but universal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMojo1 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    But it does not make much difference, does it? The justices on the supreme court during the Amistad trials, were almost all slave owners themselves.

    John Quincy Adams made his case of a "personal moral investment" in the meaning of the Declaration of Independence so persuasively that the justices "in good conscience" could no longer ignore this universal ethic.
    That trial wasn't about ending all slavery, simply returning those slaves back to their homeland. Slavery in America continued. Slavery continued in the territories controlled by the British, French, Portuguese, Berbers, and Spaniards.
    It was anything, but universal.
    Oh, I agree, and it exists today still.

    But I was not arguing about slavery per se.

    I was trying to make a point that there are some ethics which are secular in nature and can be considered apart from scripture, even though some scripture has "recognized" these humane ethics as "morals" which will inevitably have consequences when broken. The word evil is a theist expression, but may be used conversationally by anyone who wants to make a distinction between right and wrong, as it pertains to, and in context of human conduct.

    But as I don't believe in a scriptural god, I also don't believe in a scriptural devil (satan). If I were to believe in those, I'd have to come to a conclusion that if God is supreme and omnipotent, the devil must be part of god, and that presents a paradox of Intent.
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    W4U,
    During a monsoon, while all the members of a troup seek shelter, alpha (common) chimps have been observed to run around wielding sticks, waving it to the sky, beating the bushes and screaming in an obvious display of defensive aggression toward this "unseen enemy" which throws water at him and makes him uncomfortable. From there it is a small step to a god (Lilith, Zeus, Thor, etc).
    Harold,
    That's just dumb.
    W4U,
    Just because they have no flexible vocal chords, that does not mean they are stupid.
    IQ of apes.

    The most intelligent ape in the world is a bonobo! « EAZA Ape Campaign

    but also old world monkeys

    The (Monkey) Business Of Recognizing Words : NPR
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    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    C'mon, Harold, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill 0f Rights are founded on the Golden Rule. Why are we arguing about that? It is dogmatic religion which consistently ignores this humane ethic.
    The golden rule came from the Bible, didn't it. And you are being rather dogmatic about your golden rule theory, as you are not providing much evidence for it.
    W4U
    Quoting a long time observer of the Bonobos, "they are the only chimp who can sleep soundly and wake up, knowing that they won't be attacked by their neighbor"
    Harold,
    Lucky for them the other chimps can't cross the river
    Any Bonobo, even from a different troup, is welcomed with hospitatility+. When food is plentifull, Bonobos even tolerate and share with unrelated species. The common Chimp never does, in fact they form hunting (war) parties against their own kind. Very much like man today.
    The point is, the common chimps could not cross the river, or they would come over and kick the bonobo's asses.
    If you admit man is more like the common chimp, then how are you arguing that the golden rule is a universal ethic?



    W4U,
    During a monsoon, while all the members of a troup seek shelter, alpha (common) chimps have been observed to run around wielding sticks, waving it to the sky, beating the bushes and screaming in an obvious display of defensive aggression toward this "unseen enemy" which throws water at him and makes him uncomfortable. From there it is a small step to a god (Lilith, Zeus, Thor, etc).
    Harold,
    That's just dumb.
    ok, strike the names and substitute "raingod". But perhaps hubris prevents you from recognizing the inherent intelligence of higher species. Just because they have no flexible vocal chords, that does not mean they are stupid. Not so long ago, an illness was considered possession by an "evil spirit". Was that dumb or ignorance?
    It's your argument that is dumb, not the chimps. How can you seriously suggest that chimps have a religion when they cannot communicate such an abstract concept among themselves?
    W4U
    I stipulated that bees are not aware of a golden rule, they just act in accordance (by natural selection).

    As far as being stung; this defensive action cost the bee its life in defense of the hive. What were you doing there anyway, beating the hive with a stick?
    How can you be sure it was an Italian honeybee and not a hybrid "killer bee" which we so stupidly introduced into the bee population?
    Harold,
    How come the workers have to work like slaves and the lazy old drones just lie around doing nothing? How horribly unjust.
    There are no "old drones". Drones cannot feed themselves and young drones are fed by females until a new queen requires mating. After the mating the females refuse too feed them and they die.
    How cruel of the females to starve those drones.
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    I count 4 strawman arguments.

    a) Just because it was a recognized ethic in the bible, does not make it an "exclusive" biblical tenet and by extension an exclusive claim to morality. Many other philosophies can claim this ethic.
    b) I did not say that the ethic is being followed universally. Some civilizations (or individuals) are just more civilized than others. The Bonobo is more civilized (smarter and wiser) than their warlike cousins. .
    c) I did not say chimps are religious, but define the belief in an unseen willful entity.
    d) From "lazy old drone" slave masters to "victims". Actually I was expecting that one.

    And I believe I have made several cogent arguments in favor of symbiotic and cooperative behavior being conducive to survival of one or several co-dependent species. The farmer (herder) ant herds and milks aphids. In return they provide protection to the aphids from other predators. Humans also have symbiotic relationships with animals to the benefit of both. These are the more subtle expressions of the golden rule (quid pro quo). The "practice" of the Golden Rule seems to work when applied intelligently and honestly or even naturally, regardless of religious dogma.
    Last edited by Write4U; April 15th, 2012 at 02:39 AM.
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    Actually you are moving the goal post.

    You said there were objective codes in post #292 "I believe there are objective moral (ethical) codes."
    I asked you for these codes, and how they are delivered. You've yet to answer this question.

    You implied that the "golden rule" was one of these objective codes. You could not explain how this rule has existed in many forms for thousands of years, yet examples of behavior (e.g. slavery) which defy it and your claim exists.

    You made a claim that "
    justices "in good conscience" could no longer ignore this universal ethic" (post #311), which again implies there is a universal ethic and justices are aware of it. I point out that since slavery would still exist in America and other colonized countries, this "universal ethic" wasn't being followed by many others. You still have yet to establish what are these objective moral codes, and the delivery of such codes to societies.

    You claim the Declaration of Independence is another example acknowledgment of "objective codes." I am going to assume you mean the preamble which talks about all men being equal. Yet the same men who wrote the passage owned slaves, and created a Bill of Rights which originally protected the rights of white males who owned property.

    You haven't made a cogent argument, only a failed hypothesis.

    What are the objective moral codes, and how does all of human society receive them globally?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    And I believe I have made several cogent arguments in favor of symbiotic and cooperative behavior being conducive to survival of one or several co-dependent species.
    Cooperative behavior can certainly be an excellent strategy under certain conditions. That does not mean it is universally an excellent strategy. For example, lions hunt cooperatively but the male lion who takes over a pride will kill the offspring of his predecessor. This is a successful strategy because it maximizes the number of his progeny. Wolves hunt cooperatively, but they are very territorial. Territorial behavior is very common in the world of animals. That is because it has been a successful strategy. It is certainly not an example of the golden rule.
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    "Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself." Confucius.

    The golden rule both very old and one of our most common concepts used by religion as well as secular philosophies. While that might appear to make it universal, there's a vast difference in applications where it often becomes the equivalent of "do unto others as I'd have done to me," which allows bigatry and intollerence of the worse kinds because it ties a condition one finds offensive to acceptable behavior towards the offender. Can you discriminate against a gay person? Sure! Because if you were gay, you'd "deserve" discrimination (and welcome others to try to "save" you).
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMojo1 View Post
    Actually you are moving the goal post.
    You said there were objective codes in post #292 "[COLOR=#333333 ]I believe there are objective moral (ethical) codes."
    I asked you for these codes, and how they are delivered. You've yet to answer this question.
    I cited two;
    a) "the Golden Rule", which is a philosophical ethics, but has demonstrable examples in nature of its value.
    b) "As you sow, so shall you reap", which is actually founded in science as a natural law of "cause and effect".

    The use of the word objective was in context of the biblical moral commands. I was trying to convey that there are "secular" ethical codes which have been recognized by many philosophers and delivered in writing, based on reason, without the trappings of a dogmatic scripture which promotes exclusivity as being the only Book of Truths.

    The problem with dogmatic scriture is that they always promote exclusivity. If you don't follow scripture to the letter you are automatically deemed evil and a "true" believer has an automatic right to discriminate against that individual and we all know the consequences of "blindly" following scripture.

    History is filled with massacres in the name of and with assumed permission of the gods in those "holy" scripture.

    There are many eastern philosophies (deisms) which also use ethical codes and even atheist philosophers have recognized certain ethical codes which are common to all. One does not need to be religious to have an ethical code, common sense can and will identify certain actions which may be considered beneficial and certain actions which are detrimental to a shared environment.

    The topic title asks if "religion is the root of all evil". That is a sweeping statement which cannot be answered yes or no or argued as posited. I have tried to argue that while all scripture has some "good" ethical messages, they also contain many "bad" messages.

    You implied that the "golden rule" was one of these objective codes. You could not explain how this rule has existed in many forms for thousands of years, yet examples of behavior (e.g. slavery) which defy it and your claim exists.
    I gave several examples of the successful application of the Golden Rule.

    My counter argument would be that most of these atrocities were committed by theists and apparently scripture did not prevent and sometimes allowed or even promoted these acts. The problem does not lie with commonly identified ethics, it lies with our ability to ignore these ethics for one reason or another.

    So we have a dilemma, choosing between identified "common (secular) values, or identified scriptural values with the caveat that the entire scripture, written by "thinkers" centuries ago, must be follwed to the letter, or else.

    After all all scripture was written by man, regardless of the cause for inspiration. They are all human documents.

    I was not trying to move the goal postsi

    The question itself cannot be answered definitively.

    IS religion the root of all evil?
    is RELIGION the root of all evil?
    is religion THE root of all evil?
    is religion the ROOT of all evil?
    is religion the root of ALL evil?
    is religion the root of all EVIL.?

    Which one do you want to answer, take your pick.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    And I believe I have made several cogent arguments in favor of symbiotic and cooperative behavior being conducive to survival of one or several co-dependent species.
    Cooperative behavior can certainly be an excellent strategy under certain conditions. That does not mean it is universally an excellent strategy. For example, lions hunt cooperatively but the male lion who takes over a pride will kill the offspring of his predecessor. This is a successful strategy because it maximizes the number of his progeny. Wolves hunt cooperatively, but they are very territorial. Territorial behavior is very common in the world of animals. That is because it has been a successful strategy. It is certainly not an example of the golden rule.
    Thank you, we have agreement on one aspect of the question. I will agree that in nature, ethics are subordinate to survival, by any means. But if as human we are so "special" we should be able to rise above mere survival.

    The question itself cannot be answered definitively. It has too many components which allow for argument on a seperate basis.

    IS religion the root of all evil?
    is RELIGION the root of all evil?
    is religion THE root of all evil?
    is religion the ROOT of all evil?
    is religion the root of ALL evil?
    is religion the root of all EVIL.?

    Which one do you want to answer, take your pick.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    "Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself." Confucius.

    The golden rule both very old and one of our most common concepts used by religion as well as secular philosophies. While that might appear to make it universal, there's a vast difference in applications where it often becomes the equivalent of "do unto others as I'd have done to me," which allows bigatry and intollerence of the worse kinds because it ties a condition one finds offensive to acceptable behavior towards the offender. Can you discriminate against a gay person? Sure! Because if you were gay, you'd "deserve" discrimination (and welcome others to try to "save" you).
    Thank you, another confirmation of human recogniton of that secular humane ethic.

    The last pagraph is an example of a religious tenet that is evil. By what objective or natural law is this forbidden? Who said homosexual behavior is morally or ethically bad? You just identified a cause for doing evil, by considering something which is not evil as evil, because someone said so.

    Yes lets kill all living things that engage in homosexual behavior. We can begin with the "gentle" Bonobo. They do it all the time. bad, bad, bad!

    Your conclusion is not in accordance with what Confucius actually said. It is a misinterpretation.
    Last edited by Write4U; April 15th, 2012 at 03:14 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    And I believe I have made several cogent arguments in favor of symbiotic and cooperative behavior being conducive to survival of one or several co-dependent species.
    Cooperative behavior can certainly be an excellent strategy under certain conditions. That does not mean it is universally an excellent strategy. For example, lions hunt cooperatively but the male lion who takes over a pride will kill the offspring of his predecessor. This is a successful strategy because it maximizes the number of his progeny. Wolves hunt cooperatively, but they are very territorial. Territorial behavior is very common in the world of animals. That is because it has been a successful strategy. It is certainly not an example of the golden rule.
    Thank you, we have agreement on one aspect of the question. I will agree that in nature, ethics are subordinate to survival, by any means. But if as human we are so "special" we should be able to rise above mere survival.

    The question itself cannot be answered definitively. It has too many components which allow for argument on a seperate basis.

    IS religion the root of all evil?
    is RELIGION the root of all evil?
    is religion THE root of all evil?
    is religion the ROOT of all evil?
    is religion the root of ALL evil?
    is religion the root of all EVIL.?

    Which one do you want to answer, take your pick.
    The question I asked before is "what is evil." There is no point in trying to answer your questions unless you can define what we are talking about. It's like asking how much does phlogiston weigh, what is the color of phlogiston, what is the temperature of phlogiston, etc. before you can even say there is such a thing as phlogiston.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    And I believe I have made several cogent arguments in favor of symbiotic and cooperative behavior being conducive to survival of one or several co-dependent species.
    Cooperative behavior can certainly be an excellent strategy under certain conditions. That does not mean it is universally an excellent strategy. For example, lions hunt cooperatively but the male lion who takes over a pride will kill the offspring of his predecessor. This is a successful strategy because it maximizes the number of his progeny. Wolves hunt cooperatively, but they are very territorial. Territorial behavior is very common in the world of animals. That is because it has been a successful strategy. It is certainly not an example of the golden rule.
    Thank you, we have agreement on one aspect of the question. I will agree that in nature, ethics are subordinate to survival, by any means. But if as human we are so "special" we should be able to rise above mere survival.

    The question itself cannot be answered definitively. It has too many components which allow for argument on a seperate basis.

    IS religion the root of all evil?
    is RELIGION the root of all evil?
    is religion THE root of all evil?
    is religion the ROOT of all evil?
    is religion the root of ALL evil?
    is religion the root of all EVIL.?

    Which one do you want to answer, take your pick.
    The question I asked before is "what is evil." There is no point in trying to answer your questions unless you can define what we are talking about. It's like asking how much does phlogiston weigh, what is the color of phlogiston, what is the temperature of phlogiston, etc. before you can even say there is such a thing as phlogiston.
    I agree, it is a relative concept. Thus all we have to go on are some common denominators. Secular ethics which are generally observed and practised by a majority of human society.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    "Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself." Confucius.

    The golden rule both very old and one of our most common concepts used by religion as well as secular philosophies. While that might appear to make it universal, there's a vast difference in applications where it often becomes the equivalent of "do unto others as I'd have done to me," which allows bigatry and intollerence of the worse kinds because it ties a condition one finds offensive to acceptable behavior towards the offender. Can you discriminate against a gay person? Sure! Because if you were gay, you'd "deserve" discrimination (and welcome others to try to "save" you).
    Thank you, another confirmation of human recogniton of that secular humane ethic.

    The last pagraph is an example of a religious tenet that is evil. By what objective or natural law is this forbidden? Who said homosexual behavior is morally or ethically bad? You just identified a cause for doing evil, by considering something which is not evil as evil, because someone said so.

    Yes lets kill all living things that engage in homosexual behavior. We can begin with the "gentle" Bonobo. They do it all the time. bad, bad, bad!

    Your conclusion is not in accordance with what Confucius actually said. It is a misinterpretation.
    I think you will find that that is exactly Lynx fox's point. The excellent prescription is consciously or unconsciously misinterpreted to suit the individual's prejudices.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    "Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself." Confucius.

    The golden rule both very old and one of our most common concepts used by religion as well as secular philosophies. While that might appear to make it universal, there's a vast difference in applications where it often becomes the equivalent of "do unto others as I'd have done to me," which allows bigatry and intollerence of the worse kinds because it ties a condition one finds offensive to acceptable behavior towards the offender. Can you discriminate against a gay person? Sure! Because if you were gay, you'd "deserve" discrimination (and welcome others to try to "save" you).
    Thank you, another confirmation of human recogniton of that secular humane ethic.

    The last pagraph is an example of a religious tenet that is evil. By what objective or natural law is this forbidden? Who said homosexual behavior is morally or ethically bad? You just identified a cause for doing evil, by considering something which is not evil as evil, because someone said so.

    Yes lets kill all living things that engage in homosexual behavior. We can begin with the "gentle" Bonobo. They do it all the time. bad, bad, bad!

    Your conclusion is not in accordance with what Confucius actually said. It is a misinterpretation.
    I think you will find that that is exactly Lynx fox's point. The excellent prescription is consciously or unconsciously misinterpreted to suit the individual's prejudices.
    Oh, I agree, I never said that we always practice these common ethics. I argued that they exist. But apparently it makes no difference wether they are secular or religious. We seem to find reasons to break them, either trough misapplication of the ethic, or greed, or by Holy Command.
    IMO, the last one is the worst, because it "allows" one to break them on promise of salvation, i.e. Crusades, Inquisition, Jihad or Fatwah.
    At least atheists cannot commit unethical acts under cloak of a higher power. They stand naked in judgement.
    Last edited by Write4U; April 16th, 2012 at 05:35 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    The question I asked before is "what is evil."
    Evil is mentioned over 600 times in the Bible, and is therefore a good reference point.
    I believe this was best answered by the French astronomer Charles Dupuis (1742-1809) in his book The Origin of all Religious Worship. This is available to read for free on the net, taking note of chapter 9 in particular. (archive.org/details/originallreligi00dupugoog).
    He regarded Christianity as a form of the great solar myth. The good principle was the 6 months from the vernal to the autumnal equinox when the sun was worshipped as Jesus Christ (between Aries and Virgo). The evil principle was the sun in the 6 months of autumn and winter, when the sun was under the spell of the Devil, the celestial serpent (between Libra and Pisces). Easter was the vanquisher of this Prince of Darkness.
    Man was under this tree of good and evil. The sun was the sole repairer of the evils of winter. As such, Jesus was the personification of the sun and 'the light of the world'.
    The early Christians, who were charged with being sun-worshippers, had borrowed this from the Egyptian (Horus) and the Persian (Mithras).
    So what about the nature of evil after all this symbolism had been lost? I quote from The Nature and Origin of Evil by Samuel Hinds.
    If God be the sole origin of all things, He must be the originator of evil. If he causes or permits evil He must either be not almighty, or not all beneficient.
    Next I quote from Mark 16:16.
    He that believes and is baptized shall be saved, and he that does not believe shall be damned.
    Just think what harm this has caused! Heresy became a mortal sin. Philip of Spain ordered that every Protestant in the Netherlands be put to death. If impenitent they were to be burned. If they returned to the Church they were still to be beheaded, as a lesser punishment.
    In the Inquisition the rack was used to strain limbs into dislocation. Even women were tortured. Breaking the body on a wheel or having it pulled apart by horses further revealed its horrors. Sometimes this was just for issuing a profane expression. The Inquisitor was seen as a saviour of souls! If you say 'it was just the times' then this is a sham answer, as civilisation was already well established. The inhumanity of Christian nations can be attributed to Christianity!
    St. Augustine also single-handedly did the world great harm by discussing evil. He aligned men with God and women with the Devil. Women were the root of all evil. This was his theory of original sin going back to when Eve had tempted Adam. Up until then women had been the equals of men in Christianity.
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    Ox,
    If you are an atheist, it makes no sense to claim that "God must be the originator of evil." That is just plain illogical.

    You still have not answered the question. You have only given examples of actions of which you disapprove. You haven't explained why they are "evil" or provided an objective basis. The people doing the Inquisition obviously thought they were doing the right thing.

    The kinds of actions you describe are not exclusive to Christianity or to religion in general. Such things were done by Stalin and his officially atheist Communist regime, as well as Pol Pot and the officially atheist Khmer Rouge.
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    My beleif is that moral certitude is the cause of much of the conflict in the world. The belief that you are absolutely right and the other person is absolutely wrong causes strife to no end. For instance, if someone believes that humans cause global warming with complete certainty, then to kill someone else who does not share his belief is morally justifiable, in his mind. His cause is saving the earth, mankind, and ecological diversity. What could be more important? If you are charismatic, well funded, and have a following then the outcome is preordained, so to speak.

    Now, climate change is undoubtedly a topic for a different thread and I don't want to get into that here so place any belief in the above statement and follow it through to conclusion.

    Religion is not the root of evil in the judeo, christian, and islamic cultures. In fact they are all religions of peace. Unfortunately the believers are easily led to the path of the sword with moral certitude.

    As for myself, I subscribe to the statements of a character in a Jack Vance novel (Cugel's Saga?). I will roughly relate the gist.

    A group of pilgrims are sitting on a raft discussing and debating the existence of their various gods. The whole group has varied religions and statements are made concerning whose god is the best or even real. One man has remained silent throughout the lively discussion and a member of the group turns to him and asks what his beliefs are. He points to a rip in his jacket and says. You ask me to explain the existence of god when I cannot even explain the existence of this rip in my jacket?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Ox,
    If you are an atheist, it makes no sense to claim that "God must be the originator of evil." That is just plain illogical.

    You still have not answered the question. You have only given examples of actions of which you disapprove. You haven't explained why they are "evil" or provided an objective basis. The people doing the Inquisition obviously thought they were doing the right thing.

    The kinds of actions you describe are not exclusive to Christianity or to religion in general. Such things were done by Stalin and his officially atheist Communist regime, as well as Pol Pot and the officially atheist Khmer Rouge.
    I am not a theist, atheist or even agnostic. I am a philosopher in the sense that I use reason and judgement to discern right from wrong. The human brain is the most advanced intelligence we know in the universe. So why not use it? The term agnostic wasn't even coined until the 19th Century by Thomas Huxley. The other 2 terms aren't so old either. What I do know is that religion twisted the minds of people who were being led in the right direction by the brilliant philosophers of the ancient world.
    I notice you didn't mention Hitler in your rogues gallery. He was a Catholic apparently.
    If you think that the people of the Inquisition thought they were doing the right thing, then that's because they were being led by ignorant and evil religious authoritarians, whose warrant came from holy scripture.
    If you are the President of Sudan you have no problem in addressing your people with the Koran in one hand and a Kalashnikov in the other. In some countries there is no problem with women being thrown into a pit and being stoned to death by the mob because they have allowed themselves to be raped.
    So which do you trust - the justice of scripture or your sense of reason?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    I am not a theist, atheist or even agnostic. I am a philosopher in the sense that I use reason and judgement to discern right from wrong.
    Now come on. If you think God created evil, that makes you a theist. You are not using reason very well.

    The human brain is the most advanced intelligence we know in the universe. So why not use it? The term agnostic wasn't even coined until the 19th Century by Thomas Huxley. The other 2 terms aren't so old either.
    Why do you keep dragging these red herrings into the discussion?
    What I do know is that religion twisted the minds of people who were being led in the right direction by the brilliant philosophers of the ancient world.
    I notice you didn't mention Hitler in your rogues gallery. He was a Catholic apparently.
    Yeah. So? I notice you didn't include Stalin or Pol Pot in your rogue's gallery.
    If you think that the people of the Inquisition thought they were doing the right thing, then that's because they were being led by ignorant and evil religious authoritarians, whose warrant came from holy scripture.
    If you are the President of Sudan you have no problem in addressing your people with the Koran in one hand and a Kalashnikov in the other. In some countries there is no problem with women being thrown into a pit and being stoned to death by the mob because they have allowed themselves to be raped.
    So which do you trust - the justice of scripture or your sense of reason?
    I am attempting to use reason, but you keep launching emotional tirades. How do you derive a moral code from a sense of reason? I say it cannot be done.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Ox,
    If you are an atheist, it makes no sense to claim that "God must be the originator of evil." That is just plain illogical.

    You still have not answered the question. You have only given examples of actions of which you disapprove. You haven't explained why they are "evil" or provided an objective basis. The people doing the Inquisition obviously thought they were doing the right thing.

    The kinds of actions you describe are not exclusive to Christianity or to religion in general. Such things were done by Stalin and his officially atheist Communist regime, as well as Pol Pot and the officially atheist Khmer Rouge.
    I believe the quote you assigned to Ox, is a quote he mentioned from another source.

    Ox,
    I quote from The Nature and Origin of Evil by Samuel Hinds
    If God be the sole origin of all things, He must be the originator of evil. If he causes or permits evil He must either be not almighty, or not all beneficient.
    As an atheist he is allowed to quote from other sources without necessarily agreeing . Moreover the quote itself was qualified by "If God be.....
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    Through cause and effect you have to attack the problem at its root.

    Man made religion, therefore if religion is the root of all evil - man is the root of all evil.

    That concludes it?
    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    Through cause and effect you have to attack the problem at its root.

    Man made religion, therefore if religion is the root of all evil - man is the root of all evil.

    That concludes it?
    I tend to agree with that, but man is also the root of all good. And sometimes trying to do good leads to evil, and sometimes evil may used in defense of good. It is a truly human ethical and moral quandary. This is why we have secular manmade laws which set certain parameters and guides of conduct, and recognizes that motive plays a role, regardless of religion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell View Post
    Through cause and effect you have to attack the problem at its root.

    Man made religion, therefore if religion is the root of all evil - man is the root of all evil.

    That concludes it?
    I tend to agree with that, but man is also the root of all good. And sometimes trying to do good leads to evil, and sometimes evil may used in defense of good. It is a truly human ethical and moral quandary. This is why we have secular manmade laws which set certain parameters and guides of conduct, and recognizes that motive plays a role, regardless of religion.
    Good point.
    A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it. - David Stevens
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    I am attempting to use reason, but you keep launching emotional tirades. How do you derive a moral code from a sense of reason? I say it cannot be done.
    Can reasoning not include considerations of both physical and mental well-being? Can it not incorporate considerations of what is best from most people's perspectives, while benefiting as many people as possible? It is not pure logic, but the benefit of 200 000 years of cultural evolution.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    As an atheist he is allowed to quote from other sources without necessarily agreeing . Moreover the quote itself was qualified by "If God be.....
    If the intent of the quote is to question the existence of God, then that is a different subject which has little or nothing to do with the topic of this thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kalster
    Can reasoning not include considerations of both physical and mental well-being? Can it not incorporate considerations of what is best from most people's perspectives, while benefiting as many people as possible? It is not pure logic, but the benefit of 200 000 years of cultural evolution.
    No. Your personal beliefs are not the culmination of 200,000 years of cultural evolution. They represent a snapshot in time of a limited number of people who share a certain cultural heritage. Your ideas of "benefit" are subject to debate. The notion of "benefiting as many people as possible" is an unusual idea, which does not have any deep roots in evolution, cultural or otherwise.
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    No. Your personal beliefs are not the culmination of 200,000 years of cultural evolution
    Of course not just my personal beliefs, but those I share with a large group of people. And of course it is not the only set of beliefs, the others also being the result of a long history of cultural evolution.

    Your ideas of "benefit" are subject to debate
    Of course it is.

    The notion of "benefiting as many people as possible" is an unusual idea, which does not have any deep roots in evolution, cultural or otherwise
    I disagree. As I have said before, cultural norms taylored to benefit the group developed just like those that benefit individuals. Different forms of this has worked in different environments throughout the ages. Now for the first time we are moving towards a more integrated global group where outsiders are becoming less of a threat and more of a necessity.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
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    Harold,
    No. Your personal beliefs are not the culmination of 200,000 years of cultural evolution
    I disagree with that. Perhaps not 200,000 years but certainly some 2000 years. We even identify our present year with the term AD. That is a clear indication of social engineering, with laws and punishment.

    But in addirion, living in close proximity to others seems to naturally instill a certain group behavior. This is especially evident in herd animals. When danger presents, the group forms a phalanx with the strongest in front facing the enemy, with the youngest in the center. Pecking order can be observed everywhere probably from the time of the dinosaur to the present. Of course there wer mostly defensive behaviors. But adoption of orphans in a herd is often seen, a clear early sign of civilized behavior, under the premise that it is a naturally good thing to preserve life of one's own kind.
    The agricultural revolution allowed people to live in settlements (rather than a nomadic lifestyle) and with it came laws of behavior.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    Harold,
    No. Your personal beliefs are not the culmination of 200,000 years of cultural evolution
    I disagree with that. Perhaps not 200,000 years but certainly some 2000 years. We even identify our present year with the term AD. That is a clear indication of social engineering, with laws and punishment.

    But in addirion, living in close proximity to others seems to naturally instill a certain group behavior. This is especially evident in herd animals. When danger presents, the group forms a phalanx with the strongest in front facing the enemy, with the youngest in the center. Pecking order can be observed everywhere probably from the time of the dinosaur to the present. Of course there wer mostly defensive behaviors. But adoption of orphans in a herd is often seen, a clear early sign of civilized behavior, under the premise that it is a naturally good thing to preserve life of one's own kind.
    The agricultural revolution allowed people to live in settlements (rather than a nomadic lifestyle) and with it came laws of behavior.
    All right, you have given some examples of cooperative behavior. I can give you some other examples of belligerent or territorial behavior. Both are equally human, and widely admired under different sets of circumstances, as in the Kipling poem "Tommy."

    Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
    But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
    The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
    O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    Harold,
    No. Your personal beliefs are not the culmination of 200,000 years of cultural evolution
    I disagree with that. Perhaps not 200,000 years but certainly some 2000 years. We even identify our present year with the term AD. That is a clear indication of social engineering, with laws and punishment.

    But in addirion, living in close proximity to others seems to naturally instill a certain group behavior. This is especially evident in herd animals. When danger presents, the group forms a phalanx with the strongest in front facing the enemy, with the youngest in the center. Pecking order can be observed everywhere probably from the time of the dinosaur to the present. Of course there wer mostly defensive behaviors. But adoption of orphans in a herd is often seen, a clear early sign of civilized behavior, under the premise that it is a naturally good thing to preserve life of one's own kind.
    The agricultural revolution allowed people to live in settlements (rather than a nomadic lifestyle) and with it came laws of behavior.
    All right, you have given some examples of cooperative behavior. I can give you some other examples of belligerent or territorial behavior. Both are equally human, and widely admired under different sets of circumstances, as in the Kipling poem "Tommy."

    Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
    But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
    The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
    O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.
    I don't disagree with that, but in the natural world (as apart from human civilization), these territorial disputes exhibit themselves mainly in regard to available food sources. When food is abundant, mutual sharing can be observed among many species, especially in herd animals (grazers).
    IMO, predatory species should be excluded from these consideration. They have no other means of survival.

    And yes, the glorification of war and conquering is one of the greatest moral flaws in man. When I see a parade of military men marching off to their deaths and watch people cheering and waiving flags, I shudder. IMO, such events should be watched with sobriety and deep reflection as to the necessity of such action. This is why the constitution mandates a congressional "declaration of war", which has become a meaningless term in recent history.

    But aggression in man is almost always driven by a "justification". Where the justification is in defense of the nation against an aggressor, fair enough. But a pre-emptive wars, holy wars, and wars for gain, are never justifiable on a moral basis. We just love to declare war on almost anything we do not understand or do not agree with. The only justifications for such actions are always based on "its us against them", which is a hollow justification, because it can be invoked for almost anything.
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    Well, you have simply made some assertions based upon your own particular point of view. Give me some objective reason to think that glorification of war is a moral flaw, or wars for gain are never justifiable.
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  43. #343  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Well, you have simply made some assertions based upon your own particular point of view. Give me some objective reason to think that glorification of war is a moral flaw, or wars for gain are never justifiable.
    Please do not misunderstand. I thank every veteran for their service to the country. They laid their life on the line for the personally worthy cause to serve their country. Their decision is noble and justified.

    But where is the glory if a (any) Nation goes to war for a wrong cause. Should we glorify England for the Crusades, should we glorify Germany for starting WWII, should we glorify Japan for their dastardly attack on Pearl Harbor, while engaging in talks of "peace".

    The English, German, and Japanese soldiers cannot be blamed for the part they played. They obeyed orders. It was those in power who were to blame.

    This is why, in their wisdom, our founding fathers recognized the necessity of a congressional
    "declaration of war", so that the people could decide if going to war was for a worthy cause. Do you think congress would have allowed the Iraq war if the "cause" had been oil (which it was)?

    IMO those are dark days in human history.

    War for "gain" is wholly inexcusable. You might as well glorify murder and theft. You might as well glorify total anarchy.
    Last edited by Write4U; April 21st, 2012 at 04:09 AM.
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    I don't think you get the drift of my argument. I have some opinions about wars, Crusades, Nazis, Pearl Harbor, etc. which may, or may not, coincide with your opinions. But my opinions do not matter, and neither do yours.

    Ox says we should use facts and logic instead of dogma in our moral system. So, all I want is for someone to show me the axioms, assumptions, theorems, scientific facts, and logical syllogisms which will lead me to a conclusion about any of the matters we have been discussing.
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  45. #345  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    I don't think you get the drift of my argument. I have some opinions about wars, Crusades, Nazis, Pearl Harbor, etc. which may, or may not, coincide with your opinions. But my opinions do not matter, and neither do yours.

    Ox says we should use facts and logic instead of dogma in our moral system. So, all I want is for someone to show me the axioms, assumptions, theorems, scientific facts, and logical syllogisms which will lead me to a conclusion about any of the matters we have been discussing.
    I speak as a humanist with humanist values. I don't think they are dogmatic, but based on what I view as fair under certain circumstance.
    I do not fault a man when he takes a loaf of bread to feed his children, when there is plenty bread .I do however fault the man who raises prices to make a quick opportunistic profit from a disaster (profiteering). Capitalism without ethics is an evil thing. We can see the results today, where billionaires maintain off-shore tax shelters in order to avoid paying their fair share of taxes for common national concerns. Then bribe congressmen to lower their taxes, while closing down programs for the weakest among us. This, IMO, is evil.

    Just today I thought of a little campaign cartoon.

    Interviewer: Mr Romney, the people have no bread
    Mr Romney: Then let them get a job
    Interviewer: But there are no jobs
    Mr Romney: Then let them eat cake.

    I trust a person's word, until they break it. In return I keep my word, until they break it. IMO, if everyone would follow this ethic, the world would be a more humane and gentler place. We have risen above the pure law of survival and if we share in the abundance of what earth can sustain, there would be very little hunger, crime, strife, and war. If we cannot do this, we have not risen above the simple animal at all.

    I know this is a subjective viewpoint, but I have lived through a war, seen much poverty, but also met people who would give you the shirt off their back. Those have become lifelong friends.

    Another motto I like is "a friend in need, is a friend indeed". Few people, including Mr Romney, seem to understand or just don't care and interpret its meaning as "a friend in need is just a burden".
    Last edited by Write4U; April 23rd, 2012 at 05:17 AM.
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  46. #346  
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    I trust a person's word, until they break it. In return I keep my word, until they break it.
    I don't really get this. If I say I will keep my word, I keep my word. I don't allow someone else's lack of principles to change my own.

    I just know thereafter to be doubly wary of this person's undertakings. For all I know, this instance was an aberration and s/he'll hold to any future commitments. So I won't presume lack of good faith, but I'll be aware of its possibility. I certainly won't become untrustworthy or deceitful in my own dealings though.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    Quote Originally Posted by Write4U View Post
    The English, German, and Japanese soldiers cannot be blamed for the part they played. They obeyed orders. It was those in power who were to blame.
    Is it just the ones in power who are to blame? Can the decrevation of a nation lie solely on 1 person? As i don't think so. It's bad to start pointing fingers all around, but isn't this where the human nature enters the picture? If we are all good in nature, why do so many people do bad things, just because someone ordered them to?

    Personally, to make me kill someone against my will, you would have to kill me. Paying me minimum wage, give me a gun, and sending me to afganistan would not be sufficiënt to make me start killing (in my eyes) innocent people. I would not believe encriminating propaganda, and i would not listen to my so called ranked superiors. Is this chaos? Or is that freedom?
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  48. #348  
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    I trust a person's word, until they break it. In return I keep my word, until they break it.
    I don't really get this. If I say I will keep my word, I keep my word. I don't allow someone else's lack of principles to change my own.

    I just know thereafter to be doubly wary of this person's undertakings. For all I know, this instance was an aberration and s/he'll hold to any future commitments. So I won't presume lack of good faith, but I'll be aware of its possibility. I certainly won't become untrustworthy or deceitful in my own dealings though.
    I agree in principle, but when someone breaks their word to me, I no longer feel obligated to fulfill any contract or promise I made to them. "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me."
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