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Thread: what religion believes there is neither good nor evil in the world?

  1. #1 what religion believes there is neither good nor evil in the world? 
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    I have not denied to others on here that I have a mental illness which I believe forces me to believe what I believe at the moment.

    3 gods exist

    Two devils and one good God
    None of them are supreme but fight to become supreme eventually
    I am beginning to think that maybe the "war" aspect of my religion is what is so quacky?

    Nevertheless, I have searched every religion.
    I have an intense fear of hell.
    I have been told that because I do not believe in sin I am avoiding responsibility like I do in every other aspect of my life (I don't work) what is ur opinion on this? Is this also the opinions of atheists? I can still hear those words. "U r avoiding responsibility." Perhaps, I just heard them from a spiritual person. It would be difficult to find out that because if they are they are not vocal about it. No idea.


    Of course I have made this all about good vs evil. I have heard there are religions that do not even say there is evil in the world ( I'm thinking a new age religion) but not sure.

    So....

    What religion if there is one explains that there is no good and there is no evil?

    Can we also cover....1. (Whether u think religion still being alive affects my possibility of getting better?

    Should I go about believing what I believe but explain why that if u look at reality which I deny and can't help but deny for some reason , who I think is God or if I think there really is a God at all? I am not sure but I deny the accuracy of carbon dating, at the moment, all history be for my birth date, (I'm 26) etc. I might have a good scientific or good head on my shoulders in aiding the removal of religion from society (which I would only do if I found reason to believe it was keeping me in my mess longer than I have to be.

    Please be nice,
    Thanks.


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  3. #2  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah1234 View Post
    I have not denied to others on here that I have a mental illness which I believe forces me to believe what I believe at the moment.

    3 gods exist

    Two devils and one good God
    None of them are supreme but fight to become supreme eventually
    I am beginning to think that maybe the "war" aspect of my religion is what is so quacky?

    Nevertheless, I have searched every religion.
    I have an intense fear of hell.
    I have been told that because I do not believe in sin I am avoiding responsibility like I do in every other aspect of my life (I don't work) what is ur opinion on this? Is this also the opinions of atheists? I can still hear those words. "U r avoiding responsibility." Perhaps, I just heard them from a spiritual person. It would be difficult to find out that because if they are they are not vocal about it. No idea.


    Of course I have made this all about good vs evil. I have heard there are religions that do not even say there is evil in the world ( I'm thinking a new age religion) but not sure.

    So....

    What religion if there is one explains that there is no good and there is no evil?

    Can we also cover....1. (Whether u think religion still being alive affects my possibility of getting better?

    Should I go about believing what I believe but explain why that if u look at reality which I deny and can't help but deny for some reason , who I think is God or if I think there really is a God at all? I am not sure but I deny the accuracy of carbon dating, at the moment, all history be for my birth date, (I'm 26) etc. I might have a good scientific or good head on my shoulders in aiding the removal of religion from society (which I would only do if I found reason to believe it was keeping me in my mess longer than I have to be.

    Please be nice,
    Thanks.
    As far as I'm aware, there are certain branches of Buddhism that believe there isn't really good or evil or joy, but everything can be simplified to suffering and the absence of suffering, and the latter is clearly preferable. I do not think this ia all or even most Buddhists. I believe in G-d myself, but if you suffer from a mental illness that leads to irrational thinking or megalomania or delusions, etc. etc. I can only hope for you that you get the kind of treatment and help you need. I don't think blaming religion is reasonable, nor do I think fighting religion would help you get better. I don't know the particularities of your illness, but it is likely only the proper medication will help you.

    Remove religion, or add more of it, and you still have the same problems. Different labels, same old thing. People are people regardless.


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  4. #3  
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    I've lately become a pantheist.

    In pantheism, the belief is that there are quite a lot of gods out there. The Greek gods are real. The Viking gods are real. The Egyptian, Hindu, and Native American gods are real. But, there is no being out there with a monopoly on power.

    In pantheism Jehova is also believed to exist, however he is no more powerful than any of the other gods. "The Desert God" claims to be the absolute alpha and omega.... and stuff like that, but he is lying. He's a big fat liar. Doesn't mean he doesn't exist.

    So there is also no absolute right and wrong, but there are deeds which will make you popular with some of the gods, or unpopular. Not because those deeds are "right" or "wrong", but merely because those deeds are "cool" or "uncool".
    Some clocks are only right twice a day, but they are still right when they are right.
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    I think you're referring to specific religious ideas rather than religion generally. For instance, most religions don't have the concept of "hell".

    What religion if there is one explains that there is no good and there is no evil?
    Atheists believe in good and evil. Though very often their ideas about what is good/right and what is bad/wrong can be very different from those of a religious person as well as from other atheists - and different religions have different ideas about what is and isn't good or evil anyway.

    The big issue is that people decide for themselves what is good - and the rationale for determining what does and doesn't fit into good or bad at first glance has to be consistent. But if you go too far down that path you can finish up in a philosophical labyrinth. Set up some clear decision making paths for yourself like - does it harm other people, is any possible harmful consequence worth it for the general good. By and large, at the personal level most morality amounts to be kind, be considerate but don't tolerate others being unkind or inconsiderate - there is such a thing as righteous anger. Whether you move on further to being generous rather than merely avoiding selfishness, or to being self-sacrificing rather than just fair and equitable, is dependent on personality and circumstances.

    Whether the moral choices you end up with in that kind of arrangement does or doesn't accord with any given religious dictates is a matter of what religion you are most familiar with and how your fellow-religionists explain their moral choices and their expectations of you.

    I deny the accuracy of carbon dating
    That's got nothing to do with religion. Carbon dating is a pretty routine scientific process. There's nothing mysterious or magical about it. There are a few technical issues around what things can and can't be done with it which you can pursue further if you're really interested.

    I have been told that because I do not believe in sin I am avoiding responsibility like I do in every other aspect of my life (I don't work) what is ur opinion on this?
    When you say you "do not believe in sin" there are plenty of different interpretations. Some people say that they don't believe a particular action is a sin because they think their god/s would approve or ignore rather than disapprove and/or punish. Other times it's because people say that their god/s created them and the world the way it is so doing anything within that framework was more or less destined by the creator/s. And half a dozen other options.

    As for avoiding responsibility. Who knows? Plenty of people are happy to tell other people, or the whole world, that they they think of some things as obligations and duties and they invoke their religion as backup. Quite often other people from the same religion will say that ain't necessarily so. Or in some cases, everyone of all faiths and no faith at all would agree with them. And then again, which responsibilities? Doing the dishes, cleaning up after yourself, doing your fair share of household chores, contributing a fair share financially to household costs (which often means a small/minor/trivial amount) are all things that anyone and everyone should do. When it comes to things like getting a job or applying yourself to studies that all depends on what opportunities are available to you and suitable for your individual abilities and circumstances.

    I don't know whether that counts as "nice". But you've not given us much to go on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah1234 View Post
    I deny the accuracy of carbon dating, at the moment, all history be for my birth date, (I'm 26) etc.
    Neither of these quite tallies with the following claim:
    I might have a good scientific or good head on my shoulders
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah1234 View Post
    I have an intense fear of hell.
    I have been told that because I do not believe in sin I am avoiding responsibility like I do in every other aspect of my life (I don't work) what is ur opinion on this? Is this also the opinions of atheists? I can still hear those words. "U r avoiding responsibility." Perhaps, I just heard them from a spiritual person. It would be difficult to find out that because if they are they are not vocal about it. No idea.
    Of course I have made this all about good vs evil. I have heard there are religions that do not even say there is evil in the world ( I'm thinking a new age religion) but not sure.
    What religion if there is one explains that there is no good and there is no evil?
    I think the monotheists have got into your head. Consider them the real evil.
    As an antidote please consider training yourself in yoga and meditation. This requires no crackpot religious ideas. Plenty of vids on youtube will help to get you going.
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    Isn't the entire point of religion to force people into a particular set of moralities? What good would a religion be if it didn't define the actions or thoughts outside of that belief set as evil? The fear of damnation and the hope of salvation are the cornerstones of faith.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    The fear of damnation and the hope of salvation are the cornerstones of faith.
    Good reply and with only two flaws. There is no damnation and no salvation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    "The Desert God" claims to be the absolute alpha and omega.... and stuff like that, but he is lying.
    Sounds like Ted Nugent to me (though I think Ted might believe the bs he spews about himself).
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    Not really relevant to your question, but I would recommend Philip K Dick's Valis, a novel which is part SF and part made-up religion (and part autobiography). Seeing the sort of things you worry about put into fictional form (by someone who battled his own mental problems) might be reassuring. (Or it might be seriously disturbing! )

    Two devils and one good God
    None of them are supreme but fight to become supreme eventually
    This sounds similar to some of the ideas in Zoroastrianism - which might be where the Christian idea of Hell comes from (I don't think it appears in the Bible - not the OT anyway - although I could be wrong, it is about 50 years since I read it).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Isn't the entire point of religion to force people into a particular set of moralities? What good would a religion be if it didn't define the actions or thoughts outside of that belief set as evil? The fear of damnation and the hope of salvation are the cornerstones of faith.
    I don't believe in Hell or that only Jews will make it to the afterlife? Nor does just about any Jew that I'm aware of.
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    Daoism (taoism) has no hell involved.
    Taoism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    The fear of damnation and the hope of salvation are the cornerstones of faith.
    Good reply and with only two flaws. There is no damnation and no salvation.
    Doesn't matter so long as the fear and hope are real.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    The fear of damnation and the hope of salvation are the cornerstones of faith.
    Good reply and with only two flaws. There is no damnation and no salvation.
    Doesn't matter so long as the fear and hope are real.
    Except that some of the oldest religions don't believe in damnation or that ascribing to said faith is necessary for salvation. Judaism among them, other 'eastern' religions also included. Probably other ancient mythologies that I am not educated enough.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Isn't the entire point of religion to force people into a particular set of moralities? What good would a religion be if it didn't define the actions or thoughts outside of that belief set as evil? The fear of damnation and the hope of salvation are the cornerstones of faith.

    That's the entire point of Monotheist religions. The Greek gods (and other like them) really didn't have a lot to say about right and wrong.

    There was wise and unwise (which is where Greek philosophy directs itself - toward seeking wisdom). But really the path to getting the gods' favor rested more in how many offerings you made at the temple, and less with how you lived your life or what kind of person you were.

    One of the reasons the Romans charged the Jews a special tax, was because the people of Rome superstitiously believed that, by refusing to take part in the various festivals and parades associated with their patron gods, the favor of those gods might be lost and Rome would get defeated on the battlefield.
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    The following is said to be taken from a Cherokee proverb...
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    Religious fundamentalist belief can be harmful. In thinking you may have sinned or are / have been a sinner.. Not so ..
    You are master of your own destiny.. That you may have and hold ideals of a religious nature is not harmful. Unless you get all fundamentalist about it.. ( meaning extreme and pigheadedly ..) The laid back eastern religions are definitely ideal in the fact that they do not condemn you or have a hell aspect.. No sin as such, just a want to please and pursue what is thought to be right.. for all of humanity.. As I have a eastern childhood and many friends still practicing eastern culture. If I wanted for a belief.. but i choose, NO. Walk softly on the Earth and enjoy the rewards of living.. I have no God in my life but would be wanted to be remembered as humanist. The happiest person i know.. Is me.
    Some great points in this set of answers; Adelady and 'Daoism (taoism) has no hell involved.
    Taoism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.. and this..

    All of the good thoughts, can be yours..
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    Religious fundamentalist belief can be harmful. In thinking you may have sinned or are / have been a sinner.. Not so ..
    You are master of your own destiny.. That you may have and hold ideals of a religious nature is not harmful. Unless you get all fundamentalist about it.. ( meaning extreme and pigheadedly ..) The laid back eastern religions are definitely ideal in the fact that they do not condemn you or have a hell aspect.. No sin as such, just a want to please and pursue what is thought to be right.. for all of humanity.. As I have a eastern childhood and many friends still practicing eastern culture. If I wanted for a belief.. but i choose, NO. Walk softly on the Earth and enjoy the rewards of living.. I have no God in my life but would be wanted to be remembered as humanist. The happiest person i know.. Is me.
    Some great points in this set of answers; Adelady and 'Daoism (taoism) has no hell involved.
    Taoism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.. and this..

    All of the good thoughts, can be yours..
    Am I wrong in assuming that most religions don't have a hell? Judaism, Taoism, Buddhism, Sihkism, etc. have no hell. It's probably hard to say with Hinduism as it is one of the most varied religions in the world, and I would guess some variants do and some don't have the concept of damnation. As for major religions, I can't think of more than Christianity and Islam that have a hell. And even then there are Christian sects/denominations that don't have one. Jehovah's Witness has no hell, nor do Unitarians, I think? (I've only met a couple.)

    It really isn't as universal a concept as people make out. Reward of some kind seems far more predominant, and even then it is often unnecessary to be a member of said faith to receive the reward/paradise.
    Last edited by SowZ37; May 30th, 2014 at 03:14 AM.
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    I don't see how damnation or hell would fit into Hinduism. The scheme of reincarnation into "higher" or "lower" forms takes care of that.

    As for what religion tells us about morals. I read something a looooong time ago pointing out that Xtianity and Islam were outliers in religions generally. Most religions separate - or completely ignore - ethics and morals as we understand the link, especially Xtians. They concentrate a lot more on worship, rituals or mysticism as their most central feature. Trouble is I can't remember how the argument was backed up and I'm not completely convinced by it. Though it's worth looking at issues through different lenses when they're offered.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Xtianity and Islam were outliers in religions generally...They concentrate a lot more on worship, rituals or mysticism as their most central feature.
    The worship, the rituals, the mysticism emanate from Ancient Egypt. So monotheism is borrowed.
    The worship was directed at the eternal gods or Neters (Amun, Ra, Atum, Neith, Osiris, Set, Nephthys, Horus, Thoth, Anubis, Hathor, Nut).
    The Book of the Dead was the ritual.
    The mysteries were explained by Herodotus and were of the nature of public festivals held several times a year to honour the likes of Diana, Isis, Minerva, Latona, Mars. The lighting of lamps was a feature. All this was of course borrowed by the Christians to form their holy days.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Isn't the entire point of religion to force people into a particular set of moralities? What good would a religion be if it didn't define the actions or thoughts outside of that belief set as evil? The fear of damnation and the hope of salvation are the cornerstones of faith.

    That's the entire point of Monotheist religions. The Greek gods (and other like them) really didn't have a lot to say about right and wrong.
    Sure they did. See how Sisyphus was treated in Haides for being a deceiver. See how Ixion was treated for the murder of a guest under his roof. The same is true for those who murder family members or fail to offer thanks to the Gods (Artemis was notorious for bringing about death and destruction when a hunter didn't thank her for a kill).

    The notion of Heaven and Hell may be different as EVERYONE went to Haides, but how you were received when you got there was very dependent upon you behaving in a certain way. All of the Greek orations have either morals or origin myths in them and they often demonstrate quite graphically what happens to those who do not conduct themselves within the moral code.

    EDIT: Even the Greek origin myths are typically lessons. Frogs made from cursed shepherds who didn't offer water to Leto, the spider made from the boastful Arachne, etc.
    Last edited by Flick Montana; May 31st, 2014 at 09:50 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post

    Am I wrong in assuming that most religions don't have a hell? Judaism, Taoism, Buddhism, Sihkism, etc. have no hell. It's probably hard to say with Hinduism as it is one of the most varied religions in the world, and I would guess some variants do and some don't have the concept of damnation. As for major religions, I can't think of more than Christianity and Islam that have a hell. And even then there are Christian sects/denominations that don't have one. Jehovah's Witness has no hell, nor do Unitarians, I think? (I've only met a couple.)

    It really isn't as universal a concept as people make out. Reward of some kind seems far more predominant, and even then it is often unnecessary to be a member of said faith to receive the reward/paradise.
    Buddhism, quite properly, has many levels of Hell and plenty of demons to torture you once you arrive there.
    Diyu - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Hinduism has a very similar scheme.
    The carrot and stick method of herding humans seems to be very popular in religious thinking.
    Do what you are told and bribe the preachers well, you go to Heaven.
    Refuse to obey and reject the tithing and you are doomed to Hell instead.
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    I don't know if believers should tithe. Are we suppose to just tithe and say... oh I guess this money will be used for good and not abused. Maybe the question to ask is how well does God know us and our nature? Even as Christians , Christians can fall into temptation and abuse the tithe if they are in a power of authority or over a church as pastor or something. So if God knows us so well, why did he ask for us to do it? Did he possibly put humans in a position to trust him? Seems like he would do it possibly to see if u will trust him, besides the possible strain that would already be there on u to trust him to provide and give double ( if that's what he promises in scripture) or to keep his promises regarding taking care of it finances. Is there records given out every year to show where the tithe was spent properly? I guess it being spent properly is another topic and something people would disagree on. But if I were to tithe, am I just supposed to say...God I trust u that this money is well spent?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah1234 View Post
    I don't know if believers should tithe. Are we suppose to just tithe and say... oh I guess this money will be used for good and not abused. Maybe the question to ask is how well does God know us and our nature?
    Actually the question to ask is why you keep phrasing these in ways that ask about personal connection rather than framing your questions in some scientific way that might be answered by a critical analysis of what other believers think, or what the religious text say, or by some comparative analysis with other religions. In the further please stay within the framework of the scientific study of religion.
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    Whether this is a scientific forum or not the pursuit of knowledge or if u are an atheist , the idea of asking questions about God without feeling guilty for doing so, has nothing wrong with it. Nevertheless, I will try to remember to only ask scientific questions on here. My apologies.
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    All religions are contradictory. They say they are peaceful, then the next minute, the Christian God allegedly kills ethnic groups in the promised land, or the Muslim God orders the killing of non-believers. Religion will not help us to advance - it will make us go in reverse both technologically and intelligently. I would like to know why you assume there are 'gods' and there is a 'hell'?
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    I have made it clear that my beliefs , if your talking about me, are based on possibly denying reality and an illness.
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    Sarah 1234.. Do not be so hard on yourself.. You are perfectly entitled to ask away of any subject remotely scientific and in this sub branch of this forum.. in the right place to do just that.. Now as you also know. I do not agree with your stated views.. and that's fine too..
    We make progress, well sort of and almost just by listening to each other.. and I sort of and almost enjoy, just the conversations..
    Describing it as a leisure time activity..
    I do not attribute good or evil to gods or demons.. People are evil all by them selves..
    I do not understand the acceptance of spiritualism.. I have never found any as true..
    The indoctrinated religious beliefs are driven into many of us and I understand how hard it might be to just say no to it all.. But I do.
    I claim that my view is the ONLY scientific option.. and that is near to impossible for some to see. ~ Interesting ~
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    the funny thing is, while you kill off each other to protect 'your' view of god, the people who 'taught' you will die too-when that time comes.
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    I'm baaaaaaaak! Took an extended hiatus from the forum after receiving what I thought was a very unscientific and blatant vilification after mentioning that faith and belief in unknown missing links was similar to faith and belief in God.

    However, the OP for this thread said, "Of course I have made this all about good vs evil." The OP then goes on to suggest that some religions do not believe there is any evil. I find this a very interesting topic. It does open the question as to whether the concept of evil is an objective or subjective evaluation of behavior.

    Let us look, momentarily, at Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. The horrible slaughter that took place is mind-numbing. There were many stories of unthinkable brutality and torture. By 1979, nearly two million Cambodians had perished, almost half of the population. It is considered the greatest act of genocide ever inflicted by a people on its own population. I think it virtually impossible for any thoughtful human being to countenance such barbarism -- such suffering by innocent victims, such inhumanity to humans -- without recoiling from the wickedness, the depravity and unmitigated evil that took place.

    I am reasonably certain that we can all agree that this was evil conduct. The question is: do we consider it evil because it is objectively and intrinsically evil? Or is it evil merely because we subjectively determine that it is evil for Pol Pot and his minions to do this, but it would not be evil if we did the same thing? That is: are we describing this conduct as evil because of the conduct itself or because of our feelings and beliefs about the conduct?

    If this conduct is intrinsically evil (and we must realize that the Khmer Rouge saw no evil in this conduct). then it is objectively evil. If, on the other hand, the conduct is evil only in the mind of the person or group assessing it, the evil is subjective and relative. In that case, the conduct is neutral and evil only in the minds of those of us who object to it and perfectly acceptable for those who approve. The conduct, thus becomes morally neutral and the perpetrators are not guilty of evil.

    Evil is only a problem if it is an objective value. Otherwise, there is no evil. And, if there is no evil, neither is there any good.



    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  32. #31  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner View Post
    Evil is only a problem if it is an objective value. Otherwise, there is no evil. And, if there is no evil, neither is there any good.
    Typical false dichotomy set up by many religious folks as a trap to then claim only a divinity (their's of course) can establish and measure such as objective value. Such simplistic thinking tends to strip away the actual complexities of the world, human behavior and the consequences for those actions for the person doing the act as well as for others. Was Pol Pot evil? Most would agree simply based on the quite objective and measurable degree of misery he brought to others, particularly innocent. I find it ironic though that many that follow the Abrahamic faiths wouldn't label the mythological figure of King David as also evil, even as they cling tenaciously to some simpleton idea of obsolte morality that somehow inexplicably makes dashing of children's heads against rocks perfect ok so long as it's ordered by their sky god. I usually only lament such thinking because it has direct effect on modern societies' struggle with morality--where people raised with such simple views have great trouble distinguishing between fact and fictions, or weighing consequences before they hurt others.
    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; July 24th, 2014 at 11:26 AM.
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  33. #32  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner View Post

    Let us look, momentarily, at Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. The horrible slaughter that took place is mind-numbing. There were many stories of unthinkable brutality and torture. By 1979, nearly two million Cambodians had perished, almost half of the population. It is considered the greatest act of genocide ever inflicted by a people on its own population. I think it virtually impossible for any thoughtful human being to countenance such barbarism -- such suffering by innocent victims, such inhumanity to humans -- without recoiling from the wickedness, the depravity and unmitigated evil that took place.

    I am reasonably certain that we can all agree that this was evil conduct. The question is: do we consider it evil because it is objectively and intrinsically evil? Or is it evil merely because we subjectively determine that it is evil for Pol Pot and his minions to do this, but it would not be evil if we did the same thing? That is: are we describing this conduct as evil because of the conduct itself or because of our feelings and beliefs about the conduct?
    All Christian people can agree that it was evil conduct. Other religions might simply consider it foolish or wasteful.

    If I take my car out into the desert and dowse it in Kerosene and light it on fire, that's not "evil" according to Xianity. But it is wasteful. The loss is still an unfortunate loss.

    The outcome is still less than ideal. Clearly Pol Pot's regime created an outcome that just about everyone would consider to be less than ideal. Maybe even a horrible outcome.

    But if your idea of morality is to always try to create the best possible outcome, then it is hardly a unique ideology. Even animals prefer better outcomes over worse outcomes.



    If this conduct is intrinsically evil (and we must realize that the Khmer Rouge saw no evil in this conduct). then it is objectively evil. If, on the other hand, the conduct is evil only in the mind of the person or group assessing it, the evil is subjective and relative. In that case, the conduct is neutral and evil only in the minds of those of us who object to it and perfectly acceptable for those who approve. The conduct, thus becomes morally neutral and the perpetrators are not guilty of evil.

    Evil is only a problem if it is an objective value. Otherwise, there is no evil. And, if there is no evil, neither is there any good.

    Obviously the Khmer Rouge didn't think their activities were evil. They thought (as many Xians do) that the end would justify the means.

    However their plan was flawed, and didn't lead to the outcome they expected. If it had lead to the outcome they expected then maybe they'd be thought of as heroes instead of villains. Or at least thought of as passable.


    Think about General Sherman in the American Civil War.

    William Tecumseh Sherman - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    He made the same justification for his actions as did the Khmer Rouge for their actions, that the end would justify the means. However he was successful in his goal, and many people are willing, from a historical perspective, to give him a pass on all the war crimes that took place under his leadership.





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  34. #33  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner View Post
    Evil is only a problem if it is an objective value. Otherwise, there is no evil. And, if there is no evil, neither is there any good.
    Typical false dichotomy set up by many religious folks as a trap to then claim only a divinity (there's of course) can establish and measure such as objective value. Such simplistic thinking tends to strip away the actual complexities of the world, human behavior and the consequences for those actions for the person doing the act as well as for others. Was Pol Pot evil? Most would agree simply based on the quite objective and measurable degree of misery he brought to others, particularly innocent. I find it ironic though that many that follow the Abrahamic faiths wouldn't label the mythological figure of King David as also evil, even as they cling tenaciously to some simpleton idea of obsolte morality that somehow inexplicably makes dashing of children's heads against rocks perfect ok so long as it's ordered by their sky god. I usually only lament such thinking because it has direct effect on modern societies' struggle with morality--where people raised with such simple views have great trouble distinguishing between fact and fictions, or weighing consequences before they hurt others.
    I think it is fairly clear that David started out good but, just like Saul, the position corrupted him and he became evil. He attempted to redeem himself later on in his life, with arguable success, but either way I think he became a good person again.
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    Satanism?
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    Both Lynx Fox and Kojax obviously take the road to subjective evil -- that evil is only a product of what they themselves find repugnant. You get to set the standards to which others must comply in order for them to make the grade with you personally. Thus, one person may be good according to Lynx Fox but evil according to Kojax.

    Actually Lynx Fox reverses the Christian position when he says:

    Typical false dichotomy set up by many religious folks as a trap to then claim only a divinity (there's of course) can establish and measure such as objective value.
    Actually, we believe people can accurately determine the difference between good and evil with or without religious affiliation. One need not have any awareness of any God to be able to discern the difference.

    The difficulty in your subjective view is that neither of you provided a explanation of evil beyond what seems to be a "might-makes-right" mentality. While condemning a Biblical figure you don't even believe existed for doing what was standard operating procedure in his civilization, you then make room for Pol Pot's actions in a civilization where such activity is not acceptable. (Do you have a passage where David dashed children's heads against rocks?) But you fail to recognize the distinction that David was at war against enemies while Pol Pot was killing his own people. And, I suppose, in today's world, you condemn the defensive retaliation of the Jews against the Palestinians as wrong, while the firing of rockets by Palestinians into Israel is acceptable.

    Under your subjective view, it is difficult to see how anything can be ultimately good or evil in view of the fact that your materialistic universe is void (pun intended) of any all-encompassing standard that makes any sense at all in relation to the terms good and evil. In so doing, you render these terms virtually meaningless since it is permissible to render an action on the part of one entity as good, while the exact same action on the part of another entity may be evil.

    In contrast, to the theist, wickedness depends on the existence of good in the same way that a shadow depends on the existence of light. One cannot exist without the prior existence of the other. A biblical view goes beyond explaining atrocities such as happened in Cambodia -- it actually predicts them.

    Christianity is not about condemning other people because they have done wrong. It is about recognizing what we have done wrong individually and what we can do about it on a personal level.

    There is little doubt that by any objective standard, no one can actually proceed through life without doing something that violates that standard. Even in an objective view, there are exceptions to general rules. Killing another, for example, is justified for the purpose of self defense. Or, if you saw someone about the blow up the dam above a city, you would be justified in taking his life to prevent the tragedy that would occur if he were not stopped. Objective standards are not inviolate but also have objective exceptions.

    A moral judgment cannot have any meaning unless it is made from a standard which is universally recognized.
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    I set the standard Daytoner, and it had nothing do with the might-makes right--but you continue to ignore it (shrugs)

    Christianity is not about condemning other people because they have done wrong.

    I'm sorry after more than 2000 years of Christian bigotry and hatred I think most pragmatic thinkers would have to admit that the corollary to John 3:18 is Christianity is anything but love. It might have been better than Roman ways to the masses, but since the age of reason, society's social structures and knowledge of behavior have made most of it's "wisdom" obsolete or identified it as unnecessarily oppressive to liberty.
    --
    A moral judgment cannot have any meaning unless it is made from a standard which is universally recognized.

    Just a rehash of your false dichotomy while completely ignoring the extreme subjectivity of your own scriptures that sometimes find it completely acceptable, depending on the situation, to practice incest, child abuse, slavery and massive genocide. I'll grant you it takes a great deal of faith to hold such discordant ideas. Personally I'm glad I recognized that discord (having actually read the bible...something most thumpers haven't done...their thinking little deeper than rereading and highlighting) and reject its source.
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  38. #37  
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    Lynx Fox said:

    ignoring the extreme subjectivity of your own scriptures that sometimes find it completely acceptable, depending on the situation, to practice incest, child abuse, slavery and massive genocide
    I am unaware of scriptures which condone these practices. The Bible does report that such things occurred within the Jewish society just as it did in all other societies of those times. So, are you aware of a society of those where those situations and practices did not take place?

    To condemn an ancient society for ancient practices is silly. What you are doing is tantamount to condemning the United States and Europe as threats to world peace because they, at one time, practiced slavery of the forced labor type. Meanwhile, it does not appear that you condemn contemporary societies which still practice these things, who kill other people merely because they believe differently.

    Meanwhile, you have not offered any explanation of where we do get our concepts of good and evil. I mean other than some silly claim that you are God and can set whatever standard you think other people should follow.
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  39. #38  
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner View Post
    The difficulty in your subjective view is that neither of you provided a explanation of evil beyond what seems to be a "might-makes-right" mentality.
    "Might makes right" isn't exactly a fair characterization. Whatever makes the most people able to experience the most enjoyment of life is usually what I label as "right" or "best."

    Whatever a guy with a big army says is a different matter. Just because he has a big army, doesn't mean he'll use it to create a good result.

    The reason I brought up General Sherman is just because many Xians see nothing wrong with what he did because it was "for a good cause" (in their mind). I don't think what he did was right. I think if you have to commit dishonorable acts in order to win a war, then you are better off losing. You might win by choosing the dishonorable path, but you'll ultimately lose whatever you thought you were fighting for in the process.


    While condemning a Biblical figure you don't even believe existed for doing what was standard operating procedure in his civilization, you then make room for Pol Pot's actions in a civilization where such activity is not acceptable. (Do you have a passage where David dashed children's heads against rocks?)
    I have a passage where Jehova orders Saul to murder all the children in a neighboring nation.

    1 Samuel 15:2-3

    "2 Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.

    3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass."


    Saul gets in trouble because he ends up sparing some of the oxen, and the king of that nation. The prophet Samuel then takes a sword and kills the king himself to finish the job.


    But you fail to recognize the distinction that David was at war against enemies while Pol Pot was killing his own people. And, I suppose, in today's world, you condemn the defensive retaliation of the Jews against the Palestinians as wrong, while the firing of rockets by Palestinians into Israel is acceptable.
    Pol Pot believed those people were his enemies, obviously. "Counter revolutionaries" or whatever.


    Under your subjective view, it is difficult to see how anything can be ultimately good or evil in view of the fact that your materialistic universe is void (pun intended) of any all-encompassing standard that makes any sense at all in relation to the terms good and evil. In so doing, you render these terms virtually meaningless since it is permissible to render an action on the part of one entity as good, while the exact same action on the part of another entity may be evil.
    And it appears that the being to whom you turn to sort all that stuff out can't decide whether it is ok to murder innocent children or not.



    In contrast, to the theist, wickedness depends on the existence of good in the same way that a shadow depends on the existence of light. One cannot exist without the prior existence of the other. A biblical view goes beyond explaining atrocities such as happened in Cambodia -- it actually predicts them.
    Just like the atrocity that occurred in Amalek.


    There is little doubt that by any objective standard, no one can actually proceed through life without doing something that violates that standard. Even in an objective view, there are exceptions to general rules. Killing another, for example, is justified for the purpose of self defense. Or, if you saw someone about the blow up the dam above a city, you would be justified in taking his life to prevent the tragedy that would occur if he were not stopped. Objective standards are not inviolate but also have objective exceptions.

    A moral judgment cannot have any meaning unless it is made from a standard which is universally recognized.
    You realize, of course, that nowhere in the bible is this "self defense exception" ever mentioned.

    If you believe that killing in self defense is justified, then that is something that you or your peers have come up with on your own. Jehova never said it was so.
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    to the OP

    I think you should look in to Buddhism.

    Its all about been nice to each other. It doesn't see people as good or evil.
    It tries to reduce suffering. Including craving.
    For Buddhism, they are no criminals, they are people that commit crimes for what ever reason.
    There is no heaven and no hell. But you can reincarnate as a lower creature if you have bad karma.
    You can even reincarnate like a god, and gods can reincarnate as something lower.....
    It assumes that every body can attain enlightenment (=stop the reincarnation cycle).

    Its kind of very nihilistic and fatalistic. Its also very pragmatic, it tries to reduce suffering....
    It doesn't have a rigid dogma either....

    If you read negative stuff, it will make your delusions worse.
    I think Buddhist meditation could help.

    So i really think Buddhism could help you in a positive manner.
    Frankly, Buddha him self sounds suspiciously like a schizophrenic.

    I hope you'll read my response
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