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Let's put the God/morality issue to rest

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  • #61
    Merlyn treats me just fine, I know he treats others here fine also, then he gets a little heated with others, but normally over a arguement or statement they are making.. If you feel you have had that treatment from him Brewmeister, I would question what you may have said to Merlyn to get such a reaction.

    Comment


    • #62

      Peregrinator says:


      It is not "bigotry" to not respect someone's beliefs. Why would one respect something he believes is not true? I certainly would not expect an atheist (or Jew or Muslim) to respect my religious beliefs.


      Leaving aside what is and is not bigotry, I will point out that respecting the beliefs of others, including their religious beliefs, is part of being a Scout (and a Scouter.) In explaining the meaning of "A Scout is Reverent", the Scout handbook says: "He respects the beliefs of others." Of course, I think that's the right way to treat other people even if the Scout handbook didn't say so. (And one could get into a discussion of how much the BSA itself respects the religious beliefs of its members and CO's who believe it is wrong to exclude gay people and/or atheists.) But I think those who say that they do not respect the religious beliefs others need to take a long look at where they stand in relation to the Scout Law.

      Comment


      • packsaddle
        packsaddle commented
        Editing a comment
        But I have to credit him with at least being honest about it.

    • #63
      Originally posted by NJCubScouter View Post
      Peregrinator says: It is not "bigotry" to not respect someone's beliefs. Why would one respect something he believes is not true? I certainly would not expect an atheist (or Jew or Muslim) to respect my religious beliefs. Leaving aside what is and is not bigotry, I will point out that respecting the beliefs of others, including their religious beliefs, is part of being a Scout (and a Scouter.) In explaining the meaning of "A Scout is Reverent", the Scout handbook says: "He respects the beliefs of others." Of course, I think that's the right way to treat other people even if the Scout handbook didn't say so. (And one could get into a discussion of how much the BSA itself respects the religious beliefs of its members and CO's who believe it is wrong to exclude gay people and/or atheists.) But I think those who say that they do not respect the religious beliefs others need to take a long look at where they stand in relation to the Scout Law.

      Comment


      • #64
        Is there a difference between "respect" and "tolerance"?

        http://www.tolerance.org/

        Comment

        • This topic by mjm007 has been deleted by mjm007

          #64
          I should not be surprised that the moral decline of our society is reflected in scouting. As our church's pastor says - going to church doesn't make you a christian anymore than going to the garage makes you a car. And I guess the same could be said of scouts.

          I am still stunned though that so many scouters here have chosen to ignore the very oath scouts recite at each meeting :

          On my honor,
          I will do my best,
          to do my duty,
          to GOD and my Country.
          to obey the Scout Law
          to help other people at alll times
          to keep myself physically strong
          mentally awake and MORALLY STRAIGHT.
        • This topic by mjm007 has been deleted by mjm007

          #64
          I should not be surprised that the moral decline of our society is reflected in scouting. As our church's pastor says - going to church doesn't make you a christian anymore than going to the garage makes you a car. And I guess the same could be said of scouts.




          I am still stunned though that so many scouters here have chosen to ignore the very oath scouts recite at each meeting :





          On my honor,


          I will do my best,


          to do my duty,


          to GOD and my Country.


          to obey the Scout Law


          to help other people at alll times


          to keep myself physically strong


          mentally awake and MORALLY STRAIGHT.

        • #65
          This is not directly on topic, but as we can't create new topics yet, I thought this was a good place to put it.

          It looks like some Republicans lawmakers in N.C. really don't believe in the fundamental American value of Freedom of Religion.

          http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013...state-religion

          Perhaps if in their youth they were part of a patriotic program that help instill a respect for American values, they wouldn't be this un-American. Like the BSA? Unfortunately the right has tried to move the BSA away from the American values of non-sectarianism and freedom of religion to a conservative Christian world view. The N.C. lawmakers are simply part of the same movement. It's bad for our country, and bad for the BSA. Hence the current fight.

          And I wonder how many of the people that are screaming about the BSA letting in gays, would look at the above and ask "what is the big deal?". Hopefully only a few, but I am ready to be disappointed.

          Comment


          • Kahuna
            Kahuna commented
            Editing a comment
            I think that this was pretty clearly a political statement by a couple of Republicans as a response to the ACLU suit. Both actions, IMHO, are pretty silly. That being said, this is a huge problem for many religious conservatives. You simply cannot win a political argument by quoting scripture. It doesn't fly with most people and there are generally civil arguments that can be made.

        • #66
          Clearly unconstitutional and politically driven. But whatever, it's just local option .

          Comment


          • #67
            At least they're not still complaining about Obama's Muslim faith and forged birth certificate.

            Comment


            • #68
              I joined the forum after lurking for a while. I'm probably too late for the original question about can an atheist be moral. I am an atheist, and yes, an atheist can be moral. In fact, I believe that atheism has lead me to become even more moral than I was as a child of religion.

              As an atheist, I believe this life is the end. When I die, I cease to exist, just like before I was born. As does everyone. I will not meet my dead parents and grandparents. I will not meet up with my old pets. I will not see my wife and kids again. When I die, I'm just gone, and it is totally over.

              That is a very sobering reality. This is the only ride I get. Life is so very fragile and precious. And we people are very weak and insignificant in the Universe with no one watching out for any of us. We only have each other for help and protection.

              That pretty much makes me desperate for a wonderful world of peace and good morals.

              Comment


              • packsaddle
                packsaddle commented
                Editing a comment
                Welcome to the forums! It will be interesting to continue to read the give-and-take you bring to them.
                I have often mused that a complete (and almost identical) system of morality could be a reasoned outcome of the application of the second law of thermodynamics and a single assumption (value judgment) that greater efficiency is 'better' than lesser efficiency. So far, no one has argued against this idea.

            • #69
              >>I believe that atheism has lead me to become even more moral than I was as a child of religion.<<

              I can understand that, atheism gives a freedom of not being tied to any specific moral doctrine. Atheists feel more moral because they can create their moral conduct for any situation or any mood. Today life is precious after the first trimester, tomorrow life changes to being precious after the second trimester. The next day life changes to be precious after…..

              I can certainly see the temptation of atheism.

              Barry

              Comment


              • packsaddle
                packsaddle commented
                Editing a comment
                Eagledad,
                You are a fireman at a fertility clinic which is on fire. You enter the front door and to your right is a hallway with a nurse screaming in terror. To your left you see down that hall, a Dewar with two frozen embryos in it. You only have time to choose one or the other. Do you choose to save the nurse or the frozen embryos?

              • ThomasJefferson
                ThomasJefferson commented
                Editing a comment
                You do not understand at all.

                Becoming an atheist was not a temptation. It was terrifying and revolting to me. I was raised in a very religious household. My family was horrified. I cannot reveal my beliefs to my friends - especially in the scouts. I cannot comment on politics or religion. And, my safety net at the end of my life, and my comfort of thinking my parents and loved ones lost wait for me is gone.

                It is anything but tempting. It is the opposite.

                As for morals, you will have to show me evidence that any religion provides unchanging morality. I see great evidence that morality is changeable in religions based on popularity. You do not obey leviticus or endorse multiple wives as in the Old Testament do you? Are you going to burn a goat to worship god at an altar in the woods? Do you obey the San Hedron? Do you celebrate the Sabbath on Sunday when it was orginally on Saturday?

                Religious people adopt a preferred morality and then say that is what God wants. There is no God speaking. Just people writing books claiming they know what God wants and therefore they are right.

                But you citing your imaginary friend doesn't make something morality.

                Also, I'm not sure it is "moral" to take a hard line on something like abortion either for or against. I think understanding the complexity, the individual cases, and the competing rights of the baby and the mom with compassion makes it impossible to approach it simply.

                Those against it are cruel to those that seek abortions.

                Those in favor are cruel to potential people.

                My morals are mine. I take responsibility for them and own them. They come from my experience and best judgment. Religious morals are what happens when people obey what other people tell them the imaginary spirits said instead of thinking for themselves and facing the terror of the unknown and difficult to understand puzzles that life presents us.

            • #70
              Pack, are suggesting a moral dilemma because I don’t see one. Let’s add a third choice to make your scenario more interesting, a convicted serial killer who is scheduled to be executed in 24 hours.

              For me there isn’t a moral dilemma for the fireman who uses a slider bar to set the conditions of life because they will simply adjust their values at that moment to justify their decision. One lives and two die. But neither is there a moral conflict with the fireman who sets no conditions and believes all life is equal because they can’t change the inevitable fact that one will live and two will die. From the morality perspective, who they choose to save is irrelevant.

              Barry

              Comment


              • #71

                Originally posted by packsaddle View Post
                Eagledad, You are a fireman at a fertility clinic which is on fire. You enter the front door and to your right is a hallway with a nurse screaming in terror. To your left you see down that hall, a Dewar with two frozen embryos in it. You only have time to choose one or the other. Do you choose to save the nurse or the frozen embryos?
                Certainly you save the woman. I think that's a rather false dilemma you've got there pack. Are you trying to make Eagledad admit that the embryos aren't people? And welcome to the never ending debate Thomas Jefferson!

                Better question for Packsaddle or whomever. What if it is one woman or a small child and you can only save one of them? What then?

                Comment


                • #72
                  My point is that merely mouthing platitudes like 'all life is sacred', or similar words to that effect, is without relevance at the time when one must choose - and we make moral choices very often, perhaps not with such serious consequences. I was attempting to clarify by using an extreme example. However, in the scenario, at that time, if any choice is made at all there is some kind of value inequality that has been applied and even THAT may change depending on circumstances. Eagledad, I think, recognizes that.

                  Eagledad had earlier applied, sarcastically, an example using the hot button of abortion - in his response to a post by Thomas Jefferson (and I have to tell you, it feels weird to be responding to a name like that). There was no substance in that example, however, merely a position. So I asked my question. I merely wanted to know what Eagledad would choose to do. He didn't see a moral dilemma - his words. I guess he'd save the nurse too. If he thinks adding the serial killer into a fertility clinic is more interesting, I think we've opened it to all sorts of fantasies.

                  Years ago I posed another dilemma regarding ectopic pregnancy. That's very real so there is no false dilemma there. There was one forum member who stuck by the moral absolutist position and admitted that he would allow both woman and fetus to die. I commend his honesty, if not his choice, and am thankful that his view has not prevailed in our courts. But in this case as in that case, I merely was curious about the answer to the dilemma I posed, this time to Eagledad. And just like back then, I again offer no criticism of Eagledad's inability to 'see' a dilemma. It would have been nice for him to explain how there isn't one but I have accepted his answer as is.

                  Sentinel947, I might add that I agree with your choice. I'd save the nurse. In the case of the woman or child choice, I'd make the decision based on what I saw at the time, probably gauging the greatest likelihood of success, or least risk, depending on how you measure these things or perhaps based on something as simple as which one I detected first. They're two persons to me. If I can't save both I'll "Do My Best" and save one of them. Sometimes the glass is half full and sometimes the container is two times larger than needed.

                  Comment


                  • packsaddle
                    packsaddle commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Still can't edit to here's a followup comment:
                    Eagledad also closed with the words, "From the morality perspective, who they choose to save is irrelevant."
                    While I agree that the choice itself is irrelevant, I also disagree because it is the process of making such a choice that reveals the actual moral structure. And that is what I was trying to learn from him.

                  • Peregrinator
                    Peregrinator commented
                    Editing a comment
                    "However, in the scenario, at that time, if any choice is made at all there is some kind of value inequality that has been applied" - not necessarily. It could well be a case of "which one can I save?" or "which one is likely to survive?" ... there is not necessarily a judgment about the "value" of the life to be saved at all.

                  • Sentinel947
                    Sentinel947 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Yea. Pack. I'm a Catholic and you aren't going to many people who are as staunchly against abortion as I am, but even I believe when the choice is coming down to the mother or the child in childbirth, you owe it to the mother to save her and perform that abortion. Neither the child nor the mother "deserves to" die, but the case comes down to making a choice of "who lives and who dies". To do nothing might cause both the mother and child to die, and I suppose the doctrine of "taking a life to save a life" comes into play in that scenario.

                    I do believe a fetus is a living, unborn child. Before I get flamed too badly from some corner of this forum, I do not believe in the death penalty or abortion. I'd say my position on America's culture of death is consistent.

                    In my own scenario, there is a variety of factors as to who I'd save, but if I could only save one and each was equally accessible and their survival chances where the same, I'd take the Child. Maybe because the women has more of a chance to survive on her own, or maybe because I reach a mental roadblock about leaving a child alone in a fire to die. I'd take the kid.
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