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John-in-KC

Get Ready For New Requirements In Faith

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I'd say that's due to the incoherent BSA values framework, since they DO allow some atheists, particularly if they belong to a religion.

LOL, we will have to agree to disagree. 

 

Barry

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How in the world can and organization base itself on teaching boys the values that guide morality and ethics without God, or some made up god?

We've had this discussion before. The BSA requires that you believe in a higher power. It does not require that you believe in a higher power that prescribed (or prescribes) ethics and morality for mankind. As I have explained before, I believe in God as the creative force in the Universe, but not as the giver of laws. I believe that we humans came up with those (including the principles of ethics and morality) all on our own. I'm not the only one who does. So the BSA does not need to require a belief in God in order to have ethics and morals to teach to the Scouts.

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To show that Scientologists in the BSA are nothing new, and that the BSA even allows them to charter units.

 

Then clearly BSA does not mean "God" when they say duty to God then, because otherwise Scientologists would not qualify.

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We've had this discussion before. The BSA requires that you believe in a higher power. It does not require that you believe in a higher power that prescribed (or prescribes) ethics and morality for mankind. As I have explained before, I believe in God as the creative force in the Universe, but not as the giver of laws. I believe that we humans came up with those (including the principles of ethics and morality) all on our own. I'm not the only one who does. So the BSA does not need to require a belief in God in order to have ethics and morals to teach to the Scouts.

Just because the BSA is being gracious in accommodating your belief, they are not stating that was the intent during the origination of the program. Otherwise none of it would have any pretense to a foundation of building character. 

 

Barry

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Also Eagledad I can't remember the religion, but I know in the past we have discussed the BSA acceptance of a religion where they do believe in a God or higher power, but their belief is that this higher power does not expect anything from them, so for that group their moral ethics is not born of their belief in a higher power.. But this is true of any of the atheists religions that are acceptable..

 

Yes, I think that is NJ's religion. So how do we work with a scout who doesn't have any source of reference their morality when they are lost? I think NJ would like to take on that task for his son. Still, without getting into differences of religion, we must remember we adults are task to live by the law and oath in front of the scouts. That is the best we can do as far as how God influences our personal lives.

 

Oh, I didn't see this before.  Moosetracker describes my one aspect of my beliefs more-or-less accurately, but I do not consider it a "religion."  I do not believe it because some organization convinced me to believe it, or because it's what my parents taught me.  I looked around at the world and observed what I have observed, and read what I have read (including the beliefs of a number of the Founding Fathers of the USA), and this is what I currently believe.  It is not what I have always believed - as I have said before, during part of my teenage years I thought I was an atheist, as a young adult I thought I was an agnostic, but this is what I believe now.  Maybe someday I will have reason to believe something else.

 

As for who or what is the source of morality for my children... well they are all adults now and they are going to have to figure this out on their own.  My youngest child still lives in my home so he does have to live by some rules, but there is no problem in that area.  Although it's really none of anybody's business, the religious/moral/ethical upbringing of my children was a somewhat complex story, in that my wife is Roman Catholic and I am Jewish but my beliefs are my own beliefs.  Their religious upbringing was left to my wife.  Currently, I would say that one of my children is a Christian (in a denomination that permits gay clergy) and the others are, well, "other", sort of like me.  As for morals and ethics, I like to think that both my wife and I set good examples.  I hope I set a good example for the Scouts.  I think the Scout Law provides us with a pretty good list of ideas for morality and ethics, and many of them can be summed up with "have respect for yourself, other people and the world around you."

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As for morals and ethics, I like to think that both my wife and I set good examples.  I hope I set a good example for the Scouts.  I think the Scout Law provides us with a pretty good list of ideas for morality and ethics, and many of them can be summed up with "have respect for yourself, other people and the world around you."

I'm a sure you are fine folks, but the problem with mad made morality is that it can change in a flash, and often does depending on the mood of the moment.

 

In the bigger picture, the poor suffer the most in cultures with man made morals because there is no "one" agreed reference to hold their leaders to be fair and just when it is not convenient for the leaders. As I've said before, in a godless society, morality is dictated by the guy with the biggest stick and motivated only by emotion and ambition. The 10 Commandments are basically just saying who has the big stick and protecting the innocent. 

 

Barry

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Barry, your perception of the world and mine are so mindbogglingly different, I don't see any point in continuing this.

 

The irony is that I strongly suspect that the way you and I actually live our lives (other than religious activities) is remarkably similar.  It is our perception of why we do what we do, and what behavior by other people disqualifies them from being part of our "club", on which we differ, and there does not seem to be much room for common ground.

Edited by NJCubScouter
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I'm a sure you are fine folks, but the problem with mad made morality is that it can change in a flash, and often does depending on the mood of the moment.

 

In the bigger picture, the poor suffer the most in cultures with man made morals because there is no "one" agreed reference to hold their leaders to be fair and just when it is not convenient for the leaders. As I've said before, in a godless society, morality is dictated by the guy with the biggest stick and motivated only by emotion and ambition. The 10 Commandments are basically just saying who has the big stick and protecting the innocent. 

 

Barry

 

 I am seriously not wanting to start anything but everything you mention happens no matter what the belief system is mostly because people are people. 

Edited by Renax127
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 I am seriously not wanting to start anything but everything you mention happens no matter what the belief system is mostly because people are people. 

I'm not sure what you are afraid you will start, but the Bible prophecies this several times. The Law and Oath are the BSA's attempt to prevent it. 

 

Barry

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The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.

 

Barry

Sure the Scout Oath & Scout Law help to give scouts a guideline to ethical & moral choices... That is where we as scouts find a common denominator in ethics and morality.. Otherwise it's to each his own based on his personal religion or viewpoint of what their moral perspective is...

 

I think besides your personal beliefs NJCubScouter, BSA has religions with similar views and they are acceptable to BSA.. Either way, BSA accepts atheists who prescribe to a religion but they have no belief in a higher power dictating moral values, and BSA accepts those who believe in a higher power but one that after creating the universe really does not get involved or care about our day to day lives.. But some religions are not acceptable and we have no idea what if there is any yardstick to gauge what religions these are.. And you can come up with your own belief system based on self reflection and that is OK too..

 

Eagledad - Yes the last statement about the rock religion and earthquakes was tongue in cheek.. I have no idea how someone could believe in purely a rock religion, or what it would entail.. It's a little too much for me to wrap my head around unless someday I meet up with someone with the rock religion belief and then I would be interested to hear from them.. All I know is BSA says someone can come up with a rock religion and that would be OK..  I more see if you are going to base your religion on nature, it will be more then rocks.. I can understand the Indian beliefs and wiccan beliefs that incorportate all of nature in their belief system.. 

 

Was anyone else not able to get into the forum for about 4 or 5 hours.. I had something about a database error.. But when I could get back in it seems like all of you have been posting away with no issue..

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How do I judge that a man is moral or ethical?  I only have my personal beliefs, neither the most authoritative or objective of standards. That they are largely based on how I understand the Book is neither here nor there as I am only what I am.

 

Others relying on the Book have lowered "heretics" slowly into barrels of boiling pitch or burned them at the stake.  So what one takes from the words of men trying to convey the message has some importance.

 

My cousin the CB  had an atheist Corpsman crawl into a beaten zone to treat him and then pull him to safety.  If his actions are a measure of the man, try as you might to convince him that the Corpsman was not a moral person, I doubt that you would have much success with my cousin - or anyone else here. To me, the Corpsman was another example of the Good Samaritan.  I think God loves him at least as well as any professing Christian.  Again, that's just me.

 

In the NYLT syllabus in "Making Ethical Decisions," the Boy Scouts of America teaches that ethics come from our "family and society."  I am familiar with that unit as I have delivered it twice.

 

The Ethical Decision Checklist in the NYLT syllabus does refer to The Golden Rule.  In that spirit, may I respectfully suggest less animosity and more respect and understanding?  

Edited by TAHAWK

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There is nothing prophetic about it.  When people do good, good things happen, when people do bad, bad things happen.  If I hit my thumb with a hammer, it's gonna hurt.

 

Someone's moral code is defined either by an individual with an individual's agenda backing it up.  Or it's defined by something else that that something else backs it up.

 

If I decide it's in my moral best interest to kill someone, then I shouldn't be all that surprised when someone else decides it's in their best interest to kill me.

 

To subscribe this all to some supreme being as the source of all great galactic wisdom is rather pointless.  If I know that by doing bad to those around me, eventually they are going to retaliate and it's not going to go well for me.  I don't need prophesy to tell me that.

 

The 10 Commandments you refer to are nothing more than the minimum requirements for civilization.  One doesn't need the 10 Commandments if they are a hermit.  There are a number of moral codes out there and those that seem to work the best tend to fit well with the Judean/Christian code.  King so-and-so walked in the ways of the Lord and his reign prospered.  King so-and-so didn't walk in the ways of the Lord and he didn't so so hot.

 

One needs to know the difference between prophesy and predicting the future.  One of the is actually forbidden by Judean/Christian Scripture the other is not.

 

I can understand why BSA leaves out the morality issue here.  Morality is an issue of how one person treats another and has very little or nothing to do with God.  Of course that doesn't stop people from preaching that all the good or all the bad in the world is a result of their god.  Nope, it's a lot closer to home than their god.

Edited by Stosh
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 I am seriously not wanting to start anything but everything you mention happens no matter what the belief system is mostly because people are people. 

 

LOL, or as I have often proclaimed, basically we are just a bunch of monkeys. I offer my old cub scout dens as evidence, lol.

 

Edit for Stosh: Nope, never met her but I'm sure she's worthy of sainthood...do I need to explain, LOL?

Edited by packsaddle

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I can understand why BSA leaves out the morality issue here.  Morality is an issue of how one person treats another and has very little or nothing to do with God.  

The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.

 

Barry

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Barry, your perception of the world and mine are so mindbogglingly different, I don't see any point in continuing this.

 

The irony is that I strongly suspect that the way you and I actually live our lives (other than religious activities) is remarkably similar.  It is our perception of why we do what we do, and what behavior by other people disqualifies them from being part of our "club", on which we differ, and there does not seem to be much room for common ground.

We are remarkably similar because we are decent loving people whose daily actions resemble the scout law. 

 

I can only guess why we are mindbogglingly different. I am a big picture sort of person and we tend to be more pragmatic in are thinking. We appear more black and white, but in reality, it's just coloring within the lines. Adults used to be surprised that I could predict the performance of their unit programs. What they couldn't see is that scouting while complex in its managing, is fairly simple in its design. I try to teach adults the simple basics of scouting here on the forum and in my area, but these basics are so simple that folks don't really believe they have that much application. 

 

So as a big picture guy in this discussion, I can see how morality and ethics get's corrupted when folks take credit for being the best source of living by the scout law and oath. While that does have the appearance of respect, in reality it opens the door to chaos eventually leading corruption. How can a boy equate living the law when his role models consistently lie, cheat, and steal? I'm thinking hypothetically in the big picture of course.

 

The only way the BSA as a National institution for youth can even propose the idea of encouraging boys into ethical moral decision makers is to put the responsibility of those ideals on a resource that never changes it's virtues of morality. That can only be God. You don't have to be religious to understand the importance of pinning to a source that doesn't change with fickle cultures. So, it is just plain logical to hang the values of the scouting program on God. And you don't have to be a genus to see what happens when God is taken out of the program. Morality (law and oath) becomes defined by the man with the biggest stick. What's left dilutes over time and eventually becomes just meaningless words. 

 

A lot of the replies to this discussion are something to the order that if the other is guy acts moral and ethical, that is all the scouts need. True enough I guess in the small picture, but in the bigger picture, our standards of what is acceptable has to be based on perfection so that we always keep raising the bar. We can always do better and here is our target.  I know through the years scouting has had to deal with really bad leaders that embarrassed the program. But the program survived without really taking any hits. That is attributed to the reputation that Scouting teaches boys how to be men of character. And if anyone is held to define the attributes of character, they will quickly lead up to God. If Scouting had started out without God to set the high standards, it would not have survived past those bad leaders because there would not have been anything to show folks that the program was better than the self-serving desires of those men. 

 

So yes, people can be nice by their nature and set good examples of living the scout oath and law simply by the luck of the draw. But the program only survives because it acknowledges a source of moral perfection that can never be changed even with new leaders year after year. Once the BSA starts giving the credit of good moral behavior to man, the program is over because it will no longer be above scrutiny. 

 

Barry

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