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  1. #31
    Ginkgo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Into It View Post
    It is an important question - but not particularly difficult to answer. I would say yes, it is unethical. Just because someone powerful tells you to kill someone doesn't mean you should do it. If God demands sacrifices, then fuck him. We don't have to sink to his level if we don't want to.
    The context of the story aside...

    Can you give me a reasonable argument to prove your ethical system is superior to God's? That is what you're implying, correct? We should propagate individual humanistic ethical codes over theological codes?

  2. #32
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    If you read, "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind", by Julian Jaynes, you may reach the conclusion that hearing the voice of God was once a normal part of social life.

    However today, we regard hearing the voice of God as a sign of schizophrenia.
    It seems very strange to me that people have all of the sudden stopped hearing voices.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Tater View Post
    The context of the story aside...

    Can you give me a reasonable argument to prove your ethical system is superior to God's? That is what you're implying, correct? We should propagate individual humanistic ethical codes over theological codes?
    Perhaps you should ask the Australian Federal Police or the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

    For if you carry out Blood Sacrifice on a person, you will be charged with murder.

    And if you carry out a Blood Sacrifice on an animal, you will be charged with animal cruelty.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    It seems very strange to me that people have all of the sudden stopped hearing voices.
    Schizophrenics hear voices every day. It's just that today we don't believe they are the voice of God.

    Of course not so long ago they were believed to be the voice of God.

  5. #35
    Ginkgo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Perhaps you should ask the Australian Federal Police or the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

    For if you carry out Blood Sacrifice on a person, you will be charged with murder.

    And if you carry out a Blood Sacrifice on an animal, you will be charged with animal cruelty.
    So, what you're saying is that societal rules supersede God's rules? What if God's rules dictate societal rules, like that of the Old Testament?

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Tater View Post
    So, what you're saying is that societal rules supersede God's rules? What if God's rules dictate societal rules, like that of the Old Testament?
    I can understand why you might think this as you come from a society that was founded by religion whereas I come from a society founded by the Enlightenment.

    And the Enlightenment has found blood sacrifice to be unreasonable and so we prosecute it as a crime.

  7. #37
    Ginkgo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    I can understand why you might think this as you come from a society that was founded by religion whereas I come from a society founded by the Enlightenment.

    And the Enlightenment has found blood sacrifice to be unreasonable and so we prosecute it as a crime.
    That's interesting.

  8. #38
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Schizophrenics hear voices every day. It's just that today we don't believe they are the voice of God.

    Of course not so long ago they were believed to be the voice of God.
    It has nothing to do with whether it is the voice of God or Satan or anyone else. It just seems that the sheer number of voices every one is hearing has gone down.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    It just seems that the sheer number of voices every one is hearing has gone down.
    Yes, according to Julian Jaynes we all heard the voice of God when we had bicameral minds. But with the breakdown of the bicameral mind, only a few individuals now hear the voice of God, or any voices whatsoever.

    Julian Jaynes sets out this thesis beautifully in his book, "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind".

  10. #40
    Senior Member Into It's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Tater View Post
    The context of the story aside...

    Can you give me a reasonable argument to prove your ethical system is superior to God's? That is what you're implying, correct? We should propagate individual humanistic ethical codes over theological codes?
    Yes, that's what I'm implying.

    1We are capable of discerning good from evil.
    2The best ethical system will rely on the discernment of good and evil.

    <^>We are capable of creating the best ethical system.

    Statements of ethics can't hold the same kind of weight as a statement like "water is two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen." That is why you don't *learn* ethics from reading commandments. Anyone who is perfectly fine with committing murder and does not see it as unethical will NOT pick up the bible and *learn* that it is unethical. They won't see the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" and say "OOoooohh! Now I get it."

    If you are capable of picking up a bible and concluding that the ethical system therein is a good one, you are relying on your own ethical judgment. If you are capable of saying "God is good," and really believing it, then you are relying on your own judgment of good and evil.

    That is why the argument "If we ditch God, it'll be ethical disorder." doesn't work. The fact that you could even fathom such a thing means that you are subjectively discerning the Good of God versus the Evil of his Absence. This reveals the argument that we can't rely on ourselves for ethics to be self-defeating and contradictory.

    So how can I know my moral system is superior to God's, then? Easy, just judge his system how you would judge anything else WITHOUT the presupposition he can't be wrong no matter how immorally he behaves. Then it's easy. If you think that he can only be perfect (*which means you're really just taking his word for it*), then there is no reason to have this discussion. If you're willing to take an unbiased look at both sides, it becomes clear.

    What do we do with one who unleashes pestilence upon entire peoples who disagree with his rule? Hint, think of a recent political figure.

    Is it wrong to kill an innocent person? Yes. Is it wrong to kill an innocent person if the mayor demands it? Yes.

    The governer? Yes.
    The President? Yes.
    God? Yes.

    Why this last question is so hard for some people to answer is quite beyond me. If God's system causes unnecessary pain and suffering, then it is an inferior system. Nothing could be more obvious than this. I have heard the argument that he must be held to a "different, Godly standard" so many times. Why does this argument exist in the first place? Because his system of morality is so OBVIOUSLY inferior to one that avoids suffering he would have caused.

    Take stem cell research for instance. The Christian Right is for the most part the reason that there is a ban on stem cell research funding on the federal level. They condemn innocent people to painful lives and painful deaths, while simultaneosly lobbying to take away the civil liberty of choice, in order to save a zygote; a blastocyst that is no more a human being than the fingernail I just bit off- in fact less so. And think they are doing something positive because they have allowed themselves the same error I am asking you not to make as you read this post: they think that for ethics to be "Godly," it's just fine for our ethical code to involve causing any amount of pain. It doesn't matter to them, it's God's will, so it must be right. It's the same thinking that led to the inquisition - and amazingly it's still alive today. Maybe even in you, mystic tater. Are you willing to admit that making people suffer is wrong no matter what God says? Would you be willing to take part in the inquisition if it was clear to you that the bible was written with those intentions?

    "Good" and "Evil" are amorphous terms that have no true anchor in the real world. But "Pain" and "Pleasure" DO exist. Of any choice you could make, one choice will inevitably cause at least a little bit more pain than the other. Sometimes a LOT of pain, such as when we are making the decision whether to burn someone alive at the stake or let them go.

    If you put all of the pain being experienced by everyone in the planet in one big vat, and all of the pleasure being experienced by everyone in a different vat, and you told me:

    "You have a decision to make. One option will make this pain vat more full, and the other option will make this pleasure vat more full."

    I wouldn't even ask to know what the situation was: knowing the situation is means to the end of deciding how much pain or pleasure an option will cause, so in this hypothetical scenario, you cut out the middle man.

    I would simply answer, "Let's go with the option that causes more pleasure than pain, please." It's an obvious choice. But when you allow yourself the dangerous presupposition "Whatever God says is right regardless of how much pain or pleasure it causes" then you can be made to do some really evil things while still believing you are behaving ethically. (crusades)
    An inscription above the gate to Hell:
    "Eternal Love also created me"

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