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  1. #61
    The Dark Lord The Wailing Specter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Depends on the religion; but yes, that's one of the conflict points. People who believe that would just say that ultimately if your love is not driven by the version of God they believe in, then all your actions might look like love but are still selfish/empty.


    ...To answer the OP question, my answer is pretty much what many others have said: Yes, there are many decent religious people out there. Take people on their own merits, not based on whether or not they are religious or adhere to a specific religious tradition.
    Very good.
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    ATHEIST UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST HUMANIST
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    SCIENCE ENTHUSIAST


    I say this as a reminder to myself, but this goes for everyone:

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  2. #62
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azure Flame View Post
    A truly alruistic person is someone who doesn't know they're altruistic.
    Really? A conscious/costly sacrifice isn't as good as an unthinking/unconscious one? The widow's mite doesn't have value in part BECAUSE it is so costly? That's an interesting interpretation of a passage that is all about NOT making a public spectacle or statement of how awesome/"bawss" one is. Granted, a more enlightened perspective places one's personal needs into the larger context, but ignoring/being-unaware-of one's own needs is more a sign of dysfunction than a sign of altruism (IMHO/IMAO).

    At any rate, I think Jesus (as presented in the New Testament) places an emphasis on being good from the inside out ("as a man is in his heart...") rather than on looking good and worrying about social status and positioning. I think that's laudable, regardless of one's religious affiliation. Of course, shaming, status, and social controls can have positive/pro-social effects (as loathe as I am to admit it), but that isn't what really speaks to FPs.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    Really? A conscious/costly sacrifice isn't as good as an unthinking/unconscious one?
    "isn't as good."

    First of all there is no such way to quantify "good." Either it is good or its bad.

    That's an interesting interpretation of a passage that is all about NOT making a public spectacle or statement of how awesome/"bawss" one is.
    Wow you're so humble. Hey everyone, check out how humble this guy is, he's clearly far more humble and superior in humility than I am. Hey everyone do you see this guy? He's incredible!

    Lets all come together and laud you for your well thought out plan to be seen as good by everyone around you. Yeah, that's completely altruistic. Once everyone knows how humble and altruistic you are, maybe then you'll believe it yourself!

    Good luck Jesus, I mean Seymour.

  4. #64
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azure Flame View Post
    "isn't as good."
    First of all there is no such way to quantify "good." Either it is good or its bad.
    So do you actually think it's appropriate to label an altruistic act that you are aware of as actually "bad?" Or is it still good?

    After all, just because you are aware that you are doing something good doesn't mean that you're not choosing to do it for the right reasons. Any person with a bit of awareness is going to be self-aware enough to evaluate what they are choosing to do, correct?

    Wow you're so humble. Hey everyone, check out how humble this guy is, he's clearly far more humble and superior in humility than I am. Hey everyone do you see this guy? He's incredible!

    Lets all come together and laud you for your well thought out plan to be seen as good by everyone around you. Yeah, that's completely altruistic. Once everyone knows how humble and altruistic you are, maybe then you'll believe it yourself!

    Good luck Jesus, I mean Seymour.
    Uh, way to resort to an out-of-the-blue character slam rather than actually address the content. Let's actually dig into the topic a bit deeper here...

    You seem to focus on binary alternatives when we're discussing something more complex. There are more options than being entirely oblivious to the essence of your choices ("good"?) vs being aware of the ramifications of your choices ("bad?"). In my experience, you CAN be aware of your reasoning behind making certain "good" decisions without actually doing them for selfish reasons, can't you?

    Yes, it's good to do good deeds without sitting around calculating the potential benefit to oneself (this is what is means to "not let your right hand know what the left is doing"). And it's also good to make conscious sacrifices -- who wouldn't "count the cost" when they are constructing a tower -- the Bible suggests we SHOULD be counting the cost!), and of course making a conscious sacrifice for all the right reasons is certainly a good act.

    I don't really see these ideas as being in contradiction Biblically. You can do things out simply flowing out of a good nature without even having to consider them; and you can also do good things through a very painful, very conscious process of scrutiny and choice to sacrifice. Jesus himself did both; there are many examples of latter, including the Garden of Gethsemene. (Jesus was very aware of what he was called to do and what he was expected to do, and he didn't want to do it; and then he chose to do it anyway. But of course all that deliberation occurred in private.)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    So do you actually think it's appropriate to label an altruistic act that you are aware of as actually "bad?" Or is it still good?

    After all, just because you are aware that you are doing something good doesn't mean that you're not choosing to do it for the right reasons. Any person with a bit of awareness is going to be self-aware enough to evaluate what they are choosing to do, correct?



    Uh, way to resort to an out-of-the-blue character slam rather than actually address the content. Let's actually dig into the topic a bit deeper here...

    You seem to focus on binary alternatives when we're discussing something more complex. There are more options than being entirely oblivious to the essence of your choices ("good"?) vs being aware of the ramifications of your choices ("bad?"). In my experience, you CAN be aware of your reasoning behind making certain "good" decisions without actually doing them for selfish reasons, can't you?

    Yes, it's good to do good deeds without sitting around calculating the potential benefit to oneself (this is what is means to "not let your right hand know what the left is doing"). And it's also good to make conscious sacrifices -- who wouldn't "count the cost" when they are constructing a tower -- the Bible suggests we SHOULD be counting the cost!), and of course making a conscious sacrifice for all the right reasons is certainly a good act.

    I don't really see these ideas as being in contradiction Biblically. You can do things out simply flowing out of a good nature without even having to consider them; and you can also do good things through a very painful, very conscious process of scrutiny and choice to sacrifice. Jesus himself did both; there are many examples of latter, including the Garden of Gethsemene. (Jesus was very aware of what he was called to do and what he was expected to do, and he didn't want to do it; and then he chose to do it anyway. But of course all that deliberation occurred in private.)
    It wasn't out of the blue to him, trust me.

    Yeah I don't actually know what I'm talking about with regard to altruism. I'm sure the bible answers it somewhere. Maybe I just spend too much time hanging around ENFJs and ENTJs to believe anything I'm saying anymore. After all, they believe every calculated decision I've made thus far has been to benefit only myself. yes and no. I don't know anymore. People are skeptical of my generosity and it makes me angry. Are they right? They could be, but I have no way of knowing anymore.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyyukon View Post
    What the hell did you just say.

    If they believe in a god that rewards good actions, why would that NOT believe in a god that rewards good actions.
    If I decide to pay you for every good thing you do for anyone - and I am all knowingly watching you from the NSA's spy equipment to know when you are - can you still act out of goodwill towards others? Would you ever get the opportunity?

  7. #67
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    It's hard for me to believe the religious can be genuinely decent when I am watching a 16 kilometre parade of families escaping from torture and death in the new Islamic State of what was Iraq and Syria.

  8. #68
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    Yes of course. But fundamentalists - Western or Eastern, aren't.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noll View Post
    Yes, of course. But fundamentalists - Western or Eastern, aren't.
    These aren't fundamentalists. They are normal Sunni and normal Shia.

  10. #70
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jarlaxle View Post
    If I decide to pay you for every good thing you do for anyone - and I am all knowingly watching you from the NSA's spy equipment to know when you are - can you still act out of goodwill towards others? Would you ever get the opportunity?
    My answer to this:

    1. Yes, you CAN still act out of goodwill, internally. It's all about your motivations.

    2a. No external viewer will be able to tell the difference between compliance and good will.
    2b. In addition, since you're being pressured to comply, you yourself might not be sure of your own motivations until you finally act in a vacuum, possessing a reasonable amount of freedom.

    Of course, if you respond against pressure to do something you consider wrong and choose to do something you consider right (and are punished for it), in that scenario it's clear that you wanted to do the right thing. It's the case of doing the "right thing" through compliance to law that is ambiguous.

    Also note that we never actually live in a pure vacuum of external pressure. We're shaped from the day we were born. So this is more about "practical range of choice" than "literal/perfect free will."
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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