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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-10-2003, 07:38 AM Thread Starter
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For people that don't believe in (a) God, what is their......

moral compass? How does such a person decide right & wrong? I'm not trying to start an ugly thread - i'm genuinely curious about what guides them through life in making right/wrong choices, and what basis would be used to say that something is "right" or "wrong"

<--JC is going to kick me out for starting unintended drama
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-10-2003, 07:50 AM
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I dont have a answer for you Mike but if you look at alot of the people that don't at least believe in a "higher power" they dont lead very moral lives. Hence, they really don't know what is right or wrong. Whatever feels good at the time is "right for them" even though it may be morally wrong. Everything is relative to the situation at hand.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-10-2003, 05:50 PM
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Man I wish you would have asked this last semester. Take a look at David Hume's An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (http://www.infidels.org/library/hist...rstanding.html) Sect. XI. Of a particular Providence and of a Future State. Read: Of God and what happens after you die.
It was written in the 18th century but is still studied and debated today. I had to read it in my Phil. class last semester. (On a side note, if you are a "philosopher" who likes to ask "why" and debate on it, I highly recommend you take this class. I learned and strengthened so much of my beliefs and thoughts. Dr. Nussbaum UTA) I have to warn you, it is kind of hard to follow because it is written to a different generation. If memory serves me correct, the general gist is that if you do good, you get good. This is your motivation to continue doing good things and treating people well. Kind of, a Kharma thing. I will get my essays when I get home and elaborate further if you want.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-11-2003, 12:51 AM
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I would think it would depend on the particular persons upbringing. If the parents / family / friends present in the persons life growing up provided a solid moral conditioning, said person is most likely going to continue on that moral path for the rest of their lives. Whether or not they believe in (a) God(s).

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-11-2003, 05:58 AM
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Well I think the point here Jay is where do they get their morals in the first place? You say they may get them from their parents/friends, where do they get them? Do they just make stuff up?
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-11-2003, 11:19 AM
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Everyone creates their own internal moral compass.

If you said that the Bible and only the Bible is your moral compass, then you would be free from sin, right...?? BTW, here's the way I've seen it for all my life:

Bad - has a negative impact on you or someone else's situation or life

Good - anything else

I believe in the concept of Karma as well. So does the Bible - remember you Reap what you Sow.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-11-2003, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 46Tbird
Bad - has a negative impact on you or someone else's situation or life

Good - anything else
Who decides what is good or bad? What could be right for one person could be wrong for someone else, that is basicly what you are saying.

There must be a line drawn somewhere that says that something is either right or wrong, it cant be both. One of the 10 Commandments says that you shall not desire anything that belongs to someone else. When was the last time you looked at a playboy? Who is right?
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-11-2003, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MoonDog
Who decides what is good or bad? What could be right for one person could be wrong for someone else, that is basicly what you are saying.
That's right. That's why I said that everyone makes their own internal moral compass. If a decision has to be made that will affect other people, (I feel) you must do what you can to not create a bad situation for someone else.
Quote:
There must be a line drawn somewhere that says that something is either right or wrong, it cant be both.
I wholeheartedly disagree. Let's take this back to the other thread - how do you feel about tattoos?
Quote:
1 Corinthians 6:19, 20
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
A lot of people feel that tattoos are immoral, that people with tattoos have a reduced 'moral compass' so to speak. But what if I get a tattoo of the cross on my shoulder.. is that honoring God with my body? ..or desecrating a temple? Where is the line there? It's not black and white here, nor is it anywhere else.

In my eyes, having a tattoo is not immoral. Having one does not create a bad or negative situation.. so what's the problem? Judgemental people, maybe....

Like I said, you create your own moral compass. You can use the Bible or Koran or Dianetics or whatever you want for guidance if you so desire, but your morality is truly your own.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-11-2003, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MoonDog
Well I think the point here Jay is where do they get their morals in the first place? You say they may get them from their parents/friends, where do they get them? Do they just make stuff up?
If the parents / family / friends are religious, they would get their morals from their religion, and would thus pass those onto the person in question.

If they're not religious, but believe in a higher power ... the same above applies.

If they're not religious, and don't believe in a higher power, then their moral compass would come from society. Laws. It is unlawful to steal, or kill, or rape, or beat, etc, etc. So by growing up in society, they will know what is right, and what is wrong. If they choose to do right, they will then pass those morals onto their offspring. If they choose to do wrong, the same above applies.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-11-2003, 06:05 PM
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I would say that since the beginning God has written it into mans heart and mind. Only sin has corrupted our view and only repentance can make us see clearly.

Romans 1
18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen.
26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Last edited by 281R; 06-11-2003 at 06:08 PM.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-11-2003, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 46Tbird
but your morality is truly your own.
yes very true.............
But absolute truth remains in the rightousness of God!
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-11-2003, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by DarkWolf
If they're not religious, and don't believe in a higher power, then their moral compass would come from society. Laws. It is unlawful to steal, or kill, or rape, or beat, etc, etc. So by growing up in society, they will know what is right, and what is wrong. If they choose to do right, they will then pass those morals onto their offspring. If they choose to do wrong, the same above applies.
Taking it a step futher - I wonder what basis was used to decide what was "right" and "wrong" when these laws were written?

<--stirring....

This thread could get interesting.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-11-2003, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by mikeb
Taking it a step futher - I wonder what basis was used to decide what was "right" and "wrong" when these laws were written?

<--stirring....

This thread could get interesting.
I would venture to bet that all laws that any culture or country ever had were based on some type of religon. Whether it be the Koran or the Bible or whatever gods and goddess they might worship. Think of it. Here in the US it was originally written "In God We Trust." Now those morals, not the religous side so much, for the most part still hold true.

I believe morals are definately an innate, if you will, trait. However you want to explain it they are there. Some choose to ignore them and others follow closely but most are somewhere in the middle. I base this on an experience I had when I was younger. At 10 or 11 my father became a Missionary and we were shipped over to Sierra Leone, West Africa. We lived in a very remote part of the jungle that took 12 hours to travel only 250 Miles the roads were so bad. The people there didn't even have a written language so there was no Bible or Koran. So how did they know something was wrong?

It's that feeling you get in your stomach and the taste that comes to your mouth. It's the pulling at your heart and the knawing in your head. You know it's wrong. Some people have become so good a diverting and distracting it that they don't even hear it anymore. Those are the ones who just don't care anymore.

Just my .02

Last edited by dan962000; 06-11-2003 at 08:29 PM.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-11-2003, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dan962000
It's that feeling you get in your stomach and the taste that comes to your mouth. It's the pulling at your heart and the knawing in your head. You know it's wrong. Some people have become so good a diverting and distracting it that they don't even hear it anymore. Those are the ones who just don't care anymore.

Just my .02
Like I said before, God has written it into man's heart. Sin has disorted the truth. Man use to be perfect, but I am sure even now that man is in the dark (except the saved), we still see and recognize the light.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-12-2003, 04:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dan962000
I would venture to bet that all laws that any culture or country ever had were based on some type of religon. Whether it be the Koran or the Bible or whatever gods and goddess they might worship.
Ding ding.

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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-12-2003, 09:52 AM
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I'm just trying to understand what you're saying, Mike.

Are you saying that you can't be moralistic, without believing in a God, of some sort?

You can be a good, moral person, without believing in God.

I don't believe in "God", but I don't smoke, drink nor do drugs either.

I have been studying alot of different religions lately though.
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-12-2003, 03:42 PM
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Whethere you believe in God (or a god) or not, you still know what is right or wrong. That's the main point. Some choose to believe that God gave us the right to see what is good and bad and some choose to believe it's fate or whatever (the matrix ).
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-12-2003, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dan962000
Whethere you believe in God (or a god) or not, you still know what is right or wrong. That's the main point. Some choose to believe that God gave us the right to see what is good and bad and some choose to believe it's fate or whatever (the matrix ).
The Matrix has you lol
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