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I'm Christian, Unless You're Gay


Off-Topic Discussions

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Ancient Sensei wrote:

Forget my original attempt to post here. Christians don't hate gays. Christians have gay friends. Not suporting the lifestyle is not the same as not loving the person, regardless of reference group.

To try to say that redemption isn't for gays and pro-choice types according to Christians is an unfair and inaccurate characterization of the faith or its faithful.

Actually, many Christians have no problems with gays at all. They don't hate them or their lifestyle*. Some churches are happy to marry gay couples or officiate at civil unions if the local government allows that but not marriages.

Some do hate gays. Phelps and his crew would be a blatant example.

Some as you suggest, are willing to tolerate gay people as long as they deny their own nature. They don't hate gays, they just hate the gay things they do. As long as they don't have gay sex or fall in love or date or do any of the things that heterosexuals do with each other, these Christians won't do more than preach the evils of the gay at them.
None of the gay people I know think this is anything but bigotry. It's disguised and politer, but it isn't any less offensive.

*"Gay lifestyle"? What is a gay lifestyle anyway? It seems about as varied as the straight lifestyle to me. The gay couple I know best has been together more than a decade and live in big house with a half-ton of dogs. Is this a lifestyle you can't support?
If you mean gay sex or gay relationships, say that.


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Ancient Sensei wrote:

Forget my original attempt to post here. Christians don't hate gays. Christians have gay friends. Not suporting the lifestyle is not the same as not loving the person, regardless of reference group.

To try to say that redemption isn't for gays and pro-choice types according to Christians is an unfair and inaccurate characterization of the faith or its faithful.

The vast majority of the anti gay rhetoric (aka Hate speech) comes from the christian right. You as an individual may not feel you are part of that sector of hate mongers, but they presume to speak for your faith, and thus for you. Further if you and those like you (Non-hateful christians) do nothing to stop your leaders and the hatemongering that is as good as condoning it. Don't bother saying christians as a whole arent hateful, it may or may not be true and history isn't exactly on your side. Instead actually do something to make it an irrefutable truth. .


Haha! Phelps and company do not hate gays at all, they simply find that the topic is polarizing enough to get them press and incite just enough anger out of the other side to keep the WBC running on lawsuit dollars for years on end.

I almost envision the Phelps family behind closed doors, smirking and laughing as they sign their lawsuit paperwork all while asking one another, "Can you believe they are still buying this s%++ and letting it get to them to the point that we can milk yet another grou for yet another out of court settlement?"


Moro wrote:

Haha! Phelps and company do not hate gays at all, they simply find that the topic is polarizing enough to get them press and incite just enough anger out of the other side to keep the WBC running on lawsuit dollars for years on end.

I almost envision the Phelps family behind closed doors, smirking and laughing as they sign their lawsuit paperwork all while asking one another, "Can you believe they are still buying this s%!+ and letting it get to them to the point that we can milk yet another grou for yet another out of court settlement?"

Fine. Would you accept, "some people who self-identify as Christian, openly claim to hate gays. The Phelps are an example."?

My point remains the same. There are Christians who have no problem with gays at all. There are Christians who hate gays. There are Christians who "hate the sin, but love the sinner."
In the US, discrimination against gays is still usually justified with Christian claims.


thejeff wrote:
Moro wrote:

Haha! Phelps and company do not hate gays at all, they simply find that the topic is polarizing enough to get them press and incite just enough anger out of the other side to keep the WBC running on lawsuit dollars for years on end.

I almost envision the Phelps family behind closed doors, smirking and laughing as they sign their lawsuit paperwork all while asking one another, "Can you believe they are still buying this s%!+ and letting it get to them to the point that we can milk yet another grou for yet another out of court settlement?"

Fine. Would you accept, "some people who self-identify as Christian, openly claim to hate gays. The Phelps are an example."?

My point remains the same. There are Christians who have no problem with gays at all. There are Christians who hate gays. There are Christians who "hate the sin, but love the sinner."
In the US, discrimination against gays is still usually justified with Christian claims.

Which is insane cowardice. It's like if someone said, "I think if you aren't white, then you're a sick deviant - don't blame me, that's my religion.". At some point, people decide which religion (or sect or denomination) they are going to join (or retain membership in).

I don't like bigots, but I especially don't like cowardly bigots.


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Ancient Sensei wrote:

Forget my original attempt to post here. Christians don't hate gays. Christians have gay friends. Not suporting the lifestyle is not the same as not loving the person, regardless of reference group.

To try to say that redemption isn't for gays and pro-choice types according to Christians is an unfair and inaccurate characterization of the faith or its faithful.

The vast majority of the anti gay rhetoric (aka Hate speech) comes from the christian right. You as an individual may not feel you are part of that sector of hate mongers, but they presume to speak for your faith, and thus for you. Further if you and those like you (Non-hateful christians) do nothing to stop your leaders and the hatemongering that is as good as condoning it. Don't bother saying christians as a whole arent hateful, it may or may not be true and history isn't exactly on your side. Instead actually do something to make it an irrefutable truth. .

As Ancient Sensei said, Christians don't hate gays. I know of many churches that are accepting of gays, provide funding to PFLAG, even have gay ministers (who are in committed relationships with a same sex spouse). The Bible (at least in the original languages) makes homosexuality no more wrong than eating hamburger helper. The so-called "gay lifestyle" (specifically meaning "lots of casual sex and emotional shallowness - like gays used to be often portrayed on tv) is something Christians don't care for (but many gays don't either).

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Darkwing Duck wrote:
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Ancient Sensei wrote:

Forget my original attempt to post here. Christians don't hate gays. Christians have gay friends. Not suporting the lifestyle is not the same as not loving the person, regardless of reference group.

To try to say that redemption isn't for gays and pro-choice types according to Christians is an unfair and inaccurate characterization of the faith or its faithful.

The vast majority of the anti gay rhetoric (aka Hate speech) comes from the christian right. You as an individual may not feel you are part of that sector of hate mongers, but they presume to speak for your faith, and thus for you. Further if you and those like you (Non-hateful christians) do nothing to stop your leaders and the hatemongering that is as good as condoning it. Don't bother saying christians as a whole arent hateful, it may or may not be true and history isn't exactly on your side. Instead actually do something to make it an irrefutable truth. .
As Ancient Sensei said, Christians don't hate gays. I know of many churches that are accepting of gays, provide funding to PFLAG, even have gay ministers (who are in committed relationships with a same sex spouse). The Bible (at least in the original languages) makes homosexuality no more wrong than eating hamburger helper. The so-called "gay lifestyle" (specifically meaning "lots of casual sex and emotional shallowness - like gays used to be often portrayed on tv) is something Christians don't care for (but many gays don't either).

Except that's hardly a gay lifestyle. I know plenty of colleagues at work who espouse such a lifestyle,. Granted they're almost certainly b+*#*#%!ting as they're all youngish men. I could understand not wanting the hedonistic lifestyle, I find it pointless myself, but you'd think that would mean more support for those homosexuals who want to commit, not less.


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Darkwing Duck wrote:
The so-called "gay lifestyle" (specifically meaning "lots of casual sex and emotional shallowness - like gays used to be often portrayed on tv) is something Christians don't care for (but many gays don't either).

And to the extent that ever was the gay (gay male anyway) lifestyle, it was largely because it was safer. When gay activity was illegal, or late just likely to cost you your job, your family and all your non-gay friends, casual anonymous hookups were much less likely to get you in trouble than a serious relationship.


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As someone who's gay and lived in an extremist Christian community for most of her life, I can say that I really appreciate this article. It goes back to something Gandhi said:

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

...which is something I think we all need to work on. Whether we claim to be Christians or Buddhists or Muslims or Pagans or whatever, we all need to remember that just claiming to be virtuous does not actually make you virtuous. You have to act on it.

Shadow Lodge

Rights are inherent. They stem from a lack of reasonable and moral opposition to the decisions of another thinking being.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Rights are inherent. They stem from a lack of reasonable and moral opposition to the decisions of another thinking being.

What is "reasonable and moral opposition"? If you define it in terms of "rights", then you've created a circular definition. If you give a definition dependent on social construction, then you've contradicted your assertion that rights are inherent.

Shadow Lodge

Quote:
What is "reasonable and moral opposition"?

Varies wildly with circumstance.

If I'm doing shadowboxing in the air on my lawn, why can anyone tell me to stop?

If I'm punching and someone's nose in the way, the harm that person is going to receive (their right to have their nose in factory condition) gives them a moral imperative to stop me.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Quote:
What is "reasonable and moral opposition"?

Varies wildly with circumstance.

If I'm doing shadowboxing in the air on my lawn, why can anyone tell me to stop?

If I'm punching and someone's nose in the way, the harm that person is going to receive (their right to have their nose in factory condition) gives them a moral imperative to stop me.

Does it "vary wildly with circumstances" such that every case must be decided independently or does it "vary wildly with circumstances" but is always derived from a few core principles? If so, then what are those principles?


On the subject of Rights:

You first need to determine whether your understanding of rights and duties comes from a Naturalist perspective, or a Positivist one.

Naturalists, such as myself, argue that there is something called Natural Law, a fundamental source of justice and morality steeming from a trascendental origin -such as God-, which gives way to the idea there is right and wrong.

Positivists, on the other hand, argue that law is defined by what it is written, and that there is no true right and wrong, only allowed and prohibited things.

Now, the notion of "Human Rights" as universal, unshakeable principles we must abide to only makes sense under a naturalist perspective. The origin of human rights can be traced back to a very specific turnpoint in history: The First Council of Ephesus, held in 431 a.D., where the leaders of ancient Christianity gathered to debate over the true nature of Christ. Baring the theological matters in contention, it was one of the conclussions of said council that gave rise to the idea of "The Substance of Man": That we are all equaly worthy of dignity no matter what our circumstances are. This was a massive point of inflection in the way society understood what it means to be a person, and for the first time in history there was a profound philosophical consideration to defend the idea that all men are created equal, and thus should be treated equal.

The problem here is that such idea grows from the assumption that there is a source of dignity, and that there is a universal truth that makes all men the same in the eyes of a natural principle, in this case the grace of God.

But under a positivist perspective, there is no such thing as fundamental rights, only conventions. There is no "Malum in se" ("Evil unto Itself"), only "Malum Prohibitorum" ("Evil Because it is Forbiden"), because there cannot be Malum in Se if there is no objective Malum out there.

Note that natural law does not explicitly require God, but it does require a preternatural source. Greeks who adhered to the idea of there being a universal, trascendental source of law boiled it down to two principles to define what is right and what is wrong, further developed by Saint Thomas and various other Doctors of the Church:

1.- That which is contrary to reason is wrong.
2.- The absolutization of earthly things is wrong.

The first principle starts from the idea that reason is what defines humans as such, as it is what allows us to perceive something as right or wrong, regardless of whether we can actually prove it being right or wrong. Therefore, it is considered that harming said capacity, be it by killing someone or killing ourselves, is by necessity a wrong act.

The second principle means that giving too much importance to temporary things (such as wealth, power, or even friendship) ultimately goes against the first principle, as when our lives become about a concrete thing rather than about reason, we end up acting against reason.

Saint Thomas did a pretty nice job explaining all Christian values as steeming from those two principles (and putting God as the cause of reason being such a big deal, as through it one gets to understand Him), but in the end it also requires a naturalist perspective.

What I'm trying to say here is that in order to state an ideal of fundamental rights, one must be willing to accept the ideal of a trascendental source of law. Otherwise, one must accept that there is no such thing, and that all rights are social conventions, which exist as a way for us to be able to create interdependent structures (Locke, Russeau, et al, are a good read on this particular subject, speaking about how societies came to be as a way of protecting ourselves from the rest, by forcing us into a balanced relationship. Not that I agree with that view, but it can be quite instructive).

Shadow Lodge

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Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
You first need to determine whether your understanding of rights and duties comes from a Naturalist perspective, or a Positivist one.

None of the above. Rights stem from the will of a thinking being: a fundamental source of justice that is neither transcendental nor questionably existent.

Darkwing Duck, wrote:
Does it "vary wildly with circumstances" such that every case must be decided independently or does it "vary wildly with circumstances" but is always derived from a few core principles? If so, then what are those principles?

It derives from one core principle: There is no reason to dissalow someone doing what they want unless what they're doing hurts someone else. There is no constraint on the will except other wills.

The point here is to show that there's the basis for an objective morality to be found within objectively existing things (living beings) without needing to resort to either deities or nihilism.

The wild variety in circumstances comes in when wills collide. Someone else has a nice car. I want a nice car. Obviously they want it to. Can i take it from them? Probably not... however someone has a nice car. My friend has just been bitten by a snake. Can i take his car to drive my friend to the hospital? Yup.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

None of the above. Rights stem from the will of a thinking being: a fundamental source of justice that is neither transcendental nor questionably existent.

What would be objectively right or wrong under this model?

BigNorseWolf wrote:
It derives from one core principle: There is no reason to dissalow someone doing what they want unless what they're doing hurts someone else. There is no constraint on the will except other wills.

But why is there no reason? What makes that principle objective? If we claim no trascendental source of justice nor we accept the possitivist rule of law, then what makes hurting someone bad?

BigNorseWolf wrote:
The wild variety in circumstances comes in when wills collide. Someone else has a nice car. I want a nice car. Obviously they want it to. Can i take it from them? Probably not... however someone has a nice car. My friend has just been bitten by a snake. Can i take his car to drive my friend to the hospital? Yup.

But you are assuming that my will and your will have the same preponderance, or that saving your friend's life is in a higher order than that other person's private property. Where does that stem from? What underlying principle determines those things?

(Note that these are not rhetorical questions. I'm genuinely interested in understanding your perspective).

Shadow Lodge

Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
But why is there no reason? What makes that principle objective? If we claim no trascendental source of justice nor we accept the possitivist rule of law, then what makes hurting someone bad?

On this, I would say that the fact you would not want to be hurt makes hurting someone else bad.


TOZ wrote:
Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
But why is there no reason? What makes that principle objective? If we claim no trascendental source of justice nor we accept the possitivist rule of law, then what makes hurting someone bad?
On this, I would say that the fact you would not want to be hurt makes hurting someone else bad.

But a good way to avoid myself getting hurt would be to eliminate those who could hurt me.

I'm all for the "Do Unto Others" rule; I'm Catholic, after all. I'm just trying to understand how can one support that rule without either claiming a trascendental source of right and wrong, or having written/tacit law as it's source.

Shadow Lodge

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Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
But a good way to avoid myself getting hurt would be to eliminate those who could hurt me.

If you're an animal and can only think in the short term, yes. If you're a human and can think in the long term, you'll realize this is an unsustainable action.


On the subject of Rights I feel one of our founding fathers said it best and i paraphrase

If it neither harms another nor picks their pocket why should fight to stop them.

That is not an exact qoute and i believe it was Jefferson or Franklin who said it.


TOZ wrote:
Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
But a good way to avoid myself getting hurt would be to eliminate those who could hurt me.
If you're an animal and can only think in the short term, yes. If you're a human and can think in the long term, you'll realize this is an unsustainable action.

(Playing the Devil's Advocate here) That doesn't make it wrong per se. I am sure I could find an optimal point of killing that would both ensure my safety and simultaneously avoid bringing society down. For instance, there would be little actual impact in society if I killed old people in nursing homes; sure they would be grief in their relatives, jobs would be lost with the closure of said homes, and other side effects, but it wouldn't be unsustainable.

It could probably be actually possitive in absolutely efficientist ways to kill people that cost more to society than what they provide, such as non-productive elderly and people suffering from crippling diseases or malformations.

Eugenics never claimed to kill everyone, just those that were deemed unnecessary or undesirable. It does not need to be unsustainable, and certainly doesn't work on a short-term thinking plan, while making several reasonable arguments as to why it would be effective.

Shadow Lodge

Quote:
What would be objectively right or wrong under this model?

Wrong: Killing children without some seriously contrived circumstances.

Right: Helping people (again without some seriously contrived circumstances like you know they're an axe murderer and they're asking for directions to a preschool)

Quote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
It derives from one core principle: There is no reason to dissalow someone doing what they want unless what they're doing hurts someone else. There is no constraint on the will except other wills.
But why is there no reason?

Can you think of one?

Quote:
What makes that principle objective? If we claim no trascendental source of justice nor we accept the possitivist rule of law, then what makes hurting someone bad?

I think hitting me in the head is bad. From what other people tell me and how they act i conclude they think the same way.

I don't like being stabbed either. From what other people tell me and how they act i conclude they think the same way.

.. continue that with pretty much everything. What is the common underlying factor for how you think you should be treated? Its want you WANT. Its your will.

What, pray tell, is the objective difference between you and other thinking creatures? While we'd all like to think we're special the fact is that there isn't much difference. If its wrong for someone to hit me in the head its wrong for me to hit them in the head.

Its why i call the philosophy clonkism.

Quote:
But you are assuming that my will and your will have the same preponderance, or that saving your friend's life is in a higher order than that other person's private property. Where does that stem from? What underlying principle determines those things?

Whats the bigger want: I want my car for the next hour or my friends desire for antivenin? (or.. well, an iv drip because the anti-venom kills more people than the venom...)

Shadow Lodge

Let me back up.

Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
But a good way to avoid myself getting hurt would be to eliminate those who could hurt me.

You would not want someone to eliminate you to avoid you hurting them. Thus it is wrong to do it to them.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

Wrong: Killing children without some seriously contrived circumstances.

Right: Helping people (again without some seriously contrived circumstances like you know they're an axe murderer and they're asking for directions to a preschool)

My question was more in the line of "Why should there be a reason not to?"

Quote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
It derives from one core principle: There is no reason to dissalow someone doing what they want unless what they're doing hurts someone else. There is no constraint on the will except other wills.
But why is there no reason?

Can you think of one?

Several, actually, all of which have been employed at one point or another to justify it:

1.- Because I want to be the only one doing so.
2.- Because I'm afraid that, if you do it, you'll end up as a menace.
3.- Because I think you are doing it wrong.
4.- Because I think your caste is not worthy of doing it.
5.- Because I think you are not capable of making proper decisions, and it's better if I decide for you.
6.- Because I say so.

And so on. What I'm trying to get to here is that the fact that something is bad for me, doesn't automatically mean it is bad for me to do onto others, unless we accept that an external condition (natural/possitive law) is determining what is right and what is wrong.

Quote:

What, pray tell, is the objective difference between you and other thinking creatures? While we'd all like to think we're special the fact is that there isn't much difference. If its wrong for someone to hit me in the head its wrong for me to hit them in the head.

Me being hit in the head is not wrong nor evil (under this model), it is perjudiciary for me; it only is perjudiciary for the person hitting me if for some reason that person depended on me for something that is valuable for him.

The objective difference between me and them is that we are not the same beings. If we don't put right and wrong as defined by an external factor, then it is internal, and if it is internal, it changes with each individual. Your statements keep refering to "That which is bad for myself is bad for others", which is not the same as "That which is bad for others is bad for myself".

Quote:


Whats the bigger want: I want my car for the next hour or my friends desire for antivenin? (or.. well, an iv drip because the anti-venom kills more people than the venom...)

Why should the owner of the car care for the health of your friend?

TOZ wrote:

Let me back up.

Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
But a good way to avoid myself getting hurt would be to eliminate those who could hurt me.
You would not want someone to eliminate you to avoid you hurting them. Thus it is wrong to do it to them.

"P => Q" does not mean that "Q => P". Me killing them is bad for them, not -necessarily- bad for me. Why should I base my actions on what is bad for them, rather than based on what is good for myself?

1. He has a car. I want a car.
2. I don't know him and no one will know if I kill him, so there are no negative effects for me.
3. If I kill him I get to steal his car.
4. Thus killing him has a net possitive effect for me, as I get a car and no bad consequenses.

I don't see how we can determine what is right or wrong -objectively- under this model. All we can do is set up utilitarian relationships in which I don't hurt you in situations where it leads to more bad sideffects than good sideffects for me, and hurt you when it is the other way around.

Shadow Lodge

Because you would not want him to kill you and take your car.

In the snake bite example, he would want you to let him use your car to take his friend to the hospital.


TOZ wrote:

Because you would not want him to kill you and take your car.

In the snake bite example, he would want you to let him use your car to take his friend to the hospital.

But that brings us back to the same spot: "That which is bad for myself is bad for others" does not imply "That which is bad for others is bad for myself".

Shadow Lodge

Actually it is, because you empathize with the other. If you are immoral, you don't care about the other. Only yourself.

Anything you would not want done to you is wrong to do to another. Not following this idea leads to others not following it, and doing things to you that you do not want done to you. Thus it is bad for yourself.

Shadow Lodge

Quote:
Several, actually, all of which have been employed at one point or another to justify it:

Are these reasons, or excuses? They're not the same thing. They posit a fundamental difference between I depending on the frame of reference for I that objectively does not exist.

Quote:
And so on. What I'm trying to get to here is that the fact that something is bad for me, doesn't automatically mean it is bad for me to do onto others, unless we accept that an external condition

Consistency is the external validation.

Quote:
The objective difference between me and them is that we are not the same beings.

But what RELEVANT difference is there?

Quote:
Your statements keep refering to "That which is bad for myself is bad for others", which is not the same as "That which is bad for others is bad for myself".

Because you're positing without evidence a relevant difference between you and everyone else.

Quote:
Why should the owner of the car care for the health of your friend?

Because if he were he one without a car but with venom in his veins he'd be the one screaming to steal the car.

"should" is an ought question. Why ought people have a minimal level of respect for other beings is a self answering question.

Shadow Lodge

Huh. Can't remember the last time we were on the same side BNW. Always a nice change.


I'm basically on BNW and TOZ's side here.

The basic principle of morality is do no harm. From this flows arguments and exceptions and checks and balances on human behavior, but that's the root of it.

It's not quite the golden rule, the golden rule is do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I say that the basis of morality is don't do unto others what you wouldn't want done to you. This nicely phases out the "but I LIKE being stabbed" argument.

Again, we can argue seven ways to sunday from this, but this is the core principle of morality.


Going out for sushi and then to monitor the olive pressing. I promise I'll answer once I get home later!


Klaus van der Kroft wrote:


You first need to determine whether your understanding of rights and duties comes from a Naturalist perspective, or a Positivist one.

Naturalists, such as myself, argue that there is something called Natural Law, a fundamental source of justice and morality steeming from a trascendental origin -such as God-, which gives way to the idea there is right and wrong.

Positivists, on the other hand, argue that law is defined by what it is written, and that there is no true right and wrong, only allowed and prohibited things.

This doesn't really solve the debate for you, but rather addresses an aspect of human nature and the nature of conflict between humans.

If you present someone with two choices they don't like, they will often attempt to find a third choice. There will often be a wailing and gnashing of teeth (literally or metaphorically) and the outcome becomes less predictable.

I would actually argue something slightly different from the other people here so far. Naturalist can include non-transcendental origins, but rather stem from the human experience itself. This can be proven by talking to almost any moderately well-adjusted 4 year-old human. I'll give an example:

I brought my dog to my friends house.
His young daughter pulled on his ear, causing him pain.
So I had a conversation with her, it went something like this:

Me:"Aliya (his daughter), do we like Titus (my dog)"
Her:"Yea"
Me:"Do you know why he cried out in pain?"
Her:"No" (cause 4 year olds will always try to deny what they've done)
Me:"It's cause you pulled on his ear."
Her:"Oh"
Me:"We like Titus though, don't we, he's a good dog."
Her:"Yea"
Me:"If we like Titus, do we want to hurt him?"
Her:"No"
Me:"What are you going to do next time?"
Her:"Be gentle"

As humans, we are built to be social creatures. Part of our social ability is empathy, though this is a skill that has to be learned and honed. It is our very nature that can teach us and show us morality, though education and socialization will definitely enhance it. Every society ever has come up with rules, from whatever source they've decided is applicable, but the fact that every society does it tells us that it is central to the human experience.

Scientifically, there is evidence that people who habitually abuse rules and mistreat others have something wrong with their brain, sections of it don't function as well as people who don't abuse the rules. People who's brain doesn't function fully sometimes lack the empathy that the majority of humans have.

I'm a naturalist, but I do not believe in some outside force. I believe that the very nature of our existence leads us to search for morality.

Shadow Lodge

Quote:
Part of our social ability is empathy, though this is a skill that has to be learned and honed. It is our very nature that can teach us and show us morality, though education and socialization will definitely enhance it.

Be careful with that appeal to nature there. Some of human nature isn't very nice: Ganging up to kill the neighboring tribe and take the women for example.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Be careful with that appeal to nature there. Some of human nature isn't very nice: Ganging up to kill the neighboring tribe and take the women for example.

“Let us try to teach generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish. Let us understand what our own selfish genes are up to, because we may then at least have the chance to upset their designs, something that no other species has ever aspired to do.” -Richard Dawkins

Shadow Lodge

TOZ wrote:
Huh. Can't remember the last time we were on the same side BNW. Always a nice change.

Is it too late to change my mind.... :)


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
ShadowcatX wrote:
Detect Magic wrote:

I should not (and will not) tolerate those people who disagree with one fundamental principle: that human rights are universal, and cannot be denied any person.

In this, I cannot tolerate the intolerant.

If you're talking about marriage, we have different opinions of human rights. To me its more the right to earn a living, the right to love the one you choose, the right to the requirements of life, the right to speak your mind, to worship freely. Marriage? Its just a peace of paper that grants some people a tax cut, it shouldn't exist at all (as a government sanctioned institution at least).

But that's a whole different rant.

There is no valid reason to allow/require registration of some family decisions and prohibit others based on the sex of the participants. Prohibiting or marginalizing gay marriage while permitting hetero marriage is purely discrimatory.

Universal moral rights? How about the universal right/responsibility "every party to an act or contract must freely consent to it." as the sole foundation of morality?

Oh, and nobody has a right to not starve, or to have a way to live, any more than they have the right to defy gravity. Human rights are better described as limits-you can't imprison people for worshipping or for expressing opinions.


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BigNorseWolf wrote:
Quote:
Part of our social ability is empathy, though this is a skill that has to be learned and honed. It is our very nature that can teach us and show us morality, though education and socialization will definitely enhance it.
Be careful with that appeal to nature there. Some of human nature isn't very nice: Ganging up to kill the neighboring tribe and take the women for example.

If you look at any war that has documentation, you'll find each side is dehumanizing the enemy, making them an other. Same with a situation like Abu Ghraib, the guards saw there prisoners as something less than human. The empathy and morality still exists as part of maintaining membership in their chosen society, though that can be eroded as well with the presence of strong dehumanizing forces.

The fact that such dehumanizing needs to take place to allow for atrocities shows our innate resistance to doing that kind of stuff. When dehumanization stops, behavior often improves.

There are scientific studies that show there are greater health benefits for being altruistic than quitting smoking. Studies show that helping others produces a "helper's high", which can do things like reduce pain from multiple sclerosis or lupus. It also boosts your immune system and reduces the effects of stress.

Your body actually responds to being nice to people, that's how intrinsic it is to our very nature. Emotions like anger and fear increase stress and that takes a toll on the body.

I'm not saying the negative behaviors don't exist, but the number of people who do really bad things without provocation or encouragement is pretty small.


I understand your point, Irontruth, and indeed, I might have made a mistake by presenting it as a seemingly "This, That, or Your Wrong" argument; that wasn't my intention. I'm just trying to understand the reasoning of a perspective that does not take the route of either positive or natural law.

My argument here, in order to make it short (I'm kind of running our of rhetorical fuel here, and I hope I haven't been a bore with such long posts), is that one thing is to tell what is good or bad in a subjective sense, and what is good or bad in an objective one.

Baring an external source of morality (be it positive or natural), me killing someone else is subjectively bad, as it is certainly bad for him (he dies), and it may or may not be bad for me, depending on the implications.

So all I'm saying is that starting from that fact and that fact alone, I cannot reach the conclusion that killing someone is objectively bad, only that it is subjectively so. And since it is subjective, it means it can change with the circumstances (sometimes killing will be good for me/bad for him, sometimes it will be bad for me/bad for him), and thus not usable as a source of morality, but as a source of evaluation (something being "negative" and something being "evil" are two different things).

If there is a way of reaching an objective moral code from an essentiallly subjective set of good/bad outcomes, then there is another system. I'm currently incapable of seeing it, I admit, but I don't mean at all that there isn't one.

PD: A clarification of my previous words: When I meant "trascendental source of Natural Law", I didn't mean it strictly as a divine source, but rather as an external source that imparts absolute objectivity (ie, there is one absolute truth from which right and wrong can be identified). This to diferentiate it from Positive Law, which also creates an objective frame, albeit inside a subjective one (it doesn't claim to derive right and wrong from an absolute source, just defines it in accordance to a legal agreement, so what is good and bad today might not be the same in the future when the laws change).

PPD: I guess I didn't make it short. Gah! I need to learn how to me more concise.


Klaus van der Kroft wrote:


Baring an external source of morality (be it positive or natural), me killing someone else is subjectively bad, as it is certainly bad for him (he dies), and it may or may not be bad for me, depending on the implications.

There are cases where police officers have suffered from PTSD after justified shootings. While PTSD has it's origin in the stress from traumatic events, it is our ability to deal with them that actually turns it into PTSD.

One study included 37 officers involved in serious shooting incidents. 17 were qualified for a DSM-III diagnosis of PTSD. 17 more showed serious patterns of symptoms. Only 3 showed no symptoms at all. That's a pretty small sample group, but that's still a 92% rate of symptoms of PTSD, a pretty strong physiological reaction to trauma.

If people who are justified in killing someone have a strong negative reaction after doing so, and that reaction is very common, that tells me that we as humans have one part of our brains that strongly dislikes killing other humans.


Irontruth wrote:


If people who are justified in killing someone have a strong negative reaction after doing so, and that reaction is very common, that tells me that we as humans have one part of our brains that strongly dislikes killing other humans.

Or that people in a global community, with internet message boards, 24 hour cable news, etc. have a harder time dehumanizing the enemy because our culture generally preaches tolerance and encourages the person status of every human. It's just a theory. It could be the results would be very different in a different scenario where dehumanization of the enemy is much easier, say the wholesale slaughter of "lesser" races during colonialism, or today with drone attacks.

What I'm saying is that the traumatic event happens because we are conditioned not to kill other people, but that we don't inherently apply person status to all humans.

Shadow Lodge

Quote:
What I'm saying is that the traumatic event happens because we are conditioned not to kill other people, but that we don't inherently apply person status to all humans.

Two things.

First police are by definition killing someone within "the tribe" because they shoot and kill people in their own country and part of their society.

Given the ease with which we can form groups and de humanize people outside of them I think its part of our DNA. One of the worst parts really.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Quote:
What I'm saying is that the traumatic event happens because we are conditioned not to kill other people, but that we don't inherently apply person status to all humans.

Two things.

First police are by definition killing someone within "the tribe" because they shoot and kill people in their own country and part of their society.

Given the ease with which we can form groups and de humanize people outside of them I think its part of our DNA. One of the worst parts really.

I agree. That's basically what I was saying. The point is it is necessary to dehumanize a person before you can inflict harm upon them or you will feel the trauma of it.

Human beings have self-awareness. We also have a fight or flight response to anything we consider "the other", something outside of what we recognize as our community. The ease of which we can transition from this mindset of recognizing everyone's personhood to seeing them as something foreign may have at some point provided an evolutionary advantage. In a civilized and especially post-industrial world it is only a detriment.

Grand Lodge

Thanks for posting a thought provoking article. I won't refer to any other poster as I think the article is a personal challenge to be a better person and unless I read it wrong, a better Christian.

I'll take up that challenge - I consider myself pretty liberal as a Christian but Christ challenges us to go the extra mile.

Shadow Lodge

*brofist* Rock on, Helaman.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Round 2!


Gah! Blocked on these computers.

Qadira

Damn I thought that I hid this idiocy.

Shadow Lodge

God must be telling you something CJ.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Klaus van der Kroft wrote:


** some pretty good stuff **

Problem is misconception or not, the blanket condemnation of homosexual expression is pretty much the institutional view of the Church as it is today, and as it's been for centuries. Whether they got an ancient teaching "wrong" or not is pretty much irrelevant. It's Today's Church we have to deal with and they spell it quite simply: If you're not in bed with Rome's blanket condemnation of homosexual expression then you've effectively separated yourself from the mainstream of Catholic thought. (Then again the American Churh is so divergent, I'm anticipating a Henry VII style split any decade now.)

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

LazarX wrote:
If you're not in bed with Rome's blanket condemnation of homosexual expression then you've effectively separated yourself from the mainstream of Catholic thought.

O RLY?

;)

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