Morality and God

Barb - posted on 04/03/2012 ( 17 moms have responded )

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Assuming there is a God;





1. Is what is moral commanded by God because it is moral?



OR



2. Is it moral because it is commanded by God?



Why?

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Vicki - posted on 04/03/2012

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1 SAMUEL 15:7-8 God commanded Saul to attack the Amalekites and "totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys."



I would say that that is immoral, apparently it was commanded by God, so 2 can't be right. 1, well I don't really get it. Buy hey, I'm a heathen that believes humans are capable of working out their own morality.

Tracey - posted on 04/03/2012

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Morality has nothing to do with religion, it is defined as

1. The quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct.

2. A system of ideas of right and wrong conduct.

3. Virtuous conduct.

Johnny - posted on 04/03/2012

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I think it depends on what type of God you believe in if you happen to believe in God. Some God's are believed to act immorally and that is part of their "schtick" (I just can't think of a better word). Like many of the Greek gods were not always well-behaved.



For me, causing harm to others is immoral, but many people seem to feel that the Christian God does this to those who do not follow the morals of that God. For example, good old Pat Robertson and his suggestion that hurricanes show up and destroy innocent lives because of homosexuality. You know, God is smiting you because some people out there are sinning against some randomly chosen set of rules. To me, that seems shockingly immoral.



Looking in from the outside, it does rather seem most Abrahamic religious followers go with #2, that God decides what is moral and commands us to follow. But they don't realize they are doing that. They think that they are going with #1 because God is so all consuming that what is moral is what is God. But I think that is a trick of perspective.

Vicki - posted on 04/05/2012

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Shelley I agree that morality changes over to some extent over time. This is very obvious when you look at bible which is full of many statements and recommendations I consider immoral. It reflects the morals of people at the time.



As in, it was written by people, not God.



I guess I shouldn't be in this debate as the OP states 'assuming there is a God' and I can't really assume that as I don't believe it's true. Even if I drag out my slightly agnostic side I don't believe for a second that the bible is the word of God and that morality comes from 'him'.

Shelley - posted on 04/04/2012

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I did skim the other posts but i have read them all now.

I agree with your post that morals are separate from God and Christians don't hold the monopoly on morals. If Christians were good people we wouldn't need God. I for one know that i am not a great person i am a selfish sinner and i stuff up all the time.



I do agree in the environment we live in its pretty easy to work out killing is wrong but there are plenty of moral people who have gotten caught up in the moment of a situation and killed someone.

Drunk friends can have a stupid fight and one punch has killed their mate. An angry wife has hit her husband in the head and killed him. A provoked husband has lost it and put his hands around his wife's throat and killed her. A young girl raped has picked up a gun and killed her rapist. ect none of the above were bad people. They just were in a bad situation and made mistakes and their family and friends are shocked that the nice person who would help anyone ended up making awful and shocking mistakes.

30 - 40 years ago it was shockingly immoral to live with someone before you were married- now its totally acceptable.

In Australia babies born in hospitals to young unwed mothers were taken and put up for adoption without the mother even being given a chance to hold them because we thought it was moral.

up until 50 years ago Aboriginal children were taken from there parents and raised by white Australians because they thought it was moral.

People were put into jail because they were homosexuals because we thought it was moral.

These are Australian examples. I'm sure every country has a history.



I don't think humans have a great track record of deciding on morality and i don't think that's ever going to change.

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Stifler's - posted on 04/05/2012

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Well that's something to think about there. I agree that what people believe is right at the time has changed over time.

Barb - posted on 04/04/2012

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Shelley, did you read any of the other posts? Also, not being mean, being sincere here, don't you think you could have figured out killing was wrong on your own?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/04/2012

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Tracie ". Basic morality goes hand in hand with common sense."



Totally disagree. I know people who have common sense and know all the things you listed but are still immoral assholes. Just because you have common sense does not mean you are a moral person;.

Shelley - posted on 04/04/2012

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I would go with 2 It is moral/ right because it is commanded by God.



Morals are subjective and taken from each persons point of view. We all have self motivations in everything we do and how we live therefor we could never be a totally moral society as we are not moral people.



In my opinion God is all knowing. He knows the heart and the motivations of all and therefor has so much more context in which to work with. Who could ever make a wise decision without knowing all the facts.

He doesn't ever get it wrong.

Tracie - posted on 04/04/2012

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Don't need god to have morals. Basic morality goes hand in hand with common sense. (it's not ok to kill, rape, hit, lie, etc.) Proceed from kindness and you can never go wrong.

Stifler's - posted on 04/04/2012

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Not everything in the bible is morally right to me. Actually not much is. My morals go on what doesn't hurt others and what is right for me without hurting other people.

Barb - posted on 04/03/2012

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I think you have a really good point Johnny.



I was raised fundamental christian, never knew what an atheist was until i met my husband and was beyond baffled that hey.. he had morals, standards, he did good purely because it was the right thing to do, not because of any promise of an after life or a threat of burning for eternity for failure.



I just heard of this theory the other day,and I just wanted to put it out there, and see if christians understand this difference, that morals are separate from the christian god. That christians do not hold a monopoly on morals, others have them to, and actually, isn't it better to have morals without a motive?

[deleted account]

Ah yes, the Euthyphro dilemma by Plato.



Always a fun one to use when discussing morality. I use it regularly when debating theists.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/03/2012

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Man says they speak to God, what if they are just hearing voices in their own head??? Schizophrenic anyone? That would definitely question the motives behind their actions.

Barb - posted on 04/03/2012

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Actually Vicki, you got it perfectly.



It is asking in question 1.. Is what is moral commanded by god because it is moral.. in other words, is it moral because it is good and right and just and moral on its own, without god



OR



2. Is it moral because it is commanded by god.. in other words, all morality and all of what is good and just and right comes from god, so god could deem anything moral, like in Vicki's example, genocide, and it would be moral just because he commanded it.

MeMe - Raises Her Hand (-_-) (Mommy Of A Toddler And Teen) - posted on 04/03/2012

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I don't see an argument here. Both statements say if it is moral, God had something to do with it.



Everyone has their own morals, whether they believe in God or not. He/She has nothing to do with it, IMO, except maybe those that follow the Bible with literal intent. However, these people do not follow every single thing in the Bible, so in essence they aren't really allowing God to make them moral.



My morals come from within me and me alone. ;)



For those that claim the moral high ground, what would they be if there was no God in the world? Immoral?



Here is a good explanation:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unreasonabl...



BTW: I am an Agnostic Thiest. I don't assume their is a god, I don't assume their is not. I like to hope there is but, in all honesty it doesn't matter to me. I live my life my way. ;)

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