T Nation

Righteousness; Secular & Biblical

[quote]Sloth wrote:

I don’t know? On social issues like gay marriage and abortion there really isn’t room for bipartisanship. Again, an atheist, as an individual, could or couldn’t have a pro stance on either of two . It’s not like a council of atheists can credibly agree with Catholics, for instance, on the wrongness of the two. Well, they could, but they’d only speak for themselves.[/quote]

Good points. I won’t defend atheists as a group. What’s your position on separation of church and state though? Your points above raise that issue. I’ll have to get back to you tomorrow BTW. Times zones.

[quote]SexMachine wrote:

[quote]Sloth wrote:

I don’t know? On social issues like gay marriage and abortion there really isn’t room for bipartisanship. Again, an atheist, as an individual, could or couldn’t have a pro stance on either of two . It’s not like a council of atheists can credibly agree with Catholics, for instance, on the wrongness of the two. Well, they could, but they’d only speak for themselves.[/quote]

Good points. I won’t defend atheists as a group. What’s your position on separation of church and state though? Your points above raise that issue. I’ll have to get back to you tomorrow BTW. Times zones.
[/quote]

I favor it, properly understood. While the nation’s charter relied heavily upon the self conduct of Christian people’s, it did not attempt to establish a Christian Government. To do so, no matter how generic, would’ve involved identification of what it is to be Christian. This would then invite doctrinal/dogmatic disputes. So, best to let man follow his conscience on those matters, and provide simply for the free expression of. But, but!, it was obviously understood that the citizens who where HIGHLY religious, would undoubtedly be informed by religious thought, and so provide the necessary moral characteristics to be make a self-governing populace, which in turn made a more limited government possible.

The interpretation today is beyond a doubt a recent concoction. If one looks at the states at our founding, and even the federal government, there is absolutely no way that the pulling of, say, the ten commandments out of local courthouses or schools was remotely what they had in mind.

As for the social issues. Social issues are political issues. How humanity views human life has cultural, and therefore, political consequences. Marriage has HUGE consequences on our socio-economic health. It is dearly relevant in the realms of poverty, crime, education, and the inter-generational transmission of civic virtues.

[quote]Sloth wrote:

[quote]SexMachine wrote:

[quote]Sloth wrote:

I don’t know? On social issues like gay marriage and abortion there really isn’t room for bipartisanship. Again, an atheist, as an individual, could or couldn’t have a pro stance on either of two . It’s not like a council of atheists can credibly agree with Catholics, for instance, on the wrongness of the two. Well, they could, but they’d only speak for themselves.[/quote]

Good points. I won’t defend atheists as a group. What’s your position on separation of church and state though? Your points above raise that issue. I’ll have to get back to you tomorrow BTW. Times zones.
[/quote]

I favor it, properly understood. While the nation’s charter relied heavily upon the self conduct of Christian people’s, it did not attempt to establish a Christian Government. To do so, no matter how generic, would’ve involved identification of what it is to be Christian. This would then invite doctrinal/dogmatic disputes. So, best to let man follow his conscience on those matters, and provide simply for the free expression of. But, but!, it was obviously understood that the citizens who where HIGHLY religious, would undoubtedly be informed by religious thought, and so provide the necessary moral characteristics to be make a self-governing populace, which in turn made a more limited government possible.

The interpretation today is beyond a doubt a recent concoction. If one looks at the states at our founding, and even the federal government, there is absolutely no way that the pulling of, say, the ten commandments out of local courthouses or schools was remotely what they had in mind.

As for the social issues. Social issues are political issues. How humanity views human life has cultural, and therefore, political consequences. Marriage has HUGE consequences on our socio-economic health. It is dearly relevant in the realms of poverty, crime, education, and the inter-generational transmission of civic virtues.
[/quote]OUTSTANDING!!! I could not possibly agree more with just about every syllable which will no doubt mystify the OP, but that’s ok. My old amigo Sloth could have made this post totally complete with another of his gracious acknowledgements that people who believed everything I believe were extraordinarily common in the 17th and 18th and 19th centuries in North America. Like really REALLY common as in all over and everywhere. Some of these clowns always talking about how fanatical and extreme I am should be transported back to 1750 New England for a minute. I can see them running for the woods arms flailing, AHHHHHHHHH!!! as they find themselves surrounded by protestant Calvinists LOL!!!

[quote]SexMachine wrote:
Like I said, it depends on the individual, not on the atheism. Their atheism wouldn’t really be relevant. If an atheist holds that cheating on a spouse is ‘wrong’, it isn’t his atheism which informs him of this. Plainly stated, there is no common ground between theistic religion and atheism. Atheism only claims a disbelief in the Divine. And obviously we disagree with the only atheistic ‘dogma’ there is.

We can be in agreement with individuals that adultery is wrong, however they arrived at that conclusion. But we can not be in agreement with ‘atheists’ that adultery is wrong.[/quote]

That seems unlikely, at least in the US.

What social issues?

[quote]anonfactor wrote:

What social issues?[/quote]

Abortion and ‘gay marriage’ come immediately to mind.

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:

Actually there’s a whole satanic movement in protestantism that also strives to be theology free called the “emergent church”.

[/quote]

I don’t strive to be ‘theology free.’ I have not even taken a position on any issue for many reasons. I am vaguely aware of the emergent church. It doesn’t surprise me to hear you refer to other denominations or the Catholic church as satanic either.

I know about Vat II and the different groups that call themselves traditionalists.

Not at all. I was suggesting that hateful rhetoric and divisiveness needs to be avoided. I specifically said I’m not suggesting that anyone ‘come to terms’ on doctrinal matters.

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
OUTSTANDING!!! I could not possibly agree more with just about every syllable which will no doubt mystify the OP,
[/quote]

Actually I agree with sloth entirely. His position on church and state is very much in accord with that of John Adams and other founding fathers.

[quote]SexMachine wrote:<<< It doesn’t surprise me to hear you refer to other denominations <<<>>> as satanic either. >>>[/quote]Dude, there are dozens of denominations that I profoundly disagree with on many theological matters that I embrace as brethren in Christ. Literally dozens. [quote]SexMachine wrote:<<< I was suggesting that hateful rhetoric and divisiveness needs to be avoided. I specifically said I’m not suggesting that anyone ‘come to terms’ on doctrinal matters.[/quote]If you really care I will bury you in scripture declaring in terms that even you will not deny the narrow, divisive and exclusive nature of, not denominations, but the gospel itself. What you call hateful and divisive, God calls commands to doctrinal purity and holiness of life. I will respect you more if you just say that you’re not REALLY all that concerned with what the bible says than if you say you are and then when I post a wall of it that is impossible to misunderstand you try n wiggle your way out.

Jesus did not come to earth like Barney the purple dinosaur to bring kissy smoochy unity and hippified peace among men. His very first words of public ministry were “repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand”. Guess how popular that was among the established religionists? Jesus did not bring a message of peace and love. He was and IS the message of 2000 years of promise from Abraham to His own birth in the form of judgment and deliverance.

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
Dude, there are dozens of denominations that I profoundly disagree with on many theological matters that I embrace as brethren in Christ. Literally dozens.

[/quote]

But not the Catholic church.

I don’t deny that.

I gave you an example from my own family of what I consider hateful and devisive.

That’s just saying either admit you don’t care or listen to what I say the bible says. You seem to have more interest in showing that Catholicism and certain forms of Protestantism are satanic than you have in explaining your theology.

Well thank goodness for that.

[quote]
His very first words of public ministry were “repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand”. Guess how popular that was among the established religionists? Jesus did not bring a message of peace and love. He was and IS the message of 2000 years of promise from Abraham to His own birth in the form of judgment and deliverance.[/quote]

I never mistake John Lennon for Jesus. Seriously though, I’m interested in hearing the main points of difference you have with other denominations and the implications of these differences.

[quote]SexMachine wrote:
…but the idea of the thread was to find some common ground on ethics.[/quote]

That’s how I saw it. But, I guess it’s about ‘demonic doctrines’ now. Again.

Righteousness is the grace of God given freely to all men. We can accept it or deny it, but we alone are not capable of it and the is no secular equivalent.

[quote]pat wrote:
Righteousness is the grace of God given freely to all men. We can accept it or deny it, but we alone are not capable of it and the is no secular equivalent. [/quote]

Is virtue a component of righteousness or is any virtue a man has without faith meaningless?

When Josephus relates the fall he has the serpent tell Adam and Eve that they can gain knowledge of what is “good and evil” and thereby “lead a happy life.” Was the tree of knowledge akin to seeking righteousness without God?

[quote]SexMachine wrote:

[quote]pat wrote:
Righteousness is the grace of God given freely to all men. We can accept it or deny it, but we alone are not capable of it and the is no secular equivalent. [/quote]

Is virtue a component of righteousness or is any virtue a man has without faith meaningless?

When Josephus relates the fall he has the serpent tell Adam and Eve that they can gain knowledge of what is “good and evil” and thereby “lead a happy life.” Was the tree of knowledge akin to seeking righteousness without God?[/quote]

No it was seeking equality with God. But without God ‘Righteousness’ simply has no meaning. It’s a purely religious event. I would reckon most atheists don’t believe in any thing such as righteousness and that would make sense to me…

[quote]SexMachine wrote:

[quote]anonfactor wrote:

What social issues?[/quote]

Abortion and ‘gay marriage’ come immediately to mind.[/quote]

What about the teaching of evolution in schools? The war on drugs? Affirmative action? Privacy rights? Every other social issue? Should they concede to the right (or social conservatives more specifically) on all of them?

I really don’t see why they should; social conservatives are losing on almost every social issue and it looks like this trend will continue. Simply put, social conservatives are dying at a much faster rate than they can be replaced. It’s likely the last vestiges of social conservatism will die along with the Baby Boomer generation. They’re in no position to demand concessions.

Maybe you think that social conservatives are right on those issues? If that’s true, then it shouldn’t be too hard convince others of the merits of their position.

[quote]anonfactor wrote:

What about the teaching of evolution in schools? The war on drugs? Affirmative action? Privacy rights? Every other social issue? Should they concede to the right (or social conservatives more specifically) on all of them?

[/quote]

I’m inclined to say yes.

Not sure the Christian right has a unified stance on drugs but I would be inclined to say yes.

Inclined to say yes.

Again, not sure the Christian right has a unified stance on those things. I was thinking more of the issues that the Christian right is more closely associated with like gay marriage and abortion.

Yes. That’s a bad thing.

You’d be surprised.

Since I’m already here, might as well be on topic for once.

I think your definition of righteousness is pretty close to what most would say. A righteous person needs to be ethical, virtuous, morally upstanding, etc., but these mean different things to different people. An easy example to illustrate this would be how some Muslims see Islamic terrorists as righteous men fighting for a righteous cause while others think they are abominable and completely contrary to righteousness. Ultimately, we define righteousness for ourselves with our actions and beliefs.

I think the main difference from secular and religious conceptualizations of righteousness is that it carries several more implications for the religious. It’s one thing to say you should do something because you think it is right, it’s quite another to say do it because God said so. In reality they are they same, but there’s much more oomph to the latter that you just can’t replicate in the secular realm nor should one try to.

[quote]anonfactor wrote:

Ultimately, we define righteousness for ourselves with our actions and beliefs.

[/quote]

So it is entirely subjective then? Well maybe man would do better conforming to God’s law and not his own?

[quote]SexMachine wrote:

[quote]anonfactor wrote:

What about the teaching of evolution in schools? The war on drugs? Affirmative action? Privacy rights? Every other social issue? Should they concede to the right (or social conservatives more specifically) on all of them?

[/quote]

I’m inclined to say yes.

Not sure the Christian right has a unified stance on drugs but I would be inclined to say yes.

Inclined to say yes.

Again, not sure the Christian right has a unified stance on those things. I was thinking more of the issues that the Christian right is more closely associated with like gay marriage and abortion.

Yes. That’s a bad thing.

You’d be surprised.[/quote]

Fair enough.

[quote]SexMachine wrote:

[quote]anonfactor wrote:

Ultimately, we define righteousness for ourselves with our actions and beliefs.

[/quote]

So it is entirely subjective then? Well maybe man would do better conforming to God’s law and not his own?[/quote]

I don’t think so. At least human law is based on common values and needs; God’s law can be completely arbitrary or morally repugnant and still have unquestioned authority. Examples of it are rampant in all religions, but I’ll just use some examples from the Judeo-christian bible.

Do you think being stoned to death is a just punishment for picking up sticks on the Sabbath? Well, Yahweh commanded it and if you were a righteous man, you would follow his law. He also prescribes capital punishment for such crimes as adultery, homosexuality, witchcraft and apostasy. Can a righteous man own slaves? According to Yahweh he can as he prescribes laws on who can be slaves and how you can beat them. That’s just off the top of my head, but I can give chapter and verse if you can’t find them in Google.

This is besides the point because the only impetus that would lead one to follow any of Yahweh’s laws or calls to righteousness is his existence and it is nearly certain he does not exist, just like every other deity ever conceived in human history.

[quote]anonfactor wrote:

I don’t think so. At least human law is based on common values and needs;

[/quote]

Of course we need human law to adminster our societies.

Morally repugnant to you maybe. Showing again that it is a subjective judgement.

What does it matter what I think? Who are we to judge God?

Well you can say it’s certain He doesn’t exist and that He was conceived by man but that doesn’t make it so.