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C.A.T.ops_v2.0
03-21-2006, 11:39 AM
This holy long post batman is meant for Spekkio, and is in response to his last reply in the thread "Spies who are fathers". I have no idea why it was locked, because it was in the bloody off-topic section of the forum, and it was a rather meaningful thread in comparison with most of the other garbage that gets posted here. At any rate, if you mods are going to lock this, give us fair warning, and give us fair reasons. As respectable members of this community, we deserve that much. Thank you.

Aight here we go again. I took a little longer to respond because I wanted to give you a well thought out reply. Of course, the fever I€ve had during the past two days hasn€t helped things much. ^_^ At any rate, let€s take the plunge.

I€m glad to see you had no logical problems with my thinking process. That at least encourages me a little, that I do possess some degree of mental soundness. :-p Anyways, you essentially you posed this question: Why can€t we be selfish occasionally? Your question at first seemed reasonable to me. After all, we as humans need some time dedicated to ourselves occasionally. We need to rest, relax, recuperate, and arguably, we even need to be entertained. Without time devoted to ourselves, it would become extremely difficult to handle the stress of our day-to-day interactions with other people. Indeed, why can€t we be selfish every now and then?

Aside from the minor issues your question raised (such as exactly how often are we allowed to be selfish?), I couldn€t immediately give you a concrete reason why not. But upon further prayer and consideration, thanks to several trusty sources, and certainly not because of any wisdom inherent in myself, I did come to a conclusion. I am delighted to share my findings with you.

First of all, a proposition that needs to be established is this. Any regard to our own happiness is inconsistent with true religion. Now, that even took me some time to swallow. After all, I realize how personally guilty I am of most often caring for myself. But ask yourself this question: Are we to fear our own damnation more than the damnation of all other men, and thereby dishonor God? Are we ever to aim at securing our own happiness more than the happiness of all other men, and the glory of God? And, if we do this, do we act according to the requirements of true religion, or inconsistently with them? This is a necessary point of inquiry, so please keep it in mind throughout the remainder of this discussion. And before proceeding to prove this proposition, observe this: All true religion consists in being like God, in acting on the same principles and same grounds, and in having the same feelings. This truth is self-evident, and cannot be denied by anyone with a sane mind. Observe then, the proof.

1) A regard to our own happiness is not according to the example of God; but in fact, it is being totally unlike him.

The Bible tells us that €œGod is love.€ That is, benevolence is the sum total of his character. All his other moral attributes, such as justice, mercy, and the like, are but modifications of his benevolence. His love is manifested in his benevolence, good willing, or desiring the happiness of others. In other words, God loves his neighbor as himself. He regards the interests of all beings, according to their relative value, as much as his own. He also seeks his own happiness, or glory, as the supreme good, and not because it is his own, but because it is the supreme good. The sum total of his happiness, as an infinite being, is infinitely greater than the sum total of the happiness of all other beings, or any possible number of finite creatures.

A humorous illustration might help to clear a bit of confusion. Say a veteran spy gets paired up with a newbie. Suppose that their spy round progresses poorly, and they only knock out one objective. Each of them has only one life left, and the newbie ends up getting chased by both mercs, leaving several objectives open for the skilled spy to get. Now, does true benevolence require the skilled spy to futilely run and attempt to save his teammate? No! It would be true disinterested benevolence in him, to keep himself alive and go for some objectives, and, if need be, allow his teammate to die. This is because he understands that his relative value is greater than that of his teammate. You see this at a glance. But the difference between God and all created beings is infinitely greater than between a pro and a newbie.

2) To aim at our own happiness is inconsistent with true religion, because it is contrary to the spirit of Christ

The scriptures tell us that €œif any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his.€ And it is repeatedly said of Christ, as a man, that he sought not his own glory when he came to die for us on the cross. What then was he seeking? Was it his own personal salvation? No. Was it his own personal happiness? No. It was the glory of his Father, and the good of the universe, through the salvation of men. He came on an errand of pure benevolence, to benefit the kingdom of God, not the benefit himself. This was €œthe joy that was set before him,€ for which €œhe endured the cross, despising the shame.€ It was the great good he could do by thus throwing himself out to labor and suffer for the salvation of men.

3) To regard our own happiness as an object of pursuit is contrary to the law of God

The sum of the law is this, €œThou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all they heart, and with all they soul, and with all they mind, and with all they strength; and thou shalt love the neighbor as thyself.€ This is the greatest thing required of us as humans: benevolence towards God and man. The first thing is really to love the happiness and glory of God, above all other things, because it is so infinitely lovely and desirable, and is properly the supreme good. Now, you might object saying that it isn€t our duty to seek the happiness of God, because his happiness is already secured. Suppose then, that Angelina Jolie is perfectly independent of me, and has her happiness secured without me; does that make it any the less of my duty to wish her well, to desire her happiness, and to rejoice in it? €¦ Ok fine, bad example. :-p But seriously, because God is happy in himself, and independent of his creatures, is that not a reason why we should not love his happiness, and also rejoice in it?

Thus, it is obvious that the sum of the law of God is to exercise benevolence towards God and all beings, according to their relative value. That is why to give any regard to our own happiness, or to seek it as an end is contrary to that law, to its letter and to its spirit.

4) To regard our own happiness is contrary to conscience

The universal conscience of mankind has decided that a regard to our own happiness is not a virtue. Men have always known that to serve God and benefit mankind is what is right, and to seek supremely their own personal interest is not right. They have always regarded it mean and contemptible for individuals to seek their own happiness as the supreme object, and consequently, we see how many pains men take to conceal their selfishness and to appear benevolent. It is impossible for any man, unless his conscience is strangely blunted by sin, or perverted by false instruction, not to see that it is sinful to regard his own happiness above other interests of more importance.

5) It is contrary to right reason

Right reason teaches us to regard all things according to the real value. God does this, and we should do the same. God has also given us reason for this very purpose, that we should weigh and compare the relative value of things. It is a mockery of reason, to deny that it teaches us to regard things according to their real value. And if so, then to aim at and prefer our own interest, as an end, is contrary to reason.

6) It is contrary to common sense

What has the common sense of mankind decided on this point? Look at the common sense of mankind in regard to what is called patriotism. No man was ever regarded as a true patriot in fighting for his country, if his object was to subserve his own interest. Suppose it should appear that his object in fighting was to get himself crowned king; would anybody give him credit for patriotism? No! All men agree that it is patriotism when a man is disinterested, like George Washington; and fights for his country, for his country€s sake. The common sense of mankind has written reprobation on that spirit that seeks its own things, and prefers its own interest, to the greater interests of others. It is evident that all men regard it this way. Otherwise, how is it that every one is anxious to appear disinterested?

7) It is contrary to the constitution of mind

I don€t mean by this that it is impossible, by our very constitution, for us to seek our own happiness as the supreme object. But we are so constituted that if we do this, we never can attain it€¦ in other words, happiness is the gratification of desire. We must desire something, and gain the object we desire. Now, suppose a man desires his own happiness, the object of his desire will always keep just so far before him, like his shadow, and the faster he pursues it the faster it flies away from him! Happiness is inseparably attached to the attainment of the object desired. Suppose I desire a million dollars. I fasten my desires on that, and when I get a it my desire is gratified, and I am happy, so far as gratifying this desire goes to make me happy. But if I desire a million dollars for the purpose of getting a watch, a new computer, a new tux etc., the desire is not gratified till I get those things.

But now suppose the thing I desired was my own happiness (and hail the genius of Charles G. Finney right here). Getting the million dollars doesn€t make me happy, because that is not what I want. And so getting the watch, the new computer, the new tux etc., does not make me happy because that is ultimately not what I wanted. Duh. God has constituted things, and given such laws to the mind, that man can never gain happiness by pursuing it. This very constitution plainly indicates the duty of benevolence.

8) It is also inconsistent with our own happiness, to make our own interest the supreme object

This follow from what has already been said. Men may enjoy a certain kind of pleasure, but not true happiness. The pleasure that does not spring from the gratification of virtuous desire is a deceptive delusion. The reason why all mankind do not find happiness, when they are all so anxious for it, is that they are seeking it. If they would seek the glory of God, and the good of the universe as their supreme end, it would pursue them.

9) It is inconsistent with the public happiness

If each individual is aiming at his own happiness as his chief end, these interests will unavoidably clash and come into collision, and universal war and confusion will follow in the train of universal selfishness. This is just a fact.

10) To maintain that occasional selfishness is true religion is to contradict the experience of all real saints

Every real saint knows that his supreme happiness consists in going out of himself, and regarding the glory of God and the good of others. If he does not know this he is no saint. This is the same principle found in the old cliché €œit is better to give than to receive.€ By this we know. Benevolence is true religion.

In conclusion then, we see why it is that while everyone is pursuing happiness, so few find it. The fact is plain. The reason is this; the greater pat of mankind does not know in what true happiness consists, and they are seeking it in that which can never afford it. The do not find it because they are pursuing it. If they would turn around and pursue holiness, happiness would pursue them. The constitution of the human mind and of the universe, affords a beautiful illustration of the economy of God€¦ God has so constituted things, that while each lays himself out to promote the happiness of others, his own happiness is secured and made complete. How vastly greatly then is the amount of happiness in the world, than it would have been, had selfishness been an accepted behavior, or the norm.

This post hasn€t really used the term selfishness very much. But I€m sure you understand that €œsupreme regard to our own interests€ is synonymous with selfishness, and is selfishness by definition. Nothing else.

Also, if selfishness is ever acceptable, meaning that if it is ever a virtue, then benevolence is sin. They are direct opposites and cannot both be virtue. For a man to set up his own interest over God€s interest, giving it a preference, and placing it in opposition to God€s interest is selfishness. And if this is supposed virtue, then Jesus Christ Himself, in seeking the good of mankind as he did, departed from the principles of virtue. Who, Christian or not, can pretend this?

Spekkio, you cannot cross the logical line that has just been drawn, simply because you deny that God exists. Obviously, if God is not the supreme object of our focus, this entire argument is thrown into confusion. And then who should become the object of and desire of our fulfillment? Merely ourselves. That is your religion. That is what you believe, and that is where we differ fundamentally. But never the less, this is why I believe that we should never, ever, ever be selfish. I know that€s a lot chew on, and I know I still need to bite the bullet and do it myself. But those are just the plain and simple facts.

You also pose the question€¦ can two unmarried people partake in €œholy€ sex? The Bible says no. But you and I differ on the definition of €œholy€ I think. From what I gather, you understand €œholy sex€ as sex done in love. Perhaps sex can be done in love, outside of marriage. But then that begs the question. What is marriage, and when does it happen? Maybe it€s not just a ceremony. Maybe it€s something much more fundamental than that. And yes, of course I acknowledge that sex can be impure even in marriage. Selfishness doesn€t just magically disappear after you get married. I just believe that getting married is one of the conditions of €œholy€ sex.

So that should give you a lot to think about. Don€t rip me off with a one paragraph reply n00b! Oops, I guess that€s selfish of me. :-p Well, I should qualify everything I€ve just said with this€¦ most of it isn€t mine. I€m absolutely indebted to Charles G. Finney and his lecture critiquing transcendentalism. Almost all of the above thoughts are his. In most places I just quoted him verbatim. I don€t deserve much credit for this post actually. Anyways, I hope you find it helpful. Cheers!

Spekkio9
03-21-2006, 12:28 PM
That's a lot to digest. I'll reply (assuming the thread isn't locked), just gimme some time to digest it all.

gui_brazil1991
03-21-2006, 12:39 PM
only thing i can say is...beeeeeee the loove generationnnnnnn...orly? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-indifferent.gif

Jackie Fiest
03-21-2006, 04:19 PM
Originally posted by C.A.T.ops_v2.0:
This holy long post batman is meant for Spekkio, and is in response to his last reply in the thread "Spies who are fathers". I have no idea why it was locked, because it was in the bloody off-topic section of the forum, and it was a rather meaningful thread in comparison with most of the other garbage that gets posted here. At any rate, if you mods are going to lock this, give us fair warning, and give us fair reasons. As respectable members of this community, we deserve that much. Thank you.

To answer your question why the original topic was locked...

I saw the original thread and a member of the community mentioned his girlfriend ending up with an unwanted pregnancy. In reply, a comment was made to the effect of "A quick kick in the stomach would solve the problem" . The idea of purposefully kicking a pregnant woman in the stomach is very offensive and for the record I DO NOT want to see anything like that on here EVER again. Rhoulette stressed to me when I started to not moderate with my emotions and I was just very upset by that comment, so, I turned it over to the two male mods to decide what should be done, and it appears one of them decided it should be closed.

Please guys remeber that this is a public forum and saying stupid things like that is going to offend people. The moderators have to look out for the community as a whole and thoughtless comments like that will result in threads being closed. So please think about what you say before you say it.

BliNd-
03-21-2006, 04:21 PM
Threads like this are always gonna be locked.

Topics about morality and personal beliefs aren't allowed.

Spekkio9
03-21-2006, 07:08 PM
Originally posted by TFS_Jackie:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by C.A.T.ops_v2.0:
This holy long post batman is meant for Spekkio, and is in response to his last reply in the thread "Spies who are fathers". I have no idea why it was locked, because it was in the bloody off-topic section of the forum, and it was a rather meaningful thread in comparison with most of the other garbage that gets posted here. At any rate, if you mods are going to lock this, give us fair warning, and give us fair reasons. As respectable members of this community, we deserve that much. Thank you.

To answer your question why the original topic was locked...

I saw the original thread and a member of the community mentioned his girlfriend ending up with an unwanted pregnancy. In reply, a comment was made to the effect of "A quick kick in the stomach would solve the problem" . The idea of purposefully kicking a pregnant woman in the stomach is very offensive and for the record I DO NOT want to see anything like that on here EVER again. Rhoulette stressed to me when I started to not moderate with my emotions and I was just very upset by that comment, so, I turned it over to the two male mods to decide what should be done, and it appears one of them decided it should be closed.

Please guys remeber that this is a public forum and saying stupid things like that is going to offend people. The moderators have to look out for the community as a whole and thoughtless comments like that will result in threads being closed. So please think about what you say before you say it. </div></BLOCKQUOTE> Well, if it's any consolation, Jackie, the person who made the comment was joking. In no way would he actually advocate someone kick a pregnant woman in the stomach to kill a child (I really doubt anyone on these boards would). On the other hand, I can easily see why a female would take the joke as offensive.

MKCC14
03-21-2006, 07:19 PM
Originally posted by Spekkio9:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by TFS_Jackie:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by C.A.T.ops_v2.0:
This holy long post batman is meant for Spekkio, and is in response to his last reply in the thread "Spies who are fathers". I have no idea why it was locked, because it was in the bloody off-topic section of the forum, and it was a rather meaningful thread in comparison with most of the other garbage that gets posted here. At any rate, if you mods are going to lock this, give us fair warning, and give us fair reasons. As respectable members of this community, we deserve that much. Thank you.

To answer your question why the original topic was locked...

I saw the original thread and a member of the community mentioned his girlfriend ending up with an unwanted pregnancy. In reply, a comment was made to the effect of "A quick kick in the stomach would solve the problem" . The idea of purposefully kicking a pregnant woman in the stomach is very offensive and for the record I DO NOT want to see anything like that on here EVER again. Rhoulette stressed to me when I started to not moderate with my emotions and I was just very upset by that comment, so, I turned it over to the two male mods to decide what should be done, and it appears one of them decided it should be closed.

Please guys remeber that this is a public forum and saying stupid things like that is going to offend people. The moderators have to look out for the community as a whole and thoughtless comments like that will result in threads being closed. So please think about what you say before you say it. </div></BLOCKQUOTE> Well, if it's any consolation, Jackie, the person who made the comment was joking. In no way would he actually advocate someone kick a pregnant woman in the stomach to kill a child (I really doubt anyone on these boards would). On the other hand, I can easily see why a female would take the joke as offensive. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I think the joke shouldnt have been made in the first place. because i dont think anyone laughed when he said it.

Zedblade
03-21-2006, 07:40 PM
Originally posted by TFS_Jackie:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by C.A.T.ops_v2.0:
This holy long post batman is meant for Spekkio, and is in response to his last reply in the thread "Spies who are fathers". I have no idea why it was locked, because it was in the bloody off-topic section of the forum, and it was a rather meaningful thread in comparison with most of the other garbage that gets posted here. At any rate, if you mods are going to lock this, give us fair warning, and give us fair reasons. As respectable members of this community, we deserve that much. Thank you.

To answer your question why the original topic was locked...

I saw the original thread and a member of the community mentioned his girlfriend ending up with an unwanted pregnancy. In reply, a comment was made to the effect of "A quick kick in the stomach would solve the problem" . The idea of purposefully kicking a pregnant woman in the stomach is very offensive and for the record I DO NOT want to see anything like that on here EVER again. Rhoulette stressed to me when I started to not moderate with my emotions and I was just very upset by that comment, so, I turned it over to the two male mods to decide what should be done, and it appears one of them decided it should be closed.

Please guys remeber that this is a public forum and saying stupid things like that is going to offend people. The moderators have to look out for the community as a whole and thoughtless comments like that will result in threads being closed. So please think about what you say before you say it. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Then you delete the single offending post and warn the member who posted it. No reason to shut down the entire thread. Which as CatOps said, was one of the rare meaningful threads on this cesspool of a forum.

Spekkio9
03-21-2006, 07:56 PM
I never meant to imply whether the joke was funny or not, simply that the person wasn't seriously telling people to kick pregnant women in the stomach to kill babies.

The only thing I hope that gets across to Splinterex is something that EVERY sexually active person who does not want children needs to know:

Birth control takes one, sometimes two, menstrual cycles to take effect. Clearly he thought that since his gf was on the pill for two weeks, they were in the clear. Not only that, but if you're on the pill and not the patch, even taking the pill at different times during the day can throw off its effectiveness. Missing a day is obviously bad, too.

Don't sleep through those sex ed classes.

C.A.T.ops_v2.0
03-21-2006, 08:14 PM
Jackie, thanks for the clarification. I appreciate the explanation.

And peeps, keep in mind that she wasn't the one who locked it...

Carry on. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

TarTarz
03-21-2006, 09:02 PM
it is truly refreshing to see a post so well written, and thought out. keep it up! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Spekkio9
03-21-2006, 09:13 PM
Four pages in a word processor FTW! I don't really have the will or desire to spend time coming up with many drafts the way you did with your post, so if you find errors, deal w/ it!

Wow, where to start. I guess I€ll start here:


Spekkio, you cannot cross the logical line that has just been drawn, simply because you deny that God exists. Obviously, if God is not the supreme object of our focus, this entire argument is thrown into confusion.
That was my first reaction. You know me well :-P. Seriously, though, to take your logical standpoint through the first half of your argument, you say that we should never be selfish. Why? Because then you€re not putting God first, acting like God, or living a sin-free life. Because you€re not acting according to €œtrue religion.€ Then the minister goes on to quote the bible in support of such a position. First of all, those quotes will be enough for people who believe in Christianity and the bible, but they will be insufficient for those who do not. Secondly, I assume you mean €œtrue religion€ to be Protestant Christianity, because anytime I€ve seen you use that term, that€s what you refer to. Well, what if you aren€t Protestant? What if you aren€t even Christian? Taking God out of the equation may confuse things, only because you believe morality needs a higher reference point, but what if I were only to take the Christian God out of the equation? That negates any and all examples you give for your first 3 points. Other religions may have similar beliefs about selfishness vs. benevolence. Others many not. The term €œtrue religion,€ if it€s used to mean Protestant Christianity, is not only selfish, but also arrogant. There is much we could learn by studying other religions that can improve our lives, even if we don€t believe in their God(s).

That aside, what I really have issue with is the absolutism in your argument, and it goes beyond the concept of selfishness. This is something that is present in any religion I have encountered €" There is a way to act, there is a way not to act, and there is no in-between. However, the world is rarely so black and white. To take another Splinter Cell example, God€s first commandment says €œThou shalt not kill.€ The only story in the bible I can think of hearing when God commands someone to kill was Abraham (I might have the name wrong) and his child. Abraham is about to sacrifice the child to prove his love to god, when God stops him at the last second. So what I gather is not only the moral of obeying God no matter what, but also that God will not ask someone to take another human€s life and actually mean it. Well, Sam, our wonderful hero, is put in many situations where he must violate God€s first commandment, or die and risk the lives of other countrymen. The question, then, becomes, €œis he doing the right thing if he pulls the trigger?€ Most of us would say yes, and we validate that answer by reasoning that he is saving many other lives by taking one. What if the villain was bluffing though, and he really wasn€t going to shoot the nuclear warhead, or release the chemical gas, or follow through on whatever other vile plot Clancy cooked up? Was Sam right to violate God€s commandment? We can never be sure, but I€m sure if Sam existed in the real world he would, on an occasional sleepless night, ask himself if killing was really necessary. Not to mention Splinter Cell presents a much €œcleaner€ view of the dark side of special forces. Many men in such a position have not only been through hell and back, they€ve inflicted immeasurable pain on other human beings for the good of the U.S., and perhaps the world. Nevertheless, the point is that Sam, in this case, is acting contrary to God and €œtrue religion,€ because Sam is violating the very basic tenet of Christianity.

If it is NEVER ok to violate true religion, then Sam is going to be sent to hell. Obviously, then, this is an unselfish act. Sam sins so that others can live. So then the question becomes, which tenets of true religion are more important to obey if they are contradictory? In the example I gave above, which is more important: thou shalt not kill, or €œbenevolence towards God and mankind€? Who decides such moral conundrums?

Now, to move onto selfishness specifically. I don€t necessarily believe that selfishness and benevolence towards mankind are contradictory. Christianity may teach otherwise, but it€s not practical. You mention patriots to our country. While the minuteman who grabbed a rifle and ran to fight the redcoats is the true unselfish patriot, as he probably had little to gain, he may have had ulterior motives €" the promise of lower taxes and more wealth. He may have thoughts of fame and glory because he stuck it to those Brits. You mention someone like George Washington, who could have known he would have a stake in political power in the new U.S. (He in fact became our first President under the U.S. Constitution). Clearly most of our €œfounding fathers€ knew they€d be in charge of the new republic, if they won the war. How selfless of an act, then, is writing a €œdeclaration of independence€ and risking execution for treason when you know you will be in charge of the new independent nation? Some of the most giving people in the world have had selfish motives about what they do. Heck, even your explanation that pure unselfishness will lead to happiness creates a selfish situation. If I help an old lady cross a street, that makes me feel good about myself. So am I helping the old lady just to be unselfish, or am I really helping her so that I can feel better about myself?

Selfish desire, then, can serve as a motivational factor to act for the good of mankind. On one bored afternoon a long while back, I caught an episode of Boy Meets World. One of the four I€ve seen, but it was quite interesting. Cory€s father was having a midlife crisis because he was €œonly€ a blue-collar worker. He has a conversation with Mr. Feeny (sp?) and laments that Mr. Feeny makes a difference because he€s a teacher, but the father is just a blue-collar worker. Mr. Feeny responds something along the lines of, €œI€d love to tell you that the reason I love my job is because I get to fill young bright minds with knowledge and help them succeed in the world, to see their faces light up as they scurry off to the real world, but I don€t. I love my job because I like teaching. It€s €œfun€ for me.€

You know I want to pursue a career in medicine. Do I want to be a doctor just to help people? While that is part of it, I can help more people by being a janitor and keeping hospitals, oftentimes the most unsanitary places in the world, clean. Less infections mean more people survive. If I gave the response €œto help people€ in an interview, my application will be immediately tossed. No, I want to be a doctor because I like human physiology, I like interacting with people, and I like problem solving. The prospect of someone coming in and saying €œhey doc, my throat hurts and I have a bit of a fever,€ figuring out what is wrong, and coming up with a solution will be €œfun€ for me (as with any other job, not all of it is fun and games, and I don€t mean to imply that it is). As a side effect, our society benefits by living longer, healthier lives. Medical schools don€t reject doctors who give the €œI want to help people€ answer because they want to breed selfish doctors. They do so because they want people who are mature enough to be in touch with their own feelings and desires.

All that stuff you say about looking for happiness means you won€t find it, and that mankind doesn€t really know what gives true happiness is true. Heck, my wonderful girlfriend, who I love dearly, and I got together more on an accident than anything else. We kind of just developed into a relationship. Some people, in the place of such a void of answers like €œwhere can I find absolute happiness€, will look to religion. Hence why I have a stance that religion is there to substitute for the unknown, because humans cannot accept the fact they don€t know the answer. Even astrophysicists had to conjure the big-bang theory because they cannot bring themselves to look anyone in the face when asked €œWhat started the universe?€ and say €œI don€t know.€

Well, sometimes it€s ok to not know things. Can I give you a definitive answer on where to find true happiness? Of course not. You may, on your death bed, look back upon your life and realize that living a life for God, that is always unselfish, brought you divine happiness. You may, on the other hand, realize at that time that you wish you did more for yourself, that an existence purely for the benefit of others, while noble, did not bring you true happiness. I guess it€s ironic that we learn life€s most important lessons only after it€s too late to use them.

For me, personally, the key to happiness is balance. The human body, when balanced, does not give the individual any aches, pains, or other annoying feelings. Therefore, I believe that living a balanced life, that trying to take the right path based upon circumstance and not absolute conviction is best. The Bible, sorry to say, does not offer such a balance. If I were to live a life for just me, I would quickly find that I would become unhappy. There is part of the human nature that wants to feel useful and important, and the effects resonate in everything. Biblically speaking, humans are the supreme species. They are created in God€s image and given free will. Scientifically speaking, humans are always put at the top of the evolutionary ladder, never elsewhere. By performing acts for the €œgreater good€, we as humans can feel important. It gives our life meaning. However, if I were to solely devote my life to pleasing others, I would find myself at a loss. I would start to question who I really am, and what do I really want. What makes me an individual? Thus is the paradox of humanity; the desire to be a part of a €˜greater good€, yet the clinging of individual thought and action. It is only then when I can live a life both for me and for the greater good that I can fulfill this paradox and be content.

On to the topic of sexual relations. The way you defined €œholy€ was the way I used it operationally. Obviously, extramarital sex cannot be truly €œholy€ because the Bible says so. But you spoke of €œholy€ as in the name of true love, and in complete unselfishness. Thus, again, we have a problem with the Bible€s absolutism. Two people who love each other dearly, and perhaps live together and even raise a family together are living in sin if they do not go through the sacrament known as marriage. You asked what is marriage? Marriage has two definitions. Legally, it is the sharing of pretty much everything between man and wife. It is entering a contract, and involves specific responsibilities. According to Christianity, marriage is the joining of a man and woman€s spirits who have found love, and giving that love the blessing of God. Given these rudimentary definitions, the religious one poses an issue because what if two people truly love each other, but choose not to be legally bound into marriage? I suppose they could perform the ceremony and never apply for a marriage license. Some people may say what€s the point? What does it change in the real world if we are not legally married?

You may say €œif people are truly in love, why wouldn€t they get married?€ Sometimes, the absolutism of marriage makes people stop caring. For example, if I want to keep my girlfriend I have to pamper her on occassion. I have to remember special dates. I have to be loving, giving, a good listener, etc, etc. But if I get married, what happens if I stop being a good listener? Will my wife actually get together the thousands of dollars to divorce me over that? Or will she live with it, albeit in unhappiness? How often have you heard people lament that their spouse €œchanged€ after marriage? Sometimes, the ease of losing someone makes you appreciate them even more, and that can result in happier partnerships.

Basically, what I€m trying to say is that love doesn€t equal marriage, and marriage doesn€t equal love. The same can be said about sex. Ideally, we share such intimate experiences with those we love. Some people can live up to that ideal, while others cannot. I do not believe that if people are in love, they should be frowned upon for sharing themselves intimately just because they haven€t gone through a marriage ceremony. They are still sharing something that is very special, and that is something to be celebrated and praised.

Chairmaker-US
03-22-2006, 01:24 AM
I Vistited this forum for the first time a couple of minutes ago out of sheer boredom.... Only to stumble upon this thread! How long have topics like this been going on and why was I kept in.the dark all these years. On second thought don't answer that question.

I'll add just a single point after scanning just this thread (I have yet to read the thread which was locked). More will certainly come later.

Ops, you suggest that humans should never be selfish. Would you not save your child from danger if you could? Would you not protect your child and family with a house to protect them from the weather? Would you develop weapons to protect them from wild animals and provide your family food? Those all appear to be selfless acts... Look a little deeper (right down to the cellualar level infact), and you will find just how selfish those acts are. Ensuring the propagation of your DNA to the next generation rules all animal and human behaviour. The base desire to have children is of course driven by such things. By your rational the only way to truly be religious is to live as a Hermit in the hills. Even if you discount all the scientific explanations.... Didn't God say something to the effect of "be fruitful and multiply" to Adam and Eve. How can one be "fruitful" or "multiply" without the selfish acts I refered to earlier?

MDS_Geist
03-22-2006, 08:09 AM
Technically, God's first commandment was "Be fruitful and multiply." "Thou shalt not commit murder" (very different than killing, this isn't just an issue of semantics) is much, much later. God commands not only killing, but even genocide (see the book of Joshua for just a start). From a biblical standpoint, killing isn't a problem. There are cases where killing is considered to be both good and necessary.

"True religion" (whatever that means) in no ways means that people can not think of themselves. There are even commandments in the Bible that specifically deal with doing things for an earthly reward such as long life. Sure, you do it because you should and it is right but it also comes with a nice reward.

Sexual relations in the context of the Bible? This is not a discussion you want to have, especially if you've actually read the entire Bible and are familiar with Biblical marriage. Do you think that Solomon loved his wives or that they merely represented significant and intelligent political alliances?

I'd write more, but I don't have the time now.

Chimera87
03-22-2006, 08:38 AM
gosh i wish i could participate in this, but i cant - since i wouldnt be able to type my thoughts in a way that its in good english. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif i love discussions like these IN DUTCH! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif

Spekkio9
03-22-2006, 08:44 AM
I've only seen the commandment to say "thou shalt not kill." I just messed up; it's the 6th commandment not first. That's what I get for not being a biblical scholar. Even if you wanted to use the term murder in place of kill (and yes, I agree there is a very different connotation), since as you pointed out there are clearly instances in the bible where killing is O.K., we can also ask the question if what Sam does is murder?

To relate the discussion to SC, I think it'll be interesting to see if Ubi Shanghai can pull off what it claims to be doing in SCDA; to put the player in a situation where he thinks about such a moral dilemma, and the outcome of the game changes accordingly with the player's actions.

Nevertheless, the point remains the same: we cannot have such absolution in conviction of "right" and "wrong" with no consideration to circumstance. Ops uses the words always and never quite often in his argument, because to him, the Bible is an absolute form of truth that has clear cut messages on how one should always act. Which in a way I'm thankful for because it's really easy to prove him wrong in a logical sense.

scworld
03-22-2006, 09:35 AM
I think a class or two of Logic could be useful to some of you.

Spekkio9
03-22-2006, 10:23 AM
How do you mean?

Chimera87
03-22-2006, 10:55 AM
Originally posted by scworld:
I think a class or two of Logic could be useful to some of you. rofl yea sometimes i think the same http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif

XHarry_TuttleX
03-22-2006, 12:54 PM
Morality and Ethics sucks.


Anarchism FTW...


Oops I forgot homoticons. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif

gui_brazil1991
03-23-2006, 11:40 AM
²²²²²²i like the way you move²²²²²² http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/compsmash.gif

MDS_Geist
03-24-2006, 06:09 AM
Anyone who says that the commandment in Exodus says "thou shalt not kill" is either using a very poor translation or has an agenda.

Is what Sam does murder? Let's consider this. Who does Sam kill? Why does he kill them? Are they people who have assumed risk? Are they people who kill others?

You also can have absolutes of right and wrong irrespective of circumstance. It is a question of what you prioritize and how you do it.

gui_brazil1991
03-24-2006, 09:03 AM
Originally posted by MDS_Geist:
Anyone who says that the commandment in Exodus says "thou shalt not kill" is either using a very poor translation or has an agenda.

Is what Sam does murder? Let's consider this. Who does Sam kill? Why does he kill them? Are they people who have assumed risk? Are they people who kill others?

You also can have absolutes of right and wrong irrespective of circumstance. It is a question of what you prioritize and how you do it.

orly?

scworld
03-24-2006, 09:50 AM
The definition of 'right' and 'wrong' is purely a meaning. (of course, I can say that 'up' is 'tree' and 'down' is 'cloud', but that is of another level).

goodkebab_00
03-24-2006, 04:57 PM
When people are happy and enjoy life, they are capable and willing to make others feel the same. The very nature of love is to give more then to recieve and to care more for others then oneself and the beauty of it is this gives sincere gratification to the giver if they do it from the heart.

If people do not feel this, how can they express something that is not within themselves?

The first responsibility is to your self...and when that is all in order, you are capable of sharing yourself to others.

gui_brazil1991
03-26-2006, 08:42 AM
Originally posted by goodkebab_00:
When people are happy and enjoy life, they are capable and willing to make others feel the same. The very nature of love is to give more then to recieve and to care more for others then oneself and the beauty of it is this gives sincere gratification to the giver if they do it from the heart.

If people do not feel this, how can they express something that is not within themselves?

The first responsibility is to your self...and when that is all in order, you are capable of sharing yourself to others.

that touched my hearth http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/bigtears.gif
j/k