What's a Good Standard for Right and Wrong?

by Perry 27 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • SweetBabyCheezits

    The pillars of morals - empathy and reciprocity - as displayed by Perry's first cousins:


  • NewChapter

    It goes back to how we evolved as primarily foragers that lived in small bands. What is good for the individual is good for the group and vice versa, but it is always a balancing act. I was surprised to learn how much our environment played on our morals. But that makes sense, since culture is one of our traits that allow us to adapt to our environment. An example I've used before is there are bands where having sex within a year of giving birth is highly taboo and punished by the death of a child. When we break down their diet, it is vey low in protein, and so a close pregnancy would force a child to be weaned too soon, and they can't survive that first year on a diet low in protein---therefore dead child. With knowledge about nutrition and birth control, this moral could easily be changed.

    Or consider the tropics. It makes perfect sense for humans to be scantily clad in these environments. But to an outsider, it appears 'immoral'. Yeah right. The problem comes in when someone tries to make some arbitrary list and judge all cultures by it. These groups are successful because they have learned to work within their environment and their morals project this.

    It's a far cry from the black and white thinking of the bible, and probably makes many people uncomfortable to not have a pat answer--or a common source. For many Native Americans, gambling or games of chance, was a way to redistribute wealth and assess how the gods were viewing them. Europeans came along and said "that's immoral!" and introduced their own morality of slavery, land theft, and genocide.

    The truly dangerous are those that hold their morals as superior and seek to impose them on others. But there are laws that are important too. They keep things harmonious. Certain things are deep in our roots---murder, theft (although not all people put the same value on ownership as others), rape and such are pretty much agreed they are bad for group and individual, so we agree they are wrong.

    Many morals have become maladaptive. They may have worked at one time, but culture and environment have changed. Most bible morals have been discarded, and just in time. When Jesus came on the scene, he was dealing with a tribal people that took the right of enforcement on a personal level---eye for an eye, stonings, chasing down the manslaughter, purchasing rape victims from their fathers. They needed to learn a new way, because Rome now held the right of enforcement and they needed to operate in the new framwork. So now forgiveness is the key, in order to prevent a person from chasing down a killer and bringing themselves under the scrutiny of the state.

    This is just a silly exercise. Answers never have nor ever will be carved in stone. Have a little confidence that we can choose right from wrong according to our culture, environment and particular needs. And when we see others being vicitimized by those that feel their own morals can be imposed, we will know the right thing to do would be to step up and push them back.

  • NewChapter

    That was a great video SBC. I laughed myself to tears when that monkey threw that cucumber back.


  • Knowsnothing

    A glaring example of differing cultural norms defining morality is exactly what NC pointed out. Some tribes around the world still have women bear-breasted. This would be looked down upon by people of other cultures.

    Perry, is that a biblical absolute? That of being unclothed as a sin?

  • NewChapter

    That of being unclothed as a sin?

    Well THAT would certainly explain the notion that we are all born sinners! poor little monkeys, never had a chance.

  • Nickolas

    Aside from the momentous, finger drumming tautology your OP impends, Perry, your point at first seems to balance on sexual infidelity, which quickly becomes sexual infidelity and lying about it. Your concept of suffering transcends the physical and goes to the psychological (a broken heart) and spiritual (a broken soul) when you introduce the devastating psychological/spiritual danger posed by atheists and why society might want to incarcerate them. Blending Christians into the equation seems a bit odd, except that Christians are indeed seen as spiritually corrupt in some countries as are atheists in yours. As we approach the finish line you are arguing about intervention wrt people who do harm to themselves. Are you speaking in terms of physical harm or psychological/spiritual harm? I'm not sure. But then we get to God, and your rationale for Him to intervene when people are doing harm to themselves. Spiritual harm, I suppose. Tsk tsk. And then the rimshot ...

    32. If what-is-good-is-what-reduces-harm, then shouldn’t you ignore all of these questions since they might harm your worldview on morality? J

    Fundamental morality is divorced from religious faith because religious faith can't agree on what is right and what is wrong. That is why your logic is flawed and your conclusions spurious. If I cause you to be "hurt" because I, for example, lay evidence before you that the biblical god is a fiction (and a bad one at that) then that is not my problem but yours. I am only a transmitter. You are the interpreter. If I punch you in the nose, that's where I cross the line. If I get as fat as a pig indulging myself while children die of starvation in Nigeria, I may have crossed a line there, too, but I don't think so. Morality is not black and white and it is not fixed by things committed to print or graven in stone tablets. It is elastic, it is contextual and it is interpretive. But back to your sexual thing. If my wife cheats on me it should not surprise me that she will resort to lying, too. Will that cause me psycological harm? I suppose it would. But it would still be the truth, and I would much rather know the truth than be kept in the dark. Could it be that those who hold their belief in God so dearly just don't want to know the truth because it would hurt?

  • Perry
    Hell of a lot of irony there in question number one, amigo ;)


  • mP


    im still waiting for you to answer my thread about how Psalms 22 points to Jesus... let me know when you reply!

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