Actions versus thoughts and "righteousness"

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Re: Actions versus thoughts and "righteousness"

Postby Brian » Wed May 26, 2010 4:20 pm

24HourNut wrote:
Brian wrote:
24HourNut wrote:Apparently, God = thought police, zero privacy.


Well, that's obvious, isn't it? The Christian God is omniscient, and you can't be omniscient without knowing everyone's thoughts.


What's obvious is how ridiculous it is to think you will be punished for just thinking of sinning or fantasizing about things that are sins. If God is that maniacal and extreme, he needs to go harass some other dimension or something.


Hey, you'll get no argument from me there. I would think God, if he/she/it exists, has better things to do with his day than voyeurism.
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Re: Actions versus thoughts and "righteousness"

Postby mariej » Wed May 26, 2010 5:27 pm

Brian wrote:
mariej wrote:
Cynicalninja wrote:
24HourNut wrote:I don't even see reason to think there is an intervening God, otherwise we get into all sorts of problems.


We sure do...


Perhaps God set the earth in motion through evolution? It wouldn't make any sense to intervene in evolution, it wouldn't be evolution anymore. I'm not sure that would make God maleovent, however. If there is a God then it's incomprehensible in human understanding, therefore it makes no sense to apply human ideas and views onto God.


God seting the Earth in motion through evolution makes sense, but God operating with a morality which is outside human understanding doesn't. Why would God create a set of rules for us that are in conflict with the ones he himself uses? Why not just reveal the real rules, so that the universe doesn't appear capricious?
Well I would think that the creator of the universe would possess more intelligence, power, and morality than the human mind could comprehend, and even then he might not be omniscient. If God set the earth in motion through evolution and allowed it to operate according to the laws of nature then maybe evil and suffering are inevitable and it's something we all have to experience in some form. Maybe God can't control mans free will? I don't know, I just feel that there is something much bigger than we can imagine and it's not some maniac prick in the sky.
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Re: Actions versus thoughts and "righteousness"

Postby Brian » Wed May 26, 2010 5:32 pm

mariej wrote:Well I would think that the creator of the universe would possess more intelligence, power, and morality than the human mind could comprehend, and even then he might not be omniscient. If God set the earth in motion through evolution and allowed it to operate according to the laws of nature then maybe evil and suffering are inevitable and it's something we all have to experience in some form. Maybe God can't control mans free will? I don't know, I just feel that there is something much bigger and grander than us and it's not some maniac prick in the sky.


The idea of not interfering in free will makes sense to me, but that leaves out a lot of the evil in human experience. I think that mystery is always there, if you choose to be a theist. I know a lot of people who are okay not having those kinds of answers. I'm just not one of them.
"I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower
Makes you talk a little lower
About the things you could not show her."

-- Counting Crows, "A Long December"
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Re: Actions versus thoughts and "righteousness"

Postby mariej » Wed May 26, 2010 7:47 pm

Brian wrote:
mariej wrote:Well I would think that the creator of the universe would possess more intelligence, power, and morality than the human mind could comprehend, and even then he might not be omniscient. If God set the earth in motion through evolution and allowed it to operate according to the laws of nature then maybe evil and suffering are inevitable and it's something we all have to experience in some form. Maybe God can't control mans free will? I don't know, I just feel that there is something much bigger and grander than us and it's not some maniac prick in the sky.


The idea of not interfering in free will makes sense to me, but that leaves out a lot of the evil in human experience. I think that mystery is always there, if you choose to be a theist. I know a lot of people who are okay not having those kinds of answers. I'm just not one of them.


I'm ok without having those kinds of answers because I know I never will, not in this lifetime anyway. I feel like there is a god and I think there is evidence that there is a god, but in the end I really just don't know.
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Re: Actions versus thoughts and "righteousness"

Postby sirlamre » Mon May 31, 2010 4:36 pm

Brian wrote:
mariej wrote:Well I would think that the creator of the universe would possess more intelligence, power, and morality than the human mind could comprehend, and even then he might not be omniscient. If God set the earth in motion through evolution and allowed it to operate according to the laws of nature then maybe evil and suffering are inevitable and it's something we all have to experience in some form. Maybe God can't control mans free will? I don't know, I just feel that there is something much bigger and grander than us and it's not some maniac prick in the sky.


The idea of not interfering in free will makes sense to me, but that leaves out a lot of the evil in human experience. I think that mystery is always there, if you choose to be a theist. I know a lot of people who are okay not having those kinds of answers. I'm just not one of them.



One perspective Baha'is have is that God allows us free will as a way of training us.

There are a lot of parallels between children and adults in how I view God relating to mankind.

Parents (with obvious exceptions) understand and act at a much higher level morally and ethically than children do.
But we don't expect children to understand and act at our level - based on each child's development, parents will set a bar of expectations that is high, but within reach for an exceptional child.
Then, we measure how hard the child is trying, not so much how many successes there are --- (at least I do)
Effort counts as much as success many times - understanding when a child is tired, sick, in an emotionally stressful environment - usually most parents will adjust their expectations accordingly.

I personally believe that God does the same thing
Therefore, in writing and "officially" the rules are:
- generic for every child in the house, and not per-child customized in writing
- a high bar is set for expectations

But in reality, I think that God, being a merciful All-Knowing God adjusts things just like parents do
- expectations are adjusted individually in a per-event, per-situation basis
- God's understanding of how sincere our efforts are
- He knows when circumstances are outside our control
- And He knows when the circumstances are of our own making, through our own unwillingness to follow His rules.

As such, just as a good parent does, when you know a child is thinking unhealthy thoughts, and suppressing anger and hatred towards others, you don't wait until outward actions prove the inner reality.
You take steps to guide the morality and emotional development of the child.

To me, parenting is NOT an "evidence-based" system --- you go with a plan in place beforehand, not
just reacting to each and everything that occurs.

I think that the things we experience in this world are designed to focus us on Him and His Will, and to show us that we cannot exist without His help and assistance (or at least, we'd be less happy than we would be otherwise)

I don't think that we are measured purely by what we actually do --
God is fully aware of what we think -- and I deeply believe that when we are thinking thoughts that displease Him, there are probably consequences- even if God allows them to be mostly consequences that we ourselves
cause, not anything He does directly.
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Re: Actions versus thoughts and "righteousness"

Postby 24HourNut » Mon May 31, 2010 6:43 pm

No offense, but you have absolutely no idea if there is a God or what God's details are just like everyone else. Bahais think God gets upset or angry, or frowns upon me having a few beers today while grilling. Since that is ridiculous, let's stop pretending that one club has the scoop on what God adjusts, thinks, or expects.

Ever notice what is moral depends upon when and where you are born, and what system someone says you are supposed to subscribe to? That's because it has nothing to do with an invisible super being. It has to do with what your particular social structure at that time deems as usually positive and productive.
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Re: Actions versus thoughts and "righteousness"

Postby Brian » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:51 am

24HourNut wrote:No offense, but you have absolutely no idea if there is a God or what God's details are just like everyone else. Bahais think God gets upset or angry, or frowns upon me having a few beers today while grilling. Since that is ridiculous, let's stop pretending that one club has the scoop on what God adjusts, thinks, or expects.


I think sirlamre acknowledges he doesn't know, Frank. That's why he said "think" instead of "know". I think that's a more honest answer than you'd get from a lot of theists.

24HourNut wrote:Ever notice what is moral depends upon when and where you are born, and what system someone says you are supposed to subscribe to? That's because it has nothing to do with an invisible super being. It has to do with what your particular social structure at that time deems as usually positive and productive.

[/quote]

Are morals really that subjective? Sure, they're subjective to some degree. Hell, maybe even to a great degree. But I think there are also universal morals. Show me a society where it's okay for one to kill and eat one's own children. For that matter, show me a society where it's a moral good to kill one's parents. There are some social norms that don't vary.
"I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower
Makes you talk a little lower
About the things you could not show her."

-- Counting Crows, "A Long December"
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Re: Actions versus thoughts and "righteousness"

Postby 24HourNut » Tue Jun 01, 2010 5:53 am

Brian wrote:
24HourNut wrote:No offense, but you have absolutely no idea if there is a God or what God's details are just like everyone else. Bahais think God gets upset or angry, or frowns upon me having a few beers today while grilling. Since that is ridiculous, let's stop pretending that one club has the scoop on what God adjusts, thinks, or expects.


I think sirlamre acknowledges he doesn't know, Frank. That's why he said "think" instead of "know". I think that's a more honest answer than you'd get from a lot of theists.

24HourNut wrote:Ever notice what is moral depends upon when and where you are born, and what system someone says you are supposed to subscribe to? That's because it has nothing to do with an invisible super being. It has to do with what your particular social structure at that time deems as usually positive and productive.


Are morals really that subjective? Sure, they're subjective to some degree. Hell, maybe even to a great degree. But I think there are also universal morals. Show me a society where it's okay for one to kill and eat one's own children. For that matter, show me a society where it's a moral good to kill one's parents. There are some social norms that don't vary.


Subjective only if you mean collectively subjective to the group, because I don't consider the social do and do nots to be subjective, really. That seems more like objective birds-eye species type stuff.

Spartans would kill their children if the infants were not up to par to be warriors. Some societies kill virgins or mutilate genitalia. Other societies smoke weed. Sure, some things are universal but a lot is not. Time is another factor - time and place. Different rules, depending. Different moral codes, standards, and ethics. That is my point. It has nothing to do with God. It's nonsense when someone says religion or God made morals. Just look at the brutality of the Old Testament. Those morals are not universal.
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Re: Actions versus thoughts and "righteousness"

Postby Millennium » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:02 pm

I can show you a society where is "moral" for group to kill it's unborn children...Who draws the line at what's moral?
Save America, IMPEACH OBAMA! And continue tossing out the deadbeat Democrats that are currently in office.
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Re: Actions versus thoughts and "righteousness"

Postby Brian » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:31 pm

24HourNut wrote:Subjective only if you mean collectively subjective to the group, because I don't consider the social do and do nots to be subjective, really. That seems more like objective birds-eye species type stuff.

Spartans would kill their children if the infants were not up to par to be warriors. Some societies kill virgins or mutilate genitalia. Other societies smoke weed. Sure, some things are universal but a lot is not. Time is another factor - time and place. Different rules, depending. Different moral codes, standards, and ethics. That is my point. It has nothing to do with God. It's nonsense when someone says religion or God made morals. Just look at the brutality of the Old Testament. Those morals are not universal.


Spartans didn't actually "kill" their children. They left them to die of exposure. Admittedly, the result is the same, but one is more active. And at any rate, they certainly didn't eat their children when they died.

I'm not suggesting that such morals come from a god. They're probably based in evolution. But they're certainly universal. You can't have a society where people kill and eat their own children, because that society wouldn't survive.
"I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower
Makes you talk a little lower
About the things you could not show her."

-- Counting Crows, "A Long December"
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