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1/25/2018 7:38:29 AM
Posted: 8/1/2002 10:49:48 PM EST
After several discussions with atheists and humanists on various issues that tangentially hit on the subject of the value of human life, I've not entered into a discussion that goes to the heart of the matter. So here's an attempt to start a discussion on "the value of human life". Do atheists and humanists value human life above the merely utilitarian/social aspect? If so, from where does that value arise or what is it based on? Is there more to the "value" of a human life beyond simply what one can offer (productivity, inspiration, good works, etc.) society or one's fellow man? . . . I am somewhat surprised after much reflection and discussions that, even from my (religious) point of view, this is not a slam-dunk answer for me. . . . For example (legal issues aside): Does an irrepairably comatose and terminally ill person with no family, who's in a hospital though who is not on extraordinary life support (i.e. no respirators, dialysis or heart machines - just IVs and feeding tubes) have a "right to life" or should they be euthanized (should it be passively starved to death or actively "put to sleep")? If they do have a right to life as you or I have, what is their "value" as a human being compared to me? Any thoughts?
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 10:54:56 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 11:04:25 PM EST
Thanks for the kickstart [b]Doublefeed[/b] [:D]
Link Posted: 8/1/2002 11:07:06 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 4:49:16 AM EST
good question! if there is no higher power, where does the intrinsic value of life, if any, originate? i don't have any answer to that, but then i'm not an atheist or humanist.
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 4:54:38 AM EST
It seems as though you have an answer you are fishing for. I suspect you have a point you wish to make but want it to be in response to some "atheist or secular humanist" comments. Why don't you go ahead and kick the ball off by stating your view? Looks like an ambush to me.
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 4:55:51 AM EST
Originally Posted By ARLady: good question! if there is no higher power, where does the intrinsic value of life, if any, originate? .
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Excellent statement. I'll go further. God's special creation of EACH and every individual, and his SPECIFIC intent for their life, and their purpose for being alive, further enhances intrinsic human worth. But since I'm neither an aethesit, nor a humanist, I'll keep my thoughts to myself. [}:D]
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 5:02:43 AM EST
I don't understand why you guys ask these damn questions when it makes no difference what answer you get. Your mind is made up. Most "religious" people are not really interested in hearing another view unless they are interested in an argument. Further, why do religious people worry so much about other people? What difference does it make? Does it get you an express pass to heaven or your equivalent? I have always believed that each person's spiritual belief is unique and personal. Mine is none of your business and yours is none of mine. It is something that [b]can't[/b] truly be expressed in words. If you can express it is words and be satisfied then your belief is centered around a definition more than your God. Of course, that's just my opinion. If you're comfortable in your faith then there is no real reason to be threatened by my opinion. You should be comfortable with the fact that I just don't understand your faith or beliefs the way you do and move on, IMHO.
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 5:07:04 AM EST
Originally Posted By garandman: Excellent statement. I'll go further. God's special creation of EACH and every individual, and his SPECIFIC intent for their life, and their purpose for being alive, further enhances intrinsic human worth. But since I'm neither an aethesit, nor a humanist, I'll keep my thoughts to myself. [}:D]
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If all human life is invaluable and therefore to be prolonged at all cost.....What about the environmental effect of the unavoidable population explosion. Who's responsibility is it to preserve the Earth and the larger habitat?
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 5:09:00 AM EST
Originally Posted By ArmedAggie: I don't understand why you guys ask these damn questions when it makes no difference what answer you get.
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Philosophical endeavor.....The ultimate human achievement.
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 5:12:37 AM EST
Renotse, I don't think the purpose in this case was philisophical in nature. I'm all for philisophical debate but, again, this looked an awful lot like an ambush. I could be wrong, though, so I retract that question. Let's see what develops. I suspect my answer will be along shortly.
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 5:21:42 AM EST
Originally Posted By renotse: If all human life is invaluable and therefore to be prolonged at all cost.....
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Your premise is false. All INNOCENT life is valuable, but not INvaluable. Guilty life, like that Avila kidnapper / rapist/ murderer dude NEEDS to die. A soldier who dies for his country, while innocent, still relinquishes his life for a greater good. So his life, while valuable, is NOT invaluable, or valuable above the greater good. But ONLY he should be the one to choose to lay his life down for the greater good.
What about the environmental effect of the unavoidable population explosion. Who's responsibility is it to preserve the Earth and the larger habitat?
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God's. And He's big enuf to handle the job. Which is NOT to say God hasn't made us stewards of this earth, to protect and cherish His immeasurably beautiful creation. there was a program on the History Channel last nite about the Rockies. I sat there and listened to the "experts" tell me how evolution was to credit for all the beauty. I just sat there and praised God for His handiwork (NOT interested in doing a creation v. evolution debate. Just using it as a point of reference for your specific question of Who would handle a "population explosion." ) If God macrocreated it, He can macromanage it.
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 5:45:22 AM EST
G-Man, Using the old person on life support example, who is responsible for deciding when the person has had enough? Do you let them linger on as long as the machines keep indicating life? Is it unreasonable to think that God would not want this person to be in pain when there is no reason to expect recovery? If God is in charge why does he leave so many, seemingly, important decisions to people? How can he be in charge and still allow deviant behavior? A dirtbag kills a child and the dirtbag is acting outside God's will. Yet, the death of the innocent child is "God's will" and no other explanation is necessary. I don't like double standards in any situation.
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 6:05:26 AM EST
Originally Posted By The_Macallan: Do atheists and humanists value human life above the merely utilitarian/social aspect?
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Well, I do.
If so, from where does that value arise or what is it based on?
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It is based, in my case, on my valuation of the worth of my life, and extrapolation to others.
Is there more to the "value" of a human life beyond simply what one can offer (productivity, inspiration, good works, etc.) society or one's fellow man?
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I don't think I understand the question. The value of a human being (in my philosophy) is not based on these things, though it is possible to [i]diminish[/i] the value of someone's life through their actions.
I am somewhat surprised after much reflection and discussions that, even from my (religious) point of view, this is not a slam-dunk answer for me.
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Excellent! You are able to think critically!
For example (legal issues aside): Does an irrepairably comatose and terminally ill person with no family, who's in a hospital though who is not on extraordinary life support (i.e. no respirators, dialysis or heart machines - just IVs and feeding tubes) have a "right to life" or should they be euthanized (should it be passively starved to death or actively "put to sleep")? If they do have a right to life as you or I have, what is their "value" as a human being compared to me? Any thoughts?
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I speak for myself here. Were I terminally ill, comatose, and not expected to recover, then I would [i]want[/i] to be euthanized. Nor do I really want "heroic efforts" to be made to sustain me. In that condition, my life has no value [i]to me[/i], regardless of whether I have family. I have made my wishes plain to my family if this were ever to be the case. In your example, though, this person has no one to speak for him. I say leave the IV's and tube feeding, and when the illness progresses to the point where artificial life support is necessary, let him expire with some dignity.
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 6:10:31 AM EST
It naturally depends upon which ethical system you employ as a guide. Utilitarians, or those who find meaning is sheer pragmatism, would argue that one's intrinsic value is based upon one's contribution to the community. Therefore it follows that those who cannot or will not "produce" for the community have either lost or voluntarily forfieted their worth. Natural Law ethicists (Thomists, Aristotelians etc.) would argue that human life is of utmost value, and nothing can rob human life of its cherished position in the cosmos. The Roman Catholic Church ascribes to this position, therefore it is evil to take the life or both a fetus in the womb and of a convicted murderer. Ethical Egoists would argue that the value of a life is solely dependant upon what social gain an individual can make out of preserving life. Egoisits claim that humans only do good as a means to a selfish end. However the term "secular humanist" is a bit of rhetoric and not exactly a philosophical label. It is also quite confusing. For instance, that term is generally employed by what we consider the "religious right" which is in actuality the 16th Century's religious left (the descendants of the "Radical Reformation" or "Schwaermers" as Fr. Luther called them. The religious right (formerly the left) delights in labelling their opponents as "humanists" despite the fact that their theological basis is found in the Humanist Movement of the the 1550's. The Humanists of the 1550's placed more emphasis upon the scriptures - in their original Hebrew and Greek translations - than upon the Church's official explanation of them (known as traditio). The early humanists placed individual interpretation of the scriptures over and above the ancient practice of appealing to the teaching office of the Church for an authoritative translation. So, today's religious right - formerly the religious left - are the direct descendants of early humanists. As for the term "secular", well that is a throwback to an early pre-Gospel time when humans made much of the distinction between the sacred and the profane. For two thousand years the Church has taught that Christ's incarnation (the communicatio idiomatum / communication of attributes), his expereince of his creation as one of us and his descent into hell have shattered all notions of sacred and profane - as all falls under his rule and authority.
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 6:20:11 AM EST
Originally Posted By ArmedAggie: G-Man, Using the old person on life support example, who is responsible for deciding when the person has had enough? Do you let them linger on as long as the machines keep indicating life? Is it unreasonable to think that God would not want this person to be in pain when there is no reason to expect recovery? If God is in charge why does he leave so many, seemingly, important decisions to people? How can he be in charge and still allow deviant behavior? A dirtbag kills a child and the dirtbag is acting outside God's will. Yet, the death of the innocent child is "God's will" and no other explanation is necessary. I don't like double standards in any situation.
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Now yer gettin' into areas I may not be qualified to answer. But that's never stopped me before, so here goes. Life support is an intensely personal decision. God ultimately holds life in His hand. When its your time to go, NOTHING is gonna keep you. There an overriding Scriptural principle that basically says "Don't violate your own conscience" in areas where Scripture is NOT specific, but you have a deep rooted personal belief. I have neither a problem with goin on life support, nor taking someone off it. But for myself persoanlly, my wife knows I just wanna go home when its my time to die. As far as why God lets people make deviosu decisions - I doubt we want God to turn us into little robots, controlling even our major decisions. God gets glory when man is capable of choosing wrong, but with God's help chooses right. re: the dirtbag that kills a child, and God's will God has a perfect will, and a permissive will. God's perfect will is largely stated in Scripture. God's permissive will is what he allows man to get away with. Scripture also indicates that God allows man a free will to commit even heinous acts so that He, God, will be justified, when He judges a man for his sin. Man CHOSE evil. There is a saying - "God uses man's sin, sinlessly." History is replete with examples of God making His good come out of man's bad. To sum up - What is the meaning of life? Love God, and keep His commandments. Beyond that, I haven't a clue. [:D]
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 6:31:15 AM EST
So is it okay to live by the Commandments while not being personally sure, beyond the capacity for doubt (that God gives you) who or what God is? Can you be a good person and not be sure you even believe in God, at least as religious people define? Or, is living by the examples and standards not enough? I know what the books say, what do you think?
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 6:32:54 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/2/2002 6:55:30 AM EST by renotse]
Originally Posted By PINGi3: It naturally depends upon which ethical system you employ as a guide.
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PINGi3, I have enjoyed reading your posts and find them quit refreshing. Please help me with this. If Kierkegaarde is known as the "father of existentialism", and devoted his writings for the purpose of renewing Christian faith within Christendom. Why were his ideas corrupted into today's atheist movement? Please keep it as close to laymen terms as possible. As you can see I have a lot to learn.
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 6:43:26 AM EST
Religion 'plays'on sheeples NEED to BELIEVE.Its human psychy/nature,to want to BELIEVE that their life does not end at the point of physical death.Long ago people worshiped the sun,then man contrived a way to influence the masses with 'RELIGION'.The bible is a bunch of contradictory CRAP!........HEAR ME GARANDMAN![:D]
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 7:07:30 AM EST
Originally Posted By ArmedAggie: Looks like an ambush to me.
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Did you miss my statement "I am somewhat surprised after much reflection and discussions that, even from my (religious) point of view, [red]this is not a slam-dunk answer for me.[/red]"? Thanks [b]KBaker[/b] for you straightforward answers. I find your statement, [i]"It is based, in my case, on my valuation of the worth of my life, and extrapolation to others"[/i] to be at the the crux of the issue. Do you then consider the value of another human's life restricted or limited by what you would consider the value of YOUR life would be if you were in their shoes? (correct me if this is not where you were coming from with your answer). That is a very good review of different philosophies [b]PINGi3[/b]. I was mainly interested in the athiests but I threw in the term "secular humanists" and I suppose I misused that term - thanks for the clarification. So what's your position? Is there more to the value of a human life than the utilitarian aspect and if so, from where does that value derive?
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 8:20:46 AM EST
Originally Posted By The_Macallan: [Thanks [b]KBaker[/b] for you straightforward answers. I find your statement, [i]"It is based, in my case, on my valuation of the worth of my life, and extrapolation to others"[/i] to be at the the crux of the issue.
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You're welcome. So do I.
Do you then consider the value of another human's life restricted or limited by what you would consider the value of YOUR life would be if you were in their shoes? (correct me if this is not where you were coming from with your answer).
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Not exactly. Remember, in your example the actions I advocate differ for me/not me. Since I cannot know the wishes of your hypothetical terminally ill person, I cannot say "put him down" though that is what I would want for myself. I value others lives as equal to mine [i]unless[/i] they do something to [i]lessen[/i] that value. Assault me, for instance. In [i]that[/i] case, [i]my[/i] life has [i]higher[/i] value that theirs, to me. And it has a higher value to society, too, since a police officer empowered by that society would have reason to use lethal force in the defense of my life, no?
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 8:33:39 AM EST
Interesting post, thanks for starting it, Mac. Also interesting as it comes when I'm signed up for an ethics course at the local univerisity this fall (ah the joys of retraining). -legrue
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 8:37:22 AM EST
Originally Posted By mags: The bible is a bunch of contradictory CRAP!........HEAR ME GARANDMAN![:D]
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I'm not the Only One who hears you. Don't worry about what I think - worry about what He thinks. Its YOUR eternity to squander.
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 8:41:20 AM EST
If Kierkegaarde is known as the "father of existentialism", and devoted his writings for the purpose of renewing Christian faith within Christendom. Why were his ideas corrupted into today's atheist movement?
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My $0.02: Kierkegaard's philosophy stems from two basic premises, 1) that the Biblical God exists 2) that conventional attempts to find knowledge and meaning are futile. Kierkegaard concluded that in the face of cosmic grimness and absurdity, an individual's only hope is faith in God. It was not much of a leap for later philosophers who didn't share his religious faith (in part because they saw that a belief in premise #1 was derived from the very system of thought rejected in #2) to conclude that the individual had to become the source of his own life's meaning.
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 8:43:20 AM EST
Originally Posted By KBaker: I value others lives as equal to mine [i]unless[/i] they do something to [i]lessen[/i] that value. Assault me, for instance. In [i]that[/i] case, [i]my[/i] life has [i]higher[/i] value that theirs, to me. And it has a higher value to society, too, since a police officer empowered by that society would have reason to use lethal force in the defense of my life, no?
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Yep, that's one of the more satisfying perspectives I've come across - from either atheists OR religious folks. Not to slam the "God puts value on human life" folks but that leaves me unsettled still. If God puts value on human life that is beyond our understanding (since God's ways are WAY beyond our understanding) I still have little to hang my hat on in answering the "what is the value of human life" question. I know the answer IS in God but so far, the answers I've gotten are not complete. For me, that's where the value of faith enters. Anything to help me out further [b]G-man[/b]?
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 8:47:32 AM EST
Originally Posted By The_Macallan:
Originally Posted By KBaker: I value others lives as equal to mine [i]unless[/i] they do something to [i]lessen[/i] that value. Assault me, for instance. In [i]that[/i] case, [i]my[/i] life has [i]higher[/i] value that theirs, to me. And it has a higher value to society, too, since a police officer empowered by that society would have reason to use lethal force in the defense of my life, no?
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Yep, that's one of the more satisfying perspectives I've come across - from either atheists OR religious folks.
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Why, thank you!
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 8:49:10 AM EST
Originally Posted By ArmedAggie: So is it okay to live by the Commandments while not being personally sure, beyond the capacity for doubt (that God gives you) who or what God is?
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Personal benefit accrues to following God's rules, even if you don't believe in God. Those who don't commit adultery have greatly reduced chances of contracting AIDS, or other STD's. The whole of society is better off when people don't steal, or kill. Its just good sense to rest on the "Sabbath Day" (or at least one day a week) rather than working 24 / 7. Having moved from New England to the SOutheast, even the sometimes hollow religiousity of the South has, I beleive, created a financially more affluent climate, compared to the morally bankrupt Northeast. (having worked as a CPA in New England, I can vouch for its moral bankruptcy, and practical atheism (i.e. denying the existence of God thru how you live your life))
Can you be a good person and not be sure you even believe in God, at least as religious people define? Or, is living by the examples and standards not enough? I know what the books say, what do you think?
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You can absolutely be a good person, tho you don't beleive in God. But the REAL question is "WHOSE standard do we define "good" by ??? God has a VERY different standard than man. God's standard is this - ONLY those in Christ Jesus can be defined (loosely) as "good." And then the "goodness" is not their own, but Christs. ( a full understanding of this is a VERY liberating doctrine, and not legalistic in the least. think of it this way - when you squeeze a sponge, what comes out of it is whatever the sponge soaked up. The sponge doesn't have to work at it. Same with a Christian. We "soak up" Christ. Then when life squeezes us, Christ's morality cxomes out of us. The credit belonging to Him, and not us. But teh point being, when I have soaked up enuf of Christ, I don't even have to try that hard to do what is right - it flows out with little effort, and in a very natural manner.)
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 8:51:38 AM EST
Damn but I hate it when christians get all .......well christianish.
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 8:53:26 AM EST
Originally Posted By Stormbringer: Damn but I hate it when christians get all .......well christianish.
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Well, there IS a reason the root word of "Christian" is "Christ." [:D]
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 8:53:52 AM EST
Originally Posted By KBaker: I speak for myself here. Were I terminally ill, comatose, and not expected to recover, then I would [i]want[/i] to be euthanized. Nor do I really want "heroic efforts" to be made to sustain me. In that condition, my life has no value [i]to me[/i], regardless of whether I have family. I have made my wishes plain to my family if this were ever to be the case.
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I feel the same way, and have gone so far as to do a little legal research, the bottom line of which I'll share. It is a little off-topic, but important enough that you ought to know about it. [b]IMPORTANT![/b] In spite of having made your wishes known to your family, wife, goldfish, whoever, YOU MAY NOT BE ALLOWED this decision, unless you have taken certain steps in advance. There are laws on the books in a lot of places that, in certain circumstances, prevent them from unplugging you. Your loved ones could be forced to sit by and watch all of your resources drained to keep you alive. The same resources that would be helping them get along without you. You need two things to prevent this: a healthcare proxy and a durable power of attorney. The healthcare proxy document allows someone that you appoint to make decisions about your care. ANY decision. The durable power of attorney allows whoever holds it to use your checking account and whatever other resources to continue to pay the bills if you are incapacitated or dead. You can get these things from a lawyer for not very much money, and attach them to your last will and testament. We now return you to our regularly scheduled debate on the value of life... [:D]
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 8:55:29 AM EST
Dear God, Hope you got the letter and... I pray you can make it better down here I don't mean a big reduction in the price of beer But all the people that you made in your image See them starving on their feet Cause they don't get enough to eat From God I can't believe in you Dear God, Sorry to disturb you but... I feel that I should be hear loud and clear We all need a big reduction In the amount of tears And all the people that you made in your image See them fighting in the street Cause they can't make opinions meet about God I can't believe in you Did you make disease and the diamond blue? Did you make mankind after we made you? And the devil too? Dear God, Don't know if you noticed but... Your name is on a lot of quotes in this book And as crazy humans wrote it you should take a look And all the people that you made in your image Still believeing that junk is true Well I know it ain't and so do you, dear God I can't believe in I don't believe in I won't believe in heaven and hell no saints no sinners no devil as well no pearly gate no thorny crown you're always letting us humans down the wars you bring the babes you drown those lost at sea and never found and it's all the same the whole world round the hurt I see helps to compound That Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is just somebody's unholy hoax And if you're up there you'd perceive That my heart's here upon my sleeve If there's one thing I don't believe in... It's you, dear God.
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 8:57:35 AM EST
Originally Posted By garandman:
Originally Posted By Stormbringer: Damn but I hate it when christians get all .......well christianish.
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Well, there IS a reason the root word of "Christian" is "Christ." [:D] Likewise there is a reason it is used as a swear word!! LOL!
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Link Posted: 8/2/2002 8:59:11 AM EST
Originally Posted By hound: Dear God, Hope you got the letter and... I pray you can make it better down here I don't mean a big reduction in the price of beer But all the people that you made in your image See them starving on their feet Cause they don't get enough to eat From God I can't believe in you Dear God, Sorry to disturb you but... .. . . . If there's one thing I don't believe in... It's you, dear God.
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XTC....gotta love it!
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 9:02:44 AM EST
Originally Posted By hound: Dear God, Hope you got the letter and... I pray you can make it better down here But all the people that you made in your image See them starving on their feet
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Made in God's image, but corrupted by the sin they they CHOSE of their own free will. And sufferring for their CHOICE to choose sin over God.
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 9:19:33 AM EST
Atheists... See them starving on their feet Cause they don't get enough to eat ... so atheists stay home and write songs blaming God. Atheists... See them fighting in the street Cause they can't make opinions meet about God ... so atheists stay home and write songs blaming God. XTC - lame.
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 9:37:50 AM EST
one question.....would any father treat his children like the biblical g*d? That is my sticking point, my father is one brass-plated alchoholic asshole and he never was as bad.......that's all enjoy the discussion.
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 9:42:49 AM EST
renotse, Existentialism is not so much a philosophical or theological systematic school of thought. Existentialists comprise a wide array of theological and anti-theological positions. It is more of a reactionary movement against the modern rationalism of Descrates and company than an ordered school. Kierkegaard simply reacted against the Church of his day that taught that faith could be apprehended by logic. He repeated the words of Luther "Knowledge is a whore!" as he tried to proclaim the Biblical God to a Church infatuated with the god of the philosophers. Oddly enough, he wasn't a pietist though. Generally there are two competing schools of thought in the Church. You have those who claim that faith is firmly placed in the realm of feeling - pietism. Others claim that it is most certainly in the realm of knowing - neo-orthodoxy. Luther once quipped "You can neither know nor feel that you are right with God... you can only believe." Thus, the reformer removed faith from both catagories. Soren Kierkegaard was trying to do the same thing. In modern America we have arrived at our own unique heresy. The state, as typified by its neo-classical architecture, is considered to be the realm of knowledge. When we examine our Constitution we examine it through the lense of "immutable" principles and other remnants of enlightenment rationalism. The Church, as typified by its neo-gothic architecture, is considered to be the realm of feeling. Americans fight furiously to shelter religious claims from rational scepticism. Instead, we tend to describe our faith in terms of pietism and personal mystical experiences (e.g. Born Again experiences). It's all very interesting. So why do atheists coopt Kierkegaard? Well, I guess because they can. I don't know if I answered your question. Let me know.
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 10:26:39 AM EST
Renamed, PINGi3, Thank you guys for your responses. I have a little better grip on it now.
Originally Posted By Renamed: My $0.02: Kierkegaard's philosophy stems from two basic premises, 1) that the Biblical God exists 2) that conventional attempts to find knowledge and meaning are futile. Kierkegaard concluded that in the face of cosmic grimness and absurdity, an individual's only hope is faith in God. It was not much of a leap for later philosophers who didn't share his religious faith (in part because they saw that a belief in premise #1 was derived from the very system of thought rejected in #2) to conclude that the individual had to become the source of his own life's meaning.
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Originally Posted By PINGi3: renotse, Kierkegaard simply reacted against the Church of his day that taught that faith could be apprehended by logic. He repeated the words of Luther "Knowledge is a whore!" as he tried to proclaim the Biblical God to a Church infatuated with the god of the philosophers. Oddly enough, he wasn't a pietist though. Generally there are two competing schools of thought in the Church. You have those who claim that faith is firmly placed in the realm of feeling - pietism. Others claim that it is most certainly in the realm of knowing - neo-orthodoxy. Luther once quipped "You can neither know nor feel that you are right with God... you can only believe." Thus, the reformer removed faith from both catagories. Soren Kierkegaard was trying to do the same thing. In modern America we have arrived at our own unique heresy. The state, as typified by its neo-classical architecture, is considered to be the realm of knowledge. When we examine our Constitution we examine it through the lense of "immutable" principles and other remnants of enlightenment rationalism. The Church, as typified by its neo-gothic architecture, is considered to be the realm of feeling. Americans fight furiously to shelter religious claims from rational scepticism. Instead, we tend to describe our faith in terms of pietism and personal mystical experiences (e.g. Born Again experiences). It's all very interesting. So why do atheists coopt Kierkegaard? Well, I guess because they can. I don't know if I answered your question. Let me know.
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Link Posted: 8/2/2002 10:39:07 AM EST
Originally Posted By hound: one question.....would any father treat his children like the biblical g*d? .
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Would an earthly father ask his natural born son to suffer so intensely to save some adopted children?? I doubt it. But God did. For you.
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 11:03:20 AM EST
I am not an atheist nor have I played one on TV. But it seems to me, If you do not belive in a god or a higher power than you would not have anything to aspire to. There for your worth would be determined by your peers. And if these peers deemed you to be substandard your place in society would be linked to it. No person could ever add to their worth. For the wealthy would always see themselves as worthy, And an unworthy person as a subordinate, or a pawn in their life. People of faith do not look on others this way (well we are taught not to)we are all to be humble. Working in faith to make every person happy and heathy in the lord. Do unto others as you would have done unto you. Where as the atheist say , Do unto me as I tell you to.
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 11:14:38 AM EST
[atheist mode] Well, if humans were created from a random collision of molecules, then the value of a human life can be determined by their chemical composition. If all components are broken down to their bas elements, a human would be worht about $6. If separated into the complex hydrocarbons that exist within the body, then $6M is about right. [/atheist mode] The "value" of a human can be judged in part by their actions. God placed all humans on Earth for a purpose. It's up to us to try to understand that purpose and fulfill it.
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 11:26:42 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/2/2002 11:28:38 AM EST by KBaker]
Originally Posted By thebrain: I am not an atheist nor have I played one on TV. But it seems to me, If you do not belive in a god or a higher power than you would not have anything to aspire to. There for your worth would be determined by your peers.
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Why? Why can your "personal worth" not be determined by yourself, outside of your peers and outside of a "higher power?"
And if these peers deemed you to be substandard your place in society would be linked to it. No person could ever add to their worth. For the wealthy would always see themselves as worthy, And an unworthy person as a subordinate, or a pawn in their life.
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What you're describing is the Indian caste system. But I assure you that members of even the lowest caste can consider themselves superior to members of the highest caste. I don't buy your theory.
People of faith do not look on others this way (well we are taught not to)we are all to be humble.
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Within the Christian religion, yes. The same is not true of other religions, as evidenced above.
Working in faith to make every person happy and heathy in the lord. Do unto others as you would have done unto you. Where as the atheist say , Do unto me as I tell you to.
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Again, I disagree. Certainly [i]some[/i] people can believe that way, even [i]if[/i] they proclaim to be Christian. As Thucydides put it, "The strong do what the will; the weak endure what they must." However, I live by the Christian tenet of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." The fact that I am not a Christian doesn't mean I don't recognize a good idea when I see one.
Link Posted: 8/2/2002 2:50:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/2/2002 2:50:50 PM EST by The_Macallan]
Originally Posted By hound: one question.....would any father treat his children like the biblical g*d?
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In another thread a while back a similar issue came up. I wrote this to explain why God would KNOWINGLY create man knowing ahead of time that there are sometimes terrible things awaiting us in our lives: You have a son? I'm sure you KNOW he's certainly going to experience pain, fear and loneliness. You also KNOW he's going to rebel against you at some point in his life and do things that you KNOW are harmful to him - maybe even reject you outright and destroy himself. Did you bring him into the world KNOWING he's going to suffer and die eventually? Of course you did. So why did you bring him into the world only to set him on a course where you KNOW the ultimate outcome will be his own death? (I have a son also and so I know the answer to that too.) In this little example, you're pretty much "omniscient" about your the ultimate outcome of your son's life aren't you? The details are just details - but you know the end result. He's going to suffer some and then die. But he's also going to live. You probably didn't have a son just to watch him die, you did it so he could live. And a part of you will live in him and through him. Regardless of the outcome, you gave your son the greatest thing you could ever create - life. Likewise with God.
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