Should We Remove Our Moral Foundation? (Christianity)

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Should We Remove Our Moral Foundation? (Christianity)

Postby edy420 on December 7th, 2018, 4:17 am 

The Ten Commandments (simplified)

1. You shall have no other Gods before me

2. You shall not make for yourselves an idol

3. You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God

4. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy

5. Honor your father and your mother

6. You shall not murder

7. You shall not commit adultery

8. You shall not steal

9. You shall not give false testimony

10. You shall not covet


Whether you like it or not, western society was built on this code of morality. Some societies care for none of them. 200 years ago in my country, it was honourable to eat your enemies heart. Luckily the Christian code of morality has been implemented here. Lest I be honourable in an inhumane context.

This begs the question, what is moral. Both for an individual and collectively as a society. Christians are blessed with a moral code set in stone. But atheists have none.

The atheist set of moral codes varies from one individual to the next. There is no collective standard of which is agreed upon. The law can, and is changed, but usually too late. And never fully reflects societies values.

Atheists like to use reason as their code of conduct. The problem is we all have different levels of reasoning skills and interpretation. Having a drug use history, I know a few drug abuse atheists with poor morals and reasoning skills.

Modern society seems to be drifting further and further away from the Christian foundation of which it was built. Abortion, evolution, gay marriage, gender identity, are topics of controversy today, but not 50 years ago in a more Christian grounded society.

With all this in mind I propose two questions.
1. Is it time to remove Christianities morality as a base guideline once and for all?
2. If so, what do we replace it with?
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Re: Should We Remove Our Moral Foundatation? (Christianity)

Postby Fuqin on December 7th, 2018, 8:46 am 

I think you'll find that mortality is even subjective amongst Chritians, we have laws most cultuers are cooperatives and even the ethics of institutions political or otherwise are more or less spheres of subjective co-operation, I.e punishments for murder in the USA carries different sentances state to state as for athiests having there own code of conduct well good luck with that , most atheist I know wouldent agree to a meta-ethic anymore than.a post modern philosopher would agree to a universal mortality, one of the main rationalitys for athiesm is the understanding that belife system's cannot be objectivly correct because thay disagree with each other, yhay are therfor subjective I think truth , law , morality ,ethics will always be self detemaning and higly subjective, the truth of a matter is really defined by the contexst , and like the paridigm shift of science it will always evolve as new insight is found.
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Re: Should We Remove Our Moral Foundatation? (Christianity)

Postby davidm on December 7th, 2018, 12:08 pm 

Is there a full moon today at this forum?

Let’s start with the fact that the 10 commandments are not Christian in origin, and not even original. Prior cultures had similar concepts.

The first three commandments are nonsensical. First, there is no God, so that obviates Nos. 1 and 3. As to No. 2, what the hell is an idol, and who cares if somebody makes one? What has that got to do with any notion of morality?

“You shall not murder” is a good one. Why, then, do so many Christians support the death penalty? What about the Christian conquistadors who ruthlessly slaughtered the native Americans, branded and enslaved the ones that they did not kill, and razed native temples, destroyed their books and their art? Is that an example of your Christian morality in action? How about the crusades?

The United States was founded on a separation of Church and state, not Christianity. Many of the founders were deists or atheists. Abe Lincoln, widely regarded as our best president, was either a deist or an atheist. He seemed to get up some religiosity in the crucible of the Civil War, though.

Atheists ground their morality the exact same way Christians do: We are an evolved social species, just another animal, and we have to figure out ways to live with one another. That is the source of morality.

Evolution is a true fact. Abortion should be legal. Gay marriage is excellent. Homophobia, racism and misogyny, all endemic among evangelical Christians in particular, are despicable. Gender identity should be respected and honored. Christian morality is pretty much an oxymoron.

You’re welcome.
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Re: Should We Remove Our Moral Foundatation? (Christianity)

Postby Serpent on December 7th, 2018, 1:16 pm 

edy420 » December 7th, 2018, 3:17 am wrote:
The Ten Commandments (simplified)

1. You shall have no other Gods before me

2. You shall not make for yourselves an idol

3. You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God

4. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy

5. Honor your father and your mother

6. You shall not murder

7. You shall not commit adultery

8. You shall not steal

9. You shall not give false testimony

10. You shall not covet


Whether you like it or not, western society was built on this code of morality.

It actually wasn't. The Greek, Roman, Persian, Chinese, Egyptian and Assyrian civilizations all had far more sophisticated legal codes, long before Moses came down from that mountain.

The first four commandments refer only to Jehovah's jealousy. (Read Terry Pratchett's Small Gods)

Honouring parents is hardly unique in human societies, though the interpretation may vary according to custom and economic situation. In Judeo-Christian interpretation, it usually translates as deference toward the patriarch and sentimentality over the mother (who has no actual rights).

#6 is usually considered problematic, since Jehovah himself almost immediately commanded those same Israelites to massacre the citizens of Jericho, and later went on to many more atrocities against their enemies - or just any old peoples whose land (and virgin daughters) they coveted.
In fact, the legal term "murder" is never applied to killing done by the state or its agents. It only means that private killing of one civilian by another is strictly regulated - that is, forbidden, with some exemptions.

Stealing, lying, cheating, coveting (that is, connivance to acquire) and breach of contract (including the marital vow) are illegal in all societies, and unevenly enforced in all societies.

Some societies care for none of them.

Name three.

200 years ago in my country, it was honourable to eat your enemies heart. Luckily the Christian code of morality has been implemented here. Lest I be honourable in an inhumane context.

Okay. So the christians don't eat their enemies. The hang, draw and quarter, burn at stakes, behead in public, take their weapons and leave the corpses to rot, mustard gas in their trenches and bulldoze the trenches......All honourable and humane.

The atheist set of moral codes varies from one individual to the next.

All moral codes vary by individual, both as to interpretation and implementation. If Christians all uniformly obeyed all their churches' tenets, they would still have almost 40,000 different denominations, each with its own code.

There is no collective standard of which is agreed upon. The law can, and is changed, but usually too late. And never fully reflects societies values.

That's the nature of secular democracy. If we didn't want secular, representative government that can respond to the reality experienced by people in any given time, e'd have stuck to kings by divine right. Oddly enough, they, too had various laws under God's law.

Atheists like to use reason as their code of conduct.

Yes. They think they're all smarter than sheep.
The problem is we all have different levels of reasoning skills and interpretation. Having a drug use history, I know a few drug abuse atheists with poor morals and reasoning skills.

And no Christians?

Modern society seems to be drifting further and further away from the Christian foundation of which it was built. Abortion, evolution, gay marriage, gender identity, are topics of controversy today, but not 50 years ago in a more Christian grounded society.

Yes, we've been whittling away - woefully slowly and with inordinate effort - at the persecutions built into religious dogma.

1. Is it time to remove Christianities morality as a base guideline once and for all?

Absolutely! It has never worked. Not for the 800 years it was in force before the Christian era (All the Jewish prophets kept yelling at the people for failing to keep the commandments) and not for the 1900 since it was recodified by the RCC (hence all those prisons and torture chambers).
2. If so, what do we replace it with?

Sanity would be nice. But the civil legal apparatus that's been operating for 300 hundred or so years just needs continued reform, refining, equalizing, negotiating.
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Re: Should We Remove Our Moral Foundatation? (Christianity)

Postby TheVat on December 7th, 2018, 1:40 pm 

davidm » December 7th, 2018, 9:08 am wrote:Is there a full moon today at this forum?



It's the new moon, actually, but yeah I was sort of wondering. Thanks for the reality check.
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Re: Should We Remove Our Moral Foundatation? (Christianity)

Postby edy420 on December 7th, 2018, 3:41 pm 

This is less a proclamation of faith, and more a genuine interest of what the alternative collective moral code of conduct looks like.

The Catholic Church has an authority that governs such topics like gays and abortion even war and killing. Although I may disagree with the Pope on multiple subjects I must still obey his authority lest I be living in sin. Most Christians who don’t obey the authority of the Pope, become Protestants. Which means they take a little step away from Christianity.

Atheists can live by the same morals, but are able to take as big a step away from the Popes authority as they see fit.

I’m not preaching here. The points about crusades etc are moot, because I doubt the Pope gave the Ok. Most likely Protestant’s who deny the authority of the Pope. Much like most the examples of Christians. I could argue that the war on Iraq was initiated by God, because according to George Bush, God told him to go to war. He should have asked the Pope first, if it were God he was talking too.

I know it’s difficult, but I’d prefer this discussion avoid having to defend faith. And focus on the alternative to asking society follow the Ten Commandments.

To me, the alternative looks like a big mess. It’s different from one county to the next. To Catholics, we are all sinners but must obey the Popes authority. To Protestants the Ten Commandments are a good guideline but open to interpretation.

To atheists, even the most basic principle of do unto others what you would want done to you, is subjectively varied. When applying this principle to needle injecting drug abusers, we must turn to the law for sanity. Some people don’t care if they are cut by others, they find it funny. So this basic principle of morality is detrimental in that respect.

Jordan Peterson argues that society should be grounded in Christianity for the sake of sanity. He says that removing it would leave us suspended, and without a foundation comes a collapse. I’m paraphrasing but he asks for evidence of a universal moral code alternative and none seem satisfactory.

Christianity has the advantage of being set in stone. You can look into it and know exactly what it has to offer.
Relying on something like the law alone is dangerous, because it can evolve into something no one wants. It can become a dictatorship or become autonomous.

The challenge put forth, is to describe what a moral foundation looks like. One that works and can hold modern society up on its feet, in face of the continual degradation of Christian grounded morals.

I ask does it need to be universal. Does it need to be enforced. Does it need and authority. Does it need to be agreed upon and if not who decides which side is right or wrong.
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Re: Should We Remove Our Moral Foundatation? (Christianity)

Postby Serpent on December 7th, 2018, 6:23 pm 

edy420 » December 7th, 2018, 2:41 pm wrote:This is less a proclamation of faith, and more a genuine interest of what the alternative collective moral code of conduct looks like.

It looks like all civil law in all nations, whether they started out Christian or Buddhist or Muslim or one of the religions we don't know anymore, because the conquerors killed them off. The rules of society are always and only a regulation of human interactions in such a way as (primarily) to cause minimal disruption to the whole and (secondarily) to serve the interests of its power elite. Some nations (Muslim ones, most obviously) stick to the religious guidelines when it comes to individual freedom and public demeanour.

Most Christians who don’t obey the authority of the Pope, become Protestants. Which means they take a little step away from Christianity.

Or toward. If you read your NT carefully, many of the Protestant sects come closer to the teachings of their saviour than any of the popes managed. My choice for closest are the Quakers, but it's a matter of opinion.

The points about crusades etc are moot, because I doubt the Pope gave the Ok. Most likely Protestant’s who deny the authority of the Pope.

Since the last one took place nearly 300 years before the Reformation, I would call that least likely.
https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/pope-urban-ii-orders-first-crusade
Are you going to blame the Inquisition on Luther?

I know it’s difficult, but I’d prefer this discussion avoid having to defend faith.

I have no problem with faith, so long as it doesn't impose unreasonable and unfounded notions on people who don't share it. After all, there are faiths different from Catholicism, all professed by many sincere people. I happen to think they're all equally nonsensical, though far from equally damaging to the psyche, but I respect their right to practice their belief.

And focus on the alternative to asking society follow the Ten Commandments.

Secular law, regarding crime, property and citizenship, has been functioning alongside religious canons, both before and since the commandments, as well as in civilizations that have never had a pope.
Why are you having so much trouble reconciling the two?
And what have atheists got to do with it?

ETA - Pursuant to the commandments, do you also subscribe to the law as laid down in Leviticus? Obviously, non of the popes followed those rules as it became necessary to Romanize the Judaic law.
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Re: Should We Remove Our Moral Foundatation? (Christianity)

Postby edy420 on December 7th, 2018, 10:03 pm 

If you read your NT carefully, many of the Protestant sects come closer to the teachings of their saviour than any of the popes managed


"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God." -Romans 13:1

A large part of the New Testament depicts Paul going through a lot of effort to set up the Catholic Church with himself as the head authority, instituted by God(especially considering he's a direct deciple of Christ).

I find it difficult to critique the different teachings of Churchs. I've attended protestant service myself and see they don't even teach about the different types of sin. I had to be initiated into the Catholic Church by way of learning the basics. I'm not sure what the Quakers method is but it's one of 40,000 denominations. How does one find it and measure against the other 39,999 in order to call it the closest to Christs teachings?
The best way would be visiting each one, but I doubt that was your method of comparison.

Are you going to blame the Inquisition on Luther?

Looking at the crusades in depth, it's easier to justify than the wars in Iraq. Christians were being killed, their lands taken and their holy sites defiled. Would you be ok with Isis taking New York and tearing down the Statue Of Liberty?

Given that the crusaders could not resist temptation whilst crusading, it's no wonder they failed. They stopped walking with Christ. Free Will has it's down side.

Secular law, regarding crime, property and citizenship, has been functioning alongside religious canons, both before and since the commandments, as well as in civilizations that have never had a pope.
Why are you having so much trouble reconciling the two?
And what have atheists got to do with it?


Admittedly Christians can struggle with drug use/abuse too. We call it, walking away from the Lord. Because of our Christian belief, they can be pulled back on track. Ie the narrow path. But without Christianity, there is no narrow path. There is just a spaghetti junction of confusion that we must navigate with our reason. Drug use can be reasoned as moral, if it mitigates suffering.

We are in a time and place where religion is becoming the minority. Leaving secular law to stand on its own. Alongside "reason". But reason alone is like a a box of Tnt. In the hands of trained professionals, it's a useful tool. But in the hands of the foolish, it can lead to their destruction.
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Re: Should We Remove Our Moral Foundatation? (Christianity)

Postby Serpent on December 7th, 2018, 10:49 pm 

edy420 » December 7th, 2018, 9:03 pm wrote:A large part of the New Testament depicts Paul going through a lot of effort to set up the Catholic Church with himself as the head authority, instituted by God(especially considering he's a direct deciple of Christ).

No, he wasn't. Paul's letters are not properly a testament at all. He never witnessed a minute of Jesus' ministry; never heard a sermon or shared a meal. Yes, he did set himself up as the head authority - he was a superb organizer - but his work is not a record of christian teaching.


I'm not sure what the Quakers method is but it's one of 40,000 denominations. How does one find it and measure against the other 39,999 in order to call it the closest to Christs teachings?

As I said, it's a matter of opinion. From reading the eye-witness gospels, I got the impression that Jesus disapproved of violence, even in self-defense; that he wasn't a fan of organized worship but recommended private prayer, exhorted his people to help one another and not be too concerned with property and worldly trappings. None of that describes the Catholic Church to me, nor the Eastern Orthodoxy.

[Are you going to blame the Inquisition on Luther?]
Looking at the crusades in depth, it's easier to justify than the wars in Iraq.

I have no reason to justify either. Both the Christians and Muslims were expanding their empires at that time, just as the Assyrians and Mongols and Romans had done earlier; just as the English, French and Spanish did a bit later; as the Americans and Russians have been doing recently.
Christians were being killed, their lands taken and their holy sites defiled.

Their lands? How did those lands become theirs? The early Christians had no compunction about defiling the holy sites of Rome and its dominions ('s why they were prosecuted, btw) and later the holy sites of all their enemies.
I notice you adroitly sidestepped the fact that the crusades were, indeed, directed by popes, which greatly increased their power, and the whole question of the Inquisition.

Would you be ok with Isis taking New York and tearing down the Statue Of Liberty?

It's just another monument. I'd be a lot more okay with that than their killing young girls! Barbarism has no known beginning and no foreseeable end. People do horrid things to one another and to other species - regardless of their professed religious affiliation.

Admittedly Christians can struggle with drug use/abuse too.

Also Jews and Hindus. Addiction has no religion: it's chemical. The opportunities and temptations are societal. Substance abuse is another one of those human traps that people fall into and that, if they're lucky and get help, can climb back out of. If someone finds strength in their faith - whichever faith - they should certainly use that. If they find it somewhere else, they should use that. No two people are exactly alike or have the same frailties or need the same kind of support.

We are in a time and place where religion is becoming the minority.

I only wish that were true!!

Leaving secular law to stand on its own. Alongside "reason". But reason alone is like a a box of Tnt. In the hands of trained professionals, it's a useful tool. But in the hands of the foolish, it can lead to their destruction.

Oddly enough, the same could be said of patriotism, religion,sex and industry.
Stupid people behave stupidly.
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Re: Should We Remove Our Moral Foundation? (Christianity)

Postby edy420 on December 10th, 2018, 6:19 pm 

I notice you adroitly sidestepped the fact that the crusades were, indeed, directed by popes, which greatly increased their power, and the whole question of the Inquisition.


Not intentionally. Rational tells me war is bad. Just look at any of my posts on the topic. But faith tells me it's a necessity.

I'm against the idea of invading other lands to protect your own, it just doesn't make sense to me. But it made sense to my grandfather who faught in WW2. It makes sense to the people who supported the war in Iraq(many intelligent people here support it). It makes sense to the authorities that are involved in them. My perspective is but one and is simple.

I have however, noted that Ghandis approach to war is ineffective and detrimental to the innocent. Protestants bring up the Inquisition two, but in the same conversation talk about the war that Jesus leads in the book of revelation. If Jesus two, believes in war, then who am I to question the Popes belief that war would protect the innocent? I see it as one of God's Free Will experiments. Because God made Free Will, the one thing he can not predict.

Someone quoted the Pope as enforcing the wars of today. I looked into it and all he said was, if the actions of war suppress the suffering, then it is necessary(Paraphrasing). The gist of their argument was that the Pope supported war, but my interpretation was far from that. With the Crusades, I can't find much saying that the Pope lead the war or that he enforced it, that argument seems based on one or two lines hes been quoted as saying. Ill look into it more when i have the time.
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Re: Should We Remove Our Moral Foundation? (Christianity)

Postby Serpent on December 11th, 2018, 1:21 am 

edy420 » December 10th, 2018, 5:19 pm wrote:Rational tells me war is bad. Just look at any of my posts on the topic. But faith tells me it's a necessity.

Can you explain why? No, that's probably the wrong question.
Can you describe how faith is telling you this and what inside yourself makes you listen?

I have however, noted that Ghandis approach to war is ineffective and detrimental to the innocent.

I could maybe debate the effectiveness of Gandhi's methods. After all, India is no longer a British colony and neither of us know how many casualties there would have been under a different leader.
Does that have any relevance to Christianity as the bedrock of morality?

Protestants bring up the Inquisition two,

How does the opinion of Protestants change the issue of the Inquisition? Bishops and cardinals had random citizens arrested and tortured on suspicion of blasphemy, heresy, witchcraft or Jewishness or membership in a minor Christian sect or whatever they deemed detrimental to their hold on the short'n'curlies of all the peasants. That's a fact, and has no bearing on who was at war with whom during those six centuries.

but in the same conversation talk about the war that Jesus leads in the book of revelation.

You mean the ramblings of that ancient mushroom-head? He was referring to Jesus' prophesy of a final showdown between good and evil - he wasn't talking about a clash of worldly empires.
Anyway, I'd be more convinced by a quote from Jesus's own sermons that he approved of war in general. Yes, I know, Christians, who often refer to Jesus as The Prince of peace, like to defend their own violent acts with the quote :
Matthew 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

That's not about war; that's about discord of beliefs within communities and families.
In fact, he's negating one of the commandments:
He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

Elsewhere, too, he tells people to leave their parents and wives to follow him, the little home-wrecker.
Family values, forsooth!

If Jesus two, believes in war, then who am I to question the Popes belief that war would protect the innocent?

What innocents are being protected? Innocents tend, rather, to number prominently among the victims of every war. The wars of the OT are notably devoid of idealism on any side. As far as the NT is concerned, Jesus seemed not to favour rebellion against the Roman occupation - in fact, he might gotten on better with the Roman authorities than the Judean.
But if Jesus did approve of war, I'd have to question his moral authority on every issue.

Someone quoted the Pope as enforcing the wars of today. I looked into it and all he said was, if the actions of war suppress the suffering, then it is necessary(Paraphrasing). The gist of their argument was that the Pope supported war, but my interpretation was far from that.

In the past, priests have traditionally blessed the weapons and prayed for the troops of their own nations. Where the combatants were both Christian nations, the Vatican has generally professed neutrality and sometimes brokered treaties. Where the military aggression was by a Catholic country against a pagan one, the Church was all for it. Sent missionaries alongside the armies.

With the Crusades, I can't find much saying that the Pope lead the war or that he enforced it, that argument seems based on one or two lines hes been quoted as saying. Ill look into it more when i have the time.

Urban II called for the first one, because Byzantium was in trouble. Then things got complicated. This is a pretty good accessible site
https://www.history.com/topics/middle-ages/crusades

This is interesting, but not morally instructive.
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Re: Should We Remove Our Moral Foundation? (Christianity)

Postby BadgerJelly on December 11th, 2018, 1:41 am 

It seems to me more like “religions” develop from an innate human morality - humans being inept the fall prey to corruption here and there yet manage to sturggle onward.

This is principally why I view “religion” as something innate (because it is worked social expression of an innate morality). As far as the institution of religion goes I don’t see it as being about religion or morality. It is moe or less about the political effectiveness of religious doctrines to better this or that political agenda.

I understand that this sounds quite jumbled! I’ve thought about it a great deal so just trying to sum up briefly.

I don’t see “religion” as being the foundation of morality. I do see morality as beign the foundation of religion though. What appears to be the confusion is how innate morality has taken on certain expressive forms (relgiions) and also, by no fault of its own, necessarily mixed into less moral aspirations and met with divisions and conflciting ideas - which are necessary conflicts that make us what we are; so in this sense “war”/“conflict” is necessary for living a moral life.

It doesn’t really matter what we should or shouldn’t do en masse. What matters is what you decide to do and why you decide to do it. Other than that the time may come around where what you do is what others will do - in this sense I personally have tempered conviction not absolute conviction, and I’m always trying to remind myself of how wrong I could, can, have and will be. No matter what safe guards we put in place we’re going to make errors and then it comes down to our “moral substance” - that which we use to handle our errors, face them full on, and not shy away from our own immediate stupidity and inadequacies.

I believe the earliest “religions” gave a weight of reality to human life. Now I think that “religion” has become somewhat fantastical and needs to be revitalised and morph into its next stage - whatever that may be - in order to ground those on a wayward path falling into angst and nihilism (or simply avoiding any means of “grounding” themselves).
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Re: Should We Remove Our Moral Foundation? (Christianity)

Postby edy420 on December 11th, 2018, 6:09 am 

Can you describe how faith is telling you this and what inside yourself makes you listen?


The fundamental axiom, I believe there's more to this world than what my senses allow me to perceive. And science shows this. With atomic structure in mind, there is more room for a spirit in my hand, than there is for my physical hand (approximately 99 times more room). When I was agnostic, I could rationalise the possibility of a creator, so the transition to Christianity wasn't all that difficult. If I had faith since a child, I would have avoided most of the problems I encountered during my progression of maturity.

One example was pornography use. Using reason alone, I came to the conclusion that I could use it responsibly and my wife agreed. But found myself with erectile dysfunction, and having to load up some porn midway through making love with my wife. She was Ok with it but I felt completely embarrassed for her. It became normal until I/we found faith. We had to give up pornography. And voila no more erectile dysfunction. It turns out that science is discovering psychological problems with pornography overuse, but it's too late. The Bible already knew.

Now I'm faced with Cannibis use. I can rationalise it's use. And I've been a casual user for the last 11 to 12 years. But it's still illegal in NZ. The Bible teaches that we must obey the law. And for this reason alone, based on faith I have quit cannabis use (7-8 months now). Consequentially I've had to face my weaknesses that Cannabis use helped me catar for. Now I'm better off. Two examples of how faith in Christianity has saved me.

In my case, the Bible has always said I should not use porn or cannabis, but I reasoned against it and fell into darkness. Now I submit my will to it's teachings. But as a self reasoning being, I can manipulate my interpretations of the Bible teachings, and that is why I like the idea of an authority like the Vatican that can decipher the Bibles teachings in an unbias fashion. Take 10 protestants and they all enterpret the Bible differently. But 10 Catholics with solid faith will all agree(The Catechism is literally a hand book on how to live in a Christian way, that accompanies the stories in the Bible).

The biggest problem with Christianity (or any category of human interaction) is the fact that humans are involved. When police rape young teens, we don't get rid of the police. We understand that it's a human run operation and that there will be human atrocity, built into the system of policing crime. Christianity and the vatican is not immune of the intrinsic human atrocity, variable. If the Pope makes the wrong decision, then in my view, he is not walking with Christ as much as he thinks he is. The Devil is a trickster and no one is immune to his relentless attempts. He even tempted Jesus and tried to trick him! If the Pope asked me to go to war, I would. If it were a bad decision on the Popes behalf, I'm thankful that Christ will judge me for what is in my heart, and not the fact that I can't judge the Popes intentions, good or evil.

Elsewhere, too, he tells people to leave their parents and wives to follow him, the little home-wrecker.
Family values, forsooth!


The Catholic hierarchy of worship goes, God/Christ > self > wife/children > others. I learnt this when being initiated in first communion. And it works. I found that I love my wife and children more than myself. But it's backwards. I couldn't love my wife to the level that she deserved because I didn't love myself. By putting Christ first and loving him, my foundation of love is unbreakable. Allowing me to love myself, which in turn allows me to love my wife. Before faith, I was in a place where I couldn't forgive myself for the actions I've done in the past. It was a heavy weight, that lead to depression and anxiety. Through faith, our Lord told me I could forgive myself, and now I am a rock of which my family stands strong.

But if Jesus did approve of war, I'd have to question his moral authority on every issue.


The concept of necessary war, is an impossible topic. It's beyond the comprehension of an individual. Last year I said all war is bad and should be avoided. But aggressors exist, they are real. If Hitler had his way, and no one opposed, the world would be in his image. I wouldn't be alive, because I'm a brown eyes, brown skin Maori. Therefore war saved my life. I was ignorant to this fact, but faith has once again opened my eyes(Just realised this while discussing it here). Without faith id still be ignorantly arguing against all war. But I'm nearly through the Old Testament and it's rampant with war. I still like to think that one day it may be avoidable but I don't know. Having faith in Christ means I can rest at ease, because I don't have to try and know, that which I can not.
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Re: Should We Remove Our Moral Foundation? (Christianity)

Postby edy420 on December 11th, 2018, 6:54 am 

BadgerJelly wrote: I believe the earliest “religions” gave a weight of reality to human life. Now I think that “religion” has become somewhat fantastical and needs to be revitalised and morph into its next stage - whatever that may be


A religious evolution? I guess that's what Christianity was to Judaism. The Bible talks about a second coming, but that's talk for a religious discussion group. Allow me to put on my agnostic cap, for progressive discussion.

The value of religion is undeniable. I'm a member of a men's group called Man-up. Ironically it's protestant based, but it's focus is on building stronger communities, with less crime. Our Government has spent millions of dollars in programs that just don't work.

Man-Up is a 15 week coarse. Each week a new topic is discussed. And each topic is an elaboration of biblical teaching. The topic that most affected me was unforgiveness. Another one was commitment. We discuss these topics, whilst learning the Destiny Church's teaching. It's an alcoholics anonymous, narcotics anonymous, a men's group, relationship building, marriage councilling (but without the wife-men only!) And a Fatherhood coarse all rolled into one and more! We have one atheist in our group but even he benefits.

Promotion is by word of mouth. We have what we call the 4 X-Men who go around town to town with a gang of 100 plus motorbikes to share their testimony and try reach out to other men who are like them. The 4 X-men are all ex gang presidents. They have seen and done things you can not even imagine. But through Man-Up and faith, they turned their lives around.

The facilitators of my group are not psychiatrists or educated. They are men who have lived the worst lives possible, and turned their lives around. One smoked methamphetamine for 15 years, and was the main dealer in a small town, selling to single mothers and had to break people legs to get his money. He found that he couldn't quit without moving towns and creating a new circle of friends among other things and shares these tips with others in the same situation. In the small time I've been there, I have seen the worst men Man-Up and turn their lives around. Woman beaters and addicts all teaching each other what works for them in avoiding immoral behaviour.

I'm starting my 3rd rotation of 15 weeks, and training up to be a facilitator. I've posted on here about my violence and drug use. These experiences are now my tools to help other men become strong.

The faith element is very small and the program mostly focuses on the rebuilding if our broken communities by fixing the broken homes. To fix the broken homes we first strengthen the men, to make pillars of society. We open and close with a prayer, and two topics are deeply faith based. One is "Demsons in the House"(an in depth looks at our addictions from a spiritual perspective) and the other is "You are a Son of God"(Which focuses on emphasising that God created you with a purpose, which we learn about in the class prior, called identity)

I imagine this is the same effect that Christianity had prior to it's decintrigration. It turned people's lives around. But it's not quit a full step of evolution as it's just a branch of the Church reaching out. It's still deeply grounded in the protestant Church, Destiny Church.

Even from an atheist perspective, if something works, don't try and fix it. Man-Up works.
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Re: Should We Remove Our Moral Foundation? (Christianity)

Postby BadgerJelly on December 11th, 2018, 10:28 am 

But what you’re talking about isn’t inherent ONLY to Christianity. Numerous institutions (“religious” or otherwise) work by similiar principles - and in some circumstances with better results given the habits of those who take part in them (an atheist may be more likely to find some “wisdom” in Bhuddist teachings than in Christian for a variety of biases).
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Re: Should We Remove Our Moral Foundation? (Christianity)

Postby Serpent on December 11th, 2018, 11:00 am 

edy420 » December 11th, 2018, 5:09 am wrote:[ Can you describe how faith is telling you this: "Rational tells me war is bad. But faith tells me it's a necessity." and what inside yourself makes you listen? ]

The fundamental axiom, I believe there's more to this world than what my senses allow me to perceive. And science shows this. With atomic structure in mind, there is more room for a spirit in my hand, than there is for my physical hand (approximately 99 times more room). When I was agnostic, I could rationalise the possibility of a creator, so the transition to Christianity wasn't all that difficult. If I had faith since a child, I would have avoided most of the problems I encountered during my progression of maturity.

That's not an answer to why you believe war to be necessary.
Most of what follows about your religious and pre-religious experience is personal and can be countered with personal experiences that are quite different. It doesn't answer how collective morality is improved by the Christian churches. I'm not saying Catholicism is worse than Protestantism - God knows how many Anglican vicars abused their choirboys and how socially toxic Baptists can be. But nor is it noticeably - that is to say, in the behaviour of the people who profess it - better than Druidism or polytheism or animism or Shinto.

In my case, the Bible has always said I should not use porn or cannabis,

Where did it say those things?

The biggest problem with Christianity (or any category of human interaction) is the fact that humans are involved.

Were that not so, morality would be redundant.

If the Pope asked me to go to war, I would. If it were a bad decision on the Popes behalf, I'm thankful that Christ will judge me for what is in my heart, and not the fact that I can't judge the Popes intentions, good or evil.

That wouldn't do much for the children you napalmed. But they'd have gone to Heaven, I suppose... unless they were Buddhists.


[But if Jesus did approve of war, I'd have to question his moral authority on every issue.]

The concept of necessary war, is an impossible topic. It's beyond the comprehension of an individual.

Maybe so, but it's waged by individuals, each of whom must look to his own conscience when deciding whether to enlist and whom to kill. You don't evade moral responsibility by pleading "I was only following the pope's orders."

But aggressors exist, they are real. If Hitler had his way, and no one opposed, the world would be in his image.

Hitler is an icon, not a moving force. That aggression was not just his personal will, but the cumulative rage and frustration and privation of the German people. He was the funnel. Like Trump, like Mao. These iconic men are repositories for a whole complex of previous historical relationships and actions and transactions - not singular events in themselves.
Had the allies treated the German people more intelligently in the previous 20 years, Hitler would never have come to power at all. That's not to say some other nation wouldn't have aggressed against still other nations, as they invariably do.
Had the Third Reich continued unopposed, the 20th century might have ended differenty, but Hitler wouldn't figure in that, any more than Stalin or Churchill or FDR - winners of that conflict. They made their mark on the world, but didn't remake it in their image.

I wouldn't be alive, because I'm a brown eyes, brown skin Maori.

Can you really imagine the German empire, with its military or 13 million, and its xenophobia, capable of subduing and occupying all the continents and eradicating 80% of the world's population? I can't. Rome, with its far more liberal policy of recruitment and local labour couldn't even take all of Europe.
A different outcome to each and every war was possible, but none of them could have altered global demographics to an appreciable extent.

Therefore war saved my life. I was ignorant to this fact, but faith has once again opened my eyes

I see. But 80 million others and their would-have-been descendants are not alive because of that same war. Are you worth all of them?
Out of curiosity, didn't your ancestors have a moral code before the missionaries came?
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Re: Should We Remove Our Moral Foundation? (Christianity)

Postby doogles on December 11th, 2018, 5:51 pm 

The Title of this thread sounds a bit drastic. From where I sit, nothing needs 'removing' because change to observance of these 10 edicts is evolving naturally.

As far as I can see most moral cultures still create laws (rules) based on at least three of these commandments --

6. You shall not murder

8. You shall not steal

9. You shall not give false testimony
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Re: Should We Remove Our Moral Foundation? (Christianity)

Postby -1- on December 13th, 2018, 12:11 am 

doogles » December 11th, 2018, 5:51 pm wrote:
As far as I can see most moral cultures still create laws (rules) based on at least three of these commandments --

6. You shall not murder

8. You shall not steal

9. You shall not give false testimony


Most moral cultures cultivated by nomadic peoples do not recognize the concept of theft. They do not recognize ownership. Friedrich Engels wrote about this eloquently in his book, "The Origins of Society, of Marriage, and of Private Property".

The Islamic moral culture on one hand cultivates the avoidance of lying, but on the other, encourages it. As a Muslim, you are to be utterly honest in your dealings and in your disclosures with other Muslims, but you are exempt from being honest when relating to non-Muslims.

I would add the law of marital faithfulness to the list. It is also a universal, non-negotiable law in most moral cultures, including Muslim, secular, Christian and nomadic. There may be a variety of definitions of marriage, but each definition is binding in the culture it is used in.
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Re: Should We Remove Our Moral Foundation? (Christianity)

Postby Serpent on December 13th, 2018, 2:07 am 

-1- » December 12th, 2018, 11:11 pm wrote:Most moral cultures cultivated by nomadic peoples do not recognize the concept of theft. They do not recognize ownership.

There are different forms and levels of ownership.
People of quite long ago were buried with their tools, weapons and ornaments. At least some personal possessions must have been important to them, which suggests that they would very likely disapprove of taking those things from a member of one's tribe. They might not have made it a rule, simply because it wouldn't occur to anyone to do so.
Usually, when people are intimately connected, they don't need to codify the obvious.
Law is required only among strangers.
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Re: Should We Remove Our Moral Foundation? (Christianity)

Postby edy420 on December 13th, 2018, 1:18 pm 

BadgerJelly,

But what you’re talking about isn’t inherent ONLY to Christianity. Numerous institutions (“religious” or otherwise) work by similiar principles - and in some circumstances with better results given the habits of those who take part in them (an atheist may be more likely to find some “wisdom” in Bhuddist teachings than in Christian for a variety of biases).


Very true. It's difficult to measure. But the dissipation of Christian ethics in modern society is a reflectiion of two things.

1. Our moral code is evolving
2. Christian belief is becoming more dogmatic

Me personally, I love the idea of monogamous marriage. It's the cure to HIV. Polygamy carries so many psychological issues. (I could go on)

But marriage is not a universal law amongst differing cultures. Based on the moral model of atheism, there is no need for marriage. My concern, is that as Christianity dissolves further and becomes more dogmatic, something like marriage becomes redundant. Atheism has no protections for this moral way of life, or any for that matter.

I'm trying to get an idea of what the atheists moral code looks like. And it seems to be..

1. Live a good life
2. Use your judgement and reason to decide your own moral code
3. Follow the law.

Live a good life, is defined by ones moral code. My definition of good may include inducing suffering on others because that's an effective way to teach. On it's own without a universal moral code, it's meaningless.

Judgment and reason, when used by gang members means, it's good to break people's legs for money because they learn not to mess with gangs. It's also good notoriety. Reason, when used by people suffering, suicide is a good way of ending suffering.

The law is dependant on societies beliefs. It should reflect what society wants. Some cultures, suppress woman, and their law supports it. Law is not a moral code, it is built on a societies beliefs. And when a society decides universal belief is unnecessary then the law will evolve to reflect that.
Last edited by edy420 on December 13th, 2018, 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Should We Remove Our Moral Foundation? (Christianity)

Postby edy420 on December 13th, 2018, 2:00 pm 

Serpent,

That's not an answer to why you believe war to be necessary.


Faith. I don't want to defend the necessity of war. It goes against my idea of logic, judgement and reason. But you have my back against the wall.

My way of life is deeply influenced by the English. They colonised to NZ and then decided to start war to conquer it's occupants. If instead it was Nazi Germany, my way of life would be very different. I'd probably be enslaved first and eventually put into concentration camps. I don't believe Hitler could have just rolled up with his army and wiped us out. But I wouldn't be living the comparatively luxurious life that I enjoy.

I detest war. But through faith, can stomach it's brutality and appreciate it's necessity. If no one believed in war but one nation did, then we'd all be doomed.

Kim Jung In, Donald Trump, Putin. If all nations became anti war and gave up their weapons, can you argue that none of these leaders would expand their empire?

In my case, the Bible has always said I should not use porn or cannabis,


Where did it say those things?


Jesus teachings on lust. I can not look at a naked woman without lust. I like to admire fitness models. I experimented with watching fitness models without lust, but I can't do it. So I gave it up. On reason, I can justify watching a fully clothed woman train, but on faith id rather give it up. And its paid off in my relationship.

With the cannabis issue, the Bible has many teachings on authority and the law. I need to follow the law of the land. Again, on reason, I can justify cannabis use. I was born with ADHD. Smoking would make me a statistic in favor of changing the law. Once it's legal I may use it freely, but until then, faith prevents it. And once again it's paid off. I have faced up to many of my fears that Cannabis use kept me safe from. (I faced them with the help of God of course).

Out of curiosity, didn't your ancestors have a moral code before the missionaries came?


Maori were tribal. Kill your father, if he's the chief to take his place. Kill others so you can steal their land. Worship false God's of war.

Basically, the reverse of the ten commandments.
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Re: Should We Remove Our Moral Foundation? (Christianity)

Postby Serpent on December 13th, 2018, 6:51 pm 

edy420 » December 13th, 2018, 1:00 pm wrote:Serpent,

I detest war. But through faith, can stomach it's brutality and appreciate it's necessity. If no one believed in war but one nation did, then we'd all be doomed.

Perhaps, perhaps not. It's difficult to imagine how a single nation would become so different from all the others, given that we're all one species.
The English believed deeply and strongly in making war on weaker adversaries. They still go along with the Americans on crazy doomed campaigns, like Afghanistan and Iraq.
Germany also had an empire and their African ex-colonies are not so very different now.

Kim Jung In, Donald Trump, Putin. If all nations became anti war and gave up their weapons, can you argue that none of these leaders would expand their empire?

I might. So many variables. I doubt you can make a convincing argument for any of their rise to imperial power through some logical sequence of events that left any one of their countries in possession of an army when no other country had one anymore.

[didn't your ancestors have a moral code before the missionaries came?]

Maori were tribal. Kill your father, if he's the chief to take his place. Kill others so you can steal their land.

So - just like the Old Testament Jews. And everybody else.
Worship false God's of war. Basically, the reverse of the ten commandments.

You're still ambivalent about war, I see. It's okay for the English, but not the Maori.
I don't think it's ever done any good for anybody except rulers and their yes-men.

But, whatever faith does for you, I'm glad it's working.
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Re: Should We Remove Our Moral Foundation? (Christianity)

Postby edy420 on December 14th, 2018, 1:55 am 

You're still ambivalent about war, I see. It's okay for the English, but not the Maori.
I don't think it's ever done any good for anybody except rulers and their yes-men.


The same with violence. When used by the right people and for the right reasons. To eliminate police brutality, we must remove the police force. Ridiculous.

We need police and their violence. Get rid of the police and see what happens. Gangs exist, they are real. I don't approve of gang violence but I can accept that the police need to use violence as a quick way to diffuse volatile situations.

As long as there are humans, there will be violence. If you know of a non-violent way to eliminate it all together, please share.
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Re: Should We Remove Our Moral Foundation? (Christianity)

Postby Serpent on December 14th, 2018, 11:23 am 

edy420 » December 14th, 2018, 12:55 am wrote:
The same with violence. When used by the right people and for the right reasons. To eliminate police brutality, we must remove the police force. Ridiculous.

Yes, that logic is ridiculous. How about going half-way: keep the police, but take away their mandate to be brutal. Such rules do exist for police forces everywhere except in the most blatant dictatorships, where the function of police is to keep the people from revolting against oppression. But those rules - like all kinds of law - are unevenly enforced, for various reasons.

Gangs exist, they are real.

They don't have to. They are a result of some events; a response to some situation - a social phenomenon, like poverty, selective disenfranchisement, discrimination, etc. that doesn't happen in a vacuum: it has causes and an evolution.

I don't approve of gang violence but I can accept that the police need to use violence as a quick way to diffuse volatile situations.

I can't think of a single instance where violence from police has diffused a volatile situation. In most cases, police violence escalates the conflict. If the police win the war by killing and arresting all the bikers, strikers, bootleggers, illegal immigrants, protesters, gangsters or whatever, the violence ends. But there is rarely a decisive victory - just battle after battle after battle, each using more resources, claiming more casualties, wreaking more collateral damage.

As long as there are humans, there will be violence.

Probably. I know institutional Christianity hasn't put the slightest dent in the collective forms of it, though it may have dissuaded individual Christians from raising their hand against their fellow man.

If you know of a non-violent way to eliminate it all together, please share.

I can think of one experiment worth trying. Get rid of money and national borders.
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Re: Should We Remove Our Moral Foundation? (Christianity)

Postby -1- on December 15th, 2018, 9:58 am 

Volatile situations get worse when police get involved, yes; but they would get much, much worse if police would not get involved.

Gangs, pushers, organized crime, etc. can't be stamped out by police, although theoretically it is possible. Our legal systems can't allow busting organizations randomly or on the basis of profiling.

I lived in a communist country, and there the police did have that power, and there were no gangs, etc. If they formed, the got disbanded and punished severely in no time. I shan't say any more on police power. Work it out.

Getting rid of money and national borders will make the world economy collapse, and civilization as we know it, cease to be. Unless of course you don't do it from one day to the next, but in a graduated process. Will that work? We can't say it would or wouldn't, until we try it out. It will be extremely difficult to do trade, from buying a loaf of bread to building a huge hydro-electric damn. How do you reward people for whatever? How do you make a universal system of curbing waste and unnecessary consumption? these are difficult things to do without one of the greatest inventions of mankind, without a universal non-inherently, but symbolically valued, and widely accepted negotiable instrument.
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Re: Should We Remove Our Moral Foundation? (Christianity)

Postby Serpent on December 15th, 2018, 12:11 pm 

-1- » December 15th, 2018, 8:58 am wrote:

Getting rid of money and national borders will make the world economy collapse, and civilization as we know it, cease to be.

Bingo! The whole thing is an imminent train-wreck anyhow.

It will be extremely difficult to do trade, from buying a loaf of bread to building a huge hydro-electric damn.

Share the bread and damn the dam!

How do you reward people for whatever?

Appreciation and respect. Ever wonder why so many put their helpful ideas on You tube?

How do you make a universal system of curbing waste and unnecessary consumption?

What drives over-consumption and waste? What motivates 90% of crime? What causes crushing debt-loads on families and nations? What is the measure of social disparity? For what do people trade guns, dangerous drugs, prostitution and human organs? Why can't The Greatest Country The World Has Ever Known provide adequate nutrition to its citizens? For what do people burn their rain-forest to make way for export beef cattle? For what did Albertans trash their entire province and for what are they crying now?

one of the greatest inventions of mankind

The second biggest faux pas in human history.
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Re: Should We Remove Our Moral Foundation? (Christianity)

Postby edy420 on December 15th, 2018, 2:00 pm 

What does removing money achieve?

I like the idea of a resource based economy, but it's just another utopian falicy. Most tribal economies were resource based and they still had wars. Because greed is hard wired into us. There will always be someone with more than others, which means inequality is a moral issue, independant of the monetary system.

The "Matthew effect" dictates an unequal wealth distribution. It is evident in all systems of hierarchy, and most definitely any economic system. Even resource based. People who accumulate more wealth, increase their status and connections. Donald Trump was able to recover from bankruptcy because he still had his connections. But if I go bankrupt, I'm stuck down at rock bottom.

The inequality you are trying to eliminate through a resource based economy would still exist, because of the Matthew effect..

'For unto every one that have shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but him that have not shall be taken, even that which he have.' Matthew 25:29

Viscous, but true.
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Re: Should We Remove Our Moral Foundation? (Christianity)

Postby Serpent on December 15th, 2018, 2:25 pm 

edy420 » December 15th, 2018, 1:00 pm wrote:I like the idea of a resource based economy, but it's just another utopian falicy.

Of course.
As a species, we have two choices:
Strive for utopia (which, btw, everybody understands)
or keep rushing to our collective doom.
So far, whenever humanity had such a choice, it's made the wrong one. I see no reason to imagine it will deviate from that trend now.

'For unto every one that have shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but him that have not shall be taken, even that which he have.' Matthew 25:29


What better basis for a universal standard of morality?
You just got to adore that omnibenevolent god!
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Re: Should We Remove Our Moral Foundation? (Christianity)

Postby edy420 on December 15th, 2018, 2:43 pm 

As a species, we have two choices:
Strive for utopia


That's what Christians do. The idea of heaven on earth seems unrealistic because of our earthly desires.

If we had nothing to do, but eat cake and busy our selves with the pleasure of reproducing, we would smash it all to pieces.

A worldly utopia is undesirable. Think of the super wealthy who have access to anything they want. It doesn't make them happy and quite often makes them inhumane
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Re: Should We Remove Our Moral Foundation? (Christianity)

Postby -1- on December 15th, 2018, 2:48 pm 

(How to read this post: overall quote is quoting Serpent. Inside quotes are original quotes by -1- that Serpent responds to in black in the overall quote. Red text is the response -1- makes to the objections written in black in the overall quote.

Alternative explanation: first things that happened are in quotes inside the overall quote. Second things that happened are in black in the main quote. Third things that happened are in red.

Serpent » December 15th, 2018, 12:11 pm wrote:Bingo! The whole thing [world economy and civilization]is an imminent train-wreck anyhow.
True, but because of completely different causes.

It will be extremely difficult to do trade, from buying a loaf of bread to building a huge hydro-electric damn.

Share the bread and damn the dam!

How do you enforce that? if someone refuses to share the bread? There will be no police in your Utopian society to enforce behaviour.

How do you reward people for whatever?

Appreciation and respect. Ever wonder why so many put their helpful ideas on You tube?

I don't wonder. Everyone wants appreciation and respect. But nobody gets it, only a very few.

Even if there was a system of trading appreciation and respect for goods and services, then there would be money, i.e. appreciation and respect, which would serve AS the money serves today. You would not change the system, you would not get rid of money, you just would change its name and appearance. You and your society would be back to square one.


How do you make a universal system of curbing waste and unnecessary consumption?

What drives over-consumption and waste? What motivates 90% of crime? What causes crushing debt-loads on families and nations? What is the measure of social disparity? For what do people trade guns, dangerous drugs, prostitution and human organs? Why can't The Greatest Country The World Has Ever Known provide adequate nutrition to its citizens? For what do people burn their rain-forest to make way for export beef cattle? For what did Albertans trash their entire province and for what are they crying now?

If you make statements, I will answer them. Reason: questions have no truth value. They can't be pinned down for "right" or "wrong". if I want to prove myself right, and it can only be done by proving my opposing debate partner wrong, then answering questions would be like a fight against a windmill.

If you want responses to the issues, please make a statement and I shall respond.


one of the greatest inventions of mankind

The second biggest faux pas in human history.

You're right. That's the second biggest faux pas in human history. And you know what is the first and foremost faux pas in human history? The first and foremost faux pas in human history is calling one of the greatest inventions of mankind, money, the second biggest faux pas in human history.
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