Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Discuss the April 2021 Philosophy Book of the Month, Wilderness Cry: A Scientific and Philosophical Approach to Understanding God and the Universe by Dr. Hilary L Hunt M.D.
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Sculptor1
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Re: Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Post by Sculptor1 »

Good_Egg wrote: January 28th, 2024, 5:22 am
Sculptor1 wrote: January 27th, 2024, 11:31 am Religion was indivisible from politics.
Thankfully (as I was saying) it no longer is.
I think what you're referring to here is the rise in European countries of the ideal of the secular state. Religion demoted from being the guiding ethos of the state to being a matter of private conviction.

Which is an idea of a particular place and time - Enlightenment Europe. Which has found its way into the US constitution, because that constitution was being drawn up by people of European culture at that point in history.
Not only the US, but Revolutionary France and Protestant Germany.
IN the UK the chruch is established in the state. Paradoxically religion matters far less in the UK than in the US where it is suppose to be disestablished. Crazies still try to claim that America is "a Chritian country", whereas in the UK mention of god is rare. Tony Blair, a person who claimed to be religious used to say he was embarassed about it and feared to mention it in office.

The Islamic world does not accept this idea. Many Muslims worldwide think it right that the state should punish sins against Allah. Others may have more knowledge of cultures further afield...
That is a gross generalisation. The majority of states in the Mulsim world are fundementally secular. Some explicitly so others quietly. Sadly the campign of the West to continually disrput and interfere with what they see as "ISLAM", has encouraged a Muslim backlash.
For example in the 1950s Iran elected a left leaning President Mosaddegh, who decided to nationalise the oil industry so that his country could beneift from their own resources. At that time women were free to wear modern clothes. The US and UK interests in Oil consipred to take down that democracy and to install A monarch Shah Rezoi Pahlavi. Iranians then faced 27 years of dictatorship backed by the West until the Islamic Revolution. Here we see another chances missed by the West who refused to back the secularists because they were considered too left wing. The result was the Theocracy we have today.
I would ask you to name one "Muslim" country that has not suffered from political interference.
Saddam Hussein was our friend for many years obilised to attack Iran on our behalf. How did that turn out?

One of the failings of education in the UK (and doubtless some other European countries) is that (perhaps because of a well-founded fear of education becoming indoctrination) we have little attachment to any explicit statement of this idea.

So that, semi-conscious of the pillars of our own society, we admit immigrants who do not share this core belief.
I think you are readin the wrong newspapers!! :D
Can you even define the "pillars of our society" - and who is it that "OWNS" it??

Seems to me that the US is more explicit about its own cultural values. But curiously, this hasn't made politics in the US any more detached from religion; rather the opposite...

Christianity in the US has become tied up with conservatism, and conservatism to right-leaning politics.
I'm pretty sure the US establishment panders to religion more than any other Western country and more than most majority Muslim ones. But it would be hard to distill the criteria for comparison.
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Re: Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Post by Sculptor1 »

Belindi wrote: January 27th, 2024, 2:33 pm I don't know, Sculptor. I was parroting a practicing lawyer who told me UK law is founded on Jewish law. And we know that Xianity is mostly an advanced form of Judaism , or you might say, a Jewish cult that , kicking and screaming, has undergone a scientific and philosophical Enlightenment.
Britsh law is founded on the Lex Romanorum as are most legal systems of Europe.

And the Lex Romanorum predates Christianity. Last time I consulted a history book Rome was not a Jewish state.
I was simply asking you to compare the key tenets of Christianity (if it has them), with the laws as they stand.

Lets start with the decolugue:

You shall have no other gods before Me.
You shall make no idols.
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
Keep the Sabbath day holy.
Honor your father and your mother.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet.

Stealing , murder and false witness are the only 3 that form oart of the law. And these three were aleady in the law way before Chritianity.
THough atheism used to be a death sentence rarely carried out, none of the others hold legal standing. And I have to tell you that failure to honour the (divine) Roman Emperor was part of the law before Christianity.
I would draw your attention to the last one.
OUr entire society seems to be based on coveting things. Without which the economy simply would collapse.

I'm guessing your lawyer was Jewish perhaps?
And am reminded of the "Goodness Gracious Me" characters that claimed everything was "Indian!!"

If you don't know what I mean, and want a giggle. Go to YOuTUBE. and look for "Goodness gracious me - Christianity is Indian".
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Re: Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Post by Belindi »

Sculptor1 wrote: January 28th, 2024, 9:10 am
Belindi wrote: January 27th, 2024, 2:33 pm I don't know, Sculptor. I was parroting a practicing lawyer who told me UK law is founded on Jewish law. And we know that Xianity is mostly an advanced form of Judaism , or you might say, a Jewish cult that , kicking and screaming, has undergone a scientific and philosophical Enlightenment.
Britsh law is founded on the Lex Romanorum as are most legal systems of Europe.

And the Lex Romanorum predates Christianity. Last time I consulted a history book Rome was not a Jewish state.
I was simply asking you to compare the key tenets of Christianity (if it has them), with the laws as they stand.

Lets start with the decolugue:

You shall have no other gods before Me.
You shall make no idols.
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
Keep the Sabbath day holy.
Honor your father and your mother.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet.

Stealing , murder and false witness are the only 3 that form oart of the law. And these three were aleady in the law way before Chritianity.
THough atheism used to be a death sentence rarely carried out, none of the others hold legal standing. And I have to tell you that failure to honour the (divine) Roman Emperor was part of the law before Christianity.
I would draw your attention to the last one.
OUr entire society seems to be based on coveting things. Without which the economy simply would collapse.

I'm guessing your lawyer was Jewish perhaps?
And am reminded of the "Goodness Gracious Me" characters that claimed everything was "Indian!!"

If you don't know what I mean, and want a giggle. Go to YOuTUBE. and look for "Goodness gracious me - Christianity is Indian".
Thanks, but I really need some dates to go with what you wrote. While I understand that Celtic Xianity especially in Ireland predated Roman Xianity, Roman Xianity was a culture to be reckoned with in large parts of the British main island during the Roman occupation approx 1- 400 AD.
I will have do some Googling.

As for coveting things, climate change will force people to obey that commandment--even Americans.
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Re: Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Post by Sculptor1 »

Belindi wrote: January 28th, 2024, 10:02 am
Sculptor1 wrote: January 28th, 2024, 9:10 am
Belindi wrote: January 27th, 2024, 2:33 pm I don't know, Sculptor. I was parroting a practicing lawyer who told me UK law is founded on Jewish law. And we know that Xianity is mostly an advanced form of Judaism , or you might say, a Jewish cult that , kicking and screaming, has undergone a scientific and philosophical Enlightenment.
Britsh law is founded on the Lex Romanorum as are most legal systems of Europe.

And the Lex Romanorum predates Christianity. Last time I consulted a history book Rome was not a Jewish state.
I was simply asking you to compare the key tenets of Christianity (if it has them), with the laws as they stand.

Lets start with the decolugue:

You shall have no other gods before Me.
You shall make no idols.
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
Keep the Sabbath day holy.
Honor your father and your mother.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet.

Stealing , murder and false witness are the only 3 that form oart of the law. And these three were aleady in the law way before Chritianity.
THough atheism used to be a death sentence rarely carried out, none of the others hold legal standing. And I have to tell you that failure to honour the (divine) Roman Emperor was part of the law before Christianity.
I would draw your attention to the last one.
OUr entire society seems to be based on coveting things. Without which the economy simply would collapse.

I'm guessing your lawyer was Jewish perhaps?
And am reminded of the "Goodness Gracious Me" characters that claimed everything was "Indian!!"

If you don't know what I mean, and want a giggle. Go to YOuTUBE. and look for "Goodness gracious me - Christianity is Indian".
Thanks, but I really need some dates to go with what you wrote. While I understand that Celtic Xianity especially in Ireland predated Roman Xianity, Roman Xianity was a culture to be reckoned with in large parts of the British main island during the Roman occupation approx 1- 400 AD.
I will have do some Googling.

As for coveting things, climate change will force people to obey that commandment--even Americans.
The Roman empire precedes all forms of Christianity, as well you know. Laws that are present in Chritianity that exist today were present before Christianity in Rome and many other places.
What more do you need?
Do you think Celtic Europe was completely lawless?
Rome was not formally Christian until Constantine, and Britain was invaded by "pagan" emperors and laws inposed in ancient Britons by them, but having existing laws against murder and theft.
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Re: Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Post by popeye1945 »

Sushan wrote: January 25th, 2024, 10:50 pm
popeye1945 wrote: January 25th, 2024, 10:54 am
Sushan wrote: January 25th, 2024, 4:18 am
popeye1945 wrote: January 18th, 2024, 3:41 am

So, we live by the dumbest common denominator? Not saying you're wrong---- lol!!
I appreciate your humorous take on the idea that society's moral standards might be guided by the 'dumbest common denominator.' While it's a light-hearted way to put it, there's some truth to the notion that the simplest, fear-based moral guidelines can have a significant impact on shaping people's behavior. The idea that fear of punishment, or the concept of sin, keeps people in line is quite prevalent. It's true that for many, the fear of repercussions - whether divine or legal - acts as a deterrent against wrongful actions. However, it's worth considering the depth and effectiveness of such morality. Does this approach promote genuine ethical behavior or just compliance out of fear?
Humanity is by analogy a Doctor Jeckel and Mr. Hyde situation both living within us. The strong psychopath feels no connection/identity with his/her victims thus no compassion, and follows society's morality only to the degree of self-interested investment. Yes, you are right about the degree to which society and peer pressure become involved in the individual's life within society. In the same way, as life adapts and overcomes within nature, society is an example of the adaptive behavior of organisms. Compliance out of fear is to me society's backup, even the concept of the psychopath is a scale measure. Psychopathology is a part of all of us, the deemed psychopath is just more in this realm than the norm, an aberration, biologically consistent through time, and is a necessity for the continuation of humanity.



The complexity of moral behavior goes beyond just fear of punishment. Ethical actions are often driven by deeper understanding, empathy, and a genuine sense of right and wrong. A society's moral fabric should ideally be woven from these nuanced threads rather than just the simplistic fear of retribution. Is a fear-based approach sufficient for maintaining order and morality in society, or should we aim for a more developed and empathetic understanding of right and wrong?
As I've stated, nature is neither moral nor immoral she just is, this is the harsh environment of life in all its forms, and the impetus for the formation of collectives/societies. The forces and rules of society are similar to those in nature, adapt or perish, death is the base fear of all life, and the common fears within society are just cloaked presentation thereof. All of those finer motivations for good behavior you mentioned above, are all dependent upon identifying oneself with the selves of others. Society is a collective of like selves which is the glue/self-interest of the security and well-being of the collective selves.

I am repeating myself but, there is an innate quality to humans, perhaps to organisms in general. The seed of compassion is identifying one's self with the self in others, an expanding concept of the self. Compassion in its turn is the seed of morality, but in a rational world morality would not be based on some supernatural entity, but be based on its proper subject, the conscious self. It was Schopenhauer who asked what goes on when one individual violates the first principle of life, self-survival, in a spontaneous attempt to save another individual. His conclusion was, the impetus just grabs one, in a metaphysical realization that you and the other are one. My former mention of the expanded concept of the self fits perfectly here.

I would further state that this applies to other creatures as well, for there are differences in forms among the world's creatures, but not of essence. This makes nature's harsh reality seem all the harsher, for life lives by consuming itself, symbolically the coiled snake consuming its own tail. I believe the symbol is called the Uroboros. All organisms are born into the world without an identity, and obtain their identity as they move through the context, they finds themselves in. As reactionary creatures the world and the greater cosmos plays the organism like an instrument, the idea of free will is perhaps the most absurd and damaging concept ever conceived. It does serve our limited intellect, and enables the concept of sin and that of full responsibility and guilt in the legal system of those who violate the standards of society. We could do without the belief in free will and take a more humane approach to dealing with criminal offenders, still needing to protect the offenders peers and society at large. It is my belief this would be an evolutionary advancement of the psyche of humanity at large.
I appreciate your insights into the nature of human compassion, the philosophical underpinnings of self-sacrifice, and the challenging concept of free will. While these ideas offer profound understanding, I'd like to add some nuanced perspectives based on real-life experiences and observations.
Your view on innate human compassion raises intriguing considerations. However, real-world observations suggest that compassion is not only an inherent trait but also significantly shaped by cultural and personal experiences. For instance, actions deemed compassionate in one culture might be viewed differently in another. This cultural diversity in moral perceptions indicates that while biological factors might contribute to compassion, societal norms play a crucial role in its expression and interpretation. [/quote]

As in nature, context defines.

Referencing Schopenhauer's idea of self-sacrifice as a metaphysical realization of unity with others is thought-provoking. Yet, altruistic acts can be motivated by various factors, such as duty, professional ethics, and societal expectations. Consider a firefighter who risks their life in a rescue mission. This act might stem from a blend of personal values, professional duty, and societal roles, rather than solely from a deep metaphysical connection with others. It highlights that self-sacrifice and altruism are complex behaviors influenced by a multitude of factors. [/quote]

Schopenhauer was speaking of a most particular example of self-sacrifice, as sacrifice to life's first principle, self-survival. What would bring one to risk one's own life for that of another? I reiterate, it is a metaphysical realization, you and the other are one. As to the above-mentioned societal expectations, peer pressure, and the like, it remains, context defines.


Your discussion on free will is particularly compelling. While it's true that our actions are influenced by our biological and environmental contexts, completely dismissing free will could potentially diminish the importance of personal responsibility and moral agency. Life often presents examples where individuals make conscious, ethical choices despite challenging circumstances or societal pressures. These instances underscore that while we are influenced by various factors, there remains a space for personal decision-making and moral accountability.
[/quote]

Free will is perhaps the worst concept ever embraced, and the most damaging; besides being an insult to the complexity of the cosmos, it is an egocentric delusion. All living organisms are reactive creatures with the earth and the cosmos the cause of all of life's reactions. If this were not so, evolutionary development/adaptation itself would not be possible. Apparent reality itself is a biological readout, reactions to the source not perceptions of the source. While it is true the lack of free will presents a problem for a punishing legal system, and a controlling religious establishment making sin and utter fraud. We realize we need to project the individual and society at large from those in our midst that would do harm to both. Losing this archaic concept would be an evolutionary advancement to the human species. Again, context defines.
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Re: Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Post by KenKiehn »

Sin does not mean what it is commonly used as now. "Sin" means "to miss the mark" as if you missed the target on a dart board or in archery. If you think about a child learning to walk, they are missing the mark over and over and trying over and over again to find the right way to walk. Eventually, they figure it out. This is a profound metaphor for human existence. There are some ways we miss the mark that are not too bad, and there are others that are psychologically or physically or socially very dangerous. Yes, there are agreements...like don't assault people or private property or group identities that are agreed upon, but there are also psychological and biological and physical truths that have little to do with human agreement. Gravity really doesn't care about you. Tell yourself enough lies and tell others enough lies for enough time and you can't tell what is true any more. Eat fast food day to day and the heart attack is coming for you. Certain tactics in human psychology and behavior lead to success and others, many others, do not. In meditation a person begins after a time to see the ways their thought patterns miss the mark--this might be a focus on negative self-criticism or perhaps repeated patterns of fear-based thinking. This metacognition process slows shows a person the effects of thoughts and silence, and so how to hit the mark. Perhaps this is a way to test any man-made agreements that you might have...I personally think that "thou shall not kill" is generally a really good idea. However, there are thousands of beliefs that people agree to that are utter garbage.
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Re: Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Post by popeye1945 »

KenKiehn wrote: January 28th, 2024, 7:16 pm Sin does not mean what it is commonly used as now. "Sin" means "to miss the mark" as if you missed the target on a dart board or in archery. If you think about a child learning to walk, they are missing the mark over and over and trying over and over again to find the right way to walk. Eventually, they figure it out. This is a profound metaphor for human existence. There are some ways we miss the mark that are not too bad, and there are others that are psychologically or physically or socially very dangerous. Yes, there are agreements...like don't assault people or private property or group identities that are agreed upon, but there are also psychological and biological and physical truths that have little to do with human agreement. Gravity really doesn't care about you. Tell yourself enough lies and tell others enough lies for enough time and you can't tell what is true any more. Eat fast food day to day and the heart attack is coming for you. Certain tactics in human psychology and behavior lead to success and others, many others, do not. In meditation a person begins after a time to see the ways their thought patterns miss the mark--this might be a focus on negative self-criticism or perhaps repeated patterns of fear-based thinking. This metacognition process slows shows a person the effects of thoughts and silence, and so how to hit the mark. Perhaps this is a way to test any man-made agreements that you might have...I personally think that "thou shall not kill" is generally a really good idea. However, there are thousands of beliefs that people agree to that are utter garbage.
Ken,
You have a most unusual definition of sin, historically it is a religious term referencing violating the rules of God; a temperamental god, and vengeance is mine says he.
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Re: Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Post by Good_Egg »

KenKiehn wrote: January 28th, 2024, 7:16 pm Sin does not mean what it is commonly used as now. "Sin" means "to miss the mark" as if you missed the target on a dart board or in archery
My understanding is that that is indeed the original meaning - falling short of or missing a physical target.

But that usage is obsolete. In current usage "sin" means falling short of (or failing to achieve fulfilment of) a moral duty, typically in a religious context.

For example when a character in a well-known book says "it's a sin to kill a mockingbird" (the line that gave the book its title) they mean that there is a moral duty not to kill that particular avian species. Not as a literal statement, but as a metaphor about innocence.

Such usage presupposes that moral duties - metaphorical targets that we should aim for, or "Oughts" - exist. If and how they exist is today one of the big issues in philosophy. Seems to me that that's half of what we're talking about here.

The other half being about the religious context.

Where it seems to me important to take in the big picture. Anything we say about religion in general should apply to religions in all societies across space and time. Despite the temptation (presumably for those who have rejected religion in their own lives) to caricature religion by taking some particularly controlling or abusive form of protestant christianity as representative.
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Re: Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Post by Belindi »

Sculptor1 wrote: January 28th, 2024, 10:19 am
Belindi wrote: January 28th, 2024, 10:02 am
Sculptor1 wrote: January 28th, 2024, 9:10 am
Belindi wrote: January 27th, 2024, 2:33 pm I don't know, Sculptor. I was parroting a practicing lawyer who told me UK law is founded on Jewish law. And we know that Xianity is mostly an advanced form of Judaism , or you might say, a Jewish cult that , kicking and screaming, has undergone a scientific and philosophical Enlightenment.
Britsh law is founded on the Lex Romanorum as are most legal systems of Europe.

And the Lex Romanorum predates Christianity. Last time I consulted a history book Rome was not a Jewish state.
I was simply asking you to compare the key tenets of Christianity (if it has them), with the laws as they stand.

Lets start with the decolugue:

You shall have no other gods before Me.
You shall make no idols.
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
Keep the Sabbath day holy.
Honor your father and your mother.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet.

Stealing , murder and false witness are the only 3 that form oart of the law. And these three were aleady in the law way before Chritianity.
THough atheism used to be a death sentence rarely carried out, none of the others hold legal standing. And I have to tell you that failure to honour the (divine) Roman Emperor was part of the law before Christianity.
I would draw your attention to the last one.
OUr entire society seems to be based on coveting things. Without which the economy simply would collapse.

I'm guessing your lawyer was Jewish perhaps?
And am reminded of the "Goodness Gracious Me" characters that claimed everything was "Indian!!"

If you don't know what I mean, and want a giggle. Go to YOuTUBE. and look for "Goodness gracious me - Christianity is Indian".
Thanks, but I really need some dates to go with what you wrote. While I understand that Celtic Xianity especially in Ireland predated Roman Xianity, Roman Xianity was a culture to be reckoned with in large parts of the British main island during the Roman occupation approx 1- 400 AD.
I will have do some Googling.

As for coveting things, climate change will force people to obey that commandment--even Americans.
The Roman empire precedes all forms of Christianity, as well you know. Laws that are present in Chritianity that exist today were present before Christianity in Rome and many other places.
What more do you need?
Do you think Celtic Europe was completely lawless?
Rome was not formally Christian until Constantine, and Britain was invaded by "pagan" emperors and laws inposed in ancient Britons by them, but having existing laws against murder and theft.
I do not "well know " it. I seek the history of law in Britain and maybe in all Romanised parts of the Roman empire. I am not even sure if I am asking the right question.
Certainly not! I don't think any society was or is completely lawless except when engaged in a revolution towards a different regime.
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Re: Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Post by Samana Johann »

Sushan wrote: April 3rd, 2021, 3:08 pm The author argues that we, humans, are not superior than any other animals. We too have basic needs like sex, food and shelter like them. But we have made agreements and laws among us making polygamy, killing others for foods, etc, sins. So the point that the author is trying to prove is that sins are not defined by divine laws, but only by mere agreements among humans. Do you agree with this point of view? Are sins merely man-made laws?
Just that most people had degenerated down to the level of common pets does not justify that such as what is called human (possessed with wisdom, virtue, generosity) is equal animals. So the author would do a better if he reflects whether he could define himself merely animal-like or human.

But of course, moral is human-made although it's already occupied by animal-like ideals this days. So in this frame one could rightly say that moral, at large, is defined by "animals", good householder.

Yet it's one's own choice whether wishing to strive for the lowest equal or try to gain a human state again, possible then striving even for higher and beyond.

And no, humans do not need sex, yet might be attached to such like common animals.
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Re: Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Post by Sculptor1 »

Belindi wrote: January 29th, 2024, 8:34 am
Sculptor1 wrote: January 28th, 2024, 10:19 am
Belindi wrote: January 28th, 2024, 10:02 am
Sculptor1 wrote: January 28th, 2024, 9:10 am

Britsh law is founded on the Lex Romanorum as are most legal systems of Europe.

And the Lex Romanorum predates Christianity. Last time I consulted a history book Rome was not a Jewish state.
I was simply asking you to compare the key tenets of Christianity (if it has them), with the laws as they stand.

Lets start with the decolugue:

You shall have no other gods before Me.
You shall make no idols.
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
Keep the Sabbath day holy.
Honor your father and your mother.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet.

Stealing , murder and false witness are the only 3 that form oart of the law. And these three were aleady in the law way before Chritianity.
THough atheism used to be a death sentence rarely carried out, none of the others hold legal standing. And I have to tell you that failure to honour the (divine) Roman Emperor was part of the law before Christianity.
I would draw your attention to the last one.
OUr entire society seems to be based on coveting things. Without which the economy simply would collapse.

I'm guessing your lawyer was Jewish perhaps?
And am reminded of the "Goodness Gracious Me" characters that claimed everything was "Indian!!"

If you don't know what I mean, and want a giggle. Go to YOuTUBE. and look for "Goodness gracious me - Christianity is Indian".
Thanks, but I really need some dates to go with what you wrote. While I understand that Celtic Xianity especially in Ireland predated Roman Xianity, Roman Xianity was a culture to be reckoned with in large parts of the British main island during the Roman occupation approx 1- 400 AD.
I will have do some Googling.

As for coveting things, climate change will force people to obey that commandment--even Americans.
The Roman empire precedes all forms of Christianity, as well you know. Laws that are present in Chritianity that exist today were present before Christianity in Rome and many other places.
What more do you need?
Do you think Celtic Europe was completely lawless?
Rome was not formally Christian until Constantine, and Britain was invaded by "pagan" emperors and laws inposed in ancient Britons by them, but having existing laws against murder and theft.
I do not "well know " it. I seek the history of law in Britain and maybe in all Romanised parts of the Roman empire. I am not even sure if I am asking the right question.
Certainly not! I don't think any society was or is completely lawless except when engaged in a revolution towards a different regime.
The big clue is that Laws were in Latin, not Hebrew.
Interestingly enough Hebrew was an important language in medieval times. No as much as Latin, but I understand that many financial matter were conducted in that language as usury was restricted oe forbidden to many devout persons in some European countries, though still wanted to be practiced. Jews were able to do what some Christians did not. This cultural difference is the basis of The Merchant of Venice.
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Re: Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Post by Belindi »

popeye1945 wrote: January 28th, 2024, 10:48 am
Sushan wrote: January 25th, 2024, 10:50 pm
popeye1945 wrote: January 25th, 2024, 10:54 am
Sushan wrote: January 25th, 2024, 4:18 am

I appreciate your humorous take on the idea that society's moral standards might be guided by the 'dumbest common denominator.' While it's a light-hearted way to put it, there's some truth to the notion that the simplest, fear-based moral guidelines can have a significant impact on shaping people's behavior. The idea that fear of punishment, or the concept of sin, keeps people in line is quite prevalent. It's true that for many, the fear of repercussions - whether divine or legal - acts as a deterrent against wrongful actions. However, it's worth considering the depth and effectiveness of such morality. Does this approach promote genuine ethical behavior or just compliance out of fear?
Humanity is by analogy a Doctor Jeckel and Mr. Hyde situation both living within us. The strong psychopath feels no connection/identity with his/her victims thus no compassion, and follows society's morality only to the degree of self-interested investment. Yes, you are right about the degree to which society and peer pressure become involved in the individual's life within society. In the same way, as life adapts and overcomes within nature, society is an example of the adaptive behavior of organisms. Compliance out of fear is to me society's backup, even the concept of the psychopath is a scale measure. Psychopathology is a part of all of us, the deemed psychopath is just more in this realm than the norm, an aberration, biologically consistent through time, and is a necessity for the continuation of humanity.



The complexity of moral behavior goes beyond just fear of punishment. Ethical actions are often driven by deeper understanding, empathy, and a genuine sense of right and wrong. A society's moral fabric should ideally be woven from these nuanced threads rather than just the simplistic fear of retribution. Is a fear-based approach sufficient for maintaining order and morality in society, or should we aim for a more developed and empathetic understanding of right and wrong?
As I've stated, nature is neither moral nor immoral she just is, this is the harsh environment of life in all its forms, and the impetus for the formation of collectives/societies. The forces and rules of society are similar to those in nature, adapt or perish, death is the base fear of all life, and the common fears within society are just cloaked presentation thereof. All of those finer motivations for good behavior you mentioned above, are all dependent upon identifying oneself with the selves of others. Society is a collective of like selves which is the glue/self-interest of the security and well-being of the collective selves.

I am repeating myself but, there is an innate quality to humans, perhaps to organisms in general. The seed of compassion is identifying one's self with the self in others, an expanding concept of the self. Compassion in its turn is the seed of morality, but in a rational world morality would not be based on some supernatural entity, but be based on its proper subject, the conscious self. It was Schopenhauer who asked what goes on when one individual violates the first principle of life, self-survival, in a spontaneous attempt to save another individual. His conclusion was, the impetus just grabs one, in a metaphysical realization that you and the other are one. My former mention of the expanded concept of the self fits perfectly here.

I would further state that this applies to other creatures as well, for there are differences in forms among the world's creatures, but not of essence. This makes nature's harsh reality seem all the harsher, for life lives by consuming itself, symbolically the coiled snake consuming its own tail. I believe the symbol is called the Uroboros. All organisms are born into the world without an identity, and obtain their identity as they move through the context, they finds themselves in. As reactionary creatures the world and the greater cosmos plays the organism like an instrument, the idea of free will is perhaps the most absurd and damaging concept ever conceived. It does serve our limited intellect, and enables the concept of sin and that of full responsibility and guilt in the legal system of those who violate the standards of society. We could do without the belief in free will and take a more humane approach to dealing with criminal offenders, still needing to protect the offenders peers and society at large. It is my belief this would be an evolutionary advancement of the psyche of humanity at large.
I appreciate your insights into the nature of human compassion, the philosophical underpinnings of self-sacrifice, and the challenging concept of free will. While these ideas offer profound understanding, I'd like to add some nuanced perspectives based on real-life experiences and observations.
Your view on innate human compassion raises intriguing considerations. However, real-world observations suggest that compassion is not only an inherent trait but also significantly shaped by cultural and personal experiences. For instance, actions deemed compassionate in one culture might be viewed differently in another. This cultural diversity in moral perceptions indicates that while biological factors might contribute to compassion, societal norms play a crucial role in its expression and interpretation.
As in nature, context defines.

Referencing Schopenhauer's idea of self-sacrifice as a metaphysical realization of unity with others is thought-provoking. Yet, altruistic acts can be motivated by various factors, such as duty, professional ethics, and societal expectations. Consider a firefighter who risks their life in a rescue mission. This act might stem from a blend of personal values, professional duty, and societal roles, rather than solely from a deep metaphysical connection with others. It highlights that self-sacrifice and altruism are complex behaviors influenced by a multitude of factors. [/quote]

Schopenhauer was speaking of a most particular example of self-sacrifice, as sacrifice to life's first principle, self-survival. What would bring one to risk one's own life for that of another? I reiterate, it is a metaphysical realization, you and the other are one. As to the above-mentioned societal expectations, peer pressure, and the like, it remains, context defines.


Your discussion on free will is particularly compelling. While it's true that our actions are influenced by our biological and environmental contexts, completely dismissing free will could potentially diminish the importance of personal responsibility and moral agency. Life often presents examples where individuals make conscious, ethical choices despite challenging circumstances or societal pressures. These instances underscore that while we are influenced by various factors, there remains a space for personal decision-making and moral accountability.
[/quote]

Free will is perhaps the worst concept ever embraced, and the most damaging; besides being an insult to the complexity of the cosmos, it is an egocentric delusion. All living organisms are reactive creatures with the earth and the cosmos the cause of all of life's reactions. If this were not so, evolutionary development/adaptation itself would not be possible. Apparent reality itself is a biological readout, reactions to the source not perceptions of the source. While it is true the lack of free will presents a problem for a punishing legal system, and a controlling religious establishment making sin and utter fraud. We realize we need to project the individual and society at large from those in our midst that would do harm to both. Losing this archaic concept would be an evolutionary advancement to the human species. Again, context defines.
[/quote]

I agree Free Will is not a sensible idea, In the first place it presumes there is a something , even an anatomical something, that is supernatural; and secondly Free Will is a bad idea because it is obviously invented so that people may be blamed according to the principle they could have done otherwise than they did.
Good_Egg
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Re: Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Post by Good_Egg »

I think it was Schumacher who set out an overview of human knowledge in terms of levels and gaps. From observing regularities we have
- knowledge of inanimate objects, that we call physics and chemistry
- knowledge of life forms, that we call biology
- knowledge of minds, that we call psychology
- knowledge of communities of beings with minds, that we call sociology..
Whilst some of the great mysteries are:
- why/how anything exists all (gap below the level of physics)
- why/how life arises from molecules (gap between chemistry and biology)
- why/how brains give rise to minds (gap between biology and psychology)
- why/how collective phenomena arise from individual decisions (gap between psychology and socioligy).

Within that context, the notion that the only valid explanations are found in biology is obviously false.

At what level is morality ? What we observe is individual minds having a sense of right and wrong (psychology) and communities developing and enforcing norms of behaviour (sociology).
"Opinions are fiercest.. ..when the evidence to support or refute them is weakest" - Druin Burch
Belindi
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Re: Sins are just man-made agreements! Do you agree?

Post by Belindi »

KenKiehn wrote: January 28th, 2024, 7:16 pm Sin does not mean what it is commonly used as now. "Sin" means "to miss the mark" as if you missed the target on a dart board or in archery. If you think about a child learning to walk, they are missing the mark over and over and trying over and over again to find the right way to walk. Eventually, they figure it out. This is a profound metaphor for human existence. There are some ways we miss the mark that are not too bad, and there are others that are psychologically or physically or socially very dangerous. Yes, there are agreements...like don't assault people or private property or group identities that are agreed upon, but there are also psychological and biological and physical truths that have little to do with human agreement. Gravity really doesn't care about you. Tell yourself enough lies and tell others enough lies for enough time and you can't tell what is true any more. Eat fast food day to day and the heart attack is coming for you. Certain tactics in human psychology and behavior lead to success and others, many others, do not. In meditation a person begins after a time to see the ways their thought patterns miss the mark--this might be a focus on negative self-criticism or perhaps repeated patterns of fear-based thinking. This metacognition process slows shows a person the effects of thoughts and silence, and so how to hit the mark. Perhaps this is a way to test any man-made agreements that you might have...I personally think that "thou shall not kill" is generally a really good idea. However, there are thousands of beliefs that people agree to that are utter garbage.
I agree with Wittgenstein that the meaning of a word is its use. (However the etymology of the word 'sin' is very interesting, and indicates the belief in powerful gods that one had to placate. by 'right' behaviour )Nowadays we tend not to believe there is a predestined "mark" to be missed.To the extent that there be a "mark" to be missed we tend to think that the future is unpredictable and a matter of probabilities at best.

Your examples of missing the mark lack detail;for instance anger management is so useful under modern conditions that there are official classes in anger management. However berserkers used anger deliberately to win battles.
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