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The benevolent religion


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Initial post: 27 Mar 2012 13:28:05 BDT
So lots of people agree and disagree on the truth of the claims behind certain religions. They argue the benfits and costs of certain practices associated with them.

I was just wondering, if we moved away from the specific religious claims and looked at the behaviours, would we find more of a consensus as to what constituted a good religion?

The first thing I would look for would be moral instruction, not on what is right and wrong so much as on how to see things as right or wrong. This is because any enumerated list is necessarily incomplete and so you would have things not on the list. enumerated lists of right and wrong also fail to take into account fine detail of moral quandries. So that would be my contribution but what do others think?

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Mar 2012 16:12:15 BDT
Spin says:
RD: Check out the teachings of the Buddha, who says that "morality" is a fantasy. There is no "good" or "evil", only that which is right and that which is wrong (for both self and society).

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Mar 2012 16:27:27 BDT
"There is no "good" or "evil", only that which is right and that which is wrong"
Which some people conveniently label good and bad...

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Mar 2012 16:51:09 BDT
Spin says:
RD: Of course. But Buddhism, since it does not tell people what is "good" or "evil", but recommends ones own personal reflection on what is right and wrong, will not, for example, condemn the murder of a tyrant. Killing a tyrant is the "right" thing to do, but, according to monotheism, is "evil" (since "Thou shalt not kill). Buddhism does not condemn the behaviour of people (as the monotheists do). It simply asks one to think before acting... Right thought, Right speech and Right action. And to know such things all one has to do is sit down and think about it. The world is too complex to have "set rules". One must consider only what is right in any particular situation. To do this, one must rid oneself of all the conditioning one has grown up with and try to experience reality as it is in itself, absent of "laws", "dictates" and "commandments".

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Mar 2012 17:01:06 BDT
"Killing a tyrant is the "right" thing to do"
Sometimes

"but, according to monotheism, is "evil" (since "Thou shalt not kill)"
Only some monotheism

But in essence I agree with the rest of your post. Determining morals based on the interactions pertinent to a situation rather than having some prescribed laws.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Mar 2012 04:14:23 BDT
light says:
RD,

The proper translation of that particular commandment should be, thou shall not murder.

"There are several strong arguments for the case that the sixth commandment should be translated as "Thou shalt not murder." First, the verb used in the Torah commandment is "ratsah," which generally is translated as murder and refers only to criminal acts of killing a human being. The word "kill" generally refers to the taking of life for all classes of victims and for all reasons. This generalization is expressed through a different Hebrew verb "harag."

"Another compelling argument against the "Thou shalt not kill" translation is that there are many places in the Hebrew scriptures that command or condone warfare, the sacrifice of animals, and several methods of capital punishment. While there is much in the Jewish tradition that attempts to limit war and capital punishment, and the biblical prophets indicated that God prefers justice and mercy to animal sacrifices, it can't be denied that some forms of killing are acceptable according to Judaism."

"If "Thou shalt not kill" were the proper translation, no person who took the Ten Commandments seriously could kill in self defense, even if it meant loss of the threatened person's life, or could kill in warfare, even if his or her country were attacked. There could be no capital punishment no matter how horrible a person's crimes were. Clearly there are cases where the Torah permits the taking of a human life."

"Since the sixth commandment has been so frequently mistranslated, two prominent Jewish commentators, Rabbi Samuel ben Meir (Rashbam) and Rabbi Joseph Bekhor-Shor, explained at great length that the Hebrew text refers only to unlawful killing. Both scholars stressed the differences between the Hebrew words for killing and murdering."

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Mar 2012 08:54:50 BDT
"RD,

The proper translation of that particular commandment should be, thou shall not murder."
Was quoting Spin, not my translation.

I don't particularly care if the commandment is thou shalt not kill or thou shalt not murder or thou shalt not immorally end life unjustly. That sort of commandment never helps.

Posted on 28 Mar 2012 13:07:24 BDT
Spin says:
The commandment "Thou shalt not kill" does not only refer to murder. Its expression means, in essence "thou shalt not destroy"/"Eliminate" etc. not only is it a prohibition against the unnecessary taking of life, but it also prohibits the destruction of personal (mental and physical), cultural, and natural life and growth. It is simply ones unfamiliarity with religion that makes one question the commandment.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Mar 2012 15:42:56 BDT
light,

""If "Thou shalt not kill" were the proper translation, no person who took the Ten Commandments seriously could kill in self defense, even if it meant loss of the threatened person's life, or could kill in warfare, even if his or her country were attacked."

Didn't Jesus say, in his sermon on the mount, that followers "should turn the other cheek"? Isn't he advocating pacifism by saying you shouldn't resist an attacker but "love thine enemies". Christians should not kill because Jesus said you shouldn't. Even in self-defense. You can't wage war on an evil aggressor either becuase Jesus said "do not resist an evil person". Where, in the NT, does it say it is OK to kill for any reason?

Posted on 28 Mar 2012 16:01:13 BDT
Spin says:
Western christians have absolutely no idea about the meaning and relevence of the words they read in their texts. All monotheistic religions shouls sit down and discuss the meaning of thier texts instead of fighting for thier ownership of God. And some wonder why I left the christian church? =)

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Mar 2012 16:06:53 BDT
G. Heron says:
Reverend A theist

"Didn't Jesus say, in his sermon on the mount, that followers "should turn the other cheek"?"

Jesus said a loty of things that churches have had to put a lot of work into coming up with reasons they should be ignored;, turn the other cheek, give away all your posessions, love thy enemy.

Posted on 28 Mar 2012 16:24:26 BDT
Spin says:
There would be no need for organised religion (ie: organised morality) if each person thought before acting. Why do people need to be told how to act? Because they need something more than thier own acceptance of themselves. Be it God or Nature, each person has so much disrespect for his/her own ability to live, they must look to others; be it religion, politics, science or tradition. To be "you", you need others. Without others you cannot define yourself. And that, that alone, is the shame of humanity.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Mar 2012 16:54:56 BDT
Actually the Jehovah's witnesses (I wonder if Bert will pop up now I've said the magic word) went underground and sold all of their stuff, only to re-emerge a few days later to a thriving civilisation.

Posted on 28 Mar 2012 17:16:45 BDT
Spin says:
"I act in ways God tells me to".
"I act according to what I believe is right"

Which statement is more acceptable?

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Mar 2012 17:28:31 BDT
Huck Flynn says:
they were probably glad to get rid of you :-)

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Mar 2012 17:43:03 BDT
Spin says:
Huck: Indeed they were. You would not believe the crap I went through...

Posted on 28 Mar 2012 18:13:03 BDT
TomC says:
A lot of what we would call ethical behaviour rests on the basic moral principle that you should treat others as you yourself would wish to be treated. If we were able to live up to that, many of the world's problems would disappear.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Mar 2012 18:34:09 BDT
I'd say the second, particularly so if there was a basic grounding in moral principles (as in how to come to moral understandings, not in the outcomes themselves)

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Mar 2012 18:59:41 BDT
Spin says:
RD: But no-one explores the seciond alternative. No-one wants to take responsibility for themselves. They appeal either to science or religion. And all you theists and atheists claim to be working towards the benefit of "mankind"?
Your reply to Spin's post:
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In reply to an earlier post on 28 Mar 2012 19:12:30 BDT
TomC says:
I agree. The first is really just a way of evading personal accountability.

Posted on 28 Mar 2012 19:24:10 BDT
Spin says:
"God made us as we are". "Natural selection made us as we are". Not a swinging johnson wants to take responsibility for his/her own actions. Reap what you sow; Then complain about the harvest...

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Mar 2012 19:35:05 BDT
TomC says:
"Natural selection made us as we are". Not a swinging johnson wants to take responsibility for his/her own actions.

Spin, that is utter nonsense. Yes, we are in part the product of our genes, but we are expected to exercise moral judgement to control the urges which they give rise to. Judges, in particular, are deeply unimpressed with any plea based on the argument that we are helpless products of our genetic makeup - or indeed of our religious beliefs, our upbringing, our environment or other external factors.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Mar 2012 19:54:47 BDT
Reson says:
Jesus told his disciples to sell their clothes to buy swords. Im sure he was expecting trouble. I dont think he was looking to turn the other cheek.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Mar 2012 20:45:48 BDT
Spin says:
Tom: Of course: You are right. That is why you and children are mere products of society. If you do not care to understand life, why do you defend it?

Posted on 28 Mar 2012 20:51:51 BDT
Spin says:
OO-er Missus!
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This discussion

Discussion in:  religion discussion forum
Participants:  13
Total posts:  46
Initial post:  27 Mar 2012
Latest post:  11 Apr 2012

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