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Whence good and evil?

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Whence good and evil?
From Prayer Requests:

Jeanne writes:

<<Sarah, Paul and you are essentially saying the same thing; that any good in human beings comes from the Christian conception of their Creator Deity; human beings as "merely" evolved primates have no possible way of being simply good or simply evil unless they are influenced by some supernatural entity.>>

To which Chris replies:

<<Or perhaps 'evolved primates' have identified behaviors that are widely regarded as either 'good' or 'bad' in terms of what is 'good' or 'bad' for human beings and the rest of creation.

If ALL human behaviour is to be considered 'acceptable behavior' for human beings, where does that leave us socially?

in your non deity universe, who decides what is 'acceptable human behavior' and why?

The main point St Paul was trying to get across was that individual human beings should not have the freedom to decide for themselves, 'what is good behavior' and 'what is evil behavior'. That would be a recipe for domination by psychopaths, sociopaths and tyrants.

A deity, for you, could merely be a convenient way of setting a standard for ethical behavior, which is reasonably acceptable by the majority of humankind. That is after all what 'God's Law' is usually about, isn't it? What has been set down traditionally by tribes and nations as being normally acceptable human behavior.

None of the Ten Commandments are complete innovations which came down from God on Mt Sinai, never having been conceived by human beings ever before.

Adultery was taboo long before Moses got the tablets of the law. Murder was punishable by death previously. (Moses was in fact himself a fugitive murderer) and Joseph was accused of adultery with Potiphar's wife. Stealing, lying, and disrespect for parents ALL were already regarded as 'antisocial behaviors', frowned upon by humane societies.

I would go as far as to say that the only commandment that was relatively unique and innovative was "You shall love The Lord thy God and Him only shalt thou serve", and even that one had been established beforehand in Egypt under Pharaoh Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV, 1364-1347 B.C.)

The problem with having human beings make up their own moral code, is that we would all come up with one that would suit US, but not everybody else.

This is what the story of Adam and Eve reveals. That human beings, once having taken upon themselves the right to decide 'what is good and what is evil', will never agree among themselves about what ACTUALLY IS good and evil in any objective sense. It is always relative to their own opinion.

Which I think is about where you are standing right now. Your standard of behavior is what you have decided for yourself to be appropriate, both for yourself and for others.

That is an almost universally human way of regulating one's own morality, while being observant of social norms and the behavior of others.

Christians, on the other hand, put the teachings of Jesus Christ high on their list of 'things to do', 'or not to do'.

Belief in a supernatural being is optional. Ethical behavior is a moral requirement for all human beings if they are to have fullness of life. Anything less is detrimental to human happiness and progress. >>

I will reply in a bit in the next post.

"The Ox is slow, but the Earth is patient."
Subject Author Views Date
Thread Whence good and evil? jeanne53 1143 May 8, 2018, 7:50 AM
Post Re: [jeanne53] Whence good and evil?
jeanne53 1006 May 11, 2018, 5:23 AM