Morals & Values Predating Christianity.
#1
Stay away from youtube discussions, kids. It's a hell of a drug.

Anyone care to help me build a rebuttal to this?

"What Christian values? All values today have predated Christianity.

The 10 Commandments? These aren't law. Only "though shall not kill" predated Christianity.

Golden Rule? It predates Christianity and can be found in the philosophies of ancient, Greece, Babylon, Judea, India, Egypt, and China.

Which special values to Christians provide?

Christians are the original SJW."

Also, this link: http://www.qcc.cuny.edu/SocialSciences/p...ligion.htm

Quote:Consider the following three scenarios. For each, fill in the blank with morally "obligatory", "permissible" or "forbidden."

1. A runaway trolley is about to run over five people walking on the tracks. A railroad worker is standing next to a switch that can turn the trolley onto a side track, killing one person, but allowing the five to survive. Flipping the switch is ______.

2. You pass by a small child drowning in a shallow pond and you are the only one around. If you pick up the child, she will survive and your pants will be ruined. Picking up the child is _______.

3. Five people have just been rushed into a hospital in critical care, each requiring an organ to survive. There is not enough time to request organs from outside the hospital. There is, however, a healthy person in the hospital’s waiting room. If the surgeon takes this person’s organs, he will die but the five in critical care will survive. Taking the healthy person’s organs is _______.

If you judged case 1 as permissible, case 2 as obligatory, and case 3 as forbidden, then you are like the 1500 subjects around the world who responded to these dilemmas on our web-based moral sense test [http://moral.wjh.edu]. On the view that morality is God’s word, atheists should judge these cases differently from people with religious background and beliefs, and when asked to justify their responses, should bring forward different explanations. For example, since atheists lack a moral compass, they should go with pure self-interest, and walk by the drowning baby. Results show something completely different. There were no statistically significant differences between subjects with or without religious backgrounds, with approximately 90% of subjects saying that it is permissible to flip the switch on the boxcar, 97% saying that it is obligatory to rescue the baby, and 97% saying that is forbidden to remove the healthy man’s organs. . When asked to justify why some cases are permissible and others forbidden, subjects are either clueless or offer explanations that can not account for the differences in play. Importantly, those with a religious background are as clueless or incoherent as atheists.

These studies begin to provide empirical support for the idea that like other psychological faculties of the mind, including language and mathematics, we are endowed with a moral faculty that guides our intuitive judgments of right and wrong, interacting in interesting ways with the local culture. These intuitions reflect the outcome of millions of years in which our ancestors have lived as social mammals, and are part of our common inheritance, as much as our opposable thumbs are.

These facts are incompatible with the story of divine creation. Our evolved intuitions do not necessarily give us the right or consistent answers to moral dilemmas. What was good for our ancestors may not be good for human beings as a whole today, let alone for our planet and all the other beings living on it. But insights into the changing moral landscape [e.g., animal rights, abortion, euthanasia, international aid] have not come from religion, but from careful reflection on humanity and what we consider a life well lived. In this respect, it is important for us to be aware of the universal set of moral intuitions so that we can reflect on them and, if we choose, act contrary to them. We can do  this without blasphemy, because it is our own nature, not God, that is the source of our species morality. Hopefully, governments that equate morality with religion are listening.


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#2
William Lane Craig offers a pretty good response to the argument for morality from evolutionary grounds: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/the-indis...r-morality

His article isn't without some problems for Catholics, but the basic thrust of it is excellent.

For Catholics we can point out that so-called "evolutionary morals" may very well actually reflect the natural law, but their universal and binding status for the conscience (along with other qualities) suggests that they cannot be reducible to contingent products of evolution. It gets to the very heart of whether man can know truth, and if so, then there is a universal character that transcends the differences of culture. Evolutionary accounts cannot explain this universal quality but must simply say it's an illusion and beneficial for survival. As Craig shows, there are plenty of problems with this argument.
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#3
The fact that they predate Christianity actually reinforces them for me.

The fact that these morals are more or less hardwired into us tell you something about the nature of humanity. It is part of us being "made in the image of God". The idea of them being "Christian morals" gives them social context, but I agree that they are not limited to Christianity. However, Christianity encompasses them and codifies them in such a way that I don't think existed previously.

I mean, you could argue bread cannot possibly be the body of Christ because bread as existed across may cultures both before and after Jesus' time, and is eaten by many people in a non-sacramental way. But just because something exists outside of Christianity doesn't negate it's primacy as part of Christianity, it just means that it's part of the shared, common human experience.
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#4
The incarnation of Christ is not a moral event. God did not incarnate in order to deliver an enhanced system of morality.

Instead, God became incarnate in order to obtain for us the grace to live the moral life. That is why the old covenant brought death: it was a moral system that was impossible to live due to the absence of grace. The new covenant brings life because Christ has won for us a return to the state of grace that allows us to live a moral life.
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#5
(07-22-2016, 10:21 AM)PrairieMom Wrote: The fact that they predate Christianity actually reinforces them for me.

The fact that these morals are more or less hardwired into us tell you something about the nature of humanity. It is part of us being "made in the image of God". The idea of them being "Christian morals" gives them social context, but I agree that they are not limited to Christianity. However, Christianity encompasses them and codifies them in such a way that I don't think existed previously.

I mean, you could argue bread cannot possibly be the body of Christ because bread as existed across may cultures both before and after Jesus' time, and is eaten by many people in a non-sacramental way. But just because something exists outside of Christianity doesn't negate it's primacy as part of Christianity, it just means that it's part of the shared, common human experience.

Right.  Morals can be known without faith, ie without the revelation of God.  But because we are fallen, our intellects can often ignore them, or distort them, etc. which is why, while we see them across diverse human societies, we also often see them twisted or forgotten in some times and places.  That's why God has also directly revealed them.

So often objections to our religion are false dichotomies--this is another examples.  The truth is and/both.

 
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#6
Here's a video of a "debate" that touches on this issue in the sense that they discuss the notion that Christian values are nothing more then secular values plus  backward myths, and that the only value Christianity brings to the discussion is that historically it was positioned to organize some of these secular values into a loose system that can now be discarded.

Notice I put the word debate in quotations because as far as I can see the poor atheist fellow is in way over his head.

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#7
(07-22-2016, 10:43 AM)SaintSebastian Wrote: So often objections to our religion are false dichotomies--this is another examples.  The truth is and/both.

This is so absolutely true. It's like people expect religion to somehow exist in a vacuum - without any commonalities with the surrounding world/culture, without interaction with other faith systems, without accounting for human behaviour itself - therefore if it exists within Christianity is must not be allowed to exist elsewhere. Another common false dichotomy is the notion that if you are religious you must not also embrace science - this ignores the fact that science and faith are not inherently at odds (in fact, on the most part they are mutually supportive) and the origination of our modern scientific theory came from the realm of the religious trying to understand creation. 
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#8
(07-20-2016, 09:37 PM)GRA Wrote: These facts are incompatible with the story of divine creation. Our evolved intuitions do not necessarily give us the right or consistent answers to moral dilemmas. What was good for our ancestors may not be good for human beings as a whole today, let alone for our planet and all the other beings living on it. But insights into the changing moral landscape [e.g., animal rights, abortion, euthanasia, international aid] have not come from religion, but from careful reflection on humanity and what we consider a life well lived. In this respect, it is important for us to be aware of the universal set of moral intuitions so that we can reflect on them and, if we choose, act contrary to them. We can do  this without blasphemy, because it is our own nature, not God, that is the source of our species morality. Hopefully, governments that equate morality with religion are listening.
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I just reread this part. I find it so terribly odd. The "changing moral landscape" has almost invariably NOT shown to be an improvement (even international aid is often very disasterous). I would challenge the person making this statement to demonstrate a single instance where any of the examples he cites doesn't seriously and grieviously impede the good of someone else.

Animal rights, while good in many respects, deprives especially the poor of a value source of calories by attempting to eliminate the consumption of animals even in areas where animal production is the best way to derive nutrition from the landscape (because of poor arable potential). It can also deprive people of livelihoods, cultures of their traditions (just because dogs are cute and cuddly doesn't mean they aren't delicious) and snacks of paternalism.

Abortion, while allowing a woman to discontinue an unwanted, or even dangerous,  pregnancy, invariably results in the loss of a human life.

Euthanasia deprives the living of social motivation to improve the lives of the suffering, the disabled, and the sick. It almost invariably forces people out of their professions (it's happening right now in Canada) who don't want to provide services, and it implicates the innocent in the consensual homicide of another.

International aid, in it's emergency form, can be a God-send for stricken populations. But International Aid as a long-term policy generally deprives local business of opportunity, drives income out of the region by sending it overseas to NGO's, supports government corruption and creates unsustainably dependent on foreign nations for their basic needs, which is turn deprives them of their most basic human dignity.
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