Skip to comments.A Crisis of Faith: Morality in an Amoral Society
Posted on 02/21/2014 8:46:17 PM PST by jxb7076
If you were given unquestionable proof that neither heaven nor hell existed no rewards or punishment after death and no afterlife - how would you live your life? Would right or wrong really matter? Would morality be an issue or would amorality be the norm?
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I know, I just read it and came away with the same “wow” wonderment. This person has no idea what Christianity is all about - but he’s not alone, unfortunately.
I think this very flawed piece would be better if the writer had researched some serious Christian thought. The idea of buying one’s way into heaven through good works is, well, massively incomplete.
No the reasons Christians do good works is 1) out of gratitude to our Savior for what He has already done for us, 2) "we love Him because He first loved us while we were yet sinners," and 2) because we truly are learning to love our neighbors.
To be fair there are some rewards. Several crowns mentioned in scripture as rewards for certain behaviors. And we know the opportunity to serve even more is a reward for jobs well done. The Bible is pretty vague about what rewards might be, but we know access to Heaven is a gift, and depends neither on our past nor future morality only on our acceptance of the gift.
Would I live differently? Perhaps. First, many of my values are based on scripture. And while I've come to understand the why of many commandments, there are still some that I don't fully understand.
It's entirely possible that without scripture, without an owner's manual from our Creator, that my value system might shift. Without scripture, I'd rely more on my own understanding, which is clearly inferior.
For one, my political stances would probably shift. I might care less about the morality of my country, and more about what directly affects me. I believe God rewards countries here and now based on their behavior and obedience. And He gives them wisdom accordingly. Thus I often vote social causes more than economic causes.
I might care a lot less about abortion. Without scripture telling me to love others. And without scripture indicating that life begins at conception, and without fear that God will have our collective hides for our behavior, then I might just decide that my neighbor's aborting their kids just leaves more resources for my descendants and is otherwise none of my business.
I might care a lot less about gay special rights. Without scripture warning that it's an abomination and not to allow it, I might take a far less critical look at that behavior. After all, what's it to me if others behave in perverse manners? My opposition to such behavior would be based solely on the spread of disease and on the extent that homosexuality can be shown to breed more pedophilia and the effect of that behavior on society.
I'd like to think that a lot of morality would survive intact. That I would still choose to treat others the way I want to be treated. Though without God's instructions that learning to love others should be my priority, that morality might depend more on game theory, than love of others.
Another agnostic roommate came home after withnessing a classmate humble a hooker in a local bar, and proceeded to tell me how wrong it was. I asked him, "If there is no God what's wrong with it?". He said, "I don't know but that goes against my grain." I said, maybe you were "designed" to understand that it's wrong.
It's not the reward of heaven and hell as much as it is the existence of God and our being His creation that drives Christian morality.
I doubt there are "millions" of athiests who live better moral lives, but clearly there are some great moral and loving people who are atheists. Their works will not save them, unless they never sin. For if they sin there is nothing they can do to make amends. They need a savior.
Our sense of morality would be very similar to Eden pre-forbidden fruit. Adam and Eve had no sense of shame or anything else that comes from knowledge of good/evil or right/wrong.
What is our real nature and how would it be presented in a world were God played no part?
I am not a Christian
I am not an atheist
There are other paths
Welcome to the real world
/Know a lot of amoral Christians
//every atheist I’ve met is a sad, sad person rebelling against religious parents
I beg to differ with this author. Jesus said that He only did what the Father told him to do. He did not say not to follow himself. He even prayed to His Father about those who were given to him(self) as disciples and followers. To claim that Jesus rebuked people for following after himself is wrong. He did say hard things and people left him all along the way because they didn’t want to do exactly as He said...”lay down your lives (or forsake all) and follow after Me”. And the inference that Christianity came to the western world as if the western world was what is is today is absurd. Christianity MADE the western world what it became, and our lack of godliness and seeking of pleasure, instead of God, has caused our society to coarsen. Christianity civilized the western world. Godlessness is changing our culture back into depravity and debauchery.
Not possible in a universe governed by quantum dynamics.
The closest we could come is imagining that we don't exist.
Piytar - I really appreciate your response and fundamentalist viewpoint on the subject. However understand that God will not punish you for thinking beyond tradition. The books of the bible was selected by a group of men hand picked by constatine for socio-political reasons. As a result what you defend as the ‘gospel’ omits critical information which help the ‘christian’ better understand his god. There are many resources ommited which, if explored will help you move from a fundamentalist viewpoint of religion into the light of truth. However, I empathize with your need to critize - its mainly because your fundamantalist viewpoint will not allow independent thinking. Nevertheless, thanks for your input and observation. I can always count on you for a honest response....such as it is.
You make a good point. Also, re-reading what I wrote, I was overly harsh. Apologies.
You really do not agree. You’re just afraid to dissagree for fear of being labeled a heritic and an outcast from this site. Its ok, feel free to be independent in your beliefs.
I do have to comment on this: “its mainly because your fundamantalist viewpoint will not allow independent thinking”
Believe me, I do plenty of “independent thinking.” However, on many points, my own thinking leads me to agree with the “fundamentalist viewpoint.” That is opposed to buying into a viewpoint that clearly runs counter to scripture as well as the writings of virtually every Catholic and Protestant scholar who has commented on the subject. Sorry if I choose to agree with their writings over yours. If that makes me a “fundamentalist” in your view, so be it.
If you attend church services and pay a tithe because you feel you will be blessed - you’re buying your way into heaven. If you do good deeds because you want to be recognize by man as a good person- you’re buying your way in to heaven. What christians think and what christians do are very seldom the same. Christianity is a culture based on a single belief that doing good will be rewarded. This is what Jesus taught. Therefore, if do not believe in the teachings of Jesus on the subject would you continue to do good?
Great and excellent thoughts however you miss the point. These thoughts have little association to what christians actually do. The bible is full of instructions for living a moral life and I can list a few thoughts you left out. Its all good. BUT - the article is not based on what the bible says - its based on what people do, and what they (we) do is opposit of biblical teachings. Thanks for the feedback.
Amen! When people come to your realization there will be need for religion! Thank your for your openminded insight.
I know you are an independent thinker or you would not be on this site expressing your viewpoints. I really do appreciate your feedback and I respect your viewpoint. At the end of the day we’re all independently responsible for our relationship with Jesus which will determin our fate in the flesh and in the afterlife. Take care my friend and be blessed problem-