Tag: Morality (home)

Men say, "How are we to act, what are we to teach our children, now that we are no longer Christians?" You see, gentlemen, how I would answer that question. You are deceived in thinking that the morality of your father was based on Christianity. On the contrary, Christianity presupposed it. That morality stands exactly where it did; its basis has not been withdrawn, for, in a sense, it never had a basis. The ultimate ethical injunctions have always been premises, never conclusions. Kant was perfectly right on that point at least, the imperative is categorical. Unless the ethical is assumed from the outset, no argument will bring you to it.

permalink source: C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), "On Ethics"
tags: Morality, Ethics

The essential amorality of all atheist doctrines is often hidden from us by an irrelevant personal argument. We see that many articulate secularists are well-meaning and law-abiding men; we see them go into righteous indignation over injustice and often devote their lives to good works. So we conclude that "he can't be wrong whose life is in the right" -- that their philosophies are just as good guides to action as Christianity. What we don't see is that they are not acting on their philosophies. They are acting, out of habit or sentiment, on an inherited Christian ethic which they still take for granted though they have rejected the creed from which it sprang. Their children will inherit some what less of it.

permalink source: Joy Davidman, Smoke on the Mountain [1955]
tags: Apologetics, Atheism, Logic, Morality

A pastor was giving the children's lesson during a sunday morning service on the Ten Commandments. After explaining the commandment to "honor they father and thy mother," he asked, "Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?" Without missing a beat, one five-year old boy answered loudly, "Thou shalt not kill!"

permalink source: Internet
tags: Family, Morality, Ten Commandments

When Ole quit farming, he discovered that he was the only Lutheran in his new little town of all Catholics. That was okay, but the neighbors had a problem with his barbecuing beef every Friday. Since they couldn't eat meat on Friday, the tempting aroma was getting the best of them. Hoping they could do something to stop this, the neighbors got together and went over to talk to Ole. "Ole," they said, "since you are the only Lutheran in this whole town and there's not a Lutheran church for many miles, we think you should join our church and become a Catholic." Ole thought about it for a minute and decided they were probably right. Ole talked to the priest, and they arranged it. The big day came and the priest had Ole kneel. He put his hand on Ole's head and said, "Ole, you were born a Lutheran, you were raised a Lutheran, and now," he said as he sprinkled some incense over Ole's head, "now you are a Catholic!" Ole was happy and the neighbors were happy. But the following Friday evening at suppertime, there was again the aroma of grilled beef coming from Ole's yard. The neighbors went to talk to him about this and as they approached the fence, they heard Ole saying to the steak: "You were born a beef, you were raised a beef," and as he sprinkled salt over the meat he said, "and NOW you are a FISH!"

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Evangelism, Morality

· Survey Reveals Sex Practices of Boys: A recent study by the Urban Institute provides the first national data on the sexual practices of 15-19 year old boys. While much has been made of pregnancy prevention, sex education programs have talked little about behaviors which don't lead to pregnancy. The study found that while 55% of the boys claimed to have had sexual intercourse, over 2/3 had participated in some other sexual behavior such as oral sex, anal sex, or masturbation by a female. The study found that most boys do not consider these "activities" as sex, but do see them as a precursor or substitute for vaginal intercourse. A separate study of college students also found that more than half of undergraduates do not find oral sex to be a break of abstinence. Regardless of the exact definition of what constitutes "sexual relations," health experts are concerned about these behaviors which can be risky. Incidents of pharyngeal gonorrhea have increased dramatically in adolescent girls. Experts are looking into revamping sex education to include information about these other sexual behaviors. (Time online, December 19, 2000)

permalink source: Ivy Jungle
tags: Sex, Morality, College

The Kaiser Family Foundation released the results of a survey of 503, 15-17 year old teens. 72% of respondents said that sexual content on television influences other teen’s sexual behavior “A Lot” or “Somewhat”, while 78% said it had little or no impact on their own behavior.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Lust, Temptation, Morality

A little boy was standing near a display of all kinds of candy at a corner store. "Now then, my lad," said the grocer as he approached the lad. "What are you up to?" "Nothing," replied the boy. "Nothing? Well it looks to me as if you were trying to take some of that candy." "You’re wrong, mister. I’m trying not to."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Character, Temptation, Morality

Although the 18th century writer Voltaire is widely recognized as an opponent of religion, calling Christianity an "infamy" to be destroyed, even he found the influence of faith to be useful. He wrote, "I want my attorney, my tailor, my servants, even my wife to believe in God. . . then I shall be robbed and cuckolded less often." Myers tells of how Voltaire once silenced a discussion on atheism until he had excused his servants, lest in forfeiting their faith they might lose their morality.

permalink source: Ravi Zacharias "Slice of Infinity" email
tags: Atheism, Morality

Three tests for great character: 1) The capacity for great love 2) The capacity for great enthusiasm 3) The capacity for great indignation

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Character, Morality

As a boy, Chiune Sugihara dreamed of becoming Japan's ambassador to Russia. By the 1930s, as ambassador to Lithuania, he was a step away from fulfilling his dream. One morning a huge throng gathered outside his home. Sugihara learned they were Jews who'd fled there from Poland, seeking Sugihara's help for Japanese visas that would permit them to escape the German Gestapo. Three times Sugihara wired Tokyo for permission to provide the visas; three times he was rejected. Sugihara, a committed Christian, had to choose between his dream and the lives of the crowd. Sugihara chose to disobey orders. For the next 28 days he wrote visas by hand, barely sleeping or eating. Recalled to Berlin, he departed still writing visas and shoving them through the train window into the hands of refugees running alongside. Ultimately his work saved 6,000 lives. Back in Japan, Sugihara's remaining days were spent selling light bulbs. When his story was finally told, his son was asked, "How did your father feel about his choice?" "My father's life was fulfilled. When God needed him to do the right thing, he was available to do it."

permalink source: Stephen L. Shanklin, The Book of Prayers
tags: Choices, Work, Morality

In his August 1 Breakpoint commentary, Charles Colson said, "Last year, Zogby International took a poll of American college seniors in which 97 percent said that they believed their professors had given them a good education in ethics. But when asked what those professors had taught them, 73 percent responded, "What is right and wrong depends on differences in individual values and cultural diversity." Only a quarter of them said they had learned that there are "clear and uniform standards of right and wrong." Similarly, a reporter for Forbes magazine observed an ethics class at Harvard Business School in which the professor and students discussed case studies but avoided coming to any moral conclusions. Students were graded on how well they could logically defend their position, not on whether their position was actually defensible. The reporter wrote that students in this kind of class, rather than developing moral principles, merely "develop skills enabling them to rationalize anything short of cannibalism."

permalink source: PreachingNow vol 2, no 30
tags: Morality, Ethics

Moore's Law The immorality of the Ten Commandments. By Christopher Hitchens Posted Wednesday, August 27, 2003, at 2:04 PM PT The row over the boulder-sized version of the so-called "Ten Commandments," and as to whether they should be exhibited in such massive shape on public property, misses the opportunity to consider these top-10 divine ordinances and their relationship to original intent. Judge Roy Moore is clearly, as well as a fool and a publicity-hound, a man who identifies the Mount Sinai orders to Moses with a certain interpretation of Protestantism. But we may ask ourselves why any sect, however primitive, would want to base itself on such vague pre-Christian desert morality (assuming Moses to be pre-Christian). The first four of the commandments have little to do with either law or morality, and the first three suggest a terrific insecurity on the part of the person supposedly issuing them. I am the lord thy god and thou shalt have no other ... no graven images ... no taking of my name in vain: surely these could have been compressed into a more general injunction to show respect. The ensuing order to set aside a holy day is scarcely a moral or ethical one, unless you assume that other days are somehow profane. (The Rev. Ian Paisley, I remember, used to refuse interviewers for Sunday newspapers even after it was pointed out to him that it's the Monday edition that is prepared on Sunday.) Whereas a day of rest, as prefigured in the opening passages of Genesis, is no more than organized labor might have demanded, perhaps during the arduous days of unpaid pyramid erection. So the first four commandments have almost nothing to do with moral conduct and cannot in any case be enforced by law unless the state forbids certain sorts of art all week, including religious and iconographic art—and all activity on the Sabbath (which the words of the fourth commandment do not actually require). The next instruction is to honor one's parents: a harmless enough idea, but again unenforceable in law and inapplicable to the many orphans that nature or god sees fit to create. That there should be no itemized utterance enjoining the protection of children seems odd, given that the commandments are addressed in the first instance to adults. But then, the same god frequently urged his followers to exterminate various forgotten enemy tribes down to the last infant, sparing only the virgins, so this may be a case where hand-tying or absolute prohibitions were best avoided. There has never yet been any society, Confucian or Buddhist or Islamic, where the legal codes did not frown upon murder and theft. These offenses were certainly crimes in the Pharaonic Egypt from which the children of Israel had, if the story is to be believed, just escaped. So the middle-ranking commandments, of which the chief one has long been confusingly rendered "thou shalt not kill," leave us none the wiser as to whether the almighty considers warfare to be murder, or taxation and confiscation to be theft. Tautology hovers over the whole enterprise. In much the same way, few if any courts in any recorded society have approved the idea of perjury, so the idea that witnesses should tell the truth can scarcely have required a divine spark in order to take root. To how many of its original audience, I mean to say, can this have come with the force of revelation? Then it's a swift wrap-up with a condemnation of adultery (from which humans actually can refrain) and a prohibition upon covetousness (from which they cannot). To insist that people not annex their neighbor's cattle or wife "or anything that is his" might be reasonable, even if it does place the wife in the same category as the cattle, and presumably to that extent diminishes the offense of adultery. But to demand "don't even think about it" is absurd and totalitarian, and furthermore inhibiting to the Protestant spirit of entrepreneurship and competition. One is presuming (is one not?) that this is the same god who actually created the audience he was addressing. This leaves us with the insoluble mystery of why he would have molded ("in his own image," yet) a covetous, murderous, disrespectful, lying, and adulterous species. Create them sick, and then command them to be well? What a mad despot this is, and how fortunate we are that he exists only in the minds of his worshippers. It's obviously too much to expect that a Bronze Age demagogue should have remembered to condemn drug abuse, drunken driving, or offenses against gender equality, or to demand prayer in the schools. Still, to have left rape and child abuse and genocide and slavery out of the account is to have been negligent to some degree, even by the lax standards of the time. I wonder what would happen if secularists were now to insist that the verses of the Bible that actually recommend enslavement, mutilation, stoning, and mass murder of civilians be incised on the walls of, say, public libraries? There are many more than 10 commandments in the Old Testament, and I live for the day when Americans are obliged to observe all of them, including the ox-goring and witch-burning ones. (Who is Judge Moore to pick and choose?) Too many editorialists have described the recent flap as a silly confrontation with exhibitionist fundamentalism, when the true problem is our failure to recognize that religion is not just incongruent with morality but in essential ways incompatible with it

permalink source: http://slate.msn.com/
tags: Atheism, Skepticism, Morality, Ten Commandments

As we talked I pointed out how I felt that legality was the minimum morality that a society feels it can have in order to exist, but that true morality for the Christian is the maximum level of capability.

permalink source: Fred Smith
tags: Morality

An American engineer working on a Pacific island met a native near a boiling pot, and to the American’s surprise the native was reading a Bible. “Back in America, we gave that Book up long ago. Few people really believe it now.” Replied the native, “It’s a good thing the Bible reached here before you did, for if it hadn’t, you would be boiling in that big pot right now!”

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Morality, Bible

Two men in a truck, neither one very bright, were passing through a small town. They came to an overpass with a sign which read, "Clearance: 11'3". They got out and measured their rig. It was 12'4" tall. As they climbed back into the cab, one of them asked, "What do you think we should do?" The driver looked around, then shifted into gear saying, "Not a cop in sight. Let's take a chance." Many people regard God as some kind of cosmic cop whose rules are designed to cramp our style and cheat us out of good times. So if they get a chance to beat the rap, they go for it. But the opposite is really true. God is a loving heavenly Father whose rules are designed to protect us from harm and to guide us toward the good life. If we violate God's rules, we do so at our own peril.

permalink source: Bill Bouknight, "Just a Thought," 2/26/04
tags: Sin, Morality

In August, 2003, a study was released revealing that money can't buy happiness. Beginning in 1975, University of Southern California researcher Richard Easterlin surveyed 1500 persons annually and found: Many people are under the illusion that the more money we make, the happier we'll be. We put all of our resources into making money at the expense of our family and our health…The problem is we don't realize that our material wants increase with the amount of money we make. The study discovered happiness was related to quality time with loved ones, good health, being friendly, having an optimistic outlook, exercising self-control, and possessing a deep sense of ethics.

permalink source: www.BusinessDay.com, (8-26-03); submitted by Ted De Hass, Bedford, Iowa
tags: Discipline, Happiness, Money, Optimism, Relationships, Morality, Health

The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

permalink source: Mahatma Gandhi
tags: Morality

If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.

permalink source: Voltaire
tags: Morality, Doctrine

Human beings judge one another by their external actions. God judges them by their moral choices. When a man who has been perverted from his youth and taught that cruelty is the right thing, does some tiny little kindness, or refrains from some cruelty he might have committed, and thereby, perhaps, risks being sneered at by his companions, he may, in God's eyes, be doing more than you and I would do if we gave up life itself for a friend.

permalink source: C. S. Lewis
tags: Choices, Morality

According to Aquinas we must define a thing not by its ultimate principle, but by the proximate one; and therefore the answer to the question, "What is the essence of virtue?" is not "Doing the will of God" but "Doing what is consonant with insight and appropriate to the situation." <i>otherwise</i> It is extraordinarily easy for us to convince ourselves that God wants us to do what we are doing. <em>and</em> How can God save us from the consequences of our imprudence without interfering with our freedom?

permalink source: http://www.basicincome.com/andyetsonew/cathquotes.htm
tags: Choices, Morality, Virtue

Many books published over the past quarter-century claim that because self-interest in present in all animal species, humans need not feel ashamed of consistently catering to self first.... Yet anyone with a modest knowledge of the natural world--and minimal inferential skill--could find examples in nature that support almost any ethical message desired. If you wish to sanctify marriage, point to pair-bonding gibbons. If, however, you think that infidelity is more natural, nominate chimpanzees. Elephants should be emulated if one believes that women should be in positions of dominance, but elephant seals are the model if you believe that men should dominate harems of beautiful women. Nature has enough diversity to fit almost any ethical taste.

permalink source: Jerome Kagan, An Argument for Mind, 163-164
tags: Science, Morality

Picking and Choosing

So far we have established that the law is relevant to expository apologetics. We have also answered the objection posed by those who believe it is hypocritical to apply some parts of the law and not others. Additionally, we have established the fact that those who disagree with us are actually the ones who arbitrarily pick and choose. They hold to certain parts of the law and not to others. In fact, their objection to our use of the law is based on their assumption that hypocrisy is wrong-an idea rooted in the ninth commandment. The difference, of course, is that (1) we know we are using the law, and they do not; (2) we know why we are picking and choosing, and they do not; and (3) our picking and choosing is governed by an authority outside ourselves, and theirs is not.

permalink source: Voddie Baucham, Jr. Expository Apologetics page 105
tags: Apologetics, Morality