Friday, January 23, 2009

Religion and Morality: Indispensable Supports?

This blog post has moved! It's now on my own website, here:

Religion and Morality: Indispensable Supports?

11 Comments:

Mrs Mecomber said...

Excellent points made, Herky. I see where you come from and have to say you are correct.

Hercules Mulligan said...

Thanks Mrs. M. :)

akaGaGa said...

Well done, Herky. I would add to this statement:

The obvious question then is, "What is the ultimate standard between right and wrong?" If the rulers are left to themselves to decide, they very likely will make those decisions arbitrarily.

As we've seen the Bush administration do so successfully, those in power will decree themselves more power. And Obama will be no different.

Hercules Mulligan said...

Thanks for reading, Jean. Good additional statement.

I appreciate your time and comments.

God bless you this Sunday.

Herky

Anonymous said...

akaGaGa, I don't see your point to call out President Bush here. Our government so quickly pulled away from the founding principles (as early as the mid-1800's), that very few administrations held to governing from a Biblical foundation. I would argue that the Bush administration did more for morality than many others in recent history... this isn't a politcal post though :)

If you'd like to see something VERY scary, check out the original mission/values of some of our oldest education institutions... espeically Harvard and Columbia. There we founded on overwhelmingly Christian values and have since wiped them away. I was watching a video series that tied this movement to 1859 when Blackstone's teachings on law - based on the bible - were thrown out in favor of case study law.

Great response above, Herky.

Josh

akaGaGa said...

You're right, Josh, that Bush was not alone. I guess I focused on him because a) he's recent and b) his violations into our right to privacy really annoy me. But this isn't a political post, so I'll stop there. :)

Hercules Mulligan said...

Hello Josh. Welcome to this blog! Thanks for reading this lengthy post, and leaving your thoughtful comment.

I agree with your position that our government strayed from its foundation as much as 150 years ago. The road to perdition has been a little longer than many of us imagine, I'm sure.

AkaGaGa already explained her mention of Bush; but (not trying to turn a non-political discussion into a political one :) ) I argue that Bush, although supportive of laws that side with "Christian conservative family values" (respecting infant life, and marriage), did great MORAL damage to our country, simply by not keeping his oath of office, in which he swore in the presence of God to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the US. As you pointed, his administration is not the only one to do this; but he is one of the few examples of Presidents unashamedly and openly placing themselves above the law (he once told a reporter to stop shoving the Constitution in his face, and called it "just a ___ ___ piece of paper"), and retaining the respect and support of "Christian conservative leaders."

So, this is a moral issue, not merely a political one (although I think both issues in general are inseparable).

I appreciate your comment. I've heard about the mission and values of our early elite education establishments from David Barton of Wallbuilders.com, from his film "Education and the Founding Fathers." Is this the video series you are referring to? Or is there another one? I am interested in the series you refer to, because I am very interested in the subject matter you refer to. Could you give me the name of it?

Thank you.

"Herky"

Mt1618 said...

Herky,

Your "anonymous reader, on my FFQF post, John Adams on Moral Authority" said:

"As far as religion goes - keep your religion (by all means - it's your freedom to enjoy), but also keep your religion out of my laws (it's my country too)."

My response to this individual is simple: Trace western civil law back to its origin and you will discover the Ten Commandments. Moreover, your opportunity/right to freely and publicly post your views on a blog is protected by the Bill of Rights, a document based on God's Moral Law.

As much as our secular culture attempts to separate itself from Judeo-Christianity, the more it will find that Western Civilization and the Christian Religion are inextricably united.

BTW, Herky, I enjoy your Founding Fathers blog.

Freely and Faithfully Yours,

Mt1618

Hercules Mulligan said...

Hello Mt1618. Welcome to the blog! I'm glad you enjoy reading it.

That's a good point to make about the basis of our law; thanks for adding it. It's impossible to keep our religion out of those laws, because it is the very worldview that made those laws possible!

Thanks for visiting and leaving your comment. I hope you plan to return again.

Best regards,
Hercules

Anonymous said...

On the anonymous letter:
(1)Anonymous ("he" for sake of argument) did not claim that man is inherently good and the passage from Romans is not an epiphany. Washington will make a safe assertion in his philosophy because we are charting unfamiliar territory but I believe man is capable of a secular morality derived from situational observation and reason without the "Higher Power"... I noticed that you made it a proper noun. In order to be held accountable to a Higher Power, you need to believe it exists which stems from personal conviction. People become convinced enough to believe in what they can't see when conclusive evidence is presented. A religious book or a quotation from a founding father is not sufficient evidence. You could tell me that I should be held accountable to The Great Mermaid, but If I don't think it's tangible, I'm not going to adhere to the principle that is derived from it.

(2)The argument in Franklin's letter to Paine is basically the same idea that Washington was saying, but yes, scalding and fear-instilling. The argument was to project fear of disapproval onto Paine so that he did not voice his opinion. We have an amendment that protects the freedom of speech, coincidentally is the same one that helps keep religion out of congress, and last I heard, silence is approval. Franklin's letter is testimony to the existence of dogmatic traditions of theists.

"Most world religions operate through fear or brainwashing to get people to be good and moral."
So does Christianity with it's threat of eternal punishment. Right now my 4 and 6 year old niece and nephew are programmatically nodding their heads for the love of Jesus. They're just reciprocating what their mentors train them to do because of brainwashing. It's not like a 4 or 6 year old has the capacity to critically analyze the plausibility of theology.

I noticed your question "Can you please tell me how you can get a government of law without God?"
I think I answered it above... "situational observation and reasoning." ...and as far as I knew, there's hardly a trace of religion in ours.

Rodney

akaGaGa said...

Rodney, I want to respond to a couple of your statements.

1) "People become convinced enough to believe in what they can't see when conclusive evidence is presented."

I won't speak for anybody else, but although it exists, it was not "conclusive evidence" that convinced me. It was the Holy Spirit convicting me of my sin, and God's loving offer of forgiveness through the cross. Faith in things spiritual comes through the Spirit, not reason.

2) Regarding your niece and nephew: "They're just reciprocating what their mentors train them to do because of brainwashing. It's not like a 4 or 6 year old has the capacity to critically analyze the plausibility of theology."

Thank God they can't! Again, critical analysis doesn't lead to faith in things that must be spiritually discerned.

3) "I noticed your question 'Can you please tell me how you can get a government of law without God?'
I think I answered it above... 'situational observation and reasoning.' ...and as far as I knew, there's hardly a trace of religion in ours."

The problem with your method is that "situational observation" is reactionary, it can't predict the future. And man's "reasoning" leaves a lot to be desired, which a cursory look at history will prove.