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Author Topic: Whose is Highest Morality?  (Read 5043 times)

HarpingHawke

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Whose is Highest Morality?
« on: October 21, 2014, 02:02:45 pm »
As veggiewolf said in the Bring Your Bible to School Day thread,

Quote

I am wondering whose version of morality is inculcated [in general laws for school in BC]...and what makes it the highest.  


So, to expand on this, my question is: In lawmaking in general, why is the "morality" used considered the highest morality? Why is it a default?

Feel free to add any observations or questions of your own.
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veggiewolf

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Re: Whose is Highest Morality?
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2014, 03:17:13 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;163128
As veggiewolf said in the Bring Your Bible to School Day thread,



So, to expand on this, my question is: In lawmaking in general, why is the "morality" used considered the highest morality? Why is it a default?

Feel free to add any observations or questions of your own.

 
I'm actually going to have to do some research on this topic in order to be better informed, but I would love to see one of our resident legal professionals comment on morality and the law...and if the definition of morality in law is similar to that of pornography -a "...know it when I see it..." kind of thing.
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PrincessKLS

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Re: Whose is Highest Morality?
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2014, 03:31:26 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;163143
I'm actually going to have to do some research on this topic in order to be better informed, but I would love to see one of our resident legal professionals comment on morality and the law...and if the definition of morality in law is similar to that of pornography -a "...know it when I see it..." kind of thing.

 
Well it seems like in American politics they try to push Judeo-Christian idealism onto us but in my opinion it's not even the highest morality ideology out there. In fact, if you really read throughout the bible (which I still haven't), it's very arachic ideology for the most part and even the most conservative Christians have trouble applying all the rules and laws insinuated in the bible. To be honest, most Christians don't know what's in their bible or really how to interpret it. Most of them just listen to their relatives and/or church communities.  I've noticed that a handful of people who convert to atheism or agnosticism from Christianity, tend to have read the bible front and back (cover to cover) and they point out all the funny, weird, and out-right scary stuff in the bible that most people don't acknowledge.
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HarpingHawke

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Re: Whose is Highest Morality?
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2014, 04:07:25 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;163143
I'm actually going to have to do some research on this topic in order to be better informed, but I would love to see one of our resident legal professionals comment on morality and the law...and if the definition of morality in law is similar to that of pornography -a "...know it when I see it..." kind of thing.

 
Hah, yeah. Seconding.
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mlr52

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Re: Whose is Highest Morality?
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2014, 05:48:43 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;163128
As veggiewolf said in the Bring Your Bible to School Day thread,



So, to expand on this, my question is: In lawmaking in general, why is the "morality" used considered the highest morality? Why is it a default?

Feel free to add any observations or questions of your own.

 
What is the working definition of morality?

In my opinion the law (letter and spirit), courts and justice are different things, with different goals.
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HarpingHawke

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Re: Whose is Highest Morality?
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2014, 06:22:48 pm »
Quote from: mlr52;163156
What is the working definition of morality?


 
What is your definition of morality here? How do you think people get to decide about what definition is the "best?"
"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." - Hemingway

HarpingHawke

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Re: Whose is Highest Morality?
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2014, 06:27:33 pm »
Quote from: PrincessKLS;163146
I've noticed that a handful of people who convert to atheism or agnosticism from Christianity, tend to have read the bible front and back (cover to cover) and they point out all the funny, weird, and out-right scary stuff in the bible that most people don't acknowledge.

 
I've heard the argument that some things in the Bible have to be interpreted, but there's definitely some parts that one just can't interpret.

Or, in the case of the fig tree that Jesus cursed, the implications of the interpretation were much worse. Apparently the fig tree is supposed to represent the Jewish people, and he cursed them for not believing he was the Messiah.
"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." - Hemingway

Sarah

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Re: Whose is Highest Morality?
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2014, 06:59:46 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;163160
, but there's definitely some parts that one just can't interpret.


 
I don't understand this? Every thing is interpretable in several different ways. I don't think there is ever just one way of reading something
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Valeria Crowe

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Re: Whose is Highest Morality?
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2014, 07:27:32 pm »
Quote from: Jake_;163165
I don't understand this? Every thing is interpretable in several different ways. I don't think there is ever just one way of reading something

Some things are flat out plainly stated.

Old Testament commands the faithful to execute (murder) homosexuals and witches (Leviticus). Its not a parable, metaphor, simile, or spiritual sense of the word 'kill', it's all literal. No interpretation.

Actually, all the laws are pretty cut and dry.

So are such things as pauls statement that women must not speak in chruch, and his statements against gays and lesbians, his statements that drinking a little wine is okay... not a man given to vagueries.

Others are subject to interpretation. When jesus told his gave his groupies a right bollocking for giving money to the poor (mathew 26:11), its not clear if that's only supposed to apply when he's alive, or whether it cam be extended to mean "Give money to religious causes instead of the poor," or even whether it means "Ah, fuck the poor."

The fig tree cursing, where he curses a tree for not bearing fruit out of season (mark11 12-25) is seen by some critics as the gesture of a spoiled brat, but traditional christian interpretation sees it as a metaphor for cursing the Jews for not worshipping him...

Etc. Some things in the bibble are obviously literal, others could be metaphors in need of interpretation.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2014, 07:29:58 pm by Valeria Crowe »
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Sarah

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Re: Whose is Highest Morality?
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2014, 07:39:30 pm »
Quote from: Cuthwin Crowe;163169
Some things are flat out plainly stated.

Old Testament commands the faithful to execute (murder) homosexuals and witches (Leviticus). Its not a parable, metaphor, simile, or spiritual sense of the word 'kill', it's all literal. No interpretation.

Actually, all the laws are pretty cut and dry.

So are such things as pauls statement that women must not speak in chruch, and his statements against gays and lesbians, his statements that drinking a little wine is okay... not a man given to vagueries.

Others are subject to interpretation. When jesus told his gave his groupies a right bollocking for giving money to the poor (mathew 26:11), its not clear if that's only supposed to apply when he's alive, or whether it cam be extended to mean "Give money to religious causes instead of the poor," or even whether it means "Ah, fuck the poor."

The fig tree cursing, where he curses a tree for not bearing fruit out of season (mark11 12-25) is seen by some critics as the gesture of a spoiled brat, but traditional christian interpretation sees it as a metaphor for cursing the Jews for not worshipping him...

Etc. Some things in the bibble are obviously literal, others could be metaphors in need of interpretation.

 
Every single thing you mentioned here can and has been interpreted in different ways from the ways you have interpreted them
Knowing when to use a shovel is what being a witch is all about. Nanny Ogg, Witches Abroad

Valeria Crowe

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Re: Whose is Highest Morality?
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2014, 08:01:59 pm »
Quote from: Jake_;163171
Every single thing you mentioned here can and has been interpreted in different ways from the ways you have interpreted them

 
Half of them, that was the point.

The other half... how?
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mlr52

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Re: Whose is Highest Morality?
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2014, 08:06:34 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;163158
What is your definition of morality here? How do you think people get to decide about what definition is the "best?"


The definition of Morality is what needs to be defined.
 
To me mortality is not written in stone, it is a living thing.  Circumstances determine what is right or wrong.

Most definitions I have come across say something like It is wrong to kill, yet the state gets a pass on that.

(I will say that if I become a victim of thew US Justice  system, I do not want, equal or fair treatment, I want the same consideration the Police get).

Consider in the Wrath of Khan Spock says "the needs of the many outweighed the needs, of the few or the one".  In the Search for Spock
Kirk says "the needs of the one out weighed the needs of the many."  Both were right for the circumstances in which they were applied.

Will I intentionally harm another, yes if I believe that harm is the only way to stop them from harming me or mine.

Will I harm another to gain an advantage, other than above I hope not.  But at times it has been a close call.

I grew up in a world where mothers would put a young child's hand on a hot steam pipe, was that right I say yes, others say no.
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Valentine

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Re: Whose is Highest Morality?
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2014, 08:07:03 pm »
Quote from: Cuthwin Crowe;163172
Half of them, that was the point.

The other half... how?

 
All of them, speaking as a Bible scholar.  Every single one of those has had multiple popular interpretations.  Keep in mind, too, that they've all been translated from other languages and very different cultural contexts.

Exegetical and hermeneutical analysis have had hundred of years to develop as fields and are full of very respectable disagreements.
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HarpingHawke

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Re: Whose is Highest Morality?
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2014, 08:19:31 pm »
Quote from: Valentine;163174
All of them, speaking as a Bible scholar.  Every single one of those has had multiple popular interpretations.  Keep in mind, too, that they've all been translated from other languages and very different cultural contexts.

Exegetical and hermeneutical analysis have had hundred of years to develop as fields and are full of very respectable disagreements.

 
Hm. I guess you learn something new every day! :)

Do you have time to give a short example?
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Valentine

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Re: Whose is Highest Morality?
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2014, 08:44:43 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;163175
Hm. I guess you learn something new every day! :)

Do you have time to give a short example?

 
Sure, let's start with the simplest "straightforward" one on the list above: the passage that, in the King James Version, is translated, "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."  It is reasonably straightforward that a law is being laid down, that it is a law to punish a crime, and that the punishment suggested is death.  

What's not straightforward: "witch."  It's a Hebrew word in the original with pretty unclear meaning that, in more scholarly (and more Jewish) circles, is usually translated as something closer to "poisoner."  So, while there was a particularly theological, social, and political agenda in translating this word as "witch" in the KJV and and a history of using that passage to condemn "witchcraft" and punish people called witches, it is by no means clear or unambiguous in the actual original passage that a death-penalty condemnation of witchcraft is what's being ordered.  It might be about malicious magic; it might be about nothing to do with witchcraft at all.  Meanwhile, in the same book, a remedy for a particular kind of illness suggested is ritual involving putting the sickness into a dove and sacrifice, which by any of our standards would count as "ritual magic" or "witchcraft" but is directed as the appropriate thing to do.  So: not straightforward.  You have to answer questions like "what does 'witch' mean? 'Magic'?  'Witchcraft'?  Who are we told is doing the ordering?  For what reason?  Is it advice or a commandment?  What's the context?  Am I reading a translation that is not accurate?  Who is the 'thou' implied--individuals, community leaders, a prophet in a particular situation, people trying to solve a particular problem, what?" and so on.
"Let be be finale of seem." - Wallace Stevens, "The Emperor of Ice-Cream"
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