Do you think any moral principles implicit and explicit to the Christian Bible have merit and are worth following? Or are they as nonsensical as the metaphysics/cosmology principles?
Or is your answer something different? If you do think the moral principles of The Bible are worth either following or at least they should be taken partially seriously, then do you have a reason for this?
Background to Poll:
I run into atheists who are willing to question the various Abrahamic and other religions and their claims of supernatural beings and forces, but many of those atheists do not seem interested to question so thoroughly the moral teachings (whether those moral ideas are explicit or implicit to the mythologies. Why not? Those teachings and ideas were not divinely written or inspired. Maybe some or many or all of them are objectively as nonsensical as the belief in Jesus-as-God or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
for what it's worth, as the originator of the poll:
My own view:
the question of what are "good" and "bad" values, and behavior in trying to attain those values, is a critical one in my view. It is arguably, in its way, nearly as important (or maybe equaly or more important) as the question of whether any God hypothesis is warranted in trying to understand the world around us.
I have found it somewhat odd that this site is filled with folks who are willing to discuss, think rationally about, and address the God hypothesis, but that there does not seem to be much discussion of hypotheses as to what moral systems are correct. The question arises naturally, in my view, since most of us are coming from a place where the God hypothesis and moral lessons were intertwined in the teachings many of us received from our parents and religious school teachers in our youth.
In theistic beliefs, moral values and actions (or prohibitions on claimed immoral action) are often backed, and justified, by an argument from authority - they are claimed to come from a deity and (therefore) simply should be accepted as fact, and right and just. However, this botched logic does not invalidate the ideas themselves. The justifications offered may have nothing to do with reality, but the idea may turn out, upon examination, to have value.
At the same time, even if a proposed moral hypothesis (eg: "thus-and-such is a good thing or a good behavior" ) comes from a source not tainted by botched "argument from authority", and not tainted by faith-based anti-thought, this does not make the idea right.
Christianity is not the only theistic belief, or mythology. If we look at Greek or Roman mythology, they have their share of moral lessons implicit and perhaps explicit (not that I know much about them, but just noting that what we think of as broader mythology has a role here).
For Christianity, from what I know of it (I was not raised in it), there is more or less a moral code of altruism that runs through it. I do think it could be said that this code also runs through the thinking of some (but not all) secular (non-theistic) systems. I know of no reason to buy into this code. It has not appeared to me to be what would come to mind for me, in a tabula rasa approach to devising a decent usable justifiable good moral code. I suppose a big problem is that the question that should be asked is not "What is the good?" but "why do we ask what is the good, and what do we mean by 'good'?".
Like DNA have some basic points that are common to almost all life because they objectively work (the basic metabolism part for example), there are some moral rules that need to be followed to stabilize a society bigger than "what the boss can see and control directly", the problem is that the bible answers to the problems of a people in a specific point in time and space, like putting a lion in the arctic, he is not adapted to it and will fail.
When you fix a moral code using a "divine inspiration" you loose the capacity to adapt it to the challenges that those societies will pass as it evolves and changes.
The bible is so big and was written over so big period that it contains not one but many models of society, so if you cherry pick the parts you want you can somehow adapt it to most of society types, but that is the point, you will never be able to pick it in full, you will always create your doctrine based on your cherry picking and call it Divine inspiration.
I believe in morality (i.e. harming no one in any way), not religion or it’s accoutrement. I also do not believe in the “religion” of atheism as practiced by many atheist zealots.
What “moral principles” do you include in your question/poll? Do you refer to prostitution? Do you mean infidelity to one’s partner? Do you mean killing or stealing? Just the “Ten Commandments”…or moral “issues” not addressed therein? After all, there is no mention of pre- or non-marital sex in those commandments. Nor is there mention of specific sexuality. In order to give a more definitive answer, I would have to have a more specific definition of “moral principals”.
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