Sunday, September 24, 2006

Morality

rsjm brought up a sermon on 1st Corinthians, where Paul is telling the Corinthian church to behave.

Paul says, "Just because society thinks it's ok, doesn't mean God does". I accept that as a fundamental of Christian belief, and don't see any problem with a Christian chosing to live their life that way.

Paul says that God's rules are for God's people. That's a very Judaic way of thinking, too, and an area where Christianity changed from Judaism. Jews believe the rules in the Torah are for them, and they're the only people who should live by them, and too bad about those other folks.

Christianity, OTOH, expects *everyone* to live by their rules, and some are willing to impose those by force and law.

And that's where Christianity and I break. They (in the general theological sense) accept their morality as the only morality, and no one else is living a moral life but them. And, especially recently, power-holding Christans are willing to enfoce their morality through the law. This, in my mind, risks puts things on par with the thecracies of the Middle East, and other places where religion is state-enforced. Especially in America, no one religion should have the right to enforce its beliefs on the populace.

I think until Christianity as a whole begins to understand that people of other faiths can be moral beings, and that morality is much more about how we treat the people around us, and less about arbitrary rules, there will always be a cultural rift between Christians, and non-Christans.

4 comments:

Kathy said...

Eleri We all have to live by rules in this world.
What rules do atheists live by.Go google the atheists web site. There is no moral code that they all adhere to.

Without rules we have anarchy. It's okay to say that atheists can be moral.. But what code or beliefs do they all adhere too..

There is no cohesion there.
There is no onus
on them to act in a moral way. Who says they have too??

Eleri Hamilton said...

That's part of the point, Kathy. Athiests, by and large, are good moral people because it's the *right thing to do*, as human beings, as members of a global community. They don't *need* a higher power telling them how to behave, holding an axe of eternal damnation over their heads. They develop a moral code through observation, and experience. They learn how to interact with other humans in a fundamental expression of the 'golden rule', without needing a deitiy to show them the way.

FollowerOfDeity said...

I see the difference as being about one's attitude about human nature. Christians seem very pessimistic, saying we are born evil (original sin).

I'm quite positive about human nature, seeing people as born good. Maybe it's because I've seen this in action with my own son. There is not an evil bone in his body.

rgmb said...

"Jews believe the rules in the Torah are for them, and they're the only people who should live by them, and too bad about those other folks."

Just a little word quibble here. I don't think Jews think it's "too bad" for the rest as in you're out, we're in. I think it's more: We're the ones who have been chosen to carry the burden to show others how to live---an example I guess---but you don't have to live with the same burden as we do since God accepts everyone. My view is only from the perspective of being married to a Jew since I'm not Jewish myself so I could be wrong...