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20 minutes ago, mrmarklin said:

Nehor , you’re a good guy  .   But hopelessly naive. 
 

There is a book titled Civilization by Niall Ferguson that explains a lot. Please read it. 
As a matter of fact, everybody on this forum should read it. It puts a lot in perspective. 

Color me unsurprised that someone who refers to Central African tribalism as “totally degenerate” reads Niall Ferguson, the grand defender of imperialism and the British Empire who rhapsodizes over how great a benefit the “king men” of history are to those they exploited.

Edit: I should also add that I have never heard Niall Ferguson suggest that it was Christianity that led to advancement. Usually he attributes it to using the scientific method, competition, and consumerism. I suspect he would not agree that cultural development requires monotheism. Isn’t he an atheist? Why would you read the books of an amoral degenerate or even worse, corrupt others by advising them to read the words of a person who, by your definition, cannot be moral at all?

Edited by The Nehor
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49 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

I agree that in the absolute sense there would be no impulse for good in us outside of the Light of Christ but everyone has that. Claiming that atheists cannot be moral is denying the doctrine of the church about the light of Christ being given to all. Repent of your heresy!

Or in other words, just be kind, dagnabbit! :)

A little note, if there is no God, are all those good thoughts and feelings which we call "the Light of Christ" invalid? I don't think so. 

Edited by Meadowchik
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45 minutes ago, mrmarklin said:

Please read the journals of the early explorations of the British and their descriptions of some of the tribes and their leaders in Central Africa. It’s you who needs the history lesson. 
 

I rest my case if the best evidence you have of African "degeneracy" comes from the pen of Renaissance European explorers (hardly models of morality!)  And I didn't say you need a lesson in history (which is always written from an enculturated point of view). I said you need to educate yourself on humans in general. I have very little regard for history as fact but I find it interesting as opinion/specific point of view. Maybe you could gain more understanding of humans if you read ethnographies written by 21st century scientists.  

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20 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Lehi's Law of Opposition makes it clear that evil exists.  Whether one wishes to define it as an entity or concept, or a social construction, takes us into some very abstruse areas of inquiry.

I think the Atonement of Christ brings the complementary forms of matter together through restoration (as described in Alma 41), for example "entity" and "concept". So there must be a catch-all working term covering both, or the united entity-concept pairing ("intelligence"?).

Theoretically, any law describes a force, which is fundamentally a particle. For example, the force(s) or law(s) -- assuming there are various kinds -- of gravity are comprised of gravitons, and the sealing power (force), which is controlled by a conceptualizing entity, can govern the action of all other forces (per Helaman 10). Of course this idea uses scientific terms metaphorically and is not meant to "objectively measure" either the entity or concept of evil.

It could be said that the forces of nature are but the "wake" of unseen entity-concept pairs that act in relation to other pairs.

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53 minutes ago, mrmarklin said:

Nehor , you’re a good guy  .   But hopelessly naive. 
 

There is a book titled Civilization by Niall Ferguson that explains a lot. Please read it. 
As a matter of fact, everybody on this forum should read it. It puts a lot in perspective. 

Reading in my youth about the Opium Wars and the book, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, destroyed any sense of inherent moral superiority in the West for me. 

Edited by Calm
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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

If you have all power then allowing evil is endorsing evil. This is a common theological problem. It is even harsher in our own faith because we deny that it can be justified by the Fall.

Would you think someone good who refused medical aid to someone suffering by crossing their arms in front of them and insisting they did not actually cause it so it is not their fault when they could fix it? One of the problems I wrestle with is God insisting on everything good coming from Him and everything evil coming from darker sources. If He could prevent it and does not He is choosing to allow evil to continue. Or a teacher that allows some students to bully others right in front of them while insisting that they are not the ones doing it so it is really not on them. It makes God a powerful being with a warped sense of responsibility. You can say that evil is allowed as long as it leads to a greater good but that makes for a potentially horrifying version of heaven where anything is allowed as long as it leads to a greater good.

I have only found one way out of this trap and I don’t like it but I am more and more convinced it is accurate. On the other hand it makes the Fall and Christ’s atonement even more critical and more of a sacrifice that it makes me suspect it is true. Then again I am a pessimist. Maybe there is a better way.

That is the reasoning of our fallen, sinful minds.  There is no theological dilemma. I don't want to repeat my response to the same argument from early own. Just look for it, brother.  

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

One quibble. There is no point of origin for the Universe if you subscribe to the Big Bang theory. There is no origin point. The Big Bang occurred, in essence, everywhere. I can claim it happened in the couch cushion I am sitting on right now and I am just as right as if I had picked any other point. It is horribly unintuitive. You cannot really picture it. All we really have is math and very imperfect words like “explosion” and “expansion” and some visual representations but they are all, to some degree, inaccurate.

If you do not subscribe to that theory then I have no idea what you are talking about so ignore this.

The BB theory is not a coherent one. It negates everything we know about matter and energy. In order for something to happen, it requires  another force to act upon it and cause it to happen. That first uncashed cause, that existed outside the universe itself and brought it into existance is God. That is the logical and philosophically coherent explanation. Secular scientists are allergic to anything that has to do with God,  so they invent all kinds of theories,  no matter how illogical and improbable. 

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1 hour ago, CV75 said:

I think the Atonement of Christ brings the complementary forms of matter together through restoration (as described in Alma 41), for example "entity" and "concept". So there must be a catch-all working term covering both, or the united entity-concept pairing ("intelligence"?).

Theoretically, any law describes a force, which is fundamentally a particle. For example, the force(s) or law(s) -- assuming there are various kinds -- of gravity are comprised of gravitons, and the sealing power (force), which is controlled by a conceptualizing entity, can govern the action of all other forces (per Helaman 10). Of course this idea uses scientific terms metaphorically and is not meant to "objectively measure" either the entity or concept of evil.

It could be said that the forces of nature are but the "wake" of unseen entity-concept pairs that act in relation to other pairs.

"Unseen" as in Dark Energy or Dark Matter, which make up around 96% of the universe, and which we cannot see or examine?  There is simply so much we do not know.

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2 hours ago, Islander said:

I do not agree with that position. Agency is inextricable from love. Without free will love can not possibly exist. The possibility of non-love must be present in order for love to emerge. So, right form the start, the dichotomy surfaces.  It is impossible to find evil without good being defined and evil is the result of disobedience, which is made possible because of free will.

Yes, of course.  And that is what Lehi's Law of Opposites says.  However, if God makes everything, then that includes evil, and we would all have to be automatons who exercise no free will -- but only mechanical action-reaction.

2 hours ago, Islander said:

That does not make God the author of evil.

No.  But the humans who theorize that God is the only Uncaused Cause, guarantee that He is he author of evil.  If they would base their beliefs about God on the Bible, they would sing a very different tune.

2 hours ago, Islander said:

A multiverse or eternally existing universe can not be supported or proven from a logical or philosophical standpoint. The universe is expanding and from the rate of expansion we can extrapolate a point of origin. Joseph, just like the Apostle John, possibly lacked the language or ability to fully comprehend what he saw. It is not uncommon. Not everything has been not will it be revealed in this dispensation..  

False.  Joseph Smith preached a God who had no beginning and will have no end, along with a universe which has no beginning and no end.

2 hours ago, Islander said:

We are the offspring of God. Endowed with intellect, free will and potential. But from a temporal standpoint, that is where all similarities end. The Eternal and spiritual potential do not bear on our temporal experience except from an aspirational standpoint. We are guided by the scriptures, revelation and symbols/rituals as tangible cues of our potential and destiny of what we are to become. But God remains completely distinct from us, in essence and attributes.  

We are the literal offspring of God.  Moreover, he was once a man, as we are now;  and we can become Gods just as He is.  As St Paul taught, we shall all be changed in an instant into glorious incorruptible beings, just like our Father God.

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41 minutes ago, Islander said:

That is the reasoning of our fallen, sinful minds.  There is no theological dilemma. I don't want to repeat my response to the same argument from early own. Just look for it, brother.  

I am not satisfied with the solution you gave and if my fallen and sinful reasoning makes my reasoning incorrect I should give up reason altogether. I accept that there may be some solution beyond my ability to grasp but you either didn't give it or your mind is so far beyond mine that I missed it.

35 minutes ago, Islander said:

The BB theory is not a coherent one. It negates everything we know about matter and energy. In order for something to happen, it requires  another force to act upon it and cause it to happen. That first uncashed cause, that existed outside the universe itself and brought it into existance is God. That is the logical and philosophically coherent explanation. Secular scientists are allergic to anything that has to do with God,  so they invent all kinds of theories,  no matter how illogical and improbable. 

Actually the consensus explanation for why the Big Bang occurred is "No idea". There are some interesting theories ranging from God to multiverses but they are not empirically provable or disprovable. The Big Bang theory does not purport to explain why it happened. How would we even come up for an explanation as to what caused space and time to exist? We have no model for it. We don't even have math for it.

It doesn't negate everything we know about matter and energy. It admits its ignorance. Filling areas of ignorance entirely with "God did it" might, in some cases, be correct but arguing that God must have done it because we have no explanation is silly.

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3 hours ago, mrmarklin said:

The tribes have essentially been converted to Christianity now. But back in the day it was a survival of the fittest among many tribes. See my reply to Katherine. 
I should have used past tense. 

You mean the answer you gave Katherine where you failed to answer the question, and instead decided to scold her for not growing up?  lol.  I am beginning to see a pattern in how you handle yourself.

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7 hours ago, Islander said:

I do not believe your position is supported by scripture. There is but ONE true God,  Unchanging, Everlasting. Almighty,  Omniscient and Omnipotent. There are other beings, created by Him an ion ago, on a path to progression but they are not like Him. 

There is a point of origin for the universe. At that point, an intelligence that was outside time and space, caused the universe to come into existence. That is the One True God. 

Like I said before, nothing is outside of the sphere of influence of the ONE true God. Agency is an indispensable part of love. Without free will there can never be true love. So, yes, He mourned the fall of a third of His children although He knew from before He created them that such would be the events in question. Those that disobeyed proved that they loved power, ambition and dominion more than their Father. And like so will be the fate of those that came to earth. Some will be saved, most will be lost by their own free will.  

I've posted this before and I'm sure I'll post it again if the need comes up again (because it's so good), but you may gain a greater appreciation of the strength of Joseph Smith's (and Latter-day Saint) doctrine of creation and the eternal existence of intelligences and God's plan of salvation and how it all totally obliterates the philosophical "problem of evil" (the logical problem of evil; the soteriological problem of evil; and the practical problem of evil.)  This fits well with the topic of this thread.

See:  BYU Speeches: Joseph Smith and the Problem of Evil, by David L. Paulsen (Professor of Philosophy, September 21, 1999).

To give away part of the punchline, here's what Paulsen says of Joseph Smith's theology:

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[Joseph Smith's] revelations circumvent the theoretical problem of evil by denying the trouble-making postulate of absolute creation—and, consequently, the classical definition of divine omnipotence. Contrary to classical Christian thought, Joseph explicitly affirmed that there are entities and structures which are co-eternal with God himself. On my reading of Joseph’s discourse, these eternal entities include chaotic matter, intelligences (or what I will call primal persons), and lawlike structures or principles. According to Joseph Smith, God’s creative activity consists of bringing order out of disorder, of organizing a cosmos out of chaos—not in the production of something out of nothing. Two statements from Joseph’s King Follett sermon should give some sense of how radically his understanding of creation departs from the classical Christian notion. With respect to the Creation, Joseph wrote:

"You ask the learned doctors why they say the world was made out of nothing; and they will answer, “Doesn’t the Bible say He created the world?” And they infer, from the word create, that it must have been made out of nothing. Now, the word create came from the [Hebrew] word baurau which does not mean to create out of nothing; it means . . . to organize the world out of chaos—chaotic matter. . . . Element had an existence from the time [God] had. The pure principles of element are principles which can never be destroyed; they may be organized and reorganized, but not destroyed. They had no beginning, and can have no end."8

More particularly, with respect to the creation of man, Joseph added:

"The mind of man—the immortal spirit. Where did it come from? All learned men and doctors of divinity say that God created it in the beginning; but it is not so. . . . I am going to tell of things more noble.

We say that God himself is a self-existent being. . . . [But] who told you that man did not exist in like manner upon the same principles? Man does exist upon the same principles. God made a tabernacle and put a spirit into it, and it became a living soul. . . . How does it read in the Hebrew? It does not say in the Hebrew that God created the spirit of man. It says, “God made man out of the earth and put into him Adam’s spirit, and so became a living body.”

The mind or the intelligence which man possesses is co-equal [co-eternal] with God himself.9

This idea is also evident in Abraham 3:18-19:

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18 Howbeit that he made the greater star; as, also, if there be two spirits, and one shall be more intelligent than the other, yet these two spirits, notwithstanding one is more intelligent than the other, have no beginning; they existed before, they shall have no end, they shall exist after, for they are gnolaum, or eternal. 19 And the Lord said unto me: These two facts do exist, that there are two spirits, one being more intelligent than the other; there shall be another more intelligent than they; I am the Lord thy God, I am more intelligent than they all.  (Abraham 3:18–19)

And also taught by Joseph Smith here:

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Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Four 1839–42, p.158
The spirit of man is not a created being; it existed from eternity, and will exist to eternity. Anything created cannot be eternal; and earth, water, etc., had their existence in an elementary state, from eternity. Our Savior speaks of children and says, Their angels always stand before my Father. The Father called all spirits before Him at the creation of man, and organized them. He (Adam) is the head, and was told to multiply. The keys were first given to him, and by him to others. He will have to give an account of his stewardship, and they to him.

 

Edited by InCognitus
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7 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Moral compass that hopefully hasn't been screwed up by people changing it.

@Meadowchik I don't think this was meant for you, it was for someone else, sorry. Trying to figure out who it was meant for.

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13 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Color me unsurprised that someone who refers to Central African tribalism as “totally degenerate” reads Niall Ferguson, the grand defender of imperialism and the British Empire who rhapsodizes over how great a benefit the “king men” of history are to those they exploited.

Edit: I should also add that I have never heard Niall Ferguson suggest that it was Christianity that led to advancement. Usually he attributes it to using the scientific method, competition, and consumerism. I suspect he would not agree that cultural development requires monotheism. Isn’t he an atheist? Why would you read the books of an amoral degenerate or even worse, corrupt others by advising them to read the words of a person who, by your definition, cannot be moral at all?

Read the book. Ferguson is/was a professed atheist, but the book is a powerful argument for the superiority of Western Civilization. That would include our religion. 

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13 hours ago, Calm said:

Yeah, because there would be no bias or misunderstanding based on miscommunications on their part or the need of some to justify their desires for conquest. 

Do you seriously want to compare Western civilization with cannibals, headhunters, etc?  Many of these tribes were at the Animal Farm level. Survival of the fittest. 

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10 hours ago, california boy said:

You mean the answer you gave Katherine where you failed to answer the question, and instead decided to scold her for not growing up?  lol.  I am beginning to see a pattern in how you handle yourself.

Not sure what question I failed to answer. I rebutted some of her more silly assertions.  Most of you are so ignorant of history and human endeavor that it’s like arguing with my seven year old grandson. 
The idea that anyone here on this forum came up totally independently with their own “Good” morality is absurd on its face. 
The idea that an atheist, who denies God, has any framework to propagate anything that is other than selfishness is also rather silly.  The most famous atheists of our day have spent their time enslaving people for their own benefit. These ideas are not original with me, but go back to, and probably before the Enlightenment. 

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2 hours ago, mrmarklin said:

Do you seriously want to compare Western civilization with cannibals, headhunters, etc?  Many of these tribes were at the Animal Farm level. Survival of the fittest. 

It would depend on why and how cannibalism occurs.  Some forms I studied are much more respectful of other humans than slave labour/serfdom, human trafficking, forcing women, girls, and boys into brothels or streetlife; imprisonment of the insane, experimentation on the vulnerable; wars for profit or colonization where then the native population is exploited as slaves, as possessions, objects; intentionally infecting blankets with nasty diseases one then gives as 'gifts' to those one wantsto destroy, forced removal from homelands even knowing it is going to kill those one is transporting; demanding by force and preventing a country from saving its people and instead allow one to create a population of addicts to sell one's opium to, to destroy families and individuals through widespread addiction and justifying it all as fair trade; and if you feel the need to go into the 'Ewwww, gross category' if the above wasn't enough....a industrialed mass production of death with civilized Western men and women then making lampshades out of the skin of those murdered, prying gold teeth out of the dead...

Totally depravity is not seen at survival level imo with religious beliefs that equate consuming flesh with consuming strength or wisdom or bonding with ancestors or even a demonstration of dominance in conquest; there can be some excuses made for the ignorance and needs of people who struggle to survive, to understand the world and seek power to control it.

However, when people are wealthy and powerful and educated in the impact on others of their choices, who claim they are superior to the 'savages' and yet are still willing and even eager to destroy others' lives or worse make their lives a living hell on a large scale to increase their own wealth and power while often sitting in one's homes and clubs in comfort....that is total depravity imo and that was best achieved I believe by those leaders of Western Civilizations, the British and Germans, but many runnerups with Americans, Portuguese, Spanish.  Probably other groups I am less aware of who treated those they had power over as less than human.

https://www.history.com/news/native-americans-genocide-united-states

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genocide_of_indigenous_peoples_in_Brazil

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. John Wong’s 1998 study of Britain’s second Opium War with China, Deadly Dreams, made clear Lord Palmerston’s dependency on opium revenues throughout the middle decades of the 19th century. In light of the British addiction to Chinese exports (silk, ceramics and tea), opium was the only commodity that saved the British balance of payments with Asia from ruinous deficit. Marchant argues that mid-century British merchants in China believed that a ‘just war’ should be fought to defend progress. In reality the British leaders of the opium trade through the 1830s and 1840s were far more interested in protecting their drug sales in order to fund lucrative retirement packages (one of their number, James Matheson, used such profits to buy a seat in Parliament and the Outer Hebridean island of Lewis).

https://www.historytoday.com/archive/opium-wars

The biggest drug cartels back then were British, the wealthy, upperclass, educated British who simply didn't care about what they were doing to other humans.  How does that not fit the definition of total depravity perfectly?

https://psmag.com/news/mexico-asked-spain-to-apologize-for-its-conquest-spain-said-no

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One of the most famous accounts of Spanish brutality comes from one of these missionaries. Bartolomé de las Casas, a Domincan friar, wrote about his experiences traveling through Spain's colonies in Latin America and the Caribbean between 1517 in 1540 in his book, Brevísima relación de la destrucción de las Indias (A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies). Las Casas described the systematic torture, rape, and mutilation the Spaniards exacted on indigenous people in every colony he visited.

"Their reason for killing and destroying such an infinite number of souls is that the Christians have an ultimate aim, which is to acquire gold, and to swell themselves with riches," Las Casas wrote.

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Human Rights calls Spain's invasion of the Americas the first large-scale genocide of the modern era. In the land that became Spanish colonies, at least eight million indigenous people were killed by Spanish massacres and European diseases. Across two continents, up to 95 percent of all people were killed.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/worst-atrocities-british-empire-amritsar-boer-war-concentration-camp-mau-mau-a6821756.html

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Between 12 and 29 million Indians died of starvation while it was under the control of the British Empire, as millions of tons of wheat were exported to Britain as famine raged in India.

In 1943, up to four million Bengalis starved to death when Winston Churchill diverted food to British soldiers and countries such as Greece while a deadly famine swept through Bengal. 

Talking about the Bengal famine in 1943, Churchill said: “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion. The famine was their own fault for breeding like rabbits.”

From a survey of historic and prehistoric cannabilism:

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To many minds, black Africans were people who were in the habit of eating each other for dinner and on special occasions added a missionary to the menu. Therefore, many gross stories about African tribal cannibalism exist. According to Davies19, cannibalism was restricted to specific regions, the Congo and Niger river basins. In almost every case cannibalism was reported as part of a religious act: Complex rules prescribed who would partake of human flesh, whether men or women, young or old, who was to be eaten, and what parts of their body should be kept as relics.

In the Congo-basin, reports mainly derive from missionaries. Most of these reports are horror stories rather than facts, written by the author to show Africa and its people in the darkest colours. They totally ignore any religious motivation and draw the picture of the man-eating savage who eats human flesh simply because he likes it. But some of these reports actually seem to confirm that cannibalism was notamatterofpuregreedbutwasfundamentallyritualandsacrificial.20 Theuniversalprinciplebehind man-eating would be to imbibe magic strength by transferring soul-material, particularly identified with the head, from victim to eater: this could be wisdom, if the younger ate the elder, or vigour, if the elder ate the young. In Africa, the continued presence of the spirits of the dead among the living was a strong belief. The souls of one’s forebears were part of the divine order, and the eating of their bodies became a sacred duty. Therefore, the eating of old relatives was basic to the deep-rooted African cult of ancestor worship.

On the other hand, Arens stated that cannibalism never existed at all but was simply invented by native informants to please the people who questioned them. No eyewitness ever examined any ritual cannibalism. The reports were written by European outsiders who saw European culture superior to African and Africans as untamed, cruel savages.21 Therefore, the reports are doubtless not neutral. Furthermore, it seems very unlikely that the natives would tell arrogant strangers details of their cult and religion, some of which might be secret knowledge. Furthermore, despite the ethnohistorical accounts, the archaeologicalevidenceofcannibalisminAfricaisminimal.22 Arensmightthereforeberightincompletely denying cannibalism. But still there are some cases where cannibalism seems to be an irrevocable matter of fact. According to Davies23 in certain parts of Africa enemy hearts were pulverised to make a powerful potion: In Lesotho, South Africa, a courage-boosting, protective potion called Diretlo or Ditlo was made out of the carefully prepared flesh of a chosen victim who had to be a stranger or war captive. Unfortunately, war captives became rare after the days of tribal warfare, so the witch doctor usually chose a member of the tribe. The most singular rituals for making medicine out of human entrails are said to be found in the Leopard Societies of Sierra Leone on the west coast of Africa. In 1607 a visitor to Sierra Leone wrote about fierce man-eating tribes who lived in the interior of the country and dressed as Leopards. But only in 1891, after Sierra Leone had become a British colony in 1807, did the British first gain an inkling of what was going on in the jungle. To combat this extraordinary kind of killing a bill entitled “The Human Leopard Ordonance” was passed in 1895: It made it a crime for anyone to possess a leopard skin shaped to fit the human form, a three-pronged knife and a special native medicine called “Borfina” which includes human fat and blood as the chief ingredients, obtained in an elaborate ritual. Borfima was a potent instrument in the hands of its owner and could help him become rich and powerful.

However detailed the Sierra Leone trials are on the killings of the victims, they tell us little about the gods – if there were any – in whose honour the acts were performed. A lack of knowledge of African religion has distorted the picture of human sacrifice and its possible offshoot, ritual cannibalism. Both are highly religious acts, and can only be understood in the light of the cults that they are designed to serve. Behaving like a beast of prey, in this case a leopard, has a universal religious meaning: It betokens that one has ceased to be a mere mortal, that one has become a magic force incarnate, in some sort a god24 (compare Voodoo, Shamanism). The devouring of the victim’s body, in my opinion fantasy rather than truth, was therefore an easy-to-believe step accompanying the transformation into a beast, for it is very likely that people in Sierra Leone were indeed killed and eaten by real leopards. 

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/fd7d/311f0e3abaaf0a4002b0c16cbccc4a82bfe1.pdf

Edited by Calm
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31 minutes ago, mrmarklin said:

Read the book. Ferguson is/was a professed atheist, but the book is a powerful argument for the superiority of Western Civilization. That would include our religion. 

That is absolutely arguable. However, even then, how does this further your point denigrating atheism?

 
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  22 hours ago, mrmarklin said:

An atheist, by definition has no morality.  How could one?  It’s all about the self.  The old Marxist meme that one civilization is as good as another comes to mind. Clearly not true as some, like tribes in Central Africa are totally degenerate, as opposed to Western civilization that has given us art and freedom. If one examines history only civilizations that have a belief system in a higher power have contributed anything.  And the civilization that has contributed the most believes in the Judeo-Christian ethic. 

 


You start by misdefining atheism. You then jump to an assumption apparently equating a Marxist thought to atheism in general. So you set up a strawman, a disturbing one at that, of tribes in Central Africa. There are fallacies rampant in your thesis, it has no logical or factual coherence. 

Atheism is merely the lack of belief in good or the belief that there is no God. It is definitely not the lack of belief in morals nor is it a belief that morals do not exist. Marxism is not the only articulation of atheistic ideas. Non-Western tribes singled out by you do not represent the whole, and Western civilisation has its own share of systemic and anecdotal degeneracy. 

And regardless of your historical argument, atheism is not a finite, completed dogma, it only means the absence of a particular kind of dogma. In a response to another poster I gave an example of a reasonable atheistic moral code.

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My moral code is quite accessible. It starts with acknowledging that I exist and others exist. Then I also acknowledge that I want to be treated like a person by others and that therefore I can help create a world where others treat me like a person by myself treating others like individuals just as real as me. It's not esoteric, but it provides the principle upon which all kinds of humane relationships can form between the individual and society and between respective individuals. 

By the way, it makes room for the freedom to believe, too, so it makes room for theism. It is inclusive and it does not depend on one person's or one group's interpretation of what God/s have said.

 

But of course it is just a simplified summary of one and is by far not the only possible atheistic, reasonable moral code.

Your argument is like someone saying that since synthetic nitrogen fertilizer is the single greatest contributor to human population growth, it is the only viable path to population growth, but yours is  more fallacious.

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1 hour ago, mrmarklin said:


The idea that anyone here on this forum came up totally independently with their own “Good” morality is absurd on its face. 
 

No person came up with anything at all independently. Human beings are social beings who survive collectively. And in all likelihood, all of us are here because of something immoral at some point.

The human endeavor is full of people extracting good products out of the milieu and reforming a better product. 

Edited by Meadowchik
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2 hours ago, mrmarklin said:

Read the book. Ferguson is/was a professed atheist, but the book is a powerful argument for the superiority of Western Civilization. That would include our religion. 

No, you cannot claim that atheists are completely amoral on one hand and support that argument by recommending I can trust the writings of an atheist who is supposedly going to show that Judeo-Christianity is the only source of morality. By your stated standards he has every reason to lie to me. You really need to work out the contradictions in your worldview.

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13 hours ago, Islander said:

The BB theory is not a coherent one. It negates everything we know about matter and energy. In order for something to happen, it requires  another force to act upon it and cause it to happen. That first uncashed cause, that existed outside the universe itself and brought it into existance is God. That is the logical and philosophically coherent explanation. 

No its not.  Its simply ad hoc and apologetic (which really is just the assumption is the conclusion).  There's no reason to think that a something that caused the BB is a god, transcendant and all of that, except, and this is important as I see it, you assume God first.  

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14 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

"Unseen" as in Dark Energy or Dark Matter, which make up around 96% of the universe, and which we cannot see or examine?  There is simply so much we do not know.

Absolutely, though I try to use science as an analogy or metaphor rather than a fact claim in discussing spiritual principles and topics.

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16 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

............... if there is no God, are all those good thoughts and feelings which we call "the Light of Christ" invalid? I don't think so. 

If there is no God and no purpose to the universe, then the thoughts and feelings we have are neither good nor bad.  In fact, all value judgments would then be nonsensical and irrelevant.  Only the laws of the jungle and of entropy would apply.  Bertrand Russell admitted up front that his personal preferences aside, one could not logically say that Stalin's Soviet Union was better or worse than the U.K.  If the so-called "light of Christ" is merely a matter of fairy faith, then it has no more value than the childish hope that the tooth fairy will come and compensate us.

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30 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

If there is no God and no purpose to the universe, then the thoughts and feelings we have are neither good nor bad.  In fact, all value judgments would then be nonsensical and irrelevant.  Only the laws of the jungle and of entropy would apply.  Bertrand Russell admitted up front that his personal preferences aside, one could not logically say that Stalin's Soviet Union was better or worse than the U.K.  If the so-called "light of Christ" is merely a matter of fairy faith, then it has no more value than the childish hope that the tooth fairy will come and compensate us.

I don't agree at all. 

It's ironic that with such a naturalistic view of God, you say this. If a higher being can create purpose in the entire universe, then albeit less powerful but still powerful beings can create purpose, too, in our respective lives. What in your view is so special about God that makes the difference between purpose or no purpose, between good and bad, or no good and bad?

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31 And Cain said: Truly I am Mahan, the master of this great asecret, that I may bmurder and get cgain. Wherefore Cain was called Master dMahan, and he gloried in his wickedness.

This is the wickedness , the ability/desire to convert life into property , that many ,both religious and non-religious , have espoused throughout history. 

As Moses said, " now I know that man is nothing "  But man sure is capable of wrecking a lot of something.

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