Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Morality Debate - God and Public Opinion

The morality debate revolves around the idea that if people do not believe the Bible literally - and you concede that people are the ones who laid down the rules - then those rules are up for debate. If "God" created the rules - then there is no debate.

From "Answers in Genesis":

'When Christians get into debates with unbelievers, they sometimes tend to play by the same rules they see their opponents playing by: "Assume that man makes all the rules." But when this is done, only popular opinion can be the winner.'

Their way - there doesn't need to be a debate about anything (or at least with "unbelievers" - I think the Bible is quite ambiguous). And groups of people like at the UN are irrelevant because it's about men and women writing the rules. Apparently - it's not Biblical for people from countries all over the world to sit down and work out their differences - to try to stop one country from invading another. That requires the expectation that people are responsible and leaders need to be held accountable. And besides - the US and Israel want to invade other countries and the UN just gets in the way.

I don't see the "popular opinion" as being what sets the rules. There are things like the Geneva Conventions - again people who set down to write some rules to try to prevent human annihilation. (Of course that may the very thing that some people want to see happen - if they looking forward to the "rapture".) And we used to have a government who was interested in following International Laws (or at least - that was what we were told - now there is no pretense and no shame). Those laws - anti-torture, anti-killing-civilians, anti-chemical weapons - were not created by public opinion. And, in fact, it is public opinion creators (like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage) who are trying to convince people to abandon concepts of International Law and even democracy.

All the better to invade countries, torture people, terrorize them with chemical weapons - things that the US and Israeli governments have been doing lately. Invading and terrorizing may be Biblical - but they aren't moral.

Interestingly enough - not that long ago - the US saw it in our interests to tighten the laws about torture and such (see more @ FCNL):

"At the Pentagon, the senior uniformed lawyers proposed a change to the law that would make its provisions apply to U.S. nationals who committed war crimes as well as those who were victims of such crimes. They argued that by setting a high standard for humane treatment of detainees held by the U.S., the Pentagon could demand reciprocal humane treatment for captured U.S. soldiers and other U.S. nationals held by an enemy. This change was enacted in 1997"

"Any moral proclamation that causes suffering, disease and death is evil." (See "INCORPORATING THE OUTCOME " at Echidne of the Snakes 8.14.06 - a post on sexual morality). You could also say "Any moral proclamation that causes suffering, disease and death is immoral." Anyone advocating suffering, disease and death has no moral credibility (that would include Bush, Cheney, Bolton, as well as any such church leaders).

Some argue that the actions of the US/Israeli government prevent suffering and death (for members of their countries) but I don't agree. Bullies always have a justification of some sort and that is all about creating "public opinion". The actions of the US/Israeli governments give innocent people a reason to seek revenge - it's all about giving them justification. And it all seems to be part of the plan.

If your morality is that your group can do no wrong - and if you say that "God is on your side" - you don't have to think about how your actions affect others - that is claiming irresponsibility for ones self and ones group. That morality only protects the members of the group that claim it (like people are not allowed to kill or torture within the group - but anything goes for anyone else). "You're either with us or against us". No credible person can claim that they are above morality or that they can do no wrong as long as they "believe in the Bible". It wasn't true 3000 years ago and it isn't true today.

People use the concept of "God" to give credibility to their group's immoral actions or desires (against other groups). As a way to influence public opinion. Just because there is history of success behind that sort of thing - doesn't make it right - doesn't make it moral. The "public opinion" that Christian Zionists are worried about - is the opinion of the public that sees morality for what it is and for what it is not.

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