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  1. #141  
    Quote Originally Posted by ToolkiT
    Being an adoptive parent is being a parent too IMHO, actually, it probably is an even harder job..
    You lost me. A parent is a parent adoptive or not, and I said nor implied anything to the contrary. Again, we are NOT discussing if ANYONE is a good parent or not. What is the optimal environment for raising children with regard to parental makeup???

    Quote Originally Posted by ToolkiT
    I agree kids need rolemodels, but disagree that the parents need to be a male AND female rolemodel. As long as a kid get a good rolemodel of both genders he/she'll be ok.
    Most children will be "ok" no matter what obstacles, as parents, we throw in their way. How they fit into society and to what level they achieve their potential is the question.

    How does a kid get good role models of both genders with 2 daddies or 2 mommies? If you are referring to role models outside the marriage, I think you are being hopelessly naive.

    Also it is not a matter of good or bad role models. It's the very essence of being male or being female. Even a bad parent will provide positive gender based parental influence to a child. A child's parents are the single most influential role modes he/she have. The sex of both the parent and the child play significant roles in how the child's development is affected by either parent. A child is provided a more rounded development if he or she has the benefit of both genders during their formative years. An interesting question comes to mind. Is the gender of the child of any significance when it comes to same sex parents. Would, for example, a girl be better placed with lesbian parents or homosexual parents? This complication does not exist in the heterosexual family unit.

    Child development and the ultimate adult that emerges is so complex that we could not possibly discuss it here. The influential differences a father and mother bring to the table of child development are inherent in the differences between the sexes. If you do not believe there is any difference between the sexes then there is no basis for further discussion and I give up.

    Forget about good or bad, acknowledging the differences in the sexes, how can one argue that there is an EQUAL playing field between same and opposite sex parents.
  2. #142  
    Quote Originally Posted by carter437
    The point is not how do you determine what course of action you deem correct but is anything wrong or right (situational ethics vs meta ethics). Your first answer relies on society but the question was is anything right or wrong, regardless of society. Secondly you answer is wholly subjective and based on your opinion. I can easily counter with my own opinion, I do what ever makes me happy regardless of others. So if I were to torture people because it makes me happy, all you could say is you disagree because you don't like it.

    There are major questions in life and some big ones are origin, morality, destiny and meaning. Its important people have a point of view on each of these but its also imporant that their answers make sense individually and collectively.

    In other words a purely naturalistic explaination for origins is fine but then the moment one starts invoking morality and meaning, contradictions will ultimately arise. Even if a naturalist believes in a chance,meaningless beginning but is convinced there is a morality, there is still the problem of compelling someone to live morally. Without ultimate accountablity (destiny) (or even inherent worth of a human(origin)) why does it matter (meaning) whether one lives a Hitler or a saint?

    A supernatural worldview provides a coherent answer for all questions mentioned above.
    A naturalistic explaination , chance origin, no morality, no destiny and no meaning also anwsers the above questions and is inherently coherent.

    This worldview is contradictory:
    chance origin, morality, meaning, no destiny.
    So about origin, morality, destiny and meaning... important, difficult questions, but religion and believing in supernatural beings don't make them any easier, to the contrary.

    Origin:
    The universe as we know it started at a given point, both science-minded and religious people agree on that. Science shows it started with the "Big Bang", maybe about 14 billion years ago. We have no data about what was before the Big Bang, but there may have been a similar universe before that or a different one, nobody can tell.

    Religious people say the universe cannot simply start to exist, it must have a creator, god. In their view, god always existed. This does not make much sense: How can they say something as simple as the univese (energy, matter) cannot "just" exist, but something as complex and powerful as god (complex and powerful enough to create the universe) has always existed?

    I think there is no need to introduce god at all, it makes more sense to assume that the universe "just" came into existence.


    Meaning:
    Introducing god doesn't create "meaning" for this world, to the contrary. If an all-powerful god created this world, why is there so much bad, so much suffering in it? Is he cruel, does he want us to suffer? Was he lonely, bored, so he created us for his entertainment, including the bad parts because otherwise it would be too boring? Is this world the testing ground in order to see who is worth entering heaven? But he is all-powerful, knows everything, so why would he need testing? Is god not all-powerful then, is this world an experiment of some being that couldn't do it any better?

    I think it makes far more sense to accept the fact that the universe we live in is such that on the planet we live on a species developed which started to think. Let's make the best out of it.

    Destiny:
    According to Merriam Webster, destiny is "a predetermined course of events". If things are predetermined and follow the way god had invented them, why worry about them at all. It is all predetermined anyway... Believing in destiny doesn't make much sense, and it is certainly not a motivating idea, so let's work on making things better instead of believeing in destiny.

    Moral:
    Also regarding moral, believing in god doesn't help, because how could you know what god wants? Did he ever tell you? In the course of history, many people have claimed that god spoke to them, but it seems god told them surprisingly different things. More often than not, highly contradicting things, like that it was immoral to eat pigs to some, and that it was immoral to eat cows to others. Christians eat both pigs and cows, so will they all go to hell?

    Even within the same religion, what is morally right can change totally. As mentioned before, burning somebody alive because he claimed earth was circling the sun was considered the highest moral standard not so long ago, because the earth not being the center of the universe seemed to contradict a book written a long time ago.

    So again, being religious and believing in god doesn't help in finding out what is good for the societies we live in. Putting too much emphasis on those old books probably does more harm than good, although I have to say they often contain many good principles. We have to find out ourselves what we consider desirable under the prevailing conditions, both on the personal level and on the level of society, and not everybody will reach the same conclusions. This is what life is about...
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  3. #143  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    So about origin, morality, destiny and meaning... important, difficult questions, but religion and believing in supernatural beings don't make them any easier, to the contrary.
    You defend the worldview of origin, morality, destiny and meaning by pointing out the shortcomings of MAN's interpretations or misinterpretations of God's position in these areas. As you pointed out, even if God does exist, man has no way or REALY knowing such things about God and so you find disparities over time and between differing religions. This is where faith comes in. I think what carter437 is trying to say is that no matter how man interprets the teachings of his religion, right or wrong, having faith that the teachings come from a super natural or spiritual entity gives one a sense of accountability and therefore a validation for the moral compass one uses in living one's life.

    Persons without faith indeed embrace a moral compass of their own making, or taught by their parents, but they personally have no inherent sense of accountability and so no real basis for the validity of their compass. The compass may start out pointing north, but at any time there is nothing even remotely compelling to keep the compass itself from deviating from it's intended cardinality. I think this is why people of faith feel threatened by secular liberalism.

    The interesting thing is that God does not have to exist for Faith to provide the basis for moral clarity. One only needs to have faith that God exists. As an agnostic I can understand this but have problems not seeing this as ignorance for the good of mankind on the part of the faithful.
  4. #144  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    So about origin, morality, destiny and meaning... important, difficult questions, but religion and believing in supernatural beings don't make them any easier, to the contrary.

    Origin:
    The universe as we know it started at a given point, both science-minded and religious people agree on that. Science shows it started with the "Big Bang", maybe about 14 billion years ago. We have no data about what was before the Big Bang, but there may have been a similar universe before that or a different one, nobody can tell.
    If no one can tell, then no one can exclude god
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Religious people say the universe cannot simply start to exist, it must have a creator, god. In their view, god always existed. This does not make much sense: How can they say something as simple as the univese (energy, matter) cannot "just" exist, but something as complex and powerful as god (complex and powerful enough to create the universe) has always existed?
    Actually, this religious person says that the notion of spontaneous generation is not proven, and that it requires more "faith" than belief in God. Further, I posit that a complex creator is more compatible with the laws of "nature" that have been observed.

    This is especially true given the extraordinary complexity of the simple universe. For example, look at the millions of variations of life (humans, animals, plants). Yet, within all that variation, we can uniquely identify individuals. Then, within the Universer as we have been able to observe to date, for all the solar systems that exist, and all the galaxies, and all the {whatever the next level of organization is called}, we have yet to identify another system that supports life as we know it. So, then somehow this spontaneous and random process has generated all this variety in this one speck of the universe, but has failed to repeat it anywhere else.
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    I think there is no need to introduce god at all, it makes more sense to assume that the universe "just" came into existence.

    Meaning:
    Introducing god doesn't create "meaning" for this world, to the contrary. If an all-powerful god created this world, why is there so much bad, so much suffering in it? Is he cruel, does he want us to suffer? Was he lonely, bored, so he created us for his entertainment, including the bad parts because otherwise it would be too boring? Is this world the testing ground in order to see who is worth entering heaven? But he is all-powerful, knows everything, so why would he need testing? Is god not all-powerful then, is this world an experiment of some being that couldn't do it any better?
    It is known as the doctrine of free-will. It is the understanding that while God is all-powerful, mankind has been given the ability and the responsibility to align with God or against God. Seems like an obvious choice. Yet, clearly it is not to some.
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    I think it makes far more sense to accept the fact that the universe we live in is such that on the planet we live on a species developed which started to think. Let's make the best out of it.
    That only makes sense if there is in fact no God. And while you recommend that God not be introduced. All of nature speaks of His handiwork.
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Destiny:
    According to Merriam Webster, destiny is "a predetermined course of events". If things are predetermined and follow the way god had invented them, why worry about them at all. It is all predetermined anyway... Believing in destiny doesn't make much sense, and it is certainly not a motivating idea, so let's work on making things better instead of believeing in destiny.
    Better? In terms of what? Isn't this where much of the v=conversation began?
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup

    Moral:
    Also regarding moral, believing in god doesn't help, because how could you know what god wants? Did he ever tell you? In the course of history, many people have claimed that god spoke to them, but it seems god told them surprisingly different things. More often than not, highly contradicting things, like that it was immoral to eat pigs to some, and that it was immoral to eat cows to others. Christians eat both pigs and cows, so will they all go to hell?

    Even within the same religion, what is morally right can change totally. As mentioned before, burning somebody alive because he claimed earth was circling the sun was considered the highest moral standard not so long ago, because the earth not being the center of the universe seemed to contradict a book written a long time ago.

    So again, being religious and believing in god doesn't help in finding out what is good for the societies we live in. Putting too much emphasis on those old books probably does more harm than good, although I have to say they often contain many good principles. We have to find out ourselves what we consider desirable under the prevailing conditions, both on the personal level and on the level of society, and not everybody will reach the same conclusions. This is what life is about...
    1. Does God speak to man? Yes
    2. Does a Man's claim that God spoke to him/her make it so? no
    3. How can we know what is God's will? You could start with His word (I'm offering the Bible as the most comprehensive source (though not necessarily exhaustive...it even states the inability to record all that would be of interest)
    4. How can we trust the Bible as an authentic source? Look at its origin. The compiled text is collected from 10s of authors from different geographic locations, and fromg different generations. Yet, there is agreement in facts and principles. In the historical figure Y'shua (Jesus), there is demonstrated fulfillment of predictions from the myriad authors. Increasingly archaeological discoveries corroborate the historical text.
    5. What about the changing morals within religions? Religions are sets of practices in relating to God. As such they are subject to change. Take our increasing discovery of the universe in which we live, coupled with free-will and anything's possible
    6. Does believing in God make his existence a reality? no
    7. Does not believing in God make his existence no so? no
    8. What if I'm wrong on all this? Then I lived a healthy, prosperous life.
    9. What if I'm right on all this?
  5. #145  
    Quote Originally Posted by johnbdh
    Persons without faith indeed embrace a moral compass of their own making, or taught by their parents, but they personally have no inherent sense of accountability and so no real basis for the validity of their compass.
    Persons with faith embrace a moral compass made by an old book and by what the priests in church tell them, at times leaving little room for what makes most sense in the present situation.

    I think it is both wrong and arrogant to say that people who are not religious/don't believe in god have no inherent sense of accountability. Athesits feel even more accountable for their actions because they don't have god to blame for things. They focus on making this world better, instead of hoping and planning for the next world.

    And if anybody has no "real basis" for the validity of their compass, I think it is rather religious people and not atheists, because religious people rely on some old book, claiming without any evidence it is the word of some god. Had they been brought up in another part of the world, they would believe in something totally different as the ultimate truth, and act accordingly with the same religious fervor.

    Atheists judge the consequences of their actions in a much less biased and a much more solution-oriented way, without the ideological burden of the brand of religion they happen to have been brought up with.
    Last edited by clulup; 12/06/2004 at 03:10 AM.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  6. #146  
    Quote Originally Posted by johnbdh
    ...

    The interesting thing is that God does not have to exist for Faith to provide the basis for moral clarity. One only needs to have faith that God exists. As an agnostic I can understand this but have problems not seeing this as ignorance for the good of mankind on the part of the faithful.
    The Biblical understanding of faith does not agree with you. In fact the writer of the book of "Hebrews" declares inno uncertain terms that

    ...he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

    So the mere mental construct of god is not sufficient in this case.

    However, there is validity to the notion that humanity is designed to function in concert with a belief. Everything we each do is motivated by what we each believe about ourselves and the world around us. So, yes there is benefit in believing in a supreme being as a basis for ordering one's philosophy. However, Biblical faith relies on a higher standard.
  7. #147  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Meaning:
    Introducing god doesn't create "meaning" for this world, to the contrary. If an all-powerful god created this world, why is there so much bad, so much suffering in it? Is he cruel, does he want us to suffer? Was he lonely, bored, so he created us for his entertainment, including the bad parts because otherwise it would be too boring? Is this world the testing ground in order to see who is worth entering heaven? But he is all-powerful, knows everything, so why would he need testing? Is god not all-powerful then, is this world an experiment of some being that couldn't do it any better?
    It's worth noting that there is a flaw in the logic here. These statements imply that god and "bad" and "suffering" are mutually exclusive -- ie. one can not coexist with the other.

    I'm not sure of the basis for this assumption. In fact, I would offer that we don't have a context to define "bad" or "suffering" without having a standard of "good" and "well-being" to which we can make comparison. In fact, I would offer that "bad" in particular does not exist as a discrete entity, but is rather the state or condition of the absence of "good."

    Further, as to understanding the "why" of life (such as God's entertainment, testing ground, etc.) being here for god's entertainment would be no more or less futile as existing without god.

    I'll be the first to admit, I am not clear on all of God's purpose(s). However, my ignorance does not preclude his existence. In fact, my interest in such questions further points to his existence. For if he did not exist, such questions as you have raised would be of no value or concern.
  8. #148  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    Seeing how I have not furthered my explanation, I would have to classify any further confusion you have experienced as self-induced :wink:.
    LOL, very true I guess
    Maybe religion and logic don't match that well. I am a logical person and find it very hard to understand the 'logic' of religion..
    I sincerely want to understand your way of thinking, but having a really hard time doing so.

    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    However I can concur with your conclusion. The covenant language you are reading comes from a specific covenant between Yahweh and Israel (and her descendents).

    The beauty of our access to its terms is that we gain insight into the principles and guidelines Yahweh has set forth for mankind to prosper.
    Here for example, I don't have a clue what you are trying to say maybe it is because english is not my native tongue..
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  9. #149  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Persons with faith embrace a moral compass made by an old book and by what the priests in church tell them, at times leaving little room for what makes most sense in the present situation.
    Does not much of what we all believe derive from information contained in old books?
    Truth is not limited by the teachings of religious leaders. The wise do not rely exclusively on what others have taught them, but confirm it for themselves. Lest, when challenged they have no basis to stand.
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    I think it is both wrong and arrogant to say that people who are not religious/don't believe in god have no inherent sense of accountability. Athesits feel even more accountable for their actions because they don't have god to blame for things. They focus on making this world better, instead of hoping and planning for the next world.
    This question is not to disagree, but to seek clarity. To whom or to what are Athiests accountable?
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    And if anybody has no "real basis" for the validity of their compass, I think it is rather religious people and not atheists, because religious people rely on some old book, claiming without any evidence it is the word of some god. Had they been brought up in another part of the world, they would believe in something totally different as the ultimate truth, and act accordingly with the same religious fervor.
    What characteristics are required by you for information to be considered evidence?
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Atheists judge the consequences of their actions in a much less biased and a much more solution-oriented way, without the ideological burden of the brand of religion they happen to have been brought up with.
    What is the context for these terms such as "better" "accountability" and "solution"? Clearly you don't ascribe these concepts to god. What is the basis?
  10. #150  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Origin:
    The universe as we know it started at a given point, both science-minded and religious people agree on that. Science shows it started with the "Big Bang", maybe about 14 billion years ago. We have no data about what was before the Big Bang, but there may have been a similar universe before that or a different one, nobody can tell.

    Religious people say the universe cannot simply start to exist, it must have a creator, god. In their view, god always existed. This does not make much sense: How can they say something as simple as the univese (energy, matter) cannot "just" exist, but something as complex and powerful as god (complex and powerful enough to create the universe) has always existed?
    You may be the first "science-oriented" person I have encountered who considers this universe to be "simple." Rather, I here such scientific minds address the complexity of the universe; the intricacy of it; the delicate balance that allows life on this planet to continue. Further, the universe is precise in that we are able to predict astronomical events with accuracy. We are able to make precise adjustments to the reproductive process, such as the generation of seedless oranges.
  11. #151  
    Quote Originally Posted by ToolkiT
    LOL, very true I guess
    Maybe religion and logic don't match that well. I am a logical person and find it very hard to understand the 'logic' of religion..
    I sincerely want to understand your way of thinking, but having a really hard time doing so.


    Here for example, I don't have a clue what you are trying to say maybe it is because english is not my native tongue..
    You questioned whether the text in Deuteronomy 28 and 29 was related to a particular set of people. That was a conclusion you reached in your own reading. It is a conclusion I support.

    The guarantees of "blessings" or "curses" were terms of that particulr covenant agreement, between Yahweh and a particular group of people. However, though I was not a party to the agreement, I can look at it as a means of gaining understanding what Yahweh requires/expects/approves.

    If you'll notice, in the early chapter of the book of Genesis, there is no elaborate set of rules and regulations. There is simply the instructions:
    1. Be fruitful
    2. and multipy
    3. Replenish the earth
    4. and subdue it
    3. Have dominion or the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth

    The civil/moral codes become increasingly complex as Man deviates from the course God prescribed.
  12. #152  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    You may be the first "science-oriented" person I have encountered who considers this universe to be "simple." Rather, I here such scientific minds address the complexity of the universe; the intricacy of it; the delicate balance that allows life on this planet to continue. Further, the universe is precise in that we are able to predict astronomical events with accuracy. We are able to make precise adjustments to the reproductive process, such as the generation of seedless oranges.
    as a "science-oriented" person I think the world is far from "simple" however for me that doesnt have to mean that there is a god.. The evidence there is a god is pretty thing IMHO.
    About the big bang, what caused it? I don't know. Could it be god? sure, but I find that unlikely.
    I find it more likely that religion was invented by man to create unity and control over a group of people and to explain the unexplained. Lightning? must be an act of god! off course by now we know better.
    People have a strong urge to explain everything. and what better than this magical create that could explain any phenomon. Laws of physics? don't apply if you are a supreme being! perfect!
    If there was a god he is gone now, or he is a evil god. I cannot believe a god god will allow his name to be abused for war and terror. I do not want to believe that, if there are relious wars, one party must be wrong, and if there is a god, the other should win easily.. not happening.
    Another example of weird logic in religion: if you live a good life (for example by all the 10 commands) but dont believe in god, you wont go to heaven.
    If you lead a terrible life, but believe in god and confess your sins, you go to heaven.
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  13. #153  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    It's worth noting that there is a flaw in the logic here. These statements imply that god and "bad" and "suffering" are mutually exclusive -- ie. one can not coexist with the other.
    Flaw of logic? Now that's a grave accusation! And a false accusation, since I never claimed anything even close to "bad" and "god" being mutually exclusive...
    I'll be the first to admit, I am not clear on all of God's purpose(s). However, my ignorance does not preclude his existence. In fact, my interest in such questions further points to his existence.
    Speaking about logics... would you claim that interest in Bigfoot "further points to his existence"?
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  14. #154  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Flaw of logic? Now that's a grave accusation! And a false accusation, since I never claimed anything even close to "bad" and "god" being mutually exclusive...
    Your question was "If an all-powerful god created this world, why is there so much bad?

    The question relates the two, and at least intimates that the presence "bad" is sufficient means to question the existence of "god"

    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Speaking about logics... would you claim that interest in Bigfoot "further points to his existence"?
    I most certainly mistyped on my post. I should have indicated the "our" questions point to his existence. That is not to say that we think about something, therefore it exists (i.e. bigfoot), but rather, attempts to address things like "better" "solution" "morality" "accountability" speak to there being a higher purpose (and by my extension, a higher power).
  15. #155  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    To whom or to what are Athiests accountable?
    What a questions - of course to the wellbeing of their family, the people they live with, their society, life on this planet, posterity...
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  16. #156  
    Quote Originally Posted by ToolkiT
    as a "science-oriented" person I think the world is far from "simple" however for me that doesnt have to mean that there is a god..
    Agreed. However, rooting the complex yet precise and predictable universe to a haphazard, random, origin requires a significant mental leap.
    Quote Originally Posted by ToolkiT
    The evidence there is a god is pretty thing IMHO.
    ?????
    Quote Originally Posted by ToolkiT
    About the big bang, what caused it? I don't know. Could it be god? sure, but I find that unlikely.
    I find it more likely that religion was invented by man to create unity and control over a group of people and to explain the unexplained. Lightning? must be an act of god! off course by now we know better.
    People have a strong urge to explain everything.
    Why do you think that is the case?
    Quote Originally Posted by ToolkiT
    and what better than this magical create that could explain any phenomon. Laws of physics? don't apply if you are a supreme being!
    They absolutely apply! In fact, I reference them as I inquire about the cause of the "big bang."
    Quote Originally Posted by ToolkiT
    perfect!
    If there was a god he is gone now, or he is a evil god. I cannot believe a god god will allow his name to be abused for war and terror.
    It is incredible isn't it? Recall the text in II Peter. This will not go on always.
    Quote Originally Posted by ToolkiT
    I do not want to believe that, if there are relious wars, one party must be wrong, and if there is a god, the other should win easily.. not happening.
    Both parties might be wrong.
    Quote Originally Posted by ToolkiT
    Another example of weird logic in religion: if you live a good life (for example by all the 10 commands) but dont believe in god, you wont go to heaven.
    If you lead a terrible life, but believe in god and confess your sins, you go to heaven.
    You have grasped a fundamental principle in Biblical faith, namely that it is not my ability to earn favor, but rather my reliance on His grace. You see, it is the terribleness that has to be dealt with. And no amount of good living can undo all the terrible I've done. Sure, the good might possibly outnumber the terrible. But the terrible still exists and must be addressed.

    The only hope is a "pardon" as it were. And the confession of sin and trust in the substitutional gift of Y'shua is the means of pardon that Yahweh's has provided.
  17. #157  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    What a questions - of course to the wellbeing of their family, the people they live with, their society, life on this planet, posterity...
    Accepted.

    What recourse can my family, other people, society, the planet and/or posterity take if I fail to live appropriately?

    And by what authority?
  18. #158  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    Accepted.

    What recourse can my family, other people, society, the planet and/or posterity take if I fail to live appropriately?

    And by what authority?
    I don't know... can they ask god to curse you and make you suffer in hell?
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  19. #159  
    only if they turned in their atheist membership card first
  20. #160  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim
    The Biblical understanding of faith does not agree with you. In fact the writer of the book of "Hebrews" declares inno uncertain terms that....
    I said that God does not have to exist for Faith to provide the basis for moral clarity.

    A. There is a God who judges us, or there is not.

    B. One believes (has faith) that there is a God who judges us or one does not.

    I think we can agree that both these statements are true but these truths are in no way dependent on each other to be true. Believing or having faith that there is a God who judges us in no way changes the validity of statement A. Having a reality without a God who judges does not change the validity of statement B.

    The only way the validity of statement A has any affect on statement B is if it can be proven that one of the alternatives of statement A is false. But even then, Statement B has validity because the person with faith has the option to not believe the proof.

    Take a locked room within which you have never been nor have you ever seen anyone go in or come out of the room. Written documentation exists that there is someone in that room and others tell you that not only is there someone in the room but they have seen that someone. Perhaps you smell and hear things coming from the room that smell or sound like there is someone in there. Others study the room and it's history and conclude that there is no one in the room.

    You have a choice to believe in the existence of the person in the room or not. Now ask yourself a couple of questions...

    1. If you decide to believe and thus have faith that there is someone in the room, does that change the contents of the room?

    2. If you find the key to the room and unlock it, would the contents of the room change your belief? (this may not be a slam dunk answer for everyone)

    Getting back to the moral compass issue, it is being argued here that without faith in a higher power, one has no basis for a moral compass. Whether or not this is true is not relevant to where our moral compass comes from. This is different for everyone, but at the risk of over generalizing I think I can safely say that for the faithful it comes from within based on ones up-bringing, life experiences, as well as their religious beliefs and teachings. For the Atheist or person otherwise without faith it comes from within based only on their up-bringing and life experiences. Since the difference here is that word faith, any moral clarity provided by ones faith indeed does retain it's validity even if in reality God does not exist.

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