Laws; just and unjust

cornopeanMarch 31, 2013

In light of our recent discussion about a transcendent moral code, here is a beautiful statement from Martin Luther King:

"Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an "I it" relationship for an "I thou" relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful. Paul Tillich has said that sin is separation. Is not segregation an existential expression of man's tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong."

Amen to that. That guy had a way with words. What a great man he was.

Here is a link that might be useful: Letter from a Birmingham Jail

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cornopean

I would suggest to you that this great man would have had no argument to make, no basis on which to fight racial discrimination, if he hadn't believed in a transcendent moral code (which, of course, requires a belief in God).

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 5:19PM
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duluthinbloomz4

See cornopean's thread titled "Legislating Morality" dated March 2, 2013. Went to 150 responses. Anything to add that wasn't said many times, many ways?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 5:28PM
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Elly_NJ(NJ z6)

A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God.

You really should read what you present.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 5:43PM
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pnbrown

In fact social scientists for the most part suppose that human morality is responsible for the concept of a god, or gods, not the other way round.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 5:47PM
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Pidge

pnbrown has that exactly right. Thanks.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 5:55PM
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mrskjun(9)

corn, today is Easter. When I went to church this morning, my thoughts were about worldly things. We were going to bbq after church, did I have everything I needed etc. Then I listened, regarding the resurrection of Christ. Something many have tried, but no one has been able to explain away. And I remembered, that God reveals Himself to everyone, at some time or another. And there is that pesky free will thing. One can choose to believe or not. If they haven't been able to wipe out God in the past 2000 years, they won't in the next. There will always be people like the Reverend King, that not only preach, but live the gospel.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 6:13PM
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WxDano(5b-2a-6/7)

What Pat said.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2013 at 9:37PM
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jodik_gw

PNBrown is correct... we discussed the stuffing out of this issue, and there still has been no proof presented that a god is responsible for giving humanity morals.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 11:33AM
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rob333

"See cornopean's thread titled "Legislating Morality" dated March 2, 2013. Went to 150 responses. Anything to add that wasn't said many times, many ways?"

Nothin' 'cept DITTO!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 11:35AM
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pnbrown

Despite what I said regarding what many evolutionary scientists currently think, because I am human my brain architecture (perhaps that is the reason) makes it almost impossible for me to believe that the Universe exists arbitrarily.

To imagine that there exists no overarching sentient power is overwhelming and depressing. I prefer to believe that there exists an infallible, omnipotent and timeless Power, despite little evidence for it. This belief harms no-one and makes me feel better, which separates it from religious extremism or fundamentalism.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 11:42AM
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jodik_gw

And that, PNBrown, is fine and dandy... and very well said... as long one keeps such beliefs as personal, private notions to feel better, all is well and right. One's personal beliefs cannot be taken away from them.

It's when persons overlap such things into the lives of others that we end up with issues... again, see past threads on such issues for reference.

The notion that we need to combine church and state, or that one can't exist without the other, is illogical.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 12:08PM
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alexrander

Cornopean, Concerning moral ethics and whether it's connected into belief in God or religion, I can refer you to the dozens (maybe hundreds) of debates Christopher Hitchens had during the last decade of his life with various religious leaders - many that are now on Youtube.

His tack is not always the same, it depends on who he's debating, so I fear linking to just one. But they are all highly entertaining- not boring stuff at all.

You'll find great points on both sides- they are vigorous and well balanced. I always enjoy when Hitchens compares religion to a totalitarian 'big brother' like North Korea.

In any case, I'll leave a link to maybe a calmer one in the Link Box Below, - but I encourage Catholics to watch this diatribe-
Christopher Hitchens Owns The Catholic Church

Here is a link that might be useful: And Another: Hitchens vs. Alister McGrath debate

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 2:06PM
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youngquinn_gw

kjun, believing is not something you" choose". You choose to have faith, but "belief' requires proof.and I mean replicatable [proof...not this 'personal, unsharable ' proof.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 10:43PM
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elvis

YQ: ""belief' requires proof.and I mean replicatable [proof...not this 'personal, unsharable ' proof."

Then you don't believe that anyone loves you, YQ. I believe that if I didn't believe my loved ones loved me too, I would be sad. But that's just my belief.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 11:10PM
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youngquinn_gw

oh puke elvis.

My family and friends are living human beings with bodies. When they say they love me, I can hearthem...and so can others as they are in the real world the same as I am.

what I was taking issue with kjun about was her assertion that you can "Choose" to believe in god..

You can choose to have faith in gods existence....not the same thing.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 11:43PM
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elvis

"oh puke elvis."

Yq, how charming.

When printing what you are saying, you'd better be plain as to the words you choose. You said

"...believing is not something you" choose". You choose to have faith, but "belief' requires proof.and I mean replicatable [proof...not this 'personal, unsharable ' proof."

And my statement is directed precisely at what you yourself posted. While we're at it, I notice the part where you post: 'personal, unsharable ' proof." Please note that appears to be a quote from Mrs,, but it is not, in fact. Just sayin' that's misleading.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 12:40AM
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youngquinn_gw

misleading to you perhaps. "what I was taking issue with kjun about was her assertion that you can "Choose" to believe in god.. "

thats pretty clear from where I sit.

Your own comment is IMO indefensible
"Then you don't believe that anyone loves you, YQ. I believe that if I didn't believe my loved ones loved me too, I would be sad." and most importantly the conclusion that you reached does not follow from what I wrote.

it actually has no connection to what I wrote. (nothing on tv tonight?)

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 1:31AM
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jodik_gw

The difference being concrete versus abstract... tangible versus intangible.

My husband sticks around and does nice things for me, therefore I know I'm loved. It's a tangible thing I can see and hear and express tangibly in return.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 5:04AM
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demifloyd(8)

Posted by elvis 4b WI (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 1, 13 at 23:10

YQ: ""belief' requires proof.and I mean replicatable [proof...not this 'personal, unsharable ' proof."

Then you don't believe that anyone loves you, YQ. I believe that if I didn't believe my loved ones loved me too, I would be sad. But that's just my belief.

*

Touche, Elvis.

Who is to say love exists?

Just because someone tells you they love you, you believe it?

Well, we've been told that Jesus died and was resurrected, and some of us believe it.

In fact, it was witnessed as an actual event.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 12:50PM
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jodik_gw

I didn't witness anything of the sort... I do not believe any deity exists, therefore I do not believe that someone named Jesus was the son of some deity.

If he did exist, then the most I can believe is that he was an incredibly smart and compassionate man who tried to teach others that it's better to give and share, and to treat other humans as one wishes to be treated, themselves.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 2:04PM
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mrskjun(9)

You didn't witness the sinking of the Titanic either. Does that mean it didn't happen? Eyewitness accounts aren't good enough? History doesn't exist?

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 2:39PM
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demifloyd(8)

OF course you didn't.

You weren't a discipline.

And not likely to make the cut, either, since you don't believe.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 2:39PM
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duluthinbloomz4

I don't know where I read that historians consider "living memory" to be 180 years. I do believe it's conceded that the New Testament was written within the living memory of some of those who knew Jesus.

The NT books weren't added to the scriptural Canons for several hundred years, however.

I've recited the Nicene Creed, the profession of faith, all my life and that says: "...was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried; and the third day he rose again according to the Scriptures..."

I accept it - on faith since I have no rational explanation.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 4:09PM
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youngquinn_gw

"Well, we've been told that Jesus died and was resurrected, and some of us believe it.

In fact, it was witnessed as an actual event. "

Demi , but was it witnessed by you ?

when someone tells me they love me , yes I believe them...they are saying it to me and I can see them ad hear them and I know them...and it can be witnessed.

How many times have we heard on this forum...that christians have their own "proof" of gods existence...but they cant share as it is personal?

kjun , there is history and there is religious belief. still believing that the earth is 6000 years old are you?

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 8:47PM
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jodik_gw

When I was a child, I was told there's a fairy that comes at night and takes teeth out from under my pillow and exchanges them for quarters or dollars... I was also told that a fat, jolly man in a red suit comes down my chimney and leaves presents under a tree placed in the living room once a year, and he arrives in a flying sleigh pulled by 8 reindeer... I was also told that the sandman comes at night and places sleep in my eyes... and in all the years I've been alive, I've never once seen any of those things actually happen, or found one clue that would indicate they were real. I'm a grownup now and do not believe in such things. I know them for what they are... fairy tales and stories for the enjoyment of children, and the development of rich imaginations!

Everyone is free to believe in the things they wish to believe in... but many confuse fact with faith and try to convince others the two are one and the same. The twain are actually very different.

Coincidentally, I was also told, as a child, that there was some all knowing, all seeing, powerful god up in the sky, or heavens, and that he, his son, and some ghost were all one and the same, but separate. I was told that the wafers I ate every Sunday were actually made of flesh, which seemed very odd to me. And there was a book filled with tales that went along with these abstract concepts.

At first, I thought it might be a guide on how to live a decent life... but upon further study I found that many of the tales were contradictory, open to different interpretation, and that people only followed the parts they liked or agreed with while ignoring the rest of it. I also found that the organizations hosting such notions were breaking laws, hurting people... and most heinously, hurting little children. I learned that they had hoarded untold amounts of wealth, but didn't share it with those who needed it.

And in the world today, I can see with my own eyes that many of the purveyors of such concepts go against those very concepts they say they believe in and divide people into groups, some of which they treat well, and others which they openly hate, mock, and harm.

When I was a child, I was given no choice and was forced into joining one of those groups. I was preyed upon before I could even understand any of the concepts therein. I was recruited. And I was fed a steady psychological diet of guilt, controlled through the mention of certain concepts, and made to feel as though it was a horrible thing that I couldn't wrap my brain around something so abstract. As a child, I was frightened into thinking that if I weren't perfect, I would spend eternity burning in a pit called hell under the foot of a monster named satan... another supposed being I never saw or heard or witnessed in any way, much like the god. I never felt the "holy spirit" upon confirmation, never got an answer to a prayer, never heard the god speak to me, and never saw evidence that any of it was real in any way.

As an adult, I feel like I was cheated out of certain aspects of my childhood. I feel as though it would have been enough to teach me that there are both good and bad in the world, and that I had the power within to be good, to live decently, to help those in need, and to treat others as I would like to be treated. My conscience is my guide.

Childhood is a time of imagination and fun, a time for fairy tales and imaginary friends. Adulthood is a time to acknowledge reality, live decently, help others, and treat the world as I would like it to treat me.

And still, everyone else is completely free to believe in the things they want to believe in. We live in a nation where we are free to do so.

There very well may have been a man in history that traveled around helping others, teaching them to treat others well, that gathered a following of listeners who enjoyed his sermons. But in reality, it's a story written in a book that not everyone believes is true... nor are they required to believe that it's true. Some parts of such a book may be chronologically historical, but since there's so much more to it that doesn't exactly read like a history book, I would call it a work of fiction with a little history thrown in for good measure. A lot of authors use actual historical fact when they write novels, greatly embellishing their tales to make them enjoyable to read.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 10:44AM
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