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Thread: Deriving a moral philosophy from Jesus.

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    Deriving a moral philosophy from Jesus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheerful Charlie View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by steve_bank View Post
    To be religious Christian it is god, Jesus as your savior, and the resurrection. There are philosophical Chritians and combinations of Christianity and other traditions.

    If you reject the resurrections of Jesus narrative then Christianity vanishes. There is no point to the faith if it lads nowhere.

    If you reject god than you reject Jesus in other NT narrative.

    If you reject Jesus as savior then again you eject the gospel narrative.

    Anything else is a personal adaptation and a philosophic exercise. The gospel narrative is not philosophical supposition, it is presented as supernatural fact.

    People who make it a philosophical debate involving semantics and meaning are missing or evading the fundamental foundation of the gospels, a supernatural being who fostered a human son.
    There are people who accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but not as a divine being. And most certainly not trinitarianism. And old idea espoused for example by Thomas Jefferson. I have no idea of how many self proclaimed Christians hold this view.
    What great moral teachings? According to the gospel Jesus fornication, divorce, and adultery are out. Sex outside marriage is forbidden.

    Turn the other cheek, the meek shall inherit the Earth...passivism? He says you are supposed to be like children blindly love the Abraham god without reservation.

    Don't see how you can derive any consistent secular moral philosophy. He was a Hebrew rabi quoting Hebrew prophets and calling all to worship god.

    You can derive the golden rule found in different forms across philosophy and region. Do unto others as you would have them do to you.

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    Contributor DBT's Avatar
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    It doesn't seem much in the way of morality to condemn people to an eternal punishment on basis of what they don't believe.

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    I don't see moral philosophy coming from a Jesus but rather a Jesus coming from moral philosophy.

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    Since when do Christians do the onerous stuff that JC ordered them to do? I love that passage where a young obsessed dude asks JC what he must do to be righteous and he is told to sell all his possessions and become a witness to the faith. Right -- paging Joel Osteen.....

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    I note that many of Jesus' teachings have become popular phrases that many use in navigating their moral and social lives - "turn the other cheek" "the measure you give is the measure you get" "a wolf in sheep's clothing" "going the extra mile" "giving up the ghost" "the blind leading the blind" - regardless of their religious sympathies. For English speakers he is right up there with the Bard as a keen observer and expositor of human nature.

    Neither Christians nor anyone else make a serious attempt to follow his teachings, though. Not outside of monastic orders or missionary camps. Most fail the same test the Young Man in the story did; they want the benefits of the religion, but do not wish to give up anything substantive for their faith. If you want to get the measure of a Christian, don't ask them if they like Jesus' teaching, they'll always say yes with at least one side of their tongue. But if you ask them specifics - do you reject wealth? do you reject war? do you surrender any right to vengeance or recuperation for remembered wrongs? do you consider the homeless, the druggies, the prostitutes, the foreigners to be as much your neighbor as are your close friends? Their hypocrisies are then revealed, just as their master long ago predicted that they would be. He did not preach a casual faith to be sandwiched between other concerns, or co-opted by the designs of the cruel and powerful. But he knew better than anyone that this is how things always end up going. His moral teachings go beyond setting up rules; you are called to genuinely desire the life that he's offering, not just to conform to a restriction. It's a very tall order, and one that very few are ready for.

    His disciples asked him and said to him, "Do you want us to fast? How should we pray? Should we give to charity? What diet should we observe?"

    Jesus said, "Do not lie, and do not do things that you hate, because all things are disclosed in the sight of heaven. When all is done, there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and there is nothing covered up that will remain undisclosed."

    ...

    Jesus said to them, "If you fast, you will bring sin upon yourselves, and if you pray, you will be condemned, and if you give to charity, you will harm your spirits.

    When you go into any region and walk about in the countryside, when people take you in, eat what they serve you and heal the sick among them.

    In the end, what goes into your mouth cannot defile you; rather, it's what comes out of your mouth that defiles you."
    Last edited by Politesse; 01-24-2020 at 04:53 PM.

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    Contributor ruby sparks's Avatar
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    In my opinion, if one is looking for sources for stuff from which to construct a personal moral philosophy, Jesus, or words attributed to him, is/are one good source. Obviously, it isn't necessary to take the whole job lot, but that's probably true of any source.

    Something similar could be said about taking stuff from the bible in general.
    "Let us hope that it is not so. Or if it is, let us pray that the fact does not become generally known."

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    Contributor ruby sparks's Avatar
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    A question that might have an interesting answer would be, which (if any) moral maxims that are attributed to Jesus were new or unique to him, at the time of being expressed.

    Personally, I would not necessarily expect very many or indeed necessarily any. Not that it matters. People like Jesus for example may still have come up with new perspectives on older maxims, or rearticulated them or given things a new emphasis.

    But there may also have been some genuinely new ideas.
    Last edited by ruby sparks; 01-24-2020 at 06:09 PM.
    "Let us hope that it is not so. Or if it is, let us pray that the fact does not become generally known."

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    Contributor ruby sparks's Avatar
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    This topic might even be something the atheists (or the at times rude ones such as me) and the theists here don't need to have a big fight about.

    Permission to cherry pick granted in this instance, imo.

    Or maybe I'm just in a good mood because it's Friday afternoon.
    Last edited by ruby sparks; 01-24-2020 at 06:10 PM.
    "Let us hope that it is not so. Or if it is, let us pray that the fact does not become generally known."

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    Contributor ruby sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBT View Post
    It doesn't seem much in the way of morality to condemn people to an eternal punishment on basis of what they don't believe.
    Now, now.

    Jesus, assuming he existed, was almost certainly (approximately 99.99999% certain or thereabouts) just a bloke like you or me, albeit probably not wearing trousers. As such, he was stuck, stuck in a zeitgeist for one thing, including as regards the lack of trousers. Even if he didn't exist, it's not that important, because the people who wrote the stuff down did exist.

    It may be the case that 2000 years from now, the writings of someone currently alive, which contain a mixture of moral ideas, might elicit the response, in relation to one of them, "It doesn't seem much in the way of morality to condemn or even merely punish people at all, in any way, for anything".

    Or, depending if by that time the thin, luxury veneer of civilisation that we enjoy today (in some countries) has survived the upcoming environmental catastrophe or not, we might be back at 'she's a witch, burn her alive!".
    Last edited by ruby sparks; 01-24-2020 at 06:11 PM.
    "Let us hope that it is not so. Or if it is, let us pray that the fact does not become generally known."

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby sparks View Post
    A question that might have an interesting answer would be, which (if any) moral maxims that are attributed to Jesus were new or unique to him, at the time of being expressed.

    Personally, I would not necessarily expect very many or indeed necessarily any. Not that it matters. People like Jesus for example may still have come up with new perspectives on older maxims, or rearticulated them or given things a new emphasis.

    But there may also have been some genuinely new ideas.
    If nothing else, I do not think it was common in the Hellenistic world to put "the last first, and the first last"; this is very contrary to what had been the normal way of thinking about power and social identity in the ancient world. On a similar note, accepting women as disciples was also very, very strange at that time. Women and slaves were property, not students.

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