Letters: A solution to moral decay


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  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Dec. 29, 2012 10:33 p.m.

    If the churshes had solved crime, hunger and dishonesty the governmnet would be out of a job.

    So blame the churches for there being a government at all. They were here first and didn't get the job done.

    As soon as men are angels we'll have no need for government. We can't have the millenium until we have it. Sorry, buck up buttercup.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 29, 2012 10:10 p.m.

    Atheists are more moral than religious people because they are truly living by the golden rule. They don't force any belief or code on anyone else.

  • 1aggie SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 29, 2012 6:11 p.m.

    "Today, all I hear are proposals for the government to make stricter gun laws. Where are the Americans who could take care of matters through their churches and community organizations?"

    The letter writer and many people on this website seem to think that if people are more religious then government regulations will not be needed. Sorry, but this idea is ridiculous. For example, what if my religion is totally against private ownership of assault weapons and yours favors it? I am religious and honestly don't know my church's stand on the private ownership of assault weapons (I believe it does not have a published stance), but I suspect the opinions of various members of my church differ greatly.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    Dec. 29, 2012 5:25 p.m.

    re: Emajor 12/29 at 16:52

    Here is another example... the Albigensian Crusade. If you do some research, you'll find this example particulary deplorable.

    If memory serves, it is where the quote, "Kill 'em all & let God sort them out" comes from

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Dec. 29, 2012 4:52 p.m.

    "Are we all allowed to decide what is moral then?"

    As a Christian living in the modern ages, you already do. The Old Testament is replete with archaic and extremist moral codes that no one in their right mind follows today. And as a "history buff", you should already know that religion has caused numerous barbaric conflicts throughout history, so your example of Communist dictators being amoral because of their atheism is ridiculous. Do I need to bring up Christian Spanish conquistadors or the Taliban?

    Mike Richards,
    You didn't address my point that most of the basic human morals exist independently of religion. Your entire premise that all goodness comes from your god is without evidence, without rational argument, and cannot explain why many non-Christian and non-religious people throughout the ages have lived moral lives.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    Dec. 29, 2012 4:22 p.m.

    re: Mountanman 2:32 p.m. Dec. 29

    "...same opinion about *religion* defining morality as you do. Are we all allowed to decide what is moral then? Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me... If each person gets to define morality for themselves, we are in serious trouble because noting is immoral and nothing is moral, it depends on your *feelings*!"

    Allow me to point out the inconsistency; religion is based on feelings. So, tell me why religion is the ultimate decider of morality?

    Ethics/morality has some basis consistent & rational thought.... unlike religion.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 29, 2012 4:09 p.m.

    The problem is, who do we trust to provide the control required to make us lead a moral life. And who gets to define just what is a moral life.

    The fact of life is that we will be controlled by someone. And one of the prime ingredients of freedom is having the “permission” to do what we want to do.

    Sin was created by religion as a tool to overpower the resistance that people might have in accepting the words of the enslavers. By the automatic guilty verdict, people had to have the services of the men who had direct contact with God.

    The groups we call government are the only ones who have the right to force us to be and do as the group defines. But that doesn’t stop all the other groups from trying to enforce their version of right and wrong. Lacking the force option they must us imaginary threats and consequences to obtain the control over others. It’s called morality.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 29, 2012 3:50 p.m.

    Morals do appear "relative."

    Its hard to see the dividing line between those who believe in God and those who don't practice religion/believe in God that some believe exists. We have religious leaders abusing children, committing adultery, and telling lies. We have "religious" people judging those who are poor/don't owe federal income tax, are gay, or appear to be immigrants, and demonizing those who have differing opinions. They claim to care for life, while opposing contraception which saves lives. They claim they uphold laws, believe in democracy and the Constitution while arming themselves to supplant law enforcement, and the democratic system of govt, established by the Constitution, where grievances and policies are shaped at the ballot box.

    Being religious or believing in God is not an accurate measure of what one's moral values or principles are applied in life---which is why fewer people are choosing to become involved with religious institutions.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Dec. 29, 2012 2:48 p.m.

    Where does "goodness" come from? Where does life come from? Where does order and harmony come from?

    Some may require a "bribe" to do good. Some may do good because they fear the penalty of breaking the law. Some try to do good because they love God and trust him enough to follow him because they have faith enough to not need an excuse or a reward.

    The "philosophies of men" are toddler babble compared to the doctrines of God, but, apparently many prefer to follow those philosophies. Imagine a world where many reject the source of righteousness. Does that explain why right has become wrong, where many demand that government force "goodness". Does that explain why many reject their responsibility to teach goodness to their children?

    Goodness is not "relative". The source we use to define "goodness" determines why we seek goodness in society.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 29, 2012 2:40 p.m.

    @mountain man and mike

    you surely cannot be arguing that proclaiming a belief in god some how gives people some moral high ground. The many posters on this threads that claim to be so religious have proven that false time and again. religion or a "belief in god" does not bring one any closer to acting in a moral or ethical manner.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Dec. 29, 2012 2:32 p.m.

    @ RanchHand. As a history buff, I think Pol Pot, Mao ste Tung, Karl Marx and others had the same opinion about religion defining morality as you do. Are we all allowed to decide what is moral then? Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me. If each person gets to define morality for themselves, we are in serious trouble because noting is immoral and nothing is moral, it depends on your feelings!

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 29, 2012 2:20 p.m.

    "I'm sorry, but I don't want to be dictated to by your "moral correctness"."

    On the plus side, if we were a theocracy in this state maybe BYUs gun ban would be extended to the rest of the schools in this state.

  • Sutton Cedar City, UT
    Dec. 29, 2012 1:34 p.m.

    Morality is doing what is right regardless of what you are told. Religion is doing what you are told regardless of what is right.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Dec. 29, 2012 11:43 a.m.

    Mike Richards,
    You are unable to separate your narrow concept of God from basic and widespread human morality. People aren't rejecting "goodness" by rejecting God. They are embracing goodness without also tying themselves to religious belief. Why is this so difficult to understand? Simply because you and some others are unhappy and rudderless without your religion, it doesn't mean that millions of others cannot think for themselves. A quote by the late Humanist Kurt Vonnegut sums this up nicely:

    "Being a Humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead"

    Think about that one for awhile.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Dec. 29, 2012 11:26 a.m.

    As it happens, I believe in God, try to practice personal morality, and try to teach it to my children. None of that is remotely relevant to the recent shooting in Connecticut. The problem there wasn't that the killer hadn't been taught standards of personal morality. His surviving family members were as horrified as the rest of us by his actions. The problem was that he was insane.
    I'm fully in favor of teaching morality in the home. I'm also in favor of increasing funding for the treatment of mental illness, even if that requires a tax increase.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 29, 2012 11:25 a.m.

    Religion forcing so-called "morals" on humanity has done far more harm than good.

  • GK Willington Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 29, 2012 11:19 a.m.

    I am going to go w/ the consensus on this.

    In the book Freakonomics; the author points out that, "Morality represents the way people would like to work" Thus, it is subjective.

    We need to use common sense more & be less judgmental.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Dec. 29, 2012 11:14 a.m.

    When people resist goodness because they reject the concept of "God" we have chaos. Too many demand that we listen to their "wisdom". They relive the sorrow and confusion that others who rejected God have already lived. They chase after their appetites and passions without religious restriction, foolishly thinking that just because they reject God that they are immune from the consequences of breaking eternal laws.

    Society suffers. Families suffer. We suffer.

    The pride that some feel in their assumption that they "know it all" becomes their greatest stumbling block. Knowledge of God and acceptance of him in our lives shows proper humility when we contemplate our "nothingness" in relation to all of his creations. He waits. He has the solution. When we gain sufficient wisdom, we will listen to him. Until then, we will suffer.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Dec. 29, 2012 9:37 a.m.

    I'm sorry, but I don't want to be dictated to by your "moral correctness". You'd impose your version on me and that would simply create more divisiveness as I fought for my own rights.

    Morality is relative. Religion is not the only bearer of morals. Your god may or may not be the god others choose to follow.

    Teach your children, let others teach theirs.

  • isrred South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 29, 2012 8:35 a.m.

    "Where are the churches to teach moral correctness?"
    Religious texts are some of the most violent books ever written. So I wouldn't say they should be the standard bearers or moral correctness in the fight against gun violence.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Dec. 29, 2012 8:24 a.m.

    Why don't we not worry about which God, because at the end of the day, most of the worlds religions have some core tenants they share in common. Not killing, not stealing, helping the poor and needy. So lets not worry about if God has brown eyes, blue eyes, or what ever.

    In india we see a non-chirstian nation rising up in revolt over the rape and eventual death of a young lady. We don't need to agree which God is right or wrong, we can agree no matter what religion one follows, these acts are not acceptable and will not be tolerated.

    The only problem i have with the original comments is the notion that "we the people" are distinctly separate from the government. If we believe in the mantra of our nations founding fathers - the government is "we the people". It is truly appropriate for us to respond to events via our churches, our communities, and through our government. They are not separate, but a system that is to work together.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Dec. 29, 2012 8:15 a.m.

    What is better about being divided and have millions of small organizations duplicate the same hierarchies to get something done?

    A national government is MUCH more efficient than 1 million small, powerless organizations.

  • embarrassed Utahn! Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 29, 2012 7:45 a.m.

    Morality and belief in God are NOT the same thing. I know many Utahns find this incredulous, but it is true. BTW: Whose "God" do you think we should follow? Just a rhetorical question....I know the answer.