Comments about ‘How does the world feel about morals and religious diversity?’

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Published: Thursday, April 17 2014 10:23 p.m. MDT

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10CC
Bountiful, UT

In the US with our partial religious diversity, it's easy to see how conflicts with religious thinking arise.

Many people in the US have a hard time separating our political history and present from their religious mindset. To them it is one and the same, with a slightly different flavor, perhaps.

This is why there is sharp disagreement on the term "separation of church and state", and it also explains why Thomas Jefferson is castigated in Texas. (He's the one who created his own version of the Bible that trimmed out the supernatural events and focused on the moral teachings of Jesus).

If the US was 20% Hindu and 20% Buddhist, we'd see less mixing of our political history with people's theological view of the world, and more of a secular view, with more respect between groups, and less conflict between religious majorities and secular minorities.

Johnny Triumph
American Fork, UT

It's hypocritical to think that religion can be separated from how we act in life. Politics thus will always maintain a tight relationship to the beliefs of the politician.

patriot
Cedar Hills, UT

how does the world feel? Take a tour of Europe and you will soon see. No morals and growing atheism.

UT Brit
London, England

patriot

This coming from a person living in a country with a 3rd world murder rate, highest divorce rate, highest teen pregnancy rate in the first world, has the highest number of people in prison in the world and living in the state with the highest percentage of porn subscribers.
If we here in Europe have no morals, what does that say about those living in the US?

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

If Europe is to be the example of no morals and growing atheism, Vive la Atheism. Not only can we kick the religious guilt trip, maybe we can get some proper public transportation infrastructure built.

the truth
Holladay, UT

@10CC

There is no "separation of church and state" in the constitution.

That is modern progressive interpretation, that is just plain wrong.

Thomas Jefferson is did NOT created his own version of the Bible that trimmed out the supernatural events and focused on the moral teachings of Jesus.

That is just utterly false.

Thomas Jefferson did create two works, one an abridgement that remove redundancy found in the new testament and was used for government paid missionary work to the Indians.

The other was a study on the moral teaching of Jesus Christ, which Jefferson created after studying over 30 philosophers and deciding Jesus Christ was the best.

And neither work removed the supernatural as some want to claim. That is a completely false claim.

It's not about secular views versus religious views, but about the freedom of all people to proclaim and live their views both privately and publically.

Both free and welcome to express their views and have influence and compete in the public square.

With all views being vetted and the best winning out in the making of law and public policy.

Jefferson worried about government interfering, interfering in churches and religion, and not vice versa.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

the truth, "Jefferson worried about government interfering, interfering in churches and religion, and not vice versa."

Dude, that's because there were state religions then. Come on, tell your history correctly.

jeanie
orem, UT

Pragmatistferlife,

I'm not sure how your statement conflicts with truth's statement. *Because* England embraced one religion Jefferson saw the need to protect citizens the freedom to believe as they wanted with out pressure from government. He had lived that and saw a better way.

the truth said, "It's not about secular views versus religious views, but about the freedom of all people to proclaim and live their views both privately and publically.

Both free and welcome to express their views and have influence and compete in the public square."

This is exactly right.

If a law goes against your particular beliefs you are free to champion your cause and see if you can persuade people to your way of thinking, regardless if it is based on religion or not. That is the beauty of our system and how real freedom works.

There is a large portion of our society that does not understand this. They believe if there is any association with religion that view doesn't count. Not so. People's religious beliefs have just as much right to be expressed and championed as any other view.

Tekakaromatagi
Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Jeannie:

I agree with what you say. If we wanted to go through our laws and excise any and all laws that were proomoted by people who were partly motivated by a religious belief, we would have to go back to allowing slavery and the 14th amendment would be out also. In Exodus, it says that anyone who steals a man (a slave raid) has committed an abomination and should die. The 14th amendment was supported by a lot of people who believed in the Old Testament and probably were influenced by its prohibitions against applying the laws differently to the politically weak and the politically powerful.

During the 1950's and the 1960's, one of the biggest opponents of Jim Crow laws was the SCLC -- the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Anyway, keep up your thoughtful coomentary.

RFLASH
Salt Lake City, UT

This subject brings so much pain. Being gay, you experience something that others do not. In the eyes of many, the only way I could be moral would be to live a lie! I have had a partner for 15 years, and I knew the moment I met him that it was right. I can't imagine not having shared those years with him! I love him deeply and it offends me that others would tell me that I am immoral! I believe that my intimate life is mine and it isn't right for others to do what they do! It isn't right for others to degrade us that way. I think most know what I am saying. Who gets to decide what is moral? I should be alone my entire life because of what others believe?
If we learn to love others and ourselves, I think we can feel it within us!
I know that I am a good person. I know being with my partner is right because I feel it! I think it is important to think about! I am a moral person.

Thid Barker
Victor, ID

The trouble most non-religious people have with religion is that it destroys moral relativism. If you believe in God who defined morality, there is no moral relativism. The best way to escape (in theory) personal responsibility for immoral behavior is to deny or change the definition of morality, hence the birth of moral relativism. But, unfortunately (or fortunately depending on which side you are on), there really is a judgment day! If not, there would be no justice and all things would be pointless.

The Deuce
Livermore, CA

To: Hutterite, American Fork, UT - Religion in and of itself does not give you a quilt trip. It is kind of like throwing darts, it only hurts if it hits you. Guilt is brought on by your perception that you are not doing something you know to be true. Religion provides those principles to guide your life. If you have a certain belief system and do not actively try to follow it, you are bound to feel guilt. The problem with society in general is, people do not want to be reminded that there may be a better way. They want to be told that any way they live is good. Based on my life experiences, I can tell you there are many lifestyles that simply don't live up to the hype. There are also many areas of this world that society has completely fallen apart. So if you don't want to be reminded there is a better way, I suggest you visit some of these places and then come back and tell me your philosophy. I can suggest a couple of places.

Danny Chipman
Lehi, UT

RFLASH, I'm not making any commentary on the homosexual lifestyle, more on the idea of "because it feels right". There have been many deplorable people throughout history who justified the atrocities they committed because they were convinced they, too, were good people and doing what was right. When "because it feels good" or "because it feels right" is used as our reasoning, we can justify all sorts of things. Human desires and feelings are not a reliable moral compass. What "feels right" for -me- may not be right for someone else...or not right at all.

Shelama
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

The thoughtful world knows morality and religion are not the same, that morality & ethics do not require a religion, Bible or god.

If an action or issue doesn't have a negative secular consequence then it's not a moral issue at all. Religious perhaps but not moral.

If the only negative consequence is within your church or in some afterlife Heaven or Hell, then it's not a moral issue -- it's a religious issue.

Ultimately, morality has roots in evolution and pro-social evolutionary traits seen in social mammals (and not just limited to hominids or other primates) -- empathy, altruism, a sense of fairness & sharing, cooperative social living, and the nurture, education & protection of the live-born young.

Those evolutionary traits plus evolutionary intelligence are all that are needed to develop and articulate moral and ethical systems. They're the root of the moral and ethical impulse and provide us the closest we'll ever get to a universal or "absolute" morality. We need no more.

It's the source of any true morality found within religion.

Jesus and the great social prophets of Israel had generous endowments of empathy & justice. Go and do thou likewise.

A Scientist
Provo, UT

Danny Chipman makes an interesting point.

"because it feels right" is problematic as a moral criterion, which is why I am puzzled by how pervasive that notion is among LDS who "defend" their faith with "testimonies" that are nothing but "It feels right/true" arguments.

patriot
Cedar Hills, UT

re:UT Brit

Belief has nothing to do with action. A person - community - city - state or entire country may profess belief while their actions fall short. America was founded as a Christian nation and even with the terrible decay of our actions there is still a very strong belief for most. Europe on the other hand has turned to atheism or an agnostic life style where God is dead for most and like the Romans of old immoral debauchery reigns supreme. A country without God will not stand for long. A country like America which still holds on to belief and faith will retain hope and where there is hope there can be recovery. Obviously not all of Europe is atheist or agnostic - there are many thousands of faithful Christains but the leaders of Europe and the people for the most part have embraced Socialism and Socialism has an unfortunate link to Communism and atheism. There is no room for any belief in the nightmare of Communist society.

Let it Go!
Omaha, NE

It is interesting to note that, based on the article, third-world cultures today, it seems, tie their moral standards to religion whereas "modern" societies tie it back to...what exactly? "Modern" first-world countries, after fully developed, seem to turn their back from their deity and are now dependent on pieces of green paper and metal coins to make their life "comfortable." Maybe they forgot or maybe they smiled at their god saying, "Thanks, but we don't need you anymore."

Try saying that to God who can, if He wanted to, blow the whole world up!

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