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 PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 5:05 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Human beings are neither good nor evil (thought they often have a tendancy for the latter). But I believe that there is a moral standard that humans know deep down to be true, but still fail miserably. That's the trick.
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 PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:52 pm Reply with quote  
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  Queen Padmè Skywalker
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Reepicheep wrote:
Human beings are neither good nor evil (thought they often have a tendancy for the latter). But I believe that there is a moral standard that humans know deep down to be true, but still fail miserably. That's the trick.


Gonna have to object there. Human beings are sinners by nature. It's natural for us to want to do wrong. Do parents have to teach their children to lie or disobey? No. They don't have to learn it, it's a natural part of them as humans. They do have to be taught to do good.
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 PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:49 am Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Yes we do have a tendancy to do wrong (as I said), but we're a far cry from being evil. Demons are evil, humans are more like lost sheep. Is it natural for us to do wrong? Of course, but it's also natural for us to have a conscience. If someone was born and lived on a deserted island, I think he would have some (possibly vague) idea about Right and Wrong, he just wouldn't know where it was coming from.
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 PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:02 pm Reply with quote  
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  Queen Padmè Skywalker
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Ah, I think I understand what you're saying now. Not sure about the whole "stranded on an island" scenario. Will have to give it some thought.
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 PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:39 pm Reply with quote  
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  Old Master Ben
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Arguing again on the side of Relativism (since someone has to) : The island idea doesn't hold up. Where is this person getting ideas? If a person was born on an island alone, assuming he somehow survives (impossible, really), would he know to wear clothes? Would he know that he isn't just like any animal on the island, and therefore not do the things that the animals do? Of course not. If someone happened to visit him on this island, he may kill, attack, steal from, lie to, or commit any other sort of thing we consider a crime against his visitor, and he wouldn't feel a bit of guilt for it. Of course, the whole scenario is pretty much impossible anyway, but that is the basic concept of relativism. Would someone born in isolation react and behave the way the rest of us do? Or, just someone born in a different culture. Do you think the 911 terrorists felt guilty or bad for what they did? I sure don't. In fact, I think they felt proud and happy and honored. It depends on the culture and how you are raised.

And we can say that the 911 terrorists were bad and did wrong. And of course, I think they were. But relativism would argue that it is just our point of view, and if you asked the terrorists, they wouldn't think they are wrong at all.


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 PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:34 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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The person would be getting his ideas from God. I believe that God implants a knowledge of Right and Wrong, even if we don't know about Him personally (which is why other religions and pagan cultures more often than not have codes and guidelines).

Like I said before though, this instinct can be supressed, which is why the 9/11 terrorists wouldn't feel guilt. Because they told themselves, or were told by others, it was the right thing so many times that they started to believe it.

If someone was born on a deserted island, while it may not be quite as strong, I still belive they would have a conscience.
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To find all you seek,
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 PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:58 pm Reply with quote  
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  Queen Padmè Skywalker
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Well, I've thought it over and I think I agree with both Reep and OMB. I'd say that it's certainly possible that the dude on the desert island would feel that something is right or wrong based on the conscience God gave him, but it's equally if not more possible that he wouldn't have any concept of right and wrong because he's had no one to teach him those principles.
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 PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:43 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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Quote:
Human beings are sinners by nature. It's natural for us to want to do wrong. Do parents have to teach their children to lie or disobey? No. They don't have to learn it, it's a natural part of them as humans. They do have to be taught to do good.


On instinct I want to disagree with this, but with further thought, I'm not so sure. I'll think on it.

Now I want to look at the desert island example because I think that one holds a lot of merit, one way or another.

First off, if this person is born on a deserted island, something has to raise and nurture it, otherwise it will die. I'm going to assume this person is raised by animals. Thus this person would adapt and assume the nature of the things that raise him.

So, if he's raised by monkeys, he's going to have the conscience and manners of a monkey.

I think no matter what kind of example we come up with, a person is always ingrained with the morals and values of the people or things that raise them. I guess you could raise a child in some lab with minimal human contact and a very sterile, neutral environment. It's a bit extreme, but that's the only way I can see anyone testing the idea that we are born with the knowledge of right and wrong.

Hmmm, what if we're born with this knowledge of right an wrong, but unless it's illustrated to us, it just lies dormant? Like handing someone a hammer when they've never seen one before. They don't know what it's for. Yet as soon as someone shows them or they see someone using one, BOOM, they now know how to use it. In our case, they would now know what "right" is.

It still doesn't sit well with me thinking that people are born sinners and that bad things come to us naturally. There's just something wrong with that statement.
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 PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:39 pm Reply with quote  
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  Old Master Ben
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Well, that comes back to an old argument that I really don't want to get into, but...if you are born innocent, then (and only if you think this is wrong) that would mean that homosexuality is not how people are born, but instead something that grows into a person. Don't want to start that debate, but I was just reminded of that. And someone can correct me here, because I don't have a chance to search for it, but doesn't the Bible say that a child/baby is innocent and clean? I mean, you can't say someone is born a sinner, because that's just not true. A baby does not enter this world sinning. Now, is a person born with the impulse and ability to sin? Yes; I think anyone, religious or not, would acknowledge that nobody is perfect (of course, with relativism, it could be argued that that is debatable, with different views of right and wrong). But, we can pretty much agree that everyone will do something wrong in life, unless you don't believe in right and wrong. But just because you are going to sin in life doesn't mean you are born a sinner. But everyone will become one.


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 PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:54 pm Reply with quote  
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  Queen Padmè Skywalker
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Well, the Bible says we are all born sinners and will suffer the consequences if we don't repent and turn to God. But will God punish a baby who dies before they're old enough to understand right from wrong? No, of course not. Because even though they were born in sin, they weren't old enough to make the choice to turn from it.
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 PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:03 am Reply with quote  
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  Old Master Ben
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But, they haven't made the choice to sin yet either...is it that you are born already a sinner, or that you are born into the fact that you will sin?


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 PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:40 am Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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I agree that we are born with the capacity to sin at birth, just as we are born with the capacity to do good. There are the "sins of the flesh" which can compel us to to commit sin, however, I do not think we are born sinners. Children are born free of sin. There was the "original sin" but that was cleared through Jesus' crucifixion. As far as I know, the idea of born sinners is a belief held by Protestants and Catholics. However, I would be interested in knowing what passages in the Bible they base this belief on.
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 PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:51 am Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Darth Skuldren wrote:


Now I want to look at the desert island example because I think that one holds a lot of merit, one way or another.

First off, if this person is born on a deserted island, something has to raise and nurture it, otherwise it will die. I'm going to assume this person is raised by animals. Thus this person would adapt and assume the nature of the things that raise him.

So, if he's raised by monkeys, he's going to have the conscience and manners of a monkey.


Yeah it's far from a perfect example, but it does come in handy. Razz If a human was raised by monkeys he would likely behave like monkeys and "forfeit" his humanity. When a human being is "converted" into an animal, I would imagine the knowledge of Right and Wrong, which comes with humanity, would likely diasppear.

Are all people born sinners? Yes and no. People aren't sinners until they sin, but that will happen very soon. It's inevitable.
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Where sky and water meet,
Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter east.


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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:12 pm Reply with quote  
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  Darth Skuldren
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Okay, since I'm reading Traitor right now, it's got me thinking about Stover and the way he writes his characters, as well as something Reep mentioned earlier about the same thing. Basically Stover writes characters that our neither Good or Evil, but are much more complicated. In a way, it's relativism. For instance, perhaps even the best example, there is Vergere.

Vergere claims to be neither Sith nor Jedi. She does things to Jacen that are very questionable, things that on appearance, would seem evil. However, her actions were meant to reform and refine who Jacen was and what he could become. She shaped him. Her methods were often painful, but they worked. She seemed to embrace the idea that the ends justify the means. Interestingly enough, the more I read Traitor, the more sense it makes how Jacen ended up. (It still doesn't make complete sense, but it does seam more reasonable)

So was Vergere good or bad? She saved Mara, tortured Jacen, and yet kept him safe and helped him overthrow the Yuuzhan Vong. She was a brutal teacher, but she did get the job done. I think in the end she was both good and bad. In that, I can certainly see some of the validity of relativism.
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"I believe toys resonate with us as humans, we can hold them them, it's tactile, real! They are totems for our extended beliefs and imaginations. A fetish for ideas that hold as much interest and passion as old religious relics for some. We display them in our homes. They show who we are. They are signals for similar thinking people. A way we connect with each other...and I guess thats why I do toys. That connection." -Ashley Wood


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 PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 2:51 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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The thing about Vergere (and about everyone) is that they aren't whole-heartedly good or bad. Luke Skywalker has his faults and Darth Vader has his virtues. But when these guys do something good they're serving the light side and when they do something bad they're serving the dark side. Of course there aren't perfect people (with one notable exception Wink ), just as there aren't completely corrupt people, but I believe there is an ultimate good that these muddled people can obey and disobey.
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Where sky and water meet,
Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter east.


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