Also, you said " God or no God, people still have the ability to know right from wrong and choose one or the other". Was this a slip on on your part or do you believe that we don't need God to be good and that objective moral values are a lie?
Philosophically, and in reality, god is not relvant to human morality. God may give us one reason to choose creative or destructive actions, but whether god exists or not humans will do so, any way.
The christian religion is based on a set of laws built around a set of moral premises. Those premises sometimes apply to humans in general sometimes to how treat humans within a certian social and cutural framework One can agree or disagree withthe morality of individual or social laws within a book like the bible but they are set in a cintext for a specifici purpose They were written in a time when individual rights as such did not exist, and every ones duty was to a society family clan or other group. The concept of basic individual rights for all is a quite modern one and is still evoving even now.
Gays have been killed for many reasons in past societies. In others they are celebrated and revered. It depends on whether they could serve a social function in the society or whether they were seen as adanger to the society. Same with peole seena s differnt in any wayreligion is a social function of socirty not society an dexpresion of religion tha tis the nature of religion Thus humans would treat each other just the same in a non religious society, if such a thing could ever exist.
So today I would obey many of the laws of the bible becusethey are sensible healthproducing, emotionally and psycholgicaly empowering and good for me and for my society Most of the laws would exist in anon religious society anyway to order and regulate our behaviours. But no i wouldn't stone my wife for infidelity, or a gay person for being gay. They are no threat to me and little to my society, but that was not always the case.
I would, however, personally execute or kill anyone who posed a real threat to me, my family, my neighbourhood or innocent people anywhere. I dont believe everyone has an innate right to life. We lose that right based on how we chose to behave, just as we lose our right to freedom through certain behaviour.
Humans create our values based on need. There are recognised individual ethics, social ethics, and universal ethics. But i believe universal ethics are non existent. All ethics and moralities are contextual and all are created, logically, as a means of optimising outcomes for people.
Often they are designed to optimise outcomes for the majority at the expense of a minority or of individuals, but that is also a contextual ethical value. Today we tend to put the rights of individuals above those of society. One of our modern failings in my opinion. None of us can survive outside of our society, and so our highest priority should be strengthening our society.
Edited by Mr Walker, 27 December 2012 - 12:45 AM.