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The Moral Corruption of Man: Not Just a Christian Concept
October 25, 2010
6:58 pm
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frrostedman
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From the movie Changing Lanes I saw the other day where Ben Affleck's character was sitting in a Catholic Church confession booth:

Priest: "Why does the world need meaning?"
Gavin (Affleck): "Why does the…. Because the world’s a sewer. Because the world’s a sh*thole and a garbage dump."

-----------------------

All the time in this particular forum, all we hear from the non-Christians is how wonderful, innocent and undeserving of punishment mankind is. The Christians argue--using Scripture in many cases--that mankind is in a fallen state and is born into moral corruption.

No, says the skeptic. Mankind is mostly good.

I find it telling that in a totally non-spiritual thread, and not even thinking about spiritual things let alone Christianity and its take on all this, a new bv member said this to describe the human race:

"Snug" wrote: ... But honestly humans are terrible things. They ruin everything they are involved in and care only about themselves.

They quite literally are the trash of the planet and I see more values and qualities in animals everyday then I do in the average person.

...People can stoop so "low" because they know the truth and that is most humans don't deserve respect, possessions and in a lot of cases to even be alive. So why care about each other because chances are that the person you are doing such wrong to is a peice of crap just like everyone else.

There is a big reason i choose not to have a kid and that is because i know chances are my kid will grow up to be a plague on the planet. Just like most people I have come to know.

Increasingly, people today are seeing mankind for what it really is. And it doesn't have anything to do with what the bible says. People are just simply looking around and seeing how morally bankrupt human beings are.

The above quote was in response to a thread greeney posted where evidently a cancer patient on her deathbed in the hospital had her diamond wedding rings stolen off her fingers while she slept. Greeney asked how people could sink so low. The sad fact is that by today's standards, this is an act of kindness and compassion compared to the typical crimes committed. The family of the now dead cancer patient are lucky the thief didn't rape the poor lady then pour gasoline on her and set her on fire while she lied there screaming in agony. That's a horrible thought but something similar recently was on the news so it came to mind.

Remember when the Columbine shootings were done? Remember thinking this would just be the first? Well, it was... now it's practically trendy to show up at school with some guns and start firing at innocent people.

The depth of moral corruption in the human race causes us to commit worse, more extreme, more heinous crimes over time. Since we know this pattern will continue, don't you shudder to think what horrific things people will be doing to get attention, say, 10 years from now? 50 years from now?

It just keeps getting worse and worse, and there will come a day when the level of sickness and corruption will become so bad, the entire race will be in a perpetual downward spiral with no hope in sight.

It sounds depressing and defeatist but as we all know; there is a way out. Not all of us will choose the way out. As crazy as it sounds, many will choose to remain in the downward spiral, knowing that destruction awaits.

Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man. - Albert Einstein

October 25, 2010
7:59 pm
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humphreys
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There is no actual argument showing mankind is generally bad here, just handwaving.

You pick some examples of lowly criminals and try to paint the rest of humanity with the same brush. That's no different to me citing Bill Gates giving billions to charity and using that as an argument that the whole human race is wonderfully generous.

It doesn't work.

It's handwaving, not rational argument.

I'm not sure anyone here has suggested the human race is perfect and wonderful either, I think that's a bit of a strawman you're knocking down. Humans are more good to each other than evil, it's a necessity for survival. Civilisation would be in a state of anarchy otherwise.

The existence of chairities alone and the money they receive completely nullifies the Biblical view of humanity all by itself, as no race fallen to the extent the Bible portrays, worthy of infinite eternal punishment, would have any knowledge of such an absurd concept.

It's so sad that the common Christian seems unable to fathom the idea of doing good for goodness sake, rather than the sake of earning praise from some guy in the sky. I know I'm not morally bankrupt, if you feel you were before you found religion, and religion was your only way of being a decent human being, then I have nothing but the most extreme pity for you.

"All of our behavior can be traced to biological events about which we have no conscious knowledge: this has always suggested that free will is an illusion."

- Sam Harris

October 25, 2010
9:09 pm
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humphreys
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By the way, your friend Snug there is just a misanthrope. He won't offer you any compelling reasons to accept his position either, but he'll just love to tell everyone how awful we all are, and because of this, is rarely invited to parties.

This only serves to reinforce his cynical, yet false, beliefs.

He also probably suffers from depression, and fails to seek the medical help that may make him a more productive member of society. Just a guess!

Either all that, or his girlfriend just dumped him.

"All of our behavior can be traced to biological events about which we have no conscious knowledge: this has always suggested that free will is an illusion."

- Sam Harris

October 25, 2010
10:01 pm
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frrostedman
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I think Snug is a girl, but in any event:

I never propped up snug's quote as anything more than just another person's view... a view that more and more people seem to be taking on these days, by my experience.

The ever-growing group of environmentalists would agree with much of what Snug said.

If you aren't aware of the growing groundswell of people who believe human beings are the biggest problem on the planet, then.. well, you've been watching too many cartoons. Because it's a fact.

Additionally, if you aren't aware of the increase in number of heinous crimes over time... then again, you're not paying much attention.

Furthermore, Greeney asked a question, "How can people sink so low?" When as I correctly pointed out, the crime committed didn't even sink low enough to warrant much comment. It was a crime that pales in comparison to what we're seeing everyday now.

These days it takes a crime like the horrific home invasion in Connecticut to make the headlines. That crime makes the Manson murders look like child's play. Sadly, many people don't even know about the incident in Connecticut.

So if I'm guessing right by your feedback, you think we're basically good people, and the crimes committed today are no more startling than any other time in history. Right?

Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man. - Albert Einstein

October 25, 2010
10:34 pm
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Halfabo
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"humphreys" wrote: There is no actual argument showing mankind is generally bad here, just handwaving.

You pick some examples of lowly criminals and try to paint the rest of humanity with the same brush. That's no different to me citing Bill Gates giving billions to charity and using that as an argument that the whole human race is wonderfully generous.

It doesn't work.

It's handwaving, not rational argument.

I'm not sure anyone here has suggested the human race is perfect and wonderful either, I think that's a bit of a strawman you're knocking down. Humans are more good to each other than evil, it's a necessity for survival. Civilisation would be in a state of anarchy otherwise.

The existence of chairities alone and the money they receive completely nullifies the Biblical view of humanity all by itself, as no race fallen to the extent the Bible portrays, worthy of infinite eternal punishment, would have any knowledge of such an absurd concept.

It's so sad that the common Christian seems unable to fathom the idea of doing good for goodness sake, rather than the sake of earning praise from some guy in the sky. I know I'm not morally bankrupt, if you feel you were before you found religion, and religion was your only way of being a decent human being, then I have nothing but the most extreme pity for you.

I agree with you Humpreys. (checks forehead for fever.) Most of mankind is not all that bad. And it is a minority that are truly evil and commit horrendous crimes. The majority of mankind is not bad at all, when viewed from mankind's perspective. The Bible however is not written from man's perspective. It is written from God's perspective. The way God sees us, there is not one of us that is good at all. God has a much higher standard of perfection than we do. One sin, even the smallest of sins, is enough to soil us so badly that should be rejected by Him. One sin, even the smallest of sins is an act of rebellion against God and His standard of perfection. Only absolute perfection is deserving of salvation. Anything less than that is deserving of being thrown in the garbage.

My time is running out so I'll have to get back to this later tonight.

October 25, 2010
10:54 pm
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humphreys
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"Halfabo" wrote: [quote="humphreys"]There is no actual argument showing mankind is generally bad here, just handwaving.

You pick some examples of lowly criminals and try to paint the rest of humanity with the same brush. That's no different to me citing Bill Gates giving billions to charity and using that as an argument that the whole human race is wonderfully generous.

It doesn't work.

It's handwaving, not rational argument.

I'm not sure anyone here has suggested the human race is perfect and wonderful either, I think that's a bit of a strawman you're knocking down. Humans are more good to each other than evil, it's a necessity for survival. Civilisation would be in a state of anarchy otherwise.

The existence of chairities alone and the money they receive completely nullifies the Biblical view of humanity all by itself, as no race fallen to the extent the Bible portrays, worthy of infinite eternal punishment, would have any knowledge of such an absurd concept.

It's so sad that the common Christian seems unable to fathom the idea of doing good for goodness sake, rather than the sake of earning praise from some guy in the sky. I know I'm not morally bankrupt, if you feel you were before you found religion, and religion was your only way of being a decent human being, then I have nothing but the most extreme pity for you.

I agree with you Humpreys. (checks forehead for fever.) Most of mankind is not all that bad. And it is a minority that are truly evil and commit horrendous crimes. The majority of mankind is not bad at all, when viewed from mankind's perspective. The Bible however is not written from man's perspective. It is written from God's perspective. The way God sees us, there is not one of us that is good at all. God has a much higher standard of perfection than we do. One sin, even the smallest of sins, is enough to soil us so badly that should be rejected by Him. One sin, even the smallest of sins is an act of rebellion against God and His standard of perfection. Only absolute perfection is deserving of salvation. Anything less than that is deserving of being thrown in the garbage.

My time is running out so I'll have to get back to this later tonight.

Well, it might surprise you, but I agree with you completely too. When we use the Biblical version of morality, where mere unbelief is a terrible crime, then of course mankind is fallen, we can have no debate about that, but we also have to conclude that any discussion between believers and unbelievers is going to be useless where morality is concerned, and this thread becomes pretty pointless, because we have diverged away from our own concept of morality and moved into the morality of a being the unbeliever doesn't believe in.

However, this thread of Tom's is certainly an attempt to show that mankind is evil judging by both standards of morality, and I think in that respect, it fails.

"All of our behavior can be traced to biological events about which we have no conscious knowledge: this has always suggested that free will is an illusion."

- Sam Harris

October 25, 2010
11:06 pm
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humphreys
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"frrostedman" wrote: So if I'm guessing right by your feedback, you think we're basically good people, and the crimes committed today are no more startling than any other time in history. Right?

Crime in the US may be on the rise (the "heinous" part is subjective, by the way), I'm not sure of that, I'll take your word for it, but I think even if that is the case, it warrants further investigation as to why and how. I doubt "humans are becoming more awful people" is generally going to be a good explanation, and the real truth will be something far more complex.

I fail to see how we would even know what the crime records were thousands of years ago anyway, but reading the Bible and other historical texts, it seems like we were far worse people back then than now. I think an argument can be made that we are far more moral in developed nations than we were in the past, with things like Nazism, and going further back the Witch trials et al no longer occurring. People wouldn't stand for it. At least that is what I would like to believe.

So, I don't agree that we're getting less moral, I don't think that's been proven at all, but I think it's more interesting to look at the response to the awful crimes from the far more numerous decent people, and that is universal disgust. It takes one person to kill, and thousands will mourn and cry foul at the immorality of the act, people will give money to help out the families and offer support, etc etc. The goodness that flows from good people in retaliation to these acts is what impresses me, and I think is worthy of note, and those good people far outweigh the bad.

The problem here is, one person can do more damage in an hour than 1000 people can ever correct given a lifetime. Destruction is easier than building, and that is why one bad person can make it seem like 1000 good people are insignificant, or non-existent.

"All of our behavior can be traced to biological events about which we have no conscious knowledge: this has always suggested that free will is an illusion."

- Sam Harris

October 25, 2010
11:20 pm
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greeney2
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There is no doubt parts of our world are the bottom of the barrel, the dreggs of life, or the most horrific of crimes. Rape, murder, incest, child pedifilia, etc. Prison are full of the worst of the worst, yet good people still agonize over their fates and sentences. We go all to pieces over a deserved death penalty for crimes like Tom discribes. Human are all inherently good IMHO, and we need to live seeing the good in others, if we didn't life would be pretty bleek. That is how I see Snugs comments, basing his/her analogy of all humans as the reason for not having kids. We make a difference by striving to be good parents and guide out children right. Humans all seem to come togather when the need calls, such as the Haiti relief, or giving to causes that affects us all.

October 26, 2010
12:19 am
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at1with0
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My concern is that if you don't believe the core doctrine then you're going to hell.

Are people good and not deserving of punishment? Many are not. However, I fail to see why all of mankind not believing the core doctrine deserve hell. I definitely don't believe that people are born deserving of hell.

"it is easy to grow crazy"

October 26, 2010
12:42 am
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Ninor
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There is, always has been and always will be good and evil humans ... we don't need religion(s) to have both. Religion has caused men to do great good as well as great evil. That's all I'm going to say of the role of religion in good and evil, the rest of my post will strictly deal with good and evil in the hearts of men and women without factoring in the religious quotient.

Inherently, I think the scale is tipped toward mankind being good, although we all have it within us to do evil. What I find really sad, is that in my observations people with more evil tendencies(and less inherent morals), for the most part seem to be the ones who amass the most money and power. I think the reason for this is that to achieve great wealth and power you need be able to "step" on the little people to get there. The more people you step on/stab in the back, the higher you climb. Some people have little to no problems with doing this and sleep very well at night knowing that they have ruined careers/lives of others to achieve their goals. The even sadder part is that the people with the power/money are the ones who end up making the rules for the rest of us.

I'm not saying that someone who's back stabbed, lied and cheated their way to the top of the ladder is the same thing as psychotic mass murderer who kills indiscriminately without a moment of remorse, but make no mistake, they are both evil.

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