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NeoNote — Biblical morality

Inherent in the argument of Biblical morality is that it brings benefits without significant tradeoffs, or at least in the idea that the benefits far outweigh the costs. That's not true. In the OT number one of the Decalogue specifically says that the Hebrew G*D is unquestionably number one. That's fine if you are sworn to that faith, but accepting a Biblical morality means that any other gods must take second place.

Speaking of the OT, Christians and even modern Jews are curiously selective when it comes to which laws are followed. The books of Numbers and Leviticus list laws that are routinely ignored today.

Let's move to the NT, shall we? According to Jesus (as quoted by John and who knows how many editors and rewriters), what's the greatest commandment? Why, it's a version of number one from the previous hit parade. But then that is the whole premise of a monotheism. No other gods allowed, and only selected interpretations of the Official Religion.

The costs aren't worth the benefits unless you follow that faith. Bottom line, if a society follows a Biblical morality, other belief systems must always submit to the Bible as defined by the dominant sect. Which is the point. It's not about the faith, it's not about glorifying the Divine. It's about power over. Through the priesthood. Through the princes, potentates, and politicos sanctioned by the priesthood. Power over. Politics.

Religion cannot be allowed the coercive power of government. Government cannot be allowed the moral justification of religion.

So instead of law handed down from on high (at least according to a priesthood with their own political agenda), let's see if we can find a moral keystone that isn't subject to religious edict. We don't have to look very far for the ethic of reciprocity. Don't do it if you don't want it done to you. It probably didn't originate in the West, but it is the keystone of Western Civilization. More importantly, it doesn't require sanction from the local priesthood to work. It's tied to self-interest, one of the strongest drives we have.

One of my parlor tricks is showing how an entire system of ethics can be built on the EoR.

The thing is, there is nothing in the EoR that displaces or contradicts the Bible. But there is everything against using Biblical authority to rule over others. So the only thing a monotheist has to surrender is their expectation of control over others. Which naturally just follows. If you don't want to be controlled, you shouldn't seek to control.

It is the only way that different belief systems can live and work together.



I never claimed anything else. I also never claimed that it came from on high.

The ethic of reciprocity does have advantages. It works whenever it's tried and does not require submission to gods that you might not worship or deferring to different religious rules.

Would you be willing to follow the rules and requirements of another faith if you had not chosen it? Even if it was for "the Greater Good?"

Is it really moral if you are not allowed to choose?



Then I choose not to follow a Biblical morality.

*reaches towards you and extends hand*

That gives you a choice. Do you force me? Or do you work with me for a mutually beneficial solution that isn't based on raising your faith above all others?
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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We don't agree with each other

We don't agree with each other, not entirely. Just because someone is religious doesn't automatically mean that they are defective. If nothing else, that faith gives them a different perspective. It doesn't mean it's right or wrong, more or less, just different. Sometimes that's good, sometimes not. It depends on the individual and circumstances.

Religion is bad is just as big a trap as science is good. There was an author named Isaac Bonewits who wrote on the limitations of dualism. Either/or thinking can trap you. One example is that if something is ACCEPTABLE than everything else is NOT ACCEPTABLE. It becomes easier to define what doesn't work for you as not fitting your worldview instead on it's own characteristics. If all you are looking for is WHITE, than anything else including fuzzy pink becomes NOT WHITE. I'm sure you'll agree that while black and fuzzy pink are NOT WHITE, neither are they the same thing. And we still haven't touched on semi-sweet.
— NeoWayland
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NeoNote – “What I do is not up to you.”

Not what they wear, not who they live with, not what they eat, not what happens in the bedroom, not what they read, not how they do it, and not who they do it with.

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Works for religion

People are looking for something, and some of them are not finding it in churches. Some are, but there never was a one-size-fits-all solution. Competition keeps us honest. It works for peanut butter, smart phones, and politics.

And it most certainly works for religion.
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NeoNote — Religion & morality

There is nothing that prevents people from following religious law. But there is nothing that demands others follow those same religious laws.
— NeoWayland
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Rite to right

I'd argue that the writing was on the wall when marriage was legally defined and moved away from being a religious rite to being a secular right.

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Goldwater on religion and politics

There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in 'A,' 'B,' 'C,' and 'D.' Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of 'conservatism.'
— Barry Goldwater, September 16, 1981

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Friday supersized roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Thursday super roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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❝All religions are not equal…❞

All religions are not equal, not because of their doctrine or sacred writings but because individuals chose to make it better. For example, for centuries the Bible was literally considered the how-to guide for making slavery practical. And not just among Christians.

The writings didn't change.

As a libertarian, I oppose government sponsored foreign aid. For what it's worth, I oppose government sponsored domestic aid for obvious reasons.
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Some monotheists

Some monotheists think that their religion belongs on top and take offense when you disagree.
 — NeoWayland
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Us versus them

Anyway, my point was that seeing the world solely through an us vs them lens only increases the conflict and division in the world, and dehumanizes the people we think are Them. It's the root cause of why these Christian folks in the article think that the Druids are Satanists out to do terrible evil. Their specific religious justifications are only the surface level. At it's root it is the poison of dualistic thinking, the idea that the world and it's people can be divided into good and evil. And the poison of dualism can infect anyone, or any religion.
     — Shawn Herles, comments from Wayist Druid public Samhain ritual draws threats

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NeoNote — My favorite party trick

Religions are created by people claiming to speak for the Divine.

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Demonic realms

If you use the law to "protect" your religion and your children from "demonic realms," that doesn't say very much about your god, your religion, or your faith.
     — NeoWayland
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Religion enshrined in law

I'm not demanding that you give up your faith.

I'm asking why religion should be enshrined in law.

Faith is between you and the Divine, no other person can change that. It's up to you and your choices.

I'm asking for no sacrifice unless you believe that your religion should govern the faith and religion of others.

And if that's the case, I'm asking why.
     — NeoWayland
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“American Independence”

Samuel Adams delivered this speech from the steps of the State House in Philadelphia on August 1, 1776. This was the day before the famous parchment copy of the Declaration of Independence was signed.

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NeoNote — Religion & government

It may be a religion, but if it relies on force, any and all opposition is justified.

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The standard argument

An argument against gun control has much wider application than I realized

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“Socialism — Capitalism — Traditionalism”

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NeoNote — SPLC

No one person and no one group has all the answers. No one group should be vested with THE moral authority to decide who is and is not a hate group.

The SPLC needs competition.

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NeoNotes — compel an individual

Is it moral for the state to compel a product or service?

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Jesus is offensive

“Family asked to remove 'offensive' Jesus sign from their Christmas display because it offended a neighbour”

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Monday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Friday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Syncretism happens even if it offends

Faith and religion don't stay in the nice neat boxes and cabinets we make for them. Syncretism happens, even if it offends the True Believer™.
     — NeoWayland

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Concede the war

The question is not which religion or belief set is mainstream, authentic, or even legitimate. Define your faith in those terms and you concede the war.
     — NeoWayland, Faith worthy of freedom
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More clearing out the stack

Older headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Response to my Ebert entry

Critics of my criticism

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Parity

If you won't honor someone's religious choice, why should they honor yours?

If you are not willing to live with those of other faiths, why should they give way and not you?

Parity. The Golden Rule. It's in your own teachings if you look hard enough.
     — NeoWayland
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A choice that is imposed is no choice

A choice that is imposed is no choice. Religion imposed in the name of “freedom and decency” will be neither free nor decent.
     — NeoWayland
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Religion is the excuse

Religion is the excuse not the reason.
     — NeoWayland
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Mark 12:17

The only worthy faiths and beliefs are those freely chosen

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Syncretism

Do you know how many cultures and nations Western Civilization borrowed from? Syncretism, it's not just for religion.

It's not necessary to claim WestCiv as “white.” Just say it's a collection of extraordinarily proven good ideas that have worked time and time again. Claim it as “white” and you're invoking tribalism and rousing people's natural defenses. Claim it as “white” and in a very patronizing way you grant permission to join.

Invite people to join because “they can make it better” works with more people. And it makes your life better too.
     — NeoWayland
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NeoNotes — Consider historical context to violence

What is to stop someone else from deciding that it's a good cause to thump you over the head? Once the excuses start, what's to protect you from the politics of the day?

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Special rights

Libertarians don't want special rights for certain groups based on their race, gender, age, orientation, or religion.

Libertarians want to protect natural rights for all people simply because they are human beings.
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NeoNotes — the Johnson amendment

As I said, the tax exempt status is a "devil's trade" intended in large part to silence churches.

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from crux № 13 — Competiton

Competition drives the free market…

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NeoNotes — Marriage revisted

That is when marriage ceased to be religion and control shifted to the state.

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NeoNotes — Religion enshrined in law

Why should any religion be enshrined in law? Raised above all others as THE Moral Standard?

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That's the excuse, not the reason

Here's the dirty little secret that you're avoiding. The evil is not in a belief system. That's the excuse, not the reason. No book has ever committed genocide. No song has ever burned someone alive. No long lost chant has ever raped.

It's people who speak and people who act. It's people who do good, and people who do evil.
     — NeoWayland
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I can't stress this enough

I can't stress this enough.

The state is not a moral entity. Government is not your friend, at best it is a bad servant.

Religion can not be allowed the coercive power of the state and the state can not be allowed the moral justification of faith.

You can't trust law to do the right thing. You have to watch it. You have to argue with it. And sometimes you have to fight it.
     — NeoWayland

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from crux № 11 — Ultimate truth

I've seen the arguments in enough other contexts to distrust anyone who claims rationality prevents any opposing view. Even more so when they dismiss any other possibility unheard because they have the Ultimate Truth That Must Not Be Questioned.
     — NeoWayland
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NeoNotes — government requires

If you didn't choose your morality and if you do not commit to your morality, is it really yours?

Or did it just get sacrificed for the greater good?
     — NeoWayland
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Faith & religion

I believe that faith and religion can be a tremendous source of individual morality and a dangerous tyranny in society.
     — NeoWayland

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from crux № 16 — My beliefs

I believe that people are perfectly capable of making their own choices and that society is the better if people do exactly that.

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Freedom of religion

Freedom of religion does not mean deferring to Christianity.
     — NeoWayland
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from crux № 15 — make it better

“I want a government that is smaller than absolutely necessary.

I believe that people are perfectly capable of making their own choices and that society is the better if people do exactly that.”

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NeoNotes — Prostitution

Do you really want politicos deciding what is moral harm?

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NeoNotes — Pardon…

It would not honor my faith, and it dishonors the Divine as I perceive it. It would require me to break oaths & promises that are at least as important to me as yours are to you.

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Government & religion

Religion cannot be allowed the coercive power of government. Government cannot be allowed the moral justification of religion.
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand

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NeoNotes — Shame game

I played this game many times until I tired of it

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NeoNotes — Sin

Pardon, but who defines the sin?

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NeoNotes — Reciprocity

We can build a moral system based on the Ethic of Reciprocity

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NeoNotes — Undermine your own

Perhaps what frustrates you most is that you can't denounce my faith without undermining your own. At the end of the day, we don't have anything but our faith. Mine is just as valid as yours by every "objective" measure you trot out.

Live and let live. Why is that so hard for you to accept? class="ghoster">

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.
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Religion becoming the law of the land

When it comes to religion becoming the law of the land, the devout don't need it, the non-believers don't want it, and the politicos will corrupt it.
     — NeoWayland
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NeoNotes — Political fringe and crazy ideas

The political fringe and their crazy, insane ideas

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NeoNotes — On Liberty

the ORIGINAL NeoNotes™

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Cruz goes evangelical

Why does Cruz assume that the only worthy values are Christian ones?

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Expanding civilizations, religions, and faith

It's not how it appears

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from crux № 2 — defining liberty

It’s not a right unless the other guy has it too.

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When truth is dissent

Very silly.

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NeoNotes - Choose your right

I believe that economics and morality should be based in free choice.

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United We Stand - Dragging religion into politics

The presidential candidates are missing the point by pandering to evangelicals - revised

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Religious or spiritual

…that's the difference between an individual having a religious view and a spiritual view. The individuals that have a spiritual view don't force anyone else to accept what they think.
     — “Grog,” Religion vs Rightful Liberty, Kent's "Hooligan Libertarian" Blog

Worth thinking about anyway.
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A Pagan looks at the “War Against Christians”

Some people are deliberately confusing the issues to advance their beliefs

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Christian America Redux
The Ten Commandments Controversy

Was the United States really founded as a Christian nation?

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Faith and the public sphere

Does religion really define public morality? Should government control religion?

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Faith worthy of freedom

The only worthy faiths and beliefs are those freely chosen

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A Pagan looks at “Christian America”

Once again, news stories about meeting prayers and the Ten Commandments are making the rounds. Here's what a real Pagan thinks.

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Pagan•Vigil FAQ

Just the FAQs about my Vigil

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from crux № 4 — The U.S. is not a "Christian nation"

And here is where I am about to offend many of you. Are you paying close attention?

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