God judges men from the inside out; men judge men from the outside in. Perhaps to God, an extreme mental patient is doing quite well in going a month without murder, for he fought his chemical imbalance and succeeded; oppositely, perhaps the healthy, able and stable man who has never murdered in his life yet went a lifetime consciously, willingly never loving anyone but himself may then be subject to harsher judgment than the extreme mental patient. It might be so that God will stand for the weak and question the strong.
So whom does God wrong in commanding the destruction of the Canaanites? Not the Canaanite adults, for they were corrupt and deserving of judgment. Not the children, for they inherit eternal life. So who is wronged? Ironically, I think the most difficult part of this whole debate is the apparent wrong done to the Israeli soldiers themselves. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to break into some house and kill a terrified woman and her children? The brutalising effect on these Israeli soldiers is disturbing.
I find something repulsive about the idea of vicarious redemption. I would not throw my numberless sins onto a scapegoat and expect them to pass from me; we rightly sneer at the barbaric societies that practice this unpleasantness in its literal form. There's no moral value in the vicarious gesture anyway. As Thomas Paine pointed out, you may if you wish take on a another man's debt, or even to take his place in prison. That would be self-sacrificing. But you may not assume his actual crimes as if they were your own; for one thing you did not commit them and might have died rather than do so; for another this impossible action would rob him of individual responsibility. So the whole apparatus of absolution and forgiveness strikes me as positively immoral, while the concept of revealed truth degrades the concept of free intelligence by purportedly relieving us of the hard task of working out the ethical principles for ourselves.
You can see the same immorality or amorality in the Christian view of guilt and punishment. There are only two texts, both of them extreme and mutually contradictory. The Old Testament injunction is the one to exact an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth (it occurs in a passage of perfectly demented detail about the exact rules governing mutual ox-goring; you should look it up in its context (Exodus 21). The second is from the Gospels and says that only those without sin should cast the first stone. The first is a moral basis for capital punishment and other barbarities; the second is so relativistic and nonjudgmental that it would not allow the prosecution of Charles Manson. Our few notions of justice have had to evolve despite these absurd codes of ultra vindictiveness and ultracompassion.
The wicked fear the good, because the good are a constant reproach to their consciences. The ungodly like religion in the same way that they like lions, either dead or behind bars; they fear religion when it breaks loose and begins to challenge their consciences.
Pick a leader who will make their citizens proud. One who will stir the hearts of the people, so that the sons and daughters of a given nation strive to emulate their leader's greatness. Only then will a nation be truly great, when a leader inspires and produces citizens worthy of becoming future leaders, honorable decision makers and peacemakers. And in these times, a great leader must be extremely brave. Their leadership must be steered only by their conscience, not a bribe.
The challenge for people today--and it is not and easy one--is to maintain high personal standards even while feeling that one is living in a moral sewer.
Young girls are like helpless children in the hands of amorous men, whatever is said to them is true and whatever manipulation on their bodies seems like love to them, sooner or later, they come back to their senses, but the scars are not dead inasmuch as her spoiler lives.
Does a rake deserve to possess anything of worth, since he chases everything in skirts and then imagines he can successfully hide his shame by slandering [women in general]?
Wine and women make wise men dote and forsake God's law and do wrong. However, the fault is not in the wine, and often not in the woman. The fault is in the one who misuses the wine or the woman or other of God's crations. Even if you get drunk on the wine and through this greed you lapse into lechery, the wine is not to blame but you are, in being unable or unwilling to discipline yourself. And even if you look at a woman and become caught up in her beauty and assent to sin [= adultery; extramarital sex], the woman is not to blame nor is the beauty given her by God to be disparaged: rather, you are to blame for not keeping your heart more clear of wicked thoughts. ... If you feel yourself tempted by the sight of a woman, control your gaze better ... You are free to leave her. Nothing constrains you to commit lechery but your own lecherous heart.
[Y]ou are not ashamed of your sin [in committing adultery] because so many men commit it. Man's wickedness is now such that men are more ashamed of chastity than of lechery. Murderers, thieves, perjurers, false witnesses, plunderers and fraudsters are detested and hated by people generally, but whoever will sleep with his servant girl in brazen lechery is liked and admired for it, and people make light of the damage to his soul. And if any man has the nerve to say that he is chaste and faithful to his wife and this gets known, he is ashamed to mix with other men, whose behaviour is not like his, for they will mock him and despise him and say he's not a real man; for man's wickedness is now of such proportions that no one is considered a man unless he is overcome by lechery, while one who overcomes lechery and stays chaste is considered unmanly.
Folk tell their children that success lies in working hard and being thrifty, but that is as much nonsense as supposing that a badger, a fox and a wolf could build a church. The way to wealth is to become a Christian bishop or a monastery's abbot and thus be imbued with heaven's permission to lie, cheat and steal your way to luxury.
As for being poisoned by a book, there is no such thing as that. Art has no influence upon action. It annihilates the desire to act. It is superbly sterile. The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.
Religion [dharma] is that where there is no irreligion (adharma, immorality). Religion cannot exist where there is irreligion. There can be only one or the other. Behind every intention, there is either [the force of] religion or [the force of] irreligion.
When it comes to moral dilemmas and matters of discerning right justice, my natural sympathy so often happens to land on the opposite end of that of most of my peers. I sometimes wonder if this is nothing more than the misguidedness and the wickedness of my own heart. I wonder other times if God wires some of us in such a way so that fair discourse might then be provided, so that honest and unbiased, due process is ultimately more likely to be carried out. Perhaps it is all necessary for variance of perception, for mindful debate: that the heart is meant to create a bit of bias on certain issues; as between one another, they weigh and balance. For not all hearts are the same.
Well, there is no sin in being gay. The immorality comes from engaging in forbidden behavior. Therefore, the Christian homosexual is in the same situation as the unmarried heterosexual. He (or she) is expected to control his or her lusts and live a holy life. I know this is a tough position to take, and some will argue with it. But I stand on the authority of Scripture, and I have no license to edit it.
The disaster, as Dad and others saw it, was the emerging AIDS crisis and the cultural attacks instigated by conservative against gay men and women in the early 1980s. It was found in the cruel indifference of President Ronald Reagan, who wouldn’t publicly address the epidemic until the end of his second term, after twenty thousand Americans had died, and the hostile rhetoric of conservatives close to Reagan like Jerry Falwell, founder of the Moral Majority, and Pat Buchanan, Reagan’s future speechwriter. In 1983, Buchanan wrote of AIDS, “The poor homosexuals–they have declared war upon nature, and now nature is extracting an awful retribution.
Christians must show that misery fits the good for heaven, while happiness prepares the bad for hell; that the wicked get all their good things in this life, and the good all their evil; that in this world God punishes the people he loves, and in the next, the ones he hates; that happiness makes us bad here, but not in heaven; that pain makes us good here, but not in hell. No matter how absurd these things may appear to the carnal mind, they must be preached and they must be believed. If they were reasonable, there would be no virtue in believing. Even the publicans and sinners believe reasonable things. To believe without evidence, or in spite of it, is accounted as righteousness to the sincere and humble christian.In short, Christians are expected to denounce all pleasant paths and rustling trees, to curse the grass and flowers, and glorify the dust and weeds. They are expected to malign the wicked people in the green and happy fields, who sit and laugh beside the gurgling springs or climb the hills and wander as they will. They are expected to point out the dangers of freedom, the safety of implicit obedience, and to show the wickedness of philosophy, the goodness of faith, the immorality of science and the purity of ignorance.
I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind — that its modest and greatly overestimated services on the ethical side have been more than overcome by the damage it has done to clear and honest thinking.I believe that no discovery of fact, however trivial, can be wholly useless to the race, and that no trumpeting of falsehood, however virtuous in intent, can be anything but vicious.I believe that the evidence for immortality is no better than the evidence of witches, and deserves no more respect.I believe in the complete freedom of thought and speech — alike for the humblest man and the mightiest, and in the utmost freedom of conduct that is consistent with living in organized society.I believe in the capacity of man to conquer his world, and to find out what it is made of, and how it is run.I believe in the reality of progress.I —But the whole thing, after all, may be put very simply. I believe that it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than be ignorant.
We are [God's] by creation, and again by redemption. He has every right to tell me what to do with my mind and body. I have. I right to do whatever I want with my body.
Once you are defiled, you can't get back your purity by any means, instead, you will only look for ways to be defiled over and over again.
I find it a challenge to cooperate in a society where it's considered moral to critique a résumé yet immoral to critique morality.
Killing, raping and looting have been common practices in religious societies, and often carried out with clerical sanction. The catalogue of notorious barbarities – wars and massacres, acts of terrorism, the Inquisition, the Crusades, the chopping off of thieves’ hands, the slicing off of clitorises and labia majora, the use of gang rape as punishment, and manifold other savageries committed in the name of one faith or another — attests to religion’s longstanding propensity to induce barbarity, or at the very least to give it free rein. The Bible and the Quran have served to justify these atrocities and more, with women and gay people suffering disproportionately. There is a reason the Middle Ages in Europe were long referred to as the Dark Ages; the millennium of theocratic rule that ended only with the Renaissance (that is, with Europe’s turn away from God toward humankind) was a violent time.Morality arises out of our innate desire for safety, stability and order, without which no society can function; basic moral precepts (that murder and theft are wrong, for example) antedated religion. Those who abstain from crime solely because they fear divine wrath, and not because they recognize the difference between right and wrong, are not to be lauded, much less trusted. Just which practices are moral at a given time must be a matter of rational debate. The 'master-slave' ethos – obligatory obeisance to a deity — pervading the revealed religions is inimical to such debate. We need to chart our moral course as equals, or there can be no justice.
When a citizen gives his suffrage to a man of known immorality he abuses his trust; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor; he betrays the interest of his country.
Sentence every immoral thought for detention and prosecution. Immorality is a powerful gadget that brings down great monuments of success. Don’t entertain immorality.
Say no to corruption; it does not fit you! Say no to bad leadership; you don't fit there. Say no to immorality; it will only fake you! Be bold to say no if that is what will take your breakfast away; you will get a sweeter lunch pack for compensation sooner.
He told them therefore that He was not a Teacher asking for a disciple who would parrot His sayings; He was a Saviour Who first disturbed a conscience and then purified it. But many would never get beyond hating the disturber. The Light is no boon, except to those who are men of good will; their lives may be evil, but at least they want to be good. His Presence, He said, was a threat to sensuality, avarice, and lust. When a man has lived in a dark cave for years, his eyes cannot stand the light of the sun; so the man who refuses to repent turns against mercy. No one can prevent the sun from shining, but every man can pull down the blinds and shut it out.
If it is not tempered by compassion, and empathy, reason can lead men and women into a moral void. (95)
Our treatment of animals, in every department, is deeply and systematically immoral. Becoming a vegetarian is only the most minimal ethical response to the magnitude of the evil.
A shaman and a writer each serve as their communities’ seers by engaging in extraordinary acts of conscientious study of the past and the present and predicting the future. An inner voice calls to the shaman and an essayistic writer to answer the call that vexes the pernicious spirit of their times. Shamanistic writers induce a trance state of mind where they lose contact with physical reality through a rational disordering of the senses, in an effort to encounter for the umpteenth time the great unknown and the unutterable truths that structure existence. An afflicted person seeking clarification of existence cannot ignore the shamanistic calling of narrative exposition. Thus, I shall continue this longwinded howl – making a personal immortality vessel – into the darkness of night forevermore.
It is neither just the religious, the spiritual, the power-hungry, the evil, the ignorant, the corrupt, the Christian, the Muslim, the Hindu, the Buddhist, the Jew, nor the atheist that makes a hypocrite, but being a human being. Any man who thinks himself to be free of hypocrisy while committed to cherry-picking others for such, I am confident, the Almighty can prove to him a great deal of his own hypocrisy even beyond his earthly comprehension.