Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
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06-03-2016, 07:12 AM
RE: Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
(04-03-2016 11:41 AM)Aliza Wrote:  
(24-02-2016 03:41 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  The question of what doesn’t matter, depends on what matters. If all that matters is if 50k is given to a charity, then the question of whether it was given out of concern for the poor, out of greed, or even hatred doesn’t matter.

If a bunch of jews in America desired to migrate to Israel, and some rich guy decided that he’ll pay for the tickets because he hates Jews, and wants them all out of his country, if all that matters is that they’re aided in their desire to move to Israel, than perhaps you can say it doesn’t matter that he was motivated by his hatred of Jews.

This is a no-brainer to me. If I want to leave, and you want to give me money to leave, I’m going to take your money and get the heck out of dodge. Your reasoning for giving me money is not relevant. I mean, my feelings might be hurt for a short while, but the hurt would be far eclipsed by the happiness of taking your money.

I could anticipate what my father would say if presented with this offer. “Fuck’em. Let them pay if they want to.” And I would be called a raging idiot for even suggesting that the money should be turned down on principle. My family would actually resent me bitterly for turning money like that down because there is no reason to accept financial strain when a solution is so readily presented.

(24-02-2016 03:41 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  But if what matters is our relationship to others, to Jews, our disposition to them, such as we might say of what we do for our friends, or our family, or even within our tightly nit communities, than it does matter.

Perhaps for you, like atheists who subscribe to consequentialism, morality is a matter of actions and their results, where as for us virtue ethicist types, it’s matter of character and values. More about who we are, than what we do.

There is a component to Judaism were intentions are valued. It’s just that intentions are between an individual and G-d.

It’s a good thing to give to charity. If you give to charity, you get credit for doing a good deed. If you do it out of good will, then that’s a plus, but the good deed is in giving the money to the charity, and not in how you feel about it.

The question being asked is if you had to choose one or the other, which would you choose? I’m not trying to imply that either religion is or should be limited to thoughts (intentions) or actions. I’m only asking where a person’s values lie most strongly. You answered the question, and while I disagree with you on so many levels, your answer is what it is.

I thought about this thread this morning at the grocery store, when the woman in line ahead of me ran out of money and I paid for the rest of her groceries. Not because I had the desire to do a good deed, but because I had already been waiting at the register for 10 minutes and wanted to get home. (I wasn't a dick about paying, which I have seen some people be in similar circumstances, just quietly handed the money to the cashier while the woman was hunting in her bag for another debit card, both cashier and customer thanked me, and I said you're welcome and that was that.)

I'm thinking Aliza would count my action as a good deed and Tomasia would not, since my underlying intention was to get my groceries in my fridge before the frozen stuff started to defrost.
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06-03-2016, 07:33 AM
RE: Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
(06-03-2016 07:12 AM)julep Wrote:  I'm thinking Aliza would count my action as a good deed and Tomasia would not, since my underlying intention was to get my groceries in my fridge before the frozen stuff started to defrost.

I would say while your actions were beneficial to the women in front of you, in terms or morality, it's a neutral act. Because it wasn't motivated by moral values at all, any more so than when stores decide to offer self-check out lanes to speed up transactions.

The question which drove your action, what is the fastest way for me to check out of here, is not a moral question.

If you subscribe to some form of consequentialism than you'll likely disagree with this, but I subscribe to virtue ethics, where morality is matter of virtues, and character, our disposition to others, more so than consequences. And I think that virtue ethics is more faithful to most religious views of morality, than consequentialism, though Aliza might disagree when it comes to Judaism.

Secondly, our everyday moral problems, those we face constantly, are not about grander political concerns as to how we resolve poverty, or political unrest. These are only a small portion of our everyday moral concerns, which primarily arise when it's time to cast a ballet. But everyday morality is about those next to you, your neighbors, and in this realm our problems are less about consequences, and more about our dispositions to others, they're almost exclusively relational.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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06-03-2016, 09:23 AM
RE: Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
(06-03-2016 07:33 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(06-03-2016 07:12 AM)julep Wrote:  I'm thinking Aliza would count my action as a good deed and Tomasia would not, since my underlying intention was to get my groceries in my fridge before the frozen stuff started to defrost.

I would say while your actions were beneficial to the women in front of you, in terms or morality, it's a neutral act. Because it wasn't motivated by moral values at all, any more so than when stores decide to offer self-check out lanes to speed up transactions.

The question which drove your action, what is the fastest way for me to check out of here, is not a moral question.

If you subscribe to some form of consequentialism than you'll likely disagree with this, but I subscribe to virtue ethics, where morality is matter of virtues, and character, our disposition to others, more so than consequences. And I think that virtue ethics is more faithful to most religious views of morality, than consequentialism, though Aliza might disagree when it comes to Judaism.

Secondly, our everyday moral problems, those we face constantly, are not about grander political concerns as to how we resolve poverty, or political unrest. These are only a small portion of our everyday moral concerns, which primarily arise when it's time to cast a ballet. But everyday morality is about those next to you, your neighbors, and in this realm our problems are less about consequences, and more about our dispositions to others, they're almost exclusively relational.

Called it.
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06-03-2016, 09:44 AM
RE: Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
(06-03-2016 09:23 AM)julep Wrote:  
(06-03-2016 07:33 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  I would say while your actions were beneficial to the women in front of you, in terms or morality, it's a neutral act. Because it wasn't motivated by moral values at all, any more so than when stores decide to offer self-check out lanes to speed up transactions.

The question which drove your action, what is the fastest way for me to check out of here, is not a moral question.

If you subscribe to some form of consequentialism than you'll likely disagree with this, but I subscribe to virtue ethics, where morality is matter of virtues, and character, our disposition to others, more so than consequences. And I think that virtue ethics is more faithful to most religious views of morality, than consequentialism, though Aliza might disagree when it comes to Judaism.

Secondly, our everyday moral problems, those we face constantly, are not about grander political concerns as to how we resolve poverty, or political unrest. These are only a small portion of our everyday moral concerns, which primarily arise when it's time to cast a ballet. But everyday morality is about those next to you, your neighbors, and in this realm our problems are less about consequences, and more about our dispositions to others, they're almost exclusively relational.

Called it.

I think you did a great thing. I imagine the woman was struggling to afford her groceries. Maybe you helped her to feed a child or an elderly person.

Hug
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06-03-2016, 09:50 AM
RE: Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
Actions accomplish real things for real people. Behaving based on belief seems selfish and self-serving...my god said I should, so I did.

In the end, why you did something isn't really an issue with anyone other than yourself.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF

We're all mad here. The Cheshire Cat
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06-03-2016, 11:20 AM
RE: Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
(06-03-2016 09:50 AM)Anjele Wrote:  In the end, why you did something isn't really an issue with anyone other than yourself.

If my cousins believes that African Americans are not equals, that they're inferior to themselves. That is an issue for me. If someone I know personally has a very demeaning view of the poor, that's an issue for.

When it comes to my children, my wife, my friends, neighbhor their dispositions towards others matter to me. If there was a value I seek to instill in my children it's compassion for others. To not see others as a means to an end, but ends in themselves.

Maybe that doesn't matter to you, while it's perhaps one of the most important things that matters to me.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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06-03-2016, 11:34 AM
RE: Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
How did race come into this discussion?

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF

We're all mad here. The Cheshire Cat
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06-03-2016, 01:19 PM
RE: Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
Tomasia Wrote:You seem to a bit contradictory by these last few statements. You seemed to earlier be suggestive of the view that only actions matter, that beliefs don’t matter. Yet you’re statements here imply that beliefs do matter, at least Christian beliefs?

That it’s a morally corrupt thing for me as christians to believe what John believes, that the God you believe would find it disrespectful and ungrateful to hold the view expressed by Jesus , where love is the greatest commandment? If these beliefs inspired me to be good, to treat others kindly, and with compassion, to serve the poor, etc…. wouldn’t they be a good thing then?

You might have to clear up what seems to be a contradictory set of views of yours.

And to follow up on that, if all that matters is our actions, why does it matter whether I believe Christ is God incarnate? How does it morally corrupt me? Does God look less upon men like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, MLK, Demond Tutu, etc… for holding such beliefs than a jew that doesn’t?

I’ve made the statement in my last post that Judaism does have a place for intentions, but intentions are between man and G-d. –and that good intentions without action do not feed hungry people. That still holds true for what you think about Paul or Jesus.

The Hebrew bible discusses many righteous gentiles who didn’t need to be Jewish in order to win G-d’s favor. This is because of their good acts, and their refraining from worshipping idols.

It’s important to point out that I would never dream of speaking on behalf of G-d. The arrogance of such an assumption –such as telling someone that they know G-d is going to condemn them to hell- is simply beyond my understanding.

But let's step away from the notion that idol worship is merely attributing a human being (or statue) to being G-d. It's one thing to think something, and be wrong, such as to say, "Hmmm. I think G-d was this guy," and another thing to terrorize people into believing that this guy IS G-d, and then inventing an eternal punishment to ensure compliance.

Let me remind you that in the name of Jesus, Christians have carried out atrocious acts throughout history. Fundamentalists still conduct themselves poorly in honor of their god, Jesus. Bombing abortion clinics, misusing donations entrusted to them, and singling out same-sex couples for sub-human treatment are a few that come to mind. Christianity has concocted an elaborate narrative to frighten people into believing that eternal punishment awaits if they don’t toe the Christian line and worship their god, Jesus. These are horrible actions, and they’re done in the name of a man named Jesus. This is classic idolatry according to the Jewish understanding of the term.

Aliza Wrote:The sinners just need to stop doing bad things. For example, instead of worshipping false idols like Jesus, just worship G-d or no one at all. Then you won’t be a sinner anymore! It’s so easy!

Tomasia Wrote:To quote Cormac McCarthy, “If he’s not the Word of God, than God never spoke.” Any God [that] believes that I’m a sinner because I worship Christ, is not a God I believe in.

I’m really glad that you said that because I think it can help you understand how non-Christians view the Christian god, Jesus. In the exact same way that you are not attracted to worshipping other gods, non-Christians are not attracted to worshipping Jesus.

We do not like him. He doesn’t represent our worldview, and we wouldn’t want to be subservient to such a man, even if he were real. He's a bad guy who is not worthy of our devotion.
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06-03-2016, 01:40 PM
RE: Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
I am negative atheist but I do believe that action is better than belief because you are not going to heaven or hell by your belief rather than your action if actually those place exist.
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06-03-2016, 03:37 PM (This post was last modified: 06-03-2016 03:47 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Theists, which matters more: action or belief?
(06-03-2016 07:33 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(06-03-2016 07:12 AM)julep Wrote:  I'm thinking Aliza would count my action as a good deed and Tomasia would not, since my underlying intention was to get my groceries in my fridge before the frozen stuff started to defrost.

I would say while your actions were beneficial to the women in front of you, in terms or morality, it's a neutral act. Because it wasn't motivated by moral values at all, any more so than when stores decide to offer self-check out lanes to speed up transactions.

Goddam dude, you have a seriously twisted and fucked up sense of morality. The intent is incidental to the act. The act is what matters. Not the intent. Your twisted and fucked up sense of morality is why I became amoral decades ago.

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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