Thursday, March 8, 2007

More on Hauser's Theory of Moral Hard-wiring

Microdot says I believe this:
"Only Judeo-Christian believers are capable of being moral." and said to me, "You repeated that thought several times in your multiple posts."

No, I didn't; that's not a quote from me. I said the irreligious and people of other religions can choose morality if they've been taught well, well-parented to do so --and that good parenting and a relatively wholesome culture such as we have enjoyed in the US until the 60's usually comes from generations of Christian teaching about The Golden Rule, Ten C's,--and church attendance, etc.

MOreover, those righteous moral standards used to be upheld in public ed. and all churches as good, whether the hearer or teacher or parent believed the standards had a divine source or not. Every school student should STILL learn the Golden Rule and that Jesus said it --just to be educated --likewise the Ten C's and their source --embraced by Jews and Christians and given to Moses and the Jews on stone tablets by the God of Judeo Christianity.

All American youth used to know that, by our Judeo-Chrsitian culture, they were SUPPOSED to wait for marriage before having sex --that they were supposed to be faithful and that divorce was undesirable. there were always cultural trend setters trying to push the envelope, however. Today the envelope pushers have become more influential than churches and families --for too many people --partly because of the disintegration of american families resulting from our IMMORAL choices.

What I have said consistently is that our morality does not save us --only faith in Christ saves us. I didn't say that non-believers can't make moral choices.

Microdot said: "Do you think George Bush Sr. and Barbara Bush were good parents?"

As far as I know they were good parents who took their kids to church and taught them the values and morals that derive from Judeo-Christianity. They were, however, more liberal than their born again son whose heart was changed by Bible preaching/study and faith and encounter with Christ. I believe that Geo. W. believes the Bible --as does Condi Rice. According to Newsweek, they had daily, optional Bible devotionals with GW open to staff in the White House at the beginning of his term.

Microdot asks "How about Herr and Fraulein Hitler? Good parents? "

I haven't studied Hitler's upbringing but recall that he and Marx were both into diabolical interests as young men by their student writings--and I wouldn't be surprised if Hitler's values and sense of "racial" superiority came from his folks --along with his calloused indifference to the right to life of other people. Europeans can be so "superior," and tend to think that MYOB is a virtue --and are indifferent to basic Judeo-Christian values, eh, microdot? How else would you get the whole nation of Germany to follow a Hitler? It wasn't even in Jesus' teachings or anywhere in the New Testament that we should hate or exterminate Jews or the disabled or mentally ill or that protestants and Catholics should hate each other --and no Biblical justification for anything Hitler did --only clear teaching that people like Hitler and Mussolini were evil and advocates of evil.

Microdot wrote: "The parents of the killer kids at Columbine High School probably thought that they were good parents also." What they THOUGHT is irrelevant. After the fact, I'm sure they felt shame and failure. They've stayed out of the public eye and off of Oprah, as far as I know. They were not frequent church attenders --but liberal Jewish people in one case, who ignored what their boys were into as teens. The boys were pretty much raised in a religious vacuum --both of them, though the Jewish boy had some religious exposure --but not orthodox. And in such a vacuum, their "moral sense" didn't naturally evolve from any "hard wiring" described by Hauser. They were not moral in their choices.

"Some people do horrible things for what seems like no good reason but if you have the chance to see the perspective view, the reasons are there. Again, most people try to do the right thing!"

O puh-leese! So the good reasons were there for the Columbine killers and Hitler??? You need some coffee! Wake up to what you are saying!" HATE was their motivation. Self-pity in the case of the Columbine boys. Revenge motivated.

As the Bible says, you are calling evil, good.

The "most people" who you say "try to do the right thing" are people who were taught to do the right thing --who were taught what the right thing is -- and many of these were taught that they were accountable to Someone --either the Law --or the Law-giver --and a vast majority of the world wants to go to a good after-life and believes their deeds will be weighed. It is ONLY Christianity that says our deeds won't get us to Heaven; our faith in Christ --and HIS righteousness --is what takes us to Heaven. As evidence of that faith, our lives are to bear good works. As James wrote, "Faith without works is dead." but "We are saved by faith and not works, lest any man should boast."

uptheflag quoted the prof:
" 'Humans....have a....unconscious tool kit for constructing moral systems.' I seem to recall Kant stating that ever person has a
'categorical imperative' as to what is right or wrong. Sounds as if the Harvard Professor is borrowing from Kant......"

The Bible, again, does say we are without excuse when we choose sin --that we know in our hearts right from wrong. However, the so-called moral imperative is certainly reinforced by TEACHING. Without teaching, the WILL to choose right is much weaker. Of course, the sin nature is often indulged in spite of teaching --as with Rev. haggard --and various other clergy --who know what is right and wrong --but indulge in sinful lusts and temptations. Some of them count on the grace of God covering their sins --their problem, however, is that persistent sinning callouses the believer --and he will not be truly remorseful in his repentance because he enjoyed his sin too much. If he doesn't come to a place of real shame and misery --as King David did --who cried out to God, "Restore to me the joy of my salvation!" --who knew that fleeting pleasures of sin could not compare to peace and fellowship with God --the joy of the redeemed. David felt great guilt and remorse at the gulf which sin had made between the Psalmist and the Psalm-giver. If the believer doesn't come to that state of remorse for his sin, his repentance will ring hollow and be ineffectual.

We need to beg God to make us capable of feeling remorse --chronic sin hardens our hearts, so that we don't hear that still small voice of conscience like we should.

10:00 AM EST

Barb said...
No, Don, the metaphor doesn't bother me.

I understand the "hard wiring" phrase to mean "innate" and that the prof is also suggesting this is biological, evolved in humans--and present in some animals.

The Bible suggests we are without excuse because we know right from wrong in our hearts (or God and His standards, more specifically) as in

Romans 1:19-20 (NIV)

But then it says Man has "devolved" --lost his sense of conscience. His audience was the Romans who were then steeped in both idolatry, mythical gods and goddesses, and sexual debauchery. Their Empire would fall as prohpesied.
Romans 1:18-32

18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made [His creation], so that men are without excuse.
21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. [There was a time of pagan idolatry all over the globe.]

24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty [the diseases] for their perversion.

28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them."

Approving evil --that's where we are today --so this "hard-wiring" --this innate moral sense --has been severely damaged by our willful choices to sin. And that's why we die --Paul here wrote that such acts deserve death --and so it is, that man's earthly body is mortal --for now.

But we have a promise of resurrection of the body through remorse for our sin and through faith in Christ who not only resurrected others like Lazarus and Jairus' daughter --but was Himself raised after 3 days in the tomb.

I'm staking MY faith on this resurrected rabbi --no other speaks or lived with such authority as to make us suspect He was truly from God--the light of the world --the living bread and the living water --the Prince of Peace, The Good Shepherd, the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world. who said, "Because I live, you shall live also!"

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