Yes, Tony. Moral behaviors can be judged by what they do to persons or societies. They can also be judged based on what they do to lima beans, or horses, or planets, or stock prices. The key concept here is subjectivity, and all morals are bound by that concept. We have created our morals to serve the interests of ourselves, specifically our interest in surviving. They are not illusionary, nor are they random and without meaning, value or purpose.
How are they not illusionary? Our interest in surviving is subjective and without grounding itself. And where would altruism come in? If survival is the only goal, would you suffer and die for society? If so why? If survival is the only goal?
I was simply using your words. Define "illusionary" before we go down that road please.
Our interest in survival is indeed subjective but that does not make it ungrounded. It is grounded in self-preservation, a desire shared by all living things. In humans, it is further grounded in a desire to perpetuate the social units to which we belong: family, friends, neighbors, fellow citizens, etc. BTW, this is where altruism comes in. And yes, I would suffer and die for society, to ensure its survival. What's the alternative? Extinction? I'll take my chances with survival of our species, and that would be all the meaning I would require. To flip it around, if God communicated clearly and without equivocation to all the people of the earth that he had changed his mind, and that the human race must be extinguished, would you accept that as "grounded" and "right" without even a twinge of rebellion and desire for survival?
In Christianity, we believe in a universe that is not only physical but has meaning, was initiated and interactive with a personal being whom by His very nature grounds morality, meaning, and purpose. Because there is more to the physical universe then matter and energy things like love, beauty, value, purpose, numbers, truth, philosophy, music, relationships, person hood, and yes, morals exist. Not just as theories but in reality.
All of these are human constructs and are subjective, with the possible exception of numbers, and even that has an element of Made By Man. Give me one example of a moral that is grounded in God and nothing else.
Worship the Lord you God and him alone! Further, you missed truth, you claim truth is subjective? Are you 100% absolutely, no doubt about it? Truth is subjective? Is that a true statement? (Self-Refuting).
Isn't that rather a law grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition? Truth is
subjective. Particularly as Christian's define it. Far better minds than ours have debated that point.
I actually know that atheists, contrary to their own world view, know deep down that life and people have value and purpose. That is my point.
Your point seems to be that atheists know deep down that God exists as you have defined it. I would argue that people can find value and purpose in just about anything, for a variety of reasons that need not entertain the concept of God.
Parsing is always a problem, I agree... (:-) Did Jesus and his followers take Mary Magdalene and the other women with them for moderately controlled sex as they traveled the region? Were the prostitutes there to practice their profession? Are you judging me because I disagree with your view of the morals of Sex? (Self-refuting). There is a true answer to this discussion, otherwise, why do you discuss?
Whoa! Who started the judging? If I'm judging you, it's for being judgmental toward Scott. And around and around we will go. I simply think you could have approached your disagreements with him without implying that he is shoveling innocent souls into the furnace.
Your comments about Jesus and the female followers are a preposterous misrepresentation of what I said. On the other hand, prove to me that they're NOT true. And while you're at it, please address my original point: Given a choice between preaching abstinence and praying that it sticks, and educating and encouraging moderation and care, I'll take the latter. It's much more likely to succeed, given that it provides people with valid, relevant reasons for not jumping into the sack with anything that comes along. Show me the data that proves that abstinence and sheltering are helpful in preventing people from having extramarital sex and I'll happily concede this point to you.