Moral certainty

Discussion in 'All Other Discussions' started by Crabtownboy, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. Crabtownboy

    Crabtownboy
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    To this day people, who are familiar with his writings, either love or hate Mencken. Few are ambivalent about him.

     
  2. Revmitchell

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    It doesn't surprise me in the least but you would post this.
     
  3. Crabtownboy

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    It does not surprise me that you respond and add nothing meaningful to the thread.
     
  4. Revmitchell

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    There is nothing meaning to add anything meaningful too. Just more extreme liberal spewing.
     
  5. Crabtownboy

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    Your reply shows great ignorance about Mencken. He was many things, but hardly fit into a pigeonhole that you like to try to put people in. Of course, you would call him liberal simply because you do not agree with him. I doubt you know who he was. You should not write people off so quickly. It shows ....... oops, best not go there.

    He also said:


     
  6. Alcott

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    I wonder where he got that from? Those uncivilized guys who say so? Of course, it must be relative to culture, so tomorrow telling a lie may be the right thing to to do.


     
  7. Revmitchell

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    My reply says nothing about Mencken. What it does speak to is the statement itself. It is an extreme liberal view. Again I cannot say it enough. It is an extreme view. And quite frankly nothing but pure garbage.
     
  8. Crabtownboy

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    How is the quote liberal?
    How is it extreme?

    History is on my side:

    1. People were absolutely certain in the past that the world is flat? They were wrong.
    2. People were absolutely certain that if a ship sailed far enough it would fall off the edge of the world. They were wrong.
    3. People in China, in the past, were absolutely certain they were the center of the earth, the Middle Kingdom. They were wrong.
    4. People in the past were absolutely certain that the Bell Tower in the center of Xi'an was the center of the universe. They were wrong.
    5. People in the American South were absolutely certain that slavery was ordained by God. They were wrong.
    6. Chairman Mao and other Chinese Communist leaders were absolutely certain that the only way to progress was to have constant revolution. They were wrong.
    7. Islamic extremists are absolutely certain they are right. They are wrong.
    8. Northern Catholics are absolutely certain they are right. They are wrong.
    9. Northern Irish Protestants are absolutely certain they are right. They are wrong.
    10. Many were absolutely certain of the divine right of kings. They were wrong.
    11. Many extreme christians ... notice the little c ... are absolutely certain they speak for God. They are wrong.
    12. The crusades were conducted by men who were absolutely certain they were doing the will of God and could not fail. They were wrong.
    13. Many groups around the world have called themselves "The People" being absolutely certain they are the only true people, that all others are inferior. They are wrong.
    14. I have known Baptist who are absolutely certain that only Baptists will be saved. They are wrong.
    15. The list of those who are absolutely certain and are wrong goes on and on.

      Great harm has been done by many people who were absolutely certain they were right.

      So, the statement stands. Can you prove otherwise with reasoned argument or do you simply stand on unproven pronouncements?

      Rev. as the old line I often heard while growing up in the Shenandoah Valley of VA. goes: "It is not those things that we think are true that get us into trouble, it is those things we absolutely know are true that gets us into trouble."

      Living in ambiguity is difficult. Living in absolute certainty is untenable and will surely be ship wrecked on the rocky shore of reality.

      Please reply with a reasoned discussion and not a one line unreasonable reply. Thanks in advance.
     
    #8 Crabtownboy, Apr 19, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2013
  9. Revmitchell

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    So you want to use examples of people who were wrong as proof no one should be certain on morals? What kind of logic is that?


    Jesus said that "I am the way the truth the light no man comes to the father but by me. "

    That is clear moral certainty.

    Paul wrote that the "wages of sin is death" that is moral certainty.

    Isaiah wrote " But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. "

    That is clear moral certainty.

    Your meager examples of men who have been wrong is not convincing or even reasonable logic to discount moral certainty.

    It is liberal and extreme because it, as liberal ideas always do, diminishes standards of God. Which is why liberalism is always extreme and always evil.
     
  10. Scarlett O.

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    I'll confess. I'm one of those who doesn't have much admiration for Mencken's words. This particular quote you gave from him may sound awfully majestic and lofty to you and I can see where some more "progressive" people that I know would claim this quote as their own life's motto, but it's meaningless to me.

    Why?

    Because it's hypocritical when you couple it with his other words. And that's a common error a lot us make. He isn't the only hypocrite.

    I've told people before on another site that he coined the term "Bible Belt". It's is not a name that we chose for ourselves here in the South. We do not use it in characterizing ourselves or distinguishing ourselves from others. The term was coined by Mencken when he was a journalist from Baltimore covering the Scopes trial (re-named them the "Monkey Trials".) He was a staunch critic of the South, having called it an "intellectual desert", and a critic of fundamentalist Christianity.

    His labeling us as the Bible Belt was intended to be an insult. He was quite ignorant about the South and had many, many preconceived notions - as do many people - until he actually came here.

    When he came to Tennessee for the Scopes trial, this is what he said. "The town, I confess, greatly surprised me. I expected to find a squalid Southern village, with darkies snoozing on the horse blocks, pigs rooting under the houses and the inhabitants full of hookworm and malaria. What I found was a country town of charm and even beauty."

    Is that an ignorant and back-handed compliment or what?

    He soon lost his "appreciation" for the town and said. "This town is a universal joke. There is no gambling. There is no place to dance. The relatively wicked, when they would indulge themselves, go to Robinson's drug store and debate theology."

    This term, the Bible Belt, was not intended to imply that Southerners have higher moral standards, but that Southerners, especially Christians, are more ignorant and less enlightened than the general population.

    It was not intended to be kind.

    So, you see, when I look at how prejudicial and ignorant the man was about the region he was covering as a journalist and how intolerant he was of the way of life of others, then his quote in the OP trying to convince us how enlightened he is - well, as I said, to me it is meaningless.

    Surely you see CTB that no one is truly tolerant. And merely saying "No Rules!!" as in Mencken's "moral certainty is a sign of cultural inferiority" is just silly - not lofty at all.
     
    #10 Scarlett O., Apr 19, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013
  11. Revmitchell

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    And the fact that a person who calls themselves a Christian would quote him and see this statement as having some value is contradictory to the standards of God.
     
  12. Crabtownboy

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    This is your reasoned reply. Surely you can do better.

    God's morality is a certainty. However your nor my understanding is not absolute ... as neither of us completely understands morality in its completeness.

    The fundamentalist follower of Islam believes they understand God's morality. They do not.

    Many fundamentalists Christians believe they understand God's morality. They do not.

    Mankind is not capable of total understanding nor perfect interpretation.

    Now, please answer with a reasoned reply and not just a single, simple sentence. Thanks in advance.
     
  13. Revmitchell

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    See here is a clear example of your dishonesty in posting. This reply was not to you. Why don't you go back and actually respond to my response to you instead of intentionally overlooking it like you do so often. And while you are at it why don't you include in that post why you would quote someone like this person who was nothing but ungodly.
     
  14. Crabtownboy

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    In the future please make clear who you are responding. Try quoting their post and then your reply to it.

    So, what would you like for me to answer?
     
  15. Revmitchell

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    Just stop with your dishonesty it looks pathetic.
     
  16. Crabtownboy

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    I do not see how giving my opinion or answering is dishonest. I do not accuse of, not do I call you offensive names.

    That we do not agree with each other on many issues is obvious. But that does not mean that a rational, calm discussion can not be conducted ... and one line, simple sentence answers, not accusatory replies, such as the one above, is not rational nor helpful.

     
  17. Revmitchell

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    And still the dishonesty. You have still refused to rep;y to may actual post in reply to yours. You continue to avoid it. I wonder why?
     
  18. Crabtownboy

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    Is this the post you mean?

    Believe I answered that. God's morality is certain. Your nor my understanding of morality nor of all things moral nor immoral are not certain. The quote from H. L. Mencken was speaking to man and not about God. Those are two quite different topics. Do you agree?

    Much evil has been inflicted on people and on the world by people who thought they were morally certain. They were wrong.

    Can you reply with a reasoned paragraph?
     
  19. Revmitchell

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    Until now you answered nothing. Anyway, you missed the point. God expects us to hold to moral certainty. He expects us to hold the view that Jesus is the only way. If you do not hold to Jesus is the only way then you will find yourself standing before God on judgment day being sent away "depart from me for I never knew you".

    We are told in scripture that we are to follow Jesus. Failure to do so ends in eternal destruction.

    We are told to take up our cross. Failure to do so will end up in hell for eternity.

    God makes his word clear and we are to hold to His clear moral certainties.

    The issue is not that moral certainty is hard and cannot be obtained,

    All those people are not wrong because moral certainty is difficult to understand and follow. They have been wrong because they loved sin more than they loved God.


    The issue is not a clear understanding of what morals we should be certain of. The issue is a clear rejections of what is clearly known and then a rebellious choice to do the evil that is in their own hearts.

    The issue is not a lack of understanding of morals. It is sin and willful disobedience and a refusal to follow moral clarity.

    The issue is a rejection of moral certainty not a failure to understand it.

    And your examples did nothing to make your case. They did not even speak to your claim.
     
  20. Crabtownboy

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    I disagree with your comment on rejection. Mencken was not saying people reject moral certainty. That would certainly be a very different quote if he had said that. He was saying people think they have moral certainty, but sadly do not.

    Questions:

    1. Do you have perfect understanding of all issues dealing with morality?
    2. Do you have a perfect understanding of all that God views as moral certainty?
    3. Do you have a perfect understand, a knowledge of moral certainty in every aspect of your daily life? I mean practical understanding, not theortical?
    4. Have you ever followed your understanding of morality to find later that you were not correct in that instance?In other words, your intention was good, but it turned out wrong?

      Can you allow yourself to admit, even to yourself, that there is any uncertainty in your life?

      Just curious.
     

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