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Christian Morality: Searching for the high ground

 
 
Greyfan
 
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2006 05:59 pm
I overheard a conversation at work the other day that raised an interesting question. The two parties were both self-proclaimed devout Christians. "Mike" was telling "Hector" about a conversation he had had with "Al". Now, Al is well known for his ability to get under the skin of just about everybody, and so his sincerity on the issue is open to doubt, but it is an interesting topic all the same. It seems Al had posed the following conundrum: If the devil came up to you and guarenteed a good long life for your spouse and kids in exchange for your soul, would you do it?

Naturally, Mike and Hector said no. Mike added that Al obviously did not know how long eternity was. And yet, wouldn't the Christian thing be to provide for your loved ones, putting their welfare ahead of your own? Who, really, is operating on the higher moral plane, the person who puts his salvation ahead of his family, or the person who puts his family ahead of his salvation?

For the purposes of this discussion, let us put aside the question of whether or not God exists and assume that He does, and that the traditional Heaven and Hell exist as well. Let us further assume that the devil exists too, and that he can be trusted to fulfill the bargain.

Who has the moral high ground, Mike and Hector, or Al, and why?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 530 • Replies: 8
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neologist
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2006 06:03 pm
Since the soul does not survive death, the question is irrelevant
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Questioner
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2006 06:39 pm
neologist wrote:
Since the soul does not survive death, the question is irrelevant


Interesting. I always heard otherwise.
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neologist
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2006 06:50 pm
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Terry
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2006 07:06 pm
If you assume the existence of souls and eternal paradise/punishment, then it is immoral. Your family gets a few extra years on earth, but that is nothing compared to the billions of years they will endure without you, knowing that you are being tormented. Better short and miserable lives, then eternity together in heaven. Or at least that's what they would like you to believe.

I am convinced that we do not have immortal souls and the Biblical concepts of heaven and hell are false, so I would take the deal and enjoy the good life with my family, knowing that I had nothing to lose.
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Greyfan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2006 07:56 pm
Well reasoned, Terry and I must admit I hadn't thought of the family's subsequent eternal suffering.

The only flaw I can see is that if the concept of heaven and hell are false -which is what I believe also- we have no reason to believe that the devil who is offering the deal has the power to deliver on it.

But, even if that is the case, I suppose there would be no harm done, unless the bargaining session was being filmed for a show like Punk'd or Candid Camera...
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Greyfan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2006 08:13 pm
I guess I better sweeten the pot. Suppose instead that your family was on a certain road to damnation, and the deal the devil proposes is your soul in exchange for theirs. All other conditions still apply.
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Arella Mae
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2006 08:17 pm
A person's salvation is personal. You can do nothing to save another person's soul. Absolutely nothing. We must all make the decision for ourselves.
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squinney
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jan, 2006 08:36 pm
Of course one would not make such a deal. The Devil may have the ability to deliver on the deal, but, C'mon. He's the Devil. Are you gonna trust him?

Also, each persons life is up to them. I would be upset beyond belief if I found out Bear had made such a deal. Who is he to decide the kids and I should live another hundred years, two hundred years, a thousand years? What if, due to our human wrecklessness with the environment, the planet is unable to sustain life, provide nourishment, or the water becomes so tainted we can't drink it? Yet, we have to live another XXX years?

Yeah, the devil would love that, now wouldn't he?
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