RE: [asa] morals/ethics (was: Francis Collins shows mild signs of dementia, NA snark)

From: Dehler, Bernie <>
Date: Tue Oct 20 2009 - 11:03:42 EDT

If I asked Stalin to justify himself, he may say "the ends justify the means" in order to create his perfect government. (This seems to be what Cheney is saying in justifying waterboard torture, "it worked!", with the seeming approval of the Christian GOP TV network called FOX ;-)

Today, one of the basic secular morality guiding principles seems to be "do what you want as long as it doesn't hurt anyone else." Jesus said "do to others what you want them to do to you" and he wasn't the first to say it, I heard. Before Jesus, it was said "don't do to others what you don't want them to do to you." How are those principles discovered? It should be obvious, in the same way that 2+2 is obvious (without having to try to explain where numbers come from).

So to Stalin I would argue that it is most noble and righteous to not harm others, and to cherish humanity, and to work for peace and prosperity. (Yes, working for peace may involve waging a war.) The logic is very simple- don't do anything that you wouldn't want to be on the receiving end for. Killing others to get power is fine for you; but not fine when others do it to you; therefore, don't do it, as it is bad for all.

Christians also did evil in the name of Christ with the Crusades, etc. I think it is all part of the learning curve... the meme's are evolving. That's why we have much higher standards today, and abhor civilian bombings (Viet Nam style) and instead insist on "surgical strikes."

People say Hitler was the worst, but I heard Alexander the Great (long before Hitler) was much worse. Alexander killed villages for the vain glory of killing, while Hitler had, what he considered, a noble reason. The reason was wrong, but at least it was a better reason than just killing to show off or have fun or to prove what a big man he was.

And yes, I think Christianity can be a good influence, amongst others, in reminding all of us that humanity is special and should be honored. But of course, Christianity sometimes goes off the extreme scale, like Catholics who oppose even birth control (and then hypocritically accepting the rhythm method). Catholics being opposed to birth control is an evil threat to population control. It would probably be more righteous to support birth control, esp. in over-ran countries where they have their influence so high. But like George, Catholics probably think they get their direction generally from God through the Bible.


-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2009 12:26 PM
To: Dehler, Bernie
Subject: RE: [asa] morals/ethics (was: Francis Collins shows mild signs of dementia, NA snark)

I'll use the example I already brought up, only this time I'll be specific:
Stalin "purges" his leaders whom he suspects may not be loyal to him.
Christians say that political leaders shouldn't murder their opposition. If we do, you can call us hypocrites. But Stalin was an atheist. What would YOU have said to Stalin that could be a basis for "correcting" his behavior?


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Received on Tue Oct 20 11:04:44 2009

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