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Instinct Versus Choice

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Posted by Chuck Owens on April 26, 2002 02:46:56 UTC

Hi Scott,

Actually I am working on another prayer, sometimes it takes me awhile to come up with a good one.

You wrote: "You had me sold on this one for a while until you brought in the Star Wars analogy. "

I actually meant that God could be impersonal or indifferent, or as another option, God could have a good side and an evil side. I actually should have listed them as separate options rather than together, my mistake for the confusion.

Regarding the poor mixed up teenager, it would be wrong for anybody to judge her as "evil", especially under the circumstances she's been through. The most anyone should say about her is that her "negligent" parents made some mistakes and that she has made some poor choices which is part of being human. Yes, she's a sinner but we are all sinners, all of us make mistakes. Hey, I'm no saint either. I like a cold one every now and then, I'm impatient, and sometimes I use bad language, etc. but I try to learn from my mistakes. The ideal situation for the human race is for us to learn from our mistakes and pass on our collective wisdom to the next generation but unfortunately we humans pass our mistakes on to the suceeding generations, a lot less than what is ideal.

You said "Does God distinguish between murder within or out of species? I believe that good and evil are not absolutes. What exists is a will to survive. We act on our instincts, whether they are selfish or altruistic."

If there is a God who cares about humans, I don't think God would apply the same rules to animals as to us since us humans are rational creatures, at least most of the time. Even my four year old daughters have grasped that us humans are different from other animals, and in many ways superior to them.

Do you really believe that everything you do is based on instinct? If I had a big grizzly bear chasing after me, I'm going to run like hell, now that's instinct. My Dad's birthday is coming, so I'm going to go out and get him something. I don't think that my wish to get my Dad something is instinct but rather my own choice apart from my genetics.

My daughters are identical twins, so they have similar genetic makeup, yet one wanted to watch one movie on TV and the other one wanted to watch something different. Now is that instinct or are they making choices apart from genetics and instinct?

Yes, humans have many rules based on what they think is right or wrong. And most people do judge others that are different from them racially, culturally, etc. I believe there are moral absolutes, ie. "do unto others as one would like them to do unto you", "love your fellow human being", etc. but I also believe that a lot of morality is relative to a person's education and situation in life.

You said "Maybe we are the Gods? We are the ones that came up with the idea of good and evil in the fist place." Funny that you should say that since in the Bible, in the Genesis story, it says "Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil...", and Jesus said that "You are gods". It's funny how in many churches, they seem skip over those particular verses. I guess they don't want anyone to get any ideas in their mind regarding these verses.



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