Hinduism is the most moraly superior religion (official religions only) [SHARED BOP]
In round 1, I expect you not to rebut any of my morals. Instead I wish that you can post the moral code of (your interpretation of) your religion as I give my interpretation of Hinduism. No need to source this is a purely theoretical metaphysical debate, peace out (please no hostility).
Okay so here is goes...
What does living virtuously mean to Hindus? It is following the natural and essential guidelines of Dharma (Hindu version of the better know [Buddhist] "Karma") and the 10 yamas and 10 niyamas - ancient scriptural injunctions for all aspects of human thought, attitude and behavior. These do's and don'ts are a common-sense code recorded in the Upanishads, in the final section of the 6000-to 8000-year-old Vedas.
The 10 Yamas - Restraints or Proper Conduct
The 10 Niyamas - Observances or Practices
Thanks for the interesting topic. I login very occasionally here now, but it was a surprise when I saw a topic claiming to be defending Hinduism, it was meant for me.
Even though Pro seems to realize that Hinduism is a very vague term for describing the worldview and ethical theory of Hinduism, since there are vast schools of thoughts in various sects and sub-religions of Hinduism; I’d request him to show what sect or school he is particularly defending and if possible cite Wikipedia link which would be helpful as a well accepted source for a general study of Hindu theologies. I will rebut the case of hindu ethical theory in next rounds. If his case does not correspond with the Veda and Upnishad, then I will fairly assume his case to be a secular humanism ethics if I just remove belief in god from his list.
Ethical Norms in the Bible are absolute in the sense that they are divine commands from an absolute authority (God) and that they possess eternal validity (James 1:17). [This is “ethical absolutism” which holds that norms are universal and apply to conducts of all human beings in all times.] A Christian perspective should only be founded on absolutism, or objectivism as opposed to relativism.
Moral relativism holds that there are not objective values in morality. Humans invent the answers of moral questions, rather than apprehending the objective moral truths just as we discover and apprehend the physical objective reality. Objective moral values and duties hold that the action is right or wrong independent of the human beliefs and decision about it.
Moral Ontology is the field concerning the nature and foundation of Moral values. I will be concerned more about moral ontology instead of moral epistemology, which asks about “what is right or wrong and how do we know them”. Like the list of good works (honesty faithfulness etc) as Pro has given, I don’t think that is very relevant on the debate, as most of us generally agree on all those good virtues. But the greater question should rather be “WHY” we ought to obey that list of virtues instead of going by our own mind and desire?
Source of Objective moral values or OMV: As earlier stated the moral values are objectively abiding on all humans in all places and time. In Divine Command theory, Christian philosophy holds that God is perfect, Holy and good by his nature, and his commands or moral law is reflection of his perfectly good character. Whatever God commanded in his moral law is good by its nature, and obviously since God is perfectly Holy and the paradigm of goodness, he can’t command any evil.What is foundation of Christian ethics?
a. For Christians, norms are founded on the character that reflect the will of God. While individuals should always seek direct guidance from God, the objective and unchanging source of norms which helps us to discern the will of God is the Bible – The Word of God. This is the foundation of Christian ethics.
b. The Christian ethic is vastly different from the ethic of the society which is characterized by:
(1) Ethical relativism. It denies the existence of absolute moral rules. Today’s society believes that all norms are “relative”; they can and will be changed with the changes in cultural beliefs and preferences. In reaction, Christians must not compromise their principles and must not be afraid to ride against the tide of popular opinion or political correctness (Ro 12:2; 1Co 3:19; Col 2:8; Jas 4:4).
(2) Secular Humanism (the religion of today’s society). With the motto of “Man is the measure of all things,” man makes himself God. In reaction, Christians must reject such devious philosophy and insist that God is our guide in life and the sovereign Lord of the universe.
(3) Culture of death. Secular humanism preaches a culture of death which supports and glorifies death (2Co11:14), including abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality (which leads to much shorter lives). But the Bible is about life. It is pro-life. The objective of God’s Word is to lead to salvation and eternal life (Jn 20:31). The Bible does not speak of eternal life as only in the future; we already have it here in the present. God wants us to live not only a full future life but also a full present life (Jn 10:10). A real Christian (not a nominal one) has no choice but to emphasize the sanctity (sacredness) of life.
I think this would suffice for now. Let us move on next rounds.
Here is what I like about Hinduism. It is not a kind of religion that says OH NO YOU KILLED A MAN THAT IS BAD! They believe that if you killed the man to save hundreds of others it is okay. It is all about Dharmic debt (as opposed to the Buddhist karmic debt). Dharmic debt differs to karmic debt in that a murderer always has karmic debt but in the act itself one can actually get RID OF dharmic debt. Just because Gandhi was a non-violent Hindu doesn't mean a violent Hindu is any less a Hindu, they are not hypocrites they hold ATTITUDES as the core of their religion. It's all about the MOTIVATION behind which you do something that is at the core of Hinduism. They do not at all oppose eating meat if one is starving but what they say is if you're rich and fat definitely don't eat meat but help the Earth.
Christianity preaches 'thou shalt not murder' but the amount of Christians who murdered other Christians over Catholicism vs Protestantism is in the millions.
Christianity preaches "Love thy neighbour" yet look what World War Two told us about Christians (EVEN HITLER WAS ONE).
Hindus have indeed brutally slaughtered Muslims in the civil war of India but it was actually no better or worse than what the Muslims did to them, additionally Hindu morality is always said to refer to the ATTITUDE and REASONING behind what you do, are you doing for a noble cause or not? The "ends justifies the means" theology is very legitimate and is why Indian kids get so many A*'s it is their culture to believe that every thing you do should be to an end result. Thanks and I look forward to a theoretical conflict :)
The ethical theory Pro supports is Consequentialism, where ends justify means and motivation justifies the acts. And those who support this theory generally hold that the aim all ethical system and moral obligation is to increase the well being and flourishing of nature and all conscious creatures. The problems this theory faces:
But those acts clearly seem to be evil in our inherent healthy moral conscience. Christian worldview of normative ethics is Deontology- which holds that moral values are right and wrong in itself independent of consequence. If one rapes and tortures which produces good life standards for many people, the act is still evil. The end doesn’t justify means.
Moreover we don’t see good reason why we ought to achieve well being of creatures or nature flourishing to be the goal of moral duties. Scientists confidently say that the universe is destined to be doomed one day anyway. The world cannot go on forever but the universe will collapse at a moment completely, if not, then the age of earth itself is not so long. So why we ought to achieve flourishing of nature at all? If there is no personal One God, perfect creator who has an objective purpose for human life, then why shouldn’t we just act in our self-interest and create our own moral code and follow it denying an objective moral value and duty of life? In hindu pantheistic ethics we see no good reason to be obligated towards increasing nature flourishing which is one day destined to be doomed.
Pro mentions that Christians have behaved violently and immorally. This is irrelevant because those violent hateful acts of those people do not correspond to Christian teaching, which holds objective value of humans who are made in the image of God. We have thus good reason to believe special value of human life superior to other creatures. Thus I think Christian ethics makes more sense of moral intuition and conscience as well as it describes the foundation of objective moral duties which are abiding on every human. Hindu consequentialism does not explain us why we ought to work honestly for the well being of nature when our own life span is so short and life ends at death. We see no obligation to work for the flourishing of earth, but if a personal God exists who has provided moral duties in our conscience that is grounded in his perfect Holy character then we ought to obey his commands and fulfill the purpose of human life.
If consequentialism is true then many seemingly evil acts such as incest, pedophilia, zoophilia and even rape cannot be condemned as evil in themselves until they help in producing happiness, pleasure and well being of nature.
"If consequentialism is true then many seemingly evil acts such as incest, pedophilia, zoophilia and even rape cannot be condemned as evil in themselves until they help in producing happiness, pleasure and well being of nature." yes and this is the problem with Christianity. If you have to rap to save your child you'll be sent to hell but in Dharmic debt you'll be better off. Hinduism is rational in its morality it says if you do it for a good cause it's a good thing, regardless of WHAT is done! DO you seriously think raping your daughter to save the world from a nuclear explosion is immoral? Well yes you do as a Christian as a Hindu you must pray to lord Shiva not to destroy earth and if you undoubtedly are proven by scientists that the single way to save it is to rape your daughter... Well... You want to world to end?
After a lot of thinking and deep thought I reached the conclusion that Christianity would rather you do nothing to help people in an unpleasant manner than do something to help anyone at all. This is its flaw and that single point tears it apart.
World ending, daughter raped which is worse in the end? Which out come does Hinduism lead you to and which does Christianity?
I mentioned an extreme hypothetical illustration to prove the absurdity of consequentialism, but Pro seems to support it still without giving any explanation as to what are the reasons we have to think the flourishing of the conscious creatures is primary goal and maximization of the well being of them decides the moral obligation. Why is flourishing of creatures the primary obligation as opposed to the moral duties and rights of individuals?
There is one thing to tell a insignificant lie in order to do something greater good; and there is a different thing to rape, murder individuals in order to increase human flourishing in the Utilitarian theory?
I think deontological theory is clearly more plausible sensible and meaningful as we clearly see the moral duties based on the actions themselves as opposed to be based on the weightage of maximization of well being of creatures (Utilitarianism). If Pro’s theory is to be taken seriously then we have moral obligation to destroy tribes, and villages of thousands of innocent humans who are living in extreme poverty because right now there are no means to transform their lives into flourishing healthy lives; and allowing them to live will produce next generations of poverty, sick and unhealthy population. So in utilitarianism, killing them all is the best solution which is done to reduce undesired population to maximize pleasure and well being of humanity as whole.
Let us move to the next round and I hope readers are paying good attention and pondering on these deep ethical issues as I explain.
So if you save the world by slitting someone's throat you're evil but if God chooses to crush us with a hurricane for no apparent reason (and the only justification is the ends justify the means) it's alright. Ah... ANYWAY
The fact that destruction, pain and suffering happen, according to Hinduism, is because God takes many forms and personalities to do the different duties that, when combined in the 'perfect' equation, make God's vision for a perfect universe as a continual, eternal perpetual motion to matter and energy combining in one awe-inspiring struggle for sense in a realm of existence where very little sense can be made.
Why are some children born into slavery and rape from the age of three and others spoilt rotten up till the age of 30, still being washed by their mother? There is no reason to a Christian, it is just "God's way" NO! It is not simply God's WAY of doing things, it is to achieve BALANCE, to have the creator Brahma, you must have the DESTROYER Shiva! Hinduism explains all, and morally does the same. To be evil is alright if it is to achieve a GREATER GOOD. It uses logic, mathematics.
Dharmic debt is the beauty of all nature and reality that only a fool, even a Buddhist who thinks karmic debt (which is based on the motivation of an action instead of the ATTITUDE with which is done).
Brother let's go, debate this to the rotten core of your putrid religion of a mono-powered insanely illogical God versus My super powered BRAHMAN taking the three forms of Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma to make all other demi gods and then to transform all logic into a religion and back into morality is the truth of EVERYTHING! HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Okay I am too bored to keep going. Hinduism wins.
It is clear that Pro is frustrated after confronting the implausibility of his ethics of Hinduism as I exposed and he can’t sanely discuss and defend the doctrine of Hinduism concerning the basis of Moral values and duties.
I have mentioned earlier that there is no reason in Hindu doctrine as to explain to us: Why we ought to maximize well being, pleasure and happiness of creatures, when the universe is destined to be doomed at one day, let alone the tiny planet.
If that’s the purpose of creation to maintain and continue the balance of goodness and evil on earth, then there is no justice for moral evil. Perhaps the hindu would try to explain Karma theory, that the justice will be served in next birth of the person. But the karma theory is vicious. For we can’t trace back the original evil acts done by free will of humans, it may go back and back forever. It would seem like it’s all reaping and reaping (like writing a cheque to pay a cheque upto infinite regress.) We don’t know if the rapist is doing some evil, for perhaps he is just instrumentally executing the punishment to the victim of her past birth by raping her today?
There is no moral duties to do good works in this ethics where both good and evil are justified to be divine karmic system on which the earth works necessarily. Why people born with disabilities and suffer pointlessly? The karmic theory would say, they are being punished for the past birth sins, so we should not care and love them. Instead we should laugh at disabled, raped, victims because they rightly reaped the punishment of their past lives. While in Christian theology, the poor and innocent righteous will be vindicated by the judgment of God and will receive reward in heaven, unlike the never-ending suffering of human incarnations.
The pantheistic gods were themselves sinners in many ways, hence the hindu theologian has to deny the evilness of evil and the duties of righteous works. You can be proud of your evil ways by saying “Hey, it’s the laws of universe how it works, the destroyer is necessary so if I rape it’s nothing bad”.
There is no good reason to believe why the moral duties are determined by maximization of creatures under blind utilitarianism. Where we would be obligated to destroy populations of poor people in various nations where their survival and health concern is burdensome for entire population. Hence terminating them right now so that they would not continue breeding more poor generations will be morally righteous; for the pain of few moments of death is better than the long run suffering, bad health of those communities.
RationalMadman forfeited this round.
It is good and rational thing done by Pro by forfeiting since he didn’t seem to rationally and reasonably defend his hindu ethical theory of blind consequentialism, which makes no sense, but even doesn’t provide any good reason for the Ontological grounding of the objective moral values and obligations.
For readers who are interested in studying further details on the Christian worldview and philosophy of morality, read relevant articles from this website, such as- Thanks for reading.
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