Did Ed Snowden do the right thing?

Nathan England nathan at nmecs.com
Mon Jun 10 14:19:09 MDT 2013


On Monday, June 10, 2013 03:56:04 PM Daniel C. wrote:
> On Mon, Jun 10, 2013 at 3:41 PM, keith smith <klsmith2020 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > Can someone list the "ethical source[s]" - because I think God through His
> > scripture is the only source.
> There's a thought experiment to demonstrate that the deity you worship
> is not the source of ethics.  Imagine that God commanded you to do
> something you consider morally wrong.  You can take your pick of
> atrocities - genocide, the murder of a single innocent child, rape,
> what have you.  God appears and tells you to do it.  Does God telling
> you to do it make it right?
> 
> There are two ways you can go with this.  One way is to just say "Yes,
> if God says I should do it, then it's the right thing to do."  But
> watch your thoughts carefully, because most people at this juncture
> have a backup plan: most people are thinking, in the back of their
> mind, "If God commands me to rape this child, there must be some
> greater good that will come of it."  In other words, committing this
> heinous act isn't *really* wrong, because God (with his infinite
> perspective) knows that more good will come, in the end, than bad.
> Well, I'm sorry but I'm going to take that away from you because it
> defeats the purpose of the thought experiment.  There is no greater
> good being served.  It's just this, right here, right now - this act
> must stand on its own, in this moment, as either right or wrong.  No
> cheating.
> 

First of all, I'm not talking about any god. The god of islam has ordered many men to 
do exactly what you described. I'm a Christian and I follow the God of the Hebrew old 
testament and the Christian new testament.

My bible teaches me that God does not sin. So if he tells me what sin is, and that sin 
says I should not rape a woman, why would he violate his own word (which my bible 
also teaches he holds above his own name -- because his name changes, but his word 
does not, which is settled in heaven) and command me to sin? 

Your argument is similar to the typical:

Can God, who can do anything, create a mountain so big that he couldn't climb it?



> The other way to go is to say "Well, God wouldn't command me to do
> something that's wrong."  Which acknowledges that God does not create
> right and wrong on his own, but rather serves as a sort of
> illumination, allowing us to see the independent principles of right
> and wrong.  (This, incidentally, is what Mormons believe.  A close
> reading of the Doctrine and Covenants makes that pretty clear, what
> with all the talk of "I the Lord am bound" and the laws and principles
> being set before the foundations of the earth were laid, etc.)

It is not a matter of God commanding me to do something that is right or wrong, it is a 
matter of would God command me to do something that is contrary to his word? And 
the answer is no he would not.

God, as the creator of right and wrong, will not willfully tell me to do something that 
he has said is wrong.

Your entire argument is designed to frame a person into your argument so you can 
beat them. Did you learn this in philosophy class in college? Did your anti-god teacher 
teach you how to put a "christian" in his place?

> 
> If you choose to go the first route (which most people don't) then you
> have to accept that everything abhorrent in the Bible was actually a
> direct commandment of God, and that God is both cruel, inhumane and
> very, very changeable.  

I believe that God is perfect and complete in a sense we don't understand. God is 
perfect love. (love being scream at your kid in a blood curdling scare the liberals kind 
of way because he is about to run in from of a Mac truck, not the bleeding heart go hug 
a tree because it feels good kind of love)
God is perfect justice. God is perfect punishment (punishment fits the crime according 
to God, not man). God is perfect compassion. God is perfect hatred. And anything else 
I'm forgetting. God is complete. We base our ideas and perceptions on only knowing 
half the story yet convince ourselves we are wise.


> If you go the second route (which most people
> do) you're better off in the end, but you lose your convenient ability
> to defer ethical decisions to a divine command.  You have to actually
> think for yourself about what's right and what's wrong, and then make
> a decision based on your own very fallible mind.  (Incidentally, this
> is also what Mormons believe - albeit with the caveat / safeguard of
> divine confirmation.  You're supposed to study things out for yourself
> before praying about them.)

Making yourself a final authority (deciding for yourself what is right and wrong) is 
contrary to having a God in the first place. Making yourself a god does not make 
anything right or wrong, except in your own mind. And I agree, Mormons do not follow 
the God of the bible, they follow the Book of Mormon, which are not the same. The 
God of the bible teaches grace and acceptance of Jesus Christ as the only way to 
heaven through repentance and faith, not works like the Mormon churche teaches.


> but I do think that each person needs to wrestle with these things
> honestly and come to their own decision.
> 
> -Dan

I agree completely. I am commanded by Christ to tell others what I believe, but not 
force by sword. I am in no way trying to "convert" you. I would rather a person come to 
an understanding of God on their own through the power of the Holy Spirit rather than 
by coersion, because that proves nothing and changes nothing in the person's life 
except they eventually resent the thing they are forced to do.

Nathan


More information about the PLUG mailing list