Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Post up on thoughts that are not related to the other forums in THEOLOGY.

Can a person who does not believe in God live a generally moral life by choice?

Yes
7
64%
No
2
18%
I am uncertain
2
18%
 
Total votes : 11

Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Origen; » Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:44 am

davo wrote:Yep Pelagius fell afoul of Augustine and Co.’s Romish rule, being duly declared a heretic by the orthodoxy of the day… there was plenty of Rome the likes of Calvin still clung to.


Pelagianism would have been condemned in any day, whether that of Origen or St Paul.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby steve7150 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:05 am

It is my view that each of Adam's descendants has inherited from Adam and Eve a nature that has a tendency to sin (or do wrong), but CERTAINLY HAS NOT inherited a nature that is totally depraved and can perform no righteous acts.
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I believe scripture says we inherited mortality from Adam but from Adam sin came into the world (in general). So this proclivity to sin has been in man from the beginning IMHO.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby steve7150 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:20 am

Since the fall of man, then, it has been mankind's dilemma that no human can restore his nature to union with God's grace; it was necessary for God to effect another change in human nature."






I don't want to get sidetracked but the expression "fall of man" is not a biblical description. Neither is "restore his nature to union with God's grace" although it sounds lovely.
There are certain choices of belief we must make regarding Christ and God like Jesus is Lord,son of God,died for our sins and rose from the dead for us to be saved.
I really can't imagine why we s/b incapable of making this kind of choice since it benefits us dramatically? In the bible you can occasionally find expressions that Calvinists use to support "total depravity" but usually they have a local context or it's hyperbole to make a point.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby davo » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:11 pm

steve7150 wrote:…but from Adam sin came into the world (in general). So this proclivity to sin has been in man from the beginning IMHO.

Two things are worth noting…

    1) the “proclivity to sin” WAS clearly there BEFORE it was actualised.
    2) For something to gain entrance (in this case “sin”) presupposes its prior existence.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby LLC » Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:39 pm

davo wrote:
steve7150 wrote:…but from Adam sin came into the world (in general). So this proclivity to sin has been in man from the beginning IMHO.

Two things are worth noting…

    1) the “proclivity to sin” WAS clearly there BEFORE it was actualised.
    2) For something to gain entrance (in this case “sin”) presupposes its prior existence.


I agree. I think people try to make Adam into something more than he was. As if God left it up to this one man to decide whether all mankind would be sinners or saints. To me he was simply a man, just like the rest of us. Yes,I believe God did leave the choice up to one man whether to be a sinner or a saint, and that one man is you, yourself.

Origen; wrote:LLC wrote:Likewise, saying that we have inherited sin from our parents leads one to believe that he is incapable of doing anything about it.


That depends.

If the sin is an extremely powerful force, but one that can be resisted by the will alone (or by the will in co-operation with the grace of God), then created beings are capable of doing something about it.


Those who have become mature in the Spirit are to teach and instruct others in the ways of the Lord. A teacher who tells his/her students that they have no brains, should not be a teacher. Likewise, a spiritual teacher would not say, "You have no spirit.", but instead nurture and teach of the spirit that they have.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Origen; » Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:44 pm

Paidion wrote:First let me clarify "a moral life." I do not refer only to a sexually moral life, but to a moral life in general—that is a life in which the person serves others, and does not harm others. For example, he helps those who are in need, and refrains from theft, murder, deceiving, and taking advantage of others in any way.

Let me be clear. In saying "a moral life" I am not suggesting that the person is perfect in righteousness and NEVER does something which is morally wrong. Rather I am suggesting that his general life pattern is that of doing right toward other people, and avoiding doing them wrong in any way. He respects other people rather than feeling superior to them, and degrading them before others.

Please comment on the choice you made.


Do you suppose such an outwardly pharisaical "moral life" makes that one any more righteous in the sight of God than those living relatively sinfully, heroin addicts, Hell's Angels, harlots, Hitler, Saul of Tarsus or serial killers?
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby DaveB » Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:24 pm

Paidion wrote:Rather I am suggesting that his general life pattern is that of doing right toward other people, and avoiding doing them wrong in any way. He respects other people rather than feeling superior to them, and degrading them before others.


That does not sound 'outwardly pharasaical' to me - it sounds more like a good person. I know people like that.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Origen; » Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:53 pm

DaveB wrote:
Paidion wrote:Rather I am suggesting that his general life pattern is that of doing right toward other people, and avoiding doing them wrong in any way. He respects other people rather than feeling superior to them, and degrading them before others.


That does not sound 'outwardly pharasaical' to me - it sounds more like a good person. I know people like that.


Generally speaking those who are considered by society/the world to be good people are just so outwardly and superficially. Like the Pharisees.

Do you know the heart of the "good person" & why he is the way he is, or how he would be if his life's circumstances were different?

Do you suppose such are any more righteous in the sight of God than those living relatively sinfully, heroin addicts, Hell's Angels, harlots, Hitler, Saul of Tarsus or serial killers?
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby qaz » Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:37 am

Origen:
Generally speaking those who are considered by society/the world to be good people are just so outwardly and superficially. Like the Pharisees.

Do you know the heart of the "good person" & why he is the way he is, or how he would be if his life's circumstances were different?


No, I don't know , but I think it's reasonable to assume "because he/she genuinely cares about other people.". I think you are waaaay too judgmental/cynical, if the idea that unbelievers can care about other people is absurd to you.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:45 am

qaz wrote:Origen:
Generally speaking those who are considered by society/the world to be good people are just so outwardly and superficially. Like the Pharisees.

Do you know the heart of the "good person" & why he is the way he is, or how he would be if his life's circumstances were different?


No, I don't know , but I think it's reasonable to assume "because he/she genuinely cares about other people.". I think you are waaaay too judgmental/cynical, if the idea that unbelievers can care about other people is absurd to you.


And we have not defined a "believer". Is that someone who believes in, what a creed says - like the Nicene or Apostles creed? Or what a mainstream, Christian church teaches? Would Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses be considered believers? Why or why not? And would you classify everyone on this forum - a believer? How EXACTLY do you define a believer?

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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby LLC » Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:37 am

Holy-Fool-P-Zombie wrote:How EXACTLY do you define a believer?


One who loves God and follows the Golden Rule. We should know them by their fruit.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:19 am

LLC wrote:
Holy-Fool-P-Zombie wrote:How EXACTLY do you define a believer?


One who loves God and follows the Golden Rule. We should know them by their fruit.


Here's an interesting article, I've shared today - via email:


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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Paidion » Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:58 am

LLC wrote:I believe as it says in the Declaration of Independence, "We hold these Truths to be self- evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."


Well, that's great that you believe what it says. Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence did not believe it—at least did not apply it to his slaves. Jefferson owned several plantations worked by hundreds of slaves. He certainly didn't believe (at least not in practice) that these slaves were created equal, and that they were "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby DaveB » Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:49 pm

Wiki -
The Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves of 1807 (2 Stat. 426, enacted March 2, 1807) is a United States federal law that stated that no new slaves were permitted to be imported into the United States. It took effect in 1808, the earliest date permitted by the United States Constitution.

This legislation was promoted by President Thomas Jefferson, who called for its enactment in his 1806 State of the Union Address. He had promoted the idea since the 1770s. It reflected the force of the general trend toward abolishing the international slave trade, which Virginia followed by all the other states had prohibited or restricted since then. South Carolina, however, had reopened its trade. Congress first regulated against in the Slave Trade Act of 1794. The 1807 Act ended the legality of trade with the U.S. However, it was not always well enforced and slaves continued to be smuggled in limited numbers. All the northern states had ended slavery by 1804, but ownership remained legal in all the Southern states. The 1807 law did not change that—it just made importation from abroad a crime. The domestic slave trade within the U.S. was unaffected by the 1807 law. Britain, another major power involved in the Atlantic slave trade, passed the comparable Abolition of the Slave Trade Act that same month.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Act_Prohi ... _of_Slaves

So maybe he changed?
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Origen; » Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:18 pm

qaz wrote:Origen:
Generally speaking those who are considered by society/the world to be good people are just so outwardly and superficially. Like the Pharisees.

Do you know the heart of the "good person" & why he is the way he is, or how he would be if his life's circumstances were different?


No, I don't know , but I think it's reasonable to assume "because he/she genuinely cares about other people.". I think you are waaaay too judgmental/cynical, if the idea that unbelievers can care about other people is absurd to you.


In general i'm quite positive. Do you see me posting anywhere constantly whining about my problems with thumb in my mouth. But when it comes to topics related to sin i don't sugar coat it, but declare what Scripture says, whether people like it or not. To not see sin & judgement from Genesis to Revelation, are you reading the Bible with your eyes closed.

Certainly i had a mother who cared enough for her baby boy to feed him. Otherwise i might not be here posting today & be in heaven instead enjoying endless blessings. Even animal mothers care for their young & will defend them by risking their own lives, with a fierce wrath like the jealous God, even unto death. That's in the nature of beastly fallen animals. Fallen human animals are no exception.

Do you suppose cats that are better mothers are more moral & righteous than the cats who are worse mothers?

Do you suppose superficially moral unbelievers are any more righteous in the sight of God than those living relatively sinfully, heroin addicts, Hell's Angels, harlots, Hitler, Saul of Tarsus or serial killers?
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Paidion » Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:41 pm

Origen wrote:Do you suppose superficially moral unbelievers are any more righteous in the sight of God than those living relatively sinfully, heroin addicts, Hell's Angels, harlots, Hitler, Saul of Tarsus or serial killers?


No, I don't. But neither do I suppose that superficially moral believers are any more righteous than those you mentioned.

But how about believers and non-believers that are actually moral, and not merely superficially so? I certainly regard them as more righteous in the sight of God than the groups you mentioned.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby qaz » Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:10 pm

Origen:
Do you suppose superficially moral unbelievers are any more righteous in the sight of God than those living relatively sinfully, heroin addicts, Hell's Angels, harlots, Hitler, Saul of Tarsus or serial killers?


What's a "superficially moral unbeliever"? A person who loves other people but is judged to be superficial by you because of his unbelief?
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Origen; » Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:13 pm

Paidion wrote:
Origen wrote:Do you suppose superficially moral unbelievers are any more righteous in the sight of God than those living relatively sinfully, heroin addicts, Hell's Angels, harlots, Hitler, Saul of Tarsus or serial killers?


No, I don't. But neither do I suppose that superficially moral believers are any more righteous than those you mentioned.

But how about believers and non-believers that are actually moral, and not merely superficially so? I certainly regard them as more righteous in the sight of God than the groups you mentioned.


Are these views based on human reasonings or Scripture?
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby qaz » Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:22 pm

Origen, you're crazy if you don't think unbelievers are capable of loving other people.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:24 pm

Well, I reported on this, in another thread here - involving healing:

Let me ask this hypercritical question. Actually, it's based upon a real case. A woman speaking, at one of Father A. masses. The woman had inoperable brain cancer. The medical doctors and experts treating her, say they can't do - anything more for her. And she goes to Lourdes and is cured of brain cancer. And the Roman Catholic church investigates this. And the RC doctors and medical experts, review all the medical tests, of the original doctors and medical experts. Can you give me an explanation, for why this woman was healed? And why all the doctors, medical specialists and medical tests (both RC and original doctors and medical specialists) - missed the boat?


Well, I went this morning, to the Charismatic Anglican service. Then Father A. was making a rare visit from Wisconsin. To a Catholic church nearby. I got the RC anointing of the sick, the healing touch of of Father A. (who has the gift of healing, and hearing God speak). And the healing touch of the woman, who was healed of brain cancer. For some strange reason, she has been given - the gift of healing.

Very fine day.

And to top it off, tonight AMC will be airing The Walking Dead. And here's a video of Smash Mouth, singing I'm a Believer at https://youtu.be/0mYBSayCsH0.

Even Zombies are capable, of loving other people. As this song illustrates at https://youtu.be/YCVMuevcCvY :D

Poor Origen. I think all that studying of total depravity, hard core - theological determinism and no free will - has warped his mind. He needs to watch some zombie movies - to relax. :lol:

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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Cindy Skillman » Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:46 pm

To the OP...,

I'm not sure what "a moral life" means to the original poster. If it asks whether an unbeliever can live the sort of life we approve of: loving and taking care of family, being loyal to friends and (insofar as it is moral to do so) to his nation and tribe, doing what he can to ease the plight of the poor, sick, persecuted, etc., then I guess I'd say yes. Of course a mentally and emotionally healthy unbeliever can do these things to the degree that society will approve of him (if society is fair.)

OTOH, I'm not sure than ANY of us, believer or unbeliever is capable of living the kind of life (on our own) that God would approve. God's standards seem to be pretty high. Read the Sermon on the Mount. Do ANY of us do all these things perfectly? Have any of us done all the things Paul lists in his preamble to his famous description of the God kind of love in 1 Cor 13? Yet these things are, according to Paul, nothing but the noise of an "empty barrel" rolling down a hill--maybe with a few lonely left-over items crashing into its sides as it bounces. Without love, none of these things mean anything at all.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8Contemporary English Version (CEV)

4 Love is kind and patient,
never jealous, boastful,
proud, or 5 rude.
Love isn’t selfish
or quick tempered.
It doesn’t keep a record
of wrongs that others do.
6 Love rejoices in the truth,
but not in evil.
7 Love is always supportive,
loyal, hopeful,
and trusting.
8 Love never fails! . . .


NO ONE can live up to this on his own. This is the kind of love that God IS. The Father, through the Holy Spirit conforms us to the image of the Son, who is the exact image of the Father.

I honestly cannot imagine that anyone reaches perfection in this life--I'm sure that we will all (to one degree or another) be saved "as through fire" in the final judgment. So if the righteous are barely saved, what about the ungodly? If we can reach an acceptable (if short of perfect) standard on our own, there would have been no need for Jesus' atonement.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby davo » Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:05 pm

Origen; wrote:Generally speaking those who are considered by society/the world to be good people are just so outwardly and superficially. Like the Pharisees.

THAT, of course Origen, generally speaking, is simply nothing other than your own unproven opinion, which is fine we all have one, but you cannot substantiate it. Let me repeat…
davo wrote:If a non-believer is immoral by birth but becomes moral by belief what does that say about said belief when that now moral person behaves immorally? Apart from the arrogance underpinning the basic belief of TD it is only ignorance that then tries to pin it on God’s chest.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby maintenanceman » Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:09 pm

qaz wrote:Origen, you're crazy if you don't think unbelievers are capable of loving other people.


:D
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Origen; » Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:44 pm

qaz wrote:Origen, you're crazy if you don't think unbelievers are capable of loving other people.


Define love.

Does a mother cat love her babies? As i posted to you above & you ignored [& i quote myself]:

"Certainly i had a mother who cared enough for her baby boy to feed him. Otherwise i might not be here posting today & be in heaven instead enjoying endless blessings. Even animal mothers care for their young & will defend them by risking their own lives, with a fierce wrath like the jealous God, even unto death. That's in the nature of beastly fallen animals. Fallen human animals are no exception."

"Do you suppose cats that are better mothers are more moral & righteous than the cats who are worse mothers?"

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1 Jn.2:15)
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby DaveB » Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:52 pm

Define 'the world'.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Origen; » Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:38 pm

davo wrote:
Origen; wrote:Generally speaking those who are considered by society/the world to be good people are just so outwardly and superficially. Like the Pharisees.

THAT, of course Origen, generally speaking, is simply nothing other than your own unproven opinion, which is fine we all have one, but you cannot substantiate it. Let me repeat…
davo wrote:If a non-believer is immoral by birth but becomes moral by belief what does that say about said belief when that now moral person behaves immorally? Apart from the arrogance underpinning the basic belief of TD it is only ignorance that then tries to pin it on God’s chest.


Here's the view of the Apostle Paul, not just an "opinion", regarding unbelievers (non Christians):

1And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

As for the alleged "believer" falling back into sin, there are many passages of Scripture that could - variously - describe that, depending on the circumstances & what's in the person's heart, for example:

19holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and thereby shipwrecked their faith. 20Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.

21It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than to have known it and turned away from the holy commandment passed on to them. 22Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.”

…13The seeds on rocky ground are those who hear the word and receive it with joy, but they have no root. They believe for a season, but in the time of testing, they fall away. 14The seeds that fell among the thorns are those who hear, but as they go on their way, they are choked by the worries, riches, and pleasures of this life, and their fruit does not mature. 15But the seeds on good soil are those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, cling to it, and by persevering produce a crop.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:52 am

Much of this thread depends primarily, on defining your terms.

    What is a believer?
    What is a non-believer?
    What is a moral life?

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When I go to a Christian church...or watch a Christian TV program...they talk about the great love, of our heavenly father and Christ. When I attend a Buddhist mindfulness meditation...at the http://taucenter.org/ (run by Franciscan sisters), they talk about the great compassion. Yesterday, I was waiting for TV evangelist Joel Osteen - to appear. But before that, they had another Protestant minister on. He talked about Christ's great compassion for others.

If we don't define our terms...it's like trying to have a conversation...where some are talking about Zombies...some are quoting Bible verses - out of context...some are talking about tea...Some about apples...Some about oranges...Etc. And the poor thread reader...is trying to make sense, of it all. :lol:

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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby qaz » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:56 am

Origen; wrote:
qaz wrote:Origen, you're crazy if you don't think unbelievers are capable of loving other people.


Define love.

Does a mother cat love her babies? As i posted to you above & you ignored [& i quote myself]:

"Certainly i had a mother who cared enough for her baby boy to feed him. Otherwise i might not be here posting today & be in heaven instead enjoying endless blessings. Even animal mothers care for their young & will defend them by risking their own lives, with a fierce wrath like the jealous God, even unto death. That's in the nature of beastly fallen animals. Fallen human animals are no exception."

"Do you suppose cats that are better mothers are more moral & righteous than the cats who are worse mothers?"

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1 Jn.2:15)


I think higher animals are certainly capable of love. Same as unbelievers. I've gone through periods of unbelief and not once did I cease to love other people.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Origen; » Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:28 pm

qaz wrote:
Origen; wrote:
qaz wrote:Origen, you're crazy if you don't think unbelievers are capable of loving other people.


Define love.

Does a mother cat love her babies? As i posted to you above & you ignored [& i quote myself]:

"Certainly i had a mother who cared enough for her baby boy to feed him. Otherwise i might not be here posting today & be in heaven instead enjoying endless blessings. Even animal mothers care for their young & will defend them by risking their own lives, with a fierce wrath like the jealous God, even unto death. That's in the nature of beastly fallen animals. Fallen human animals are no exception."

"Do you suppose cats that are better mothers are more moral & righteous than the cats who are worse mothers?"

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1 Jn.2:15)


I think higher animals are certainly capable of love. Same as unbelievers. I've gone through periods of unbelief and not once did I cease to love other people.


If you are implying that animals "love", as in a mother cat caring (or being ready to die) for her babies, then i'd agree that the human type of animal who is an unbeliever (non Christian) can also "love" in that sense. I suppose that is what the Scriptures refer to as "natural affection". It isn't supernatural love, as in Christ's love or God's love which is what Christians are commanded to live by.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:41 pm

Did anyone comment on Christ's parable, of the Good Samaritan? See:


Let me quote a bit, from the Calvinist site - Got Questions:

The next person to come by is the Samaritan, the one least likely to have shown compassion for the man. Samaritans were considered a low class of people by the Jews since they had intermarried with non-Jews and did not keep all the law. Therefore, Jews would have nothing to do with them. We do not know if the injured man was a Jew or Gentile, but it made no difference to the Samaritan; he did not consider the man’s race or religion. The “Good Samaritan” saw only a person in dire need of assistance, and assist him he did, above and beyond the minimum required. He dresses the man’s wounds with wine (to disinfect) and oil (to sooth the pain). He puts the man on his animal and takes him to an inn for a time of healing and pays the innkeeper with his own money. He then goes beyond common decency and tells the innkeeper to take good care of the man, and he would pay for any extra expenses on his return trip. The Samaritan saw his neighbor as anyone who was in need.


Therefore, we must conclude that the teaching of the Parable of the Good Samaritan is simply a lesson on what it means to love one’s neighbor.


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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby qaz » Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:56 pm

Randy, that's a perfect example of what it means to love other people. Origen has this wacky idea that an unbeliever would never treat a person the way the Good Samaritan treated the assault victim.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:01 pm

qaz wrote:Randy, that's a perfect example of what it means to love other people. Origen has this wacky idea that an unbeliever would never treat a person the way the Good Samaritan treated the assault victim.


All one needs to do, is to look at media accounts - of the Stephen Paddock (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Paddock) shooting event. Many were both helping and protecting victims. Even while they were being shot at - themselves. I'm sure if someone checked all their backgrounds, many wouldn't necessarily be Christians. Or even believers in God (i.e. Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, etc.)
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby qaz » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:18 pm

I should correct what I said: Origen wouldn't say unbelievers wouldn't act like the Good Samaritan per se. He would just say they only "outwardly" acted like the Good Samaritan, while their motives were rotten. :roll:
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Paidion » Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:28 pm

Hi Cindy, you wrote:OTOH, I'm not sure than ANY of us, believer or unbeliever is capable of living the kind of life (on our own) that God would approve. God's standards seem to be pretty high. Read the Sermon on the Mount. Do ANY of us do all these things perfectly?


Cindy, do you think that God does not approve of any moral life unless it is lived perfectly? Would He not approve the person who spends his/her serving others (such as Mother Theresa) more than the one who usually serves himself, but occasionally helps out someone else? Or is it the case that He would not approve of even Mother Theresa since she wasn't perfect.

Clearly, the apostle Paul thought Timothy could have God's approval. Paul wrote to him:

(2Ti 2:15) Strive to show yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the expression of truth.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby maintenanceman » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:13 pm

Paidion wrote:
Hi Cindy, you wrote:OTOH, I'm not sure than ANY of us, believer or unbeliever is capable of living the kind of life (on our own) that God would approve. God's standards seem to be pretty high. Read the Sermon on the Mount. Do ANY of us do all these things perfectly?


Cindy, do you think that God does not approve of any moral life unless it is lived perfectly? Would He not approve the person who spends his/her serving others (such as Mother Theresa) more than the one who usually serves himself, but occasionally helps out someone else? Or is it the case that He would not approve of even Mother Theresa since she wasn't perfect.

Clearly, the apostle Paul thought Timothy could have God's approval. Paul wrote to him:

(2Ti 2:15) Strive to show yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the expression of truth.


If we look at the understanding of moral, as a set of rules and conditions, we are all screwed! :lol: The approval that Paul was talking about was the Idea that these folks were trying to get to righteousness through their own doing...also known as the law... Or in other words the OLD COVENANT :o And such Paul was definitely wanting them to realize that they were (they the OT Believers) not in the right way... But the happening through the Nazarene called Jesus was the way! The New Covenant was established through this man. So God through this Man born of a virgin, has taken care of all of the problem that God had with Israel, and not only that, all of humanity would be blessed by this 'Messiah' and we should all be aware of. ;)
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby davo » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:35 pm

Origen; wrote:
davo wrote:
Origen; wrote:Generally speaking those who are considered by society/the world to be good people are just so outwardly and superficially. Like the Pharisees.

THAT, of course Origen, generally speaking, is simply nothing other than your own unproven opinion, which is fine we all have one, but you cannot substantiate it. Let me repeat…
davo wrote:If a non-believer is immoral by birth but becomes moral by belief what does that say about said belief when that now moral person behaves immorally? Apart from the arrogance underpinning the basic belief of TD it is only ignorance that then tries to pin it on God’s chest.


Here's the view of the Apostle Paul, not just an "opinion", regarding unbelievers (non Christians):

1And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

As always you demonstrate your inimitable penchant for verballing the biblical writers into saying what you’d wish they said. The early church was predominately Jewish (Acts 15:21) and your so-called “unbelievers” were in all likelihood wayward Jews, i.e., “sons of disobedience” and thus “by nature children of wrath” to which Paul himself likewise identifies by his “we all once lived” being indicative of his own sordid past (Acts 8:1, 3; Gal 1:13, 23; 1Tim 1:13). This view is further backed up in Paul’s then distinction and reference to… “like the rest of mankind”. IOW, unfaithful Jews were like anyone else… susceptible to outward superficiality JUST LIKE the wayward “believers” of the other texts you mentioned — same house different street.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Origen; » Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:12 pm

qaz wrote:I should correct what I said: Origen wouldn't say unbelievers wouldn't act like the Good Samaritan per se. He would just say they only "outwardly" acted like the Good Samaritan, while their motives were rotten. :roll:


Since you only observe others outwardly & superficially by their actions, not their innermost being, how is it one can think they are omniscient when it comes to what is inside of others?

Can you see a crowd of people and list the percentage of purity or rottenness in each heart? This one is 50%, that one 25%, that one 85%?

When have you ever seen another person & been able to judge that their motives are 100% pure? Are you God the Omniscient?

How much of even your own heart do you comprehend? Only what's on the surface, the superficial?

How does a darkened heart, one that is in darkness, have the light to see what is in itself?

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Rom.1:21)
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (Jn.8:12)
For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (Eph.5:8)
To open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ (Acts 26:18)
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. (Jn.3:19)


The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Cor.2:14)

For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Sam.16:7b)

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jer.17:9)
For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. (Rev.3:17)

Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy; do not desire his delicacies, for he is like one who is inwardly calculating. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, but his heart is not with you. (Pr.23:6-7)
The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. (Isa.29:13a)


Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart. (Prov.21:2)

Would not God discover this? For he knows the secrets of the heart. (Psa.44:21)

And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. (LK.16:15)

This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, and madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead. (Eccl.9:3)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Prov.3:5-6)

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Cor.4:4)

1Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. (1 Cor.13)

And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. (2 Cor.11:4)
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Origen; » Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:15 am

davo wrote:
Origen; wrote:
Here's the view of the Apostle Paul, not just an "opinion", regarding unbelievers (non Christians):

1And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

As always you demonstrate your inimitable penchant for verballing the biblical writers into saying what you’d wish they said. The early church was predominately Jewish (Acts 15:21) and your so-called “unbelievers” were in all likelihood wayward Jews, i.e., “sons of disobedience” and thus “by nature children of wrath” to which Paul himself likewise identifies by his “we all once lived” being indicative of his own sordid past (Acts 8:1, 3; Gal 1:13, 23; 1Tim 1:13). This view is further backed up in Paul’s then distinction and reference to… “like the rest of mankind”. IOW, unfaithful Jews were like anyone else… susceptible to outward superficiality JUST LIKE the wayward “believers” of the other texts you mentioned — same house different street.


I'd suggest reading Ephesians 2 & see if you still hold to that opinion.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Holy-Fool-P-Zombie » Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:30 am

Origen; wrote:
Since you only observe others outwardly & superficially by their actions, not their innermost being, how is it one can think they are omniscient when it comes to what is inside of others?

Can you see a crowd of people and list the percentage of purity or rottenness in each heart? This one is 50%, that one 25%, that one 85%?

When have you ever seen another person & been able to judge that their motives are 100% pure? Are you God the Omniscient?

How much of even your own heart do you comprehend? Only what's on the surface, the superficial?

How does a darkened heart, one that is in darkness, have the light to see what is in itself?



I could ask you the same thing. They could be acting at 90% purity - in God's eyes - for all we know.

How can we see the light? Well, for Christians it's the Holy Spirit - that lights up the darkness. For non-Christians, we can take a bit, from the Gospel of John. And Quaker theology. Where Christ is the light, that lights up every man - who comes into the world. Christians need to listen, to the Holy Spirit. And check the messages, against the gospel (whether RC, EO or Protestant). Non-Christians are guided, by Christ as the inner light. And so are Christians. They just need to listen attentively.

New International Version - John 1:9

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.


Notice the translation says "everyone".. And so do the other translations - at http://biblehub.com/john/1-9.htm.

See “Are Quakers Christian, not Christian—or both?”

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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby qaz » Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:54 pm

DaveB wrote:Define 'the world'.


I second this.
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Re: Can a Non-Believer Live a Moral Life?

Postby Origen; » Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:51 pm

Holy-Fool-P-Zombie wrote:
Origen; wrote:
Since you only observe others outwardly & superficially by their actions, not their innermost being, how is it one can think they are omniscient when it comes to what is inside of others?

Can you see a crowd of people and list the percentage of purity or rottenness in each heart? This one is 50%, that one 25%, that one 85%?

When have you ever seen another person & been able to judge that their motives are 100% pure? Are you God the Omniscient?

How much of even your own heart do you comprehend? Only what's on the surface, the superficial?

How does a darkened heart, one that is in darkness, have the light to see what is in itself?



I could ask you the same thing. They could be acting at 90% purity - in God's eyes - for all we know.

How can we see the light? Well, for Christians it's the Holy Spirit - that lights up the darkness. For non-Christians, we can take a bit, from the Gospel of John. And Quaker theology. Where Christ is the light, that lights up every man - who comes into the world. Christians need to listen, to the Holy Spirit. And check the messages, against the gospel (whether RC, EO or Protestant). Non-Christians are guided, by Christ as the inner light. And so are Christians. They just need to listen attentively.

New International Version - John 1:9

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.


Notice the translation says "everyone".. And so do the other translations - at http://biblehub.com/john/1-9.htm.



I'm in general agreement. Non Christians are sometimes guided by their conscience, often by their feelings & lusts of the flesh & mind. They are basically in darkness & may never be enlightened by Christ in this lifetime. Generally speaking they do not have the Spirit of Christ. In the OT, though, God's Spirit even used a donkey to prophesy, so anything is possible.
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