Thursday, April 10, 2008

Oprah's Freaky Faith & Dishonest Attorneys

Deception is The Same as Lying

I recently heard an interview with the attorney and author of "How Can You Defend Those People?". In it, the author makes excuses for attorneys who defend people that they know are guilty. He says (rather self-righteously) that everyone deserves a trial and defending such scum as child molestors is 'just a job'.

Yes, everyone deserves a trial. But have we, as a society, forgotten that deception is every bit as bad as outright lying? And isn't it deceptive to indicate that the defendant is innocent when, in fact, you know for a fact that he is guilty?

All the self-justification in the world will not absolve you of such a crime.

The Non-Religious Religion

Why? Why bother practicing a non-religious religion like Unitarian Universalism? I just don't get it.

If you believe that all religions lead to the same god (as Oprah Winfrey does) then why bother practicing anything at all? Make up your own, and make it a really good, self-indulgent one like Satanism, which no longer preaches human sacrifice but does preach complete licentiousness. Or, if the name "Satanism" turns you off, make up another name for it.

Just don't try to pollute MY religion by redefining it to your standards. Don't tell me that the cross stands for all of mankind's eternal struggle. Don't tell me that Jesus is archetypal and not literal. I don't need your help interpreting my religion, thank you: Go get your own.

That is, of course, unless mine is the true faith and that's why you're so threatened by it. I'm not telling you how to run your TV show, please don't tell me how to run my church.


Edge said...

I'm on your bandwagon sista!

If it's so important to people that we all practice our own "thing" then leave me and mine alone!

I could have this whole conversation with anyone. I've logic-ed two people out of their beliefs being "rock solid". I love having the "no absolute truth" debate. Are you absolutely sure there is no absolute truth? Ha ha! Gottcha!


daveawayfromhome said...

1. I agree that it probably takes a certain lack of moral fiber to defend a murderer or child molester who you know actually did it (or, perhaps, an enormous amount of idealism). On the other hand, the phrase is "innocent until proven guilty", and if no lawyer will take the case, then that will be held as proof of guilt, wont it? How short a step is it from not taking the case because he told the lawyer he was guilty, to not taking the case because the lawyer thinks he's guilty even though he says he's not? Then it's just one more step to not taking any case because you think they're guilty.
Yes, it's ugly, but until someone comes up with a foolproof lie detector, then uses it equally on everyone who might have committed a crime, we'll have to let the occassional one go on a technicality. It's the price of the system, and to eliminate it would carry its own price of injustice. (We used to have a lot more vigilante justice to compensate for the "wrongs" missed by the system - would you like to return to those days?)

2. I dont think Universalists (true ones, anyway) are interested in tearing down anyone's religion, just in saying that as human beings we have no idea what's true and what isnt about the universe and the supernatural. It's not a statement saying "what you believe isnt true", it's a statement saying "what you believe may not be the whole truth". And if it cannot stand up to questioning, it doesnt say much about your information, does it? (Another beauty of Universalism, actually, no "information" to "stand up" - pure faith.)(or, rather, hope.)

"Are you absolutely sure there is no absolute truth?"

No. But neither am I willing to bet my soul that this (or that) is the "absolute truth". I dont know, and I hope that professing ignorance and trying to behave as best I can will cut more mustard in some post-life judgemental situation than saying that I "know" and then acting on such presumption. There's a lot more arrogance in saying "I know" than there is in saying "I dont know".
So sorry, no "gotcha".

Faith and Knowledge are not the same thing, no matter how much you may want them to be.

M@ said...


Unitarianism is the only religion I WOULD practice--precisely b/c it's non-superstitious. As a conservative, you will appreciate that studies show that marriages last (endure) longer and stronger when there is a religious tradition.

Many people celebrate religion not b/c they are superstitious but for social reasons.

As a conservative, you will appreciate that religion is a glue like no other to hold a group together. As Pat Buchanan says, bet on Muslims b/c they haven't lost the faith.

It's that social cohesion....

But regarding your thought on the legal profession: most people get into it b/c of the money, not intellectual interest. Interesting... Imagine a world in which every attorney declined such cases and allowed poorly paid gov't lawyers to defend the undefendable? What a world!

The Lazy Iguana said...

The rights of the accused is a very important part of our system. When it was invented, there was not really such a thing. So we have juries and defense lawyers and everything.

So yea, to a large degree defending a child molester is just "part of the job". Someone HAS TO defend the child molester. And if the defense does a poor job, then the trial can be overturned on appeal. So if you are assigned to such a case, you have to do the best job you can so that there is less wiggle room for appeals.

As for Oprah - who cares. Let her run her trap on TV. Just do not watch the show. I don't. Throw her ass off my boat and I might try to feed her cabbage thinking she is a manatee. Or did she slim down? I can not keep track.

I have no problems with Unitarians. They have never started any wars. They have never burned any witches. They have never thrown rocks at the less orthodox. I do not know exactly what they do - but they do not seem to be trying to get into anyone's business. Which works for me.

Of course maybe if the Unitarians has been around for a thousand or so years, then it is possible they would have burned witches or started wars. Nobody shall ever know.

I do not think they are trying to redefine anything else. I just think Oprah is a twit. A very rich, very successful twit. Kind of like Tom Cruise, only less crazy.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Lazy, beautifully said, I agree with all. ;o) But STILL... I couldn't be a lawyer willing to compromise my principles (after all, *I* don't molest children) by defending such scum.

Yup, I have good friends who are Unitarians, and yeah - they're harmless from what I've seen. But I just don't GET it. Why not go boating on a gorgeous Sunday? Why bother taking up part of the day by sitting in a building listening to someone tell you something you already know that doesn't really matter in the ultimate scheme of things because anything goes?

Meeny M@, By your definition, ANY religion would be 'superstitious'. But according to Merriam Webster dictionary, superstition is "a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation."

Since MY religion doesn't practice magic or fear the unknown (we think we know EXACTLY what is out there) I wouldn't term us 'superstitious'. If anything, the UUs would be, as they basically admit they DON'T know what's out there! Certainly, by your definition, my wiccan friends would be 'superstitious' too.

As for social reasons: If you're into religion for social reasons, why not simply join a club instead, where you can meet people that share more similar interests (such as a boating or knitting group)?

As for attorneys: I don't think we'd EVER end up in a world where attorneys would turn down the bad guys. There will always be unprincipled people, there will always be unprincipled attorneys, and money will always talk fluently in such cases.

Daveawayfromhome, See my last paragraph to M@. And... UUs definately DON'T usually tear down someone else's faith. I didn't say they did - I just said I didn't get them.

It's OPRAH that belongs to some flaky cult that tears down Christianity. I don't know if UUs do, but I've never heard it if they have.

As for UU: If it's just for social reasons, as M@ indicates, then I think a club would be a lot more fun. Preferably a club that allows you to do exactly what you want when you want to.

Edge, ;o) I think the best argument to "all religions are the same" is this:

The Muslim faith believes Jews and Christians are wrong. The Christian faith believes the Muslims and Jews are wrong. The Jewish faith believes the Christians and Muslims are wrong.

So, surely, someone is wrong (and of course you could argue that all THREE are wrong). SO... not all religions are right and not all religions point to the same way.

To think that implies that the Muslim terrorist who bombs people gets to go to HIS heaven, the serial killer gets to go to HIS heaven, and the self-sacrificing Christian gets to go to HIS. It simply doesn't make sense.

daveawayfromhome said...

Saur, Oprah's a wealthy and out-of-touch twit, and I had no intention of defending her. Ever.

As for your arguement towards "all religions are the same", it makes me think of the lines from a Dire Straits song called "Industrial Disease": Two men say they're Jesus, one of them must be wrong".
I personally like the idea that you are judged by your own standards; so that the Muslim does get to go to his heaven, provided he behaved as he believed a proper Muslim should in every respect. Ditto for the Christian and the Jew and all the rest. How many do you suppose actually behave that way? Especially if fundamentalist Muslims are anything like fundementalist Christians?
It only doesnt make sense if you choose to limit God. In fact, I'd say that it makes less sense to say that God only has one heaven that conforms to one narrow set of beliefs.

The Lazy Iguana said...

So you agree that if you saw Oprah swimming you would say "oh look, a manatee!!". Interesting. I would think the same thing. That or I would say "nobody swim there, a whale took a crap!!!".

Was that racist? Lets ask Krok.

Maybe people go to Sunday Unitarian services because they get a chance to meet up with friends? Hell maybe there is a secret open bar that only members know about??!?! That would get me there. But not in the morning. Maybe later in the afternoon or after work if I had to work that day. Relax, watch some TV, throw some darts, have a few cold beers, and then discuss what may or may not exist in this universe or perhaps some strange alternate universe.

Anyhow, why does there have to be a point? Watching football is pointless unless you are gambling. Yet many people NOT gambling watch football. When they could be outside doing something else.

Mr. Althouse said...

Can I get an Aaaaamen! You go sister.

I have to agree with LI as far as defense attorneys go. Like you, I would find it impossible to defend someone i knew to be guilty, but they are a necessary evil to prevent even greater evil.

I know absolutely nothing about unitarians, which means I know as much about their "religion" as I do about any other. I have my own God and it works for me.

*I REALLY need to come by more often*


Ed Abbey said...

They way I see it, if someone can be convicted with a lawyer defending them using deceptions, then they must be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and our system has worked. I've always said I would rather a dozen guilty people go free than one innocent man be locked up.

Paul said...

I think both of these entries are well done.

United We Lay said...

Your religion wouldn't be a religion wiothout someone having interpreted something - a voice they believed to be god, a burning bush, a snake... Why bother practicing religion at all?

Uncle Joe said...

Saur is back!!!
It was kind of pitchy in places, but it all came together in the middle and at the end you brought it HOME!!!!!

AQ said...

lol - to uncle joe!

Beaver said...

Hmm.... as a lawyer, I'd say... the right to a fair and public trial is universal and thus cannot be rescinded on the basis of public opinion. The defense lawyers then are defending the system of justice, not the criminals, and they probably need all the support we can give them, because they are doing indeed a dirty (but important) job.

Religion? Meh. As long as it's not extremist, one can worship as they like, or not at all, I honestly don't think it matters all that much. In the end, it's how you live, not how you pray, that matters.



Doozie said...

Isn't a defense attorney doing a job? isn't he assigned this job whether or not he likes it? If they did not make attorneys take this job who would represent these people...i am by NO MEANS defending child molesters but on the contrary I am defending defense attorneys. The great constitution of our united states states that every person is innocent until proven guilty. Therefore they have the right to representation until they are proven guilty. And without court appointed attorneys they would not have representation. Lets think outside the realm of child molesters to other sorts of issues. There are those in our system who are accused and are actually innocent. Without any attorney let alone a court appointed attorney they would not stand a chance. I am not advocating for child molesters because lord knows I'd be the first to hang their ass at the stake, just another perspective to think about.

Bee Repartee said...

I agree that no one should define what my faith is and what it means to me.

I also have no fear that the Great Poperah is going to change what I believe. Could she change yet another label? Yes. Change my faith? Absolutely not.

Great post. Well done.

undergroundlogician said...

Jef said, Are you absolutely sure there is no absolute truth?

To which Daveaway said: No. But neither am I willing to bet my soul that this (or that) is the "absolute truth". I dont know, and I hope that professing ignorance and trying to behave as best I can will cut more mustard in some post-life judgemental situation than saying that I "know" and then acting on such presumption. There's a lot more arrogance in saying "I know" than there is in saying "I dont know".
So sorry, no "gotcha".

Sorry, Dave, but Jef DID getcha! In fact, you illustrated his point. Even when you make the "I don't know" statement, you're not as humble as you think. YOU are making an assertion about those who say "I know" as being more being presumptive as opposed to those who don't. You are basing your judgment on an absolute. In fact, I contend you cannot speak or write without either stating, implying, asserting or assuming the existence of absolutes. Our language is based on the existence of reality and our ability to know it. It is unavoidable.

Case in point, you say you are not willing to bet your soul on anything labeled the Truth. Do you know why you do this? Because either you believe something negative about truth or our in our inability to know it that gives you this unease. So, for the agnostic to say one cannot know the truth is making an absolute about our mind's incapacity to know of truth. Or, for the skeptic, the existence of truth being uncertain is STILL an absolute regarding must know enough about truth to say that it's existence is uncertain. It's still absolutism at work, only with a different set of absolutes compared to those of the religionist.

So, Dave, you are hopelessly absolutistic and you cannot get out. You can't deny it, so you might as well be humble enough and accept it along with the rest of us.

Peace, brother. It's not that bad!

daveawayfromhome said...

"you say you are not willing to bet your soul on anything labeled the Truth"

Ahh, UL, how I've missed you.

I never said any such thing. You show me Truth, with a capital "T", and I'll bet my soul. IF I have proof that it is The Truth (so, could you maybe have God standing with you?). I am not hopelessly absolutistic, because I recognize that there are shades of grey (some of which are white and some of which are black, but most are neither). I'm far less absolutistic than most people (and please, dont tell me that's an absolute statement because a) I know and b) your standard for "absolute" seems to be a lot looser than mine).

"for the agnostic to say one cannot know the truth is making an absolute about our mind's incapacity to know of truth."

Actually, it may be possible to know the truth, but I certainly dont know it, nor am I willing to say that you do. Is it possible? Maybe. Again, I dont know.

You want an absolute? Here's one: I dont know and I refuse to believe that you know either.

daveawayfromhome said...

Doozie points out something important here: It's not just about child molestation. That's making an emotional arguement and applying it to the whole system. Child molesters must be defended the same as jaywalkers, or you risk a slippery slope to tyranny. The same can be said for terrorists, because if all that is required for different treatment before conviction is the presumption of a terrible crime, what's to stop innocent people being accused for malicious reason? The morality of our leaders?

Just Another Beggar said...


You mean it? You missed me? Thanks, man!! LOL!

Now Dave, you have given me a bold challenge. I'm impressed. I wonder, though, if you mean it.

Before I answer your challenge, could you tell me what you mean by a few terms you use? First, what do you mean by the term "absolute truth?" I thought Truth is Truth, is it not? Truth mixed with a little error is not longer truth, right? Or Truth that is true sometimes and not others, wouldn't be truth either. It would be a conditional principle that must have certain criteria to be true (By the way, just because a person acknowledges Truth does not mean they don't see gray. Those who see only gray are absolutists as well!)

So, tell me what you mean by "absolute Truth?"

Second, if I presented the Truth to you so that you yourself had the proof that it was the Truth, tell me, what will that proof look like? Spell it out for me so that I can see if I can produce it for you. Maybe I can, maybe I can't. If it's a matter of how you're wired personally, then maybe it will be impossible for me to produce it.

So please let me know what you have determined to be this proof. Thank you for the challenge, Dave!

Your friend,

The Underground Logician

daveawayfromhome said...

@ UL: "Absolute Truth" was your term, not mine.
And your arguements just prove my point, I believe.

And yes, I must admit, being surrounded by the choir all the time can get dull, dull, dull. Personally, I've never thought you to be malicious, just wrong.

Just Another Beggar said...


Come on, now. Are you a truth seeker or not? I admit, "absolute truth" was Jef's term, so that's clear. However, your challenge to me was to show you Truth that proves to you, that convinces you. My question is simple: what will your proof look like? Will you recognize it when I produce it? I'm not sure that I can produce such "proof" that convinces you, since you may have an unusual idea of capital "T" Truth, or you may have the disposition that cannot not accept it all. You tell me. If God stands next to me, how will YOU know that it is God?

If your serious, then let's continue...


daveawayfromhome said...

No, actually, I'm not a truth-seeker. Truth would be nice, but I generally settle for what works - I like to think that I'm a pragmantist who shoots for an ideal but accepts reality (if not always gracefully).

As for meeting God, if I dont know that it's God standing next to you, then he's obviously not the real thing. And please dont counter with not recognizing the Word of God, because we both know that the Bible's been through more hands than a tub of crayons in a kindergarten classroom. When God Himself hands me The Book, that I'll Believe.

And you're right, you probably cannot convince me, unless you can show me (slowly and patiently, because I dont dive into every New Thing that comes along), and make it work with a fair amount of consistancy. And even then, I'll remain a skeptic, because that's what I do.

Just Another Beggar said...


You said, As for meeting God, if I dont know that it's God standing next to you, then he's obviously not the real thing.

Hmmm, well, I think you're right about not being a truth seeker, because as a skeptic, you believe it is impossible to know Truth for sure. It seems the issue for you is one of certainty, right?

As an aside, I never use the Protestant Christian argument you have suggested I would use on you referring to the Bible as the Word of God. That one doesn't work philosophically; it's a fallacy of Circular Reasoning, Muslims make the same case for Islam from the Koran.

Before I continue, I want to assure you that I'm not arguing with you; I enjoy engaging you in conversation. You have owned up to the fact that you're not a truth seeker. So be it. May I suggest that you already have absolute certainty on one thing, and it is that which keeps you from pursuing the issue of certainty?

Skepticism holds to the opinion absolutely that truth cannot be known with certainty. I know statements like this may rankle you, but just hear me out. It is difficult for you and other skeptics to believe that certainty exists. But I contend that it is impossible for anyone, including skeptics, to avoid believing with certainty in some absolutistic statements. You hold dearly to the one thing you know for certain, that nothing is certain. And that is where the absurdity lies. A Derrida Deconstructionist says it is impossible to convey reality in language; however that statement conveys a reality in language! Relativism which holds all truth as relative believe in an absolute...that Truth is not an absolute.

So, as a Pragmatist, you believe in only that which works is true. Yet, you are really an adherent to self-evident truths, which is not pragmatic at all!

It is impossible for anyone to prove that pragmatism is true. If only what works is true, how does that statement come to be true? It doesn't work, according to pragmatism. Pragmatism is built on the existance of something other than what works, the existence of self-evident truths. Pragmatism defies itself. Really what is at "work" here is faith in self-evident truths.

I will even venture to say that those who hold to only to Truth that is demonstrated logically fall under the same problem. My friends who are Logic worshippers become very illogical here. It is impossible to prove the statement that only statements that are demonstrated to be true logically are true. That statement itself cannot be demonstrated.

We live in a world of absolutes. We swim in them without knowing. We are like fish in the water who are unaware of what it means to be wet.

Let me digress here. From past comments you have made, I see you as one who holds the truths of Christianity skeptically because of the inconsistant behaviors of professing Christians. They, in your opinion, don't practice what they preach. I can see how that can be a HUGE turnoff to anyone who is mildly interested in the truth claims of Christ. Hatred of hypocrisy falls under a different category. You show yourself to have a proper set of high moral standards. That is laudable, Dave. That shows me that you are not a complete skeptic. You're are a moral absolutist who is dabbling in skepticism. I say run from it, Dave. Skepticism may seem safe and fun. It's a thrill to able to debunk anything you see. But it is fraudulent faith.

I don't know if you care to discuss this much further, but if you do, I have a little time this week. I do wish you well, Dave, and truly, I appreciate your willingness to engage me in this. Peace!

daveawayfromhome said...

sigh. I spent a couple hours going back and forth between the computer and various sunday chores, only to have the damn thing blink out in a power flicker as I was about to wrap it up. So you get a brief summation instead.

a) as a pragmatist, I believe not that what works is true, but that what works, works. Truth is fairly irrelevant when you're trying to get things done, what works is not.

b) maybe I am a moral absolutist, though I doubt it. I have morals, strong ones, I think, rooted in my Methodist upbringing. But christianity does not equal morality, nor does non-christianity equal non-morality.

c) "We are like fish in the water who are unaware of what it means to be wet." Exactly, though I bet I mean something completely different than you do.

d) skepticism isnt fun. My wife tells me that I have trust issues. She's right. There's not much evidence that I should change.
As for judging christianity by how christians act, how else to judge it? I dont know the Truth, and whatever they believe is not necessarly truth, but their interpretation of the Bible, which may or may not be True (certainly the truth contained must be interpretted out of it). So unable to assertain the truth, I watch them to see how well they follow their own "truth". Not well, most often. There are exceptions (my mother is one).

Time to go now, others have patiently waited for me get off the computer and the sympathy garned when I was banging my head on the desk has evaporated.

Just Another Beggar said...

I'm sorry your computer is wacko. I have a memory problem with mine, which slows it down, or causes it to lock-up. So I can empathize with computer problems.

I can understand why you say you are not having fun in your skepticism. Skepticism is like a large python that constricts with very powerful coils; it is very difficult to escape. However, let me offer some insight from my own life. We do things that are uncomfortable, even unhealthy if we perceive certain payoffs to the behaviors. I think there are quite a few payoffs to being a skeptic. I wonder if any of these pertain to you:

1. You get to maintain autonomy; no one can tell you what to do. Quite heady stuff. The fact your wife says you have a trust issue is quite true. You will trust yourself over anything or anyone else.

2. You can excuse your own moral failures since it is impossible to know if there is a heaven or hell, or a God who condemns moral failure. Again, this can be fun, since sin is no longer sin.

3. You can claim that the final judgment by God is totally unjust, since God did not aid you to know either the truth of His existence or the absolutes of his moral laws. He cannot justly condemn you without denying His own just nature. You have God in moral dilemna! Isn't this fun!

4. There is a bit of sport in the ability to debunk others' accepted norms and moral practices that have been around for several thousand years. Once again, quite heady stuff! One can feel the exhilaration of being a maverick that no one can pin down.

5. You can claim to be humble by acknowledging your inability to know what is true; on the flip side you can claim as arrogant those who claim to know what is true. You win the "who is more moral" game by establishing your own mores!

There may be more. I just sat down in five minutes and wrote these out. But as you can see, all of these appeal to the Capital Sin of Pride.

On the other hand, there are also some disadvantages:

1. Skepticism can be directed towards oneself. This leads to despair, which can be dangerous.

2. Skepticism can lead to cynicism, which poisons one's joy and vitality. Others tend to compare you like to an emotional black hole.

3. The despair from skepticism leads to finding self-destructive activities to cover or remove the pain inside, be it pornography, illicit sex and drugs, alchohol or extreme sports.

4. Cynicism leads to broken relationships which depend on trust, in marriage, family, friendships or work.

5. Cynicism leads to envy which cannot stand the happiness or success of others. Envy leads to criticism and hatred of others, and their accomplishments. Envy eventually consumes and destroys its host.

All in all, skepticism is based on both pride and a deep-seated fear. As I can attest, arrogance and fear are a potent concoction.

I don't know if these things apply to you, Dave, or to those who read these comments. I assume nothing of you. You know yourself best. However, if you are tired of your skepticism, I say, put it to the test. Be brutal with it; don't let it have the upper hand in your life. Test the premises of your skepticism; demand that it show you what GOOD comes from it. And when you make this move, you'll find a new found freedom from its coils.

daveawayfromhome said...

Well, as far as the advantages go, those are pretty accurate (except #4 - my skepticism is more defensive than offensive). As far as the disadvantages go, I'll accept 1 and 2, but the rest are a little over-the-top, at least for me. I am rather skeptical about my skepticism (and yeah, the "who is more moral" thing applies, but then skepticism isnt required for that, is it).

I'd say that my skepticism arises (somewhat, at least) out of my anti-authoritarianism, which plays into advantage #3 nicely. Except of course that any moral dilemna here is more easily attributable to misinterpretation by man than ethical lapse by God (and I'm not talking about my misinterpretation).

Just Another Beggar said...


I appreciate your candor.

I agree with you that one doesn't need to be a skeptic to play the "who is more moral game." It's just that the skeptic is a skeptic because it is safe; one can be untouchable by the moralist's attack and yet send a volley over to him. It gives one a perceived rhetorical advantage unless caught by someone who understands skepticism.

The skeptic's uncertainty is impenetrable as long as the skeptic accepts the basic assumptions he makes, which are not skeptical and are buried deep inside. Skepticism is not logical yet this doesn't bother the skeptic. The reasons are psychological and perhaps intensely personal.

Here's a clue if you wish to accept have leaked an assumption when you said: Except of course that any moral dilemna here is more easily attributable to misinterpretation by man than ethical lapse by God (and I'm not talking about my misinterpretation).

The bold part of your statement reveals your assumption of God that is NOT skeptical. You are certain that something is absolute. Look into it and see what you find.

I'm going to sign off for now. You may have the last word if you like, but again, thanks for letting me in. I hope you know that I appreciate your honesty and hope for more fruitful conversations in the future. I may need some insight from you as well.


The UL

daveawayfromhome said...

"Except of course that any moral dilemna here is more easily attributable to misinterpretation by man than ethical lapse by God (and I'm not talking about my misinterpretation)."

I knew that one was going to cause trouble, but my brain hurt and my wife need the computer, so I tossed it out there and let it try to stand on its own. So let me explain:
Any "knowledge" of God's Truth that man has is an interpretation. I make this assumption because I am unwilling to believe that there is anyone alive today to whom God has spoken to directly - or through the Metatron if that's your flavor - and so start from the assumption that all "truth" is our interpretation of those ol' shadows on the cave wall.
People need truths, and some truths hold up better than others, and the truths of a few need to be stamped out like a rabid squirrel. Determination about which is which, though, is a matter of interpretation, and ought to (but rarely do) boil down to which truths make cohabitation of the planet easier and which do not.
Personally, I think too much emphesis is placed on the differences in our various truths, while few celebrate the beauty of the similarities. This is not to say that the differences are unimportant, but I think that our over-attention to them is what makes them deadly.

Anyway, what I meant was that the moral dilemna is a percieved one based on one's interpretation of God's Truth. But since this truth is only partially perceptable, any "dilemna" that my truth may have with God's is in the eye of the perciever. Personally, I think that God's big enough and smart enough to set up a more universal system than that percieved by the average Christian (and Muslims, Hindus, etc.). Perhaps I'm wrong, but that's the story I'm sticking to, and it'll take a lot of persuasion to make me change my mind. Absolute that may be, but so be it. You've got to build your house on some sort of rock for it to last 40 some years.

Which brings us back to the Universalism espoused by that millionaire hack, Oprah. And really, isnt it better to say, "this is what I believe, and oh look, you and I have enough in common to live together peacefully" than it is to say, "Believe exactly what I believe, or you'll get your ass kicked, ultimately by God, but first by me"?

My apologies to Saur for having hijacked the comments section of your blog.