Rabbi: You support gay marriage?
Friend: Of course. This is a civil rights issue. To deny someone the right to marry is to deny them the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness... I have yet to have anyone articulate an intelligent position in the other side. All I have ever heard on response is "it's a religious issue". If that is the case then 1. Who's religion decides this? or 2. Why then do significant financial rights go with the right to marry?
Rabbi: I never understood how the US can be built on "One nation, under God,...etc" and simultaneously separate church and state. It's a contradiction. Regardless, morality can only be decided by the One who created life. No one else is an authority on this. Marriage is like murder and theft: both are moral questions as to if and when they are permitted. If God is omitted from this question, then there is no final say.
Friend: Which god? I think the Spanish thought they knew the one true god and tortured people through the inquisition under the name of that one true god. The system you are suggesting gives those with the most power the right to establish the one true god. It won't work... Which is why there has to be a separation of church and state. You will have to keep tour one true god in your pocket or die by the sword of someone else's...
Rabbi: Precisely. That's why incontrovertible evidence that God gave a religion to man is essential to determine any moral issue. No religion other than Judaism offers proof; all others require faith. Once a religion is proven as the only God-given religion, then its moral codes convey God's acceptable values. Otherwise, it's a free for all, as you stated.
Friend: With all due respect, how's that worked for us over the last 2000+ years?
Rabbi: It's worked perfectly for those who follow a life of intelligence. If others wish to live by blind faith, that's their right. God wants us all to use our free will...that's why we each have it. But free will should be guided by reason and proof...not religious fervor or simple faith.
We don't assess the value of anything, simply by viewing what the masses do. If all mankind would say 2+2=5, that would have no affect on the reality that it's 4. If a person wants to follow reality and not fool himself, he must use reason in all areas...including religion and morality. Einstein, Columbus, Newton and others demonstrated that the masses can be wrong. They determined scientific fact based on reason and proofs. And no matter how many others ignored their evidence, it did not change the realities that these scientists proved true.
So how do we determine morality? The same way as science, regardless if masses disagree, we must follow the facts. And the fact is that no other religion ever received a law from God. Revelation at Sinai was witnessed by 2.5 million people. They verbally transmitted the Torah that states their claim "our eyes saw it". Had they never witnessed it, they would not tell their children that their history was other than what truly transpired. But as they did in fact transmit Revelation at Sinai for 3000 years, and there is no "alternative" Jewish history, we know it occurred in front of 2.5 million people. No other religion makes this claim. But they are too steeped in their dogma and blind faith to emancipate themselves from their unproved religions.
This same method is how we prove any history. Where masses attended an event, we remove the possibility that a story we possess today was fabricated, since it is impossible to get masses to share a common motive to lie. And since the phenomena they witnesses was easily comprehended - mountain, fire, voice - we don't suggest the subject was unintelligible. Thus, both ways we reject history - fabrication and ignorance - can not be imputed of Revelation at Sinai, Caesar, Alexander the Great, and all other true, historical events. Therefore, we accept Caesar, as he was witnessed by masses, and it is impossible to confuse him with anyone else, as he alone was in the palace and was easily identified. If a person accepts Caesar, he must also accept Revelation at Sinai.
But all other religions have no claims that masses witnessed any law given by God. Therefore, they demand blind faith, or the sword.