Christian absolute morality as it applies to plagiarism

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algebe's picture
Christian absolute morality as it applies to plagiarism

The poster known as "JimM" has posted large sections of text copied verbatim from this site.

Given that plagiarism is a kind of theft, how can this kind of behavior be reconciled with Christian claims of absolute morality?

[Edited to change "Great Hope" to "JimM" who larded Great Hope's thread with screeds of plagiarized material.
Apologies to Great Hope.

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Old man shouts at clouds's picture
"boom" *applauds* 10,000

"boom" *applauds* 10,000 agrees to Algebe.

David Killens's picture
It can't, that person is

It can't, that person is dishonest and morally corrupt.

Cognostic's picture
When you can not think for

When you can not think for yourself, "QUOTE" someone else.

Sheldon's picture
"When you can not think for

"When you can not think for yourself, "QUOTE" someone else."

I'm going to use that.

JimMagditch's picture
If there is no god or God (as

If there is no god or God (as you believe or have faith this is true for yourself = relativism) then how is plagiarism wrong? By what basis or standard might you claim right or wrong, dishonest or corrupt?

By the same logic and reasoning then, when Charles Darwin wrote his evolutionary thesis, he 'borrowed' ideas from his grandfather Erasmus and from other researchers of his day whom preceded him.
If this behavior is wrong, then Darwins ideas about the origin of species and his 'observations' were not original, but rather plagiarisms and these were wrong as well?

Please eludicate; if I may 'borrow' or plagiarize, or give credit for... this statement from 'Old Man Shouts'...LOL!

Did Darwin plagiarize his evolution theory?
by Jerry Bergman (

'One of the most important pre-Darwinists was Charles Darwin’s own grandfather, Erasmus Darwin (1731–1802). He discussed his ideas at length in a two-volume work, Zoonomia, published in 1794. This work was no obscure volume, but sold well, and was even translated into German, French, and Italian. Darlington argued that Erasmus Darwin ‘originated almost every important idea that has since appeared in evolutionary theory’, including natural selection.11 While still a young man, Charles travelled to Edinburgh where his grandfather had many admirers.12 While there, Robert Grant explained to Charles Darwin at length Erasmus’ ideas on ‘transmutation’, as evolution was called then. Darwin never once openly admitted that his grandfather had a major influence on his central ideas.

Some scholars even assert that Erasmus Darwin’s view was more well developed than Charles Darwin’s. Desmond King-Hele made an excellent case for the view that Charles Darwin’s theory, even ‘in its mature form in the later editions of the Origin of Species, is, in some important respects, less correct than that of Erasmus’.13 Both writers stressed that evolution occurred by the accumulation of small, fortuitous changes that were selected by natural selection. Erasmus wrote that....

“ … in the great length of time since the earth began to exist, perhaps millions of ages before the beginning of the history of mankind … all warmblooded animals have arisen from one living filament, which THE GREAT FIRST CAUSE endued with animality, with the power of acquiring new parts, attended with new propensities, directed by irritations, sensations, volitions, and associations; and thus possessing the faculty of continuing to improve by its own inherent activity, and of delivering down those improvements by generation to its posterity [spelling and punctuation modernized by author, emphasis in original].”14
Large sections in many of Charles Darwin’s books closely parallel Erasmus’ writings.15 King-Hele even claimed that the similarity between their works was so close that Darwin’s grandfather ‘had it all charted in advance for him’.16 Yet ‘Charles persistently fails to note the similarity … an omission which sometimes leaves him open to criticism’ of plagiarizing. It is not difficult to conclude that Darwin’s plagiarizing was on a large scale because even the terminology and wording is remarkably similar to his grandfather’s wording.17


Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ JimM

@ JimM

It's E L U C I D A T E...(to explain, to make things clear) .

Nyarlathotep's picture
I already explained it to you

I already explained it to you. The current standards for plagiarism are not the same as they were in the past. Newflash: what society deems acceptable changes over time.

If we were to hold the classical scientists to modern plagiarism standards---a silly thing to do--- most of them would be plagiarists.

David Killens's picture
A JimM

A JimM

You are so busy copying and pasting that you are not learning. You get hold of a document that mentions Darwin's grandfather. Yet you fail to include Alfred Russel Wallace, and this puts into bold highlights the extent of your ignorance.

Sheldon's picture
One sentence in and I stopped

JimM "If there is no god or God (as you believe or have faith this is true for yourself = relativism) "

One sentence in and I stopped reading, you're a troll. Though now Cyber has rightly curtailed your trolling on here.

algebe's picture
@JimM: If there is no god or

@JimM: If there is no god or God (as you believe or have faith this is true for yourself = relativism) then how is plagiarism wrong?

You tell me. You're the one with absolute morals handed down from your imaginary friend. Do you think plagiarism is ok? Do you think it's alright to pass another's work off as your own?

I know how it would feel to have my work stolen and published under someone else's name. I'd be angry and upset. So I wouldn't want to inflict that feeling on another writer.

Cognostic's picture
I loved the world so much

I loved the world so much that I gave my only begotten son that who so ever should believe in him should not perish but have everlasting life. A rose by a rose is still a rose by any other name. So, a bird in the hand is worth throwing bricks at glass houses. That's why Oz never did nothing for the Tin Man.

Tin-Man's picture


Well, if there's one thing I learned in this ordinary world it's that you have to be hungry like the wolf if her name is Rio. Sure, you can have the eye of the tiger, but if you don't call Jenny at 867-5309 then you can't have any pudding if you don't eat your meat. Of course, if you can do magic you can have anything you desire. Simply say, "Abracadabra!" and you can fly like an eagle to the sea. Just don't stop believin', because the wheel in the sky keeps on turnin' and I don't know where I'll be tomorrow. So, please, send her my love and we'll go our seperate ways.

Cognostic's picture
Plagiarists are simply trying

Plagiarists are simply trying to get the best of both worlds. It's only once in a full moon anyone catches them with their hand in the cookie jar. Still, stupid is as stupid does and opting to post plagiarized material on a site full of critical thinkers is like adding insanity to insult. Cutting corners to make yourself sound good is simply barking up the wrong tree around here. Obviously we just have another black sheep among us and as we all know there are many ways to sheer a sheep.

Tin-Man's picture
@Cog Re: "Obviously we just

@Cog Re: "Obviously we just have another black sheep among us and as we all know there are many ways to sheer a sheep."

Yeah, and We've Only Just Begun. Now, this is For Your Eyes Only, so don't go Draggin' My Heart Around with it. But be who you must, it's a Part of the Plan, and if word gets out it will spread like Wildfire down the Seven Bridges Road. So, start spreadin' the news, or those little town blues will keep coming your way. Otherwise, just Beat It. Because everybody already knows there Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone, especially after Sundown. Regardless, I am a man who will fight for your honor, and make no mistake that I do it all for the Glory of Love. So before you start Slip Slidin' Away, please know you can Call Me Al. All in all, though, it's only Just A Matter of Trust, and You May Be Right, I may be crazy, but it just may be a lunatic you're looking for.

Cognostic's picture
Like a new pair of Nikes, I'm

Like a new pair of Nikes, I'm just loving it, because Diamonds are Forever and that snap-crackled and popped, it was a joy to read. You obviously deserve a break today but like the energize bunny you will probably just keep on going, and going, and going..... Keep Thinking different like Apple and Don't be Evil like Google, normal sleeps but super dreams. Put another shrimp on the barbie, and for everything else there is MasterCard.
Just sayin!

algebe's picture
@Cognostic: It's only once in

@Cognostic: It's only once in a full moon anyone catches them

There are full moons every month. With Google, it's pretty easy to find the sources of quoted text.

A related problem today is essay mills. I wonder how many people with letters after their names have really earned their degrees. Of course, if your degree is in theology or Christian apolojeejaws, it doesn't really matter.

xenoview's picture
JimM must not find it wrong

JimM must not find it wrong to take other people work and use it as his own. How much longer will he get away with it here on AR?

Cognostic's picture
Well,,, I guess you got

Well,,, I guess you got your answer. :-)

Tin-Man's picture
Re: JimM

Re: JimM

Well, Another One Bites the Dust. Looks like We Are the Champions. Let this be a lesson to others who are considering following in the shoes of JimM. Just remember, We Will Rock You.

Cognostic's picture
Re: JimM

Re: JimM
Wow - fruit sure flies like a banana. It seemed like he only joined yesterday. Still, those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end. AR, like having a boyfriend with a wooden leg had to break it off. So like a marathon runner with bad footwear JimM suffered the agony of de feet. At least plagiarizing all those sources, like Ancient orators prevented the Babylon, Babylon, Babylon that we get from most of the Christians. It just goes to demonstrate that writing without a sharp wit and only quoting others is pointless. If you don't pay the exorcist, you get repossessed and if you don't follow the rules at AR, well, bad thing can happen to perfectly good people.

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