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#101 Posted by SeaGod (4744 posts) - - Show Bio

@admirallogic:

No Caption Provided

Alrighty then lets make a argument. You say that only a person with religion can be a good person and have morals? However I don't believe in a magic book that tells me tons of stories that I could poke holes in. Now what makes the book worse is that humans are the ones who wrote it. It didn't magically fall down from the sky completely written. No humans wrote it over 100s of years. Why do you think there are different versions of the bible? Because humans changed it as they went to better benefit themselves or their particular group. Even lets just day religion is the only way to have morals, then what religion decides what morals? Are we gonna say that as long as you have some type of religion you will be a good person? Tons of religions conflict on their beliefs. Who is to say that your religion is the right one? For all we know ancient Egypt has the right idea with gods. Even further religion is a social construct created by humans so said morals you preach only those with religion has were created by humans. So that being said I can just create my own morals and skip the part of believing in magical stories. Or take it a step further and decide to create a religion that even atheists can get behind via saying there is no god however we worship a 4-D being who we can name later.

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#102 Posted by AdmiralLogic (4131 posts) - - Show Bio

@seagod said:

@admirallogic:

No Caption Provided

Alrighty then lets make a argument. You say that only a person with religion can be a good person and have morals? However I don't believe in a magic book that tells me tons of stories that I could poke holes in. Now what makes the book worse is that humans are the ones who wrote it. It didn't magically fall down from the sky completely written. No humans wrote it over 100s of years. Why do you think there are different versions of the bible? Because humans changed it as they went to better benefit themselves or their particular group. Even lets just day religion is the only way to have morals, then what religion decides what morals? Are we gonna say that as long as you have some type of religion you will be a good person? Tons of religions conflict on their beliefs. Who is to say that your religion is the right one? For all we know ancient Egypt has the right idea with gods. Even further religion is a social construct created by humans so said morals you preach only those with religion has were created by humans. So that being said I can just create my own morals and skip the part of believing in magical stories. Or take it a step further and decide to create a religion that even atheists can get behind via saying there is no god however we worship a 4-D being who we can name later.

You're trying to use my religion. However that was not the purpose of this topic at all.

There are different versions of the bible because people refused to use agree with certain aspects, they didn't like certain things so they changed them. To clarify that. The real one was made through divine influence, which you'd have known we believed if you studied that before trying to use it as an argument.

Also, this wasn't a topic of which morals are right, that would have gone in the religion thread, but this is what morals are and how people who don't believe in any supernatural occurrences/beings have any moral compass.

But that wouldn't be a god technically, it also wouldn't be a religion by definition either, which makes that point invalid. And it still doesn't explain what morality is to people without belief in supernatural have a moral compass.

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#103 Posted by SeaGod (4744 posts) - - Show Bio

@admirallogic: what proof do you have that the bible you believe in is really created using divine influence? I could go and write something in a notebook and say God told me and it wouldn't make it true.

Now as for morals you say only one with religion can have morals however that doesn't make sense as what I am trying to get at that religion is just a social construct created by man. So the morals created by one man can also have a version created by another man just without a need of a god telling them to be used.

Now lets go to the 10 commandments written in the bible. While neither one of us was there back the however you claim that God was the one who created them however I believe that the reason for the creation was out of need. If during the trip order was disrupted through such acts the commandments outlaw then such rules would be implemented. Now why were they attributed to be written by God? Easy, it is so people would listen to them. I could easily tell people it is wrong to wear plaid on weekends and say God told me so. If I didn't say God then people would ignore. However if I told people it was a divine message from God and made it believable then people would start to believe me.

Actually the truth is that you said you would act certain ways if it wasn't for religion however that doesn't make religion good instead it just proves that you need a social construct such as religion to claim to be a good person. I'm not seeing religion being the problem it is more of the fact you aren't a good person and are just ignoring your impulses. However I don't believe in any religion but I still remain a good person. So that doesn't seem to be a atheist problem you are facing it seems to be more of a you problem.

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#104 Edited by Darth_Nimrod (2822 posts) - - Show Bio

Not this thing again...SMH. I remember a similar thread some time ago...

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#105 Posted by AdmiralLogic (4131 posts) - - Show Bio

@seagod: That is a discussion for another topic, not this one.

Only one religion is the true religion, I never said only one religion has morals.

Now you're just trying to attack religions, and have thus failed to give me any useful information on your own moral compass except that you can't actually explain it yourself, so I see no reason as to why your posting here if you don't intend on answering my question or even stay on the right topic. Like I said before, you are calling things good and bad but aren't explaining why you think they're good or bad, whereas almost any religion has things it says are good or bad. Some religions are awful, but they do technically still have a moral compass.

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#106 Posted by comicace3 (12435 posts) - - Show Bio

They have non. It's exactly why they're going to hell.

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#107 Posted by LpnQ (3954 posts) - - Show Bio

i know christians/muslims/catholics, who are more judgemental and hypocritical than the supposed "devil followers"

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#108 Posted by SeaGod (4744 posts) - - Show Bio

@admirallogic: that's the thing you claim that humans need a divine being to tell them what is right and wrong however you fail to see that humans themselves are capable of deciding such. Your only argument you have is what you would do without religion however that doesn't actually count for everything. Are you calling me a bad person cause I don't believe in a religion? Cause man that is very judgy and goes against your religion's teaching of thou shall not judge. Honestly by saying you need religion cause of the things you'd do without it doesn't help your case at all. It actually just shows what kind of person you are. You need religion to tell you not to do something while all I need is the understanding of right and wrong that I have been taught since birth. I have never stolen, raped, cheated(video game cheats don't count), or killed. So this actually goes against that all atheist are immoral people and just says you are a bad person that tries to cling to being good by saying religion keeps you from doing such things that you really want. Honestly you are proving more immoral here by showing yourself as a front row sunday christian who just sits back and condemns people to hell if they don't share your same views. Honestly you are doing the attacking here as all I did was showed a different point of view while you are insulting me for my lack of beliefs saying I'm evil or something.

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#109 Posted by SpareHeadOne (6618 posts) - - Show Bio

God didn't want us to be focused on morality. He didn't want us to eat the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.

It turns out that focussing on morality takes away focus from our Father.

You do wrong, you think he moves away from you

You do wrong, you turn your countenance from him

You judge others based on morality

You feel self-centred pride when you do good

Etc.....

God wants us to follow Him and make him our focus.

As for atheists; their ancestors ate the fruit too. They have a moral focus too. I believe that many of them shun God precisely because of their moral focus. They can't come at a God who would allow such evil in the world.

So while focus on good and evil keeps our world from descending into anarchy and chaos, it also is a curse that gets between humanity and her Father.

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#110 Posted by TinyFord (467 posts) - - Show Bio

@admirallogic: didn't see any problem with your OP bro, I just wanted to share my personal opinion with you from a protestant viewpoint and I hope you at least liked to see how I view it?

I liked your thread that's why I took the time to try and help by raising it to the top by posting a lot on it when you just posted it.

So yeah I hope you can see I wasn't out to offend you or correct your thread I wanted to share my view

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#111 Posted by TinyFord (467 posts) - - Show Bio

@dshipp17: to add to what you said I don't think people truly understand what Atheism means. It is literally believing in nothing. People think it means "No God", but it also means "no superstition, no luck, no right, no wrong, no sin". When the holders of the religion called Atheism one day realise what their religion expects of them, I believe many will abandon it and persue something easier, like agnostisism or something

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#112 Posted by Emperordmb (1987 posts) - - Show Bio

God didn't want us to be focused on morality. He didn't want us to eat the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.

It turns out that focussing on morality takes away focus from our Father.

You do wrong, you think he moves away from you

You do wrong, you turn your countenance from him

You judge others based on morality

You feel self-centred pride when you do good

Etc.....

God wants us to follow Him and make him our focus.

As for atheists; their ancestors ate the fruit too. They have a moral focus too. I believe that many of them shun God precisely because of their moral focus. They can't come at a God who would allow such evil in the world.

So while focus on good and evil keeps our world from descending into anarchy and chaos, it also is a curse that gets between humanity and her Father.

Yeah I'm a Christian, but that's the most painful explanation of Christian morality I've ever read.

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#113 Posted by Emperordmb (1987 posts) - - Show Bio
@tinyford said:

@dshipp17: to add to what you said I don't think people truly understand what Atheism means. It is literally believing in nothing. People think it means "No God", but it also means "no superstition, no luck, no right, no wrong, no sin". When the holders of the religion called Atheism one day realise what their religion expects of them, I believe many will abandon it and persue something easier, like agnostisism or something

No atheism literally just means a lack of belief on a God or Gods.

Physicalism is what you're describing.

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#114 Posted by dshipp17 (5607 posts) - - Show Bio

@dshipp17 said:

"If there is no God, no Hell, and no Heaven, or even any form of life after I die, what is the point of having any form of moral compass? I can do whatever I want as long as it benefits me more then it harms me throughout my life, since after I die I won't have to worry about anything."

If someone is doing good, but professing to be an atheist, professing to be atheist has got to only be for outward appearances or a pretense; or, if not, either you're dealing with a coward; or, the person isn't really moral, at all, they're just extremely analytical and strategic (e.g. balance risk versus reward very well; they have to follow the law; while they may not murder someone, that doesn't mean that they wouldn't cheat or scam someone, as one example; or, they wouldn't have someone murdered; or, they wouldn't murder, if they knew they could get away with it; and, for atheists, this probably does happen, because, they got away with the murder; it was a situation where no one is the wiser; or, cheated and scammed someone, as either no one is the wiser or the law protects them). I believe the fields where you could have someone who would truly believe these things would be people like supervisors, managers, business owners, lawyers, and judges, as they're put into positions where they can become accustomed to becoming truly callous towards their fellow human kind (e.g. it's a matter of routinely firing lots of people, knowing the impact that it will have on their lives, or, refusing to hire someone who hasn't worked in a very long time, not caring that it could bring the person relief; and for lawyers and judges, being able to help bring about the relief, but being anxious to refuse it, or, sentencing thousands of people to death throughout a career, and feeling the same as someone else who just put in a hard days work doing something like preventing contaminated food from entering the United States food supply for decades; and, to feel that a very closed loved one deserves some type of an exception either demonstrates absolute selfishness or a very strong pretense in being a professed atheist, by one of these groups of people). Once you come to really know supervisors, lawyers, and judges, you could indeed conclude that it's a possibility, due to the sheer callous nature of some of these types of people, except, of course, if an exception needs to be made for one of their loved ones or themselves (e.g. sure, there could be a case where one of these would have no hesitation, when it came to a family member too, but, that can be distinguished from an actual loved one; one case of an actual loved one might involve a spouse, one case might involve a very loyal (business or legal) partner, one could involve a pet, or one might involve themselves and having the unusual situation of someone refusing medical treatment, at a desperate time, but, one is a loved one of sorts for this person). And, than, after this, this certain mindset could be passed down to a child.

I mean, come on, it's like an ingrained human instinct to believe in God and an afterlife, or believe or hope that these things exist, but just on a much smaller scale than say someone like Pastors and regular church attendees. And, I believe that in most cases, it's kind of a matter of trade (e.g. either you believe the Bible and accept that aliens and Star Trek (or Wars) are not a possibility, or the Bible has to disappear, because the possibility of aliens and Star Wars is much more thrilling; I believe this is the case, when it comes to youth).

That was a little bit confusing to read. I'm gonna try and repeat what I think I got so just correct me if I misinterpreted, which I very well may have:

It sounds like you're saying we believe in morality, God, and an afterlife, because it is convenient for us as a species, furthering our cooperation with one another and thus making us, as a species, survive very well. But, that the option of preferring to believe in things like star trek and star wars, where there are aliens of at least equal intelligence, and science that is significantly ahead of our own, is something a lot of people nowadays would choose, because it seems more thrilling.

Now I probably also missed a significant amount of what you said to be honest. Maybe I'm tired or maybe I just couldn't understand your train of thought, maybe both. So please fill me in on that matter so I can understand a bit better.

I'm actually on your side, as a Christian; I was just saying what it would have to take to be an atheist from the variables that you provided. I've tirelessly debated these atheist in other threads like the religion thread.

No, I'm not saying that it's just a matter of convenience to believe in God; and, I thought I was being implicit in that, in saying that a belief in God is ingrained in us; thus, I believe in God and I'm not atheist. In order for to be naturally ingrained, there would need to be a God.

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#115 Posted by SpareHeadOne (6618 posts) - - Show Bio
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#116 Posted by Emperordmb (1987 posts) - - Show Bio

@spareheadone: The notion that focusing on being a moral person is a bad thing that separates us from God is a rather painful suggestion to see a fellow Christian make.

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#117 Posted by SpareHeadOne (6618 posts) - - Show Bio

@emperordmb:

The New Testament says focus on love not law and If you love you don't need the law.

In the same way I believe the bible implies that if you were focused on relationship with God you wouldn't need to focus on good and evil. You would be following The-Spirit and he would lead you on good straight paths.

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#118 Posted by TinyFord (467 posts) - - Show Bio

@emperordmb: aah you see that's the problem then. Derren Brown did this series called "Fear or Faith" and he described atheism in the exact words I just did (I actually quoted him) and he is an extreme atheist who tries to encourage others to become the same.

I did however not say "no reality" haha. I wanted to, but then I realised "that will be physicalism so erase" lol.

But yeah I do however think Derren Brown got it right by saying that because superstition means you believe in some being controlling random events. Luck means exactly the same (which he claimed in "Experements: Luck). Right and wrong is defined by people who claim that it is right because their deity said it is and then enforce those laws and those laws become tradition and cannot be traced back to religion. And sin of course speaks for itself, as there can be no sin if there is no one to sin against

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#119 Edited by Emperordmb (1987 posts) - - Show Bio

@spareheadone: Well the way I see it, morality is doing what logically makes sense from the motivation of love. Love is the basis of morality, which is why Jesus's greatest commandment was love.

I now see where you're coming from, but it seems like a mistake to separate love and morality when one is defined by the other.

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#120 Posted by willpayton (22092 posts) - - Show Bio

...

So here's the conundrum:

There have been multiple times where I have run across people who are atheists in the religion thread and in other sites who have essentially said "If someone has to fear eternal damnantion to do good things they aren't really good." or the other common one "Why should you have to get the promise of heaven to do good works."

Now, to memory, all these people didn't believe in an afterlife or a soul. Essentially completely in disbelief of the supernatural. So if I put myself in the shoes of someone with those belief's I come up with this scenario: If there is no God, no Hell, and no Heaven, or even any form of life after I die, what is the point of having any form of moral compass? I can do whatever I want as long as it benefits me more then it harms me throughout my life, since after I die I won't have to worry about anything.

...

You basically answered your own question, but didnt realize it.

If you have to do "what's right" because of fear of punishment, or because you want some reward, then you're not doing it because you have a real moral belief system, or because you think it's the right thing to do. You're doing it for selfish reasons. That's why people have said what you quoted above.

Also, any system that's imposed on you by a supernatural entity is by-definition arbitrary. For example, the Christian morality is arbitrary because it's whatever "God" says it is. But, if you're an atheist and you have a moral code, then it's a true morality and not just a set of convenient beliefs that you follow in order to get a reward later. And, surely, an all-knowing god would know that you only followed their code in order to avoid punishment, and not because you actually believed it.

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#121 Edited by Emperordmb (1987 posts) - - Show Bio

@admirallogic: My reply to your initial query is that we all have an internal moral compass, which is something Christian theology teaches in that humans have an understanding of good and evil.

Anyways, here's my view on morality and the moral compass within each of us.

I think there are two primary motivational forces in man, one of which is love, and the other is a visceral fear that one's own existence is without meaning.

Love stems from an embracement of one's own existence through self-awareness, and self-awareness is the ultimate truth because its the one thing we can be 100% certain of. From there it follows that a person would conclude that if they exist and experience stuff then there is meaning either causing or at the very least within their lives, which leads them to love, which is the motivation behind all good.

Side note:

Given how self-awareness is the ultimate truth, the only thing we can be 100% certain of, and the awareness that allows for love, I find it extremely fitting that God in the Bible has introduced himself as "I am" which is a statement of self-awareness.

The nihilistic fear that one's own existence has no meaning is the most irrational thought ever and directly contradicts the ultimate truth, which is why I would call the thought that one's existence is meaningless the ultimate lie. From the ultimate lie/fear, springs insecurity, self-doubt, and self-loathing, which from then motivates arrogance so people can try and escape this fear with an inflated image of themselves, and arrogance/pride is ultimately what motivates and allows people to justify all evil.

This is heavily reflected in Christian theology, as God introduces himself to Noah as "I am" (a statement of self-awareness which is the ultimate truth), Jesus saying that his greatest commandment is to act out of love (which is the motivation behind all moral action), and Jesus saying to be humble and Christian theology teaching that pride is the father of all sin.

You don't have to believe in God to feel that internal conflict between both of those primary emotional drives within yourself and choose which one to act on. Nobody has a perfect understanding of morality, since none of us are omniscient or logically perfect, but what everyone can do is choose to act out of love and do what logically makes sense from there.

I've seen plenty of atheists be moral human beings an embrace morality through love and empathy, and I've also seen religious people driven to immorality by arrogant feelings of superiority based on the fact that they're believers. At the same time, I've also seen plenty of religious people who embrace love and moral behavior not because of fear of punishment and hope for a reward (particularly me since I believe everyone goes to heaven), and I've seen plenty of atheists take their lack of belief in a God to the point of moral nihilism.

Even if I were an atheist, I'd still believe in objective morality, because all motivation towards morality springs from a feeling driven by the ultimate truth while all motivation towards immorality springs from feelings driven by the ultimate lie.

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#122 Posted by SpareHeadOne (6618 posts) - - Show Bio

@emperordmb:

I am making a separation of Focus not of definition.

One may be the most "good" person in the world and yet at the end will be told "I never knew you." They focussed on the good rather than the God. Like Martha.

Another may do less good works and make more mistakes but love and focus on God as best they can in life. In the end that person knows where she belongs and who she belongs with. Like Mary.

I believe Genesis 3 wants to point out this separation. "Don't eat from the tree that will enable you to know how to do good and not do evil."

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#123 Posted by Revan- (7959 posts) - - Show Bio

17 hours and 3 pages.

We're gonna have a long one. . . .

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#124 Posted by Emperordmb (1987 posts) - - Show Bio

@spareheadone: I would argue that if God is the source of all good and if doing good is doing God's will, then a focus on good is a focus on God.

I'd argue the original sin is an allegory. The notion of original sin as an action taken by our earliest ancestors that we are all subsequently guilty of and accountable for is a teaching among many Christian denominations that I disagree with, because it’s the same idea of collective guilt that leads so many of us to be disgusted and off put by the views of Social Justice Warriors. Likewise, there isn’t anything immoral about seeking knowledge, or moral understanding. The concept of the Original Sin is in my view more of an allegory for how there is a pervasive capacity for sin amongst mankind. There are two important aspects to the original sin, one of which is that said act in the Bible bestowed upon humans an understanding of morality. The second aspect is in the nature of the fact that Eve was tempted by the prospect of becoming like God, driven by a desire to put herself on the same level as God which justified God’s direct command to her, a God-complex very accurately displaying the nature of pride, which is known as the father of all sin for a good reason. Arrogance is both what tempts us towards evil, and what allows us to justify acting out that motivation against morality, and I couldn’t think of a better allegorical way of showing that than to have a person sin in a way that God literally told them not to do with the intention of putting themselves on God’s level. So when the original sin is viewed as an allegory for why we have the capacity for sin, it conveys a truth that you don’t even have to be religious to recognize. We have a capacity for evil because we possess a knowledge of morality (as is bestowed by the fruit in Genesis) that makes us accountable for our actions, and because there is the insidious nature of pride which allows us to be motivated towards evil (as was the motivation for eating the fruit in Genesis).

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#125 Posted by SpareHeadOne (6618 posts) - - Show Bio

@emperordmb:

I also believe that The God of the bible created evil for an overall good outcome and does evil things for an overall good outcome. This probably pains you too.

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#126 Posted by AdmiralLogic (4131 posts) - - Show Bio

@seagod said:

@admirallogic: that's the thing you claim that humans need a divine being to tell them what is right and wrong however you fail to see that humans themselves are capable of deciding such. Your only argument you have is what you would do without religion however that doesn't actually count for everything. Are you calling me a bad person cause I don't believe in a religion? Cause man that is very judgy and goes against your religion's teaching of thou shall not judge. Honestly by saying you need religion cause of the things you'd do without it doesn't help your case at all. It actually just shows what kind of person you are. You need religion to tell you not to do something while all I need is the understanding of right and wrong that I have been taught since birth. I have never stolen, raped, cheated(video game cheats don't count), or killed. So this actually goes against that all atheist are immoral people and just says you are a bad person that tries to cling to being good by saying religion keeps you from doing such things that you really want. Honestly you are proving more immoral here by showing yourself as a front row sunday christian who just sits back and condemns people to hell if they don't share your same views. Honestly you are doing the attacking here as all I did was showed a different point of view while you are insulting me for my lack of beliefs saying I'm evil or something.

You have still not answered my question, meaning you still haven't shown you actually have anything that says what is right and wrong, and have managed to completely avoid staying on the actual topic.

You have also shown a clear lack of understanding for the religion you are trying to attack for some reason and have decided that in your mind I seem to think all athiests are terrible people even though I said no such thing, and in fact essentially said essentially the opposite if you actually paid much attention to my posts. Because I know they have a moral compass of sorts, just don't know why.

You claim I am insulting you even though I haven't really made any remarks about you personally, or even about athiests being evil people at all, but at the same time you are saying that I'm the immoral one because I've had suicidal thoughts, which is actually something you should be careful saying to people. I haven't had those tendencies for years because of my religion, because I prayed and asked for help, and received it, so the problem eventually went away.

Since you either do not possess the will or the want to stay on topic or answer my question, I shall just cease this debate with you unless you decide to stay on topic or answer the question. As otherwise it's simply wasting posts on a discussion not about the topic of this thread.

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#127 Posted by AdmiralLogic (4131 posts) - - Show Bio

@dshipp17 said:
@admirallogic said:
@dshipp17 said:

"If there is no God, no Hell, and no Heaven, or even any form of life after I die, what is the point of having any form of moral compass? I can do whatever I want as long as it benefits me more then it harms me throughout my life, since after I die I won't have to worry about anything."

If someone is doing good, but professing to be an atheist, professing to be atheist has got to only be for outward appearances or a pretense; or, if not, either you're dealing with a coward; or, the person isn't really moral, at all, they're just extremely analytical and strategic (e.g. balance risk versus reward very well; they have to follow the law; while they may not murder someone, that doesn't mean that they wouldn't cheat or scam someone, as one example; or, they wouldn't have someone murdered; or, they wouldn't murder, if they knew they could get away with it; and, for atheists, this probably does happen, because, they got away with the murder; it was a situation where no one is the wiser; or, cheated and scammed someone, as either no one is the wiser or the law protects them). I believe the fields where you could have someone who would truly believe these things would be people like supervisors, managers, business owners, lawyers, and judges, as they're put into positions where they can become accustomed to becoming truly callous towards their fellow human kind (e.g. it's a matter of routinely firing lots of people, knowing the impact that it will have on their lives, or, refusing to hire someone who hasn't worked in a very long time, not caring that it could bring the person relief; and for lawyers and judges, being able to help bring about the relief, but being anxious to refuse it, or, sentencing thousands of people to death throughout a career, and feeling the same as someone else who just put in a hard days work doing something like preventing contaminated food from entering the United States food supply for decades; and, to feel that a very closed loved one deserves some type of an exception either demonstrates absolute selfishness or a very strong pretense in being a professed atheist, by one of these groups of people). Once you come to really know supervisors, lawyers, and judges, you could indeed conclude that it's a possibility, due to the sheer callous nature of some of these types of people, except, of course, if an exception needs to be made for one of their loved ones or themselves (e.g. sure, there could be a case where one of these would have no hesitation, when it came to a family member too, but, that can be distinguished from an actual loved one; one case of an actual loved one might involve a spouse, one case might involve a very loyal (business or legal) partner, one could involve a pet, or one might involve themselves and having the unusual situation of someone refusing medical treatment, at a desperate time, but, one is a loved one of sorts for this person). And, than, after this, this certain mindset could be passed down to a child.

I mean, come on, it's like an ingrained human instinct to believe in God and an afterlife, or believe or hope that these things exist, but just on a much smaller scale than say someone like Pastors and regular church attendees. And, I believe that in most cases, it's kind of a matter of trade (e.g. either you believe the Bible and accept that aliens and Star Trek (or Wars) are not a possibility, or the Bible has to disappear, because the possibility of aliens and Star Wars is much more thrilling; I believe this is the case, when it comes to youth).

That was a little bit confusing to read. I'm gonna try and repeat what I think I got so just correct me if I misinterpreted, which I very well may have:

It sounds like you're saying we believe in morality, God, and an afterlife, because it is convenient for us as a species, furthering our cooperation with one another and thus making us, as a species, survive very well. But, that the option of preferring to believe in things like star trek and star wars, where there are aliens of at least equal intelligence, and science that is significantly ahead of our own, is something a lot of people nowadays would choose, because it seems more thrilling.

Now I probably also missed a significant amount of what you said to be honest. Maybe I'm tired or maybe I just couldn't understand your train of thought, maybe both. So please fill me in on that matter so I can understand a bit better.

I'm actually on your side, as a Christian; I was just saying what it would have to take to be an atheist from the variables that you provided. I've tirelessly debated these atheist in other threads like the religion thread.

No, I'm not saying that it's just a matter of convenience to believe in God; and, I thought I was being implicit in that, in saying that a belief in God is ingrained in us; thus, I believe in God and I'm not atheist. In order for to be naturally ingrained, there would need to be a God.

Ahh, interesting train of thought. I don't think of had that one.

Well, I did say I probably missed what you said or misinterpreted.

Thanks

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#128 Posted by AdmiralLogic (4131 posts) - - Show Bio

@admirallogic said:

...

So here's the conundrum:

There have been multiple times where I have run across people who are atheists in the religion thread and in other sites who have essentially said "If someone has to fear eternal damnantion to do good things they aren't really good." or the other common one "Why should you have to get the promise of heaven to do good works."

Now, to memory, all these people didn't believe in an afterlife or a soul. Essentially completely in disbelief of the supernatural. So if I put myself in the shoes of someone with those belief's I come up with this scenario: If there is no God, no Hell, and no Heaven, or even any form of life after I die, what is the point of having any form of moral compass? I can do whatever I want as long as it benefits me more then it harms me throughout my life, since after I die I won't have to worry about anything.

...

You basically answered your own question, but didnt realize it.

If you have to do "what's right" because of fear of punishment, or because you want some reward, then you're not doing it because you have a real moral belief system, or because you think it's the right thing to do. You're doing it for selfish reasons. That's why people have said what you quoted above.

Also, any system that's imposed on you by a supernatural entity is by-definition arbitrary. For example, the Christian morality is arbitrary because it's whatever "God" says it is. But, if you're an atheist and you have a moral code, then it's a true morality and not just a set of convenient beliefs that you follow in order to get a reward later. And, surely, an all-knowing god would know that you only followed their code in order to avoid punishment, and not because you actually believed it.

Actually by that reasoning an athiests moral code is far more use of whim and chance, since it is used by numerous people in various ways and has no real basis.

However if you give a person instructions so they don't break their computer which you made and gave to them, are those instructions those of your own personal whim?

Except by following this code, I have become a better person and have gotten closer to doing it because it is right, not out of fear or greed.

People keep trying to make this about me, but that's not what the question is about.

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#129 Posted by AdmiralLogic (4131 posts) - - Show Bio

@admirallogic: My reply to your initial query is that we all have an internal moral compass, which is something Christian theology teaches in that humans have an understanding of good and evil.

Anyways, here's my view on morality and the moral compass within each of us.

I think there are two primary motivational forces in man, one of which is love, and the other is a visceral fear that one's own existence is without meaning.

Love stems from an embracement of one's own existence through self-awareness, and self-awareness is the ultimate truth because its the one thing we can be 100% certain of. From there it follows that a person would conclude that if they exist and experience stuff then there is meaning either causing or at the very least within their lives, which leads them to love, which is the motivation behind all good.

Side note:

Given how self-awareness is the ultimate truth, the only thing we can be 100% certain of, and the awareness that allows for love, I find it extremely fitting that God in the Bible has introduced himself as "I am" which is a statement of self-awareness.

The nihilistic fear that one's own existence has no meaning is the most irrational thought ever and directly contradicts the ultimate truth, which is why I would call the thought that one's existence is meaningless the ultimate lie. From the ultimate lie/fear, springs insecurity, self-doubt, and self-loathing, which from then motivates arrogance so people can try and escape this fear with an inflated image of themselves, and arrogance/pride is ultimately what motivates and allows people to justify all evil.

This is heavily reflected in Christian theology, as God introduces himself to Noah as "I am" (a statement of self-awareness which is the ultimate truth), Jesus saying that his greatest commandment is to act out of love (which is the motivation behind all moral action), and Jesus saying to be humble and Christian theology teaching that pride is the father of all sin.

You don't have to believe in God to feel that internal conflict between both of those primary emotional drives within yourself and choose which one to act on. Nobody has a perfect understanding of morality, since none of us are omniscient or logically perfect, but what everyone can do is choose to act out of love and do what logically makes sense from there.

I've seen plenty of atheists be moral human beings an embrace morality through love and empathy, and I've also seen religious people driven to immorality by arrogant feelings of superiority based on the fact that they're believers. At the same time, I've also seen plenty of religious people who embrace love and moral behavior not because of fear of punishment and hope for a reward (particularly me since I believe everyone goes to heaven), and I've seen plenty of atheists take their lack of belief in a God to the point of moral nihilism.

Even if I were an atheist, I'd still believe in objective morality, because all motivation towards morality springs from a feeling driven by the ultimate truth while all motivation towards immorality springs from feelings driven by the ultimate lie.

Fascinating response. It kind of reminded me a little bit of deism and skepticism, about the self awareness part that is.

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#130 Posted by DarthVxder (1034 posts) - - Show Bio

Our species is at the top of the food chain not because we are the strongest or the fastest, its because were the only social species to reach this level of intelligence. Hurting each other would be counter productive to our survival chances. We live to reproduce inside a social structure.

Then we have human emotion which is where morals come from, not from religion. Love, hate, envy, fear, joy, sadness, shame, disgust, etc. and through empathy we decide what we think is right. Even if you are religious, if you dont decide by yourself what your morals should be according to your experiences in life then you are doing it wrong IMO.

I forgot who said this but it was quoted by Dawkins in a doc he did. It went something like "If religion didnt exist we would have good people doing good things and bad people doing bad things but only religion can make good people do bad things."

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#131 Posted by willpayton (22092 posts) - - Show Bio

@willpayton said:

...

You basically answered your own question, but didnt realize it.

If you have to do "what's right" because of fear of punishment, or because you want some reward, then you're not doing it because you have a real moral belief system, or because you think it's the right thing to do. You're doing it for selfish reasons. That's why people have said what you quoted above.

Also, any system that's imposed on you by a supernatural entity is by-definition arbitrary. For example, the Christian morality is arbitrary because it's whatever "God" says it is. But, if you're an atheist and you have a moral code, then it's a true morality and not just a set of convenient beliefs that you follow in order to get a reward later. And, surely, an all-knowing god would know that you only followed their code in order to avoid punishment, and not because you actually believed it.

Actually by that reasoning an athiests moral code is far more use of whim and chance, since it is used by numerous people in various ways and has no real basis.

You're assuming that an atheists' moral code has no basis, which is not the case. Sure, the basis of different atheist's moral codes might be different, but they're never arbitrary. For example, my moral code is based on established laws, various philosophies, and my own internal moral compass that came from the evolution of the brain throughout millions of years of evolution.

However if you give a person instructions so they don't break their computer which you made and gave to them, are those instructions those of your own personal whim?

No, those instructions are not arbitrary... since they are derived from certain basic principles like physics, electronics, etc. However, a moral code derived from a god (lets assume this god actually exists) is truly arbitrary because it comes from no core principles to which that god is also subject to (in the case of the Christian God). See the difference? If God says "X is good and Y is bad" then by definition those are true. If that God then says "actually Y is good and X is bad" then that's now the truth, even though it's the opposite from before. In your computer example, if I told you that "throwing water into your computer is bad" then that's true because of physics, not because I said so. And if I said "throwing water into your computer is good"... well, that's wrong whether I believe it or not, because... again... physics.

Except by following this code, I have become a better person and have gotten closer to doing it because it is right, not out of fear or greed.

And most religious people do become good people, but I'm arguing that it's in spite of the religion and not because of it. By that I mean, you would be a good person even if you were an atheist, because the moral code from you and not from what someone told you or a book you read. For example, imagine that tomorrow scientists find convincing evidence that God doesnt exist, and your church looks at it and they also conclude... God doesnt exist. You accept that God doesnt exist. Will you immediately stop being a moral person, even though you no longer believe that this morality comes from a god? If you do stay a moral person, then why was it necessary in the first place for you to believe in a God to be moral before?

People keep trying to make this about me, but that's not what the question is about.

No, it's not, but using a specific person as an example can clarify an argument, especially when that person can answer questions directly.

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#132 Posted by Emperordmb (1987 posts) - - Show Bio

I forgot who said this but it was quoted by Dawkins in a doc he did. It went something like "If religion didnt exist we would have good people doing good things and bad people doing bad things but only religion can make good people do bad things."

That's a stupid quote IMO. All sorts of different ideologies can corrupt people, not just religion, and I've experienced a lot of personal self-growth and moral improvement heavily influenced by my religious perspective, and I've seen several of the most loving people I know shaped into the amazing people they are largely by their religious faith. Dawkins is being kinda dumb when he characterizes religion as some big boogeyman that is responsible for most of the world's problems, he suggests religion is the only thing can corrupt good people, and he suggests religion's only impacts are negative ones, all of which is patently false.

The four horsemen are obviously very intelligent people in their own ways, but sometimes they said some rather stupid things. For example the Dawkins quote "Why do we feel the universe owes us an explanation," which is completely disingenuous from a religious or secular perspective, or Sam Harris's belief that our self-awareness and subjective experience doesn't really exist because it can't be physically quantified.

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#133 Edited by Emperordmb (1987 posts) - - Show Bio

@willpayton:

And most religious people do become good people, but I'm arguing that it's in spite of the religion and not because of it. By that I mean, you would be a good person even if you were an atheist, because the moral code from you and not from what someone told you or a book you read.

I probably would be a good person even if I were an atheist, but I doubt I'd be as good a person, because several truths I've realized and several introspective experiences that I've had that have shaped me into a better person have had a lot to do with my religious perspective. And one of the kindest most humble people I know is a good person, and it has a lot to do with him being inspired by Jesus's example and striving to be a good human being.

Even if someone being a good person is based on their moral code, that code could've been inspired in a positive way by religious beliefs.

I'm tired of the assumption by some atheists that it's impossible for religion to have any positive benefits in making somebody a good person, because I've seen numerous people who are good people who have been inspired by their religious perspectives. I've thought this over because my faith is something I've struggled with before, but even if I one day become an atheist, I'd still consider my time spent as a Christian as something that has been beneficial to me as a person. Even if I lose my faith in Christianity, the time I spent as a Christian inspired me into a way that has changed who I am for the better in a way that I won't lose if I suddenly stop believing in God.

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#134 Edited by willpayton (22092 posts) - - Show Bio

@darthvxder said:

I forgot who said this but it was quoted by Dawkins in a doc he did. It went something like "If religion didnt exist we would have good people doing good things and bad people doing bad things but only religion can make good people do bad things."

That's a stupid quote IMO. All sorts of different ideologies can corrupt people, not just religion, and I've experienced a lot of personal self-growth and moral improvement heavily influenced by my religious perspective, and I've seen several of the most loving people I know shaped into the amazing people they are largely by their religious faith. Dawkins is being kinda dumb when he characterizes religion as some big boogeyman that is responsible for most of the world's problems, he suggests religion is the only thing can corrupt good people, and he suggests religion's only impacts are negative ones, all of which is patently false.

The four horsemen are obviously very intelligent people in their own ways, but sometimes they said some rather stupid things. For example the Dawkins quote "Why do we feel the universe owes us an explanation," which is completely disingenuous from a religious or secular perspective, or Sam Harris's belief that our self-awareness and subjective experience doesn't really exist because it can't be physically quantified.

The quote comes from Steven Weinberg, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist.

As far as where morality comes from, I agree it comes from Evolution. Morality is just an implementation of some basic game theory, as evolved over millions of years by creatures who had to balance limited resources, limited space, co-operation between individuals, and the drive of natural selection. No need for a supernatural explanation any more than we need one for the existence of fire, or the stars, or anything else.

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#135 Edited by AdmiralLogic (4131 posts) - - Show Bio

You're assuming that an atheists' moral code has no basis, which is not the case. Sure, the basis of different atheist's moral codes might be different, but they're never arbitrary. For example, my moral code is based on established laws, various philosophies, and my own internal moral compass that came from the evolution of the brain throughout millions of years of evolution.

No, those instructions are not arbitrary... since they are derived from certain basic principles like physics, electronics, etc. However, a moral code derived from a god (lets assume this god actually exists) is truly arbitrary because it comes from no core principles to which that god is also subject to (in the case of the Christian God). See the difference? If God says "X is good and Y is bad" then by definition those are true. If that God then says "actually Y is good and X is bad" then that's now the truth, even though it's the opposite from before. In your computer example, if I told you that "throwing water into your computer is bad" then that's true because of physics, not because I said so. And if I said "throwing water into your computer is good"... well, that's wrong whether I believe it or not, because... again... physics.

And most religious people do become good people, but I'm arguing that it's in spite of the religion and not because of it. By that I mean, you would be a good person even if you were an atheist, because the moral code from you and not from what someone told you or a book you read. For example, imagine that tomorrow scientists find convincing evidence that God doesnt exist, and your church looks at it and they also conclude... God doesnt exist. You accept that God doesnt exist. Will you immediately stop being a moral person, even though you no longer believe that this morality comes from a god? If you do stay a moral person, then why was it necessary in the first place for you to believe in a God to be moral before?

No, it's not, but using a specific person as an example can clarify an argument, especially when that person can answer questions directly.

So what makes your code based off only millions of years less arbitrary then basing it off of the word of something which would have more knowledge then all of the material universe, which can experience time on a very different and superior level, and was the one who made all of this in the first place? A human can't even fully comprehend our planet, which is such a minuscule amount of knowledge compared to the rest of existence.

You realize you can change a computer to right? Some computers can be altered to be more or less resistant to water, they can be more or less capable of high speed algorithms. These can all be altered. And again, to think one can comprehend things on the same level as a being of such power would be a terrible idea, as we have such little knowledge and intelligence ourselves.

Simply, no. Had I not been in a religion such as Catholocism, I'd be dead. It's that simple. No atheistic view would have prevented me from committing suicide in that time. And no atheistic view would have kept me sane all these years since then. As for the morality matter, on the assumption that occurred, for this particular scenario, I can't say what would happen to be honest. I know suicide rates would suddenly climb immensely, I know a lot of things would change. But I can't say for sure what I would do.

In some cases that would be the case, but I'm not a professional apologist or as schooled in Catholicism as I'd like. Whereas some things are far more broad or simple in their believes, like skepticism is a very simple belief system which one could ask questions to them directly about and it would make sense if they answered fairly. Your response however appears to be sufficient, at least in your case, possibly. But I can't say how sure I am about others.

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#136 Posted by willpayton (22092 posts) - - Show Bio

@willpayton:

And most religious people do become good people, but I'm arguing that it's in spite of the religion and not because of it. By that I mean, you would be a good person even if you were an atheist, because the moral code from you and not from what someone told you or a book you read.

I probably would be a good person even if I were an atheist, but I doubt I'd be as good a person, because several truths I've realized and several introspective experiences that I've had that have shaped me into a better person have had a lot to do with my religious perspective. And one of the kindest most humble people I know is a good person, and it has a lot to do with him being inspired by Jesus's example and striving to be a good human being.

You might not be as good, or you might be more good. Who knows. But, the point is that you could look at the Bible as philosophy and still get the same exact lessons from it. You dont need to assume that there's an actual God to come to conclusions about whether something in the Bible is good or not. In fact, using your brain and being critical will make you a better person... unless you think that killing homosexuals, or stoning witches, or keeping slaves is a good thing... all of which are condoned by the Bible.

I'm tired of the assumption by some atheists that it's impossible for religion to have any positive benefits in making somebody a good person, because I've seen numerous people who are good people who have been inspired by their religious perspectives. I've thought this over because my faith is something I've struggled with before, but even if I one day become an atheist, I'd still consider my time spent as a Christian as something that has been beneficial to me as a person. Even if I lose my faith in Christianity, the time I spent as a Christian inspired me into a way that has changed who I am for the better in a way that I won't lose if I suddenly stop believing in God.

Sure, religion can have positive benefits, and for most religious people it does. Then again, religion can have very negative effects. If you use your reasoning ability, then you can choose to accept the good and ignore the bad. If you do this, you will be a better person, but it also means that you realize that morality comes from your own thoughts and choices, and not from a supernatural entity that hands them down to you. If you however dont use your reasoning abilities, then you're at the mercy of whatever religion you happened to be born into, or indoctrinated into. You could be out helping the poor, or you could be detonating a bomb strapped to your chest. Those people who do that, they all think they're also being "good people" and that they're going to heaven.

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#137 Posted by Revan- (7959 posts) - - Show Bio

Lmao.

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#138 Edited by Emperordmb (1987 posts) - - Show Bio

@willpayton:

The quote comes from Steven Weinberg, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist.

A smart guy with a retarded quote then.

As far as where morality comes from, I agree it comes from Evolution. Morality is just an implementation of some basic game theory, as evolved over millions of years by creatures who had to balance limited resources, limited space, co-operation between individuals, and the drive of natural selection. No need for a supernatural explanation any more than we need one for the existence of fire, or the stars, or anything else.

I find a completely physicalist perspective dissatisfying and logically incapable of explaining certain essential things, such as the existence of something rather than nothing, the fact that scientific law exists to begin with, and the fact that we actually have subjective experience (which isn't a physical thing, nor is it necessary for a physical system to function). Hence I believe in a God due to the cosmological and teleological arguments.

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#139 Posted by willpayton (22092 posts) - - Show Bio

So what makes your code based off only millions of years less arbitrary then basing it off of the word of something which would have more knowledge then all of the material universe, which can experience time on a very different and superior level, and was the one who made all of this in the first place? A human can't even fully comprehend our planet, which is such a minuscule amount of knowledge compared to the rest of existence.

What you dont realize is that your code is derived from the exact same thing as my code... Evolution. That is where the morality of religions comes from, where laws come from, etc. The main difference is that laws and current morality have changed over time, but religion tends to stay the same. But, to answer you more directly, it's less arbitrary because it comes from nature, it's a system that's been baked into the structure of our brains over time by natural selection. Now, I understand that you dont accept that as a truth... but that's what I'm claiming is the most likely explanation, and to support that we can look at a hundred years of scientific research to support it.

You realize you can change a computer to right? Some computers can be altered to be more or less resistant to water, they can be more or less capable of high speed algorithms. These can all be altered. And again, to think one can comprehend things on the same level as a being of such power would be a terrible idea, as we have such little knowledge and intelligence ourselves.

That's a cop out. That's where religion has taught you to turn off your brain and say "I cant understand this, so I'll just do what I'm told because God". Sure, there are many things we dont know, but we only learn them if we try and if we're willing to be open to the truth and not just what we want to be true.

Simply, no. Had I not been in a religion such as Catholocism, I'd be dead. It's that simple. No atheistic view would have prevented me from committing suicide in that time. And no atheistic view would have kept me sane all these years since then. As for the morality matter, on the assumption that occurred, for this particular scenario, I can't say what would happen to be honest. I know suicide rates would suddenly climb immensely, I know a lot of things would change. But I can't say for sure what I would do.

I'm not saying that religion didnt help you. In fact, I'm glad to hear it did and you're here because of it. In your case, it was a great thing and I'm not telling you to change your beliefs. I'm just saying that this is another way to think about it, and you might want to consider it. It is also true that people need different things at different times in their lives. Even from my perspective (as not believing in god) I know that some people need religion to get through some periods, but at other times they might not need it. In any case, I personally want to know what's true and not just what I believe to be true. Sometimes what I believe turns out to be wrong, and finding that out is better than just being comfortable in thinking I know something without questioning it.

To quote Richard Reynman:

“I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of uncertainty about different things, but I am not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don't know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we're here. I don't have to know an answer. I don't feel frightened not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is as far as I can tell.”

In some cases that would be the case, but I'm not a professional apologist or as schooled in Catholicism as I'd like. Whereas some things are far more broad or simple in their believes, like skepticism is a very simple belief system which one could ask questions to them directly about and it would make sense if they answered fairly. Your response however appears to be sufficient, at least in your case, possibly. But I can't say how sure I am about others.

Anyway, interesting discussion. I'm on my way out now so I cant reply any more tonight, but I'm sure you have enough with the rest of this thread to deal with.

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#140 Posted by SeaGod (4744 posts) - - Show Bio

@admirallogic: good lord you must have fingers in your ears only hearing what you want. I have explained that even without religion humans have created morals that respond to the social aspects they live in. There is also the consciousness aspect of it as well. You are ingrained from birth to act certain ways via social constructs and parental or societal teachings. Even without religion people have their teachings to use as their moral compass. Honestly religious moral teachings and teachings from birth are practically the same and serve the same purpose. As for the things I said I was pointing out that religion plays no part in the morality of a person as has been shown in the past with some of the most evil people in history claiming to believe very devoutly in their religion. Sorry I insulted you however you also started by insinuating that without religion atheists only can do evil as they don't have to worry about punishment in the afterlife.

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#141 Posted by AdmiralLogic (4131 posts) - - Show Bio


What you dont realize is that your code is derived from the exact same thing as my code... Evolution. That is where the morality of religions comes from, where laws come from, etc. The main difference is that laws and current morality have changed over time, but religion tends to stay the same. But, to answer you more directly, it's less arbitrary because it comes from nature, it's a system that's been baked into the structure of our brains over time by natural selection. Now, I understand that you dont accept that as a truth... but that's what I'm claiming is the most likely explanation, and to support that we can look at a hundred years of scientific research to support it.

That's a cop out. That's where religion has taught you to turn off your brain and say "I cant understand this, so I'll just do what I'm told because God". Sure, there are many things we dont know, but we only learn them if we try and if we're willing to be open to the truth and not just what we want to be true.

I'm not saying that religion didnt help you. In fact, I'm glad to hear it did and you're here because of it. In your case, it was a great thing and I'm not telling you to change your beliefs. I'm just saying that this is another way to think about it, and you might want to consider it. It is also true that people need different things at different times in their lives. Even from my perspective (as not believing in god) I know that some people need religion to get through some periods, but at other times they might not need it. In any case, I personally want to know what's true and not just what I believe to be true. Sometimes what I believe turns out to be wrong, and finding that out is better than just being comfortable in thinking I know something without questioning it.

To quote Richard Reynman:

“I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of uncertainty about different things, but I am not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don't know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we're here. I don't have to know an answer. I don't feel frightened not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is as far as I can tell.”

Anyway, interesting discussion. I'm on my way out now so I cant reply any more tonight, but I'm sure you have enough with the rest of this thread to deal with.

Then thank you for your explanation. That will suffice I think as an answer to my question.

But we can't learn and understand everything, clearly, or we wouldn't have so much trouble in school. I rarely "turn off my brain" as you say, I long for knowledge and intellectual stimulation, I always have. But I must remember that there are things I simply can never truly comprehend.

Interesting response. I won't entirely agree, but I'll definitely say it's a significantly better one then others I've gotten.

Yes it is kind of busy. But yes, thank you for your input. Some of it was actually useful to me, especially in your most recent post which I got much more information out of. So thanks.

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#142 Posted by willpayton (22092 posts) - - Show Bio

Then thank you for your explanation. That will suffice I think as an answer to my question.

But we can't learn and understand everything, clearly, or we wouldn't have so much trouble in school. I rarely "turn off my brain" as you say, I long for knowledge and intellectual stimulation, I always have. But I must remember that there are things I simply can never truly comprehend.

Interesting response. I won't entirely agree, but I'll definitely say it's a significantly better one then others I've gotten.

Yes it is kind of busy. But yes, thank you for your input. Some of it was actually useful to me, especially in your most recent post which I got much more information out of. So thanks.

Glad I could contribute. BTW by "turn off your brain" I only meant that this is a psychological problem we all suffer from at times. It's a subconscious thing. Humans tend to take "shortcuts" in reasoning because we evolved to efficiently try to deal with limited information and limited resources as far as energy usage and processing power of the brain. It's easy for the brain to say "oh I know this, so I'm not going to think too hard about it"... which can be very effective at allowing us to make fast decisions, but it can also lead to bad decisions when we dont even realize we were making without thinking.

I think I posted this in another thread, but I think it's somewhat relevant to this point, so I'll post it here. It's not specifically about religion, but rather just about how the brain works.

Loading Video...

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#143 Posted by Outside_85 (23518 posts) - - Show Bio

Human decency?

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#144 Edited by IceDemonKing (10009 posts) - - Show Bio

@jaycool2 said:

For atheists I am their moral compass.

still holds true

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#145 Posted by DarthVxder (1034 posts) - - Show Bio

@darthvxder said:

I forgot who said this but it was quoted by Dawkins in a doc he did. It went something like "If religion didnt exist we would have good people doing good things and bad people doing bad things but only religion can make good people do bad things."

That's a stupid quote IMO. All sorts of different ideologies can corrupt people, not just religion, and I've experienced a lot of personal self-growth and moral improvement heavily influenced by my religious perspective, and I've seen several of the most loving people I know shaped into the amazing people they are largely by their religious faith. Dawkins is being kinda dumb when he characterizes religion as some big boogeyman that is responsible for most of the world's problems, he suggests religion is the only thing can corrupt good people, and he suggests religion's only impacts are negative ones, all of which is patently false.

The four horsemen are obviously very intelligent people in their own ways, but sometimes they said some rather stupid things. For example the Dawkins quote "Why do we feel the universe owes us an explanation," which is completely disingenuous from a religious or secular perspective, or Sam Harris's belief that our self-awareness and subjective experience doesn't really exist because it can't be physically quantified.

I think the point of the quote was to show how religion is often used to justify awful acts and make people follow just because its the holy law. Religion can make people better themselves, thats true just like other ideologys can corrupt people aswell but you have to agree that most of the things that a majority of people would find bad in todays world has been due to or justified with religion in the present and the past. Dawkins does go overboard in putting all the blame on religion for the worlds problems but to be fair the things he seems to have problems with are all religious related. The question is if this is accidental or if he just cherry picks the ones that would fit his anti religious agenda.

Also I dont believe he thinks religions only impact is negative. IMO he believes the negatives far outweigh the positives which is up for discussion.

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#146 Posted by AdmiralLogic (4131 posts) - - Show Bio

@admirallogic said:

Then thank you for your explanation. That will suffice I think as an answer to my question.

But we can't learn and understand everything, clearly, or we wouldn't have so much trouble in school. I rarely "turn off my brain" as you say, I long for knowledge and intellectual stimulation, I always have. But I must remember that there are things I simply can never truly comprehend.

Interesting response. I won't entirely agree, but I'll definitely say it's a significantly better one then others I've gotten.

Yes it is kind of busy. But yes, thank you for your input. Some of it was actually useful to me, especially in your most recent post which I got much more information out of. So thanks.

Glad I could contribute. BTW by "turn off your brain" I only meant that this is a psychological problem we all suffer from at times. It's a subconscious thing. Humans tend to take "shortcuts" in reasoning because we evolved to efficiently try to deal with limited information and limited resources as far as energy usage and processing power of the brain. It's easy for the brain to say "oh I know this, so I'm not going to think too hard about it"... which can be very effective at allowing us to make fast decisions, but it can also lead to bad decisions when we dont even realize we were making without thinking.

I think I posted this in another thread, but I think it's somewhat relevant to this point, so I'll post it here. It's not specifically about religion, but rather just about how the brain works.

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It was relevant to the post which was on topic so yeah. I'll have to take a look at it at some point.

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#147 Posted by SirMethos (1600 posts) - - Show Bio

@admirallogic:

"If there is no God, no Hell, and no Heaven, or even any form of life after I die, what is the point of having any form of moral compass? I can do whatever I want as long as it benefits me more then it harms me throughout my life, since after I die I won't have to worry about anything."

Well, it's absolutely true that you can do whatever you want, you have to keep the consequences of your actions in mind though, since we are a social species, and live in communities.

While society allows for some degree of variation(it would have to, since morality is subjective, and thus individual) there is some framework of morality that is generally common for any society in question.

And going against the commonly(in your particular society) accepted moral standards, will have negative consequences for you.

To paraphrase a quote: Atheists generally kill, rape, and steal from, as many people as they want, which is zero.

Our morality comes from a number of sources: The primary source is our inborn sense of empathy. Then there are our parents and immediate family, who contribute a large part of our morality, through our upbringing, especially in the early stages. Then there are other authority figures once we start in school. Then there are our friends and other relationships, which also contribute. There is also the media, which for better or worse, also contributes to some degree.

Those of us with religious parents, religious authority figures, etc. will end up with a moral code that, depending on *how* religious the people around them are, will be largely affected by the religion of their immediate society.

The point of having a moral code, is that it allows us to function in a society, which as any other flock animal, is important(loneliness has been shown to be detrimental to your health).

"There is also the fact that with these same belief that there is no afterlife, suicide is an extremely appealing option for people of high stress levels and depression."

I suppose that depends on your perspective. I would think that with no afterlife, suicide is less appealing. After all, with no afterlife, this life is all we have, so make the most of it.

If an afterlife did exist, I would see suicide as a far more attractive option. After all, it doesn't really matter if I die, if there is an afterlife where I'll keep going afterwards. If this life is essentially just a pit-stop, between the eternity before I existed, and the eternity of the afterlife, then why linger? Why not just, at the first sign of any real adversity, say "sod it, I gave it a chance but clearly this sucks, might as well just move on to the next place"?

Bottom line is, regardless of whether you are religious or not, your moral code comes from the same place, and for the same reason.

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#148 Posted by AdmiralLogic (4131 posts) - - Show Bio

@sirmethos:

Ok I understood the rest of it and believe that makes sense for an answer, so thanks!

As for the matter of suicide, I suppose I kind of forgot not every religion views suicide as something to go to Hell for. I essentially did that because the religions I know most about are Catholocism, so suicide would send a person to Hell, and religions in which suicide would be viewed as cowardly and thus send you to the equivalent of Hell, so like a viking would see suicide as cowardly as they'd actually prefer to die in combat.

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#149 Posted by katrurius17 (1314 posts) - - Show Bio

@admirallogic:

"If there is no God, no Hell, and no Heaven, or even any form of life after I die, what is the point of having any form of moral compass? I can do whatever I want as long as it benefits me more then it harms me throughout my life, since after I die I won't have to worry about anything."

Well, it's absolutely true that you can do whatever you want, you have to keep the consequences of your actions in mind though, since we are a social species, and live in communities.

While society allows for some degree of variation(it would have to, since morality is subjective, and thus individual) there is some framework of morality that is generally common for any society in question.

And going against the commonly(in your particular society) accepted moral standards, will have negative consequences for you.

To paraphrase a quote: Atheists generally kill, rape, and steal from, as many people as they want, which is zero.

Our morality comes from a number of sources: The primary source is our inborn sense of empathy. Then there are our parents and immediate family, who contribute a large part of our morality, through our upbringing, especially in the early stages. Then there are other authority figures once we start in school. Then there are our friends and other relationships, which also contribute. There is also the media, which for better or worse, also contributes to some degree.

Those of us with religious parents, religious authority figures, etc. will end up with a moral code that, depending on *how* religious the people around them are, will be largely affected by the religion of their immediate society.

The point of having a moral code, is that it allows us to function in a society, which as any other flock animal, is important(loneliness has been shown to be detrimental to your health).

"There is also the fact that with these same belief that there is no afterlife, suicide is an extremely appealing option for people of high stress levels and depression."

I suppose that depends on your perspective. I would think that with no afterlife, suicide is less appealing. After all, with no afterlife, this life is all we have, so make the most of it.

If an afterlife did exist, I would see suicide as a far more attractive option. After all, it doesn't really matter if I die, if there is an afterlife where I'll keep going afterwards. If this life is essentially just a pit-stop, between the eternity before I existed, and the eternity of the afterlife, then why linger? Why not just, at the first sign of any real adversity, say "sod it, I gave it a chance but clearly this sucks, might as well just move on to the next place"?

Bottom line is, regardless of whether you are religious or not, your moral code comes from the same place, and for the same reason.

Second that.

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#150 Posted by just_sayin (3556 posts) - - Show Bio

Human decency?

I think what the OP was getting at was that if there is no god then "good" is a relativistic thing. What might be "good" to one person, group, or country might be deemed "evil" by another. If there is no universal law giver, "good" and "evil" are just matters of opinion and whose to say if your opinion is any better than the guy who just raped and murdered a three year old girl. What you may consider "decent" another would consider "immoral" or "judgmental".