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On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Saudi Arabia
1265 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2012 :  00:27:51  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Atheists claim that they do not need to be religious to be moral, but if you have no absolute morality or doctrine then to whose standards of morality are you conforming to and how is it better or worse than any other?

Usually examples given by atheists of moral behaviour are ones which everyone can agree are "good", charity for example. But this is cheating, they are taking concepts that religious people are taught are good and moral, then using this baseline as a yard stick against their own behaviour because there is no universal moral code and they have never defined one of their own. Even when they try not to they are taking their moral framework from religion.

[Moved to the Religion folder - Dave W.]

the_ignored
SFN Addict

2550 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2012 :  02:44:48   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send the_ignored a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'd say, among other things that you have to prove that we get our moral framework from religion. Even non-xian cultures develop rules against such things as theft and murder...see Hammurabi for one. It's simply how groups of people have developed standards of behavior so that we can get along with each other. Even "social" mammals like certain monkey groups can do that, to a limited extent.

I would also say that the idea that religion gives one an "absolute morality" is complete crock. Look for example at baby-killing. Even the most staunch "pro-lifer" will have no qualms about babies being killed so long as god does it. That is subjective morality, not "objective morality".

I could also say to look at the comments here.

I am in fact, in an argument with some clown on this topic over here.


>From: enuffenuff@fastmail.fm
(excerpt follows):
> I'm looking to teach these two bastards a lesson they'll never forget.
> Personal visit by mates of mine. No violence, just a wee little chat.
>
> **** has also committed more crimes than you can count with his
> incitement of hatred against a religion. That law came in about 2007
> much to ****'s ignorance. That is fact and his writing will become well
> know as well as him becoming a publicly known icon of hatred.
>
> Good luck with that fuckwit. And Reynold, fucking run, and don't stop.
> Disappear would be best as it was you who dared to attack me on my
> illness knowing nothing of the cause. You disgust me and you are top of
> the list boy. Again, no violence. Just regular reminders of who's there
> and visits to see you are behaving. Nothing scary in reality. But I'd
> still disappear if I was you.

What brought that on? this. Original posting here.

Another example of this guy's lunacy here.
Edited by - the_ignored on 09/02/2012 02:46:33
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9666 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2012 :  02:46:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's actually the other way around. Religion is taking parts of its moral framework from the Golden Rule. The Ethics of Reciprocity suggests you should give to charity. There's written records as old as 1700BCE (Hammurabi) and 2000BCE (Egypt), and the idea of the Golden Rule is much older than that.

Your premises for the argument are unsound.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
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Dave W.
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USA
25977 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2012 :  03:01:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

Atheists claim that they do not need to be religious to be moral, but if you have no absolute morality or doctrine then to whose standards of morality are you conforming to and how is it better or worse than any other?
Given that god doesn't exist, theists are in the same boat, and are just lying to themselves about living under an "absolute" morality. Given that the morality taught by Christians is very different from that taught by Jains, picking a religion is no different from picking a morality.
Usually examples given by atheists of moral behaviour are ones which everyone can agree are "good", charity for example. But this is cheating, they are taking concepts that religious people are taught are good and moral, then using this baseline as a yard stick against their own behaviour because there is no universal moral code and they have never defined one of their own. Even when they try not to they are taking their moral framework from religion.
Just because some religions got some moral precepts correct doesn't mean that any religion is a good moral guide. Even a broken clock is correct twice a day. The idea that morals originated with religions, and so atheists must mimic religion to get their morality, is ludicrous on its face.

Morals are the rules we live by to attain some social or personal goal. Everyone picks which goal(s) to aspire towards. Christians (for example) pick the selfish goal of everlasting life for themselves in a fictitious heaven, and unthinkingly follow rules laid out by an ancient book to attain that goal. Thoughtful atheists don't have that luxury, and so must carefully select one or more goals and then decide what rules are required to attain them, changing those rules as dictated by empirical feedback as to what works and what doesn't.

(Are there unthinking, selfish atheists? Absolutely. But it's not a requirement of atheism.)

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Saudi Arabia
1265 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2012 :  04:16:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Given that god doesn't exist, theists are in the same boat, and are just lying to themselves about living under an "absolute" morality. Given that the morality taught by Christians is very different from that taught by Jains, picking a religion is no different from picking a morality.


Yes but this question is not about whether God exists. Let me say it in another way, we know where Theists get (or are supposed to get) their morality from. Some atheists claim to act in a moral way. Moral according to whom and why?


Just because some religions got some moral precepts correct doesn't mean that any religion is a good moral guide. Even a broken clock is correct twice a day.


Didn't say it was. What I'm more interested in is how you have decided what is "correct".

The idea that morals originated with religions, and so atheists must mimic religion to get their morality, is ludicrous on its face.


Not exactly what I said. I said when atheists point to supposed moral behaviour, they are usually things which are universally agreed upon to be good by religion.

Morals are the rules we live by to attain some social or personal goal. Everyone picks which goal(s) to aspire towards. Christians (for example) pick the selfish goal of everlasting life for themselves in a fictitious heaven, and unthinkingly follow rules laid out by an ancient book to attain that goal.
Thoughtful atheists don't have that luxury, and so must carefully select one or more goals and then decide what rules are required to attain them, changing those rules as dictated by empirical feedback as to what works and what doesn't.


So personal/social goals are at the root of atheist morality? How can anything so fluid be considered correct or incorrect?

(Are there unthinking, selfish atheists? Absolutely. But it's not a requirement of atheism.)


It's also not at odds with atheist.

Edited by - On fire for Christ on 09/02/2012 04:19:06
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On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Saudi Arabia
1265 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2012 :  04:18:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dr. Mabuse

It's actually the other way around. Religion is taking parts of its moral framework from the Golden Rule. The Ethics of Reciprocity suggests you should give to charity. There's written records as old as 1700BCE (Hammurabi) and 2000BCE (Egypt), and the idea of the Golden Rule is much older than that.

Your premises for the argument are unsound.



Yes I discussed this in another topic RE the role of women. Atheists seem to love the notion that the golden rule seems to spontaneously arise in various cultures like some kind of innate human morality, but prefer to distance themselves from the fact that the vast majority of societies are patriarchal. You can't really have your cake and eat it.

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the_ignored
SFN Addict

2550 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2012 :  05:14:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send the_ignored a Private Message  Reply with Quote
We never said that even societies that tried to follow the golden rule were perfect, did we? Hell, when it comes to patriarchy, that's one of the few characteristics of "morality" that I could actually see coming from your bible.

Is that something you actually don't like?


>From: enuffenuff@fastmail.fm
(excerpt follows):
> I'm looking to teach these two bastards a lesson they'll never forget.
> Personal visit by mates of mine. No violence, just a wee little chat.
>
> **** has also committed more crimes than you can count with his
> incitement of hatred against a religion. That law came in about 2007
> much to ****'s ignorance. That is fact and his writing will become well
> know as well as him becoming a publicly known icon of hatred.
>
> Good luck with that fuckwit. And Reynold, fucking run, and don't stop.
> Disappear would be best as it was you who dared to attack me on my
> illness knowing nothing of the cause. You disgust me and you are top of
> the list boy. Again, no violence. Just regular reminders of who's there
> and visits to see you are behaving. Nothing scary in reality. But I'd
> still disappear if I was you.

What brought that on? this. Original posting here.

Another example of this guy's lunacy here.
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On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Saudi Arabia
1265 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2012 :  05:18:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by the_ignored

We never said that even societies that tried to follow the golden rule were perfect, did we? Hell, when it comes to patriarchy, that's one of the few characteristics of "morality" that I could actually see coming from your bible.

Is that something you actually don't like?




how about you answer my questions first.

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AyameTan
New Member

Japan
36 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2012 :  05:23:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send AyameTan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Objective morality can only be founded on the objective nature of suffering and happiness.

"Absolute" religious morality has done nothing to stop religious zealots of numerous stripes from torturing infants (circumcision) or oppressing women, or stifling scientific progress for centuries, or enslaving anyone unfortunate enough to be born with a darker skin tone, or...

"Tatti hitori no inochi wo sukuu mono wa zensekai wo sukuu."
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
25977 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2012 :  08:12:26   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

So personal/social goals are at the root of atheist morality?
Personal/social goals are the root of all morality, whether it's religious or not.
How can anything so fluid be considered correct or incorrect?
You tell me: how can Christian missionaries or evangelizers try to persuade people to change their morality and still consider their morality correct?

Really, morality (the rules, remember) is correct or incorrect within the context of one or more goals. If the rules you live by objectively move you further away from your goals, then your morality is demonstrably incorrect (for example, someone who holds that all life is sacred shooting a doctor who performs abortions).

No goal can be said to be objectively "better" than any other, but we can and do argue all the time over which goals seem better, fairer, etc. And most disagreements about morality stem from conflicting goals (and so the phrase "that's immoral" should be seen as synonymous with "your goals are opposed to mine"). For example, I consider the reduction of human suffering to be a far more noble goal than getting into heaven (and in fact see Christian morality working to increase the suffering on this planet). So while I consider my goals (and thus my morality) to be much better than that expressed in the Bible, all I can do to persuade people to my view is appeal to their sense of empathy and decency (and people for whom empathy is a low priority aren't going to be persuaded - c'est la guerre).
(Are there unthinking, selfish atheists? Absolutely. But it's not a requirement of atheism.)
It's also not at odds with atheist.
Right: about the only thing at odds with dictionary atheism is belief in a deity. "I am an atheist" isn't a goal from which a morality can be built, it's merely a state of being.

However, the idea that there are no gods implies things about the nature of the world and society which in turn imply that certain goals should be adopted by atheists, but (of course) nobody can force them to. Being unthoughtful and/or selfish are thus not contravened by being an atheist (but seem to be required to be a Christian). And the new Atheism+ label has been created to try to rally atheists who think that atheism implies that atheists should strive for social justice causes, for example.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Hawks
SFN Regular

Canada
1383 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2012 :  08:59:15   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

Atheists claim that they do not need to be religious to be moral, but if you have no absolute morality or doctrine then to whose standards of morality are you conforming to and how is it better or worse than any other?


One can have absolute morality without religion, so your question needs to be reworded.

METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
It's a small, off-duty czechoslovakian traffic warden!
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9666 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2012 :  12:29:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

Yes but this question is not about whether God exists. Let me say it in another way, we know where Theists get (or are supposed to get) their morality from. Some atheists claim to act in a moral way. Moral according to whom and why?

"we know where Theists get their morality from" Yes, their "prophet" pulled it out of his ass.

"we know where Theists are supposed to get their morality from" Yes, from God who's words were dictated to a prophet to write down for us. Since in both cases, the word comes in written form from a prophet who may or may not have pulled it out of his ass... how can we know? We only have his word on this, and since we don't know him personally, how can we trust that what he's saying is true?



Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
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Machi4velli
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USA
854 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2012 :  17:15:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Machi4velli a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

Originally posted by Dr. Mabuse

It's actually the other way around. Religion is taking parts of its moral framework from the Golden Rule. The Ethics of Reciprocity suggests you should give to charity. There's written records as old as 1700BCE (Hammurabi) and 2000BCE (Egypt), and the idea of the Golden Rule is much older than that.

Your premises for the argument are unsound.



Yes I discussed this in another topic RE the role of women. Atheists seem to love the notion that the golden rule seems to spontaneously arise in various cultures like some kind of innate human morality, but prefer to distance themselves from the fact that the vast majority of societies are patriarchal. You can't really have your cake and eat it.


The argument isn't that the golden rule is good because of its long history and historical ubiquity, at least not in the sense that ubiquity and history imply the modern acceptability of a moral principle (these may be considered good signs, but not sufficient for acceptability). So, atheists should not be justifying the principle on these bases, and if they're not, the only way your point would stand would be if the golden rule were to logically imply patriarchy, but I don't see that this is the case.

The only valid point in mentioning the long history of the golden rule, in my opinion, is to refute modern religious claims that it arises from their tradition.

"Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people."
-Giordano Bruno

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-Albert Camus
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the_ignored
SFN Addict

2550 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2012 :  18:08:15   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send the_ignored a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

Originally posted by the_ignored

We never said that even societies that tried to follow the golden rule were perfect, did we? Hell, when it comes to patriarchy, that's one of the few characteristics of "morality" that I could actually see coming from your bible.

Is that something you actually don't like?




how about you answer my questions first.

Which question was that? This one?
Atheists claim that they do not need to be religious to be moral, but if you have no absolute morality or doctrine then to whose standards of morality are you conforming to and how is it better or worse than any other?

I did. I pointed out that you religionists don't have any right to the claim of objective morality. We have to work out our own standards based on the welfare of the people in society in general.

Now, your turn.

>From: enuffenuff@fastmail.fm
(excerpt follows):
> I'm looking to teach these two bastards a lesson they'll never forget.
> Personal visit by mates of mine. No violence, just a wee little chat.
>
> **** has also committed more crimes than you can count with his
> incitement of hatred against a religion. That law came in about 2007
> much to ****'s ignorance. That is fact and his writing will become well
> know as well as him becoming a publicly known icon of hatred.
>
> Good luck with that fuckwit. And Reynold, fucking run, and don't stop.
> Disappear would be best as it was you who dared to attack me on my
> illness knowing nothing of the cause. You disgust me and you are top of
> the list boy. Again, no violence. Just regular reminders of who's there
> and visits to see you are behaving. Nothing scary in reality. But I'd
> still disappear if I was you.

What brought that on? this. Original posting here.

Another example of this guy's lunacy here.
Go to Top of Page

On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Saudi Arabia
1265 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2012 :  20:02:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Personal/social goals are the root of all morality, whether it's religious or not.


Here's the part I'm having trouble with. For example, how can you have a moral opinion on whether someone on the other side of the world is permitted to have an abortion or not? What personal or social goal drives that, and why is your opinion more correct than the people who are against it.

You tell me: how can Christian missionaries or evangelizers try to persuade people to change their morality and still consider their morality correct?


Well this is my point, Theists have a certainty that atheists cannot have. Right or wrong, religion is the source of their/our morality. I'm trying to uncover the source of yours, and how you can have any degree of certainty that it is correct to practice for yourself and proselytize to others.


Really, morality (the rules, remember) is correct or incorrect within the context of one or more goals. If the rules you live by objectively move you further away from your goals, then your morality is demonstrably incorrect (for example, someone who holds that all life is sacred shooting a doctor who performs abortions).


I think anyone who committed a crime like that would easily argue that they protect innocent life and punish murderers, but it's a sidetrack to what I'm trying to learn about.

No goal can be said to be objectively "better" than any other, but we can and do argue all the time over which goals seem better, fairer, etc. And most disagreements about morality stem from conflicting goals (and so the phrase "that's immoral" should be seen as synonymous with "your goals are opposed to mine"). For example, I consider the reduction of human suffering to be a far more noble goal than getting into heaven (and in fact see Christian morality working to increase the suffering on this planet). So while I consider my goals (and thus my morality) to be much better than that expressed in the Bible, all I can do to persuade people to my view is appeal to their sense of empathy and decency (and people for whom empathy is a low priority aren't going to be persuaded - c'est la guerre).


So why choose the reduction of human suffering over other goals?
What is the basis of this goal? And if goals are simply chosen by human beings, how can you be outraged that other people's goals conflict with your own. They are simply humans following the path their mammalian brains have wandered down.

Also to be logically consistent with this you would petition all money going into the NASA budget instead be diverted to foreign aid. As far as I know examining rocks on Mars has done little or nothing to relieve human suffering. How is this any different to someone who believes life to be sacred shooting a Doctor at an abortion clinic?



However, the idea that there are no gods implies things about the nature of the world and society which in turn imply that certain goals should be adopted by atheists, but (of course) nobody can force them to. Being unthoughtful and/or selfish are thus not contravened by being an atheist (but seem to be required to be a Christian). And the new Atheism+ label has been created to try to rally atheists who think that atheism implies that atheists should strive for social justice causes, for example.


I don't see how selfishness is a requirement of Christianity. See the story of the good Samaritan for example. Other monotheistic religions also have built-in altruism, such as the Zakat in Islam.
Atheists often say that it takes religion to make bad people do good things. But conversely, without religion, there's nothing to motivate bad people to do good things.

Edited by - On fire for Christ on 09/02/2012 20:30:13
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AyameTan
New Member

Japan
36 Posts

Posted - 09/02/2012 :  20:19:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send AyameTan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

I don't see how selfishness is a requirement of Christianity. See the story of the good Samaritan for example. Other monotheistic religions also have built-in altruism, such as the Zakat in Islam.
Atheists often say that it takes religion to make bad people do good things. But conversely, without religion, there's nothing to motivate bad people to do good things.



Ever heard of social contracts and game theory? What goes around comes around. Treating people with compassion and kindness makes it more likely that you will be treated in kind.

Run around exploiting everyone and you'll find yourself ostracised and without avenues of aid in short order.

"Tatti hitori no inochi wo sukuu mono wa zensekai wo sukuu."
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