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Guest redyellowblue

Morality of man without god?

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Off topic, but do you remember the name of the series? It sounds pretty cool!

Yes, it is Ranma1/2. It is a martial arts comedy/romance of sixteen-year-old Ranma and Akane who are placed into an arranged marriage. While there is barely any kissing (there are only two kisses with Ranma and Akane but they were technically fake,) it is still PG16 rated. That's because a huge part of the comedy is that while martial arts training with his dad in China over a bunch of cursed springs (sort of like giant ponds), Ranma fell into one. Now he turns into a girl whenever he is sprayed with cold water. He is not the only one who has fallen into the springs (but each spring holds a different power.) So there is lots of magic-type stuff evolved. But I really like how Rumiko Takahashi portrayed the arranged marriage. Ranma and Akane did not get along well with each other in the beginning but they eventually moved into a tense friendship, finally became friends, and then started to develop feelings. It's really hilarious and the romance is incredibly sweet, but there is one majorly perverted character and Rumiko Takahashi does not shy away from drawing nudity (NEVER any sex scenes or in any romance scenes. Ranma, being male, isn't at all self-conscious about his female body, and some characters turn into animals so when they transform back into humans they don't have clothes on.) The nudity is all waist-up. If you aren't well-versed in the Japanese anime and manga culture, this manga will seem very strange to you. While teen fiction (vampires and dystopian, etc,) seem strange to me.

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The reason why I started with cavemen is to argue that it is possible for morals to be established by humans. To me it would make rational sense (survival of the fitness is probably the wrong term but I think you understand what I mean) for humans that cooperated allowed them to thrive and reproduce, and those that were selfish and went it alone, died without reproducing. This provided the basis for living together and morals developed historically over time to allow society to be established. Obviously there are differences today a few being that it smaller communities then, so everyone knew each other and trust each other, we had common threats/enemies and we were dependent on one another etc. So these morals do not have to come from religion necessarily and while you may disagree it is at least plausible.

So lets bring it to the modern day and lets try something slightly different. I believe in God but I have questioned if I did not believe in God would anything be different. I sincerely believe not. To do something only because someone told you to undermines the act of doing it on your own volition, I have chosen these morals because they are right, not because they were imposed by God (could possibly argue that they are one in the same - God and right, but then that could mean good people who do not believe in God but believe in right/morals could get into heaven? - very difficult debating over the internet). Furthermore, the idea of doing something that is right because you will get rewarded or punished for not doing so, undermines the act of a true gift. True gifts are given without any expectations of a reward (you may get a benefit but you do not by any means expect an exchange). The same is with doing the right thing and having morals. They should be done because they are right in themselves and the expectation of reward/punishment slightly undermines the purpose of doing it.

I tend to be more optimistic about the modern day. There are many good and selfless people in the world and there always will be. Many of these selfless people are religious and many are not. Mankind does not need to be forced to be good by a higher power - that is the stick approach - they need to be shown the merits of having morals such as helping people (because they still exist as I think you would acknowledge). Society would flourish if we did, but the problem is that we do not trust each others to contribute, so we become unwilling to contribute ourselves (trust being the problem with game theory). I think kindness and good actions breeds more kindness and good actions, selfishness only breeds more selfishness - it is a cycle, but one that a human can break.

Assuming that god does not exist, morals have their own underlying-merits and would exist anyway.

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Nick I shake hands with you. I agree with some but of course disagree with others- I think we are just gonna have to leave it at that. I think we are resonating with each other and understanding each other but our terminology and how we define certain terms is allowing a muddier version. I kind of think you are misunderstanding my argument which makes sense since this type of thing is hard to do over the internet. I don't think mankind has to be forced by a higher power to obey a moral code. Everyone has free will and the choice to create their own morals.

I believe that people recognize morals because of the punishment/rewards system. If a person helps another person and they get nothing in return but a warm fuzzy feeling that is in itself a reward. The reward/punishment thing does not have to be physical. I believe a "true gift" still produces a reward which can either be emotional or spiritual. Usually people cannot just walk away from helping a another person and not feel some sense of happiness. They don't expect anything physically but it does make them happy which in itself is a reward.

I think you may have picked up a more negative vibe from my post with your comment abour being more optimistic. Again I don't think anyone if forcing anyone to be good because then everyone would be good. I think you just resonated with my point that parenting, the environment and the people around do influence how morals or conducted because of course as children we need to be shown how helping others is good. I do believe there are good people in the world even though you picked up the vibe that I do not. I simply believe that every person has the choice to do good or bad based on their rationale and their interpretation of merit. I do also believe that while trust is important I feel that it is perfectly natural to have a cautious trust because that is a way to protect ourself from harm (basically other people who make bad decisions). Back in the day of cavemen everyone did work together as a team but then again their one no reason to create enemies amongst the tribe. In today's time we are not always working together for a greater good and some people do make bad decisions which can harm others ( I hope we can at least agree on that). The idea of trust and merit in society are very subjective and has to be looked at differently from a cavemen perspective (at least for me)For example, if a person is begging for money and personA has a whole five dollars the unselfish thing would be to give the money to the beggar but then again personA might not have enough money for lunch. I would not call personA selfish if they did not give the money to the beggar if it hurt them in the end. It would be great if person A could get change for the five though.

I think that some form of morals would be present today but not in the same capacity and to the same degree- many would either be absent or completely different. While morals do have merit and people can still choose to do good it is obvious that many find some type of merit in doing wrong( they rationalize and understand in their own terms the meaning of the merit). Also just looking at the theory of God's existence then I believe it shows how man wants a sort of higher power to illustrate morality. Let's say the Bible is a story ( purely hypothetical and since I am christian a really weird thing to say) there was a reason to write that story and their was a reason for people to follow that story and still follow it. If not for the interpreation of the story then it is for the morality that the story provides- the BIble does provide examples of the rewards of goodness and evil. The fact that people still follow it and many other types of deities even today kind of show that some type of higher power was necessary to create this level of morality in society. I believe man would have created something if Christ was not real ( well they have through all of the forms of religion) because of the morality it induces. I sometimes even think science itself is a religion and can induce morality.

So for RYB again, still don't think morality would be the same without a deity and I go one step further to say that if Christ was not around man would have created another theory and deity or we would probably be following Buddha or something. I think man needed some type of higher power.

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Very true. Typing over the internet leaves so many ambiguities and opportunities for misunderstanding. It is far easier debating in person since you can see facial expressions and see if they understand what your saying / how they are taking it / and whether they just want you to shut up lol - etc. (This just shows how misunderstanding can occur as it is possible to infer that I want you to shut up which is certainly not the case - I do enjoy debating ideas in a good natured context - and with these sorts of questions, while you may disagree, I found that you can never prove someone wrong or right if you debate it correctly)

I think your ideas are as rational as any other good idea and under the assumption that God does not exist, we would have created one so as to provide a moral foundation is as logical as any other explanation.

A pity we couldn't change certain things about the world and see what the outcome would have been. I do often wonder how things would have been different if x,y,&z did or did not happen.

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Good thing I'm not a man or I'd be in trouble.

You may just be kidding around, can't be sure. But if you're serious -- Merriam-Webster and most other dictionaries as well as most scholarly types define "man" as gender neutral, as it was also used in the original question by redyellowblue. And actually, just looking at the nice gray and white silhouette picture of yourself, it's a little difficult to tell if you're male or female. :)

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Very true. Typing over the internet leaves so many ambiguities and opportunities for misunderstanding. It is far easier debating in person since you can see facial expressions and see if they understand what your saying / how they are taking it / and whether they just want you to shut up lol - etc. (This just shows how misunderstanding can occur as it is possible to infer that I want you to shut up which is certainly not the case - I do enjoy debating ideas in a good natured context - and with these sorts of questions, while you may disagree, I found that you can never prove someone wrong or right if you debate it correctly)

I think your ideas are as rational as any other good idea and under the assumption that God does not exist, we would have created one so as to provide a moral foundation is as logical as any other explanation.

A pity we couldn't change certain things about the world and see what the outcome would have been. I do often wonder how things would have been different if x,y,&z did or did not happen.

YAY! We can agree. Religion while talking in person can already be quite heated so religion over the internet is even more uncomfortable at times because, like you said, we can't see each other's faces or even hear each other's voice. Completely agree with what you said :) . It would be interesting to see what would happen if some things in the world were changed.

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I'm not a religious person myself, but I do believe there is a higher being and an afterlife. I think there has to be a heaven. Good people aren't rewarded enough on this earth.

That said, I don't think there would be any concept of 'morality' without the existence of religion. I believe the philosophy of religion and the idea of morality exist because of each other. Religion is a nice idea within itself--it's a beautiful, beautiful thing to believe that you won't be buried in the dirt for the rest of eternity, that if you live a good life, your soul will live on.

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I see we're discussing whether it's okay to use the word "man" when referring to human beings...Well, honestly, it doesn't bother me that much.What really frustrates me is when they stop using any word suffixed with "man" or "men" in case it "offends" women, then end up with really stupid words. Like, "freshers"?! "Oh, I'm a fresher at university" - what a stupid name! I have absolutely no problem which calling myself a "freshman". I'm not a stupid third-wave womyn: I get that "man" means "person" and not just "male".

Like, I remember one time I was watching a video on YouTube (can't remember what it was about), which was this talk thing done by a priest. So, about 30 seconds in, he said, "We recognise that all men are created equal". In the comment section below, someone had written, "Oh, I couldn't listen to any more of your video after you used that hateful terminology. All men? Well, that just proves how the Church is a sick, sexist organisation". I remember reading it and thinking, "Are you freaking kidding me?! You know what he meant! It's not exactly a new phrase: 'All men are created equal', in fact, it's written in your constitution! Are you honestly telling me you wouldn't even listen to what he had to say, no matter how good a point he made, because he used the word 'men'? It's a perfectly innocuous phrase! It's you who has the problem, not him!"

*sigh* Sorry, rant over...

xxx

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there are good christians (martin luther king jr.) there are evil christians (adolf Hitler) there are good muslims (malcolm X) there are bad muslims (osama bin laden). Alternatively there are Ethical people who live without religion (Bill gates) and Evil people who live without religion (joseph stalin) Religion doesnt always correlate with ethics....

Morality is a relative , some people murder others for the thrill,some people murder others due to heartbreak, some people murder others to end there suffering,some people send other people to foriegn countries to murder for them to prove murdering is wrong, one of the punishments for murdering someone is to be murdered by someone. heck..some people even murder out of sheer convenience.

philosophy was built on the principle that every voice has worth and every day is as beautiful as we make it.

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“Consider what kind of moral and ethical standards exist if Man himself is the highest of powers.â€

If man himself is the highest of powers, then there would be multiple (approx 7 billion) subjective ethical standards. Each one is as fair as the next one. Therefore the ethical and moral standards of someone like let's say (I hate to evoke this guy, but I can't think of a better example) Hitler, is just as valid as the ethical and moral standards of Darwin, and is just as valid as the ethical and moral standards of Paul the Apostle.

There's something about that line of argument that is a bit unsettling if you ask me.

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