Steadfast Madcap

"How Secular Family Values Stack Up"

33 posts in this topic

Jesus even said you don't need to be a believer to be nice or successful. Jesus mainly came to die for us, so we could go to heaven. I also believe that many atheists hold themselves up due to the idea that they believe there is no God to back them up. I think many Christians take advantage of God's forgiveness. Although I can say this. When I was an atheist I had fun times but I never had a fulfilling happiness. I look back and I realize that a lot of the bad things I've been through have been good things. I've also realized that even when I thought I was doing everything alone, God was helping me take every step. I know it sounds cliché to say that I wasn't truly happy without God, but it's true.

11 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That study only proves the notion that that all humans are born with a God-given moral nature. That doesn't change just because a person doesn't want to believe in God.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And then there's this guy...
 

That study only proves the notion that that all humans are born with a God-given moral nature.


How so?
 

That doesn't change just because a person doesn't want to believe in God.


WearyChillyBeardedcollie.gif

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing to really get about Jesus is that when He came to earth, his main adversaries were religious people. Not atheists or agnostics, but the religious elite. His adversaries were wealthy, powerful, well respected religious figures, who were hyper-religious. The problem was they had a corrupted version of religion. They had twisted religion for their own selfish gain. Jesus frequently called them hypocrites.

Now there are still remnants of that type of situation Jesus faced, today. Religious conflict throughout history hasn't been so much about people who believe God exists vs people who don't believe God exists. The conflict has been between people following the true God and people following a corrupted version of God.

If we lump together righteous religious people with religious hypocrites, and compare that lump with secular people, like the article does, it's not surprising there's a lot of immorality in the religious lump. Because there's always been religious hypocrites causing trouble. They're the ones who killed Jesus.

The article lumps together all people who claim to be religious and treats them as a homogeneous group-and that's misleading because it paints pictures with overly broad strokes. It fails to make a distinction between people who are truly following God, and people who are hypocrites with a religious label. It just blindly labels all those people "religious" and throws them all away together by deciding religion isn't that great after all. The article ends up throwing out the baby with the bath water.

Also, it seems as if the article is using a secular standard of morality to judge the groups. Not everyone agrees with that standard of morality. The secular group does many things that are immoral when judged by certain religious moral standards.

And a final thought is that, although people can live somewhat morally by being secular, it wouldn't be as moral as following God, and they would be missing a tremendous amount of spiritual experience during and after their lives on earth.

My life before I became Christian feels like a shadow compared to what it is now. And when I'm in secular groups it doesn't have the same intensity and fulfillment of when I'm in a good worship group. It feels colder and emptier, hollow.

5 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That doesn't change just because a person doesn't want to believe in God.

 

It's not that we don't want to believe in God. We don't believe in God. There is no God. He does not exist. We aren't a bunch of rebellious children pretending something we don't like doesn't exist. We're rational people who have looked at the facts and decided that there is no compelling evidence to believe that God exists.

 

The conflict has been between people following the true God and people following a corrupted version of God.

If we lump together righteous religious people with religious hypocrites, and compare that lump with secular people, like the article does, it's not surprising there's a lot of immorality in the religious lump. Because there's always been religious hypocrites causing trouble. They're the ones who killed Jesus.

The article lumps together all people who claim to be religious and treats them as a homogeneous group-and that's misleading because it paints pictures with overly broad strokes. It fails to make a distinction between people who are truly following God, and people who are hypocrites with a religious label. It just blindly labels all those people "religious" and throws them all away together by deciding religion isn't that great after all. The article ends up throwing out the baby with the bath water.

What is a "righteous religious person"? Is it someone who follows the teachings of their religion to the letter? Is it someone who follows the teachings of the Catholic Church without deviating?

The problem with this argument is that the definition of what is a "righteous religious person" will be different depending on who you ask. If you ask a Muslim person then they may respond that it is someone who does their prayers, follows the teachings of the Qur'an, and observes Ramadan and other Islamic traditions. This will contrast with a Christian persons definition as they would feel no need to observe Islamic traditions such as Ramadan but instead believe in things such as communion and repentance. Meanwhile my own definition as an atheist would be that it is simply a religious person who lives righteously. However this definition would then be interpreted differently by different listeners depending on the listener's definition of what is "righteous".

The reason that the article lumps together all religious people is because the only thing tying you all together is the fact that you are all religious. It doesn't matter which God you follow or which select teachings of that God that you believe are the right ones. You are all religious and thus you all have codes of morality that can be ascribed to religious people. You say that: "If we lump together righteous religious people with religious hypocrites, and compare that lump with secular people, like the article does, it's not surprising there's a lot of immorality in the religious lump." However why is there so much immorality in the religious lump and not as much in the secular lump? If you say that the immoral members of the religious lump aren't actually religious then we simply have a "No true Scotsman" problem on our hands as the ones who you declare to be not truly religious would then claim that your own interpretation of religion is wrong and that you are the one who is not truly religious. If on the other hand it is simply true that there are more immoral members in the religious group than the secular group than that means that religion is more likely to produce immoral people. This implies that while all humans are born with the capacity to become moral creatures, following the teachings of a God or religion lowers one's chances of becoming a moral creature.

 

Also, it seems as if the article is using a secular standard of morality to judge the groups. Not everyone agrees with that standard of morality. The secular group does many things that are immoral when judged by certain religious moral standards.

It was written by a secular author so of course it's going to judge people using a secular standard of morality as opposed to a religious one. However the Golden Rule is a standard of morality that is commonly found in religious moral codes. While the author does state that the Golden Rule is the standard of morality used by secular people and taught to the children of secular parents, given that it is a standard of morality found in most religions I would say that this article is not using a solely secular standard of morality to compare the two groups.

 

And a final thought is that, although people can live somewhat morally by being secular, it wouldn't be as moral as following God, and they would be missing a tremendous amount of spiritual experience during and after their lives on earth.

 

I would argue instead that by living by the morals dictated by your God you are actually restricting yourself as a moral being. Morals and ethics are things that evolve through time. As the human race has evolved so too have our sense of morals and ethics. Only a few thousand years ago many cultures practiced the killing of infants who were unwanted due to either disability or gender. This was because of the difficulties and resources required when raising a child, many of whom would not live to adulthood anyways. As such it was difficult to justify raising a child who would not benefit the family or society and it was seen as morally acceptable to abandon the child in the wilderness to die of exposure or drown it and discard its body.1 Today we have the resources required to raise all children regardless of their condition and thus infanticide is widely condemned as immoral in modern societies.

 

By constraining yourself to the moral code passed down by your God and his church you are restricting your growth as a moral entity in a way that a secular person is not. You are therefore unable to be as moral a being as a similar secular person could be.

 

My life before I became Christian feels like a shadow compared to what it is now. And when I'm in secular groups it doesn't have the same intensity and fulfillment of when I'm in a good worship group. It feels colder and emptier, hollow.

I would note that it is almost always a happier time when you are among friends or people who share your interests. I personally am far happier when I am not sitting on a hard pew after waking up early on a Sunday.

 

 

1Carrick, Paul. Medical Ethics in the Ancient World. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2001. 117.

5 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is a "righteous religious person"? Is it someone who follows the teachings of their religion to the letter? Is it someone who follows the teachings of the Catholic Church without deviating?

 

The problem with this argument is that the definition of what is a "righteous religious person" will be different depending on who you ask.

 

A righteous religious person is someone who's genuinely following the moral God and living morally. They generally wouldn't violate the Golden Rule but their moral code is larger than Golden Rule.

 

It was written by a secular author so of course it's going to judge people using a secular standard of morality as opposed to a religious one. However the Golden Rule is a standard of morality that is commonly found in religious moral codes. While the author does state that the Golden Rule is the standard of morality used by secular people and taught to the children of secular parents, given that it is a standard of morality found in most religions I would say that this article is not using a solely secular standard of morality to compare the two groups.

 

The whole discussion taken up by the article is secondary to the discussion of what is moral. And people don't agree on what is moral. The Golden Rule you mentioned is not enough to encompass religious morality. For example many religions consider sex outside of marriage to be immoral, but the Golden Rule doesn't say it's immoral. So to some religions the secular group would be very immoral. The Golden Rule isn't sufficient as a universal moral standard. The article is biased towards the secular.

 

 

You say that: "If we lump together righteous religious people with religious hypocrites, and compare that lump with secular people, like the article does, it's not surprising there's a lot of immorality in the religious lump." However why is there so much immorality in the religious lump and not as much in the secular lump?

 

There is so much immorality in the religious lump because many immoral people are attracted to religion. The nature of immorality is to corrupt that which is pure, so we find many immoral deeds are done in the name of religion. Jesus was killed in the name of religion. Religious hypocrites teach immorality instead of morality.

 

Immoral people put on the garments of religion and create a breeding ground for religious hypocrisy. That's one thing Jesus came to point out.

 

If on the other hand it is simply true that there are more immoral members in the religious group than the secular group than that means that religion is more likely to produce immoral people. This implies that while all humans are born with the capacity to become moral creatures, following the teachings of a God or religion lowers one's chances of becoming a moral creature.

 

It doesn't mean that following the teachings of a God or religion lowers one's chances of becoming a moral creature, it means that following the teaching of religious hypocrites lowers one's chance of becoming a moral creature. That's because the article doesn't distinguish between genuine adherence to God and religious hypocrisy, and there are many hypocrites out there. The significant fact is that genuine adherence to God produces moral people. Just because there are so many religious hypocrites doesn't mean we should throw away genuine religion too.

 

 I would argue instead that by living by the morals dictated by your God you are actually restricting yourself as a moral being.

 

To me people can't be more moral than God, because God is omnipotent and loving.

 

I would note that it is almost always a happier time when you are among friends or people who share your interests. I personally am far happier when I am not sitting on a hard pew after waking up early on a Sunday.

 

It's more than that for me, becoming Christian took me to a whole other level. I experienced feelings I've never felt before.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

in his child touching the painting analogy , what if the child thinks its still right to touch the painting? do you tell him he is immoral for going against your morals even if they are right in his eyes? both of you have different morals created by yourself/influences from society

 

if a child is born and then taught there whole life that killing people will set them free from the burdens of life(kind of like extremists in Iraq) do we call him immoral even though he believes what he is doing is right? what do you do to that child then?

 

if a child is born and then just decides on his own without anyone influencing him that killing people is good what do we do with that child?  capital punishment? lol

 

morality is subjective, you cant be ''more moral'' than people with different morals, this guy is just endorsing his ''moral compass''

Christians all have different morals regardless of the same guidebook(its all in how they interpret it), Non-Christians the same way

to say secular morals specifically is better is really big talk. He actually sounds a lot like a certain type of christian which  no one seems to like when he talks like that

 

7fa8f4009a97d041d1b0d467a29f5755.jpg

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@MerelyARumor we're just some opinionated people having a friendly philosophical discussion.

Saying morality is subjective is a strong opinion too. I think morality isn't subjective and if a child was taught a backwards right and wrong like in your example, the child's actions would be morally wrong but the child wouldn't really be to blame for it because they were misguided. So I believe strongly in forgiveness too.

I like the concept of the image you posted a lot, although I don't think Hitler claimed to be Christian did he? If he was then he was a serious hypocrite!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think morality is ultimately subjective but can be operationally considered objective, based on objective realities.

 

For example:

 

Objective fact 1: punching Bob in the face causes him pain

Objective fact 2: Bob does not like feeling pain, and he doesn't want to be punched.

Moral claim: I should not punch Bob in the face.

 

Most people would agree that the moral claim made above is pretty much objective, since most people would agree that causing someone unwanted, unnecessary harm is "immoral". If Steve disagreed with that, and wanted to punch Bob anyway, he would be free to do so, and he could even claim that he was acting morally. But we would not agree with Steve, and if we could not convince him to change his mind about morality and agree that he should not punch Bob, then we would have to remove him from within society (i.e., prison)  so that Bob and others can continue living without fearing unwarranted punches to the face. 

 

So is human morality ultimately subjective, in the sense that we have to choose what we value, and that can differ from person to person? Sure. Are there objectives laws in the universe that can help us make some logical conclusions about actions that should be avoided (and thus considered immoral) that almost everyone can agree upon? I think so. There are different theories about what should be valued and what actions should be considered immoral. The one I identify with most is that any action that directly promotes human happiness and well being and prevents needless pain and suffering is moral, and any action that directly harms human happiness or well being or causes unnecessary pain and suffering is immoral. (I'm limiting this to humans for simplicity's sake)

 

Anyway, that probably belongs in the thread about objective vs. subjective morality. Getting back to secular vs. religious...

 

Naturally, as a secular person, I think secular morality is in many cases superior to religiously motivated morality. This is because morality that is derived from religious teaching has often led to condemning actions and people that are moral (or amoral), and promoting actions that are immoral. Also, there is a lot of "because God said so" kind of moral teaching, at least in my experience. I think that morality that is handed down from a single entity that arbitrarily chooses itself what is moral and what is immoral is inherently flawed and impractical. The only way I would accept a moral system that was handed down from a divine entity is if the entity logically explained how the moral system worked, why various actions are moral or immoral, and demonstrated that the moral system is useful for human society, and if I were convinced that the moral system was a good one. Of course, if the entity did that, then any moral system I accept from it would likely look a whole lot like secular morality, because secular morality is necessarily based on objective facts and logical reasoning.

 

If I ever have kids, it will be my responsibility to teach them basic morality. They will be free to disagree and think for themselves, but if they think killing people is totally okay or even good, and I couldn't change their mind, then obviously I would seek professional help for my psychopathic child and actively prevent them from harming anyone.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@MerelyARumor we're just some opinionated people having a friendly philosophical discussion.

Saying morality is subjective is a strong opinion too. I think morality isn't subjective and if a child was taught a backwards right and wrong like in your example, the child's actions would be morally wrong but the child wouldn't really be to blame for it because they were misguided. So I believe strongly in forgiveness too.

I like the concept of the image you posted a lot, although I don't think Hitler claimed to be Christian did he? If he was then he was a serious hypocrite!

i know you are????

 

what if like my other example the child just decided on its own though?

 

and Hitler was a catholic with some strange Unbiblical views mixed in, its debatable if he just had an agenda which he needed religion to start or if he actually believed in God

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/08/23/list-of-hitler-quotes-he-was-q/

he also was an artist and could have been aborted

 

he believed the Aryan race was superior to all races, something we can thank Darwin for, so he can be used both ways really

http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=9&article=866

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think morality is ultimately subjective but can be operationally considered objective, based on objective realities.

 

For example:

 

Objective fact 1: punching Bob in the face causes him pain

Objective fact 2: Bob does not like feeling pain, and he doesn't want to be punched.

Moral claim: I should not punch Bob in the face.

 

 

what if bob getting punched in the face caused him to re-evaluate his life choices making him a better person .

or what if bob did a criminal act to your family?

and who decided bobs well being is important?

 

and when it gets more complicated?

 

Objective fact 1 : Murdering kills people

Objective fact 2 : people are afraid to die

Moral claim i should not murder

 

except in cases where the person i am murdering has done a serious crime against my moral system , or i am in a war with another country for having a different moral system, or i was raped and don't want a child so i will murder it, or he begged me to kill him to end his suffering so i committed euthanasia.

 

The one I identify with most is that any action that directly promotes human happiness and well being and prevents needless pain and suffering is moral, and any action that directly harms human happiness or well being or causes unnecessary pain and suffering is immoral

 

 

 

    and when the thing promoting human happiness IS needless pain and suffering?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 

 

 

 This is because morality that is derived from religious teaching has often led to condemning actions and people that are moral (or amoral), and promoting actions that are immoral. Also, there is a lot of "because God said so" kind of moral teaching, at least in my experience. 

 

The only difference i see in this sentence with secular and religious morality is that religious is because God said so(or because i said God said so in a lot of cases, if not all)

and Secular is 

Because I said so, both promote immoral actions , both condemn actions and people that are moral (or for believing a different set of morals)

 

also both have benefited humanity as well

 

like i said, saying 1 is better is real big talk

 

 

because secular morality is necessarily based on objective facts and logical reasoning?  debate-able, especially when there are many many various secular moralities that can conflict heavily with each others secular moralities (a lot of i said so's disagree with each other)

http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=8859

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't need religion to be a good person. There are terrible Christians, Muslims, atheist, and people of other religions who are horrible. But there are plenty of good secular and religious people. I do somewhat agree with the article about secular parenting. You don't need God to know right from wrong or to be kind to others.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

he believed the Aryan race was superior to all races, something we can thank Darwin for, so he can be used both ways really

http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=9&article=866

 

Darwin was against "ranking the so-called races of man as distinct species," so, no. Evolution is a scientific theory, it has jack-all to do with being a Nazi for heaven's sake.

 

Any "source" that seriously uses the phrase "evolutionist" automatically gets DQ'ed as something worth taking seriously. Should we start calling people who believe in gravity "gravitationalists?" Believing in evolution has nothing to do with being an atheist. There are plenty of religious people who believe in evolution. There are also probably a few atheists who don't believe in it, though I haven't met any personally.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/08/did_hitler_use063571.html   

 

http://www.icr.org/article/hitlers-evolution-versus-christian-resistance/   hmmmm

 

http://www.creationism.org/csshs/v08n3p24.htm 

 

but yea, I will never know because i didnt get the chance to ask him

 

 

 

 

 

edit: today i saw this video on my facebook 

 

  I find some of his quotes very fitting for this

 

''Islam doesn't promote violence or peace, Islam is just a religion and like every religion in the world it depends on what you bring to it, if your a violent person, your Islam,,your Judaism,your Christianity(your secular views),is gonna be violent.  

 

then he talks about violent Buddhists...''does Buddhism promote violence? of course not!! people are violent or peaceful

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Naturally, as a secular person, I think secular morality is in many cases superior to religiously motivated morality. This is because morality that is derived from religious teaching has often led to condemning actions and people that are moral (or amoral), and promoting actions that are immoral. Also, there is a lot of "because God said so" kind of moral teaching, at least in my experience. I think that morality that is handed down from a single entity that arbitrarily chooses itself what is moral and what is immoral is inherently flawed and impractical.

 

The whole question of which morality is better depends on if one believes a loving God exists or not. Because if there really is a loving, all-powerful creator out there, it follows from being loving and all-powerful that God knows what's best for people and knows better than any person what is right and wrong.

For one to say God is an "entity that arbitrarily chooses itself what is moral" is to contradict the definition of God, in Christian thinking, because God is not arbitrary, but God is good, in fact the ultimate good.

But whether God exists and if so, whether God is good, is a whole other discussion :lol:

 

what if like my other example the child just decided on its own though?

 

in his child touching the painting analogy , what if the child thinks its still right to touch the painting? do you tell him he is immoral for going against your morals even if they are right in his eyes? both of you have different morals created by yourself/influences from society

 

What is the child touching the painting analogy? I'm not familiar with it. It sounds like a child touches a painting because he/she decides it's right, and a parent thinks it's wrong. Children don't always know the different rules of the world and why we have them so parents try to explain the best they can. And sometimes children even know better than parents what's right and wrong.

 

what if bob getting punched in the face caused him to re-evaluate his life choices making him a better person .

 

It sounds like what you're getting at is, how can people know the far-reaching moral consequences of people's actions? I believe God knows what's right, and if people put their hearts upon God, they can get hints throughout their daily life as to what's right and wrong. God is alive and with us, not just in a book. The Bible says one of the two greatest commandments is to love your neighbor as yourself, so a good indication if something is right or wrong is if the person is acting out of love for another.

One issue I think about a lot is sexual immorality. Because I personally believe it's immoral to have sex outside of marriage, and I think to a lot of people it's not apparent why it would be wrong. So I'm really concerned that secular morality will ever realize people are supposed to wait. It seems really difficult to set up a research study that compares groups of people who are waiters with groups who aren't, and determine which way is better for society.

 

I know the morality of premarital sex is a real hot-button issue, because when I've brought it up on Facebook or other sites, I've gotten a lot of personal attacks and hatred directed at me.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The whole question of which morality is better depends on if one believes a loving God exists or not. Because if there really is a loving, all-powerful creator out there, it follows from being loving and all-powerful that God knows what's best for people and knows better than any person what is right and wrong.

For one to say God is an "entity that arbitrarily chooses itself what is moral" is to contradict the definition of God, in Christian thinking, because God is not arbitrary, but God is good, in fact the ultimate good.

But whether God exists and if so, whether God is good, is a whole other discussion :lol:

 

So what you're saying is, the basis for saying that the Christian god's morality is superior is that the definition of said god says he's good? 

 

I don't see how that works. How can you say god is good by definition? If that's the case then what does "good" mean?

 

There are many examples I could bring up to explain why I don't think the Christian god could be called "good", but I'll just bring up Abraham and Isaac. I don't know any Christian who wouldn't condemn child sacrifice, and yet here we have God commanding Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, and then rewarding Abraham for doing so. Sure, an angel stopped him before he actually did it, but there are several things we can take away from the story:

 

1. God is capable of commanding child sacrifice

2. Abraham, who is supposedly the most righteous man alive at this time, who communed directly with God, apparently holds a view of God that includes the fact that if God asks him to perform child sacrifice, then child sacrifice is good and moral.

3. God rewarded that very view of himself that Abraham had, that if he commands someone to murder a child then murdering a child is the right thing to do.

4. God did not at any point tell Abraham that killing Isaac would have been wrong. In fact, he explicitly tells him that it was right: “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” Genesis 22:16-18

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Matthew,

 

The basis for believing that following God's morality will be more beneficial to people includes these things:

 

God is all knowing
God is all powerful
God created us
God loves us
God gives us eternal life

 

Just looking at two of these, we could say that a moral leader acts out of love and knowledge. A human and God may both act out of love but a human has limited knowledge while God has unlimited knowledge, so God knows better than any human what the best choice is.

 

Also, following God's moral laws coincides with living a life that God may grant eternal life in Heaven. If people don't follow God's moral laws they have a risk of not going to Heaven. And shouldn't a moral framework for living on earth take into account what happens to people in the span of eternity?

 

We can say God is good by definition because God is a word and within a system of theology it is defined according to thought. So we can say two of God's properties are He is creator, He is loving.

 

Then we can say good means having affinity with a loving creator. Because the highest morality is achieved through living in harmony with a loving creator who wants us to love Him back.

 

Christian theology uses reason and the empirical to conclude that the God written about in the bible exists and is God in accordance with this fledgling definition.

 

To characterize Christian morality, I would recommend looking at its two greatest commandments as told in Matthew 22:36-40, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself."

 

Another characteristic belief is that Jesus said we are to love our enemies, not hate them. And Galations 5:22-23: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."

 

The story of Abraham not sacrificing Isaac, I can talk about in a separate post. The world is a more complicated place than it needs to be, because people through free will disobeyed God.

 

Thanks for reading!

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

what if bob getting punched in the face caused him to re-evaluate his life choices making him a better person .

or what if bob did a criminal act to your family?

and who decided bobs well being is important?

 

I'm going to assume your first question was a joke and move past it.

 

If Bob were actively attempting to harm me or my family (or anyone else and I were present and able to intervene) I would act to stop him from doing so. No issue there.

 

Bob is just a representative of everyone in society. We decided collectively to give each other some basic rights and establish laws to try and keep those rights from being violated as much as possible. Bob's well-being is important to me because I have empathy, but more importantly because if Bob can be punched in the face willy-nilly, then so can I. And I don't want to be punched in the face. So Bob and I team up and make face-punching illegal. Everyone wins (except face-punch enthusiasts of course)

 

and when it gets more complicated?

Objective fact 1 : Murdering kills people

Objective fact 2 : people are afraid to die

Moral claim i should not murder

except in cases where the person i am murdering has done a serious crime against my moral system , or i am in a war with another country for having a different moral system, or i was raped and don't want a child so i will murder it, or he begged me to kill him to end his suffering so i committed euthanasia.

and when the thing promoting human happiness IS needless pain and suffering?

Obviously my example was a very over-simplified example that I created just to make a point. That said, you didn't make it that much more complicated. You would not be justified to kill someone for having "done a serious crime against your moral system." You may or may not be justified to kill someone in war, but I would say a war that is over different moral systems is an unjust and unnecessary war, and that ultimately all the deaths in the war would be unjust and unnecessary, even if individual soldiers might get a pass. Abortion is legal. Euthanasia is illegal in most places, though it will ultimately be legal for a variety of cases, most likely. You probably don't have the proper qualifications to carry it out, though, and unless you did, it would be immoral (except in extreme cases, maybe, and we could talk about that if you were more specific)

 

I'm not going to watch an hour long video to try and figure out your point...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What?

 

I thought morality was relative as stated in the "ask an atheist thread."

 

As such, aren't positive and negative moral traits also relative and thus such a study is therefore based off an ethnocentric idea that specific moral implications are positive while others are negative?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, there is a lot of "because God said so" kind of moral teaching, at least in my experience. I think that morality that is handed down from a single entity that arbitrarily chooses itself what is moral and what is immoral is inherently flawed and impractical. The only way I would accept a moral system that was handed down from a divine entity is if the entity logically explained how the moral system worked, why various actions are moral or immoral, and demonstrated that the moral system is useful for human society, and if I were convinced that the moral system was a good one. Of course, if the entity did that, then any moral system I accept from it would likely look a whole lot like secular morality, because secular morality is necessarily based on objective facts and logical reasoning.

 

Matthew your post was really good except for this section right here in the bold. I like your rational and logic but there is something I have to point out that makes the bold somewhat illogical to a religious person.

 

Let's first pretend that you believed in a God who did create all things. That is He created everything, and everything was to be made in a particular way and perfect. Like perfect in the sense that people loved each other and never wanted to harm one another, that everyone was always looking out for each other's best interest like that of a family.

 

A morality system in that situation would be far different than what you would term "objective" morality because it would be a "perfect ecosystem" which we probably can't theoretically talk about because in our minds we can't fathom it.

 

Now let's say we throw something into that ecosystem to unbalance it. I'm sure you've read about organisms or species going from one eco system to another and wrecking havoc in the food chain right? It completely changes the eco system and as a result the people who now live in this eco system become different and can't think of the system the same way as those who lived in a different system.

 

Now say the time is passing and with each generation new changes come about and the people who live in each generation are exposed to different things due to this changing unbalanced eco system. You can't say that the rules in the first eco system would be able to be thrown in the current ecosystem because the rules have changed so much that you can't recognize how the first eco system ran, or why it was perfect in the first place.

 

Certainly you can make theories about it, but only the winners of each generation will be recorded in history. The Bible is not full of world winners if you haven't noticed. Most of the stories are about people who lose much more than they win, and believers are shown to suffer (okay this is a different topic since obviously most Christians now a days don't really practice true Biblical Christianity so I'll give you that) (another thing, notice in the New Testament how many religious pharisees were haughty and mean to the poor?). 

 

I'm just stating that "not being able to understand" does not mean "it isn't valid." And if some entity did create EVERYTHING as we know I'm sure it also knows things we don't know, it wouldn't just be arbitrary.

 

But you don't believe in this entity so why make comments about it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Matthew your post was really good except for this section right here in the bold. I like your rational and logic but there is something I have to point out that makes the bold somewhat illogical to a religious person.

 

Let's first pretend that you believed in a God who did create all things. That is He created everything, and everything was to be made in a particular way and perfect. Like perfect in the sense that people loved each other and never wanted to harm one another, that everyone was always looking out for each other's best interest like that of a family.

 

A morality system in that situation would be far different than what you would term "objective" morality because it would be a "perfect ecosystem" which we probably can't theoretically talk about because in our minds we can't fathom it.

 

Now let's say we throw something into that ecosystem to unbalance it. I'm sure you've read about organisms or species going from one eco system to another and wrecking havoc in the food chain right? It completely changes the eco system and as a result the people who now live in this eco system become different and can't think of the system the same way as those who lived in a different system.

 

Now say the time is passing and with each generation new changes come about and the people who live in each generation are exposed to different things due to this changing unbalanced eco system. You can't say that the rules in the first eco system would be able to be thrown in the current ecosystem because the rules have changed so much that you can't recognize how the first eco system ran, or why it was perfect in the first place.

 

Certainly you can make theories about it, but only the winners of each generation will be recorded in history. The Bible is not full of world winners if you haven't noticed. Most of the stories are about people who lose much more than they win, and believers are shown to suffer (okay this is a different topic since obviously most Christians now a days don't really practice true Biblical Christianity so I'll give you that) (another thing, notice in the New Testament how many religious pharisees were haughty and mean to the poor?). 

 

I'm honestly not following you here or seeing what it has to do with what you bolded.

 

 

I'm just stating that "not being able to understand" does not mean "it isn't valid." And if some entity did create EVERYTHING as we know I'm sure it also knows things we don't know, it wouldn't just be arbitrary.

 

But you don't believe in this entity so why make comments about it?

 

I used the term arbitrary because most people that believe in an omnipotent god, and especially the Christian god, believe that morality is based upon that god, and thus it is free to choose what is moral and what is immoral (if it is not free to choose, then that means there exists an absolute moral system that is independent of this god, and if that's the case, from whence did it come and how could it bind an omnipotent god?). And since for the most part there is no logical explanation given for most of what is considered immoral in the Bible (it's all based on what God wants or what he decrees as being wrong), I have to conclude that it is arbitrary and that he could have set up a different system if he desired. Sure, maybe he looks at all the facts at any given period in human existence and adjusts the moral system based on those facts and logical reasoning about what is best for humanity, but unless he explains that reasoning I can't see the moral system as anything but arbitrary. And since the Bible hasn't been updated, I have to assume that, if the Christian god exists and is happy with the Bible, that the morality presented in it is still the morality that he applies to us today.

 

And I discuss it because I find it interesting.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm honestly not following you here or seeing what it has to do with what you bolded.

 

 

If you're not following I don't think you'll ever get it.

 

 

But I think I should try once more since I thought about how you are saying "if He decided on something what makes it so he can't decide upon something else."

 

Perfection.

What does perfection mean to you?

 

If we talk about our daily life, nothing is perfect. We could say that to a specific standard that something is perfect but then we would start finding flaws to that standard, and that once perfect item is perfect no more.

 

In the way we interpret the world, "perfection" is subjective as it differs from person to person and situation to situation.

 

Example:

Bob gets punched.

Bob doesn't like getting punched because it causes him pain.

 

Therefore, I should not punch bob.

 

But Bob was trying to rape someone, now am I allowed to punch Bob to stop him?

 

Objectivism only gets you so far. In all instances, Bob does not like to get punched, and therefore it is wrong to punch Bob. How do we stop Bob without punching him? Must we educate Bob not to rape? Should we use a gun? Is there something we can use to stop Bob that Bob likes?

 

Probably not.

Because Bob will associate raping with a reward if we do something that he likes every time he rapes.

The eventual conclusion becomes, to stop Bob from raping; Bob must be punished. To stop others from wanting to be like Bob, we must do something to Bob to prevent him from raping again. We must ostracize him, we must make it seem extremely bad, we must register him as a sex offender and monitor him for the rest of his life.

 

Does Bob deserve such treatment?

Who determines that he does?

Who determines what punishment is sufficient for which crime?

 

What would make for a perfect punishment?

Or what if Bob wasn't in his right mind? What if he was suffering depression because Chuck stole all his property and he retaliated by raping Chuck's wife? Then shouldn't Chuck's punishment be the same as Bob's because he was responsible for putting Bob in that state of mind by taking away what was important to Bob?

 

A moral system, laws, ideas such as the code of Hammurabi and lots of other rules of morality in justice systems are accompanied by punishments. If you don't have an adequate punishment for those who break such laws, you don't have a moral system. When considering motives of people, would you therefore say that the laws are perfect?

 

If you believe you have a perfect set of laws and punishment... I'd say you have flawed logic. But back to the topic.

 

How does this relate to the bold?

It's simple, the Bible states that "The wages of sin is death." You do have a system of laws in the old testament where they sacrifice animals asking for forgiveness, but the bottom line is that so long as you sin you will die. Those animal sacrifices may have helped them feel atoned for their sins, but those people still died. They are dead, long gone, not around anymore.

 

Now back to "perfection."

Perfection in the Bible refers to something that has no flaw and no fault by every standard.

The wages of sin is death...

Sin is known as the "transgression of God's law."

If you are not perfect, you will eventually die... and it's a natural thing. Imperfection in theory is what eventually causes you, me, and everyone else living on this planet to grow old and die. Before sin the world was perfect (by all standards), and as such the laws in perfection are followed to perfection without effort, until sin was introduced and caused such motivations for Bob to become depressed after Chuck wronged him, and allowed the tit for tat until such drastic things happen.

 

I guess I should probably just ask you how you would define a perfect set of laws punishments, or if you can even think such a thing is theoretically possible. If you can't imagine it (that is think outside the box on this topic) then it's probably not something you'll be able to discuss with me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're not following I don't think you'll ever get it.

 

 

But I think I should try once more since I thought about how you are saying "if He decided on something what makes it so he can't decide upon something else."

 

Perfection.

What does perfection mean to you?

 

If we talk about our daily life, nothing is perfect. We could say that to a specific standard that something is perfect but then we would start finding flaws to that standard, and that once perfect item is perfect no more.

 

In the way we interpret the world, "perfection" is subjective as it differs from person to person and situation to situation.

 

Example:

Bob gets punched.

Bob doesn't like getting punched because it causes him pain.

 

Therefore, I should not punch bob.

 

But Bob was trying to rape someone, now am I allowed to punch Bob to stop him?

 

Objectivism only gets you so far. In all instances, Bob does not like to get punched, and therefore it is wrong to punch Bob. How do we stop Bob without punching him? Must we educate Bob not to rape? Should we use a gun? Is there something we can use to stop Bob that Bob likes?

Thank you for changing your mind and trying to explain further.

 

I'm not an objectivist. I don't believe in absolute moral laws that exist even without any conscious life that govern whether something is "right" or "wrong". My punching-Bob example was an extremely simplified example of using objective facts of a situation and the things on which we place value to determine whether something is moral or immoral, or good or bad, or desirable or undesirable. Adding things to the situation like Bob attempting to rape someone only adds more facts to consider. 

 

 

What would make for a perfect punishment?

Or what if Bob wasn't in his right mind? What if he was suffering depression because Chuck stole all his property and he retaliated by raping Chuck's wife? Then shouldn't Chuck's punishment be the same as Bob's because he was responsible for putting Bob in that state of mind by taking away what was important to Bob?

What?

 

If you believe you have a perfect set of laws and punishment... I'd say you have flawed logic. But back to the topic.

 

How does this relate to the bold?

It's simple, the Bible states that "The wages of sin is death." You do have a system of laws in the old testament where they sacrifice animals asking for forgiveness, but the bottom line is that so long as you sin you will die. Those animal sacrifices may have helped them feel atoned for their sins, but those people still died. They are dead, long gone, not around anymore.

Of course I don't believe we have a perfect set of laws and punishment. I'm not that stupid.

So, "the wages of sin is death" is the response to the bolded parts in my comment. So you're saying that the Christian god's moral system is useful for humans because it is based on what actions constitute sin and which thus lead to our death? If something is sin then it is immoral? 

 

What would make for a perfect punishment?

Now back to "perfection."

Perfection in the Bible refers to something that has no flaw and no fault by every standard.

The wages of sin is death...

Sin is known as the "transgression of God's law."

If you are not perfect, you will eventually die... and it's a natural thing. Imperfection in theory is what eventually causes you, me, and everyone else living on this planet to grow old and die. Before sin the world was perfect (by all standards), and as such the laws in perfection are followed to perfection without effort, until sin was introduced and caused such motivations for Bob to become depressed after Chuck wronged him, and allowed the tit for tat until such drastic things happen.

So sin is "the transgression of God's law," and transgressing God's law results in death. So are you saying the Christian god's moral system is useful because following it would prevent death? Even though everyone dies anyway. I guess I still don't get it.

 

What would make for a perfect punishment?

I guess I should probably just ask you how you would define a perfect set of laws punishments, or if you can even think such a thing is theoretically possible. If you can't imagine it (that is think outside the box on this topic) then it's probably not something you'll be able to discuss with me.

I'm not sure how that question is relevant. Firstly, you're free to say that the Christian god's morality is "perfect" and thus superior to any morality set up by humans, but I would simply have to disagree based on what I see in the Bible. So I'm not sure if the conversation would go anywhere after that. Secondly, you assume I think punishment is the best answer to transgression of law. I'm not sure it is. It might be necessary to do things that seem like punishment (incarcerating violent or harmful criminals), but really that is just to prevent them from continuing to do harm. It's not "because you did this, we are going to this to you," but "because you did this, we are going to do this to keep you from doing it again." The goal should be to prevent harm from being done in the first place, not to exact revenge or retribution when harm is done. It's the whole point of having laws in the first place. As for  whether I can imagine a perfect set of laws and punishments, that's a difficult question to answer.I don't even have full knowledge of the imperfect system that currently exists, and a perfect one would have to be even more exhaustive than it in order to cover all relevant variables in all possible scenarios in all situations where law would be required. So, while I can imagine perfection in certain instances, I don't think I can imagine, much less define, a specific and perfect set of laws.

 

Besides, we were talking about morality, not law.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now