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Thread: An experiment in Atheism

  1. #201
    SAM:

    Actually, I just re-read your comment here:

    Sure you can take the Islamic God f'rinstance, he/she has no name, gender, substance and is merely defined as a universal force.
    This is false, of course.

    Allah is not defined as "merely" a "universal force". Specific claims are made, for example that he talked to Mohammed directly, and so on. Are they not?

  2. #202
    How much is there to know? FallingSkyward's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnakeLord View Post
    1) Whos version of right or wrong?
    Entirely irrelevant to what 'atheism' is. An atheist can have morals, can lack morals, will piss and poop just like everyone else.. they're utterly inconsequential to the meaning of 'atheist'. A 'theist' can be moral, a theist can be immoral, a theist will piss and poop like everyone else.. it is inconsequential to their beliefs. A religion is a collective, a group that live under certain guidelines, rules and ideals. A club of chess players also live under certain guidelines and rules. 'Atheism' is not a club, an atheist is merely one that is 'without god/s'.
    And, being "without god/s" implies something about the person's worldview - mainly, that they have little philosophical backing to BE moral. If there is no God, and this life is all we have, then fulfilling one's own desires would be the logical, ultimate goal.


    Think about it, which is more likely - having strong moral convictions because of a belief that an Almighty God has created us to have them, or have these convictions because our primordial inclinations lead us to the basic tenants of being civil with one another as a basis for one's on survival and proliforation? If life is about appeasing one's drive to survive - something we're quite convinced of now - then why should this "morality" we're all talking about be seen as something set in stone, as something to live by? We're aware that these feelings are instincts now, what's keeping us from overcoming them?

    Our instincts don't always lead us to the "right" thing - bullying, stealing, killing, raping, - they've all apparently had evolutionary advantages at some point. If you're having a reverance for ALL products of evolution - well, these inclinations would be included. I don't see a moral ground to oppose these happenings- if it affects one's survival in a positive way, as an atheist. It is much harder to support a justified moral existence from an atheistic standpoint than a theistic one, as theists have a belief in objective reasoning and purpose in their beliefs, wheras atheists believe we're driven by a blind, emotionless process. Humans naturally feel more inclined to behave a certain way if they feel there is an importance or purpose to their actions.

    I'm not saying that the purportedly religious are always more moral. They may be dishonest about their faith, or they may be fanatics, as current events amply display. But most of the genuinely religious look upon God as the ultimate administrator of justice, and feel it their profound concern to act with kindness toward others. Non-believers, though again not necessarily immoral, are nevertheless more inclined to act selfishly if thinking to get away with it, or commit crimes for the same reason.

    It makes sense, doesn't it?

  3. #203
    If I was ever going to have to argue for atheism I would say you don't have to answer to anyone in atheism. Just yourself. Atheism is about self.
    Hey Sandy, I agree with you on this point. Atheism is literally "without theism", and without theism, you are relegated to a perspective of your self, of "how did I get here", "what is my purpose?" Of course, these questions can be asked by anyone, but theists may try to answer these questions with faith instead of reason, believing they were created for a purpose and have a destiny in this life and beyond. Ultimately, questions about yourself are answered by your self. Your actions, your words, your beliefs... your biology.

    What makes atheism the better belief?

    From I believe there is God to I believe there is no God?
    Well Sam (S.A.M.), I would ask the same of theism. How does one come to believe in God? In my opinion, atheism is not "better" than theism. It just seems natural.

  4. #204
    uniquely dreadful S.A.M.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashura View Post
    What is absence of evidence in your universe S.A.M.?

    And, could you clarify for me? I couldn't tell by your reply whether or not you agreed with my statement.
    Merely that. Absence of evidence of course.

  5. #205
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    Quote Originally Posted by James R View Post
    SAM:

    Science has historically led to more useful progress than religion, so it seems sensible to base decisions on rationality rather than faith.
    That would actually involve evidence that this progress would have been equally possible in the absence of religion.

    Absence of belief.
    Already covered that with snake, what is absence of belief?


    No. Although there does seem to be a correlation between intelligence and atheism.
    You mean IQ and atheism? There is also a correlation between high IQ and madness.


    That's a different matter. Here, we're talking about the existence or non-existence of gods - remember? That covers all the possibilities. There are no "alternate" theories to "God exists" other than "God does not exist". And the second statement is a negative statement. See?
    Nope we are talking about belief and lack of belief in God. Unless atheism is the position that God does not exist. Is it?



    It is the default rational position.

    Depends which side of the fence you are looking over.


    Ok. Now, you tell me specifically what this God is supposed to do in the world, and how we can supposedly tell he exists. I will then attempt to disprove that.
    Since God is the universal force, one would imagine he (for lack of a nongender pronoun) is responsible for the laws of nature and hence creation.
    Biology, religious studies, cultural studies, anthropology, philosophy, history etc.
    Ah you mean retrospective inferences from assumptions.

  6. #206
    uniquely dreadful S.A.M.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James R View Post
    SAM:

    Actually, I just re-read your comment here:



    This is false, of course.

    Allah is not defined as "merely" a "universal force". Specific claims are made, for example that he talked to Mohammed directly, and so on. Are they not?
    They are? Where?

  7. #207
    Quote Originally Posted by S.A.M. View Post
    Merely that. Absence of evidence of course.
    And do you ever deduce anything, in S.A.M. universe, from absence of evidence?

    Also, I'm still not clear if you disagreed with my earlier statement.

  8. #208
    Quote Originally Posted by S.A.M. View Post
    Nope we are talking about belief and lack of belief in God. Unless atheism is the position that God does not exist. Is it?
    How can you believe in something you do not think exists?

    Atheism is not something that a person can experiment in, so the premise of this thread is a tad off right there. You either believe or you do not. It is not an alternative to religion. It is also not a religion.

    It is a mere term or definition for those who simply do not believe.

  9. #209
    As was mentioned atheism isn't really anything itself, since the term says what it is not, rather than what it is. What defines an atheist is not his atheism. Most of them are individuals, so there is no universal message.

    The only option is to look at why they prefer it to theism. First, there is no reason to believe in something with little proof. Second, the other offerings of religion, culture and lifestyle, aren't generally very appealing.

  10. #210
    FallingSkyward:

    Quote Originally Posted by FallingSkyward View Post
    And, being "without god/s" implies something about the person's worldview - mainly, that they have little philosophical backing to BE moral.
    Not at all. There is a very long tradition of moral teachings by atheists.

    If there is no God, and this life is all we have, then fulfilling one's own desires would be the logical, ultimate goal.
    I disagree. There are reasons other than fear of punishment to be moral.

    Think about it, which is more likely - having strong moral convictions because of a belief that an Almighty God has created us to have them, or have these convictions because our primordial inclinations lead us to the basic tenants of being civil with one another as a basis for one's on survival and proliforation?
    If you ask atheists, my guess is they'll say the latter is more likely, so you're at an immediate impasse right there. But it's not a matter of which seems more likely. It's more a question of evidence.

    If life is about appeasing one's drive to survive - something we're quite convinced of now - then why should this "morality" we're all talking about be seen as something set in stone, as something to live by? We're aware that these feelings are instincts now, what's keeping us from overcoming them?
    What prevents religious people from acting morally? My guess is that the answers to both questions are the same.

    Our instincts don't always lead us to the "right" thing - bullying, stealing, killing, raping, - they've all apparently had evolutionary advantages at some point.
    Religions don't always lead us to do the right thing, either. Remember 9/11?

    It is much harder to support a justified moral existence from an atheistic standpoint than a theistic one, as theists have a belief in objective reasoning and purpose in their beliefs, wheras atheists believe we're driven by a blind, emotionless process.
    That's incorrect. Atheists have as much reasoning and purpose to their actions as the religious. It would be very easy to turn your argument around and claim that theists are driven by a blind, emotionless process - the "faith" they are taught to rely on in the absence of reason.

    I'm not saying that the purportedly religious are always more moral. They may be dishonest about their faith, or they may be fanatics, as current events amply display. But most of the genuinely religious look upon God as the ultimate administrator of justice, and feel it their profound concern to act with kindness toward others. Non-believers, though again not necessarily immoral, are nevertheless more inclined to act selfishly if thinking to get away with it, or commit crimes for the same reason.
    This would require supporting evidence.


    SAM:

    Quote Originally Posted by S.A.M. View Post
    That would actually involve evidence that this progress would have been equally possible in the absence of religion.
    Well, we can't run the experiment again, this time without religion, so it's a bit of an empty argument. I'm happy to drop it.

    Already covered that with snake, what is absence of belief?
    I don't see that the answer to that is rocket science. What did Snakelord say that you didn't understand?

    Nope we are talking about belief and lack of belief in God. Unless atheism is the position that God does not exist. Is it?
    Yes, it is. Atheists take the position that gods do not exist. But you knew that, didn't you?

    Since God is the universal force, one would imagine he (for lack of a nongender pronoun) is responsible for the laws of nature and hence creation.
    One can imagine all kinds of things. That doesn't make them true.

    Ah you mean retrospective inferences from assumptions.
    No. I mean weighing up the available evidence in order to reach a conclusion.

  11. #211
    Quote Originally Posted by S.A.M. View Post
    Why is atheism the better option?
    S.A.M. you and I are Atheists for the millions of Gods come and gone, present and past. Just add this one last God and you should be able to tell us

  12. #212
    uniquely dreadful S.A.M.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashura View Post
    And do you ever deduce anything, in S.A.M. universe, from absence of evidence?

    Also, I'm still not clear if you disagreed with my earlier statement.
    Of course, all the time, based on assumptions. e.g. there is absolutely no evidence that anything exists outside my mind, that the tools I use are actually measuring what I intend them to measure and that the physical laws of nature are sacrosanct. However, in the absence of any contradictory evidence, I assume these "facts" to be true.

  13. #213
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    Quote Originally Posted by James R View Post
    SAM:
    Well, we can't run the experiment again, this time without religion, so it's a bit of an empty argument. I'm happy to drop it.
    Exactly.
    I don't see that the answer to that is rocket science. What did Snakelord say that you didn't understand?
    He er claims that atheism is a position on lack of belief, not the nonexistence of God.

    Yes, it is. Atheists take the position that gods do not exist. But you knew that, didn't you?
    Now I'm thoroughly confused.
    One can imagine all kinds of things. That doesn't make them true.
    A lack of imagination doesn't take you very far though, does it?


    No. I mean weighing up the available evidence in order to reach a conclusion.
    You cannot possibly have "evidence" on the morality of people before religion. At the most you could make assumptions based on what you think you know but presentism is unavoidable; plus animal studies are also assumed to be extrapolated, but there is enough evidence to the contrary, so its all retrospective inferences based on assumptions.

  14. #214
    Good morning

    And, being "without god/s" implies something about the person's worldview - mainly, that they have little philosophical backing to BE moral
    I might have been beaten to it but I'd have to disagree. Indeed it would seem more pertinent to express the opposite: It is those with belief that are more likely to be immoral - while happily justifying that immorality on the basis that a god told them to do it, said it was ok 3,000 years ago etc etc.

    Someone that lacks a belief in gods, lacks a belief in gods - that's it. You can't honestly think that your lack of belief in zeus means you have 'little philosophical backing to be moral'? Now just add the other gods to that list.

    If there is no God, and this life is all we have, then fulfilling one's own desires would be the logical, ultimate goal.
    Ok. I suppose we should look further into what the ultimate desire would be. It would seemingly generally come down to 'survival'. I have this serious desire to live, and I feel it safe to say that pretty much everyone else does too. Sure, there are some people that kill themselves for whatever reason but that is by and large a cry for help as opposed to an actual desire to die.

    This desire for survival affects man and animal kind alike and so you'll actually find very few people or animals that will kill etc purely for the sake of it.

    You also have the 'need' factor. What happens if you're a caveman and don't know how to start a fire? You would need the services of the caveman that can start fires in order to ensure your own survival. Kill him, you die.

    So yes, we are fulfilling our own desires, and to do so there are certain methods of behaviour one would generally adhere to in order for that desire to be fulfilled.

    which is more likely - having strong moral convictions because of a belief that an Almighty God has created us to have them, or have these convictions because our primordial inclinations lead us to the basic tenants of being civil with one another as a basis for one's on survival and proliforation?
    The latter.

    A great example can be seen with cleaner fish that 'helps' a shark out purely to ensure it's own survival.

    Tell me, when was the last time you chat up a woman because you wanted to help her as opposed to satisfy your own needs? You were civil to her because you wanted something, not because a god told you to be civil.

    If life is about appeasing one's drive to survive - something we're quite convinced of now - then why should this "morality" we're all talking about be seen as something set in stone, as something to live by? We're aware that these feelings are instincts now, what's keeping us from overcoming them?
    Why would you want to overcome them? From what I can tell they generally work ok. You meet a woman; she wants stability you want sex. You both get what you want, why change it? Would the cleaner fish find a different method which might ultimately lead to its demise a lot faster? The old adage might be pertinent: "If it ain't broke.."

    Our instincts don't always lead us to the "right" thing - bullying, stealing, killing, raping, - they've all apparently had evolutionary advantages at some point.
    Indeed. Here comes a problem: A minute ago you were saying it was more likely that man was moral because a god created man to be that way. You can't now change that, and yet here we see stealing, bullying, killing and raping. Would it not be more likely to say that these are not because god created man to be that way, (this is where the theist argues that man created them himself and went against god - which is ultimately quite silly), but that these too are natural traits that in themselves can be seen as survival tools?

    Bullying for instance.. You ever noticed that a jack russell, (the small dog), is a lot more aggressively natured than a great dane, (the massive dog)? See, the small dog lacks something quite important for it's survival, (size and strength). It makes up for that lack with attitude. A bully is generally of the same category. A bully doesn't generally beat someone up 'just because..', but because he feels threatened by others, (this is not excusing or condoning bullying - it merely shows a reason for it).

    If you're having a reverance for ALL products of evolution - well, these inclinations would be included. I don't see a moral ground to oppose these happenings- if it affects one's survival in a positive way, as an atheist.
    If there is a drunk guy stumbling round the bar, causing trouble to you and your friends, it's unlikely you'll honestly care too much when a bouncer comes along, takes him outside and pummels his face to mush.

    There will often come a time when even negative seeming traits have their uses. I will draw the line at rape because of the current world condition, (there's 6 billion of us). If however there was a meteorite impact and the world population ended up as 10, I wonder how rape would be seen. Is it ok to spell the end of humanity because the only surviving females don't find you attractive?

    What if Eve had have turned round to Adam and said: "Look Adam, I do like you - but just as a friend"?

    It is much harder to support a justified moral existence from an atheistic standpoint than a theistic one
    I disagree, and I have yet to see anything that would even support it. If anything it is the latter - largely because of religious texts. While the atheists of the world, (generally), will not care what a homosexual man does with his penis, the theist has no choice but to actively oppose that mans choices - and it is that opposition which leads to immorality. Look at any nation still in existence that operates on religious law. I fail to see one thing moral in their activities, although yes.. I'm sure they will consider their actions as totally 'justified'.

    Humans naturally feel more inclined to behave a certain way if they feel there is an importance or purpose to their actions.
    Funnily enough, more importance and more purpose equals more deaths.

    Non-believers, though again not necessarily immoral, are nevertheless more inclined to act selfishly if thinking to get away with it, or commit crimes for the same reason.
    Look up some statistics regarding prison inmates. You'll find atheists are relatively non-existant in prisons in comparison to theists. A lot of the problem stems from theist notions of what is 'right and wrong'. I mean c'mon, do you honestly care what another man does with his willy? But that is the theist way - to condemn those that are doing things that don't actually in and of themselves cause any harm - and yet because of that see themselves as more moral people which is, to be blunt, a load of old horse poo. So while the theist outlaws the harmless it would seem apparent to state that they are guilty of the serious far more than the atheists.

  15. #215
    How much is there to know? FallingSkyward's Avatar
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    I might have been beaten to it but I'd have to disagree. Indeed it would seem more pertinent to express the opposite: It is those with belief that are more likely to be immoral - while happily justifying that immorality on the basis that a god told them to do it, said it was ok 3,000 years ago etc etc.
    Nuh uh. Every example of "God's wrath," where he commands his followers to hurt or destroy a person are group of people, was an order limited to a certain time frame and for certain, very specific reasons. To extend these isolated commandments to allowances or rule for everyday life would be long stretch, and illogical reasoning at that.

    Someone that lacks a belief in gods, lacks a belief in gods - that's it. You can't honestly think that your lack of belief in zeus means you have 'little philosophical backing to be moral'? Now just add the other gods to that list.
    You honestly believe that a dichotomy of worldview between humans doesn't completely alter the way they live?(All Gods aren't the same - look at the multitude of vastly different cultures that have risen from varying religious beliefs.) And that one of the most drastic dichotomies - an elimination of the belief that our lives and actions here on earth have an ultimate meaning - would have any implications for the (dis)believer in question? Religion has been ingrained in the human psyche since the dawn of man - only since the advent of the theory of evolution, have people felt intellectually justified enough to ploriforate atheism as a logical worldview. This is a drastic change in the philosophy of man, with similarly drastic implications.

    Speaking from personal experience, I went through an atheistic phase and I was MUCH more inclined to steal act in ways that were detrimental to my health and the well-being of those around me, cause well, it felt good at the time. And I consider myself to be a much more natually kind and moralistic person than most people I've met. However, now that I feel I have an obligation to behave in a manner that my Creator deems right, and when faced with the opportunity to do something "bad," such as steal, that obligation checks my desire rather than just a fear of being caught. An all-powerful God has a bit more influence on my behavior than my finite and fallible peers.

    Ok. I suppose we should look further into what the ultimate desire would be. It would seemingly generally come down to 'survival'. I have this serious desire to live, and I feel it safe to say that pretty much everyone else does too. Sure, there are some people that kill themselves for whatever reason but that is by and large a cry for help as opposed to an actual desire to die.

    This desire for survival affects man and animal kind alike and so you'll actually find very few people or animals that will kill etc purely for the sake of it.

    You also have the 'need' factor. What happens if you're a caveman and don't know how to start a fire? You would need the services of the caveman that can start fires in order to ensure your own survival. Kill him, you die.

    So yes, we are fulfilling our own desires, and to do so there are certain methods of behaviour one would generally adhere to in order for that desire to be fulfilled.
    The latter.

    A great example can be seen with cleaner fish that 'helps' a shark out purely to ensure it's own survival.

    Tell me, when was the last time you chat up a woman because you wanted to help her as opposed to satisfy your own needs? You were civil to her because you wanted something, not because a god told you to be civil.
    What about the man who jumps in a raging river to save an old woman he doesn't know? He's not acting in a way that would best ensure his survival. He's not saving a mate. What does he have to gain?



    Why would you want to overcome them? From what I can tell they generally work ok. You meet a woman; she wants stability you want sex. You both get what you want, why change it? Would the cleaner fish find a different method which might ultimately lead to its demise a lot faster? The old adage might be pertinent: "If it ain't broke.."
    Positive examples aren't the only kind... if someone is pissing you off to the point where you want to hurt him/kill him, your instincts are screaming for you to cause him pain, why should you ignore that? Assuming you felt quite confident you could get away with it?

    Apply that to anything that is seen as violence or vice and put the hypothetical person in a situation where engaging in one of these would be beneficial to him. The only thing he has to check his desire is repercussions from other humans.

    But the genuinely religious man has not only human laws to keep him in check, but religious ones as well - which acts as a reinforcer for moral behavior. Humans are very fallible (that's why laws are instituted), and the less they feel compelled to act morally the more tempted they are to go astray. The intimation that somehow all of mankind can be atheist and perfectly moral is a utopia inconsistent with human nature.


    Indeed. Here comes a problem: A minute ago you were saying it was more likely that man was moral because a god created man to be that way. You can't now change that, and yet here we see stealing, bullying, killing and raping. Would it not be more likely to say that these are not because god created man to be that way, (this is where the theist argues that man created them himself and went against god - which is ultimately quite silly), but that these too are natural traits that in themselves can be seen as survival tools?

    Exactly - so the atheist can justify himself in doing these immoral things because they can be seen as survival tools. It's worked in the past, and it aint broke - so why fix it? Do what's necessary for your own personal betterment and survival in this world. All else - other people's feelings - are moot unless appeasing them helps you in some way. And as we know we don't always find ourselves in these kind of situations, when faced with an alternative(being in a situation where hurting/killing someone will benefit you - say, a man is sleeping with your wife, and to stop the possibilty of him inseminating her you murder him) the atheist by your rational has ground, justification even, for committing violent, "immoral" acts.

    If there is a drunk guy stumbling round the bar, causing trouble to you and your friends, it's unlikely you'll honestly care too much when a bouncer comes along, takes him outside and pummels his face to mush.

    There will often come a time when even negative seeming traits have their uses. I will draw the line at rape because of the current world condition, (there's 6 billion of us). If however there was a meteorite impact and the world population ended up as 10, I wonder how rape would be seen. Is it ok to spell the end of humanity because the only surviving females don't find you attractive?

    What if Eve had have turned round to Adam and said: "Look Adam, I do like you - but just as a friend"?
    So, when negative seeming traits have their uses, we are justified in fulfilling them - that's what you're saying? Seems to back up my point quite well. Atheists are justified in fulfilling one of these traits if it useful to them at the time.



    I disagree, and I have yet to see anything that would even support it. If anything it is the latter - largely because of religious texts. While the atheists of the world, (generally), will not care what a homosexual man does with his penis, the theist has no choice but to actively oppose that mans choices - and it is that opposition which leads to immorality. Look at any nation still in existence that operates on religious law. I fail to see one thing moral in their activities, although yes.. I'm sure they will consider their actions as totally 'justified'.



    Funnily enough, more importance and more purpose equals more deaths.
    More compared to what? We haven't had many atheist nations or regimes yet(though Pot, Stalin, and Mao were quite charming, weren't they?) So I can't say you have much evidence to compare the a nation of atheists to religous - though I'm sure you'd encounter even more problems than you do with religious humans. Humans are, by nature, fallible and their actions are not always congruent with their ideals - you'll find that no matter what, but especially(I'd imagine) in humans that don't have religious law to back up the human law.


    Look up some statistics regarding prison inmates. You'll find atheists are relatively non-existant in prisons in comparison to theists. A lot of the problem stems from theist notions of what is 'right and wrong'. I mean c'mon, do you honestly care what another man does with his willy? But that is the theist way - to condemn those that are doing things that don't actually in and of themselves cause any harm - and yet because of that see themselves as more moral people which is, to be blunt, a load of old horse poo. So while the theist outlaws the harmless it would seem apparent to state that they are guilty of the serious far more than the atheists.
    Most of the inmates in prison aren't there because of "theist notions of right and wrong," as a result of behaving according to their religion, to be sure, but because of things like stealing, rape, murder - all of which are outlawed and condemned in religious text. Most of these people are converted while in jail, I hear, but even if they weren't - if the majority of inmates did claim to be religious(and many people do claim this, but claiming and actual behavior are very different things) before entering jail - they wouldn't have been accurately following their religion. And if these inmates behave while claiming to be religious, with the knowledge that God is watching their every move, with that kind of philosophical backbone for morality - if they can commit these crimes, even then - what kind of heinous acts would they further commit without this moralistic sytem of check and balances?
    Last edited by FallingSkyward; 06-24-07 at 11:28 AM.

  16. #216
    Heute der Enteteich... Oli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FallingSkyward View Post
    only since the advent of the theory of evolution, have people felt intellectually justified enough to ploriforate atheism as a logical worldview.
    Untrue - atheism as a world view goes to at least the Greeks.

    Speaking from personal experience, I went through an atheistic phase and I was MUCH more inclined to steal act in ways that were detrimental to my health and the well-being of those around me, cause well, it felt good at the time. And I consider myself to be a much more natually kind and moralistic person than most people I've met.
    The start of that paragraph would indicate otherwise...

    However, now that I feel I have an obligation to behave in a manner that my Creator deems right, and when faced with the opportunity to do something "bad," such as steal, that obligation checks my desire rather than just a fear of being caught. An all-powerful God has a bit more influence on my behavior than my finite and fallible peers.
    So now you just behave well because of fear or the hopes of a reward later on.

    Apply that to anything that is seen as violence or vice and put the hypothetical person in a situation where engaging in one of these would be beneficial to him. The only thing he has to check his desire is repercussions from other humans.
    Plus his own moral sense and fellow-feelings.

    But the genuinely religious man has not only human laws to keep him in check, but religious ones as well - which acts as a reinforcer for moral behavior.
    Fear again?

    More compared to what? We haven't had many atheist nations or regimes yet(the ones we have had -Hitler,
    Bad example - Hitler stated that he considered himself a good Catholic for most of his life, and have you ever looked at a Nazi dress uniform?
    The belt buckle had the inscription "Gott Mitt Uns" "God is with us".
    Hardly atheistic.

  17. #217
    How much is there to know? FallingSkyward's Avatar
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    So now you just behave well because of fear or the hopes of a reward later on.
    Yes, fear is a part of what drives people to act morally. But it's not just that. It's a heartfelt desire to behave in a way that would lead them to the best, most fulfilled life that their Creator has laid out for them. And of valuing their lives and the lives of other people whom this Creator loves. If you begin to ascribe an intrinsic, ultimate value to life and your actions, you are going to live more carefully, you have objective guidance, and you're not just lost in a world, driven by a blind process, completely left to draw your own conclusions on morality and what's best for you. Morality is more set in stone when it's objective. Thus, once again, humans adhere to these morals as a basis for moral behavior. What basis to atheists have to go off of? Ah yes, doing what's in the best interest for oneself. Hardly a framework for solid morality.


    Plus his own moral sense and fellow-feelings.
    Moral sense resulting from what? Logically, if ones aim is to survive, jumping in that raging river wouldn't be an intelligent choice.

    Fear again?
    You're ignoring the point - even if it was just fear, which it's not, religious people still have more justification to behave morally than atheists because of belief in an ultimate consequence to their actions. That's what I'm arguing - that lack of belief in God isn't just a lack of belief in God, with no philosophical, moral implications - it naturally has an affect on the behavior of man.

    Bad example - Hitler stated that he considered himself a good Catholic for most of his life, and have you ever looked at a Nazi dress uniform?
    The belt buckle had the inscription "Gott Mitt Uns" "God is with us".
    Hardly atheistic.
    Yeah, I changed that - while Hitler has said such things as(from recordings of his secretary published in a book called Hitler's Table Talk)

    "The best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death.... When understanding of the universe has become widespread... Christian doctrine will be convicted of absurdity....
    "Christianity has reached the peak of absurdity.... And that's why someday its structure will collapse....
    "...the only way to get rid of Christianity is to allow it to die little by little....
    "Christianity <is> the liar....
    "We'll see to it that the Churches cannot spread abroad teachings in conflict with the interests of the State." (p 49-52)

    In his public pronouncements he spoke well of Christianity. But he's said a lot of bullshit in his public statements, so it's best to take them with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, there are more obvious and well-documented cases of dictators being atheist, so I removed his name from my post.

  18. #218
    Heute der Enteteich... Oli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FallingSkyward View Post
    Yes, fear is a part of what drives people to act morally.
    Rubbish.
    There are good indications that a morality is genetic.

    But it's not just that. It's a heartfelt desire to behave in a way that would lead them to the best, most fulfilled life that their Creator has laid out for them. And of valuing their lives and the lives of other people whom this Creator loves.
    So you deny that atheists have morals?

    What basis to atheists have to go off of? Ah yes, doing what's in the best interest for oneself. Hardly a framework for solid morality.
    Really?
    Atheists don't live in society with other humans?
    I'm impressed with your reasoning.

    Moral sense resulting from what?
    Ever read up on morality and its basis?

    Logically, if ones aim is to survive, jumping in that raging river wouldn't be an intelligent choice.
    And theists always make a logical choice?
    "Greater love hath no man... etc"
    When someone is in danger you don't always stop to make the logical choice, you act...

    You're ignoring the point - even if it was just fear, which it's not, religious people still have more justification to behave morally than atheists because of belief in an ultimate consequence to their actions. That's what I'm arguing - that lack of belief in God isn't just a lack of belief in God, with no philosophical, moral implications - it naturally has an affect on the behavior of man.
    And arguing it very badly I might add.
    Atheists have morals because they're genetically-based (a moral sense is built in), they live in society and they have to get along with other people.
    By that reasoning atheists are more moral since they don't it because of some nebulous "ultimate consequences" (which in theists is still fear of doing the wrong thing 'cos they'll have to answer for it...)

    Yeah, I changed that - while Hitler has said such things as(from recordings of his secretary published in a book called Hitler's Table Talk)

    "The best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death.... When understanding of the universe has become widespread... Christian doctrine will be convicted of absurdity....
    "Christianity has reached the peak of absurdity.... And that's why someday its structure will collapse....
    "...the only way to get rid of Christianity is to allow it to die little by little....
    "Christianity <is> the liar....
    "We'll see to it that the Churches cannot spread abroad teachings in conflict with the interests of the State." (p 49-52)

    In his public pronouncements he spoke well of Christianity. But he's said a lot of bullshit in his public statements, so it's best to take them with a grain of salt. Nevertheless, there are more obvious and well-documented cases of dictators being atheist, so I removed his name from my post.
    And for every quote against I could find one in favour (including private conversation).
    But since you changed it I'll leave it alone.

  19. #219
    Oli: I don't think he's saying that atheists can't have morals, but more so that they have no reason to. An atheist's biggest fear for committing a crime is likely the punishment he or she will face afterwards. If an atheist is breaking a law he or she can get away with, there's nothing stopping them from doing so. If the law doesn't know about it, and there's supposedly no God, then why not go ahead and do whatever you want?

  20. #220
    Heute der Enteteich... Oli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qa`Dark View Post
    Oli: I don't think he's saying that atheists can't have morals,
    No? Then re-read this:

    Quote Originally Posted by FallingSkyward
    Speaking from personal experience, I went through an atheistic phase and I was MUCH more inclined to steal act in ways that were detrimental to my health and the well-being of those around me, cause well, it felt good at the time. And I consider myself to be a much more natually kind and moralistic person than most people I've met. However, now that I feel I have an obligation to behave in a manner that my Creator deems right, and when faced with the opportunity to do something "bad," such as steal, that obligation checks my desire rather than just a fear of being caught. An all-powerful God has a bit more influence on my behavior than my finite and fallible peers.
    He considers himself MUCH more moralistic than most people he's met and still acted as he decided because it "felt good".
    And now claims that the desire is checked merely because he's obligated to his creator...

    but more so that they have no reason to. An atheist's biggest fear for committing a crime is likely the punishment he or she will face afterwards. If an atheist is breaking a law he or she can get away with, there's nothing stopping them from doing so. If the law doesn't know about it, and there's supposedly no God, then why not go ahead and do whatever you want?
    How about having to live in society?
    How about "do as you would be done by"?
    I know how I felt when someone stole from me, I don't want anyone to put up with that because of something I've done, therefore I don't steal.
    If I did whatever I wanted to I would causing hurt and harm to others.
    Why on Earth would I want to do that?

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