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Where does the atheist/humanist get their morality from?

Discussion in 'Ethics & Morality' started by spiritualwarrior77, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. Archaeopteryx

    Archaeopteryx Humanist

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    You just specified that your particular conception of God and your Scriptures should determine what is right and what is wrong. And then you say that this point is not debatable? Of course it is debatable! Would you accept, as "non-debatable", another person's claim that their holy book is the measure of morality? No. You would most certainly contest their claim.

    I do not agree with that at all. What counts as "Christian values" depends on what particular strand of Christianity you adhere to and its attendent interpretation of Scripture. Following the previous example, according to some, the preservation of slavery was a "Christian value". Thankfully, most people no longer regard it as such. When you say "Christian values will produce a harmonious society", one must ask "Whose Christian values? Yours? Or that of some other group of Christians with a different interpretation of Scripture?"
     
  2. Eudaimonist

    Eudaimonist I believe in life before death!

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    Holy books don't solve the problem. They don't determine whose conscience is correct because it's still a matter of conscience which holy book is morally correct.

    You demonstrate this by saying that the Koran is "bloodthirsty" and therefore wrong, as if you are greater than Allah! That's your conscience at work.

    And you are ignoring great works of ethics that are not holy books, such as Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics.


    eudaimonia,

    Mark
     
  3. quatona

    quatona "God"? What do you mean??

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    Basically, we have to think for ourselves. And, yes, I understand how this can be perceived as inconvenience.
     
  4. KCfromNC

    KCfromNC Regular Member

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    Then surely you have copious evidence that most professional biologists are social Darwinists. Let's see it, otherwise I have to conclude you're just making this stuff up. Or, at the very least, if none of the professionals in a field agree with your interpretation of it, I have to conclude that you're way out of your league.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2012
  5. KCfromNC

    KCfromNC Regular Member

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    Which is why there's no evidence of anti-semitism prior to the publication of On the Origin of Species in 1859.

    I guess someone's going for the Große Lüge approach
     
  6. Archaeopteryx

    Archaeopteryx Humanist

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    What's more, holy books demand that you take their moral claims on faith. "God commands it. Therefore, it is right. Take my word on it." (Note: this isn't necessarily true of all moral claims made in all holy books. Other reasons for the morality of an action are sometimes considered.)
     
  7. Archaeopteryx

    Archaeopteryx Humanist

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    It seems like a Kent Hovind approach. Hovind frequently emphasises the point that Darwinism is a driving force of racism and how the "survival of the fittest" supposedly inspired Hitler. What he neglects to mention, however, is that racism predates the ToE, and that racist attitudes throughout history were by no means exclusive to atheists.
     
  8. mzungu

    mzungu INVICTUS

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    Creationists remind me of this: "RESISTANCE IS FUTILE; YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED". Well no thanks; I don't want to become a Borg!
     
  9. selfinflikted

    selfinflikted Under Deck

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    And further, this misapplication of the phrase "survival of the fittest" is really starting to grate on my nerves. That phrase does not mean, "I am bigger, stronger, richer, better-looking than you therefore the smaller, weaker, poor uglies will be crushed underfoot!" It simply means, those members of a species who are "fit" enough to survive long enough to reproduce, will.
     
  10. keith99

    keith99 Senior Member

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    And just where did the idea that the Jews were vermin come from?

    It was something driven by the Christain Church for centuries.

    There was little new in what Hitler did other than bringing German effeciency and organization into the mix.

    The Nazi treatment of Jews is a rather poor choice of an example.
     
  11. Illuminaughty

    Illuminaughty Drift and Doubt

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    So was he predicting that might happen or was he actually advocating it? Pointing out that bad things are on the horizon doesn't imply support for the said things.

    If he thought that way (and I doubt it) he wouldn't be a socialist though. Socialists support an egalitarian society. If a person is pretending to support socialism for other ends ,like increasing the power of the capitalist class(!), than they are just pretending to be a socialist and are not one in actual fact.
     
  12. Genersis

    Genersis Surge Seeker

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    Evolution contains such a simple idea that anyone can understand:
    Those best adapted to survive. Will be more likely to survive, and thus reproduce.

    It's amazing how far people will twist that to try and paint the theory of evolution in a bad light.

    Some going as far as to say it instigates the killing of the weak, when it does no such thing.
     
  13. mzungu

    mzungu INVICTUS

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    "Fittest" does not necessarily mean strongest nor healthiest. Many Africans suffer from a genetic form of sickle celled anaemia. The reason is simple: Malarial parasites (Plasmodium) cannot easily attack sickle shaped red blood cells, thus anyone suffering from this type of anaemia is more likely to be resistant or immune to malaria. This in turn allows the anaemic person to survive and pass on his genes to his offspring. So we can see that in this case an ailment which in most cases is not life threatening is an advantage and people who suffer from this disease are fittest to survive their environment.

    :wave:
     
  14. NailsII

    NailsII Life-long student of biological science

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    I would go so far as to suggest that even un-itelligent socail animals need some form of morality to be able to form and maintain a social structure.
    Even being a parent (as opposed to laying a load of eggs and buggering off, so to speak) is a path of moral form.
    I must confess I have read very little Jung or Kant.
    I don't think that you need to read to be able to form moral judgements.
    Is there a reson then, why America - which claims to be around 80% Christian - is not the country with the lowest crime in the world?
    There are plenty of Christian countires in Africa for example, and they are far from harmonious.
     
  15. quatona

    quatona "God"? What do you mean??

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    That´s an easy one: They aren´t true Christians. :p
     
  16. mzungu

    mzungu INVICTUS

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    No wonder the Bible belt keeps getting pummelled by tornadoes and hurricanes ;):p^_^^_^^_^
     
  17. Ken-1122

    Ken-1122 Newbie

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    I learned from those who came before me, and those around me.
    Society decides for themselves; I am a part of society.
    I’m not aware of your morality but if it goes against the golden rule, social order, and what I consider is best for society, it would be my opinion that mine is better than yours.
    It has always been a part of me.
    Society.
    Society
    Can you list a society under “humanism”? BTW the Golden Rule remains as strong as ever as well
    No. Domination by a “dictatorial elite” sounds more like Christianity to me; wouldn’t you agree?

    Ken
     
  18. spiritualwarrior77

    spiritualwarrior77 Senior Member

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    Could you point out for me, Ken, where in the New Testament a "dictatorial elite" is encouraged?!

    Galatians 3:27 "All baptised in Christ, you have all clothed yourself in Christ and there are no more distinctions between Jew and Greek,slave and free, male and female, but all of you are one in Christ Jesus."

    Acts 4:32 "And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own; but all things were common property to them."
     
  19. plindboe

    plindboe Senior Member

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    No, that was 8 questions.


    Same place you and everyone else gets their morals from; society, upbringing, empathy, discourse, contemplation, research, evidence and reasoning.

    People have different upbringing though, live in different communities, have different degrees of empathy and reasoning capabilities, so that is why we can't all agree.


    We all do. Society has shaped us, but we also have the ability to improve it for future generations.


    Wether mine is better would depend on what your moral views are. I judge moral actions based on what benefit and harm they have in society. If you cause deliberate, unnecessary harm, I'm more moral than you.


    We evolved to be a highly social animal, and empathy and a conscience are integral parts of this. Kin selection and policing can also help to explain part of this. But it's a complicated question to answer, and I doubt anyone has a full, satisfactory answer. And no, "God-did-it" isn't satisfactory either.


    I do. Just as you decide that yours is correct. The next step is to have a discussion and try to come to an agreement. Perhaps you can convince me that on a certain point you are correct, and I will amend my views.


    I, and people like me, who oppose tyranny, will stop them.

    Though my first effort would be to try to explain to them how they have misunderstood the phrase "survival of the fittest". Fitness in evolution has to do with number of viable offspring. If anyone truly wanted to live by that phrase, they would try to have as many children as they possibly could.


    It's the other way around. Our societies have improved greatly due to humanistic efforts. We've outlawed slavery, even though it's promoted in the Bible. Genocide is considered the worst of crimes, despite the god of the OT having a fondness for it. Witch burning is long gone, despite being prescribed in the Bible. Read a history book and you will discover how cruel the world was when Christianity was in charge, even though they used the same scripture then as they do now. So obviously morals can't just come from scripture. Humanistic values have dragged Christianity kicking and screaming into the 21th century.


    No. It would be absurd to suggest that society should be based on a natural science theory. How would one go about building a society on the principles of the theory of gravity? Make laws against balloons and rockets?

    Darwinian evolution is based on observations in nature and has nothing to do with building societies. Likewise, just because we observe in nature that some spiders eat their mating partners after copulation, doesn't mean that we should apply it to human society.

    Anyway, the theory is about alleles in a gene pool changing in frequency due to natural selection, sexual selection, kin selection, genetic drift, gene flow etc. Even if one was insane enough to want to build a society based on that, there'd be no way to do it.

    Peter :)
     
  20. Dave Ellis

    Dave Ellis Contributor

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    There's more about Christianity than just what's in the Bible.

    Millions of Catholics are bound to what the pope says, especially in developing areas like Africa. They honestly believe if they don't do what he says, their souls will burn in hell forever.

    The anti-condom efforts of the Pope and Catholic Church are directly responsible for the deaths of Millions from HIV and AIDS. They do this out of fear from the dictatorial elite... not only the Church, but the God they think will eternally punish them.

    Many of the evangelical churches in the united states operate the same way. They tell their "flock" what to believe, and what not to believe, and threaten them with eternal torture if they deviate. They persecute non-believers, and live in fear of the institution and the God it teaches about.


    I am fully aware that not all churches operate under these premises.... however, the most vocal and most visible ones certainly do.

    Any church that indoctrinates people into believing their message, and threatens eternal torture in hell for not believing what they have to say is no different than facing persecution in a communist or fascist state for holding contrary beliefs to the acceptable norm.