On the origin of morals - and the preservation of favoured logic 16 replies

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Safe-Keeper

Aw, c'mon Cyan, it's quality!

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28th September 2004

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#1 12 years ago

One argument I keep hearing from the superstitious God-worshipers is that without their God or any other mythological ruler and set of rules, there'd be no source of morality. There'd as such be no reason to not rape, there'd be no incentive for altruism, and all of the world's nations would descend into dictatorships on the same level as North Korea and the old Stalinist Soviet Union.

This is of course as ridiculous as it is ignorant. First of all, if morality stems from the Bible and/or other mythologies (and there are indeed individuals who claim the morals we live by is courtesy of the 10 commandments), how come animals without religion show altruism? If absence of religion breeds dictatorship, communism and evil, how come many countries that are predominately atheist, such as the Scandinavian kingdoms and republics, have lower levels of crime, divorce, STDs, and so on than the United States? Why is Norway, in which only 19% of the populace believes in an after-life and 70% are atheists, ranked first on the United Nations' Human Development Index? Surely with its convictions it should rank among the last on the list, with Sri Lanka, Niger, Yemen, and Haiti?

On a different note, do you know a single person who actually follows the moral code of the Bible? The reason I ask is that every Christian I've ever spoken to, even the most die-hard Bible-thumping fundamentalist, fails to do so. Instead, they adopt only the passages they agree with, and ignore the rest.

For example, anti-homosexuals are quick to point to the Biblical outrage against homosexuality, but equally swift to ignore and even forget the Scripture that does not agree with them. Take, for instance, what to do with those who tell you to worship other Gods than the Christian one:

[COLOR=SeaGreen]"You must kill him. Your hand must strike the first blow in putting him to death and the hands of the rest of the people following. You must stone him to death, since he has tried to divert you from Yahweh, your God..." [/COLOR]

[COLOR=Black] Homophobes, for example, do not necessarily make attempts to enforce or strenghten Blue Laws which call for stores to be closed on Sundays, in respect of the Sabbath. In fact, everyone who follows moral codes in the Bible do so because their own morals tell them what is right or wrong. You don't refrain from stealing, raping, and cheating on your spouse because God tells you not to - you do it because you know it's wrong. If God popped up tomorrow and proclaimed that the idiot he'd influenced to write the Bible had been mistaken and that in reality, he had no business directing you to kill or not kill, would you go out and murder people? Methinks not.

So what is the origin of pity, kindness, justice, and loyalty? Society. From where did human society get it? Its ancestors. Morals are common on Earth. Humans aren't the only species to choose one partner and stay faithful with him or her until death - many species do so. Homo sapiens is far from alone in protecting fellow individuals - just look at the wolves, nursing the injured pack members, protecting the pack from attack, and even adopting human infants. In fact, the behaviour of adopting other species' newborns is also commonplace in the animal society - who hasn't heard stories of dogs who've just gotten pups choosing to also take care of a stray kitty? There was even a story on Snopes of a dog mom adopting an injured squirrel as her newest "pup"!

Do I have to tell my dog to protect me from harm? Nope, it will do so instinctively. She needs no story of a guy with a long beard sitting in the clouds ready to smie her should she neglect to defend me - even my relatively unintelligent dog has enough common sense in her to realize that pack members should be defended.

I believe this post begs the questions:[COLOR=SeaGreen] [/COLOR] [/COLOR]

  1. [COLOR=SeaGreen]If humans are dependant on superstitious belief in omni-potent law-givers and punishers to not do wrong, then why aren't anmials? Aren't we humans supposed to be better than animals (especially according to those Creationists who for the lives of them do not want to descend from monkeys)?[/COLOR]
  2. [COLOR=SeaGreen]How can any intelligent, reasonable person argue that we will descend into dictatorships when we abandon the childish mythologies to which we cling? Is it not obvious from looking at the world around you - and the animal kingdom - that this is ignorant bollocks?[/COLOR]

[COLOR=Black]Morality stems from society, tradition, and a healthy does of good ole common sense. It's constantly evolving (well, how many slaves do you count in the States today?), it's backed by logic and reason (well, most of it), and it'll stay long after the last mythological doctrine of Abraham fades into history along with those of Thor, Zeus, Shiva, and Amon-Ra.

So in conclusion, if there's no God, why should I not murder? Because, naturally, it takes away the life the victim has been given by his parents, and will land me in prison faster than you can say "Richard Dawkins". Sounds reasonable enough to me. [COLOR=SeaGreen] [/COLOR] [COLOR=Black][COLOR=SeaGreen]God Bless [/COLOR][COLOR=Red]Sincerely[/COLOR] [COLOR=SeaGreen] --Safe-Keeper[/COLOR][/COLOR] [/COLOR]




Pethegreat VIP Member

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#2 12 years ago

Without the bible, there would still be morals, they just would not be as wide spread as they are. Most of the world's people have read the bible or its muslim and jewish equilants.

On a different note, do you know a single person who actually follows the moral code of the Bible?

No one is perfect.

the Scandinavian kingdoms and republics, have lower levels of crime, divorce, STDs, and so on than the United States? Why is Norway, in which only 19% of the populace believes in an after-life and 70% are atheists, ranked first on the United Nations' Human Development Index? Surely with its convictions it should rank among the last on the list, with Sri Lanka, Niger, Yemen, and Haiti?

Simple, you replaced morals with laws.

This thread seems like a God-bashing fest.




WarHawk109

From the Austrian School

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21st July 2003

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#3 12 years ago

for an atheist he sure does have a lot of faith

Scandinavia and the United Nations are his gods.




MrFancypants Forum Admin

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#4 12 years ago

Interesting thread, but damn you for the microscopic font-size!

I agree that religion isn't a prequisite for morality, but it did help spreading morality around the world in the past. I don't think they are contributing much to morality today though, at least not in western industrial nations.




Safe-Keeper

Aw, c'mon Cyan, it's quality!

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#5 12 years ago
Without the bible, there would still be morals, they just would not be as wide spread as they are. Most of the world's people have read the bible or its muslim and jewish equilants.

So when Indians and others don't have higher crime rates than they have, it's because the Abrahamic teachings have reached them? It's not that they're perhaps capable of figuring out that murder, rape, theft, and adultery is wrong without using a deity as an excuse?

I'd like to hear your reasoning for that.

Morals would be just as widespread withouth mythological entities preaching them.

No one is perfect.

So you consider it "perfect" to follow the Bible to the letter, including the nonsense about stoning those who invite you to worship false Gods?

Simple, you replaced morals with laws.

I don't quite see what you mean with that. Every country has laws enforcing its basic morals and rules (don't rape, murder, run red lights, and so on).

In the USA, people don't rape because they know it's wrong. In Norway, people don't rape because they know it's wrong.

Same thing.

This thread seems like a God-bashing fest.

I'm very critical of religion and its effects, and that is reflected by my posts in this forum. But to call it a "God-bashing fest" is in excess, I feel.

Interesting thread, but damn you for the microscopic font-size.

Hey, it's a long post. If you're not using Firefox (in which case it's a simple matter of Ctrl+Mouse wheel to enlarge text), you deserve reading difficulties [insert evil smiley here]:p!




MrFancypants Forum Admin

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#6 12 years ago
Safe-Keeper;3385928So when Indians and others don't have higher crime rates than they have, it's because the Abrahamic teachings have reached them? It's not that they're perhaps capable of figuring out that murder, rape, theft, and adultery is wrong without using a deity as an excuse?

I didn't say that it's impossible for people to be moral without religion, just that religion helps spreading a set of values, especially if you have a population that is likely to believe in a God.

Hey, it's a long post. If you're not using Firefox (in which case it's a simple matter of Ctrl+Mouse wheel to enlarge text), you deserve reading difficulties [insert evil smiley here]:p!

I am using Firefox, but I'm too lazy to adjust text-size all the time and then to adjust it back (I thought the orange name made that obvious ;) ).




EON_MagicMan

Lumpy

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#7 12 years ago

I agree completely with the original post, although I'd like to know which passage that quote is, just to see it myself. It would be neat to see some real refutations, and I think Pethegreat misunderstood the point about being a real Christian (see quote about stoning). To act moral only because of fear of judgement from God is more self serving and selfish than being moral for sincere reasons. It's impossible to weigh whether religion has done more good or bad for the world. It's certainly acted as a motivation for many to do good or bad throughout history. It becomes a bit of a problem when people cling on to the old explanations of things that the bible has to offer and ignore what trials, experiments and a scientific process are saying. Bravo, good thread.




Joe Bonham

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#8 12 years ago
So when Indians and others don't have higher crime rates than they have, it's because the Abrahamic teachings have reached them? It's not that they're perhaps capable of figuring out that murder, rape, theft, and adultery is wrong without using a deity as an excuse?

Right. Or has it occured to you that smaller, less dense populations tend to have lower crime rates than large, dense, urban environments? :rolleyes:

In the USA, people don't rape because they know it's wrong. In Norway, people don't rape because they know it's wrong.

Same thing.

Let me get your logic straight - You say that religious people only do the right thing because they fear God. While atheists do it because its the right thing to do. Have you heard of prison? The death penalty? Has it occured to you that atheists follow the law because of these possible punishments. Or are you trying to claim that only religious people commit crimes?

Morals would be just as widespread withouth mythological entities preaching them.

The onset of widespread atheism in the late 19th, early 20th centuries coincided with the greatest bloodbaths of history, so I very much doubt that's true.

But to call it a "God-bashing fest" is in excess, I feel.

Whatever you say.

You So you consider it "perfect" to follow the Bible to the letter, including the nonsense about stoning those who invite you to worship false Gods? [/QUOTE] [QUOTE=Mr. FancyPants] I don't think they are contributing much to morality today though, at least not in western industrial nations.

True. But since Western society as we know it will probably be replaced by some other culture in a hundred years or so, that really doesn't matter from an evolutionary perspective.




Pethegreat VIP Member

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#9 12 years ago
So when Indians and others don't have higher crime rates than they have, it's because the Abrahamic teachings have reached them? It's not that they're perhaps capable of figuring out that murder, rape, theft, and adultery is wrong without using a deity as an excuse?

The indians had their owns gods/spirits who they worshiped.

In the USA, people don't rape because they know it's wrong. In Norway, people don't rape because they know it's wrong.

They don't do it becuase they will go to prison. 10 minutes of peasure and power is not worth 25 years behind bars with bubba.

The whole stoning passage argument is BS. That came from the old testament, not the new testament. If you read some of both book you would understand that in the Old testament god was vengeful. The rule about stoning is one of God's vengeful acts. The new testament which is the foundation of christanity preaches tolerance and peace.




Guest

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#10 12 years ago

I've never been a Bible-Christian or anything like that so I don't really care where morals come from. I don't believ ein the bible, I've formulated my own beliefs about God using logic and my own personal experiences, not by reading a book placed inf ront of me.

I did learn something new today though. I didn't know I could change font size with the mouse wheel. Thankis for that Safe.:)




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