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Old 12-13-2009, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Western Cary, NC
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I have been looking at the statistics, and in my view, the values which Atheist live by seem to relate to higher morality than the religious sector. Is it the Humanism aspect of being an Atheist which instills a higher set point for moral character. I see the Atheist moral value as being based on empathy and thus relating to other human feeling, providing a much broader base for morality than religion. A good example of the higher moral values is the per capita ratio of Atheist in prison when viewed against the religious, .2% as opposed to over 30% for non catholic christians, and close to the same for catholics. With data like this why are Atheist viewed as having low moral values?
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Old 12-13-2009, 08:30 AM
 
Location: The land where cats rule
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cncracer View Post
I have been looking at the statistics, and in my view, the values which Atheist live by seem to relate to higher morality than the religious sector. Is it the Humanism aspect of being an Atheist which instills a higher set point for moral character. I see the Atheist moral value as being based on empathy and thus relating to other human feeling, providing a much broader base for morality than religion. A good example of the higher moral values is the per capita ratio of Atheist in prison when viewed against the religious, .2% as opposed to over 30% for non catholic christians, and close to the same for catholics. With data like this why are Atheist viewed as having low moral values?
I don't think that atheist values are better, just arrived at differently. It is easier for an atheist to follow his moral values as he arrived at them himself through thought and observation. The theist has his moral values shoved down his throat by someone else. This makes it not as easy to follow these values.

Just my opinion.
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Space Coast
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If one considers Kohlberg's stages of moral development, acting "moral" because some higher authority (such as parents or a religion or "because the law says so") says is much lower on the moral development scale. Meanwhile, those who question authority and derive their sense of right and wrong based on what they feel is right for themselves and for society and recognize that there is rarely a "one size fits all" rule and that most everything has a gray area are much further along in their moral development. I'm not saying that all atheists are further in moral development than all religious people, but I notice that it is the case much of the time.
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:31 AM
 
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Moral values came from human societies. It's evolving and it's societal dependent. What was moral 100 years ago may not be moral any more nowadays; what is moral at one corner of the globe may not be moral at another.

Religions, on the other hand, try to be on the right side of everything all the time ("deity's moral absolute"). But, there is big problem with most scriptures -- they are old and filled with outdated human knowledge in nature and society. Bible/Koran can not be more wisdom be "more moral" than human knowledge can offer. Worse, scriptures can not take care of billions of moral criteria a person face everyday, they rely on some human beings to interpret them. In institutional religions, all religious leaders have their own monetary and political agendas. Religion being a tool to fool the mass of brainwashed followers offer perfect opportunities for these religious leaders to carry out such agendas. Think about religious leaders such as Bin Laden and Dalai Lama, they all proclaim special connections to their Gods and prescribe acts against humanities. But, they describe these acts as deity's moral values.

Isn't anything better than this worst kind? Absolutely. Atheism is a denial of such worst kind. It is, therefore, more moral then religion's "moral values" -- being normal (atheism, non-brainwashed) beats the worst.
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Old 12-13-2009, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Ostend,Belgium....
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right, most atheists were either raised religious or have been exposed to it by choice. What they've concluded from this and why they decided to leave it behind, was something that happened over time by weeding out what was fake and imaginary and realistic and by what made sense or didn't. It's also a choice and that is the big word, no one forces anything, we can choose to do the right thing or not. We create a list of moral things we wish to live by, not based on fear of reprocussions or guilt but on what really makes sence.
Maybe there are exceptions just like in anything else but that's the main difference.
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Old 12-13-2009, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cncracer View Post
I have been looking at the statistics, and in my view, the values which Atheist live by seem to relate to higher morality than the religious sector. Is it the Humanism aspect of being an Atheist which instills a higher set point for moral character. I see the Atheist moral value as being based on empathy and thus relating to other human feeling, providing a much broader base for morality than religion. A good example of the higher moral values is the per capita ratio of Atheist in prison when viewed against the religious, .2% as opposed to over 30% for non catholic christians, and close to the same for catholics. With data like this why are Atheist viewed as having low moral values?
To me that depends on the Christian(also on the atheist). Some Christians(Too many for my comfort) believe morals come from God, Divine Command Theory, that anything God says to do is moral. They are or think they are willing to kill if they thought God told them to, because God would not order them to do anything wrong. God must have a good reason to have them kill whoever, or to do whatever atrocious act. It isn't this life that matters, but the next one, let God sort them out(And some atheists do not think anything matters in the grand scheme of things). These types do not have morals, but "obedience to authority".

Christians that are sane have morals that are no better or worse than an atheists morals.

The caller on this video is an example of a Christian with obedience to authority:
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Old 12-13-2009, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Terra firma
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I'm an atheist who was reared in the belt buckle of the bible belt (Dallas Texas) so I have a pretty good perspective on both sides of the issue. Lets get one thing out of the way first: no I didn't have religion shoved down my throat forcing me to turn to atheism by backlash.

The problem I have with religion wrought morality is that it is instilled more by fear then anything else: fear of going to hell; burning in eternal hellfire...etc.

I think that developing a strong moral and ethical set of values and principals based on personal and philosophical growth is much more admirable, takes much more work, and is healthier mentally in the long run.

Sorry if I've offended any Christians out there.
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:29 PM
 
Location: Ostend,Belgium....
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Zekester, I think you're right. It takes a lot of strenght and character to develop your own set of values and do what's right without someone with a whip on your tail..It's even more admirable if you grow up in super religious areas and still find your own path...It's not about insulting anyone, it's just the truth.
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:50 PM
 
Location: Metromess
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Right you are, Zekester. To me, living ethically and considerately simply because it's the right thing to do is much more admirable than doing so because of a supernatural carrot and stick. I'm in Fort Worth too!
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:29 PM
 
Location: NZ Wellington
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It's because most modern atheist are also humanist.

Edit: Modern Humanists, such as Corliss Lamont or Carl Sagan, hold that humanity must seek for truth through reason and the best observable evidence and endorse scientific skepticism and the scientific method. However, they stipulate that decisions about right and wrong must be based on the individual and common good. As an ethical process, Humanism does not consider metaphysical issues such as the existence or nonexistence of immortal beings. Humanism is engaged with what is human.
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