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Old 06-30-2010, 07:14 PM
 
16,311 posts, read 13,134,923 times
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Default Atheists have a personal morality vs. a fear based morality

As an Atheist one of the most infuriating questions or comment from the ‘good christian’ people is “how can you be a moral person without the delusion of this wonderful deity that makes me a moral person”. Some are very visceral in their attacks on the morality or lack of in Atheists.

DUH! It really seems natural to me, and in practice I know I am a more moral person than many of the phony Christians I know in the real word. Over the years I have worked with and for some very despicable and dishonest people that wore their religion like a suit of armor.

But still, I keep wondering, are these people basing the supposition that an Atheists cannot possible be a moral person without the intervention of a deity, is it out of spite, out of hatred, out of intolerance, why?

While responding to yet another such misinformed person, I had an epiphany! Of course they can’t understand why Atheists are moral, actually more moral than believers, and there is statistical evidence to support that.

Christians have never been allowed to develop their personal moral compass, their morals have been tightly controlled since their first indoctrination to religion, the threat of hell, the “god is watching” nonsense. They become adults, but they don't 'grow' as adults, still without the opportunity to develop a personal moral compass, just like the kid who never has the training wheels taken off of their bicycle, and then neither ever learn to balance their morals or their bike, or the dog that charges everyone that passes by, but are stopped only by a chain link fence. My dogs have learned not to charge strangers, vs. the need of erecting a fence.
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Old 06-30-2010, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Blankity-blank!
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Good thread!
The conscience and self-examination are important. This is what the christians are missing.
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Old 06-30-2010, 08:21 PM
 
Location: The Milky Way Galaxy
2,235 posts, read 3,458,652 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
As an Atheist one of the most infuriating questions or comment from the ‘good christian’ people is “how can you be a moral person without the delusion of this wonderful deity that makes me a moral person”. Some are very visceral in their attacks on the morality or lack of in Atheists.

DUH! It really seems natural to me, and in practice I know I am a more moral person than many of the phony Christians I know in the real word. Over the years I have worked with and for some very despicable and dishonest people that wore their religion like a suit of armor.

But still, I keep wondering, are these people basing the supposition that an Atheists cannot possible be a moral person without the intervention of a deity, is it out of spite, out of hatred, out of intolerance, why?

While responding to yet another such misinformed person, I had an epiphany! Of course they can’t understand why Atheists are moral, actually more moral than believers, and there is statistical evidence to support that.

Christians have never been allowed to develop their personal moral compass, their morals have been tightly controlled since their first indoctrination to religion, the threat of hell, the “god is watching” nonsense. They become adults, but they don't 'grow' as adults, still without the opportunity to develop a personal moral compass, just like the kid who never has the training wheels taken off of their bicycle, and then neither ever learn to balance their morals or their bike, or the dog that charges everyone that passes by, but are stopped only by a chain link fence. My dogs have learned not to charge strangers, vs. the need of erecting a fence.
On the money...the same way religion is ingrained in their heads from childhood is the same way terrorists spread American hate at an early age in Muslim countries to the young ones. The only thing they know and "grow" on is the "fundamentals" they were taught when young.
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Old 06-30-2010, 08:27 PM
 
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Then there's the other thing....Waiting and praying for a god to do something for them, or change something, when, if they used their brains, they could usually find a solution for themselves.

So, instead of thinking about how to solve a problem, they leave up to their god to do the thinking for them.
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Old 06-30-2010, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Ontario, Canada
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I don't think the doctrine of original sin helps. Teaching kids that they are born evil makes it harder for a true moral compass to be developed. They will believe that if there was no God "the punisher" that everybody would be on each others throats.
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Old 06-30-2010, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Richland, Washington
3,588 posts, read 2,660,057 times
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The morality of many christians reminds me of the authoritarian style of parenting. The parent gives hundreds of rules for their child to follow and if they make even the slightest 'infraction,' the parent will go off the deep end and either verbally or many times physically abuse the child. This doesn't allow the child to actually learn the difference between right and wrong, it just teaches them to obey out of fear of reprisal. Smilarly, many(not all) christians do whatever their invisible friend tells them to do because they'll burn in a lake of fire if they don't.(not because of their 'love' for god as they like to claim) This keeps them from developing a strong moral compass that won't decay if they lose their faith. On the otherhand, most atheists observe how actions affect the world around them then form morals based on which actions are most beneficial and unbeneficial. Their morals and sense of right and wrong won't go away if their beliefs change.

I think people keep making the 'atheists can't be moral or morals become personal preferences' claim is out of either ignorance, stupidity or they're actually sociopaths and the only thing holding them back from being a mass murdering rapist is the fact that they believe they'll burn forever.
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:20 PM
 
3,186 posts, read 1,284,908 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
As an Atheist one of the most infuriating questions or comment from the ‘good christian’ people is “how can you be a moral person without the delusion of this wonderful deity that makes me a moral person”. Some are very visceral in their attacks on the morality or lack of in Atheists.

DUH! It really seems natural to me, and in practice I know I am a more moral person than many of the phony Christians I know in the real word. Over the years I have worked with and for some very despicable and dishonest people that wore their religion like a suit of armor.

But still, I keep wondering, are these people basing the supposition that an Atheists cannot possible be a moral person without the intervention of a deity, is it out of spite, out of hatred, out of intolerance, why?

While responding to yet another such misinformed person, I had an epiphany! Of course they can’t understand why Atheists are moral, actually more moral than believers, and there is statistical evidence to support that.

Christians have never been allowed to develop their personal moral compass, their morals have been tightly controlled since their first indoctrination to religion, the threat of hell, the “god is watching” nonsense. They become adults, but they don't 'grow' as adults, still without the opportunity to develop a personal moral compass, just like the kid who never has the training wheels taken off of their bicycle, and then neither ever learn to balance their morals or their bike, or the dog that charges everyone that passes by, but are stopped only by a chain link fence. My dogs have learned not to charge strangers, vs. the need of erecting a fence.
Fundie Christians say Atheists have no "standard of conduct" to guide them.
Fundie Atheists say Christians that are "good" are only so because of "fear of burning in afterlife hell"

They both make hyperbolic statements greatly exaggerating the level they are harassed by the "other side". If you listened to them they have throngs of people with an opposing viewpoint "on their case" with "very visceral attacks"...at work, at school, on the street, at home, MOF they just about can't move without being hassled.

They point to the most evil, heinous people in all of history that subscribed to the the concept they don't subscribe to (Hitler, Pol Pot, Jeffery Dahmer, Bin Laden, etc.)...and infer that they were/are the way they were/are because of their belief or non-belief. Of course, this is nothing but ridiculous propaganda typical of all extremists.

Here is THE WAY IT REALLY IS---Regardless of nationality, race, gender, age after 2yrs old, upbringing, theological concept, socio-economic circumstance, educational level, or any other trait what-so-ever other than health conditions that places a person in a vegetative state....ALL are capable of BOTH good and bad conduct (pick whatever "Standard of Good and Bad" suits you)...and ALL will conduct themselves both ways. NO EXCEPTIONS!

If the REAL LIFE immediate threat of removal of freedom by imprisonment, corporal punishments practiced in many countries, and the death penalty...don't deter people from being "bad", relative to the legal standard of where they are...why would one think the concept of some deferred punishment in an otherworldly place is going stop them?

If being kind and generous to others actually COSTS YOU money, time, and resources...why are some kind and generous without the hope for some afterlife reward?

Some are "bad" regardless of actual/perceived sanctions...others are "good" regardless of the absence of actual/perceived rewards.

ALL have both good and bad traits and proclivities...NO MATTER any other factors...who isn't hip to that?
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GldnRule View Post
If being kind and generous to others actually COSTS YOU money, time, and resources...why are some kind and generous without the hope for some afterlife reward?
So are you saying you are trying to buy you way into heaven?

I have donated a great deal of time, and at personal expense as a volunteer firefighter/first responder for over 31 years. This may be hard to digest for you, but there was never the first thought about what I would get out of this later.

Saving a persons life, home, or even their dog, or simply getting a snake out of their kitchen is its own reward, and I find the self centered selfishness your comment exhibits to be rather disgusting.
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Old 06-30-2010, 11:37 PM
 
3,186 posts, read 1,284,908 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
So are you saying you are trying to buy you way into heaven?

I have donated a great deal of time, and at personal expense as a volunteer firefighter/first responder for over 31 years. This may be hard to digest for you, but there was never the first thought about what I would get out of this later.

Saving a persons life, home, or even their dog, or simply getting a snake out of their kitchen is its own reward, and I find the self centered selfishness your comment exhibits to be rather disgusting.
Not saying that at all Bro.

MOF, if you read it in context (I had just noted people that do bad in spite of punishment) I was giving props to those that do good without thought of afterlife reward...noting (in the form of a question) they were "good for goodness sake".

Also I qualified the statement EVEN FURTHER later in the post---[Some are "bad" regardless of actual/perceived sanctions...others are "good" regardless of the absence of actual/perceived rewards.]

But it would figure you would take the view of it you took...that Fundie Atheist "shoulder chip" thing toward Believers, you see. Just a FYI...being "good" to people is as much "attitude toward" as it is "deeds for" them. The last part of your last sentence (after the comma) applies to YOU Dude...you need to get hip to that.
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Old 07-01-2010, 12:33 AM
 
Location: 30-40°N 90-100°W
13,859 posts, read 12,574,763 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asheville Native View Post
While responding to yet another such misinformed person, I had an epiphany! Of course they can’t understand why Atheists are moral, actually more moral than believers, and there is statistical evidence to support that.
In writing classes they sometimes have "the red line" when the reviewer quit reading because the story lost them or became worthless.

You can't statistically give evidence on morals unless we all agree what's moral or immoral and that's not going to happen. A person that values generosity, sexual fidelity, and avoiding suicide might not find atheists all that moral going by the statistical evidence. If a person is more about low rates of teen pregnancy, imprisonment, and a lack of ethnic prejudice than atheists come out better sure.

Atheists in the US maybe are more likely to have "middle-class virtues" or "liberal virtues." However that's just because they tend to be liberal and middle-class. You pick a Christian denomination that's almost solely liberal and middle-class, say the Episcopalians, and much of the "atheist moral superiority" you're likely meaning will be in them too.

However I personally don't acknowledge or agree that "liberal middle-class virtues" are the only valid kind of morality. Nor do I think they're all that automatic to atheists. Atheistic Czechs have about the highest embezzlement rates in the world and atheistic Estonians are pretty murderous. The fairly religious people of Malta, or North Dakota, are pretty low in crime.

I think atheists can be moral, but the urge to overcompensate and claim moral superiority all the time is both obnoxious and laughable.
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