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Old 04-04-2013, 02:03 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 43,189,981 times
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Many atheists like to imagine a glorious atheist paradise or utopia where God or religious has no place in society - some even cite examples of Sweden or the Netherlands of successful examples. In such a case, man - rational, peace-loving man - is the ultimate arbitrator of what is ultimately right and wrong. Moral absolutism will be exchanged for utilitarian ethics.

Of course, the thing is, no such society exists or is ever likely to. Even the most secular societies today are built on laws steeped in the Judaeo-Christian tradition, e.g. the Ten Commandments. Fact is, there's never been a truly atheistic or secular society in history so it's impossible to know what it would be like. Some communist regimes have got close though and they aren't good examples.

I know some will cite atrocities committed by God in the OT, but assuming we don't know whether those are true, and assuming God is good, and assuming everything we know about the 'nature of man or humans' I think ultimately, pure atheism would lead to utilitarianism and moral relativism. It just seems implausible now because we still have checks and balances from our religious heritage (which atheist's often dismiss) but without those, we'll go down a slippery slope. Abortion will lead to infanticide and who knows what else.

Of course so-called 'religious' societies have been terrible, but that's when they diverged from doing good and what they knew was right. I think our innate morals/conscience are derived from a divine source, and if we lose that, we'll descend into the law of the jungle.
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Old 04-04-2013, 03:11 AM
 
3,574 posts, read 4,018,551 times
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Wow. You like to assume quite a bit about your own bible there. Do you re-interpret god's word often?

Face it, religion absolutely has no monopoly on morality and never has.

There is absolutely no "moral", "good", "righteous", "humane" or otherwise benevolent action that occurs in the name of god that can't also be practiced by an Atheist with no god to justify it.


Atheists have no morals. - YouTube
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:12 AM
 
Location: Deep Dirty South
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The idea that morality has to come from some deific source--from an invisible supernatural being or beings--is utterly baseless and nonsensical.
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:28 AM
 
Location: NJ
17,579 posts, read 38,333,874 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post

I know some will cite atrocities committed by God in the OT, but assuming we don't know whether those are true, and assuming God is good,
Why do you assume you don't if those are true? And why do you assume god is good?
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:30 AM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
3,925 posts, read 2,732,005 times
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Or, perhaps religious morality came from human morality.

Perhaps it slows things down. If we're descending into anarchy, it may keep us from dropping over the brink awhile longer. If we're progressing, it may hold us back. I don't know. Maybe?

I just like people having understandible reasons for things they do...reasons which people not of that person's religion can understand. I'm fine with religion that suggests morality to people. That might be a positive thing, as with any good self-help book. A rise in atheism would likely counterbalance purely religion based thought, forcing people to at least explain themselves through secular reasoning, or else not be taken seriously.

Without a religion, people are forced to do things for understandible reasons. Maybe it's purely emotional hedonism, but at least that's predictable. We can plan for a dog biting us if we poke it in the eye with a stick, even if that dog bit someone and deserves to be poked in the eye.

The biggest fear I have of religions that emphasize a reward and punishiment system that will occur not on this earth, is that they might make people less likely to piece together how the world works. I can usually predict what an atheist's, deist's, or agnostic's argument will be. It's the most rational view. Devoutly religious persons' arguments, on Citi-Data in particular, seem less predictable. It's like the nones tend to be able to predict the thoughts of human beings better than the followers of organized, afterlife centered religions, because they've been thinking along the more correct pathways. There are many, many exceptions, but I'd trust religion more if more religious persons seemed to understand human nature better.

I hope you don't have a point about the infanticide, but there are no clear lines drawn for that one in particular, between infanticide and late term abortion, or life and non-life for that matter, other than perhaps, life wanting to live.

Would anyone like to explain how their religion has assisted them in understanding human nature, if it has?

Last edited by Clintone; 04-04-2013 at 06:21 AM..
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:51 AM
 
795 posts, read 1,152,293 times
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Why would you assume your god is good?

OK, so we're ignoring the OT, what about the horrible bastard in the NT? He's someone you'd cross the street to avoid.

If religious societies are only terrible because they've diverged from doing what they know is good and right, then why is their innate sense of what is right so different from what the religion says is right? If our moral sense comes from a deity, then why does no major religion feature those morals?

If abortion will lead to infanticide, then why has abortion pretty much replaced infanticide?
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:47 AM
 
Location: City-Data Forum
6,916 posts, read 4,303,948 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Many atheists like to imagine a glorious atheist paradise or utopia where God or religious has no place in society - some even cite examples of Sweden or the Netherlands of successful examples. In such a case, man - rational, peace-loving man - is the ultimate arbitrator of what is ultimately right and wrong. Moral absolutism will be exchanged for utilitarian ethics.

Of course, the thing is, no such society exists or is ever likely to. Even the most secular societies today are built on laws steeped in the Judaeo-Christian tradition, e.g. the Ten Commandments. Fact is, there's never been a truly atheistic or secular society in history so it's impossible to know what it would be like. Some communist regimes have got close though and they aren't good examples.

I know some will cite atrocities committed by God in the OT, but assuming we don't know whether those are true, and assuming God is good, and assuming everything we know about the 'nature of man or humans' I think ultimately, pure atheism would lead to utilitarianism and moral relativism. It just seems implausible now because we still have checks and balances from our religious heritage (which atheist's often dismiss) but without those, we'll go down a slippery slope. Abortion will lead to infanticide and who knows what else.

Of course so-called 'religious' societies have been terrible, but that's when they diverged from doing good and what they knew was right. I think our innate morals/conscience are derived from a divine source, and if we lose that, we'll descend into the law of the jungle.
1. politics has nothing to do with religion. the ten commandments aren't followed.
2. The Jains were a truly atheistic society, and secular societies exist all around you, even if the religious are hard at work to grip power and wealth.
3. Checks and balances are Judeo-Christian? ROTFL. they might have been mentioned in a Jewish Tanahk quote, but their royalty was DIVINELY MANDATED, that doesn't seem like a separation of power
Quote:
The separation of powers, often imprecisely used interchangeably with the trias politica principle,[1] is a model for the governance of a state (or who controls the state). The model was first developed in Ancient Greece and Rome. Under this model, the state is divided into branches, each with separate and independent powers and areas of responsibility so that no branch has more power than the other branches. The normal division of branches is into a legislature, an executive, and a judiciary.
Quote:
Aristotle first mentioned the idea of separating functions in government in his work "Politics" where he drew upon many of the constitutional forms in the city-states of Ancient Greece.
Slippery Slope arguments are fallacious, unless allowing you the freedom of speach might ultimately lead to anarchy, so we should develop religious laws to cut out the tongue of heretics... in fact, if we do a pre-emptive strike and cut out everyone's tongues, then there wont be that slippery slope to anarchy.

Non-superstitious societies that diverge from doing good and what they know is right probably face the same fate as the superstitious societies.

Religion is what leads to moral relativism, The Law of the Jungle is what we have if we listen to Religion.
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:41 AM
 
12,445 posts, read 14,578,535 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Many atheists like to imagine a glorious atheist paradise or utopia where God or religious has no place in society - some even cite examples of Sweden or the Netherlands of successful examples. In such a case, man - rational, peace-loving man - is the ultimate arbitrator of what is ultimately right and wrong. Moral absolutism will be exchanged for utilitarian ethics.

Of course, the thing is, no such society exists or is ever likely to. Even the most secular societies today are built on laws steeped in the Judaeo-Christian tradition, e.g. the Ten Commandments. Fact is, there's never been a truly atheistic or secular society in history so it's impossible to know what it would be like. Some communist regimes have got close though and they aren't good examples.

I know some will cite atrocities committed by God in the OT, but assuming we don't know whether those are true, and assuming God is good, and assuming everything we know about the 'nature of man or humans' I think ultimately, pure atheism would lead to utilitarianism and moral relativism. It just seems implausible now because we still have checks and balances from our religious heritage (which atheist's often dismiss) but without those, we'll go down a slippery slope. Abortion will lead to infanticide and who knows what else.

Of course so-called 'religious' societies have been terrible, but that's when they diverged from doing good and what they knew was right. I think our innate morals/conscience are derived from a divine source, and if we lose that, we'll descend into the law of the jungle.
  1. I don't think atheists imagine a "glorious atheist paradise or utopia" at all, because I think they realize we are living right now in that paradise.This is it. Man IS the "ultimate arbitrator" of what is right and wrong..An atheist wouldn't have to "assume" God is good, and therefor wouldn't feel the disappointment and heartache that comes from praying for a relief that never comes. What's wrong with utilitarianism and relativism?.. Some religious people may need those "checks and balances" to keep them from going down "slippery slopes", but an atheist "owns" their behavior,and knowing right from wrong, good from bad, is not something most people (religious or not) need to be reminded of...I highly doubt it's only atheists that have abortions, just as I highly doubt only an atheist (they might not even) would support euthanasia, another form of taking away life, and one that many "Christians" see as OK? How confusing is that? I don't believe a "divine source" has anything to do with knowing right and good from wrong and bad, though I do believe that the religions that offer forgiveness for all sins, simply by praying and expressing remorse have a lot to do with many ongoing social problems.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:23 AM
 
3,368 posts, read 2,144,434 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
Many atheists like to imagine a glorious atheist paradise or utopia where God or religious has no place in society - some even cite examples of Sweden or the Netherlands of successful examples. In such a case, man - rational, peace-loving man - is the ultimate arbitrator of what is ultimately right and wrong. Moral absolutism will be exchanged for utilitarian ethics.

Of course, the thing is, no such society exists or is ever likely to. Even the most secular societies today are built on laws steeped in the Judaeo-Christian tradition, e.g. the Ten Commandments. Fact is, there's never been a truly atheistic or secular society in history so it's impossible to know what it would be like. Some communist regimes have got close though and they aren't good examples.

I know some will cite atrocities committed by God in the OT, but assuming we don't know whether those are true, and assuming God is good, and assuming everything we know about the 'nature of man or humans' I think ultimately, pure atheism would lead to utilitarianism and moral relativism. It just seems implausible now because we still have checks and balances from our religious heritage (which atheist's often dismiss) but without those, we'll go down a slippery slope. Abortion will lead to infanticide and who knows what else.

Of course so-called 'religious' societies have been terrible, but that's when they diverged from doing good and what they knew was right. I think our innate morals/conscience are derived from a divine source, and if we lose that, we'll descend into the law of the jungle.
I have never understood this line of reasoning. As best I can tell, theists of every stripe are also using man as the arbiter of morality. No religion at present is claiming that there is now a direct theocracy whereby a god rules, communicates, judges, and enforces without a human intermediary. They may claim that this state of affairs will happen someday, but for now, we have books written by men, translated by men, interpreted by men, taught by men, special revelation given to men, and morality enforced and adjudicated by men. Unless and until a god intervenes directly, reliably, ans consitently, with no human intermediaries, religion can offer nothing that a humanistic morality cannot, other than an unprovable appeal to an unverifiable authority.

Face it, we are all in the same boat. Either we are trying to use reason and understanding to make the world a better place, or trying to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, but our morality and understanding it is a human endeavor, regardless of how we approach it.

-NoCapo
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Bronx, New York
2,141 posts, read 2,454,950 times
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Morality is determined by man and always has been.

Men have been determining what is moral since the beginning of time. They just hid behind a god(s)...the Lord told me to tell you that this is moral...etc.
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