If a person does not believe in a god they will not act morally
Debate Rounds (4)
Note - Claiming of specific individuals e.g. "They were bad and didn't believe in god will not be counted as an arguement." as it doesn't apply to a full group. I am looking for the arguement that all people who do not worship a being cannot have stong morals.
Firstly it would be important to define moral(1);
1. of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical: moral attitudes.
2. expressing or conveying truths or counsel as to right conduct, as a speaker or a literary work.
3. founded on the fundamental principles of right conduct rather than on legalities, enactment, or custom: moral obligations.
4. capable of conforming to the rules of right conduct: a moral being.
5. conforming to the rules of right conduct (opposed to immoral ): a moral man.
The assumption that a person who does not follow god will not act in a moral way, suggests that a person would act selfishly and not in the interests of others. This is not the case, while I will accept there have been many people who do not believe in god who have acted immorally it is also true that many people of religion have acted immorally.
It was previously argued by John Locke, those who do not believe in god cannot act morally as they do not believe in an afterlife and therefore see no consequences to their actions. I challenge this by stating that firstly consequences of actions take place in this life and it would be logical to act morally for anyone with or without the afterlife.
Where I live, there are religious schools and churches however the last generation or two it has become common for people to take a more agnostic or atheist point of view. This has actually been beneficial in some ways due to the divides religion has caused in our society which led to violence; however I accept this is a specific situation and is not applicable in many other examples.
I do not believe in an afterlife or at least I am not convinced it is likely which something I find comforting is. This belief leads to the thoughts that if this is it, then it"s important to make the best of it for myself and others. There is simply no reason to damage to others and acting selfishly will not lead to a fulfilling life. This is the standard point of view that I have come across of others.
There are also evolutionary arguments to act altruistically; these are split into three categories which essentially rely on preserving the earth and society for others to support the human race and the next generations. To ensure that we can have suitable relationships with others and not end up isolated.
It can also be argued that altruistic behaviour which is based on acting in a moral way is socially conditioned into many humans as the feeling of doing something for someone else leads to a positive feeling and therefore the positive conditioning supports that person to continue to act moral.
One final point, there could be debate over what is what is moral, although this would also be argued throughout Christianity and other religions. I argue each person defines their own moral compass, in some cases based on religion, observation, biological and environmental factors. This is also why religion has evolved over the years and things that were previously advocated have now been dismissed by many churches. A moral compass is something that is essential to human development and the continuation of society and that where someone does not worship a god, they are not excluded from this.
I look forward to your response.
To help you out, let's say that a robber comes and steals your favorite necklace. You may say, "Oh gosh, what an unmorally acting person." Yet, according to the robber's lifestyle, which "defines their own moral compass," his action was totally moral to the average robber. In other words, what may be moral to you may not be moral to others. In this sense, I believe that religion takes a small part of morality and should not even be included in this conversation unless need since religion is only a factor that shapes a form of morality for some but not others. In the same way, the US law shapes the citizen's view of morals but, for example, accepting the act of abortion while the majority of Christians argue that this act is considered to be murder--a difference of morals.
In conclusion, I believe that this argument is too broad to be debated upon further since no mater what action you take "good" or "bad," such as abortion or robbing, the diversity of the "morality," allows almost any action to be accepted in at least one person's eyes in the world and maybe not another's. (A better argument, for example, but obvious alternative may be: If a person does not believe in a god, they will not act morally according to religious standards.)
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