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The religious struggle with moral behavior

Double_R
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4/3/2016 2:37:52 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
One of the things I often come across when debating religious folks is this idea that without a God moral chaos would ensue. Theists often ask "without God where do you get your morals from?", and then seem perplexed at how atheists can argue that God is not needed for morality. But why is this so perplexing? What is it that makes many theists seem to think that the absence of a God would lead to people just running around raping and killing each other?

I think it stems from basic reverse psychology. If you hand a child an ipad, he'll probably sit in his room all day playing with it. If you tell that same child that he is grounded and thus not allowed to go outside and play, suddenly sitting in his room with his ipad is no longer what he wants to do.

Most religion teaches us that there are moral absolutes and that God is watching us, all the time, and knows everything we do and think. It teaches us that we are required to do good things as the bible defines them and that God will punish us if we do not. It teaches us essentially to live our lives with mental shackles. Just like the child, the religious life we would live is morally no different than the non-religious life but in the religious version we are left wanting something merely because we cannot have it, making the morally correct life we would have chosen anyway suddenly feel more like a sacrifice.

For many folks, this religiously manufactured desire to have what they cannot is so embedded in them that they cannot understand how it is not embedded in others. To them, the idea of morality being human driven seems like a recipe for disaster because they view all human beings the way they have learned to view themselves, as needing an authority figure telling them to live a moral life in order to live a moral life. Which certainly explains why this argument seems so persuasive to them, and why so many of them just seem so incapable of understanding why God is not needed for morality.

The answer of course is amazingly simple; Living a moral life is more inline with our desires than living a non-moral life. It's not a natural desire we have to do bad things, that's largely created by being told that we cannot.
ethang5
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4/6/2016 1:24:43 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/3/2016 2:37:52 PM, Double_R wrote:

One of the things I often come across when debating religious folks is this idea that without a God moral chaos would ensue.

How do you define moral chaos? Policemen at every corner? Bank fraud rampant? The oppressed being openly oppressed? The widening gap between rich and poor? Little kids being sold sex on TV?

Theists often ask "without God where do you get your morals from?", and then seem perplexed at how atheists can argue that God is not needed for morality. But why is this so perplexing?

Here's why. If a country had not constitution and a foreigner asked, "Where do you get your laws from?" The answer, "I just make them up myself." would justifiably leave them perplexed as to how such citizens can argue that a constitution is not needed for laws.

What is it that makes many theists seem to think that the absence of a God would lead to people just running around raping and killing each other?

No theist has said so. You assume this because you want to portray the theist position as weak and over the top. What we do say is that in the absence of a God, every morality has equal validity and thus there can be no real moral judgements of good and bad.

I think it stems from basic reverse psychology. If you hand a child an ipad, he'll probably sit in his room all day playing with it. If you tell that same child that he is grounded and thus not allowed to go outside and play, suddenly sitting in his room with his ipad is no longer what he wants to do.

Most religion teaches us that there are moral absolutes and that God is watching us, all the time, and knows everything we do and think. It teaches us that we are required to do good things as the bible defines them and that God will punish us if we do not. It teaches us essentially to live our lives with mental shackles. Just like the child, the religious life we would live is morally no different than the non-religious life but in the religious version we are left wanting something merely because we cannot have it, making the morally correct life we would have chosen anyway suddenly feel more like a sacrifice.

What makes that life "morally correct"? Your say so? Based on some arbitrary criteria you've decided? This is why you fail to get. Without God, ANY life can be called "morally correct" by the person who likes it.

For many folks, this religiously manufactured desire to have what they cannot is so embedded in them that they cannot understand how it is not embedded in others. To them, the idea of morality being human driven seems like a recipe for disaster because they view all human beings the way they have learned to view themselves, as needing an authority figure telling them to live a moral life in order to live a moral life. Which certainly explains why this argument seems so persuasive to them, and why so many of them just seem so incapable of understanding why God is not needed for morality.

Christians agree with you that God is not needed for morality. We say God is needed for a morally CORRECT life.

The answer of course is amazingly simple; Living a moral life is more inline with our desires than living a non-moral life. It's not a natural desire we have to do bad things, that's largely created by being told that we cannot.

Tell that to Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Boko Haram.
DanneJeRusse
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4/6/2016 1:57:54 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/6/2016 1:24:43 PM, ethang5 wrote:
At 4/3/2016 2:37:52 PM, Double_R wrote:

One of the things I often come across when debating religious folks is this idea that without a God moral chaos would ensue.

How do you define moral chaos? Policemen at every corner? Bank fraud rampant? The oppressed being openly oppressed? The widening gap between rich and poor? Little kids being sold sex on TV?

You would need to ask the theists who make the claim.

Theists often ask "without God where do you get your morals from?", and then seem perplexed at how atheists can argue that God is not needed for morality. But why is this so perplexing?

Here's why. If a country had not constitution and a foreigner asked, "Where do you get your laws from?" The answer, "I just make them up myself." would justifiably leave them perplexed as to how such citizens can argue that a constitution is not needed for laws.

"We the People" - nuff said.

What is it that makes many theists seem to think that the absence of a God would lead to people just running around raping and killing each other?

No theist has said so. You assume this because you want to portray the theist position as weak and over the top.

Yet, you'll find that is indeed the type of examples you'll get from theists.

What we do say is that in the absence of a God, every morality has equal validity and thus there can be no real moral judgements of good and bad.

Except when the people create their constitutions and laws, then there are indeed moral judgments. Thus, courts have "Judges"

I think it stems from basic reverse psychology. If you hand a child an ipad, he'll probably sit in his room all day playing with it. If you tell that same child that he is grounded and thus not allowed to go outside and play, suddenly sitting in his room with his ipad is no longer what he wants to do.

Most religion teaches us that there are moral absolutes and that God is watching us, all the time, and knows everything we do and think. It teaches us that we are required to do good things as the bible defines them and that God will punish us if we do not. It teaches us essentially to live our lives with mental shackles. Just like the child, the religious life we would live is morally no different than the non-religious life but in the religious version we are left wanting something merely because we cannot have it, making the morally correct life we would have chosen anyway suddenly feel more like a sacrifice.

What makes that life "morally correct"? Your say so? Based on some arbitrary criteria you've decided?

"We the People" Heard this one before?

This is why you fail to get. Without God, ANY life can be called "morally correct" by the person who likes it.

And yet, God says homosexuals are not morally correct, but "We the People" say they are.

For many folks, this religiously manufactured desire to have what they cannot is so embedded in them that they cannot understand how it is not embedded in others. To them, the idea of morality being human driven seems like a recipe for disaster because they view all human beings the way they have learned to view themselves, as needing an authority figure telling them to live a moral life in order to live a moral life. Which certainly explains why this argument seems so persuasive to them, and why so many of them just seem so incapable of understanding why God is not needed for morality.

Christians agree with you that God is not needed for morality. We say God is needed for a morally CORRECT life.

Yet, we see many Christians not living a morally correct life.

The answer of course is amazingly simple; Living a moral life is more inline with our desires than living a non-moral life. It's not a natural desire we have to do bad things, that's largely created by being told that we cannot.

Tell that to Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Boko Haram.

Why would we tell that to insane dictators? Are you saying that without God, everyone would behave like them? Why do not observe that in reality?
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
matt8800
Posts: 2,077
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4/6/2016 3:18:25 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/6/2016 1:24:43 PM, ethang5 wrote:
At 4/3/2016 2:37:52 PM, Double_R wrote:

One of the things I often come across when debating religious folks is this idea that without a God moral chaos would ensue.

How do you define moral chaos? Policemen at every corner? Bank fraud rampant? The oppressed being openly oppressed? The widening gap between rich and poor? Little kids being sold sex on TV?

Theists often ask "without God where do you get your morals from?", and then seem perplexed at how atheists can argue that God is not needed for morality. But why is this so perplexing?

Here's why. If a country had not constitution and a foreigner asked, "Where do you get your laws from?" The answer, "I just make them up myself." would justifiably leave them perplexed as to how such citizens can argue that a constitution is not needed for laws.

What is it that makes many theists seem to think that the absence of a God would lead to people just running around raping and killing each other?

No theist has said so. You assume this because you want to portray the theist position as weak and over the top. What we do say is that in the absence of a God, every morality has equal validity and thus there can be no real moral judgements of good and bad.

That's not true. Some moral judgements are superior to others because they empower others and do not lead to suffering.

I think it stems from basic reverse psychology. If you hand a child an ipad, he'll probably sit in his room all day playing with it. If you tell that same child that he is grounded and thus not allowed to go outside and play, suddenly sitting in his room with his ipad is no longer what he wants to do.

Most religion teaches us that there are moral absolutes and that God is watching us, all the time, and knows everything we do and think. It teaches us that we are required to do good things as the bible defines them and that God will punish us if we do not. It teaches us essentially to live our lives with mental shackles. Just like the child, the religious life we would live is morally no different than the non-religious life but in the religious version we are left wanting something merely because we cannot have it, making the morally correct life we would have chosen anyway suddenly feel more like a sacrifice.

What makes that life "morally correct"? Your say so? Based on some arbitrary criteria you've decided? This is why you fail to get. Without God, ANY life can be called "morally correct" by the person who likes it.

See above comments.

For many folks, this religiously manufactured desire to have what they cannot is so embedded in them that they cannot understand how it is not embedded in others. To them, the idea of morality being human driven seems like a recipe for disaster because they view all human beings the way they have learned to view themselves, as needing an authority figure telling them to live a moral life in order to live a moral life. Which certainly explains why this argument seems so persuasive to them, and why so many of them just seem so incapable of understanding why God is not needed for morality.

Christians agree with you that God is not needed for morality. We say God is needed for a morally CORRECT life.

Other than the Christian God's obsession with what people do with their genitals, how would you say the atheists on this site are morally incorrect in the way they live and treat others?

I challenge you to answer that. If you don't, I will assume you concede you are wrong.

The answer of course is amazingly simple; Living a moral life is more inline with our desires than living a non-moral life. It's not a natural desire we have to do bad things, that's largely created by being told that we cannot.

Tell that to Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Boko Haram.

That would only have relevance if there were no Christians that did terrible things. I can provide a long list. How would it be relevant then? These are the kinds of arguments from theists that make non-theists think that theists are incapable of critical thought.
DanneJeRusse
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4/6/2016 4:47:23 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/3/2016 2:37:52 PM, Double_R wrote:
One of the things I often come across when debating religious folks is this idea that without a God moral chaos would ensue. Theists often ask "without God where do you get your morals from?", and then seem perplexed at how atheists can argue that God is not needed for morality. But why is this so perplexing? What is it that makes many theists seem to think that the absence of a God would lead to people just running around raping and killing each other?

I think it stems from basic reverse psychology. If you hand a child an ipad, he'll probably sit in his room all day playing with it. If you tell that same child that he is grounded and thus not allowed to go outside and play, suddenly sitting in his room with his ipad is no longer what he wants to do.

Most religion teaches us that there are moral absolutes and that God is watching us, all the time, and knows everything we do and think. It teaches us that we are required to do good things as the bible defines them and that God will punish us if we do not. It teaches us essentially to live our lives with mental shackles.

That's a very good point. We can easily see the difference in how morals are handled with religion, in that, theists are told what to do and what not to do, or else they will be punished. No explanations are offered as to why they should do something and not do something else, they are simply told they will be punished or rewarded. Hence, theists have no clue why they must do this and not do that, so they are completely confounded when non-believers think things through, finding reasonable, rationale explanations as to why they should do this and not do that, especially when their commands from God contradict reasonable, rational explanations.

Just like the child, the religious life we would live is morally no different than the non-religious life but in the religious version we are left wanting something merely because we cannot have it, making the morally correct life we would have chosen anyway suddenly feel more like a sacrifice.

For many folks, this religiously manufactured desire to have what they cannot is so embedded in them that they cannot understand how it is not embedded in others. To them, the idea of morality being human driven seems like a recipe for disaster because they view all human beings the way they have learned to view themselves, as needing an authority figure telling them to live a moral life in order to live a moral life. Which certainly explains why this argument seems so persuasive to them, and why so many of them just seem so incapable of understanding why God is not needed for morality.

The answer of course is amazingly simple; Living a moral life is more inline with our desires than living a non-moral life. It's not a natural desire we have to do bad things, that's largely created by being told that we cannot.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
Double_R
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4/6/2016 11:49:36 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/6/2016 1:24:43 PM, ethang5 wrote:
What we do say is that in the absence of a God, every morality has equal validity and thus there can be no real moral judgements of good and bad.

Good and bad are subjective by definition, which is why they are called judgements.

Please define a "real" moral judgement.
dee-em
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4/7/2016 1:36:53 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/6/2016 1:24:43 PM, ethang5 wrote:
At 4/3/2016 2:37:52 PM, Double_R wrote:

One of the things I often come across when debating religious folks is this idea that without a God moral chaos would ensue.

How do you define moral chaos? Policemen at every corner? Bank fraud rampant? The oppressed being openly oppressed? The widening gap between rich and poor? Little kids being sold sex on TV?

You seem to be defining moral chaos as per your list above, otherwise it would be a meaningless response.
Therefore God does not exist, right?
Emmarie
Posts: 1,907
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4/7/2016 2:06:48 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/3/2016 2:37:52 PM, Double_R wrote:
One of the things I often come across when debating religious folks is this idea that without a God moral chaos would ensue. Theists often ask "without God where do you get your morals from?", and then seem perplexed at how atheists can argue that God is not needed for morality. But why is this so perplexing? What is it that makes many theists seem to think that the absence of a God would lead to people just running around raping and killing each other?

I think it stems from basic reverse psychology. If you hand a child an ipad, he'll probably sit in his room all day playing with it. If you tell that same child that he is grounded and thus not allowed to go outside and play, suddenly sitting in his room with his ipad is no longer what he wants to do.

Most religion teaches us that there are moral absolutes and that God is watching us, all the time, and knows everything we do and think. It teaches us that we are required to do good things as the bible defines them and that God will punish us if we do not. It teaches us essentially to live our lives with mental shackles. Just like the child, the religious life we would live is morally no different than the non-religious life but in the religious version we are left wanting something merely because we cannot have it, making the morally correct life we would have chosen anyway suddenly feel more like a sacrifice.

For many folks, this religiously manufactured desire to have what they cannot is so embedded in them that they cannot understand how it is not embedded in others. To them, the idea of morality being human driven seems like a recipe for disaster because they view all human beings the way they have learned to view themselves, as needing an authority figure telling them to live a moral life in order to live a moral life. Which certainly explains why this argument seems so persuasive to them, and why so many of them just seem so incapable of understanding why God is not needed for morality.

The answer of course is amazingly simple; Living a moral life is more inline with our desires than living a non-moral life. It's not a natural desire we have to do bad things, that's largely created by being told that we cannot.

Great Post! The only thing I'd point out is that not all people who believe in God - do so out of fear of authority. I believe in God because I'm in awe at life and creation - and I believe in Christ's teaching - because I had strayed away from what was morally right to the point that I couldn't get on with living and loving myself and/or others. So when I read Christ's teaching in the Gospel - I felt forgiven and renewed and able to live a morally correct life free from guilt, and able to make amends for what I had done wrong.God allows me my free will - and it's why I don't join an organized religion - but my belief in God is sacred to me.

It wasn't just reading the Gospel - it was an emotional and spiritual experience in a Gospel Tent at a Blues festival across the street from my home - when I was 26 and pregnant with my second son out of wedlock - that affirmed my faith, and where I cleansed from the inside.

I had taken my conversion serious when I accepted Christ at a crisis counceling center early in my pregnancy. I began to read only the Gospel, since I hadn't understood the OT even as a kid. I still didn't feel saved though. It wasn't until there was a annual Gospel and Blues music festival at the park across the street from my home - that I felt saved. Other years I stuck to the Blues tent, but that year 1996, I wandered into the back of the Gospel tent, with my head hung - and trying to hide behind tall people. It had been raining out and the woman who had the lead mic, was speaking passionately about the choir was gonna raise their voices up to the heavens and proclaim his name and remove the clouds, so that the sun could shine.

And I thought within myself, that's a pretty bold claim, what if it doesn't happen and then I lose my new faith. Immediately the singers raised their voices. The most beautiful harmonized soulful voices. And the voices were singing about Love and How God Loves us. It penetrated my soul and I began to weep. tears flowing like a faucet, till the whole front of my dress was drenched with tears. and while i was weeping, this overwhelming calm came over me and it was not tears of sadness - but tears of cleansing, as I stood there recalling how filthy I felt for my sexual promiscuity and God cleansed me from the sin of molestation against me, as well as for the way I responded to sexual pleasure.

So when I walked out of the tent, I felt like a new person! A woman greeted me and embraced me, who could tell my dress was tear drenched. She told me that God loved me - look at the sky, and there wasn't a cloud to be seen. Then she told me to read the Gospel, only the Gospel, not the OT or more of the NT than the Gospel. So I did.

After my redemption - I faced more trials and tribulations than I ever imagined. That was proof to me that God is real, because he preserved my love and new heart in the process of severe trials and tribulations.

I apologize for the long post!
keithprosser
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4/7/2016 3:09:33 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
I think that the reason religious people belive a god is necessary for morality is that is seems plausible. After all, why don't people go around doing as they please and only caring about themselves? The answer to that question given to many children is that god wants us to be good and the idea sticks, because - as I said - it seems plausible.

As a religious person gets older and gets to know how bad people can it only re-inforces the idea that god is needed to avoid complete chaos because they know no other explanation for people to behave other than selfishly.

Thus for many religious people the concept of a 'moral atheist' is a contradiction in terms, as indeed it would be if morality comes from god as they had been told. Faced with such a dilemma, some religious people will start to question whether what they were told was true - but many do not take that enlightened route and adopt some form denial. They will insist that that any so-called "moral atheist" is either not really moral or not really an atheist!

The root of then problem is that early indoctrination with the plausible idea that morality comes from god alone. I don't mean thaat it was done cynically. It is quite possible that a childs parent truly believes god is the source of morality (because their own parents told them so) and you can't really blame a parent for telling their kids what they genuinely believe to be true. It's worth stressing that the idea that morality comes from god alone is erroneous, but it can be sincerely and honestly believed.

When reading many posts by theists I have to remind myself that I'm not reading contrived propaganda but statements of what that person genuinely believes. If a theist writes that a moral atheist is impossible, its not something they made up for debating but what they genuinely believe is the case. For them it is a statement of the obvious.
Emmarie
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4/7/2016 3:27:30 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/7/2016 3:09:33 AM, keithprosser wrote:
I think that the reason religious people belive a god is necessary for morality is that is seems plausible. After all, why don't people go around doing as they please and only caring about themselves? The answer to that question given to many children is that god wants us to be good and the idea sticks, because - as I said - it seems plausible.

As a religious person gets older and gets to know how bad people can it only re-inforces the idea that god is needed to avoid complete chaos because they know no other explanation for people to behave other than selfishly.

Thus for many religious people the concept of a 'moral atheist' is a contradiction in terms, as indeed it would be if morality comes from god as they had been told. Faced with such a dilemma, some religious people will start to question whether what they were told was true - but many do not take that enlightened route and adopt some form denial. They will insist that that any so-called "moral atheist" is either not really moral or not really an atheist!

The root of then problem is that early indoctrination with the plausible idea that morality comes from god alone. I don't mean thaat it was done cynically. It is quite possible that a childs parent truly believes god is the source of morality (because their own parents told them so) and you can't really blame a parent for telling their kids what they genuinely believe to be true. It's worth stressing that the idea that morality comes from god alone is erroneous, but it can be sincerely and honestly believed.

When reading many posts by theists I have to remind myself that I'm not reading contrived propaganda but statements of what that person genuinely believes. If a theist writes that a moral atheist is impossible, its not something they made up for debating but what they genuinely believe is the case. For them it is a statement of the obvious.
I believe in moral theists, so much so that a family of atheist neighbors when I was a kid actually made me believe in God more. How you may ask?

I was a kid who went to Catholic grade school who questioned many teachings - even in my young mind - about the OT personality of God - compared to what we learned about Jesus's teaching. Bear in mind that it was a "liberal" Catholic Parish in the inter city of Milwaukee in the 70's, that allowed anyone to attend the school whether they could pay or not, of any race and of any or no religion. My parents were factors in getting the arch diocese to fund it. We also had unorthodox lay teachers - one even taught African Dance. I loved my school.

Some Orthodox parishioners disliked the outspokenness of my parents, and their ideas about allowing anyone to attend the school at the expense of others. Their kids were the meanest on the playground - and used racial slurs and gossiped behind people's back. These were the ones who's parents were rigid.

A family down the block were atheists, and their kids were kind - and stood up to bullies and were not racists. They didn't attend my school and I was shocked when I found out that they were Atheist's cuz in my mind they were the best Christians I had ever known. I figured God must have taught them something in their hearts - even if they didn't know it was God.
Emmarie
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4/7/2016 3:35:03 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/7/2016 3:09:33 AM, keithprosser wrote:
oops typo - "I believe in moral theists" theists should have been Atheists.
keithprosser
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4/7/2016 5:12:51 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
I figured God must have taught them something in their hearts - even if they didn't know it was God.

That seems consistent with what I was suggesting. Its an effective rationsation of the problem of believing 'good atheists are impossible' when faced with the fact of a good atheist.
Emmarie
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4/7/2016 8:55:43 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/7/2016 5:12:51 AM, keithprosser wrote:
I figured God must have taught them something in their hearts - even if they didn't know it was God.

That seems consistent with what I was suggesting. Its an effective rationsation of the problem of believing 'good atheists are impossible' when faced with the fact of a good atheist.

Well at least it isn't irrational - as far as thinking that those people are going to hell for their lack of belief, when their lifestyle is in line with Christ's teaching.
ethang5
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4/8/2016 2:58:14 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/6/2016 1:57:54 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 4/6/2016 1:24:43 PM, ethang5 wrote:
At 4/3/2016 2:37:52 PM, Double_R wrote:

One of the things I often come across when debating religious folks is this idea that without a God moral chaos would ensue.

How do you define moral chaos? Policemen at every corner? Bank fraud rampant? The oppressed being openly oppressed? The widening gap between rich and poor? Little kids being sold sex on TV?

You would need to ask the theists who make the claim.

I've seen no theist make that claim. I've have though, seen atheist incorrectly and repeatedly say theists make that claim.

Theists often ask "without God where do you get your morals from?", and then seem perplexed at how atheists can argue that God is not needed for morality. But why is this so perplexing?

Here's why. If a country had no constitution and a foreigner asked, "Where do you get your laws from?" The answer, "I just make them up myself." would justifiably leave them perplexed as to how such citizens can argue that a constitution is not needed for laws.

"We the People" - nuff said.

Not nuff. Laws are backed by the constitution, they are not authorititave just because someone likes them. Without an constitution, or some form of law validation, there would be chaos in that every law would have equal moral validity. So "we the people" is not enough and does not address the question.

What is it that makes many theists seem to think that the absence of a God would lead to people just running around raping and killing each other?

No theist has said so. You assume this because you want to portray the theist position as weak and over the top.

Yet, you'll find that is indeed the type of examples you'll get from theists.

No Sir. Theist say that whether you wantonly kill someone or not, the fact that your moral behavior sources its authority in you IS chaos. Everyone living by his own moral authority IS moral chaos. And that is exactly what we see now. Terror, shootings, wars, genocide, fraud, oppression, and each violator claiming to be morally justified by his own moral code.

What we do say is that in the absence of a God, every morality has equal validity and thus there can be no real moral judgements of good and bad.

Except when the people create their constitutions and laws, then there are indeed moral judgments. Thus, courts have "Judges"

Judges and courts decide on legal issues, not moral issues. In the absence of a God, every morality has equal validity and thus there can be no real moral judgements of good and bad.

I think it stems from basic reverse psychology. If you hand a child an ipad, he'll probably sit in his room all day playing with it. If you tell that same child that he is grounded and thus not allowed to go outside and play, suddenly sitting in his room with his ipad is no longer what he wants to do.

Most religion teaches us that there are moral absolutes and that God is watching us, all the time, and knows everything we do and think. It teaches us that we are required to do good things as the bible defines them and that God will punish us if we do not. It teaches us essentially to live our lives with mental shackles. Just like the child, the religious life we would live is morally no different than the non-religious life but in the religious version we are left wanting something merely because we cannot have it, making the morally correct life we would have chosen anyway suddenly feel more like a sacrifice.

What makes that life "morally correct"? Your say so? Based on some arbitrary criteria you've decided?

"We the People" Heard this one before?

Yes, and those who say it are logically inconsistent. If "we the people" said blacks were inferior, or that women should not vote, you would call that immoral and the "we the people" would lose its magic for you.

What you call "morally correct" is simply your personal taste. Anyone can slap "morally correct" on any behavior. Means nothing.

This is why you fail to get. Without God, ANY life can be called "morally correct" by the person who likes it.

And yet, God says homosexuals are not morally correct, but "We the People" say they are.

This is what we are discussing. What is objectively "morally correct"? Can we find out? Does it exist? And God forbids homosexuality, not people. Only acts can be moral or immoral, not people.

For many folks, this religiously manufactured desire to have what they cannot is so embedded in them that they cannot understand how it is not embedded in others. To them, the idea of morality being human driven seems like a recipe for disaster because they view all human beings the way they have learned to view themselves, as needing an authority figure telling them to live a moral life in order to live a moral life. Which certainly explains why this argument seems so persuasive to them, and why so many of them just seem so incapable of understanding why God is not needed for morality.

Christians agree with you that God is not needed for morality. We say God is needed for a morally CORRECT life.

Yet, we see many Christians not living a morally correct life.

That doesn't invalidate my point at all. Here is an analogy. Everyone can make sticks of different lengths and call it a ruler. But the "correct" length would still be 12 inches. People with sticks that are 10.5 inches could measure just fine, but their measurements would not be true "inches and feet".

So we aren't saying you can't measure. We're saying your measurement ain't feet.

The answer of course is amazingly simple; Living a moral life is more inline with our desires than living a non-moral life. It's not a natural desire we have to do bad things, that's largely created by being told that we cannot.

Tell that to Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Boko Haram.

Why would we tell that to insane dictators?

Because both statements, "Living a moral life is more inline with our desires than living a non-moral life. It's not a natural desire we have to do bad things,..." are false as these people clearly show.

Are you saying that without God, everyone would behave like them?

No, I'm saying that without God no one has the moral authority to call their behavior "evil". The most one could say would be that they didn't personally like it.

Why do not observe that in reality?

Because that is not what I'm saying. It's what you wish I'd say. Civil wars are based on what I'm saying. Each side thinking its moral code is right, so they resort to might. That is what happens with no objective morality. Each side, each behavior, just becomes good or bad depending on who has the might.
bulproof
Posts: 25,295
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4/8/2016 3:01:40 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
If you can't tell right from wrong then it's empathy and intellect you lack, not religion.
ethang5
Posts: 4,117
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4/8/2016 3:16:35 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/6/2016 3:18:25 PM, matt8800 wrote:
At 4/6/2016 1:24:43 PM, ethang5 wrote:
At 4/3/2016 2:37:52 PM, Double_R wrote:

One of the things I often come across when debating religious folks is this idea that without a God moral chaos would ensue.

How do you define moral chaos? Policemen at every corner? Bank fraud rampant? The oppressed being openly oppressed? The widening gap between rich and poor? Little kids being sold sex on TV?

Theists often ask "without God where do you get your morals from?", and then seem perplexed at how atheists can argue that God is not needed for morality. But why is this so perplexing?

Here's why. If a country had not constitution and a foreigner asked, "Where do you get your laws from?" The answer, "I just make them up myself." would justifiably leave them perplexed as to how such citizens can argue that a constitution is not needed for laws.

What is it that makes many theists seem to think that the absence of a God would lead to people just running around raping and killing each other?

No theist has said so. You assume this because you want to portray the theist position as weak and over the top. What we do say is that in the absence of a God, every morality has equal validity and thus there can be no real moral judgements of good and bad.

That's not true. Some moral judgements are superior to others because they empower others and do not lead to suffering.

That is an ad-hoc evaluation place on it by you. Suffering is a standard you have personally choosen. It has no more authority than say, financial profit. Calling one moral judgement "superior" based on your personal tastes is ad-hoc. It has no more moral authority than any other moral judgement. We need an objective standard. God is that.

I think it stems from basic reverse psychology. If you hand a child an ipad, he'll probably sit in his room all day playing with it. If you tell that same child that he is grounded and thus not allowed to go outside and play, suddenly sitting in his room with his ipad is no longer what he wants to do.

Most religion teaches us that there are moral absolutes and that God is watching us, all the time, and knows everything we do and think. It teaches us that we are required to do good things as the bible defines them and that God will punish us if we do not. It teaches us essentially to live our lives with mental shackles. Just like the child, the religious life we would live is morally no different than the non-religious life but in the religious version we are left wanting something merely because we cannot have it, making the morally correct life we would have chosen anyway suddenly feel more like a sacrifice.

What makes that life "morally correct"? Your say so? Based on some arbitrary criteria you've decided? This is why you fail to get. Without God, ANY life can be called "morally correct" by the person who likes it.

See above comments.

Your above comments miss the point by a wide margin.

For many folks, this religiously manufactured desire to have what they cannot is so embedded in them that they cannot understand how it is not embedded in others. To them, the idea of morality being human driven seems like a recipe for disaster because they view all human beings the way they have learned to view themselves, as needing an authority figure telling them to live a moral life in order to live a moral life. Which certainly explains why this argument seems so persuasive to them, and why so many of them just seem so incapable of understanding why God is not needed for morality.

Christians agree with you that God is not needed for morality. We say God is needed for a morally CORRECT life.

Other than the Christian God's obsession with what people do with their genitals, how would you say the atheists on this site are morally incorrect in the way they live and treat others?

A moral life is determined not only by what is done, but by whether what is done is authoritative. If I issue an warrant for someones arrest that would be immoral as I am not a judge. So the same act moral for a judge is immoral for me. Atheists do not source the authority for their moral code in God, as such, even acts which are moral for some are immoral for them.

I challenge you to answer that. If you don't, I will assume you concede you are wrong.

I always answer when I feel like it, third grade taunts will be ignored when I don't want to answer. And my not answering will always mean I did not wish to answer, not that I concede or that I am wrong. You will have to earn your points with me, not assume them.

The answer of course is amazingly simple; Living a moral life is more inline with our desires than living a non-moral life. It's not a natural desire we have to do bad things, that's largely created by being told that we cannot.

Tell that to Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Boko Haram.

That would only have relevance if there were no Christians that did terrible things.

Untrue. I have not said or implied that Christians don't do terrible things. My point is that living a moral life was NOT more inline with the desires of Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Boko Haram. The statement is obviously often untrue. And Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Boko Haram did (and do) have a natural desire to do bad things. They had absolute power in their respective spheres, there was nothing they were told they cold not do.

Most of RR's analysis is illogical atheist hogwash. Sounds nice and probable to the biased atheist, but upon critical examination we see its trite, illogical, and self-serving.

These are the kinds of arguments from theists that make non-theists think that theists are incapable of critical thought.

Theists might get a better grade if you took up their actual arguments instead of substituting your knee-jerk arguments for them.
ethang5
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4/8/2016 3:22:13 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/6/2016 11:49:36 PM, Double_R wrote:
At 4/6/2016 1:24:43 PM, ethang5 wrote:
What we do say is that in the absence of a God, every morality has equal validity and thus there can be no real moral judgements of good and bad.

Good and bad are subjective by definition, which is why they are called judgements.

Good and bad judgements are subjective. Good and bad aren't.

Please define a "real" moral judgement.

One that conforms to the standard of morality, not someones personal taste.
ethang5
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4/8/2016 3:25:14 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/7/2016 1:36:53 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 4/6/2016 1:24:43 PM, ethang5 wrote:
At 4/3/2016 2:37:52 PM, Double_R wrote:

One of the things I often come across when debating religious folks is this idea that without a God moral chaos would ensue.

How do you define moral chaos? Policemen at every corner? Bank fraud rampant? The oppressed being openly oppressed? The widening gap between rich and poor? Little kids being sold sex on TV?

You seem to be defining moral chaos as per your list above,...

Untrue. I am not defining, but asking for a definition.

....otherwise it would be a meaningless response.

My response was in the form of a question. "How do you define moral chaos?"

Therefore God does not exist, right?

You should probably start again.
matt8800
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4/8/2016 3:46:00 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/8/2016 3:16:35 PM, ethang5 wrote:
At 4/6/2016 3:18:25 PM, matt8800 wrote:
At 4/6/2016 1:24:43 PM, ethang5 wrote:
At 4/3/2016 2:37:52 PM, Double_R wrote:

One of the things I often come across when debating religious folks is this idea that without a God moral chaos would ensue.

How do you define moral chaos? Policemen at every corner? Bank fraud rampant? The oppressed being openly oppressed? The widening gap between rich and poor? Little kids being sold sex on TV?

Theists often ask "without God where do you get your morals from?", and then seem perplexed at how atheists can argue that God is not needed for morality. But why is this so perplexing?

Here's why. If a country had not constitution and a foreigner asked, "Where do you get your laws from?" The answer, "I just make them up myself." would justifiably leave them perplexed as to how such citizens can argue that a constitution is not needed for laws.

What is it that makes many theists seem to think that the absence of a God would lead to people just running around raping and killing each other?

No theist has said so. You assume this because you want to portray the theist position as weak and over the top. What we do say is that in the absence of a God, every morality has equal validity and thus there can be no real moral judgements of good and bad.

That's not true. Some moral judgements are superior to others because they empower others and do not lead to suffering.

That is an ad-hoc evaluation place on it by you. Suffering is a standard you have personally choosen. It has no more authority than say, financial profit. Calling one moral judgement "superior" based on your personal tastes is ad-hoc. It has no more moral authority than any other moral judgement. We need an objective standard. God is that.

Really? If someone were to pay me $1000 to kill someone that nobody would miss or know was gone, do we not agree that would be wrong regardless of what standard someone is using? I don't need your "god" to tell me that would be wrong. My choice would be superior, in most peoples opinion, than the choice to kill. Incidentally, I also think the morality to kill someone for being a homosexual or working on sunday, regardless of circumstance, is inferior to my own morality not to do so. If you're a literalist, I'm sure we disagree on this.

Your assertion that my morality is ad hoc is unsubstantiated. I have reasons for what I believe thus it is not ad hoc.

I think it stems from basic reverse psychology. If you hand a child an ipad, he'll probably sit in his room all day playing with it. If you tell that same child that he is grounded and thus not allowed to go outside and play, suddenly sitting in his room with his ipad is no longer what he wants to do.

Most religion teaches us that there are moral absolutes and that God is watching us, all the time, and knows everything we do and think. It teaches us that we are required to do good things as the bible defines them and that God will punish us if we do not. It teaches us essentially to live our lives with mental shackles. Just like the child, the religious life we would live is morally no different than the non-religious life but in the religious version we are left wanting something merely because we cannot have it, making the morally correct life we would have chosen anyway suddenly feel more like a sacrifice.

What makes that life "morally correct"? Your say so? Based on some arbitrary criteria you've decided? This is why you fail to get. Without God, ANY life can be called "morally correct" by the person who likes it.

See above comments.

Your above comments miss the point by a wide margin.

For many folks, this religiously manufactured desire to have what they cannot is so embedded in them that they cannot understand how it is not embedded in others. To them, the idea of morality being human driven seems like a recipe for disaster because they view all human beings the way they have learned to view themselves, as needing an authority figure telling them to live a moral life in order to live a moral life. Which certainly explains why this argument seems so persuasive to them, and why so many of them just seem so incapable of understanding why God is not needed for morality.

Christians agree with you that God is not needed for morality. We say God is needed for a morally CORRECT life.

Other than the Christian God's obsession with what people do with their genitals, how would you say the atheists on this site are morally incorrect in the way they live and treat others?

A moral life is determined not only by what is done, but by whether what is done is authoritative. If I issue an warrant for someones arrest that would be immoral as I am not a judge. So the same act moral for a judge is immoral for me. Atheists do not source the authority for their moral code in God, as such, even acts which are moral for some are immoral for them.

So in other words, a life of being kind to others isn't considered moral behavior unless authority deems it so? Please explain your logic for that.


I challenge you to answer that. If you don't, I will assume you concede you are wrong.

I always answer when I feel like it, third grade taunts will be ignored when I don't want to answer. And my not answering will always mean I did not wish to answer, not that I concede or that I am wrong. You will have to earn your points with me, not assume them.

That's what I thought ;)

The answer of course is amazingly simple; Living a moral life is more inline with our desires than living a non-moral life. It's not a natural desire we have to do bad things, that's largely created by being told that we cannot.

Tell that to Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Boko Haram.

That would only have relevance if there were no Christians that did terrible things.

Untrue. I have not said or implied that Christians don't do terrible things. My point is that living a moral life was NOT more inline with the desires of Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Boko Haram. The statement is obviously often untrue. And Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Boko Haram did (and do) have a natural desire to do bad things. They had absolute power in their respective spheres, there was nothing they were told they cold not do.

So you are saying some people do bad things regardless of religious beliefs. I agree but I don't know what your point is.

Most of RR's analysis is illogical atheist hogwash. Sounds nice and probable to the biased atheist, but upon critical examination we see its trite, illogical, and self-serving.

These are the kinds of arguments from theists that make non-theists think that theists are incapable of critical thought.

Theists might get a better grade if you took up their actual arguments instead of substituting your knee-jerk arguments for them.

I was a Christian for most of my life. I have heard all the arguments in my early quest to bolster my previous theist beliefs. My position has changed BECAUSE I have heard actual arguments, not in spite of.
DPMartin
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4/8/2016 5:31:14 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/3/2016 2:37:52 PM, Double_R wrote:
One of the things I often come across when debating religious folks is this idea that without a God moral chaos would ensue. Theists often ask "without God where do you get your morals from?", and then seem perplexed at how atheists can argue that God is not needed for morality. But why is this so perplexing? What is it that makes many theists seem to think that the absence of a God would lead to people just running around raping and killing each other?

I think it stems from basic reverse psychology. If you hand a child an ipad, he'll probably sit in his room all day playing with it. If you tell that same child that he is grounded and thus not allowed to go outside and play, suddenly sitting in his room with his ipad is no longer what he wants to do.

Most religion teaches us that there are moral absolutes and that God is watching us, all the time, and knows everything we do and think. It teaches us that we are required to do good things as the bible defines them and that God will punish us if we do not. It teaches us essentially to live our lives with mental shackles. Just like the child, the religious life we would live is morally no different than the non-religious life but in the religious version we are left wanting something merely because we cannot have it, making the morally correct life we would have chosen anyway suddenly feel more like a sacrifice.

For many folks, this religiously manufactured desire to have what they cannot is so embedded in them that they cannot understand how it is not embedded in others. To them, the idea of morality being human driven seems like a recipe for disaster because they view all human beings the way they have learned to view themselves, as needing an authority figure telling them to live a moral life in order to live a moral life. Which certainly explains why this argument seems so persuasive to them, and why so many of them just seem so incapable of understanding why God is not needed for morality.

The answer of course is amazingly simple; Living a moral life is more inline with our desires than living a non-moral life. It's not a natural desire we have to do bad things, that's largely created by being told that we cannot.

Not bad, not bad at all there Double_R, but if one looks at it from a "there is no God" view then whatever a group of people like a nation agree to live by becomes the morals. And anyone falling sort of that which is agreed to live by, is then condemned by the same agreement. You really can"t get out of moral standards that all involved agree to perform. Even driving your car on public streets have a moral consequence if something drastic happens to the innocent while you might have disobeyed the law that caused that tragedy. And if you look at something like what most in western culture see as religious moral standards like the ten commandments. They are called a covenant by the giver and the writer thereof. Hence agreement. And only those in agreement are bond to it"s laws.

It"s simple enough those who believe in God agree God knows what is good and evil for His creation, and is the last word on it, no exceptions. Those who want to believe otherwise see themselves as the judge of what is good and evil, and the last word on it.

But you are correct in the case of the biblical God that what was given in the law no man can meet. Therefore, what is required in this case is God"s nature to replace human nature in man. Which since we are talking about the God of the Bible is God"s intent. What was originally given man (Adam) was to be son of God, in Adam"s case, which had God"s place in the earth which requires God"s nature to fulfill correctly according to the will of God who gave it. And Adam lost that life that was given him. Therefore, Jesus fulfilled that law to His Father"s satisfaction that He says is in Heaven and now through Jesus Christ we may be restored to that life, and meet the expectation through the Presence of God"s Nature within us.
dee-em
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4/9/2016 1:08:39 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/8/2016 3:25:14 PM, ethang5 wrote:
At 4/7/2016 1:36:53 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 4/6/2016 1:24:43 PM, ethang5 wrote:
At 4/3/2016 2:37:52 PM, Double_R wrote:

One of the things I often come across when debating religious folks is this idea that without a God moral chaos would ensue.

How do you define moral chaos? Policemen at every corner? Bank fraud rampant? The oppressed being openly oppressed? The widening gap between rich and poor? Little kids being sold sex on TV?

You seem to be defining moral chaos as per your list above,...

Untrue. I am not defining, but asking for a definition.

....otherwise it would be a meaningless response.

My response was in the form of a question. "How do you define moral chaos?"

Yes, that is true. However, your question is immediately followed by a list of immoral behaviours. This list obviously identifies what, in your view, constitutes a state of moral chaos. Now I can't say that we have a policeman on every corner where I live but it may true for you. The others all get a tick though. Therefore we live in moral chaos, right?

Therefore God does not exist, right?

You should probably start again.

No need. You should probably admit that you have trapped yourself by your own words.
ethang5
Posts: 4,117
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4/11/2016 9:42:31 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/8/2016 3:46:00 PM, matt8800 wrote:
At 4/8/2016 3:16:35 PM, ethang5 wrote:

What is it that makes many theists seem to think that the absence of a God would lead to people just running around raping and killing each other?

No theist has said so. You assume this because you want to portray the theist position as weak and over the top. What we do say is that in the absence of a God, every morality has equal validity and thus there can be no real moral judgements of good and bad.

That's not true. Some moral judgements are superior to others because they empower others and do not lead to suffering.

That is an ad-hoc evaluation place on it by you. Suffering is a standard you have personally choosen. It has no more authority than say, financial profit. Calling one moral judgement "superior" based on your personal tastes is ad-hoc. It has no more moral authority than any other moral judgement. We need an objective standard. God is that.

Really? If someone were to pay me $1000 to kill someone that nobody would miss or know was gone, do we not agree that would be wrong regardless of what standard someone is using?

You miss the point. What we agree or disagree on is not what morality is. Some people would NOT call the killing immoral. What then?

I don't need your "god" to tell me that would be wrong.

No, you only need to decide on your own. Just as some other slob could say that he doesn't need my God telling him it is right. You need God to justify and authoritize your judgement of it being wrong, or else it is simply your personal preference and no one needs abide by it.

My choice would be superior, in most peoples opinion, than the choice to kill.

Peoples opinion is not morality. Peoples opinion change. If most people thought it was right to kill babies, would the choice to kill babies be "superior"?

Incidentally, I also think the morality to kill someone for being a homosexual or working on sunday, regardless of circumstance, is inferior to my own morality not to do so. If you're a literalist, I'm sure we disagree on this.

I don't think you know what morality is. It certainly isn't popular opinion. So if you believe that morality is whatever the current fad is, then yes, we disagree.

Your assertion that my morality is ad hoc is unsubstantiated. I have reasons for what I believe thus it is not ad hoc.

Perhaps you also don't know what ad-hoc means.

A moral life is determined not only by what is done, but by whether what is done is authoritative. If I issue an warrant for someones arrest that would be immoral as I am not a judge. So the same act moral for a judge is immoral for me. Atheists do not source the authority for their moral code in God, as such, even acts which are moral for some are immoral for them.

So in other words, a life of being kind to others isn't considered moral behavior unless authority deems it so? Please explain your logic for that.

I did not say some authority needed to "deem" an act. I said the act itself needs authority. If I am "kind" to a girl in order to trick her into sleeping with me, that kindness is not moral. Morality is determined by intent, relationship, and authority.

This is why a policeman can legally shoot someone where I cannot. Or why some people are deemed innocent of murder though they killed someone.

I challenge you to answer that. If you don't, I will assume you concede you are wrong.

I always answer when I feel like it, third grade taunts will be ignored when I don't want to answer. And my not answering will always mean I did not wish to answer, not that I concede or that I am wrong. You will have to earn your points with me, not assume them.

That's what I thought ;)

Stop being stupid. I answered you.

The answer of course is amazingly simple; Living a moral life is more inline with our desires than living a non-moral life. It's not a natural desire we have to do bad things, that's largely created by being told that we cannot.

Tell that to Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Boko Haram.

That would only have relevance if there were no Christians that did terrible things.

Untrue. I have not said or implied that Christians don't do terrible things. My point is that living a moral life was NOT more inline with the desires of Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Boko Haram. The statement is obviously often untrue. And Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Boko Haram did (and do) have a natural desire to do bad things. They had absolute power in their respective spheres, there was nothing they were told they cold not do.

So you are saying some people do bad things regardless of religious beliefs. I agree but I don't know what your point is.

My point is that Double R's "amazingly simple answer" above is irrational.

Most of RR's analysis is illogical atheist hogwash. Sounds nice and probable to the biased atheist, but upon critical examination we see its trite, illogical, and self-serving.

These are the kinds of arguments from theists that make non-theists think that theists are incapable of critical thought.

Theists might get a better grade if you took up their actual arguments instead of substituting your knee-jerk arguments for them.

I was a Christian for most of my life.

No. You thought you were a Christian for most of your life.

I have heard all the arguments in my early quest to bolster my previous theist beliefs. My position has changed BECAUSE I have heard actual arguments, not in spite of.

The argument here is not whether Christianity is correct, though I know you atheists knee-jerk to that obsessively. The topic is that without God as a standard for moral authority, all moral codes have equal validity, from Hitler's to Mother Teresa's.

Popular opinion not withstanding.
ethang5
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4/11/2016 9:58:19 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/9/2016 1:08:39 PM, dee-em wrote:
At 4/8/2016 3:25:14 PM, ethang5 wrote:
At 4/7/2016 1:36:53 AM, dee-em wrote:
At 4/6/2016 1:24:43 PM, ethang5 wrote:
At 4/3/2016 2:37:52 PM, Double_R wrote:

One of the things I often come across when debating religious folks is this idea that without a God moral chaos would ensue.

How do you define moral chaos? Policemen at every corner? Bank fraud rampant? The oppressed being openly oppressed? The widening gap between rich and poor? Little kids being sold sex on TV?

You seem to be defining moral chaos as per your list above,...

Untrue. I am not defining, but asking for a definition.

....otherwise it would be a meaningless response.

My response was in the form of a question. "How do you define moral chaos?"

Yes, that is true. However, your question is immediately followed by a list of immoral behaviours. This list obviously identifies what, in your view, constitutes a state of moral chaos.

So what? It is neither exhaustive or offered as my view. They are offered as examples to help the person questioned better understand the question.

Now I can't say that we have a policeman on every corner where I live but it may true for you. The others all get a tick though. Therefore we live in moral chaos, right?

Stop being stupid. The phrase "moral chaos" was brought up by the OP, not me. My question was to find out what he sees as "moral chaos". What I think of it here is immaterial.

Therefore God does not exist, right?

If you wish to make an argument using "moral chaos" please feel free. I will also do so when I want. In the main time, notice that I told the OP that Christians do not argue that without a God, "moral chaos would ensue", but that without God all moral codes become equal in authority, from the moral code of Hitler the that of Mother Teresa.

So, if making sense to you is important, you should probably start again.

No need.

At least you are consistently nonsensical.

You should probably admit that you have trapped yourself by your own words.

No thanks. I'll leave the stupid acts to you. You're much better at them.
matt8800
Posts: 2,077
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4/11/2016 3:52:02 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/11/2016 9:42:31 AM, ethang5 wrote:
At 4/8/2016 3:46:00 PM, matt8800 wrote:
At 4/8/2016 3:16:35 PM, ethang5 wrote:

What is it that makes many theists seem to think that the absence of a God would lead to people just running around raping and killing each other?

No theist has said so. You assume this because you want to portray the theist position as weak and over the top. What we do say is that in the absence of a God, every morality has equal validity and thus there can be no real moral judgements of good and bad.

That's not true. Some moral judgements are superior to others because they empower others and do not lead to suffering.

That is an ad-hoc evaluation place on it by you. Suffering is a standard you have personally choosen. It has no more authority than say, financial profit. Calling one moral judgement "superior" based on your personal tastes is ad-hoc. It has no more moral authority than any other moral judgement. We need an objective standard. God is that.

Really? If someone were to pay me $1000 to kill someone that nobody would miss or know was gone, do we not agree that would be wrong regardless of what standard someone is using?

You miss the point. What we agree or disagree on is not what morality is. Some people would NOT call the killing immoral. What then?

I believe in objective morality in that it emerges as human intelligence is able to develop discernment on what impact their actions have on others. Atheists and theists both agree that these actions would be immoral so belief in a religion is obviously not necessary.

There are going to be some morality issues that atheists and theists disagree on. For example, a Christian thinks that it was moral to kill someone for working on Sunday under certain circumstances whereas an athesist would think that is immoral.

"Good" people tend to do good things and "bad" people tend to do bad things. It takes religion to make good people do terrible things.

I don't need your "god" to tell me that would be wrong.

No, you only need to decide on your own. Just as some other slob could say that he doesn't need my God telling him it is right. You need God to justify and authoritize your judgement of it being wrong, or else it is simply your personal preference and no one needs abide by it.

The prison population is disproportionately religious so the numbers show that religion does not affect morality. Whether you are religious or not, you are going to make your own choices so it is a matter of preference regardless.

My choice would be superior, in most peoples opinion, than the choice to kill.

Peoples opinion is not morality. Peoples opinion change. If most people thought it was right to kill babies, would the choice to kill babies be "superior"?

You are right. People used to think killing homosexuals and people that work on Sunday was moral. We have evolved past that.

Incidentally, I also think the morality to kill someone for being a homosexual or working on sunday, regardless of circumstance, is inferior to my own morality not to do so. If you're a literalist, I'm sure we disagree on this.

I don't think you know what morality is. It certainly isn't popular opinion. So if you believe that morality is whatever the current fad is, then yes, we disagree.

Its very simple - the short answer is morality is what empowers others without causing suffering.

Your assertion that my morality is ad hoc is unsubstantiated. I have reasons for what I believe thus it is not ad hoc.

Perhaps you also don't know what ad-hoc means.

A moral life is determined not only by what is done, but by whether what is done is authoritative. If I issue an warrant for someones arrest that would be immoral as I am not a judge. So the same act moral for a judge is immoral for me. Atheists do not source the authority for their moral code in God, as such, even acts which are moral for some are immoral for them.

So in other words, a life of being kind to others isn't considered moral behavior unless authority deems it so? Please explain your logic for that.

I did not say some authority needed to "deem" an act. I said the act itself needs authority. If I am "kind" to a girl in order to trick her into sleeping with me, that kindness is not moral. Morality is determined by intent, relationship, and authority.

This is why a policeman can legally shoot someone where I cannot. Or why some people are deemed innocent of murder though they killed someone.

I agree and I did not need a god to tell me to agree.

I challenge you to answer that. If you don't, I will assume you concede you are wrong.

I always answer when I feel like it, third grade taunts will be ignored when I don't want to answer. And my not answering will always mean I did not wish to answer, not that I concede or that I am wrong. You will have to earn your points with me, not assume them.

That's what I thought ;)

Stop being stupid. I answered you.

The answer of course is amazingly simple; Living a moral life is more inline with our desires than living a non-moral life. It's not a natural desire we have to do bad things, that's largely created by being told that we cannot.

Tell that to Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Boko Haram.

That would only have relevance if there were no Christians that did terrible things.

Untrue. I have not said or implied that Christians don't do terrible things. My point is that living a moral life was NOT more inline with the desires of Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Boko Haram. The statement is obviously often untrue. And Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Boko Haram did (and do) have a natural desire to do bad things. They had absolute power in their respective spheres, there was nothing they were told they cold not do.

So you are saying some people do bad things regardless of religious beliefs. I agree but I don't know what your point is.

My point is that Double R's "amazingly simple answer" above is irrational.

Most of RR's analysis is illogical atheist hogwash. Sounds nice and probable to the biased atheist, but upon critical examination we see its trite, illogical, and self-serving.

These are the kinds of arguments from theists that make non-theists think that theists are incapable of critical thought.

Theists might get a better grade if you took up their actual arguments instead of substituting your knee-jerk arguments for them.

I was a Christian for most of my life.

No. You thought you were a Christian for most of your life.

correct

I have heard all the arguments in my early quest to bolster my previous theist beliefs. My position has changed BECAUSE I have heard actual arguments, not in spite of.

The argument here is not whether Christianity is correct, though I know you atheists knee-jerk to that obsessively. The topic is that without God as a standard for moral authority, all moral codes have equal validity, from Hitler's to Mother Teresa's.

Popular opinion not withstanding.

I disagree and I have stated how I think one can determine what is moral. I have never stated that there is not a bigger "force" in the universe. I am stating that I don't believe in an interventionist god that micromanages things like what people do with their genitals.
bigotry
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4/11/2016 4:10:06 PM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/3/2016 2:37:52 PM, Double_R wrote:
One of the things I often come across when debating religious folks is this idea that without a God moral chaos would ensue. Theists often ask "without God where do you get your morals from?", and then seem perplexed at how atheists can argue that God is not needed for morality. But why is this so perplexing? What is it that makes many theists seem to think that the absence of a God would lead to people just running around raping and killing each other?
You can simply look at atheistic governments. They simply replace themselves with God and write their own moral rules. Without God theres nothing to fear for say sticking a gun in your face, raping your wife while you watch and walking out the door with your children and money. Theres nothing objectivley wrong here because the perpatrator (and this sadly happens) sees nothing wrong with what they are doing and could care less about what some government thinks you should do.

I think it stems from basic reverse psychology. If you hand a child an ipad, he'll probably sit in his room all day playing with it. If you tell that same child that he is grounded and thus not allowed to go outside and play, suddenly sitting in his room with his ipad is no longer what he wants to do.
A more realistic example would be the child going outside anyway because what are you going to do?

Most religion teaches us that there are moral absolutes and that God is watching us, all the time, and knows everything we do and think. It teaches us that we are required to do good things as the bible defines them and that God will punish us if we do not.
Maybe if your roman catholic youd believe this but theres no scriptural grounds for punishment for a lack of good works. The whole point is there are no amount of good works you could do to get into heaven.
It teaches us essentially to live our lives with mental shackles. Just like the child, the religious life we would live is morally no different than the non-religious life but in the religious version we are left wanting something merely because we cannot have it, making the morally correct life we would have chosen anyway suddenly feel more like a sacrifice.
It doesnt matter if the child is raised on christian morals or not hes still going to adapt a form of morality from his parents teaching (or lack thereof). The point is that God being the designer of man knows the best things for him. Its why things like the OT teachings on what to eat were important or making laws for disputes. All that jappens you follow Gods laws is you live a physically more healthy and mentally loving lifestyle. This is the way its supposed to be and thats the entire point.

For many folks, this religiously manufactured desire to have what they cannot is so embedded in them that they cannot understand how it is not embedded in others. To them, the idea of morality being human driven seems like a recipe for disaster because they view all human beings the way they have learned to view themselves, as needing an authority figure telling them to live a moral life in order to live a moral life. Which certainly explains why this argument seems so persuasive to them, and why so many of them just seem so incapable of understanding why God is not needed for morality.
The point is absolute morality vs relative morality.

The answer of course is amazingly simple; Living a moral life is more inline with our desires than living a non-moral life. It's not a natural desire we have to do bad things, that's largely created by being told that we cannot.
What you define as moral is not what everyone would define as moral. That is the core of the point. At that how do you ever know your morals ARE moralistic in the first place?
Double_R
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4/12/2016 1:22:14 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/11/2016 4:10:06 PM, bigotry wrote:
At 4/3/2016 2:37:52 PM, Double_R wrote:
One of the things I often come across when debating religious folks is this idea that without a God moral chaos would ensue. Theists often ask "without God where do you get your morals from?", and then seem perplexed at how atheists can argue that God is not needed for morality. But why is this so perplexing? What is it that makes many theists seem to think that the absence of a God would lead to people just running around raping and killing each other?

You can simply look at atheistic governments.

You can also look at theistic governments and [insert list of morally atrocious things that have occurred under theistic governments here]. Or, we can try to discuss this rationally. Your choice.

I think it stems from basic reverse psychology. If you hand a child an ipad, he'll probably sit in his room all day playing with it. If you tell that same child that he is grounded and thus not allowed to go outside and play, suddenly sitting in his room with his ipad is no longer what he wants to do.
A more realistic example would be the child going outside anyway because what are you going to do?

Most religion teaches us that there are moral absolutes and that God is watching us, all the time, and knows everything we do and think. It teaches us that we are required to do good things as the bible defines them and that God will punish us if we do not.

Maybe if your roman catholic youd believe this but theres no scriptural grounds for punishment for a lack of good works. The whole point is there are no amount of good works you could do to get into heaven.

So God in your worldview does not hold anyone accountable for their actions. Is that right?

It teaches us essentially to live our lives with mental shackles. Just like the child, the religious life we would live is morally no different than the non-religious life but in the religious version we are left wanting something merely because we cannot have it, making the morally correct life we would have chosen anyway suddenly feel more like a sacrifice.

It doesnt matter if the child is raised on christian morals or not hes still going to adapt a form of morality from his parents teaching (or lack thereof). The point is that God being the designer of man knows the best things for him. Its why things like the OT teachings on what to eat were important or making laws for disputes. All that jappens you follow Gods laws is you live a physically more healthy and mentally loving lifestyle. This is the way its supposed to be and thats the entire point.

This has nothing to do with the point I just made.

For many folks, this religiously manufactured desire to have what they cannot is so embedded in them that they cannot understand how it is not embedded in others. To them, the idea of morality being human driven seems like a recipe for disaster because they view all human beings the way they have learned to view themselves, as needing an authority figure telling them to live a moral life in order to live a moral life. Which certainly explains why this argument seems so persuasive to them, and why so many of them just seem so incapable of understanding why God is not needed for morality.

The point is absolute morality vs relative morality.

Completely irrelevant to this thread.

The answer of course is amazingly simple; Living a moral life is more inline with our desires than living a non-moral life. It's not a natural desire we have to do bad things, that's largely created by being told that we cannot.

What you define as moral is not what everyone would define as moral. That is the core of the point. At that how do you ever know your morals ARE moralistic in the first place?

This thread is not about where morality comes from. Regardless of whether you believe it's a product of human cognition or a God, the simple fact is that the vast majority of us agree on nearly all of the basics. I created this thread to offer my perspective on why those who believe in God struggle to understand how those who do not believe do not require some restraint to stop us from doing the things we all agree are immoral.
brontoraptor
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4/12/2016 3:25:36 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/3/2016 2:37:52 PM, Double_R wrote:
One of the things I often come across when debating religious folks is this idea that without a God moral chaos would ensue. Theists often ask "without God where do you get your morals from?", and then seem perplexed at how atheists can argue that God is not needed for morality. But why is this so perplexing? What is it that makes many theists seem to think that the absence of a God would lead to people just running around raping and killing each other?

I think it stems from basic reverse psychology. If you hand a child an ipad, he'll probably sit in his room all day playing with it. If you tell that same child that he is grounded and thus not allowed to go outside and play, suddenly sitting in his room with his ipad is no longer what he wants to do.

Most religion teaches us that there are moral absolutes and that God is watching us, all the time, and knows everything we do and think. It teaches us that we are required to do good things as the bible defines them and that God will punish us if we do not. It teaches us essentially to live our lives with mental shackles. Just like the child, the religious life we would live is morally no different than the non-religious life but in the religious version we are left wanting something merely because we cannot have it, making the morally correct life we would have chosen anyway suddenly feel more like a sacrifice.

For many folks, this religiously manufactured desire to have what they cannot is so embedded in them that they cannot understand how it is not embedded in others. To them, the idea of morality being human driven seems like a recipe for disaster because they view all human beings the way they have learned to view themselves, as needing an authority figure telling them to live a moral life in order to live a moral life. Which certainly explains why this argument seems so persuasive to them, and why so many of them just seem so incapable of understanding why God is not needed for morality.

The answer of course is amazingly simple; Living a moral life is more inline with our desires than living a non-moral life. It's not a natural desire we have to do bad things, that's largely created by being told that we cannot.

We already have proof that taking God away causes chaos. Europe took Christianity out of everything and they are in collapse. America is trying to get God completely out. Now kids don't respect teachers, cops, or any authority.
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ethang5
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4/12/2016 11:05:21 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/11/2016 3:52:02 PM, matt8800 wrote:
At 4/11/2016 9:42:31 AM, ethang5 wrote:

What is it that makes many theists seem to think that the absence of a God would lead to people just running around raping and killing each other?

No theist has said so. You assume this because you want to portray the theist position as weak and over the top. What we do say is that in the absence of a God, every morality has equal validity and thus there can be no real moral judgements of good and bad.

That's not true. Some moral judgements are superior to others because they empower others and do not lead to suffering.

That is an ad-hoc evaluation place on it by you. Suffering is a standard you have personally choosen. It has no more authority than say, financial profit. Calling one moral judgement "superior" based on your personal tastes is ad-hoc. It has no more moral authority than any other moral judgement. We need an objective standard. God is that.

Really? If someone were to pay me $1000 to kill someone that nobody would miss or know was gone, do we not agree that would be wrong regardless of what standard someone is using?

You miss the point. What we agree or disagree on is not what morality is. Some people would NOT call the killing immoral. What then?

I believe in objective morality in that it emerges as human intelligence is able to develop discernment on what impact their actions have on others.

That isn't what morality is and that isn't objective at all. Look up the word "objective". Please.

Atheists and theists both agree that these actions would be immoral so belief in a religion is obviously not necessary.

Not necessary for what? What theists and atheists agree on is not what morality is. If w all agreed that killing babies was moral, would it be moral? If you're above average intelligence, why does this simple point escape you? Morality is not "what we agree on".

There are going to be some morality issues that atheists and theists disagree on.

Doesn't matter. Morality is not what we agree on.

For example, a Christian thinks that it was moral to kill someone for working on Sunday under certain circumstances whereas an athesist would think that is immoral.

And now that you've offered your clunky atheist cliche, tell us in this case which morality has authority. You say it is moral, I say it isn't. What makes your code more moral than any other?

"Good" people tend to do good things and "bad" people tend to do bad things. It takes religion to make good people do terrible things.

lol, you must be young if you think these tired cliches are new and fresh. It would behoove you to attend to your lame argument. Its dying as you spew atheist website cliches.

I don't need your "god" to tell me that would be wrong.

No, you only need to decide on your own. Just as some other slob could say that he doesn't need my God telling him it is right. You need God to justify and authoritize your judgement of it being wrong, or else it is simply your personal preference and no one needs abide by it.

The prison population is disproportionately religious so the numbers show that religion does not affect morality.

lol, you really are in knee-jerk mode now aren't you? When you get back from cliche-land, this argument you're losing will still be here waiting for you.

Whether you are religious or not, you are going to make your own choices so it is a matter of preference regardless.

You may think so, but Christians say that there is a morality that does not depend on people's preferences. It is a moral code which does not take it's authority from any person, or group of persons. When this moral code calls something wrong, it is wrong regardless what any majority of people think. That is objective morality. And that code has moral authority.

My choice would be superior, in most peoples opinion, than the choice to kill.

Peoples opinion is not morality. Peoples opinion change. If most people thought it was right to kill babies, would the choice to kill babies be "superior"?

You are right. People used to think killing homosexuals and people that work on Sunday was moral. We have evolved past that.

Stop being stupid. If I am right as you say, then what the majority believes or how much we've "evolved" doesn't matter to morality. If morality is simply that on which the majority agrees, then there is no morality, only preferences, as you formally admitted.

You're so busy churning out the rote atheist website taglines that you don't even see that you are contradicting yourself. No matter, I know from experience that, like a moron spray-painting vulgarity on a church wall, you are more interested in hurling cliches than making sense.

So you keep parroting your atheist website and I'll make enough sense for both of us ok? That way you can rant to kingdom come unmolested. You'll lose the argument, but you aren't interested in that anyway.

Matt - My morality is superior.
Ethan - Why do you call it superior?
Matt - Because I like it better.
Ethan - But superior means better, not "what you personally like".
Matt - Theists drink the blood of babies.
Ethan - Sigh.
brontoraptor
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4/12/2016 11:48:24 AM
Posted: 8 months ago
At 4/3/2016 2:37:52 PM, Double_R wrote:
One of the things I often come across when debating religious folks is this idea that without a God moral chaos would ensue. Theists often ask "without God where do you get your morals from?", and then seem perplexed at how atheists can argue that God is not needed for morality. But why is this so perplexing? What is it that makes many theists seem to think that the absence of a God would lead to people just running around raping and killing each other?

I think it stems from basic reverse psychology. If you hand a child an ipad, he'll probably sit in his room all day playing with it. If you tell that same child that he is grounded and thus not allowed to go outside and play, suddenly sitting in his room with his ipad is no longer what he wants to do.

Most religion teaches us that there are moral absolutes and that God is watching us, all the time, and knows everything we do and think. It teaches us that we are required to do good things as the bible defines them and that God will punish us if we do not. It teaches us essentially to live our lives with mental shackles. Just like the child, the religious life we would live is morally no different than the non-religious life but in the religious version we are left wanting something merely because we cannot have it, making the morally correct life we would have chosen anyway suddenly feel more like a sacrifice.

For many folks, this religiously manufactured desire to have what they cannot is so embedded in them that they cannot understand how it is not embedded in others. To them, the idea of morality being human driven seems like a recipe for disaster because they view all human beings the way they have learned to view themselves, as needing an authority figure telling them to live a moral life in order to live a moral life. Which certainly explains why this argument seems so persuasive to them, and why so many of them just seem so incapable of understanding why God is not needed for morality.

The answer of course is amazingly simple; Living a moral life is more inline with our desires than living a non-moral life. It's not a natural desire we have to do bad things, that's largely created by being told that we cannot.

Atheists just in the last century are responsible for more direct deaths than deathby all other groups combined. Atheism: "The religion of peace".
"What Donald Trump is doing is representing the absolute heartbreak, and anger, and frustration at a government gone mad."

http://youtu.be...