Are theists morally challenged more so than atheists?
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21-10-2014, 04:12 PM
Are theists morally challenged more so than atheists?
Ok my first REAL post was a little bit controversial so I'm going to tone it down some on this one. If you missed the post I asked the board if they would assume atheists have higher IQ's than do creationists as a whole. So thanks for participating.

Ok so admittedly I've always deep down somewhat assumed that the more intelligent person would find an easier path to atheism and perhaps that's not such a slam dunk conclusion to come to.

But are theists morally challenged more so than atheists?

So again having myself never subscribed to any religious ideas despite early indoctrination attempts, I can see some early childhood scenario's that might scare one towards religion and by that I mean experiences that one might have in which one could question oneself's moral compass.

For example masturbation.

Everyone has at least thought about it. I throw that one out there for shock and awe purposes but you can come up with your own I'm sure. Just to be clear on our understanding of the question again try and remember that you chose to believe in something or not believe in something so whether or not you believe in something has to come from within and for good reason (we hope). My question centers around the idea that perhaps theists, without their religion or what they chose to believe in, are more so capable of committing immoral acts. I know this isn't NEW subject matter but with intelligence comes a finer appreciation for things like... well I don't know.. life or more importantly others lives and how they get to live it. It seems to me you either see someone as your mom, dad, sister, brother, son, or daughter OR you need help in this way of understanding. Am I wrong?
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21-10-2014, 04:40 PM
RE: Are theists morally challenged more so than atheists?
I'm not sure there is any justification that would be able to make it be demonstrated as true. It's also hard when you use the overall label of theists because various degrees of theists view morality in different manners.

Defining morally challenged as well, wouldn't be something I can say I know how to do, so I'm not sure what others would consider that. Some people value some moral principals a bit more than others.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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21-10-2014, 05:38 PM
RE: Are theists morally challenged more so than atheists?
(21-10-2014 04:12 PM)dirtstar Wrote:  Ok my first REAL post was a little bit controversial so I'm going to tone it down some on this one. If you missed the post I asked the board if they would assume atheists have higher IQ's than do creationists as a whole. So thanks for participating.

Ok so admittedly I've always deep down somewhat assumed that the more intelligent person would find an easier path to atheism and perhaps that's not such a slam dunk conclusion to come to.

But are theists morally challenged more so than atheists?

So again having myself never subscribed to any religious ideas despite early indoctrination attempts, I can see some early childhood scenario's that might scare one towards religion and by that I mean experiences that one might have in which one could question oneself's moral compass.

For example masturbation.

Everyone has at least thought about it. I throw that one out there for shock and awe purposes but you can come up with your own I'm sure. Just to be clear on our understanding of the question again try and remember that you chose to believe in something or not believe in something so whether or not you believe in something has to come from within and for good reason (we hope). My question centers around the idea that perhaps theists, without their religion or what they chose to believe in, are more so capable of committing immoral acts. I know this isn't NEW subject matter but with intelligence comes a finer appreciation for things like... well I don't know.. life or more importantly others lives and how they get to live it. It seems to me you either see someone as your mom, dad, sister, brother, son, or daughter OR you need help in this way of understanding. Am I wrong?


Atheists are not born smarter than theists. Most atheists today were theists at some point in their lives. Statistics do show that the more educated a person is, the more likely they are to be atheist. Religion relies on ignorance for survival. It relies on people to discard things on the grounds that it does not agree with their religion, no matter how much evidence is shown (evolution being a perfect example).

What is so dangerous about religion and morality is that religion offers people an escape hatch to justify evil deeds. Countless millions, probably even billions, have been slaughtered in the name of religion, with the excuse that "Those people were not (enter religion), therefore they were heathens and rightly killed in the name of my god (or gods)!" This doesn't exist with atheism at all, because atheism has nothing to do with morals. It's merely the lack of belief in deities. Religious people are the ones who insist that morality is dependent on religious belief.

As far as masturbation goes, my favorite quote on the subject is by the stand-up comedian Robert Schimmel: "My mom used to tell me that when you jack off, all your dead relatives are watching you - but then I figured 'Fuck it. Who are they going to tell?'"

“Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.” - Mark Twain
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21-10-2014, 05:47 PM
RE: Are theists morally challenged more so than atheists?
I don't think atheist are more moral than religious people. I think religion gives people an excuse to do immoral things. Haveing been a religious person most of my life I know some really good ones and some really bad ones.
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22-10-2014, 08:56 AM
RE: Are theists morally challenged more so than atheists?
(21-10-2014 04:12 PM)dirtstar Wrote:  But are theists morally challenged more so than atheists?

There's not really a simple yes or no answer to that.

Take your example of masturbation: not all theists have a problem with that. It's a big deal to the Abrahamic religions, but not even all of those adherents have a problem with it.

As for morality in general, I don't think that atheists are more moral than theists. Again, take the Abrahamic religions: they have some terrible things in their history, and most adherents in developed countries try to distance themselves from them. They have different excuses, but at the end of the day, most people aren't fine with that level of bronze-age savagery, religious or not.

Now, there are some morality systems built into the religions that are stupid and/or abhorrent. I'll use Christianity, since it's the one with which I'm most familiar. You tell people that they're bad and flawed (based on assertion) and that they only find value and are fixed via Jesus (again, by assertion). You then tell them you'll reward them based on whether or not they swear an oath of fealty and throw in infinite torture for those who don't. There's a lot of terrible stuff in there about making people feel bad for no reason, threatening them with (eternal!) torture, and giving them a way out of responsibility for their actions. That's bad!

Of course, your average Christian in and of themselves is likely way more moral than that. So, they don't take salvation as a carte blanche ticket to sin with abandon, and they'll even modify their apologetics to say that a true Christian wouldn't sin like that. So, they actually work more morality into the version they got from the Bible. Now, I'd rather they would drop the whole bizarre system on first principles, but I'm glad they see the problems and are busy making their iron-age religion more morally palatable.


TL;DR version: No, it's way more complex than that. I don't think a person's religious beliefs have as much to do with whether or not they're moral than they'd like to think they do. Modern religious morals have been continually modified by modern social sensibilities.
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22-10-2014, 09:07 AM
RE: Are theists morally challenged more so than atheists?
Theists do tend to have 'morality' which forbids certain sexual acts, foods or even artwork, but I think the terms are too broad to really say anything specific. Narrowing down to a single religion could help, but even then 'atheist' isn't a very unified term so it's still difficult to answer.

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22-10-2014, 09:09 AM
RE: Are theists morally challenged more so than atheists?
(21-10-2014 04:12 PM)dirtstar Wrote:  Just to be clear on our understanding of the question again try and remember that you chose to believe in something or not believe in something so whether or not you believe in something has to come from within and for good reason (we hope). My question centers around the idea that perhaps theists, without their religion or what they chose to believe in, are more so capable of committing immoral acts. I know this isn't NEW subject matter but with intelligence comes a finer appreciation for things like... well I don't know.. life or more importantly others lives and how they get to live it. It seems to me you either see someone as your mom, dad, sister, brother, son, or daughter OR you need help in this way of understanding. Am I wrong?

What you are, is full of non sequiturs.

We are confronted with the facts and go from there. I don't "chose" to believe in anything. Your premise is false. Some people may chose to make a leap of faith for a myriad of reasons, some of which may be prior moral failures, and poor choices.
We have seen here a number of people who claim they led unproductive lives until they found Jebus, and credit their beliefs for their changed lives. Myself, I think good people do good things, Jebus or no Jebus.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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22-10-2014, 09:13 AM
RE: Are theists morally challenged more so than atheists?
I think it's more the fact that because their morality is based on an interpretation of revelation then it's unlikely they actively question because god's will shouldn't be questioned.
That becomes an issue.

Trouble rather the tiger in his lair than the sage among his books. For to you kingdoms and their armies are things mighty and enduring, but to him they are but toys of the moment, to be overturned with the flick of a finger.”

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23-10-2014, 03:54 PM
RE: Are theists morally challenged more so than atheists?
(22-10-2014 09:09 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(21-10-2014 04:12 PM)dirtstar Wrote:  Just to be clear on our understanding of the question again try and remember that you chose to believe in something or not believe in something so whether or not you believe in something has to come from within and for good reason (we hope). My question centers around the idea that perhaps theists, without their religion or what they chose to believe in, are more so capable of committing immoral acts. I know this isn't NEW subject matter but with intelligence comes a finer appreciation for things like... well I don't know.. life or more importantly others lives and how they get to live it. It seems to me you either see someone as your mom, dad, sister, brother, son, or daughter OR you need help in this way of understanding. Am I wrong?

What you are, is full of non sequiturs.

We are confronted with the facts and go from there. I don't "chose" to believe in anything. Your premise is false. Some people may chose to make a leap of faith for a myriad of reasons, some of which may be prior moral failures, and poor choices.
We have seen here a number of people who claim they led unproductive lives until they found Jebus, and credit their beliefs for their changed lives. Myself, I think good people do good things, Jebus or no Jebus.

Shame on you. Smile
Prove to me I made a conclusion or statement that did not logically follow from my previous argument/statement or else your claim is similar to religion in that you've not provided any evidence. j/k

Jebus or no jebus good people can become bad people and vice versa so good people CAN DO bad things.
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23-10-2014, 07:00 PM
RE: Are theists morally challenged more so than atheists?
The answer to that is a yes and a no. While we are all capable of doing such acts, it is the theist whom commits it more often then atheists.

There are a few reasons to this.

1. If you follow Milgram's obedience to authority research and apply it to the ultimate kind of authority, then we see in the Quran and the Bible and many other religious doctrines that violence, murder, rape and torture is required for X activity or X person based on their sexuality,ethnicity, or whatever, you will find that the ultimate authority that is infallible and that can alleviate and also "reward" people for their behavior, regardless of how vile or horrific it is. We can see that this combination is extremely potent. An atheist does not have ultimate authorities, nor does the atheist have any violent doctrine or ideology until you reach Nihilism which can also have a neutral state as well which is often taken more then the violent path of Nihilism.

2. This is an extension to the above, however, I feel that it is needed to add to it separate from the above. The religious doctrines brainwash people from the earliest childhood that obey your authority without question. It is knocked up into, seeded, then left to grow in the mind far past into the adult years in a persons life. It is mental conditioning from about the age of two years old when this takes place. You are beaten down, beaten mentally every single day of your entire life until the day you die, so that you will have an absolute delusional unbreakable belief that you can never question authority ( at least this is what the church's ultimate goal is ). Unquestionable obedience to authority is a virtue and rewarded time and time and time and time again. This is where positive reinforcement for a particular behavior is given to condition the human mind into being programmed into doing it without any conscious thought. It is then unconscious obedience that they strive for and succeed in millions around the world. To top it all off, the positive reinforcement training to make people discredit evidence is also thrown in.

So that evidence, no matter what it is, will be impossible to convert the faithful away from the church. This is how the church keeps its members so it does not loose money which is its ultimate goal along side of controlling people by controlling their minds.

3. Actually...I cannot think of anything else.


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