Atheism can't explain this?
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07-09-2010, 12:27 PM
Atheism can't explain this?
Today in my sociology of religion class the instructor asked, "Can society function without religion?" A student answered, "No we need religion for morality." Then the instructor replied, "Yes atheism has yet to answer how a society can function morally without religion." I wanted to reply but I was too nervous about it and didn't want to start a debate in class. I am a stay away from drama person. How would you all have reacted and replied?
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07-09-2010, 01:16 PM
 
RE: Atheism can't explain this?
Well, there are a whole lot of things that we consider immoral in the holy books. Rape, Genocide, and Slavery to name a few. The 10 Commandments only have 2 commandments that are actual laws, surely if morality came from religion/god there would be more than 2. I would have also brought up stats on religion v atheism. Countries that have a higher percentage of religious have a higher percentage of crime, when compared to countries with organic Atheism (The Atheism is the choice of the person, not of the state) In the US, prison population is roughly equivalent to the outside population, except for Atheism/Non-Religious, roughly 20% outside of Prisons, and less than 1/3 of a percent (.21% from the latest poll I saw)
I would have asked, if Atheism cannot answer how to function morally, why do all the stats say that it can?
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07-09-2010, 01:30 PM
RE: Atheism can't explain this?
Oh, I could write a whole thread/an unusualicly long message about my crazy basic school religion teacher, he was full of the bread of life. What I find amazing is, how the hell did my class find him somehow one of the best teachers, even though he was full of crap and knew nothing about anything. My class even (volunteerly![amazing]) gave him a present when our basic school ended!
He was the only teacher who ever teached* us how science works, and he got it all wrong. Sometimes I felt like 'I have to correct the bullshit this guy is throwing up', but I was too nervous and I hated if I had to be ''the center of attention'' in class.
Now, after a few months, I still regret that I did'nt say anything, no matter how much would I have sweated and made an ass of myself, I should have shown I have a brain.

When they'll be able to grow human organs in animals, I want an extra set of balls...


*Teached or taught?

Correct me when I'm wrong.
Accept me or go to hell.
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07-09-2010, 01:51 PM
 
RE: Atheism can't explain this?
well, there may be a case for religion being considered a source of morality but I would have thought it a rather weak one. The fact is that in a whole lot of instances those of a particular religion, for example Christianity, ignore quite a lot of other morality that is taught in the holy book where it doesn't agree with the way society works. Slavery were mentioned above slavery in the Bible is mentioned in a positive frame of mind and that there is no suggestion that slavery just means a poorly paid job, like McDonald's example, but it is literally slave labour -- where slaves can be beaten till nearly dead with no comeback on the owner. But then again, I haven't seen much stoning adulterers or homosexuals recently as despite the fundamentalism of Christians in United States of America. What happened there? Did the morality of the Bible get produced somehow to suit?

Again we have quite a number of holy books and religions. What might be taught as moral in the Bible might not be so taught in the Qur'an. Plenty of other religions or with their own versions of morals so there is the problem that if it is religion that provides morals, why is it that morals are pretty standard amongst most people.

Really, though, the following video provides most of the answers are needed to understand that in fact morals are part of human nature and have been added, as one might expect, the two villages by humans and not the other way round. Here is the video
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07-09-2010, 02:02 PM
RE: Atheism can't explain this?
The very fact that theists cherry-pick the moral stories out of the bible and ignore the immoral parts proves that humans have an innate sense of right and wrong. Otherwise, what system is allowing them to make the distinction?
Furthermore, I would have told the instructor that I found his/her comment offensive, seeing as I am an atheist and I believe that I am a good person. Again, more proof that religion does not foster morality.

"Remember, my friend, that knowledge is stronger than memory, and we should not trust the weaker." - Dr. Van Helsing, Dracula
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07-09-2010, 03:12 PM
 
RE: Atheism can't explain this?
I loved the part where where if you raped a girl, all you had to do was ask her father for her as a wife and you could continue to rape this girl until the end of time. I also loved how fathers would often give up their daughters, maybe send them to be raped by their brother, and be morally sound. Hey man if it's in the bible it should be ok with me right? Fuck you! I have more morals in my left nut then the bible has in the entire book.
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07-09-2010, 03:48 PM
RE: Atheism can't explain this?
(07-09-2010 12:27 PM)omega21 Wrote:  Today in my sociology of religion class the instructor asked, "Can society function without religion?" A student answered, "No we need religion for morality." Then the instructor replied, "Yes atheism has yet to answer how a society can function morally without religion."

Then your teacher is an idiot.

Look, I'm not kidding here: tell him to come to this site. Leave an anonymous note on his desk or something that says "I am one of your students. I disagree with what you said in class about atheism and morality, and think that I can show you that you are wrong. Please visit http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/" or whatever.

Seriously, if this guy is a teacher, he has no business spreading baseless idiocy like this, especially if he's supposed to be teaching sociology.

Quote:I wanted to reply but I was too nervous about it and didn't want to start a debate in class. I am a stay away from drama person.

Hey, that's no problem. Not everybody is a confrontation person, and let's face it - things are a lot more intimidating face-to-face than over the internet, especially when you're outnumbered.

Quote:How would you all have reacted and replied?

Personally, I would've gone off on him. I'm tired of this stereotype. I would have stood up and said, "No. That is the single dumbest assertion I have ever heard. I'm an atheist. Have I raped anybody in this room? No."

And so on.

"Sometimes it is better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness."
- Terry Pratchett
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07-09-2010, 04:14 PM
RE: Atheism can't explain this?
I think this theistic argument comes from the Christians (mostly) being persuaded that our conscience was literally given to us by God. If I recall correctly from my old apologetics class, it was traced back to taking and eating of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (the one that made us "sinners").

Taking this into account, according to the Christian world view we were perfect and sinless before we had a conscience, but after it were fallen and damned to an eternity of punishment. Thinking about it like that, the complete strangeness of the logic is apparent.

If Christians take the Bible literally, then the very thing that gave us our conscience (conscience reasonably equal to the knowledge of what is right and wrong) was declared evil and punishable by death by God. I believe the weight is on THEM for where their correct morality comes from.

As for us, it's hardwired in us through evolution. Basic morality can be seen in countless communal species across the globe. It prolongs the life of the whole species and thus a better chance of genetically sound offspring and our offspring's offspring.

We already have a good answer. Where's the theists' non-"sinful" answer? Big Grin

Quote:*Teached or taught?

Taught, good sir! Smile

"It does feel like something to be wrong; it feels like being right." -Kathryn Schulz
I am 100% certain that I am wrong about something I am certain about right now. Because even if everything I stand for turns out to be completely true, I was still wrong about being wrong.
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07-09-2010, 04:18 PM (This post was last modified: 07-09-2010 04:23 PM by omega21.)
RE: Atheism can't explain this?
You all make some really good points. Atheist do tend to be better educated, and thus have higher morals on average, and Levi makes a good point that there are also biological reasons behind morality. I also agree that the Bible is also the last place to go for morality. This site has a good video on that.
I should actually leave a note on his desk saying to come to this site. It would be funny to see how he reacts to this website. Next time I may say something.
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07-09-2010, 04:27 PM
RE: Atheism can't explain this?
Quote:I wanted to reply but I was too nervous about it and didn't want to start a debate in class.

Why not? If you can't start an academic debate in an institute of higher learning then where do you think is the proper place to start one?

This bothers me more than anything else you said in your initial post. The amount of damage a dimwit academic can do to the world is so limited as to be barely a blip on the radar. A population of people too intimated to speak up for themselves, however, is how freedoms are eradicated. I don't mean to be hyperbolic about this but you should never be intimidated to speak your mind. Yes, there is a time and a place for everything and not every argument needs to be had. However, a classroom where the specific question is asked is absolutely the time and the place to speak your mind.

Sorry, don't mean to seem like I'm attacking you but this really bothered me. You are a voice and you are as deserving to be hears as the blowhard in tweed at the front of the room. Don't ever lose site of that.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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