Basis for Atheist Morality
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13-02-2014, 06:28 AM
RE: Basis for Atheist Morality
Billions of Buddhist athests get along just fine without a "creator gawd".

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


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13-02-2014, 07:16 AM
RE: Basis for Atheist Morality
(13-02-2014 04:12 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  Here are some questions for the OP.

  1. If you wiped out the human race would morality still exist?
  2. If yes, then what are morals? If no then why assume a creator is necessary?
  3. If you did not have a brain would you still have a moral code?
  4. If yes then how can you have a moral code if you cannot sense, think or act? If no then why assume that morality is anything more than how the brain functions?
  5. If you accept that a moral code only exists in our brains, then why do we need the Bible to give us a moral code? Or are you suggesting that everyone who is not a Christian is a psychopath?

*raises hand*

Pick me, pick me!

1 - No, morality is a human construct. In a universe filled with nothing but rocks, there would be no morality, because morality only concerns conscious creatures. Unless you think you have a moral obligation to rocks? Consider

2 - I don't. Tongue

3 - Nope!

4 - I don't. Tongue

5 - We do not, as the Bible is clearly the edited and cobbled together works representing the culture it was written in, just like all other ancient works. It's not divine, but obviously manmade in origin; and all of the available evidence supports this conclusion.

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13-02-2014, 08:03 AM
RE: Basis for Atheist Morality
This thread needs moar unicorns.


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It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


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You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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13-02-2014, 08:42 AM
RE: Basis for Atheist Morality
Never heard of a moar unicorn, are they the ones from the bible? Smile

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13-02-2014, 09:16 AM
RE: Basis for Atheist Morality
I find it interesting how the majority of the responses are still focused on trying to turn the question around or trying to bash on religion.

While there are certainly some of the atheists who seem to have a basis for their belief in morality, the method of response by the others indicates to me that many on here can't do so. Avoiding the question and throwing stones at religion seems to be a pretty good indication that they lack an answer.

(12-02-2014 07:06 PM)WillHopp Wrote:  
(12-02-2014 06:49 PM)IndianAtheist Wrote:  if morality is "objective" why does it change from time to time ? why does it differ in society&culture?

This is an EXCELLENT point and one a theist (or our pseudo deist) can't reconcile, for objective morality would not be a living breathing document able to be edited and updated. It would have to be set in stone, because it's objective, and according to holy texts, rape, incest, slavery and murder were considered (and still are to some extent) moral.

Checkmate, IndianAtheist. Bowing

Objective morality doesn't change from culture to culture. It is contextual, so can change with circumstance, but it doesn't change from culture to culture.

All that changes from culture to culture are those cultures' conceptions of morality. Slavery has always been wrong. The fact that people took power and used that power to convince others that it was morally right, doesn't change the fact that it was wrong.

We have always had the tools to figure out what is morally right and wrong. That is not changed by the fact that people do evil and convince others that it is good. That is why my creator's holy text (creation itself) cannot be forged by evil men, cannot be suppressed by them and is always available for anyone to see. It was always easy to see the pain on the faces of slaves. It was always easy to understand that you would not want someone to enslave you. So, it was always easy to understand that slavery was wrong.

WillHop, you know I don't agree with any of those sacred texts or consider them to be authoritative, so who did IndianAtheist checkmate? Consider
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13-02-2014, 09:31 AM
RE: Basis for Atheist Morality
(13-02-2014 09:16 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  I find it interesting how the majority of the responses are still focused on trying to turn the question around or trying to bash on religion.

While there are certainly some of the atheists who seem to have a basis for their belief in morality, the method of response by the others indicates to me that many on here can't do so. Avoiding the question and throwing stones at religion seems to be a pretty good indication that they lack an answer.

(12-02-2014 07:06 PM)WillHopp Wrote:  This is an EXCELLENT point and one a theist (or our pseudo deist) can't reconcile, for objective morality would not be a living breathing document able to be edited and updated. It would have to be set in stone, because it's objective, and according to holy texts, rape, incest, slavery and murder were considered (and still are to some extent) moral.

Checkmate, IndianAtheist. Bowing

Objective morality doesn't change from culture to culture. It is contextual, so can change with circumstance, but it doesn't change from culture to culture.

All that changes from culture to culture are those cultures' conceptions of morality. Slavery has always been wrong. The fact that people took power and used that power to convince others that it was morally right, doesn't change the fact that it was wrong.

We have always had the tools to figure out what is morally right and wrong. That is not changed by the fact that people do evil and convince others that it is good. That is why my creator's holy text (creation itself) cannot be forged by evil men, cannot be suppressed by them and is always available for anyone to see. It was always easy to see the pain on the faces of slaves. It was always easy to understand that you would not want someone to enslave you. So, it was always easy to understand that slavery was wrong.

WillHop, you know I don't agree with any of those sacred texts or consider them to be authoritative, so who did IndianAtheist checkmate? Consider

The idea of objective morality is checkmated, not you (necessarily). If you are saying objective morality is contextual, then it's not objective. And if it were so easy to understand that slavery was wrong, then why did it persist for thousands of years by ignorant masses? If your deity gave us the power to (easily) comprehend that slavery was wrong, then why did it not occur to the majority of the idiots right up until pre-Civil War America?

I know, I know, humans have the capacity to be evil and stupid and that's not your deity's fault. He just set things in motion and what happens from there is all on us. Your special pleading grows tiresome. It's remarkable, you change threads and questions, but your special pleading remains constant.

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13-02-2014, 09:34 AM
RE: Basis for Atheist Morality
(13-02-2014 09:16 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  Objective morality doesn't change from culture to culture. It is contextual, so can change with circumstance, but it doesn't change from culture to culture.

Let me stop you right there. The moment it becomes contextual, it's subjective, open to interpretation. With objective morality, slavery either is okay or is not. Once you add the caveat that it's okay under a certain circumstance, under a certain context; it's fucking subjective.

Your interpretation of your supposed god's creation makes even your morality subjective; get over it.

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13-02-2014, 09:35 AM (This post was last modified: 13-02-2014 10:35 AM by DLJ.)
RE: Basis for Atheist Morality
(13-02-2014 09:16 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  I find it interesting how the majority of the responses are still focused on trying to turn the question around or trying to bash on religion.

While there are certainly some of the atheists who seem to have a basis for their belief in morality, the method of response by the others indicates to me that many on here can't do so. Avoiding the question and throwing stones at religion seems to be a pretty good indication that they lack an answer.

(12-02-2014 07:06 PM)WillHopp Wrote:  This is an EXCELLENT point and one a theist (or our pseudo deist) can't reconcile, for objective morality would not be a living breathing document able to be edited and updated. It would have to be set in stone, because it's objective, and according to holy texts, rape, incest, slavery and murder were considered (and still are to some extent) moral.

Checkmate, IndianAtheist. Bowing

Objective morality doesn't change from culture to culture. It is contextual, so can change with circumstance, but it doesn't change from culture to culture.

All that changes from culture to culture are those cultures' conceptions of morality. Slavery has always been wrong. The fact that people took power and used that power to convince others that it was morally right, doesn't change the fact that it was wrong.

We have always had the tools to figure out what is morally right and wrong. That is not changed by the fact that people do evil and convince others that it is good. That is why my creator's holy text (creation itself) cannot be forged by evil men, cannot be suppressed by them and is always available for anyone to see. It was always easy to see the pain on the faces of slaves. It was always easy to understand that you would not want someone to enslave you. So, it was always easy to understand that slavery was wrong.

WillHop, you know I don't agree with any of those sacred texts or consider them to be authoritative, so who did IndianAtheist checkmate? Consider

Intrinsic / objective is the very opposite of contextual / subjective but leaving that aside for a moment, if any of what you just wrote was really true, let's test it.

Let's take something that is objective... Black and White (absence of colour and all colours). Can black and white be contextual?

If creation is the basis of morality, then we should, as much as our current level of scientific discovery permits, be able to draw up a list of moral laws from creation, so...

Please can you extract some moral laws from the gravitational, electromagnetic, strong nuclear, and weak nuclear forces.

Thank you.

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13-02-2014, 10:31 AM
RE: Basis for Atheist Morality
(13-02-2014 04:12 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  Here are some questions for the OP.

  1. If you wiped out the human race would morality still exist?
  2. If yes, then what are morals? If no then why assume a creator is necessary?
  3. If you did not have a brain would you still have a moral code?
  4. If yes then how can you have a moral code if you cannot sense, think or act? If no then why assume that morality is anything more than how the brain functions?
  5. If you accept that a moral code only exists in our brains, then why do we need the Bible to give us a moral code? Or are you suggesting that everyone who is not a Christian is a psychopath?

1. Yes, there would just be no humans to be moral or immoral. Think of it like math or geometry. Even if there were no true right angle triangles in existence, the pythagorean theorem would still be sound.

2. Morals are the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong (pulled it off dictionary.com)

3. Well, if you don't have a brain then you aren't alive. I believe in the afterlife, so yes, I do believe that morality will still apply in an afterlife (however, the contextual influences may be different depending on the form of that afterlife). If you are talking about someone who is brain-dead in a hospital it seems like an irrelevant question, as that person really isn't capable of doing moral or immoral activities.

4. The brain is a tool. It allows us to figure out what is moral or not, and it allows us to control our body in such a way as to do moral actions or immoral ones. But, our brain function isn't morality anymore than swinging a baseball bat is baseball. The geometry example I used at #1 also applies here.

5. What's with the Christian questions? I'm not Christian. I'm starting to think that a lot of people in these forums don't even know what a deist is.

As a deist, I believe in the existence of a non-interventionist creator who only speaks to mankind through his creation (the universe and everything in it) and has given us the tools necessary to understand everything we need to know about him (ie. our reason and intelligence). I do not believe that any creator would rely on the fragility of the written word to convey his word to mankind, as the written word 1. cannot be in a universal language, 2. can be forged, 3. can be changed, 4. can be suppressed, 5. can be lies, etc.
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13-02-2014, 10:41 AM (This post was last modified: 13-02-2014 11:01 AM by rampant.a.i..)
Basis for Atheist Morality
(11-02-2014 07:11 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  Your friendly neighbourhood deist here. Been a while since I started a thread, so I have a question and I'm curious to find out the atheist answer.

What is the basis of atheist morality (or, is there such a thing)?

And, as a related question:

Is there any reason for an atheist not to steal from a stranger if they know they won't get caught?

Rational interpretation of The Golden Rule and what we now call Hobbes' Social Contract.

And yes: A truly rational person needs no moral authority above themselves.

It's as if those who argue Divine Law is the only source of morality have absolutely no moral fiber themselves, and need a guideline, and an eye in the sky to enforce it.

Anyone who thinks otherwise is ignoring a long history of thought. Animism, for instance, has stronger morality than Christianity's proposed idea of Dominion, and the lack of worth/utility of non-human entities.

Assuming Jesus was a real historical figure, he must have been absolutely overwhelmed by the idiocy around him.

"Jesus, is it ok to take my neighbor's stuff and bang his wife?"
"Would you like it if he did that to you?"
"No. But why can't I do it?"
"Because it's not right."
"Why not?"
"Because you wouldn't want him to do it to you."
"But can I do it?"
"What? No."
"Why not?"
"Um. Because God says don't do that, and he'll put you on a really long timeout."
"Oh. Uhkay."

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