Is belief in God morally wrong?
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04-03-2012, 01:45 PM
RE: Is belief in God morally wrong?
Religion has never been all that interesting to me, so I don't know half of what some of you know.

So let me confine this remark to the Christian god:

God is immoral, hence believing in him is immoral.

There is so much erratic and immoral behavior coming from god in the bible, he is one of the worst evils I have ever heard of.

IMO, worshipping that makes the worshipper equally immoral.

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04-03-2012, 03:00 PM
RE: Is belief in God morally wrong?
(04-03-2012 01:30 PM)Thomas Wrote:  
(04-03-2012 11:02 AM)KidCharlemagne1962 Wrote:  Belief in God is not morally wrong. The actions taken in the name of the God may be. While it would be better for us all if people didn't delude themselves and others, I have no issue with belief that does not result in others being coerced, killed or otherwise marginalized.

You would agree then that building a $60 million mega church is ok as it is a monument to God and provides a place for thousands to worship. It's their money right? I’m not taking a cheap shot at the parishioners here. I will never tell someone what they ought to do with their money, but what if religion did not exist. What it they all had a completely humanist view of charity. Would they make a different decision with their spare cash? This is the point that I would like to drive home. Religion steals our humanity and diverts our efforts toward a useless pursuit of paying respect (and money) to a false belief. We have good, decent people believing that they are doing the right thing in worshiping a God with their finances.

Some will say that churches do a great job at charity. Sure some do, with what is left over. They do not open their large buildings to the homeless, but will donate to or even fully operate a homeless shelter miles away from their mega church. Again, not throwing the well meaning parishioners under the bus, but they believe that they are doing the right thing. They pay their money to God firsts, then the needy humans. That’s what God wants. They put God’s house in order first to take care of God’s business, souls. The needy humans with what’s left over. God is the immoral actor here, or the belief in God. Belief in God therefore is morally wrong.

Maybe I was too clinical in my definition of belief. Belief in itself is not immoral as I define it. What you stated above would fall into actions for me and there we agree.

" Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous."
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04-03-2012, 03:59 PM
RE: Is belief in God morally wrong?
(04-03-2012 10:41 AM)Thomas Wrote:  I would define Utilitarianism morally wrong, which is the ethical position you propose. “The greatest good for the greatest number”. You have basically made the argument for slavery being morally right if only a small minority is enslaved and the overall majority benefits. But, a dissertation on ethics I am not interested in.

The question is simply this: Is it immoral to throw away our humanity and all that we could accomplish waiting for a supposed perfect being to fix things in the after-life? This is a moral question. Screw the impoverished, let God take care of them after they die of starvation. What can we do? God is in charge. Do you see the moral problem now?

Slavery is such an awful example, because you know as well as I do that there are alternatives to it that don't cause pain and suffering, and choosing slavery over the alternatives would be (by my moral standard) immoral. Slavery could only be moral if it was necessary because it was the "least worst" of possible choices (necessity is the "utility" in Utilitarianism). Shame on you for your quick insult made of cherry-picking the facts, followed by your quick exit by making it seem as though that would suddenly violate some personal rule of yours by making it a "dissertation on ethics". If you didn't want to discuss ethics, you wouldn't have discussed ethics.

And without defining your moral standard, you again just assume that "throwing away our humanity" is immoral, which was the problem that I argued against in the first place. You try to make your point by pairing it with "waiting for a supposed perfect being to fix things in the afterlife", and it becomes unanswerable because it is now a double-barreled question (the same fallacy behind assuming that slow and steady wins the race).

I understand the point you're making, but I spot the underlying prejudice behind it and you don't seem to see it. Belief in a God may lead a person to immoral acts, but the belief itself is not immoral. Your point is that anyone who believes in God is immoral. My point is that some of them are, but the belief doesn't necessarily lead to immorality. Not every theist believes in "screwing the impoverished" or putting everything in God's hands, even if they pay lip service to such an idea. To believe that every theist does any act you name is prejudice.

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04-03-2012, 04:39 PM
RE: Is belief in God morally wrong?
(03-03-2012 09:58 PM)Thomas Wrote:  We are human beings and we need put no false Gods before us.

Spoken like a true biocentrist. Wink

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04-03-2012, 08:45 PM
RE: Is belief in God morally wrong?
(04-03-2012 03:59 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  
(04-03-2012 10:41 AM)Thomas Wrote:  I would define Utilitarianism morally wrong, which is the ethical position you propose. “The greatest good for the greatest number”. You have basically made the argument for slavery being morally right if only a small minority is enslaved and the overall majority benefits. But, a dissertation on ethics I am not interested in.

The question is simply this: Is it immoral to throw away our humanity and all that we could accomplish waiting for a supposed perfect being to fix things in the after-life? This is a moral question. Screw the impoverished, let God take care of them after they die of starvation. What can we do? God is in charge. Do you see the moral problem now?

Slavery is such an awful example, because you know as well as I do that there are alternatives to it that don't cause pain and suffering, and choosing slavery over the alternatives would be (by my moral standard) immoral. Slavery could only be moral if it was necessary because it was the "least worst" of possible choices (necessity is the "utility" in Utilitarianism). Shame on you for your quick insult made of cherry-picking the facts, followed by your quick exit by making it seem as though that would suddenly violate some personal rule of yours by making it a "dissertation on ethics". If you didn't want to discuss ethics, you wouldn't have discussed ethics.

And without defining your moral standard, you again just assume that "throwing away our humanity" is immoral, which was the problem that I argued against in the first place. You try to make your point by pairing it with "waiting for a supposed perfect being to fix things in the afterlife", and it becomes unanswerable because it is now a double-barreled question (the same fallacy behind assuming that slow and steady wins the race).

I understand the point you're making, but I spot the underlying prejudice behind it and you don't seem to see it. Belief in a God may lead a person to immoral acts, but the belief itself is not immoral. Your point is that anyone who believes in God is immoral. My point is that some of them are, but the belief doesn't necessarily lead to immorality. Not every theist believes in "screwing the impoverished" or putting everything in God's hands, even if they pay lip service to such an idea. To believe that every theist does any act you name is prejudice.

I’ll try to put together a response that may make sense from a overall perspective.
Consequentialism (Utilitarianism) is a week moral position for several reasons. First you must know exactly what the consequence will be and you typically do not. For example, a person asks you if you think there are physically attractive. You decide that hurting their feeling is worse than lying to them, so you answer in the affirmative. They then go and purchase $2,500 of professional photos to promote their modeling career. Kant would say this was immoral and the best position is to always tell the truth. Does this dress make me look fat?
Utilitarianism is a means to an end justification. No person is a means to an end. Slavery is never justified, even if only one person is enslaved. How many babies would you use in life ending experiments if it was to find a cure for a disease that would save the life of millions? Utilitarians would say something less than a million. Kantians would say zero. How about experimenting on the homeless? They are a small namless minority, so why not? If you take this to the extreme, if sacrificing the life of one child would save all of humanity would you do it? The answer is no, because we probably do not know the consequence for certain. An ethical system is one that is universal and consistent. Consequentialism is not.

I'll try and answer what I believe is your comment about moral standards.
No, not everyone that believes in God is immoral. The act of believing in God is immoral. People do what they perceive as moral within the construct of belief in God. If you take all of the finances put toward church construction in America we could house the world and there is not God to give a shit about the trillions invested in pretty houses dedicated to him that sit empty 99% of the time.

If one believes that homosexuality is morally wrong because God say so one will act to stop homosexuality. One's actions to stop same sex marriage will appear moral to some and immoral to others. What is the root cause of the actions? Belief in God. If no belief in God existed on the planet would anyone be morally against same sex marriage? I seriously doubt it. How about stem cell research? 100% that are opposed are opposed for religious reasons. Belief in God is the root cause. Belief in God is therefore immoral.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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04-03-2012, 09:32 PM
RE: Is belief in God morally wrong?
If you look at a large percentage of humanity (including the "believers"), the "plan" that the God you postulate is pretty poor. Some of the most moral people did not wait for a "plan" but made their own.

In summary, I do not consider the belief in a "God" to be immoral but using it as an excuse to not do what needs to be done to support your fellow man certainly is.


(03-03-2012 11:40 PM)bjgodsimage Wrote:  Nope.. God is the alpha and omega the beginning and the end and everything in between, God made us how we are and have a plan for us, and wants a relationship with us to make us whole, and live a abundant full life, full of blessings, hes our father, and as a father gives and protects so will he
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05-03-2012, 12:46 AM (This post was last modified: 05-03-2012 12:58 AM by Starcrash.)
RE: Is belief in God morally wrong?
(04-03-2012 08:45 PM)Thomas Wrote:  I'll try and answer what I believe is your comment about moral standards.
No, not everyone that believes in God is immoral. The act of believing in God is immoral. People do what they perceive as moral within the construct of belief in God. If you take all of the finances put toward church construction in America we could house the world and there is not God to give a shit about the trillions invested in pretty houses dedicated to him that sit empty 99% of the time.

If the act of believing in God is immoral, then yes, everyone that believes in God is immoral (it's a basic syllogism). You again just state it's against your morality, and again avoid defining morality (instead attacking what you believe is my view of it). Try expanding on it --- I'm giving you specific directions on how to do it: define morality, then explain how belief in God (not the actions following that belief, but the belief itself) is immoral.

I personally believe that throwing litter on the ground is wrong, but I've done it. I believe that exercise is a good activity but I don't do it. Beliefs don't necessarily force actions. Why do you keep assuming that they do?

Quote:If one believes that homosexuality is morally wrong because God say so one will act to stop homosexuality. One's actions to stop same sex marriage will appear moral to some and immoral to others. What is the root cause of the actions? Belief in God. If no belief in God existed on the planet would anyone be morally against same sex marriage? I seriously doubt it. How about stem cell research? 100% that are opposed are opposed for religious reasons. Belief in God is the root cause. Belief in God is therefore immoral.

These are just assertions. Examples of action following belief is not helpful --- correlation does not prove causation. And the action doesn't necessarily follow. For instance, I could believe that homosexuality is morally wrong, I won't necessarily try to stop same sex marriage --- I could not care enough about it to do anything. I could be private with my opinion. I could act against my belief (such as Pastor Ted Haggard did, simultaneously condemning homosexuality while openly practicing it). I could go on and on with examples of how actions don't have to follow belief.

But even if these actions did necessarily follow, your implied premise that "the root cause of immorality is also immoral" requires proving, and you haven't done that. Again, I can think of counter-examples --- I could commit hate crimes against Jews because of the anger over a Jew taking my job, therefore a Jew taking my job is also immoral. I could call you names because I heard Richard Dawkins call the pope a weasel and thought it was a good idea, therefore my belief in Dawkins is immoral. It's just silly.

If you want to prove your point about belief being immoral, you have to demonstrate this without resorting to showing how actions are immoral. You're trying to answer the question that you wish had been asked (Does belief in God lead to immorality?) rather than answering the actual question, which is incredibly silly because you posed the question. But I think you posed the question this way so that you could argue for discrimination against all believers, and not just the aggressive ones that push policy on us (in which case I'd agree and wouldn't have bothered to respond).

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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05-03-2012, 05:42 PM
RE: Is belief in God morally wrong?
I believe you are still missing the argument. I'll explain.

If I believe that cows contain the souls of my dead relatives and children are starving, but I will not kill the cow to feed them based on religious belief, the belief is immoral, not the action of starving children.

I am not starving children because I want to hoard the beef for myself or close friends or that I just hate children. I am not immoral for not killing the cow. I am immoral for believing that the moral position is to not kill the cow. I also believe that when these children die of starvation they will go to a better place where they will have plenty to eat.

This is not a hypothetical. A devout Hindu would follow this belief and have done so.

I just can’t explain it any better than this. The belief is immoral.

The old gods are dead, let's invent some new ones before something really bad happens.
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05-03-2012, 09:46 PM
RE: Is belief in God morally wrong?
(05-03-2012 05:42 PM)Thomas Wrote:  I believe you are still missing the argument. I'll explain.

If I believe that cows contain the souls of my dead relatives and children are starving, but I will not kill the cow to feed them based on religious belief, the belief is immoral, not the action of starving children.

I am not starving children because I want to hoard the beef for myself or close friends or that I just hate children. I am not immoral for not killing the cow. I am immoral for believing that the moral position is to not kill the cow. I also believe that when these children die of starvation they will go to a better place where they will have plenty to eat.

This is not a hypothetical. A devout Hindu would follow this belief and have done so.

I just can’t explain it any better than this. The belief is immoral.

How many times do I have to repeat that beliefs don't force actions? Even if a Hindu believes that a cow is sacred, it doesn't necessarily mean that he won't kill it to feed starving children... you just keep assuming it, because you stereotype all believers as holding their belief above every other standard. If a devout Hindu believes that a cow is sacred and the lives of starving children are also sacred, he has a dilemma... and his answer to that dilemma won't necessarily fall in line with his religious beliefs.

You didn't even feel it necessary to examine my counter-examples. Seriously, if you're just going to keep coming up with irrelevant examples that do not contain a definition of morality or how it applies to a belief itself (again just stating that it leads to an immoral action without demonstrating how or why) then don't waste my time.

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05-03-2012, 10:53 PM
RE: Is belief in God morally wrong?
why would a belief be morally wrong? A belief may be false, equivocated, but never wrong as it's not an act. Otherwise would be imposing a thought police! just like the inquisition, imagine someone asserting that a belief is wrong in an everyday conversation "don't you dare to think this because is bad! if you do we'll kill you!" that would be wrong.
Ask yourself, can we be morally wrong in the case we're misinformed about something? no, we would be only mistaken, that's not morally bad.

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