Morals, Christianity, Atheism
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17-11-2014, 01:57 PM
Morals, Christianity, Atheism
It's been claimed recently by some on this thread that atheists may be as moral as Christians or anyone else. I would debate that proposition but would mention that the Bible nowhere commands any person to be moral or ethical, but rather, to be holy or righteous, which is different.

Your comments?

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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17-11-2014, 01:59 PM
RE: Morals, Christianity, Atheism
What is it to be righteous?
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17-11-2014, 02:10 PM
RE: Morals, Christianity, Atheism
(17-11-2014 01:59 PM)TreeSapNest Wrote:  What is it to be righteous?

Google Wrote:(of a person or conduct) morally right or justifiable; virtuous

So, basically the same thing as being moral.

Popcorn I put more thought into fiction than theists put into reality.
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17-11-2014, 02:13 PM
RE: Morals, Christianity, Atheism
Perhaps Q altered the time line? You haven't been messing around with the time line, have you Q? :-)
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17-11-2014, 02:15 PM
RE: Morals, Christianity, Atheism
(17-11-2014 01:57 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  It's been claimed recently by some on this thread that atheists may be as moral as Christians or anyone else. I would debate that proposition but would mention that the Bible nowhere commands any person to be moral or ethical, but rather, to be holy or righteous, which is different.

Your comments?

On this thread?
This thread is like 4 posts so far.

Maybe people have taken for granted for hundreds upon hundreds of years that priests & popes, ministers and evangelists who proclaim to interpret the word of god (bible) and preached morals...they were taken at their word?
Take it up with them.....not us.

When I want your opinion I'll read your entrails.
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17-11-2014, 02:18 PM
RE: Morals, Christianity, Atheism
So, if you believe your religious beliefs are correct, it makes you righteous?
Holy? Explain holy to me.
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17-11-2014, 02:21 PM (This post was last modified: 17-11-2014 02:24 PM by goodwithoutgod.)
RE: Morals, Christianity, Atheism
(17-11-2014 01:57 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  It's been claimed recently by some on this thread that atheists may be as moral as Christians or anyone else. I would debate that proposition but would mention that the Bible nowhere commands any person to be moral or ethical, but rather, to be holy or righteous, which is different.

Your comments?

Atheists are more moral than christians based on articulable facts and indications of statistics based on sociological studies.

Moral Theology is the study of how persons live in response to what God has done for them (Mueller 221).

Morality is concerned with human conduct but goes to a deeper level of personhood, such that our conduct is a reflection of who we are, a reflection of our character (Mueller 221).

Ethics can be defined as a discussion of the formation of human conduct… How responsible human beings capable of critical judgment should live using reflection on fundamental issues in description of concrete cases (Mueller 221).

Conscience is the voice of God written in our hearts, in accordance with the second Vatican Council. Natural law is considered one of the major sources of moral theology and answers the question: how do I know what is good or evil? Christians believe that natural law has been a factor in our decisions of what is morally right and wrong, good and evil (Mueller 222 – 227).

“This people who may personally and individually be moral and good people and have no intention of conflict and harm on others often share a Christian theory called the collective guilt “social sin.” (Mueller 257). The depths that theists go to fabricate the conception of sin knows no bounds, here you can be a good person yet you still have “social sin”. John Paul II said that social sins are “collective behavior of certain social groups, big or small, or even of whole nations or blocks of nations” (Mueller 258). Social sin becomes personal sin of individuals through complicity, indifference, or reluctance of those in a position to exert influence for change who do not do so (Mueller 258).

Catholic social teaching looks to gospel teaching to form the moral foundation the Catholic approach to questions of social justice. And assist the disciple in the ongoing task of reflecting on the challenge of Jesus in the sermon on the Mount and in discerning what it means in a consumer, technological, and globalized society to be poor in spirit and to embrace a sorrowing and the lowly (Mueller 260).


Secular morality is the aspect of philosophy that deals with morality outside of religious traditions. Modern examples include humanism, freethinking, and most versions of consequentialism. Additional philosophies with ancient roots include those such as skepticism and virtue ethics. Greg M. Epstein states that, "much of ancient Far Eastern thought is deeply concerned with human goodness without placing much if any stock in the importance of gods or spirits. Other philosophers have proposed various ideas about how to determine right and wrong actions. An example is Immanuel Kant's categorical imperative: "The idea that actions can only be considered moral if they could be imitated by anyone else and produce good results."

A variety of positions are apparent regarding the relationship between religion and morality. Some believe that religion is necessary as a guide to a moral life. This idea has been with us for nearly 2,000 years. There are various thoughts regarding how this idea has arisen. For example, Greg Epstein suggests that this idea is connected to a concerted effort by theists to question nonreligious ideas: "conservative authorities have, since ancient days, had a clever counter strategy against religious skepticism—convincing people that atheism is evil, and then accusing their enemies of being atheists.

Others eschew the idea that religion is required to provide a guide to right and wrong behavior. Interestingly the Westminster Dictionary of Christian Ethics states that religion and morality "are to be defined differently and have no definitional connections with each other". Some believe that religions provide poor guides to moral behavior.

Popular atheist author and biologist Richard Dawkins, writing in The God Delusion, has stated that religious people have committed a wide variety of acts and held certain beliefs through history that are considered today to be morally repugnant. He has stated that Adolf Hitler and the Nazis held broadly Christian religious beliefs that inspired the Holocaust on account of antisemitic Christian doctrine, that Christians have traditionally imposed unfair restrictions on the legal and civil rights of women, and that Christians have condoned slavery of some form or description throughout most of Christianity's history. Dawkins insists that, since Jewish and Christian interpretations of the Bible have changed over the span of history so that what was formerly seen as permissible is now seen as impermissible, it is intellectually dishonest for them to believe theism provides an absolute moral foundation apart from secular intuition. In addition, he argued that since Christians and other religious groups do not acknowledge the binding authority of all parts of their holy texts (e.g., The books of Exodus and Leviticus state that those who work on the Sabbath and those caught performing acts of homosexuality, respectively, were to be put to death.), they are already capable of distinguishing "right" from "wrong." (Boghossian 248).

The well-known passage from Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, "If God is dead, all is permitted," suggests that non-believers would not hold moral lives without the possibility of punishment by a God. This is absurd as all one has to do is look at Denamrk or Sweden to see that these largely atheist areas enjoy being at the top tier of civilization. This is broken down in great detail in a book by Phil Zuckerman, "Society without god".

Phil Zuckerman, associate professor of sociology at Pitzer College in California, in his article, "Is Faith Good For Us" states the following: "A comparison of highly irreligious countries with highly religious countries, however, reveals a very different state of affairs. In reality, the most secular countries-those with the highest proportion of atheists and agnostics-are among the most stable, peaceful, free, wealthy, and healthy societies. And the most religious nations-wherein worship of God is in abundance-are among the most unstable, violent, oppressive, poor, and destitute."

A study by Gregory S. Paul, entitled "Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies: A First Look," was done and the study's conclusion was that there was an inverse relationship between religion and poor societal health rates. What that means is that the higher the level of religious belief in a country, the lower the level of societal health (more violent crimes, suicides, teen pregnancies, etc.).

So it seems that a plethora of evidence exists to show that not only do we not need religion in our lives to be good humans, but that having it in our lives can be counter-productive and unhealthy.

Furthermore, when you analyze FBI prisoner statistics you see that Christians are about 70% of the prison population in the US, and nonreligious? .02%...this is upon inprocessing. Considering that nonreligious are approx 30% of US population as of 2014...we are grossly under-represented in prison...it would appear we are more moral than Xtians.

Works cited

Mueller, J.J., Theological Foundations: Concepts and Methods for Understanding the Christian Faith. Winona: Anselm Academic, Christian Brothers Publications, 2011. Print.

Boghossian, Peter. A Manual for Creating Atheists. Durham: Pitchstone Publishing, 2013. Print.

Zuckerman, Phil. Society without god: What the least religious nations can tell us about contentment. New York: New York University Press, 2008. Print.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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17-11-2014, 02:24 PM
RE: Morals, Christianity, Atheism
(17-11-2014 01:57 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  It's been claimed recently by some on this thread that atheists may be as moral as Christians or anyone else. I would debate that proposition ...
Your comments?

So would I. I see 5 reasons to be moral
1. because it makes the world a better place to live (the atheist's justification)
2. because someone more powerful told you to... or else (the theist's justification)
3. because you stand to get something in return
4. because it just doesn't matter to you either way and the 'moral' act is easier
4. accidentally Big Grin

Most people, atheists and theists alike, perform moral acts for each of the reasons at different times. The difference is that atheists don't claim #2 to be the best (or only) reason.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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17-11-2014, 02:26 PM
RE: Morals, Christianity, Atheism
(17-11-2014 02:24 PM)unfogged Wrote:  
(17-11-2014 01:57 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  It's been claimed recently by some on this thread that atheists may be as moral as Christians or anyone else. I would debate that proposition ...
Your comments?

So would I. I see 5 reasons to be moral
1. because it makes the world a better place to live (the atheist's justification)
2. because someone more powerful told you to... or else (the theist's justification)
3. because you stand to get something in return
4. because it just doesn't matter to you either way and the 'moral' act is easier
4. accidentally Big Grin

Most people, atheists and theists alike, perform moral acts for each of the reasons at different times. The difference is that atheists don't claim #2 to be the best (or only) reason.

Nicely done. I think to do good things for goodness sake is much better than pretending to do good things because you fear an invisible god is judging your every move and thought.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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17-11-2014, 02:29 PM (This post was last modified: 18-11-2014 11:40 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Morals, Christianity, Atheism
(17-11-2014 01:57 PM)The Q Continuum Wrote:  It's been claimed recently by some on this thread that atheists may be as moral as Christians or anyone else. I would debate that proposition but would mention that the Bible nowhere commands any person to be moral or ethical, but rather, to be holy or righteous, which is different.

Your comments?

Really ? "On this thread" ? Really ? Your post was the first post "on this thread" ?
Why would/should anyone care about what a set of ancient priests wrote, whose main interest was maintaining their own power and position, wrote into an ancient book ?
Provide three examples of "holy and righteous" behavior which is not moral and ethical.
Define "righteous" and define "holy", and tell us how exactly you determine what that is.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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