The Bible Is The Foundation of Morality
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
19-08-2014, 09:35 AM
RE: The Bible Is The Foundation of Morality
(19-08-2014 08:08 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(18-08-2014 10:11 PM)donlee600 Wrote:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1THo5lCh1s

Or so they say...

It's not the foundation of mine and mine is superior. First of all a code of morality is a chosen code of values not of commandments. Ask a theist what the principles are behind his morals and blank out.

How you use logic and observation may be superior. But all humans are the same species with the same finite nature and flawed nature. You start going around claiming you are superior you too can set yourself up to be as abusive as any abusers in the past. NOT even the label "atheist" is a moral code. It only addresses the "off" position on god claims. It does not make us automatically good or bad.

You can only argue that viewing the world through natural observations is a better path more likely to produce accurate data. But we are not a separate species.

I only agree that morality does not come from ancient books of myth or god claims, our species morality comes from our evolution. That means even atheists are capable of the same range of cruelty and compassion.

Poetry by Brian37(poems by an atheist) Also on Facebook as BrianJames Rational Poet and Twitter Brianrrs37
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Brian37's post
19-08-2014, 09:36 AM
RE: The Bible Is The Foundation of Morality
(19-08-2014 08:08 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(18-08-2014 10:11 PM)donlee600 Wrote:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1THo5lCh1s

Or so they say...

It's not the foundation of mine and mine is superior. First of all a code of morality is a chosen code of values not of commandments. Ask a theist what the principles are behind his morals and blank out.

How you use logic and observation may be superior. But all humans are the same species with the same finite nature and flawed nature. You start going around claiming you are superior you too can set yourself up to be as abusive as any abusers in the past. NOT even the label "atheist" is a moral code. It only addresses the "off" position on god claims. It does not make us automatically good or bad.

You can only argue that viewing the world through natural observations is a better path more likely to produce accurate data. But we are not a separate species.

I only agree that morality does not come from ancient books of myth or god claims, our species morality comes from our evolution. That means even atheists are capable of the same range of cruelty and compassion.

Poetry by Brian37(poems by an atheist) Also on Facebook as BrianJames Rational Poet and Twitter Brianrrs37
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
19-08-2014, 09:42 AM
RE: The Bible Is The Foundation of Morality
Nice video Don, you deliver it well.

To start I want to say I am an Atheist, and what I am about to write is not an apology for religious small mindedness that we see, I think each of us are responsible for our own behaviour and that has natural mechanisms to guide it, but people do not like the hard work of discipline and the largely constant vigilance to recognise when their behaviour is crossing a line, so they tend to find a group or teaching that allows them to be lazy in the way that most appeals to them, and they have a solid excuse to be that way. We have the danger of enabling their laziness when we start to blame those same things that they are using to justify their lack.

So with that cleared up, I want to point out what the Bible DOES say, not criticise interpretations of it.

I think the most important things we can get from the Bible is not its laws or stories, but its insight into human behaviour; of these I think the 7 Deadly Sins stands out. It highlights Pride as the gateway Sin and an abomination, that it either leads people to the others Sins, like Greed and Gluttony, or it causes Sins in others around it who witness it, like if you are being a Prideful ass the reaction may be Wrath towards you, or in the sense of Shame for not being as awesome as others you manifest self destructive behaviours like Sloth or Envy.

In behavioural psychology we can correlate Pride to the Superiority Complex; this causes issues directly comparable to what Pride is described as doing, and it is not a case of being better at certain things but rather in treating others like they don't matter because you are better, it is a lack of humility. I say Confidence and Humility are values, they can coexist and establish a healthy psyche, but Pride and Shame cannot coexist, they are weaknesses/sickness in our psyche.

Another thing I like to note is the "Original Sin": this is very much misinterpreted by pretty much everyone, such as it was disobedience to God, but what it really represents is the singularity event where humans became capable of conceptual reason, clues to this are all over the story; the Serpent said it will open your eyes and be like God in knowing good and bad, the fruit itself was from "the tree of the knowledge of good and bad(evil)". What is the knowledge of good and bad? Morality, very simple, they suddenly became capable of morality, which is a conceptual manifestation of natural values; pleasure/pain, hard/easy, there are many of these dualistic connotations that are observable in nature but we assign merit or warning regarding. All a product of the ability to reason and form concepts.

Added examples are how they hid in shame from the eyes of God because of their nakedness; they formed the concept of being naked as an exposed and vulnerable, even rude or lacking modesty, state which did not exist before eating the fruit. Another example is how it says Man inherited death from his Father Adam, this is related to the Original Sin where God says they will now die, but death itself is a concept; I mean yes it happens, we can observe it, but from our personal perspective it doesn't occur at all, and that is because when it does we are not in a position to register it as an experience, ie; we are dead. (the Bible confirms this by saying stuff like "The living are aware they will die but the dead are aware of nothing" and Sheol is the common grave of mankind, very different to ideas like Heaven and Hell because Sheol is where we all go and are aware of nothing; non-existence)

So all in all we see some serious explanations that religious people just do not understand about the book they obsess over, but even given this insight I still don't hold the book anywhere near the value they place on it. To me it is an academic curiosity, something I approach from a behavioural psychology standpoint, not from a spiritual or scientific view, and looking for WHY people believe what they do tells us much more than WHAT they believe.

Cheers, keep up the work and I hope this can give you some perspective to work with.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Ray Butler's post
19-08-2014, 10:11 AM (This post was last modified: 19-08-2014 10:19 AM by Ray Butler.)
RE: The Bible Is The Foundation of Morality
I want to add some stuff on the Heaven and Hell doctrine; people talk about Hades, this is the first indication in the Bible that there is a place bad people burn, but the word Hades is Greek, not Hebrew, and this word translation is a result of Israel falling under Greek (Hellenization) occupation, which you can look up. Israel was now predominantly a Greek speaking nation, and so the people could understand their Torah they had to translate it into Greek, so we see a dilution of words and consequentially meaning. The closest Greek word to Sheol was Hades, which we visualise as the River Styx, lava, hell-fire, but Hades also just means "The Underworld"

Later on under Jesus, the word Gehenna is used; Gehenna was a garbage dump outside the walls of Jerusalem, people brought their waste here and burned it with sulphur, they also brought the dead bodies of criminals here because usually criminals didn't merit proper burial. But what was done here is that rubbish was burnt pretty much to nothing, it even says the ashes were destroyed, so Jesus (for examples sake) would have been talking about complete destruction as a metaphor, not eternal torture.

As far as Heaven goes, it also says "No man has ascended to Heaven except he who descended from Heaven" showing at this point in history, Jesus time, they still believed in Sheol, non-existence, but the difference is the "Resurrection" where people come back to life on paradise Earth, different from ascending to Heaven because the scriptures uses two clearly different words, and hence making a distinction between complete destruction of Gehenna and the state of Sheol.

edit; Heaven/Hell doctrine is a likely result of Constantinian reform; the beginnings of Catholicism, the merger of Rome with Christianity, as a number of Romans believed in Heaven and Hell in a reward/punishment sense.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-08-2014, 09:25 AM
RE: The Bible Is The Foundation of Morality
(19-08-2014 10:11 AM)Ray Butler Wrote:  edit; Heaven/Hell doctrine is a likely result of Constantinian reform; the beginnings of Catholicism, the merger of Rome with Christianity, as a number of Romans believed in Heaven and Hell in a reward/punishment sense.

wow, dude, thanks a lot for the insight, that was really informative.

I'll be fact checking in the mean time Tongue
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-08-2014, 10:39 AM
RE: The Bible Is The Foundation of Morality
I suppose the Bible is the foundation for morality or at least it used to be. That would certainly explain the Middle Ages...
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Drunkin Druid's post
22-08-2014, 11:38 AM
RE: The Bible Is The Foundation of Morality
Anyone that wants to use the Bible as their source of morality will of course consider the 10 Commandments. And once they figure out which of the three versions is the 10 Commandments, then they should justify why follow them when they are all incomplete.

I am not accountable to any God. I am accountable to myself - and not because I think I am God as some theists would try to assert - but because, no matter what actions I take, thoughts I think, or words I utter, I have to be able to live with myself.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-08-2014, 11:49 AM
RE: The Bible Is The Foundation of Morality
(19-08-2014 09:42 AM)Ray Butler Wrote:  I think the most important things we can get from the Bible is not its laws or stories, but its insight into human behaviour; of these I think the 7 Deadly Sins stands out.

Are you sure the 7 deadly sins come from the bible? I thought they came along a few centuries later.

There are some deadly crimes you can commit that will get you killed:
Gen 38:8-10 Crime: Spilling your seed on the ground. Sentence from God: Death.
Ex 4:24-26 Crime: Having an uncircumcised son. Sentence from God: Death.
Ex 19:12-13 Crime: Touching Mt. Sinai. Sentence from God: Death.
Ex 21:15-17 Crime: Hitting or cursing your parents. Sentence from God: Death.
Ex 21:28-29 Crime: Your ox gores a person. Sentence from God: Death.
Ex 35:2-3 Crime: Working or starting a fire on the Sabbath: Death.
Lev 20:10 Crime: Adultery. Sentence from God: Death.
Lev 20:13 Crime: Homosexuality. Sentence from God: Death.
Lev 24:16 Crime: Blasphemy or cursing. Sentence from God: Death.

That's more than 7, and it's only 3 books, but it should give you some better insight into what was ACTUALLY a list of deadly sins per the bible.

(19-08-2014 09:42 AM)Ray Butler Wrote:  Another thing I like to note is the "Original Sin": this is very much misinterpreted by pretty much everyone, such as it was disobedience to God, but what it really represents is the singularity event where humans became capable of conceptual reason

Sure. God made a garden. Put naive Adam and Eve in it, stuck a magical tree right there where they lived and told them to ignore the magical tree. Then he turned his back and pretended he didn't know what would happen. The inevitable happened, maybe with some predicable outside help. For that, now EVERYBODY must believe this crazy shit, with no evidence or reason to believe it, or else burn for eternity.

That's some fun psychology right there.

(19-08-2014 09:42 AM)Ray Butler Wrote:  So all in all we see some serious explanations that religious people just do not understand about the book they obsess over,

Because they never read it and never think about it. They just absorb and regurgitate it, and nominally at that.

(19-08-2014 09:42 AM)Ray Butler Wrote:  but even given this insight I still don't hold the book anywhere near the value they place on it.

Good. It's nonsense.

(19-08-2014 09:42 AM)Ray Butler Wrote:  To me it is an academic curiosity, something I approach from a behavioural psychology standpoint, not from a spiritual or scientific view, and looking for WHY people believe what they do tells us much more than WHAT they believe.

Sadly, the WHY is simple: indoctrination causes them to begin believing this crap, followed by fear that causes them to never try to examine or understand the crap. After that, it's just their comfort zone - very easy to maintain the delusion, very scary to even consider escaping the delusion.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Aseptic Skeptic's post
22-08-2014, 12:24 PM
RE: The Bible Is The Foundation of Morality
A paper I wrote on this:

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, such as the Westminster Dictionary of Christian Ethics which 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 Scandinavian countries to see that this largely atheist area enjoys being at the top tier of civilization.

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.

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.

"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)
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-08-2014, 12:26 PM
RE: The Bible Is The Foundation of Morality
(22-08-2014 09:25 AM)donlee600 Wrote:  
(19-08-2014 10:11 AM)Ray Butler Wrote:  edit; Heaven/Hell doctrine is a likely result of Constantinian reform; the beginnings of Catholicism, the merger of Rome with Christianity, as a number of Romans believed in Heaven and Hell in a reward/punishment sense.

wow, dude, thanks a lot for the insight, that was really informative.

I'll be fact checking in the mean time Tongue

Speaking of hell:

The hell creationists talk about doesn't even exist in that capacity under Christian doctrine. hell is allegedly a place devoid of god, thus devoid of good, no fire, no pitchforks, no little demons running around, no eternity in pain.

Source is Reason, Faith and Tradition by Martin C. Albl, Chapter 7 page 188 – describing hell.

"We begin with a reminder of limitations of our language. Since hell, according to Christian doctrine, is a supernatural reality, it can only be described in analogies. Holy Scripture teaches us the essence of hell in images. When it speaks of the fire of hell, it is not to be understood in a grossly realistic sense. The images of fire and pain were ways of expressing the essential Christian understanding of hell – that it is a separation from God. We may define heaven as simply being with God, and hell, in contrast, is simply being without God. It is thus an existence without goodness and without meaning."

Evil_monster

"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)
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: