Why Can't People Do Good Deeds Without God Being Involved?
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22-01-2014, 07:02 PM
RE: Why Can't People Do Good Deeds Without God Being Involved?
(21-01-2014 05:50 PM)WindyCityJazz Wrote:  I'm heading back home on the train today, and as I'm about to walk down the stairs to the tunnel I see a guy frantically searching the ground. I asked him if he needed some help and he said that he could not find his 24 hour bus/train pass. I helped him look, but we couldn't find it, so I told him I'd walk over to store with him and buy him a new pass. He says " God must have sent you to help me." I said "I highly doubt that God would send you an atheist to help you."
He would. I don't say He did but He would.

(21-01-2014 05:50 PM)WindyCityJazz Wrote:  Why is it so hard to believe that people do good deeds out of the goodness of their hearts without some motive?
It is not hard at all. It was you who had a desire to help. It is because of your kind and compassionate heart.

(21-01-2014 05:50 PM)WindyCityJazz Wrote:  At the same time, why is it that when something bad happens to them, they don't blame their god? It's always good things happen to them because of the work of their god, while bad things happening to them is never the work of their god.
I like your point. It is true that we can not know when it is God's plan and when it is not.
(21-01-2014 05:50 PM)WindyCityJazz Wrote:  I just find it kind of depressing that a lot of people can't just think of a good deed as being a good deed and nothing more - that a person doesn't do something good without some motivating factor out of self-interest.
I do believe though that God can inspire us to do good. I believe that inspiration comes from God.

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22-01-2014, 07:06 PM
RE: Why Can't People Do Good Deeds Without God Being Involved?
(21-01-2014 05:50 PM)WindyCityJazz Wrote:  I'm heading back home on the train today, and as I'm about to walk down the stairs to the tunnel I see a guy frantically searching the ground. I asked him if he needed some help and he said that he could not find his 24 hour bus/train pass. I helped him look, but we couldn't find it, so I told him I'd walk over to store with him and buy him a new pass. He says " God must have sent you to help me." I said "I highly doubt that God would send you an atheist to help you."

Why is it so hard to believe that people do good deeds out of the goodness of their hearts without some motive? Why does somebody helping another person have to automatically be attributed to some invisible man in the sky? Is it really that hard to believe that helping our fellow man would not happen unless some god had something to do with it? At the same time, why is it that when something bad happens to them, they don't blame their god? It's always good things happen to them because of the work of their god, while bad things happening to them is never the work of their god.

I just find it kind of depressing that a lot of people can't just think of a good deed as being a good deed and nothing more - that a person doesn't do something good without some motivating factor out of self-interest.

Interesting. The woman didn't physically hurt you in any way, she didn't demean you in any way, yet she refers to what you believe as a fairy sending you and you get all pissy about it. Why not just smile and move on?

I don't care if someone says to me... Allah must have guided you! I'd probably just shrug and move on.
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22-01-2014, 08:22 PM
RE: Why Can't People Do Good Deeds Without God Being Involved?
(22-01-2014 09:40 AM)Caveman Wrote:  I recently had a similar discussion with an atheist friend of mine.
He suggested that altruism, doing something for someone else without any benefit for yourself, doesn't exist.

This is incorrect. altruism exists because the agents intentions and consequences of the action benefit someone else EVEN if after the act there is some good feeling sensations to the agent (i.e some reward).
i.e the motive for the altruistic act was not personal benefit or reciprocity but just to be altruistic - as a side effect the altruist may become happier - but the after effects are not the cause.

If the self benefit was primary then clearly altruism wouldn't exist eg if the only reason I help the old lady cross the road was because I wanted someone else to watch me do it (social approval or even God approval) for praise or the old lady to thank me so I feel great - these motives or intentions would disqualify from the altruism.
However:
1. It is completely rational to help someone else, expecting no rewards (or punishments for omission)
2. Even if after helping there is benefit to the giver - this does not take away from the initial act of altruism.
3. It is also possible that the person acting altruistic will lose benefit eg they do a moral action not motivated by benefits and after the act they died & never felt any rewards for the altruism. (and of course there is no afterlife for extra bonus Divine rewards !!! )

with #3 theism does sabotage altruism because the belief God is watching, praising & judging followed by reward & punishments in an afterlife ruins opportunities at altruism.

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence -
David Hume


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22-01-2014, 08:32 PM
RE: Why Can't People Do Good Deeds Without God Being Involved?
(22-01-2014 06:23 PM)WindyCityJazz Wrote:  
(21-01-2014 10:22 PM)Lion IRC Wrote:  You referrred to the idea of a motivating factor.

Did you help this person according to your own free will? Or, like some atheists, do you think free will is an illusion which doesnt really exist in a determinist, materialist system?

If free will doesnt really exist, neither does altruism.

I chose to help him for the simple reason that he was in need of help and there was something that I could do about it. I certainly didn't help him because I wanted to earn brownie points with some invisible man in the sky. Why does a god need to be involved?

Let the record show that YOU are the one using the word God.
I am asking about free-will as against determinism.

If you dont freely decide to act according to a moral standard then your action is hardly altruism. Instead, it is just pre-programming inside the wetware you call a brain.

I can program a robot to help little old ladies cross the road. So where is the altruistic intent? Where is the altruistic MOTIVE?

In the robot or in me?

I'm happy to bring God into the discussion at this point. (If you want.) Cool
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22-01-2014, 08:33 PM
RE: Why Can't People Do Good Deeds Without God Being Involved?
(22-01-2014 02:26 AM)Dena Wrote:  
(21-01-2014 05:54 PM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  The thing is, the ONLY thing that keeps people who ask that stupid bullshit from being little Charles Mansons themselves, is the thin line of their beliefs in fairy tales.

Now imagine if one day they wake up and realize that these idiotic beliefs that are the only thing keeping them from ripping and running are all just silly bullshit.

THAT is fucking SCARY.

They just sell themselves short. If they woke up next week no longer believing in their god they would be the same people, for the most part. They wouldn't turn into "little Charles Mansons".


(22-01-2014 10:22 AM)Impulse Wrote:  
(21-01-2014 05:54 PM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  We see that argument presented here a lot -- "what keeps you atheists form being little Charles Mansons, etc".

The thing is, the ONLY thing that keeps people who ask that stupid bullshit from being little Charles Mansons themselves, is the thin line of their beliefs in fairy tales.

Now imagine if one day they wake up and realize that these idiotic beliefs that are the only thing keeping them from ripping and running are all just silly bullshit.


THAT is fucking SCARY.
Sorry, but this is the same fallacious reasoning applied in reverse. The same as you do not become immoral because of your lack of believe, they do not become moral because of their having belief. Remove the belief and I doubt very seriously that their morals would change all that much, if at all. In fact, they would then be atheists so maybe their morals would actually improve.



I would hope that you were right, but I have seen theists admit that very thing.

Albeit usually in the context of a claim that there is nothing stopping us from being little Mansons... Dodgy

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


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22-01-2014, 08:34 PM
RE: Why Can't People Do Good Deeds Without God Being Involved?
(22-01-2014 08:32 PM)Lion IRC Wrote:  Let the record show that YOU are the one using the word God.
I am asking about free-will as against determinism.

If you dont freely decide to act according to a moral standard then your action is hardly altruism. Instead, it is just pre-programming inside the wetware you call a brain.

I can program a robot to help little old ladies cross the road. So where is the altruistic intent? Where is the altruistic MOTIVE?

In the robot or in me?

I'm happy to bring God into the discussion at this point. (If you want.) Cool

inb4 "TIL that compatibilism exists"

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22-01-2014, 08:38 PM
RE: Why Can't People Do Good Deeds Without God Being Involved?
(22-01-2014 07:06 PM)anidominus Wrote:  
(21-01-2014 05:50 PM)WindyCityJazz Wrote:  I'm heading back home on the train today, and as I'm about to walk down the stairs to the tunnel I see a guy frantically searching the ground. I asked him if he needed some help and he said that he could not find his 24 hour bus/train pass. I helped him look, but we couldn't find it, so I told him I'd walk over to store with him and buy him a new pass. He says " God must have sent you to help me." I said "I highly doubt that God would send you an atheist to help you."

Why is it so hard to believe that people do good deeds out of the goodness of their hearts without some motive? Why does somebody helping another person have to automatically be attributed to some invisible man in the sky? Is it really that hard to believe that helping our fellow man would not happen unless some god had something to do with it? At the same time, why is it that when something bad happens to them, they don't blame their god? It's always good things happen to them because of the work of their god, while bad things happening to them is never the work of their god.

I just find it kind of depressing that a lot of people can't just think of a good deed as being a good deed and nothing more - that a person doesn't do something good without some motivating factor out of self-interest.

Interesting. The woman didn't physically hurt you in any way, she didn't demean you in any way, yet she refers to what you believe as a fairy sending you and you get all pissy about it. Why not just smile and move on?

I don't care if someone says to me... Allah must have guided you! I'd probably just shrug and move on.

Smile and move on, conform with the mass hysteria and pretend she isn't "subtly" trying to shove her bullshit superstitions down our throats?? Fuck off.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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22-01-2014, 08:41 PM
RE: Why Can't People Do Good Deeds Without God Being Involved?
(22-01-2014 08:32 PM)Lion IRC Wrote:  
(22-01-2014 06:23 PM)WindyCityJazz Wrote:  I chose to help him for the simple reason that he was in need of help and there was something that I could do about it. I certainly didn't help him because I wanted to earn brownie points with some invisible man in the sky. Why does a god need to be involved?

Let the record show that YOU are the one using the word God.
I am asking about free-will as against determinism.

If you dont freely decide to act according to a moral standard then your action is hardly altruism. Instead, it is just pre-programming inside the wetware you call a brain.

I can program a robot to help little old ladies cross the road. So where is the altruistic intent? Where is the altruistic MOTIVE?

In the robot or in me?

I'm happy to bring God into the discussion at this point. (If you want.) Cool

Why don't you take your sad attempt to derail Windy's thread with your pathetic free will/determinism trolling bullshit, shove it up your ass and go the fuck away.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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22-01-2014, 08:46 PM (This post was last modified: 22-01-2014 08:53 PM by WindyCityJazz.)
RE: Why Can't People Do Good Deeds Without God Being Involved?
(22-01-2014 07:06 PM)anidominus Wrote:  
(21-01-2014 05:50 PM)WindyCityJazz Wrote:  I'm heading back home on the train today, and as I'm about to walk down the stairs to the tunnel I see a guy frantically searching the ground. I asked him if he needed some help and he said that he could not find his 24 hour bus/train pass. I helped him look, but we couldn't find it, so I told him I'd walk over to store with him and buy him a new pass. He says " God must have sent you to help me." I said "I highly doubt that God would send you an atheist to help you."

Why is it so hard to believe that people do good deeds out of the goodness of their hearts without some motive? Why does somebody helping another person have to automatically be attributed to some invisible man in the sky? Is it really that hard to believe that helping our fellow man would not happen unless some god had something to do with it? At the same time, why is it that when something bad happens to them, they don't blame their god? It's always good things happen to them because of the work of their god, while bad things happening to them is never the work of their god.

I just find it kind of depressing that a lot of people can't just think of a good deed as being a good deed and nothing more - that a person doesn't do something good without some motivating factor out of self-interest.

Interesting. The woman didn't physically hurt you in any way, she didn't demean you in any way, yet she refers to what you believe as a fairy sending you and you get all pissy about it. Why not just smile and move on?

I don't care if someone says to me... Allah must have guided you! I'd probably just shrug and move on.

I don't expect you to get why I would ask the question, considering the fact that you're saying that the WOMAN didn't harm me in any way. Hobo I actually specified that the person was a man, and the point of the question is to discuss the specific topic. You might find this a bit "crazy", but that's actually the kind of stuff that we discuss on an atheist forum. The specific experience I had is merely a part of the bigger question, and that question is (get this) the title of the thread!

If you think it's not a relevant topic for an atheist forum, then why are you here? Let me guess, you're actually a theist troll coming to an atheist forum? Consider

“Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.” - Mark Twain
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22-01-2014, 08:46 PM
RE: Why Can't People Do Good Deeds Without God Being Involved?
(22-01-2014 07:02 PM)Alla Wrote:  Blah blah blah....

When are you going to tell us why your church masters are afraid to show the supposed golden tablets that your church's founder supposedly was given by your fairy tale gawd?


Because I know the answer and I bet deep down you do too.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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