Hi All,

We had a discussion many moons ago about atheists and morality and a lot has happened since then. I reached some new conclusions (which I'll withhold for now so I don't poison the water) and at least one other poster here has some new ideas about it.

So, I was wondering what the prevailing opinion is out there on this topic. Do you believe that atheists can be "moral"? Is it impossible for an atheist to be truly moral? Is "morality" something to which adherents have a valid claim? The infamous Dawkins and Harris had a discussion at Oxford about this about a year or so ago that was very good and I would also be interested in what anyone thinks of what was discussed there.

Thanks and all are welcome.

- kk

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Kir, during your "leave of absence," I watched this same topic going on for weeks, among John Major, (NOT England's Prime Minister's husband), Unseen, and seemingly a cast of thousands. It became boring, endless, and in the end, people pretty much went on to do what they wanted to do in the first place, regardless of whether they considered it "moral" or "ethical," and although I may be only "pretty smart," I'm sufficiently intelligent to know that I really don't have that kind of time to squander.

Arch - you're very smart, dang brilliant, so, and as my mom would say when she kissed me good night, stfu. Explain what you mean by that:

people pretty much went on to do what they wanted to do in the first place, regardless of whether they considered it "moral" or "ethical,"

Are you saying that you concluded that everyone would do what they want regardless of the moral system agreed upon?

- kk

Please tell your Mom for me, that with her kind permission, I may find need to quote her one ot these days --

I'm saying, that as far as I could determine (and don't for a second, believe you've succeeded in drawing me into this), the weeks-long debate, the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of keyboard strokes, seemed to make no difference whatsoever.

This would be the part where you ask me yet another question I will feel compelled to answer, which answer will also be queried, and before I'm sufficiently aware as to what's happening, I'm up to my wingpits in alligators - I'm allergic to alligators.

Sleep well --

Hey -

lol, I'll tell her. It made no difference in what sense? No conclusions were reached?

And to you as well,

- kk

Arch it did get boring lol. Seems a long time ago but I formed the opinion that ethics was a great subject for forum debate but did lack a lot of traction is the real world. It seemed to me self interest ruled.

P.s. John Major was Prime Minister!

Yes, I got that from Strega, who, despite your introduction, is a delightful person.

I'm sorry that Kir, whom I'm sure you may recall from your earlier days here, appears to be otherwise engaged on an issue of his own at the moment, which I've little doubt he'll resolve satisfactorily, and return later today.

I hope you'll leave your email open for further comments --

never thought I'd write a "Dear John" letter, but here we go....

Dear John,

In a confused set of threads, you got mixed up with the ex-PM between me and Arch.  I acknowledge your being a real human being, and not a guy who's Spitting Image puppet had more animation than he did himself.

I am sure you are vastly relieved not to have to live with the memory of Edwina Currie between the sheets.

Kind regards


No, no, no, no, no - there is no, "between me and Arch" - you're not hiding behind me on THIS one!

@ Arch

Origin of IMPUDENT
Middle English, from Latin impudent-, impudens, from in- + pudent-, pudens, present participle of pudēre to feel shame
First Known Use: 14th century


Although we are looking at the concept of morality, I do not believe you can have an objective measurement.  If you could have an objective measurement, we would be able to program a computer to make moral decisions for us.  The extreme subjectivity of the concept of morality does not lend itself to finite measurements. 

The religious scriptures are highly immoral - in the acceptance of slavery, the subjugation of women, the incitements to kill, and the punishments meted out by the god of the scripture.  I am more amazed at people believing they get their morals from their scriptures - where in these books is morality defined?  Obedience is commanded.  Morality appears to be entirely missing - at least the morality we like to think we have today.

Hey Strega,

Well, that was kind of my conclusion. And the morals we have today are also specific to locale. Tomorrow across the sea there will be an entirely alien set of moral principles, it seems. Change is the only constant.

- kk

Actually, "pudere" comes from the Latin, "pudo, pudere," meaning, "to be able," from which Spanish gets its word of the same meaning, "poder." But I suspect we digress --

Oh this is too funny not to share!.  here is the link to the Mirriam-Webster dictionary from which I extracted the origin of the word "impudence".

Scroll down further to Synonyms, and the first offered synonym for "impudence", is.....drum roll.... Arch.    Fantastic!


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