Why does it seem that there are so many atheists who want to go the exact opposite extreme of religion? Maybe I’m more of a humanist then because I do still have a very strong ethical code that I decided on using logic and a true sense of compassion towards others. Moral judgment can be based on the net positives it can provide for the whole of society. Aren’t we all striving to improve ourselves and our communities? Freedom is a wonderful thing worth fighting for, but if those freedoms are not for the betterment of society then we must question if that particular freedom would be best if regulated instead.
I was actually giving two different examples, and I didn't say saving the woman from being raped would "preserve the clan." What I was saying was that we got our moral beginnings and basis from that spark, but our morals have grown since that basic beginning.
However, in your particular example, that is precisely what morals were, not all that long ago. In the past, it was perfectly socially moral to watch someone being beheaded or strangled by hanging or beaten to death as long as they were not of your "clan". And it is still morally acceptable in societies today. That is why it was perfectly moral and ethical to own other people as slaves within the last 150 years in THIS country.
Morals change and progress as people become more mature and caring. That's why I said it is sociological and fluid.
yes morals are fluid. I dont disagree with that.
The disagreement i have is very small with you. I believe morals exist without the society and that shared morals are actually the binding points of our cultures. So the relationship is more that society depends on morals of individuals to grow its laws and social interactions.
When it flows the other way.. a PERFECT example being religion there is often personal moral compromise and value breakdown that occurs. a good example being the closetted homosexual. Societal rules can compromise personal morals. A personal moral that goes against societal rules is ostracized or corrected. This is why society operates in laws not morals.
I consider them seperate things because of the very way that the flow happens. Morals are personal and individual.
Actually, it appears we are saying basically the same thing. I agree that morals are personal, which is what I was saying about morals being different for every culture, town, parish, church, family, and individual. What I mean by them being sociologically based is that our moral base comes from the society that we grow up in. Yes, they are ultimately based on the individual, being influenced by that individuals experiences, but they are also highly influenced by the culture(s) you have been exposed to. That is why there are women in islam countries that find it perfectly acceptable that their daughters or mothers get stoned to death for a moral indiscretion, even if it is only perceived. Whereas people in sane communities would be enraged by that same act. However, we do things in this country that they would find morally abominable. Yes, there are individuals that have moral codes that are completely against their current societal "norms", after all, none of us can talk in absolutes, but in general, we are raised into our own moral code my our society (both in general and individual contacts) and our experiences.
And, yes, before you jump on it, (again, we are NOT talking absolutes here), those are NOT the ONLY things that contribute to a person's personal moral code, but they are a huge part of most peoples' codes. When you talk about the "lone wolf," in order for that person to have never had any influence from societal pressures, that person would have to have NEVER been exposed to any type of society. You are talking about Tarzan, not some lone biker. And just because someone is a hermit now, doesn't mean that person has NEVER been exposed to society in any way. For society to have influence on a person, that person need only be exposed for a very short time. Actually, it even precludes Tarzan, because he was exposed to a "society" of a kind, because the Great Apes have societies that he was exposed to. Just because they were primitive, doesn't mean they wouldn't have an influence.
In a discussion like this, you can't pull out a single exception in order to discount the general hypothesis. There will always be exceptions to these types of rules. But I think most people here understand that we can only talk in generalities in these types of discussions.
Then we cannot in good conscience call anything even remotely based on instinct a moral.
And based on that definition of instinct we've eliminated a heck of a lot.
Instincts are a subconscious evolutionary need.
Morals require reasoning and choice and are active decisions based on empathic consequences.
I'm rather curious what you are getting at when you say 'moral ideologies', because when you say that there are so many who want the exact opposite of what religion says. This confuses me because it seems to suggest that many Atheist's reject traditional morality wholesale. Killing, theft, honesty,etc. this is nowhere close to what I see in the Atheist community. I've never met one that felt murder was absolutely fine, or that rape is an ordinary form recreation. There are many areas where we agree, just as there are areas we disagree. We realize that morality does not come from on high, but from us and society. Plus if the believers were 100% faithful to the morality in their holy texts it would be apparent just how superior or evolved form or morality really is.
I have not met any Atheists who have abandoned morality as I define it. I have met many Theists who are morally confused. They rely on ancient books as a moral guide and fail completely to see the immorality of killing the first born sons of all the Egyptians to prove a point to the Pharaoh (who was himself a first born son creating a rather large plot hole). It didn't really happen but Christians know this story and don't see the problem with it.
I believe morality is the effect of empathy. If you can empathize with other humans then you understand how you should treat other humans and even animals. I don't know any Atheist incapable of empathy (I know a couple who are on the edge) so I don't know any who have abandoned what I have come to understand morality. When I help other living creatures I do so because I understand how I would feel if I were going through what they are going through. I do it because I don't want to see another creature suffer.
I don't presume that I can understand how they feel or what they would want or what would make them feel better but asking and doing what I can to help is far far more moral then saying I'm sorry and then telling them that I would pray for them. Prayer is a way for the religious to ignore the suffering of others and still feel they are somehow helping.
Morality is a function of society, the rules developed by a society to keep their world from collapsing into chaos. These rules come from living together as a tribe and were in place long before religion came along.
Religious people want you to believe they are the source of morality. If you go along with their insanity, then you voluntarily invite them into your mind and you, just by agreeing that what Christians and Christian Professionals truth is, religion is always about power. Not to mention the fact that though Christians have been on the job trying to rid the world of it for 2000 years now, there's still more immoral people out there than moral or at least to hear them tell it.
Religion is the destroyer of minds. They take children, put them through a meat grinder, then make golems from gruesome clay.
They send people to their deaths in terror then brag about how people need the 'comfort of religion in their finl hours.' They are vulture who roam the corriders of our hospitals hoping to catch a person or, better yet, an entire family at their most vulnerable moment when one of their own is facing death. Then they swoop down, an innocent prayer with the family, nothing anyone could find objectionable, it's religion!
For some reason our society gives these trolls the right to enter our hospitals and our prisons and retirement homes and use a person in a highly emotional steps so they can convert them to the perverted gospel of their Mega-Church with a campus of buildings costing so much the money could have housed all of the survivors of the earthquake, tsunami, meltdown in Japan.
My father preached all his life...literally, he was killed in a car accident on the way to preach when he was 72. He lingered on for a month, then he flickered out like a lightbulb and ceased to existed. My dad preached for well over fifty years. My mother has never received a dime from the church my father died serving!
Let me get this straight, if Ted Bundy said the sinner's prayer he would go to heaven whereas I won't get pass the Pearly Gates because I was too intelligent and educated and persistent and, mostly, because I wouldn't accept anything but the truth. My bottom line belief was 'there are truths that even God must obey. " Didn't know it back then in my long childhood, but that belief set me on a road that could only lead to atheism.
Morality is not about a set of rules everyone agrees on. Morality is the shared beliefs of a community about what is and is not appropriate behavior. As any community from a church to a biker gang has it's own morality. The morality within these smaller bits of society is unique to the group and meets the need of the group for coherency and stability.
Religion is just another group within our society...actually, several groups blending into alarger community..the problem is that people get confused after the years and begin to believe their own propaganda and, most importantly, believe that the only way they can fulfill the requirements of their specific morality and their morality is applicable to other communities and idvidual.