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.
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.
Saying morality is a function of tribal living excludes a lone wolf from morality. This is incorrect.
Id love to call this a chicken and an egg argument but its so off base its more an egg and rooster argument.
A person can have morals without society. A society can exist without morals (even xians have to agree with this since they provide the example of Sodom and Gomorrah which btw wasnt about homosexuality but is a story of terrible moral values). A society can even exist with only Laws with no moral basis.
While they often go well together morals and societal codes(laws, social niceties) can be mutually exclusive. Is it immoral to speed? Is spitting in food you made for your family against the law?
This loose definition of morality is what allows religion to assert God provides it. It makes it not a choice of behavior based on your own empathic responses. Individuality is what makes us the humans we are. The fact that we can bond as a society based around common morals is a product of our social reasoning not some reverse need to acquire a groups morals thru membership.
The really lone wolf will only have himself to account for, so this person's morals will be purely applied to themselves and will be concerned about his own survival.
And the semi-lone wolf (on his own but still connected to others in at least some way) will still have somewhat of a society around him.
A person can have morals without society, but most of the morals have been taught to him by some form of society anyway (parents, teachers).
I don't think that society can survive without morals. Even if it starts out without morals, those will soon be formed due to the difference in power between certain individuals (note that those morals don't have to be 'good' by our standards, as long as they keep society from collapsing, they will apply).
Sodom and Gomorrah (of which I have the feeling they were quite demonized) still had morals (even if you take the bible's view literally), those morals just didn't include hospitality to strangers.
Societal codes are conducted to bundle up moral codes that are generally agreed upon and make a rule to define those morals with a much stricter boundary than morals usually have.
Speeding in itself is not immoral, but driving recklessly and thus endangering other people's lives is (however, the last one is difficult to define). So a law is made against speeding in order to fill in for the moral about risking other people.
Spitting in food made for your family is an ugly habit, but you're not risking other people (unless you have a saliva transmittable disease, in which case the law can actually say something about it). So that action will not hurt society at large.
I have to disagree. You're essentially positing the existence of morals in a hyperuranium. Way too metaphysical for my taste. A person without any kind of contact with the rest of civilisation will have a set of behaviours - conditioned or otherwise - that will have very little in common with a social contract. Nor can a society survive without an agreed-upon social contract. It may very well appear immoral to an external observer, but that is not the same as claiming it doesn't exist.
The crucial point is not claiming the existence of universal and a priori moral tenets, but being able to rationally compare two or more ethical code and evaluate which is better (i.e. which maximises well-being for the largest number of people.).
Honestly, you seem to have it backwards. Most studies show Atheists to take up less space in prisons, countries with higher Atheist population densities tend to be more peaceful and successful, and, in general, Atheists are more tolerant and compassionate in their politics.
So, I'm not sure where you're getting your ideas from, because the stats are saying the opposite. :P
Actually, based on your wording, you did imply that you thought at least most, if not all Atheists fall into this category. You probably should have said "why do SOME atheists feel the need..."
However, I think you have missed to goal post by a mile. You are assuming that *some* Atheists reject morality simply because they choose to be Atheists. That is a completely fallacious assumption. It doesn't matter whether a person is religious or not, statistically the same percentage are socio- or psychopaths, and therefore immoral people can be found in both groups. Having a delusional superstition doesn't really chance that. However, the funny thing is, the more religious someone is, the less empathy they tend to feel for people outside of their "faith." Also, the more religious a person is, the more justified they feel in their bigotries. Yes, there will always be non-religious bigots, but the less socially acceptable we as a society make bigotry or bigotry's sake, the fewer there will be as children are raised in an environment of tolerance. But the religious environment is one of insulation and intolerance, so the more religious people are, in general, the less morally progressive they tend to be.
Also, as to that 1% - No one EVER said that EVERYTHING a xian says or believes is evil and/or immoral. Again, that is a xian argument. BTW, I didn't "assume" you were a xian troller. I simply provided that as a possibility, since your statements (both in your OP and in the one I am answering now) sound very much like the unsupported nonsense that xians regurgitate in blogs all over the web. You appear to be making assumptions that have no supporting evidence at all. (NO, I didn't say that NONE of your statements have supporting evidence, I said that you have made statements that don't have supporting evidence. That does not include ALL of your statements.) Anyway, back to the response - I know several xians who are fairly moral and very good, caring people. I think this is DESPITE their religion, not BECAUSE of their religion. Just because a person is delusional, doesn't mean that person can't be good, or even a productive member of society. But that delusion provides no support in those roles. A delusion can never contribute in a positive way.
The really big question is where on earth did you get the idea that people before Christianity had had "Christian values". There are moralists who opine this, but there is no archeological evidence that would entice us to think such things. Even the very first Christians had major disagreements about morals with Jews. One Islamic moral I find quite interesting is the "immorality of passive income" such as interest, yet no sign of that moral anywhere in our Western "moral" landscape.
What justification do you have to get all excited about your ability to question the existence of gods, yet denigrate other questioners by calling them childish? Seems irrational to me. Questioning dogmas is always a valid thought process.
Actually if you follow the written trail of studies, you'll find that "most" studies do not say this about the prison system. Actually, if you Google the ONE study that says atheists are grossly under-represented in jails, you will find that the "only 2% of atheists in jails" come from a single ex jail worker who sent personal correspondence to a journalist (not like a leak or anything) but those numbers in the correspondence were from ONE only USA jail and those numbers were never published in anything peer-reviewed. (I'm going to let readers do their own finger work because I've found that most atheists are just as guilty as religious people of confirmation bias and giving people an answer just elicits denialism anyway.)
Among Northern Western countries, there does seem to be an advantage to atheist countries, but let me place a bug in that assessment:
Northern Western countries have suffered less immigration, they are much more homogeneous and therefore social structures and rules are more generally agreed upon. Most people think multiculturalism at a national level is a good thing, I disagree. Multi-ethnic countries are more prone to social strife. France USED to be a haven of peace, but not any more. Sweden was for several decades a haven of peace, but that is changing too. Countries with high immigration ratios increase social strife, (which I'm not necessarily relating to more violence/crime).
The high criminal activity and violence in the USA has little to do with religion or guns (half as many guns per capita than Canadians) and everything to do with the perfect trifecta conditions of high multi-ethnicity/high population/social inequity. And those aren't about to change :(