Having found such a large group of people who can see through the thin, yet sometimes impenetrable, veil of religion, I feel the need to bring this up. My largest problem with any given religion is the need for an outside source of moral fiber. Morals are a part of you, something you should know, or at least have the gut feeling of right and wrong. I comprehend that "right" and "wrong" are just words, what matters is what you do, but those words can easily be defined by whoever tells you of those words. Example: What is right to you, is wrong to him.

So my question is, do you, as atheists, need a book of morals, something to turn to when right and wrong are all muddled up? 

Tags: Fry, Keenan, Morals

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I think that having our morality given to us with divine permission destroys our integrity and our humanity. People do heroic deeds and good things because there are heroic and good people. Saying that we can't tell right from wrong because big brother told us what's right and wrong completely strips the heroism of the man who jumps on a grenade to save his mates from the explosion. It basically says that we're all worthless, murdering, raping, lying, thieving scumbags and we're only good because we have divine permission. That would of course raise the point of which divinity is the one to follow. 

That being said, when I'm faced with a difficult moral decision, the last thing I think of doing is consulting a self-affirming book or some other source to find an answer. I think with empathy, and think about the outcome that would provide the best outcome for all parties involved with the least inconvenience or pain caused. But of course, we're all human, and we all make mistakes and bad decisions. I know that even if I make a bad decision, that doesn't make me a bad person. I try to do the right thing by the people I meet, and to help those who need it. I don't need a transcendent dictator to tell me what's right and what's wrong.

This is basically the answer I had hoped to read, and it's probably the best one I could get.

I think you need to take a step back and view how humans are. You say, "Morals are a part of you, something you should know, or at least have the gut feeling of right and wrong" - I believe that people are build with some morals, but some people are not. No person has the same as another when a child. We learn morals from people around us. Someone might believe that killing someone is fine, and someone say no it isn't. If there is no divine being, than no one has a right to say anybody else should have the moral of not killing - because we are all different and should have the freedom to do as we want/do as we naturally desire.

So I think that if you are looking for what is right and wrong, you need to look towards someone like Jesus. Don't freak out that I say Jesus though. Jesus was a real person, he was morally perfect according to many people and many people/many cultures follow him morally. So check out what Jesus did and view how he lived his life. Don't view him as a set of rules, Jesus came to destroy rules.

On another note.  Jon says, "I think that having our morality given to us with divine permission destroys our integrity and our humanity. People do heroic deeds and good things because there are heroic and good people. " Ya sure someone that doesn't know God can do good. But, your definition of good is messed up. If God is perfect, according to Christians and Muslims, and many others, than anything done outside of what God wants, is a sin and therefore bad. You can be a doctor and save a million lives, but that doesn't mean that you are good in Gods eyes. Your integrity is not destroyed because God gives you gifts to save millions of lives, that is a blessing. You must try to see that you are who you are because God blessed you with certain capabilities, gifts and blessings. Yet, just because he gave you the ability to save millions of lives, doesn't mean you are going to do it, you still have to choose to grow in knowledge and practice your skill.

Good luck on the search.

 

Yeddie, RE: "Jesus was a real person" - there is absolutely no evidence that Yeshua (Jesus real, Jewish name) ever existed.

We do not have the freedom to kill, as you suggest, because the societies we live in consist of people who don't want to be killed, so they have determined to take people out of their society who kill, and those who steal and commit other crimes against the communities as well. WE are capable of reaching such conclusions entirely on our own, and need no god, whose book tells us he drowned millions of people, to tell us not to kill.

What would you say to someone who believes that they were born a killer? That they literally desired to kill someone ever sense they could think logically - whatever age that is. Do you think it is fair that these people be forced not to kill? To take them out of society, even when it wasn't there fault they desired to kill. 

Your comment on the flood is interesting. If you want to examine that story you must look at it at what the purpose was to it. Ya everyone died except Noah and his family and animals of course. But why? Why would a 'good, loving' god do that? That's the question you have to ask yourself and search for why a 'loving' god would do something like that. If you don't try to find out the motive behind someones actions, anyone's actions, you won't understand who that person is.

What would you say to someone who believes that they were born a killer? That they literally desired to kill someone ever sense they could think logically - whatever age that is. Do you think it is fair that these people be forced not to kill? To take them out of society, even when it wasn't there fault they desired to kill. 

Yes, it is fair to force those people not to kill, because the rest of humanity and the living world tends to have a desire to not be killed.

If you want to examine that story you must look at it at what the purpose was to it. Ya everyone died except Noah and his family and animals of course. But why? Why would a 'good, loving' god do that? That's the question you have to ask yourself and search for why a 'loving' god would do something like that.

Can you tell us? Why does a loving being think that the best solution is genocide on a global scale?
Would you still love your parents if they decided to drown all of your siblings, and pets? 

God's motives for global genocide were: "Humanity is gross and evil. I better murder them all and start from scratch... Just need to find a sucker willing to fuck his own children."

You are telling us that the above is a more 'loving' scenario than, oh, I don't know... not drowning everyone and just letting people live their lives, or maybe just make them not be evil anymore.. after all, you are all powerful and all knowing. Meaning, you knew all of this will happen before you even got started, yet you still went through with it, full well knowing that your omnipotent powers could easily fix the problem without millions of deaths.

"Do you think it is fair that these people be forced not to kill? To take them out of society, even when it wasn't there fault they desired to kill."

Weigh it on a scales, Yeddie - sometimes things are not always black and white, fair and unfair - sometimes you have to decide which is more fair, or more UNfair. You want moral guidance, as I have seen in your comments - obviously, no one in your life taught you how to draw good moral/ethical conclusions without someone telling you what to do - so here's a lesson:

The person who wishes to kill, is only one person, yet he has the potential - if not stopped - to kill many others, and it is also not fair that these people be forced to die. So even though it was not the person's fault that he was born a killer, he must be removed from society to protect the lives of others. However, very few people have ever been "born" a killer, usually their behavior was caused by events in early childhood, so such a person, if he hadn't yet killed, would likely be placed in a hospital where his mind could get treatment to try to resolve his issues. In this case, it's a matter of which is MORE fair.

As for the flood - the nomadic, Semitic tribespeople who would eventually become known as the Jews, originally came from Mesopotamia, and when they did, they brought their ancient stories with them. In 2900 BCE, an actual flood DID occur when the Euphrates River overflowed it's banks and covered what we, today, would think of as about three counties. The king of Shurrapak, the capital city of the area, escaped the flood on a trading barge loaded with cotton, cattle and beer. The entire Noah story was built on this one, real, minor event, that occurred three hundred years before Noah was ever alleged to have lived. In reality, there isn't enough water in, on, above, or under the planet, to cover the earth "fifteen cubits higher than the highest mountains." As I've said, it's important to learn the facts BEHIND the Bible.

I would tell the person who thinks that they were born a killer that unfortunately they are wired wrong and that they do not get to kill anyone - unless they join the police or armed forces and discipline themselves to only kill those they have permission to kill.

As for the flood, the short answer is that a loving god would NEVER do that. A loving god would have found a way to deal with things without killing. Even if you manufacture a reason to kill the people, there is absolutely no reason to indiscriminately slaughter every other living thing on the planet. It would be so very easy for a god to make a plague that good people are immune to so that only the humans who are bad die. No multiple world-wide genocides. Only a malicious douche would drown everything.

Do you believe in a loving god who never flooded the planet? Or do believe in a malicious douche of a god?

Or do you accept the fact that it was a real account severely blown out of proportion (as mentioned by archaeopteryx) and has nothing to do with any god?

"What would you say to someone who believes that they were born a killer? That they literally desired to kill someone ever sense they could think logically - whatever age that is. Do you think it is fair that these people be forced not to kill? To take them out of society, even when it wasn't there fault they desired to kill. "

Mate this is very simple. Even such a "born" killer likely does not want to be killed himself. So if he expects other people to honor he's right to not be killed then he must respect their right to not be murdered. If he wants to go around killing others then he has no right to demand that society respects he's right to not be killed.Or locked away for a very long time.

Mate this is very simple. Even such a "born" killer likely does not want to be killed himself. So if he expects other people to honor he's right to not be killed then he must respect their right to not be murdered. If he wants to go around killing others then he has no right to demand that society respects he's right to not be killed.Or locked away for a very long time.

Nothing about human psychology is simple. 

Your view assumes that everyone is reasonable and fair-minded and philosophizes on everything before acting. Where in your analysis do impulsivity, irrationality, and just plain old meanness figure in?

Society has to deal with the insane and criminally stupid somehow. And treating them rationally and fairly is better than the alternatives.

I find the "person who believes they were born a killer" argument to be just a slightly different version of "Without god, what stops you from just raping and murdering all the time?"

Both arguments fail from the start.

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