What makes something moral or amoral?

I feel like we've had this discussion a million times on Think Atheist in some way shape or form. I should know the answer already. Without a holy book to tell me what to do or how to act I do feel pretty.....lost.

Can I admit that out loud? Yes I feel lost. I feel pulled in many directions on a number of issues and I really don't know how to resolve this turmoil. 

So my question is really that simple:

What makes something moral or amoral?

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The bible states one of the absolute rules (commandments) is that you don't steal. No leeway is given.

At the same time, the bible also says that a farmer must leave windfall and leftovers in his field, free for the taking by those who are hungry or sojourners in the land.  The needy feeding themselves off the "property" of others by trespassing on their land and taking what is left is not only allowed, it is an obligation of those whose "property" it is.

On top of that, it admonishes all to feed the hungry and care for the needy.

Nobody is saying the bible contains no morality. It contains lots of morality - and lots of immorality. It's not a source of morality, it just captured the flavour of morality as it existed a few thousand years ago.

Some of that morality is still consistent with the morality of this century. Lots of it is not. I don't need to repeat the slavery, misogyny and so on for you to know what I'm referring to.

Morality evolves with us, both individually as we grow older and more experienced or wiser, and also as a society. It's a blended non-absolute, not a finite or rigid list of instructions.

It's not a source of morality

???  I'm not sure how you can make that claim, when clearly it is for many people.

If you are arguing that our understanding of morality changes over time, I would certainly agree.  Our culture and language change as well. 

Again, it seems like you and most others here seem to be objecting solely to fundamentalism.   In objecting to fundamentalism, I and most Christians would agree with you.

So the Bible is a source of morality. But morality changes over time. The Bible, on the other hand, does not change over time. So the source of our new moral ideas is...? 

Church.  Reason, discovery, interaction with others, prayer, inspiration, writings, experiences.

TA is a source of morality if the bible is a source of morality.

The bible didn't create any morality, it simply recorded what was prevalent. I'm not talking about your various levels of Christianity, Bob, and it's disingenuous of you to try to place yourselves in the line of fire. I am simply saying, and I do believe quite clearly, that the bible did not create a code of morality.

I think that's true to a large extent - it was concerned to codify what works well, morally speaking.  But Jesus was a revolutionary who went his own way, and, in the West, popularised forgiveness, self-sacrifice and radical compassion.  He was a one-off kind of person with some kind of unique life history that made him the way he was.  Have you noticed how anti-authoritarian he was?  I think he must have had some kind of problem with his parents. 

Have you noticed how anti-authoritarian he was?

Nope. For a supernatural god/son of god (whatever) he didn't do a whole lot. Used his superpowers to heal a few lucky random sick folks. Why not just eradicate all disease? If he was the real deal, what an asshole. But it's just an old rehashed myth.

Science coupled with human understanding/empathy is the only healing force this planet has ever seen.

Science coupled with human understanding/empathy is the only healing force this planet has ever seen.

I just have to laugh at this.  Science has been the most destructive, disruptive force in history.  It is often advanced through the funding and quest for new and better weaponry.  Caring and empathetic physicians who want to solve disease have conducted unconscionable experiments on the poor and minorities. 

You believe in a myth.

There is scant evidence for a historical Jesus if you begin by eliminating everything written by any of his followers or preserved by any of the Christian western world.

That's not a rational approach, and it's laughed out of the room by serious scholars.

It's a bit like saying there's scant evidence for a historical Caesar, because almost all of the evidence for Caesar was written by or preserved by the Romans.

Gallup, once again an empty reply. How do you do that?

I know, right? Oh, but F5 (refresh) makes it appear for me, for a fraction of a second. Ahh, maybe Ning thinks it's child porn.

Well here's a part of it:

...such claims are products of your rectum...

G'sM, now you've gone too far. The rectum is merely a gateway.


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