If you are a non- believer in, all that you do is being recorded in the heavens, why be moral when no one is looking?
If there are no records and no witness, why not do anything you want?
If no one sees you do it, then is it a deed not done?
If all of this is true, then why do we have a conscience, where did it come.
We are told in scriptures that our conscience is our natural way of doing God's will in the absence of his Law.
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Death isn't anything at all, to the person who dies. It's the end of experience. The end of self. So, it isn't black. It isn't quiet or loud. It's the absence of experience. Just like before you were conceived.
Mark Twain said he wasn't even slightly inconvenienced about missing out on all those millions of years prior to his birth.
I don't know...
You talk very persuasively and, if I do dare say this, with a common sense rarely found in almost anyone I know.
You talk against binge drinking, hedonism, and scantily clothed women - things I myself am against and, considering I can give philosophical reasons as well, I agree to your reasons for going against them as well.
But from what I'm understanding, you're implying that we will find happiness by merely doing things in a moral fashion and that, since happiness is a natural - even subconscious aim of people, provided through evolution - everyone will give pursuit to those moral actions.
But I can't seem to see it in such a simplistic way.
Everyone seems to be wired for morality, yet... the further we go down the time line, the more we seem to become immoral and, oddly enough, with less "evolutionary" skills, as atheist would term it.
Psychologists are talking lately on the damages of the "hook-up" culture, where there seems to be ample evidence that it is a source for significantly increasing the risk of depression and mental disturbance - particularly for women.
Also, it has been sociologically proven that there is a correlation between people that lead promiscuous lives and the probability of divorce. Over more, the children of people who divorce and who lack the traditional family are shown to have significantly higher risks for deviant behavior and a lack of cognitive develoment. Also, they also show a significant lack of emotional and self-sacrificing capacity as compared to those who were raised in a traditional family of constantly married parents.
If it is morally preferable [and perhaps, in your words, even evolutionary] to prefer to give our children and our young a complete rearing, so as to prepare them for what many atheists would say "the survival of the species", why is this degree of sexual promiscuity increasing?
I'm not going to argue here on the role the lack of religiosity in people that has contributed to this dilemma. Rather, I'm arguing that morality does not necessarily lead people to happiness.
It seems to me that, while we may verily know what is moral, we also have more "base" desires we willingly, and even knowingly, give into that provide us, at times, with even more happiness than following our conscience would and that even take a hold of our desires to such strength, that it barely seems we can live without them - even if they might make us unhappy or even damaging to us.
Many people fall into them, as experience has shown me. I've met people who love to gossip and defame other people's good reputation. I've met people who cannot control libido and hurt their families because of it. I've met people who love war and, although I don't know whether they would willingly do war for the sake of war, nevertheless take boundless pleasure from it.
I can't help to feel I've been dull and that I've been rather verbose [and I'm sorry for that]... but what I mean to say is that people do not necessarily have an instinct of becoming happy by doing things conducive to social harmony. It is, on the contrary, quite often (but not always) the case that what might bring them pleasure are things that unnecessarily harm other people's reputation, feelings, and even their own livelyhood.
If you, or others, are so - it is because you are an exception. Not because you're atheists, but in general. It is not often I meet people who's happiness is intrinsically connected to their moral actions.
I am certainly not like that. I certainly know that morality is, at times, hard for me since the pleasure my body seeks what is often contrary to my morality - even the basic morality of social harmony.
Which makes me come back to the idea of subjective morality...
... but right now, I'm tired, and whether I put my point through or not, I need to sleeeep...
P.S. Sorry for the long post.
"P.S. Sorry for the long post."
Thank you for the long post, most internet religious people seem to be on the more extreme side. :)
Up until invoking God as the source of morality (and hedonism as a sin) I think we can see eye to eye on most things. However, the slight disagreement on a deity as a source should probably be cleared up.
If you open a geography book you can find that where I am you are most likely going to be raised an atheist. I was in fact raised in a social democratic commune where one never talked about religion. For me, morals is about employing good ethical methods when the hard choices come up.
Most of the time I act selfish and expect everyone around me to do the same. But I also like to share of my excess and not hoard for myself. If I recall correctly the jest of the teachings attributed by Christians to Jesus, sharing, caring, giving and compassion are the values behind moral behavior. But that's just a good idea in and of itself, even I could figure that one out, and it seems a bit simplistic to believe the destructive God is required to implement it.
Turning a city and its inhabitants into stone seems immoral and unforgivable. And if there was a God to instill us with some innate set of values, then why forgive that? And while your God was supposedly providing innate knowledge then why just stop at morals? God hasn't taken credit for our uncanny ability to do mental vectoring calculations when hurling an object through the air because those who invented him didn't have the knowledge of it and forgot to add it. God's a human creation and doesn't even give decent examples of ethical behavior, just excuses for immoral acts.
I can also actively choose by my own free will to act unethically, but it's usually a bad idea. I colloquially call it 'fucking up' and I hate when I do it.
Carlos, there's no valid evidence that people are any more immoral than they used to be, or even that there is a drive for everything to go morally down hill.
OTOH, there is evidence that "measures of societal health ", which are usually considered to measures of "morality" in conservative Christian circles, have a postive relationship with increasing secularism and a negative relationship with increasing religiosity - quite the opposite of what would occur if your beliefs were correct.
The U.S, which is the most religious and Christian country in the First World, has more people in prison than any other first world country, arguably the most inhumane prisons and still indulges in capital punishment of its prisoners - many of whom have been since proved to be innocent of the crime for which they were murdered by the State. That is not what you would expect from your argument.
The more religious you are, the more likely you are to get divorced and bring about all the evils you enumerate. The less religious you are the more likely you are to have a stable marriage and bring up happy and healthy children. According to your argument, that should not happen either.
The poster of this discussion topic, and the major contributor to its content, calls himself "MICHAEL" and describes himself thus on the Think Atheist Profile page:
Your Religious Status: Christian
About Me: Quixotic paradigm smasher and falsehood nemesis.
Why are you here? To give the groveling masses steep in steeple chasing a royal kick in the pants.
I guess that means that he thinks the non-theists on this site are "groveling masses" who expound "quixotic paradigms" and "falsehoods". It is difficult to know what he means by people who are "steep in steeple chasing". It is not difficult to see that his primary motive for being here is malevolent and supercilious.
He has downloaded a Think Atheist Radio Show applet so perhaps he will call in to the show and give the presenters a load of Creationist twaddle that they can get their rational teeth into. I hope so. It should be entertaining - in between the more serious attention given to steep quixotic paradigms and false steeple chasing.
Your reading comprehension skills fail you again!
Befuddled and hoodwinked Christians chase these pagan symbols. When Israel erected the standing images or obelisks before temple in Jerusalem they incurred the Lords sore displeasure.
Pagan Christianity, not to be out down quickly followed suit with these pagan abominations.
He's just kidding - right ?
There is nothing in your text to give any clue about what you now say is your "real" meaning. Your writing skills need sharpening, don't you think?
Pagan Christianity is a contradiction in terms. I presume you mean any version of Christianity that fails to agree with yours. There is no logical reason why your version is the "right" one and all the others are "false". Every fracture can provide speciously plausible arguments for why they, and not you, have it right. There are millions to one NOT in your favor.
You are extremely deficient in Christian history despite your PhD.
How can you be so educated and not know the pagan origins of institutionalized Christianity with it's pagan symbols, holidays and practices?
(I rarely post , in an insinuating and derogatory manner, but for the last dozen posts I have been deliberately reflecting your manner to show you how ridiculous your posting style come across.)
Borrowing from Stephen Hawking, here is a "A brief history of Time":
It actually started in the first Century. First signs of pagan Christianity appeared in Israel. There was Hellenistic Church constructed complete with a mosiac of Christ represented as Helios in a mosaic on the floor. Even the use of images is alien Hebraic Christianity, particularly with the prohibition in the Ten Commandments.
Things came to a head with Emperor Constantine, who sees a cross in the sky and hears a voice saying, "By this sign you shall conquer". Actually a cross is a pagan symbol. There is no where in the Greek manuscripts of the new testament is the cross found. A two beam member has been etched into our minds due to 2000 years of Pagan Christianity reigning as prophesied in the Revelation. Constantine remained a pagan until his death bed, despite calling the Council of Nicea in the 4th Century A.D., which established the bases of Pagan Christianity as we know it today.
The Trinity was a concept alien to Hebraic Christianity and even to gentile Bishops, scattered throughout the Empire, However Athanansius, a Bishop of Antioch, convinced the council of this pagan concept. Athanansius was a practitioner of Asiatic Trinitarian cults prior to becoming a Christian Bishop. At this time contemplations of the Demiurge and the Logos were synthesized in the Roman Greek Christology. One wayward manuscript was recently uncovered in Egypt, entitled, the Gospel of Judas. Rome and Constantinople are ground zero as founts for the proliferation of the Pagan Christianity as prophesied, Christian Roman Empire being represent in the Book of Revelation as a Beast that looked like a lamb with two horns but spoke like a dragon. The two horns are the cities, Rome and Constantinople, seats of Empire and Religious apostasy. And both cities sit on seven hills as revealed in the prophecy. The pope has the title Pontifex Maximus, the title assign to Emperors which originates from Mithraism and the Babylonian Mysteries traditions.Pope wears the Miter Hat which come from worship of the God Dagon.
The Basilica is adorn with a Pantheon of Saints to replace the Roman Pantheon of Gods. Whereas Rome had gods from ever thing from wine on down, these attributes were quickly attributed to the new Roman Saints. This Paganism and Mithraism redressed in the guise of Christianity. "Babylon the Mysterious, mother of Harlots and of every abomination upon the earth ...the whole world had drunken from the cup of her abominations and the fierceness of her fornications" These cities are the Harlot riding the scarlet Beast in these prophecies. This is because she is drunk with the blood of the saints, as prophesied. The Coliseum in Rome typified her drink cup were thousand of true Christians were slaughtered and fed to the lions. This blasphemous edifice even stands to this very day as witness to the atrocities that the Beast of Rome and Contantinople waged against the truth. Being drunk with the blood of the Saints, God has sent her strong spirits of Delusion such that she now presents herself as the fount of Christianity. whereas in true she is the very fount of apostasy long ago heralded in the prophecies. Look to the Court yard of the Vatican and there is the Obelisk, the standing image, that cause Israel to go into captivity when it was erect in front of the temple in Jerusalem. This is also the origin of church spires and steeples. And combined with the Constantine Cross, and Mithraism Holidays, Christmas (Jews didn't celebrate birthdays, nor winter festivals coinciding with the winter solstice, or the Venereal Equinox, Easter, which come from the babylonian God Isthar, Astarte.
For nearly a thousand years this Beast has spiritually dominated Europe and Russia despite the original empire fragmenting into Kingdoms, though Byzantium, Constantinople, empire east, last until the 13th Century. These two horns, cities remain the seats of apostasy. Both Europe and Russia fall under the auspices of the the Latin Rite and the Orthodox Rite. And as recently as 2007 both Rites have acknowledged the primacy of the Bishop of Rome. This is an ominous sign of the great apostasy and deception to come as the Beast that looked like a lamb but spoke like a dragon blows life into the Imperial Roman Empire. This genesis is in process as we speak as the EU pushes eastward. Turkey is at its footsteps and Russia may be assimilated this Century.
That sounds like Jehovah's Witness twaddle to me. Lots of half truths bundled up in a patchwork of imaginative interpretations of the book that only just made it into the accepted Christian cannon. It's so rabidly anti-Catholic I wonder how you managed to stay at Gannon long enough to graduate. It must have been "hell".
There you go again - making statements about me that you cannot back up because you lack the evidence or the knowledge.
1. I graduated in a country that was not permitted to award the PhD to someone who combined professional coursework and practicum with research. The PhD was defined by legislation as a research only degree which led to an academic research position. Most primary professional degrees were issued as Bachelor degrees and the graduates were permitted to use the honory title of "Doctor". Specialist professional degrees were issued as Professional Master degrees and, in some cases (specialist medicine), the graduate resumed the title of "Mr". In courts of law the Professional Masters outranked the PhD in the professional realm. The PhD was also considered an inferior degree by the professional licensing boards. You will find similar differences in naming practices between research and professional stream qualifications in Scandinavian countries. None of these named qualifications are equivalent in level, orientation or scope to American degrees that are confusingly given the same names.
So, I am proud to say that I was awarded a professional specialist degree, not a professionally inferior PhD. If this does not make sense to you, then you are operating from within a parochial American perspective that is academically ignorant of the outside world.
2. I am aware of the extraneous Greek and Roman influences that were assimilated into early Christianity. I am aware of later influences that were assimilated into Christianity, including many quite recent inclusions. I am also familiar with external influences on the developing Judaic religion: Sumerian, Babylonian and Zoastrian. How about you?
Like every religion known to man, the Jewish-Christian-Catholic-Orthodox-Protestant-Mormon-JW religion has changed dramatically through the course of time. The version you espouse has not much in common with the pre-New Testament followers of the Rabbi Jesus: they were practicing Jews.
I am not impressed with any "interpretations" of the near-apocryphal book of Revelation. It has been used to come up with all kinds of wild and woolly "prophecies" and damnations since it managed to worm its way into every currently used Canonical Collection of Church-approved books. Yours has no more claim to authenticity than any of the other faction-serving versions.
It does not matter how many times you state your faction's dubious interpretations of this ambiguous allegorical book in a manner that assumes that it is obvious and indisputable Truth. There is no reason why any non-indoctrinated reader on this site would accept it as Truth without valid clear, unambiguous, externally corroborating evidence that could not be "reinterpreted" to fit the world as it changes and knowledge expands. Meanwhile, there is no good reason why we should not decide that your group's version is about as valid as the versions that describe your faction as "evil" and "devil-inspired". No good reason at all.