I read posts here that call different things, "harmful to humanity." Others call something, "good" or "bad" or "evil."
A very simple question, who gets to decide the definition of "harmful to humanity" and what is there critieria? The same for "good," "bad," and "evil?" These are not material terms. If everything is material isn't there just "is" and not these moral declarations if one is being thoroughly atheist?
Help me understand your position so I am fair and honest about the views. Thanks.
I suspect you and I are the only ones who recall who that is.
Who gets to decide what is harmful to humanity are the ones with the most power. That's why many atheists vote against people running for public office that want to pass draconian laws that promote further suffering for humanity, yet the Christians view these laws as accomplishing just the opposite.
Many Christians live their lives feeling assured Armageddon is a true prophecy that will happen soon. All this does is demotivate people to be more actively involved in solving the problems of today's modern world.
For the most part Mabel, you're right, but there are times when common people with courage rise up against those in power, and say, "No More!"
Wide brush there Mabel. Many Christians (thats me) are very responsible when it comes to these things. Although I am not in the US and do see some American evangelicalism as wacky, and some of their foreign policy influenced by that. Without wishing to be racist I wonder if thats more of an American thing than a religious thing ;-)
First of all, many charitable organizations and individuals have no religious affiliation, and yet do a great deal to ease suffering in the world.
God has nothing to do with morality. The morality of modern american christians has much more in common with the morality of modern american atheists than it does with the morality of christians from, say, the middle ages. Slavery. Burning 'witches.' Women treated as property. Interracial marriage. Most atheists and christians today share a common moral view on each of these issues - a view which contrasts with christians of ages past. Why? Social norms. We work out our morality together. Sure, there are some hot-button issues where our stated positions on moral issues diverge. But in general, our day-to-day behavior shows we have more in common than not.
Some evidence to show atheists are more moral? Sure. Check crime rates and religiosity world wide. In general, the more secular a country is, the lower their crime rates are. And then there's this: http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/05/02/study-reveals-atheists-are-...
That's just for starters.
Better yet, how about evidence to show god's morals don't hold a candle to mine (or yours, I'd bet)? Got that too. When was the last time you rewarded someone who offered his daughters up for gang rape? God did that, for Lot in Sodom. When was the last time you sent your friends to steal a horse on your behalf? Jesus did that.
Thanks for the link, Karen --
Is it necessary to demonstrate that atheists have a superior morality?
If christians had a superior morality, it seems to me that culture would be more humane, or kind, pick your metric, since they have had lots of time to give it a go.
It is unclear, if any religious or philosphical group can make our culture perfect. I think if we gave up trying, it would clearly decay into a state of the worst brutishness. Given the degree of economic corruption, state violence, and environmental compromise, it appears that social attitudes could use a little updating if not 'soul searching'.
Instead of seeking a scapegoat for our ills, having deep thoughts concerning social change might be in order. Doubling our efforts with a ideology gleaned from the mixed or cherry picked qoutations/intrepretations of the Bible might help in some circles. I have sat in on a few conversations concerning the Bible as a source of environmental responsibility and awareness, but not all theist groups/denominations are tolerant of this.
Make the world better with what tools you have. Refine your awareness and understanding, with the underlying truth that you and 'they' are not perfect.
@James - OR, here's an idea - throw the Bible in the garbage where it belongs and start from scratch trying to figure out what it takes to make the world a better place.
You might replace everything in the Bible with Jerry Springer's closing remarks: "Be good to yourselves, and each other."