My moral epiphany - aka, how to beat my Dad at his own game

So, I've made a few posts & comments about my beloved father. He's a biology teacher, and not a dumb guy. But the mental back-flips he does to accommodate his religious beliefs astound me.

He is utterly convinced that one cannot be moral unless one has a mandate from a higher power to tell you what's right, and what's wrong. So, he doesn't like the thought that his grandson is being raised by atheists. He knows we're moral people, so to resolve the cognitive dissonance, he likes to come up with things I do that are evidence that I'm not really an atheist.

My favorites:
  • Believing my depression WILL get better someday is faith (yeah, Pop, but not faith in God)
  • My atheist husband & I can't really be atheist, since we celebrate Christmas (yeah, Pop... let's not talk about the pagan origins of the holiday, or the secular nature of how it's celebrated today)

ANNNNYway... I remember a moral teaching he gave me when I was little. It was something to do with the motivation behind doing what's right. He said it's one thing to stop at a stop sign because a car is coming and you don't want to get hurt. Another to stop because you see a cop and don't want to get a ticket. And yet another (morally superior) to stop because it's the right thing to do....

Doesn't that mean that I'm morally superior to him because I do the right thing without worrying about the Invisible Judge In The Sky telling me what to do?

ShaBAM, daddy-o. Whatchu got to say about DAT???

(Of course, I also like to point out to him that he doesn't really get his morals from the bible, since he's not down with raping his enemies, giving up all his possessions to follow Jebus, or beating me to death for speaking against him - that he chooses what parts of the bible he finds to be moral based on his own, intrinsic moral compass)

Thoughts? Discuss... Tawk amungst yoselves... ;)

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*cough* I apologize for the goofy tone of the end there.... at the end of a 14 hr shift, my mind gets a bit looooopy
You cannot talk someone out of a delusion, they are impervious to logic and rationality.
"You cannot reason people out of a position they have not reasoned themselves into."
ooo I like that one Dave.
Of course, our intrinsic moral code is explained by the existence of God, according to some theists.
How does that story he told help his case out? With Christians, they never do the right thing because it's the right thing to do, because there's always a cop at the intersection.
Exactly, Danielle. He told me this when I was little. I've recently realized that I can turn it around on him, and his idea that atheists have no morals.
Maybe the true motivation for stopping at the intersection is the desire not to get hurt, and "the right thing to do" is just some intellectualized concept we create to feel better about being motivated by self-preservation.
To suggest that breaking a traffic law has anything to do with morality implies that an average Christian has no idea what morality is. Morality is a universal ideal of right and wrong that should cross the boundaries of culture and time. Law is an ideal that enforces the expectations of the majority upon the whole of a community. I submit to as many of those laws as I'm able to, but I resent, and even resist, many that I find to be morally offensive and intellectually insulting. Whether I choose to obey those laws is not an indicator of my morals and in many cases, my resistance to the law of the land might suggest a moral character that is superior to the person that obeys without question. I will spare you a long list of examples illustrating how much pain and suffering has been inflicted on the planet by "obedient Christians" there are no Christians in here to berate.
It was a parable type story told to me when I was maybe 5 or 6. I don't think he equates following the law with morality.
Sorry Wendy, I knew I hit that one too hard.


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