I say it is meaningless or "it would be better for a man not to be born than to be brought into the world", but Im just curious and somewhat sick of debates at the moment so you can criticize my view I just may not answer and Id like to hear yours
Also another question I have for Atheists is why should I (or anyone else) be moral if there is no God? I wont accept it if it is subjective because subjective morals makes Nazism moral.
The anger of God does not influence me, its His love.
The relationship I have with God can be analogous to a husband who says to his wife "I will not divorce you" and in turn she is faithful and loving towards her husband even though she has a guaranteed life partner no matter what she does.
I/Are you not the equal of a monkey that shares food and resources with his or her mates?/
Ill play the devil's advocate.
"""""""""""""""While that may be true that animals do share with other animals and grieve death I have evolved passed those useless feelings and I just take what I want. If I want money I take it If I dont like someone I beat them or kill them, If I have sexual feelings I act on them no matter what the consequences as long as my wants are met. I do whatever suits me because if no one can stop me then I deserve it. I dont see anything wrong with it""""""""""""""""""""""""
ABSOLUTELY I can call you wrong on your "devil's advocate" argument. I am a psychology major and evolutionary psychology explains how it is that humans have morality. And the answer has nothing to do with god. Rather, we evolved the need to get along because our early human ancestors we're basically prey animals to many big cats, dogs, and other carnivores. We are defenseless on our own. We have no claws, pathetic teeth, and we can't run fast. So what did we do to stay alive? We became social "pack" animals. Order was [and is] necessary for the pack to survive. To be alone as an early human, was to die. Working on instinct, our ancestors did what most pack animals do.... eliminate individuals who pose a threat to the pack's social order.
Humans still possess this instinct today [for good and ill]. This is the reason why humans avoid and ostricize people that act strangely or display symptoms of mental illness/ personality disorders. It's instinctual.
People who display inappropriate and "disturbing the peace" behavior were [in the world of early humans] avoided, abandoned, or killed. To allow them to remain would put the pack at risk. It was simple practicality.
Many mammals display similar behavior when a member of their "pack/ group" begins acting strangely or inappropriately.
So... what does this have to do with morality?
Well... the idea of acting charitably and getting along simply followed. An early human who does not wish to become lion chow would get along [at first] to stay alive. Eventually those behaviors became ingrained into our brains. And now wwe do them instinctually, unless a mental problem prevents normal behavior. YES! Morality is NORMAL behavior!!
thats just self seeking attitudes not evolved morality. That kind of behavior allows for someone to rape and pillage if they can get away with it. All the early humans were doing was seeking their own best interest not the interest of anyone else
You don't understand. Which is understandable since you know nothing about evolution that you haven't gotten out of a book that makes arguments against it that so flimsy that a child in a proper elementary school could destroy it.
About self-serving... it is human nature to act in your own self-interest. It is this that keeps the economy and the world alive. I'm not saying this never causes maladaptive behavior like rape or pillage.
However I would like to point out to you, that a rigid morality, such as that in religion has led to the worst attrocities that humans have ever done. And! Furthermore these attrocities are fully reconciled by the so-called "good book."
1. "The Spaniards in Mexico and Peru used to baptise Indian infants and then immediately dash their brains out: by this means they secured these infants went to heaven. No orthodox Christian can find any logical reason for condemning their action, although all nowadays do so. In countless ays the doctrine of personally immorality in its Christian form has had disastrous effects upon morals..." - Bertrand Russell
2. "The condemned [heretics and witches] are then immediately carried to the Riberia, the place of execution, where there are as many stakes set up as there are prisoners to be burnt. The negative and relapsed [those who admitted guilt when caving in to horrendous torture] being first strangled and then burnt; the proffessed [of their innocence] mounted their stakes by ladder, and the Jesuits [a branch of Catholicism], after several repeated exhortations to be reconciled with the church, consign them [the victims] to eternal destruction [hell], and then leave them to the fiend [the devil], who they tell them stands at their elbow to carry them into torments. On this a great shout is raised and the cry is, "Let the dogs' beards be made"; which is done by thrusting flaming bunches of furze, fastened to long poles against their beards, till their faces are burnt black, the surrounding populace rending the air with the loudest acclamations of joy. At last fire is set to the furze at the bottom of the stake, over which the victims are chained, so high that the flame seldom reaches higher than the seat they sit on, and thus they are rather roasted than burnt. Although there cannot be a more lamentable spectacle and the suffers continually cry out as long as they are able, "Pity for the love of God!" yet it is beheld by persons of all ages and both sexes with transports of joy and satisfaction."
-This scene, which is real but seems as if it came directly out of a nightmare, took place in the 1850s. An observer recorded it so we have the record I showed you now. This was the final swing of the "Holy" Inquisition.
My point is that religion does not give morality any more than non-belief. In fact, it seems to twist the natural morality instinct into such a withered knot that it can suddenly become moral to burn someone alive. I know the personal horror of religious morality myself. Not that I ever participated in the age old practice of burning witches and heretics. But the purpose of Christianity is to make you feel dirty, evil, and worthless. That vampire religion feeds off human misery. And this misery can easily turn into an aggression that lies beneath the surface and suddenly explodes in horrors that would never be seen in someone confident with their own righteousness.
To further drive in my point, consider this scenario:
Your 12 year old daughter is accused a witch. No one will tell you who the accusers are.. but your child is ripped from your arms by a mob with hateful faces. She is led to a dungeon where the local minister, two inquisitors, and a man at a higher level of the church, bind her to a chair for 12 hours and refuse to give her food or water. When she is worn down they enter the cell and the reverend strips her naked to check her body for the "devil's mark" that all witches have. They will find it. It could just be a simple mole.
They do find it.
Naked, scared, and shivering, she tied to the chair again, and a man who specializes in torture comes in with a special device to make her talk. He shoves the thumbscrews under her fingernail and tightens the screw until she screams and blood spurts out. But since she still maintains her innocence.
They tie her arms behind her back and attach weights to her feet and hoist her off the ground.
As her body is being ripped apart they question her.
"When did you consult with the devil?"
"In what way did you sign his book?"
"When did you fornicate with the devil and in what way?"
[A note, she has said nothing to bring about these questions, they are the first questions asked]
"Who went to the black sabbath with you?"
"No one? LIAR!! Tell us WITCH!! WHO WENT TO THE BLACK SABBATH WITH YOU?!!"
When your daughter refuses to give in, they sentence her to die at dawn on the pire.
You plead with the town elders, the church, and God himself... but despite all that, you are forced out of your house at dawn and restrained by several men as your daughter is tied to a stake.
They light the fire and you can hear her shrieking in agony, twisting in her binds and you can see her hair catch flame and hear her screaming reach a horrible deadly shriek.
The people around you are laughing and cursing at her.
What would you feel then?
Think this would never happen with a godly society? Think again! This situation was faced by thousands or millions of families from the middle ages until the late 18th century.
Go ahead! Tell me that this is moral! Tell me that this is a good God! Tell me why a good God would not save these innocents! Tell me why your God would accept these human sacrifices!
Furthermore... I forgot to add something.
The modern science of psychology [which is my major] lays out a set of stages of normal human moral development. I wrote a blog about these stages a while ago, well before you came to this site and the science behind this developmental psychology supports the idea of a secular morality.
This may just answer your questions so we can put this discussion to rest. HONESTLY!! With 44 pages I can't even find my OWN posts anymore. lol http://www.thinkatheist.com/forum/topics/atheists-are-at-a-higher-l...
To me, the meaning of life is what you make it to be.
The 'fact' of our existence outweighs the who,what, when, how and why of it. We have the freedom to pursue and define our own meaning and purpose. We should have the freedom to continually update this meaning and purpose as we learn and grow.
Life is a 'miracle' regardless of origin and the fact that we exist is enough to fuel our own search for meaning and purpose. (if thats what you want to do)
So you are telling me that if you found out for a fact tomorrow that there is no god...that you would start stealing and stepping all over people, perhaps raping, killing, enslaving them?
Are you telling me that you would start hurting people just because there wasn't a God out there to punish you after death? Are you telling me that you would start hurting people now..just because you learned there wasn't a heaven to go to after you die?
I just don't get that kind of thinking at all. I don't want to hurt people because I do not want them to hurt me. I do not want to hurt people because I genuinely like people and would hope that they like me too.
I have deep empathy for people who are suffering and try to do my part to help as much as possible. I don't do it for rewards or accolades but because I honestly feel for them...
I want to make this world a better place. I want people to learn how to get along, how to communicate with each other constructively so as to make progess in solving problems.
If I can somehow contribute just a 'tiny' little fragment towards that ideal then I think that would be meaning and purpose enough for me in this tiny little window of time.
/Are you telling me that you would start hurting people just because there wasn't a God out there to punish you after death? Are you telling me that you would start hurting people now..just because you learned there wasn't a heaven to go to after you die?/
No i didnt say that the disclaimer was that I dont support that view I believe the existence of moral evil within our conscience points to God. All i was saying is that if there is no God then you can not tell me Im wrong if I did want to do that stuff
Well, you're right... there are no moral absolutes, and no real "right and wrong", but we have found that certain behavior is mutually beneficial, and "mutual" does not only include humans, but all species. We've found that it would be beneficial to us to preserve the rain forests, to protect sharks against poachers because sharks manage the fish population (if there were too many fish, they'd eat all the plankton which counts for 80% of the world's oxygen), to safe-guard certain habitats... not only for the benefit of whatever life-form is being threatened, but because we depend on their survival. As a species, we've learned empathy for fellow humans outside of our tribe, with different skin colors and features, and now that empathy has been extended to animals. "Right and wrong" has more to do with what suffering we're inflicting on others, and the fact that we can empathize. We know relations are more fulfilling when they're not forced (rape vs monogamy) and so have ceased to force ourselves on others. We've learned friendship or marriage can be, again, mutually beneficial. It's better to work as a team. Even cheetahs, who are notoriously loners, have begun hunting in packs; they've discovered the benefits of working together "for the good of all".
What can be wrong with an action that affects no one? Is it really "wrong" to gather sticks on the Sabbath? Is it really wrong to "covet your neighbors ass" if you don't taken action and steal it? Is it really always wrong to lie, even when the lie stems from self-defense? Even in the Bible, circumstance dictates what of God's laws are adhered to. No action really is inherently "wrong", but it's wise to think about what the consequences of said action will be and who it will affect.
In a way, you're right; we can't tell you it's inherently wrong to steal, kill and plunder... but we can enforce our agreed upon standard of what is acceptable social behavior and punish you according to human law. That's what government was made for, after all... ensuring the safety of it members who agree to behave.