Humans are far from perfect, but generally aspire to perfection. This brings about much progress, but also much grief. Before aspiring to perfection, we must first imagine it, and then weigh its perceived benefits vs costs. And then there's often the question of who's the "we" that will reap the benefits or pay the costs.
Generally, the wider our notion of "we", the less of a zero-sum game we play, while the narrower "we" tends to work selfishly, with less regard for loss to others.…Continue
I am a Catholic school teacher. I am an atheist.
I value honesty as one of the most important moral virtues in life. Yet, I live and breathe dishonesty for 7+ hours a day 5 days a week. I cringe when I walk past the kindergarten classroom and hear, “The reason animals aren’t special and you are is because YOU are made in the image of God.” I bite my tongue when a high school girl says she’s writing a paper on how cohabitation prior to marriage decreases marriage’s “sanctity.” I mumble…Continue
I heard that life is sacred, but I don’t know what that word means.
A woman outside a clinic told me that a tiny mass of cells was a person, but I didn’t think it looked like one. I heard her say that the bundle of cells was just what a person looked like when it was very small. She said it had the same genetic makeup and all of the same DNA as a fully grown person and therefore had the same right to life. I watched her scratch…Continue
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
― Genesis 2:17
If we interpret this sentence in a certain way, it tells us almost everything we need to know about personal morality.
We normally talk about the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Fruit = consequences.
Good and Evil can be seen as Good and Bad ― Liking and…Continue
Added by Simon Paynton on March 18, 2014 at 7:56am — No Comments
Okay some of what I discuss below is more about a lack of belief in an afterlife or in other supernatural things rather than a lack of belief in gods or religion. FYI.
So I haven't been on this site much lately. It was essential when I first accepted the fact that I was an atheist and became more sure of my lack of belief in all gods/religions, 3-and-a-half years ago. I brought my dad and younger brother into this anti-theistic, "religion actually is really horrible and…Continue
Added by luvtheheaven on April 12, 2013 at 2:41am — No Comments
I am occasionally asked to explain when I became an atheist. I have several stock answers, but one of my favorite is, “When I read the Bible.”
Here are a few selected verses from both the Old and New Testaments that pretty much explicate both the “morality” and “compassion” of God. Choose one, some, or all of them at your leisure. If you only have the energy to choose one, I recommend my favorite: 2 Kings 2:23-24.
Or if you’re too lazy to bother looking them up at…Continue
God and Job
Job 19:1 to 42:10
19:1 Both God and Satan remained quiet while Job and his three friends continued debating the system of justice God had provided for the Universe. Job said, "Give me a break, I'm innocent. I've begged God to hear my story but he's shut me out. He has unfairly counted me among his enemies. He has…
Added by Brad Snowder on November 4, 2012 at 2:15am — No Comments
So, I have started listening to the Audio Quran, since I have never read it before, and I have decided to keep a running journal of the lessons I can take away from it.
So far, 2 chapters in (roughly 2 hours) this is what I have learned.
- Fasting wards off evil.
- The longer you fast, the more healthy you will be.
- Slay all disbelievers, until religion is for Allah.
- Don't eat pork.
I just stumbled upon a year-old YouTube video named, “Sam Harris gets destroyed by Dr. William Lane Craig”. It’s the 2-hour University of Notre Dame debate held on April 7, 2011, between Harris and Craig. It was titled: “The God Debate II: Is Good from God?” The video can be found at the bottom of this page.
And guess what? Harris really was destroyed by Craig!…Continue
The naturalist understanding of morality asserts that we have evolved empathy as an impetus to cooperation. Combined with personal experience, empathy leads most of us to a "Golden Rule" sense of morality. From experience, I know what hurts me: with empathy, I know the same things likely hurt you too. Experience and empathy is all we need to decide most moral matters. "Do unto…Continue
Of course, science is not the enemy of religious faith. Sanity is. (ichbindaswortistich)
Over the ages, all religious pretensions, regardless of the respective faith of which they may have originated, have been disproved beyond any reasonable doubt. The earth is not flat but a sphere. The earth revolves about the sun, not vice versa. The earth is not the centre of the universe but a tiny planet in only one of myriads…Continue
Added by ichbindaswortistich on March 26, 2012 at 2:30pm — No Comments
Lately, I've been thinking more about empathy and how useful it is to humans.
Empathy is defined as "The ability to understand and share the feelings of another" (at least to google..)
I came to a conclusion, empathy is the reason humans (and other animals) have some degree of "morals" the more I thought about it, the more I realized that almost every thing deemed "immoral" in society is in some way harmful, of course there is exceptions such as homosexuality,…Continue
You do not need religion to be a morally or ethically "right" individual, let's put that out here in the open. This is for the communities that don't yet understand their religion is poisoning their world views. The people who publicly ridicule GLBT communities, the small towns where interracial couples are not accepted. Those special kinds of towns and cities where it is acceptable to fly the flag of the south, to openly support slavery, but if you support same-sex relations or…
I'm restoring a blog I previously deleted. Hope you enjoy!
The file is too large to insert all of it here (its a book, really), so I've provided an excerpt that should give you a feel for what it is about. You can download the entire document in word format here:…Continue
Added by Kir Komrik on January 6, 2012 at 12:09pm — No Comments
It's a common theme among those with faith. They say something that just makes you go 'Wait...what?'. I'm sure most of you have seen the video in these pictures. (if not, look it up, it's fantastic). My friend posted it on FB and I watched it and I noticed that a friend of hers had commented below. I responded in kind. It's a bit to read, but it was a civil conversation, if not a bit strained on my end.
The other day I wrote a post for a relatively new blog/magazine called hackeryblog, here in the UK. (http://hackeryblog.wordpress.com/2011/09/19/should-religion-inform-public-morality/) I'd be very interested in getting the ThinkAtheist community's feedback on it, and on the response offered by another hackeryblog author (…Continue
This morning I read a blog entry written by William Lane Craig and shuddered. [http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5767 ]
According to Craig, his god is not required to follow "objective" moral laws. At the same time this god is defined as perfectly good. If it is perfectly good not to follow objective moral laws then there is no reason why humans…Continue
Toby Stangel went on a shooting spree in Hawaii, killing a mother of 10 and wounding several others. By all accounts, the shootings were the random acts of a troubled youth. Stangel’s father is the pastor of…Continue
The old "religion is the source of morality" chestnut is one that's been polished so often by religious and non-religious commentators alike that it's difficult to find, or to say, anything by either side that hasn't been said. Nonetheless I shall summarise, in general, the popular arguments as I understand them, and elaborate on the one that appears the most plausible.
Religionists, usually theistic, proclaim that their god/s handed codes of decent behaviour to humanity; they…
Added by Hank on June 4, 2011 at 6:00am — No Comments
There has been a lot of discussion about what grounds morality following the debate between Sam Harris and William Lane Craig on whether God is the only possible ground for morality. Many will argue this is the case, and I think it’s even the reason C.S. Lewis switched teams. So, let’s consider the problem of grounding morality.
It seems to me that certain theories only manage to compound problems when it comes to explaining morality. For example, a Divine Command theorist…Continue
Added by Michael Gage on May 4, 2011 at 12:40pm — No Comments