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.

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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!"

pax vobiscum,
archaeopteryx
www.in-His-own-image.com

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 ;-) 

Christians do a lot to ease suffering in the world. Many of them put a lot of atheists in the shade. Why wouldn't they? Atheists just don't believe in God. I have not seen much evidence of superior morality emerging from atheism. I hope someone has some evidence for a study to,show atheists are more moral, I would like to think so.

http://www.thelifeyoucansave.com/
Karen, thanks this is great. I've book marked the article and will look for more.

The Lot story is just one of many hideous stories that would be laughable if it were not for tHe fact that Christians actually defend the morality of them.

As an aside, I really hope that Peter Singer's (atheist) charitable enterprise gets off the ground.

http://www.thelifeyoucansave.com/

Thanks for the link, Karen --

pax vobiscum,
archaeopteryx
www.in-His-own-image.com

Dear John:

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."

We can do better than Jerry Springer!

"Our task must be to free ourselves...by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty." —Albert Einstein

"Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." —Albert Einstein

So, maybe the more terrifying the deity one believes in, the better?

Also, you are assuming some objective standard of morality applying to one and all. That doesn't exist. It's a fantasy. A myth. A delusion.

Blaine I hope that habits of super rich are reflected amongst us mortals. I am a little disappointed with Singer's excellent initiative.

http://www.thelifeyoucansave.com/

Hope the numbers will grow over time.
Great cause. But just for info, Singer's initiative is not a direct route to giving, just a way for people to make a pledge to do so for whatever good cause they choose. It an excellent way for atheist to demonstrate to theists that they are just as moral or caring.

Morality is nothing more than a human construct - an abstract fiction that defines 'humanity'.  From my perspective, I see that we, as humans, are the only animals that have the potential to fully engineer our social patterns and because of that I feel we have a duty to do so.

At the core of my morality, I see necessity in ensuring that every single human being feels a sense of security - we can go to sleep in physical comfort without mental stress regarding our personal safety, we can know that when we awaken we will have our nutritional needs met, and we can leave our abodes without fear of physical harm or emotional harassment, ending each day without knowing hunger.

I feel that we will not have realized 'civilization' until this state of being is provided for every single human being on the planet.  I don't care if you are a child killer/rapist - you should not live in hunger, pain, or fear.

That being said, the child killer/rapist cannot be allowed to proceed with child killing/raping because that infringes on the security of children.  Segregating such people from the general population should be seen as a necessity for the greater security of humanity, not as punishment.

All other 'rights' should be second to personal security.  That includes any right to 'practice religion', for many religions seek to undermine the security of different segments of society, particularly women and gays.

To this end, I feel we can find objective measures of individual perceptions of security.  Telling children about invisible monsters in the sky that throw people into fire pits should obviously be recognized as threatening their personal sense of security - particularly when there is no evidence that such monsters exist.

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