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> Religion and Morality, Whom can you trust?
Rick
post Feb 14, 2007, 12:42 PM
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I have heard some American religious blowhards rant against "godless" liberals and atheists, saying that this sort of person can't be trusted because they "have no basis for morality." They go on in this vein, falsely implying that only the religious sort of person should be trusted with positions in public office, etc. However, upon a bit of reflection, it becomes apparent that the opposite state of affairs is the true case.

What kind of a recommendation for a person's integrity can it be that he will behave in a "good" way only because if he doesn't he will be punished in Hell? The religious person, in effect, proclaims to the world that if it weren't for threat of (non-existent) punishment, he would lie, cheat and steal. In other words, the religious person implies to us that he would do evil things if he ever lost his false belief in eternal punishment.

The atheist needs no such supernatural policeman to do right. The moral atheist is good to his core and can therefore be trusted implicitly to remain upright and true for his entire life.
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Lindsay
post Feb 14, 2007, 02:49 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Feb 14, 2007, 09:42 AM) *

...The moral atheist is good to his core and can therefore be trusted implicitly to remain upright and true for his entire life.
I agree. However, IMHO, speaking as a protheist, the truly moral any-kind-of theist, therefore, can be trusted to remain upright and true...
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Casey
post Feb 14, 2007, 02:51 PM
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Agreed. Doesn't that viewpoint just piss you off?
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rhymer
post Feb 14, 2007, 03:00 PM
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What I find most ironic is that I as a non-believer in any of the Gods, know that those Gods do exist, whereas those who believe in a God have no knowledge of the existence of their God (they do not know that their God exists).

...for all Gods exist in the mind of their owners, where they exist for the benefit or detriment of us all.....

Obviously, this is just my opinion, which try as I may, I cannot supercede with a more realistic conclusion.
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Lindsay
post Feb 14, 2007, 03:08 PM
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Keep in mind that, when it comes to understanding what motivates people to behave with empathy, kindly and morally, the carrot-and-the stick approach (punishments or rewards) always play a role.

However, we need to ask people: What kind of reward do you consider to be rewarding?
Some people get a great kick out of just being quietly helpful. THE CARROT.
Some people feel dreadful guilt and shame, often self-inflicted, for not measuring up to what is expected. THE STICK.
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Lindsay
post Feb 14, 2007, 03:25 PM
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Rhymer, I am as certain of GØD as I am that there is a cosmos.

Do I read you right: "I...know that those Gods do exist,..."?
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rhymer
post Feb 14, 2007, 03:53 PM
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My conclusion to date is as I wrote in my last post.

Put a bit differently, I'm saying I know that Gods do exist because I know that they do exist in the minds of some people (the religiose). Gods are thoughts, explanations, imaginations, ghosts, hallucinations, indoctrinations etc. absurdum; reasons just like my own (but obviously with different conclusions).
God exists in my brain too; I did much service for the C of E, but I no longer believe in any God.

Man needed something to fear in order to try to control his greed and aggression back in the early days.
Survival of the species needed to inhibit these traits, otherwise man would have survived, but there would only be a few thousand now. The fear of an unseen God was the ideal answer (or appeared to be at the time). And, seeing that in 2007 we still have criminals, wars, terrorists, children with inconsiderate parents etc etc etc I believe it is not yet time to stop frightening people. Those who do become 'civilised' are lucky if they are able to determine this conclusion, because they have freedom of thought. However, in Ricks line of thought, they also realise their tremendous responsibility for future generations; there is nobody to turn to and say "I'm sorry", and be forgiven.

How on earth are people to be controlled (civilised) without them rebelling?
I suspect that fear is the only way!
I just wish I was wrong.
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Joesus
post Feb 14, 2007, 03:57 PM
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There is no standard you could create, nor any generalization you can make about humanity and be accurate.
You may be able to group a small percentage of experiences relative to a certain time frame and location and say this is what happened here, but you can't predict what anyone is going to do nor nail anyone to a specific archetype.

QUOTE
I have heard some American religious blowhards rant against "godless" liberals and atheists, saying that this sort of person can't be trusted because they "have no basis for morality." They go on in this vein, falsely implying that only the religious sort of person should be trusted with positions in public office, etc. However, upon a bit of reflection, it becomes apparent that the opposite state of affairs is the true case.

This was the personal experience.

This is the question pondered via personal reasoning. What is inside of the person who displays an external image
QUOTE
What kind of a recommendation for a person's integrity can it be that he will behave in a "good" way only because if he doesn't he will be punished in Hell?

This is a rational question and a segue to introspection.

The following is a subjective observation based on a limited perspective..
QUOTE
The religious person, in effect, proclaims to the world that if it weren't for threat of (non-existent) punishment, he would lie, cheat and steal. In other words, the religious person implies to us that he would do evil things if he ever lost his false belief in eternal punishment.


Morality is inherent within the nervous system. Morality is guided by something much more expansive than relative beliefs and current events.

QUOTE
The atheist needs no such supernatural policeman to do right. The moral atheist is good to his core and can therefore be trusted implicitly to remain upright and true for his entire life.

There is no such thing as an athiest. Only a subjective projection of image and design from limited objectivity.
The soul of a moral person or an amoral person is technically the same.
Hot may be the opposite of cold but Hot would not exist without cold.
Morality is subjective, Religion as a definition can be applied to any belief, even a political faction.

In essence everyone is born with morality no one is left out. How it is used is not dependant entirely upon the individual for the group also contributes to how it will be nurtured and developed.

For example: If a system of education is developed based on the idea of worthiness. (those that work and study hardest are by default better than those who do not study or work hard) humanity will accept judgment against those who are inferior by definition and example.
The ones who work hardest and strive for a place at the top of the mountain may even step on another to get there first.
The educator may applaud this endeavor overlooking any discrepancies in morality which becomes flexible according to the standard. The one who does not strive to overachieve may not receive any recognition at all or may be criticised for failing to compete or rise to the standard.

If you take a look at the some of the history that exists within the political system of education you may find that there are a few people who have emerged from the system without the ability to comprehend the standard and who may or may not even be able to read and write.
The religious: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French religius, from Latin religiosus, from religio
1 : relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity(point of authority)

Being the socially obedient, faithful followers of any state of acceptance to reality is inherently able to function at any level of understanding and physical ability. Humanity as a historical whole has not by its example shown much of a tendency toward compassion, nor to remove the need to standardize themselves according to class and worth.
The mindset that continues to divide, accepts that there are and will be, substandard grades of humans and will continue to prepare the future for more of the same. The elite granting rites of passage for those who wish to join the ranks of sovereignty.

Religions come and go and people will continue to identify themselves as being a thiest or atheist according to the rites of passage and the need to classify ones self according to the sovereign representative that affects their destiny.

Inside of each human lives the inherent perfection of creation and those that are told they are inferior will by their very nature and without conscious effort play a part in the continuing role that challenges any system that perpetuates the thought that the individual is defective.

Intelligence and wisdom rises above generalised statements.
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Lindsay
post Feb 14, 2007, 04:20 PM
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In addition to what I wrote above: "... the truly moral any-kind-of theist, therefore, can be trusted to remain upright and true..."

The ones I fear ... that is, respect, in the way I do, fire, are:
1. The amoral psycho and sociopaths.
2. Self-righteous believers in a god of revenge.
3. People who have no control over their emotions.
4. Robotic types...the kind who are always looking for a messiah--one who promises to bring them a glorious victory over people who are inferior to them.

Who would you add to the list?
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rhymer
post Feb 14, 2007, 05:20 PM
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Nobody can be trusted, unless you put a rider on the statement 'until they break that trust'.
I do of course presently trust my friends and anybody I meet 'until they betray that trust'.

I don't fear any particular type of person.
Indeed, I have sympathy for those who act without normal control because of those human imperfections (with which 99.99% of us are afflicted) that don't allow them to become 'proper' members of society.
Perfection is yet another human concept born of the need to add value to life in order to reduce loss of life.

I do wonder what direction the human race will take, but it doesn't really matter anyway, except to those who may remain unborn (lost possibilties).
Man is just one of many species who find themselves alive on Earth.
Indeed many of them would do a site better without mans interference.
Why do we think we are the bees knees?
What on Earth are we doing, except remaining on Earth?
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Lindsay
post Feb 14, 2007, 05:45 PM
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Rhymer asks: "What on Earth are we doing, except remaining on Earth?"

Rhymer, I await your answer to YOUR rhetorical question? I am all eyes! biggrin.gif
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Rick
post Feb 14, 2007, 07:17 PM
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QUOTE(Joesus @ Feb 14, 2007, 12:57 PM) *
... Morality is inherent within the nervous system. ...

I wish I could believe that, but I have learned to resist wishful thinking. If it's true that morality is inherent in people, then how do you explain suicide bombers who target the innocent for the completely selfish purpose of attaining a martyr's rank in Heaven? I have heard that the suicide bomber believes that those he kills are assigned to certain Hell. How can that be inherently moral?
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Joesus
post Feb 14, 2007, 07:56 PM
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You are presuming the act follows innocense.
Would you kill the child of a psychopath?
Would you kill the child who is to become a psychopath?
Would you say any psychopathic behavior in man is inherent?
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Lindsay
post Feb 16, 2007, 03:19 PM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ Feb 14, 2007, 01:20 PM) *

In addition to what I wrote above: "... the truly moral any-kind-of theist, therefore, can be trusted to remain upright and true..."

The ones I fear ... that is, respect...in the way I do, fire, are:
1. The amoral psycho and sociopaths.
2. Self-righteous believers in a god of revenge.
3. People who have no control over their emotions.
4. Robotic types...the kind who are always looking for a messiah--one who promises to bring them a glorious victory over people who are inferior to them.

Who would you add to the list?
Rick, in addition to the above: It seems to me that anything, including religion, which does not harm but actually helps us be more loving, moral and ethical in our behaviour is of practical value, dont't you feel?
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maximus242
post Feb 16, 2007, 03:58 PM
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I think we need to look at religion psychologically, religion is often use to fill a void of fear, helplessness and to give courage to those who feel they are incapable of doing dubious tasks without the aid of someone else. This god theory of religion can help to fill the void and give hope to people that they are capable of accomplishing tasks which seem impossible because they have the aid of God at their side.

For example, Alexander the Great was said to be decended from Zeus and born of the same blood line as Hercules. Although he obtained the throne of Macedonia from his Father Philip, his mother was said to be from the line of Zeus. Now let us imagine that young Alexander is being told he has the blood of a God in him, what sort of mentallity would that give him?

He certainly would think he was capable of things meere mortals could not do, we know he was also schooled by the great Aristotle. Combine the belief that he can do anything his heros can like Archillies and Hercules along with schooling from one of the greatest thinkers of all time ++ being born of royal blood he is instructed in various art forms unknown to common people. You have one hell of a combination for greatness, he has the resources from his fathers empire, the mental strength from Aristotle and the belief that he can do so from the legends of him being born of a God.

If you have the belief that you can do something (from his Mother), the knowlege on how to do it (from Aristotle) and the resources to do it (from King Philip), then few people in this world will ever be able to stop you.
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Rick
post Feb 16, 2007, 04:29 PM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ Feb 16, 2007, 12:19 PM) *
Rick, in addition to the above: It seems to me that anything, including religion, which does not harm but actually helps us be more loving, moral and ethical in our behaviour is of practical value, dont't you feel?

I disagree on that point. For anything good that comes from religion, there is a better way to do it that doesn't involve false belief.
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Rick
post Feb 16, 2007, 04:34 PM
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QUOTE(maximus242 @ Feb 16, 2007, 12:58 PM) *
... If you have the belief that you can do something (from his Mother), the knowlege on how to do it (from Aristotle) and the resources to do it (from King Philip), then few people in this world will ever be able to stop you.

Alexander's empire fell apart after his death so he failed to establish a lasting legacy. That kind of wastefulness should be stopped early, so it's a lesson to us to heed today. Think of the kind of world we might have today if, instead of war, destruction, and conquest, Alexander had set out to unite the world diplomatically. We could have bypassed the horrors of the Roman slave empire and the superstition and Inquisition of the middle ages.
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maximus242
post Feb 16, 2007, 04:38 PM
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Well he did in essence, conquer a kingdom and then allow the former king to remain in charge, Alexander was recognized as the big cheese but the king still got to rule his place.
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Rick
post Feb 16, 2007, 05:20 PM
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That was something good. He must have learned his lesson after he got drunk and burned the Persian palace.
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Lindsay
post Feb 16, 2007, 05:48 PM
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QUOTE(Rick @ Feb 16, 2007, 01:29 PM) *

...I disagree on that point. For anything good that comes from religion, there is a better way to do it that doesn't involve false belief.
Be specific, Rick. When did I say that it is okay to involve "false belief"?

BTW, tell us about the "better way"!
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Rick
post Feb 16, 2007, 06:20 PM
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QUOTE(Lindsay @ Feb 16, 2007, 02:48 PM) *
Be specific, Rick. When did I say that it is okay to involve "false belief"?

BTW, tell us about the "better way"!

Every religion involves false belief. Any reference to any supernatural entity or force is mistaken.

The better way is through verifiable knowledge about one's self and the world that we share.
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maximus242
post Feb 16, 2007, 09:39 PM
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Indeed, I was more looking into the effects of said belief. I must say though, what is truth but an opinion?
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Lindsay
post Feb 16, 2007, 11:13 PM
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Rick, now you know why I like to think of GØD as the ALL that IS, about which, with the help of philosophy, science and art, I am getting to know more and more, which inspires me to DO better and better.
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