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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 09:21 AM   #21
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PsyopRanger
I am not saying Christianity is right, I am asking what does an atheist use a measure of morality if it is not faith based?
Christianity does not say that morality originates with God. *Rather, that our knowledge of morality comes from God, but the moral code is separate from God. *This, at least, is the position of Catholic theology.

Hinduism and Buddhism agree with this position -- that there is a universal moral law that is not established by a God. *They differ on how we come to know this law and on how this law operates in the world (e.g., instead of God punishing transgressors, the cycle of Karma will do so). *Buddhism, in particular, does not require any belief in a supernatural God yet there is still belief in a supernatural process of morality and justice.
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 09:30 AM   #22
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

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Originally Posted by ladelfina
I think you are looking for a kind of "atheists' Bible"!!
I have run across this many times. Those who prefer to live by rules often cannot comprehend a life without them. My BIL insists there can be no moral behavior without fear of hell. Works for him...I hope! Anyway, didn't someobody find a gene that predisposes people to supernatural belief?

EDIT It's a terrible thing (or is it?) when interacting with an Internet forum gets in the way of real life. Or are you my real life Ciao! (oh, got carried away and put some edits above...once an editor...)
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 09:30 AM   #23
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

ladelfina,

Great links, good stuff thanks.

Do you believe all atheists follow these principles in some form?

Robert the Red,

I guess I am strange Christian as I also believe in the ďLaw of AttractionĒ and also tend to follow some of Randís Objectivism.
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 09:38 AM   #24
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

I'd consider myself a Christian, but I don't know which subset of it, exactly, I would fit into. I don't believe in organized religion, as people seem to wrap themselves up too much in it and then use it as an excuse to mistreat those who don't believe the same way that they do. What's that old saying? "It's not God I have a problem with it's his fan club. What do they call themselves? Christians?" ;-)

I believe in God, and I also believe that he judges us by our actions and how we treat others. I'm also a firm believer that if somebody does something that you don't like, but it doesn't hurt you, keep your <bleep> nose out of it.

And one thing that really pisses me off is this misguided family values, and how they always try to bring gays and lesbians into it. If your family is falling apart, trust me, it's not because two men are walking down the sidewalk holding hands! Look at your own problems. Quit trying to find a scapegoat. Let's try to focus more on finding solutions to spousal abuse, child abuse, infidelity, substance abuse, communication issues, and other things that actually tear marriages apart. Allowing two men or two women to marry each other is not going to tear "traditional" families apart.

As for divorce and its popularity these days, I don't necessarily look at that as a decay of family values or morals. It's simply that women are much more self-sufficient these days, so they don't need the man to be the breadwinner that he once was. Divorce may have been much more rare back in the old days, but I'm sure that there were plenty of miserable people stuck in bad marriages that would have loved to have gotten out of. I do believe in trying to work your way through your problems, and not use divorce as an easy-out. However, in some cases it's inevitable. Why waste your whole life with somebody you're miserable with?
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 09:43 AM   #25
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

I'm a born and bred atheist, who appreciates the role of ritual in life. Wife likewise. We hit the local Buddhist temple or Shinto shrine for life events for the kid, and at New Year's to count our blessings and buy new traffic safety amulets for the cars. I used to wish I could be truly religious, and if I were then Buddhism or Shinto would make the most sense to me, but at core I know I am an atheist.

As for morality, well, it is like the old definition of pornography: I know it when I see it. Which probably really means just an inherited set of prejudices from my parents. But I suspect the same is true of those who claim to base their morality on religion, as well.
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 09:46 AM   #26
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

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Originally Posted by justin
* There always seems to be some major character flaw that the rebirthing process didn't quite take care of.*
Did you really mean to include the word "always" in this statement? *
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 09:50 AM   #27
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

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Originally Posted by youbet
Did you really mean to include the word "always" in this statement?
Youbet.

No, I originally intended to put a preface to that statement to the effect of: "What I'm about to say is going to be wrong 30% of the time".

The wiggle word I ended up using was "seems". I stand by the statement. Of course everyone has a flaw of some sort. Even me.
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 09:51 AM   #28
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

Quick note: I don't debate to argue my POV, I like to hear others POV as it helps me understand people better and makes me more acceptable to others ideas and beliefs. *Please no one take any offense or any comments personally. *

I work in a field where my job is to try to influence foreign relations; I canít turn it off sometimes. *

I truly appreciate all of these comments
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 09:56 AM   #29
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

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Originally Posted by PsyopRanger
ladelfina,

Great links, good stuff thanks.

Do you believe all atheists follow these principles in some form?

Do you think all Christians follow Christian principles? We are talking about people here. There will be variations in all groups - christians, jews, pagans, atheists. There is no "one way" to describe such a large group of people.

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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 10:01 AM   #30
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

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Originally Posted by bpp
I'm a born and bred atheist, who appreciates the role of ritual in life.*
Our minister confided in me that he feels many members of our church are there to participate in rituals but do not truly believe in the existence of a specific god, savior, afterlife or anything of the like. *They attend Sunday services, coffee hour, support important charitable activities with time and money and are frequently close friends. They enjoy the comfort of the rituals of church weddings, funerals, Christmas and the like. *And, what's wrong with that?
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 10:14 AM   #31
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

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what does an atheist use a measure of morality if it is not faith based?
psyop, answering that is a great challenge that I hesitate to undertake. But some thoughts are:

Obviously there are different kinds of atheists (just the way there are different kinds of Christians.. there's Mother Teresa and there's Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. They would certainly claim to have been reading the same -or similar- Bible, but you'd never know it). I see someone else has pointed this out as I was writing..

I would say a majority are atheist by default.. just by dint of not 'buying in' to existing religious structures, rather than from serious spiritual introspection, maybe going by the more euphemistic term 'agnostic'. Another group I would identify as 'the scientists', who think proof must precede belief. A third group are the 'politicized' who blame religion (often correctly) for wreaking havoc on society, and there I would put the communists, etc. for whom religion isn't just "not their thing" but is to be actively combatted. In my (notoriously left-wing) region of Italy, the local population is known as the 'mangia-preti", the "priest-eaters"!* (Any avowed atheists feel free to jump in here and add to the list...!)

I'm not sure if there's a point in having atheist "rules" for morality. Other religions have rules for morality, yet these are often totally at odds! Many atheists, I imagine, are atheists (or anti-religionists) Exactly Because they feel they don't need external rules to lead a reasonable life and that guidance can naturally come somehow from within, probably in combination with general social mores (rather than morals). If we presume an atheist does not believe in an afterlife, then what matters is how he interacts within his family and society and whether he finds his behavior acceptable within that community, to lead a "good life".


You are kind of asking the unanswerable. No one can agree on "the rules" even when they ARE faith-based..! "Thou shalt not kill" means different things to Catholics and Protestants.. (I have in mind Fr. Berrigan protesting nukes, for example)

Looking back over the Ethical Culture points.. I don't see a whole lot different in them than what others have already professed in a general way: the Golden Rule, "do unto others.." etc. They're just a longer, bloviated version.
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 10:15 AM   #32
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

I have seen several families who relied upon 'faith' and religion to raise their kids and as a result had really screwed-up families. I think they were looking for simple answers and a formula from authority figures.

Personally, I react negatively to anything authoritarian and I think a lot of kids naturally have a similar response.

Of course atheists can have morality. And, of course theists can be crooks and murderers. I do not care what people say, only what they do.

Ed,
Who reminds all that I have the copyright on Faith-Based Investing--give me your money and pray you get some of it back.

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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 10:25 AM   #33
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

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Originally Posted by Cal
Do you think all Christians follow Christian principles? We are talking about people here. There will be variations in all groups - christians, jews, pagans, atheists. There is no "one way" to describe such a large group of people.

Ding *ding ding!!!

Hell, even people allegedly of the same hierarchical religion often disagree. *A few years ago DW and I went to Malta a few years ago. *It quickly became apparent that Maltese Catholics have a very different take on life than mainstream Merkin Catholics.
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 11:31 AM   #34
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

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Originally Posted by Robert the Red
Christianity does not say that morality originates with God. *Rather, that our knowledge of morality comes from God, but the moral code is separate from God. *This, at least, is the position of Catholic theology.
Robert, do you have a source for this? This is definitely NOT the view of the fundamentalist protestant religions.

Psyop, if you are seriously looking for atheistic sources of objective morality then there are several. As usual the Wikkipedia can give you a start: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethics or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_objectivism. Back when Britannica was free online they had a great section on this, you may want to check out a library. Your comment on laws (i.e. they change) holds for religious laws as well, just with a typically slower time frame.
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 12:12 PM   #35
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

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Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
Oddly enough, the atheists that I know are the most trustworthy people that I have met. Not sure why. Maybe it's because they only believe that this is the only life that they will get.

On the other side of the fence, I have had enough dealings on e-bay with the self professed 'born agains'* and most of the deals have went 'south'. When I see an e-bay ad that is sprinkled with 'God Bless' or 'I am a born again - blah blah - you can trust me' it is an instant red flag and I will probably get screwed.

As for myself, I am Christian, but do not believe in 'organized religion' or bringing God into everyday business transactions, reasons for War, Football games or other human trivia.
Many good posts here, C-T's is closest to my view, I see an insidious movement to undermine the seperation of church and state and I loath it. My faith is personal to me, and I'm happy to render to Ceasar what belongs to Ceasar.

My Parents are athiests and semi-regularly go to a Unitarian church, and I think their moral compass is quite well aligned.

CFB hits it head on for me wrt Muslims. The Religion is being used as a tool/cover for another agenda. Your average Joe (Abdul?) Muslim just wants to make the mortgage payment.
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 12:13 PM   #36
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

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Originally Posted by Cool Dood
Good question! I'm at work now so I can't get into a full answer, but there are plenty of ways of deriving morals without religion.

To me, it seems like the best source for morals would likely be one that actually exists! (Uh oh.... I guess there's a danger in addressing this topic of getting into the old religion flamewars, which I'll try to avoid when I rejoin this discussion later!)
I see you working, brother! But your total lack of malice makes it hard to actually push my button.
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 12:14 PM   #37
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

Atheism? On an early retirement board? Wouldn't the default answer be "Hell, yes, there is a God!" *
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 12:43 PM   #38
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

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Your average Joe (Abdul?) Muslim just wants to make the mortgage payment.


Quote:
Atheism? On an early retirement board? Wouldn't the default answer be "Hell, yes, there is a God!"
I always heard that God doesnt believe in Atheists

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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 01:15 PM   #39
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

The root cause of conflict, dysfunction, hostility, paranoia, etc., in my opinion, is that there are as many differing concepts of God(s) as there are trees in the forest.

You can include atheists in that statement. Only in their case, it's the differing concepts of the gods they don't believe in.

In every denomination I've known well, and there've been four, the congregations has ideas of God that were all over the map.
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 01:17 PM   #40
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

"that which hath been is that which shall be; and that which hath been done is that which shall be done: and there is nothing new under the sun."~~ecclesiastes 1:2-9

so i will just offer a few quotes by others:

"generosity is the basis of moral discipline and forbearance is the purifier of moral discipline."~~jigme tenpe nyima, the third dodrupchen

"the salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human meekness and human responsibility."~~vaclav havel

"nothing is precious save what is yourself in others and others in yourself." ~~ pierre teilhard de chardin

"when i know myself, i know others. when i master myself,
i don't need to master others."~~tao te ching, stephen mitchell translation

for morality on this forum, i offer:

"a refinery is for silver, a furnace is for gold, but god tries the heart."~~proverbs 17:3

to your comment on jihad:

"the holy warrior is he who struggles with himself."~~the prophet mohammed

and of course my very favorite:

"trust in god -- but tie your camel first."~~the prophet mohammed

as to my own meek contribution i would only offer a question which i think will answer all of yours:

how does an existentialist toilet train a child?
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