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Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 03:14 AM   #1
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Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

Here is my question:

People of monotheological faith Ė Christians/Muslims/Jews, have a set of morals or a moral principle that outlines right and wrong.* These people are supposed to live up to this moral principle, does this always happen? Of course not.*

However there is a set of moral principles to fall back on which are the base line of moral judgment.* In Islam, there are two types of Jihad, one that is associated with protecting the homeland and the other is an inner struggle a Muslim faces at remaining true
to there faith or moral guidelines.

Much of the hostility of radical Islam toward the West is based on the belief that the West is corrupt in their moral principles and need to be reformed.

Up until the 1950ís, most parents in America followed Judeo/Christian morals as a common guideline to parenting and instilled these morals in their children.* In the late 1950ís, academia began rejecting these teachings and democratic parenting, where the child is seen as an equal to his parents and rules and morals are subject to debate, became popular based on the teachings and research of Rousseau, Thoreau, Gesell, Skinner and Dreikurs.*

This form of parenting focuses on no authoritarian rule and conflict avoidance versus parents as the authority and conflict resolution. Since this time we have seen an increase in crime, drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, divorce, etc.

The current debate today is that some people believe in following these moral principles and believes that people should be raised to the moral standard not lowering the standard for each individual personís specific situation.

The other side believes these morals are incorrect and each person should be able to dictate their own moral principles based on their wishes and individual situation.*

The real question here is for atheists:

What or where do you derive your moral principles from?*
Are they subject to change based on individual circumstances?*
Do you believe that there should be a moral standard that a society cannot cross?

(This is not meant to be an argument but a sincere effort to understand)
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 03:57 AM   #2
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

if your an athiest who do you talk to during an orgasm?
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 06:34 AM   #3
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

1964 - Cultural anthro major with an Ann Rand book on her nightstand.

My lips were sealed then - and still are! But it was memorible.

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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 07:04 AM   #4
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

Greater minds than mine have already provided orientation:

Immanuel Kant: The first formulation (Formula of Universal Law) says: "Act as if the maxim of thy action were to become by thy will a universal law of nature."
The second formulation (Formula of Humanity) says: "Act that you use humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end, never merely as a means."
The third formulation (Formula of Autonomy) is a synthesis of the first two. It says that we should so act that we may think of ourselves as legislating universal laws through our maxims, in a possible Kingdom of Ends.

Good enough for me...
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 07:20 AM   #5
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

Reminds me of an old Christian/Jewish joke:

A pagan in the old days asked a Rabbi to distill his reglion down to the basics while standing on one foot:

'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.'

aka the Golden Rule.

As a kid I thought the Romans and Vikings had it knocked - until I got older and realized the receiving end might not be as much fun.

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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 07:35 AM   #6
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris2008
Greater minds than mine have already provided orientation:

Immanuel Kant: The first formulation (Formula of Universal Law) says: "Act as if the maxim of thy action were to become by thy will a universal law of nature."
The second formulation (Formula of Humanity) says: "Act that you use humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end, never merely as a means."
The third formulation (Formula of Autonomy) is a synthesis of the first two. It says that we should so act that we may think of ourselves as legislating universal laws through our maxims, in a possible Kingdom of Ends.

Good enough for me...
By Kant's Formula's a person who is a child molester or murderer but seems themselves in their own mine as being right or helping mankind is acting morally respectable?
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 07:36 AM   #7
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

Quote:
Originally Posted by unclemick2
1964 - Cultural anthro major with an Ann Rand book on her nightstand.

My lips were sealed then - and still are! But it was memorible.

heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh
Did you show her "Fountainhead" LOL!
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 08:09 AM   #8
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PsyopRanger
By Kant's Formula's a person who is a child molester or murderer but seems themselves in their own mine as being right or helping mankind is acting morally respectable?
First and only comment: your rights stop at the end of my nose... and vice versa...

Molestation and murder presumably do not involve consent...
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 08:14 AM   #9
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HFWR
First and only comment: your rights stop at the end of my nose... and vice versa...

Molestation and murder presumably do not involve consent...
But we are talking morality not legality.

If a person believes something in thier own reality, it is the moral compass they use to deal with life.

If a person does not know right from wrong, how do you judge them?
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 08:35 AM   #10
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

Maybe I should preface my definition as some our confused in other threads?

I believe in a set of moral principles that guide your life
I believe in doing things for the greater good of mankind
I believe in a relationship with God, but not religious dogma
I believe in altruism

I believe that living my life by these principles will not harm or limit me and that in the end, if I am wrong about a higher power, I still lived a good life by adhering to these values.

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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 08:42 AM   #11
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

I am in haste as I'm leaving for the weekend shortly (and will have no internet access) and no time to read responses to date...

First, the most religious person I know, and among the most ethical, is a Hindu--a polytheist.

The child is not "seen as an equal to his parents" in the sense you are using. Among us heathen, a child is an equal more in the religious sense(!)--as a person deserving of having needs met, ideas listened to, feelings and personhood respected. Perhaps similar to the way fundamentalists feel about stem cells and embryos.

"This form of parenting focuses on no authoritarian rule and conflict avoidance versus parents as the authority and conflict resolution. Since this time we have seen an increase in crime, drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, divorce, etc. "

I beg to differ. I used "authorian rule," but gently, and picked many fewer battles than those that follow the precepts of James Dobson for example. I never struck my children or even yelled at them. Worst thing I said to them was "Don't be a drag." I only disciplined them in the sense of giving them some personal choices from very early childhood (red outfit or green outfit? invite Jessie over or Nathaniel?) and once I threatened to leave a restaurant if they didn;t stop fidgeting and using "outdoor voices"--I carried through. Never happened again. My kids turned out fantastic--particularly outstanding in their compassion and rationality--DS became a science teacher and DD works on democratization and governance research in Africa. Rasing compassionate and rational children was more important to me than obedient children or children with specific beliefs identical to my own. I raised children to think for themselves--so far, so good.

We have in fact seen a decrease in crime, I think alcohol abuse is flat with the past, and both teen pregnancy and divorce have been decreasing--especially in the "blue" states and cities.

"The other side believes these morals are incorrect and each person should be able to dictate their own moral principles based on their wishes and individual situation."

First, from my perspective, "the other side" is your side Second, atheists do have morals--they just aren't the same as yours. The Golden Rule is enough for most of us. And I think of it more as ethics than morals--such a loaded word these days.

"The real question here is for atheists:

What or where do you derive your moral principles from?
Are they subject to change based on individual circumstances? "

Golden Rule, which needs to be applied diffeently in different situations (ie, is it OK to give up one life to save others--not an easy decision, eh).

"Do you believe that there should be a moral standard that a society cannot cross?"
Not really, no. I believe in the rule of law. "Moral standard" is not a meanignful phrase to me--too easily subject to individual interpretation
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 08:49 AM   #12
 
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

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.
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 08:52 AM   #13
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

astromeria,

I appreciate the comments, my parenting style is very identical to yours except that we talk about God in our house.

I believe in raising free thinking children, if my children decide to not be Christian when they are older, so be it.

I guess I am also a minority as a Christian because I don't follow a lot of the mainstream dogma of Christianity. *

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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 09:03 AM   #14
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

Cut-Throat - you got it! Born-agains get a big : from me. There always seems to be some major character flaw that the rebirthing process didn't quite take care of.

Behaving on Sunday while at church and ignoring the faith on the other 6 days doesn't make one a good person.
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 09:03 AM   #15
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

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!)
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 09:06 AM   #16
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

I am still looking for a answer to the morals question?

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?

Laws? *These are subject to interpretation and change from court room to court room? Which would mean morality changes with a verdict.

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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 09:08 AM   #17
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
Cut-Throat - you got it!* Born-agains get a big* : from me.* There always seems to be some major character flaw that the rebirthing process didn't quite take care of.*

Behaving on Sunday while at church and ignoring the faith on the other 6 days doesn't make one a good person.*
My sentiments exactly
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 09:16 AM   #18
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

No system of morals will cover all situations. Better to use rationality and compassion--and the golden rule which itself is based on rationality and compassion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
Behaving on Sunday while at church and ignoring the faith on the other 6 days doesn't make one a good person.
Indeed. My daughter got a dose of Christian compassion in college. She attended Rice University, where the biggest student organization was Campus Crusade for Christ. She overheard someone in her own dorm telling one of his friends, "How can you be friends with <my daughter>, she isn't even a Christian!"

My daughter married into an Italian Catholic family (her husband is a fellow atheist, however), and they know her lack of beliefs and love her for her self and her wonderful relationship with her husband. They wrote their own vows for the wedding (my son officiated and I as notary public validated the union). One of the things my daughter said was something like: in our 7-year relationship, in which we lived in different cities or even countries for 3 years, we spoke every day except 3 days, for at least half an hour. Guess this connects to the thread about successful marriages is a hijack!
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 09:19 AM   #19
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

Psyop, I think you are looking for a kind of "atheists' Bible"!! * * * *

Well. my BIL was raised in NYC by card-carrying communists.. a real red-diaper baby.

He was sent to the Fieldston school which is run by an outfit called the Ethical Culture Society.
http://www.aeu.org
http://www.nysec.org

Quote:
Ethical Culture is a Humanist and Ethical movement inspired by the ideal that the supreme aim of our lives is to create a more humane society.

We stand for separation of church and state. We believe acting morally does not require belief in a god. We place our faith in the demonstrated capacity of people to do wonderful things. We believe in the worth and dignity of all living beings.

We believe that all individuals have:
ē Inherent worth and dignity
ē The potential to grow and change
ē A responsibility to strive for ethical growth
ē A responsibility to treat others so as to help them realize their fullest potential
ē A responsibility to create a better world
ē A responsibility to help build an Ethical Culture community that welcomes and involves others

As an Ethical Culture community we believe that:
ē We are all part of something that transcends the individual experience
ē We have responsibilities to each other, to the Society, and to the community at large
ē We are enriched through our interconnectedness with others
ē We find confirmation and validation of our own selves and beliefs through our interactions with others
ē We derive strength through our relationships with others
I think he did say that there were types of 'services' that one attended, just that they didn't mention God.
(Sounds kinda like Unitarianism!) * *
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?
Old 07-21-2006, 09:20 AM   #20
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Re: Christianís, Atheists, and Morals?

I've always had a bit of a problem with organized religion. Considering some of the shenanigans that have gone on lately that hasnt improved.

I wouldnt call myself an atheist, but I wouldnt count on seeing me in church anytime soon and I dont check in with any christian morals associations on a regular basis.

That having been said, I live by a code of conduct and morals that I feel are appropriate. I give my best effort to let people know what to expect from me and then deliver on those expectations. I dont do anything that I feel will adversely affect someone else unless not doing something will create a greater adverse affect. And I try to not tell someone else how their morals should be.

There are two kinds of people in the world. Those that want to do their own thing as long as they're not bothing someone else and those who feel like they've got the secret recipe for how to live or the right morals and want everyone else to follow their lead. The former would like to hit the latter in the face with a shovel. The latter doesnt understand why everyone wont accept their obviously correct perspective, but forgives the former for that whole shovel thing and will continue to try to convince.

Biggest bible thumper I ever dated dragged me off to church, gasped when I used foul language and read the bible quite regularly. She told me there would be no premarital sex at all, which turned out to be no premarital sex unless we'd gone out on six dates. After I split up with her she broke up another couples marriage because she wanted the guy.

Little problem there with that whole christian morals thing.

I'm going to throw a little ice on that whole Islam suggestion that they just dont like our moral code. I'm sure thats a part of it...but my guess is there are a handful of wealthy well connected guys who would like america out of their business and their backyard. They seek out and culture a few types that here in america we'd probably eventually get to know as 'serial killers'. Those guys prey on the weak minded amongst them who can be wound up on that whole 'bad american morals' thing to the point where they'll strap on some dynamite. I'll bet that left to their own devices, the average rank and file muslim might protest the incursion of american funny business into their culture. None of them would ever board a plane with a box cutter and a plan...
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