Jump to content

It Might Be Easier To Be Moral With Out God


Recommended Posts

I think that moral behavior is inate and has an unconsious quality that is interfered with by moralizing, especially that sort of moralizing that concentrats on the behavior of the other. It could be (and probably is) that religion is about changing moral behavior in a manner that is intended to make people more complient to the ruling class. For example "obey your government" is seen as a moral directive rather than what it is, convenience for the ruler.

 

 

Overjustification Effect Explains Away Religious Morality

 

http://essays.dayah.com/6515.html

 

Your motivation to exercise evaporates for the same reason many believe morality has a religious basis

 

Motivation can be a quirky thing. It often comes out of nowhere and, much to our disappointment, evaporates just as capriciously.

 

How many exercise or weight loss regimens have you begun only to run out of steam a month or two down the line? Do you remember what went wrong?

 

You began for your own personal reasons with little thought of what you might get in exchange. The activity itself or satisfaction it created was its own reward.

 

Then, something happened. You started seeing results in the mirror or on the scale. Perhaps you decided to try for someone. Without realizing, your internal motivation was displaced. Now, you were working out to get the attention of that person or reduce the number on the scale. That wouldn't be a bad thing, but the human motivation system has a significant failing we rarely take into account.

 

In 1976, Greene, Sternberg, and Lepper captured and documented the precise cause of your workout failings by playing math games with children. At first, the kids seemed to like solving the problems on their own merit. Then came the money. Once experimenters stopped doling out tangible rewards, the children lost interest altogether.

 

The accepted interpretation is that external motivation easily displaces internal, regardless of the latter's strength. And once the external motivator stops giving feedback, the initial does not return. Money was able to "kick out" the children's initial internal desire to play the mathematical games—permanently.

 

Possibly of more contextual interest to the readers of this essay, this is also the mechanism that drives the eternal struggle of keeping a public diary—an obvious oxymoron to anyone unfamiliar with this web site. How does one write for oneself (internal motivation) while simultaneously making it available for public consumption (external motivation)? It is such a difficult task that diarists must regularly make "psych out" entries telling themselves that they truly are writing for themselves.

 

Oddly, the same phenomenon that thwarts your workout longevity, the aim of your online diary, and the children's love of math games is why many suggest religion is the basis of morality.

 

Evidence suggests those raised without religion are at least as moral as those with. They're incarcerated at a significantly lower ratio than their populations. However, the religious widely believe that without a magical list of don'ts backed by the threat of fire and brimstone from above, the populace would break down into violent chaos. Applying the template above, we can easily see how one reaches this conclusion.

 

The 10% of the world who do not believe in a higher power and so are not threatened by it do not seem to be causing even their share of trouble, strongly suggesting that there is a natural human penchant toward what the religious would call good. We'll call this the internal motivation to be good. The external is obviously the threat of hell or reward of heaven.

 

While this simply answers why the religious believe morality requires threat/reward—because their own internal motivation to be good has been displaced—a far more disturbing question is posed. Is it possible that religious morality's external threat can displace our own natural goodness permanently? If that is the case, religion behaves much like a lifelong poison. However, if the displacement is not permanent, under what conditions can our natural morality return and how can this be facilitated?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes...its a strange misconception that xians have...

that without gawd this are no 'morals'..

thats simply not true.

 

for one...for the xian there are so many different versions of god that its a hard call anyway..?

you know what I mean....all the different denominations have their own take of the rules.

 

Is it possible that religious morality's external threat can displace our own natural goodness permanently? If that is the case, religion behaves much like a lifelong poison. However, if the displacement is not permanent, under what conditions can our natural morality return and how can this be facilitated?

 

For me...its the old 'humanistic' kind of worldview...that people are products of their environments - equally...with their genetic predisposition.

In other words ..the old nurture vs. nature debate....

therefore when christians opt out of the constant contact with 'religion' ...they can learn or re learn all kinds of stuff...including how to make abstract 'moral' decisions regarding themselves or other's.

 

Have you heard of the old saying....'a cucumber cannot help being pickled if you put it in a pickle barrel'...?

The 'chruch' is like a pickle barrel.

Without a god or more to the point its followers..... there is much more reason to develop a more self efficient 'moral' or critical thinking type methods.

 

Here's one idea......Philip G. Zimbardo, Ph. D. (Psychology Department, Stanford University )1

Chapter in Arthur Miller (Ed.). The social psychology of good and evil: Understanding our capacity for kindness and cruelty . New York: Guilford. (Publication date: 2004).

 

pasted in full at...http://www.aimoo.com/forum/postview.cfm?id...hreadID=2287456

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.