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I was talking to my mom on the phone the other day and I was discussing my change to a vegan diet and the fitness regime I have recently begun. She supported my choice of eating a healthy diet but said something along the lines of "I just don't want you to think it is wrong to eat animals. God created us above them and supports our consumption of their meat." Yeah, 'cause God has the highest standards of morality, huh? rolleyes.gif

Since deconverting I have been rethinking many of the beliefs I previously accepted simply due to their widespread popularity. I'm sure that's why slavery and so many other horrors continued for so long because God said it is OK. Well, you know what? Fuck God, I'm a better person than he is!!! devilfinger.gif

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God [The imagined personality I share with church people] says it's ok! :-)

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I was talking to my mom on the phone the other day and I was discussing my change to a vegan diet and the fitness regime I have recently begun. She supported my choice of eating a healthy diet but said something along the lines of "I just don't want you to think it is wrong to eat animals. God created us above them and supports our consumption of their meat." Yeah, 'cause God has the highest standards of morality, huh? rolleyes.gif

Since deconverting I have been rethinking many of the beliefs I previously accepted simply due to their widespread popularity. I'm sure that's why slavery and so many other horrors continued for so long because God said it is OK. Well, you know what? Fuck God, I'm a better person than he is!!! devilfinger.gif

 

He says it's okay to eat the meat of animals. He also says it's okay to kill children when he wants them dead. Sometimes it's okay to kidnap virgin girls and rape them after you have killed their families and communities, because he said to do it. Probably a good idea you didn't bring this point up to your mom... Could get awkward really quick if you mentioned something about Bible god's atrocious morality.

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I'm sure Xtians would find some way to justify it (which is quite frightening imo). I remember as a kid asking my mom why God commanded the Israelites to kill even the infant children of their enemies and my mom said "so that they wouldn't become bitter and hateful and try to get revenge when they're older." Makes a lot of sense now!

I always find it funny now when people use the argument of morality to prove the existence of God. Stuff like "where does morality come from if there is no God? Everyone would have their own version of right and wrong." Well, hello buddy, in case you haven't noticed, everyone does have a different sense of morality. And if you're saying God is the high standard of it, well, we'd be living in a really fucked up world. Unlike religious people who blindly follow their evil tyrant's cruel sense of "justice" and "truth," I actually think out these things for myself to try to determine the most ethical way to live.

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I was talking to my mom on the phone the other day and I was discussing my change to a vegan diet and the fitness regime I have recently begun. She supported my choice of eating a healthy diet but said something along the lines of "I just don't want you to think it is wrong to eat animals. God created us above them and supports our consumption of their meat."

According to God, eating some meats is abomination, such as pork and shellfish.

If she ignores that law, you might want to ask her why she doesn't take it seriously.

If she responds that Jesus changed the law, you can then ask her why God's morals are relative and not absolute.

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I have long felt that anything that depends upon religious doctrine or dogma to establish its morality is quite likely immoral. Morality (if it exists at all, and I'm not at all sure that it does) should be something that is self-evident outside of any framework other than pure logic.

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I have long felt that anything that depends upon religious doctrine or dogma to establish its morality is quite likely immoral. Morality (if it exists at all, and I'm not at all sure that it does) should be something that is self-evident outside of any framework other than pure logic.

 

I would love to see anyones empirical evidence that morality is anything but subjective.

 

What I really love is talking to people who think ethics and morality are the same thing; they generally bray like donkeys over anything you say.

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I have long felt that anything that depends upon religious doctrine or dogma to establish its morality is quite likely immoral. Morality (if it exists at all, and I'm not at all sure that it does) should be something that is self-evident outside of any framework other than pure logic.

Brilliantly said!
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I have long felt that anything that depends upon religious doctrine or dogma to establish its morality is quite likely immoral. Morality (if it exists at all, and I'm not at all sure that it does) should be something that is self-evident outside of any framework other than pure logic.

 

I would love to see anyones empirical evidence that morality is anything but subjective.

 

What I really love is talking to people who think ethics and morality are the same thing; they generally bray like donkeys over anything you say.

Yet that is C. S. Lewis' only real argument in "Mere Christianity" -- that our morality must come from something outside of ourselves. When I was really trying to figure out if Christianity was anything or not, someone suggested this book. He's a smart guy, a former non-believer (but raised in the church and went back to the same denomination his mother raised him in). He studies a lot, knows ancient Greek and some Hebrew, so I read the book on his advice.

 

You have to really, really want to believe to accept Lewis' argument.

 

The argument was that because humans have a nearly universal sense of morality, it couldn't have been culturally developed. The problems with that argument start with the fact that there's nothing close to a universally accepted moral standard. Other than murder, nothing comes close, and even though organized governments have laws against murder, there are plenty of individuals who have no natural sense that taking a life is wrong.

 

And he also fails to explain why traits that advance society could not have evolved. Indeed, because individuals who cooperate fare better than those who kill others and wind up alone, the trait would indeed have become the norm over time.

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I became vegetarian as soon as I came to an age of understanding that living feeling beings were tortured to death to make that hamburger.  I have never looked back since switching over I am so happy with my choice.  I loved eating meat but to me once I understood that a life was destroyed to make it, I knew it was morally wrong.  To do otherwise is to deeply offend my own conscience.  I feel like spiritually I have evolved so much through being a vegetarian, I have a deeper and more respectful relationship with animals and nature, and I still get to eat delicious food.  I also do soy milk instead of regular milk and I like the soy better.

My adoptive family- fundamentalist Christian- has  strongly discouraged me from the time I decided to stop eating meat.  They have continuously ridiculed, insulted and belittled me.  They think they are spiritually superior to me because they eat meat ("God wants us to eat meat.  It's why he made animals.").  I am disgusted with their cruel attitudes towards animals and towards those of us who respect them.  But their intolerance can never deter me from doing what I know is right. The absolute worst insult to my conscience is to harm another living being or to sacrifice another living being so that I might gain something for myself.  Animals suffer the most barbaric conditions and excruciating pain to make those stupid hamburgers.  What kind of monster god creates a world like this?  What kind of monster thinks any of this is ok? My adoptive family might be great at "following the rules" but I recommend following your heart and stick to it no matter what insults come your way.  Expect a lot of insults from Christians.  Most Christians believe that only human beings are "worthy" enough to be treated well.  It made me see something....Christianity seems to me to be all about SELF worship.  I am determined to swim against the tide and be about service to others and don't give a damn what species they are. 

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No doubt many on here will disagree with me, but personally I think there is a supreme being behind the existence of morality, which most people call "God".  Now this is nothing to do with any particular religion.  This is where people like Dawkins muddy the waters when they say "we don't get our morals from religion".  Well maybe we don't, but that isn't really the point.  The question is where our inner sense of right and wrong originates from.  If it is just a product of evolution and no God, then it has no real significance, certainly in the long term.  So one person thinks abortion is wrong, and another thinks it's OK.  All one has to do is shrug their shoulders and say "so what?".  The person who thinks it is wrong has no more justification for calling it "wrong" than the person who thinks it is OK.  

 

If Dawkins is angry when "evil" things happen, he needs to ask himself why, because, according to his view, one day we will all be dead and nothing will matter anymore.  Nobody will be punished for the "bad" things they did, and neither will anyone be blessed for having done "good" things.  Dawkins view of "right" and "wrong" is no more valid than Hitler's.  It's just the opinions of an evolved mind, and nothing more.  He has no external reference point with which to measure "good" and "evil".

 

However, if evolution AND God explain why we have a moral sense (that is, our moral sense is not just an evolutionary artifact, but a spiritual one too), then there is an explanation for why good and evil are in fact real things.

 

Again, this has nothing to do with any particular religion.  The issue of religion is irrelevant.  

 

Dawkins is right when he says that you don't need to BELIEVE in God to do good things.  He is right when he says we don't get our morals from religion.  However, due to his monumental ignorance of all things philosophical, he fails utterly to appreciate the more fundamental question: the source of his moral disposition, which is quite apart from any religious belief or his professed disbelief in God.

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But there is no objective moral standard. Morals change over time, they are subjective, not objective.

 

Morals are developed for the overall good of the human race and, more often now, for the good of all life on earth. The original morals evolved both as memes and genetically, because those humans who were born with, say, a sympathetic gene, or a predisposition to cooperate, fared better as did their social groups. Loners didn't do so well. Memetically, humans were intelligent enough to pass down through oral means what worked and didn't, and the best ideas survived.

 

Even today, the only common moral absolute is against premeditated murder, and there are plenty of humans who have no compunction against that. It does not seem to be instilled in us.

 

If I understand the usual argument, it isn't that specific moral ideas must be instilled, but that the concept of right and wrong must be instilled. In other words, we wouldn't have a conscience without a deity. I say "hogwash". The conscience could certainly have evolved along with intelligence.

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I became vegetarian as soon as I came to an age of understanding that living feeling beings were tortured to death to make that hamburger.  ....once I understood that a life was destroyed to make it, I knew it was morally wrong.  To do otherwise is to deeply offend my own conscience.  I feel like spiritually I have evolved so much through being a vegetarian, I have a deeper and more respectful relationship with animals and nature, and I still get to eat delicious food.  

 

 

My adoptive family- fundamentalist Christian- has  strongly discouraged me from the time I decided to stop eating meat.  ....I am disgusted with their cruel attitudes towards animals and towards those of us who respect them.  But their intolerance can never deter me from doing what I know is right. The absolute worst insult to my conscience is to harm another living being or to sacrifice another living being so that I might gain something for myself.   

 

Hey rach!

 

You and I have much in common. I've had friends that are cows and chickens, and as a fundy child I was always tormented that even though they were friends, we ended up eating them. I was tormented by the fact that they lost their whole life just so I could have a single supper. To make matters worse, the fundy faith to which I belonged was all about 'dominion', and that term has always made my flesh crawl. The whole 'dominion' thing eventually drove me away from Christianity. Now, I feel so whole and so unconflicted inside--I realize and accept that I am part of the ecosystem, and compassion is my bottom line. I am vegetarian, except for the occasional bit of salmon which I allow. I also minimize dairy.

 

Life is so much better when we view ourselves as part of an ecosystem rather than kings of the castle!

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No doubt many on here will disagree with me, but personally I think there is a supreme being behind the existence of morality, which most people call "God".  Now this is nothing to do with any particular religion.  This is where people like Dawkins muddy the waters when they say "we don't get our morals from religion".  Well maybe we don't, but that isn't really the point.  The question is where our inner sense of right and wrong originates from.  If it is just a product of evolution and no God, then it has no real significance, certainly in the long term.  So one person thinks abortion is wrong, and another thinks it's OK.  All one has to do is shrug their shoulders and say "so what?".  The person who thinks it is wrong has no more justification for calling it "wrong" than the person who thinks it is OK.  

 

If Dawkins is angry when "evil" things happen, he needs to ask himself why, because, according to his view, one day we will all be dead and nothing will matter anymore.  Nobody will be punished for the "bad" things they did, and neither will anyone be blessed for having done "good" things.  Dawkins view of "right" and "wrong" is no more valid than Hitler's.  It's just the opinions of an evolved mind, and nothing more.  He has no external reference point with which to measure "good" and "evil".

 

However, if evolution AND God explain why we have a moral sense (that is, our moral sense is not just an evolutionary artifact, but a spiritual one too), then there is an explanation for why good and evil are in fact real things.

 

Again, this has nothing to do with any particular religion.  The issue of religion is irrelevant.  

 

Dawkins is right when he says that you don't need to BELIEVE in God to do good things.  He is right when he says we don't get our morals from religion.  However, due to his monumental ignorance of all things philosophical, he fails utterly to appreciate the more fundamental question: the source of his moral disposition, which is quite apart from any religious belief or his professed disbelief in God.

 

This is one of the most intelligent posts I have seen on this forum. I agree with the sentiments even though I unfortunately have been finding myself becoming increasingly nihilistic.

It's fairly well recognised in academe that Dawkins' arguments on morality wouldn't get through peer review.

For me, morality is all about wrestling with what is presented to us in respect to the possibilities for our ethos. It's as though wrestling is the stuff of life.

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No doubt many on here will disagree with me, but personally I think there is a supreme being behind the existence of morality, which most people call "God". Now this is nothing to do with any particular religion. This is where people like Dawkins muddy the waters when they say "we don't get our morals from religion". Well maybe we don't, but that isn't really the point. The question is where our inner sense of right and wrong originates from. If it is just a product of evolution and no God, then it has no real significance, certainly in the long term. So one person thinks abortion is wrong, and another thinks it's OK. All one has to do is shrug their shoulders and say "so what?". The person who thinks it is wrong has no more justification for calling it "wrong" than the person who thinks it is OK.

 

If Dawkins is angry when "evil" things happen, he needs to ask himself why, because, according to his view, one day we will all be dead and nothing will matter anymore. Nobody will be punished for the "bad" things they did, and neither will anyone be blessed for having done "good" things. Dawkins view of "right" and "wrong" is no more valid than Hitler's. It's just the opinions of an evolved mind, and nothing more. He has no external reference point with which to measure "good" and "evil".

 

However, if evolution AND God explain why we have a moral sense (that is, our moral sense is not just an evolutionary artifact, but a spiritual one too), then there is an explanation for why good and evil are in fact real things.

 

Again, this has nothing to do with any particular religion. The issue of religion is irrelevant.

 

Dawkins is right when he says that you don't need to BELIEVE in God to do good things. He is right when he says we don't get our morals from religion. However, due to his monumental ignorance of all things philosophical, he fails utterly to appreciate the more fundamental question: the source of his moral disposition, which is quite apart from any religious belief or his professed disbelief in God.

 

This is one of the most intelligent posts I have seen on this forum. I agree with the sentiments even though I unfortunately have been finding myself becoming increasingly nihilistic.

It's fairly well recognised in academe that Dawkins' arguments on morality wouldn't get through peer review.

For me, morality is all about wrestling with what is presented to us in respect to the possibilities for our ethos. It's as though wrestling is the stuff of life.

I disagree. He actually shoots his own argument down when he mentions that one person thinks abortion is wrong and another thinks it's okay. If a god instilled a sense morally in us, there would be no disagreement.

 

Oh, right, Satan did it. Satan over-ruled the creator and took away the morality that the first man had.

 

Oh, no, that's not right, either. It was God who let man decide whether to do right or wrong; but wait, God didn't instill in us which was which! We have to decide, and not everyone decides the same!

 

So, no, there is no common sense of morality. It is, in fact, mostly subjective. Our culture dictates some of it. Or genes dictate some of it. Both the genetic and cultural parts of morality evolved because morality and altruism and kindness are more successful traits than selfishness. The result is that most of us are born predisposed to care.

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No doubt many on here will disagree with me, but personally I think there is a supreme being behind the existence of morality, which most people call "God". Now this is nothing to do with any particular religion. This is where people like Dawkins muddy the waters when they say "we don't get our morals from religion". Well maybe we don't, but that isn't really the point. The question is where our inner sense of right and wrong originates from. If it is just a product of evolution and no God, then it has no real significance, certainly in the long term. So one person thinks abortion is wrong, and another thinks it's OK. All one has to do is shrug their shoulders and say "so what?". The person who thinks it is wrong has no more justification for calling it "wrong" than the person who thinks it is OK.

 

If Dawkins is angry when "evil" things happen, he needs to ask himself why, because, according to his view, one day we will all be dead and nothing will matter anymore. Nobody will be punished for the "bad" things they did, and neither will anyone be blessed for having done "good" things. Dawkins view of "right" and "wrong" is no more valid than Hitler's. It's just the opinions of an evolved mind, and nothing more. He has no external reference point with which to measure "good" and "evil".

 

However, if evolution AND God explain why we have a moral sense (that is, our moral sense is not just an evolutionary artifact, but a spiritual one too), then there is an explanation for why good and evil are in fact real things.

 

Again, this has nothing to do with any particular religion. The issue of religion is irrelevant.

 

Dawkins is right when he says that you don't need to BELIEVE in God to do good things. He is right when he says we don't get our morals from religion. However, due to his monumental ignorance of all things philosophical, he fails utterly to appreciate the more fundamental question: the source of his moral disposition, which is quite apart from any religious belief or his professed disbelief in God.

This is one of the most intelligent posts I have seen on this forum. I agree with the sentiments even though I unfortunately have been finding myself becoming increasingly nihilistic.

It's fairly well recognised in academe that Dawkins' arguments on morality wouldn't get through peer review.

For me, morality is all about wrestling with what is presented to us in respect to the possibilities for our ethos. It's as though wrestling is the stuff of life.

I disagree. He actually shoots his own argument down when he mentions that one person thinks abortion is wrong and another thinks it's okay. If a god instilled a sense morally in us, there would be no disagreement.

 

 

This is a non sequitur. It might very well be that there is no final, objective criterion for deciding the rights and wrongs of abortion.But the fact is, we have to make decisions, and without the spectre of morality as a stimulant to make us think about these things, the words that you and I write were wasted before this thread even started (shades of Dostoyevsky, right?).

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The fact that we may not agree if something is wrong or not doesn't negate the possible existence of a real moral standard rooted in something greater than ourselves, which we are accountable to.  Christianity includes the concept of the fall, and hence would argue that our sense of morality, while still existing, is warped.  Old time believers in God would often talk about the education of the conscience, so as to be in line with the character of God.  Although there are many problems with Christianity as a whole, these root concepts seem reasonable.

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The fact that we may not agree if something is wrong or not doesn't negate the possible existence of a real moral standard rooted in something greater than ourselves, which we are accountable to.  Christianity includes the concept of the fall, and hence would argue that our sense of morality, while still existing, is warped.  Old time believers in God would often talk about the education of the conscience, so as to be in line with the character of God.  Although there are many problems with Christianity as a whole, these root concepts seem reasonable.

 

No, it doesn't negate it, but the point is that deists, and Christians in particular, are claiming that this apparent commonality among people proves that it comes from outside of us. My points were 1) that it is inconsistent enough to suspect that it isn't objective at all (and therefore not instilled by a source outside of us), and 2) that there's no reason to think it wouldn't have evolved, both genetically and memetically.

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The fact that we may not agree if something is wrong or not doesn't negate the possible existence of a real moral standard rooted in something greater than ourselves, which we are accountable to.  

 

It also doesn't negate the possible existence of trillions of small unicorns that are both pink and invisible at the same time.  People making positive claims have the burden to support those claims.

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