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Do Christians Actually Have Any Morals?


Sparrow
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Do christians actually have any morals?

 

Whilst this conversation has probably been had before, I’d be interested in collecting the current points of view on the topic of the existence of Christian morality

 

From my own personal experience and from what I’ve garnered from various conversations, reports, web-sites, etc, is that many Christians believe that the only source of morality is the Bible or the various religious texts that they use.

 

Yet I personally know many, many atheists, agnostics and non-religious people who are moral and in many cases, probably even very moral.

 

So the question that is begging is “if you could take the “belief” out of a christian, would you be left with a being that was essentially amoral or immoral?”

 

To clarify the point I'm making here, I once very pointedly asked a number christians to explain how they perceive people without a christian belief structure and morality really act. The answers I received fell in the following general pattern:

 

1. Non christians are thieves

2. Non christians are rapists and child-molestors

3. Non christians are corrupt

4. Non christians are liars

5. Non christians are not trustable

6. Non christians have no social borders

7. Non christians are unethical

etc

 

When I asked these same christians as to how they’d react without their morality, many said that they would rape, steal, etc as there’d be nothing holding them back. Surprisingly, a few even said they’ve would have a “Good ol’ time!”

 

Whether this is really how christians would re-act if their moral framework came “un-stuck”, the point is I think that it aptly demonstrates that christians, in and of themselves, actually have no morals. They actually are collectively unable to formulate a self constructable moral framework without external influence.

 

Without the framework offered by their belief, many christians by their own words would at best be amoral androids, and at worse be psychotics who would murder, rape, steal, etc.

 

I’d like to hear your current opinions on this topic.

 

Thanks

 

Sparrow

 

P.S. I’ve made several assumptions, and clearly certain other questions regarding the exact nature of morality still remain. Perhaps these could be discussed at a later time.

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actually are collectively unable to formulate a self constructable moral framework without external influence actually are collectively unable to formulate a self constructable moral framework without external influence

 

It's an interesting argument. I personally don't believe that morality is actually a constructed framework though. Theoretically yes, but in reality the majority of us are products of our environment, pleasure and pain, and societal norms. Christians only think that their morality comes from a book. My morality has only shifted slightly since rejecting the christian paradigm. My actions have probably not changed at all, but only the guilt I used to feel is now gone. Only sociopaths are amoral and being a sociopath has nothing to do with religion.

 

Anyway, just some random musings on the subject. I'm willing to be wrong about this.

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They seem to think that Christ somehow magically keeps them from doing things they consider evil and extracting Jesus out of them would turn them into demon possessed homocidal psycopaths.

 

I doubt that Christians would rape, steal, and murder without their belief system to keep them in check. They just think they would.

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actually are collectively unable to formulate a self constructable moral framework without external influence actually are collectively unable to formulate a self constructable moral framework without external influence

 

It's an interesting argument. I personally don't believe that morality is actually a constructed framework though. Theoretically yes, but in reality the majority of us are products of our environment, pleasure and pain, and societal norms. Christians only think that their morality comes from a book. My morality has only shifted slightly since rejecting the christian paradigm. My actions have probably not changed at all, but only the guilt I used to feel is now gone. Only sociopaths are amoral and being a sociopath has nothing to do with religion.

 

Anyway, just some random musings on the subject. I'm willing to be wrong about this.

 

Brilliant! Thanks for the feedback.

 

In reality, I personally don't think there is any such thing as "morals".

 

I believe that there is something as a "species survival imperititve" but I think the whole thing of "morality" is artifical.

 

Thanks Though

 

Sparrow

 

They seem to think that Christ somehow magically keeps them from doing things they consider evil and extracting Jesus out of them would turn them into demon possessed homocidal psycopaths.

 

I doubt that Christians would rape, steal, and murder without their belief system to keep them in check. They just think they would.

 

Firstly, thank you.

 

I tend to agree. I seriously doubt that if christianity would suddenly be totally and irrevocably disproved that people (who suddenly found themselves without a belief) would go on a "rape and pillage" spree.

 

Anyway, thanks

 

Sparrow

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In reality, I personally don't think there is any such thing as "morals".

 

I believe that there is something as a "species survival imperititve" but I think the whole thing of "morality" is artifical.

 

 

 

It is true, morality is an artificial concept. This however doesn't mean that it doesn't "exist": it exists not as apples can exist, but as a concept can exist. An idea that grew more and more since it was born, and is now commonly accepted from humankind.

 

 

 

An amoral being would be a sociopath, said Vigile del fuoco. Thus he explained the origins of the morality concept: from Society. This means, though, that there would be a totally different morality for someone born in a different society. Ancient greeks thought that being homosexual was perfectly normal, and pedophilia was an accepted, and even istitutionalized, tradition. Some tribes around the world thought (maybe, they still think) that eating their opponents was an OK thing to do. Here, suicide is considered something that only a loser would do, in Japan suicide was almost a must, at the very least it was considered a very noble thing to do, sometimes the only honorable thing to do. We eat rabbit, but think that eating dogs is cruel. In Korea, they eat both rabbits and dogs. In Japan, they eat no dogs and no rabbits "because they're so cute". And so on.

 

What would happen to someone that was born and grew up in total absence of societies? No one knows that yet, because even simply having your mother in a small hut in the middle of nowhere would mean be inside a society, albeit small, and Morality in that case would be what the mother teaches to her child.

 

 

 

Specifically about christians? Well, they think like that because they've been instructed and brainwashed into thinking the following:

 

1) Humankind is inherently evil.

 

2) Jesus is salvation from evil, and everything good has been taught (and is incarnated) by him.

 

3) An human being without jesus, being inherently evil and without the good teachings of jesus, can only be the worst sort of person, and such, a lot worse than christians.

 

 

 

What would happen if one of them losed its faith in Jesus? I guess that the morality rules they've been taught during all of their lives would kick in without they even deciding it. Routine, force of habit, you name it. Morality has not been taught to christians by their religion: they've been taught from christianity the *ways* and the *rules* in which they suppose morality work. But the morality tenets per se are mostly a product of culture.

 

That inner voice that tells you "You shouldn't do this" when you look at your mother's face and even if she really got you mad, even if she said something you wouldn't allow any of your friends to tell you so, even if you'd really like to slap her HARD, something stops you in your track and you just stand in front of her without being able to lift a hand.

 

The bible says "homosexuals are an abomination" and a ton of christians would agree with it.

 

The bible says "eating shrimps is an abomination", and a ton of christians would start stuttering, trying to justify those words with blabberings of context.

The bible says both things are abomination. Christians are ready to agree that homosexuality is just that, but you will never manage to convince them to stop eating shrimps and crab meat. Another morality, one that is not from the bible alone, tells them that homosexuality is abomination while eating shrimps is not.

 

 

 

Of course our problem is made much worse since christianity has infiltrated society on so many levels, that many bible-only morality tenets are now part of the global american (and italian) morality. As the homosexuality bit above. You don't have to go in a church to see and hear people enraged or disgusted by homosexuals... you see it in everyday life, and it is transmitted to many babies as a commonly-accepted assumption. Why do all babies believe in santa? Because society tells them that santa exists. Same thing...

 

 

 

Difference in two societies:

 

- Homosexuals in America, for christians: you are an abomination. Stop existing. Stop being an homosexual and start being an heterosexual.

 

- Homosexuals in Italy, for christians: you are doing something wrong. You are very sick. However, it is not TOO bad... if you'd just shut your mouth about being homosexual... hide yourself in a closet... pretend being heterosexual... never go to events such as gay pride... then, you will be treated like a slightly different person.

 

BEING vs APPEARING. Feh. :shrug:

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They seem to think that Christ somehow magically keeps them from doing things they consider evil and extracting Jesus out of them would turn them into demon possessed homocidal psycopaths.

 

I doubt that Christians would rape, steal, and murder without their belief system to keep them in check. They just think they would.

 

I tend to agree. Xians think that Jeezus™ magically makes them moral people, and that non-Xians are either wallowing in vice or prone to it. Only Jeezus™ makes a person good.

 

Some Xians would rape and pillage without their religion, I am sure. Others wouldn't. The fear of Hell™ is the only thing that motivates them to be good, anyway. Rarely does a Xian say that they want to be good just for goodness' sake. It's always that they have to be good so they can escape eternal torment.

 

The ones who don't put forth Hell™ (which includes the concept of "pleasing Gawd") as their primary reason for being good usually end up either lax Xians or ex-Xians altogether, I'm willing to bet.

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They seem to think that Christ somehow magically keeps them from doing things they consider evil and extracting Jesus out of them would turn them into demon possessed homocidal psycopaths.

 

I doubt that Christians would rape, steal, and murder without their belief system to keep them in check. They just think they would.

 

I tend to agree. Xians think that Jeezus™ magically makes them moral people, and that non-Xians are either wallowing in vice or prone to it. Only Jeezus™ makes a person good.

 

Some Xians would rape and pillage without their religion, I am sure. Others wouldn't. The fear of Hell™ is the only thing that motivates them to be good, anyway. Rarely does a Xian say that they want to be good just for goodness' sake. It's always that they have to be good so they can escape eternal torment.

 

Agreed that the fear of Hell supposedly keeps them in line. However, they are all human and still act human from what I have seen. They really aren't much different except that they condemn themselves so much when they "mess up."

 

Also, the idea has been presented above that Christians just think they would be amoral if their religion dissapeared. If they thought that, even if it wasn't true, they would probably be amoral. The mind is very powerful. If they think they have no power to control themselves outside of God's help, they may very well fall prey to this victimized thinking and be amoral even though they have the ability to do differently. I have also noticed that Christianity takes away a person's confidence in their own ability to handle life and make good decisions. Even though they are fully capable of making decisions for themselves as they have been doing all along (and just thinking it was God), they don't feel capable because they've attributed everything they've ever done to God's handiwork. It's really quite sad. I had to build my confidence in my own abilities to make decisions about my life after leaving Christianity, and I have seen this happen to other people here on the forums.

 

There is also the influence of culture which has already been talked about. There is also instinct, pack and individual, that really drives our actions.

 

There is a bumper sticker that says "I don't need the threat of HELL to be moral." Well said.

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It is true, morality is an artificial concept. This however doesn't mean that it doesn't "exist": it exists not as apples can exist, but as a concept can exist. An idea that grew more and more since it was born, and is now commonly accepted from humankind.

 

Hmmm … that is an interesting point. Are you an American citizen?

 

The reason I ask this is because you where I live the concept of morality is very “fluffy”. Certainly there are people who scream “morality”, but generally no one really takes it seriously.

 

Hence it is difficult for me to assign a “substantial” value to something that my society concludes as very philosophical and questionable.

 

Though what you say is an interesting point.

 

An amoral being would be a sociopath, said Vigile del fuoco. Thus he explained the origins of the morality concept: from Society. This means, though, that there would be a totally different morality for someone born in a different society. Ancient greeks thought that being homosexual was perfectly normal, and pedophilia was an accepted, and even istitutionalized, tradition. Some tribes around the world thought (maybe, they still think) that eating their opponents was an OK thing to do. Here, suicide is considered something that only a loser would do, in Japan suicide was almost a must, at the very least it was considered a very noble thing to do, sometimes the only honorable thing to do. We eat rabbit, but think that eating dogs is cruel. In Korea, they eat both rabbits and dogs. In Japan, they eat no dogs and no rabbits "because they're so cute". And so on.

 

Again an interesting set of points and examples but are the details true and accurate?

 

I am a quarter Japanese, and I know that in some provinces that Dogs and other “cute” animals were farmed and eaten. Hence this paragraph.

 

So I question what is an “amoral” being?

 

Vigile del fuoco says that an amoral being is a sociopath. I have none of my text books with me presently and that type of training was so long ago, so I cannot test that definition – however, at the end of the day I think a good point is “what is an amoral being” and if an amoral being could actually exist?

 

(Nothing disparaging meant to Vigile del fuoco)

 

What would happen to someone that was born and grew up in total absence of societies? No one knows that yet, because even simply having your mother in a small hut in the middle of nowhere would mean be inside a society, albeit small, and Morality in that case would be what the mother teaches to her child.

 

Specifically about christians? Well, they think like that because they've been instructed and brainwashed into thinking the following:

 

1) Humankind is inherently evil.

 

2) Jesus is salvation from evil, and everything good has been taught (and is incarnated) by him.

 

3) An human being without jesus, being inherently evil and without the good teachings of jesus, can only be the worst sort of person, and such, a lot worse than christians.

 

Yes. That seems to be my observation as well.

 

What would happen if one of them losed its faith in Jesus? I guess that the morality rules they've been taught during all of their lives would kick in without they even deciding it. Routine, force of habit, you name it. Morality has not been taught to christians by their religion: they've been taught from christianity the *ways* and the *rules* in which they suppose morality work. But the morality tenets per se are mostly a product of culture.

 

Yes, I would agree with that mostly too.

 

That inner voice that tells you "You shouldn't do this" when you look at your mother's face and even if she really got you mad, even if she said something you wouldn't allow any of your friends to tell you so, even if you'd really like to slap her HARD, something stops you in your track and you just stand in front of her without being able to lift a hand.

 

Hmmm – interesting point.

 

The bible says "homosexuals are an abomination" and a ton of christians would agree with it.

 

The bible says "eating shrimps is an abomination", and a ton of christians would start stuttering, trying to justify those words with blabberings of context.

The bible says both things are abomination. Christians are ready to agree that homosexuality is just that, but you will never manage to convince them to stop eating shrimps and crab meat. Another morality, one that is not from the bible alone, tells them that homosexuality is abomination while eating shrimps is not.

 

Yes. This is very strange about the bible and Christians. The shrimp thing and the homosexual thing.

 

One can ask “How do you know how to apply these rules” and normally one receives the usual “If you are filled with the holy spirit you know what is right” remark.

 

Of course our problem is made much worse since christianity has infiltrated society on so many levels, that many bible-only morality tenets are now part of the global american (and italian) morality. As the homosexuality bit above. You don't have to go in a church to see and hear people enraged or disgusted by homosexuals... you see it in everyday life, and it is transmitted to many babies as a commonly-accepted assumption. Why do all babies believe in santa? Because society tells them that santa exists. Same thing...

 

You know, we just don’t have that problem here. My best male friend is gay and frankly, and virtually no one gives a shit.

 

Of course there are some people who do but the majority doesn’t care one way or the other. No one advertises their "gayness" and no one seriously protests.

 

This is very strange for me.

 

Difference in two societies:

 

- Homosexuals in America, for christians: you are an abomination. Stop existing. Stop being an homosexual and start being an heterosexual.

 

- Homosexuals in Italy, for christians: you are doing something wrong. You are very sick. However, it is not TOO bad... if you'd just shut your mouth about being homosexual... hide yourself in a closet... pretend being heterosexual... never go to events such as gay pride... then, you will be treated like a slightly different person.

 

BEING vs APPEARING. Feh. :shrug:

 

It is interesting that the topic of morality turned to human sexuality. I appreciate your feedback very much and hope that we converse much more in the future.

 

Thank you very much

 

Sparrow

 

 

 

 

 

Varokhar's text

 

 

As usual, very nice from Varokhar.

 

Thank You!

 

Sparrow

 

 

Young Mother Atheist text

 

 

Brilliant. Thank you very much.

 

Sparrow

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Um, *cough* *raises hand* I think there is such a thing as morality. Absolutely.

And it can't be based on the bible, since that would mean there was no morality prior to the year AD 397.

 

And yes, anyone (Christian or otherwise) who says that they would love to do evil if only there were no punishment for it....is not a moral person. And by that I mean they're not a good person.

 

And no, I don't believe most Christians would do evil if there were no punishment. I also don't believe most non-Christians would. There is a natural impulsion to the good in humanity. The problem with doing bad things is that eventually one becomes a bad person.

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This is one of those questions that I hear from Christians when I say I am an atheist: "Well what's to stop you from just going out and killing someone?" It's kind of a head-scratcher to me how they could go from believing in God to being a murderer. To me it's very ironic in a sense since there was a man in the church I was in whose wife had left him and was seeing another man. He got his deer rifle and went down to the local bar where he was and shot him in his head killing him. His God belief didn't do anything to stop him.

 

My first answer to the questions of ethics (or morality) from Christians who think our sense of right and wrong come from a book is to answer that it was man who taught God morality. God's morality changes with the culture of the people who created him in their own image. The 10 commandments have "God" dictating "Thou shalt not kill!". Yet the next chapter has him instructing the Hebrews to commit genocide, not just war, to an entire race of people. How is this?

 

Today we take the indiscriminant killing of humans anywhere to be wrong, but to the Hebrews the moral dictates of their God were to them in their social order. He was their tribal God. Rules from him had nothing to do with humanity. Humanity didn't really exist beyond their borders to their God. Their concepts of morality then were different from ours today. This is why our God today is so different than the OT deity. We as a people have moved beyond a tight tribal mentality, and with us, so our God.

 

For me I understand the "sacredness" of "moral" behaviors to come from the type of animal we are. We are social animals and cooperation is what serves us. Our first tendency is towards self, but if everyone pursued that then the society suffers. But if we pursue self interest through cooperation, everyone benefits to a greater degree and consequently ourselves. It just takes longer and more effort. This is why we created "laws" to enforce these better practices. We promote these ideals through elevating these concepts with such things as hero's tales, god myths, patriotism, etc. We created God as our higher self for many reasons; one important one back when was social order. We demonize Greed, and we deify Cooperation, or Love. God is our servant who we serve to serve us. We feed him our values to feed them back to us. :grin:

 

So in one sense, if we took God out of the picture we could loose the power of that symbol for our rules of social behaviors or moralities, but God no longer is the symbol he was in 700 BCE. We have many, many other symbols in place in modern society. I wonder if the problem for some Christians is that their isolationist tendencies makes them worry about taking their idol down. Do they have no other social connections? Are they afraid to see that they might not need him for that?

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It is true, morality is an artificial concept. This however doesn't mean that it doesn't "exist": it exists not as apples can exist, but as a concept can exist. An idea that grew more and more since it was born, and is now commonly accepted from humankind.

 

Hmmm … that is an interesting point. Are you an American citizen?

 

The reason I ask this is because you where I live the concept of morality is very "fluffy". Certainly there are people who scream "morality", but generally no one really takes it seriously.

 

Hence it is difficult for me to assign a "substantial" value to something that my society concludes as very philosophical and questionable.

 

Though what you say is an interesting point.

 

 

 

 

In fact, I'm not. I was born, raised, grew up and now live in Italy. I travelled around a bit, though :)

 

Well. The specific tenets of morality are not agreed upon by everyone, I think, however even those saying they have no morals, ultimately have some... or even more than they think. For some of them, it could be something like "the american flag should be respected and honored at all times", and for some of them it could be something like "It is a bad thing to kill your own children and eat them". I think most of them would choose this one. If they didn't have a morality, they would say "I could do that. I have no qualms about doing that. If my best friend did such a thing to his own babies, it wouldn't be a problem for me. The only reason I can possibly see for not doing it, is that it goes against the law, not because I have problems breaking the law, but because there will be serious problems and freedom restrictions or even death punishment in case you are discovered".

In ancient sparta, children who weren't perfectly healthy were simply killed, it was a regular social norm, and no one thought this was cruel. It was an accepted custom, the morals of that particular culture said to the citizenry this and other similar things. I.e., Ilotes (the lower social class) were considered nothing more than slaves or cattle: the young Spartiate had a ritual Coming of Age, in which he or she had to go out in the city at night, with just a knife, and kill an Ilote all alone. Eh, I'll stop right there with the examples, there would be too many to list them all :)

What I mean is: it's like there were Lesser morals and Greater morals in my eyes. The children-eating one, would be one of the Greater Morals (acknowledged by everyone, exception made for the really dangerous sociopaths), while things like the morality of going to church, of not having sex with people of your same sex, of having jesus crosses hanging from all public buildings' walls and such, would be Lesser Morals, disputed and discussed by people. Morals just the same, what I mean is (GAH this is a really convoluted post!) i.e. in italy not having a cross hanging from a public place wall is something of Illuministic derivation, while having a cross hanging from a public place wall is something linked to the ancient Middle-Ages. They're both "moral tenets" (it is moral to X. It is moral not to X.) because even 2 different points of view can convive inside a single culture...

 

I'll stop right there, since I almost don't even understand myself what I've written. :twitch:

 

 

An amoral being would be a sociopath, said Vigile del fuoco. Thus he explained the origins of the morality concept: from Society. This means, though, that there would be a totally different morality for someone born in a different society. Ancient greeks thought that being homosexual was perfectly normal, and pedophilia was an accepted, and even istitutionalized, tradition. Some tribes around the world thought (maybe, they still think) that eating their opponents was an OK thing to do. Here, suicide is considered something that only a loser would do, in Japan suicide was almost a must, at the very least it was considered a very noble thing to do, sometimes the only honorable thing to do. We eat rabbit, but think that eating dogs is cruel. In Korea, they eat both rabbits and dogs. In Japan, they eat no dogs and no rabbits "because they're so cute". And so on.

 

Again an interesting set of points and examples but are the details true and accurate?

 

 

 

They do. Eh, of course in ancient greece, pedophilia didn't take the form we know of today. Usually, adult men went to the palaestrae where youths and children were trained for the martial arts; youths and children fought naked, with their skins oiled to have a chance to escape an opponent's grasp. The adults looked at the children wrestling on the sand, under the sun, and after that they decided which one they liked best: with the complete agreement of the child and his family, usually, after the adult had introduced himself to both him and the family, the child went to live with the adult, where they entertained a sexual relationship, where the older man was also a mentor, a teacher, and a friend. The relationship went on, until the young one started having a beard and his voice underwent changes. Then, the mentor gifted him with a cuirass and a sword, and bid him farewell. Of course, the value of the weapon and armor means that only the wealthy-enough people could manage to do that, it wasn't something for slaves or farmers to do.

 

(Source: Le nozze di cadmo e armonia - italian only book, I fear. Can't remember the writer, though, I don't have the book anymore, it was property of a teacher of mine).

 

 

 

Vigile del fuoco says that an amoral being is a sociopath. I have none of my text books with me presently and that type of training was so long ago, so I cannot test that definition – however, at the end of the day I think a good point is "what is an amoral being" and if an amoral being could actually exist?

 

 

 

I don't think it exists because, as both you and me are stating, it is nigh impossible to have someone that grew up completely separated from even the slightest bit of information about society. Even a child growing up with wolves, would in the end learn some bits of information from them (regurgitate food for the puppies, hunting and living in a pack, the rules about how and if the alpha male has to be challenged), but we don't have scientific observation and studies on these cases, though, so it's hard to try and esteem such a thing.

 

Yes. This is very strange about the bible and Christians. The shrimp thing and the homosexual thing.

 

One can ask "How do you know how to apply these rules" and normally one receives the usual "If you are filled with the holy spirit you know what is right" remark.

 

 

 

Which is a rather convenient remark, I think. Too convenient for my tastes. :shrug:

 

 

You know, we just don't have that problem here. My best male friend is gay and frankly, and virtually no one gives a shit.

 

 

 

Lucky you! This is not the case here, sadly.

 

I mean, we do have some Senators (members of our parliament, politicians that have been regularly elected!) that talk about homosexuals openly as "fags" "mentally ill people" "They should stop showing their face around" "you are homosexual so you shouldn't DARE talk"... What a shame.

 

It is because of the Vatican influence. They are the first ones to spread disinformation and prejudices, such as the "just stay in your closet and shut up" or "you shouldn't be allowed to talk about things like family and morals" or "you are ill, you must be cured and corrected".

 

 

 

It is interesting that the topic of morality turned to human sexuality. I appreciate your feedback very much and hope that we converse much more in the future.

 

 

 

It was my pleasure! :)

 

Well, I grabbed human sexuality as an example, since it is one of the most debated topics when it comes down to morality. I am bisexual i.e., so I am Immoral for a lot of people, while a lot of other people think I am perfectly Moral.

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There is a natural impulsion to the good in humanity. The problem with doing bad things is that eventually one becomes a bad person.

 

However, keep in mind that "good" is not definable except by situation. What is good for one person may be really bad for you. It is difficult to judge another person's moral because it is sort of always changing from one perspective to the next or one situation to the next.

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I’d like to hear your current opinions on this topic.

 

Literalist/fundie christians? No. As they have all replaced their brains with babble pages, the only thing that could have morals here is the babble. And we all know about the "morals" in there, don't we? :Hmm:

 

Now as for the "happy heretics" who care shit about literalism, they can easily be another case. Example? Myself - when I was still a christian. You could have come up and screamed into my face that "d4 8488|3 53z 7h0u 5h4|| k1|| 7h353 4nd 7h053 4nd...", you could have tried to bitchslap me into obedience et al, and I'd have said "the FUCK it does. That's not right, period - no matter how often the book says that!"...

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In fact, I'm not. I was born, raised, grew up and now live in Italy. I travelled around a bit, though :)

 

OK. Understood. We’re actually not very far from each other. I am in Zürich, Switzerland. I occasionally travel to Italy – usually by sleeper train into Roma. My favorite place on Earth. I sometimes just hop on a train just to have lunch on a Sunday at the Piazza Navona.

 

 

Well. The specific tenets of morality are not agreed upon by everyone, I think, however even those ……

I'll stop right there, since I almost don't even understand myself what I've written. :twitch: ….

 

 

I suppose this is my point – about the existence of morality. Since no one can really lock down “morality” to a specific set of rules, one has to question if it exists at all.

 

As you pointed out, morality is often stated as being closely entwined with human sexuality. IMHO sexuality has virtually nothing to do with morality.

 

An amoral being would be a sociopath, said Vigile del fuoco. Thus he explained the origins of the morality concept: from Society ….

 

Still I ask “what is morality” and could an amoral being exist?

 

Through various situations I’ve been involved in I have to admit that I’ve “met” people whom I consider amoral.

 

Maybe I should clarify myself: I’ve seen people, whom under special circumstances, acted in a manner that was neither moral or immoral, insomuch as they could logically justify their actions and seemingly, had no regrets.

 

A primary example was an operating theatre in an African nation where a "human catastrophy" had occured. The leader of the Guerrilla band marched in, held the surgical staff against the wall, while his men killed all the patients we’d operated on. He was not a bad man, nor was he a good man. He just did what he thought was the correct thing to do at the time. I don’t know if he had regrets or pleasant memories. I do doubt that he actually thinks about it.

 

In my mind and by my definitions, he was amoral.

 

They do. Eh, of course in ancient greece, pedophilia didn't take the form we know of today. …

 

(Source: Le nozze di cadmo e armonia - italian only book, I fear. Can't remember the writer, though, I don't have the book anymore, it was property of a teacher of mine).

 

I think this is my point – or, at least as I think of it more often than not – I suppose that I don’t believe there is any such thing as “morality” – just this very transitory, amorphous glob of what is “currently acceptable” and what is “not”.

 

As to the “Le nozze di cadmo e armonia” – I’ll look for it.

 

I suppose I am going to have many restless nights trying to read it and translate it. Not that I would even consider that I could. Read Italian. (My Italian is absolute minimum)

 

I don't think it exists because, as both you and me are stating, it is nigh impossible to have someone that grew up ……

 

Hmmm . I think it is very, very, very, ….. very, rare, but there are some people who are really amoral.

 

For example I have a friend in Melbourne. Maybe friend is not the right word, more acquaintance. Anyway, he’s one of these rare people who is not bisexual, he just doesn’t care what the gender of the other person is, if this person interests him sexually, he’s “happy”.

 

Lucky you! This is not the case here, sadly.

 

I mean, we do have some Senators (members of our parliament, politicians that have been regularly elected!) …

 

Yes … catholics … strange bunch really. As bad as the evangelicals.

 

Sex-obsessed, double-standards, progress-stalling ,,,,,

 

No wonder religion bores me.

 

 

It was my pleasure! :)

 

Well, I grabbed human sexuality as an example, since it is one of the most debated topics when it comes down to morality. I am bisexual i.e., so I am Immoral for a lot of people, while a lot of other people think I am perfectly Moral.

 

Just want to say thank you for taking the time to make a big posting. I appreciate hat very much.

 

In terms of myself, I was actually born both sexes and until I had that corrected I was some immoral freak – despite the fact that people like me are hardly, if not at all, mentioned in the Bible (or virtually any other religious text).

 

Again, thanks.

 

Sparrow

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There is a natural impulsion to the good in humanity. The problem with doing bad things is that eventually one becomes a bad person.

 

However, keep in mind that "good" is not definable except by situation. What is good for one person may be really bad for you. It is difficult to judge another person's moral because it is sort of always changing from one perspective to the next or one situation to the next.

 

Thanks YMA, that's my point, in a way at least. (Sorry if this is not what you meant).

 

Since "Morality" is in a state of flux, it is difficult to believe if it exists at all, or if it is inreality something else.

 

Situation clearly makes a difference. Circumstance clearly influences the evaluation.

 

Since this is clear, is there really any such thing as morality, other than what someone (in a given time, in a given culture) currently decides?

 

Can someone honestly say that morality, at any given time, is really anything other than just a trend or an atificial construct?

 

Anyway, thank you for your feedback. It is very much appreciated.

 

Sparrow

 

I’d like to hear your current opinions on this topic.

 

Literalist/fundie christians? No. As they have all replaced their brains with babble pages, the only thing that could have morals here is the babble. And we all know about the "morals" in there, don't we? :Hmm:

 

Now as for the "happy heretics" who care shit about literalism, they can easily be another case. Example? Myself - when I was still a christian. You could have come up and screamed into my face that "d4 8488|3 53z 7h0u 5h4|| k1|| 7h353 4nd 7h053 4nd...", you could have tried to bitchslap me into obedience et al, and I'd have said "the FUCK it does. That's not right, period - no matter how often the book says that!"...

 

Ja!!! Gehe die Nördic Götte und Göttin!! Das glaube ich auch. TOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Dante tu ängsthafti jetztü g’wese’!

 

Odin isch mei Götti!

 

Spätzin (esch Fräali')

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I think I'm in love :wicked:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

:lmao:

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1. Some Xians would rape and pillage without their religion, I am sure.

 

2. Others wouldn't. The fear of Hell™ is the only thing that motivates them to be good, anyway.

 

1. Many Christians would do this and do do this with their religion and often because of it.

 

2. I don't think this is the case. People are moral because that is the kind of animal they are. Certainly negative emotions of fear, guilt, shame, and etc. are part of human compulsion towards moral behavior. It is a shame if these emotions are not balanced by feelings of love, compasion, kindness, and etc. People vary in their capacity to include others in their monkey circle. That is the number of people to which they will automatically extend kind behavour instead of violent behavior when they think the chips are down.

 

What we consider immoral behavior is usually still compelled by our evolved social emotions. Nazis didn't try to eliminate Jews, Slavs, Gypsies, and the like because they considered themselves immoral and wished to do evil. Quite the contrary. They considered themselves good and their victums evil.

 

I think that the prevelance of human evil in the world is the result of pushing social boundries beyond what evolution has so far equipped us for.

 

When I am calm and comfortable I can via logic mentally extend my compassion and acceptance to any imagined individual -- even George W. Bush. However, when the rubber meets the road and starts to burn and tear, my actions are directed by how I feel, and my circle of acceptable people shrinks dramatically.

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1. Many Christians would do this and do do this with their religion and often because of it.

 

I know that :shrug:

 

2. I don't think this is the case. People are moral because that is the kind of animal they are.

 

Oh, I agree. For the most part, this is the truth. Xians are humans before they are Xians, and their basic nature is what it is, despite their religion. Perhaps I should've stated that in my post above, but I do believe this about Xians - that they are good or evil depending on how they are naturally wired. Sure, their religion motivates them a certain way, for good or ill, and in their eyes they need their cult in order to be capable of good to begin with, but they are human beings, and their religion is only an addendum to their basic selves.

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OK. Understood. We're actually not very far from each other. I am in Zürich, Switzerland. I occasionally travel to Italy – usually by sleeper train into Roma. My favorite place on Earth. I sometimes just hop on a train just to have lunch on a Sunday at the Piazza Navona.

 

Myself, I like small towns best. I like the silence, and waking up with the sound of birds singing. A city that big and the constant noise of cars roaring under my windows would drive me crazy rather soon, I'd wager :)

 

I suppose this is my point – about the existence of morality. Since no one can really lock down "morality" to a specific set of rules, one has to question if it exists at all.

 

As you pointed out, morality is often stated as being closely entwined with human sexuality. IMHO sexuality has virtually nothing to do with morality.

 

 

 

Hmm... we could dive in an interesting discussion about what is "existence", especially when talking of concepts (and not physical objects). A horse, physically exist: we can get near it, touch it, and unless one wants to do like Descartes and say "Eh, but maybe there is some nasty little devil around that is making us believe that there IS a horse here, but in reality there is no horse here", we tend to follow our experience and trust our perceptions.

 

But let's talk about a dragon. A dragon doesn't have a physical existence, but it has a conceptual existence: someone has invented the "dragon" legends, someone else did paintings based on those legends, someone else then invented dragon movies. There are people discussing over this concept: is a dragon serpent-like with thin moustaches and a beard, like the chinese ones? Is a dragon much more similar to the artwork of Elmore? But since the Dragon is not a physical object that our senses can experience, but instead it is a concept, he exists as concepts do - a creation of human mind.

Same with morality. I think it exists as a concept, a human creation (albeit an important one. Love as we know it and live it is another creation, same about Friendship, or never breaking an oath, and so on). But I don't think it has an objective existence, just as "love" "friendship" "dragons" don't have an objective, verifiable, perceivable, existence. Does a dragon have a beard? A chinese will say yes, a D&D player will say no. Is it against the moral to have an homosexual relationship? A fundy will say yes, we say no.

 

Eh! This time I think I manage to explain it! :D

 

Still I ask "what is morality" and could an amoral being exist?

 

Through various situations I've been involved in I have to admit that I've "met" people whom I consider amoral.

 

Maybe I should clarify myself: I've seen people, whom under special circumstances, acted in a manner that was neither moral or immoral, insomuch as they could logically justify their actions and seemingly, had no regrets.

 

 

 

I didn't mean it that way. When I say "amoral" I mean with ABSOLUTELY no morals, none at all. I don't mean "less morals than the other people".

 

This is why I don't think such a being could exist.

 

Some examples of reasoning that an amoral being could follow:

 

"I'm anemic. My doctor told me via phone that I need to eat more meat. I live in the middle of fields, at least 1 hour from the nearest town, and I don't have much money. A child comes and knocks at my door. I have good reason to think no one knows he's here right now. I think that objectively, should I kill him and hide the body, no one will ever discover I did so, and I won't end up in prison. This means I can eat meat without the need to spend money in town" (goes and kills and eats baby).

 

"I think that rape is no worse than having consensual sex, providing of course you find a way to rape around without ending up in prison or having to pay fines"

 

"There is a 6 years old child, she's tetraplegic and unable to speak, she's been left in my care. I want to have sex with her, she has no way of stopping me anyway." (goes and does it)

 

"This is a painting that a man completed over the course of 20 years. It is his masterpiece and all of his life. I'm cold. I don't have any wood around. I'll burn the painting." or "I don't like it, I want to deface it, so I'll do that".

 

And I can go on, but it could become an infinite list. A human being without ANY morals at all, seems to be a rather difficult thing to come by (yes, I'd say almost impossible). A human being without some, widely accepted, moral tenets, is not amoral in the true sense of the word IMO - even if today, we commonly use the word to refer to people acting "badly" or "evilly". A human being without some moral tenets could be mentally ill, or be motivated by a complex interaction of context and personal reaction to certain situations, and such.

 

 

A primary example was an operating theatre in an African nation where a "human catastrophy" had occured. The leader of the Guerrilla band marched in, held the surgical staff against the wall, while his men killed all the patients we'd operated on. He was not a bad man, nor was he a good man. He just did what he thought was the correct thing to do at the time. I don't know if he had regrets or pleasant memories. I do doubt that he actually thinks about it.

 

In my mind and by my definitions, he was amoral. Hm, we do have 2 different definitions :D let's see what wiki says.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amorality

 

I tend to give this definition of Amoral, because of its ethimology.

 

A-theist = There are no gods. (none at all)

 

A-moral = There are no morals. (none at all)

This is why I use this, admittedly uncommon, definition of amorality, instead of the more widespread and accepted one. :)

 

 

I think this is my point – or, at least as I think of it more often than not – I suppose that I don't believe there is any such thing as "morality" – just this very transitory, amorphous glob of what is "currently acceptable" and what is "not".

 

 

 

And this is precisely what I mean when I say that morality is a human concept, and has conceptual existence :) I, too, don't believe there is such thing as "morality" - because I don't think "Morality" exists the way "things" do.

 

After all, even the "dragon" concept is very transitory. Some hundred years ago, dragons were "the great worms", spawns of the devil (look at st. george) and evil beings. A couple thousand years ago, in greece, dragons were sons and daughters of divinities or divine beings, and they were visually very different from the dragons we envision nowadays (no bat wings i.e.). Within the last 50 years, the fantasy culture has become widespread, and there have been even movies with good talking dragons and such.

Being morality a concept, a creation of human thoughts, it is constantly mutating and changing to adapt to the people, and the historical and social context, in which it exists.

 

 

Hmmm . I think it is very, very, very, ….. very, rare, but there are some people who are really amoral.

 

For example I have a friend in Melbourne. Maybe friend is not the right word, more acquaintance. Anyway, he's one of these rare people who is not bisexual, he just doesn't care what the gender of the other person is, if this person interests him sexually, he's "happy".

 

 

 

But would he do the things I wrote a bit above? Raping children? A people with NO morals AT ALL, would have no qualms doing so, since there is in fact no moral telling him that raping children is a "bad thing". He doesn't have morals about the gender of his partners, but he'll probably have some about the consensuality of sexual intercourse, or incest. So he has different morals, but it is different from no morals at all, right?

 

 

 

Just want to say thank you for taking the time to make a big posting. I appreciate hat very much.

 

In terms of myself, I was actually born both sexes and until I had that corrected I was some immoral freak – despite the fact that people like me are hardly, if not at all, mentioned in the Bible (or virtually any other religious text).

 

 

 

Damned my nerdical background! I'm starting to imagine you as some kind of exciting japanese dickgirl! (just joking :grin::grin: )

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..."I'm anemic. My doctor told me via phone that I need to eat more meat. I live in the middle of fields, at least 1 hour from the nearest town, and I don't have much money. A child comes and knocks at my door. I have good reason to think no one knows he's here right now. I think that objectively, should I kill him and hide the body, no one will ever discover I did so, and I won't end up in prison. This means I can eat meat without the need to spend money in town" (goes and kills and eats baby)...

 

This is not an amoral being. An amoral being would just kill and eat without the internal discussion. This is a description of a pathological sociopath. A wolverine is perhaps an example of an amoral mammal as it lives its life without reguard for other wolverines except for reproduction.

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I didn't mean it that way. When I say "amoral" I mean with ABSOLUTELY no morals, none at all. I don't mean "less morals than the other people".

 

… TEXT …

 

In my mind and by my definitions, he was amoral. Hm, we do have 2 different definitions :D let's see what wiki says.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amorality

 

I tend to give this definition of Amoral, because of its ethimology.

 

… TEXT …

 

OK, I can work with a definition like that, but I am not sure I could work with the examples.

 

The examples I would tend to prefer would be would be based on “amoral – neither moral, nor immoral”, - “immoral, not or the opposite of moral".

 

Therefore my examples of an amoral being would be a lion or a Jackal capturing a baby antelope and eating it alive while it screams. Neither right nor wrong as there is no framework of right or wrong and as the animal is doing what an animal does.

 

An immoral being would, within a framework of right or wrong, nearly automatically choose to do the wrong thing – by our standards that could be rob a bank or rape a child.

 

This in my mind says nothing about the framework of rightness or wrongness being in and of itself right or wrong, but more about how a being operates within that frame work.

 

Damned my nerdical background! I'm starting to imagine you as some kind of exciting japanese dickgirl! (just joking :grin::grin: )

 

Actually, I’m a 40–something year old woman, who has two nearly grown-up children and is widowed. I had a genetic anomaly that was corrected when I was young.

 

However, as to the dick-girl comment, I’m not sure what that actually means but I can assume based on my personal experience since that whenever I’ve been honest with people there’s always been one such comment, so whilst you probably meant it as a joke, it does sound relatively insulting. Perhaps I’m wrong here and that’s not what you meant.

 

Sparrow

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OK, I can work with a definition like that, but I am not sure I could work with the examples.

 

 

 

This goes also to answer chefranden: the internal discussion I proposed was an escamotage to better delineate the context and specific situation. I don't assume that amoral people just have such monologues on a regular basis.

 

However, being amoral does not mean being illogical. An amoral individual would understand the risk and unpleasantness in ending up in prison, knowing that prison ultimately means the impossibility of doing a lot of things when you want and how you want.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The examples I would tend to prefer would be would be based on "amoral – neither moral, nor immoral", - "immoral, not or the opposite of moral".

 

Therefore my examples of an amoral being would be a lion or a Jackal capturing a baby antelope and eating it alive while it screams. Neither right nor wrong as there is no framework of right or wrong and as the animal is doing what an animal does.

 

An immoral being would, within a framework of right or wrong, nearly automatically choose to do the wrong thing – by our standards that could be rob a bank or rape a child.

 

 

 

Hmm... as I see it, an Immoral being would be the marquis De Sade. The point, for him, was doing EXACTLY the opposite of what morals prescribe. Going deliberately and willingly against moral. An immoral being would eat up the little child because he wishes to mock morals and deliberately go against them, instead an amoral being would eat up the little child in the above situation - notice, he has no principle about DOING it or NOT doing it (imho of course, as I'm talking about an imaginary situation).

 

Moral priest -> "Oh, a little child. I am very hungry. I can't eat a child. That would be WRONG. I shouldn't cannibalize people, nor kill young children. That just shouldn't be done."

 

Immoral De Sade -> "oh, a little child. I don't care if I am hungry or not. I will rape the child and whip him and utterly warp his little mind, I'll do him everything morals say I shouldn't DO to him, because I despise morals, and then I'll kill him and eat him." (NB - similar passages ARE indeed present in many De Sade novels and treatises).

 

Amoral E.T. -> "Oh, a little child. Am I (anemic, needing meat urgently, and too far from the city or without money, and no risk of being caught)? Then I'll kill him and eat him. Am I not? I'll just ignore him, unless he starts an interesting conversation, in that case I could or could not participate in it as long as it strikes my fancy"

 

 

About the dickgirl: sorry, no offense meant, it was a joke. However, a little explanation is in order. When a japanese describes a dickgirl, he describes a beautiful, young, ravishing woman usually with enormous breasts, and both a vagina and a fully developed adult-male penis. It is a figure often worshipped by japanese fanboys as the epitome of sexyness. It is just a stereotype (and a non existent one, to boot), though, just as the lesbian HAVING to be scarcely feminine and tomboyish. Sorry again, I didn't mean offense :ohmy: (oftimes, you can spot some of those drawings on www.4chan.org around the hentai-ish and beautiful girls boards, if interested in them.)

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