Godless morality

Discussion in 'Spirituality and Faith' started by ChiefSalsa, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. ChiefSalsa

    ChiefSalsa Contrarian

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    COLUMN: God and Utah - CacheValleyDaily.com : Columnists

    The above link is to my new column. Although it mentions Utah quite a bit, there is a question that I would like to pose to the forum that I tackle in the column.


    In our Judeo-Christian nation, is it still widely believed that atheists are by definition immoral? Or, at the least, amoral?
     
  2. Jerry19127

    Jerry19127 Well-Known Member

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    'Someday, a secular generation may take over political power in America.'


    This happened in 2008.
     
  3. Colin P. Varga

    Colin P. Varga Well-Known Member

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    And 1800.
     
  4. ChiefSalsa

    ChiefSalsa Contrarian

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    I love it when people with a limited knowledge of history talk about Jefferson's faith. He abhorred organized religion.
     
  5. drewrob23

    drewrob23 Well-Known Member

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    I believe that older and more conservative Christians believe that atheists have no morals. But that's based off the premise that morality comes from God. Is seems that it never occurs to some people that you can have a centered moral compass without the belief in a supreme deity. Maybe a lawyer on the board or someone familar with court proceedings can answer this, but I never understood while you have to swear an oath on the bible. What if you don't believe in God?

    When I was in high school I struggled with my spirituality and for a year or so I identified as an athiest. People in school would look at me and ask how I could be atheist and attend a Catholic school. Pretty easily, since most of my classes didn't center around theology and when I did have theology class I spent most of it asking the priest questions that they had no ability to answer.

    I'm confident that as our nation becomes more secular, that differences with spirituality will be more tolerant and we just might see an athiest attain a high spot in our government. Depending how you look at it, muslim people believe in Allah and if you don't believe, you're a non believer. In some peoples' eyes that would make you pretty close to an athiest.atheist.
     
  6. Jay from Philly

    Jay from Philly Well-Known Member

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    There is nation that defines itself by its atheism. It's called North Korea.
     
  7. Giavella Water

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    When Marlon Brando was on the witness stand at his daughter's boyfriend murder trial, the court wanted to swear him in on the Bible and he kept insisting that he couldn't because he was an atheist. The judge used common sense and asked him to just promise to tell the truth.
     
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  8. drewrob23

    drewrob23 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. They should do that with everyone, regardless of religion.
     
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  9. ecochuck

    ecochuck Well-Known Member

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    Both Albert Einstein and Mark Zuckerberg are called "Jewish atheists" on Wikipedia.
     
  10. Jayfar

    Jayfar I'm very old®

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    And ecochuck is called a "godless spammer" everywhere. What's your point? :badger:
     
  11. Exigius12point5

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    I've seen the results of what organized religion has done to people.

    I prefer not to be some puppet, and keep the individualism that I was born with.
     
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  12. jennjenn

    jennjenn Member

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    There are 2 sayings that I embrace:
    1. We don't need religion, we just need spirituality
    2. We don't need religion to have morality, we just need empathy
     
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  13. DCnPhilly

    DCnPhilly Well-Known Member

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    In my experience, atheists who introduce themselves as atheists are like gluten intolerants and CrossFitters. They're following a trend without really understanding the merit (or in the case of gluten and CrossFit, the lack therein) behind it. Atheism isn't a theology, it's simply a disbelief in the theological, or traditionally mandated beliefs that set out to explain the unexplainable. The word has a bit of a connotation, one that might even place it on the euphemism treadmill. True atheists might not even consider themselves atheists, or might do so just for simplicity's sake.

    True atheists aren't a collection of nihilists with a core of beliefs, or lack of beliefs. Most are just more interested in science and what science can accomplish than getting bogged down with fairy tales. It amazes me that we're where we're at with technology but anyone with a smartphone in their pocket still believes in Christianity, Islam, or Judaism.

    Personally, the scientific answers to the unknown are so much more interesting and bizarre than any religion has ever laid out. Evolution, time dilation...religious people adopt religion because they don't want to think about things that aren't neatly laid out by some bearded man sitting on a cloud, they don't want to absorb things they might not wholly understand. To me, atheism - however you define it - is far more spiritualistic than any organized religion. It truly embraces the unknown for what it is and opens us up to a literal universe of possibilities.
     
  14. Elliott87

    Elliott87 Well-Known Member

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    It was Camus in "the Plague" that questioned if a man can be a saint without believing in God.
     
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  15. Burholme06

    Burholme06 Well-Known Member

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    This a common thought you have but as a Christian, I’m not looking for God to explain things that I don’t understand about the universe. That’s not really the argument for or justification in the belief of a “Creator”. Since the creator exists outside of what is tangible, science and faith are not in conflict from my perspective.

    Please know that I’m not trying to convince you of anything but wanted you to understand how a guy with a smart phone might believe in something that exists outside the bounds of our physical universe.
     
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  16. MackeyDingo

    MackeyDingo REALLY Well-Known Member

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    Is this the fried chicken thread?

    Oh, wait..
     
  17. DCnPhilly

    DCnPhilly Well-Known Member

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    That's a cool thought and definitely more open than some traditional views. My issues (not really issues, but I can't think of a better word) are with the rigid stance that a god is some humanoid figure and that the earth is 5000 years old. That point of view conflicts with evolution and known history. Plus, so much of Christianity and Islam were adapted from prior religions. I think there's enough history to suggest that Jesus did exist, and was probably a good guy, but I don't think he was a supernatural entity. Maybe that doesn't matter, and maybe that's what sets Christianity apart from prior religions that did use their various gods as literal ways to explain aspects of nature and culture, and the earliest sciences.

    Not to sound like a stoned college kid at 3am, but I don't necessarily dis-believe in the intangible or things outside the realm of physics. Who's to say what happens when/if we "wake up" from whatever life is. Maybe in the afterlife, organized religion makes perfect sense. Personally, I think religion is a human construct created by the earliest societies as a way of instilling a sense of morality (laws) - and at the time, explaining the unexplainable - that tribes carried with them as they traveled to new areas, religions that evolved as new cultures proliferated.

    I do find it fascinating, obviously, but more from a anthropological point than a spiritual one. It's fascinating to look at ancient religions and see how much separate cultures spiritually had in common, how the earlier cultures used a pantheon of gods to explain what was most important to their individual cultures, and amazing how cultures completely isolated from one another expressed their religions in such similar ways. The fact that the ancient Egyptians and South American cultures were never exposed to one another, yet still built pyramids is astounding, anthropologically and architecturally. Anthropologically, both cultures saw towering feats of engineering as testaments to their beliefs. Architecturally, the easiest (early) way to build upwards was pyramidal.

    I got a bit off track, and I know it's a secular viewpoint, but I still think it's really, really cool. Religiously, if it keeps people good, and doesn't override my own personal beliefs, by all means, worship and believe. And keep building really cool temples and churches.
     
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  18. Jayfar

    Jayfar I'm very old®

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    Maybe I'm just really bad at math and statistics, but while I believe in evolution and other scientific concepts, it seems ludicrous to me that, even over the span of billions of years, random interactions of sub-atomic particles in a great void (and where did those come from) could bring us to where we are today.
     
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  19. DCnPhilly

    DCnPhilly Well-Known Member

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    "Billions of years" is an astronomically long amount of time, but I'm with you on the question of where the great void came from. I also wonder what "life," or sentience and consciousness, actually is. The void might be more explainable, at least theoretically. But I think the concept of life as a construct separate from its absence, is something science can't explain very well. Psychology and physiology kind of share the burden of that explanation, but I don't think either will ever be able to do so in a way that negates the concept of a "creator," whatever that may mean. It's just too abstract.

    Like ants that don't recognize a world outside their colony, and cats that can't truly comprehend who feeds them, maybe there are things that the human brain is incapable of ever understanding. Maybe there's a life force more intelligent than humanity living around us that humans - like ants - are unable to even see. He11, maybe that advanced life force even "created" us, either as single cell organisms to watch evolve or in some intervention along the way.
     
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