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willowdreams

Atheist v/s Spirituality/Christianty

53 posts in this topic

I have been reading, responding to some, and just.. basically wondering.

It seems (and maybe I am getting the wrong feeling from the typed word, reading txt is not the same as hearing same words with the 'tones'). that people assume/think that if you do not believe in God, or have a 'faith', or believe in anything spiritual that you are lacking in something that helps you have good Morals, perhaps Empathy towards others concerning their deaths.. and feelings.

I wonder WHY some people feel this way towards atheists. I do not believe in god/s. I have no spiritual leanings, yet I can empathize with the best of anyone. I care for people, for animals/pets, for places.

I would never dream of harming another person for the sake of harming them.

I do not, nor ever did need spirituality or religion to be honest, to be moral, to know the difference between right and wrong. I am fully capable of feeling empathy towards other people and animals in such a way that I do not wish to harm them either intentionally or unentionally.

So, what is up with it, why do many pple feel atheists are lacking somewhere when it comes to morals or having good values just because they do not believe in god/s or have any spiritual leanings?

Why are there even questions of 'what do you think of cemetaries/memorials? (not cutting down the one who asked, i answered honestly on the topic) why would an atheist not understand that most memorials stand for something we as a human race should never forget? And why would an atheist who does not believe in heaven/hell afterlife even care about crosses or other religious symbols on graves, as we will be dead and know nothing or care nothing of them?

I mean.. do people really believe that atheists are cold and less understanding and caring? That death doesnt effect us profoundly? That causes are unemportant to us or less important to us then they would be to a spiritual person?

In some ways because I do not believe.. i find life and causes MORE important, because I know in my heart we are not gonna be 'saved' by some savior so i best be doing what i can now to help those around me so when I am gone, the generation coming after me can have a good life and i did not make it worse or harder on THEM.. I feel more responsibility because I do not believe somoene else that i do not believe is in going to come and take the yoke from me.

I feel more compelled to CARE, and i do this without believing in any afterlife reward because I do not believe I will receive one, so I do so with an open heart with the hope that when I am gone, maybe something I have done can be carried on and repeated and in that sense, my actions will be remembered even if I am not.

just something I have been curious about. Because really, though there may be some nasty atheist out there, I believe that on the whole, we are a decent lot! Same with everyone, there are humans out there I wish were not of the same species I am, but on the whole, most people try to do right and care.

Please ignore typos/spelling, heh we are having storms here and am doing this on a lil net book as it is not plugged into an outlet *grins*!!

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I have been reading, responding to some, and just.. basically wondering.

It seems (and maybe I am getting the wrong feeling from the typed word, reading txt is not the same as hearing same words with the 'tones'). that people assume/think that if you do not believe in God, or have a 'faith', or believe in anything spiritual that you are lacking in something that helps you have good Morals, perhaps Empathy towards others concerning their deaths.. and feelings.

I wonder WHY some people feel this way towards atheists. I do not believe in god/s. I have no spiritual leanings, yet I can empathize with the best of anyone. I care for people, for animals/pets, for places.

I would never dream of harming another person for the sake of harming them.

I do not, nor ever did need spirituality or religion to be honest, to be moral, to know the difference between right and wrong. I am fully capable of feeling empathy towards other people and animals in such a way that I do not wish to harm them either intentionally or unentionally.

So, what is up with it, why do many pple feel atheists are lacking somewhere when it comes to morals or having good values just because they do not believe in god/s or have any spiritual leanings?

Why are there even questions of 'what do you think of cemetaries/memorials? (not cutting down the one who asked, i answered honestly on the topic) why would an atheist not understand that most memorials stand for something we as a human race should never forget? And why would an atheist who does not believe in heaven/hell afterlife even care about crosses or other religious symbols on graves, as we will be dead and know nothing or care nothing of them?

I mean.. do people really believe that atheists are cold and less understanding and caring? That death doesnt effect us profoundly? That causes are unemportant to us or less important to us then they would be to a spiritual person?

In some ways because I do not believe.. i find life and causes MORE important, because I know in my heart we are not gonna be 'saved' by some savior so i best be doing what i can now to help those around me so when I am gone, the generation coming after me can have a good life and i did not make it worse or harder on THEM.. I feel more responsibility because I do not believe somoene else that i do not believe is in going to come and take the yoke from me.

I feel more compelled to CARE, and i do this without believing in any afterlife reward because I do not believe I will receive one, so I do so with an open heart with the hope that when I am gone, maybe something I have done can be carried on and repeated and in that sense, my actions will be remembered even if I am not.

just something I have been curious about. Because really, though there may be some nasty atheist out there, I believe that on the whole, we are a decent lot! Same with everyone, there are humans out there I wish were not of the same species I am, but on the whole, most people try to do right and care.

Please ignore typos/spelling, heh we are having storms here and am doing this on a lil net book as it is not plugged into an outlet *grins*!!

I have wondered this myself. I have always been an Atheist yet I have never been in trouble with the law, have never struck a person (woman or man), nor have I been in any altercation ever in my life. If I feel something is about to happen I walk away, always have.

I am a man full of empathy. I have never hunted, quit fishing when I realized i was causing death to a living creature, and even catch insects in my house and set them free outside yet some say I can't have morals without a belief in god. I just don't get it either.

As far as animals go, I love them all. Cats, dogs, and many wild animals that I can only see and respect from afar. One thing I have always wanted to do is hug an elephant. That would just make my day. I don't need a god or any religion to make me feel this way, it's just how I've always been.

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It is most commonly accepted that morals are cultural constructs. One could argue that America was built on a Christian culture and therefore follows Christian morals, whether that person is a Christian or not. However different cultures that are not Christian generally come up with smiliar moral systems. Many people get their morals from the Bible so they assume this is where morals come from. Because of this they cannot comprehend how someone that does not believe in the Bible can get morals, but I would say that is pure ignorance. I mean seriously...how often do you hear "atheist crime spree" or "atheist terror attack" or anything like that? Athiests get morals from their culture just as everyone else does. If someone does not believe that they are either ignorant or basing it on faith.

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Posted (edited)

Hi willow,

I'm going to be absolutely blunt here, but what post/s do you see here that reaffirm your view that atheists are looked down upon. If I was required I could probably find one or two posts (mostly from one or two specific members that I won't name for obvious reasons), but for the most part I find absolutely nothing in this forum that supports your attestation. Most people here are regular guys and girls who simply happen to either have faith or not have faith (faith in "what", a different question entirely).

Granted, I'm just a dude who is reading this forum (despite having the title "Moderator"), and granted also that I have not been online the past two days (so that may change things, depending on what people might have said online since I last logged in), but I have not seen any consistent example of where a person of religious leaning has questioned the moralistic leanings of those without faith. As said, I can probably find one or two posts from one or two individuals, but for the majority of "believers" (whatever they happen to believe) I think it entirely inaccurate to portray them as intolerant of those who don't have faith.

As I said, I'm being blunt and that is my assessment of the situation. Best wishes,

~ Regards,

Edited by Paranoid Android

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Hi willow,

I'm going to be absolutely blunt here, but what post/s do you see here that reaffirm your view that atheists are looked down upon. If I was required I could probably find one or two posts (mostly from one or two specific members that I won't name for obvious reasons), but for the most part I find absolutely nothing in this forum that supports your attestation. Most people here are regular guys and girls who simply happen to either have faith or not have faith (faith in "what", a different question entirely).

Granted, I'm just a dude who is reading this forum (despite having the title "Moderator"), and granted also that I have not been online the past two days (so that may change things, depending on what people might have said online since I last logged in), but I have not seen any consistent example of where a person of religious leaning has questioned the moralistic leanings of those without faith. As said, I can probably find one or two posts from one or two individuals, but for the majority of "believers" (whatever they happen to believe) I think it entirely inaccurate to portray them as intolerant of those who don't have faith.

As I said, I'm being blunt and that is my assessment of the situation. Best wishes,

~ Regards,

I know this isn't directed at me but I have also seen some posts on these forums where atheists are looked down upon. I couldn't point out which posters made them, or in what threads they were made in, but yes, there have been posts like this.

My previous post was done at almost midnight my time after coming home from a barbeque and some very good beer, :yes: so I kind of missed the part about it being about the other posters in these forums. I just read and interpreted the part about atheists being looked down upon.

It does happen quite frequently here in the states. Some of the Evangelical Christians look at people like me as being no better than a rapist or murderer. We are the least trusted minority over here. A couple of years ago, I was in a conversation with a Jewish woman and she vehemently believed that all morals came from god and that without god one couldn't have true morals. I explained to her where I believe morals came from but she just kind of closed me off after that. Her husband understood me and tried to explain it to her, but even he couldn't make her understand.

If atheists aren't looked down upon in Australia (or at least only to a lesser extent than here in the USA), then great.....one more reason for me to want to visit your country. I would be curious to see how atheists are viewed on a country by country basis. I know there are countries where they would put me to death and other countries that predominantly just don't care.

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Posted (edited)

I know this isn't directed at me but I have also seen some posts on these forums where atheists are looked down upon. I couldn't point out which posters made them, or in what threads they were made in, but yes, there have been posts like this.

I have been on here long enough to know what you just said is indeed very true... I couldn't deny this not even if I wanted to

The board has become more about atheists.. which is fine...but some posts are made to seriously put atheists down... The anger, hate snugness and spite is unbelievable and it comes from people who act as if they are the bee's knee's and couldn't do wrong...

If I came on here to say - Christians NEVER get picked on... Then I would be lying through my teeth just to get attention and rattle cages.......But truth is I know so many have been attacked for their beliefs.........To deny that is me making myself look bad

Just like I know for a fact atheists get attacked by the religious ....and I know a few religious that think - We are supported more, the boards are for Christians and other religious..so we have more to back us.....

I see this when I see a number of posts jumping at the Non Christians telling them off for posting up any skepotic views ...Saying things like - Who do you think you are questioning these Christians about faith? ..... Actually I have had some arrogant Christians post that to me too... It is because they look at both boards that speak about Spirituality V's Skeptic and Religion / beliefs ...and they must think that means skeptics are not meant to post, completely ignoring the word - Skeptics.. because Spirituality is up there and the other board state clearly religion and beliefs .....Which means the religious have two boards mostly So I can see why some Christians think it is only for them .... I have had to point out several times the board says it is for skeptic type debates too.......

Edited by Beckys_Mom

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Hi willow,

I'm going to be absolutely blunt here, but what post/s do you see here that reaffirm your view that atheists are looked down upon.

~ Regards,

ummm I do not think I was thinking atheists are 'looked down upon'!

I could name a few specific posts that I have read just this past week, but I am not sure that singling out posts (hense, posters) is exactly called upon here, nor would I specifically do it, that would seem.. unseemly, which is why i 'generalized' it more for the topic here, as the topic does spread also off the forums to 'life' itself.

Many people do feel that morals come straight from god/bible, and question how atheist can have morals or good ethical values without god in their lives to influence them.

It is seen on the forums, usually in the forms of 'questioning' how atheists feel about such and such or view, and when you go through responses and such, though no one is ever really insulted for their non faith, you can get a general flavor of feelings towards almost sometimes like an emotion of 'wow, atheists understand that? or feel that?'

Never said anything bout others being intolerant, though I guess there may be a few, that had nothing to do with my question anyways.

as I mention in my Original Post

... there are humans out there I wish were not of the same species I am, but on the whole, most people try to do right and care

however there seems to be a general flavor of 'wow, how in the world can atheists have good morals without god' as well as the flavor of 'if atheists do not believe in god, then how can they support/believe/respect in..... (insert whatever) when to me it seems silly, of course atheists care, support causes.. et et.

Also I would like to thank the other posters who seemed to understand what I was getting at. Just curiosity sake on my part more then anything!

Thank you everyone who responded..

HuttonEtAl you are right, many do say that America was based on Christian values, though when we look back in history, one begins to wonder about that a bit (least I do), and I admit you made me chuckle at 'atheist crime spree'

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Hi, Willow, I've read some of your posts and I think you're one of the most good-hearted people ever :wub:, so don't take this the wrong way: the reason atheists are called amoral is because they simply don't believe in morality. To clarify, by atheist I mean nonspiritual atheist. Some religions, for example, believe in objective moral truths revealed by an omniscient entity (a god, for example). Atheists on the other hand are moral relativists and don't believe in objective morality. To an atheist, morality is subjective, and whether something is right or wrong is a matter of opinion, either because objective moral truths don't exist, or because we humans, being fallible creatures, are incapable of knowing them for certain.

Atheists can and do do things considered moral by theists. The question is: are their morals inherent, or due to the fact that they were raised in a theistic society? Would an atheist who grew up in a Yemeni village have the same morals as an atheist from Italy?

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Posted (edited)

Hi, Willow, I've read some of your posts and I think you're one of the most good-hearted people ever :wub:, so don't take this the wrong way: the reason atheists are called amoral is because they simply don't believe in morality. To clarify, by atheist I mean nonspiritual atheist. Some religions, for example, believe in objective moral truths revealed by an omniscient entity (a god, for example). Atheists on the other hand are moral relativists and don't believe in objective morality. To an atheist, morality is subjective, and whether something is right or wrong is a matter of opinion, either because objective moral truths don't exist, or because we humans, being fallible creatures, are incapable of knowing them for certain.

Atheists can and do do things considered moral by theists. The question is: are their morals inherent, or due to the fact that they were raised in a theistic society? Would an atheist who grew up in a Yemeni village have the same morals as an atheist from Italy?

I don't know about atheists not believing in morality.

I looked up morals in the dictionary then switched to Synonyms, i think you can learn more of it.

upright, honest, straightforward, open, virtuous, honorable. 11. integrity, standards, morality. Morals, ethics refer to rules and standards of conduct and practice. Morals refers to generally accepted customs of conduct and right living in a society, and to the individual's practice in relation to these: the morals of our civilization. Ethics now implies high standards of honest and honorable dealing, and of methods used, especially in the professions or in business: ethics of the medical profession.

this to me is something i believe in. I consider myself non spiritual. I believe in honesty, high standards for myself, i believe also that if i am in someones country/home i should respect and obey their laws and customs, else i best remain in my own place where i understand such things, because to not obey their laws and customs would be disrespectful and forcing myself on them. which would be 'rude'.

i know right from wrong, using basic instinct tempered with good old fashioned empathy. I think most people do. SOMEONE had to first figure out that hurting others was wrong! Most likely because when they hit someone they got hit back and it hurt and it was not fun, they learned not to take someone elses toy/food because then that person may take theirs, and they would be sad, and perhaps hungry.. cold if the other person took their covering.

Young todlers learn this lesson quickly, usually we adults help them learn it, but I have seen a few teach one another through hitting/biting *grins* though with no adult getting in the thick of it, sometimes fighting can get out of hand as they lack or are slow on impulse control (some adults are as well)

I do see your point though. I guess to me it is, why are we defining morality as coming from a spiritual place? why MUST it be thought of in such a way? (thats going away from my original post, but bah.. now you have my brain moving on to another :P thank you)

I grew up in what many would consider a religious home. I had every week theocracy school, 2 bible studies, going out house to house, et et et

but at the same time, i can honestly say the religion really taught me very little to nothing of morals. It taught me bible stories that i never believed in even then. It taught me about how to preach to others by teaching me alll the wrong doings of their faith from krishnas to scientologist.

And while everyone in the home had two bible studies weekly, went out in service (door to door), three hours of theocracy studies and 4 to 5 hours of sunday service, my home was rifled with drunkedness, swearing, incest and physical abuse.

(that of course is not what made me leave our faith, i never did believe in god, and when i was excommunicated, other then missing 'fellowshipping' i did not miss anything else)

SOOOOOOOOOO I never ever in my world, associated religion with morality/morals/ethics.

I did not like being hurt, so I did not hurting

I did not like how pple acted when drunk or after smoking pot, so I did not get drunk or smoke pot.

I did not like it when people took things from me, so I did not take things not mine.

I did not like how name calling felt, so i did not name call

I did not like how second hand smoking (though as a child i didnt know it was called second hand smoking) made my chest and head feel, so I never smoked myself. nor do i allow it in my home.

I did not like how when I worked hard to study at a test, sometimes my grades were still under parr, while someone else would cheat and ace it and not get caught, I hated how they cheated, and even though I made less than I thought, I somehow felt an inner pride that what *I* did was mine mine, and I got credit for ME, so I do not cheat in anything

Everything by itself doesn't stand out much..

I learned by experience and when everything came together as a 'whole', and I behaved around those different aspects, suddenly it all came together as being 'moral' and 'ethical' in my behavior.

When ALL the lil things came together as a whole in my behavior towards others..

and none of it had to do with SPirituality/ or a god/s

not sure i am making any sense here. it is sometimes hard to get from the mind, out to the fingers.

p.s

I love parsnips.. fried, mashed.. parsnips taste yummy

oh and i did get drunk once accidentally because i didnt realize the grain alcohol was actually effecting me! I stood up and dont remember anything from that point on.. never did drink that stuff again, figured if i am gonna drink alcohol.. i best drink the stuff that lets me know when it is starting to effect my system without waiting for me to stand up first!

Edited by willowdreams

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Posted (edited)

I don't know about atheists not believing in morality.

I looked up morals in the dictionary then switched to Synonyms, i think you can learn more of it.

upright, honest, straightforward, open, virtuous, honorable. 11. integrity, standards, morality. Morals, ethics refer to rules and standards of conduct and practice. Morals refers to generally accepted customs of conduct and right living in a society, and to the individual's practice in relation to these: the morals of our civilization. Ethics now implies high standards of honest and honorable dealing, and of methods used, especially in the professions or in business: ethics of the medical profession.

this to me is something i believe in. I consider myself non spiritual. I believe in honesty, high standards for myself, i believe also that if i am in someones country/home i should respect and obey their laws and customs, else i best remain in my own place where i understand such things, because to not obey their laws and customs would be disrespectful and forcing myself on them. which would be 'rude'.

i know right from wrong, using basic instinct tempered with good old fashioned empathy. I think most people do. SOMEONE had to first figure out that hurting others was wrong! Most likely because when they hit someone they got hit back and it hurt and it was not fun, they learned not to take someone elses toy/food because then that person may take theirs, and they would be sad, and perhaps hungry.. cold if the other person took their covering.

Well said..... I personally find that it is arrogant and most ignorant to think that because man can live without being part of a religion, then that makes him or her not moral...

Mankind has adopted moral values long before we heard of a holy bible or any holy book like it...

Morals come from our human nature... Even animals for many can be seen and observed as loving and caring for their young... They need no religion....Man overtimes has learned from past mistakes.. Common sense is required too... EXAMPLE - If you do not like anyone stealing from you, then you will not want to do it to others.. This along with so many things is not some invention from man made religion.. It comes from our own human nature and human nature can vary ...Meaning one can come from a religious family on both sides and still be an evil twisted git.. It is all about the human nature

I cannot dumb myself down to think that only morals can come from the religious..When I know that many immoral acts were done in the name of religion...

Edited by Beckys_Mom

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Posted (edited)

I have been reading, responding to some, and just.. basically wondering.

It seems (and maybe I am getting the wrong feeling from the typed word, reading txt is not the same as hearing same words with the 'tones'). that people assume/think that if you do not believe in God, or have a 'faith', or believe in anything spiritual that you are lacking in something that helps you have good Morals, perhaps Empathy towards others concerning their deaths.. and feelings.

I wonder WHY some people feel this way towards atheists. I do not believe in god/s. I have no spiritual leanings, yet I can empathize with the best of anyone. I care for people, for animals/pets, for places.

I would never dream of harming another person for the sake of harming them.

I do not, nor ever did need spirituality or religion to be honest, to be moral, to know the difference between right and wrong. I am fully capable of feeling empathy towards other people and animals in such a way that I do not wish to harm them either intentionally or unentionally.

So, what is up with it, why do many pple feel atheists are lacking somewhere when it comes to morals or having good values just because they do not believe in god/s or have any spiritual leanings?

Why are there even questions of 'what do you think of cemetaries/memorials? (not cutting down the one who asked, i answered honestly on the topic) why would an atheist not understand that most memorials stand for something we as a human race should never forget? And why would an atheist who does not believe in heaven/hell afterlife even care about crosses or other religious symbols on graves, as we will be dead and know nothing or care nothing of them?

I mean.. do people really believe that atheists are cold and less understanding and caring? That death doesnt effect us profoundly? That causes are unemportant to us or less important to us then they would be to a spiritual person?

In some ways because I do not believe.. i find life and causes MORE important, because I know in my heart we are not gonna be 'saved' by some savior so i best be doing what i can now to help those around me so when I am gone, the generation coming after me can have a good life and i did not make it worse or harder on THEM.. I feel more responsibility because I do not believe somoene else that i do not believe is in going to come and take the yoke from me.

I feel more compelled to CARE, and i do this without believing in any afterlife reward because I do not believe I will receive one, so I do so with an open heart with the hope that when I am gone, maybe something I have done can be carried on and repeated and in that sense, my actions will be remembered even if I am not.

just something I have been curious about. Because really, though there may be some nasty atheist out there, I believe that on the whole, we are a decent lot! Same with everyone, there are humans out there I wish were not of the same species I am, but on the whole, most people try to do right and care.

Please ignore typos/spelling, heh we are having storms here and am doing this on a lil net book as it is not plugged into an outlet *grins*!!

I think this is a fair question. I have been asked this so many times in my life as a atheist, I have lost count.

The socialization that contributes to pro social behavior more then anything is parenting style and later-- peer influences. (Eisenberg and Fabes,1998)

http://www.ncbi.nlm....les/PMC1351094/

The best predictor of higher moral reasoning, empathy- compassion or caring is in the parenting ( study after study says do not be punishment oriented, use inductive reasoning and set high and clear standards on what is expected .)

As an atheist parent I have placed great value on my kids having high moral reasoning, and volunteering for their community and they are expected to give back, they are expected to be upstanding citizens and enhance the aspect of society they find themselves in as kids and future adults.

We all do our part. End of story.

For me, believing in g-d or not believing is a g-d is immaterial or irrelevant to the responsibility of being the best one can be.

Edited by Sherapy

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Posted (edited)

I don't know about atheists not believing in morality.

I looked up morals in the dictionary then switched to Synonyms, i think you can learn more of it.

upright, honest, straightforward, open, virtuous, honorable. 11. integrity, standards, morality. Morals, ethics refer to rules and standards of conduct and practice. Morals refers to generally accepted customs of conduct and right living in a society, and to the individual's practice in relation to these: the morals of our civilization. Ethics now implies high standards of honest and honorable dealing, and of methods used, especially in the professions or in business: ethics of the medical profession.

this to me is something i believe in. I consider myself non spiritual. I believe in honesty, high standards for myself, i believe also that if i am in someones country/home i should respect and obey their laws and customs, else i best remain in my own place where i understand such things, because to not obey their laws and customs would be disrespectful and forcing myself on them. which would be 'rude'.

i know right from wrong, using basic instinct tempered with good old fashioned empathy. I think most people do. SOMEONE had to first figure out that hurting others was wrong! Most likely because when they hit someone they got hit back and it hurt and it was not fun, they learned not to take someone elses toy/food because then that person may take theirs, and they would be sad, and perhaps hungry.. cold if the other person took their covering.

Young todlers learn this lesson quickly, usually we adults help them learn it, but I have seen a few teach one another through hitting/biting *grins* though with no adult getting in the thick of it, sometimes fighting can get out of hand as they lack or are slow on impulse control (some adults are as well)

I do see your point though. I guess to me it is, why are we defining morality as coming from a spiritual place? why MUST it be thought of in such a way? (thats going away from my original post, but bah.. now you have my brain moving on to another tongue.gif thank you)

I grew up in what many would consider a religious home. I had every week theocracy school, 2 bible studies, going out house to house, et et et

but at the same time, i can honestly say the religion really taught me very little to nothing of morals. It taught me bible stories that i never believed in even then. It taught me about how to preach to others by teaching me alll the wrong doings of their faith from krishnas to scientologist.

And while everyone in the home had two bible studies weekly, went out in service (door to door), three hours of theocracy studies and 4 to 5 hours of sunday service, my home was rifled with drunkedness, swearing, incest and physical abuse.

(that of course is not what made me leave our faith, i never did believe in god, and when i was excommunicated, other then missing 'fellowshipping' i did not miss anything else)

SOOOOOOOOOO I never ever in my world, associated religion with morality/morals/ethics.

I did not like being hurt, so I did not hurting

I did not like how pple acted when drunk or after smoking pot, so I did not get drunk or smoke pot.

I did not like it when people took things from me, so I did not take things not mine.

I did not like how name calling felt, so i did not name call

I did not like how second hand smoking (though as a child i didnt know it was called second hand smoking) made my chest and head feel, so I never smoked myself. nor do i allow it in my home.

I did not like how when I worked hard to study at a test, sometimes my grades were still under parr, while someone else would cheat and ace it and not get caught, I hated how they cheated, and even though I made less than I thought, I somehow felt an inner pride that what *I* did was mine mine, and I got credit for ME, so I do not cheat in anything

Everything by itself doesn't stand out much..

I learned by experience and when everything came together as a 'whole', and I behaved around those different aspects, suddenly it all came together as being 'moral' and 'ethical' in my behavior.

When ALL the lil things came together as a whole in my behavior towards others..

and none of it had to do with SPirituality/ or a god/s

not sure i am making any sense here. it is sometimes hard to get from the mind, out to the fingers.

p.s

I love parsnips.. fried, mashed.. parsnips taste yummy

oh and i did get drunk once accidentally because i didnt realize the grain alcohol was actually effecting me! I stood up and dont remember anything from that point on.. never did drink that stuff again, figured if i am gonna drink alcohol.. i best drink the stuff that lets me know when it is starting to effect my system without waiting for me to stand up first!

For what it's worth, I consider you moral despite your nonspirituality. ;) And you are influenced by spirituality. Not necessarily your household or family, but your society and Western society in general are based on spiritual/Christian morality and tradition.

I have no idea what a parsnip is. laugh.gif You learn something new every day, I guess. The username is Parsip, by the way. It's a random word I came up with while half-asleep.

Edited by Saru

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For what it's worth, I consider you moral despite your nonspirituality. ;) And you are influenced by spirituality. Not necessarily your household or family, but your society and Western society in general are based on spiritual/Christian morality and tradition.

I have no idea what a parsnip is. laugh.gif You learn something new every day, I guess. The username is Parsip, by the way. It's a random word I came up with while half-asleep.

rofl realize now, no s in your name, look up parsnip.. tis good eats.

actually, truthfully, i consider (and this is selfish and egotistical on my part.. proof i am not perfect, not that anyone, let alone myself ever thought i was) myself to be a bit more moral than the average religious person. (notice I did not say 'better than') just a 'bit' more moral.

WHy?

I do it for the right reason. Because it is right. I do right, even when right is not being done back, even if i KNOW right is not going to be done right back at me. I am moral not because I expect anything, let alone an afterlife (as I do not think/feel/believe that there IS any afterlife) reward of heaven.

I do so knowing with absolute certainty for myself, that there is nothing to gain for it, period.

not for myself.

My only hope is that it works out for the future. That my children see what I do, and repeat it and pass it on. My children were raised without religion. They were also 'home schooled', their friends are mostly atheist, my son and i work in a work place where religion is not permitted, we no longer even do holiday things at the work places here as 'it may offend someone not christian' (which by the way, i find silly, maybe not religious/spiritual but i sure as heck do not see pple wrong in celebrating what they are).

If you were to ask them what the first book of the bible is, they would problem say 'book in the bible?' then quickly google it.

I asked them if they knew what the trinity was, my son is 26 and daughter 27.. my son said.. umm it is a religious thing, right? My daughter said, father son and mother? then my son said ooh is it that maiden, mother and crone thing?

I imagine by grandchildren will not even know THAT much.

I thought it was just us, so i asked a friends son who is older then my daughter and he is like, trinity, like TBN (trinity broadcast network). Like I said, most of my friends are atheist, not all! we have a few jewish friends, two catholic friends... and i know a hard core southern baptist who refuses to speak anything religious with me at all! heh

oh and my family is all Jehovahs Witnesses, though they do not talk to me as I am ex communicated

I understand that to YOU morals came from spirituality.

But for me, they did not. They were here before the bible came to be, before christianity became a whisper in the wind. They may not exactly been as they are now, murder was probably different back then, do not murder those in your tribe, you need them to survive, see someone else, kill first grunt later! (thats over simplifying and being silly, but you get the drift)

I am betting that morality began with first empathy towards yourself and those around you, then through pure survival in groups.

It began on a primitive level, and I am willing to bet that give it about 200 yrs and the morals of today will be within the morals then, but morality will be defined differently.

evolution happens in more ways then one.

but at least you have helped me understand why many mistakenly feel atheiests are not moral, some may not be, but people as a whole, regardless of faith, nationality or gender.. try to be good people.

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My mother asked me along the lines of the same question when I finally told her I was atheist. She seems to feel that because I don't believe in God, I have no morals. She asked me, "What keeps you from doing bad things?" All I could really do was stare at her, completely dumbfounded. I'm not the most articulate person in the world so I think I replied with the stupiest answer ever..."Why would I do bad things?" For me, it basically boiled down to the fact that not only was I thought that bad things are bad, but also that if I didn't want those things done to me, not to do them to someone else. I'll be the first to admit I haven't always made the best choices and I have done a few things that hurt people in the past, but I've sincerely regretted those things and have learned from those mistakes.

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My mother asked me along the lines of the same question when I finally told her I was atheist. She seems to feel that because I don't believe in God, I have no morals. She asked me, "What keeps you from doing bad things?" All I could really do was stare at her, completely dumbfounded. I'm not the most articulate person in the world so I think I replied with the stupiest answer ever..."Why would I do bad things?" For me, it basically boiled down to the fact that not only was I thought that bad things are bad, but also that if I didn't want those things done to me, not to do them to someone else. I'll be the first to admit I haven't always made the best choices and I have done a few things that hurt people in the past, but I've sincerely regretted those things and have learned from those mistakes.

i like what you said, you arnt as wordy/long winded as i am and you said it better :)

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I had a similar experience with my mother. After a few arguments along this line, I simply replied "You."

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Why do good and have morals if you are an atheist? As an atheist, you believe that when you die, you no longer exist, and your body decomposes into the ground. So, why have morals if there is no consequence for anything you do in life, because everyone dies eventually?

I personally believe in karma, so that's why I choose to go good things and be as honest and loving as I can. I do not call myself an atheist, but more of an agnostic. I have my reasons for not being religious, but I feel as if we all have Souls and there is a great mystery that religion has tried to solve but cant.

Do you believe in anything life that? Cause to my understanding, atheists do not believe in any of that, including karma.

Im not starting a debate, just curious what kind of atheist you are.

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One doesn't need religion to be a better person. I was raised on religion, and due to it making no sense, was forced to start a 10 year study of the history of religions. I found religions to be products of people wanting to control others. With that in mind, I gave up believing in fantasy, and began looking for something salvageable in the nature of mankind. I'm hard pressed to find much. Honor is vanishing in mankind, and with it, other virtues. Love, integrity, honesty. The path to becoming a good person "can" start with religion, but just as a child grows, so too does a persons belief. If it ends at religion, it is stunting growth into a truly intellectually sound person. With mankind giving in to their base desires, like greed, ego, animalistic sexual drives, they tend to devolve into little more than dogs humping on the side of the road. If one loses their honor, they lose what it is to be civilized.

I have no religion, nor am I atheist. I believe there is a higher power, but no religion has ever, or will ever, grasp its nature. The universe and all of existence is based on balance. If you have too much of either good or evil, it inevitably destroys itself. There must be a balance for advancement to continue. Example would biology. When you introduce a foreign element into an ecology, it either is destroyed, or it propegates and destroys the original economy. Unless it finds a balance, that is inevitable. The human race has no balance.

Am I a good person? I like to think so. I never lie, would only hurt another person in defense of another(and even then only enough to subdue). I'm always nice to others, even people who don't deserve such. Like a drop of water in a pond, I intend to send ripples. Why do I do it? Because I'm part of the counter balance to the prevalent evil of mankind. I'm an altruist. I did not choose it, in fact, sometimes I lament it. But like the story of the scorpion that was drowning and stung the one that was helping it causing both to drown, "it's my nature." No belief in a deity.

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ummm I do not think I was thinking atheists are 'looked down upon'!

I could name a few specific posts that I have read just this past week, but I am not sure that singling out posts (hense, posters) is exactly called upon here, nor would I specifically do it, that would seem.. unseemly, which is why i 'generalized' it more for the topic here, as the topic does spread also off the forums to 'life' itself.

Many people do feel that morals come straight from god/bible, and question how atheist can have morals or good ethical values without god in their lives to influence them.

It is seen on the forums, usually in the forms of 'questioning' how atheists feel about such and such or view, and when you go through responses and such, though no one is ever really insulted for their non faith, you can get a general flavor of feelings towards almost sometimes like an emotion of 'wow, atheists understand that? or feel that?'

Never said anything bout others being intolerant, though I guess there may be a few, that had nothing to do with my question anyways.

as I mention in my Original Post

... there are humans out there I wish were not of the same species I am, but on the whole, most people try to do right and care

however there seems to be a general flavor of 'wow, how in the world can atheists have good morals without god' as well as the flavor of 'if atheists do not believe in god, then how can they support/believe/respect in..... (insert whatever) when to me it seems silly, of course atheists care, support causes.. et et.

Ok, perhaps I shouldn't have said "looked down on". You didn't use those words. But when I read your post (this one and your opening post) and you do generalise into phrases such as "there seems to be a general flavor of...", well that implies that this is the general consensus among religious folk, a majority view. And since your thread revolved around people writing on this forum, I really had to question it, because after nearly seven years on this forum my impression of the general flavour is not that at all. As I said, there are one or two people I have read who do ask these questions and wonder how atheists can be moral without God, but most religious folk on this site have no problem in understanding that atheists can have a strong moral code without belief in a deity.

~ Regards,

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I know this isn't directed at me but I have also seen some posts on these forums where atheists are looked down upon. I couldn't point out which posters made them, or in what threads they were made in, but yes, there have been posts like this.

As I said, I can think of one or two individuals who do think this, but the impression I got from the thread starter is that this is how religious folk on this site generally feel (ie, most religious folk, not a small minority of us). I was questioning that assumption, thinking that they possibly were talking about their atheist life in America

If atheists aren't looked down upon in Australia (or at least only to a lesser extent than here in the USA), then great.....one more reason for me to want to visit your country. I would be curious to see how atheists are viewed on a country by country basis. I know there are countries where they would put me to death and other countries that predominantly just don't care.

I live in South-West Sydney. It's a very multicultural area. I was down at the pub the other day, and I was chatting and drinking with a group comprised of a Samoan, a New Zealander, an Assyrian, a Vietnamese, a Sri Lankan, two South Americans, and two Aussies (plus myself, of course, as an Aussie with Latvian heritage). By necessity we are a very tolerant group for different cultures and faiths (or non-faiths, as the case may be for atheists) - you can't hate atheists here because chances are you're sitting next to one on the bus or drinking with them or being sold your milk by one. I'm assuming things might be a little different in some of the other areas where 95% of the population are white Anglo-Australians, so maybe they aren't as tolerant, but tolerance is a daily necessity of life where I live.

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The path to becoming a good person "can" start with religion, but just as a child grows, so too does a persons belief. If it ends at religion, it is stunting growth into a truly intellectually sound person.

Just for the sake of interest, are you aware how insulting that sounds, to state that someone who ends their journey at religion is "stunted". I mean, I'm growing my beliefs daily so I can't say my journey is at an "end". No true human being will stop growing in their beliefs or non-beliefs. But the way I interpret your words here, it sounds as if those who hold a religious faith are people worthy of pity for not being able to "grow" beyond faith in a particular deity. And that is just plain insulting, whether you intend it to be or not.

Just a thought,

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Ok, perhaps I shouldn't have said "looked down on". You didn't use those words. But when I read your post (this one and your opening post) and you do generalise into phrases such as "there seems to be a general flavor of...", well that implies that this is the general consensus among religious folk, a majority view. And since your thread revolved around people writing on this forum, I really had to question it, because after nearly seven years on this forum my impression of the general flavour is not that at all. As I said, there are one or two people I have read who do ask these questions and wonder how atheists can be moral without God, but most religious folk on this site have no problem in understanding that atheists can have a strong moral code without belief in a deity.

~ Regards,

I did not mean it exactly how you seem to think I did, but as some people here and in private msgs have shown, i am not the only one who can taste this particular flavor is some peoples responses/posts.

You obviously do not see it as we do, and that is fine, this is txt, and people will feel/see things differently and I respect that.

But that was not what my original post was about. My post was about 'why is it some people feel that without faith/belief in god/spiritual being/s, when it comes to morals, you are lacking something? As if you need to be spiritual/believe in god/s or something in order to have good decent morals.

I am not going to pin point other posts/pple for ANYONE, a generalization is perfectly fine to help get my point/question out there.

Others understood/saw what I was saying.

I understand though, that you do not feel/see it and have no problems with that in any way.

Thank you of course, for responding to my posts.

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But that was not what my original post was about. My post was about 'why is it some people feel that without faith/belief in god/spiritual being/s, when it comes to morals, you are lacking something? As if you need to be spiritual/believe in god/s or something in order to have good decent morals.

I am not going to pin point other posts/pple for ANYONE, a generalization is perfectly fine to help get my point/question out there.

The thing about a generalisation is that it has the effect of appearing to represent the status quo - what is expected of a person of a particular *insert generalisation here* If the generalisation does not represent a majority view then it is an inappropriate generalisation. That's all I'm saying. You don't need to point to specific people, nor am I asking you to. And unless it is your view that the majority of religious people here on UM believe that those without faith are lacking something, then your use of language (whether intended or not) is unfair to people who have faith.

This newest post uses language in a much more neutral manner, and if this was the opening post, I would have understood your position much better. In this post there is no indication that this "seems to be the general flavour...", or statements simply saying "do people really believe..." (no qualifier such as "some people" used). I hope you can see my point better now. I know your intentions in posting I was simply questioning the generalisation. You seem to have expressed your views better in this post, so thank you for that.

~ Regards,

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Hi, Willow, I've read some of your posts and I think you're one of the most good-hearted people ever :wub:, so don't take this the wrong way: the reason atheists are called amoral is because they simply don't believe in morality. To clarify, by atheist I mean nonspiritual atheist. Some religions, for example, believe in objective moral truths revealed by an omniscient entity (a god, for example). Atheists on the other hand are moral relativists and don't believe in objective morality. To an atheist, morality is subjective, and whether something is right or wrong is a matter of opinion, either because objective moral truths don't exist, or because we humans, being fallible creatures, are incapable of knowing them for certain.

Atheists can and do do things considered moral by theists. The question is: are their morals inherent, or due to the fact that they were raised in a theistic society? Would an atheist who grew up in a Yemeni village have the same morals as an atheist from Italy?

As you know, I disagree completely with you here.

I won't generalise, so I'll only speak for myself, as someone who doesn't believe in any gods and sees religion as entirely human constructs.

Morality isn't about individual opinion, it is arrived at by general consensus and it constantly evolves with society. You ask: "Would an atheist who grew up in a Yemeni village have the same morals as an atheist from Italy?", but you could equally apply that question to everybody, not just atheists.

Whether you accept it or not, morals are relative to time and place. Today we consider abhorrent that which our not too distant ancestors thought of as completely acceptable - and often used the Bible to justify. I know this is a tired, old argument; but it is true nevertheless that if we use the Bible to guide us as to right and wrong, we can easily justify rape, murder, genocide, homophobia, misogyny, etc as being righteous.

So, I would ask a couple of questions. If absolute morality exists, then can you define it? Where does it come from? Can you give me an example of something that is objectively moral? This is open to all, by the way.

If objective morality exists I would define it as: a moral truth that is evident to all people and at all times. Would anyone agree, or not.?

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- post removed -

religious people can and do say killing is wrong, yet then they will use their religious quotes to say it is ok to kill the killer or go to war and kill whoever ceasar says to kill.

the main problem i have with your thought is, as an atheist i do not believe in god. *oh my.. this means there is NO higher power morality, just our morality in as many forms as we come in*

No spiritual person of any faith has ever been able to absolutely prove there is a god or spiritual omnipotent being. so saying there is like a HIGHER morality based on a higher being does not really work, because there has never been proof of such a being, not even in the religious/spiritual realm, in the end you have to break it down to the itty bitty of blind faith. and i do not believe or desire to believe in a morality based on blind faith.

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