Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 5
AquilaChrysaetos

The Atheist Moral Argument

110 posts in this topic

Yes, just like other non-human social creatures exhibit moral behaviour, especially in the form of reciprocal actions; you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. I continue to be amazed that many people believe only homo sapiens sapiens are moral agents. I guess that's because it makes it so much easier to treat animals as property to do with as we will. That's the basis of Christian theology when it comes to animals, they are there for our use, they have no self interests. Which of course is wrong.

Thats an interesting perspective.

In my case i came to chose biblically based christian perspectives after already being a secular humanist with a good understanding of both ecology and sociology/psychology. I already understood, intellectually, my duties and responsibilites to my fellow humans and my planet.

But spirituality put HEART into my duties and responsibilities. I, in effect, no longer had a choice but was spiritually compelled to act as a steward of the earth . It is precisely because I am different from all other animals that I have a duty and a responsibilty. I can actually recognise these things and act on them. I can create or destroy by choice.

Other animals are purely responsive to environmental and genetic imperatives, along with some learned socialised behaviours in animals such as primates, which most closely reach humans levels of self awareness.

Thus, in my case, 'religion' emphasises, and adds meaning to, my relationship to others and to the world. We are all one, and with great power comes great responsibilty. it is similar morality to buddhism but not so absolute. For example if pushed i put humans and humanity above other animals, precisely because we are more capapble of making a differnce. I would like to see the world population reduced to a sustainable level, and all humans living a comfortable non maerialist non/growth consumption based, and sustainable life style, which also allows the environment to recover. But we will have to use our abilities and creativity to help the world recover a natural balance because it cannot do it alone. A study of the australain mainland and off shore islands shows that the ecosystem on the mainland, influenced by 50000 years of light aboriginal populations, is very diffeernt and less diverse than the environment of the islands which were never inhabited.

So ANY occupation by humans changes the word's balance and ecosystems.

Ps I am almost entirely a vegetarian, But not because I think it is ethically or morally wrong for a human to kill other animals and eat their meat. That is a natural evolved human habit.

No, vegetarianism is preferable because of the huge health benefits it confers. Modern humans eat far more meat than our ancestors because they can.

Also being vegetarian lessens my impact on the planet. It reduces my green house gas production by 42 % and greatly reduces the acreage of my ecolocical footprint, or the amount of world's resources I use, to live.

Interestingly the "biblical" diet of 5000 years ago is nuts fruits and legumes, and that diet is the one most recommended by my cardiologists and other health professionals in the 21st century. I would never have become a vegetarian if not for my wife's influence. As a biblically based christian believer she has mostly abstained from meat, alcohol, nicotine, tea, coffee, etc all her life.

Ps the biblical perspective on the use of animals merely reflects the knolwedge gained in the first

agricultural revolution, where humans began to domesticate animals and crops. The bible is a "spiritual journey of understanding", by people transitioning from nomadic pastoralism to settled argrarian living, and of course it reflects the values and understandings of such a community.

Edited by Mr Walker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quality conversation! :clap:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Karma is not cause and effect. It`s a personal desire to harm who has harmed you.

Wow. I've never seen anyone define karma that way. I have to disagree strongly.

If Karma was a real thing we would have a lot less evil.

That's assuming karmic debt is always paid in the current lifetime. I'm not saying I believe absolutely in reincarnation by the way, but I can't say for sure that it doesn't happen either. If there are multiple lifetimes, karmic debt may not be repaid until well down the line. Some people talk about souls being old or young, with the older ones obviously having learned more lessons. Some say we need to live every possible sort of life for our souls to evolve, which would mean knowing what it was like to be the saint and the sinner. I don't know about you, but I can think of a lot more ways to be a sinner than to be a saint, no matter what religion you're talking about. Being a saint seems to be a narrow path, while being a sinner can be pretty varied. If that's the way it is, there would be far more sinners than saints in the world at any given time, until a sufficient number of people reach the status of "old soul".

The preceding philosophy was brought to you by a Sam Adams Spring Thaw Variety Pack. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As 'sentient beings' we each should extract such secrets and comforts as our nature (and the nature of the universe) enables us to find. This is assuming that the universe has any vested interest in sentient life at all?

If all human life is reduced to mere economics then communism and its derivatives are the only ideology which have an intrinsic morality in my opinion.

That's probably because you don't really understand what Adam smith was preposing. I understand the draw to communism intimately at heart I am one, but at thought I cannot be. But of course I am indoctrinated in modern economic theory, but as I'm sure you can relate it is a social SCIENCE, which means its evolving with peer review and empirical study. Don't confuse idiotic western ( financial ????... economics with real economics.) real economics is a study of choice not dollars ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Human morality evolved in tandem with spiritual belief and religious practice. One cant exist without the other because they come from same evolved abilities of the human mind.

I don't agree with you here. You're correct, I believe, that religions have taken on "best practices" of being human. But I don't think you can argue they have co-evolved. Religions tend to grow and adapt subsequent to moral developments, not in conjunction with them. There always seems to be a lag before they catch on. They tend to get there eventually but many religions, especially christian, tend to be conservative and to resist change. The moral development of humankind is a proactive and progressive movement - the exact antithesis of many churches. (Notwithstanding the many progressive theists that exist).

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't agree with you here. You're correct, I believe, that religions have taken on "best practices" of being human. But I don't think you can argue they have co-evolved. Religions tend to grow and adapt subsequent to moral developments, not in conjunction with them. There always seems to be a lag before they catch on. They tend to get there eventually but many religions, especially christian, tend to be conservative and to resist change. The moral development of humankind is a proactive and progressive movement - the exact antithesis of many churches. (Notwithstanding the many progressive theists that exist).

Ah but christianity /judaism is at least 5000 years old, and developed in a time of change. It reflects the social values of the times in which it evolved sometimes in sympathy withtem and sometimes as in te gospels in oposition to them.

The basic tenets can be utilised today but the laws based on best social practice of 5000-2000 years ago sometimes need modernising.

I was talking about the evolution of spiritual awareness and religion, going back to the first recognisable humans; cromagnonn and neandertal, or if you like, homo sapiens. When the mind develops the level of self awareness needed to become religious/spiritual, it also reaches the level of self awareness required for values, theoretical concepts, and ethics/moralities to appear. One of the indicators that other animals do not have human type moralities is that they do not dispay human type religions or belief driven practices, which inevitably go with the ability to be self aware, and conscious of right and wrong (as an example)

Religions as with social/civil laws are how humans codify their beliefs and values, but the beliefs and values come from the same place as the nature of religions, In pre scientific societies only religion offeered a reason for things based on beliefs ALL human behaviour was origianlly belief based One did nothing without consideration of ones beliefs Those beliefs are what we would call religious.

Hunting, sex, birth, death, food; everything was viewed through a spiritual religious filter and hence religious practices evolved form those beliefs.One did not go into a forest without making a sacrifice. One did not eat or drink without a sacrifice or recognition of the gods/spirits. One offered something of everything to the spirits or gods because that is where everything came from.The spirits and gods were in everything, and a part of your daily life.

Religions are based on beliefs values symbolic constructs and abstract concepts. Moralities ethics etc are also based on these things. If we truly believe anything it is (or becomes) a form of religion to us.

Edited by Mr Walker
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, just like other non-human social creatures exhibit moral behaviour, especially in the form of reciprocal actions; you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. I continue to be amazed that many people believe only homo sapiens sapiens are moral agents. I guess that's because it makes it so much easier to treat animals as property to do with as we will. That's the basis of Christian theology when it comes to animals, they are there for our use, they have no self interests. Which of course is wrong.

Point well taken. For any species to evolve takes on some social structures, if not it would fail. Judgment of that social structure is only for those that see it as wrong. Morality is in the eye`s of the beholder or as we see it as in a majority.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. I've never seen anyone define karma that way. I have to disagree strongly.

That's assuming karmic debt is always paid in the current lifetime. I'm not saying I believe absolutely in reincarnation by the way, but I can't say for sure that it doesn't happen either. If there are multiple lifetimes, karmic debt may not be repaid until well down the line. Some people talk about souls being old or young, with the older ones obviously having learned more lessons. Some say we need to live every possible sort of life for our souls to evolve, which would mean knowing what it was like to be the saint and the sinner. I don't know about you, but I can think of a lot more ways to be a sinner than to be a saint, no matter what religion you're talking about. Being a saint seems to be a narrow path, while being a sinner can be pretty varied. If that's the way it is, there would be far more sinners than saints in the world at any given time, until a sufficient number of people reach the status of "old soul".

The preceding philosophy was brought to you by a Sam Adams Spring Thaw Variety Pack. :)

Dissagree all you like as it makes no never mind. Karma is ones wish that harm comes to those that harm them is it not. As far as an after life goes it plays no part of what Karma is or is not as an after life is also wishful thinking. Those that burn and those that don`t. Those that believe in Karma and wish for it`s actions may in turn burn for it.

Edited by The Silver Thong

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Morality and all human emotions are based on needs.Second, the view on all human emotions are completely relative to the person and not a group.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sheesh I wish I were able to be out of bed when these conversations take place.

Mr. Walker defines karma just as I see it -- a combination of the fact that if you gamble often enough you may win short term but probably won't and will definately lose long term. Good kindly acts tend to get good kindly returns, and nasty acts tend to get nasty returns. Further, society is organized, with laws and courts and police and jails and boycots and public censure and vigilantism and all sort of other ways to enforce karma.

There are also psychological enforcements. It may be that individuals here and there appear to prosper from evil, but do they really? Who knows about their private fears and guilts, the pressures and blackmailings and social disapproval they deal with, maybe with just a huge bluff. Besides, the leading criminal figures always eventually get caught up some way or another.

The problem of course is that the system is not perfect; as each generation learns its lessons new generations replace them; and some people are just inherently sociopaths who never learn. Still, technology is making the system steadily more effective and crime rates are dropping.

As far as a religious base for morality goes, one is not needed, but doesn't hurt. The atheist who has no fear of God but who does what is good regardless, out of just their nature or maybe for philosophical reasons (Kant or utilitarianism or Stoicism or Buddhist compassion are all examples of that sort of philosophical ethical system) is to be admired at not having supernatural things, but if the supernatural is needed for a given person, then I see nothing wrong.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 5

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.