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Morality?

In your opinion, is it possible to justify morality (vs ethics) without theism?

IronhausJimmy 3 Mar 25

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I will just post this here and THIS should answer this debate-nothing more needs to be said on the subject after this:

It is one of the greatest tragidies of mankind, that MORALITY has been hijacked by religion. One does NOT need religion to be moral but instead one should be moral for moaralities sake.

Sir Authur C Clarke

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Even theists decide their own moral compass and then cherry pick to justify it. If you question 100 theists ( even among the same religion) questions about morality, you'd get 100 different answers. The evolution of morality stems from what benefits the species. The big questions are self evident and have been decided. You don't need the ten commandments to tell you that you shouldn't take a life (and it sure didn't stop god from ordering genocides in the bible after the commandment was given).

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Religion does not have a monopoly on moral or ethical behaviour.
Religions were early control edifices in an uncivilised world. In Most cases a sanctuary from violence.
The civilised non believers seek knowledge and learn from experience so not to repeat errors of prejudice and deduce that no positive outcomes come from violence or abuse of power.

Emile Level 5 Mar 26, 2018
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I think morality is just a mega version of what early humans had to pass on rules. These rules came from empathy, and if you weren’t a raging animal and raped whoever you wanted, you probably took this empathy to heart. Humans are social creatures who have evolved the capacity to care about each other.
Also, morals with empathy could be explained by the large brains we humans have. Our brains require a lot of processing power to be able to run unlike other animals who don’t require as much processing power in the brain. With our brains, this stress could be satisfied and relieved via interaction and other people to help take on the roles that the one brain couldn’t handle on its own.

Did I mention God once in that? If you need God to justify not killing a fellow human being, then you are a lot more primitive than the more secular class. You are too stuck in the “us-them” mentality and that kind of mentality is dangerous enough to have in society.

Adam7 Level 4 Mar 26, 2018
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Morality morally opposes Theism.

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Morality is something we have because of the structures of our various societies. We find that society is different in times past and different even now in other parts of the world. Morality is subjective and therefore subject to this change. It has nothing to do at all with holy writings of something passed on by a god. These writings are static and rigid. What they have told society is not what we see operating when we investigate morality.

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I just began reading a book called Forged: Writing in the Name of God. By Bart D. Ehrman. He points out that the Ten Commandments changed in both structure and interpretation as Jewish society evolved over the centuries. He seems to think (and I agree) that it is time for a new set of Universal Ethical/Moral rules for humanity, based on todays reality. Ten is a good round number but I can't think of 10 universal rules that would fit every person or situation without an endless number of disclaimers. Our new 10 Commandments would need 1000 amendments. #1 Thy Shall Not Kill (except when they really, really, deserve it). #2 Treat others as you'd like to be treated (unless you're masochistic) etc.

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Naturally, everyone has their own idea of right and wrong and makes decisions based on those, or sometimes in spite of them, daily.

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I always hear Christians speak about morality and hold the Bible up as the standard for morality. But is the Bible the standard of morality in our modern culture here in the USA? I say NO...the Bible is not our standard of morality.
The God of the Bible endorsed slavery....we do not practice slavery.
The God of the Bible endorsed genocide...we do not.
The God of the Bible treats women as second class citizens....we do not.
The God of the Bible endorses a Monarchy....we are a Democracy.
The God of the Bible endorses death for Homosexuals and Heretics....we do not.
The God of the Bible is prejudiced against the handicapped....we make every effort to accommodate the needs of the handicapped.
I suppose if I thought a little more I would think of more immoral practices of the God of the Bible

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Thinking is it moral to let a dying or sick animal suffer, I think that they would not survive if they were in the wilderness they would become prey. So if a human is suffering the idea is to keep them alive and suffer as long as possible, last time I looked it up humans are animals mammals to be specific. We euthanize animals to relieve their torturous pain.

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Of course. In fact I would challenge a theist to explain how obeying orders is truly moral - and what that worldview implies about human nature (a much more pessimistic view of human behavior, surely).

JMA88 Level 2 Mar 25, 2018

Pretty accurate, and more optimistic the my assessment. 🙂

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I can't be assed

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In its strictest interpretation, Buddhism is a non-theist doctrine (Buddha referred to all such questions as "speculative" ). And it certainly has a moral code (Right Action). It is a fact of life that human beings suffer, and that we all experience suffering as painful. So, one can justify morality as a desire to minimize suffering, which has a firm biological basis.

Or, if you believe in free will, we can choose to be good, and there is no supernatural authority to tell us we cannot. N.B., there are likely to be disagreements on what "good" is, which I consider an argument well worth having.

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Is it moral to be a decent human being only because you fear horrible torture otherwise? Are you moral if you are compassionate in the expectation of reward? I would say the only way to be moral is without theism.

JimG Level 8 Mar 25, 2018

Yup

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I don't need theism to teach me right from wrong.
Further, the believers are generally hypocrites anyway. Where's the "morality" in that?

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Of course. Theism is not a prerequisite. We can judge whats wrong/right.

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Absolutely

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