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Explain to me the cons of basing our culture off religion.

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Night_Walker

Well-Known Member
So, are you saying religion is necessary in order for a society to function, or merely the morals that come from it? Because rules/morals are entirely different from a supernatural agent.

No.

What I meant is when you take away the clearly religious things from the Ten Commandments, that are held up as the basis of morality in the western world, and you look at what's left what I see aren't 'religion inspired morals' they're actually morals that make perfect sense has having arisen in order to keep harmony within a group situation.

To put it another way, there are numerous types of other social animals who are not religious who live in relatively harmonious communities thanks to abiding by, broadly, the same kinds of 'morals'/restrictions on what is acceptable in their society - ie not stealing food or implements from one another, not killing or attacking one another at the slightest excuse.

In short my opinion is that morality is something we've come by because it was necessary for our success as a social species, not something that comes from religion.

Religion provides justifications to discriminate against and even be violent towards other people over things that are really personal matters that don't harm anyone.
 

Sabonea_Masukippa

Well-Known Member
Nothing, Thats the Point. It Leads to Everyone Inventing Their Own Morality, And We Lose all Sense Of Right And Wrong. How Can You Base A Culture With No Sense Of Right And Wrong?

Because terms like 'right' and 'wrong' are too simplistic to describe the complex morality of life?

Besides, people have been 'making up' their own morality based on differing interpretations religious texts for thousands of years, why is secularism, which provides no nasty texts to be twisted, or figureheads to be blamed, the worse option here?

(I'd also like to question your assumption that inventing your 'own' morality would necessarily be a bad thing/result in loosing what you call 'right/wrong.' ).
 

NINJA PENGUIN

Well-Known Member
Because terms like 'right' and 'wrong' are too simplistic to describe the complex morality of life?
So you dont accept their is such a thing as right/wrong or Good/evil?

(I'd also like to question your assumption that inventing your 'own' morality would necessarily be a bad thing/result in loosing what you call 'right/wrong.' ).

So i can invent my own morality, then if i should decide to slaughter millions, then i can, and it would be right.

Anything can be justified if you invent your own morality, rape, murder, genocide... its self destructive. Hitler justifed himself killing the jews, Stalin did the same. (infact, Hitler presented the works of Nietzsche to Stalin and Mussolini)

If you dont atleast base your culture off of a SET morality. Then you can never instill a law, or any sort of legal system, why? because people invent their own law.
 

Profesco

gone gently
So you dont accept their is such a thing as right/wrong or Good/evil?

So i can invent my own morality, then if i should decide to slaughter millions, then i can, and it would be right.

If you dont atleast base your culture off of a SET morality. Then you can never instill a law, or any sort of legal system, why? because people invent their own law.

Ninja Penguin, the concepts of right and wrong exist outside of a religious worldview just as much as they do within one. A secular society can understand that slaughtering innocent people is wrong without needing a god to tell them that is so. (In fact, you've got to wonder whether a society that does need a god to tell them it's wrong is really morally capable to begin with...)

Morality is not based on religion, it is based on reason and logic. Anyone with enough education can reason, with or without religion. Some people might even consider religious doctrine, at times, a hindrance to reason. A "SET morality" would be a set of logical principles and sound reasoning, not omens from an invisible puppeteer(s).

You know, my last two or three posts in this thread all touch directly on what you're speaking about. You might want to read them before continuing. Here's one:

All of the objective morals that actually are necessary for a society to function and survive are based on practical reasoning. Morals tied to religions are superfluous from an objective standpoint because they're only significant within their given religion.
 

Teshub

Banned
Morality is pointless because people are going to do what is innate in them regardless. It comes down to what people were born with.

Morality is also rife with dishonesty, as is places responsibility of actions on external codes instead on the individual.

In a world without morality every person would have the responsibility of declaring what is acceptable or not based on their nature. Because anyone can bring up some book and say "I believe in this" and repeat it verbatim, but what is really inside their mind? What are those hidden impulses they are trying to hide from others?

And when the person acts in a way that affects their peers, he or she will say its because they followed this doctrine, or they didn't follow it the right way. Or better yet, blame the whole of society for not having the right morals. Once again diverting the blame. It is the ultimate straw man!

A perfect example of this is homosexuals born in strict, god-fearing Christian families. Years of indoctrination could never change what they were programmed with. Repeating scriptures five times a day won't do a thing. Higher level intervention like chemical and electronic neurological treatments are better suited if you really want to change yourself.

Same thing with people predisposed to murder on impulse and rape. You will notice it is the same type of people doing it over and over again. Just search which are the rape capitals of the world. It comes down to biology and genetics. I don't care how many kind of morals you try to shove down their throats, they will keep doing it.

Be honest with yourself and observe others.
 

GhostAnime

Searching for her...
Profesco said:
Atheism is all about empirical fact, isn't it? Relativism isn't quite so. Ethical theory needn't be any more wishy-washy and indistinct than scientific theory, and an atheist ought hold all his theories to a standard of objectivity, after all.

Relativism is a pretty destructive view of ethics.
Depends. Destruction would be relativism taken to the extreme. I think morality has to be relative to an extent.

You could probably research every single psychology tendency, health, and evolution field in morals and still find relativism. Killing is wrong, but when is it wrong? Always? Sometimes?

And objective morals still wouldn't answer where they exactly come from.
 

DayDreamX

You lost the game
I don't like having religion control anything imo. People have different religions so they will have conflicting views on their culture. I'm a Buddhist, but many people of my same culture are Catholic. The catholic church used to hold power over the government too, but due to conflicts it's best if the church and the government remained separate.

Our culture shouldn't be based off religion because everyone has different views. Like to me, I don't believe in God and I don't like the Catholic teachings because we are taught to fear God and we're supposed to do all these things just so we can hope to make it up to heaven if he lets us. But being Buddhist, I'm taught to be tolerant with other religions. I just don't understand why Catholicism insists upon preaching to others in attempts to convert them. If my whole culture was based off of Catholicism, there would be too many conflicts. You get to choose your religion, choose what you want to believe in, but you can't choose your culture, you're just born into it.
 

Profesco

gone gently
And objective morals still wouldn't answer where they exactly come from.

You know, I get this. I was discussing with my professor the origin and authority of the ethics we were learning, because I didn't quite understand how what is known had been decided as true. We got around to acknowledging that it's simple logic. There didn't really seem to be an authority, so to speak, who gave us truth or objectivity. It was, he said, self-evident, based on logical reasoning and the reality of human coexistence. It wasn't exactly a hugely satisfying result, but it does make sense.

For instance, one example of an objective moral truth: indiscriminate killing is wrong.

If there was no sort of sanction against killing other people, coexistence would fly out the window because anybody could just up and kill whoever they wanted. Nobody would be safe from anybody else. Even if a few people banded together under the pact of cooperative protection, that'd still be a tiny society, and it would necessarily be based on the moral principle of "no killing."

We don't really have any scientific journal or divine figure telling us that this truth is so because of such and such. It just happens to be the truth of the world we live in. Like nobody has to make a law saying "A is A." It just is.

So, as far as I and, I hope, as many other philosophers both amateur and professional as I think there are, are concerned, morality comes from logic, and logic is self-evident.

Wild stuff. :D
 
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Emperor Empoleon

Honor of Kalos
So i can invent my own morality, then if i should decide to slaughter millions, then i can, and it would be right.

Anything can be justified if you invent your own morality, rape, murder, genocide... its self destructive. Hitler justifed himself killing the jews, Stalin did the same. (infact, Hitler presented the works of Nietzsche to Stalin and Mussolini)

If you dont atleast base your culture off of a SET morality. Then you can never instill a law, or any sort of legal system, why? because people invent their own law.

We know whats "right" and wrong" because it's already in us. Humans all need and feel the same kinds of things. We all know what hurts and what makes us happy. With the troubles we have in common, we help each other out. Our "inner morality" already lines up perfectly because we all basically want the same thing. Just to live, love, prosper and create our lives as part of this world.

And..."Maybe if we started looking at whats the same, instead of always looking at whats different, well..Who knows?" :B

Thats the way I see it..
 

Byzantine

Well-Known Member
What IS different? I don't understand how people don't realize that every single "difference" we see and make a big deal over, are nothing in the grand scheme of things. We are all human beings, and we are all remarkably similar. Just having the same basic structure is amazing. In the Grand scheme of things there are likely creatures out there that we can't even comprehend, let alone describe. So why do we spend so much time nitpicking each other for the smallest of difference when they truly are skin deep, if that.

Human DNA is amazingly similar, the two most different human beings on the planet are far more closely related than any 2 random (non-related) members of any other species. And yet we can't get along with people that are, virtually, the same as we are. We all have different morale values, different cultures, different ideas, but when it comes down to it we are still human, so why not learn to respect one another for that, instead of coming up with differences that don't really exist to any degree of importance.

We might not all agree, but I don't see why we should have to, families rarely do and yet most don't end up trying to kill one another. Yet when you put countries in the same situation they just might, even if it is a fight over something that doesn't make any objective sense. (I read about a conflict in Africa between two very poor nations over a small amount of land that amounted to a few bushes and some desert, the leaders of both countries couldn't explain why they ended up going to war after the fact).
 

Fused

Shun the nonbeliever
So i can invent my own morality, then if i should decide to slaughter millions, then i can, and it would be right.

You might be able to justify slaughter morally, but I eagerly invite you to justify it logically. That is the key difference here.
 

evolutionrex

The Awesome Atheist
Haven't this thread discussed athiesm and morality?

All morals are common sense. Societies can't exist if there is no one in the society, that is why we can't kill. No economy can work if we all just steal from each other, that is why we don't steal. He all have to get along in order to work together for a society, that is why we teach each other equally. Its common sense, its just religion wrote a list.
 

Vermehlo_Steele

Grand Arbiter II
RAWRR! I gotta love Australian interfailnet and it's faulty reach.

Leviticus isn't some set of obscure quotes; it is the God-given law to Moses for the people of Israel. It was the will of God, the same God of Christianity, and whether or not an avatar of God came to Earth later and made some conflicting statements about whether or not that law was to be changed doesn't change that they represent God's will for his chosen people on how to live their lives at some point in history. They're referenced throughout the Bible, anyway. Hardly obscure.

Yet, I keep being told that Christians today must somehow accept these 'laws' as part of being Christian.


And you wouldn't do that because Atheism doesn't function like that anyway. Richard Dawkins isn't an 'Atheist Bishop' whose will we all bow down to or even agree with.
I didn't say y'all bow down to him, go back and read my post for full understanding my child.

Pointing to an ancient book or society thousands of years ago is essentially giving up to me. I understand the general significance of history, but that significance should in no way heavily influence today's standard values.

When you base SUBJECTIVE concepts on religions that state ABSOLUTE TRUTH, then you have no room for subjectivity. You'd just be picking and choosing what you like. Wouldn't it be easier to just say what feels right to you and make an argument for it instead of on ancient societies?


So, you feel that if non-religious people were the majority, they'd be as corrupt?

This idea has been entertained by many people (most notably South Park), but I'll put it like this... corruption will always exist as long as there is a gain for some human being. You are right that regardless of what one's beliefs are about the universe, one can still do corrupt things.
I didn't say that atheism will decay in moral standards if it were the majority. You have to admit that as an approach to the endless phenomena of religion, atheism (at least as a tangible, identifiable group) is new and hasn't had much oppurtunity to have people give it a bad name the way every major religion has had to endure.
What I'm trying to simply say is that, a religious person is going to have an easier time being corrupt than an irreligious person. Why?

Many religions have that "authority figure" that gives you that extra avenue of truth. You can say anything you want and it'll be justified. Think of priests, parents, or even the Pope himself.

With non-religious people, you don't really have to abide by any such rules whether it's from a book or an authority. They mostly rely on some abstract form of beliefs. They are still capable of being corrupt and convincing people to do bad things, but that depends on the population he's convincing. If this population was a least developed country, it would be a cinch regardless of their beliefs.
No argument that pious fanatics and religious crackpots use divinity to justify their excess and cruelty. But I can't see why a religious population (even with the excuse of divine right to do what I wish) can be more corrupt than a atheist population of the same scenario. To my mind, claiming divine authority is possibly just as dangerous as say inventing a whole new code of morals to suit one's views. But then again, the allure of heaven is a potent reward for evil and there is plenty of evidence for this (I think you said something earlier about this) so therefore, I concede your point.




I'm not necessarily linking them. What I mean is that religion is what's used, and racism is the "hidden reasoning". A "racist" will use religion as a "tool" to justify his racism. Get it?
Yeah, I do now, I didn't at first.



Repeating any quotes from the Bible doesnt prove anything either.
Obviously you missed the point.

indeed, we dont really have any real atheist leaders whom we bow down to. some atheists come up with good evidence or theories, but we dont automatically believe them because they dont hold a position of "power" over us, because we dont believe in some higher being that has power over our fates, and we arnt afraid to think differently beaucase we arent afraid of eternal damnation, so we dont keep our mouths shut and pretend it isnt happening if something goes wrong
Again, you missed the point. I didn't say atheists bow down to Christopher Hitchens (a man whose ideas I admire) or that great scientist, yet hateful Dawkins; the reason I bought up Dawkins was to explain how silly it would be to judge a group by the ramblings of one it's more extreme members. If you read my post, you'd see that. However, obviously those who don't get it are happy to remain that way, so let's end that.



That is to say, religion can be used to justify ANYTHING, a society based entirely on some religion or other would not be the utopia you believe it would be, because it would almost immediately be corrupted and used for some form of violence or oppression.
If these heathens were of the Abrahamic faiths, they've just broken some very important and central rules in their religions. Religion (like any ideology with the promise of a golden future for the adherents, like communism) is a powerful tool to mobilize populations for a group's ambitions. The politics of the Papacy and the institutionalized Roman Catholic Church led to the Crusades, not any central idea in the Bible or core teaching of Christ.
 
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GhostAnime

Searching for her...
Vermehlo said:
I didn't say that atheism will decay in moral standards if it were the majority. You have to admit that as an approach to the endless phenomena of religion, atheism (at least as a tangible, identifiable group) is new and hasn't had much oppurtunity to have people give it a bad name the way every major religion has had to endure.
Atheism is actually pretty old as a concept.

It hasn't had the opportunity, but religion doesn't just have the "majority" factor: it STILL has the added factor that people do whatever it takes to get a decent afterlife or obey some religious authority.
 

Sabonea_Masukippa

Well-Known Member

Yet, I keep being told that Christians today must somehow accept these 'laws' as part of being Christian.

You kind of do have to 'accept' them as part of God's character, since God did say them (if the Bible is indeed the errant word of God passed through man), but you're not obliged to follow them.


I didn't say y'all bow down to him, go back and read my post for full understanding my child.

Again, you missed the point. I didn't say atheists bow down to Christopher Hitchens (a man whose ideas I admire) or that great scientist, yet hateful Dawkins; the reason I bought up Dawkins was to explain how silly it would be to judge a group by the ramblings of one it's more extreme members. If you read my post, you'd see that. However, obviously those who don't get it are happy to remain that way, so let's end that.

But there is a difference between the two groups. For example, if you identify as a Roman Catholic (which I am certain you do not), but say you did. I could, in theory, call you out on the words of the Pope on say, condoms in Africa, because if you were a Roman Catholic he is your 'head' of Church and vessel of God on Earth (Papal infallibility and all that). Therefore, a Roman Catholic must in theory believe and accept the words of the Pope.

Whereas someone who identifies as an Atheist is not bound by or obliged to listen to any other people's opinions or beliefs as a basis for their own. Atheists do routinely believe all kinds of crazy things (the string hypothesis, reincarnation, astrology), but that (usually) doesn't relate to their lack of a belief in any god.
 

Hotrod93

Dragon Trainer
First off im Catholic, but I have my own mind and own thoughts about whats things truly are right and wrong.

The main reason I see why people get turned off by Christianity is cause of:
1. Christian do try to shove it down your throat.
2. The topic of always "Doom and Gloom".
3. The whole "My way is the only right way".
4. The "If you think outside the box your the devil and your everything that is wrong with the world".
5. "GOD WILL PUNISH YOU FOR EVERYTHING YOU DO!"
6. "Your gay? YOU"LL BURN!"
7. Confusion between what is the truth.


My mom for one that will try to judge and force Christianity down peoples throats. She once got into a huge fight over Jewish people not believeing Jesus as their savior and I had to explain why they think this. People need to learn that the more you force on people the more they'll be turned off by it.

Alot of people get sick and tired of people only reading the dark parts of the bible and never the good. I can see why this turns alot of people away cause after a while you dont want to hear any bad and just good.

Another problem is that many believe that its their way or the highway, this in general is sorta a powerplay. Alot of people who do this are already over controlling people and by trying to force something on another using religion.
Then theres the people who will not stop until you are their section of Christianity and will bug you and tell you things just to try and force you to convert.

It even says at one point in the bible that God wants us to be open minded and ask questions. Christians have got it in their heads that if they think outside what is in the bible that they are going to hell. I believe in God and Evolution, Does the make me a bad person?

Only if you do bad, if anything look at it as karma. Do bad bad comes to you, Do good Good comes to you.

Anymore you really dont know who to trust cause different churches/people do and say different things that often confuses people about what is true and what isnt. If anything people should get their facts straight before trying to teach others.
 

GhostAnime

Searching for her...
It even says at one point in the bible that God wants us to be open minded and ask questions.
I'm curious as to where this is.
 

O.J. da Juiceman

Well-Known Member
Truth is subjective. Pursuit your own truth but don't obstruct the pursuits of others.

Personally I believe religion first surfaced as a means to justify the inexplicable phenomena that occur in our everyday world; from natural disasters, to disease, and finally death. No other creature on this planet has the mental capacity to foresee their own demise. This puts a huge strain on the psyche and in order for man to cope with such pressure the human evolutionary trait of creativity was utilized to create (in some shape or form) an afterlife. From this humble beginning religion grew into a twisting vine of societal control. Is morality based on religion? Or is religion based on morality, simply warped into a tool to manipulate the masses? If religion produces morals then how is it that less intelligent organisms such as wolves or lions manage to maintain what could be seen as a primitive society without constantly ripping each other to shreds? What of primitive humans?
 
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