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'Morality From God' Debunked.

Updated on April 14, 2017
Humans are innately good for good reason.
Humans are innately good for good reason.

This is a hub addressing the "proof" of God's existence which starts off asking the question "where do you get your morality from?" and "how do you know what is wrong and what is right?" and then concluding that because most people don't know, "it must be God."

But logic has an answer, and it's not God.

Moral Absolutes

Because the monotheistic religions teach that certain things are right (helping the poor) and certain things are wrong all the time (murder), they also teach that there are moral absolutes, and these come from God who bestowed them upon us.


"You know it's wrong to kill"

Think again.

Because obviously it is not always wrong to murder or kill.

  1. If a bear attacks a group of campers, you would say it was not wrong to wound or kill that bear.
  2. If a person attacks a group of campers with malicious intent you would say it was not wrong to wound or kill that bear.
  3. If by murdering one man I could save 7 billion people, I would murder that one man, even if it was myself.
  4. If by killing ten men I could save 10 million, I would kill the 10 men.

    Utilitarianism is moral, moral absolutes are not. (see link)

Murder is not always morally wrong. It's a fallacy to say it is. Thus, the holy scriptures (bible etc.) and their deontological views are morally flawed and shouldn't be considered a source of moral guidance.

Lying is also not always wrong- lying to save a life is moral,

Theft is not always wrong - theft to feed your family is moral

Coveting your neighbour's spouse is not always wrong if you knew that everyone would be happier if you re-married with him/her.

Just sit and think :)
Just sit and think :)

So how do we know what is moral?


How do we know what is right and what is wrong? Our upbringing. How did our parents know what was right and what was wrong? Their upbringing. This goes up the family tree into history. And chances are, your great ancient's views of morality were a lot different to yours today.

Society, through trial and error learned what was right or wrong.
Do you know what is completely wrong with the argument "where does your morality come from?" - "it must be God"?

It's wrong because we have so much proof that we call historical documents showing that humanity started off with barbaric, evil customs and then through trial and error learned what was right and what was wrong . Through positive and negative reinforcement learned what was right and what was wrong.

If God is the source of our morality. Then 1000 years ago there wouldn't have been widespread malicious murder, pillaging and rape. 2000 years ago there wouldn't have been worse widespread malicious murder, pillaging and rape. 5000 years ago, there wouldn't have been even worse widespread malicious murder, pillaging and rape.

Only 200 years ago we were still enslaving our own race, calling them a different race entirely. Only recently has this barbaric behaviour stopped. Only recently did we realise that women deserve equal rights to men.

If you look at the history of man, the further back in time you go, the more brutal we acted. If you suggest that God dictates our intrinsic morality, then you suggest that humans will always act the same, no more barbaric now then they were 5000 years ago, no more civil. After all, why would God's power over us falter? He is all powerful after all.

And what changed? What developed over history so that humans became more moral every century and millennia? Society.


Says it all
Says it all

Evolution of Social Values

At least we learn
With every tragedy, every horror, every war waged and fight fought, we built upon our society and their rules. We changed so that we might survive better, because we all want to survive. Because we all don't like feeling pain, or being stolen from. If there was a way to reduce the overall crime rate, we understand that the chances of us being affected is lowered too. Forgetting altruism, an arguable social evolution, our morals come from selfishness on a fundamental level.

Religions formed, and used fear in order to control people, making sure they didn't misbehave, telling them they would burn in hell and suffer all pains if they would. This worked. This really did work. Humans were able to control themselves using fear tactics. The reason "thou shall not kill" and the other commandments were invented?

Because humans could see that if none of these bad things were happening, then none of these bad things would happen to them. It is a selfish motive. It is our need to survive and reproduce, or at least no feel pain, that makes us moral.


Conclusive Paragraph

Humans learn from mistakes, their own ones, and other people's. We were not born moral, we were born more or less as a blank slate. After that we learn. We learn how to behave in order to survive. We understand concepts, we understand that if everyone in a group doesn't commit crime, then no one, including you yourself will be a victim of crime.

After this, large societies with policing systems formed. Punishment for crime. Education. Teaching children morals like not hurting others and treating each other like you would want to be treated arose.

WIth education and science came the questioning of religion, the ancient spell for behaviour.

Laws and punishment were necessary. Now we have "If you forget the simple principle that committing crimes will increase the crime rate and thus negatively effect you or your children in the future, and you decide to be selfish, then you will be punished by a real, physical authority very soon" for those who are tempted by crime.

Selfishness and crime still exist, humans are prone to external stimulus, they can go insane, they may have been mistreated, or they may have been taught to disrespect the law or morality, or to be opportunistic. These people may commit crimes. Sometimes they are desperate. As I've already said, some people steal to feed themselves or their family. Is that selfish and immoral?

So where do I get my morality from? From my parents and the understanding that morality makes the world work better, and if not caring for every other human being, it at least improves my own situation and my own survival chances.

This is all forgetting Altruism
Altruism is a proposed characteristic of humans that states that we will perform actions that do not directly benefit us. For example, give to charity. Forgetting all of the selfish reasons people give to charity, such as getting a better reputation, feeling better about themselves etc. It has been shown that some people will do things that will not make them look or feel better, out of the philanthropic need to better the world.

This is a great and hopeful concept for humanity and it is one that I believe in.

I can hear the religious cheer and shout, screaming "You see! You see! God DID make all humans good" but let's not confuse things now, if our morality was dictated by a God, we would always be moral, if by a gene, then even people born with altruism could become mass murderers due to the effects of nurture.

Below is a promising and interesting possible explanation of how altruism arose through the form of counter arguments against Fallacious Creationist arguments:

:http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB411.html


Anyone who enters the comment hall of fame is awarded this virtual gold star!  (satisfaction sold separately)
Anyone who enters the comment hall of fame is awarded this virtual gold star! (satisfaction sold separately)

Comment Hall of Fame

This section is to highlight shameful overlooks on my part when I created this hub, featuring additions that commenters have suggested that I agree with. Their name and link are included in case you wish to follow these clever hubbers in the future. Do not be shy about posting opposing beliefs, because I will make a counter-argument section if needs be. The more views the merrier, that way we can achieve a better conclusion :)

jdflom
"the motivation for doing charitable acts by certain (not all) religious folks is fueled by some sort of greed, not morality, because in their mind they have something to gain (perhaps a spot in heaven?"

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    • profile image

      PJ 4 years ago

      You say it's acceptable to 'murder' in order to save the many but this probably isn't murder but sacrifice. Murder is intent to harm another for its own sake - sacrifice is killing for the sake of a greater good. We are not born a blank slate either - anyone with children will know that you don't need to teach them to misbehave - they just do! It's inherent to misbehave - sin - and it stains the soul - guilt results. Only the amoral do not feel remorse and guilt. Morality under your assumptions is relativistic and changeable according to any particular given situation - I presume you would not object to cannibalism if you were in a culture that believed it to be acceptable, even 'right'? Morality, a stable one anyway, can only be found in an absolute. And also worth considering is your idea that we learn from parents who learn from their parents who learn etc etc - you might end up with a bible believer if you go back and what then? You will have gained your handed down morality from the bible!

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 4 years ago from London

      @Danny Taylor,

      Yes I do, what in the article suggested to you that I didn't?

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 4 years ago from London

      @GiGi,

      I agree with you and believe that religions were created out of a biological tendency to search for hierarchy and rules - a process of finding where you are in a particular system. I think that the order and rigidity that religions bring can be very soothing for people - you know exactly what to expect and what is right and wrong.

      Unfortunately, things aren't so simple. Now at least, with the advent of free time and education, we can finally begin to think about what really is the right thing to do in given situations, thanks for tuning in and have a good night,

      Philanthropy.

    • Dannytaylor02 profile image

      Daniel Nathan Taylor 4 years ago from United Kingdom, Liverpool

      you do know that murder and killing is different right?

    • profile image

      Gigi 4 years ago

      by reading, thinking, and searching I have come to the same conclusions. It seems we have projected our internal shift (evolution) towards morality by creating outward manifestations, ie God/Devil for good/evil. Also these polar opposites reflect the split psyche that happened in early man as our brains evolved. Alan Watts did a good job describing the world we perceived prior to the split where all things were connected. By learning about how our brain/ thinking evolved, I was able to see how WE CREATED GOD, not God created us. Education is crucial and getting people to think rationally is the answer.

    • profile image

      Gigi 4 years ago

      I was brought up in the church and it wasn't until I began reading and thinking that I ce to the se conclusions that you have. It seems we have "created a God" by projecting our internal morality. Don't forget, we also created a devil. These manifestations of the Good/evil

    • profile image

      TheMinisterGuy 5 years ago

      The law says that stealing is wrong. There is no loophole or clause in there saying that if your family is starving, then it's okay to steal. It's wrong, and therefore no matter what circumstances, it's immoral.

      Lying is always wrong, even for the purpose of saving a life. If you get on the witness stand to testify in court and you lie to say that someone arrested for murder didn't do it so he doesn't get the death penalty, you broke the law by lying and therefore have committed an immoral act.

      Morality and ethics are not defined by culture, circumstance, or personal belief. Humans disagree on so many things that the only way we could have possibly gotten any sense of right and wrong is from something/someone more intelligent and righteous than we are. That's just common sense. It's sad that people do whatever they can to justify the way people act and think.

    • Vladimir Uhri profile image

      Vladimir Uhri 5 years ago from HubPages, FB

      One more thing. There is differences between murder and killing.

    • aslaught profile image

      aslaught 5 years ago from Alabama

      Awesome hub! I enjoyed every minute of reading it! Thanks for sharing. I agree with every point! Thank you!!

      And an aside to this: If you read my hub, living as an atheist in the bible belt you'll realize where I'm coming from. I KNOW I'm a good, kind, caring person and I learned these attributes from a good, kind and caring mother. I was carried to church, but my Mother's teaching resound in my soul. The problem here in the south is the ignorance of some people's thinking that if you don't worship god, you must be a satanist. LOL. Again, thanks!

    • Vladimir Uhri profile image

      Vladimir Uhri 5 years ago from HubPages, FB

      Sorry Philanthropy,I did not have chance to read entire article. But I say this. I lived under Soviet regime in my prime time. Soviet had moral code. It was nothing else just copy of the Ten Commandments minus related matter to God. They were unable create anything more.

    • Rah128 profile image

      Rah128 5 years ago from Southampton

      Great Hub Philanthropy,

      An well said on the morals of atheist, as always your logic and understandings have shown through..

      Keep up the good work bud :)

      Rah :)

    • Seek-n-Find profile image

      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      Hey P--no problem. Just wanted to make sure you saw that I posted it. Take your time--I prefer a good read so don't rush! This indeed could evolve into a series. :-) If you would like to study some of the information of the "opposite" side you may want to consider visiting carm.org. It is a Christian Apologetics website that includes some very good material. This could help you understand the thoughts counter to yours (from people writing from a very logical perspective) and may help you to form a well-thought out counter-argument. You seem bright--so I think you will find it intriguing. Best wishes to you. ~Seek

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 5 years ago from London

      Seek-n-Find, you must forgive me, I have read your hub but I am waiting until a less hectic time so I can focus on it and try to understand it more, I think I will need to write a response to it in it's own hub, we might make it into a little series :)

      Hopefully I'll find some time tomorrow, if not it'll have to be the weekend, I want to make sure it's worth reading for you and everyone else. Sorry! x

    • Seek-n-Find profile image

      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      I linked you into my Hub--did you read it yet? :-)

    • Seek-n-Find profile image

      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      Hey P--here's our duo number 2! Here' the link to my response to your article. https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Where-do-...

    • jdflom profile image

      Jonathan 5 years ago from Sacramento, CA

      intouch with Toni: I just wanted to comment on a portion of your recent response to Phil; "You can speak science all day long, and I can tell you about the ways that God has worked in my life. Miraculous provision, answers to prayer that no one was privvy to but Him. I'm sure you'd smirk at that, but hey, it works for me. I've seen that it's real. It's given me joy. If you don't want to experience that - it's your free will to reject it :) Peace."

      I believe that you believe god has worked in your life, but my belief is that what you experienced is what non-believers would label coincidence or in your case a happy accident. It happens in the most mundane of occurrences, as well as in big events in our lives. However, I think its selfish to assume that if there were a god, he/she/it would spend even a moment of time on 1 out of nearly 7 billion people, and trillions of live beings on this planet for something trivial.

      There's been life on this planet for quite a long time, and in the big scheme of things, one person who is dying of a horrible disease doesn't matter to 99.9999~% of the rest of the beings on this planet. I myself have a horrible affliction that could possibly kill me. If I am cured, great; if I die -- such is life as I will die anyways at a certain point. If I am in fact cured, I would not regard this as a miracle or otherwise discernable act of god. It is a reaction to the medication that scientists have developed. My circumstances as to how I got the illness are extremely rare for my situation, and I can only chalk that up to coincidence, because there is nothing known that I did to cause it. Why would a loving god cast this upon me? I've done nothing wrong nor immoral in my opinion. And it can't be because I am an atheist - as many atheists live and die at the same rate that believers do. I am no different than millions of others with diseases who have died and survived.

      I have an acquaintance that is very religious and just as moral and good as I am; but has a similar illness as myself. He has chosen to let god heal him instead of science. Right now, my odds are looking better, and his worse. He is finally turning his fate over to science... Again, I ask, why would a loving god cast either of us with a deadly illness and let use die or let us live when it seems clear that the medication usually has a positive outcome and lack of medication does not?

      Lastly, I was raised to believe and when I was a child, did so because I was told that was correct. However, I never experienced that feeling you said when I prayed to god. That was not my choice to reject it since it never happened to me no matter how hard I asked for it. Once I started thinking for myself and found what appeared to be logical and rational was I able to get an understanding of why coincidental things just happen; good, bad or indifferent.

      This is just my opinion and I hope I did not offend you. I do agree that no-ones mind is going to be changed by these debates, but I wanted to put in my thoughts on your comment. I am in fact glad that you are able to find joy in something, even if we disagree on why that event happened.

      (It's late, so I hope everything made sense).

    • Seek-n-Find profile image

      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      Hey P--no problem. I know you haven't forgotten me. :-) This is an excellent choice for our next pairing. I will wrap up my Hub over the weekend and will have it posted by Monday. I'll link to yours, like last time, and you can link to mine. I think our next one, however, should be something light--like the pros and cons of--I don't know--chewing bubble gum. LOL. I love to think and write about this stuff but when I try to tackle something, it kind of tackles me and then my to-do list on my post-it notes just sits there, getting quite ignored. Have a great weekend and try not to write anything else too interesting that may tempt me to start another Hub before I've finished this one. :-) LOL

    • cbl2988 profile image

      cbl2988 5 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      Thank you very much, Philanthropy. I have been thinking about it, but it is such a complicated topic and I don't necessarily want to get into a huge debate with theists. It gets tiring after a while. I appreciate your kind words all the same and I might give your suggestion further consideration.

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 5 years ago from London

      Would just like to chime in here and say 'very well said' cbl2988, that comment in itself could/should be a hub. I know this one was ;D

    • cbl2988 profile image

      cbl2988 5 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      intouch with Toni,

      That doesn't answer any of my questions at all and here is why:

      1) I asked why I am responsible for Adam's act. You didn't really address this.

      2) I brought up a very valid point about how it is impossible for a baby or small child to be morally culpable of anything because he or she has not done anything morally significant yet and is not developed enough to reason. Do you contend this point? Well imagine a situation in which a one year old gets a hold of a precious book of yours and destroys it? Now imagine that is I who ruined your book. Who is morally culpable? Why and why not? If you say both, then why and who is more responsible and why?

      3)Why do Christians insist that there is an objective moral standard or that there are moral facts independent of human existence? The fact is no one has been able to establish this. There is no objective moral standard. David Hume correctly pointed out that one cannot derive a moral "ought" from a factual "is". In other words, there are no facts in reality wherein one can directly derive an actual "ought". If Christians keep insisting that there are objective moral duties (or moral facts or objective "oughts") then they must be able to get around the is-ought problem. No one has and until someone does, Christians have no room to talk as far as objective morality is concerned--especially since the god of the Bible is a monster. However, we can establish an "objective" morality (not grounded in objective moral "facts" independent of us) grounded in reason. For example, there are objective reasons for doing/not doing particular things that rational/irrational that apply to all rational beings in proportion to their rational faculties. For example, it is objectively immoral to murder. Why? Because it hurts people and we cannot have a society wherein it is moral to murder. If that were the case, everyone would be prone to being killed by each other and any act to defend one's self would be immoral. My personal evaluation of certain actions may be subjective, but the reasons to either do or refrain, are objective insofar as they are rational and may be applied universally without contradiction. If I am to make a rational moral judgement I must first determine whether the maxim I am considering is rational, consistent, and whether its universal application would create any contradictions or not. If it meets that standard, then it is "moral". The same cannot be said for the Bible. It is replete with contradictory maxims and commandments from a so-called moral being.

      3) If you believe in God, you cannot believe you have free will (the ability to do otherwise) at the same time. It is contradictory to believe otherwise. See the fatalist argument. I could give it to you right now, but I think you should do your own homework if you really care if your beliefs are true or not and if you really take my perspective seriously.

      4) As it turns out, we are not free to choose otherwise. See my hub:https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Psycholog... and the argument from psychological determinism against free will to learn more about where I am coming from. Neuroscience also confirms this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6S9OidmNZM&fea...

      So I am still waiting to hear why I am responsible for Adam eating a forbidden piece of fruit generations before I was even born.

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
      Author

      DK 5 years ago from London

      So a few more questions Phil...you said in your rebuttle "...So is the concept of humans having free will. These beliefs are set and not in dispute and so are open to ridicule. From what we know today of science, there are many faults in believing in God. Note, this says nothing about belief in A god."

      "So are you saying you get to ridicule my belief in an Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent King of Kings and Lord of Lords" Yes.

      "but not some other 'god'?" No. Not - other gods- Some will still be subject to the same criticism.

      "Someone who claims to have less power perhaps? Someone who doesn't claim to have conquered death and come back to life? What difference do you see in the belief of God vs A god?" The belief of God has set parameters whilst the belief of "a god" does not. For example, some people believe in a god that sparked off the big bang. It is very hard to ridicule this theory in the same way that religion is ridiculed because there is nothing to suggest that it didn't happen.

      "Are you also saying you don't believe in free will?" If God created us, we have no free will, yes. Here is a more in-depth explanation:

      https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/We-have-n...

      "You want to believe that you are a 'clean slate'...but as you live your life and make choices good or bad, is it not your free will doing so?" Free will as defined by the parameters that I chose the decision, yes. Free will as defined by the parameters that my choice was completely uninfluenced, no. I make most of my moral decisions based upon the morals I learned and accepted by my parents and education, they have an effect on my choice and so although I make the decision, it is not a "free" one.

      "Or are you a slave to your genes? Or nurturing?" No. Neither did I ever imply that.

      "Do you always get to blame something else for your bad choices or do you ever get to take responsibility for the mistakes you make? OR do you ever consider yourself to make a mistake?" I consider myself to make mistakes, blame myself and any other responsible third party which may have influenced me to do so, and learn from it.

      "I suppose if you get to define morality, that would work in your favor...right is whatever you say it is, therefore you are never wrong...clever!" Morality is subjective, as so exemplified by the 40,000+ sects of Christianity alone. Though I would posit that most of us can agree that our morals are all based on fundamental human desires: https://hubpages.com/politics/Universal-Happiness-... and it is a lack of information or sanity that causes most differences.

      "Regarding the clean slate thought, I submit that barring the scenario above whereby you get to make all the calls on what is right, at some point, you'll screw up...make a mistake...in my language 'sin' - call it what you want, it is a decision or act that falls short of being blameless." I never said otherwise. We must be held responsible for our own actions after childhood, that is my view.

      "At that point, if you were to believe in God - or even A god who cared about your behavior - what do you do to rectify it? How do you reengage yourself with that higher being if this mistake has made a rift between you? You can rail against original sin all you want, but if each of us were given the opportunity to 'have at it' with a clean slate, not one of us would get it right every time all the time. So whether I'm born that way or I do it to myself down the road, I still need 'grace', 'mercy' and a way back into the presence of Perfection" To assume that we are born immoral is fundamentally incorrect, because as children, as babies, we show now signs of being malicious. To say that we are born in moral debt because of our ancestors decisions is also fundamentally incorrect. What kind of loving god would pass on consequences of malpractices onto beings who have not yet done anything wrong. The being that committed the crime would be punished, the morality stays within the purpose.

      How can you posit free will whilst also saying "you are born immoral". You never had the choice of changing your ancestors decisions, yet you are punished for it. You are punished for somebody else's decision and this heavily breaches the terms of free will, wherein your action causes consequence alone.

      "Civilized does not equate with Moral. I am not speaking just of certain socities that are still engaged in civil wars...I speak of our own country where people are cheated out of their life savings by scammers, where politicians and CEOs don't give a hoot about the little guy in their quest for money and power. Oh we may wear dresses, suits and ties and appear civilized all right, but the greed, anger, infidelity, corruption, and on and on are hardly moral. Maybe these days the son of someone powerful doesn't poison your food or put a dagger in your heart to take over your kingdom, but finds a more 'civilized' way to take over, bring you down, steal your money. No, we're still brutal, we just do it with a handshake and a smile instead of a mace or a spear, sorry." Which is a more moral way of doing it. Point proven. You cannot argue that we have not got better over time. The rate of crime has plummeted since 3000 BCE...

      "This argument does not work in your favor btw. God is still good and he's still in control. BUT if you read the scriptures at all, you'll see that as time goes on, as men reject him more, he withdraws his hand from this world and allows them to run their own lives to their destruction. I'm sure you don't believe in the devil either, but it does say that he roams this earth seeking whom he may devour - and it's allowed...for now" But humanity has grown MORE moral over time, so by your logic, rejecting God is the way to go?

      And yeah I'm sorry but bible knowledge really means absolutely nothing to me :S how about we make a deal, I won't draw my conclusions about the world from Harry Potter texts, and you won't do it from religious texts? Until of course, one of us can prove that either texts are factual and not fictitious.

      "Of course, most of what I've said here and previously is predicated on the belief of God or Someone who has more power over your life than you do...something you obviously don't ascribe to, so we can go round and round and get no where. Our arguments will never convince each other. You can speak science all day long, and I can tell you about the ways that God has worked in my life. Miraculous provision, answers to prayer that no one was privvy to but Him. I'm sure you'd smirk at that, but hey, it works for me. I've seen that it's real. It's given me joy. If you don't want to experience that - it's your free will to reject it :) Peace."

      I have a feeling that deep within the human heart, lays not God, but rationality, and every time a religious person has to fall back on "blind faith" they secretly grow more and more doubts about why they change the way they behave in accordance with religious texts!

      So to summarise, the agnostic side shows that humans have become more moral over time. This contradicts with the concept that God dictates our morality, which therefore would not ameliorate itself and improve. Since Christian % of the worlds population has fallen over time, the only trend we can deduce is by rejecting god, our life standards and morality improves.

      The christian side responds with "nu-uh, I don't care about no facts! I'm gonna go ahead and believe in the bible anyway!"

      Peace to you too, brother.

    • intouch with Toni profile image

      intouch with Toni 5 years ago from Northeast US

      So a few more questions Phil...you said in your rebuttle "...So is the concept of humans having free will. These beliefs are set and not in dispute and so are open to ridicule. From what we know today of science, there are many faults in believing in God. Note, this says nothing about belief in A god."

      So are you saying you get to ridicule my belief in an Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent King of Kings and Lord of Lords, but not some other 'god'? Someone who claims to have less power perhaps? Someone who doesn't claim to have conquered death and come back to life? What difference do you see in the belief of God vs A god?

      Are you also saying you don't believe in free will? You want to believe that you are a 'clean slate'...but as you live your life and make choices good or bad, is it not your free will doing so? Or are you a slave to your genes? Or nurturing? Do you always get to blame something else for your bad choices or do you ever get to take responsibility for the mistakes you make? OR do you ever consider yourself to make a mistake? I suppose if you get to define morality, that would work in your favor...right is whatever you say it is, therefore you are never wrong...clever!

      Regarding the clean slate thought, I submit that barring the scenario above whereby you get to make all the calls on what is right, at some point, you'll screw up...make a mistake...in my language 'sin' - call it what you want, it is a decision or act that falls short of being blameless. At that point, if you were to believe in God - or even A god who cared about your behavior - what do you do to rectify it? How do you reengage yourself with that higher being if this mistake has made a rift between you? You can rail against original sin all you want, but if each of us were given the opportunity to 'have at it' with a clean slate, not one of us would get it right every time all the time. So whether I'm born that way or I do it to myself down the road, I still need 'grace', 'mercy' and a way back into the presence of Perfection.

      In another section, you say "If you look at the history of man, the further back in time you go, the more brutal we acted. If you suggest that God dictates our intrinsic morality, then you suggest that humans will always act the same, no more barbaric now then they were 5000 years ago, no more civil. After all, why would God's power over us falter? He is all powerful after all.

      And what changed? What developed over history so that humans became more moral every century and millennia? Society."

      Civilized does not equate with Moral. I am not speaking just of certain socities that are still engaged in civil wars...I speak of our own country where people are cheated out of their life savings by scammers, where politicians and CEOs don't give a hoot about the little guy in their quest for money and power. Oh we may wear dresses, suits and ties and appear civilized all right, but the greed, anger, infidelity, corruption, and on and on are hardly moral. Maybe these days the son of someone powerful doesn't poison your food or put a dagger in your heart to take over your kingdom, but finds a more 'civilized' way to take over, bring you down, steal your money. No, we're still brutal, we just do it with a handshake and a smile instead of a mace or a spear, sorry.

      This argument does not work in your favor btw. God is still good and he's still in control. BUT if you read the scriptures at all, you'll see that as time goes on, as men reject him more, he withdraws his hand from this world and allows them to run their own lives to their destruction. I'm sure you don't believe in the devil either, but it does say that he roams this earth seeking whom he may devour - and it's allowed...for now.

      Of course, most of what I've said here and previously is predicated on the belief of God or Someone who has more power over your life than you do...something you obviously don't ascribe to, so we can go round and round and get no where. Our arguments will never convince each other. You can speak science all day long, and I can tell you about the ways that God has worked in my life. Miraculous provision, answers to prayer that no one was privvy to but Him. I'm sure you'd smirk at that, but hey, it works for me. I've seen that it's real. It's given me joy. If you don't want to experience that - it's your free will to reject it :) Peace.

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      DK 5 years ago from London

      Jenubouka, thanks again :)

      And of course you know I agree with you, thanks for sharing!

      Philanthropy,

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      DK 5 years ago from London

      @Cbl

      I'll be totally frank haha, I thought the question was from toni addressed to me at first and wrote a response, then I realised it wasn't him and decided to anticipate his answer and express how I would have responded in doing so.

      I guess I interrupted the flow of conversation, sorry !

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      DK 5 years ago from London

      @Seek-n-Find,

      Great! I've been thinking about parallel hubs like last time because I think it worked really well.

      Don't think that just because of my hubs I've been ignoring you! All of my latest hubs were just adaptations of comments I left on forums haha. I think to myself "this would make a pretty good hub". That's why a lot of my recent hubs are addressed to "you" whilst the planned hubs are addressed as "if somebody" etc. :L

      Let me know when you're done and then we can link up!

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      jenubouka 5 years ago

      Two thumbs up Phil,

      The conclusion nailed with me, we are born with a clean slate, I believe and it is up to us to dignify from our mistakes no one else.

      As for anyone who categorizes people incarcerated well then you may not be fully knowledgeable in the system. That is all I will say about that.

      I think a person needs to hold the responsibility for their own moral, you know better although at times you choose not to act better.

      Again just my opinion....

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      cbl2988 5 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      Philanthropy,

      I realize that. The question was directed at the person who thinks that we are born sinners. That was a ridiculous notion to me even when I was a theist. It didn't make any sense. Of course I don't believe we born with anything other than a "clean" slate because (1) we haven't done anything yet and (2) we are not capable of understanding morality nor are we capable of reason, period (which also makes it so we are not especially "good" either). The idea that I am responsible for something (especially given 1 and 2) because an ancestor (not me) did something that actually wasn't that bad to begin with, makes no sense.

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      Jenna Ditsch 5 years ago from Illinois

      Hey! You've inspired me to try and tackle this as a Hub from an alternative perspective. I have a draft--oh my brain hurts. I'll be happy to let you know when my agreeable disagreement is complete. Cheers!

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      DK 5 years ago from London

      @Cbl,

      Science says:

      ("Why aren't you just born a clean slate?") We are, though perhaps some become more prone to doing irrational and subjectively bad things due to natural hormonal differences (some are more angry, some more sleepy. some more horny and some more prone to addiction, all resulting in different chances of performing a crime) though nothing seems to be incapable of fixing with therapy or nurture. So either we are a blank slate and nurture explains all crime and unlawful acts. Or, we are a blank slate, but genetics make us more prone to commit certain crimes or unlawful actions.

      I'm sure that the most common argument that we're not is something along the lines of "spirituality" and "forgiveness" and "sin". Though I can also be fairly sure that the explanation will be elaborate and features a twisted and relentless logic.

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
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      DK 5 years ago from London

      @In touch with toni,

      For your unresolved arguments:

      (I find it interesting that you don't like it when people group atheists together as if they're one church, however you group all God-believers together and call them faulty)

      Atheism is one belief. You cannot deduce any other beliefs from atheism. Atheism is not a church.

      "God" believers fall under monotheistic religions. All of these religions share particular views that make them fall under the category of monotheistic religions. Omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence are just a few of these beliefs that are shared by as far as I know, all official monotheistic churches. So is the concept of humans having free will. These beliefs are set and not in dispute and so are open to ridicule. From what we know today of science, there are many faults in believing in God. Note, this says nothing about belief in A god.

      (You say that we learn from our mistakes. I'd say prisons and rehab hospitals are full of people who haven't)

      Strawman fallacy. I never said that all humans learn form their mistakes, I said that humans as a whole, as a society, learn from their past mistakes, It's the trend.

      ("Really? There is brutality in this world today unlike any other time. Suicide bombers and terrorists taking combat to depths no other society has gone. There is still rape, murder and pillaging - check out some of the civil wars in other countries to see some of the most heinous acts. Brother doesn't enslave brother in those places, he mutilates, tortures and kills him.")

      Again, you are taking things on an individual basis which of course, is not at all what I have said. So once again I must indicate that you have used the Strawman fallacy. What I said was that "we" have become less brutal. That is to say, the % of human beings that commit "heinous" acts has decreased over the years. Comparing the % of wars, murder, torture etc. to the population at the time, it is clear that humans have got better over time. Giving a few examples of "heinous' acts that happened recently says nothing about the overall trend, which is what I am clearly referring to.

      (You indicate that believers feel they are born moral...)

      Once again, this is an example of the Strawman fallacy. When did I ever "indicate" that believers feel they are born moral? I didn't. This hub is to address a particular argument that may or may not be used by a believer of God as support for his existence, and how it realistically cannot be so {debunked). I am sorry if you for some reason decided that I said "All believers believe this and so all believers are wrong." No, I am addressing but one single argument, I myself, could be a believer, that does not agree with this argument because it is illogical.

      (One last thought...every society that has fallen from within has fallen because of moral decline. Black and white rules may seem unfair and unkind, but when you remove boundaries, when you court the grey area of relativism, you flirt with anarchy.) This is partly true (some societies fall because of climate change, natural disasters etc.) point. Though it works in my favour. Again you fail to realise that I am talking of human society as a whole, not particular individual societies that comprise it. Your point works in my favour because other societies see what works and what doesn't, how much privacy and power could you give to a single human being before he begins to abuse it (like In the case of Stalin and Hitler) and how to prevent it (checks and balances) in the future are all derived from the trial and error process we have been doing since our first appearance (by whichever means).

      (I am sorry that the believers you have come in contact with have caused you to carry such flawed beliefs about others of us who love God and think much differently than you suppose.)

      And I am sorry that you (still unsure how) got the impression that I stated that all believers have this particular belief and didn't realise I was talking specifically about the believers that do have this belief...

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      intouch with Toni 5 years ago from Northeast US

      jdflom - I stand corrected - I see where you indicated 'not all', and unfortunately, I'm sure your observation is correct...again, as imperfect human beings, people are motivated by all types of things, among them greed or a misplaced sense of duty.

      cbl2988 - great questions. Questions that require a little more time than I have this morning before heading to work :) I'll be happy to respond later.

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      Jonathan 5 years ago from Sacramento, CA

      Philanthropy: I'm glad I could help!

      intouch with Toni: Please note that I was careful to specifically mention that not all religious folks do this. I recognize that not all religious people are kind simply for a spot in heaven, but there are some who do good deeds because they wish to gain something.

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      cbl2988 5 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      intouch with Toni,

      "... as a Christian, I believe I am born sinful - THAT is my inheritance from my parents, and their parents and so forth up the family tree to Adam and Eve..."

      I never understood the concept of original sin. How do you inherit sin or morality? Christians talk about it as if it is an actual gene or something like that. Why aren't you just born a clean slate? Can you explain this concept to me in a way that I can understand why I am responsible for what Adam supposedly did generations ago?

      Tell me, do you believe that there are objective moral facts? Is there such a thing as intrinsic goodness?

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      intouch with Toni 5 years ago from Northeast US

      Wow...I really don't know where to begin. I find it interesting that you don't like it when people group atheists together as if they're one church, however you group all God-believers together and call them faulty. BTW - one of the comments says we do good out of fear or to gain a spot in heaven. I do good because it gives me pleasure. I am so blessed by what God has done for me, it's a natural outpouring of my love - not fear - for Him, that I want to do for others. And I believe that my spot in heaven is a gift from God because of His grace. There's nothing I can do to earn it because there's no scale measuring our rights against our wrongs.

      In addition, I find several of your arguments flawed. You say that we learn from our mistakes. I'd say prisons and rehab hospitals are full of people who haven't. You say that "If you look at the history of man, the further back in time you go, the more brutal we acted." Really? There is brutality in this world today unlike any other time. Suicide bombers and terrorists taking combat to depths no other society has gone. There is still rape, murder and pillaging - check out some of the civil wars in other countries to see some of the most heinous acts. Brother doesn't enslave brother in those places, he mutilates, tortures and kills him.

      You indicate that believers feel they are born moral...I know that is what my Buddhist friend believes, but as a Christian, I believe I am born sinful - THAT is my inheritance from my parents, and their parents and so forth up the family tree to Adam and Eve - not my morality. And if your parents were murderers, or thieves - whether for the 'allowable' reasons you describe or for purely selfish reasons - where then would you learn this sense of right and wrong that you say they impart? Their 'right' may very well fly in the face of everyone else's wrong. So then, who is right? This is really just an argument for relative morality - 'whatever works for you'...which is all well and good until what works for someone else messes with what is right for you.

      One last thought...every society that has fallen from within has fallen because of moral decline. Black and white rules may seem unfair and unkind, but when you remove boundaries, when you court the grey area of relativism, you flirt with anarchy.

      God didn't 'make all believers good' - he made us in his image with the ability to chose. The Bible clearly says that 'our righteousness is as filthy rags' when compared to the goodness of God. Even as a believer, I will continue to make mistakes, sin, mess up...it's my legacy as a human being. But God, being the only real and true moral being, has the ability to forgive those shortcomings and accept me anyway.

      I am sorry that the believers you have come in contact with have caused you to carry such flawed beliefs about others of us who love God and think much differently than you suppose.

    • Philanthropy2012 profile image
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      DK 5 years ago from London

      Thank you very much :)!

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      aslaught 5 years ago from Alabama

      I couldn't have said it better myself! Interesting hub!!!

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      DK 5 years ago from London

      Exactly! And thank you very much :)

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      cbl2988 5 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      Atheism is not a worldview. It is one position on one question. You cannot build a worldview on a non-belief on one thing. I tend to favor a more deontological approach to ethics and morality based on reason. Good stuff, Philanthropy!

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      DK 5 years ago from London

      Thank you Jdflom, I too am constantly accused of having no morals because there is no "how to be a good atheist" book that we follow. Atheism/agnosticism is a single belief, I also don't like it when people group atheists altogether as if we're a church of particular beliefs!

      And you make a great point, I shall be adding that in if you don't mind :)!

      Thanks,

      Philanthropy

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      Jonathan 5 years ago from Sacramento, CA

      As an atheist, I've been accused of not having morals, yet I believe I do. I think the way you described it is well said.

      In addition, I wanted to point out that it seems that the motivation for doing charitable acts by certain (not all) religious folks is fueled by some sort of greed, not morality, because in their mind they have something to gain (perhaps a spot in heaven?); yet I do good deeds knowing I will gain nothing except that I am simply helping a fellow human or animal.