Do you believe religion is needed for morality? Is the bible the only guide to morality?
If you believe these things, do you really think you would go around commiting crimes and immoral acts if the bible didn't tell you not to? I actually give (most) people more credit than that, don't you? If this were true, wouldn't atheist make up a disproportionately high, rather than disproportionately low, element of the prison population?
Would you murder if the bible didn't say don't murder? Why are some of the least religious countries also the least violent?
I don't understand how people believe religion is needed for morality and still explain these things?
Religion is closely associated with mans supersticious and emotional side and science is associated with our logical practical side.The majority of us tend to seperate the two because we can't see the link between superstition ,religon and science.Remember someone living in the jungle somewhere who saw their first airplane thought it was something supernatural.The same goes for anything so unfamiliar to anyone or outside their consciousness.
Morality is something we learn. We see the impact of our thoughts and actions on others around us.That was one reason for the creation of religion.Another eventually became the control given to the priests in charge.As,you know wars were fought in the name of religion Jesus never endorsed religion although he did take many of those in charge of the Jewish religion to task for their hypocritical ways.Their hebrew bible the tora taught one thing and one half of the religious leaders taught just the opposite.
Morality is taught by parents and extended family.
This not to say that we are taught proper moral values.That depends on the morality of those doing the teaching.
I don't think that the Bible is the only guide for morality; I do believe it's the only ground for morality. Most Christians that I know don't argue that atheists can't be moral; it's just that they have no good reason to be so. The choice to be good is arbitrary. And it makes sense that there are few atheists in prisons given that there are few atheists in most places: on the golf course, in the rotary club, and at your friendly, neighborhood Walmart. And as for the level of religion and the amount of crime, the Vatican appears to be holding its own.
though the bible does have some excellent ideas, some are also wrong. forgiveness is something i don't believe in unless it was an accident. morals to me are just common sense, you don't need a book to tell you right from wrong.
as an atheist/ antitheist, my view is that believers think they get their morality fom their god. therefor, they think they have a better understanding of it. i feel that, we get morality from ourselves. we know what is right, and wrong. alot of murders out there like many other things are done "in the name of" religion. so its not us that would make crime higher, its believers who do things bc their religion told them to. i myself am an example of that. im an antitheist, and everyday, i try to do moraly correct things.
I wrote a hub on this recently. Atheists are actually significantly underrepresented in the US prison population. Atheists make up less than a quarter of one percent of the prison population even though we make up 5-10% of the US population over all.
Of course, the Bible can't be the foundation of morality because it allowed stonings for even simple things like picking sticks on the Sabbath, genocide, slavery and concubinage. Unmarried woman who were raped had to marry their rapist. Most of us believe these things are completely immoral, including Christians. So, obviously they don't get their morals from the Bible, even if they think they do.
Well, I think there is no morality in science. At least they can't explain it. So hence science is not a good option for morality. I do believe morality is somehow intrinsic in us, there are many people who don't read the bible and have no religion but agrees strongly that it is wrong to kill. Though morality is intrinsic in us, it doesn't mean we cannot suppress it. We have free will, we can choose to follow that morality or not.
I do not know to which nations you refer when you say least religious? In Germany we have only about 30 % christians and I would not say that our society has lower violence than nations with more religious inhabitants.
And I also do not know if you have read the entire bible or only some none violent passages.
My bible for instance has descriptions for wars and so we shall enslave or kill all male enemies and enslave their women and children. Moses 5.20
In addition my bible also contains the law of the old testament with many violent punishments till stoning to death.
Peaceful religion? Or only peaceful if you belong to it and follow the rules?
I know hellfire is the only thing keeping me from blazing a trail of destruction across the American southeast. I wouldn't say religion is the only guide to morality out there, but it's effective at keeping the downtrodden with nothing left to lose on earth in line.
Your lead question apparently had children, six I think, but I will make effort to synthesize.
Neither religion nor its absence commit crimes; they are commited by people despite their knowledge of right and wrong and despite the tenents of their religion or their non religion. Knowing right does not constitute an absence of doing wrong, from atheist or from those who follow religion. Religion may well define both right and wrong, but, it does not make you do right or wrong. Since perfection eludes us all, I must conclude that no one is able to always do as their moral conscience would persuade. Religion doesn't make us right, it tells us we were wrong.
No, religion is not needed, but it was the main generator of ancient moral codes which led to our present understanding of morality in general. The first laws or rules were generally set down by the priesthood. They instilled the fear of retribution by the "gods" necessary to get the common folk to comply. In todays world, we can be capable of forming our own morality, but, the question really is, are we now forming a morality that each of us can live with? Aren't we, even now, in need of a true moral compass? Isn't this reality of our present situation enough to convince that we are not capable of acheiving a world wide, morally complimentary system. To believe that what is occuring in our world is the result of any real religious conviction is scapegoating. Religion is the excuse that has been used, time and time again to raise public fervor over a perceived threat from these people or that nation. You'd think we would wise up to that. Religion is the tool that unscrupulous national leaders use to manipulate the common people to the "cause". We may not need a thousand different religions, in fact, I'm sure we don't, but we may still require a single , all inclusive, enlightened belief system, for to lose all thought of God, is to lose all that is truly human, eventually reducing everything down to electro-bio-chemical responses which have no need of moral codes.
The same group of zealots who espouse that particular book also have to their credit The Spanish Inquisition, the slaughter of millions of women, and the condoning of paedophilia.
I've been an Atheist for as long as I can remember, have never committed a crime or an immoral act, nor have I ever perpetrated violence against any living thing. My sense of right and wrong is based on reason, not religion.
Religion begets violence. Don't take my word for it; it's part of the historical record. "My god is better than your god" has been the cause of more people being killed than any other factor, man-made or naturally occurring.
Seriously, the world would be a much better place if the Big Three religions were either outlawed or eradicated altogether.
Religion is not "needed" for morality. Your morals come from your parents, your environment, and yourself. Religion may just be one part of that structure. Each religion comes with its own set of "morals." Each religion has its own bible. If one is exposed to religion, any religion, then it could have an effect on one's morals.
I do not believe that you have to believe in any religion in order to be a decent (moral) human. I have seen people who profess their religious beliefs and if you don't follow them they call you immoral. That in itself is immoral.
I think religion is actually the cause of much of the World's problems. Morality is what a society collectively deems to be good and appropriate behaviour. China is a predominantly non-religious society and the average person their seems high on the scale of morality based simply on a philosophy based existence. Religion seems more divisive and open to interpretation.
I am religious. I am Christian. I believe in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. I believe the Bible is the foremost collection of writings on morals for the western man. I believe religion holds a vital role in society.
As a Christian, I have not committed any major crime, or done time in any prison. I have never been part of a genocide, and I am in no way connected to the Spanish Inquisition. In no possible way am I responsible for history, nor am I a representative of the past.
I am able to divide what some people do on their own from what they are supposed to do. I know the difference between my society and the society in the time of Moses.
I have a great respect for science and reason, but I refuse to limit myself only to the empirical.
The Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek has a great quote. I forget the philosopher he is quoting (Hegel, I think).
Anyway, some people say that "With God nothing is permitted. Without God everything is permitted."
What Zizek says is that this formulation is incorrect. Zizek says that we should turn this formula around. "With God EVERYTHING IS PERMITTED! Without God NOTHING IS PERMITTED!"
The latter conception makes sense when you think about it, I should think.
The former conception allows you to lie, cheat, steal, give your fellow man the shaft all your life, treat Mother Earth like a toilet; and then on your deathbed you need only "repent" and "accept Christ as Lord and Savior" and so on, and you have the expectation that the slate is wiped clean, you are "forgiven" and so forth. It allows you not to take life very seriously on the first run-through -- its like living life with "your fingers crossed."
The latter conception forces you to take responsibility. You can't use any "The Devil made me do it" dodge, if you know what I mean.
I believe religion or religions ability to make people feel poorly of themselves (sinners and infidels) is a major cause of anti social behavior (morality). When one accepts the idea that they are not worthy of the divines love and acceptance and that they are inherently evil, then how can they act and behave nobly. Ignoble behavior is rooted in the concept of self-loathing and low self-esteem.
If religion would only build up mankind and the individuals psyche, then anti-social behavior would plummet and pews would empty.
I believe morality comes from the heart. We all know whats right or wrong, but for some reason, we choose to do what make us feel good or what satisfies us, and we seem to put the consequences on the back burner. Morales are buried deep in our souls, we ether follow them or forget them, but you don't need a book to know what they are.
Religion is not necessary society. It is a collection of fairy tales taken from older cultures and their literature. Religion has always been preying on the weak-minded and those unwilling to fend for themselves: promising them a better life after death--a life no one has ever reported on as no one has ever returned from the grave.
More harm has come from religion than good. Preachers like Jerry Falwell damned the poor for not giving more, and when he preached on poverty he screamed from his pulpit that they were poor because they did not tithe to his church a full ten percent of their gross. But that is from a bygone day of ancient Israel, where the tenth was determined by the priests who fed on the richest parts of the animals slaughtered to appease a strange and bloody thirsty god.
If there was a god, that god (or goddess) would not be so weak spirited or afraid and in need of constant reassurance that he or she was loved or needed--there would be no need of or for prayers, offerings, or houses to keep the deities away from inclement elements of the universe.
Religion is manmade. Religion is evil and corrupting.
Basically I'd question both sides here a little. For example, starsofeight, your not a christian. Your a human being. So am I. Those genocides are our shared history. There is no getting out of that with labels, even for people who don't practice the rituals called christianity.
With D.L. Hooper, it's uncanny that someone calls you immoral, and then a second latter your calling that immoral? Aren't you just calling them immoral as well? Similarly with Dr. Arthur Ide, calling something evil and corrupting sounds like the very words of a bible? Perhaps there's a reaction that when we encounter an activity called religion, we start getting religious ourselves. It's very hard not to, I totally pay - the other person is yelling and what, your supposed to just quietly treat it as a yelled hypothesis, about as plausible as a hypothesis that fairies are at the bottom of the garden? I know, the urge to condemn fairly jumps up ones throat - except that's what they do.
Personally I'd measure religion, ironically, a sort of evolutionary stage of morality. Kind of like an amphibian, crawling it's way out of a primordial sea.
Finally, starsofeight, if you don't confine yourself to the empirical, then there is no physically existing way of proving you wrong in whatever act you might choose to take. Imagine someone who is willing to perform acts that cannot be proven to be wrong? What acts might they eventually set out to do, without any self correction method that actually exists?
For me, if the Bible didn't expressly prohibit it I would definitely let my slaves work on the Sabbath and I would covet my neighbor's slave and his donkey. Not sure whether or not I would stone the neighborhood adulteress, however.
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