Social Question

no_one_special's avatar

Atheist how do you define/decide right and wrong since for you there is no sin?

Asked by no_one_special (328 points ) December 22nd, 2009

I would like for you to elaborate please. The question is meant in a respectful manner. How do you begin to call something right or wrong? Does culture define right and wrong or if you do, how do you reason? Perhaps there is no right in wrong in your eyes, only opinions. If so, how do you weigh opinions yours and of others? By how closely they fit yours?By how they affect society? Or could you care less? How do you reason?

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283 Answers

Vunessuh's avatar

I use common sense.

no_one_special's avatar

Thank you Vunessuh:D

no_one_special's avatar

Can you please elaborate?

RomanRealtors's avatar

you dont need Religion to know right from wrong.

i.e stealing, killing.

tyrantxseries's avatar

second vote for common sense actually called “tyrantsence”

Sarcasm's avatar

I go by a teaching that I think Christ tried to sell.
Treat others as you wish to be treated.

I feel that things are wrong because I know they are things I do not wish to have done unto me.

edit: There are many acts which I do not do simply because I do not desire to do them. I do not rape because I don’t wish to do it. It doesn’t have to get to the stage of, “Hmm.. should I do it? well, I know I don’t want it done to me, so I probably shouldn’t”.

no_one_special's avatar

Wow within seconds I am getting response!

Thank you all

gemiwing's avatar

Right and wrong is about personal morality not religion. They can be based on personal beliefs that have no basis in religion.

RomanRealtors's avatar

its like asking to define wut is wrong and wut is right in the internets

no_one_special's avatar

Guys I know forget religion for a sec. Please give me your views.

Ivan's avatar

Let’s put it this way. Are you incapable of determining whether something is right or wrong without someone telling you?

nikipedia's avatar

The good ol’ golden rule.

no_one_special's avatar

We are all capable. This is not the question or issue. I would like the reasoning.

no_one_special's avatar

What path do you personally use to come to a conclusion and what does that path look like?

RomanRealtors's avatar

its all embedded in our DNA, Culture and environmental factors then form our opinions and world views.

no_one_special's avatar

@RomanRealtors Thank you. So is right and wrong just a chemical reaction to you?

iLove's avatar

I am not an Atheist, but I don’t follow organized religion. The basic teachings of some spiritual beliefs teach you to ask yourself, how do my actions affect others involved?

If your actions will cause another person harm or discomfort, then it is what you would consider “wrong”. It could also be tied into “karma”, which is the belief that everything you do to yourself and others that creates the experience that you have in this world.

Jeruba's avatar

You can be a highly moral person and not believe in God. Morality has nothing to do with religion.

Ivan's avatar

It usually has to do with whether something causes harm.

tyrantxseries's avatar

I walk a path of my own making based on the morals I’ve created for myself

no_one_special's avatar

@Jeruba and everyone else please do not include religion in this. Please read my question carefully. Thank you all for participating.

no_one_special's avatar

I would like for you to elaborate please. The question is meant in a respectful manner. How do you begin to call something right or wrong? Does culture define right and wrong or if you do, how do you reason? Perhaps there is no right in wrong in your eyes, only opinions. If so, how do you weigh opinions yours and of others? By how closely they fit yours?By how they affect society? Or could you care less? How do you reason?

Vunessuh's avatar

@no_one_special I don’t know how to elaborate more than that. Common sense tells me whether something is right or wrong. I don’t base anything off of what the Bible considers a sin. That would be hypocrisy, which is what the Bible is. Personally, I feel my morals are more consistent than anyone who lives their life by the Bible.
Yes, I’m an Atheist.
@sndfreQ Your avatar is awesome.

Ivan's avatar

@no_one_special

The first word of your question is “atheist”, you brought religion into this. We all live on this earth together and then we die. We might as well try to make it as tolerable as possible for everyone else, because we only get one life. So, if an action harms others (i.e. makes their life less tolerable), then it’s wrong. Of course this is rather simplified, but it’s not a very complicated issue.

no_one_special's avatar

@Vunessuh How do you define common sense? What is your template?

jrpowell's avatar

I have never killed, cheated, and don’t steal. I don’t need the magic man in the sky to not be a dick.

And I probably give a greater percent of my income to charity then you do. I don’t need a reward to be nice to others.

sndfreQ's avatar

As an Atheist/Agnostic I believe that morals can exist without religion and that the two are not dependent on each other. That said, my personal morals follow those of humanists and other philosphies, and that my behaviors and actions on this earth are not investments toward the notion of an afterlife. For me, personal hell is a state of mind, as opposed to a destination or a consequence of breaking someone’s rules, and is something that can be experienced here and now.

Which is interesting because religion or not, I believe that the end result is very similar-the idea of treating others with benevolence and compassion, is a human instinct and a quality inherent in our species.

Grisaille's avatar

It’s the empathetic response, the ability to project our feelings, thoughts and desires onto another human being/object. See: any and all anthropomorphized stuffs.

Besides the social evolution requiring us not to kill and steal – and the various repercussions should one indulge in such behavior, it’s the ability to imagine and create assumptions on what any certain action causes on the target. The bane of morality is not rooted in “sin”, it’s based in both social requirements, evolutionarily selfish endeavors and a complex brain that allows advanced cognition. That is all.

no_one_special's avatar

@Ivan Yes I mentioned religion so that it is understood that I was not looking for that.

no_one_special's avatar

@johnpowell Irrelevant. I am not on trial nor are you. I am asking for reasoning. Do you understand that?

RomanRealtors's avatar

Lol, it might be, our modern science still deals with these issues. i cant say that its certain that right and wrong are chemical responses but it does, chemicals do play a key role in our decisions.

Defining Right and wrong are philosophical issues as well, the culture has dictated what they see as right and wrong. in essence there is no such thing as right or wrong merely opinions which are then obeyed by the populous.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/2001/sep/09/leaders.religion

Vunessuh's avatar

@no_one_special Having common sense is the ability to make sensible decisions.
It’s also being rational and knowledgable enough to realize if I’ve fucked up, and not blame my mistakes on other people.

no_one_special's avatar

@RomanRealtors do you feel that the conclusion are irrelevant since they are reactions in the brain and not something else?

Blackberry's avatar

I don’t mean to sound rude, but there are people on this planet…...and everything we do, it affects other people, no one needs a god to realize that. I don’t need religious proselytization to think ‘hmmmm, maybe I shouldn’t kill this abortion doctor’.

Breefield's avatar

I command-F’d for “relativity” and “balkanization,” as I didn’t find either – here are some links.
Balkanization and Moral Relativism.
Read some Nietzsche.
Lastly, be a happy human.

Gott ist tot.

no_one_special's avatar

@Blackberry thank you. Yes I understand that. What i am asking is how one defines right and wrong if one is an atheist. Not if we need God.

Jeruba's avatar

I accept most, if not all, of the moral and ethical principles of the Judaeo-Christian tradition that I was brought up with even though I no longer subscribe to the dogma. Zen Buddhism also has strong principles that I believe in.

Your question did not say anything about excluding religion.

If you think that “for you there is no sin” is the same as saying “for you there is no sense of right and wrong,” our definitions are too far apart for a meaningful discussion.

@RomanRealtors, I think you mean “the populace” (meaning the people), not “the populous,” meaning “having a lot of people,” like a populous nation.

pjanaway's avatar

Right and wrong is decided by the law, we have no direct choice in the matter.

jrpowell's avatar

@no_one_special :: It sounds like you are saying that I would see a pretty girl and rape her since I don’t believe in god and nothing would happen to me..

sod off.

laureth's avatar

It’s interesting to know that even monkeys (who we can presume don’t have religion, although I may be wrong, eh?) have the rudiments of morality. How do they know what’s right and what’s wrong? They just do. It’s kind of inborn.

Another interesting idea is that different cultures often fine tune their morality differently. For instance, different groups have different ideas about when “life” begins. For some groups, it’s conception. The Talmud places it at 40 days after conception, saying that since that’s when the lungs form, that’s when life happens (noting that God breathes life in, which can’t happen without lungs). And some groups thought that a child wasn’t “alive” until it had been named and accepted by the group, making it morally OK to expose an infant, since it wasn’t really a person. Yet somehow, once “life” starts, everyone kind of groks that killing it is Wrong under most circumstances.

Morals are sort of inborn. The ones that need fine tuning, come with reason and from social cues.

Breefield's avatar

@pjanaway – but the law is (allegedly) decided upon by us. So social stigmas and society is ultimately to blame?

Grisaille's avatar

@laureth The monkey thing ties in nicely with what I said above.

Curious as to what @no_one_special has to say about it.

no_one_special's avatar

@Jeruba: If you think that “for you there is no sin” is the same as saying “for you there is no sense of right and wrong,” our definitions are too far apart for a meaningful discussion.”

I do not see how you arrive at that conclusion. If I said theist obviously I would be seeking religious answer but I said Atheist.

Fyrius's avatar

| asked 16 minutes ago | 39 responses |
Fluther is awesome. XD

I believe I base my ethics on compassion and a desire for as many people to be happy as possible. And of course there are some (secular) cultural pressures that helped shape my beliefs.
There’s also decency and dignity.

I think the Golden Rule is a bit naive. I for one like electronic music, so I would like it if people would play electronic music around me. I still think I would be a dick if I’d bring a ghettoblaster full of Daft Punk when I go visit a friend who likes classical music.

no_one_special's avatar

@johnpowell I am not saying that. I am asking YOU for a line of reason. Why is this so hard?

laureth's avatar

@Grisaille – If you linked the monkey thing and I missed it, I’m sorry. There was a lot of churn while I was trying to type.

RomanRealtors's avatar

@no_one_special @RomanRealtors do you feel that the conclusion are irrelevant since they are reactions in the brain and not something else?

perhaps i dont understand ur question but ill try to answer

yes and no, the brain reacts to environmental, self, biases, and a miryad of different factors but in essence we are animals that can reason.

Grisaille's avatar

@laureth Nah, just was a comment on where human morality comes from.

Which, by the way, comes not from holy text.

Ivan's avatar

@Fyrius lol, I guess I should stop doing that, eh?

no_one_special's avatar

@Grisaille I’ll try to answer but I have never used this site to ask questions and am having difficultly keeping up with all the responses.

Silhouette's avatar

I use societicety rules of conduct, my own opinions of said rules and empathy as my template. I use my mind, my heart and my free will.

Breefield's avatar

@no_one_special You did specifically single out “atheists” in your question – JP already told you his line of reasoning.

gggritso's avatar

I’ll bite.

The correct decision is based on the net amount of inflicted pain that results. The choice that inflicts the least amount of mental or physical pain is chosen.

Illustrated Example:

I’m meeting @Grisaille for coffee, and I happen to have a giant crowbar with me. I have several options, namely: I could give the crowbar to @Grisaille as a present, I could bash @Grisaille over the head with said crowbar and steal his money, or I could bash myself over the head with said crowbar, sing “YMCA” and do the Robot.

Choice 1 makes @Grisaille a happy man, he is now the proud owner of a shiny crowbar. It is useful for bashing people over the head and prying nails out of crates that have delicious oranges in them! Jubilations!

Choice 2 Does not make @Grisaille a happy man at all; it makes him an unconcious man. It also makes him a poor man. @Grisaille wakes up with a throbbing headache and screams “Et tu, George?” into the night. I have inflicted physical and emotional pain unto my dear friend. This is no fun at all!

Choice 3 This is an interesting one! Bashing myself over the head with a crowbar is a source of amusement for all. @Grisaille would likely get a kick out of it, adding +5 Happy Points to his Mood Meter. Splee! Sadly, this is far from a win-win situation, since I’m losing brain capacity at an alarming rate. Also, it hurts like a motherfucker. I’m betting $5 that this option is not optimal.

Option 1 causes the least overall pain, and therefore is chosen. Congratulations, @Grisaille, you win a crowbar!

no_one_special's avatar

@Breefield I did single out Atheist. That is the point. This is whom I want answering. It is fine if other do as well but I am interested in the line of reason of Atheist.

jrpowell's avatar

@no_one_special :: what the fuck is hard about this. I don’t believe in god and try to avert from hurting people. I give to the needy. I don’t need a fucking reward.

Grisaille's avatar

Psst. I’m atheist.

Blackberry's avatar

All I can really say is that it is common sense. We are all taught things growing up: how to brush our teeth, add, subtract etc. Being nice and respectful, doing the right thing…...we were all taught these things, so I guess my reasoning comes from simply being raised and having ears and a mouth and a brain lol. It’s very simple.

Fyrius's avatar

I think this thread just broke the sound barrier.

no_one_special's avatar

@johnpowell I am not asking you to talk about God or how it is a fairytale I am asking on what do you base your decisions on???

Ivan's avatar

“Atheist” is not plural.

@no_one_special

”...try to avert from hurting people. I give to the needy.”

RomanRealtors's avatar

i base my decisions on the the current social contract of the time

RomanRealtors's avatar

im an atheist

laureth's avatar

@gggritso – a Utilitarian, I see. :) You must donate a lot to Famine Relief.

no_one_special's avatar

@Blackberry liking something and it being right or wrong is feeling. Is this how you base right and wrong feelings? It is fine I am not judging you or anyone else. I am seeking clarity.

Fyrius's avatar

Psst, take a look here.

RomanRealtors's avatar

the amazing thing about humans is that we can believe we are right even when we are wrong.

flo's avatar

Not every act is decided by concious reasoning. It is instinct. Except the sociopaths, etc. life experience teaches most people right and them as they go along. Even 2 year olds see when someone is hurt and they empathize, and they learn not to do the thing that hurt other people. That is just one example.

no_one_special's avatar

@RomanRealtors so in essence, right and wrong do not exist? Is this what you are saying? Not judging here, lets remember that, please.

no_one_special's avatar

@flo so you also believe in DNA reaction? Similar to Roman Realtor?

nikipedia's avatar

@Fyrius: The GR is only naive if you apply it naively! While you might like to be surrounded by electronic music, you also like it when other people are respectful of your space and don’t subject you to their preferences. So you apply the rule “be respectful of other people’s space” rather than the rule “always listen to electronic music!” Dontcha think?

RomanRealtors's avatar

they are subjective, but animals do display their own biases to what they perceive right and wrong. so they only exist based on the your personal world view or experince.

no_one_special's avatar

@RomanRealtors so is right and wrong instinct?

Grisaille's avatar

Listen, @no_one_special. I’ve given one of the more technical answers on the thread. It’s not “atheist-specific”, functions as an effective explanation as to why we all feel the need to act in ways that benefit others. Why must you be so difficult?

The fact of the matter is this: morality, no matter how subjective nor split from societal norm, is rooted deep in evolutionarily selfish motive. This predates the concept of “sin”, or sophisticated language. Asking where other people’s morality springs from is irrelevant – it all comes from the same place, a hodgepodge of both being part of a society and an empathetic response.

RomanRealtors's avatar

some of it, Culture and environmental factors then form our opinions and world views

downtide's avatar

I judge right or wrong by asking myself “who will be hurt by this action?” and I base my actions on what will cause the least harm.

RomanRealtors's avatar

will a fish canibalize?

no_one_special's avatar

@Grisaille I will attempt to read your response. Please forgive me but I am not used to this type of response and how comments get buried up top as more people join in. I guess I’ll have to read the entire thread and respond to each individual.

flo's avatar

I just want to edit my response: in the second line please read ”...right and wrong as they go along”

BTW, how do birds know where to go when the weather is not ideal for them?
It is very difficult to answer her the whole page keeps moving up and down.

Blackberry's avatar

There are myriad reasons. Yes, my feelings: if I see a struggling dead deer on the road, I feel sad, so I then avoid deer. It’s against the law to bang a 17 year old: I abide by that law, even if she is extremely mature and has the body of jennifer hudson. Societal norms: I hold the door open for someone carrying a heavy box, because I simply know it will make it easier for them to complete their task.

I could go on and on. There are many reasons why we all do decent decision making.

Grisaille's avatar

@no_one_special The reason you are getting such a response is because your initial question is assuming morality relies on sin.

no_one_special's avatar

@Blackberry as for the 17 year old if the law said it was OK would you do it?

RomanRealtors's avatar

weigh the pros and cons and go for the best result, and hey sometimes you have to break a few eggs to make an omellet

RomanRealtors's avatar

@no_one_special @Blackberry as for the 17 year old if the law said it was OK would you do it?

dont answer tahts entrapment

no_one_special's avatar

@Grisaille my question is not assuming sin. It is asking for reasoning apart from religion and what path one uses.

no_one_special's avatar

@RomanRealtors he is a big boy let him reason.

Vunessuh's avatar

sighs and laughs at the same time.
If I didn’t know the simple fucking concept behind knowing the difference between right and wrong, I would actually almost be insulted by your lack of understanding @no_one_special.

flo's avatar

I have never heard of DNA reaction or Roman Realtor. So, I don’t know what that means.
-I just saw that Roman Realtor is a fluther user. I thought it was a philosopher.

flo's avatar

I have never heard of DNA reaction.

no_one_special's avatar

@Vunessuh I am not trying to be judgmental here. I am asking for paths of reason.

no_one_special's avatar

@ this question can be asked of anyone right?

RomanRealtors's avatar

@flo lol i love philosophy, i didnt mean DNA reaction just inherent reactions evolutionarily embedded into our brains

Vunessuh's avatar

Honey, you probably have more explanation to give behind your reasoning than we do.
Assuming you’re not an Atheist.
You’re making us out to be some foreign creatures or something. It’s weird.

no_one_special's avatar

@RomanRealtors thank you. So it is a combination of things. OK but your conscious conclusions, how do you get there?

RomanRealtors's avatar

@flo here is the original response

its all embedded in our DNA, Culture and environmental factors then form our opinions and world views.

dalepetrie's avatar

My reasoning is that people should be free to do what their free will tells them to do insofar as it does not negatively impact another. That simply comes from an innate sense of justice, a belief in fairness as the driving force behind everything.

Blackberry's avatar

@no_one_special Yes….I would lol. But I have a line of course, due to reasons I’m not aware of, I like women that look like adults. I know there are people that would sex up anything at any age if there were no laws, whether they’re religious or not. The synapses in the human brain are very sensitive while in the embryo and growing up. The smallest event can change someones mind.

no_one_special's avatar

@Vunessuh not at all. You have me all wrong. Though I understand why most would react that way. I am not seeking to insult anyone. I just want your thoughts and hjow you reason. I do this with theist and everyone in between.

flo's avatar

I guess so, I can’ t imagine that it is only the law and or religion that make us do the right thing, although for some people they can be helpful.

no_one_special's avatar

@Vunessuh what if it was a child and no law against it. How do you decide?

Grisaille's avatar

“Atheist how do you define/decide right and wrong since for you there is no sin?”

Translation is the same exact argument we’ve heard over and over again.

“We know right from wrong, therefore: God.”

Or.

“An Atheistic society would burn, as there would be no Commandments to follow.”

Or.

“How can you call yourself an Atheist and moral at the same time? GOD has given us morality, sin and the Commandments, therefore, he exists.”

The point here is that, sin or not, Bible or dust, we are moral because of our hunter-gatherer ancestry. Regardless of what anyone on this thread may say, it’s where it comes from.

Asking how we can be moral without sin, or where it comes from is just placing a divider where a schism ain’t.

RomanRealtors's avatar

my conscious conclusions come from experience, learning, and adapting. I.E

sharing my toys makes people happy.

i am on a deserted island with a couple strangers and need to survive, ill eat the fat one first

survival of the fittest, whoever survives makes the decisions

no_one_special's avatar

@Grisaille this is why its helpful to read the whole thing. Here let me repost it.

I would like for you to elaborate please. The question is meant in a respectful manner. How do you begin to call something right or wrong? Does culture define right and wrong or if you do, how do you reason? Perhaps there is no right in wrong in your eyes, only opinions. If so, how do you weigh opinions yours and of others? By how closely they fit yours?By how they affect society? Or could you care less? How do you reason?

Vunessuh's avatar

But that’s the thing, we’re giving you our thoughts and you continue to question them and anal probe us as if we’re some experiment. My ass hurts already. Enough.
I’m sorry, I don’t understand the question. Be more specific.

no_one_special's avatar

@Vunessuh sorry it was for @Blackberry not you. Wrong button. It was in reference to the 17 year old.

minolta's avatar

How do you know right from wrong?

Go ahead and try walking across the street in busy traffic without waiting for the green light and see what happens.

no_one_special's avatar

@Vunessuh and yes i will question your responses, since i am seeking your reasoning.

no_one_special's avatar

@minolta thanks but thats not really right or wrong unless you feel it is wrong to not take precaustons and at that point I would ask how and why you conclude.

no_one_special's avatar

@minolta self preservation? Or something else?

Blackberry's avatar

Ok I draw my line here lol, I can’t sit here all night and explain simple concepts I’m sorry. I tried to be nice. If you can’t figure out why one wouldn’t cause harm to a child at least then I just don’t know what else to say. We are all taught what we know from using our senses and brains and learning things. I hope I helped a little.

Grisaille's avatar

@no_one_special Sigh.

“The point here is that, sin or not, Bible or dust, we are moral because of our hunter-gatherer ancestry. Regardless of what anyone on this thread may say, it’s where it comes from.

Asking how we can be moral without sin, or where it comes from is just placing a divider where a schism ain’t.”

You. Are. Forcing. A. Schism.

THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ATHEISTIC AND THEIST MORALITY, NOR WHERE IT COMES FROM.

Theists just use “sin,” “Commandments,” parables and other such holy devices to explain what science and anthropology has proven. It’s an unnecessary stepping stone, and an imaginary one to boot.

no_one_special's avatar

@Blackberry I am not seeking answers to simple concepts. Thats kinda useless.

Fyrius's avatar

@nikipedia
What you say about the Golden Rule (way up there by now; I refer to your reply to me) does make sense.
But I think the fact that you have to decide on what level to apply the Golden Rule also goes to show that even that rule cannot be used without guidance from common sense.

Okay, less nonsensical case study: my grandmother has a habit of handing me whatever I reach for whenever we’re dining at the same table, even when I could quite easily take it myself. I know she means well, but I find this annoying.
We have a general disagreement about how helpful one should be. She thinks you should rush to the aid of anyone who looks like they could use any help. I’m glad to help anyone when they ask for it, but I think leaving their business to them otherwise is more respectful to their own competence.
So how should we apply this Golden Rule, then?

An even more serious challenge to the Golden Rule:
A stereotypical man married to a stereotypical woman. He means everything he says, literally and unambiguously, and would be happy if she would do the same. She communicates at a different level, where “no, there’s nothing wrong” does not mean nothing is wrong, and she wishes he would put some effort into figuring out the way she feels without her having to spell it out for him.
They use the Golden Rule. He continues to be overt, she continues to be more subtle about what she means. He takes what she says at face value, she looks for hidden meanings behind everything he says.

A year later, they get a divorce.

no_one_special's avatar

@Grisaille can you respond without bringing in the bible or not?

Vunessuh's avatar

@no_one_special Yes, you have the right to question our responses, but some people have explained shit in various forms over and over for you and you still don’t get it. What gives?

no_one_special's avatar

@Vunessuh I have not read all. Its difficult when new comments come in. So please relax. I have not been unfair to any on here have I?

Secondly this is a discussion. An answer does not mean anything unless one shows a path of reason.

Well at least not in a discussion like this.

no_one_special's avatar

@Vunessuh I think many are paranoid with theist. I understand that. Please see though I am not judging any of you.

Grisaille's avatar

Sigh. Just forget it, man.

If your argument at this point is “can you stop referring to religion” when the the question is based around the lack thereof, the conversation is pretty much dead on your end.

Vunessuh's avatar

@no_one_special You must think none of us are showing a path of reason then, which in turn tells me that you clearly have no path of reason either. And paranoid? lulz.

no_one_special's avatar

@Grisaille its a question to get reasoning on matters. If you cannot provide your line or wish not to do so no one is twisting your arm. Have a great day.

wundayatta's avatar

It’s pretty simple. It’s all about cooperation. If you cooperate, survive. If you go it alone, you won’t survive very long. In order for us to work together, we need to trust each other. So, by trial and error, we learn about each other and learn to trust. It’s not magic. Simple practicality.

Once you’ve figured out a set of rules that work, you want to teach others about them and give them mental incentives to follow the rules. It really helps if you have a very powerful authority enforcing these rules by suggesting that you’ll get punished if you don’t follow them. It’s pretty easy to see how that was one of the seeds of religion.

The funny thing is that as things go farther and farther along, people forget where the rules came from. They only remember the story. They only remember the characters and their powers.

Some people think it doesn’t matter why we behave, just so long as we behave. Personally, I think this is a very bad mistake. If we continue to believe we should do the right thing because of a mythical power that we believe says it should be that way, we become rule followers instead of thinkers. Too many people are rule followers these days. We can’t afford it any more. We have too many problems to solve.

It’s not as if there aren’t plenty of creative thinkers who happen to believe in one myth or another. It’s not even that believing in myths is bad. It is a good way to teach. The problem is that if we don’t understand the boundaries and the purpose of the myth, we can make mistakes. Even more important, we develop a different mentality that can not develop new ideas as fast and as effectively as they would if they had the thinker mentality.

A lot of assertions there, and I am offering no proof. There’s a big human resource and creativity literature out there that would back up many of my points. I’m not going to go do the research. I’m just going to throw it out there and let you chew it up as you see fit.

no_one_special's avatar

@Vunessuh I am not assuming none of you cannot provide it. I am asking for it to go further than statements. And as I said already, I cannot read all of your response and address every single one of you guys and I do apologize for that.

I will try my best.

Grisaille's avatar

@daloon Be careful. He’s going to jump on you for not answering the question. :l

@no_one_special Please read my older posts. If you can’t understand, “your question is invalid as x does not equal y”, then you’re beyond reason.

no_one_special's avatar

Let me be clear. I do not believe Atheist are evil, stupid or anything like that. I am only interested in the line of reason and will be happy to read all of your contribution on the matter.

gemiwing's avatar

Asking for extrapolation with the purpose of having someone prove to you that they are correct smacks of aggression to me.

You asked, people have answered. I’m confused why their answers don’t seem to satisfy you?

no_one_special's avatar

@Grisaille I will get there as I said. I am new to fluther and do not know how all this works. Please be patient.

jrpowell's avatar

Prove there is a God.

no_one_special's avatar

@gemiwing because most have made a statement which is fine of course. But what I am seeking is a line of reason. This usually requires a little more. Also I have not read all comments.

no_one_special's avatar

@johnpowell now how is that relevant? Please try to stay relevant/

no_one_special's avatar

I’ll will get back to all as soon as I read all this. Thank all of you for responding.

no_one_special's avatar

@johnpowell
@Grisaille
@Vunessuh
@gemiwing
Come on guys, I was not trying to start a fight or be disrespectful towards you guys. Seriously, i was only seeking your reasoning. Please relax. It was meant in a respectful manner.

Freedom_Issues's avatar

I’m Agnostic, and sin pertains as to what God wants. As a human, I don’t want to be killed, lied to, stolen from etc..ANYWAY…so I know not to do the same to others. I do not agree with all of the Commandments, like “do not commit adultery” which means not ever having sex with anyone you are not married to, even if you’ve never been married. The Bible seems like a nice story, but alot of it fiction. Everyone has their own standards of what is right and wrong, and I go by what I feel is right. I did not follow a book and have it tell me to feel that way.

no_one_special's avatar

@Freedom_Issues yes thank you Freedom sin pertains to God which is why I worded my question the way I did. I was not meant to imply that atheist are evil.

no_one_special's avatar

@Freedom_Issues since everyone has their own standard how does one weigh others views? Is it by how closely they fit ours or how they affect society? Something else?

Ivan's avatar

“Atheist” is not plural.

no_one_special's avatar

@Ivan did I misspell something?

Ivan's avatar

“Atheist” is singular. “Atheists” is plural.

Grisaille's avatar

This thread is a whorl of stupid. Ditch this.

no_one_special's avatar

@Ivan thanks. I hope though everyone understands my question.

Ivan's avatar

Everyone seems to understand your question except you.

no_one_special's avatar

@Grisaille what happened? If I offended you please know it was not my intention.

no_one_special's avatar

@Ivan may I ask why the hostility?

Ivan's avatar

No hostility. Your density is just frustrating people.

no_one_special's avatar

And you come to this conclusion because I ask for people to elaborate their positions? If you noticed not all were in agreement and this was from the atheists. So it was not wrong to ask for the paths that lead each one to different conclusions.

no_one_special's avatar

If all gave the same answer worded differently I could see your point. However, this was not the case.

no_one_special's avatar

Also I did not respond to everyone so how do you know I did not understand all the responses? I did not even get a chance to read them all.

no_one_special's avatar

And how do you know what I believe? You have not asked me nor have I addressed my beliefs.

no_one_special's avatar

Gotta go but thank you all for responding.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@no_one_special, I am somewhat alarmed that an innate understanding of the concept of “common sense” seems to be beyond your grasp…

flo's avatar

Can you say what the purpose of your question is? It might help some people in the way they answer.
What do I click in order to address one user BTW?

Sarcasm's avatar

@flo Just put the @ sign and start typing their name, a little list will pop up and you can click it. That’ll put a link to their name.

AstroChuck's avatar

I just do what the dog tells me.

flo's avatar

@Sarcasm,
Nothing happened, no list popped up… Thanks anyway for responding.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@no_one_special, you say in the Q and throughout the thread that you’re being respectful, and I wanted to take you at your word… but you seem to disregard everyone’s response who told you “I think about the consequences of what I do and try to avoid hurting others unnecessarily” ... and you seem to ignore every one of those answers in an attempt to see “is it a chemical reaction in your brain?” or “is it instinct?” or some other type of reductio ad absurdium.

We’re human, man! We think! We feel! We have thoughts and feelings about other people! We understand cause and effect! And with these thoughts we consider that there are “rules of right living” that we adopt for ourselves and use. It so happens,—surprise, surprise!—that most of those rules follow most of the Ten Commandments and other precepts of The Bible, The Koran, The Tao and other cultures’ and religions’ holy books—except for the ones that tell us how to build altars and churches and which gods to pray to at which times of day and in which way.

How can people elaborate more than, “I consider what I am about to do, and the effect that it will have on others?” We all had mothers, after all… we weren’t raised by wolves.

I would say that the hostility that you’re seeing is because of the divergence between you saying that “I am respectful” ... and then failing to follow through with that, and imagining (apparently) that people don’t really mean what they say, or worse, that they don’t even understand what they’re saying.

If you don’t understand what people are saying, don’t pretend that it means what you think it ought to mean—or that it means nothing at all. Be respectful.

Sarcasm's avatar

@flo but you just responded with a link at me. I’m confused. Is this sarcasm? Do you not see this?

Vunessuh's avatar

@Sarcasm Sometimes when you write the name out (as long as it’s spelled correctly) it will appear as a link. I have to do this sometimes when the drop down menu doesn’t appear. Or I just copy and paste someone’s name so it’s correct and it automatically appears as the link.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@AstroChuck, you’re wise beyond even my years.

I have a question for you:

Do paranoid schizophrenic monomaniacal dyslexic agnostic insomniacs lie awake all night wondering if they are the dog that’s out to get them?

Vunessuh's avatar

Hmm. You’ve just described my nightly routine.

Seek's avatar

Logic:

Sin does not exist, as the concept of “sin” was created through religions based on a non-existent deity.

Morality does exist.

Thus, morality comes from somewhere other than fear of punishment for sin.

You really don’t need anything other than that.

trailsillustrated's avatar

rhetorical dumb question y.a.w.n.

Qingu's avatar

@no_one_special, the short answer is that something is wrong if it causes suffering. Something is less wrong if it causes less suffering.

If you don’t mind, I’d like to ask you a question—since I think it’s important that we agree on what “right” and “wrong” are. Do you believe slavery and genocide are wrong?

warribbons's avatar

action and reaction

Qingu's avatar

Since our friend apparently isn’t coming back, I’d just like to say for the record how ironic it is that these Christians (I’m assuming he’s a Christians) make moral arguments when they believe a book that condones slavery (Lev. 25:45) and genocide (Dt. 20:16, the entire book of Joshua) is their moral foundation.

I mean come on. The argument here is “I can decide right and wrong because the Bible tells me. Sure, the Bible says slavery and genocide are okay. But at least I have something that tells me right and wrong, unlike you pesky atheists!”

trailsillustrated's avatar

gah the whole thing gave me a headache….

AstroChuck's avatar

@CyanoticWasp- If you mean someone who’s delusional of persecution, fanatically overenthusiastic, restless, malnurished, a spirtual skeptic who is often roused during the nocturnal hours pondering if they might in fact be a domesticated canid capable of self-destruction…
then yes.

no_one_special's avatar

Ok there are a lot of responses and I will try to get to them. Please do not take it personal if I miss a few of you.

Looks like I got my work cut out for me! LOL :D

no_one_special's avatar

@PandoraBoxx please notice that there are several ideas offered here. To suggest that common sense means the same thing to all atheists would be an assumption. Though I do believe everyone, theist included, generally agree on what common sense means I was trying to get a little deeper response.

If you notice my question comes with an explanation of what I was seeking—a line of reason.

Thank you.

@CyanoticWasp please see that I am new here and was not anticipating this response. Thats all my fault by the way. I am from AB and was accustomed to asking a Q and answering person on their specific answer thread and starting a thread on that answer alone.

Here its a free for all. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I just did not plan ahead knowing this works a little differently. Again, I accept full responsibility.

no_one_special's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr thank you for your response.

I agree fear should not be a motivating factor.

What should motivate us?

no_one_special's avatar

@Qingu so the rightness or wrongness of something is determined by the suffering it causes another person. OK I can see that line of reason. So if no suffering no harm no wrong. Do I have that clear?

no_one_special's avatar

I guess I should have started from the top. Hold on guys. Sorry.

Qingu's avatar

@no_one_special, sounds good to me. The only tricky part is quantifying what counts as “suffering.” This is especially problematic in, for example, figuring out if it’s wrong to eat animals. Do animals suffer? I think many of the animals we eat obviously do suffer so eating them is morally wrong.

no_one_special's avatar

I’ll get to you @Qingu I just need to respond orderly. Sorry bout that. Thank you though. :D

no_one_special's avatar

@qemiwign that is what I am seeking. Answers that do not involve religion.

LC_Beta's avatar

I am not religious. My personal morality is based partially on my social upbringing – although my parents are athiests, much of their morality falls right in line with traditional Christian doctrine. As a child, I believed in and tried to obey the rules of morality that my parents had taught me.

As I grew older, my own moral “compass” grew stronger and I have made decisions about what I feel is right or wrong based on my experiences, things I’ve learned from others, and careful deliberation and debate. Like others have said, I try do what my intuition says is right, not hoping for reward and not fearing punishment. Some of the things my parents told me were wrong, I no longer consider to be wrong, and the opposite has often been true.

I made the moral choice to refrain from buying or consuming animal products because I felt that the environmental consequences were too harmful (not to mention the suffering of the animal). I have also rejected certain laws because I do not feel that breaking them is “wrong.”

no_one_special's avatar

@iLove thank you. Though Karma is a religious view. I appreciate you response though.

no_one_special's avatar

@Ivan from your first comment I assume you agree with Qingu. Thank you.

Sorry I missed that response.

no_one_special's avatar

@tyrantxseries thank you for your honesty and directness. I commend you for your first response.

no_one_special's avatar

@sndfreQ that is an interesting take. Instinct though does not suggest right or wrong, does it?

Qingu's avatar

Man… so what is the punchline to this thing?

Ivan's avatar

Dude, can you just post one big comment instead of a bunch of little ones? Thanks.

no_one_special's avatar

@Grisaille thank you I just read your first response.

Quote, “Besides the social evolution requiring us not to kill and steal”

That can be argued two ways can it not? I mean to kill and steal, if done in our primitive past, would only be the organism trying to survive. Would it not?

no_one_special's avatar

@Breefield thank you for the links! :D

no_one_special's avatar

@Breefield when I get a chance I’ll look at them.

Qingu's avatar

@no_one_special, the communities that allowed rampant killing and stealing would not survive. The invention of enforced laws was a huge stabilizing force in human civilization and allowed those communities to out-compete rival communities.

Edit: also, altruism is widespread in other animal species. Most primates cooperate with one another and even seem to enforce social norms. Ants and bees are the most famous cooperators.

Also, dude! Just respond to multiple people in one comment!

no_one_special's avatar

@pjanaway so morals are only what is decided by a court of law. Interesting, thank you for you response.

Ivan's avatar

Please stop posting tons of comments. Condense them into one.

no_one_special's avatar

@Qingu I will do that. I am still trying to get used to this. I will answer multiple people from here on out . Sorry guys.

no_one_special's avatar

@laureth that is a nice thought out answer. Though I would ask, what would one base the fine tuning on?

@Fyrius but decency and dignity are subjective, along with everything else, yes. But what I mean is, is decency and dignity a little to vague? I respect your answer, only seeking clarification.

@Silhouette direct and to the point. Thank you. May I respectfully ask how others views on matter affect your views?

@gggritso LOL! I love it! I see what you are saying. Thanks for biting.

@flo what is the difference in sociopaths?

@nikipedia an excellent response!

@Grisaille quote, “Asking where other people’s morality springs from is irrelevant – it all comes from the same place”
I do not think it to be irrelevant. Knowing why one believes something is very revealing about our self and what values we have.

@downtide thank you sir.

@dalepetrie thank you.

Getting to more in a sec.

no_one_special's avatar

Is there a limit on comment size, anyone?

faye's avatar

No one expects you to answer every comment. just say Thanks at the end or PM them. it takes away from your thread’s momentom.

no_one_special's avatar

@faye PM them? What is that?

Qingu's avatar

PM = leave a private message on their page.

So, what exactly is the point to this question? Are you ever going to answer? Are you ever going to explain what you believe is the basis of morality?

dalepetrie's avatar

@no_one_special – no problem. And yes, there is a limit, but I’m not sure exactly what it is. I just know it exists because I’m responsible for it being implemented. I posted a comment that was over 92,000 characters and it revealed a security flaw, I’m not sure what that flaw was, but they needed to put an upward limit. As yet I’m not sure what it is, but it’s somewhere under 92,000 characters, which is a LOT of text. I know I’ve typed 3 or 4 page answers that haven’t been too long, so I think you could put all your comments in one post.

no_one_special's avatar

So the people answering do not expect a response. I was not aware. I must ask for forgiveness. This was my very first question I have asked on fluther as was not aware of the house rules.

I thought it would be rude if I did not address each one of you.

no_one_special's avatar

@Qingu I was trying to start a discussion on the atheists beliefs, seeking clarity. My beliefs would not be relevant whether I am theist or atheist. I was seeking others thoughts and lines of reason.

But my beliefs are bible based. Problem with that is that is the end all be all for discussions like that. The issue of where my beliefs stem are there—simple.

See how it does not provide much back and forth? Of course if we change subjects, I suppose you can point to the issues you do not agree with in the bible but that would not be relevant unless the bible was on trial.

Reasoning is in question. Suppose a bad person had a moral stand on abortion or anything, fill in the blank, that stance would not be good or bad regardless of how the person holding such a view was a person. It would be one’s reasoning.

One can hold a view without it being from the same source. Theist and Atheist can have the same beliefs.

Qingu's avatar

I’d like to explore the idea that the Bible is your moral basis. Because I bet it’s not.

For example, what do you think should happen to an unbetrothed virgin girl who is raped? Would it be wrong to force her to marry her rapist? The Bible commands it (Deuteronomy 22:28).

Is it wrong to own slaves and beat them to the same extent the Romans beat Jesus? The Bible says this is okay (Lev. 25:45, Exodus 21:22, 1 Tim 6:1)

Let’s say someone in your family tried to convince you to convert to Hinduism. Would it be right or wrong to stone them to death, per Deuteronomy 13:6?

If the Bible is the foundation of your morality, you’d have no problem with any of this. Do you?

no_one_special's avatar

@Qingu Christians are not under those laws.

no_one_special's avatar

And 1 Tim is out of context.

no_one_special's avatar

Read Matthew chapters 5–7 that is a good place to start.

Qingu's avatar

Are you saying Jesus abolished those laws?

Also, when you said your beliefs are “Bible-based,” I didn’t realize you weren’t talking about the actual laws given to us by God in the Bible. Are you saying it would be morally wrong to follow these laws?

no_one_special's avatar

Jesus replaced the law covenant with the the new covenant.

It is impossible to follow those laws, hence the release by ransom sacrifice.

no_one_special's avatar

So if people do not expect answers on an individual basis what is the point of asking a question? I am curios as to the house rules.

Breefield's avatar

They are on an individual basis – usually. But you asked a very poignant question, so every one feels inclined to attack you in some way or another.

Qingu's avatar

@no_one_special, he “replaced” the laws? You mean abolished? Sounds like you think he came to abolish the law.

By the way, Paul said the law is “holy, just, and good” (Romans 7:12). And God said the laws are so amazing and wise that people from other nations will look on them and say “what a wise and just nation this is!” (Deuteronomy 4). Funny that doesn’t seem to be your reaction.

Also, I didn’t ask if you thought it was possible to follow the laws. I asked if you thought it would be morally right to follow them. It’s amazing someone with a “Bible-based” morality is hesitating to say whether or not it would be good to follow the Bible’s laws.

Breefield's avatar

I think next time it would help if you didn’t ask such a variety of questions in the “description” of your question. It would also help to not make assumptions, such as the one that Atheists have no concept of sin.

no_one_special's avatar

@Breefield I did not assume they had no concept of sin. But as Freedom stated, sin pertains to God.

Wrong is not sin, they are not synonymous. Though people make the connection.

no_one_special's avatar

@Qingu not abolished but fulfilled. He says so himself.

quote, “By the way, Paul said the law is “holy, just, and good” (Romans 7:12). And God said the laws are so amazing and wise that people from other nations will look on them and say “what a wise and just nation this is!” (Deuteronomy 4). Funny that doesn’t seem to be your reaction.”

Holy and just yes. People would say that they were just but that does not mean they could be followed by imperfect humans. You are mixing two separate things.

quote, “I asked if you thought it would be morally right to follow them.”

OH I see. Well yes it would be morally right to follow them but we cannot hence the release. So yes if we were perfect and impossible since we are not.

Qingu's avatar

I know Jesus said that. That’s why I was asking you, because it sounded like you were saying he abolished the law using a different word. Jesus also said anyone who follows the laws and teaches others to do the same will be called “greatest” in the kingdom of heaven.

Also, just to be clear, are you agreeing that forcing a rape victim to marry her rapist is “just”? Are you saying that laws condoning (Lev 25:45) and commanding (Dt. 20:10) slavery are “just”? Are you really saying it would be “morally right” to kill a family member who suggested that you think about worshiping Vishnu or Buddha?

If this is what you think, I only hope you are lying to yourself.

no_one_special's avatar

@Qingu
quote, “Also, just to be clear, are you agreeing that forcing a rape victim to marry her rapist is “just”?

The intention of the law has a bearing here. The intention was not to force a rape victim to marry the rapist. Notice the wording, it implies that if it was found out. So rape in the sense we think of, was not so much the intention.

This was a case of pressured seduction and/or fornication and the law served not to condone but to discourage.

quote, “Are you saying that laws condoning (Lev 25:45) and commanding (Dt. 20:10) slavery are “just”?

I will have to look them up but I think I know what you are referring to. Slavery though, as commonly understood in our present day, was not the same way it was to be carried out with Israel. Slaves had rights and were to be released on the Jubilee.

quote, “Are you really saying it would be “morally right” to kill a family member who suggested that you think about worshiping Vishnu or Buddha?”

Worshiping other Gods was forbidden. Israel was God property so he had the right to exclusive devotion. The death penalty for rebelling against God is just. One must consider why.

The reason we are all in this mess is that Adam and Eve rebelled. We are all dying now because of rebellion. So rebellion against God has led to this mess.

no_one_special's avatar

Think of it like this. Rebellion against God led to murder, hence rebels against God deserve the death penalty

At the time Jesus had not purchased the human race back from death..

God though has provided a way for release from death through his son.

Hence those laws are not applicable.

Qingu's avatar

@no_one_special, there is no punishment in the rape law. The guy rapes the girl, so he pays her dad the brideprice and he has to marry her. The “intent” of the law is: you break it, you buy it.

Re: slavery, Jewish slaves were released on jubilee. Foreign slaves were not. Leviticus 25:45 is for foreign slaves. It specifies they are permanent property, handed down to your kids. And as for rights, Exodus 21:22 says you can legally beat your slaves as much as the Romans beat Jesus before they crucified him.

Re: killing people who worship other gods, this means you think I deserve to die. I’m not sure how to take this. I suppose it’s worth pointing out that God didn’t just mandate killing pesky proselytizers. He also mandated genocide. In Deuteronomy 20:16, he orders the Hebrews to kill every single person living in the promised land—men, women, and children—letting “nothing that breathes remain alive.” The book of Joshua describes this genocide in triumphant detail.

Most people who support genocide think that their victims “deserve it.” Your justification for killing unbelievers is no different, and it’s on par with others throughout history. I hope you take a moment to reflect on the moral company you’ve found yourself in.

Qingu's avatar

They’re not applicable, sure. But that’s different from saying they’re wrong.

We’re adults now so we don’t have to look both ways when we cross the street. That’s different from saying it’s wrong to look both ways when crossing the street.

If you want to come out and say it would be wrong to follow the laws God gave us, please do so. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like you can do this because your morality is dictated by the Bible.

no_one_special's avatar

RE:Leviticus 25:45 I’ll have to do some research. Thats a good one.

RE Killing people. We all deserve to die even if we worship God.

quote, “Your justification for killing unbelievers is no different, and it’s on par with others throughout history”

Do you believe at times war is necessary? If so, welcome to the club.

quote, “They’re not applicable, sure. But that’s different from saying they’re wrong.”

Laws not wrong. Man cannot follow laws. Is that clear enough?

no_one_special's avatar

HMM thats a good question. Do you believe war is necessary at times?

no_one_special's avatar

I have answered you, please answer me.

Qingu's avatar

War is different from genocide. We were at war with the Nazis; we didn’t kill every single man, woman and child in Germany.

The law in the Bible commanding genocide is explicitly contrasted with laws for normal warfare. Those laws are still pretty gruesome, by the way; Dt. 20:10 says you’re supposed to enslave cities you go to war with, unless they resist, in which case you kill all the men and enslave the women and children. But those are the laws for normal warfare. For the towns in the promised land, God commands genocidal warfare, killing every single human being, even defenseless children, so they don’t pollute your cultural purity.

Qingu's avatar

Also, that’s clear, but it’s beside the point. Whether or not man can follow the laws is a different question than whether man should try to follow the laws. (For my part, I don’t follow my own moral code—I eat animals, even though I think it’s wrong. Asking whether it’s wrong is different from asking whether we can follow the code.)

I don’t think we should even try to follow these Biblical laws. I think they are barbaric and immoral and obviously the product of the bronze-age nomads who wrote the thing.

no_one_special's avatar

quote, “God commands genocidal warfare”

Sounds like it but its not the case. The Gibeonites were Canaanites as well and they were spared. As was Rahab.

RE War. Is it wrong to kill a child during war?

no_one_special's avatar

I’ll check you out tomorrow. Getting late. Thanks good feedback.

no_one_special's avatar

Keep it coming.

Qingu's avatar

That’s an amazing argument. It’s not really genocide because they spared one prostitute among the otherwise total annihilation of rival ethnic groups?

(Edit: they didn’t just kill the Canaanites. Their God-ordered ethnic cleansing included almost a dozen tribes and kingdoms.)

Qingu's avatar

And yeah, it is always wrong to kill a child during war. I suppose there are instances where doing so might be the lesser of two evils.

However, “Kill the child so he won’t grow up to pollute you with his rival religious ideas” is not such an instance. What do you think?

Fyrius's avatar

@no_one_special
Decency and dignity are subjective, yes. This is not a problem though, because I do not base my principles on these things. They are part of what makes me stick to my principles. And what I base my principles on is compassion and a wish for as many people to be happy as possible.
I like it that way, because even when I’m in a bad mood and a little short on compassion, there will still be decency and dignity to get me to behave.

Oh, and there’s integrity, too. A resolution not to let desires compel me not to do what I think is the right thing. That’s an additional failsafe that makes me behave even when I’m in a bad mood and in an anonymous situation where decency and dignity are moot.

mattbrowne's avatar

I’m not an atheist, but I find it a bit strange to speculate whether atheists can tell right from wrong or not. This Wikipedia article explains it quite well:

“Atheism often draws a distinction between sin and an ethical code of conduct. Sin is a term generally associated with a theological belief system (which is antithetical to atheism), and is separate from the concept of “right or wrong.” Atheists typically do not use the term “sinful” to refer to actions that violate their particular moral system (particularly if “sinful” is taken to mean “acting against the wishes or commands of a deity”), preferring terms such as “wrong” or “unethical,” which do not carry religious connotations. Most atheists hold that moral codes derive from societal mores or innate human characteristics, rather than religious authority. Atheists may still adhere to a strong ethical code, even if they do not use the concept of sin.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sin#Atheist_views_of_sin

laureth's avatar

@Qingu – I was surprised that you could read about Jesus in Exodus, so I went to look up your verse.

Exodus 21:22 – ”“If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows.” (NIV)

Not only is it not about Jesus, it’s also not about beating slaves. Just sayin’.

no_one_special's avatar

@Qingu
quote, “That’s an amazing argument. It’s not really genocide because they spared one prostitute among the otherwise total annihilation of rival ethnic groups?”

I guess ya missed that the Gibeonites were spared and they happen to be Canaanites. Also when you say dozens of tribes and kingdoms you must realize they are they same peoples. I know its a little tricky….....Gibeonites where Hivites and the Hivites made up one seventh of the Canaanites nation.

quote, “And yeah, it is always wrong to kill a child during war. I suppose there are instances where doing so might be the lesser of two evils.”

So evil is fine so long as it is less? Thoughts on that please?

quote, “However, “Kill the child so he won’t grow up to pollute you with his rival religious ideas” is not such an instance. What do you think?”

Assuming God exists, one would to accept God knows what that child would do. Also, given that culture and the Canaanite history of revenge, it would not be likely that the offspring if spared would not eventually revolt.

no_one_special's avatar

@Fyrius thank you for elaborating.

Seek's avatar

@no_one_special

There is no denying the fact that your Bible specifically condones the slaughter of entire civilisations, and the rape and slavery of the virgins that were spared. The fact that your invisible sky-daddy says “It’s OK, because I know all those people were going to commit evil” does not make those actions acceptable. You cannot “assume God exists” to make your argument plausible. You have to prove God exists. Otherwise, it is simply slaughter, rape, and slavery. If you somehow do prove that god exists, and he did condone those actions, then you have an evil, sadistic god that needs to be destroyed.

Qingu's avatar

@laureth, whoops, wrong Exodus verse. Meant 21:20:

When a slave-owner strikes a male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies immediately, the owner shall be punished. But if the slave survives for a day or two, there is no punishment; for the slave is the owner’s property.

no_one_special's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr

quote, “There is no denying the fact that your Bible specifically condones the slaughter of entire civilizations”

One nation, the Canaanites during war and not all were killed.

quote, “the rape and slavery of the virgins that were spared.”

That a tricky one and if I remember correctly this was not the case. What happened was that the custom in those times was that after war the women of the losing side would dress in their best clothing in order to try and get a man from the winning side.

God allowed the Israelites to engage in the practice but the women was to be allowed a thirty day grieving period. After that period, sex relations were allowed.

Marriage as it stands today was not the case in those times. So that even now arranged marriages would be considered rape.

As for the proving a God or not, its a little off topic for this thread. Also “proof” is a strong word that neither side has in any direction.

Qingu's avatar

@no_one_special. first of all, here is the list of nations God orders the Hebrews to annihilate in Deuteronomy 20:17.

You shall annihilate them—the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites—just as the Lord your God has commanded,

In Joshua, this conquest is described in great detail, and there are even more tribes they wipe out. The genocide continues (with some fits and starts) in Judges, Kings, and Samuel. This is a huge portion of the Bible and all of these mass killings are celebrated triumphantly as the orders of an all-knowing benevolent God.

Secondly, I honestly don’t care if a single ethnic group is spared from this otherwise mass genocide. You can’t possibly think that mitigates the barbarity of it.

I’m also not sure what your point is about killing children. If killing a child in warfare can save the lives of a thousand people including other children, it would be less bad.

You, on the other hand, believe it’s morally justified to kill a defenseless child if his offspring would later revolt. Again, I sincerely hope you take some time to reflect on what you’re saying.

no_one_special's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr
quote, “The fact that your invisible sky-daddy says “It’s OK, because I know all those people were going to commit evil” does not make those actions acceptable. You cannot “assume God exists” to make your argument plausible.”

When one deals in the realm of the mind it is acceptable to assume so long as all are aware. If a scientific discussion is what you are seeking that changes topics.

Qingu's avatar

@no_one_special, you are correct; the Bible grants a thirty-day waiting period for female war captives before you can rape them. Am I correct to say you are okay with raping war captives provided you give them a month to grieve (for the people you just killed)?

And comparing this to an arranged marriage is absurd. Even granted that women back then were essentially the property of first their fathers and then their husbands, a woman’s father would never arrange a marriage between his daughter and the people who are attacking and enslaving their city.

It is correct, though, to say that rape is never punished in the Bible. When the act is punished, it’s adultery that’s being punished, not rape. God apparently doesn’t believe that a woman needs to consent to sex, ever.

no_one_special's avatar

@Qingu
quote, “In Joshua, this conquest is described in great detail, and there are even more tribes they wipe out.”

Did I deny what happened? I am surprised that you keep repeaing the same thing over and over.

quote, “Secondly, I honestly don’t care if a single ethnic group is spared from this otherwise mass genocide.”

OK but its not Genocide.

quote, “I’m also not sure what your point is about killing children. If killing a child in warfare can save the lives of a thousand people including other children, it would be less bad.”

Just seeking clarification. Was wondering if you were pacifist.

quote, “the Bible grants a thirty-day waiting period for female war captives before you can rape them.”

No. Rape would not be the appropriate word. Why not? Because the custom of the time was the women on the losing side dressed up in order to be taken as wives by the winning side—it was expected. Different times.

quote, “And comparing this to an arranged marriage is absurd.”

You missed the point. Its not that this was the same as an arranged marriage. It is that by today’s standards even arranged marriage could be labeled rape.

quote, “It is correct, though, to say that rape is never punished in the Bible. When the act is punished, it’s adultery that’s being punished, not rape. God apparently doesn’t believe that a woman needs to consent to sex, ever.”

According to the Law, such would not happen to nations subjugated by Israel, for the soldiers were forbidden to have sexual relations during a military campaign.—1Sa 21:5; 2Sa 11:6–11.

Seek's avatar

“quote, “the rape and slavery of the virgins that were spared.”
That a tricky one and if I remember correctly this was not the case. What happened was that the custom in those times was that after war the women of the losing side would dress in their best clothing in order to try and get a man from the winning side.”

Because there’s no better turn on than seeing your family mutilated and murdered, and your home destroyed right before your eyes.

no_one_special's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr

quote, “Because there’s no better turn on than seeing your family mutilated and murdered, and your home destroyed right before your eyes.”

Different times. Again, it was expected at the time.

Seek's avatar

No one, EVER, expects a bunch of Jews to come into your villiage, pillage and plunder, murder the entire populace, and then expect you to come trotting along as a happy wife. You’re insane if you think that actually happened.

no_one_special's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr

quote, “No one, EVER, expects a bunch of Jews to come into your villiage, pillage and plunder, murder the entire populace, and then expect you to come trotting along as a happy wife. You’re insane if you think that actually happened.”

Well from what scholars say, it appears that was the case. Though it was not limited to Jews doing this.

Seek's avatar

And, by the by, since your God is “The same yesterday, today, and forever”, does that mean he still approves of mass murder, slavery, and rape of virgins?

Seek's avatar

“Well from what scholars say, it appears that was the case. Though it was not limited to Jews doing this.”

Source?

no_one_special's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr

quote, “And, by the by, since your God is “The same yesterday, today, and forever”, does that mean he still approves of mass murder, slavery, and rape of virgins?”

Thats a bit of a straw man don’t ya think? I mean I explained this already. You don’t have to believe it, thats a separate issue.

Going through my book marks and stuff for the source. I had it in a discussion with Gorgeous George over on AB but all comments were wiped out on that thread so my links are gone.

Qingu's avatar

@no_one_special, you are being pedantic about the meaning of genocide. Would you argue that Hitler didn’t really commit genocide because he failed to kill every single Jew?

The fact that rape occurred 2,800 years ago doesn’t make it something else. Are you arguing that if everyone does it, it’s morally okay? (Also, the fact that they didn’t have sex with their war captives on the battlefield doesn’t make it not-rape when they take them home as “booty.”)

Also, you said that “proving” God is a wash.

Maybe a vague, abstract deity like the Force from Star Wars. Yahweh, however, is a specific deity with specific attributes, none of which are evidenced and a large number of which contradict known reality. He is described as the god who creates the world in six days (didn’t happen), with the earth created before the sun (other way around), forming the sky as a solid dome that holds up an above sky ocean (which would make our space program difficult) and who then created human beings out of clay either before (Genesis 2) or after (Genesis 1) forming the other animals out of the ground (which contradicts evolution).

Yahweh is clearly a standard Mesopotamian deity. Like Marduk, the creator-god of Babylonian mythology, he “defeats the sea” and forms the world by separating waters from waters. He speaks to bring lights into being. Like the moon-god Sin, Yahweh mandated not working on special days called Shabbat (in the Babylonian cult, they were called Shabatu days). The flood myth in the Bible is essentially the same in detail as earlier flood myths in Babylonian mythology. Like Marduk and Shamash, Yahweh handed down laws to a lucky human (and it’s not a coincidence that Yahweh’s laws in Exodus are nearly identical to Marduk and Shamash’s laws in the Code of Hammurabi).

Do you think it’s a wash to “prove” that Marduk, Sin, and Baal exists? I think you would dismiss them as unevidenced mythology. Why not do the same thing with Yahweh?

no_one_special's avatar

@Qingu

quote, “you are being pedantic about the meaning of genocide. Would you argue that Hitler didn’t really commit genocide because he failed to kill every single Jew?”

I like that comeback! Not being sarcastic please know that. I’ll read the rest of your comments in a sec. Trying to get the source for Seek K.

Seek's avatar

It’s not a straw man at all. You asked a question on godless morality. We questioned your god’s morality. You assume your god exists, based on the words of the Bible. I am asking you to define your god, based on the words of the Bible. There is little more relevant than this question at the moment.

Seek's avatar

Oh, and did I mention that the source you provide must be a non-religious source?

no_one_special's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr

I meant your straw man is that you continue to word things in a way not consistent with the context as stated above.

quote, “Oh, and did I mention that the source you provide must be a non-religious source?”

Do you mean unless an atheist says it you wont believe it?

Seek's avatar

I mean that if the person that states that “the women really wanted to be taken captive and married to their family’s murderers” was doing so in order to prove that his god isn’t the sexist, evil sadist that he obviously appears to be in scripture, I won’t believe it.

no_one_special's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr

quote, “I mean that if the person that states that “the women really wanted to be taken captive and married to their family’s murderers” was doing so in order to prove that his god isn’t the sexist, evil sadist that he obviously appears to be in scripture, I won’t believe it.”

So really it wouldn’t convince you either way, even if true.

no_one_special's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr

quote, ”“the women really wanted to be taken captive and married to their family’s murderers”

I didn’t say that nor imply that. Please read my responses carefully. I said it was expected at the time not that it was wanted.

Seek's avatar

If a non-religious source could be found, demonstrating evidence for the practice you described – that being, a group of women who (in the face of the burning wreckage of their city, with the smell of their family’s blood in their nostrils) dressed in their finest to attract husbands out of the very intruders who slaughtered their people – I would be more than happy to concede your argument.

no_one_special's avatar

Trying to find the source….. Stupid AB!!! LOL!

Qingu's avatar

Most scholarly sources say the conquest never happened, or at least not nearly on the scale described in the Bible, and that the Hebrews occupied the promised land basically as scavengers. Of course, if you believe this, that means the Bible’s history books are largely bullshit.

no_one_special's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I may not be able to find that link again. But if I remember, it was religious anyway so you would not accept it. But you have given me some home work, I’ll have to find a non religious source.

Though simply reasoning on the available information from what the scriptures say, to say that rape was permitted would not be accurate. Why not?

Considering that the men could not have sex with them immediately is one. Secondly considering that the women were already dressed in their best clothing implies this was a custom the bible was alluding to indirectly and we can further draw this conclusion by how the bible mentions rituals before taking her along with the thirty day mourning period.

Also considering that rape often happens in war and yet the men of Israel were not permitted sexual intercourse on the battle field coupled with the thirty day waiting period for taking the captives as wives indicates rape was not the case for Israel in a time when rape of captive women was the norm by other nations on the field or otherwise.

no_one_special's avatar

@Qingu If you read my last comment to Seek K you will see that rape was not allowed in bible times. In fact the Deuteronomy scripture seems to be more of an anti-rape law or prevention law.

As for proving God exist, you cannot prove nor disprove his existence. One can say “evidence suggest” this or that, sure

But this would turn into a discussion on evidence and facts relating to the existence of a deity, not how one arrives at right and wrong apart from theology.

Not that there is anything wrong with such a topic but it would be better suited on a relevant thread. If you like you can start one and post a link here, I’ll meet ya there?

Lets try to stay relevant here, though. We have already deviated greatly from topic.

Qingu's avatar

Show me where rape is prohibited. Show me where in the bible it says a woman must consent to sex.

flo's avatar

@sarcasm, no I never saw what you indicated, but it worked anyway I mean it turned maroon color.

flo's avatar

@no_one_special,
1)What I meant was, what problem are you trying to solve? Or is your question just to pass the time?
2)If you imagine the most moral people in history, or in your life, living in a place where there was no religion, or law, how do you imagine them? Can you imagine them being immoral people? Do you imagine them being immoral people?
3)How do you explain siblings who grew up with the same circumstances (religion and law) but are opposite of each other?
BTW, I hope you weren’t addressing only the Athiest people.

flo's avatar

@Sarcasm see, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t.

Seek's avatar

@no_one_special

Let’s look at this from the perspective of the girls that were being taken captive. Do note that this was a time when girls were married off very early, usually the month after their first menstruation. Thus, these “virgins” were younger than, say, thirteen – or from poor families that couldn’t afford an arranged marriage.

These girls just had their homes destroyed, and their entire families murdered. They know they’re sitting ducks, completely defenseless against whatever these murderers wish to do with them.

Perhaps they were dressed in their best clothing so as to attract a wealthy officer, so at least their time in bondage and sex-slavery would be in a home that could afford to feed them or provide some semblance of shelter, and they wouldn’t end up being raped and tossed aside like so much garbage.

The fact that these girls prepared for capture is not a testament to the goodness of the raiding party, it’s a testament to the wisdom of the girls.

The mourning period does not excuse the rape and slavery, nor does the garb of the girls imply consent to such. Rape and slavery are always wrong, regardless of the “custom of the age”. If your god is so benevolent, and his followers so righteous, should they not be held in a higher esteem than the heathen barbarian? Would your great, benevolent god not be aware of the fact that rape and slavery are wrong?

flo's avatar

@no_one_special
I hope you are well. You disappeared on us.

Fyrius's avatar

@flo
The menu only appears if you write the @ at the very end of your post.

flo's avatar

Fyrius, thank you for your response. It works as soon as I enter the, (this time it didn’t work), most of the time.

flo's avatar

@Fyrius this time it working .
– In my last posting, the 2 places where I had @, disappeared in the posted version. They were there in the “Live Preview” version.

no_one_special's avatar

@Qingu
quote, “Show me where rape is prohibited. Show me where in the bible it says a woman must consent to sex.”

The bible does not say, “Thou shall not rape” and it does not say, “Thou shall not kill squirrels for fun” either.

One must understand that the bible is not and was not intended to spell out every right and wrong known to man. What we have in the OT is a set of laws and principles. The laws were spelled out and the principles were implied and valid as shown or alluded to in later parts of the OT.

Also please note that the word for rape does not appear in Deut 21:13,14. The Hebrew word for rape is “shagal” (7693) Though in some instances the word “humiliate” (anah 63031) is used in connection with rape along with “shakab” (7901) http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H7901&t=NASB

This is not the case in Deuteronomy 21 so rape is not alluded to in this verse. Areas in where rape is clearly stated are in Zechariah 14:2 which reads: 2For I will (A)gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the (B)houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city.”

Notice the word “ravish” in the text. So we see here that in Hebrew there was a word for rape and it was not used in Deut 21. In addition, we can see God did not mince words so one cannot say God or whoever wrote the bible was trying to make things sound nicer since in this verse we see “ravish” used in connection with his own people so it stands to reason he would use it against enemy nations.

Deuteronomy 28:30
“30”(A)You shall betroth a wife, but another man will violate her; (B)you shall build a house, but you will not live in it; you shall plant a vineyard, but you will not use its fruit.”

The word “violate” is “shagal” http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H7693&t=NASB

Again, giving further proof that this word was available and since it was used in a scripture meant for Israel, we can see God did not mince words so if rape was meant in Deuteronomy 21:11–14 it stands to reason that he would have said so.

@Seek_Kolinahr @Qingu

The following will be presented without an “emotional appeal.” http://www.fallacyfiles.org/emotiona.html

Though this is not a debate I find that clarity is often quicker when the common fallacies are left out, such as emotional appeals straw mans etc, etc.

Now lets examine Deuteronomy 21:11–14 verse by verse. Some feel that this implies rape is permitted. Lets look at the content and setting and the Hebrew more closely.

We also must not project our “feelings” since we are in a time when this would not fly very well. Even arranged marriages could be labeled rape. I am not arguing it is or is not, only pointing to a different time period when it was not.

Deuteronomy 21:11–14 (NASB)
“11and see among the captives a beautiful woman, and have a desire for her and would take her as a wife for yourself,”

Here in verse 11 we see “a beautiful woman” however please look at, http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/OTpdf/deu21.pdf about half way down and note “and·you-see in·the·captive woman-of lovely-of shape.” It implies a women that has shape and not a young girl as many may think.

“12then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall (A)shave her head and trim her nails.”

In verse 12 we see a ritual. No sex and this was after the military campaign was over and they were home. So a considerable amount of time passed.

13“She shall also remove the clothes of her captivity and shall remain in your house, and (B)mourn her father and mother a full month; and after that you may go in to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife.”

Clothing used to attract a male. True, as you stated Seek K, it was not as if they were having a great time. Also it was wise on their part as you said. But it can also be said that had it been any other nation similar steps would not have been taken. They would have been at the mercy of the invading nation which would have included killing, rape or any combination imaginable. Any search into ancient peoples Canaanites, Assyrians or whoever of that time shows this. Clearly this was not the case with Israel.

14“It shall be, if you are not pleased with her, then you shall let her go wherever she wishes; but you shall certainly not sell her for money, you shall not mistreat her, because you have©humbled her.”

Divorce was allowed but as we can see it was not as if the men could do whatever they wanted. The sex was with marriage as the condition—this was not rape. We see here the word “humbled” but this does not occur with the words “shagal” or “shakab” so that sense of rape was not carried. Again, God did not mince words-just a reminder.

Virginity was a badge of honor in those times and divorce was shameful. So humbled did not mean rape. Again, consider the times.

Now, having these scriptures we must consider that the language here is translated from Hebrew into English. So the Hebrew definitions take precedence over the English.

no_one_special's avatar

@flo

Your questions followed by my answers. :D

“1)What I meant was, what problem are you trying to solve? Or is your question just to pass the time?”

I like the exchange of thought. My question is to stimulate the exchange of thoughts. I like to hear others view points.

2)If you imagine the most moral people in history, or in your life, living in a place where there was no religion, or law, how do you imagine them? Can you imagine them being immoral people? Do you imagine them being immoral people?

Not sure you mean….. I have a big imagination, yes. It stand s to reason that anyone of use can be immoral. That applies to all people.

3)How do you explain siblings who grew up with the same circumstances (religion and law) but are opposite of each other?

I do not understand the question. Are you asking how two people with the same background can come out totally different? If so, two people come out different since they are different people that have different experiences. Once may have seen something harsh and this turned him cold inside, while the other may have made him more aware of pain and suffering. There is more to it than that of course…..

BTW, I hope you weren’t addressing only the Atheist people.

Yes I was only addressing atheist. At times I address only Theist. It depends on who I wish to speak to and get views from.

BTW thanks for your concern. I am OK. Contrary to popular belief, I have a life. Not much of a life, but a life nonetheless. :D

no_one_special's avatar

@Qingu

As for genocide and slavery I’ll get back to you. Sorry been kinda busy and a little sick so I was not on for a few days.

@everyone.
Thank for engaging me guys.

Seek's avatar

@no_one_special

In that time it was very common to marry young girls. There is nothing in that scripture that implies the girls were grown women. How many 12 and 13 year old girls have you seen with breasts and full hips? Me, too.

“Ye shall shave her head and trim her nails” – a humiliation ritual. You are shaming her of her birth, and “cleansing” her to make it acceptable for her to live in your house. If you want a biblical source for that, look at II Corinthians chapter 11. It plainly states a woman shorn or shaven is dishonoured.

But it can also be said that had it been any other nation similar steps would not have been taken.
That requires a source.

14“It shall be, if you are not pleased with her, then you shall let her go wherever she wishes; but you shall certainly not sell her for money, you shall not mistreat her, because you have©humbled her.”
Where’s the part where she‘s free to leave if she hates the douchebag that murdered her parents and stole her away, shaving her head, and stealing her virginity?

Please, read the definition of rape(word)

Wearing pretty clothes does not imply consent, and waiting a month to rape a girl doesn’t excuse the crime.

Fyrius's avatar

@flo
Yeah, the @ is also used for text in a monospace font.
If you put an @ on each side of the text with no spaces between the @ and the text, you’ll get text with evenly spaced letters.
It took me some time to figure that out too. :P

Qingu's avatar

@no_one_special, I’ve seen similar arguments against the translation in Deuteronomy 22:28. Have you considered that the word explicitly used for rape (or “ravish”) only refers to property crimes—i.e. having sex with another man’s property, his wife?

If I “seized and lied with” an unbetrothed virgin—does the Bible ever indicate that the punishment should be different based on whether or not she consents (i.e. whether or not this is rape in the modern sense)? It does not; there is simply no law in the Bible that even considers the question of a woman consenting to sex, beyond establishing her culpability in adultery.

This gets into my question about the Bible’s general view of rape, which I don’t think you satisfactorily answered. I asked you to show me a single case where rape is outlawed in the BIble, or where a woman’s consent is required for sex. You couldn’t (giving the excuse that “The Bible doesn’t list everything that’s outlawed). I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks this is unsatisfactory.

You are arguing that the Hebrews or God really do think rape is bad, they just never bothered to write it down. There is simply nothing in the text to suggest this. Rather, the text suggests that the Biblical authors simply had no conception of rape as a crime, in the modern sense it is understood. Bear in mind that our views on rape are quite modern; for most of history it made no sense to say “a man raped his wife,” because wives were the property of husbands. The Bible clearly has this view.

So you ought to ask yourself: where does your opposition to rape, in and of itself, come from? Does this come from the Bible? Or does it come from modern, secular society?

Qingu's avatar

Also, I agree with @Seek_Kolinahr, and actually, @no_one_special, I find your views on the captive women quite disturbing.

You are basically arguing that God’s commandments are okay because they’re better than the status quo of ancient barbarian cultures. So it’s okay to kidnap and, after a month-long wait, rape a female war captive… because the ancient Canaanites would have just raped her outright?

And again, if you’re going to argue that this was not rape, you need to show where the woman’s consent is required. You are assuming that the woman had a choice to get married when there is simply no indication whatsoever of this in the Bible. If someone kidnaps you, keeps you in their house for a month, then forces you to marry them and have sex with you, that’s still rape. You can rape someone you are married to.

flo's avatar

@no_one_special , You said you are addressing athiests but how do you verify if the people who are engaging with are in fact atheists?

flo's avatar

@no_one_special I mean some people argue things as “devil’s advocate”. In other words if you only care about stimulating exchage…

Qingu's avatar

@flo, I’m an atheist, and I’m more than happy to engage @no_one_special without the meta-arguments.

Seek's avatar

@flo

And I am an atheist, who spent almost 15 years as a willing participant in evangelical Christianity. I sincerely doubt she’s going to come up with a line of BS I haven’t heard yet. ^_^

Grisaille's avatar

@flo And I am an atheist who believes it would be intellectually dishonest to consider himself one, so he calls himself agnostic.

flo's avatar

@no_one_special
@Grisaille
@Seek_Kolinahr
@Qingu
I was answering /asking @no_one_special if she is asking she is addressing athiests “How do some athiests manage to be ethical without the benefit of the Bible?” (if am right in paraphrasing) the answer can potentially be answered to her satisfaction by anyone including a beleiver in any religion. A religious person can be responding on behalf of someone who is atheist but can’t use the computer, or doesn’t speak English etc.
@no_one_special 1) You didn’t say you don’t want to solve any problem, which is a good thing right there. 2) There no problem with some atheists managing to be moral, right?
If you were a teacher or a parent would you fight for the child to do her homework and study hard only because he is afraid of you or an authiority figure, or do you work at making it enjoyable, and helping her know it is a good thing, period?

flo's avatar

@Grisaille
@Seek_Kolinahr
@Qingu
I sounded unclear, above. I meant @no_one _special is only addressing the atheists, and I was trying to say that if it is understanding that he/she is seeking, why limit herself to only the atheists. I know 2 people, one religious one is atheist, and the religious person acknowledges that her atheist friend is more moral than her. And she is just happy that her friend is a very moral person. She doesn’t waste her time wondering how, why. She is learning to become a lot more like her.

flo's avatar

@no_one_special I hope it is just life, I hope you are not sick. I seem to trigger your disappearance somehow.

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