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Dutchess_III's avatar

Do you think non-believers have fewer disagreements about what is right and wrong than Christians do?

Asked by Dutchess_III (42453points) September 10th, 2015

Why or why not?

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13 Answers

jca's avatar

There are many different types of Christians. Each has their own beliefs and each person may (that is a definite may) alter their lifestyle to their church, or not.

I am a Protestant. I believe in God but I am not overly religious. There are Catholics who don’t go to church all the time (sinners according to Catholicism), and there are Catholics who have abortions and use birth control, but technically should not.

Then there are fundamentalists like the County Clerk Kim Davis who believes strongly that people should not get married if they are gay. They may go to church daily (as do some Catholics) and pray all the time and thank Jesus for everything. That’s a far cry from what I am.

It’s hard to quantify, I think, believers vs. non-believers beliefs when it comes to something vague like right and wrong.

canidmajor's avatar

No. The concepts of “right” and “wrong” are so broadly differing across cultural, national, religious, community and personal lines as to render your peculiar definition of “Christian” null.

jca's avatar

I think the basic “right and wrong” for all Christians are the Ten Commandments.

majorrich's avatar

I think non-Christians, and non-religious people may have more difficulty coming to a consensus about right and wrong without some unifying principals. In the case of Christianity the unifying document is the Bible and the gospels coupled with centuries of tradition. Other religions have some remarkable similarities to Christianity when it comes to nuances of right and wrong. I remember a book I read decades ago that was investigating the similarities among many of the worlds religions and how that came to be.

Judi's avatar

Probably. I knew a guy who divorced his second wife because he became “born again” and by strict scripture interpretation he was commiting adultery because he was still married to his first wife in God’s eyes.
Wendy Davis believes she gets a pass because she “repented” not understanding I guess that to “repent” means to turn away.
I had an argument with a friend who was advocating prayer in school and asked her how she would feel if her child’s baptist teacher told her child they weren’t saved because they were baptized as an infant? (She’s Lutheran)
No response.
Christians rarely agree completely unless they are blindly following some cult leader.

Zaku's avatar

Seems like a way too broad generalization to have an answer.

DoNotKnow's avatar

Not necessarily. What I find is that more often than not, I have plenty similarities with my liberal, à la carte New England Catholics regarding morals. And I have certainly had my disagreements here with plenty of atheists about morality.

But what is different is that with many atheists, what it means to be “right” (morality) is a conversation. It’s almost always based on consequences of some kind. Whether it be concern for conscious creatures, minimizing harm, or some other empirical claim about human happiness, when I talk morality with atheists, there is something to talk about at least.

When I talk with my Christian friends (or try to talk with my Christian family members), morality is a concept that is completely removed from the suffering of conscious creatures or cause and effect. Morality is really just a set of rules. While we may agree on a large amount of those rules, they often see these rules as static and not open to revision and analysis. And we don’t agree for the same reasons.

So, while I may disagree about specific moral issues roughly the same amount when talking to atheists an Christians, the project of analyzing and modifying what is “right” is one that is only open to atheists I know (or most of them anyway).

Dutchess_III's avatar

That was great @DoNotKnow, basically, we all come to about the same conclusions…but by different routes?

DoNotKnow's avatar

@Dutchess_III – To some degree, even most of the New England Catholics that I know and grew up with seem to view morality from a largely secular perspective. Most of them have never read the bible, and only go to church on holidays and funerals. When evaluating what is “right”, they seem to bring consequences into the conversation to some degree.

But I do have some Christian (non-Catholic) relatives, and they do not consider morality to be related to consequences at all. Homosexuality is immoral strictly because it says so in the bible. To talk about homosexuality in the context of the real world is missing the point completely. You might as well have changed the subject from morality to baseball. Morality and what is “right” has nothing to do with the suffering of conscious creatures or anything other than following a command dictated by their god. They use the same language of “right” and “wrong” or “immoral”, etc. but we’re really talking about completely different things. And there is no talking to them on the matter.

However, it’s quite possible that our views of what is “right” and “wrong” may intersect – but it may be coincidence. Also, what I was really thinking of when I wrote my last comment was when I meet really beautiful, friendly Christians who value honesty, being kind, and have true compassion. They may oppose war and value protecting the environment – and they may come to all of these things through their religion and beliefs. I can contrast this to the occasional atheist I meet who wants to talk to me about Ayn Rand.

kritiper's avatar

No, not honest ones.

johnpowell's avatar

For the Old/New Testament and the Bible that is around 1.5 million words. You can justify anything.

Kraigmo's avatar

Christians are more of a single mind than non-believers. That’s why so many Christian marriages work out. Even if the beliefs are fantasy…. they work just fine if all parties agree.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It seems like they should have a single mind, but it seems just the opposite is true. So many interpretations of what means what.

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