1. Standard membervivify
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    25 Aug '15 15:482 edits
    For anyone who is a theist, if you completely walked away from your faith, is there anything that would change in your life?

    And for anyone who became religious as an adult: did anything change as far as your behavior? What about your outlook on life? What became different as a result of your decision?
  2. Standard memberRemoved
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    25 Aug '15 16:44
    Originally posted by vivify
    For anyone who is a theist, if you completely walked away from your faith, is there anything that would change in your life?

    And for anyone who became religious as an adult: did anything change as far as your behavior? What about your outlook on life? What became different as a result of your decision?
    There are two outcomes in play.
    1. Leave my values, faith in God because I just choose to? Never happen.
    2. Became convinced there is no God, never happen either.
    But I will answer #2.
    Yes, I would leave this forum, throw out my bible, eat, drink and be merry. I would then put myself before others, and follow the rule, survivor of the fittest.
    Some will say it is a vain lifestyle. But what does it matter? After I am gone, there is no reward, no afterlife, in time I would not even be a memory.
    Same goes for my children, hopefully they will enjoy life, eat, drink and be merry.
    Travel, do things, etc. Seek to satisfy every whim of pleasure.
  3. Joined
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    25 Aug '15 17:27
    I continue to baffled and repulsed by people who cannot see any reason for morality or
    ethics without their idiotic belief in god.

    The existence or not of god/s has absolutely no barring what-so-ever on what is or isn't moral.

    I like Matt Dillahunty's description of the difference in moral view. [or one of them].

    You have two kids;
    You teach one the 'rules' of good behaviour, with no explanation for why those rules exist other
    than "because I say so" and threaten them with punishment if they disobey, and reward if they
    follow those rules.
    The other one you teach the REASONS for those rules, why we have them and the benefits of
    following them and the downsides of not following them. You teach this child how to do moral reasoning
    and how to solve and resolve moral conflicts.

    Then those two children grow up to become adults and leave, and are no-longer under your rule's and
    threat of punishment or reward.

    Which one will [likely] be the most moral?

    The first one is finally free of the restrictive 'rules' of their parents and as they know of and see no reason
    to keep following those rules they don't. They "eat, drink and be merry. [they] would then put [themselves]
    before others, and follow the rule, survivor of the fittest. ..."

    The second one still knows why these moral rules exist, and why they should be followed because they were
    taught how to do moral reasoning and the reasons for these rules. And they were never being 'moral' simply
    to get some reward or avoid some punishment.

    The second child is CLEARLY the more moral, they do what is good and right because they understand that
    this makes the world a better place for themselves and others and they don't need an external force 'making'
    them act morally.

    The first child is clearly immoral, they only follow 'moral rules' when they fear punishment for transgression
    or seek reward for compliance. They are selfish and ignorant of morality.


    The second child has been taught secular morality, they have learned moral reasoning and how to apply it.
    They can see and understand what rules to apply and how, and can see when rules need altering because
    they no-longer apply or were faulty.

    The first child has been taught 'morality from authority', the equivalent of religious 'morality', and know nothing
    of morality other than an apparently arbitrary and inflexible set of rules that they see no reason to follow for
    their own sake. When or if the 'authority' is taken away, they no-longer even pretend to be moral because they see
    no reason to.


    'Religious "morality" from authority' is the 'morality' of little children who don't know better. [it's also wrong because
    it was written by ignorant people thousands of years ago, and then multiply translated in a multi-generation game
    of Chinese whispers.]

    Secular morality is the morality of grown-ups. It's flexible and adaptable as we grow and learn, and as such is always
    improving [on net] much like science. It explains why we do things and gives the understanding and empathy needed
    for truly moral action. Nobody is above it, and nobody is exempt.

    Secular morality is why we no-longer keep slaves, and why torture is banned.

    It's long past time for the religious to stop being children and to grow up.

    Morality does not and cannot come from any god, religion is not needed for morality.
    In fact religion simply gets in the way.

    If you would truly act in the ways you describe if you were to loose your belief in gods then YOU ARE NOT MORAL!

    Maybe you should stop trying to lecture us on morality and learn some yourself.
  4. SubscriberGhost of a Duke
    A Spirited Misfit
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    25 Aug '15 17:49
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    There are two outcomes in play.
    1. Leave my values, faith in God because I just choose to? Never happen.
    2. Became convinced there is no God, never happen either.
    But I will answer #2.
    Yes, I would leave this forum, throw out my bible, eat, drink and be merry. I would then put myself before others, and follow the rule, survivor of the fittest.
    Some ...[text shortened]... life, eat, drink and be merry.
    Travel, do things, etc. Seek to satisfy every whim of pleasure.
    There are some interesting notions thrown up here that perhaps need clarification.

    You mention 'no reward.' Was that a Freudian slip, or do you view an afterlife as a reward in the literal sense? (Is redemption/salvation a reward?)

    And, do you think people without God will always 'put themselves before others, and follow the rule, survival of the fittest?' (And that you personally would truly default to such a lifestyle if God left your life?)
  5. Standard memberRemoved
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    25 Aug '15 17:54
    Originally posted by Ghost of a Duke
    There are some interesting notions thrown up here that perhaps need clarification.

    You mention 'no reward.' Was that a Freudian slip, or do you view an afterlife as a reward in the literal sense? (Is redemption/salvation a reward?)

    And, do you think people without God will always 'put themselves before others, and follow the rule, survival of ...[text shortened]... ttest?' (And that you personally would truly default to such a lifestyle if God left your life?)
    No, to be honest, I don't know what I would do.
    I only have to ponder for a minute and think, Hey' "It would be nice to smoke some pot again".
    What is morality without God? Whose morality? Who gets to define it? What if my morality is something you disagree with?
  6. Standard memberRemoved
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    25 Aug '15 17:55
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    I continue to baffled and repulsed by people who cannot see any reason for morality or
    ethics without their idiotic belief in god.

    The existence or not of god/s has absolutely no barring what-so-ever on what is or isn't moral.

    I like Matt Dillahunty's description of the difference in moral view. [or one of them].

    You have two kids;
    You teach ...[text shortened]... E NOT MORAL!

    Maybe you should stop trying to lecture us on morality and learn some yourself.
    Can we have morality without God?
    Lord Devlin said some years ago, "No society has yet solved the problem of how to teach morality without religion." It has always seemed rather ridiculous to me for people to think that you can still have "morality", particularly Christian morality, without God.
    C. S. Lewis said:
    If no set of moral ideas were better than another, there would be no sense in preferring civilised morality to Nazi morality.
    The moment you say one lot of morals is better than another, you are in fact measuring them by an ultimate standard.
    And the moment you admit that there must be some ultimate standard, you are arguing for the existence of God.
    Even someone like Nietzsche, the German philosopher who is credited with giving a major boost to the elimination of God from Western culture, never tired of pointing out that Christianity is a whole and that one cannot give up faith in God and keep Christian morality. He said:
    When one gives up the Christian faith, one pulls the right to Christian morality out from under one's feet. The morality is by no means self-evident. Christianity is a system, a whole view of things thought out together. By breaking one main concept out of it, the faith in God, one breaks the whole. It stands or falls with faith in God.

    In chapter 1 of his letter to the Romans, Paul spells out very clearly the moral consequences of people turning away from God. Three times he declares that, as a result of rejecting the truth of God that he has clearly made known in his creation, "God gave them over..." (vv. 24, 26, 28). But what did he give them over to?
    "God gave them over in the sinful desires of their heart to sexual impurity..." (v. 24).
    "God gave them over to shameful lusts..." (v. 26).
    "God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done" (v. 28).

    http://www.christianity.co.nz/moralit2.htm
  7. Subscribersonhouse
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    25 Aug '15 18:02
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    Can we have morality without God?
    Lord Devlin said some years ago, "No society has yet solved the problem of how to teach morality without religion." It has always seemed rather ridiculous to me for people to think that you can still have "morality", particularly Christian morality, without God.
    C. S. Lewis said:
    If no set of moral ideas were better ...[text shortened]... d mind, to do what ought not to be done" (v. 28).

    http://www.christianity.co.nz/moralit2.htm
    Since religions are ALL man made so are the morals. We don't get inspiration from a deity, we throw our wet finger in the air and suppose what a god would do if it was moral.

    So we make up our morality all by ourselves and that is how it was, is, and will be in the future.

    Some cultures think it moral to mutilate female genitals while in the west we think it abhorrent. It didn't take a missive from a deity to think that one through and likewise with all the other aspects of morality.

    At one point and in some places, still, it was against religious law to eat pork, because they noticed people getting sick. Men made the decision to make it a moral religious issue, not a god, because a god could just as easily said,'hey, if you want to eat pork, better cook the hell out of it because there are these little thingies inside that get inside YOU when you eat it so if you have to eat pork, just cook it well'.

    THAT wasn't said and we all know now exactly what makes people sick if they eat infected pork. It was our science that led to the safe consumption of pork.
  8. SubscriberGhost of a Duke
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    25 Aug '15 18:12
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    No, to be honest, I don't know what I would do.
    I only have to ponder for a minute and think, Hey' "It would be nice to smoke some pot again".
    What is morality without God? Whose morality? Who gets to define it? What if my morality is something you disagree with?
    Morality without God, i think, is still morality. Would you really say you only do good things in this world because God expects you to and would punish you if you didn't? I really don't believe Christians (yourself included) are that shallow. God may very well reinforce your morality but i don't believe it is dependent upon him. Truly moral atheists demonstrate this is not the case. Morality is based upon upbringing and conscience.
  9. SubscriberBigDoggProblem
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    25 Aug '15 18:321 edit
    If a theistic/religious person lost their faith, I think they'd be surprised when they tried their new anarchist lifestyle.

    They'd go around acting like completely selfish pricks, only to discover - surprise! - they aren't very happy now that everyone in their life loathes them.

    They may even realize, in a moment of clarity, that their own happiness and the happiness of others are not completely separate things after all.

    And, later, after wrecking their own life, realize that there were LOTS of good reasons for not doing the things they did, even with no divine retribution threatened.
  10. Standard memberRemoved
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    25 Aug '15 19:12
    Originally posted by Ghost of a Duke
    Morality without God, i think, is still morality. Would you really say you only do good things in this world because God expects you to and would punish you if you didn't? I really don't believe Christians (yourself included) are that shallow. God may very well reinforce your morality but i don't believe it is dependent upon him. Truly moral atheists demonstrate this is not the case. Morality is based upon upbringing and conscience.
    Knowing what I know about demonic influence, no way. There would never be peace while Satan is the god of this world. There might be little successes here and there, but nothing long lasting. I'm not even sure about that.

    I am not an expert, but I don't think it would take long for things to change for the worse.
    The only time I am aware of where things get better, is in the time of the book of Revelation.
    There is a 1000 year period where people thrive. This is due to Satan and demonic influence being in chains. There will be growth and a large population of unbelievers.
    Then after the 1000 years, Satan and all his host are released and have such a powerful influence that it culminates in Armageddon where people raise their fist up to God in hate.
    The problem from the beginning has always been the heart of man being corrupt.
    I know what many here are thinking, but I have seen the Star Trek movies too. It is not reality.
  11. Joined
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    25 Aug '15 21:09
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    Knowing what I know about demonic influence, no way. There would never be peace while Satan is the god of this world. There might be little successes here and there, but nothing long lasting. I'm not even sure about that.

    I am not an expert, but I don't think it would take long for things to change for the worse.
    The only time I am aware of where thi ...[text shortened]... I know what many here are thinking, but I have seen the Star Trek movies too. It is not reality.
    This must obviously be why the less religious a country/region is the better the society
    tends to be by just about every metric. And why life today is consistently getting better
    and safer with your chances of dying from disease or violence [of any kind] consistently
    going down even as religious beliefs wane and/or become more moderate [particularly in
    the western world]. And why those regions of the world with the most violence and the
    highest chances of dying from disease or violence are those with the most/most fundamental
    religions.

    Except, no, that's exactly the opposite of what you would expect if your hypothesis was correct.

    Ergo, Your hypothesis is wrong.
  12. Standard memberwolfgang59
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    25 Aug '15 21:23
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    Yes, I would leave this forum, throw out my bible, eat, drink and be merry. I would then put myself before others, and follow the rule, survivor of the fittest.
    Some will say it is a vain lifestyle. .
    Perhaps thee is a place for religion if it stops sociopaths like yourself from such behaviour.
  13. Standard memberwolfgang59
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    25 Aug '15 21:321 edit
    Originally posted by checkbaiter
    Lord Devlin said some years ago, "No society has yet solved the problem of how to teach morality without religion."
    Joel Feinberg (renowned American philosopher) had this to say about Devlin's antiquated views;

    Devlin's responses to Hart's arguments "seem feeble and perfunctory" and that most readers
    "will probably conclude that there is no salvaging Devlin's social disintegration thesis, his analogies
    to political subversion and treason, his conception of the nature of popular morality and how its
    deliverance is to be ascertained, or the skimpy place he allows to natural moral change.


    Devlin was a dinosaur
  14. Hmmm . . .
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    25 Aug '15 21:38
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    I continue to baffled and repulsed by people who cannot see any reason for morality or
    ethics without their idiotic belief in god.

    The existence or not of god/s has absolutely no barring what-so-ever on what is or isn't moral.

    I like Matt Dillahunty's description of the difference in moral view. [or one of them].

    You have two kids;
    You teach ...[text shortened]... E NOT MORAL!

    Maybe you should stop trying to lecture us on morality and learn some yourself.
    The existence or not of god/s has absolutely no barring what-so-ever on what is or isn't moral.

    I agree with that. My own “moral theory” tends toward Aristotelian and Stoic virtue ethics. (The Stoics were by and large pantheists.) Morality tends to lose all meaning if whatever a superior (or supreme) being does, by virtue of their power, is deemed to be a priori moral. Theism (of any sort) does not demand that we relinquish our own moral recognizance, whether or not some theists believe that and attempt to do so. I think that the attempt is ultimately self-deceptive.

    Moral decisions inevitably entail some risk. As the Roman Catholic theologian Urs von Balthasar commented: “When it comes to shaping one’s personal behavior, all the rules of morality, as precise as they may be, remain abstract in the face of the infinite complexity of the concrete.”

    —Hans Urs von Balthasar, Presence and Thought: An Essay on the Religious Philosophy of Gregory of Nyssa (from the Foreword).

    Balthasar’s comment surely has to apply to “divine command theory” as well as any other.
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    25 Aug '15 22:10
    This link reports on studies supporting the contention that strong secular institutions that value trust and compassion, especially toward strangers, can take the place of religious institutions.

    http://www2.psych.ubc.ca/~ara/Manuscripts/Norenzayan_Behaviour_DoesReligionMakePeopleMoral.pdf
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