View Poll Results: Can we have morality without God/Religion in modern society?

Voters
238. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes you can have secular morality.

    191 80.25%
  • No you cant you need religion/god

    31 13.03%
  • Other please explain in a post

    16 6.72%
Page 1 of 32 12345112131 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 311

Thread: Can we have morality without God?

  1. #1

    Default Can we have morality without God?

    Can we have morality without God? Specifically will people without an objectively morality develop a reasonable set of morals atheists ,secularists and even some deists.
    Can they achieve a level of ‘good’ morality and ethics without an objective overseer, whether it be a monotheistic god, karma, polytheistic gods or w/e supernatural objective being you prefer.
    Im not posting this to debate their existence or non existence.
    Im doing this to suggest regardless of their existence sentient humans beings are able to clearly define morality without a religious belief.


    This is a response to a few posts i have seen on the site and in others places that are driving me a bit insane when i read them as I am an atheist and apart from a few failings I don't consider myself immoral and most people I know theistic or atheistic feel similarly. I think the majority of atheists, deists and secular thinking people feel similarly.

    Clearly though in response to my own question though this is true. Do as an atheist I go around raping and murdering because I don't have morality defined for me ? No i do not nor do 99% of the people who share the atheist view or deistic view or whoever believes in subjective morality. If this was true why isn't it demonstrated in the prison systems and the legal systems of the world ? Clearly it should be the case.

    There are a number of reasons this is true, especially with the self evident demonstration of reality. Even subjectively there are some things that as humans we find abhorrent for example child molestation and the harming of children is something that humans as a species detest, we will do so much to protect the young nearly anything regardless of our belief. Its harmful to societys, our continued existence and us on a person level.

    As for stuff like stealing, murder and rape well we have empathy its something that most humans have but not all. But its a useful tool that allows us to coexist in reasonable state. Not to mention most of the things we consider bad are often harmful to societal functioning this differs from society to society as is shown in the different laws of different states and countries. Though clearly we are able as secular people define laws and morality logically as things that harm us on a human and societal level.



    Suggesting that if there is no god we shouldn't care I find abhorrent and scary , very scary as a fellow human.



    Also just on a side note i mentioned deists as deist is a belief in a power the created the universe being its a Being or something else. Not someone who ascribes to a particular religious belief like a Theist.

    p.s. for fun will add poll dont disappoint me adisc I have "faith" in you

  2. #2

    Default

    I don't think people need religion to have morals, but I wil say that those with no religion or written set of rules, be it the ten commandments or even just "laws of the land", are also most likely to be lacking in morals. Removing God/religion from society also has the effect of removing, imo, the idea that there will be consequinces for our actions. This idea can be reinforced with the laws of society but what about those that see the laws of society as "the man coming down on them"?

    I applaud those without a system of faith that still hold a set of morals. The only ones that make me scratch my head are those that dismiss things like the 10 commandment just on the bases of them being "religious", when technically speaking only 3 deal directly with God, the 4th while it mentions keeping the sabbath holy also speaks of a day of rest, the rest deal with things like honoring your elders (mother+father) and the bases for rules of society (murder, theft, adultery, bearing false witness/purjery and coveting things that belong to your "neighbor")

    I guess for me, though I am a christian, one might not need religion for morals yet they do need some kind of firm basis for their morals, be it from faith or logic, and it helps if that basis is written somewhere.

  3. #3

  4. #4

    Default

    You can have morality without god. There has been a lot of philosophical arguments on how it is done.

    In summery there are theories like the end justify the means meaning you might do questionable things for the greater good. (Consequentialism)

    There is a branch where the main idea is each step needs to be moral. (Deontology)

    In some situations they can conflict since the greater good might involve doing small bad things. A smile example is you need to kill someone to stop a bomb blowing up a city. Deontology will tell you that you can't kill the person and he would be the one to blame of killing the city of people. So you are in the right of not killing the person and that person that wants to blow up the city is wrong.

    The bible itself can cause problems when you look deeply into it like how Rissy quoted a part of the bible about sacking a city (Athiests Against Christmas thread). The other problem with the Bible is starting wars over it. Both sides are righteous so who is wrong? Most wars stem from a different point of view so you have to ask yourself are both sides wrong? or both sides right and fighting for a slightly different end?

    I think all views will agree on one key rule. I think any moral philosophy guide or religion has this in it. Christians call it the golden rule I believe. Do one to others as if it was you. In other words treat others how you would like to be treated. You would not want to be killed to leave your family, friends, or kids you need to raise so why do it to someone else?

    Then you have the Immanuel Kant idea of knowing if something is bad or good based on "If everyone does x in the world, would that be a good or bad result?" If the result is good then on an individual level it is good. If everyone recycled then the earth would be a better place, less dirty waters, smaller landfills so on. So this means recycling on an individual level is good.


    Immanuel Kant had a radically different view of morality. In his view, there are universal laws of morality that no one should ever break regardless of emotions.[7] He proposed a four-step system to find out whether something was moral based on logic and reason. The first step of this method involves formulating "a maxim capturing your reason for an action".[7] In the second step, one "frame[s] it as a universal principle for all rational agents".[7] The third step is assessing "whether a world based on this universal principle is conceivable".[7] If it is, then the fourth step is asking oneself "whether [one] would will the maxim to be a principle in this world".[7] Basically what this means is that if everyone made this moral decision would it be good for the world or bad for the world. For instance, when deciding whether or not to lie to someone for one's own advantage, imagine if everyone in the world always successfully lied. Would that be good or bad for the world? Based on this logic, Kant would argue that no one should ever lie under any circumstances. Another example would be if trying to decide whether suicide is moral or immoral; imagine if everyone committed suicide. Since mass international suicide would not be a good thing, the act of suicide is immoral.
    Moral reasoning - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I like this theory because it makes you think but still has problems. If everyone acted gay then we would never reproduce so gay is immoral. It is believed this is the main reason the bible said it was wrong because back then there was not as many people in the world so reproducing was important. Now that we have 7 trillion people on the world we are really straining the world's resources, something the bible does not really address since it was not really an issue back then.


    For more info on summarizing Ethics/moral philosophy:
    Ethics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    As you might tell I voted yes on the poll even though I am a religious person. I believe there is good philosophical arguments for what is in the bible. Like any theory however, it has problems especially when you take the bible too literately. Part of the issue of taking the bible literary stems from translation issues.

  5. #5

    Default

    Uh. Yeah. I have a nice range of morals, and I do not believe in any sort of God.

    You know. Don't steal from someone or gut another person like a trout using a knife. That sort of stuff. I don't need a religion to tell me that doing something is immoral, although the definition of what is moral and immoral is not static and varies from person to person and culture to culture. I have a set of my own personal morals - "codes" that I follow in life. Everyone does. No one is a free bird that just does what he wants all willy-nilly.

  6. #6

    Smile

    I'd actually say that you can only have morality without god. If god exists and he tells you what to do (or you will burn in hell), I'd argue that that removes the moral component of the problem by ensuring that you act out of fear (for either god's wrath or his judgement).

    In my mind, the only way that morality can exist is if you can act so as to cause yourself no consequences, yet choose not to do so.



    Quote Originally Posted by Icewolf View Post
    I don't think people need religion to have morals, but I wil say that those with no religion or written set of rules, be it the ten commandments or even just "laws of the land", are also most likely to be lacking in morals.
    I'm not sure if that's true! Religious people have persecuted and killed so many people and used religion to control entire populations. How many religious wars have there been?

    Nowadays, part of the function of religion seems (to me) to be to provide an ethical framework for people who are unable (or unwilling) to develop their own. So many people who seek out religion will be doing so in order to help them answer moral questions. So, if religious people are more moral (who decides what "moral" means here anyway?!), I'd imagine that would be due to a kind of "selection bias" -- being moral might cause people to seek religion (rather than religion causing them to be moral).



    Quote Originally Posted by Icewolf View Post
    Removing God/religion from society also has the effect of removing, imo, the idea that there will be consequinces for our actions.
    If you act because you fear being beaten with a stick, that's self-preservation, not morality.



    Quote Originally Posted by Icewolf View Post
    This idea can be reinforced with the laws of society but what about those that see the laws of society as "the man coming down on them"?
    Although laws may be intended to protect people from being treated "immorally", there is no necesary correlation between the law and morality. There are different laws in different countries at different times. The only way to be moral is to ignore all laws (whether religious or legal) and decide for yourself what constitutes moral action.



    Quote Originally Posted by Icewolf View Post
    I applaud those without a system of faith that still hold a set of morals. The only ones that make me scratch my head are those that dismiss things like the 10 commandment just on the bases of them being "religious"...
    Well... if you aren't religious, you can easily dismiss all religious commandments. To turn the argument round... if I said that my goldfish is a reincarnation of Flipper the godfish who created the universe 10 years ago and he has decreed that "it is wrong to kill people", would you accept what I was saying? If not, how can you reject it just because you don't believe in the godfish?

    Ah well, just my random ramblings...

  7. #7

    Default

    IMHO morality is more subjective, with placement more upon a societies values than belief in God.

    that being said, some of the most immoral people I've met in the past had been quite devoutly religious;
    walk into their house, and there is a cross in every room, hallways and rooms heavily cluttered with religious imagery,
    can't speak a paragraph without the mention of God, etc ad nauseum. and they treat almost every one else around them like garbage. I get the distinct impression that this family wraps itself around religion, (to go to heaven?) to cover up some of the more dastardly deeds i've witnessed them doing.

    Conversely, I happen to know alot of athiests who would give someone the clothes off their back, instantly, if they thought someone they'd met needed them more.

    Myself, I've always tried to follow the Golden Rule, do unto others, it comes out to be a bit of a karmic thing
    you don't have to have a belief in God to follow that one.

  8. #8

    Default

    Well arguably most of our morals come from Christianity seeing as how for most Western societies that is/was the religion for many centuries and so people were brought up with the idea that Christian morals were good and others were bad and while some of our attitudes have changed (even in the church itself) we still live by some core Christian morals. We don't need to believe in God to understand why stealing or murder is wrong and these principles are not unique to one religion or one society but rather something that most humans can agree upon and there are other morals which fall into a similar category. Yes certain morals will always be based on religion but seeing as how people are capable of functioning and being moral without a God it stands to reason that a God is not necessary to be moral.

  9. #9

    Default

    I was the one that voted other, mainly cause I see both sides and know that religion, or faith, alone does not provide morals.



    If you act because you fear being beaten with a stick, that's self-preservation, not morality.
    I just said consequences, not being beaten with a stick. Consequiences could be the physical like the beatings, mental, as in personal mental anguish over what one does, or even social, like being made an outcast. Self preservation or not, imo, the lack of the idea of consequences, enables people to play "fast and lose" with their own morals



    Although laws may be intended to protect people from being treated "immorally", there is no necesary correlation between the law and morality. There are different laws in different countries at different times. The only way to be moral is to ignore all laws (whether religious or legal) and decide for yourself what constitutes moral action.
    I never made that correlation, the idea was that consequences existed for actions. Even I admit there are different laws, but how many similar laws are around? I find the moral codes more in the ones that are the same (like practically all written laws have things against murder and stealing) rather then the ones that are different. The danger in ignoreing all laws and deciding for yourself what is right and wrong (and this coming from one that thinks "what is legal is not always right, and what is right is not always legal) is one may find murder and the like to be "right" when most of hummanity does not (extreme case I know).



    Well... if you aren't religious, you can easily dismiss all religious commandments.
    I don't mind those that dismiss just the religious commandments, the ones I was refering to were the ones that are more like "the ten commandments? I am not a <jew/christian> so none of them apply to me" or just dismiss all of them because of the religious ones. So for your argument, I'd accept what you said because, though I don't believe in the godfish, not killing in cold blood matches up with my beliefs. To complete my argument, it would be more like "do you think murder is moraly right?, if not, why do you reject the non-religious commandments?"

  10. #10

    Default

    As I see it, this poll question is equivalent to asking: Does any choice necessarily come down to whether or not a person has the threat of God's wrath hanging over them? The answer is an obvious "no." Even the religious are not *forced* to behave in any certain way. You wouldn't have people lining up at confessionals and/or praying for forgiveness of sins if they were. Ultimately, belief in God and adherence to any particular morality are completely independent, just like any other choice.

    In fact, I'd rather believe that even the religious are doing what they do mainly because they want to, and not simply because it pleases God or wins them "afterlife cred." Or because it doesn't *displease* God. If that many people are essentially walking around at the spiritual equivalent of gunpoint, this world is a sad, sad place.

Similar Threads

  1. Why Morality is a subjective thing
    By JuliusSeizure in forum Mature Topics
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 29-Aug-2012, 21:19
  2. Morality of Government
    By Fragarach in forum Mature Topics
    Replies: 35
    Last Post: 13-Feb-2012, 15:29
  3. Diapers and morality
    By JustSomeDude in forum Mature Topics
    Replies: 66
    Last Post: 17-Jan-2012, 14:38
  4. Morality/feasibility of RMT
    By DLGrif in forum Computers & Gaming
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 25-Jun-2009, 18:39
  5. Morality
    By kite in forum Mature Topics
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 05-May-2009, 00:46

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
ADISC.org - the Adult Baby / Diaper Lover / Incontinence Support Community.
ADISC.org is designed to be viewed in Firefox, with a resolution of at least 1280 x 1024.