This is important for me, so please help with the most rational sense because I'm willing to convert my beliefs, just atheism hasn't yet provided anything big.
To start with something very simple atheism has a problem with God might being real, but christianity doesn't have almost any real loss with God not being real and in some way it would seem that anti-christian would just consider it a lack of honor to take this as a legitimate argument.
Second apparent thing is of course objective morality, seems that atheism should believe ethics without any evidence that there is any apart from what modern culture has adopted from Bible.
I have looked around long for non-ignorant atheist arguments against, but it usually stops at one essential point where people haven't read Bible or haven't tried to understand it (it's a complicated book, but most people believe they get it without ever struggling for it). I've heard really smart things too though, so here I try to find more.
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Then you misunderstand atheism. Atheism would not have a problem with any god being proved to be 'real' or even overwhelming evidence for a 'god' or gods having solid evidence for their reality. Atheism would simply cease to exist.
Atheism simply does not accept that the claims for the thousands of gods are evidenced and therefore convincing. That is all.
There are many forums and posts on this very subject right here in these forums, I suggest you wade through them. Not one theist has managed to prove the concept of their own 'objective morality'. In fact the Abrahamic morals displayed by their many named god are disgusting and amoral. Not an example I would follow.
The consensus of non theist opinion seems to me that morals and ethical behaviour evolve with the sophistication of the society. No god or gods required.
Religions, by contrast exhibit and encourage never mind conceal some of the most unethical and utterly amoral behaviour known to humans.
Recognizing that it is at least possible that god is real, isn't really a problem for atheism/atheists. I don't think god is real (I'm an atheist); but I could be wrong. If it turns out I'm wrong, well then I'm just wrong. Won't be the first time, that is for sure!
We've had lots of theists come here and make dozens of threads about objective morality. While I didn't understand exactly what you were saying in relation to it, let get you up to speed. Lots of people pay lip-service to objective morality, but I've NEVER met anyone who lived their life that way. So it is hard for me to take criticism of atheism (for its lack of objective morality), when no one else seems to have it either.
It would be like going to pick out a puppy, and deciding against picking a poodle, because poodles don't fly. Well guess what? None of the other dog breeds fly either; so it is hard to take that criticism seriously.
I would have to strongly agree with the previous two comments!
Furthermore I would take issue with two further points.
Can you demonstrate that no culture prior to the pre-Christian era, developed similar morals
and that these morals have simply been hijacked by the many guises of theism.
Does it not strike one as being odd that this book is complicated in the slightest?
Would it not smack of being man-made?
I would argue that surely any book written that contains the words of a 'god' would be clear, easy to follow and teach us something that is so outstanding that we could only confirm it, given current advances in technology, science and/or intellectual capabilities.
So enclosing, I think perhaps as Old man stated, please get a thorough understanding of what atheism actually is.
Secondly, Consider demonstrating an objective moral truth.
Thirdly, Evidence the claim that morality developed and was taken directly from the bible and not before hand.
And finally, Can you demonstrate that the bible is not simply the work of man.
Alright, so it begins. Every culture ever has created some kind of morals, which we see nowdays more like traditions. Modern society bases it quite clearly on the ten Commandments (well, seven actually). There was nothing really better and more humane for us to adopt, following these laws we could be a perfect and self sustaining society. No man of course can follow them completely.
Atheists, where I look how they justify for right or wrong, more or less just say that it's common knowledge or every being in the world knows right from wrong, which seems not true, as there are examples of different ways to raise children, so just as different will be their morals. There is this belief in atheism for our right and wrong, but no proof we have it in us and it doesn't come completely from tradition. If that is the case, then, as may traditions are in danger, so is our morality.
Bible makes us follow it with belief, that it is truly correct, because we have nothing else.
Bible seems to me so complicated and so correct at showing human nature (really, there is every bit of human psyche in there) that it seems like something we should be learning from. It is clear and simple to understand in what we should or shouldn't be doing, complicated in everything else, more complicated than any other book for that matter. It is clearly written as a chronicle, not a tale from different authors, it doesn't strike me as a centuries long built conspiracy.
I haven't studied much from atheism, I've just seen what looks to me like real dangers that could arise from it.
You have skipped eloquently passed my actual point of contention, so I shall ask again,
"Can you demonstrate that no culture prior to the pre-Christian era developed similar morals ?"
Can you provide any objective evidence that peoples before the dawn of Christianity, did not have the same if not similar morals?
Can you objectively prove that morals haven't simply developed along side humanity?
Yes, I sort of did, I'm sorry for that. I have to say that I'm looking for justifications for atheism and not so much for Bible, which is more familiar to me (I want to pick the best from what is juxtaposing, not try to clear one out as perfect). What makes me worry is that even past religion there is a necessity to believe, in this case, ethics, which seems it could be even more ''blind'' than christianity, because christianity has at least this book people can't fully wrap their heads around (you have to admit, even if it's human and only human made, it's one of the most worthy literature we have, no matter how this worth is materialized or how someone decides to use it). In this case I have no actual reason to believe that morals have developed alongside humanity because there is no evidence of objective morals in humans and I don't quite see that morality has developed at all from even the earliest civilizations we know of. We are far from perfect in this today, people are really fucking immoral and really fucking stupid around. If there was a development before, why and when did it stop?
"I have to say that I'm looking for justifications for atheism"
Basically, atheism does not require justification. It is the answer to just one question, do you believe in a god?
Let me give you an example.
Do you believe in giant invisible farting bunnies? What is your justification for denying their existence?
The answer is exactly the same as the god question, that there is no evidence or proof of their existence.
As far as morals, it did not poof into existence, it is integral to our makeup as a social species.
Did you know that dogs and chimpanzees have morals? One component of morality is fair play, knowing that one individual is not being treated as well as another.
@Elemenalenal: "there is no evidence of objective morals in humans "
You don't know what you are talking about. Most human morality is objective. We created an entire legal system over objective morality and so has every culture on the planet regardless of the extent or power of their system of laws, rules or ethics. If you want to belong to a tribe, clan, society, subset of society, you must fit in and follow their code of moral and ethical behaviors. COMPLETELY OBJECTIVE, WRITTEN DOWN IN EMPLOYEE MANUALS, PENAL CODES, AND THE LAWS OF THE LAND.
The SECULAR HUMANISM movement has "Secular Morality" (COMPLETELY OBJECTIVE) that is based on well being and not some god who orders the extermination of pregnant women and babies in the same way Hitler ordered the extermination of the Jews/. Examples of "Objective Morality" are everywhere in society. YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT IN THE HELL YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT.
RE: " it's one of the most worthy literature " A book worthy of being called literature does not qualify it as a moral guide. One idea in no way supports the other. Perhaps you could tell us why the Bible is accepted as worthy literature. It has nothing to do with any moral cone, which by the way, is virtually non-existent as the murdering Jews bounce from war to war killing everyone they meet under the divine guidance of their psychopathic megalomaniac god.
RE: " I have no actual reason to believe that morals have developed alongside humanity." That just makes you blind, closed minded and ignorant. Thousands of research studies have been done on this exact topic. All you have demonstrated is that you do not have an education or the desire to learn.
SO YOU DON'T SOUND SO IGNORANT NEXT TIME -----
OBJECTIVE MORALITY: Objective morality, in the simplest terms, is the belief that morality is universal, meaning that it isn't up for interpretation. This is why Laws, Penal Codes, Workplace Rules are all clearly stated. If there is an objective morality in your bible it should apply to everyone equally. Find an objective moral value in your bible that is not violated by your god.
ABSOLUTE MORALITY: It holds that morals are inherent in the laws of the universe, the nature of humanity, the will of God or some other fundamental source. This is the morality you are trying to reference. The un-changeable laws of your tyrannical god. The alleged laws of the universe that are NOT contained in your holy book even though you want to pretend they are.
Does God give you moral laws because they are moral, or, are the laws god gives you automatically moral because of the simple fact he gives them to you? There is no morality in Divine Command Theory.
Do you really think you can come in here and spout nonsense to a bunch of Atheists who are more familiar with the bible and biblical teachings than you? Did you imagine the folks around here have not discussed these very same issues with thousands of believers be they Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or Other? Perhaps you should read a book prior to your next post so that you simply know what in the hell you are talking about?
Firstly, it bothers me that so many atheists get angry in discussions like this. I'm not trying to start a fight, I'm trying to understand.
I read Marquis de Sade some time ago, made me think. What would be the argument for someone to follow ethics and not just consider his own good and his own good only? I certainly know people who don't really give a shit about morals. Seems like no judgement would be adequate till there is breaking of a law, but law doesn't really define ethics.
And I regret if I misunderstood your intents from the first post. Unfortunately, you are/were grossly ignorant on atheism, and did not do any proper research. But that is on the past, and I hope we can heal any misunderstandings and move forward.
Imagine you are out with a few buddies, and one decides to visit the little boy's room. When he returns he states "wow, you should see this guy, he is twenty feet tall, no shit". And the expected response is disbelief. No way dude, I have to see this before I believe there is a guy twenty feet tall in the washroom.
And that is what religion is to us atheists, we have been faced with an extraordinary claim, and require some form of proof or evidence.
And for myself and many atheists, the bible is not the proof, in fact it is the claim. Peter, Luke, Mark, and John did not write the Synoptic Gospels. Like every word in the bible, it was written by unknown authors over an unknown number of years. There were no first-hand accounts on the story of jesus. At best they were written down at least 80 years after the cross.
Atheism is not a dogma or religion, what defines an atheist is a person who does not accept the god claim. And that does not mean most of us hate religion or deny god, we just have not been presented with enough evidence to be convinced. Still waiting to see that twenty foot dude.
Most of us atheists do have a moral compass, and it begins with the understanding that as a social species, we must work together to survive. Bang, there is it, a focal point, a beginning of the definition and following conclusions that lead to moral actions.
We can't just go around fucking each other over and killing on a whim
This video may help.
Yes, of course, but even if Bible or myself was aiming to prove the existence of God, which would be absurd in the sense that Bible relates to deadly sin as disbelief, not disagreement, that is not what I'm talking about here. What are arguments for the situation I described? That's where I've seen danger in disbelief of any greater judgment about ones life.
"greater judgment about ones life"
Unfortunately, I suspect this is where we can not agree. I cannot think of any greater judge of my own life than myself, while I suspect your answer is your god.
I am selfish, but I am smart enough to comprehend that I can not survive or enjoy happiness without other people. Thus I can not just act on any psychotic whim, else I would be killed or incarcerated. The very stupid person who does act in a psychotic manner is taken care of by society, they are killed in self defense of sent to prison, removed from any contact with society.
I understand that in order to live a full and happy life, my best strategy is to be on best terms with as many people as possible. Additionally, developing sympathy for others is additional to being on good terms with others.
I am sure you are familiar with the term "Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you've fed him for a lifetime."
I would rather understand why I need to act in a certain way than just blindly follow rules that I never think through carefully. That was demonstrated when I responded (reply #16) to your comment that following the ten commandments would make for a "perfect and self sustaining society".
Too many theists just blindly accepts pronouncements without thinking things through, I examine everything.
Good to hear you are one of those who properly value human relationships.
Thing is, not everyone does. If someone (and most people have met such) doesn't value them, for a stable system there must be arguments against unethical actions. We can do it only if one breaks the law, but if someone is just a self sustaining asshole snob? Intelligent enough to live as he pleases without anything to pin on him in law terms? Raised wrong, people can become villainous or just generally egoistic.
The law may be in accordance with most of morality, but it does not guarantee full compliance. You offered a valid example, a self sustaining asshole snob. If that person had a lot of money, but just walked by a person obviously starving, IMO that is being immoral. The asshole did not infringe on the law an iota, but that person was left to die for no good reason.
So the law may be a valid rough guide in determining moral ACTIONS, but is does not guarantee true moral guidance.
And maybe, that is the crux of my argument, that no one document can determine morality. I choose to accept that morality needs to be flexible, and determined by a baseline, which to me is "well being". Not only for myself, but others (because we must co-operate in order to survive).
In that case you agree that ethics are subjective so it comes with a potential danger when someone disagrees about right or wrong. There can be no valid arguments from any side so that can't be a stable system for society.
Also, in order to survive we can be very selfish.
That would be a subjective opinion you're offering of course, it's odd you don't see the paradox.
Can you validate that argument with objective evidence? Only stable secular societies and laws already exist, so you seem to be just making up false unevidenced claims. I think you'd have to be pretty stupid to believe that societies that enforce moratoriums on behaviours like murder, rape and theft aren't obviously more stable than any that do not.
True, but many of us are often selfless, so you're offering another open ended claim as if it typifies human behaviour, when in fact it does not.
I'm looking here for proof that there is this objective morality, I haven't found any evidence, so I decided to ask people who might know. I don't have evidence that there is or isn't.
We are not talking about laws for country to survive, we are talking about an individual to survive. I think, without afterlife there is no reason to believe it's necessary to be good to others, just live how you please, because this world is all there is and why not make the most of it even if it means being completely selfish.
"I think, without afterlife there is no reason to believe it's necessary to be good to others, just live how you please, because this world is all there is and why not make the most of it even if it means being completely selfish."
As an atheist I disagree with this statement. I do not have the threat of hell hanging over my head, but I still desire to be nice to my fellow man.
I care about my fellow man, I give a shit.
Do you know what causes me to stay up late at night and agonize? The fact that every five seconds some child dies of starvation. I will never know them, they will not impact my life, and vice versa. But wow, his bugs the living crap out of me constantly.
If all that stands between you going out raping and killing others is he threat of hell, then I urge you to sick to your religion.
You're not really getting my point. What is the reason an atheist should do what is ethical if he doesn't feel like it at the moment? As previously mentioned, there are selfish people a whole lot around, is there any argument at all to reason them into empathy or is it really arbitrary? Seems like many atheists believe that one must do what's right by basing it on some unidentifiable feeling of right and wrong from unknown origin, but that just depends on how this person is raised and what he is taught, which can be anything some sick shit with bad parenting decided.
@Elemenalenal: Nothing you have said is any different for a theist. "YES IT IS ARBITRARY." Were it written on the hearts of men like the theists imply, feral children would not exist, everyone would know the rules and there would be one religion, the clear evolutionary path of morality would not be as completely obvious as it is. People once had to live together for their mutual survival. From this interaction rules, laws, mores, and morality were constructed. Ideas of right and wrong were elevated to magical status so they could not be changed by each new leader and so the tribe, clan, group, had a sense of togetherness, sameness, and belonging.
The real question is ---- do we still need it in modern society?
Wrong, Bible does not imply we have it in our hearts, there would be no point for a commandments in that case.
Looking around at all the selfish and horrible people around today I actually think it's better to have something that stands for non-flexible ethics. I don't think morality has evolved at all, better said, there is no evidence morality has evolved, perhaps it has even degraded.
"there is no evidence morality has evolved"
Slavery has been severely curtailed in the last few hundred years, women are no longer treated like second class citizens, and in most civilized nations child labor is illegal.
The bible supported all of of those heinous acts.
El Salvador and Brazil are very theistic nations, and their murder rate and violent crime rate is alarming.
Following excerpt from https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-1101-zuckerman-violence-secu...
It is the highly secularized countries that tend to fare the best in terms of crime rates, prosperity, equality, freedom, democracy, women’s rights, human rights, educational attainment and life expectancy. (Although there are exceptions, such as Vietnam and China, which have famously poor human rights records.) And those nations with the highest rates of religiosity tend to be the most problem-ridden in terms of high violent crime rates, high infant mortality rates, high poverty rates and high rates of corruption.
David Killens: Um,,,, slavery,,,,, someone pointed this out to me recently. Just Saying..... Do you know slavery is completely legal in the USA? Are you aware of the fact that there are more slaves in the world today than at any other point in history?
The Amendment that supposedly ended slavery was the 13th amendment. What does it say?
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, EXCEPT AS PUNISHMENT FOR A CRIME WHERE THE PARTY HAS BEEN DULY CONVICTED, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."
This is why the privatization of prisons is so popular. Free or nearly free labor. If the cons don't work, they don't get privileges. "Penal labor in the United States, including a form of slavery or involuntary servitude, is explicitly allowed by the 13th Amendment of the U.S"
The Rise of Modern Slavery
Slavery has existed for thousands of years, but economic and social forces have enabled its alarming resurgence in the past few decades by increasing people’s vulnerability.
Modern Slaves Are Cheap and Disposable
New slavery has two chief characteristics—it’s cheap and it’s disposable. Slaves today are cheaper than ever. In 1850, an average slave in the American South cost the equivalent of $40,000 in today’s money. Today a slave costs about $90 on average worldwide. (Source: Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy. See all Free the Slaves books.)
Just saying.... :-)
Good point Cognostic, I shall have to revise my position.
What a truly absurd claim, do you see any gladiator arenas around, how about dog fights, bear baiting, fox hunting. You must live on the moon to make such an idiotic claim.
You also keep making the unevidenced assertion morality is worse now than in past eras,, but this is demonstrably false, even after two world wars and the horrific slaughterer they entailed, we are less likely to die a violent death now than at any point in human history.
The Better Angels of Our Nature: A History of Violence and Humanity
You also keep ignoring the fact that christian morality is not in any way rigid, there are literally thousands of different sects and denominations, and they can't agree on what they claim their deity wants. In fact throughout christian history countless lives have been lost through just such disagreements.
You still haven't offered any examples of objectively moral actions?
Or explained why things like murder and rape are wrong?
Before gladiators there were ancient Greece and Egypt, no less morality than we have today. I'd say Egypt had one of the most harmony civilizations have had and no world wars were necessary there to archive it. I wouldn't say we are further now. You can't just cherry pick bad examples, you know.
I'm not really saying with certainty something has degraded, just my personal hunch.
I think we should believe Bible, not the sects what people have made from it, and Bible is very clear in rigid morality. It is a bit absurd to value this book by how people have exploited it, people exploit everything, it's common sense.
I base my moral actions on the ten commandments, I hold them for objective. I believe that murder is wrong because it is written in a book I respect and value more than my own philosophy, not because I have a feeling that it is wrong I should believe instead.
So murder is wrong...but stoning to death women who aren't virgins at marriage and impudent children outside the village walls is quite moral?
Killing all the men of a tribe that do not speak like you is quite moral ? Taking all the young girls for "yourselves" whose parents and brothers you have just murdered who "have not known a man" is quite moral?
Getting your dad drunk and getting pregnant by him is quite moral?
Love to hear your take on that....
Read the commandments and decide. You'd have to be pretty dumb to just follow anything that happens in Bible and relate to it as right, when there is clearly stated what we should and shouldn't do.
What a fucking cop out...I asked questions and you run away.
"You'd have to be pretty dumb to just follow anything that happens in Bible and relate to it as right, when there is clearly stated what we should and shouldn't do."
Do you understand how the last part of your sentence directly contradicts the first part?
To which I refer to my previous statement that the bible is the all time multiple choice book. And that is borne out by the fact that there are many sects with very different interpretations of the same book.
So what do you have to take as a relevant guide? For most they just pick and choose what works for them and for the other passages in the bible it is "You'd have to be pretty dumb to just follow anything that happens in Bible and relate to it as right, when there is clearly stated what we should and shouldn't do."
You chose the ten commandments, and believe that should be the sole guide for all of humanity. You do not want to deal with all the other parts of the bible that condone murdering your own children and owning slaves, and just dismiss it.
Guess what sunshine, some nutcase living just a few doors down from you decides that Deuteronomy 21:18-21 takes precedence over your ten commandments, and they are just as correct (or wrong) as you are.
All you have done is claim that the ten commandments is worthy of following, yet have provided anything to support your position. You appear incapable of proving your assertion you just keep repeating it.