Morality: Theistic vs Secular

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doG's picture
Thank you.

Thank you.

Tin-Man's picture


Pretty cool stuff. Thanks.

Terraphon's picture
I'm guessing that this thread

I'm guessing that this thread isn't old enough that replying to it would be considering "necro'ing" it. If I'm wrong, please make me aware of the standards and I will adjust my expectations accordingly.

I don't know of any debates other than the ones you've mentioned, and I have enjoyed those (Except Matt V Sye...that was infuriating and I wanted to slap STB every time his mouth flapped). If I come across others, though, I'll let you know.

So, on to the questions:

"How do you define morality?"

I define morality the same as the dictionary: "Principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior."

I don't think that's what you're asking, though, so I will add this:

A moral act is that which is the most beneficial to society. I don't believe that morality is absolute or static, I believe that what is and is not a "moral act" changes, based on the situation at hand.

Matt D. made a very good argument, once. We can all agree that, in general, it is immoral to break into a store and take something from there. Generally speaking, this is also an illegal act.

Let's assume, however, that you're walking down the sidewalk, someday, and someone has a heart attack right there in front of you. While calling for emergency services, you notice that the store you're in front of, which is closed, has an Automatic Emergency Defibrillator hanging on the wall. Is it immoral to break the glass, take the AED and save the person's life?

Seems simple but it may not be...If that person is an upstanding citizen, yes; It is most likely a moral act.

But what if that person is a serial killer and, since you've saved them, they get to go on and murder another 20 people? Is it then immoral?

So we have to ask ourselves if morality must be based on the best information we have, at the time. I think it is. I also think intent enters into it, to a very small degree.

Where does your morality come from? God? A holy book? Cheese? Empathy?

My morality comes from my own internal sense of what is right and what is wrong and is, in my experienced opinion, fluid. It's a mix of empathy and judging what is the best for the most at any given time.

Which is superior, secular or theistic morality, and why?

I feel (subjectively, of course) that secular morality is superior. I believe that secular morality has us doing the right things for the right reasons instead of doing the right things because we'll burn in hell if we don't. I also believe that the fluid and rational nature of secular morality makes it more likely that a person will do the right thing in more circumstances because they don't have to worry about "is saving this person's life immoral because I have to 'steal' to do it?".

When confronted with an opponent, how would you argue for your position on this matter?

I would use the things I've stated here. If that didn't work, I'd stare at them awkwardly and make silly, high-pitched noises every time they try to speak, until they get frustrated and give up, then declare myself the victor. That's kind of what theists do, anyway, just usually in a lower pitch.

Turn-about is fair-play, no?

Cognostic's picture
Old threads get drug up all

Old threads get drug up all the time. Not to worry. Another option; however, would be simply starting a new one on the same or a similar topic.

Your version of morality sounds quite rational.

Terraphon's picture


"Your version of morality sounds quite rational."

Thanks, Cog. I like to think I'm a pretty rational guy. Most of the time, at least.

Cognostic's picture
Your posts seem spot on and

Your posts seem spot on and quite rational. I think you will fit in fine around here with the crazies that we get. Another voice of rational reason is always appreciated;.

Terraphon's picture
Oh, if only it were something

Oh, if only it were something we could bottle and hand out to the aforementioned crazies...


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