Religion isn't the mere belief in a creator
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"harming others is not always evil. Unjustified harm is perhaps what you are referring to"
Harming another is unjustified, no matter the situation. Even if defended under the pretense of law, killing a murderer leaves you no better than them: you have taken a life. Regardless of the reasons, you have preformed an inexcusable act. Nothing can justify that.
Are you saying that self defense or defense of others from unprovoked and unjustified harm is never ok? Should the police officers in Las Vegas have not attempted to stop the shooter because they might have hurt him?
You can self defend without lethality. Cops can subdue a person without resorting to lethal tactics.
To take the life of another.......... That is something you can never hope to wash from your mind. Something you can never hope to truly justify. And something that very few could forgive themselves for doing.
And if you are one of those who could forgive themselves for such an act, I hope to never meet you. No matter what justification you might try to offer for the act.
Have you ever been in the position to have to make that decision?
Yes. Serving in the military tends to result in that.
So, then, is telling lies immoral?
@AJ777: "how do you justify your beliefs about what is good and what is evil without a moral authority?"
First of all, the history of religion, especially Christianity, shows that it has absolutely no claim to be a source of moral standards. Religions are belief systems created by people to serve particular power structures at particular times in history. There's nothing universal about them except a reliance on power and fear. The history of religion is the history of cruelty and barbarism. It doesn't matter how meek and mild a religion's founder was. A religion is a tool of power, and ultimately power-hungry evil men will gather around it like flies on shit.
So if we need a universal basis for morality, religion is the last place we should look.
In my opinion morality evolves in families and society. It evolves through the accumulation and acceptance of certain truths. One of those truths is the "Golden Rule." Treat other people as you want them to treat you. That dates back at least as far as Confucius and Buddha. Another is the right of all people to "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." I'm not sure who first thought of that, but it's best expessed in the American Declaration of Independence. Another one is "I would not open windows into men's souls," an expression of tolerance by Elizabeth I.
Each time someone finds one of these pieces of the truth jigsaw, our collective morality gets better. The authority of those truths is enforced through the resistance we encounter from others if we try to violate them.
Angie I’m not sure what you meant in the first paragraph of your post.
Hi, @Aj777. What exactly is that you don't understand about my first paragraph? Is it the fact that you get your moral principles from the same place I do? That's not my theory, there are anthropological and psychological reasons to justify that.
If you get your morals from the Bible, instead of current society, as it should be, you'd be a person I never wanted to meet... Leviticus is one hell of abomination as a moral book.
If a criminal was unjustly beating you, you might be happy to see a police officer cause harm to that criminal Of course not! I'd be relieved to see that person in prison, if that should be the punishment. I'm not fan of "lex talionis" (an eye for an eye). Our legal systems have evolved for a reason...
Also, when we are kids, during certain phase, when you hit your head against a wall (*) and start to cry, your mum hits the wall back ("bad wall, bad wall") and you feel relieved... Magical thinking (scientific term for that behavioral phase) is something we're supposed to get over when we are older.
Keith, also on what evidence do you base the claim that theism is not true?
Answer my question.
Keith, yes I think lying is immoral. Not because my opinion makes it immoral but an external law or something outside of myself or society makes it so.
That makes you an evil man AJ777 - by your own reasoning.
Let me ask you another question. If you believe that your god made the universe, tell me why he did it.
I agree, we have both told lies among many other evil acts. Again, why is good and evil more than just opinion or preference in an atheistic worldview.
No. You answer MY questions.
I’m sorry which question again sir?
The last one I asked you.
Sorry didn’t see that one. God created the universe for the same reason many people have children. To share his life with and love them, which ultimately produces more goodness.
Where does it say that in your bible?
Besides, you haven't answered my first question. I asked you why your god created the universe - not why he created mankind.
I'm waiting AJ777
I can only conclude that you're not only evil but dishonest too. Which makes you a bit of a Sinner?
I will answer in a few minutes. About to drive sonewhere
I’m more than a bit of a sinner. I don’t however see where I’m being dishonest with you right now. If you are referring to the Protestant Christian Bible here are a few links to a good website that answers your question about where in the Bible does it say why god created man and the universe.
I don't want to know what your religious books say. I don't want to know what your religious teachers stuffed your head with. I want to know what YOU think. And I want you to be honest about it.
It's 02.30 here in England and I'm going to bed. If you want to, we'll take this up tomorrow.
Keith, I’d like to have a conversation with you, which involves you bearing a burden of proof in defending or explaining your views. This seems a bit one sided.
"which involves you bearing a burden of proof in defending or explaining your views."
If the conversation involves religion, the burden of proof always falls on the believer. So if that's the conversation topic your asking for, I'm afraid you've asked for something that is impossible.
As I've said elsewhere, the burden of proof falls on the claimant, not the disputor.
In the case of religion, the believer always has the burden of proof, because the believer is the claimant, claiming that god exists. The non believer is the disputor, who disputes the correctness of the believers claim.
Hence, a conversation or debate about religion will always have the burden of proof on the believers shoulders.
Are you not making a claim as an atheist that God does not exist? To deny is to affirm the opposite of that which is denied.
No: I'm saying you haven't a leg to stand on when you say "God exists". If you can find a leg, then that dispute would be rescinded. But.......... You haven't any. The idea of a god has no base upon which to stand. No scientific evidence, no (impartial) logical arguments, no verified observations.... Nothing.
The idea of a god cannot stand up to logic and reason. In coming onto this website, and debating, you fight a battle you cannot win.
You are a believer in the atheistic world view, as I am a believer in the monotheistic world view.
No, I do not belive. One does not belive in fact: they know it.