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The Rise of Atheism and Agnosticism

1246

Posts

  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Maybe as more people realize that morality can be a personal thing, and not imposed by a religion or a supreme being, they'll consider the option of atheism. I think that this image of "atheism=amorality" is one of the most damaging things to the atheist "cause" (to whatever extent there is one.)

    And any time that anyone says that, this is what you need to say:

    "An Atheist loves his fellow man instead of a god.
    An Atheist knows that heaven is something for which we should work now--here on earth--for all men together to enjoy.
    An Atheist knows that he can get no help through prayer but that he must find within himself the inner conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue it and to enjoy it.
    An Atheist knows that only in a knowledge of himself and a knowledge of his fellow man can he find the understanding that will help to a life of fulfillment.
    An Atheist seeks to know himself and his fellow rather than to know a god.
    An Atheist understands that a hospital must be built instead of a church. An Atheist knows that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said.
    An Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death.
    He wants disease conquered, poverty vanquished, war eliminated.
    He wants man to understand, love and accept all of mankind.
    He wants an ethical way of life.
    He knows that we cannot rely on a god, channel action into prayer, or hope for an end to our troubles in a hereafter.
    He knows that we are not only our brother's keepers--but keepers of our own lives foremost, that we are responsible persons and that the job is here and the time is now."

    (with much props to Madalyn Murray O'Hair for being able to describe it in that manner).

    camo_sig2.png
  • Zul the ConquerorZul the Conqueror Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Jragghen wrote:
    Maybe as more people realize that morality can be a personal thing, and not imposed by a religion or a supreme being, they'll consider the option of atheism. I think that this image of "atheism=amorality" is one of the most damaging things to the atheist "cause" (to whatever extent there is one.)

    And any time that anyone says that, this is what you need to say:

    "An Atheist loves his fellow man instead of a god.
    An Atheist knows that heaven is something for which we should work now--here on earth--for all men together to enjoy.
    An Atheist knows that he can get no help through prayer but that he must find within himself the inner conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue it and to enjoy it.
    An Atheist knows that only in a knowledge of himself and a knowledge of his fellow man can he find the understanding that will help to a life of fulfillment.
    An Atheist seeks to know himself and his fellow rather than to know a god.
    An Atheist understands that a hospital must be built instead of a church. An Atheist knows that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said.
    An Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death.
    He wants disease conquered, poverty vanquished, war eliminated.
    He wants man to understand, love and accept all of mankind.
    He wants an ethical way of life.
    He knows that we cannot rely on a god, channel action into prayer, or hope for an end to our troubles in a hereafter.
    He knows that we are not only our brother's keepers--but keepers of our own lives foremost, that we are responsible persons and that the job is here and the time is now."

    (with much props to Madalyn Murray O'Hair for being able to describe it in that manner).

    That's quite awesome. I think it articulates well the feeling that I have, that being an atheist doesn't mean being a robot. We can (somewhat irrationally) put the well-being of others ahead of our own, even if we aren't doing it for God.

    Vassal.png
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Lots of religious people I've debated with online have more or less (some explictly) stated that if god was proven to be a myth, they would go out and commit a whole bunch of crimes, because there would be no consequences for them, since hell wouldn't exist.

    I think I'm a more moral person than those sorts because I don't need the fear of eternal punishment to keep me from doing bad things, and to do good things for people.

    Gamertag: PrimusD | Rock Band DLC | GW:OttW - arrcd | WLD - Thortar
  • YosemiteSamYosemiteSam Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    DarkPrimus wrote:
    Lots of religious people I've debated with online have more or less (some explictly) stated that if god was proven to be a myth, they would go out and commit a whole bunch of crimes, because there would be no consequences for them, since hell wouldn't exist.

    I think I'm a more moral person than those sorts because I don't need the fear of eternal punishment to keep me from doing bad things, and to do good things for people.
    Maybe, but from a broader social perspective isn't religion useful for these kinds of people?

    We are all very lucky to live in a world where there is this much music.
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    DarkPrimus wrote:
    Lots of religious people I've debated with online have more or less (some explictly) stated that if god was proven to be a myth, they would go out and commit a whole bunch of crimes, because there would be no consequences for them, since hell wouldn't exist.

    I think I'm a more moral person than those sorts because I don't need the fear of eternal punishment to keep me from doing bad things, and to do good things for people.
    Maybe, but from a broader social perspective isn't religion useful for these kinds of people?
    I think those people are lying to themselves. If the only reason they don't commit crimes is because of heaven and hell, they are insane.

  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    DarkPrimus wrote:
    Lots of religious people I've debated with online have more or less (some explictly) stated that if god was proven to be a myth, they would go out and commit a whole bunch of crimes, because there would be no consequences for them, since hell wouldn't exist.

    I think I'm a more moral person than those sorts because I don't need the fear of eternal punishment to keep me from doing bad things, and to do good things for people.
    Maybe, but from a broader social perspective isn't religion useful for these kinds of people?

    i think it's fairly safe to say that their ethical intuitions have been blinded and blunted by religious dogma. they may very well need religion now, but there is nothing significant to suggest that they started out that way.

    2ezikn6.jpg
  • GorakGorak Registered User
    edited November 2006
    DarkPrimus wrote:
    Lots of religious people I've debated with online have more or less (some explictly) stated that if god was proven to be a myth, they would go out and commit a whole bunch of crimes, because there would be no consequences for them, since hell wouldn't exist.

    I think I'm a more moral person than those sorts because I don't need the fear of eternal punishment to keep me from doing bad things, and to do good things for people.
    Maybe, but from a broader social perspective isn't religion useful for these kinds of people?
    Prison is useful for these kinds of people.

  • Mad_MorlockMad_Morlock Registered User
    edited November 2006
    My biggest beef with religion is just the way God is defined.

    Although born Roman Catholic, I prefer to Muslim idea of a divine reality rather than the traditional anthropomorphism introduced by the idea of a seperate divine being. Two different definitions for God.

    However, the traditional christian ethos of days gone by was actually closed to the muslim realization.

    From the gospel of St. Thomas:
    Jesus said: If those who lead you say unto you: Behold, the Kingdom is in heaven, then the birds of the heaven will be before you. If they say unto you: It is in the sea, then the fish will be before you. But the Kingdom is within you, and it is outside of you. When you know yourselves, then shall you be known, and you shall know that you are the sons of the living Father. But if ye do not know yourselves, then you are in poverty, and you are poverty.

    Also:
    Jesus said: Know what is before thy face, and what hidden from thee shall be revealed unto thee; for there is nothing hidden which shall not be made manifest.

    That is a much closer to the traditional muslim view of the divine reality of god than the modern christian views.

    Makes you wonder at what point the real schism occurred to create the modern bullshit ritual and rhetoric.

    sanstodo wrote:
    Or in other words: there is a box. It is blue. I say it's red, you say it's black. I am wrong. My being wrong does not suddenly make you right.
  • YosemiteSamYosemiteSam Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Gorak, titmouse: You're missing the point. Even if they are truly bad people, it's still better for society, and for themselves, if something is suppressing that.
    i think it's fairly safe to say that their ethical intuitions have been blinded and blunted by religious dogma. they may very well need religion now, but there is nothing significant to suggest that they started out that way.
    Intuitively I think you might be right, but it would be pretty much impossible to get any evidence in either direction.

    We are all very lucky to live in a world where there is this much music.
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Gorak, titmouse: You're missing the point. Even if they are truly bad people, it's still better for society, and for themselves, if something is suppressing that.
    Nearly all of the people who are saying that are probably lying to themselves. They may say they would commit crimes, but that doesn't mean they would if push came to shove.

  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Gorak, titmouse: You're missing the point. Even if they are truly bad people, it's still better for society, and for themselves, if something is suppressing that.
    i think it's fairly safe to say that their ethical intuitions have been blinded and blunted by religious dogma. they may very well need religion now, but there is nothing significant to suggest that they started out that way.
    Intuitively I think you might be right, but it would be pretty much impossible to get any evidence in either direction.

    the relative absence of rampant crime and anarchy in the more nonreligious nations of the world would lend some credibility in one direction, i'm sure.

    2ezikn6.jpg
  • YosemiteSamYosemiteSam Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Titmouse wrote:
    Gorak, titmouse: You're missing the point. Even if they are truly bad people, it's still better for society, and for themselves, if something is suppressing that.
    Nearly all of the people who are saying that are probably lying to themselves. They may say they would commit crimes, but that doesn't mean they would if push came to shove.
    Oh, I get what you're saying. That's not really a debatable point, though, because there's no way to prove or disprove it. But I think you might be surprised how many people need an external moral authority.

    We are all very lucky to live in a world where there is this much music.
  • PrincepsPrinceps Registered User
    edited November 2006
    My biggest beef with religion is just the way God is defined.

    Although born Roman Catholic, I prefer to Muslim idea of a divine reality rather than the traditional anthropomorphism introduced by the idea of a seperate divine being. Two different definitions for God.

    However, the traditional christian ethos of days gone by was actually closed to the muslim realization.

    From the gospel of St. Thomas:
    Jesus said: If those who lead you say unto you: Behold, the Kingdom is in heaven, then the birds of the heaven will be before you. If they say unto you: It is in the sea, then the fish will be before you. But the Kingdom is within you, and it is outside of you. When you know yourselves, then shall you be known, and you shall know that you are the sons of the living Father. But if ye do not know yourselves, then you are in poverty, and you are poverty.

    Also:
    Jesus said: Know what is before thy face, and what hidden from thee shall be revealed unto thee; for there is nothing hidden which shall not be made manifest.

    That is a much closer to the traditional muslim view of the divine reality of god than the modern christian views.

    Makes you wonder at what point the real schism occurred to create the modern bullshit ritual and rhetoric.

    You're talking about the difference between orthodox Christian belief and the much less popular Gnostic beliefs. The Gospel of Thomas has as much to do with traditional Christianity as fire has to do with water.

    It goes like this
    The fourth, the fifth
    The minor fall, the major lift
    The baffled king composing Hallelujah
  • edited November 2006
    As an atheist I can't even imagine a world without religion. Well, to be specific I couldn't imagine a world with religion falling apart and going away. I think most people need religion to define and accept their reality.

    I guess I believe that there will always be religion and I'm completely okay with that so long as there isn't ever a witch hunt for those that don't believe (at least, anywhere near me heh).

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    DarkPrimus wrote:
    Lots of religious people I've debated with online have more or less (some explictly) stated that if god was proven to be a myth, they would go out and commit a whole bunch of crimes, because there would be no consequences for them, since hell wouldn't exist.

    I think I'm a more moral person than those sorts because I don't need the fear of eternal punishment to keep me from doing bad things, and to do good things for people.
    Maybe, but from a broader social perspective isn't religion useful for these kinds of people?

    No, from a broader social perspective, secular laws are useful for those kind of people.

    I prefer to have the misanthropes locked away rather than hiding out in society, poisoning the well of public opinion.

    Gamertag: PrimusD | Rock Band DLC | GW:OttW - arrcd | WLD - Thortar
  • Haggis_0wnzHaggis_0wnz Registered User
    edited November 2006
    I don't think we'll see so much a rise in atheism or agnosticism because of the major population in America. As much as it pains me to say it, many people are more comfortable with religion because they don't seek to find new ideas. I would agree that it will probably rise in the more liberal parts of America. That's more possible than to say that America, as a whole, will be more accepting of atheism or agnosticism. We can't forget about the bible belt. Religion is more of a carrying on of past generations and not so much about what they think makes more sense. People claim that atheists such as myself are the proud ones. I see it the other way around. <img class=" title=":wink:" class="bbcode_smiley" />

    THE FREAkin ROD!!!
  • MahnmutMahnmut Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Actually, I think that the Catholic Church recognizes his work as divinely inspired and treats some or all of it as canon. I don't know anything about Gnosticism and I don't see how this ties in with the rest of the thread, though, so I'll forbear to comment further.

    I'm surprised that people can get through high school with the idea that morality can only come from God. Philosophers who think otherwise have shown up in my English, History, and Political Science classes since middle school at least. :| People who spout off that they'd murder and rape in God's absence are probably not being entirely truthful, especially since that attitude only seems compatible with fire-and-brimstone churches and not with any branch of Christianity that actually listens to Christ's teachings.

    Steam/LoL: Jericho89
  • Haggis_0wnzHaggis_0wnz Registered User
    edited November 2006
    Merovingi wrote:
    As an atheist I can't even imagine a world without religion. Well, to be specific I couldn't imagine a world with religion falling apart and going away. I think most people need religion to define and accept their reality.

    I guess I believe that there will always be religion and I'm completely okay with that so long as there isn't ever a witch hunt for those that don't believe (at least, anywhere near me heh).

    i very much disagree with the fact that people need religion. as an atheist as well, i think that finding a definition of reality can be found without it. of course many people will assume they need it, be we all know what happens when you assume :P

    THE FREAkin ROD!!!
  • Mad_MorlockMad_Morlock Registered User
    edited November 2006
    Atheism and Agnosticism are lazy ways out.

    Agnosticism - Don't know.

    Atheism - Don't care.

    Gnosis is a good idea. Knowing, searching, knowing more.

    The other two just seem to be lazy ways out.

    sanstodo wrote:
    Or in other words: there is a box. It is blue. I say it's red, you say it's black. I am wrong. My being wrong does not suddenly make you right.
  • Haggis_0wnzHaggis_0wnz Registered User
    edited November 2006
    Atheism and Agnosticism are lazy ways out.

    Agnosticism - Don't know.

    Atheism - Don't care.

    Gnosis is a good idea. Knowing, searching, knowing more.

    The other two just seem to be lazy ways out.

    You apparently don't understand atheism. It's not that we don't care, we just reject the idea of religion. Definition of the word atheism is just that. "A" negating the term "theism." Same with agnoticism, "A" negating the greek term "gnosis," stating that they do not know. It's not that we're NOT looking for an answer, we just don't see how organized religion can possibly provide us with answers. Lazy? Not at all.

    THE FREAkin ROD!!!
  • JebuJebu Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Since when is admitting you don't know something the same thing as giving up trying to figure it out? I find it more valuable personally to say, "I don't know," and to go from there.

  • YosemiteSamYosemiteSam Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    DarkPrimus wrote:
    Maybe, but from a broader social perspective isn't religion useful for these kinds of people?

    No, from a broader social perspective, secular laws are useful for those kind of people.
    DarkPrimus wrote:
    Lots of religious people I've debated with online have more or less (some explictly) stated that if god was proven to be a myth, they would go out and commit a whole bunch of crimes, because there would be no consequences for them, since hell wouldn't exist.

    Apparently not. And why is locking up people who are capable of functioning in society, maybe even contributing to it (if not intellectually), preferable to letting them believe what they want if it keeps them in check?

    I mean, really. You're trying to say that we should lock up people who disagree with you.

    We are all very lucky to live in a world where there is this much music.
  • GodGod Registered User
    edited November 2006
    Actually, I thought he was trying to say that we should lock up people who go around stealing/raping/killing because they're going to die one day, and who gives a fuck then.

    Though you correctly pointed out that "secular laws" may not be enough if people really would go out and do terrible things just because they didn't believe in heaven or hell.

    sky.JPG
  • Zul the ConquerorZul the Conqueror Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    God wrote:
    Though you correctly pointed out that "secular laws" may not be enough if people really would go out and do terrible things just because they didn't believe in heaven or hell.

    Well they will believe in federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison when we send them there. Which is almost as good.

    Vassal.png
  • YosemiteSamYosemiteSam Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    God wrote:
    Though you correctly pointed out that "secular laws" may not be enough if people really would go out and do terrible things just because they didn't believe in heaven or hell.

    Well they will believe in federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison when we send them there. Which is almost as good.
    That's pretty horrible. You really think it's better to send people to prison to "learn their lesson" than it is to prevent them from committing crimes in the first place, even if you don't personally agree with the religion that does that prevention?

    You do get points for referencing Office Space though.

    We are all very lucky to live in a world where there is this much music.
  • JebuJebu Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    God wrote:
    Though you correctly pointed out that "secular laws" may not be enough if people really would go out and do terrible things just because they didn't believe in heaven or hell.

    Well they will believe in federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison when we send them there. Which is almost as good.
    You're trying to say that we should lock up people who disagree with you.

    Can we please come to some understanding that not all religious people would be completely amoral if they didn't believe in God? It's not like they lost their humanity by praying, guys.

    Honestly, if God was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to not exist, all religious people would go nuts for a little while. This is not to say that they would become heartless criminals forever, it would just be devastating and world-altering. And I really feel like whoever made that point to DarkPrimus originally was just being hyperbolic for the sake of arguing.

  • Mad_MorlockMad_Morlock Registered User
    edited November 2006
    Now what would happen if someone could completely and perfectly prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God does exist?

    What would happen then?

    sanstodo wrote:
    Or in other words: there is a box. It is blue. I say it's red, you say it's black. I am wrong. My being wrong does not suddenly make you right.
  • MahnmutMahnmut Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    I'd be in church.

    I might still question his apparently immoral doctrine. He'd have no trouble explaining it, right?

    Were you suggesting something?

    Steam/LoL: Jericho89
  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS
    edited November 2006
    Now what would happen if someone could completely and perfectly prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God does exist?

    What would happen then?

    People would shrug and then go to work on the subways and highways that God built.

  • Zul the ConquerorZul the Conqueror Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    God wrote:
    Though you correctly pointed out that "secular laws" may not be enough if people really would go out and do terrible things just because they didn't believe in heaven or hell.

    Well they will believe in federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison when we send them there. Which is almost as good.
    That's pretty horrible. You really think it's better to send people to prison to "learn their lesson" than it is to prevent them from committing crimes in the first place, even if you don't personally agree with the religion that does that prevention?

    You do get points for referencing Office Space though.

    I'm not suggesting that we ask all Christians "would you commit heinous crimes without the fear of God?" and if they say "yes", off to prison they go.

    What I'm saying is that no matter what someone's reasons are for commiting a heinous crime - whether they're psychopathic or "Well, I lost my faith in God and no longer had a reason to fear divine punishment", they will be punished by society.

    So if we posit that there is no God, I find it to be a poor argument that religion should continue to exist because it provides a moral framework for people who would otherwise act immorally.

    Here's another way to look at it: when someone commits a crime, we send them to prison where they can't do it again. We don't send them to Bible Camp to find God. So if taking God out of the picture causes you to act immorally, too bad, you've commited a crime and you're going to pay for it.

    I don't think it's society's place to (hypothetically) lie to people to instill morals in them.

    Vassal.png
  • GodGod Registered User
    edited November 2006
    Well, you have a good point except that I don't want to be robbed or killed. Now, I'm taking it as kind of a given that religion keeps some people from doing bad things that they otherwise might do. So, if I had a genie lamp that made religion disappear tomorrow, and all of a sudden rates of violent crimes doubled, I'd be wishing for religion back. Wouldn't you?

    sky.JPG
  • YosemiteSamYosemiteSam Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    God wrote:
    Well, you have a good point except that I don't want to be robbed or killed. Now, I'm taking it as kind of a given that religion keeps some people from doing bad things that they otherwise might do. So, if I had a genie lamp that made religion disappear tomorrow, and all of a sudden rates of violent crimes doubled, I'd be wishing for religion back. Wouldn't you?
    This is my point.

    Also: remind me why we are positing that there is no god?

    We are all very lucky to live in a world where there is this much music.
  • ScooterScooter Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Now what would happen if someone could completely and perfectly prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God does exist?

    What would happen then?

    Well, it depends on if we know a specific religion is right, or just that a higher being exists. If you don't know which religion is right, it's still just a crapshoot which one to choose, and it's possible none of them are. But if it was specific...I don't think I'd start loving Jesus just because I found out he was the son of god. I'd probably end up going to Hell in protest of the whole system.

  • YosemiteSamYosemiteSam Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    Scooter wrote:
    I'd probably end up going to Hell in protest of the whole system.
    Now that is spite.

    We are all very lucky to live in a world where there is this much music.
  • IloroKamouIloroKamou Registered User
    edited November 2006
    God wrote:
    Well, you have a good point except that I don't want to be robbed or killed. Now, I'm taking it as kind of a given that religion keeps some people from doing bad things that they otherwise might do. So, if I had a genie lamp that made religion disappear tomorrow, and all of a sudden rates of violent crimes doubled, I'd be wishing for religion back. Wouldn't you?

    Actually, I'd use my other two wishes to, #2, instill in everyone a system of morals based upon the altruistic desire to benefit society as a whole and respect fellow humans as people, and #3, in an act of supreme irony, to be made into a deity.

    "There are some that only employ words for the purpose of disguising their thoughts."
  • YosemiteSamYosemiteSam Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    IloroKamou wrote:
    God wrote:
    Well, you have a good point except that I don't want to be robbed or killed. Now, I'm taking it as kind of a given that religion keeps some people from doing bad things that they otherwise might do. So, if I had a genie lamp that made religion disappear tomorrow, and all of a sudden rates of violent crimes doubled, I'd be wishing for religion back. Wouldn't you?

    Actually, I'd use my other two wishes to, #2, instill in everyone a system of morals based upon the altruistic desire to benefit society as a whole and respect fellow humans as people, and #3, in an act of supreme irony, to be made into a deity.
    Those are pretty useless hypotheticals. We can debate whether or not religion is a good thing given the morality that people already have, but we're not going to get far debating whether people should be more moral. So, given that we can't magically change other people's moral systems, the question is still valid.

    We are all very lucky to live in a world where there is this much music.
  • GodGod Registered User
    edited November 2006
    God wrote:
    Well, you have a good point except that I don't want to be robbed or killed. Now, I'm taking it as kind of a given that religion keeps some people from doing bad things that they otherwise might do. So, if I had a genie lamp that made religion disappear tomorrow, and all of a sudden rates of violent crimes doubled, I'd be wishing for religion back. Wouldn't you?
    This is my point.

    Also: remind me why we are positing that there is no god?

    Well, good then. Also, I didn't know we were positing that.

    sky.JPG
  • Mad_MorlockMad_Morlock Registered User
    edited November 2006
    No, no... I'm not providing proof.

    However, the Muslim and Gnostic point of view (and many others) is that God is actually the divine reality through which we all move. Therefore, using their definition of God, denying God would then be tantamount to denying reality.

    The purpose behind gnosis is seeking enlightenment from with, as part of the divine creation of being. This is much closer to the views of Eastern faiths than anything produced by the West.

    Morality itself doesn't really come into the picture, other than being defined as a "bad thing" in God's book. The genesis myth is supposed to be God's way of naysaying man's assumption of a moral code, eating the apple and gaining knowledge of good and evil.

    sanstodo wrote:
    Or in other words: there is a box. It is blue. I say it's red, you say it's black. I am wrong. My being wrong does not suddenly make you right.
  • Zul the ConquerorZul the Conqueror Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    God wrote:
    Well, you have a good point except that I don't want to be robbed or killed. Now, I'm taking it as kind of a given that religion keeps some people from doing bad things that they otherwise might do. So, if I had a genie lamp that made religion disappear tomorrow, and all of a sudden rates of violent crimes doubled, I'd be wishing for religion back. Wouldn't you?
    This is my point.

    Also: remind me why we are positing that there is no god?

    I have to admit I'm starting to lose track of what precisely we're talking about here. If we're discussing whether, independly of its veracity, religion is worthwhile because it provides otherwise immoral people morals, I say no. Secular society can provide morals, and protect us from those without morals, at least as well as religion can. In fact, secular society has the power to punish in the here-and-now, which arguably, in the end, has more power to protect us than threats of the afterlife.

    And I was positing that there is no God to create the situation of "Cool, no God, I'm gonna go rape/steal/murder!" that we seem to be talking about for these supposed people who are moral only because of religion.

    EDIT: Here's a counter to your hypothetical "religon disappears and crime rates double":

    Let's say the guy next door is a devout Christian, and one of these peoples for whom moral behavior is mandated only by his religion. He, for whatever reason, has a crisis of faith. In his despair and sudden belief that there is no reason to act morally, he comes over and murders you/rapes your daughter/whatever.

    If he hadn't been raised religiously, he (presumably) would have displayed such antisocial behaviors at an earlier age. He would have either been incarcerated or treated, and might never have commited his act.

    Now, I'm not saying "Religion makes murderers!" I'm just saying that there are counter-arguments to "Religion makes us safer by controlling the psychopaths."

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  • JebuJebu Registered User regular
    edited November 2006
    And I was positing that there is no God to create the situation of "Cool, no God, I'm gonna go rape/steal/murder!" that we seem to be talking about for these supposed people who are moral only because of religion.

    Speaking of which, if they really do think this, these people seriously need to go reread the goddamn Bible. You don't get into heaven by pretending to be a good person, you go to heaven by being a good person.

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