Why Do people think they need A GOD to be good people?

by LucyA 75 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Narkissos

    Again, one of my favourite Nietzsche quotes -- self-contradiction included :)

    Let us finally consider how naive it is altogether to say: "Man ought to be such and such!" Reality shows us an enchanting wealth of types, the abundance of a lavish play and change of forms — and some wretched loafer of a moralist comments: "No! Man ought to be different." He even knows what man should be like, this wretched bigot and prig: he paints himself on the wall and comments, "Ecce homo!" But even when the moralist addresses himself only to the single human being and says to him, "You ought to be such and such!" he does not cease to make himself ridiculous. The single human being is a piece of fatum from the front and from the rear, one law more, one necessity more for all that is yet to come and to be. To say to him, "Change yourself!" is to demand that everything be changed, even retroactively. And indeed there have been consistent moralists who wanted man to be different, that is, virtuous — they wanted him remade in their own image, as a prig: to that end, they negated the world! No small madness! No modest kind of immodesty!

    Morality, insofar as it condemns for its own sake, and not out of regard for the concerns, considerations, and contrivances of life, is a specific error with which one ought to have no pity — an idiosyncrasy of degenerates which has caused immeasurable harm.

    We others, we immoralists, have, conversely, made room in our hearts for every kind of understanding, comprehending, and approving. We do not easily negate; we make it a point of honor to be affirmers. More and more, our eyes have opened to that economy which needs and knows how to utilize everything that the holy witlessness of the priest, the diseased reason in the priest, rejects — that economy in the law of life which finds an advantage even in the disgusting species of the prigs, the priests, the virtuous. What advantage? But we ourselves, we immoralists, are the answer.

    Twilight of the Idols, "Morality as anti-nature," § 6.

  • PSacramento

    A society without morals ??

    Hmmm, consudering some of the things that I have seen in my life that is probably not a good idea ! LOL !!

  • JWoods

    Might be good to reverse the terms of the argument: How many very very BAD people have there been who were absolutely adamant in their belief of some form of God or another?

    It is not a one-to-one relationship. There are good and bad god-believers, as well as good and bad non-believers.

  • darthfader

    I started to put together some thoughts and quickly discovered that Wikipedial (as usual) nailed it:


    I think it comes down society and our social networks to determine for us what is "good" and what is "bad".

    Darth Fader

  • JimmyPage

    Some people can`t behave unless they are forced to..

    It tells you a lot about the person..

    When they tell you..

    They can`t behave..Without a threat hanging over thier head..

    It tells You..They are Weak..

    That's a great point Outlaw... like the athlete who says, "Without this basketball I'd be in jail."

  • zarco

    Ken Burns produced a wonderful documentary on the US National Parks. Burns spends significant time describing the spiritual affect that Yosemite had on John Muir. In follow-up interviews, Burns expresses the affect that Yosemite had on him. If you have spent time there, it is indeed a spiritual – not in a religious sense - place.

    Muir spent his early life memorizing the Bible under threat from his father and was a deeply spiritual man. He seems to conclude that being at one with nature is preferable to being in a church or reading the bible. He loved nature and did much to preserve the Parks for our enjoyment.

    The reason that I bring this up is that Muir is one man that seems to qualify as “good”. He probably did more to advance early environmentalism and conservation as any other. I think he was motivated by his love of nature not god.

    It seems to me that one needs to realize that life is bigger than them to be a good person. One can use God, nature, a community, knowledge and a world to facilitate that belief. It takes that belief to combat selfishness.


  • Perry

    Aww Jeff,

    Perry, if God ever chooses to communicate to all, once and for all, what is "good", then we certainly won't need you to speak for him.

    He did, and we don't. Now stop the ad homs go find your sippy cup.

  • Perry

    I think it comes down society and our social networks to determine for us what is "good" and what is "bad".


    I think that is the most widespread source of morality for secularists. Notice, how the character of what is good still escapes the grasp of the individual though. This presents a variety of problems:

    1. If a person's social group changes, might he find out that he is now bad where once he though he was good?

    2. The good that I do today, might it be bad to another person? Who rights the wrong? What does this do to our notion of justice? Which one requires justice?

    3. A person can never be sure if he is right, because the people that agree with that "rightness", might die and someone else might pronounce him wrong tomorrow. Right and wrong are unknowable.

    4. The golden rule breaks down because some people enjoy pain.

    5. Is the abortionist a minister of "reproductive health" or is he a skull crunching mass murderer?

    Man will never be autonomous as the secularists like to imagine themselves. It just doesn't exist. We must all submit to someone's definition.

  • jwfacts

    Perry, you asked "How do you know if you are harming others or not?"

    This is a question for much debate, and will never be agreed by all. However, the more mature a person becomes the more aware they become of their actions. But one thing I can say is that my own perception is more attuned than it was when following ancient holy books. If I still used these texts as my guide on what is good I would:

    • think that it was acceptable for people to violently stone their children to death for the times they were grossly disrespectful - and missed seeing them mature into loving adults - see the 10 commandments
    • Felt justified in genocide and murder through war because my neighbours did not call the creator by the same name that I did - see the history of the Jews as directed by their God
    • Would now believe that billions of people that did not share my understanding of the Ransom are not worthy of everlasting life, even though they have never even heard of the ransom
    • Find slavery and subordination of women to be acceptable

    I have a higher sense of good and bad because I live in a more enlightened society, not because I follow without question text books that I have been told were penned by God.

  • Perry


    I do not agree with your biblical characterizations and they have been addressed/refuted many times on this board.

    Perry, you asked "How do you know if you are harming others or not?"
    This is a question for much debate, and will never be agreed by all.

    However, at least we can agree that the answer to the question in the Topic is:

    Because no one (BORN AGAIN Christians excluded) can agree upon the definition of what is GOOD.

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