Morality Without Deity
Immaterial, intangible but physical.
It is human nature to be moral because man is made in God's image, but since humans -unlike animals- are free moral agents, they are free to fo whatever they like, even to deviate from what comes naturally, but not without consequences.
well my contention is that, and here I agree with whitehead, that it is in the pause/space/hesitation between fight or flight that what we call morality and which I prefer to call ethics takes place.
edit: if you watch squirrels when they pause between fight or flight - ears and whiskers twitching body primed staring at the object that has caused them to pause to decide if this thing in front of them is good or bad for them. we do the same thing but we pause for longer and may even decide to approach a fearful sight - example Moses and the burning bush
Just catching up. Thank you all for your input. I will read your comments carefully this evening and reply.
Enjoying the conversation, thanks.
"eliminativism" - I learned a new word today.
Fire has always fascinated humans and from this we can think back to how humans developed an objective morality/ethics devoid of theology. Example - fire can be used to kill as well as preserve so here humans could develop a sense of responsibity in using fire. Metaphorically speaking I can take this sort of meaning from the burning bush and Moses' incident
Sadly I can now only contribute to this thread by acknowledging how thought provoking I have found many of the comments. I am sure I am not alone in this, so my point is keep the thread positive, opposing views non-argumentative, as I continue to lurk and learn.
I am sure I am not alone in this, so my point is keep the thread positive, opposing views non-argumentative, as I continue to lurk and learn.
Yes is very good to get opposing views in an expository way. We have at least three views in this topic: cofty (Atheist), David (Jew) and me (Catholic).
IMHO I think a lot of Atheists in this forum use arguments (not this OP) only based on a Sola Scriptura way. And I perceive most atheists here have a clear (and valid) feeling of revolt due to bad experiences with crazy religions. Catholics are not against science, we build universities around the world and scientists like the ones who invented genetics (used in the theory of evolution), the Big-Bang theory and the discovery of the Down Syndrome and a lot more...
Catholic Church is the biggest institution of charity in the world. Our stance on abortion and embryo stem cells is not anti-science.
My goal is not proselytizing but just offer another view (the oldest and majority) of Christianity. The NT as we know today only appeared in the fourth century. Christianity was not built upon the Bible. JW's and Protestantism was founded upon a very peculiar interpretation of the Bible.
I admit that the Sola Scriptura version of Christianity is very flawed. I can't even defend it and I sincerely think it's ultimate logical conclusion is atheism. The Bible read using SS is a book full of nonsense and contradictions but truth must be consistent.
The logical conclusion of Atheism obviously is Nihilism and Nihilism says we are nothing but an illusion. So the ultimate choice is between God or nothing, there's no middle way in this matter.
It's ridiculous to think morality depends on books. Morality is "written" in us. Is an in-built feature. It was not biologically evolved neither because we simply can't trace it down to other species. Belief in God and morality are not products of books or evolution.
When man look to natural world he can't recognize the origin of his consciousness (himself) in it and neither his destiny. While we can recognise the origin of our body we are alone here regarding our consciousness. And I believe consciousness is a property of the soul.
Recently Catholic Church wants a closer dialogue with atheists. There's a good site about this (ranked as #4 atheist site on Internet) called Strange Notions.
That's a very helpful description of your position John thank you.
I don't have time to reply right now but I look forward to responding later.
yes it is very helpful John Mann - but I want to say atheism isn't about consciousness - at least mine isn't. I don't think of myself as a consciousness looking for my destiny in nature and then finding myself an illusion. I tend to look at nature in terms of events of which I am a part and not as a solitary soul standing outside of nature and observing it
consciousness is one of the many tools or devices we have created to describe the act of observation - even here this is not an illusion - so I am failing to see how you can equate atheism with nihilism. again I am saying this respectfully
Modern atheism seems like to orbit in just a denial of the concept of God provided by a fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible blended with a baseless scientism (universal applicability of science or everything must be scientific). Modern atheism is not based on science but on philosophical opinions of famous scientists and philosophers. Strangely atheists try to hijack science but their position it's not science but philosophy. In the 19th century atheism was purely philosophical (Nietzsche, etc..) but in the 20th century atheists wanted to be scientific (why?!?).
God is not a subject to science, but God is subject to philosophy and God is philosophically possible. Atheists seems to forget that the very scientific method is a philosophical method applied to the physical world (one aspect of the scientific method is based on a philosophy created by a Catholic monk, the Occam's Razor). So it's very illogical to use scientific method to disprove God.
With this atheistic view it's also impossible to cope with things not reached by scientific method of explanation like morality, justice, etc.
Consciousness cannot be submitted to the ordinary scientific method (we even don't have a definition of it) so the logical conclusion of materialism is consciousness doesn't exists at all. This is called eliminativist materialism or eliminativism. Dennett and Harris being two famous advocates of it (Dawkins is mute about it AFAIK).
Famous atheists also affirm that the universe came to existence (Hawking talks about a strange argument that gravity is the ultimate cause) by itself so logically you have a nothing as a first cause. Ultimately our entire universe (including us) is caused by nothing.
Nihilism says that there's nothing.