Without god what is the basis of morality?

by OneEyedJoe 51 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • eyeuse2badub


    My exwife, when I admitted that I was an atheist, once asked me "If you don't believe in god, what's to stop you from going out and raping and murdering?"

    Does your ex believe what the bible says? Have her read this at Romans 2: 14, 15;

    14 For when people of the nations, who do not have law, do by nature the things of the law, these people, although not having law, are a law to themselves. 15 They are the very ones who demonstrate the matter of the law to be written in their hearts, while their conscience is bearing witness with them, and by their own thoughts they are being accused or even excused.

    According to the wtbts, "people of the nations" don't believe in god!
    just saying!
  • OneEyedJoe

    haha the days of arguing with her are well and truly in my past. Even so, I suspect that she wouldn't have responded to that - it seems somehow that admitting that I didn't believe in the bible suddenly disqualified me from using the bible's words to make an argument.

  • eyeuse2badub

    Yep you are probably right. Typical jw circular (un) reasoning!

    just saying!

  • DesirousOfChange

    Morality is not a constant. Morality is what a majority of people in a society are willing to tolerate.

    Case in point: ABORTION (in the US).

  • cofty

    'Morality' is the name we give to the way we worry about the way our actions affect other conscious creatures.

    When we use the words 'should' or 'ought' in a sentence we need to recognise the unspoken part of the statement.

    If our goal is to promote the flourishing of conscious creatures, then we ought to ...... (fill in moral edict)

    This is how we get an 'ought' from an 'is' - David Hume was wrong about that. For example it is an objective fact that female genital mutilation does not promote human flourishing. Therefore we can state that it is objectively wrong.

    The problem with religious morality is that it is confused about its objective. Is it to promote the welfare of others - love your neighbour as yourself - or is it to unthinkingly obey a omnipotent lawgiver?

    In practice it is both, but then we encounter a dilemma when obeying god leads to damaging the welfare of others. Religion has no moral system; it has a shopping list of edicts with no underlying foundation.

    Genuine objective morality is only possible by first putting aside religion's claims on our ethics.

    If somebody does not agree that human flourishing is the only sensible basis for morality then they need to define what they mean by morality.

  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    "Without God, what is the basis for sound nutritional practices? What is to stop me from starving myself or becoming a glutton? How can I be sure I won't commit hyponatremia or dehydrate myself? I'M SO SCARED!"

    People can be unbearably goofy, as readers of my posts will attest.

    Readers of my posts will also find their vocabularies and grammatical skills gently stretched. Thus they will slowly overcome the educational deficiencies imposed on them by a certain cult.

    "Listen to me now, und danke me later." -- Hans

  • steve2

    God and morality go together like oil and water; they don't. If you need God to tell you what is right or wrong, your moral compass is in need of "growing up" and taking responsibility.

  • Bungi Bill
    Bungi Bill

    Stephen Covey, in his Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, summed it up well. To determine whether or not a principle is correct, just visualise what the world would be like if everybody didn't practice it.

    Having a religious leader lay down the law about what is right and what is wrong only works to the extent that religious people apply those principles. And there's the rub! All too many religious people (with Christians noteworthy among them) fail to practice what they preach.

    This did not go unnoticed amongst the "heathen" peoples of Africa, Asia and elsewhere. For example, in 19th Century New Zealand, the newly-converted Maori people were quick to observe how the Ten Commandments were relegated to second place from Monday morning until midnight Saturday - then sent on an indefinite Leave of Absence whenever there was a war on!

  • eyeuse2badub

    The bible god's morality is very fluid to say the least!

    Sometimes polygamy is ok for HIS people and sometimes not.

    Sometimes genocide is ok for HIS people but for others it's not!

    Sometimes slavery is ok for HIS people but for others it's not!

    Sometimes lying is ok for HIS people but for others it's not!

    Sometimes banging your own daughters is ok for HIS servant but for others it's not!

    Sometimes having a man murdered is ok for HIS hand picked king but for others it's not!

    I'm siure you can think of other examples of god's fluid morality.

    just saying!

  • doubtfull1799

    Christians claim that morality must be absolute, hence a need for God.

    But that is just morality from authority. And it is a poor basis for morality. It assumes the authority is good and perfect, but that may not be the case.

    I would argue that morality is in actual fact always subject, not objective. Even the Bible says so! God says "though shall not kill" but then orders killing by divine decree. IN fact it is his go to solution for most things. So it is claiming that murder is subjective and the authority gets to decide when it is a sin and when it isn't.

    There are many secular ways of forming a moral construct (or foundation if you like) that don't require a God or an authority that I think a better than morality by authority, and even these will shift over time as we continue to understand the world and ourselves better.

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