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Old 02-10-2013, 01:06 PM   #876
Charles Kozierok
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So, where do ethics and morals come from?
They're created by society. Some are fairly universal, others evolve as societies evolve.

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I just believe not having any faith is a tremendous handicap.
What do you mean?
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:07 PM   #877
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How about the fact that ethics and morals (not sure how you personally define and categorize those) are beneficial to the proliferation of the human species? The ultimate (instinctual) goal of all species is to continue to propagate their respective species, and they (actually, biology and evolution) will do whatever is necessary to better facilitate that happening.
Given that people of different cultures think and behave differently, who can say what would be best for everyone except through hindsight? Believing that humanity will choose the correct path on their own seems quite foolhardy to me given our history.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:16 PM   #878
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Given that people of different cultures think and behave differently
Religion is a significant reason for much of that

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Believing that humanity will choose the correct path on their own seems quite foolhardy to me given our history.
Well, I guess there would have to be a universally agreeable "correct path", which there clearly isn't. Our history has actually improved tremendously (IMO, of course), and I believe it may have a great deal to do with how religion is playing a smaller and smaller role in people as individuals, and most certainly in governments.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:17 PM   #879
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So, where do ethics and morals come from? I don't believe my religious views are any more 'right' than any others. I just believe not having any faith is a tremendous handicap. Oh and, thank you Captain Bligh.
I think they come from a realization/acknowledgment that to be able to live together and function as a society there is a need for restrictions to our selfish and arrogant tendencies as humans. Maybe it's simpler than that; my own desire to act ethically is borne of selfishness; I do it because it feels good and I like to feel good.

I may be an agnostictic/weak atheist but I am not "faithless"; I have faith that people will treat me well if I treat them well. I've been burned a couple of times from that faith but not enough to abandon it.

Perhaps my own struggle for independence and strength of spirit made me decide to "go it alone" without "The Church". I see that ultimately as a good thing and something I would want for other people. But I respect their right to decide as they see fit.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:20 PM   #880
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So, where do ethics and morals come from?
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Originally Posted by Charles Kozierok View Post
They're created by society. Some are fairly universal, others evolve as societies evolve.
So, morals and ethics should vary according to custom?
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I just believe not having any faith is a tremendous handicap.
What do you mean?
Most people who live long enough have found themselves in situations beyond their control when everything goes wrong, nothing you do makes anything better and there is no one to turn to. When these events go on long enough, self reliance breaks down. It is inevitable. Many people never recover. We've all seen people in that condition. Believing in something greater than yourself is the key to surviving and overcoming these tragedies. That is why people with no faith are handicapped.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:21 PM   #881
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Given that people of different cultures think and behave differently, who can say what would be best for everyone except through hindsight? Believing that humanity will choose the correct path on their own seems quite foolhardy to me given our history.
Yet Religion has given people the wrong path quite a bit. Look at all the wars fought over religion. Look at all the problems we have today because of religion.

What about a culture where parents simply teach their kids right from wrong without the dogma and extraneous bullshit.

Examples:

1. Don't steal
2. Don't murder
3. Don't rape
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:25 PM   #882
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Most people who live long enough have found themselves in situations beyond their control when everything goes wrong, nothing you do makes anything better and there is no one to turn to. When these events go on long enough, self reliance breaks down. It is inevitable. Many people never recover. We've all seen people in that condition. Believing in something greater than yourself is the key to surviving and overcoming these tragedies. That is why people with no faith are handicapped.
Dire view of the world. What about family, friends, coworkers, and professional counselors? You don't need a church.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:26 PM   #883
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Believing in something greater than yourself is the key to surviving and overcoming these tragedies. That is why people with no faith are handicapped.
What if "believing in something greater than yourself" doesn't require faith? How about believing in your family, or believing in the organization your work for, or the cause you are fighting for, or just the greater good of your fellow humans?
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:31 PM   #884
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Most people who live long enough have found themselves in situations beyond their control when everything goes wrong, nothing you do makes anything better and there is no one to turn to. When these events go on long enough, self reliance breaks down. It is inevitable. Many people never recover. We've all seen people in that condition. Believing in something greater than yourself is the key to surviving and overcoming these tragedies. That is why people with no faith are handicapped.
That's what I thought you meant.

I wouldn't use the word "handicapped", but otherwise I agree. And not just extreme events -- faith makes it easier to get through day to day trials as well.

Being non-religious is, in many ways, much more difficult than being religious.

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Given that people of different cultures think and behave differently, who can say what would be best for everyone except through hindsight? Believing that humanity will choose the correct path on their own seems quite foolhardy to me given our history.
As I said earlier, some aspects of society are cultural structures that can change over time. Others are pretty universal, because they are based on deep-down core notions of fairness and justice that have existed as long as humanity and have nothing to do with religion.

Old story from the Jewish tradition:

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A heathen came to Hillel's home. Hillel thought the man had come for something very important. So Hillel said: "What is the matter, my good man?" And the heathen answered:
"Teach me the Torah while I stand on one foot."
Hillel saw that the heathen was scoffing, but calmly and patiently he said:
"You want to learn a great deal quickly, don't you? Very well, I shall teach you the Torah while you stand on one foot. This is our Holy Torah: 'What is hateful to you, do not do unto others.'"
The heathen forgot that he had come only to jeer.
"Does it mean that the heathens and the Jews and all of us are brothers? Does it mean that we must be kind to one another like brothers?" asked the heathen, wonderingly.
"That's it, my son. That's the meaning of the whole Torah. All the rest is only an explanation of that. Go, go, my son. Go and study it," said Hillel kindly.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:34 PM   #885
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Well, I guess there would have to be a universally agreeable "correct path", which there clearly isn't. Our history has actually improved tremendously (IMO, of course), and I believe it may have a great deal to do with how religion is playing a smaller and smaller role in people as individuals, and most certainly in governments.
More people are killed in wars, economic crises and, food issues than any time in the past. Perhaps the percentages are lower but, that doesn't help those who die. If evil individuals have less impact it is due to the increase of complexity of living in today's world not, a decrease in religious importance.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:42 PM   #886
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Dire view of the world. What about family, friends, coworkers, and professional counselors? You don't need a church.
Whether there truly is no one to turn to or, you only think that is the case the effect is the same. You are right, you don't need a church. It just makes things easier.
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What if "believing in something greater than yourself" doesn't require faith? How about believing in your family, or believing in the organization your work for, or the cause you are fighting for, or just the greater good of your fellow humans?
The situation I described is what happens when none of that is enough. I think the age of many posters here means that they have never experienced that kind of outlook. I'm not talking about depression although, that's a side effect, I'm talking about having no control, no hope, no way out.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:49 PM   #887
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There are religious conflicts all over the globe right now and it's like this non-stop. I think people like to blame other religions when all religions suffer from this.

There's generally a bit of an overlap between an ethnic struggle and a religious struggle. Northern Africa right now for example where you have Muslims fighting with tribesman or alternatively Arabs fighting with Black Africans. Either way it's at least partially a religious war. They're trying to kill and rape the Africans out of existence. Then of course there's the middle east. There was a 3 year ethnic/religious war in Europe in the 1990's. India and Pakistan have had a number of wars. Then of course there's terrorism. We had Catholic terrorism in the UK. The Christian Crusader in Norway a year ago. The Army of God and other organizations in the USA attacking abortion clinics.

Now to be perfectly fair I think that if we didn't have religion we'd still have conflicts. You'd have gun nuts fighting against anti vaccine advocates or some other bat shit crazy thing.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:51 PM   #888
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Whether there truly is no one to turn to or, you only think that is the case the effect is the same. You are right, you don't need a church. It just makes things easier.
Easier? No. Another option? Yes. However so is the local bar and an AA group.

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The situation I described is what happens when none of that is enough. I think the age of many posters here means that they have never experienced that kind of outlook. I'm not talking about depression although, that's a side effect, I'm talking about having no control, no hope, no way out.
How common do you think this dire view of the world is. In order to get this low you need to have nobody in your life. That can't be that common.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:51 PM   #889
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If evil individuals have less impact
Many people believe Obama is an "evil individual", so you can't really attempt to base an argument on "evil individuals" because those who qualify for that title aren't universally agreed upon. I imagine most people would agree with putting the "evil person" label on those like Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, etc., but their actions hardly represent an impact on society as a whole.

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not, a decrease in religious importance.
I think the conditions in the Islamic countries in the middle east challenge this to some degree. The countries that seem to be governed most stringently by Islamic law also seem to have the worst humanitarian, or ethical issues.

Countries that have freedom of/from religion have the fewest humanitarian issues, and seem to prosper more than those that do not.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:56 PM   #890
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I'm talking about having no control, no hope, no way out.
You don't need faith to have a positive outlook in any situation. Thinking positively is a choice, whether you base that choice on your faith, or just your individual determination to stay positive.

What about those that are in such situations, and despite their faith, the worst possible (or conceivable) outcome results? Those of faith may leave the situations confused, and incapable of looking at what happened objectively, and instead be conflicted about why their faith didn't save them. While a person without manufactured faith will focus on the source of why that undesirable situation occurred to begin with, and focus all their attention on addressing that, instead of questioning "why" they didn't experience divine intervention.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:58 PM   #891
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I have a question for the religious folks and/or believers here: Do you believe it's possible that the Bible is "just a book", in the sense that it was created with absolutely no divine intervention, or otherwise supernatural guidance, and was merely created from the minds/imaginations of men? Do you believe it's possible that no gods (including your God) exist?
Answer this one for me, Magnus (or anybody else it pertains to).
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:11 PM   #892
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Easier? No. Another option? Yes. However so is the local bar and an AA group.
Yes, they are. We just disagree on their efficacy.

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The situation I described is what happens when none of that is enough. I think the age of many posters here means that they have never experienced that kind of outlook. I'm not talking about depression although, that's a side effect, I'm talking about having no control, no hope, no way out.
How common do you think this dire view of the world is. In order to get this low you need to have nobody in your life. That can't be that common.
It's quite common. As i said, it doesn't make a difference whether there truly is no one to turn to or, you only believe it to be so. The crises can happen in a heartbeat, out of the blue or, be the result of decades of poor choices by yourself or others.

I find these discussions to be interesting not, because I believe I'll convert anyone (I do have hope ) but, because the internet instead of making people more aware of their different outlooks and perspectives, creates yet another set of customs and perceptions unique to the web. Add in your basic basement dweller and, you've got a self perpetuating real life disinformation campaign.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:13 PM   #893
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I have a question for the religious folks and/or believers here: Do you believe it's possible that the Bible is "just a book", in the sense that it was created with absolutely no divine intervention, or otherwise supernatural guidance, and was merely created from the minds/imaginations of men? Do you believe it's possible that no gods (including your God) exist?
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Answer this one for me, Magnus (or anybody else it pertains to).
No because, faith is a choice. I choose to believe therefore, the possibility doesn't exist.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:15 PM   #894
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No because, faith is a choice. I choose to believe therefore, the possibility doesn't exist.
Isn't that sorta like not understanding the meaning of the word "possible" ? Can you not concede it's possible, and still have faith?
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:18 PM   #895
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No because, faith is a choice. I choose to believe therefore, the possibility doesn't exist.
That doesn't make a lick of sense.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:20 PM   #896
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You don't need faith to have a positive outlook in any situation. Thinking positively is a choice, whether you base that choice on your faith, or just your individual determination to stay positive.

What about those that are in such situations, and despite their faith, the worst possible (or conceivable) outcome results? Those of faith may leave the situations confused, and incapable of looking at what happened objectively, and instead be conflicted about why their faith didn't save them. While a person without manufactured faith will focus on the source of why that undesirable situation occurred to begin with, and focus all their attention on addressing that, instead of questioning "why" they didn't experience divine intervention.
You seem to believe religion is some form of deal making with your deity of choice. God loves us ALL. Just because i believe, doesn't make me think God will keep bad things from happening to me or, fewer bad things than someone who doesn't believe. He does give me strength to deal with them however.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:23 PM   #897
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Isn't that sorta like not understanding the meaning of the word "possible" ? Can you not concede it's possible, and still have faith?
How is it possible to have faith if you believe the possibility your faith is wrong? As I said, it is a choice, a leap of faith.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:26 PM   #898
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He does give me strength to deal with them however.
The way I see it, is that you imagine this strength he gives you, and perhaps you have "faith" that when a situation is dire, things will turn out OK in the end. I don't see how that is any different than someone capable of keeping a positive attitude when in the exact same situation, and believing it comes from within, and not from an otherworldly being.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:28 PM   #899
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How is it possible to have faith if you believe the possibility your faith is wrong? As I said, it is a choice, a leap of faith.
You have faith that you have made the right decision, but you understand that you are capable of being mislead.
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Old 02-10-2013, 02:29 PM   #900
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Another couple for you, Magnus:

I have a question for the religious folks and/or believers here: Do you believe it's possible that the Quran is "just a book", in the sense that it was created with absolutely no divine intervention, or otherwise supernatural guidance, and was merely created from the minds/imaginations of men?

I have a question for the religious folks and/or believers here: Do you believe it's possible that the Book of Mormon is "just a book", in the sense that it was created with absolutely no divine intervention, or otherwise supernatural guidance, and was merely created from the minds/imaginations of men?
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