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Author Topic:   Problems with being an Atheist (or Evolutionist)
Bolder-dash
Member (Idle past 3749 days)
Posts: 983
From: China
Joined: 11-14-2009


Message 62 of 276 (538738)
12-09-2009 1:59 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by dwise1
12-08-2008 11:08 PM


If one is truly atheist, why should you have any morality? Why not just do what is best for yourself, and those you love, and the heck with any others?
Is it just a practical consideration, that by being moral in your own mind, maybe its harder to get in trouble, legal or otherwise. Why have principal if you believe life is just a random mix of proteins? I really can't understand that.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by dwise1, posted 12-08-2008 11:08 PM dwise1 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 63 by Granny Magda, posted 12-09-2009 2:31 PM Bolder-dash has replied
 Message 64 by Rahvin, posted 12-09-2009 2:54 PM Bolder-dash has replied
 Message 67 by dwise1, posted 12-09-2009 3:19 PM Bolder-dash has not replied
 Message 78 by onifre, posted 12-10-2009 9:08 PM Bolder-dash has replied

  
Bolder-dash
Member (Idle past 3749 days)
Posts: 983
From: China
Joined: 11-14-2009


Message 65 of 276 (538746)
12-09-2009 3:01 PM
Reply to: Message 63 by Granny Magda
12-09-2009 2:31 PM


Re: What's the Connection?
Granny,
Ok, well its a fair answer, that I would approach several ways.
First, if you are atheist, then you believe this innate sense of morality was simply a selected for trait, and that those who were moral had a selective advantage over those who were immoral? That certainly doesn't seem true, because there are immoral people all over the place, and everyone's idea of morality is different anyway-plus how could morality be a survival advantage over brutality? In the rest of the animal kingdom world, brutality, or the threat thereof rules.
You said that cheating would only serve a short term goal of results, but I think that is the only goal one would see as an atheist, because any longer term goals are unforeseeable- if there is no innate justice in the world, short term gains are all you can really hope to gain.
Secondly, why have morality just because one believes in spirituality? Well, I believe there is a force which connections all of life-therefore I believe my sense of morality is connected to all other living things. There also could be karmic implications to that, in that if I am moral, I at least feel validated in wishing good things for myself (if not expecting of them), whereas were I not moral, I would feel no sense of deserving of good.
But I believe your first observation is most telling. You don't really have a choice about feeling a sense of morality-it just is. And that came from somewhere.
And one question-do you honestly never get the sense in your life that some things are not being controlled by you? Don't you ever get the occasional feeling that some aspects of your life are simply inevitable? I think this is what some people would call a sense of faith.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 63 by Granny Magda, posted 12-09-2009 2:31 PM Granny Magda has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 69 by Briterican, posted 12-09-2009 3:28 PM Bolder-dash has not replied
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Bolder-dash
Member (Idle past 3749 days)
Posts: 983
From: China
Joined: 11-14-2009


(1)
Message 66 of 276 (538748)
12-09-2009 3:07 PM
Reply to: Message 64 by Rahvin
12-09-2009 2:54 PM


And you feel this sense of empathy arises from where? If a tree doesn't have it, why do you?
It was simply a mutation that held selective advantages? But it doesn't hold a selective advantage for frogs.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by Rahvin, posted 12-09-2009 2:54 PM Rahvin has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 68 by Rahvin, posted 12-09-2009 3:21 PM Bolder-dash has not replied
 Message 74 by RAZD, posted 12-09-2009 9:28 PM Bolder-dash has not replied

  
Bolder-dash
Member (Idle past 3749 days)
Posts: 983
From: China
Joined: 11-14-2009


Message 75 of 276 (538777)
12-10-2009 1:52 AM


If one really ponders...
Well, since many paragraphs have been allowed to be directed towards my remarks-I hope I can at least respond without appearing to be off topic. I think this relates directly to the problems one might consider for themselves if one were an atheist.
I think if one were to believe that morality is simply another mutation that carried selective advantage, one would have to really think that through in their mind in a believable way how that could happen. As most of the examples of so called morality here have been presented, these are all on higher order mammals. So are we assuming that such a mutation first occurred in such mammals? I would love for someone to describe a workable scenario of how such a "mutation" arose and then from its kernel as the very first such individual with this type of trait, could slowly develop and advance throughout a population. What advantage would this lone individual have amongst a whole group without any such trait-and how would it become the dominate trait.
If you have a hard time imagining the details of such a scenario-doesn't that make believing that scenario naive?
Or you have never imagined the scenario clearly, but simply believe it to be true, isn't that the same logic you believe those of faith use-and are critical of?
Secondly, as to how dwise framed it:
If one is Christian, why should you have any morality? Why not just do whatever you want to and rationalize it as either following God's "absolute" laws (through reinterpretation, no matter how torturous), or that God's "absolute" laws somehow don't apply to you , or that you are somehow serving God by your misdeeds, or that being human you had stumbled as you inevitably will so you ask God for forgiveness each time and God, being a good little invisible friend, will always grant that forgiveness? That is, after all, what we see Christians doing constantly. And that last item (we inevitably stumble and must constantly seek God's forgiveness) is something that fundamentalists do teach.A recurring problem atheists have concerns the wildly distorted and utterly false view that theists (primarily Christians) have of atheists and the bizaare statements that view causes those theists to make. And even more so the inappropriate, malicious, and vicious actions theists have taken and will take solely because of the distorted view that they hold.
Thank you, Bolder-dash, for presenting a living example of that wildly distorted view. Of course, I do realize that you got a lot of help from your religious community in forming that wildly distorted and utterly false view.
Herein we see a very common sentiment from atheists. That the "Christian" community has attacked them unfairly, and thus we see the moral superiority of the athiest. Taken alongside his previous comments about Christians being able to rationalize their misdeeds as serving God, or being able to escape the consequences of morality, it shows a clear picture of one believing that atheism is more palatable based on the distaste one has for their perception of a particular religion. It is as if he is saying, it is much better to be an atheist, because look at the horrible ways in which some Christians have behaved. This is clearly a motivating force for many many atheists.
The problem with this (amongst other problems) is that I haven't even made ONE single reference to Christianity in my previous posts, nor have I professed anything about my own spiritual beliefs, and most importantly nor have I made even one single assertion about any atheists morality-but have instead posed a question that based on an atheists belief that all of life is just a random occurrence of proteins, where do they believe their morality is inspired from.
That he would be so defensive and fabricate assertions about my own believes based on nothing ("I do realize that you got a lot of help from your religious community in forming that wildly distorted and utterly false view"-well, interesting that you do realize this, because I hadn't realized that my relgious community which doesn't exist, gives me false views that also don't exist!) shows a clear origin of his own stance-which is probably not unique only to this one atheist.
In response to the ideas such as RAZD, that studies of monkeys suggest that morality or fairness is an "evolved behavior rather than a cultural construct", this demonstrates a contradiction. On the one hand, many are trying to say that they have morality simply because it is logical and they believe it is best for the society we live in:
Granny says:
Also, if there is no innate justice in the world (which I agree with), that is all the more reason to strive for a positive and productive moral system ourselves; no-one else is going to do it for us, humanity as a whole must guide our own destiny in this respect.
and
"Long term goals are foreseeable, long term realities, less so. That doesn't mean we can't try."
Now both of these ideas suggest that we should act morally because there are logical reasons to do so. But if as RAZD points out in these studies (which you may disagree with their findings) we don't act morally because it is logical, we do so because we just happened to have evolved that way, just like monkeys-then trying to judge morality as good or bad is pointless-it just is, just as in hair or eye color, or or sweat glands-they are just remnants of our survival, neither good or bad. If morality is not needed for you to survive, there is no real need for it-it is not good or bad, any more than hair is good or bad, it just is-so you can get rid of it if need be, just like you can shave off your hair if you choose.
We don't think, we shouldn't shave off our hair, because it is good for our survival, just like it was for our ancestors. Why treat morality any different if it is just another of the many evolved survival traits.
So when RAZD says:
I don't see the moral ethical issue being any different for atheists: just because they reject belief in god/s does not mean that they are not caring, social, rational and law-abiding people, or that caring, social, rational and law-abiding people are not moral, regardless of beliefs.
I would say I agree, but the question still remains why? I agree that atheists can and do act ethically and morally, but if you believe morality is simply a passed on trait just like hair and skin color and fingernails-and not a logically inspired mindset, then it holds no more importance than any of those other traits-they are simply to be used when needed-and being immoral is no worse than cutting your hair or painting your fingernails.
To me it all goes back to the fundamental belief of an atheist. If you truly truly believe that life is nothing more than chance happenstances at the molecular level that have mutated and grown, then why should you believe that there is any difference between a rock and a living organism? What is it that makes "life" unique? A rock is also just part of nature, the same as you or I. Why is smashing a life more important than smashing a rock? How about sand, silicone, is there a difference between a piece of sand and you or I? Why, can't life just be a more sophisticated pieces of sand which have stuck together, as Richard Dawkin's wants us to believe?
That is the definition of atheism isn't it-that there is no difference between a rock and a living thing right? If this is not what you believe as an atheist, please explain how there is a difference other than perception between a living and non living thing.
If an atheist takes the time to actually think about this (I suspect most prefer not to)how do you justify valuing one thing over another? If you enjoy something because it feels good, that's great, I can understand doing it, but since there is no difference between a rock, and a living thing there is no judgment of good and bad.
Again, as atheists, my question to you is, other than how you perceive it in your mind, what is the difference between a living and a non-living thing? Everything is just bits of silicone and the like-some more bits than others.
--Perhaps that would make a good subject for a new topic?
OFF TOPIC - Please Do Not Respond to this message by continuing in this vein.
AdminPD
Edited by AdminPD, : Off Topic

Replies to this message:
 Message 77 by dwise1, posted 12-10-2009 3:39 AM Bolder-dash has not replied

  
Bolder-dash
Member (Idle past 3749 days)
Posts: 983
From: China
Joined: 11-14-2009


(1)
Message 79 of 276 (538854)
12-10-2009 11:20 PM
Reply to: Message 78 by onifre
12-10-2009 9:08 PM


Yes, right, that's what I said, I only have morality because I am being watched by God...I didn't say all of those other things that I actually said, I said what you are telling me that I said, because clearly, complex thoughts are too much for some people to spend time on, so yes, for your level of comprehension, that is exactly what I said (even thought its not at all what I said).
So why do you have morality, it is just a remnant of an ancient survival technique-do you really think you need it to survive? Do you ever cut your hair? There is no difference between you and a rock is there?
OFF TOPIC - Please Do Not Respond to this message by continuing in this vein.
AdminPD
Edited by Bolder-dash, : No reason given.
Edited by AdminPD, : Off Topic

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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