Religion and Morality

Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5486
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
Religion and Morality

So I'm sure everybody here has heard the Wienberg quote

Quote:

With or without religion good people will do good things and bad people will do bad things, but for good people to do bad things it takes religion

 

 

Due to a recent discussion, I have re-opened my critical thinking nodes with regard to this issue.

 

 

One of the things is is there even such a thing as a "bad" person? That is a person that will do bad no matter what? Would Hitler have been a better person if he wasn't Catholic? Would Stalin have done what he did if regardless of the circumstances? Was Hitler and Stalin just two of those "bad people"?

 

I have a hard time believing that some people are bad no matter what. The Milgram experiment was a perfect example of good people doing bad things.

 

Another thing how is this quote falsifiable? How can we tell the Theists that were bad in the first place and the ones that were good and then turned bad? [this assumes there is bad people see above.]

 

 

Is there something about Religion and Morality that I seem to be missing?

 

 

 


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3135
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
Cpt_pineapple wrote:Is there

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Is there something about Religion and Morality that I seem to be missing?

Without religion, the goodness actions would always be judged in terms of the pleasure and pain it causes. The result would be a code of behavior and social contracts were societies strive for a net gain.

But with religion, many of the gains and losses of pain/pleasure are imaginary. So what happens is behaviours that are net bad are done because the religious people will insist that the gains are to gain favor with Mr. Invisible and in the next life.

It's like if you ran a business where the goal is to maximize profit. If you believe you have a large imaginary income when you don't, you're not going run the business very well, you'll make poor decisions when you go with faith and not facts. But this is how the world is run with religion in it.

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5486
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
EXC wrote:Without religion,

EXC wrote:

Without religion, the goodness actions would always be judged in terms of the pleasure and pain it causes. The result would be a code of behavior and social contracts were societies strive for a net gain.

But with religion, many of the gains and losses of pain/pleasure are imaginary. So what happens is behaviours that are net bad are done because the religious people will insist that the gains are to gain favor with Mr. Invisible and in the next life.

It's like if you ran a business where the goal is to maximize profit. If you believe you have a large imaginary income when you don't, you're not going run the business very well, you'll make poor decisions when you go with faith and not facts. But this is how the world is run with religion in it.

 

Which reminds me of a point that I left out in the OP.

 

 

How can religion do this, if religion is merely a projection of innate values? If I derive my religious morality, based on my own, how can something other than my own morality pop out?

 

 

 

 

 


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3135
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
Cpt_pineapple wrote:How can

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

How can religion do this, if religion is merely a projection of innate values? If I derive my religious morality, based on my own, how can something other than my own morality pop out?

 

Churches are authoritative structures. The morality of the founders/leaders is to attain status, respect and money. The followers just want to be accepted by the group, so people succumb to the social pressure to conform. So the morality of the whole group becomes that of leaders, the flock never is to question their authority.

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


Athene
Troll
Athene's picture
Posts: 64
Joined: 2010-10-17
User is offlineOffline
Imagine a very simple-minded

Imagine a very simple-minded overseer who will precisely report any worker who lacks in fulfilling his quota. Now imagine him working for a brutal dictator who will execute all these reported persons. That would be a case of a "good" person doing "bad" things (admitted, I took that idea from Outcast: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=821FZxWEehI ).

Many religions (not all!) are quite fond of declaring obvious acts of violence, cruelty and suffering as being noble or even altruistic. At the same time, they use to demonize everything that's different from them. And additionally, they deny any other source of guidance in your life, including empathy and reciprocity. Such an indoctrination f**** up even the nicest people to the extent that they tell their children tales of genocides and willing child sacrifices as nice bedtime stories without recognizing anything wrong about it. And I don't mean that metaphorically.

Now religions are not the only systems of murderous values. But while brutal political ideologies do also work towards the same goals, they are never as successful as religions. Therefor, there is somethin distinctively negative and dangerous about religions that other ideologies cannot compete with...


Atheistextremist
atheistSilver Member
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5095
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
I think morality

 

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

 

How can religion do this, if religion is merely a projection of innate values? If I derive my religious morality, based on my own, how can something other than my own morality pop out?

 

 

to a significant degree is use of 'ideal self' as a template against which to compare behaviours - a sort of inner perfection to live up to. Your inner morality might take precedence over religious values but things are more complicated than a mere projection. There's definitely interpretation and because religion is not moral and uses threats, fear tactics and lies, it's capable of warping morality.

If, thanks to your doctrine, you are convinced your inner circle of believers as being under threat as extremists do, then its morally right and even heroic to kill on their behalf.

Outside of the circle of family trust, morality is highly subjective. People have all sorts of weird interpretations of goodness. It depends on your perspective. Throw religion into the mix - with its false morality and moral coercion - and fuck knows what's going to come out.

It's fair to say that religion endeavours to trademark human morality and manipulate it for its own purposes. Good and ill.

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


Kapkao
atheistSuperfanBronze Member
Kapkao's picture
Posts: 4121
Joined: 2010-01-12
User is offlineOffline
EXC wrote:the flock never is

EXC wrote:
the flock never is to question their authority.

Disagreed- many protestant churchgoers will become their minister's worst critics if they feel he "has his hands the cookie jar". I believe there are similar situations in Synagogues and (to a lesser extent) Mosques as well...

RCC and protestant "megachurches", on the other hand, seem completely closed to dissent.  This is because of the structured nature of the RCC as well as what appears to be a proscription on "free choice"; with the megachurches it appears to be exactly the way you stated  - conformist pack mentality.

 

Most of the 'authority' in religion comes from the various 'sacred texts', and the supposed Invisible Man behind them. (At least, outside of RCC)

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3705
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is offlineOffline
I don't really like the

I don't really like the quote. It grossly oversimplifies morality. It doesn't make much sense to talk about completely "good" people and "bad" people. Also, if religion can make people do bad things that they wouldn't do otherwise, I don't see why religion can't cause the reverse. That's just psychology.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3705
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is offlineOffline
Cpt_pineapple wrote:Which

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Which reminds me of a point that I left out in the OP.

How can religion do this, if religion is merely a projection of innate values? If I derive my religious morality, based on my own, how can something other than my own morality pop out?

I think you are misunderstanding. 

A religion can make you do things that you wouldn't do without that religion, but it's not because it "creates" some "new" morality out of you. Your instincts aren't any different; you simply exhibit different behaviors because you have some different beliefs. The belief introduces some new factor into your decision making process.

 

 

 

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


mellestad
Moderator
Posts: 2927
Joined: 2009-08-19
User is offlineOffline
EXC wrote:Cpt_pineapple

EXC wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Is there something about Religion and Morality that I seem to be missing?

Without religion, the goodness actions would always be judged in terms of the pleasure and pain it causes. The result would be a code of behavior and social contracts were societies strive for a net gain.

But with religion, many of the gains and losses of pain/pleasure are imaginary. So what happens is behaviours that are net bad are done because the religious people will insist that the gains are to gain favor with Mr. Invisible and in the next life.

It's like if you ran a business where the goal is to maximize profit. If you believe you have a large imaginary income when you don't, you're not going run the business very well, you'll make poor decisions when you go with faith and not facts. But this is how the world is run with religion in it.

Excellent analogy, I'm stealing it.

 

@OP:  I doubt there are any, 'bad' people, although I would imagine certain physiologies are more prone to anti-social behaviors that we usually categorize as 'bad'.  Religion is just another infuence that warps behavior, sometimes 'good' and sometimes 'bad'.

Whether or not a world without religion would be 'worse' or 'better' is an open question.  I imagine it depends on what kind of arbitrary values are 'enshrined' in the beginning.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


mellestad
Moderator
Posts: 2927
Joined: 2009-08-19
User is offlineOffline
I agree with Hamby though,

I agree with Hamby though (sort of, see below), that something that asserts ultimate objective opinion is likely to 'distort' (Edit: maybe distort is a bad word to use, how about 'influence'?) morality greater than something that is subjective.

 

Why are you still on about this though?  I remember when I first joined this forum you two were arguing about this same issue using the same words in the same way.  I'm not sure if the two of you have a genuine disagreement or if you're just talking past each other.  I'd be curious to know what you both thought though, it seems like the core, possible, disagreement is:

 

Captain: Religion is just another meme.

Hamby: Religion is a more powerful meme than most (all?) because it appeals to absolute moral authority.

Captain: Citation please.

Hamby: (Here is where I break down, I don't read his blog unless you link to it here, so I'm not sure what he argues as proof.)

 

Now, it seems like 'common sense' that if you follow something that appeals to absolute moral authority then it would distort your moral sense a great deal.  But it also seems like 'common sense' that following some conclusions of subjective morality also puts you in situations where your moral sense gets shifted drastically, for basically the same reasons as the religious follower...with the same results, often genocidal.  "Inquisition!", "Stalin!", etc....

 

So I guess, if I'm not mis-representing one of you, I agree with you, Captain.  What I'm not sure of is how to quantify either view in a neutral way with science.

 

Edit: And since religion is currently the #1 source of morality appealing to absolute authority, then that is the most 'dangerous' meme.  Maybe Hamby would argue that the outcome of specific religious belief is not more dangerous than other, non-religious ideas with the same result, but the fact that religion seems to be more infectious than anything else is a good basis to call it the most dangerous meme?  In which case I guess I would agree with him...

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5486
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
Athene wrote:Now religions

Athene wrote:

Now religions are not the only systems of murderous values. But while brutal political ideologies do also work towards the same goals, they are never as successful as religions. Therefor, there is somethin distinctively negative and dangerous about religions that other ideologies cannot compete with...

 

I don't see this.

 

Was Iraq any less brutal just because the Ba'ath party abolished Shiaria law and replaced it with their own? . Was the NKVD any less brutal because they killed for the motherland rather than Jebus? I don't think so.

 

 

atheistextremist wrote:

to a significant degree is use of 'ideal self' as a template against which to compare behaviours - a sort of inner perfection to live up to. Your inner morality might take precedence over religious values but things are more complicated than a mere projection. There's definitely interpretation and because religion is not moral and uses threats, fear tactics and lies, it's capable of warping morality.

If, thanks to your doctrine, you are convinced your inner circle of believers as being under threat as extremists do, then its morally right and even heroic to kill on their behalf.

Outside of the circle of family trust, morality is highly subjective. People have all sorts of weird interpretations of goodness. It depends on your perspective. Throw religion into the mix - with its false morality and moral coercion - and fuck knows what's going to come out.

It's fair to say that religion endeavours to trademark human morality and manipulate it for its own purposes. Good and ill.

 

But that doesn't sound any different from simple group dynamics.

 

The argument seems to be that religion is unique in offering bad morality, ergo getting rid of it would make remove some bad from the world. I have yet to see anything good or bad unique to religion.

 

butterbattle wrote:

A religion can make you do things that you wouldn't do without that religion, but it's not because it "creates" some "new" morality out of you. Your instincts aren't any different; you simply exhibit different behaviors because you have some different beliefs. The belief introduces some new factor into your decision making process.

 

 

But like I said, that can be done other ways with as much effect. Such as if I were a socialist I would hold different worldviews than if I were a capatilist and see certain actions as either moral or immoral.

 

But then again, don't people merely cherrypick their religion? I have seen Christian hold up signs "God hates fags" due to leviticus, but leviticus also says eating shellfish is as immoral as homosexuality, but I don't see Christian protesting outside of Red Lobster.

 

 

mellestad wrote:

Whether or not a world without religion would be 'worse' or 'better' is an open question.  I imagine it depends on what kind of arbitrary values are 'enshrined' in the beginning.

 

That's a good point and too many people are willing to jump on one side or the other rather than just saying "I don't know"

 

 

Also, I am still on this because this keeps getting brought up. Me and Hamby can't seem to reach a consenus on this and it's bugging me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


mellestad
Moderator
Posts: 2927
Joined: 2009-08-19
User is offlineOffline
Is that an accurate

Is that an accurate summation of your disagreement though?

 

Is Hamby arguing that religion has a more negative direct impact than any other meme, or just that it *can* be negative, and it is the most virulent?

 

What do you think it would it take for you to reach consensus with each other?

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5486
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
mellestad wrote:Is that an

mellestad wrote:

Is that an accurate summation of your disagreement though?

 

Is Hamby arguing that religion has a more negative direct impact than any other meme, or just that it *can* be negative, and it is the most virulent?

 

 

What do you think it would it take for you to reach consensus with each other?

 

 

Yeah, he seems to say the faith is an unique way to justify the other wise unjustifyable ergo we would be better off without religion. I argue  that there isn't anything unique about religion.

 

I think the main barrier to a consensus is that he [sometimes condecendly] insists that I don't understand his points but I do. He can't seem to grasp that I do understand what he's saying and don't see it the way he does.

 

 

 


 


 


butterbattle
ModeratorSuperfan
butterbattle's picture
Posts: 3705
Joined: 2008-09-12
User is offlineOffline
Cpt_pineapple wrote:But like

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
But like I said, that can be done other ways with as much effect. Such as if I were a socialist I would hold different worldviews than if I were a capatilist and see certain actions as either moral or immoral.

I don't think other ways have as much of an effect. But, that's because I don't think of religion as single way of influencing someone's actions at all. It's not a single belief or a single type of psychological conditioning; it's a mixture of the most potent ingredients. I think religions have a particularly strong effect simply because of what they are, what an organized religion entails: peer pressure, authority figures, emotional manipulation, emphasis on faith and obedience, etc.

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
But then again, don't people merely cherrypick their religion? I have seen Christian hold up signs "God hates fags" due to leviticus, but leviticus also says eating shellfish is as immoral as homosexuality, but I don't see Christian protesting outside of Red Lobster.

This is where you and Hamby are stuck, right? Of course, they cherrypick a lot, but do you agree that religion has a strong influence?

For example, religious people are incredibly more likely to be opposed to gay rights. Do you agree that opposition to gay rights is largely caused by religion or do you think is there some other reason for the correlation?

 

 

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5486
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
butterbattle wrote:For

butterbattle wrote:

For example, religious people are incredibly more likely to be opposed to gay rights. Do you agree that opposition to gay rights is largely caused by religion or do you think is there some other reason for the correlation?

 

 

I think correlation does not imply causation.

 

In fact, I recall a study in which they found religious people were more likely to be exclusionary etc... but when they controlled for coalition, the non-religious people showed the same level as the religious which means it seems to be the coalition religion offers, not the religion itself.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Magus
High Level DonorModerator
Magus's picture
Posts: 592
Joined: 2007-04-11
User is offlineOffline
I think the real problem is

I think the real problem is Faith.  Faith ends rational discussions.  Faith has been used to justify acts of both good and bad.  Many religions put faith in high regard. Thus they provide a safe place for such irrational thinking.  Since faith requires no evidence the actions done by the faithful do not require a moral justification.

Sounds made up...
Agnostic Atheist
No, I am not angry at your imaginary friends or enemies.


Abu Lahab
Superfan
Abu Lahab's picture
Posts: 628
Joined: 2008-02-29
User is offlineOffline
......

Magus, that's a close approximation to what Sam Harris said during his lecture/book launch on Sunday at Cal Tech.

I wish my wife hadn't surprised me with tickets then I'd have been able to set up a meet-and-greet for LA RRS.

 

Ah, it was magnificent.....

 

The Moral Landscape - Sam Harris

 

Buy two!

How can not believing in something that is backed up with no empirical evidence be less scientific than believing in something that not only has no empirical evidence but actually goes against the laws of the universe and in many cases actually contradicts itself? - Ricky Gervais


EXC
atheist
EXC's picture
Posts: 3135
Joined: 2008-01-17
User is offlineOffline
butterbattle wrote:I don't

butterbattle wrote:

I don't really like the quote. It grossly oversimplifies morality. It doesn't make much sense to talk about completely "good" people and "bad" people. Also, if religion can make people do bad things that they wouldn't do otherwise, I don't see why religion can't cause the reverse. That's just psychology.

Sam Harris is arguing in his new book that there is no reason to think that moral questions should be treated any differently other areas of human endeavor. So by analogy we should ask the following questions:

 

Can believing in superstition cause a good engineer to make bad designs? Yes.

Can believing in superstition cause a bad engineer to make good designs? No.

 

You don't want the engineer that designs the planes you fly on to rely on superstition to select components. So why should we want people we share the planet with to rely on superstition to select their moral code?

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5486
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
Magus wrote: I think the

Magus wrote:

 

I think the real problem is Faith.  Faith ends rational discussions.  Faith has been used to justify acts of both good and bad.  Many religions put faith in high regard. Thus they provide a safe place for such irrational thinking.  Since faith requires no evidence the actions done by the faithful do not require a moral justification.

 

I would see this argument if it were true that humans are rational creatures, but we're not. Nobody is 100% rational 100% of the time.

 

 

Speaking of Sam Harris and ending rational discussion, I was appalled by him when during the  beyond belief conference which I believe was in 2006.

 

He and others had oppurtinity to actually discuss things in a rational light with others such as Tyson DeGrasse and Scott Atran, but they seemed to be rather reluctant to actually look into empirical research into the psychology of religion which is a same, and quite frankly counter productive to their insistance of relying on science and reason.

 

Which also addresses the argument Magus made, because it's also possible to hold irrational beliefs and call them rational and scientific as long as you identify as a "free thinking atheist skeptic."

 

 

 


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5486
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
Oh and speaking of

Oh and speaking of arguments, the one between me and Hamby can be summarized by this:

 

Hamby:With or without religion good people will do good things and bad people will do bad things, but for good people to do bad things it takes religion

 

Me: [objections in the OP and elsewhere]

 

Hamby: With or without religion good people will do good things and bad people will do bad things, but for good people to do bad things it takes religion

 

Me: ok, will you address my questions?

 

Hamby: With or without religion good people will do good things and bad people will do bad things, but for good people to do bad things it takes religion

 

ad nausim

 

 

 

 


mellestad
Moderator
Posts: 2927
Joined: 2009-08-19
User is offlineOffline
You want actual empirical

You want actual empirical data that supports religion as being a particularly destructive meme, correct?  Isn't that your primary complaint, the seeming appeal to common sense rather than neutral data?

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5486
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
mellestad wrote:You want

mellestad wrote:

You want actual empirical data that supports religion as being a particularly destructive meme, correct?  Isn't that your primary complaint, the seeming appeal to common sense rather than neutral data?

 

 

Yes.

 

I don't like the "appeal to common sense" aka "It's obvious argument"

 

For one thing, what about rap music and video games? If I demand evidence to show that rap music is degrading society with it's mysogonist lyrics, then why wouldn't I demand evidence that religion is degrading society?

 

 

I mean demanding evidence is a good thing right? The atheist movement is associated with science and freethinking, so why is it with this one issue that we're allowed to charge ahead without scientific investigation?

 

 


Atheistextremist
atheistSilver Member
Atheistextremist's picture
Posts: 5095
Joined: 2009-09-17
User is offlineOffline
What sort of a test would apply

 

 

Captain?

Crimes against atheists, crimes against people, instances of attacks or violence in the name of religion over a period of time?

Maybe instances of people in the counsellors chair seeking advice over nasty fundyness? All of the above plus a control for comparison?

Empirical data, if many of our claims are true, should be available - tho whether or not it's collected is the thing.

You tangle with perceptions of badness, too. Maybe the godly are loving not having to worry about the future anymore.

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


mellestad
Moderator
Posts: 2927
Joined: 2009-08-19
User is offlineOffline
Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

mellestad wrote:

You want actual empirical data that supports religion as being a particularly destructive meme, correct?  Isn't that your primary complaint, the seeming appeal to common sense rather than neutral data?

 

 

Yes.

 

I don't like the "appeal to common sense" aka "It's obvious argument"

 

For one thing, what about rap music and video games? If I demand evidence to show that rap music is degrading society with it's mysogonist lyrics, then why wouldn't I demand evidence that religion is degrading society?

 

 

I mean demanding evidence is a good thing right? The atheist movement is associated with science and freethinking, so why is it with this one issue that we're allowed to charge ahead without scientific investigation?

 

 

Just a guess, but I doubt anyone is eager to do this kind of research because A) it is difficult to quantify B) People on both sides wouldn't like what they would find

It is probably up to relatively neutral places like University psych/sociology departments to figure out...someday.

 

My totally un-scientific opinion is that it would have less to do with broad generalizations of theist vs. atheist and more to do with specific foundational beliefs that transcend religion.  Put another way, I imagine it would be more important what the basic moral beliefs of a person/group are and how they influence behavior, rather than where they think those beliefs came from.

As you say, no-one is rational all the time, and I'm not convinced atheists are more rational than theists in the grand scheme of things....and I'm not convinced rationality will always result in 'good' any more than I am convinced you need to be rational to avoid being 'bad'.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5486
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
Atheistextremist

Atheistextremist wrote:

 

 What sort of a test would apply Captain?

 

Like you would prove any other thing about society. Controling for other factors, etc....

 

Quote:

 

Crimes against atheists, crimes against people, instances of attacks or violence in the name of religion over a period of time?

 

Immoral Theists won't do it considering that I can name moral theists, should I then conclude that religion is good? Of course not.

 

In other words, something that isn't merely conformation bias.

 

 

mellestad wrote:

 

Just a guess, but I doubt anyone is eager to do this kind of research because A) it is difficult to quantify B) People on both sides wouldn't like what they would find

It is probably up to relatively neutral places like University psych/sociology departments to figure out...someday.

 

 

The thing about the claims of the atheist movement, is that they practically close of any kind of research into the subject. Because why bother studying it if we know it's religion? Why even collect data? And when data is collected and the conclusions go against the claims, then the data is thrown out.

 

 

melestad wrote:

As you say, no-one is rational all the time, and I'm not convinced atheists are more rational than theists in the grand scheme of things....and I'm not convinced rationality will always result in 'good' any more than I am convinced you need to be rational to avoid being 'bad'.

 

 

That's a good point.

 

 

 


Magus
High Level DonorModerator
Magus's picture
Posts: 592
Joined: 2007-04-11
User is offlineOffline
Cpt_pineapple wrote:Magus

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Magus wrote:

 

I think the real problem is Faith.  Faith ends rational discussions.  Faith has been used to justify acts of both good and bad.  Many religions put faith in high regard. Thus they provide a safe place for such irrational thinking.  Since faith requires no evidence the actions done by the faithful do not require a moral justification.

 

I would see this argument if it were true that humans are rational creatures, but we're not. Nobody is 100% rational 100% of the time.

 

I never said anyone is rational 100% of the time.  Would you say it is better for someone to be rational more than they are irrational?  Would it be useful to say that trying to appraoch 100% rationality would be preferred to not even trying?  To me faith is not trying to be rational.  That is why I see it as a problem.

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

 

Speaking of Sam Harris and ending rational discussion, I was appalled by him when during the  beyond belief conference which I believe was in 2006.

 

I don't remember bring up Sam Harris.  For the record I have not read his works.

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

He and others had opportunity to actually discuss things in a rational light with others such as Tyson DeGrasse and Scott Atran, but they seemed to be rather reluctant to actually look into empirical research into the psychology of religion which is a same, and quite frankly counter productive to their insistance of relying on science and reason.

 

Their fault not mine.

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Which also addresses the argument Magus made, because it's also possible to hold irrational beliefs and call them rational and scientific as long as you identify as a "free thinking atheist skeptic." 

If faith is held in high regard the rational and irrational are equal.  If faith is held in low regard then rational can be seen as better than irrational.  When given a choice to use faith or rationality I think it would best to use rationality.

Sounds made up...
Agnostic Atheist
No, I am not angry at your imaginary friends or enemies.


Kapkao
atheistSuperfanBronze Member
Kapkao's picture
Posts: 4121
Joined: 2010-01-12
User is offlineOffline
Cpt_pineapple wrote:I would

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

I would see this argument if it were true that humans are rational creatures, but we're not. Nobody is 100% rational 100% of the time.

 


Undoubtedly true, but according to Blake, a person is either rational or irrational -there is no room for percentages according to him. I think sometimes he wears the blinders extra thick.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


Cpt_pineapple
atheist
Cpt_pineapple's picture
Posts: 5486
Joined: 2007-04-12
User is offlineOffline
Magus wrote:I never said

Magus wrote:

I never said anyone is rational 100% of the time.  Would you say it is better for someone to be rational more than they are irrational?  Would it be useful to say that trying to appraoch 100% rationality would be preferred to not even trying?  To me faith is not trying to be rational.  That is why I see it as a problem.

 

Of course we should try to be rational all the time, however my point is that when somebody fails, it's because they're human, not because of some supertstition.

 


 

Quote:

I don't remember bring up Sam Harris.  For the record I have not read his works.

 

The comment was in response to Abu Lahab who did mention Harris

 

 

 


Magus
High Level DonorModerator
Magus's picture
Posts: 592
Joined: 2007-04-11
User is offlineOffline
Cpt_pineapple wrote:Magus

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Magus wrote:

I never said anyone is rational 100% of the time.  Would you say it is better for someone to be rational more than they are irrational?  Would it be useful to say that trying to appraoch 100% rationality would be preferred to not even trying?  To me faith is not trying to be rational.  That is why I see it as a problem.

 

Of course we should try to be rational all the time, however my point is that when somebody fails, it's because they're human, not because of some supertstition.

 

Would not the superstition be part of the human?  Are you suggesting that superstitions can only be a symptom of the flaws and never be the cause of them?

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

 

 

Quote:

I don't remember bring up Sam Harris.  For the record I have not read his works.

 

The comment was in response to Abu Lahab who did mention Harris

 

Fair enough I had actually missed reading his/her post. 

Sounds made up...
Agnostic Atheist
No, I am not angry at your imaginary friends or enemies.


petermark1234 (not verified)
Posts: 4294964979
Joined: 1969-12-31
User is offlineOffline
Religion and morality go

Religion and morality go together like boiled beef and carrots. You often find them together but it is perfectly possible to have one without the other.

Many people have swallowed the idea that morality started with religion to such an extent that they cannot separate the two. I myself was under the impression that religion had a significant causative link to morality until quite recently when I came to see the truth.

Man is a primate. All primates have innate morality. A moral sense is vitally important to the efficient running of any society or group. There are no amoral primate groups anywhere. The Mafia have morals, baboons have codes. There are differences between the various groups and their codes of morality but all primate groups have some morals and standards of behaviour. Religion is also very common but it is not universal and it did not cause the codes or the instinct to observe them. These are facts that need to be clearly stated. Morality does not require religion.