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Moral Atheism = Oxymoron?

Mirage

Secret Agent
Staff member
V.I.P.
I decided to take this discussion to a new thread instead of keeping it in the other one.

Can Atheists be moral? To me, it seems the idea of morality would need to be universal. The atheist argument seems to be "whatever society decides is best, is therefore moral."

In another thread I was discussing why 7 year old girls dressing and dancing provocatively is wrong. My reasoning for it being wrong would be because it is a sin against God, who declared right and wrong.

The responses were that 7 year old girls shouldn't be doing that. They aren't mature enough. Says who? It's not appropriate. Says who? And no matter what reasons given for it being "bad", I could simply continue to ask "why is that bad?" At some point, atheism provides no answer.

Here's a thought, and here is why I don't believe atheists can claim the moral high ground. There was an ancient civilization called Sodom. In this civilization, only the extremely rich were allowed to live there. The society agreed on these rules. If a poor person moved in, nobody was allowed to help them. The act of charity was a crime.

Well, a poor man moved in. After a few weeks the leaders started asking around and trying to figure out how this person was able to stay there. He had no money and that meant somebody was giving him food and perhaps shelter. It turned out that one of the ladies who lived in Sodom had been sneaking food to the man. They as a society had determined that this was NOT a moral act. Society as a whole determined that charity was wrong. They took her, nailed her to the city walls and covered her in honey. The bees killed her.

Can anybody here who says that morality is decided by the majority say that that story is perfectly acceptable? If not, then you should stop saying that morality is decided by the majority.

Personally, I believe what the Bible says about morality. It is built in. We all know right and wrong from the start. Society distorts right and wrong as they see fit, for their own selfish desires, but in the end everybody reading this thread knows that what happened to the lady in the above story was completely and utterly wrong.
 

EllyDicious

made of AMBIGUITY
V.I.P.
I don't think right/wrong is always related to religion.
Constitutionally, you reach an age when you are able to understand the consequences of your actions and take responsibility for them.
That's why it's wrong for a 7 year old to act like that for something she doesn't even understand.
 

Mirage

Secret Agent
Staff member
V.I.P.
I don't think right/wrong is always related to religion.
If it's not determined by a higher power, then how can any one of us tell somebody else they are wrong? Maybe what's wrong for us is right for them?
 

EllyDicious

made of AMBIGUITY
V.I.P.
If it's not determined by a higher power, then how can any one of us tell somebody else they are wrong? Maybe what's wrong for us is right for them?
Right/Wrong will always be relative even among religions.
Something that is considered as sin in Christianity is not considered so in Islam and the other way around.

So, these both religions are led by a higher power. Which of these powers is right and which is wrong???
Your God says something is a sin, my God doesn't agree.
Where do we find the common point????

As you can see, even the higher power doesn't solve the problem.
 
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Tucker

Lion Rampant
Here's a thought, and here is why I don't believe atheists can claim the moral high ground. There was an ancient civilization called Sodom. In this civilization, only the extremely rich were allowed to live there. The society agreed on these rules. If a poor person moved in, nobody was allowed to help them. The act of charity was a crime.

Well, a poor man moved in. After a few weeks the leaders started asking around and trying to figure out how this person was able to stay there. He had no money and that meant somebody was giving him food and perhaps shelter. It turned out that one of the ladies who lived in Sodom had been sneaking food to the man. They as a society had determined that this was NOT a moral act. Society as a whole determined that charity was wrong. They took her, nailed her to the city walls and covered her in honey. The bees killed her.

Can anybody here who says that morality is decided by the majority say that that story is perfectly acceptable? If not, then you should stop saying that morality is decided by the majority.
If that society actually existed and that event took place, you would probably find that the people of that town had an agreed-upon moral code that they were told had come from a divine source. That would allow them to stifle their consciences and commit atrocities, like the lady being licked by bees, without any real moral contemplation. More likely, though, there was a pre-existing code of that type incorporated when the first oral Bible traditions began winding down through the generations.

We all know right and wrong from the start.
Assuming that's a fact, then why would we need the Bible?
 

Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
Elly, the thread is about atheism and morality, not other religions and morality.
 

EllyDicious

made of AMBIGUITY
V.I.P.
Elly, the thread is about atheism and morality, not other religions and morality.
I know. But Hybrix said we need a higher power to lead us. And I said why we don't need the higher power [according to me].
That means, even Atheism can morally survive without that power.
 

Bananas

Endangered Species
Hybrix; said:
In another thread I was discussing why 7 year old girls dressing and dancing provocatively is wrong. My reasoning for it being wrong would be because it is a sin against God, who declared right and wrong.
How do you know "God" declared 7 year old girls dressing and dancing provocatively as wrong?

Hybrix; said:
They aren't mature enough. Says who? It's not appropriate. Says who?
Nature. The body and mind of a 7 year old is far from being sexually developed.

Hybrix; said:
And no matter what reasons given for it being "bad", I could simply continue to ask "why is that bad?" At some point, atheism provides no answer.
I have an answer; ethical virtues.

Hybrix; said:
Here's a thought, and here is why I don't believe atheists can claim the moral high ground.
I had not realised atheists were. Using this (and other) threads here as examples I would say it is the fundamental Christians trying to claim the moral high ground.
 

fractal

Eye see what you did ther
I don't understand the title of this thread. Are you saying that atheists have no morals? Morals are dependent on the person. When a person 'feels' right, it is right in his opinion. You may want to say that thr feeling is induced by God, but I'd call it the human psyche, which is different for different people.
 

stevenfermi

Registered Member
Morality has been determined by society, not religion. There were prohibitions against stealing and murder long before the Bible, and I'm sure there will be long after. I am an agnostic and I would be considered moral, since I always donate to charity and act in an altruistic manner.
 
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