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Without a creator God, do we need morality?

Dante

New Member
[FONT=&quot]I would like to firstly state, i am closer to an agnostic than a i am any particular religion or lack of religion. Nor is this intended to provoke atheists or agnostics. I'm simply curious about the subject. I also encourage anyone to argue anything i say that may seem unjust.

I should start by defining some terminology outright cause i have no real interest in this turning into a sophist debate.

Reality: for the purpose of this, lets separate the definition into two kinds. a personal reality will relate to the individual perception reality validated by one's own awareness. the second will be conventional reality, or a reality that is agreed upon by a conventional sense.

Truth: to me a truth can be personal, but it can be applied by the individual to the rest of existence.

Theism and Christianity: I'm being non-specific as i am sure there are those who fall under the category yet deviate in a sense that fall outside of context with my proposal. As such, to generalize i am referring to those who believe in an omnipotent being with who dictates a conventional morality.

Atheism: Simply the belief that there are no creator gods or God-heads. A generalization I make is that they favor Science

Morality: The ideology that one or more modes of reality are superior to another. Usually accompanied with an antithetical mode known as Amorality. morality also tends to have ideological consequences

anyways, using Christianity as an example, Monotheism lends itself to a singular and coherent truth. The truth of Christianity is Comprises of three things. 1. the Existence of God 2. The existence of his creations 3. The morality of the natural world. Because, to a Christian, morality and nature are closely related (one applies to humans the other to the rest of God's creation) there is a both the natural and unnatural world just as there is an moral and amoral world. These worlds are legitimized by a being whose self is limitless and knowledge and power are all encompassing. From the theist model, it then makes sense for a reality to be finite.

Atheists don't have that luxury. Science tends to be the predominate "religion" for the atheist. To treat science as a form of truth common...but somewhat impractical...at least in a Christian definition. Science observes phenomena and provides models to explain it's function. It is not essentially truth as truth leads a sense of permanence to the subject. It is simply an idea on how it works that can be added and subtracted to with perhaps the hope there can be a unified understanding of nature.

In my opinion, which i admit is speculative, is that without God or any topical force that can dictate correctness, humanity is left alone to cope with understanding the universe around it. Since humanity is limited in knowledge and awareness, his concept of morality is an ideal and only exists conceptually and if that is truly the case, does that not imply relativism? Would not morality in an atheist imply a reaction to theism and the cultural saturation that theism has affected?[/FONT]
 

JayHawes

Active Member
I judge by how you write that you are a thinking person.

If someone does not beleive in any higher being, why have any morals? Why not kill? Why not drink? Why not sleep with everyone? Why not steal? Why not burn down our neighbor's house? Why not?

For most people they just wouldn't do some of these things. Most men would not becuase of the lack of belef in God, rape a child. Most women will not because of a lack faith, kill everyone they see.

We have a set moral code within ourselves. Some things we just will not do, our spirits bare witness with ourselves. And our spirit, our conscience will tell us when we do wrong or right, becuase our spirit is from God, who has is the basis for right and wrong. However we can ignore God, we can pretend he doesn't exist and totally serve our own selves. Or we can hold on to some form of God, but deny his exisistance.

One may be agnostic but just open your mind to the possibilities. Which of the following happened first?

1) The creation of the Big Bang substances?

2) Or the explosion of the Big Bang?
 

Jayhawker Soule

-- untitled --
Premium Member
I find the OP to be a meandering terminological nightmare and, for the most part, irrelevant. Nor is it at all better than the title. What does it mean to "need morality"?

As for theology, postulating God(s) get you no farther than the Euthyphro dilemma.
 

Dante

New Member
I find the OP to be a meandering terminological nightmare and, for the most part, irrelevant. Nor is it at all better than the title. What does it mean to "need morality"?

As for theology, postulating God(s) get you no farther than the Euthyphro dilemma.

[FONT=&quot]To "need morality" in this context is to assertain wheter a necessity exists for an athiest to have a moral code. I'm sorry that some how slipped passed you, just as i am sorry about how the irony of you commenting on something you find "mostly irrelevant" also slipped passed you.

This isn't a theology debate. God's existence is irrelevant to the question. If you would to make such an arguement, perhaps you should create your own thread.


"[/FONT]One may be agnostic but just open your mind to the possibilities. Which of the following happened first?

1) The creation of the Big Bang substances?

2) Or the explosion of the Big Bang?"

I'll bite. The thing about the divine is that there are an infinite amout of possibillaties. Should I call summarize these possibillaties into one collective force, God? There is no idea or understanding i can have that will measure to such a being to properly represent him. You can't pray to such a being because such a force is above comprehension. I mean what you would call God would be your best attempt at comprehension. To me, Theists, Deists, Pantheists all make the assumption that in the classroom of the universe, they are squeaking by with D minus. I, making less presumptions, assmue we i got an F, but don't exactly let it get me down.

"We have a set moral code within ourselves. Some things we just will not do, our spirits bare witness with ourselves. And our spirit, our conscience will tell us when we do wrong or right, becuase our spirit is from God, who has is the basis for right and wrong. However we can ignore God, we can pretend he doesn't exist and totally serve our own selves. Or we can hold on to some form of God, but deny his exisistance."

I'm sorry, but i don't really believe that. A set moral code appointed by God would mean I would at least slightly feel bad when I don't do something that God wanted me too. Actually, the idea of a conscious seems rather antithetical to the idea of free-will...which, unless i have mistaken you, would also conflict with christianity.
 

MaddLlama

Obstructor of justice
If you don't believe in God, then there is no separation between moral codes thought up by humans, and ones thought up by God. To be more specific: if there is no God, then all morals--including ones found in religious systems--come from the minds of men.
 
In my opinion the OP fails to clearly distinguish between two very different things:

1) Do people need to believe in a god in order to have a non-relativistic morality?

and

2) Does a god need to exist in order for people to have a non-relativistic morality?

The answer to the second question, in my opinion, is certainly "no", if for no other reason than people can be irrational, thus they could subscribe to non-relativistic moralities even if there were no god(s) actually commanding them to do so. For the same reason, I think the answer to the first question is "no" as well.

The problem of justifying certain moral standards that hold across all cultures is a very difficult one. However, no problem is actually solved by declaring there is a solution and giving it the label "God".

It reminds me of countless politicians claiming they will "fix" medicare or other such programs. "Fix" medicare, of course! Why didn't I think of that?

There exists something called "God" that can simply make things happen with no regard for reason or natural laws, and that thing justifies my morality! Eureka, I've discovered the solution by defining it into existence!
 

eudaimonia

Fellowship of Reason
[FONT=&quot]In my opinion, which i admit is speculative, is that without God or any topical force that can dictate correctness, humanity is left alone to cope with understanding the universe around it. Since humanity is limited in knowledge and awareness, his concept of morality is an ideal and only exists conceptually and if that is truly the case, does that not imply relativism?[/FONT]

Only if the existence of Flat Earthers implies metaphysical relativism. Is the Earth truly flat for Flat Earthers, or are they simply mistaken?

[FONT=&quot]
Would not morality in an atheist imply a reaction to theism and the cultural saturation that theism has affected?
[/FONT]

Human beings have needs. We don't need science to tell us this -- life experience shows this well enough. We may still call this an empirical observation.

We need morality because we need principles of action to meet our needs as rational, living beings. Some moral values are destructive of human flourishing, and others are productive of human flourishing.

The atheist has good reason to value morality. We all need morality.


eudaimonia,

Mark
 

Inky

Active Member
Er...why would the existence of a god imply morality, or the lack of one imply no morality? If the moral code is just a set of universal laws we're supposed to follow, then they're basically like gravity or friction except that they don't create predictable reactions in matter, so we can't test them. If we can have testable laws without God, surely we can have untestable ones. It would be very inconvenient to try and follow them, though, since nobody could tell us anything about them.
 

9-10ths_Penguin

1/10 Subway Stalinist
Premium Member
Er...why would the existence of a god imply morality, or the lack of one imply no morality?
This conversation puts me in mind of a question I read a while back: say tomorrow, God hands down a new commandment: Thou shalt rape thrice daily. Would that commandment be moral?

I for one don't feel that morality is arbitrary in the way that it must be if "right" and "wrong" were only right and wrong because a god had deemed them to be. On the other hand, I think it's rational to think that some sort of code of behaviour for how we treat each oteher would shake out naturally (and by necessity) in any society.
 

Buttercup

Veteran Member
[FONT=&quot]
In my opinion, which i admit is speculative, is that without God or any topical force that can dictate correctness, humanity is left alone to cope with understanding the universe around it. Since humanity is limited in knowledge and awareness, his concept of morality is an ideal and only exists conceptually and if that is truly the case, does that not imply relativism? Would not morality in an atheist imply a reaction to theism and the cultural saturation that theism has affected?[/FONT]
I'm basically just going to answer the title of your thread because I need more explanation as to the meaning/ideas behind your post.

What makes you think any morals are from God?

I ask you.....if someone murdered a beloved family member, could that act ever be moral?
 

Random

Well-Known Member
Creator Morality is the issue as I see it, not a creator God. Creator morality results in people living their lives in imitation of something that has no existence but in their minds. And a life lived in imitation only is not a life lived fully and vibrantly, even if the thing imitated happens to exist (ontologically, I mean).

Creator Morality says we must remake and reform the Earth in the image of a paradise lost or a Heaven hoped for. Creator Morality says we are made perfect but Fallen and sullied, and thus that we must repent and seek redemption under the auspices of men who affirm their life of imitation through religious dogma.

Finally, Creator Morality says that the best way to predict the future is to create it. If you cannot see the disaster this belief results in, just stop for a moment, look the darkness of the world square on and be aware of what you are party to.

The question was "Without a Creator God, do we need morality?" The answer is in the question, and as is so often the case come in the form of another question: "Without a Creator Morality, do we need God?"
 

Random

Well-Known Member
We should get a BUMP smilie going on here on RF.

I Want A Reply to my Wonderful post Above, please.

Thank YOU...
 

Aasimar

Atheist
I choose to follow Random because Random has more frubals. As first worshiping member of the church of Random I hereby order that all heretical heathen devil Nihilo worshipers be converted or killed without quarter or mercy. So it is written.
 

Random

Well-Known Member
I choose to follow Random because Random has more frubals. As first worshiping member of the church of Random I hereby order that all heretical heathen devil Nihilo worshipers be converted or killed without quarter or mercy. So it is written.

Bless you, my Son. Heed not the yeast of Nihilo worshippers, but instead build up treasures in Atheist Heaven...:areyoucra
 

Guitar's Cry

Disciple of Pan
Creator Morality is the issue as I see it, not a creator God. Creator morality results in people living their lives in imitation of something that has no existence but in their minds. And a life lived in imitation only is not a life lived fully and vibrantly, even if the thing imitated happens to exist (ontologically, I mean).

Creator Morality says we must remake and reform the Earth in the image of a paradise lost or a Heaven hoped for. Creator Morality says we are made perfect but Fallen and sullied, and thus that we must repent and seek redemption under the auspices of men who affirm their life of imitation through religious dogma.

Finally, Creator Morality says that the best way to predict the future is to create it. If you cannot see the disaster this belief results in, just stop for a moment, look the darkness of the world square on and be aware of what you are party to.

The question was "Without a Creator God, do we need morality?" The answer is in the question, and as is so often the case come in the form of another question: "Without a Creator Morality, do we need God?"

A very well thought-out post, Random!

"Without a Creator Morality, do we need God?" No. We make ourselves the God by imagining that we can create. (Which we can and can't.) Using God as a placebo (or a tool--same thing in this case), we can pretend that we are working on the direction of a higher power, when really that higher power is just symbol. (Just?)
 

Guitar's Cry

Disciple of Pan
A very well thought-out post, Random!

"Without a Creator Morality, do we need God?" No. We make ourselves the God by imagining that we can create. (Which we can and can't.) Using God as a placebo (or a tool--same thing in this case), we can pretend that we are working on the direction of a higher power, when really that higher power is just symbol. (Just?)

But that's still using "God," isn't it?

By taking an ideal, though, be it an Eden or a Utopia, we can work towards that ideal without a "God." The ideal becomes the placebo. But are we creating and recreating, or are we simply being?
 
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