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Old 11-25-2006, 05:24 PM   #1
Dagobahn Eagle
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Bergen, Norway
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Thumbs up On the origin of morals - and the preservation of favoured logic

One argument I keep hearing from the superstitious God-worshipers is that without their God or any other mythological ruler and set of rules, there'd be no source of morality. There'd as such be no reason to not rape, there'd be no incentive for altruism, and all of the world's nations would descend into dictatorships on the same level as North Korea and the old Stalinist Soviet Union.

This is of course as ridiculous as it is ignorant. First of all, if morality stems from the Bible and/or other mythologies (and there are indeed individuals who claim the morals we live by is courtesy of the 10 commandments), how come animals without religion show altruism? If absence of religion breeds dictatorship, communism and evil, how come many countries that are predominately atheist, such as the Scandinavian kingdoms and republics, have lower levels of crime, divorce, STDs, and so on than the United States? Why is Norway, in which only 19% of the populace believes in an after-life and 70% are atheists, ranked first on the United Nations' Human Development Index? Surely with its convictions it should rank among the last on the list, with Sri Lanka, Niger, Yemen, and Haiti?

On a different note, do you know a single person who actually follows the moral code of the Bible? The reason I ask is that every Christian I've ever spoken to, even the most die-hard Bible-thumping fundamentalist, fails to do so. Instead, they adopt only the passages they agree with, and ignore the rest.

For example, anti-homosexuals are quick to point to the Biblical outrage against homosexuality, but equally swift to ignore and even forget the Scripture that does not agree with them. Take, for instance, what to do with those who tell you to worship other Gods than the Christian one:

"You must kill him. Your hand must strike the first blow in putting him to
death and the hands of the rest of the people following. You must stone
him to death, since he has tried to divert you from Yahweh, your God..."

Homophobes, for example, do not necessarily make attempts to enforce or strenghten Blue Laws which call for stores to be closed on Sundays, in respect of the Sabbath. In fact, everyone who follows moral codes in the Bible do so because their own morals tell them what is right or wrong. You don't refrain from stealing, raping, and cheating on your spouse because God tells you not to - you do it because you know it's wrong. If God popped up tomorrow and proclaimed that the idiot he'd influenced to write the Bible had been mistaken and that in reality, he had no business directing you to kill or not kill, would you go out and murder people? Methinks not.

So what is the origin of pity, kindness, justice, and loyalty? Society. From where did human society get it? Its ancestors. Morals are common on Earth. Humans aren't the only species to choose one partner and stay faithful with him or her until death - many species do so. Homo sapiens is far from alone in protecting fellow individuals - just look at the wolves, nursing the injured pack members, protecting the pack from attack, and even adopting human infants. In fact, the behaviour of adopting other species' newborns is also commonplace in the animal society - who hasn't heard stories of dogs who've just gotten pups choosing to also take care of a stray kitty? There was even a story on Snopes of a dog mom adopting an injured squirrel as her newest "pup"!

Do I have to tell my dog to protect me from harm? Nope, it will do so instinctively. She needs no story of a guy with a long beard sitting in the clouds ready to smie her should she neglect to defend me - even my relatively unintelligent dog has enough common sense in her to realize that pack members should be defended.

I believe this post begs the questions:
  1. If humans are dependant on superstitious belief in omni-potent law-givers and punishers to not do wrong, then why aren't anmials? Aren't we humans supposed to be better than animals (especially according to those Creationists who for the lives of them do not want to descend from monkeys)?
  2. How can any intelligent, reasonable person argue that we will descend into dictatorships when we abandon the childish mythologies to which we cling? Is it not obvious from looking at the world around you - and the animal kingdom - that this is ignorant bollocks?
Morality stems from society, tradition, and a healthy does of good ole common sense. It's constantly evolving (well, how many slaves do you count in the States today?), it's backed by logic and reason (well, most of it), and it'll stay long after the last mythological doctrine of Abraham fades into history along with those of Thor, Zeus, Shiva, and Amon-Ra.

So in conclusion, if there's no God, why should I not murder? Because, naturally, it takes away the life the victim has been given by his parents, and will land me in prison faster than you can say "Richard Dawkins". Sounds reasonable enough to me.

God Bless Sincerely
--Safe-Keeper


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