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Thread: Morality or Obedience?

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    Morality or Obedience?

    Many theists here argue that morality is objective, that god is the bases of morality. So my question to them, i.e. to you theists, do you consider yourself to be moral beings, or are you just obeying what you believe to be devine laws? In other words, if God did not exist would you cease to live according to the morals that you now hold to?

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    tWebber Tassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    Many theists here argue that morality is objective, that god is the bases of morality. So my question to them, i.e. to you theists, do you consider yourself to be moral beings, or are you just obeying what you believe to be devine laws? In other words, if God did not exist would you cease to live according to the morals that you now hold to?
    I think they've got it back-to-front. Our primitive ancestors, including other human species such as Neanderthals, all had communal rules of behaviour (which is all morality is) according to archaeological evidence. This behaviour developed before gods, as we understand gods to be today, evolved.
    “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

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    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    No, we believe God built in a sense of morals into us based on his ideas of good and bad. They are intrinsic to our nature. We call it a "conscience"

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    tWebber Mountain Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimLamebrain View Post
    Many theists here argue that morality is objective, that god is the bases of morality. So my question to them, i.e. to you theists, do you consider yourself to be moral beings, or are you just obeying what you believe to be devine laws? In other words, if God did not exist would you cease to live according to the morals that you now hold to?
    We are moral beings in so far as God has given us a conscience to make us inherently aware of right and wrong.

    I have a lot of trouble answering questions like "Would you still live morally if God didn't exist?" because I can't imagine what this world would be like if we were governed by pure, animalistic instincts, which would certainly be the case if atheism were true, so that question is uninteresting to me. I'm much more interested in the question "Why shouldn't we live however we pleased if it were proved that God didn't exist?" Of course the atheist always resorts to espousing Christian virtues like altruism and benevolence, but that doesn't answer the question of why we shouldn't seek to live like, say, a Pablo Escabor, or a Hillary Clinton, who accumulated so much money and power that they were, at least for a time, effectively above the law (in the case of Hillary, it's very likely that she will die without ever being held accountable by human courts).
    Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
    But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
    Than a fool in the eyes of God


    From "Fools Gold" by Petra

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    tWebber guacamole's Avatar
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    I'm not sure I understand why proper behavior isn't both morality and obedience. The given position of the Euthyphro isn't that obedience is bad per se, only that religious people who claim to know what they're talking about might not have thought about it deeply.
    "Shall we mourn here deedless forever, a shadow-folk, mist-haunting, dropping vain tears in the
    thankless sea?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    In other words, if God did not exist would you cease to live according to the morals that you now hold to?
    I would not live by all the morals I do today, most perhaps...
    “The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.” C.S. Lewis

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    ... In other words, if God did not exist would you cease to live according to the morals that you now hold to?
    FYI, for a Christian, this is a nonsensical hypothetical situation. It's like asking, "if the carbon atom didn't exist, how would you think or act differently?" Or, "if the electromagnetic force didn't exist, how would you think or act differently?" If any of these (God, carbon atoms, electromagnetic force) didn't exist, then we wouldn't exist, either.

    If you want to engage in a sensible discussion on these matters with Christians, you need to ask you your questions in a different way that we can actually imagine.
    "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." – Albert Einstein

  8. Amen Jedidiah, Joel, DesertBerean amen'd this post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    I would not live by all the morals I do today, most perhaps...
    Why not?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
    We are moral beings in so far as God has given us a conscience to make us inherently aware of right and wrong.

    I have a lot of trouble answering questions like "Would you still live morally if God didn't exist?" because I can't imagine what this world would be like if we were governed by pure, animalistic instincts, which would certainly be the case if atheism were true, so that question is uninteresting to me. I'm much more interested in the question "Why shouldn't we live however we pleased if it were proved that God didn't exist?" Of course the atheist always resorts to espousing Christian virtues like altruism and benevolence, but that doesn't answer the question of why we shouldn't seek to live like, say, a Pablo Escabor, or a Hillary Clinton, who accumulated so much money and power that they were, at least for a time, effectively above the law (in the case of Hillary, it's very likely that she will die without ever being held accountable by human courts).
    Okay, so lets say that you have those same qualities that you believe god to have given you, i.e. a conscience and a sense of right and wrong, but you also know that there is no god. What do you do? Do you follow your conscience, or do you say, hmmm, I have nothing to fear, I'll just do what ever is in my own personal interests, to hell with right and wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by guacamole View Post
    I'm not sure I understand why proper behavior isn't both morality and obedience. The given position of the Euthyphro isn't that obedience is bad per se, only that religious people who claim to know what they're talking about might not have thought about it deeply.
    It could be both, but thats not the question.

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