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Can You Be Good Without God?
Catholic Answers ^ | January 28, 2014 | Todd Aglialoro

Posted on 01/29/2014 4:37:11 PM PST by NYer

Atheists and agnostics like to claim that religion or belief in God isn’t necessary for living a moral life. “I can be a good person without God,” they say. Some go a step further and try to build a case for why they can be even better people without God. For example, they might claim that whereas theists are concerned about obeying religious commands that will get them into a heavenly afterlife, unbelievers are able to apply all their energies to making this world a better place.

In a certain sense, it’s correct to say that one can be a good person without God. History demonstrates this. Classical Western culture, which did not have divine revelation or formal religion, held up natural virtue as the highest goal. Confucianism lays out a sophisticated moral code without a supreme being.

That said, I think a strong case could be made that it’s both easier and more logical to live a truly moral life as a religious believer than as an unbeliever. If you ever find yourself challenged by an atheist with the “good person” argument, here are four reasons that might help your answer.

1. God Grounds the Good

What is the measure of morality? How do we know right from wrong—and thus what it means to be a “good person” rather than a “bad person”?

Without God, or something like God that is both authoritative and transcendent, we can only point to society’s definition or morality, or to our own personal code.

The problem with this? Society’s definition of morality changes, and sometimes it’s obviously wrong—think of Nazi Germany or the slave-state South. And our own personal moral codes are even more fickle, variable, and subject to error. To say, “I’m a good person because I’m living my personal moral code” is dangerously close to saying, “I’m living the way I want to live.” Is that morality?

Believers, on the other hand, have a standard outside themselves: authoritative and unchanging. God and his moral laws—whether positive laws (specific divine commandments) or the natural laws that originate with him—are the best and most reasonable basis for determining what it means to be a good person in the first place.

2. An Eternal Perspective

I mentioned before how some non-theists argue that belief in the afterlife leads to neglect of this life, but I think they have it backwards. Because believers see eternal consequences for their actions (Matt. 21:35-46), it heightens the moral drama of this world immeasurably. Just on the face of it, without any further information, who would you expect to take his moral conduct more seriously:

The person who thinks his everlasting destiny—and perhaps the destiny of others—depends on his living an upright life not only in deed but in word and thought?

Or the person who thinks that his life will end with the death of his body; that there will be neither reward nor reckoning for how he lives it? And that whatever good (or evil) he does to others will be but a momentary gesture, bringing nothing more than a flicker of comfort or annoyance in an absurd and ultimately pointless existence?

Unbelievers can try to gin up some home-cooked earthly motivation for living a moral code, even though its benefits are entirely confined to this life. But the believer’s eternal perspective so powerfully raises the stakes for being a “good person,” and thus the motivation, that it must make it easier to accomplish.

3. True Humanism

This next reason is related to the last one. A big part of morality, especially for unbelievers (who are generally less concerned about the morality of actions that don’t directly affect others), is doing good for our fellow man. Some would even say that unbelievers are nicer to other people on earth because they they’re not all preoccupied with pleasing an imaginary person in the sky.

But for an atheist, this humanistic impulse rests on pretty shaky ground. Why be nice, or good, or loving, or charitable, to other people? What’s so special about them?

Some will shrug their shoulders and say it doesn’t matter. They just think we should. It feels right. Others will try to argue that charity towards others is actually in our self-interest: either because it eventually will rebound our way like karma, or because it just makes us feel good about ourselves.

But what about when it doesn’t feel right? What if the other person is a jerk? What if being good to another clearly inconveniences us or even harms us? Why should we do it then? The unbeliever has no answer.

The believer does. Theism provides a foundation for authentic humanism. We are to love one another not only because God commands it, but because it’s just—because God made those other people, and keeps them in being, and loves them, and thereby infuses them with their own value. How can the even boldest secular humanists in history compete with that glorious vision of mankind?

4. Got Grace

If there’s a more universal constant in human experience than sin, I don’t know what it is. Believers and unbelievers all know what it’s like to know what is right but to do the opposite anyway (Rom. 7:22-23).

To what do unbelievers appeal in this unhappy circumstance? All they have is themselves—which is the problem in the first place. Yes, some extraordinary people are able to go quite far on natural virtue alone, but they’re an exception. The rest lie on analysts’ couches and crowd self-help seminars desperate for some natural key to improvement. Or they despair.

Even if there were no God, I think that even the idea of divine help is… helpful. Believing that we’re not on our own, that with enough faith and practice and perseverance we can overcome sin, because we have access to spiritual energy outside of ourselves, can only aid us in our quest to be good people.

So even if belief in God were just a moral crutch, it would be a handy and effective crutch. But most theists think it’s more than a crutch. We believe that God not only sets out the moral law and tells us to obey, but gives us the power to obey it—what we call actual grace. We’re able to transcend merely natural virtue, go beyond all that we have to give by our own power, because God gives us his power.

That power perfects our natural virtue, making us better people than we could otherwise have hoped to be. Better still, it enkindles in us supernatural virtue, moving us from being good people to a moral state nonbelievers cannot attain: holiness.


TOPICS: Apologetics; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Skeptics/Seekers
KEYWORDS: abortion; agenda21; ai; catholic; clintons; gmo; google; hollywood; monsanto; moralabsolutes; nwo; soros; transhumanism; un
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1 posted on 01/29/2014 4:37:11 PM PST by NYer
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To: Tax-chick; GregB; Berlin_Freeper; SumProVita; narses; bboop; SevenofNine; Ronaldus Magnus; tiki; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 01/29/2014 4:37:29 PM PST by NYer ("The wise man is the one who can save his soul. - St. Nimatullah Al-Hardini)
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To: NYer

I do not believe so personally.

My belief in Jesus and my belief that I will have to account for the contents of my life to Him is what keeps me on the straight and narrow.


3 posted on 01/29/2014 4:38:17 PM PST by chris37 (Heartless.)
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To: NYer

Blacks are the most religious race, followed by Hispanics, then Whites and then Asians

Now what’s this about needing to Believe in God to be good?


4 posted on 01/29/2014 4:41:56 PM PST by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: NYer
Without God, anything is permitted -- The Brothers Karamazov.
5 posted on 01/29/2014 4:42:11 PM PST by PUGACHEV
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To: qam1

Religious? Maybe if your god is government.


6 posted on 01/29/2014 4:43:59 PM PST by Olog-hai
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To: NYer

NOPE!


7 posted on 01/29/2014 4:44:55 PM PST by chicagolady (Mexican Elite say: EXPORT Poverty and Let the the Stupid AmericanTaxpayer foot the bill !)
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To: NYer

Some of the most moral people I know are atheists.


8 posted on 01/29/2014 4:45:24 PM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: NYer

No.


9 posted on 01/29/2014 4:45:33 PM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: NYer

depends on what you mean by good


10 posted on 01/29/2014 4:46:20 PM PST by Nifster
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To: NYer

Men certainly can’t be good without God, Because men were conceived in iniquity and have the sin nature of their father Adam, the federal head of the human race, men can’t be good with God either. However, they can be forgiven. Men can cast their sin on the Son and stand in the courts of heaven and be found righteous, but it’s not because of any goodness or righteousness in them, it’s because His perfect righteousness has been imputed to their account.

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one”


11 posted on 01/29/2014 4:46:22 PM PST by .45 Long Colt
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To: chris37

“Belief in Jesus” and trying to do good is not enough. Satan believes in Jesus. You must accept that Jesus is the one true son of God and that He is the ONLY way to get to heaven. “No one comes to the Father except through me.”


12 posted on 01/29/2014 4:46:53 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Haven't you lost enough freedoms? Support an end to the WOD now.)
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To: NYer

I think a person can but few choose to be.

I personally think Democrats want a godless electorate because a godless electorate doesn’t care about right and wrong and will accept obvious lies without caring.


13 posted on 01/29/2014 4:47:20 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: NYer

You can be good, but you won’t fear being bad.


14 posted on 01/29/2014 4:48:30 PM PST by heights
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To: NYer
We believe that God not only sets out the moral law and tells us to obey, but gives us the power to obey it—what we call actual grace.

The rich young ruler thought he obeyed all the rules. Our Lord showed him his failings. With man it is impossible to be saved no matter how hard he tries. With God, and only with God, all things are possible.
15 posted on 01/29/2014 5:02:22 PM PST by HarleyD ("His letters are weighty, but his .. presence is weak, and his speech of no account.")
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To: NYer

“n a certain sense, it’s correct to say that one can be a good person without God. “

Not according to Romans.


16 posted on 01/29/2014 5:02:30 PM PST by plain talk
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To: NYer

Fear of the Lord is the beginning of a man’s education. You wont pass go without it.


17 posted on 01/29/2014 5:04:14 PM PST by Track9 (hey Kalid.. kalid.. bang you're dead)
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To: NYer

Being good but denying God is an exercise in futility. We believers celebrate Christmas because a gift was sent by God in the Saviour Jesus because His sacrifice gets us to heaven and not our so-called goodness.


18 posted on 01/29/2014 5:06:18 PM PST by tflabo (Truth or Tyranny)
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To: HarleyD

Being good and being saved are two different things. Yes, people can be good apart from God, but not saved.


19 posted on 01/29/2014 5:07:26 PM PST by SgtHooper (If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.)
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To: NYer

I’m sure they can be good, but they won’t be their best.


20 posted on 01/29/2014 5:08:56 PM PST by mlizzy ("If people spent an hour a week in Eucharistic Adoration, abortion would be ended." --Mother Teresa)
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To: 9YearLurker

“”Some of the most moral people I know are atheists.””

Doubtful.

Are your atheist friends pro-Obama (70 percent of atheists).

Are they also pro-abort? Pro-homosexual marriage? Pro-fornication? Pro-cursing? Anti-going to church? Anti-prayer?

It is impossible for atheists to be moral.


21 posted on 01/29/2014 5:09:51 PM PST by heye2monn
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To: NYer

Of course you can be good without god, but you’re not going to be sin free and you’re not going to be saved.

But I believe there are certain circumstances where non-believers get the ultimate proof and ascend to heaven. I seem to recall a special latin name for it but can’t find it. Been a long time. I believe it’s reserved for those that have not heard the word of god and are righteous by their own conscious.


22 posted on 01/29/2014 5:11:29 PM PST by Usagi_yo
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To: NYer

I think the question is phrased wrong — by saying ‘no’ you are opening up the possibility of humanity being worthless*, by saying ‘yes’ you are opening the way to a “I’m a good person”**.

The best way to approach the question is how Jesus did, He said:
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”

This puts the focus on the goodness of God***, not on the goodness (or lack thereof) of mankind.

* — Humanity cannot be worthless because the living God deemed us to be worth His own life; this is irrespective of the impact of the fall upon man being made in God’s image***.
** — Romans 3:23 says “[...] all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God;”
*** — God’s image cannot but be good; it is debatable whether or not the fall destroyed or merely deformed that image which mankind bears, given that the murder of a man is a capital crime in the Noahic covenant there seems to be great evidence that it is the latter: “At the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made He man” (Genesis 9:5,6)


23 posted on 01/29/2014 5:13:01 PM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: NYer
The question, of course, is literally correctly answered both ways. The Sages of Israel regard those non-Jews who follow the moral law intuitively without Revelation as "wise men" who will receive a reward, though not the ultimate reward. In addition to this are the concepts of Derekh 'Eretz (the way of [the] earth, ie, common sense morality) and Dina' deMalkhuta' Dina' ("the law of the kingdom is the law," meaning Jews are to obey insofar as it does not violate the Torah, the laws of their host countries; ie, not practicing polygyny when the host country forbids it).

HOWEVER--my personal opinion is that, while there are times when this must be stressed, we are living in a time when it is stressed too much. The concept of Theonomic Positivism (ie, "there is nothing either right or wrong, but the arbitrary decree of G-d makes it so") is ultimately just true in its own way. In our G-dless age, when what little morality the secular world still holds to is brandished as a weapon against His authority, I think the world has heard too much of "natural law" and such things. I also think the author of the article makes G-d too much a utilitarian inspiration for good behavior than the Supreme Source of what is right and what is wrong.

24 posted on 01/29/2014 5:24:42 PM PST by Zionist Conspirator (The Left: speaking power to truth since Shevirat HaKelim.)
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To: SgtHooper; HarleyD
Being good and being saved are two different things. Yes, people can be good apart from God, but not saved.

And here we go again.

It is just this intrusion of the alien notion of "salvation" that has helped derail the idea of G-d's ultimate statutory authority. Everything is seen in light of "going to Heaven," whether goodness is necessary (as Catholics and Orthodox teach) or whether it is a "sign of salvation" (as many Protestants believe).

G-d could have created us as spirit beings in Heaven like the angels but chose not to. He could have not given us freewill but chose to do so. He could have not given us a list of commandments, but He chose to do so.

We were created by G-d in this world, not so much to "go to Heaven," but to transform it by keeping His Commandments on His Authority. When it comes to this, chrstianity hasn't been so conservative after all.

Please don't quote the "new testament" to "prove" anything to me. I do not accept it, and the very point of issue is whether it is from G-d (chas vechalilah!).

25 posted on 01/29/2014 5:31:32 PM PST by Zionist Conspirator (The Left: speaking power to truth since Shevirat HaKelim.)
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To: NYer

Sigh.
I take my soapbox out of the drawn, place it on the floor, stand on it and begin my speech.

Arguments like this are where secularist go astray because we do not challenge their assumptions correctly. They assume three things to be true which are actually false when they make a statement like this. Unfortunately many people that should know better at least partially believe the assumptions as well.

1.The first false assumption is that all religions are of equal value or are attempting to do the same thing

2. The second false assumption is that they believe the purpose of being religious is to make you a better person

3. The third false assumption is that they are assuming there is really such a thing as “good” or “moral” if there is no entity to define good or moral.

The first statement shows an utter lack of knowledge about the teachings and doctrines of various religions. The concept of “Nirvana” is a a good example of this in that it is a place where you achieve absolute nothingness; you know nothing, do nothing, experience nothing. That is a very different place conceptually from a Heaven. Indeed, Nirvana looks a lot more like a Christian Hell than a Christian Heaven. It is possible that all religion could be wrong, it is impossible that they can all be right. So saying you can be as good or moral as a religious person is meaning less if most religions are wrong or partially wrong

The second assumption is also easily seen to be false. Even in a religion like Buddhism which is the most works oriented religion you can find the object is not to do good deeds to make you a better person in the here and now but to be able to be re-incarnated into a higher form in the next life. Notice the good works are means to an end, not an end in and of themselves. To say I can do good, live morally without a Deity is beside the point because religious people are not being religious because it allows them to be better; often the reverse is true, religion helps us realize how bad they are.

The last area is a problematic one. If there is no God, there is no morality. About the best you can say is morality equals physics. For example gravity is everywhere. Its affects can be measured and predicted so it is WRONG to say I can float in the air rather walking down the stairs. But that type of universal or absolute is neither moral or immoral.

If there is no God then there is no reason other than expediency that we can say; Thou shalt not steal, kill, covet, forget your parents, work to hard, or behave unethically towards others but expediency is not the same as morality; even if doing these things can be shown to have what are widely considered to be deleterious affects upon society. This is why the left is dangerous. They place an artificial ideal above personal morality. It is OK to oppress one group to achieve the greater good. It is OK to lie cheat and steal to win an election because they’re ideology is superior and tells them they are moral people regardless of what the unenlightened would see as a crime.
Without an absolute arbiter of morality there is no should or should not but only can I get away with it. Without a moral code that comes from beyond our own experience there is no standard to measure goodness, right and wrong or righteousness. You can’t even be a subjectivist because you can have no valid scale to evaluate circumstances.

Here is what the secularist is really saying.
If all there is is what happens and there is no morality then all people are equally moral.

That is a world where Hitler, Mao, Ted Bundy and the gun wielding nut jobs at Columbine HS are just as moral as anyone else. That is the only way you can be moral in a world without moral absolutes

I put my soapbox back in the drawer and go back to work


26 posted on 01/29/2014 5:41:21 PM PST by Fai Mao (Genius at Large)
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To: NYer

So without God what exactly is a moral life?

Seriously, a male animal copulates with every female that will have him, is that immoral. No.

What about animals that kill each other (same species) for dominance or territory? No, that’s OK.

So, by and large, its flattering that atheists pick Christian morals, but what does that show you?


27 posted on 01/29/2014 5:49:41 PM PST by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: NYer
Can You Be Good Without God?

No.

But you can't be good with God either as a fallen human.

Jesus said flat out, "there is none good but God." We do our best and humbly ask His forgiveness for where we fail.

Because He is good He forgives us.

Now can you do something good without God? Yes. But that is quite different then being good.

28 posted on 01/29/2014 5:57:07 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (Proud Infidel, Gun Nut, Religious Fanatic and Freedom Fiend)
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To: NYer
You CAN be. It's unlikely, but it's possible.

However, you can't be saved without Him ...

29 posted on 01/29/2014 6:04:26 PM PST by IronJack
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To: NYer

It all depends on what’s true objectively.

If God doesn’t exist, you can be good, but only in a relative or subjective sense so in this scenario goodness is only a figment of your imagination.

If God exists, then without God you can be good but only in an eartly sense. Ultimately, the source of all goodness will judge you to be not good.


30 posted on 01/29/2014 6:08:29 PM PST by reasonisfaith ("...because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." (2 Thessalonians))
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To: NYer

it depends on who is defining what “good” is.

from God’s perspective, none of us in ourselves is good. the human heart is evil. we are naturally inclined to do bad. we don’t have to teach kids to be bad, we spend a huge amont of time teaching them to be good.

for atheists with no objective moral absolutes, ‘good’ is relative and subjective, so for them, self-definijg what good isto them, they would say yes.


31 posted on 01/29/2014 6:08:57 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: NYer

Being “good” especially in one’s own eyes is the biggest barrier to having a relationship with God.


32 posted on 01/29/2014 6:14:04 PM PST by dangerdoc (I don't think you should be forced to make the same decision I did even if I know I'm right.)
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To: NYer; All
To complete the thoughts being expressed in my post #24, another saying of the Sages is that even if the Torah had never been given, we could still have learned morality from watching the animals. But in my opinion there is a fundamental unstated assumption in all these seeming endorsements of an "independent morality":

And that is that, after all, G-d really does exist. Derekh 'Eretz, Dina' deMalkhuta' Dina', learning from the animals, are all ultimately valid because of G-d. If (chas vechalilah) there were no G-d, none of these would have any validity or meaning whatsoever. So even with a natural, rational, or intuited morality, the ultimate authority remains G-d, so that both "independent morality" and Theonomic Positivism both are ultimately the same thing.

This is another reason I think we need to cut out the appeals to rational or instinctual morality at this time and remind the world that without the objective existence of G-d there is no morality of any kind . . . even the kind that "makes sense" to us.

33 posted on 01/29/2014 6:46:59 PM PST by Zionist Conspirator (The Left: speaking power to truth since Shevirat HaKelim.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

Thanks, I’m going to stick with my belief system, it has worked in my life.

I don’t really believe that anyone knows exactly what anyone must do to go anywhere.

You might believe that you know, and you may well also be right, but what it is is a belief.


34 posted on 01/29/2014 6:57:14 PM PST by chris37 (Heartless.)
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To: NYer

I submit that one can, indeed, be moral and ethical withoug God, but only if one lives in a society that got its moral and ethical composition from its Religious foundation. The Atheist has to have some entity or background on which to determine what is moral and ethical. Religion is the only source. Philosophy in a society without a JudaeoChristian or Buddhist basis may determine the ethos of the philosopher himself and influence some of his adherents but that is a tiny group and their actual practice will be modified for survival and comfort in society as it is. Socrates could drink the hemlock. His disciples did not. If there is no Universal Source for morality, there is not measure by which to determine what is moral and one believes that what one does that appears to benefit himself is morality.


35 posted on 01/29/2014 7:03:41 PM PST by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson ONLINEhttp://steshaw.org/economics-in-one-lesson/)
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To: NYer

Once you remove God, The definition of good becomes fluid.


36 posted on 01/29/2014 11:02:36 PM PST by Jeff Chandler (Obamacare: You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.)
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To: 9YearLurker
Some of the most moral people I know are atheists.

Moral by Judeo-Christian standards?

37 posted on 01/29/2014 11:04:17 PM PST by Jeff Chandler (Obamacare: You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.)
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To: Jeff Chandler

Moral according to the perennial philosophy.


38 posted on 01/30/2014 2:57:36 AM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: Jeff Chandler

Apart from a transcendent God there can be no objective morality. Only personal preference and social convention - both of which can and do change with the wind.


39 posted on 01/30/2014 4:25:09 AM PST by circlecity
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To: circlecity

Why can there not be an innate human understanding of morality—whether or not individuals also transgress or rationalize otherwise?


40 posted on 01/30/2014 4:27:15 AM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: 9YearLurker
"Moral according to the perennial philosophy."

"Perennial philosophy" - what is that and what makes it objective?

41 posted on 01/30/2014 4:27:34 AM PST by circlecity
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To: 9YearLurker
"Why can there not be an innate human understanding of morality—whether or not individuals also transgress or rationalize otherwise?"

Now you are back to God - if it's "innate" then its either of divine origion or just subjective desire which can and does differ from person to person. If it's just some form of Darwinian survival mechanism then it holds no authority once it is recognized as such.

42 posted on 01/30/2014 4:30:24 AM PST by circlecity
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To: heye2monn
Are they also pro-abort? Pro-homosexual marriage? Pro-fornication? Pro-cursing? Anti-going to church? Anti-prayer?

Pick any church at random out of the phone book and you will find people whom regularly consider themselves members that fit your description to a T.

43 posted on 01/30/2014 4:58:04 AM PST by verga (Poor spiritual health often leads to poor physical and mental health)
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To: circlecity

It’s in essence Huxley’s theory at there is a core of common ethical principles taught by virtually all religions, with the implication that they thus arise from something universal whether in Man or God.


44 posted on 01/30/2014 5:25:52 AM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: circlecity

Just, appropriately to this thread, playing Devil’s Advocate here with you.

But say it is of evolutionary cause. Innate in the way that other species have common, universal traits such that humans nearly universally recognize the same components of morality. If it leads to a persistent consensus of what is moral behavior, why would that necessarily be lacking in authority?


45 posted on 01/30/2014 5:28:31 AM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: 9YearLurker
"It’s in essence Huxley’s theory at there is a core of common ethical principles taught by virtually all religions, with the implication that they thus arise from something universal whether in Man or God."

I see that as powerful evidence of a God, in which case this core is objective truth and a reflection of Divine law. If they are just an evolutionary survival mechanism then there is nothing objectively "good" or "bad" about them at all and I have no "moral" obligation to follow them to the extent they interfere with my enjoyment of my brief time in this world. Pragmatism is not an objective foundation for moralilty. Again, there can be no objective basis for ethics apart from a transcendent God.

46 posted on 01/30/2014 5:36:45 AM PST by circlecity
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To: circlecity

But if all of society just innately ‘feels’ or ‘reasons’ that the same morals are good and right, why does there need to be some transcendent God decreeing it so—and why is such an external decree necessary?


47 posted on 01/30/2014 5:52:21 AM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: 9YearLurker
"But if all of society just innately ‘feels’ or ‘reasons’ that the same morals are good and right, why does there need to be some transcendent God decreeing it so—and why is such an external decree necessary?"

Becasue if "everyone" "feels" this way it is either becasue a transcendent God put that feelilng there (which means consequences for disobedience) or it is merely an evolutionary survival characteristic. If it is merely an evolutionary social survival characteristic there would be no objective reason for any given individual to agree or feel bound that this feeling was "right" or "good". Why should anyone let others "feelings" interfere with maximizing their enjoyment of their very short life. If lying, stealing, killing and raping are what maximizes my enjoyment of life what would make that "wrong" regardless of how others "feel"? The big fish eat the little fish. It is what it is - whatever is, is right. Certainly "reason" can't lead to ethics because there are often very logical, rational reasons to do what others don't like in order to achieve your goals. If there is no God there there are only two laws:

1. Do as thou wilt; and
2. Avoid negitive consequences (ie. don't get caught)

48 posted on 01/30/2014 6:09:25 AM PST by circlecity
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To: circlecity

But if 1) individuals internally sense the same right and wrong, 2) society altogether agrees to same, and 3) laws reinforced the same right and wrong that’s pretty overwhelming. Arguably, the first circumstance is by definition the strongest basis for people to believe what’s right—that is, they innately believe such, so don’t need any outside authority.

That is different from how you try to twist it to be that individuals experience such belief as an arbitrary choice. That is not how most people experience right and wrong—and it is also not how Huxley’s theory explains it.


49 posted on 01/30/2014 6:20:48 AM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: NYer
belief in God isn’t necessary for living a moral life

That must be correct but it avoids accountability.

50 posted on 01/30/2014 6:39:32 AM PST by MosesKnows (Love many, trust few, and always paddle your own canoe.)
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