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why are we good?
(11 Messages in 2 pages - View all)
[1] 2
1.       thehandsom
7403 posts
 01 Jun 2008 Sun 11:22 am

Most of the religious people think that "without religion, people would not want to be good".
Can morality without a god exist?
do you agree with Dostoyevsky as he said "if there is no God, then everything is permissible.” ?

2.       AEnigmamagnadea
416 posts
 01 Jun 2008 Sun 12:51 pm

(1) I see no sign of any peace or lack of crime in highly religious areas, so I think we can deduce that religion makes no difference whatsoever!

With regard to morality, it seems to depend on the culture of the area. It may be "immoral" to wear a short skirt in Iran, but perfectly acceptable to stone a woman for talking in public to a man who is not her husband!

(2) I believe that people are basically "good". The definition of someone without compassion is "psychopath" - and they are in every culture and religion.

3.       Avalon
381 posts
 01 Jun 2008 Sun 12:58 pm

Quoting thehandsom:

Most of the religious people think that "without religion, people would not want to be good".
Can morality without a god exist?
do you agree with Dostoyevsky as he said "if there is no God, then everything is permissible.” ?

I wonder why most of religious people think this way,it can be a result of fear or religious indoctrination,these do's and don'ts that make people be afraid of punishment in eternal life instead of promised paradise.But I tend to disagree that without religion people would not want to be good.Being good is inborn feature of humanity,in the process of socialization and growing evil may dominate,but none of us was born evil.
Morality can exist without God for sure,still look at primitive tribes that developed their code of behaviour knowing no God just believing in the powers of nature.
Dostoyevski has never been authority for me.I admit perfect writer but his hatred towards my nation disqualify him
I believe in God no matter what its name is ,more like divine source of human power according to Don Miguel Ruiz,Toltec nagal but I would not dare to say that without God people are evil.
I am attaching the link to the interview with M.Ruiz on human nature and good in general
http://www.spiritofmaat.com/archive/apr1/ruiz.htm

4.       libralady
5152 posts
 01 Jun 2008 Sun 10:47 pm

Quoting thehandsom:

Most of the religious people think that "without religion, people would not want to be good".
Can morality without a god exist?
do you agree with Dostoyevsky as he said "if there is no God, then everything is permissible.” ?



I live 80 / 90% of my life without religion and have done so for many years, since I was about 8 or 9 years old, when no one could explain to me where God lived or what he looked like, and how come he did not stop wars or innocent people dying and murderers lived. The only religion that I get involved in is funerals and weddings, nothing more, then I do that reluctantly and feel a hypocrite.

To me religion is the cause of much trouble in the world and many religious people are hypocrites. If religion was pure and just a set of guidelines , no make believe God, then I would subscribe to it. I find it incredible that people believe in something that is not tangible, never been any proof of existance.

Sorry I forgot to answer the question! Actually I am not good all the time, lol but that has nothing to do with religion! But I believe in values such as being polite, respectful, kind, helpful, hard working.....nothing in life is free sort of attitude.

5.       Daydreamer
3743 posts
 02 Jun 2008 Mon 09:59 am

I wouldn't say people are intrinsically good. Good is quite relative a term. What is good to us may no be good to others. In a Polish novel by Sienkiewicz, a young African is taught about religion by a Polish lad. He's taught the concept of good and bad. The conclusion he draws is 'When somebody steals a cow from Kali [the guy's name], it's bad. When Kali seals a cow, it's good.' That's an unbiased reasoning stemming from Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs where physiological needs like the one of food come first before morality



Good is defined by culture (and thus religion, as it usually has a huge impact on it). Still, without religion nothing would change so much. We function is societies with laws - we either obey them or get punished. We don't kill not because a god might disapprove of it, but we are aware of instant consequences as well. Yet, like I said in the religion thread that unfortunately got locked, religions help to enforce the law.

Apart from the law we have social interaction. Human beings are social beings and to interact within a group we have to follow certain rules as well. Nature has prepared us for it, giving us emotions like empathy. Violating group's rules results in an individual being excluded.

So, to sum up, we act in a certain way due to the law and social convenction and ethics.

6.       teaschip
3870 posts
 02 Jun 2008 Mon 06:42 pm



I don't believe that religion makes us bad or good. I think as an individual every person who has religion in their lives is affected differently. The spirtuality in one person, is not the same in another. For some people, however having religion in their lives keeps them balanced and in check. For others it's the community the place to gather. And for alot of people spirtuality makes them want to live a healthier life and become a better person. What ever the motivator is, religon is meant to be "good".

The question for me is "What do I have to loose?" but "What do I have to gain?" I opt for the second.

Lastly, "If there was no God, everything would be permissible". I don't necessarily agree with this, but I'll just say I'm glad I will never have to experience it.

7.       portokal
2516 posts
 02 Jun 2008 Mon 10:59 pm

"religions are mental maps" IP Culianu

8.       thehandsom
7403 posts
 03 Jun 2008 Tue 11:00 pm

I am sure, there are many people thinking that it is GOD motivates them to be good.
But, the only reason I am trying to be a good person is to gain god's approval or reward or to avoid punishment is NOT morality..is it?
it seems like that is sucking up or apple polishing or looking over your shoulder at the great surveilance camera..

I think, in the absence of god, if you are a religious person and you admit we are NOT going to be murderers, rapists, robbers then the claim 'God is necessary for us to be good' is totaly undermined. (it is my opinion of course lol)
And also some studies found that lowest rates of violant crimes in the usa are in cities where population support democrats -less religious comparing to conservative cristians-(62 %) and the most dangerous cities are supporters of conservatives (76%).
It looks like higher rates of belief and worship of a creater correlates with lower rates of morality!!

9.       AEnigmamagnadea
416 posts
 04 Jun 2008 Wed 11:36 am

Quoting thehandsom:

It looks like higher rates of belief and worship of a creater correlates with lower rates of morality!!



Scarily this is true

10.       Daydreamer
3743 posts
 04 Jun 2008 Wed 11:39 am

Can be...if all your moral questions are answered in a way that doesn't really need you to think them through, you begin to lose objectivity and start being fanatic with "Our Way Is The Only Way" etched on your forehead. Democrats tend to be more aware of other beliefs and ways of being than conservatives - approach to homosexuals can be an example here, or approach to non-believers in religion dominated societies.

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