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The superiority of secular morality

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Kleeborp, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. Kleeborp

    Kleeborp IncGamers Member

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    The superiority of secular morality

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and suppose that this community is about 50% christian and 50% non-theist (atheist, agnostic, deist). I'm here to make a point. I hold the conviction that secular morality is far superior to Christian morality. First off, if a Christian is only doing good because they have a fear of eternal punishment, or they do it to get into heaven, it's not really doing a good deed for the sake of doing a good deed. They are being selfish. They are only looking to better themselves. If a secular person does good, they aren't seeking eternal reward, they are seeking the betterment of others. Secularity wins there.

    Also, the central doctrine of Christianity requires that people need not be ultimately responsible for their actions, which is the basis for all morality. If I were a good friend of yours, I would, if you were facing punishment, offer to take some of the punishment for you. If I was a REALLY good friend, I would take all the punishment for you. The one thing I can't do, however good a friend I am, is to take away your responsibility for your actions. When a Christian does wrong, all they have to do to feel "right" in their mind is to ask for forgiveness. Not from the victim, oh no, but from some transcendent supernatural invisible being, a third party. If a secular person does wrong, they must take up responsibility and make right with their victim. It is the only moral way to do so. Secularity wins again.
     
  2. Rawness

    Rawness IncGamers Member

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    Re: The superiority of secular morality

    Well it is not really like you stumbled upon something new, and it really isn't that simple.

    Your views is based upon generalized situations, and since christianity has 32.000 sub-categories under it; that all have different perspective.... additinoally their concepts may not include such as "fear of eternal punishment" or the devil.

    This logic:
    Makes a quiet dubious case for the superiority of "secular morales" since it makes a case that can be said to be made up of a position derived by generalization, and if the christians doesn't base his action upon "fear" of punishment; but rather of benevolence to the common man because of Jesus Christ; is this man so inferior to the the secular man who bases his morality based upon what is punished and not?

    Why for exampel, does a secular person need to do that -- because he's a hypothesis generated by you?

    first of; generalisation aren't truths, hypothesis and constructions based upon prejudice aren't really gonna make a convincing case.
    I want to know what motivates the secularist to commit to the Good of his fellow man when there's nothing in it for him? Most tend to agree with the notion that nobody "will do good for good's sake", but rather "do good for ones own sake", but you aren't making that connection.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
  3. Kleeborp

    Kleeborp IncGamers Member

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    Re: The superiority of secular morality

    First off, Don't talk about Jesus Christ until you can demonstrate to me that he existed in the way that is described in the bible.

    Also, don't use the equivocation fallacy. I said Christian. I mean someone who follows the Bible. The bible says that if you don't do what it says, you will suffer eternal punishment. You can say that there are thousands of other sects that call themselves "Christianity", but they're not Christianity if they don't follow what the Bible says.

    For your last quote of me, I guess I should have been explicit saying "if a secular person does wrong and attempts to make it right..." I thought that italicized was implicit.

    I think i can generalize when I find that, generally, a secular person is more moral than a Christian.
     
  4. Darkflight

    Darkflight IncGamers Member

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    Re: The superiority of secular morality

    Secular people don't need to fear eternal life, so they have no reason to have morals other then to "be nice". Or maybe because they are afraid of the punishment they will recieve from other people.

    Christians fear the idea of eternity in hell, so they tend to follow some morals. It's just a damn shame that so few of them follow the same moral their savior did. Jesus had alot of good ideas, and of course humans figured out how to corrupt them and use them for their own purposes.
     
  5. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed IncGamers Member

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    Re: The superiority of secular morality

    That is a false dilemma.

    First, you're assuming- with no basis for such a claim- that a Christian's sole motivation is fear of eternal punishment. That is false; a Christian is just as likely to do a good deed for the sake of doing a good deed as anybody else.

    Secondly, you are assumping that a non-theist's sole motivation in doing a good deed is seeking the betterment of others. This is likewise false; one's motivation may be an expectation of eventual reciprocity, an attempt to improve one's social standing or simply appear a better person in the eyes of others, boosting one's ego by creating a feeling of smug moral superiority over others (I have a sneaking suspicion that the purpose of making this thread had a lot to do with that), and fear of the mechanisms the secular society uses to punish those who don't fit the prescribed moral mold (criminal law, social stigmatization, etc.).

    False dilemma again. I have my issues with the Christian concept of forgiveness, but asking God for forgiveness and asking the forgiveness of the injured party are not mutually exclusive.


     
  6. Ariadne

    Ariadne IncGamers Member

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    Re: The superiority of secular morality

    That's one hell of a limb to start with. I'd like to think this forum is more diverse than that.


    We can only talk about stuff where you have concrete proof? Life has just become a bit more boring then.
    People will always believe in stuff with no proof. Scientists have to believe in stuff too, first, and then may go on proving it right. Or wrong.
    I do believe in Jesus Christ but not necessaraly think that the Bible is right about his lifestory to the letter.



    I say, each to their own. If certain Christians only feel like doing good from, if you say, egocentric motives, fine. If it works for them, and, most importantly - they don't force it upon anyone else - who cares? Everyone should believe in what works for him, what supports him, what makes him feel better. As long as it doesn't harm any other living being.



     
  7. Rawness

    Rawness IncGamers Member

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    Re: The superiority of secular morality

    You are talking about Jesus Christ; I am however not doing that.
    You're using the equvocation fallacy here as a means to make an argument which I am not making. I am simply saying that the meaning, and the interpretation of the bible is much more diverse than a concrete generalization. I think that you should make an argument of that instead of a single perspective, which would have much more diversity if you had an abstract attitude in the matter.

    Reductionism. Christianity isn't uniform. The bible is a text with various interpretation, with different religious branching with different nuances and focalizations, they can all be said to follow the bible, because the bible gives rise to many ways of thinking about Christ and God. Christianity isn't mutually exclusive. I am saying that it's a wrongful approach to go at the people under the specific belief rather than the text itself, at least in this context.



     
  8. Kleeborp

    Kleeborp IncGamers Member

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    Re: The superiority of secular morality

    My point is that their morality is not genuine. Sure, there are people on both sides of the equation that are completely devoid of a moral standard as per sociological and psychological disorders, but when a secular person is moral, it is infinitely more genuine than when a Christian is.


    Another point I wish to bring up, but forgot, is how I disagree with some of what Christians call moral. The Bible (in the new and old testament) teaches how you are allowed to treat slaves, how long you can have them, and how the rules apply differently if they are Jewish. Also, Timothy calls for "wives, submit everything to your husband". For those who are not well-versed, this means marital rape. The concept of sin is immoral, the concept that I could receive an infinite punishment for a finite crime. Matt Dillhaunty (host of The Athiest Experience) puts it this way. There is nothing my children could do, including not loving me, that would cause me to lock them in the basement and torture them forever. So that leads me to one conclusion and one conclusion only. My morality is even superior to God's as described in the bible.


     
  9. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed IncGamers Member

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    Re: The superiority of secular morality

    I never understood that particular objection. The Bible doesn't require anyone to go out and acquire slaves- but if you live in the time and place where slavery is an inevitable part of life routine, the Biblical laws regulating slavery are pretty damn progressive.


     
  10. Leopold Stotch

    Leopold Stotch IncGamers Member

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    Re: The superiority of secular morality

    not always.... some people are generally nice and like to help others, sometimes religious views have nothing to do with it. a Christian person can help me because they love me or they really care for me, not because they fear Hell.

    maybe you mis-read that? i thought in order to repent for you sin, not only did you have to make peace with yourself and God (AND TRULY MEAN IT), you had to make peace with the victim and those you have also wronged? it's not always one-sided.

    the Bible was written by man. who knows what they put in there was real or not.

    Christian is someone who believes in God. they don't necessarily have to follow EVERYTHING the Bible says. and if that is the case, then im going to straight to Hell. i don't care. i enjoyed my life, i loved my family, and i did as much good on this mudball as i tried to.


     
  11. Ash Housewares

    Ash Housewares IncGamers Member

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    Re: The superiority of secular morality

    less attack of the alternative and more advocation of your preference please
     
  12. blikst

    blikst IncGamers Member

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    Re: The superiority of secular morality

    No love for Buddhists?
     
  13. Eggmanz

    Eggmanz IncGamers Member

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    Re: The superiority of secular morality

    No offence to the OP, but your arguments are founded on generalisations, as was said, that cannot be a basis for an informed opinion.

    There is no reason why you should need to seperate christian morality and secular morality ; christians don't have morals because they are forced to, the christian religion preaches before anything else love and respect for your fellow human being, regardless of good/evil/punishment/forgiveness.

    That's how I work anyway.
     
  14. Damric

    Damric IncGamers Member

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    Re: The superiority of secular morality

    The god of Islam (Allah) is supposed to be the same god of Christians (Jehova) and the same god of Jews (Yahweh) whom originates from the ancient middle eastern worship of the god Il, or El (the one god), also known as Cronus (ruler of the gods) who competed with worshippers of Baal (fertility god). I killed Baal and was given the standard of heroes. End.
     
  15. Talga Vasternich

    Talga Vasternich IncGamers Member

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    Re: The superiority of secular morality

    First you say...
    Then you say...
    Unless you're talking only about the Old Testament, the Bible is both the Old Testament and the New Testament. The New Testament is about the life of Jesus the Christ who, according to you, cannot be considered as having been a person without DNA evidence or some other physical proof, right?
    The same can be said for Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, etc..., yes?

    Always the beginning of a VERY convincing argument.:coffee:



     
  16. Damric

    Damric IncGamers Member

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    Re: The superiority of secular morality

    I believe if you step in a crack, you'll break your mother's back!
     
  17. SaroDarksbane

    SaroDarksbane IncGamers Site Pal

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    Re: The superiority of secular morality

    As a Christian turned agnostic, I can say without too much reservation that your post is . . . not worth much. You've made too many generalizations, without putting enough real thought into people's true motivations. Let's start here:
    First, separate "doing good deeds" from "not doing bad deeds". Nothing says a Christian has to give a dollar to every homeless man that passes by to get into heaven.

    Second, I will go out on my own limb here and say that no one, regardless of faith of lack thereof, gives without getting something desirable in return. The return may be something tangible (a trade), or something intangible (good feelings, friendship, etc.) A Christian may give a dollar to a homeless person because it makes him feel like a good Christian. An atheist may give a dollar to a homeless person because it makes him feel like a good human being. Saying that the Christian giver is selfish, whereas the atheist giver is noble is a double standard.
    First, if there were an omnipresent, omniscient God that could see directly into your heart and mind, it would also be required that the person meant it, and didn't just ask for it. There's a big difference. True repentance requires a personal recognition of guilt and an honest desire to change. Lip service doesn't cut it.

    Second, forgiveness from God does not absolve a person of all responsibility to the injured parties in this life. We still have courts for that kind of thing. A Christian who killed another person in anger, for example, would still be on the hook for prison time, regardless of whether he eventually made himself right with God.

    Third, nothing about seeking forgiveness from God precludes seeking the forgiveness of the wronged. Indeed, one might argue that someone who was truly contrite would feel compelled to seek such forgiveness, rather than being dissuaded from doing so.
    Why does that matter? For Rawness's argument, it only matters that people think he existed, and are trying to emulate him. After all, even if he was completely made up, people could still try to follow in his moral footsteps.
    And what does the Bible say? You'll find interpretations vary greatly, which is the reason for so many divisions. I wish you luck in picking one of them to be the "true" Christians, but your answer and the reasoning behind it will no doubt be fascinating.
    Indeed, Biblical laws in general were extremely progressive in ways that most people don't understand.

    Of course, if I were to believe that an almighty God crafted such laws himself, I would expect them to be better than simply "good for that point in history". :thumbup:



     
  18. SeCKSEgai

    SeCKSEgai IncGamers Member

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    Re: The superiority of secular morality

    That statement just spews of ignorance - you might as well state Christians (or followers of religious faiths in general) are only moral for the sake of the afterlife. Wait, I think you did somewhere.

    I myself am a bit of a bitter ex-catholic, but my morality isn't based upon the afterlife, as it's changed little from when I was a good lil catholic school boy.

    I've actually asked myself that question, if there was absolute certainty there was no afterlife, would I do things differently - if I had that knowledge would I be able to rape, murder, pillage etc? Would I lie, cheat, and steal? Would I maybe blow things up just to see them explode?

    Murder, rape - things I couldn't ever forgive myself for, why would I expect a God or gods of any faith to be forgiving? Taking faith out of the matter, I can't imagine enjoying either of the acts.

    I don't see how not following a Christian background suddenly makes your morality "infinitely more genuine". How do you measure genuine and how are these units suddenly infinite?

    The assumption that people of faith do good only in fear of retribution in the afterlife is ludicrous.


     
  19. BobCox2

    BobCox2 IncGamers Member

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    Re: The superiority of secular morality

    Personally I like the Golden Rule of

    "Do onto others as you would have them do onto you."

    So lets check which religions have something equivalent to that and watch for the exceptions.

    Like in Islam that rule only applies to other Muslims not infidels.
     
  20. SonataArctica

    SonataArctica IncGamers Member

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    Re: The superiority of secular morality

    It's been proven to me, via the actions of others around the world and in my own community, that organized religion has no place in a modern progressive(not in the political sense) society.

    If we ever want to break through any of the distant horizons, we need to get rid of all of our antiquated ideals. The naivety required to dedicate ones' life to ONE way of thinking without taking into consideration all the other possible ways of thinking is mind blowing.

    I'm not just calling out Christians, I'm calling out all organized religion. And well, if there is a God... let him strike me down now. If there is an Allah... may he do the same. If there is a ____... etc. etc.

    Sadly, people will continue to call upon their gods and what-have-you, because, frankly, they're scared. They're scared of feeling 'alone'. They need that security blanket, they need to crawl under it every night just to feel fulfilled. I don't need that and, imo, I'm stronger for it.
     

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