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Well I probably wasn't clear enough on what you said first here but I'm not saying that people can't be moral without God, I think that is entirely possible.
But your statement seems to imply that while it's entirely possible to be moral without god, it's not really probable. It's a bit insulting, I must say. I'm willing to bet you can't provide any kind of evidence that religious people are more moral than others - and you certainly can't provide any evidence that people who believe in your particular flavour of god are more moral than those who believe in other gods.

The latter is especially complicated. See, people of other religions are absolutely, beyond the shadow of a doubt, convinced that the 'morals', conveyed by their gods, are absolute, perfect and irrefutable. Their claims are identical to yours, and yet their morals often aren't. Which god is right? They feel the same connection to their deity as you do to yours. Which also raises the question what your god is doing about that. Is he intentionally hardening their hearts so they don't feel his love but instead feel the love of another god?

But that leads to my point, how do you explain where these morals come from, why do we have such value for one another?
This is also a bit insulting, since this very question, posed by you no less, has been answered more than once. You keep rehashing it as if repeating it often enough would somehow force us to concede you're right.

I'll try again: We value one another because we couldn't survive otherwise. Our moral concepts evolved through that realisation. But you also keep forgetting that all is not as peachy as you're portraying it. We, as a species, are perfectly capable of harming one another, and we demonstrate that fact every single day. Believers and non-believers alike.

How does that inherent morality, instilled by god, explain, say, Inquisition, witch hunts, discrimination of women or slavery? All those things were done by deeply religious Christians in the name of their god and the morality he instilled in them. This is a question you still haven't answered. Free will doesn't explain squat, since people who did all that justified their acts with the same Bible that inspires all sorts of 'good' things in you.

And I don't understand how you compare human morals to animals morals, yes animals have their own morals but ours are far beyond theirs. Certain animals are more moral in certain ways but humans have the full set of morals unlike any animal. Animals don't go out of their way to help anyone outside their family or social circle I guess for primates, but humans can create things like animals rights groups, the peace corp, soup kitchens, and people travel around the world to help others they don't even know. And then all the jobs that help people doctors and nurses, emt, and firefighters to name only a few. So while some animals are more moral then others none of their morals go anywhere near as far as ours go. One more example of this, I heard this story some may have heard it I know some of it was in the news, but it was about this train wrecking into water, on board there was this couple and their child had cerebral palsy and was in a wheel chair. They immediately picked her wheel chair up over their heads, and when rescuers came they were able to save the child barely because of the parents, but the parents didn't make it.
This has been more than adequately explained so far, so I won't delve into the subject at this point. What I would like to do is present the counterpoint: how do you explain people forming associations and groups strictly aimed at harming others? Crime syndicates, hooligans, murderous cults and so on? How do you explain crooked cops, angels of death, medical workers who intentionally kill or harm their patients, firefighters who steal from the homes they are supposed to save or set fires, people who don't care about their children, loved ones, members of their own society and intentionally harm them or let them die, soldiers who indiscriminately rape, steal and pillage on their 'humanitarian' missions - in the very peace corps you seem to care so much about? How do you explain people who in the name of your god decline medical care for their children, resulting in their death or severe disability?

See, that's why we need laws. Not for the majority that instinctively doesn't harm others, but for the minority that does. We set rules and regulations and have been doing since before we were able to speak. Animals have more or less the same rules, they just lack the capacity to tell us in our language what those rules are. But we can observe their direct effect. Those rules are consistent and predictable when observing different groups of the same (or related) species. So are ours. Go figure.

I also have to point out that the mere fact that you don't understand something doesn't mean no one else does. Just because you are not familiar with a certain subject, doesn't, in the least, mean no one else is. But the thing that I find even more troubling is the fact that while you're supposedly willing to debate us, you're not willing to even hear us out. We have answered your questions and addressed your claims at length - and you ignored every single argument we made. You cherry pick questions to which you think you have an answer to and ignore the ones you either can't or won't answer. You ignore information presented to you and keep repeating the same things over and over again.

My point is and sorry for the length, how does a love like that come about by accident, or however you want to put that? I don't understand how evolution can explain that, it goes against all of evolution, because of such deep love. I believe that it because of the fact that you don't have to believe in God to have morals and know every life is worthy of value, that shows there has to be some transcending absolute that has instilled it within all of us. So I ask if you can really give me a rational explanation of where these came from, how there truly are things that are absolutely wrong whether or not someone agrees with it like murder, rape, and things of that nature.
Everything that has evolved can be said to be an 'accident'. If a new trait proves beneficial (or not harmful) for survival, it persists. If it's harmful, it dies off because the individuals possessing it can't reproduce as efficiently as those who don't.

What we describe as love is a very complex set of chemical reactions that drive us to do certain things. But you also seem to forget that 'deep love', as you call it, can also harm us or others. People commit suicide because of it. They inadvertently harm their children and loved ones, believing they're helping them. They stalk, harass and even kill people, because they feel such deep love for them or others. They harm and kill other people because they love their god so much.

And make no mistake about it - it's love they feel. How do you explain that?

Just because someone doesn't believe in god doesn't mean they don't value life and think that murder or rape are suddenly acceptable. I don't. And I certainly don't believe in god, never have. Neither do my parents and most members of my family - and the rest are all cultural believers at best. We all abhor violence and discrimination. Mind explaining that?

There is nothing 'absolutely' wrong or right, not for any length of time, anyway. Suffering a witch to live was considered immoral, remember? Slavery was considered moral. Murdering children for insubordination was a moral imperative. Punishing adultery by death used to be moral - not just moral, it was law. Spousal abuse used to be morally sound. The same goes for child abuse (spare the rod, remember?). God's law says that a rape victim must marry her rapist. Can you rationally explain why we don't think those acts are moral any more?

I've posed these same questions to you in another topic and you simply avoided them. Not just that - you rehashed the same arguments here without any regard to the fact that you've already been proven wrong. That's rude. Some could even call it morally questionable. It's certainly intellectually dishonest.

While I understand it can be overwhelming having so many people dissect your posts and demanding answers, but so far you haven't answer a whole lot of them, have you? Every now and again you quote something as if you're about to address the subject of the post, but you veer of in a direction you find suitable and avoid 'hard' questions. This may seem harsh, but it's true - you're not contributing to a debate. You're contributing to your own monologues and sermons. Considering the number and length of replies it should be clear to you we're sincerely interested in debating you on the subjects of your own choosing, otherwise we wouldn't bother. Please, be courteous enough to get involved in a debate instead of parroting yourself and other who have been proven to have nothing of substance to say. Thank you.
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Garja Extremely well thought out and stated. September 05, 2012, 06:02:46 AM