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Non Religioius origins or morals.


Swamptribe

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I opened up a new tab to read this so I am commenting before I finish the entire piece.

Religious people can appreciate this by considering Plato's question: Do actions become moral simply because they're dictated by God, or are they dictated by God because they are moral? It doesn't take much thought to see that the right answer is the second one. Why? Because if God commanded us to do something obviously immoral, such as kill our children or steal, it wouldn't automatically become OK. Of course, you can argue that God would never sanction something like that because he's a completely moral being, but then you're still using some idea of morality that is independent of God. Either way, it's clear that even for the faithful, God cannot be the source of morality but at best a transmitter of some human-generated morality.

I've heard conservative and fundamentalist argue that certain immoral(at least in my eyes) actions are good because god is just and therefore, can't do anything immoral. So, ordering the killing of children must have some good that they don't understand.

Because I used to be far more conservative in my thinking then I am now, I sadly used the same type of arguments. God, I reasoned, has to be all good so whatever he does must have some purpose even if I can't understand it with my puny mortal mind. What really helped me overcome this type of thinking were very patient atheists on the forum of Catholic Answers who insisted that morals were logical for the survival of our species.

Sometimes it is easy to underestimate the fear of self that is behind some religious people's insistence that humans can't be moral without god. Some of us were taught that we are very bad without faith, that we can do nothing good without god. Granted, I wasn't Calvinist but I absorbed that message and it took a long time to not fear that I would turn into some crazed, self centered person if I gave up religion.

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