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Old 07-12-2010, 04:21 PM   #61
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Re: Is it possible for man to live a moral life without religion?

One thing to note is that, from the perspective of an atheist, religion is not the source of morals in any way. Because in that perspective, it's from people's minds that the laws and beliefs that form the "morality" of different religions. The practices and beliefs of these religions are based on the preachings of people. Where did they get these "morals" from if they are the ones that began their inclusion in religion? Therefore, from an atheist perspective, people are automatically capable of creating "moral code" for themselves and others to live by without religion, as they are the ones that create religion based on those morals they believe in.

Can an individual be "moral" by their own standards and others' without religion? Yes.
Can "morality" exist without religion? Yes.
Can society enforce "morality" without breaking its own laws? Probably not. Because no one can truly force a person to be moral by someone else's standards without the threat of punishment. The actions that merit punishment by any moral code are the same things that must truly be done in order to punish those who commit such actions.
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Old 07-12-2010, 04:36 PM   #62
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Re: Is it possible for man to live a moral life without religion?

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Can you answer one question before I reply? Is morality void of subconscious belief?
I would say that morality can be devoid of subconscious belief if one goes about finding the objective morality through rationality. There is no subconscious belief behind the idea that you can't enjoy without being alive to enjoy. That itself is a rational judgment devoid of subconscious belief. If we are just going to pick rules out of our ass and call it morality--which is essentially what the common man's morality is--then they will be affected by your subconscious influences. If you choose values which are rational, then morality can be formed by picking out the best steps to achieve those values.
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Old 07-12-2010, 04:48 PM   #63
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Re: Is it possible for man to live a moral life without religion?

^It'd also be possible to have a 'subjective' individual morality so long as it's also based on reason, wouldn't you say? Which would also make for a morality without subconscious belief in those scenarios as well.

Like, hmm. I can either take the steps or use an elevator to get to the top floor of a building. Both options are logical means of reaching the top floor. Someone is a stair guy, someone else is an elevator guy.

I'm not really completely sold on the idea of an objective morality, despite actually liking the concept (I really try to think of what the objective morality would be, but I can't think of anything concrete that isn't extremely open or general). Simply because I think it's possible for people to be logical while believing in different things.
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Old 07-12-2010, 05:01 PM   #64
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Re: Is it possible for man to live a moral life without religion?

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^It'd also be possible to have a 'subjective' individual morality so long as it's also based on reason, wouldn't you say? Which would also make for a morality without subconscious belief in those scenarios as well.
Explain what you mean by this. When I say "objective" I don't mean "thou shalt not kill." I simply mean that in one's specific situation, morally speaking, there are options that are better and worse, depending on how rational they are. When I say "objective" I simply mean that there is a defined right and wrong, which can be known to anyone. What is good for person A in his situation would also be good for person B in the same context. Both should be pursuing the same supreme values of life and pleasure, and those are values that any human, no matter where you are, should have if they want to live a "good" life as a human.
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Old 07-12-2010, 05:16 PM   #65
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Re: Is it possible for man to live a moral life without religion?

By that I just mean an individual's personal code of conduct. Instead of an objective, universal code of conduct. I think an individual can base his personal code of conduct on reason, keeping it devoid of 'subconscious beliefs' and shit.

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.Both should be pursuing the same supreme values of life and pleasure, and those are values that any human, no matter where you are, should have if they want to live a "good" life as a human.
Yeah, that's pretty much around as far as I can get. Only way I can define an objective morality is by keeping it pretty vague. Once I try to add specifics or details then it starts falling apart. = /
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Old 07-12-2010, 05:25 PM   #66
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Re: Is it possible for man to live a moral life without religion?

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Yeah, that's pretty much around as far as I can get. Only way I can define an objective morality is by keeping it pretty vague. Once I try to add specifics or details then it starts falling apart. = /
There is no reason for it to suddenly fall apart. If we want to start declaring actions wrong or right such as "thou shalt not have sex before marriage," then things will fall apart. A morality isn't less objective if it is more contextual. As long as their is a supreme principle that governs it, which is rationally achieving your values, than the morality is objective. If there are right and wrong options in every situation, than a morality can be derived. Narrowing down those options to find the best is a matter of time and effort.
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Old 07-12-2010, 05:39 PM   #67
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Re: Is it possible for man to live a moral life without religion?

Oh yeah, definitely agree. I completely support the idea of an objective morality in that sense.

I think the problem I have is that when I actually try to apply it in real world situations then it doesn't seem extremely useful to a society and shit. Like, I can think of situations where stealing would be a rational way to go about obtaining something that would bring you happiness. But a society where people steal things doesn't sound so great. I can then try to solve this by redefining happiness by stating something like true happiness would be found by earning the item through hard work. But then I can think of situations where that doesn't fit too well either.

I suppose, in that particular scenario, I could just say that stealing is okay. And the fact that other people wouldn't want their shit stolen would cause them to just find ways of preventing it from happening. So shit would solve itself as far as society's needs are concerned. Which I can roll with. But I'm pretty sure a lot of people would disagree.

I dunno. But yeah, I guess I do support the idea of an objective morality after all.
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Old 07-12-2010, 05:50 PM   #68
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Re: Is it possible for man to live a moral life without religion?

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If we are talking of faith as irrational belief than you are wrong. If you mean faith as in belief in general, than you would be right. You have to have values in order to be moral. I don't think that this "belief in general" was what the OP meant. He was likening it to religious belief, so the discussion would be on irrational belief.
I was trying to drag the argument away from the communal faith religion. Where everyone holds the values of that particular religion. In this instance each persons interpretation will be different causing their morals at some finite level to be different. It is impossible to argue the original question when you assume that no two people hold the same moral standards at every level. In the eyes of others I could never lead a moral life.

I wanted to take it into what people in religion are turning to which is faith which even Atheist have faith in something. I was looking for a connection that envelopes everyone. So yes belief in general.

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Secondly, there is no such thing as "faith in nothing." You cannot "believe in nothing." Belief is an affirming action. When you say, "faith in nothing" the correct way to phrase that would be to "not believe." The way you phrase it makes it seem like it is related to faith, except when you look at what the statement actually means, it means non-belief. Non-belief is not related to faith at all since faith is a form of belief.
But to not believe you have to have a Faith in your ideals. You have to have a confidence and trust in your decision.
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Old 07-12-2010, 05:53 PM   #69
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Re: Is it possible for man to live a moral life without religion?

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Oh yeah, definitely agree. I completely support the idea of an objective morality in that sense.

I think the problem I have is that when I actually try to apply it in real world situations then it doesn't seem extremely useful to a society and shit. Like, I can think of situations where stealing would be a rational way to go about obtaining something that would bring you happiness. But a society where people steal things doesn't sound so great. I can then try to solve this by redefining happiness by stating something like true happiness would be found by earning the item through hard work. But then I can think of situations where that doesn't fit too well either.

I suppose, in that particular scenario, I could just say that stealing is okay. And the fact that other people wouldn't want their shit stolen would cause them to just find ways of preventing it from happening. So shit would solve itself as far as society's needs are concerned. Which I can roll with. But I'm pretty sure a lot of people would disagree.

I dunno. But yeah, I guess I do support the idea of an objective morality after all.
Stealing would be ok unless it happened to you. Then it would become immoral again. So do you define is as things you don't want others to do to you?
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Old 07-12-2010, 05:54 PM   #70
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Re: Is it possible for man to live a moral life without religion?

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Oh yeah, definitely agree. I completely support the idea of an objective morality in that sense.

I think the problem I have is that when I actually try to apply it in real world situations then it doesn't seem extremely useful to a society and shit. Like, I can think of situations where stealing would be a rational way to go about obtaining something that would bring you happiness. But a society where people steal things doesn't sound so great. I can then try to solve this by redefining happiness by stating something like true happiness would be found by earning the item through hard work. But then I can think of situations where that doesn't fit too well either.

I suppose, in that particular scenario, I could just say that stealing is okay. And the fact that other people wouldn't want their shit stolen would cause them to just find ways of preventing it from happening. So shit would solve itself as far as society's needs are concerned. Which I can roll with. But I'm pretty sure a lot of people would disagree.

I dunno. But yeah, I guess I do support the idea of an objective morality after all.
A government is establish to protect the initiation of force in those extreme circumstances where stealing would "seem" to be or is in fact rational. The thing is, other people might also feel it is rational to steal your property. With a government set up, it makes it less rational to steal, and it makes your property safer.

I would say that stealing is rational in life-boat circumstances. I think, when forming a reality for living in the "real world," those instances can be somewhat neglected. If you are on an island and there is only enough food for one person, it is moral to kill off the others. For the sake of our morality, it should be fine say that cold-blooded murder is irrational.

And what is the essence of a life-boat circumstance? In those cases, no one really wins. You might survive, but will you really be happy afterward? Life isn't full of life-boat circumstances, and it is full of situations where everyone can win if they act rationally.

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I wanted to take it into what people in religion are turning to which is faith which even Atheist have faith in something. I was looking for a connection that envelopes everyone. So yes belief in general.

But to not believe you have to have a Faith in your ideals. You have to have a confidence and trust in your decision.
I would highly suggest not using faith to describe confidence in this thread. It makes it seem as if you are talking about religious faith, which is different than what you are trying to describe.

I have confidence in the logic. You are absolutely right on that. However, their is a huge difference between having confidence in A=A and having confidence that in an invisible god. I have confidence that A cannot be non-A because that contradict logic itself. My statement, "that would contradict logic itself" would have no meaning. Language has no meaning without confidence in logic. There is no such thing as "meaning" without confidence in logic. There is no such thing as "definition" without logic.

Try and refute the idea of contradiction itself. That's impossible, because in order to do so you have to find a contradiction somewhere.
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Old 07-12-2010, 05:54 PM   #71
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Re: Is it possible for man to live a moral life without religion?

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But to not believe you have to have a Faith in your ideals. You have to have a confidence and trust in your decision.
If your ideals are based on logic, no you don't. If you follow your ideals because they are the most logical thing to do, then you aren't doing it because you believe in any aspect of them. Logic is logic, and if everything you live your life by is done from a completely logical standpoint, you don't have to have "faith" in anything. It's when you're doing something that contradicts logic and causes you to doubt yourself at all that you need "faith" to continue.

@the stealing thing: From a logical standpoint, it's hypocritical to say "I can steal from others for my own logical benefit, but others cannot do the same to me without being immoral". If you steal from others for a reason that is logical to you, then you can't say that other people have no justification for doing so if you can logically provide justification for yourself performing the action.
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:08 PM   #72
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Re: Is it possible for man to live a moral life without religion?

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@the stealing thing: From a logical standpoint, it's hypocritical to say "I can steal from others for my own logical benefit, but others cannot do the same to me without being immoral". If you steal from others for a reason that is logical to you, then you can't say that other people have no justification for doing so if you can logically provide justification for yourself performing the action.
I think it depends on whether you are saying steal is moral or whether you are saying that stealing is moral in a certain instance. If you are simply saying that stealing is moral in context A, then for anyone in context A it is moral to steal. If someone s not in context A, then you may say that it is immoral to steal.
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:14 PM   #73
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Re: Is it possible for man to live a moral life without religion?

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I think it depends on whether you are saying steal is moral or whether you are saying that stealing is moral in a certain instance. If you are simply saying that stealing is moral in context A, then for anyone in context A it is moral to steal. If someone s not in context A, then you may say that it is immoral to steal.
Well he just said "Stealing would be moral until it happened to you". This is clearly in the former scenario.
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:16 PM   #74
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Re: Is it possible for man to live a moral life without religion?

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Well he just said "Stealing would be moral until it happened to you". This is clearly in the former scenario.
I didn't know it was completely addressed to him. My fault.
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:18 PM   #75
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Re: Is it possible for man to live a moral life without religion?

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I didn't know it was completely addressed to him. My fault.
It was a general statement, but it was said in reply to his statement, which basically says that "you can justify anything for yourself, but if someone else does it, you would feel that what they did was immoral". I said in response that if you can logically justify yourself doing something, you have to accept that other people can also do the same thing through the same logical justification.
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