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 justAcheckin
Joined: 8/19/2007
Msg: 26
Morality and ethicsPage 2 of 4    (1, 2, 3, 4)

Many religious figures in history preached a " Golden Rule" long before it was attributed to Jesus.


I noticed you mentioned religious leaders rather than the average person.
But," MANY" religious leaders? Define many.

My point has been that, for the majority of people, the golden rule needs to be taught even though it is written on every heart. This is because carnal natural rules the majority of people. Fortunately, there have been spiritual leaders throughout history who were able to die to their natural carnal nature and let free their spiritual self. And Jesus, imo was the ultimate spiritual leader. And the reason he was the supreme leader is because of his divinity (imo).

Now can people who don't believe in God or any form of creator or higher power act morally and ethically? Without a doubt the answer is yes. But we need to ask how long society would continue to be moral and ethical. And also keep in mind that as long as said society or culture is it's own judge and jury it's unlikely they will condemn themselves. The residents of Sodom and Gammorrah, for example, no doubt saw nothing immoral about the way they lived.

For the most part, atheists are hedonistic in nature believing that if it feels good it is alright to do as long as it doesn't hurt or conflict with another human being. Couple this along with the prevailing thought in or culture that there is no one truth or right way and you have a recipe for (imo) disaster.

Whether or not atheist are moral people really does come down to a matter of opinion.
If the atheist believes sleeping with as many different partners as will sleep with him/her is acceptable than he/she will feel they are moral and upstanding citizens while a christian may disagree.

So what defines a moral and ethical individual? Is someone truely moral and ethical simply because they don't gossip or break any of mans law. Are they moral because they donate either money or time to charity? Who can argue anyones claim of being moral? Each has their own standard which they measure by. So by my standard you may not be moral. And I may not be by your standard.

This is why I choose not to live by my standard but rather by the divine standard of God.

Oldsoul:
Good post
 Artz
Joined: 6/1/2007
Msg: 27
view profile
History
Morality and ethics
Posted: 12/6/2007 7:56:44 AM
I took a quick look at Religious Tolerance Org They list 21 religions that Have a " Golden Rule" Buddhism, Confucianism, Ancient Egyptian, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Native American Spirituality , Pagan Roman to name a few. Many of these have their version Long before the time of jesus. The buddhist saying is almost word for word like the one of the Christian Faith.
Now the Philosophers that also have a Golden Rule are Epictetos, Kent, Plato, Socrates, Seneca, This is just a short list of my doing a few mins on the net search.
Since buddhist do not havea god as we understand a God. I would say that they have for the most part developed a fairly moral faith and culture.
 justAcheckin
Joined: 8/19/2007
Msg: 28
Morality and ethics
Posted: 12/6/2007 8:49:08 AM
Artz:

OK. Next question.
Of the people, religions and faiths you listed, how many of them have conflicting messages to go along with the golden rule? How many of them have the golden rule as the central or pivitol point to their philosohy? How many, for example, talk of the golden rule but also speak of killing ones enemies or those who do not abide by their faith?

Jesus didn't just preach to love our nieghbour or those who love us back. He didn't simply instruct us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Jesus instructed us to love our enemies. How many of these people or religions you list go this far? And more to the topic. How many atheist or non-believers go this far, if only in spirit and attempt but not in practice?

And before anyone brings up the old testament or the crusades, I'm comparing new testament and the teachings of Jesus since this is what christiananity is based on, and hence, what christian moral and ethical conduct is based on.
 romanticoptimist
Joined: 10/1/2007
Msg: 29
Morality and ethics
Posted: 12/6/2007 9:04:10 AM
oldsoul:
my opinion, there are no teachings, no religions, no books, no manuals that can even come close to teaching you anything about morality, rights and wrongs, ethics, the "golden rule"...etc... that your heart doesn't already know on it's own.
Thank you for that, oldsoul. I totally agree with you. My son and I were having a discussion a few days ago and he made the comment that you do this or that because "it's the right thing to do". Not because you avoid punishment or harm, but because "doing the right thing' is the answer. If a hungry man asks for money for food, you give it to him or feed him "because it's the right thing to do". If a child is drowning, you risk your life to save the child "because it's the right thing to do". He's 20, and I thought about what a great place the world would be if everyone -- especially the next generation of leadership -- would fol ow that simple code, "because it's the right thing to do".

In regard to being empathic, it takes time and training to not get pulled down by the pain/depression of others. It's not so much a matter of shutting them out as it is of reducing the flow. Write me if you'd like me to share some insights I've made.
 garry1949
Joined: 12/26/2005
Msg: 30
Morality and ethics
Posted: 12/6/2007 10:30:41 AM
From Post By: ravenstar66 on 12/2/2007 419 PM
"I am appalled that there are some who honestly believe that a non-theist is a natural rapist, murderer, or otherwise morally bankrupt person... maybe just waitng for the opportunity to wreak destruction?"

Although not all non-theists necessarily resort to crime, I think you would find that most who resort to crime unless truly desperate, are non-theists. Although they may attend religious services, in the depths of their hearts exists no conviction, thus no hope of an afterlife which will reward the leading of a morally honourable earthly life.

" I am frightened by the idea that there are those who really believe that without the external constraints of "god" they would be no better (worse actually) than animals."

Although all souls incarnating on earth have need of improvement, some are definitely more brutish and cruel than others. They existed among what we call the "demons" or evil spirits of the lower realms; But now back on earth and again captive in a body they have a chance, with guidance, of bettering themselves. How can this ever happen without such a person being made conscious of possible improved life after death through some form of revelation being taught, as memory of its previous miserable existence has been removed at birth.

"I also believe that morality and ethics are one of the bases for the creation of religious thought."

This would hold true in the minds of men, were it not for advanced spirits communicating the affirmation of much more than mere thought awaiting the moral soul.
 jrbogie
Joined: 8/31/2007
Msg: 31
Morality and ethics
Posted: 12/6/2007 2:40:10 PM

Do you honestly believe that if this was not taught to you that you'd instinctively live by this code?


This was not taught to me. I was raised by two very racist and biased parents. I love them to this day but they were and remain morally incorrect according to my morals. I learned on my own, through my own interactions and experience with a diversity of humans throuhout my life that we are all alike. My parent's belief, and thier attempted conditioning of my thinking to match thier own, is that they are entitled to treat those that they perceive to be substandard to them unfairly and yet expect to be fairly treated by them.


I also disagree with your staement that those people who reject all religion are more ethical and moral. That's just plain crazy talk. Crazy talk I tell ya. Just plain crazy talk.


What I perceive to be "crazy talk" is your assertion that I stated "that those people who reject all religion are more ethical and moral." I didn't did I?I simply related only my own experiences with those that I personally have come in contact with or observed. And of course MY experiences and observations you have absolutely no knowledge of huh?
 jrbogie
Joined: 8/31/2007
Msg: 32
Morality and ethics
Posted: 12/6/2007 3:17:11 PM

Now can people who don't believe in God or any form of creator or higher power act morally and ethically?


Suppose we expand on your question by also asking why so many religious faithful, present and past, act so imorally and unethicaly? The crusades, the inquisition, the Salem witch trials, this jihad that we have to deal with presently come immediately to mind.


For the most part, atheists are hedonistic in nature believing that if it feels good it is alright to do as long as it doesn't hurt or conflict with another human being.


Other than it being nothing but your opinion obviously based on your delusional, in my view, belief in a supernatural god, do you have any credible basis for this statement?


Whether or not atheist are moral people really does come down to a matter of opinion.


Indeed you are correct. And of course the same is true of the religious faithful too huh?


If the atheist believes sleeping with as many different partners as will sleep with him/her is acceptable than he/she will feel they are moral and upstanding citizens while a christian may disagree.


Once again I agree. And of course sleeping around with many different partners is a less than uncommon practice by christians too as is evidenced by numerous priests, David Koresh, Jim Jones and my christian ex wife, etc. And, though I cannot say this to be true about all atheists, I do not know one who as ever been anything but monogamous in their sexual practices.


So what defines a moral and ethical individual?


Simple really. Each of us difines such in our own way. There are many imoral and unethical atheists, agnostics and religious faithful.
 justAcheckin
Joined: 8/19/2007
Msg: 33
Morality and ethics
Posted: 12/6/2007 3:46:38 PM

And, though I cannot say this to be true about all atheists, I do not know one who as ever been anything but monogamous in their sexual practices.


If this is true you can't know very many atheist. I'd say statistically speaking, a half dozen at the most.
 Artz
Joined: 6/1/2007
Msg: 34
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History
Morality and ethics
Posted: 12/6/2007 4:19:50 PM
justchecking, The Bible doesnt havea conflicting message?
I can only think of one or two very small Christian Churches that actually follow the teaching in the Golden Rule. One being Quakers. A great many Christian Churches have turned turn to text in the Bible to justify all sorts of violence. You just can not get around the violence that is commanded by God in the OT. The Bible is filled with it. Now before you say well" I'm only talking about Jesus . " Christians claim Jesus and God are one and the same. So is it logical by that reasoning to say that Jesus/God Orders Moses to Murder and rape? You still have the problem of the NT and slavery. Before start calling other holy book or writings less morally right then your Holy Book you need to take a close look at your own Bible.
I would say that Buddhist text far out shines anything in the Bible in fact there are those that think Jesus might have been influenced by buddhist in Alexandria Egypt.
since i am not an atheist or a true agnostic I can't speak for them. Yet there are many that have done a great deal of good in this world and yes have shown a true loving kindness to all of humanity.
athiest Bill Gates a few short years ago gave one of the larest charitable gifts in human history. i would say that was an exstream moral act.
 oldsoul
Joined: 3/10/2007
Msg: 35
Morality and ethics
Posted: 12/6/2007 5:34:05 PM
Thanks romanticoptimist....and it looks like you have yourself a mighty fine son:)


"I thought about what a great place the world would be if everyone -- especially the next generation of leadership -- would follow that simple code, "because it's the right thing to do".


Truer words were never spoken....^*sigh*^....and it does sound simple doesn't it?

It's too bad we humans complicated things so much...at times there doesn't seem to be any hope left...it's like we've passed the point of no return. I just don't know what to think anymore.


And yeah I know...I'm just a ray of sunshine aren't I?



Cheers everyone...the next round is on me!!





 romanticoptimist
Joined: 10/1/2007
Msg: 36
Morality and ethics
Posted: 12/6/2007 6:25:48 PM
ravenstar66 said:
I am appalled that there are some who honestly believe that a non-theist is a natural rapist, murderer, or otherwise morally bankrupt person... maybe just waitng for the opportunity to wreak destruction?

garry1949 said:
Although not all non-theists necessarily resort to crime, I think you would find that most who resort to crime unless truly desperate, are non-theists. Although they may attend religious services, in the depths of their hearts exists no conviction, thus no hope of an afterlife which will reward the leading of a morally honourable earthly life.

"Most who resort to crime unless truly desperate, are non-theists"? As a Theist and a Christian, I want to be clear that I totally disagree with you. I challenge your claim and ask you to provide proof of such an outlandish claim. It's insulting to all decent, moral Atheists. It's also an insult to Theists to presume that the reason why they act morally is because of their hope of an afterlife and reward. You, sir, may act thusly, and that's just fine, but other act out of a better desire than some hoped for reward.
 casheyesblond
Joined: 4/4/2006
Msg: 37
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History
Morality and ethics
Posted: 12/6/2007 7:59:17 PM
Notwithstanding should one believe that God is an universal moral lawgiver,imo,this does not make this one morally inferior or morally superior to someone that does not share that belief. And to take it a step further....in the concept of crimes that focus on integrity and morals....one needs to see both sides of that coin. And if you flip that coin over,one will possibly see examples like for instance,there was this sudden need to put up security cameras in a bookstore on a school campus that consist of students attending theology classes. These students were taking their old bibles and placing them in the boxes and switching them out with new bibles while not paying. Where is the integrity in all this????

My Christian belief/faith does indeed help define me,but I don't do what I feel is morally right because of what has been mentioned in this thread in terms of rewards and punishments. I do what is right simply because it is the right thing to do....in other words, I also agree with romanticoptimist post.
 jrbogie
Joined: 8/31/2007
Msg: 38
Morality and ethics
Posted: 12/7/2007 12:13:57 AM
If this is true you can't know very many atheist. I'd say statistically speaking, a half dozen at the most.


I would suggest that your continued "guesses" about the experinces of people you don't even know will continue to evoke very wrong statements that you choose to use in your debating style. As a contributor to the Institute for Humanist Studies, the number in my circle of acquaintences who believe in no god or deity amount to nearly two hundred. And that does not include several Buddhist friends. You see, when one avoids the religious faithful. all that is left is the non religious. Simple really.
 Ravenstar66
Joined: 8/27/2007
Msg: 39
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History
Morality and ethics
Posted: 12/7/2007 8:20:40 AM
I found this study which examines the violence level of 41 countries according to thier level of religiousity and secularism... quite interesting. Dualistic Nations are those which have the highest belief" in "god" and the "devil".


As summarized in Table 3, the high dualist nations have the highest homicide score followed by the lesser dualist nations with God-Only and secular nations exhibiting lower scores. However, the statistically significant contrast is between the dualist nations and the God-Only and secular nations. Relative to dualist nations, nations with a sizeable percentage believing in God (but not the Devil) have a significantly lower score. The most secular nations exhibit a significantly lower score than dualist nations as well. But, contrary to Paul’s emphasis on secular versus religious nations, there is no difference between the non-dualist, God believing nations, and the relatively more secular nations. These patterns are quite consistent with the multivariate analysis reported above. Some features of religious belief systems are negative correlates of homicide and some features of religion are positive correlates.

Put simply, countries with high rates of belief in both God and the devil tend to have higher homicide rates, while countries that are secular or do not believe in the devil have lower homicide rates. If we compare countries that only believe in God with secular countries, there is virtually no difference in homicide rates. In other words, secularism is not going to cause a rise in crime. If anything, religious beliefs emphasizing things like belief in the devil or a malevolent God who can punish people are more likely to correlate with violence than anything else. Notice how this accords pretty well with the fact that America and Middle Eastern countries, despite being overly religious, are incredibly violent, while more secular countries tend to be less violent.


and this
A question that atheists are often asked is "If you don't have a god to give you moral guidance, then you can commit any crime you want, right?" Well, I say go by the statistics. So I looked up a list of crime statistics organized by religion on www.positiveatheism.org, and the results I saw did not surprise me.

In "The New Criminology," Max D. Schlapp and Edward E. Smith say that two generations of statisticians found that the ratio of convicts without religious training is about one-tenth of one percent. W.T. Root, Professor of Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, examined 1,916 prisoners and said, "Indifference to religion, due to thought, strengthens character," adding that Unitarians, Agnostics, Atheists and Free-Thinkers were absent from penitentiaries, or nearly so.

During 10 years in Sing-Sing, of those executed for murder 65 percent were Catholics, 26 percent Protestants, six percent Hebrew, two percent Pagan, and less than one-third of one percent non-religious.

In Canadian prisons there were 1,294 Catholics, 435 Anglicans, 241 Methodists, 135 Baptists, and one Unitarian.

The superintendent of the N.Y. State Reformatories, checked records of 22,000 prison inmates and found only four college graduates. He commented that "intelligence and knowledge produce right living," and, "crime is the offspring of superstition and ignorance."

A survey of Massachusetts reformatories found every inmate to be religious.

In Joliet Prison, there were 2,888 Catholics, 1,020 Baptists, 617 Methodists and no prisoners identified as non-religious.

Michigan had 82,000 Baptists and 83,000 Jews in the state population; but in the prisons, there were 22 times as many Baptists as Jews, and 18 times as many Methodists as Jews. In Sing-Sing, therewere 1,553 inmates, 855 of them (over half) Catholics, 518 Protestants, 117 Jews, and 8 non-religious.

Steiner first surveyed 27 states and found 19,400 Christians, 5,000 with no preference and only 3 Agnostics (one each in Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Illinois). A later, more exhaustive survey found 60,605 Christians, 5,000 Jews, 131 Pagans, 4,000 "no preference," and only 3 Agnostics.

In one 19-state survey, Steiner found 15 non-believers, Spiritualists, Theosophists, Deists, Pantheists and one Agnostic among nearly 83,000 inmates. He labeled all 15 as "anti-Christians." The Elmira, N.Y. reformatory system overshadowed all others, with nearly 31,000 inmates, including 15,694 Catholics (half) and 10,968 Protestants, 4,000 Jews, 325 refusing to answer, and no unbelievers.

In the East, over 64 percent of inmates are Roman Catholic. Throughout the national prison population, they average 50 percent. A national census of the general population found Catholics to be about 15 percent (and they count from the diaper up). Hardly 12 percent are old enough to commit a crime. That leaves an adult Catholic population of 12 percent supplying 50 percent of the prison population.


I present these tidbits NOT to say that I believe that ALL religious people are more likely to commit crime, or act immorally. I absolutely believe that there are many who take the ethical teachings to heart and do live a moral life. But this doesn't mean that those who are irreligious do not also have morals and ethics. My point is that there is no correlation between immorality, unethical behavior, crime and atheism. All the studies and evidence point to the fact that atheism and agnosticism actually contribute to non- violence in society, and intoleration for violence amongst communities.

I also would like to address the concept of sexual morality. Sexual morality is less about desire or opportunity than it is about how much one cares about his or her effect on others. I have adopted the creed of "harm none", this creed requires me to make choices on my behavior that take into account the effect my actions will have on others or myself. There are no hard and fast rules I have to guide me. Sexual pleasure is considered a blessing to a pagan, but it would cease to be a blessing if I approached it without concern for the welfare of my partner(s), my family, or myself. Breaking a vow, or promise I made to another to be monogamous would be harmful and immoral. In my "morality" selfish sexual behavior would be harmful. Hedonism must be subordinated by reason and ethics. It's the view that although sex is a natural act, it is also one of great responsibility. It is a complicated and highly sensitive part of being human, it has deep consequences (physically and emotionally) So for me to enter into that kind of relationship with another is one that I have to be very clear with.. and ready to accept the consequences to myself and others. Self-responsibility is the key.

Peace
 Artz
Joined: 6/1/2007
Msg: 40
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History
Morality and ethics
Posted: 12/7/2007 8:34:12 AM
Thank you Ravenstar another excellent post.
i feel so much better . For awhile there i was thinking of murder pillage and mayhem were in my future since I did not believe in the Christian God. Now I know I can put those thoughts aside and get back to being a Happy Heathen
 romanticoptimist
Joined: 10/1/2007
Msg: 41
Morality and ethics
Posted: 12/7/2007 9:01:59 AM
Nergal: Thanks for the cheer. But don't be too hasty. Without statistics, yours is as bogus a claim. Where's the FACTS. Just the FACTS. Yours is as poorly constructed an argument and illogical a conclusion as his.

ravenstar: Where are the dates in these studies? For example, this one just doesn't ring true without an old date: "In Canadian prisons there were 1,294 Catholics, 435 Anglicans, 241 Methodists, 135 Baptists, and one Unitarian." That's just over 2,100 prisoners. That's less than the population of many prisons. My best guess is that these stats (from an unnamed study with an unnamed author?) are very old and if one were to compare the general population, one might find a similar distribution of faith groups.
What work was done, if any, to establish religious background PRIOR to being arrested. There's no accounting for conversion after the fact.
Where are the comparative populations? The Michigan one? That's a great example of how to compare using comparative populations. Although it's missing a date and fails to account for non-Jewish and non-Catholic populations. But the final one? It compares Catholic prison populations in the "the East" with NATIONAL Catholic populations. If it means "the East" of Canada, it's significantly skewed. "the East" of Canada has a higher % of Catholics than the rest of Canada (as a whole). Again, the study or stated result is significantly flawed.
 garry1949
Joined: 12/26/2005
Msg: 42
Morality and ethics
Posted: 12/7/2007 11:07:49 AM
Posted By: romanticoptimist on 12/6/2007 948 PM:
" Most who resort to crime unless truly desperate, are non-theists"? As a Theist and a Christian, I want to be clear that I totally disagree with you. I challenge your claim and ask you to provide proof of such an outlandish claim. It's to presume that the reason why they act morally is because of their hope of an afterlife and reward. You, sir, may act thusly, and that's just fine, but other act out of a better desire than some hoped for reward."

Gosh, I didn't know by writing something I thought was quite benign I'd get quite such a charged response: "insulting to all decent, moral Atheists. It's also an insult to Theists".
Anyway, to clarify a bit; if you carried on your conscience an absolute surety of a possible better and eternal life after you died but it was indeed dependant on your fitness for it, would you not adjust your behaviour accordingly? The reason "reborn" prisoners fail after they are released is because their faith did not take root (Mark 4:5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
4:6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.)
If we for a moment cast aside the bible and it's afterlife promises we have left only the rewards or punishments of earth and mankind as consequences of our actions. With this in mind, if you were guaranteed you could get away with stealing a million $ could you resist? If you were given the resources to engage in endless debauchery and were told beforehand you would never contract any disease or suffer from your alcohol intake, could you hold back?
If you were told you would suddenly acquire the charisma to become head of a nation and would manage to take egregious advantage of your people without ever it being detected during your lifetime, could you resist?
It is in situations such as these where the conscience is tested. Could you pass if there were no consequences in an afterlife?
 Ravenstar66
Joined: 8/27/2007
Msg: 43
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History
Morality and ethics
Posted: 12/7/2007 1:40:22 PM

Gosh, I didn't know by writing something I thought was quite benign I'd get quite such a charged response: "insulting to all decent, moral Atheists. It's also an insult to Theists".
Anyway, to clarify a bit; if you carried on your conscience an absolute surety of a possible better and eternal life after you died but it was indeed dependant on your fitness for it, would you not adjust your behaviour accordingly? The reason "reborn" prisoners fail after they are released is because their faith did not take root (Mark 4:5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
4:6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.)
If we for a moment cast aside the bible and it's afterlife promises we have left only the rewards or punishments of earth and mankind as consequences of our actions. With this in mind, if you were guaranteed you could get away with stealing a million $ could you resist?
Yes, I've never been a theif. Because I respect others and wouldn't want that done to me either. It just doesn't FEEL good.


If you were given the resources to engage in endless debauchery and were told beforehand you would never contract any disease or suffer from your alcohol intake, could you hold back?
Yes, and I've done it. But you have to remember that there ARE consequences to unhealthy behavior, natural consequences. The law of cause and effect still exists in the universe.


If you were told you would suddenly acquire the charisma to become head of a nation and would manage to take egregious advantage of your people without ever it being detected during your lifetime, could you resist?
Yes, as I have been in positions of authority and have not taken advantage of them.


It is in situations such as these where the conscience is tested. Could you pass if there were no consequences in an afterlife?
Yes, I've done my "conscience" work, I've made my amends. More than a lot of others have.

I'm not perfect.. no one is. But I have actually become more ethical since I left the Church... by quite a bit. The whole point is I value honesty, character and integrity. I like myself better when I act in accordance to my moral system. During my teens and early twenties I was quite the heck-raiser... not terrible law-abiding either...though I've never had the desire to harm others directly. When I decided to seek a different belief system I came across the concept of self-responsibility, and how the univese works. I believe I am a child of the stars and as such have unlimited potential... and a true nature of love.I learned that being unethical was not comfortable in my soul...I like to sleep at night, I like to look in the mirror and be proud of what I see there. For the athiests that I know they look at the REASONING behind ethical behavior. Human interaction and community REQUIRES ethical behavior to work well... without it society would collapse. Therefore it is REASONABLE and LOGICAL to be ethical. We are social animals... without ways to get along and work together we aren't going to get very far.. every social animal has specific means of maintaining order and harmony within the group, from ant colonies, to geese gaggles to wolf packs, to humans, to pods of mighty whales. In wolf packs, for instance, only 2 animals breed, removing the source of antagonism between members, all members help raise the cubs - bonding the members together, in ant colonies the Queen produces a scent, a chemical... that all her daughters possess telling them that this is family, not an enemy... in geese they pair bond for life, again reducing the amout of friction in the gaggle, also they are less likely to be predated upon as a group - safety in numbers. Bonobo Chimps use sex to release agressive tendencies and bond the members of the troup - they are the least violent of the great apes. Humans have MANY different ways of getting along and reducing friction... one of them is agreeing on ethical behavior. Nature is inherently orderly.

So I respectfully disagree, and again state that the concept that religion is the only reason for people to be orderly and moral and ethical is an unsound arrguement.

Oh, the study I quoted at the top is fairly recent. I didn't actuall post the whole study because it is very long.

Here is the methodology

The World Values Surveys (WVS) were conducted between 1990 and 1993 and between 1995 and 1997. The surveys were limited to persons 18 years of age and older, randomly selected from randomly selected locations. Samples from as many as 54 nations provided data on several dimensions of religiosity in one or both of the surveys. In both waves, respondents were asked questions about the importance of God and religion in their lives, beliefs in the Devil, Heaven and Hell, belonging to a religious faith, and attendance at religious services.


and the site: http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2006/2006-7.html

The author:
Gary F. Jensen, PhD
Vanderbilt University, Professor of Sociology

His Awards: HONORS, AWARDS, GRANTS RECEIVED

2001: Vanderbilt's Thomas Jefferson Award

2001: Fellow of the American Society of Criminology

1996-2000: Associate Editor, American Sociological Review

1997: Mary Jane Werthan Award (Margaret Cuninggim Women's Center) for "Extraordinary contributions to the advancement of women at Vanderbilt University."

1999: Editor, Newsletter of the Crime, Law and Deviance Section of the American Sociological Association.

1997-98: The Freedom Forum. "Support for Free Speech: Trends and Group Variation." Dan Cornfield and Gary Jensen, Co-Investigators.

1993-94: National Science Foundation. "Temporal and Spatial Variations in Early Modern Witch Hunts."

His Published works:RESEARCH INTERESTS

Deviance
Social Control
Justice
Persecution

CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECTS

The Social Ecology of Gangs in a Southern State
The Structure of Social Conflict: War and the Early Modern
Witch Craze
Television and Violence: An Empirical Reassessment of
Recent Research

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

Jensen, Gary F. 2000. "Deviance, Definition of (3400 words)." "Deviance, Etiology of (3500 words)" and "Deviance, Mass Media and (3300 words)." Encyclopedia of Criminology and Deviant Behavior. Volume One: Historical, Conceptual, and Theoretical Issues. Clifford Bryant, Editor. Taylor and Francis, Publisher.

Jensen, Gary F. 2000. "Prohibition, Alcohol and Murder: Untangling Countervailing Mechanisms." The Journal of Homicide Studies. February (Forthcoming).

Jensen, Gary F. 1999. "Digging Into Details: An Empirical Critique of Control Balance Theory." Theoretical Criminology. 3:339-343. Symposium Essay.

Gary Jensen and Randy Hodson (Editors). 1999. "Crime and the Workplace." Special issue of Work and Occupations. Includes manuscript length Editorial Introduction. Volume 26, Number 1 (February, 1999).

Jensen, Gary F. and Dean G. Rojek. 1998. Delinquency and Youth Crime. 3rd Edition. Prospect Heights, Illinois: Waveland Press. Including Instructor's Manual.

I like to do my homework.. although Trippy-hare and madfiddler make me look like a dilettante!

Peace to all!
 jrbogie
Joined: 8/31/2007
Msg: 44
Morality and ethics
Posted: 12/7/2007 2:31:15 PM

i feel so much better . For awhile there i was thinking of murder pillage and mayhem were in my future since I did not believe in the Christian God. Now I know I can put those thoughts aside and get back to being a Happy Heathen



hahahahahahaha. Man I love this place.
 justAcheckin
Joined: 8/19/2007
Msg: 45
Morality and ethics
Posted: 12/7/2007 2:36:19 PM
Nergal:

Regarding jail stats.
I've not checked into the stats of the Uk and have no intention of doing so. I have, however checked into stats and research done in both canada and the US.

Much of the research done is either tainted by bias or simply shoddy research. In many cases numbers are sited but nothing else taken into consideration. When comparing international stats, for example, research I've studied does not take into account other variables such as gun laws, drug laws and the such. What is considered unlawful in one country and not in another will result in more or fewer incarcerations and will, therefore, make it impossible to compare apples to apples. Some countries laws, for example, will more readily lead to prosecution of certain religious sects.

When comparing stats in any particular jail you have to consider the mind set of the criminal. For even upon entering jail a criminal is contemplating their best chance of early parol and the best way to recieve inhouse "benefits". One must also consider the religions that have jail ministries and therefore influence members when they are in the system. Consider how many coming in to the system are repeat offenders and would have made their conversion on a previous visitation and then retained the staus when asked upon entering the second or third time.

Some inmates will enter into rehab or religious studies or join N/A or AA meetings just so they have a reason to get off the ranges from time to time.

Then you have to consider how many inmates simply state the religion their parents were or the religion they are most familiar with but do not actually practice.

You may not be able to concieve of reasons why an inmate might exagerate or lie about their religious affiliation. I doubt most researchers consider this either.

I believe my experience within the system and out on the street gives me more reliable data then the stats you quote. If, however, you have research that actually takes these things into account I'd love to read it. Otherwise the research is just a waste of time, money, and cyber space.
 GeneralizingNow
Joined: 10/10/2007
Msg: 46
Morality and ethics
Posted: 12/7/2007 2:43:14 PM

I'm simply stating percentage wise, I will put my money and life in the hands of a christian over a non-believer any day of the week.


I s "christian" the oppposite of "non-believer"?

Would "believers" include those who don't believe exactly as you do? Muslims? Jews?

I believe that "morality" [social practices, including the avoidance of tabus] pre-dates religion, and certainly predates Christianity.
 jrbogie
Joined: 8/31/2007
Msg: 47
Morality and ethics
Posted: 12/7/2007 3:04:56 PM

I'm simply stating percentage wise, I will put my money and life in the hands of a christian over a non-believer any day of the week.


You and many others before you. And they lost big time.
 garry1949
Joined: 12/26/2005
Msg: 48
Morality and ethics
Posted: 12/7/2007 4:39:46 PM
from post By: ravenstar66 on 12/7/2007 422 PM:
"Yes, I've done my "conscience" work,"

May I ask, ravenstar if you might define 'conscience'.....
Just why does conscience have more bearing on one person's actions than on an other's. Do we over time become more sensitive and obedient to the "voice" of our conscience as we gradually realize that doing things that trouble it are a detriment to the tranquility of our being. Can we dare consider the possibility that our conscience is in fact the voice of our unconscious mind warning us of a mistake we are about to remake from a previous existence, a previous lifetime. Would it do to say that those who are prompted by conscience in their actions and respond by "doing the right thing" are possibly more spiritually evolved than those who seem to have no conscience or are totally ignorant of it.
Or is conscience something apart from us; the intuitive voice of a caring spirit guardian guiding our way to the door to the Sun.
 romanticoptimist
Joined: 10/1/2007
Msg: 49
Morality and ethics
Posted: 12/7/2007 7:02:44 PM
It wasn't a charged response. It was an insult, divisive, judgemental, and wholly without merit. It's the kind of black/white thinking that creates heat and no light. And it causes nothing but disrespect to the faith when it is spouted from a pious Christan mouth. But I'm fair-minded. If an Atheist had said the same thing about Theists, I'd have responded the same way.
Regarding your simplistic hypothetical situations, I would do none of these (but then again I'm a "Christian" so I suppose in your world that's a given). My best friend, a 'devout' Atheist wouldn't do them either. I know because I know him well. You? You don't know Jack (yup, that's his name, and such a wonderful pun!)
 justAcheckin
Joined: 8/19/2007
Msg: 50
Morality and ethics
Posted: 12/7/2007 7:12:10 PM
jrbogie:


I would suggest that your continued "guesses" about the experinces of people you don't even know will continue to evoke very wrong statements that you choose to use in your debating style. As a contributor to the Institute for Humanist Studies, the number in my circle of acquaintences who believe in no god or deity amount to nearly two hundred. And that does not include several Buddhist friends. You see, when one avoids the religious faithful. all that is left is the non religious. Simple really.


So you're telling us you know approximately 200 atheist well enough to know if they'd be having a monogamous relationship or not, and you claim here for all to read that they are all monogamous?

C'mon. I thought we were having a serious discussion here.
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