Atheists are not inconsistent to hold morals

Teflon93 seems to think that atheisim, when followed to it’s logical/rational conclusion, results only in the kind of actions most modern Americans would condemn. He has cited Hitler and Pol Pot as examples of what kind of moral conduct an atheist worldview necessarily leads to.

This is his opportunity to do something more than “Hitler was an atheist!” to support his position. I challenge him to set forth his very best arguments to show that atheism necessarily leads to immorality. I will try to avoid making insults, and Teflon93 might want to consider 1st Peter 3:8-9.

Last I checked, Hitler was a Christian… Jew, by blood, but that’s a myth; not sure if it’s true.

And, of course, Atheists have the potential to have morals. If they didn’t, then, things would be way worse in the world.

Ironically Yours, Blade and Blood

First, there is NO evidence that Hitler was an atheist. I find him nowhere denying the existence of god.

Second, Steven Jay Gould has put together many quotations of Hitler admitting to being a Christian:

stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/quotes_hitler.html

Third, this is a good page on bogus Hitler quotes from a Ph.d in ancient history:

ffrf.org/fttoday/2002/nov02/carrier.php

And, of course, Atheists have the potential to have morals. If they didn’t, then, things would be way worse in the world.

Ironically Yours, Blade and Blood

I agree, though Teflon would probably insist that atheists can have morals, they just cannot have them and remain consistent with atheism. He’d probably argue that atheists who have morals are actually living in violation of their worldview, and they simply borrow ethical capital from Christians without realizing how this conflicts with their denial of god’s existence.

The evidence indicates that one’s parental upbringing and cultural conditioning dictate what morals a person will hold. For example, babies born in extremist religions grow up to think killing people is the way to solve disagreements. Kids born to rich families tend to have rich morals, and end up making spending choices that ruin them when the money runs dry.

As such, environmental conditioning accounts sufficiently for why people feel motivated to make the moral choices that they do, which explains why atheists can have morals without god. Lord knows babies and toddlers are barbaric and selfish, so this indicates they are NOT born with “god’s laws written in their hearts”. Toddlers steal like they were programmed to steal from birth, unless they are taught differently.

Not necessarily. From what I’ve seen and read, there is such thing as an Atheist with their own morals (living and learning). You have to remember, of course: Atheism isn’t a religion; I’m guessing it’s a state of mind. :yup:

I don’t think it’s about morals, though. It’s about behavior. Humans, in general (religious or not), have the potential to have good behaviors and attitudes towards each other. If some random individual doesn’t possess that acceptable attitude or behavior, it’s not because of their religion or lack of it (well, not always), it’s just a part their personality.

Ironically Yours.

You bring up a good point. Even animals and reptiles learn which choices of theirs increase their chances of survival and which decrease them. They learn to avoid things that hurt them and stick around stuff that helps them. They are making moral choices for themselves, and they certainly aren’t doing it because they first accept theism and it’s ramifications! Humans therefore are capable of the same, to live and learn.

Exactly.

By the way, I really like how you edited your previous post. Very resourceful. :thumbsup:

Ironically Yours. :heart:

To set the record straight: Hitler was born into a Catholic family. He fell away from the Church at a very early age. He was raised in a family with a very domineering and violent father. Hitler used religion as a tool. He persecuted Catholics and anyone who did not agree with him. He attempted to start a state religion under the Nazi party.

holocaust-history.org/questions/hitler-jewish.shtml

lawandreligion.com/publications/churches.pdf

takimag.com/site/article/hitler_and_the_new_nazi_religion/

There are many biographies that detail the information.

And, of course, Atheists have the potential to have morals. If they didn’t, then, things would be way worse in the world.

Most if not all atheists that I have known or do know, are very moral people. Their lack of belief in God does not cause them to be less decent in any way. They were raised in decent families with good values and concerns for their fellow humans. They embrace the same moral principles that Christians and Jews as well as other religions embrace, though they tend to deny any religiosity.

I’ll agree with most of what you wrote here, except your assignation of the phenomenon to “personality.” There is a universal Natural Law that was established by God. That is the source of all order in the animal kingdom and in the universe.

Despite the seeming “evidence” of good behaviors in the animal kingdom and among athiests (not suggesting that athiests are animals :smiley: - the comparison is only in their lack of conscious knowledge of God), there is one thing that athiests and selective altruism advocates cannot explain - the ability of human beings to perform feats of self-sacrifical altruism. This is something naturalists cannot explain. It points to something other than the base animal instincts that atheists claim is the overarching drive of human behavior.

Blessings,
Marduk

I don’t understand your argument. Are you saying altruism is not present in the animal kingdom? Either way, you have not explained why altruism would necessarily be absent in a world without god.

Ahh… you beat me to it :stuck_out_tongue:

I agree, though Teflon would probably insist that atheists can have morals, they just cannot have them and remain consistent with atheism. He’d probably argue that atheists who have morals are actually living in violation of their worldview, and they simply borrow ethical capital from Christians without realizing how this conflicts with their denial of god’s existence.

Can you give examples?

so this indicates they are NOT born with “god’s laws written in their hearts”. Toddlers steal like they were programmed to steal from birth, unless they are taught differently.

So when the Bible claims the Lors has writen the morals in each mans heart, it is wrong?

**Hitler was no atheist, but that’s a detail. His hatred of Jews would have all but impossible if Austria & German Catholicism had not already been poisoned by centuries of contempt & hatred for them; he did not come out of the blue; he is much a product of Catholicism as any Saint. **

There is a better case for saying that Christianity leads to immorality - Christianity has had ample time to show its true character by its typical deeds. These have been unlovely.

As someone who does not believe in religion, I have ‘morals’ but I don’t think of things as objectively wrong or right - don’t believe that exists. Instead, I think of things in terms of good and bad. I don’t believe there’s any authority who says killing a child for no reason is wrong, but killing a child obviously is bad: it causes suffering for the child and its family, and creates bad thoughts in the murderers mind that might compel them to repeat the action. Therefore, i am against it, and would never do it and believe those who do should be imprisoned. It’s rather common sense, as some have said. Most morals can be explained by common sense. Sex inside marriage only is explained by the fact that if everyone (before birth control) was having a bunch of kids with different people with no commitments, society wouldn’t do well. It makes sense in a time when women were dependent on men that they needed to commit to a man who would provide for them when she bore his children. Etc. Some atheists may be selfish, but just because I don’t belive in morality it doesn’t mean I like to see suffering. I try very hard to prevent suffering, because it’s apparent its bad.

Hitler was an avowed pagan with interest in Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism – he hoped to amalgamate these into a religion with himself at the center. He worshipped Odin. He made this very clear to those near him and occasionally played to the Christian crowd when convenient, turning around to speak at his friends’ funerals and declare them to be in Valhalla. He often denounced Christianity, and persecuted huge numbers of Christians for refusing to alter their doctrines little-by-little and morph into his invented religion. The resistance was huge among both Protestants and Catholics, and clergy were well-represented in it.
But then, these “Christian atrocities” do seem to be a lot like the grey dots between black squares on a white background – it’s positively blanketed with them, always with the exception of whichever one you focus on at the moment. One, the Holocaust e.g., turns out to be basically done by anti-Christians, resisted by Christians – another, such as the witch hunts, was started and done by laypeople, and the clergy were trying to stop the violence, not ordering it. Christian leaders passed laws against accusing anyone of witchcraft or vampirism, but the civil courts often didn’t heed these laws because crowds were demanding a witch hunt. Another, say, the first Inquisition, after all the inflated body counts are wafted away and only the facts remain, is smaller than the damage from a typical urban turf war anywhere today. And so on. Either not the scene we’ve heard so many expanding tales about after all, or not done by anyone to do with any major Christian church, or both, one by one these supposed Christian atrocities vanish when you look directly at them.
Pol Pot was a Buddhist, but his economic policies, the reason he was in power in the first place and his political system itself, all were against Buddhist as well as Christian rules. All these were a direct outcome of a group of 19th-Century intellectuals’ attempts to find a non-social-darwinist way of organizing a society where nothing was considered sacred.
Atheism doesn’t automatically prevent morality, but it does tend to imply pragmatism, which isn’t the same thing as morality.

Hitler was an avowed pagan with interest in Hinduism and Tibetan Buddhism – he hoped to amalgamate these into a religion with himself at the center. He worshipped Odin. He made this very clear to those near him and occasionally played to the Christian crowd when convenient, turning around to speak at his friends’ funerals and declare them to be in Valhalla. He often denounced Christianity, and persecuted huge numbers of Christians for refusing to alter their doctrines little-by-little and morph into his invented religion. The resistance was huge among both Protestants and Catholics, and clergy were well-represented in it.

Where are you getting this from?? :confused: Can you actually back up those claims you made with some evidence???

The Catholic church wasn’t resisting at all. On the other hand, they signed that pact (forgot it’s name) to save their hind & were allowed in Germany.
"Jews can help themselves" - Cardinal Bertram to Pacelli (Pope Pius XII).
Furthermore, the Church didn’t even denounce Hitler & he died being a Catholic.

Why is suffering bad? If it’s not you suffering, and the suffering of the person does not impact you or those you love, why is it bad?

Because it makes me hate life. Because it makes me want to kill myself. And, most of all, simply because of it’s own definition - that it causes me pain and grief and stress and sadness. Those are reason enough.

Why is suffering bad? If it’s not you suffering, and the suffering of the person does not impact you or those you love, why is it bad?

Huh?!

If you see somebody suffering or know they are while you are comfortable in your home; & you don’t care & not feel like a piece of poo, I SURE DON’T WANT YOUR MORAL SOURCE (which I’m assuming by you answer is God, if I’m wrong correct me).

WHY does it cause you pain and grief and stress and sadness? Why, when it involves people who you don’t know and have nothing to do with you, and whose problems are nowhere near yours, does it cause any of these emotions in you? What is the source of those emotions? Does it make sense to have them? What I’m trying to get at is the source of all of this. Why does suffering make you hate life when it has nothing to do with your life?
Why would SOMEONE ELSE’S suffering cause this in you?

I never suggested that I didn’t think it was bad. I was asking the poster WHY he or she felt it was bad. But, hey, thanks for assuming I didn’t care. Really. Quite charitable of you.
You’re not wrong about my moral source. You’re wrong about my morals.

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