Atheist indisputably hold the moral high ground.

I have seen many debates where theist ask some question like “How can you have morals without God?”

The atheist then responds something like “many cultures have existed without the knowledge of your god, so where did their morals come from?”  Or “How do you know that your god is the basis for morality and that it doesn’t come from man?” Perhaps there are better retorts available but in general these have struck me as inadequate, unconvincing, defensive and frankly cheesy.

This is not what peeves me. And I am peeved. There is absolutely no reason we should be defending our morality as atheist. The idea is simply absurd in my thinking. We must not defend our morality but rather turn the tables completely so that no rational theist would consider bringing up the subject of morality ever again. It is not even adequate to say we are morally superior as I shall prove, but first I must set it up with good moral beliefs of theist.

 This is a very short random list of theist beliefs that are considered moral according to their beliefs. A full list would require volumes if every religion was taken into consideration.

1)      It is ok to murder people that don’t believe the same things you do.

2)      A adult man should take a pre-pubescent little girl as a wife(in this context “take” means intercourse

3)      Errant children should be stoned to death

4)      One should be killed for helping another human being in duress on the Sabbat(that’s work)

5)      Infants genitalia should be mutilated for god.(ancient rabbis commonly did this to male children with their mouths and teeth)

6)      Its ok to rape women

7)      Women that have been raped should be murdered(it’s their fault)

8)      Homosexuals, transgender, etc. should be murdered

9)      The first born of every womb (including human babies) should be burned to a crisp to please god

10)   Genocide is good

11)   Torture to illicit confessions is good to go

12)   Shall I continue

 

Of course all theist don’t agree with all these things (take into account what I haven’t listed). Some theist will agree with some of these things all of the time, it is part of their religion.

Here’s the real kicker. As atheist we agree all of these things are wrong all of the time. Most theist will agree with us most of the time on these immoral values from Gods.

We as atheist always are in the moral majority.  We always hold the moral high ground no matter what the theist immoral belief.  In other words we are always right according to most people theist or not. They actually agree with our moral values with the exception of when it conflicts with their immoral theistic beliefs!

                If a theist ever brings up morality to me I will respond as follows.

Atheist hold the high bar of morality. We reject all theist immoral beliefs. Many of us are atheist because we could not accept theist immoral beliefs.

If we were to integrate theistic moral beliefs we would have to actually lower the bar to accommodate for them.

Slavery is acceptable…..lower the bar.

It’s ok to beat slaves or children….lower the bar.

Women are inferior and should be subjected to men….lower the bar.

If we actually accommodated ourselves to religion we would end up morally bankrupt. I can think of no immoral behavior that has not been deemed acceptable just to Christian theist at one time or another. That does not include other religions.

What then do we have to defend?  Atheist moral standards as I have proven are not only immeasurably above, but the complete opposite of immoral theistic beliefs.  We simply believe in what is the best for human kind. That which is the most humane. We reject that what is harmful to man.

It is therefore incumbent upon theist to re-evaluate their beliefs and measure their immorality against the standard of Atheist/secular humanist.  

 

 

 

 

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The problem is that when the Catholic hierarchy changes its mind, it doesn't send the info down the chain to the parishioners.   In 1959 I was stationed in Denver, and my aunt and uncle insisted that I come over for dinner every Saturday.  They were really strong Catholics, and on the first Saturday I went for dinner, they asked if I wanted to go to church with them.  I explained I was an Atheist.  My aunt was incredulous.  She asked if that meant I believed in evolution.  I said, "sure", and that Catholics are allowed to believe in evolution.  She didn't believe me, so I asked her to call her priest.  When she got him on the line, I explained to him what was going on, and asked him to verify what I had told her.  I handed the phone back to her, and waited to see her reaction.  All of a sudden she slammed the receiver down on the phone, went into the bedroom crying.  I'm glad she wasn't around three years ago when the pope announced that evolution was more than a theory, it is a fact.

A point that Matt Dillahunty has made repeatedly is that when we evaluate the morality of an action, whether from the bible or elsewhere, we do so from our own moral point of view, which may or may not be informed by the holy book we learned about as a child.  Thus, when the topic of stoning disobedient children or a woman who was raped in the city and didn't cry out is brought up, it isn't surprising that most if not all people will be revolted at either of those proposed punishments.  The catch, of course, is that a considerable number of believers aren't even aware that those and other equally despicable judgments have been in their precious book from Letter A.

What we are doing here is providing a much needed education service, in the form of a kind of bible study the faithful simply haven't considered ... but should.

The church does not set the moral standards.  Society does.  There is a recent example of this taking place.

For 18 hundred years, the church had been debating the status of abortion.  But let's go back for a moment to set the stage.  In the same general time period, Luther started the Protestant Reformation, and The Catholic church was kicked out of England.  The church was licking its wounds when along came a bunch of religious people in America who wanted to outlaw abortion.  It started with Connecticut in 1821, when they outlawed pharmacies from dispensing drugs whose sole purpose was to cause abortion.

In 1829, New York passed the first law against physical abortions.  Thirty years later, the Pope declares that the fetus is ensouled at conception, and abortion is a major sin.  He had nothing to go on that wasn't there before, he just needed to get some people back into the church, and saw this as a way to do it.

Now the people are leaving the church in droves, and in the last two weeks the Pope announced that a woman who received an abortion didn't have to go to the Bishop level anymore for absolution.  She could go to her neighborhood priest for this service.

The church doesn't lead the people.  The people lead the church.  Other examples have been mentioned by some of you.  (We don't stone rape victims to death any longer etc........)

Very correct that society sets the moral standards, Donald. The problem is that a few Evangelicals wouldn't agree with you and would claim their god did it. They have no proof, just a claim.

But where does society get its ideas of what's moral and what isn't? For the most part, from religious propaganda.

Bertold, you are right, yet we can take this even further. Religions tend to take credit for much more than morality. Religion is opportunistic, it will take credit for whatever it can. If the hungry are fed, religion did it not people, if there are plenty of crops religion did it not nature, when there is observable morality religion did it not ethical altruism.

From previous societies, Bert.  Read Ur Nammu's  Code (About 2100 BCE).  Then read Hammurabi's Code (About 1700 BCE).  Then read the Ten Commandments. About 1300-1100 BCE).  An interesting side reading- google "Utnapishtim".

So the St. Pauls and Augustines of the world had nothing to do with moral values currently held in the public mind?

I'm not going that far, Bert.  LOL  This is an excerpt from my book, "It's Time For A Talk".

"Man is a social animal by nature.  In early times, man had to stick together or become food for other animals.  Most larger animals can run faster than man.  Most animals have a better sense of smell than man.  Most animals of any size are stronger than man,  And so man had to stick together in packs for survival.  From that time on, we've built up a set of social rules that allow us to live together in close proximity with some sense of  harmony.  We call these rules “morals”.
 
Morality is knowing the difference between what society has deemed right and wrong.  Since society makes the determination of what is right and wrong, it's not necessary to be religious to be moral.  Most of us have heard someone say, “I can't go along with something because it isn't in my  moral code”.   Every individual has their own moral code.  There are acts that might be accepted by society as a whole, but not accepted by an individual.  Abortion is the most obvious example of such an act." Unquote.

And morals change with a gain in knowledge.  One of the morals undergoing change at the present time concerns the LGBQT community.  Fifty years ago, it was thought that homosexuality was a matter of choice, and it didn't bother most people to pick on "queers".  I was in the Navy in the 50's, and it was nothing to hear someone say, "I'm broke, let's go down and roll a queer."  Today we know that homosexuality is not a matter of choice, and that a person is born with those traits.  And we are all witnesses to the gaining acceptance of the LGBQT  communities.  Morals change.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Utnapishtim was an intering read, Donald. I read the Gilganesh story several years ago and understand it to be the first heroic journey story. I liked that a Victorian-era translator didn't sanitize the story.

I reckon that you and Bert are both partly right. The Codes you cited, as well as the "Moses Code" (the Ten C's), were collections of rules first devised by individuals and later collected into official codes and named for rulers. Even now, to codify means to arrange laws or rules into a systematic code.
Augustine is famed for praying for chastity "but not yet".

>praying for chastity "but not yet"

Reminds me of song lyrics:

She's running around with the rag top down

She says she wants to do right but not right now

Look at Miss Ohio

I've never heard this song before. It is a bit difficult to understand the lyrics, so: 

Lyrics

Oh me oh my oh, look at Miss Ohio
She's a-running around with her rag-top down
She says I want to do right but not right now

Gonna drive to Atlanta and live out this fantasy
Running around with the rag-top down
Yeah I want to do right but not right now

Had your arm around her shoulder, a regimental soldier
An' mamma starts pushing that wedding gown
Yeah you want to do right but not right now

Oh me oh my oh, would ya look at Miss Ohio
She's a-runnin' around with the rag-top down
She says I want to do right but not right now

I know all about it, so you don't have to shout it
I'm gonna straighten it out somehow
Yeah I want to do right but not right now

Oh me oh my oh, look at Miss Ohio
She a-runnin' around with her rag-top down
She says I want to do right , but not right now
Oh I want to do right but not right now

Written by David Todd Rawlings, Gillian Howard Welch • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management US, LLC

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