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Belief in God essential to morality?
marymary100 - 22-8-2015 at 16:09

Research



Quote:

Richer Nations Are Exception

Survey Report




Belief in God Essential to Morality?

Many people around the world think it is necessary to believe in God to be a moral person, according to surveys in 39 countries by the Pew Research Center. However, this view is more common in poorer countries than in wealthier ones.

In 22 of 39 countries surveyed, clear majorities say it is necessary to believe in God to be moral and have good values. This position is highly prevalent, if not universal, in Africa and the Middle East. At least three-quarters in all six countries surveyed in Africa say that faith in God is essential to morality. In the Middle East, roughly seven-in-ten or more agree in Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, the Palestinian territories, Tunisia and Lebanon. Across the two regions, only in Israel does a majority think it is not necessary to believe in God to be an upright person.


John Barnes - 22-8-2015 at 22:19

No, Morals and Ethics can be practised without Religion as long as a person has empathy for is fellow man


Redwolf5150 - 23-8-2015 at 01:05

Quote:
Originally posted by John Barnes
No, Morals and Ethics can be practised without Religion as long as a person has empathy for is fellow man


^Well said, that man^


LSemmens - 23-8-2015 at 01:22

It's not necessary to have a faith in a god, but it certainly is a contributing factor. Many of our current morals have their origins in religious belief. However, people tend to learn them from their parents and society as a whole, and not a religious tome. The animal kingdom itself shows good examples of "morality" and, of course, anarchy, too.


Nimuae - 23-8-2015 at 06:11

Quote:
Originally posted by John Barnes
No, Morals and Ethics can be practised without Religion as long as a person has empathy for is fellow man



I completely agree. In my time on this planet I known some some very moral, law abiding atheists - equally I have known some totally immoral and unpleasant people who professed to be Christian.


scholar - 24-8-2015 at 01:39

A belief in God, who built His Law into His created universe, undergirds a person's choices to live in agreement with the Creator's standards. If morals are simply a matter of personal choice or preference, then a person might decide to make a different choice if the pleasure or money or other gain were stronger than his commitment to his former choice. How many people grew up living as their parents taught them to live, only to become drunks or fornicators when they went away to college, where the parents would not see their behavior and be ashamed of them? How many people have lied or stolen or cheated on their spouses when they thought their conduct would not be discovered, if they did not think they were answerable to One who will be final Judge of everything they do?


marymary100 - 24-8-2015 at 06:09

Quote:
Originally posted by scholar
A belief in God, who built His Law into His created universe, undergirds a person's choices to live in agreement with the Creator's standards. If morals are simply a matter of personal choice or preference, then a person might decide to make a different choice if the pleasure or money or other gain were stronger than his commitment to his former choice. How many people grew up living as their parents taught them to live, only to become drunks or fornicators when they went away to college, where the parents would not see their behavior and be ashamed of them? How many people have lied or stolen or cheated on their spouses when they thought their conduct would not be discovered, if they did not think they were answerable to One who will be final Judge of everything they do?


It depends whether people are self regulating or need to be controlled by someone/something else. If you have no moral fibre, belief in a higher power may help to control base urges. It was interesting that there was a correlation between poverty and a positive response to the question.


Katzy - 24-8-2015 at 09:55

Exactly. At the metaphorical end of the day, the person I have to answer to, is me (More specifically, my conscience).

Of course, throughout my life, I've done some norty things. I've acknowledged those things, tried to justify them (And failed, for the most part), and "repented" for doing them.

Now, if the religious nuts of the world want to see that my conscience is some god, impressing himself, fine.

I've done my best. Sadly, the results are, probably, nowhere near as good as might be required.

But, I did try my best, whenever I could.

My cat's certain that's she's god, you know. :D I'm not entirely sure that she's not..


LSemmens - 24-8-2015 at 13:53

At the end of our life, we shall all find out, one way or another. As to the OP, I have already stated my position.


victor - 24-8-2015 at 15:59

Do unto others as you would have them do to you, now thats hard nowadays.


marymary100 - 24-8-2015 at 16:18

Quote:
Originally posted by LSemmens
At the end of our life, we shall all find out, one way or another. As to the OP, I have already stated my position.


Actually you won't, if there's nothing.


JackInCT - 24-8-2015 at 20:34

Your premise is based on the presumption that god (small "g") is a moral person/entity/being/whatever. Where in the world did you ever get that idea????


LSemmens - 25-8-2015 at 00:07

Quote:
Originally posted by marymary100
Actually you won't, if there's nothing.

Therein lies the problem, Mary. What if there is a God, and we have chosen to ignore Him? Of course, if there isn't, we won't know about that fact anyway.


JackInCT - 25-8-2015 at 01:41

Quote:
Originally posted by LSemmens
Quote:
Originally posted by marymary100
Actually you won't, if there's nothing.

What if there is a God, and we have chosen to ignore Him?...


Why does NOT ignoring him have to take the form of 'adoration'/'homage'/'reverence?

Furthermore why does it matter to him, one way or another, as to whether or not we adhere to HIS particular brand of a belief system AKA morality?

Isn't it possible that ANY homo sapiens could be more moral than god?


LSemmens - 25-8-2015 at 12:23

Therein lies the rub. If we have a messenger from God who points us to Him, and how we should then live and the consequences of not following those tenets. We must, therefore, be prepared to face those consequences if we choose to ignore those rules. Sorta like you are in the middle of the ocean, you can choose to remain in the boat, or take your chances..........


Katzy - 25-8-2015 at 14:45

Quote:
Originally posted by victor
Do unto others as you would have them do to you..


^^That.^^ :D


JackInCT - 25-8-2015 at 16:09

One of the 'things' that I find missing, as well as disturbing, about this topic is the lack of questioning of whether it is moral for a human being to unilaterally appoint themselves as judge and jury of not only defining what is moral, but judging anyone and everyone as to whether what they do is moral. It strikes me that homo sapiens presumes that he has some sort of innate expertise to do that (as well as the inherent freedom to express those views).

To sum this post up:
And if my thought dreams could be seen
They'd probably put my head in a guillotine
But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only

Attribution: Bob Dylan eons ago, it seems.


marymary100 - 25-8-2015 at 16:34

Quote:
Originally posted by JackInCT
One of the 'things' that I find missing, as well as disturbing, about this topic is the lack of questioning of whether it is moral for a human being to unilaterally appoint themselves as judge and jury of not only defining what is moral, but judging anyone and everyone as to whether what they do is moral.


Not sure who you think is doing that?

The Pew research team are who composed and carried out the research in the OP.


scholar - 26-8-2015 at 00:42

Quote:
Originally posted by marymary100
Quote:
Originally posted by scholar
A belief in God, who built His Law into His created universe, undergirds a person's choices to live in agreement with the Creator's standards. If morals are simply a matter of personal choice or preference, then a person might decide to make a different choice if the pleasure or money or other gain were stronger than his commitment to his former choice. How many people grew up living as their parents taught them to live, only to become drunks or fornicators when they went away to college, where the parents would not see their behavior and be ashamed of them? How many people have lied or stolen or cheated on their spouses when they thought their conduct would not be discovered, if they did not think they were answerable to One who will be final Judge of everything they do?


It depends whether people are self regulating or need to be controlled by someone/something else. If you have no moral fibre, belief in a higher power may help to control base urges. It was interesting that there was a correlation between poverty and a positive response to the question.

If a person regulates himself to do what is right, then he thereby acknowledges that there is something in the nature of what is by which some things are the right thing to do, and others are not (in most cases, theft, murder, and lying might be examples of what is widely recognized as not good). That points to a Designer of what is. If everything is a random result of impersonal materials and energies, with no purpose or value, then no action is better than another.


LSemmens - 26-8-2015 at 00:47

OF course, Jack, are you sure about that? Maybe that Shark that is trying to eat you for swimming in it's ocean has made a judgement call and decided to make an example of you for invading it's space.


Katzy - 26-8-2015 at 09:36

Quote:
Originally posted by scholar
If a person regulates himself to do what is right


Of course, your ideas about what is right may not agree with mine. Nor, indeed, a jihadist who genuinely believes that his god is telling him to do what he believes to be right.

These things are not as black and white as we wish them to be.

Heck, even Christians can't agree on which "right" is really right...


LSemmens - 26-8-2015 at 13:18

I always say, You worship God in your way, and I'll worship him in His way!! ;)


marymary100 - 26-8-2015 at 16:15

I'm with Dave Allen on that one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgbkdrOl3sw


scholar - 26-8-2015 at 20:56

Quote:
Originally posted by Katzy
Quote:
Originally posted by scholar
If a person regulates himself to do what is right


Of course, your ideas about what is right may not agree with mine. Nor, indeed, a jihadist who genuinely believes that his god is telling him to do what he believes to be right.

These things are not as black and white as we wish them to be.

Heck, even Christians can't agree on which "right" is really right...

Would you agree, that most people do broadly find common ground with respect to what is right?

To name a few examples--
Don't most people realize that there is something wrong about stealing? Even people who, themselves, steal, show their awareness that it is wrong by getting upset when others steal from them, or when people steal from their loved ones, and most people who steal are inclined to try to hide that they are thieves.

Don't most people realize there is something wrong about murder? When another person murders one of their loved ones, they aren't indifferent toward the murderer--they want to see justice, some appropriate punishment, because of the wrong done.

When a person displays no remorse for doing wrong, others recognize there is something really wrong with that person's mind. A sociopath is viewed as a kind of monster in human form.

The Biblical position is that God's law is naturally written on human hearts. However imperfectly an individual may discern it or keep it, the fact that a person realizes that there is right and wrong is evidence of this condition. Even those who break it and excuse themselves show they know it by declaring their excuses.


LSemmens - 27-8-2015 at 09:43

To a point, you are correct, Scholar, except in some societies it is considered to be quite good business practice if you can "put one over on your customer" (S-E Asia), Murder and mayhem seem to be also quite "normal" in some Middle Eastern Societies.


Katzy - 27-8-2015 at 15:23

Quote:
Originally posted by scholar
Don't most people realize that there is something wrong about stealing?


Most, yes. However, necessity may override things. If it means food, or no food, I'd steal, myself. Indeed, I have done. Did I feel guilty? No. Needs must and all that.

Quote:
Originally posted by scholarDon't most people realize there is something wrong about murder?


In an "It's him or me" situation, we can kill without meaning to. Some count that as murder. Indeed, I've seen it argued that Joshua committed mass murder, when he took Jericho. Doesn't the book say that you shouldn't kill, at all?

Either way, seems there are differing views on what murder is.

Quote:
Originally posted by scholarThe Biblical position is that...


People don't need a set of rules, to know, instinctively, what is, or isn't wrong. OK, they might do, when they're young and haven't got consciences, yet. But, as you grow, you learn those "rules" as instincts.

Rigid rules can be as bad a thing as not having any rules, at all.

QED.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-34048497

To feel bad, over having done wrong, doesn't come from a book. It comes from realising "Shit! What if someone had done what I did, to them, to me? I'd feel awful!"

If you need a book, to tell you that, I feel rather sorry for you.


LSemmens - 28-8-2015 at 06:26

Good thing I don't live in Sydney, I'd be too scared to cross the road no matter what colour they painted the lights! It's a mad house there! As for the senator he may have some good points, but I've never heard of him. I had to look him up to see if he was real.....he is.


scholar - 28-8-2015 at 20:09

Quote:
Originally posted by LSemmens
To a point, you are correct, Scholar, except in some societies it is considered to be quite good business practice if you can "put one over on your customer" (S-E Asia), Murder and mayhem seem to be also quite "normal" in some Middle Eastern Societies.
In cultures where business practices allow one to take advantage of others, and it is considered OK, the distinction between "business" and common stealing again points to a natural moral law against stealing. The man who got the better of another in trade by giving a false account of his product still does not think it OK if someone takes his own money by theft or by force.