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Society without God:Better or worse?

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posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 03:02 AM
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Would society advance faster, or decline faster, without the belief in a higher power? A higher power that holds people accountable for there actions and sets moral values.

What would the new moral standard be?

Would we still choose good over evil if there was no reward or punishment?

Would we redefine what is good and what is evil?

Would society and mankind advance more rapidly without the constrains of a God and the moral values set forth by religious teachings?

Would science become the new "religion"?

Would the government be responsible for defining what is moral and good?

Would mankind become an animalistic culture, devoid of concience or remorse, with the only goals being self gratification without regard for others.

I am very interested in hearing the views of others on this topic.

Personaly, I believe the only reason we have made it this far is the belief in a higher power and the prospect of a reward or punishment for our actions.

[edit on 1-11-2008 by deepred]




posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 03:20 AM
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reply to post by deepred
 



A higher power that holds people accountable for there actions and sets moral values?


....


Have you heard of the "Moral Imperative"?

I've never met two christians with the same set of morals and values so they aren't exactly calibrating them to anything are they?

People have a deep rooted drive for their actions, something instinctual that people adhere to long before they 'decide' to follow god. If God or even a belief in a god was required to hold off barbarism then Buddhists are an oddity, aren't they.

What about atheist? Why are we not animalistic?

[edit on 11/1/2008 by Good Wolf]



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 03:46 AM
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Originally posted by Good Wolf
reply to post by deepred
 



A higher power that holds people accountable for there actions and sets moral values?


....


Have you heard of the "Moral Imperative"?

I've never met two christians with the same set of morals and values so they aren't exactly calibrating them to anything are they?

People have a deep rooted drive for their actions, something instinctual that people adhere to long before they 'decide' to follow god. If God or even a belief in a god was required to hold off barbarism then Buddhists are an oddity, aren't they.

What about atheist? Why are we not animalistic?

[edit on 11/1/2008 by Good Wolf]


I think even an atheist is confined to the standards of a society that is formed and shaped by a belief in a higher power.

As for "something instinctual" do you think it is something genetic? Would say a human raised without any connection to society or outside influence agree with what most believe is right and wrong? Or do you think this humans ideas would differ from what is considered "normal"(could be an interesting topic)



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 04:06 AM
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Originally posted by deepred
I think even an atheist is confined to the standards of a society that is formed and shaped by a belief in a higher power.


But it's not the higher power setting the standards now, is it. One responsibility of citizens and denizens is to contribute to society, those who don't have to leave or they get chucked out or into prison. It's part of the moral imperative to comply with society.

On a side note, this society isn't based on faith anymore, it has those roots but we're secular these days (with the possible exception of the States).


As for "something instinctual" do you think it is something genetic? Would say a human raised without any connection to society or outside influence agree with what most believe is right and wrong? Or do you think this humans ideas would differ from what is considered "normal"(could be an interesting topic)


Well the problem there is that a human raised outside of society is feral and can't speak. People from other societies will probably disagree but will still be able to function, that functionality will be different as they are adhering to a new society.

Overall, humans don't live outside of society, it's part of our drive to survive (which by the way determines a lot of our moral imperative). The nature of that particular society may be built around a religion, but at the end of the day, the reason that the society exists is for survivability.

Whether instinct is genetic or inherited from the environment is something I just don't know. Some of it will be genetic ie. the physiological drive to reproduce.



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 04:19 AM
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reply to post by Good Wolf
 


Do you think the "moral imparitive" is flexable? Hitler believed it was a moral imparitive to remove the "lower functioning" from the gene pool for the betterment of society.

[edit on 1-11-2008 by deepred]



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 04:30 AM
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reply to post by deepred
 


Yea when you mention it. It would have to be. Hitler? The simple answer is he was wrong. The moral imperative doesn't work like that. It governs mental reactions and decisions to events in the environment. How you unconsciously make a decision on a course of action (a verbal response for instance), it's not a philosophical thing.

I'm just going to check I'm actually talking about what I think I'm talking about in regards to the moral imperative.

[edit on 11/1/2008 by Good Wolf]



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 04:38 AM
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Wiki on the Moral imperative and the Categorical imperative.

Moral:

A moral imperative is a principle originating inside a person's mind that compels that person to act. It is a kind of categorical imperative, as defined by Immanuel Kant. Kant took the imperative to be a dictate of pure reason, in its practical aspect. Not following the moral law was seen to be self-defeating and thus contrary to reason. Later thinkers took the imperative to originate in conscience, as the divine voice speaking through the human spirit. The dictates of conscience are simply right and often resist further justification. Looked at another way, the experience of conscience is the basic experience of encountering the right.


Categorical:

The categorical imperative is the central philosophical concept of the moral philosophy of Immanuel Kant, and of modern deontological ethics. Kant introduced this concept in Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals. Here, the categorical imperative is outlined according to the arguments found in his work.

Kant thought that human beings occupy a special place in creation and that morality can be summed up in one, ultimate commandment of reason, or imperative, from which all duties and obligations derive. He defined an imperative as any proposition that declares a certain action (or inaction) to be necessary. A hypothetical imperative would compel action in a given circumstance: If I wish to satisfy my thirst, then I must drink something. A categorical imperative would denote an absolute, unconditional requirement that exerts its authority in all circumstances, both required and justified as an end in itself. It is best known in its first formulation:

"Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law." [1]

He expressed extreme dissatisfaction with the moral philosophy of his day because he believed it could never surpass the level of hypothetical imperatives. For example, a utilitarian would say that murder is wrong because it does not maximize good for the greatest number of people; but this would be irrelevant to someone who is concerned only with maximizing the positive outcome for himself. Consequently, Kant argued, hypothetical moral systems cannot persuade moral action or be regarded as basis for moral judgments against others, because the imperatives they are based on rely too heavily on subjective considerations. A deontological moral system based on the demands of the categorical imperative was presented as an alternative.


Which is a bit more complicated, but my understanding of it is that it's the human equivalent of a robot's programing. Decisions based on prioritized values and morals.


I became very interested in this a few years ago when I realized that all thoughts and hence, acts were actually just reactions to other actions and in essence just the old "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction."

[edit on 11/1/2008 by Good Wolf]



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 04:44 AM
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As much as I truly love the idea of an environment completely free from the insidious talons of any so called god...I cannot help but feel his mythology is necessary if only to be contrary. Night needs it's day, Atheism needs it's gods, and people like me need to watch them fight about it.



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 04:45 AM
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Originally posted by Good Wolf
Wiki on the Moral imperative and the Categorical imperative.

Moral:

A moral imperative is a principle originating inside a person's mind that compels that person to act. It is a kind of categorical imperative, as defined by Immanuel Kant. Kant took the imperative to be a dictate of pure reason, in its practical aspect. Not following the moral law was seen to be self-defeating and thus contrary to reason. Later thinkers took the imperative to originate in conscience, as the divine voice speaking through the human spirit. The dictates of conscience are simply right and often resist further justification. Looked at another way, the experience of conscience is the basic experience of encountering the right.


Categorical:

The categorical imperative is the central philosophical concept of the moral philosophy of Immanuel Kant, and of modern deontological ethics. Kant introduced this concept in Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals. Here, the categorical imperative is outlined according to the arguments found in his work.

Kant thought that human beings occupy a special place in creation and that morality can be summed up in one, ultimate commandment of reason, or imperative, from which all duties and obligations derive. He defined an imperative as any proposition that declares a certain action (or inaction) to be necessary. A hypothetical imperative would compel action in a given circumstance: If I wish to satisfy my thirst, then I must drink something. A categorical imperative would denote an absolute, unconditional requirement that exerts its authority in all circumstances, both required and justified as an end in itself. It is best known in its first formulation:

"Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law." [1]

He expressed extreme dissatisfaction with the moral philosophy of his day because he believed it could never surpass the level of hypothetical imperatives. For example, a utilitarian would say that murder is wrong because it does not maximize good for the greatest number of people; but this would be irrelevant to someone who is concerned only with maximizing the positive outcome for himself. Consequently, Kant argued, hypothetical moral systems cannot persuade moral action or be regarded as basis for moral judgments against others, because the imperatives they are based on rely too heavily on subjective considerations. A deontological moral system based on the demands of the categorical imperative was presented as an alternative.


Which is a bit more complicated, but my understanding of it is that it's the human equivalent of a robot's programing. Decisions based on prioritized values and morals.

Thanks for the research (I had to read it a couple of times) Who programed
the robot and prioritized the values and morals?



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 04:52 AM
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reply to post by deepred
 


The same natural processes that shaped humans physically. The imperatives are a prerequisite to society. It's all about survivability. I was getting at that earlier. Cooperation and therefore socializing is far easier that a solitary life style when you are in the wilderness.

It's so ingrained in us humans that without that socialization, we tend to kill ourselves. It's very damaging psychologically, so it's used as a punishment, like the "timeout" corner or solitary confinement in prison.

[edit on 11/1/2008 by Good Wolf]



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 05:08 AM
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reply to post by deepred
 





Would society and mankind advance more rapidly without the constrains of a God and the moral values set forth by religious teachings?


Stem cell research ring a bell...?





Personaly, I believe the only reason we have made it this far is the belief in a higher power


Personally, I believe the only reason we have not progressed more rapidly in soooo many different fields is because of the restraints of organized religion...





posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 05:11 AM
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reply to post by chapter29
 


Good point. Just look at what 'faith based initiatives' have done to scientific funding over the last decade. More area's of research have been shut down because 'christian' lobbyists did not like the idea of them in the last decade than ever get talked about.

P.S.

Another personal favorite is Abstinence only education. Led to a rise in STDs. Have any doubts that teaching god instead of the birds and bees is a bad idea, just ask Sarah Palin's new grandchild.

[edit on 1-11-2008 by Lucifer Rising]



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 05:11 AM
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reply to post by Good Wolf
 


Good Wolf, enjoyed the discussion, But I need to sign off in a few minutes,
If you were to say one way or the other do you think society would be better if people did not use God or "religious" teachings as a guide?



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 05:13 AM
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Ok and just how is "Society" working for us Now (meaning All societies).

There are S.'s that allow you to kill your wife if she cheats on you.
Some that hack out a womans Clitoris with anything handy.
S.'s that allow children to be bought and sold for sex or slave labor.
ets...etc...etc...

All so called Societies have a God Or Gods

It doesn't seem to get any better any where on the planet,only worse and it's all with some Supreme Beings supposed presence.



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 05:17 AM
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reply to post by deepred
 


I really can't say. There are so many factors and circumstances that would swing it ether way so... I just don't know.

Though I will say IMHO, that it's something that our society needs to grow out of.

[edit on 11/1/2008 by Good Wolf]



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 05:27 AM
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Of course society would be 100 times better without spending all our time doing bizarre things for imaginary mythical Gods.
If there was no time wasting and restriction with that sort of thing we could get on with far more important things.
Plus people would be less ignorant because of less brainwashing by control freaks.



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 05:59 AM
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reply to post by Interestinggg
 


Historically, cultures have always matured with their respective religions. The difference is how long it takes to become secular.

One thing I've noticed is that those ancient societies that have been renown for their philosophy have also been more secular.



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 07:09 AM
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To use a political analogy God has often been the "Upper House" which has applied certain checks and balances on the "Commons." The culture most of us live in at the moment is one which is like an ongoing experiment of a Godless culture which is progressively removing more and more of the Divine from the petri dish.

The results are quite startling with abortion being considered acceptable so broadly that latest statistcis, not of any religious body but of the WHO, show approx. 42 million abortions take place annually worldwide. Euthanasia is now something which is becoming more readily available. Relaxing of moral values concerning sexuality, and not abstinence only, have lead to a huge surge in the numbers of STDs, marital breakdowns and the objectification of many groups and individuals. IVF has lead to genetic selection in search of the perfect baby and at times the production of therapeutic siblings. Foetal/embryonic stem cell research (note most Christians have no objection to adult/placental stem cell research) leads to harvesting of individuals as commodities. The increasing tribalism of science v religion impoverishes both, I lament that fundamentalist scientists and religious have furthered this seperation. Science can enlighten faith and faith can say to science "just because you can doesn't mean you should."

The enemy of God took off his jack boots sixty years ago when it finally dawned on him that flashy shows only worked for so long and his better option was to discretely soak himself into a culture. So 60 years after concentration camps we unwittingly condemn greater numbers to death each year, strive for a master race of fit and beautiful people and allow those who are an inconvenience to waste away. A philsophy which depends on slandering it its enemies to silence them. All this while telling us we are the best there has ever been and that happiness lies in the physical and material. The selfish gene is happy enough with this and God's voice fades to a whisper, but as we know, its in the whisper of the gentle breeze not the flashy showiness of the dramatic earthquake or attention demanding light show that He is found. We'll wake up soon.



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 07:18 AM
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You know every time I hear questions like this I'm reminded of what happened to the Mayans and Aztecs.

Their cities were sacked plundered and burned to the ground for the sake of the Spanish crown. but her people were all massacred in the name of the church....

God and a higher moral calling only applies to the already faithful. mercy kindness and understanding does not apply to those outside said faithful...

God might or might not be real but when people start to define what his/her will is.... and make rules about the right ways to worship and honor...others often suffer in the most horrendous ways...



posted on Nov, 1 2008 @ 07:28 AM
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Originally posted by deepred
Would society advance faster, or decline faster, without the belief in a higher power? A higher power that holds people accountable for there actions and sets moral values.

What would the new moral standard be?

Would we still choose good over evil if there was no reward or punishment?

Would we redefine what is good and what is evil?

Would society and mankind advance more rapidly without the constrains of a God and the moral values set forth by religious teachings?

Would science become the new "religion"?

Would the government be responsible for defining what is moral and good?

Would mankind become an animalistic culture, devoid of concience or remorse, with the only goals being self gratification without regard for others.

I am very interested in hearing the views of others on this topic.

Personaly, I believe the only reason we have made it this far is the belief in a higher power and the prospect of a reward or punishment for our actions.

[edit on 1-11-2008 by deepred]



My answer would be neither.

Human populations would be decimated and the survivors would be feral. Society would cease to exist; the concept of law has its source in the book of Enoch; there would be no government, perhaps the buildings and some symbols of government would exist for a time, but without meaning. they become overgrown with weeds and become the habitation of other wild animals, like yourselves. Each person would be his own government, sounds good at first until your children turn against you, especially when they realize what you did to them.

And don't even think about keeping Science, as everyone knows that the scientific process has its roots in mans search for God. Its some kind of consolation prize.

Eventually someone would realize what happened, return to God and life would immediately improve and grow again.




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