Are Atheists Morally Superior To Theists?

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posted on Dec, 2 2008 @ 09:39 PM
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Obviously not all atheists subscribe to the same philosophy of life. There are some who are complete nihilistic moral relativists, others are altruistic secular humanists. I am not suggesting that Atheism leads to a moral society, but logic and rational thinking. A society who thinks rationally is far less likely to commit or allow atrocities to happen... noting how religious fervor has played a major role in such atrocities over the centuries.

Religion gives many people reason to hate homosexuals, supporting harmful abstinence-only sex education, to deny oneself a life-saving blood transfusion if the need arose, to believe that women are a “weaker vessel” and are incapable of leading/guiding/instructing a male, or to encourage a lack of concern/responsibility for the planet due to a belief of a fast-approaching armageddon where/when God will come to clean house.

When you just lay out some of the basic facts... it's not hard to see the conspiracy/hypocrisy in religion.

[edit on 2-12-2008 by The All Seeing I]




posted on Dec, 2 2008 @ 10:27 PM
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reply to post by The All Seeing I
 


No, atheists are not morally superior to theists. Mainly because the sterotypes you listed are not as valid as you think they are.

While most Christians agree that homosexuality is a sin, the percentage of Christians who actually hate homosexuals is very small. Actual hatred of homosexuals is confined to some very small fringe groups within the faith. The majority of Christians do not hate homosexuals.

Also, I have never met a Christian that would deny themself or anyone else a blood transfusion or other important medical attention if it was needed. Again, there are small fringe groups within the faith who might do that. But the majority of Christians do not subscribe to that school of thought.

As you probably guessed, I am a Christian. I am also a male who has never had a problem with being led, guided, or instructed by a female. I do not consider women to be the "weaker vessel". I consider them to be equal.

And lastly, while it is true that Christians have not had the best track record for being good stewards of God's beautiful creation, some of us ARE working to change that.

When you just lay out some basic facts, it's not hard to see the conspiracy/ignorance in those who constantly mislabel religious people with all of these stereotypes.

[edit on 12/2/2008 by Lightmare]



posted on Dec, 2 2008 @ 10:30 PM
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reply to post by The All Seeing I
 


It doesn't matter what a person beleives, human nature always shines through, and usually for the worse.

That's why you have genocide perpetuated by virually any given group through history. Beleiver and athiest alike, sometimes factions of christians versus themselves, God and morals always go out the window when the right buttons are pushed.



posted on Dec, 2 2008 @ 10:35 PM
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reply to post by asmeone2
 


Yep. You got that right. I think you hit the nail on the head there.

Lightmare grants you a star.

[edit on 12/2/2008 by Lightmare]



posted on Dec, 2 2008 @ 11:11 PM
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I can already see the confirmation bias in this thread as soon as you gave examples of immorality that is considered exclusive to theistic beliefs and none to non-theistic.
why only do a compare and contrast with one side?

This just looks like any other attempt to troll



posted on Dec, 2 2008 @ 11:25 PM
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"I have observed that the world has suffered far less from ignorance than from pretensions to knowledge. It is not skeptics or explorers but fanatics and ideologues who menace decency and progress. No agnostic ever burned anyone at the stake or tortured a pagan, a heretic, or an unbeliever."

-Daniel J. Boorstin

I'm agnostic and consider myself open minded to the possibility of there may be a God(s) or may not be. For the most part I lean towards there not being. Not as man has written for us to percieve him as.

I watched the documentary Children of God: Lost and Found.
How perverse and Criminal in my opinion. Normal christians should do their best to remove such a stain on Humanity, this cult known as the Chilfren of God, The Family and now known as Family International.

It all stems from your beliefs and Christianity was it's foundations. It's roots. Now this perverse cult flourishes around the world. Disgusting.

Why not faith in Humanity before anything else. Faith into our species, the human race first. I believe if we are to truly flourish as Humans we should place faith into ourselves first and foremost.

Besides, It's of my opinion religions been used as a tool to empower men and certian circles of men. To use the masses as slaves to a will predetermined by those not of the masses.


All the good found in religion is found in people, religion doesnt bring about a good way of life or moral values those are what are found within decent people of all religions and non religions. Human nature, to prosper and perservere and self preserve as an individual and thus onto the whole as a family. We are one great big family.

uuggghhh fortunately as the generations continue, relgious ideal will perish from the species, and a more adept critical thinking family of humans will hopefully arise.


Peace,



posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 02:39 AM
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reply to post by Lightmare
 


Perhaps, but are you saying that as a true adherent of your faith - or are you saying that as an adherent of a faith which has been tempered and altered to fit without the social constructs of a secular and progressive society? A christian may believe that slavery is morally reprehensible - but this is in contradiction to the teachings of their bible which endorses and lays out rules for the slave/master relationship.

Even if you are Christian, the morals you follow regarding the abolition of slavery and the equality of women are morals gained from living in a secular society. You could almost say they are atheistic, because even if the people who worked to bring about these progressive morals were religious themselves, they didn't necessarily get such views from their religious texts. It came from another, outside, source.



posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 02:53 AM
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Of course atheists are morally superior to fairytale believers.

To believe in Divine Justice, it is necessary to lie to oneself a hundred times a day.

To believe in Divine Protection: the same.

To believe in the Love of God is to wilfully induce personal hallucinations.

When the central basis of one's morality is a pack of lies, what hope for the rest of it?

To anyone who regards and embraces the world as it is, there is really no question about it; religion is a lie. Lying to ourselves and others is immoral. Therefore the religious are by definition morally compromised.



posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 05:31 PM
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Originally posted by Lasheic
Perhaps, but are you saying that as a true adherent of your faith - or are you saying that as an adherent of a faith which has been tempered and altered to fit without the social constructs of a secular and progressive society? A christian may believe that slavery is morally reprehensible - but this is in contradiction to the teachings of their bible which endorses and lays out rules for the slave/master relationship.
Even if you are Christian, the morals you follow regarding the abolition of slavery and the equality of women are morals gained from living in a secular society. You could almost say they are atheistic, because even if the people who worked to bring about these progressive morals were religious themselves, they didn't necessarily get such views from their religious texts. It came from another, outside, source.


That depends on how you define a "true adherent of the faith". I have found that the secular definition of a "true Christian" is vastly different than the Christian definition of a "true Christian". So you will need to explain your definition of "true adherent".

Regarding slavery, a slave in Biblical times was not always someone who was chained and shackled and put to forced labor. If you actually read the Old Testament, you will find that in Hebrew culture, a slave was usually considered to be part of the household rather than a subhuman to be beaten and forced. In fact, it was not uncommon for a person to willingly become a slave for the purpose of paying off a debt. Of course the willing slave would be free again once their debt had been worked off. It should also be pointed out that slavery was not something that God had ordained. Rather, it was something that he tolerated as long as it was done in a humane manner.

Before I explain my view on the equality of women, I will explain my view of the Bible. I do not consider the canonized Bible to be "God's inerrant word". Having said that, I VEHEMENTLY OPPOSE people who deliberately look for things they don't like just so they can say that it is bunk. I see the Bible as what it is. A source of documentation. A collected work by many authors which contains various forms of literature including history, theology, philosophe, allegory, poetry, and prophecy. It is up to the reader to use discernment to understand what they are reading and what is its purpose. And when I say discernment, I really do mean discernment and NOT just cherry picking the scriptures and discarding whatever offends our fleshly modern opinions.

Most of the Biblical statements which appear to be sexist are found in the writings of the apostle Paul. I do not consider Paul's words to be on equal ground with what Jesus did and taught. The writings of the apostle Paul were largely based on his own opinions rather than direct revelation from God. I'm open to correction on that if I'm wrong but that is how I understand it. Jesus, on the other hand, didn't say or do anything that implied that women were a "weaker vessel". At least not that I can think of. And if Jesus didn't do it, then I see no reason why I should. Therefore, I can only conclude that women are equals rather than "weaker vessels".

Keep in mind that my loyalty is to God, not your secular society. My views on these issues are actually based on textual analysis and discernment, and NOT on "secluar progressive" ideals.

[edit on 12/3/2008 by Lightmare]



posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 05:46 PM
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"stereotypes"... "bias"... "troll"... ???

It never fails to amaze me how much of an emotional reflex it is for those who are not accustomed to question such fundamental flaws in one's belief system. I didn't challenge any particular religion in my OP, nor did i isolate a specific period in time or group of people... and in no way am i egging on a fight. These are all tactics to distract and derail from the credibility of the question set forth.

Now if one wants me to be more specific... i'll take on a book and timeline most of us are familiar with or should be (speaking to those in denial). Surveying the great conflicts in western history, we can see the Bible playing a central role, if not a supporting one. For instance, the Bible was used to oppose the Magna Carta and support the divine right of kings, to condemn the insights of Galileo and Charles Darwin, and to support slavery and later apartheid and segregation. Christian leaders used the Bible to justify the Crusades and their unspeakable horrors against Muslim peoples, as well as the murderous behavior of the Inquisition and the virulent anti-semitism of the Holocaust. The Bible is still quoted in the church to justify treating women as 2nd-class citizens. Today it is the chief weapon of politicians and preachers seeking to deny justice for gay and lesbian people. In addition, the Christian and Catholic church, while claiming allegiance to this book, has encouraged the abuse of children and supported environmental degradation.

How can a book called "The Word of God" leave a trail of such violence, hostility, and death throughout it's history? As eloquently suggested in this thread thus far, could it be that the source of morality is directly linked to one's fundamental character, and what should be a tool for great good, can just as well be used for the opposite depending on the character of the theist?



posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 10:28 PM
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reply to post by Lightmare
 


In terms of a true adherent to Christianity - I am referring to how the religion was taught and followed in the years shortly after Christ's supposed execution. When the culture and societal rules governing that culture had not changed much since Christ's ministry. However, one must also consider the Old Testament - as it was not replaced by the New Testament, only supplemented.

There are many rules and laws of conduct in the bible which modern Christians do not adhere to out of respect for the laws and culture it is practiced in. We do not stone adulterers anymore. We do not keep slaves. We value (mostly) a woman as an individual, not as property and as equals. This is against the teaching of the bible as it was originally intended and practiced, but are no longer acceptable in today's society. If you want a better understanding of how Christianity and Judaism was practiced back in the days before and during Christ's coming - then look to modern fundamentalist Islamic cultures. Islam, after all, teaches that Mohammad was sent to restore the faith back to it's roots after it's corruption. (However, even it in itself has been tempered by modern values in today's societies).

You admittedly do not follow the bible as the word of god, which indicates that you are not a true adherent of the faith as it is taught by the bible - the very guidebook for how you should practice your faith. You also seem to have some previous misconceptions about the role of slaves and women in the bible. I don't have enough time to really go into detail, but I will provide two videos that contain strong arguments for my position. By someone who broke free from fundamentalist Christianity no less.




www.youtube.com...

[edit on 3-12-2008 by Lasheic]



posted on Dec, 3 2008 @ 11:02 PM
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Originally posted by The All Seeing I
"stereotypes"... "bias"... "troll"... ???

your question is practically rhetorical in the title - it is an attack only position - this will just turn into another religious discussion argument like all the others.
I thought this was about what you morally believe is superior

Morality can not always be looked at in terms of rationality, what makes more sense having one spouse or multiple spouses? - this is of course rhetorical as well, but some theistic doctrines held marriage in divine inspiration some exclusive to one partner, some to multiple. In times, marriage has evolved as well as the legalities - an atheist can get married sure, its nothing more than a legal document now (with its own definitions) but is our society's inclination to think its normal to have one spouse (in western society) a moral predisposition from how many in the past have thought with theistic beliefs? - or is it just rational thinking?



[edit on 3-12-2008 by juveous]



posted on Dec, 4 2008 @ 12:01 AM
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I believe someone with a strong sense of logic is morally superior, whether atheist or theist.

Theists are more likely to become manipulated by religious leaders and superstitions into doing irrational things. On the other hand, morally unsound people will sometimes be held back by their fear of divine punishment and refrain from doing something to hurt another. Whereas if they had no fear of god they might be more inclined to do harm. In some ways religion is a safety mechanism for those will evil tendencies who do not have the capability to be rational and logical. This was perhaps a necessary evil in the past and our greatest civilizations might not have lasted as long as they did had religion not kept them together, but we've since evolved and no longer require superstitions to keep us in line. I believe a strong sense of empathy is all we really need.

The burden of understanding is placed more firmly on atheists, because they have to think about the consequences of their actions. There's no book that tells you what's right or wrong, so you have to figure that out for yourself and take full responsibility of your decisions. Things aren't always black and white either.

I've seen and heard of both atheists and theists doing some pretty morally objectable things. I can't say where the tally stands on this one. Seems that if you want to do something evil, you can find a way to justify it if you try hard enough regardless of your beliefs.

For the record I'm neither religious nor atheist. I've walked both paths and decided to settle somewhere in the middle. A conscious evolving universe is how I see things now.



posted on Dec, 4 2008 @ 12:15 AM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.


Technically speaking, yes, Atheists are morally superior to Theists, inasmuch as they make up a disproportionately small percentage of America's prison population.

Well, let's look at the prison population.
www.skepticfiles.org...



Fifty-two percent of people belong to no church, yet live clean lives and supply less than 1% of the total criminal population.


Keep in mind the source, but the numbers are the same no matter who offers them...


As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Dec, 4 2008 @ 07:19 AM
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the very minute someone thingks that they're morally better than anyone else,they've failed by proxy. Because if we're truly equal,then no man/woman is morally better than anyone else. Reguardless of actions. And I'm hlaf cut,so I don't know if the point I was trying to make,has been made.....



posted on Dec, 4 2008 @ 07:45 AM
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reply to post by The All Seeing I
 


Morally superior atheists like Stalin, Mao or the other communist, atheist despots of South America, Africa and Europe?
Just wondering who has the highest death toll.

I'm not saying believers have a definite 'higher morality'.
Anyone can fail, except Jesus.

[edit on 4-12-2008 by Clearskies]



posted on Dec, 4 2008 @ 10:57 AM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne
Technically speaking, yes, Atheists are morally superior to Theists, inasmuch as they make up a disproportionately small percentage of America's prison population.

Hmmm.... what about all the legal immoral actions???



posted on Dec, 4 2008 @ 11:17 AM
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Anyone who believes in the concept of "moral superiority" cannot be morally superior.



posted on Dec, 4 2008 @ 11:40 AM
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Originally posted by 44soulslayer
Anyone who believes in the concept of "moral superiority" cannot be morally superior.

I can re-state what you said with "anyone who believes that some people are more morally correct than another cannot be morally superior"
since morality psychologically subjective, I wouldn't disagree. There isn't really "tangible proof" to support things like morality - people either become aware of wrong doing or don't - majority doesn't always rule, it is just the most influential to what is considered "within the norms" - but you can see how the acts in comparison to one another can be filtered among the many to guide any social establishment.



posted on Dec, 4 2008 @ 12:01 PM
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reply to post by juveous
 


Yep, you got it that's what I was trying to get across.

Also the source of the morals aren't as important as morals themselves. If a religion tells a person they must serve food to the needy, it isnt morally inferior to an atheist who does the same out of ethical/political considerations.

reply to post by WyrdeOne
 


My explanation:
(I know it doesn't make up a huge amount in terms of percentages but it may help to explain the trends you describe.)

What do prisoners want more than anything (apart from non-slip soap)? Parole

The easiest way to exhibit repentance and rehabilitation is to go the classic religious route. How many times have we heard of the criminal who went to prison, found God and was subsequently paroled after "showing" repentance by this pathway.

I think its a choice of convenience; and I think that may explain the large number of "religious" people who seemingly have a criminal record.





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