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A Morality Test- You Need to be Religious to be Moral

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posted on Apr, 24 2011 @ 07:35 PM
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Shoppers who took advantage of a supermarket that accidentally opened with no staff could be considered part of a "real life candid camera" or patients in a "mad experiment" that explored morality, a professor of religion says.

Opportunists took the chance to stock up their pantries when the doors to Hamilton's(NZ) biggest supermarket opened for about eight hours early yesterday without a checkout person in sight.

A security system computer glitch is being blamed for the doors opening and the lights coming on at Pak 'n Save in Mill St about 1am yesterday. Sergeant Guy Callahan said police were alerted at 9.20am by a member of the public saying loads of people were leaving the shop with "truckloads of groceries".

About half paid for their groceries using the self-scan service, but that stopped working when someone scanned alcohol, which requires a staff member to check a customer's age before the system is unlocked.

Victoria University's professor of religious studies, Paul Morris, said the Easter-time ethical test placed customers in a tricky situation. "It is like real life candid camera where people are clearly faced with this series of moral dilemmas."


There had been a debate about whether you needed to be religious to be moral, he said.

"The Christian Right have tended to think [that] without the Ten Commandments and God's divining hand we would never have been able to develop a plausible and sustainable morality.

"This [Pak 'n Save incident] is like some mad experiment, because you've sent off to church the religious and it's the secular who have gone shopping on Good Friday ... and you've put them to the test.

"Most acted morally and responded in very appropriate ways by trying to pay by using the self-service area. But clearly others saw that fortune had smiled on them in some perverse way."


Supermarket owner Glenn Miller was initially furious over the incident, fearing that thousands of dollars of groceries might have walked out the door. But after reviewing the shop's security footage during the weekend his mood had mellowed.


"I can certainly see the funny side of it ... but I'd rather not have the publicity, to be honest. It makes me look a bit of a dickhead."


The first customer arrived with a young child, spent 20 minutes selecting groceries, scanned them, paid, and walked out, Mr Miller said. "I still think she probably doesn't know we weren't there. It is the funniest thing. You just have to laugh your head off when you watch."

Mr Miller did not intend to take legal action to pursue those who had not paid. "The story has been in the papers ... and on TV, so hopefully that will make some people feel guilty and they will cough up."

All cash handed over would go to the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal, Mr Miller said, though by yesterday no repentant customers had come forward.

Ok, becuase of a technical error, people are being told they arnt moral because they should have been at church that day?? At 1am in the morning?? This is blatently forcing the blame on the people, and guess who is enforcing it....the church!! Do they really think poeple are going to front up and pay hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars for goods with the rise in food prices these days? If it were me, knowing that I need to prepare for TSHTF soon, This would have been Ideal, and this does not make me a less Moral Person. I would really like to hear some feedback from ATS on this!!

www.stuff.co.nz...
www.stuff.co.nz...
edit on 24-4-2011 by grindhouzer because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 24 2011 @ 07:48 PM
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I think you are looking at one man's statement's the wrong way.

From what I read, this professor was saying that since it was good friday, the religious people were not out shopping (which seems general and optimistic). But let's say it's true and only secular people were there, he admits that at least half acted morally and properly.

It's part of a the nonsensical idea that you need religion to be moral, which is stupid and always has been.

This is a non-issue, but might be an interesting discussion if put in different, and less angry sounding, terms.

Peace
KJ



posted on Apr, 24 2011 @ 07:49 PM
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im from hamilton and i would have been happy to stock up and score me some free food, its understandable that others would do the same. but still its stealing none the less



posted on Apr, 24 2011 @ 07:52 PM
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Yep. You're less moral.

Glenn Miller is a person, like you. Why should he take it in the shorts for your SHTF prep?

Seriously. And who cares about the church nonsense. Irrelevant.

JR



posted on Apr, 24 2011 @ 07:56 PM
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I spent most of 2000 in Hamilton NZ.
Funny how I know right where that store is. Still.

ganjoa



posted on Apr, 24 2011 @ 08:00 PM
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To be Moral?

That doesn't make any sense to me. We all share different moral values depending on a number of things, such as our family, friends, education, etc... of course religion has a lot to do with that but yeah, everyone has morals, they just don't share the same.



posted on Apr, 24 2011 @ 08:09 PM
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I think people, especially the religious, get too focused on morals and morality, and don't realize that being moral brings the opportunity to be evil.

There's a big difference between morality and ethics.

Morality derived from religion, for example, will say there's never a circumstance in which lying is acceptable. "Thou shalt not bear false witness" and all that jazz.

Ethics says there are times that it is necessary.

Example:

In Nazi Germany, if you were hiding a family of Jews in your attic, and the Gestapo came by to ask if you were hiding jews, morality says that you have to tell them "yes". And be responsible for their likely murder, and YOURS as well.

Ethics says that in that case, the lie is essential to save their lives, and probably yours, too.


To be ethical requires no morality and no religion. It's a matter of conscience and upbringing.

Sure, in this kind of case in the OP it's all a matter of semantics, but, still, is something to be considered.



posted on Apr, 24 2011 @ 08:25 PM
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The customers that didn't pay have not come forward so who's to say what religious community they belong if any. I know lots of religious people that steal like the mafia and half the people I did time with in jail. No judgements about religion and morality can be gleaned or garnered from this and everyone here should know that even those with the highest moral ground sometimes falter. To all the religious types out there ask yourself, you ever do anything wrong ? yeah you did.
edit on 24-4-2011 by DrunkNinja because: I wasn't finished writing words



posted on Apr, 24 2011 @ 11:22 PM
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Religion has nothing to do with it. Some will do what is right and honest and some will not. Just because you label yourself something means nothing. I heard a great quote awhile back: "going to church no more makes you a Christian than sitting in a garage makes you a car."

Whatever your religious slant, you can take something away from the above quote.

Most of us have a moral compass for common sense stuff, and know what is right and wrong.



posted on Apr, 25 2011 @ 12:07 AM
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i would have taken so much meat i would have had to steal another fridge too...



posted on Apr, 25 2011 @ 01:33 AM
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Originally posted by grindhouzer

There had been a debate about whether you needed to be religious to be moral, he said.

"The Christian Right have tended to think [that] without the Ten Commandments and God's divining hand we would never have been able to develop a plausible and sustainable morality.

"This [Pak 'n Save incident] is like some mad experiment, because you've sent off to church the religious and it's the secular who have gone shopping on Good Friday ... and you've put them to the test.

"Most acted morally and responded in very appropriate ways by trying to pay by using the self-service area. But clearly others saw that fortune had smiled on them in some perverse way."



I have two comments to make - first, the quote from the 'expert' - a giveaway is his use of term 'Christian right', it shows where he's coming from! New Zealand is the most secular country in the world - as our internet atheists are all extremely proud to point out, and University posts in religious studies are not open to believers!
There's an enormous campaign against shops closing on Good Friday and on Easter Sunday. I was, when I heard about this incident on the news, cynical enough to wonder whether it was not in fact a glitch, but a way of 'blamelessly' getting round the law!
I know what's coming - someone's going to say that their right to shop supercedes my religious rights! They're getting way ahead of themselves.
I am in favour of shops being closed on Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Christmas Day, so that retail workers can have at least 3 guaranteed days off! (I suspect that talking about workers' rights will go over even less well on an American site than talking about religious rights would on an atheist site, (as ATS seems to be both American and atheist.)
V.



posted on Apr, 25 2011 @ 01:42 AM
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You absolutely do NOT need religion to be a person with morals. For crying out loud, people know right from wrong and they shouldn't need religion to tell them. Please tell me does the great big guy in the sky reach down with an index finger and push morals into people? I really hate when people say crap like this and I also hate when people say what do you live for if you don't believe in god? I live for everything but god, and I couldn't be happier. I'm the most moral and honest person I know, and everyone I know is super religious.
edit on 25-4-2011 by virraszto because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 25 2011 @ 01:47 AM
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Apparently 50 people visited the store. Only 12 stole.

Are they going to publish pictures of those who stole from that supermarket. I think it would a great study to get an overall picture of what the most immoral people actually look like. No favoritism or press being selective about one group of people over another.

As academic studies go it does not get much better. A good cross section of a very multi-cultural population, all had a chance to steal food. But some did and some didn't. Who paid and who stole ?

There was no social or cultural pressure to blame, no riot or public anger to use as an excuse. No peer pressure. No emergence to blame for the looting. It was all personal choice.

Do humans have a general face of dishonesty ? Or is it so random that the "don't judge a book by its cover" saying is actually true.
edit on 11/19/09 by thedeadtruth because: (no reason given)



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