Help ATS with a contribution via PayPal:
learn more

Are atheists mentally ill? The Impact of Religious Practice on Social Stability

page: 19
26
<< 16  17  18   >>

log in

join

posted on Sep, 10 2013 @ 04:14 PM
link   
reply to post by charles1952
 



All right, fine. Empathy is nice, it's recommended by Sesame Street and Public schools everywhere. Empathy involves sharing or identifying with other peoples' feelings. Since your morals and values come from this, it must be your highest value.


In regard to social protocol? Of course.


Why?

Why is it a higher value than honesty, faithfulness, non-violence, self-sacrifice, or any of dozens of popular values running around loose, all vying for "Highest Value" honors?


Because everything you just listed comes from a sense of empathy. If you are devoid of empathy, none of those things will make sense to you. That's why psychopaths are dangerous. They are deceitful, they are faithless, they are violent, and they are selfish. Even if they were to be confronted with all of those things, they would just be confused or disgusted. Because they are more animal than they are anything else.

We're all animals, but the point of morality is to detach ourselves from the animal mentality and ascend to something that isn't animal. Developing a sense of empathy is the first step to evolving our understanding and considering the wider picture in every move we make. Working as a system and not as an individual. It's part of evolution. I suspect the goal lies in eliminating the animal part of us entirely. We don't want to be organic, we just want borrow organic qualities.

Anyway...yeah, empathy. Without empathy, there are no morals. Morals are about as pointless as avoiding the cracks in a sidewalk if you have no empathy.


Did you pick it because you like it the best? Perhaps it's easiest for your personality to practice? Is it easier for you to be empathetic than honest? Do you think empathy is "better" than honesty, or some other virtue? It's certainly more empathetic, but what scale did you use to measure truth against empathy and decide empathy was more important?


Honesty is not the antonym to empathy. I don't understand the conflict you're outlining here.


But, maybe you think it's the value that will allow humans to survive a hundred years longer than if they picked some other value? If so, then empathy isn't your highest value, it's survival. There are ugly names for people who prefer survival above every other consideration.


Because we're not animals anymore, is that it? We're not supposed to act like animals anymore. I commented on another thread regarding the civilization of animals, and how it reflects something I've noticed in the human effort to advance:


I think the term "civilized" is one of those abstract concepts that could teach us a lot about the difference between ourselves and the world. It seems to me that the human species is attempting to become something other than an organic lifeform. First comes the behavior. Then comes the mentality. Then we'll be able to modify our biology before finally transforming ourselves entirely, becoming a class completely separate from anything on Earth.

And the word "civilized" reflects that in that every time we encounter an instance of "civilization", it's a step away from being an animal and a step toward being something else entirely. Something mechanical, a synergetic system as opposed to primal survivalism. Do you get what I'm trying to say? The more I think about the word "civilized", the more it strikes me as being a rejection of animalism. An evolution of the mind before the evolution of the body. And I think that's what's coming next.


So in your mind, because we're on our way to being something "superior", we've outgrown animal tendencies. Sorry to burst your bubble, pal, but that's utterly incorrect. We are still just as much animals as any tiger or bear you'll find in the wild. We've just learned to act and pretend.

You would prefer we exhibit suicidal tendencies over survival tendencies. But that's rejecting thousands of years worth of evolution and survival of the fittest. Suddenly, the teenage human species decides it knows everything and rebels against the foundation of every biological mechanism to date. Let me know how that works out for you.


What? How does that follow? Or, what logical analysis did you utilize to reach that conclusion?


Simple. Either you have empathy and don't require a god to feel bad about punching the bartender in the face for no reason, or you don't have empathy and must recognize a god in order to feel guilty for assaulting the innocent man.

I'm told that, "Morals come from God. God is the source of all moral guidance". That might be the context you're missing here.


That was a lot of fluff and non sequiturs to say religious people are crazy and hurt people. I know that's your belief, but those statements were roughly equivalent to ...., but never mind, there's nothing that that statement is equivalent to. It is entirely illogical and unsupported by anything.


No, that was a demonstration of how easily I could build a case for religious people being mentally ill. I don't want to, but I can. And just remember that "entirely illogical and unsupported by anything" comment as you continue to participate in a thread speculating as to the mental health of atheists.

edit on 10-9-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 10 2013 @ 04:22 PM
link   
I tend to look at it like this. Say your an astronaut landing on an alien planet. You then contact the people of that planet and ask them about their religion. Lets say they believe in a flying chili monster that created everything and then you tell them your beliefs about god creating everything. To them you would sound like a nutjob and vice versa. Moral of the story, no matter what you believe there's always someone out there that thinks your crazy.



posted on Sep, 10 2013 @ 04:39 PM
link   
I rather think that religion is the age-old means of control of the people. From Emporer to Prime Ministere/President, if you have a religion that tells the people to always tell the truth cos God knows if you don't and you will go to hell if you don't pay your taxes, religion works perfectly as a velvet glove approach to you keeping control.

If you play hard-ball to govern, then it means costs to you as you repair the ruined infrastructure and mop up the blood and bodies etc caused by you bringing in your army - who might mutiny against you (again if they don't want to go to hell or be painfully put to death) and think you are ripping off the people

Religion serves a purpose for Government and the people get to contribute to the wealth of the Church and maintain a set of men in frocks or at least an extremely weird sense of dress. In some poor countries these fashionites even get to control you when you try to govern.

Its also a way of getting people to think that some invisible being is responsible for them and will protect and look after them so they are again easier to govern because they don't argue and accept all you do, in essence they give away their power and never use it against you.

Useful thing religion - spirituality however is something entirely IMHO.



posted on Sep, 10 2013 @ 04:41 PM
link   

Grimpachi
Those who are religious are only one step away from believing a burning bush may start talking to them. How can people not realize the guy was delirious and not much different from the people that you see walking around talking to themselves or arguing with inanimate objects? The entire premise in religion is you give credibility to the mentally insane.


In a nutshell, this is it. Religious texts are filled with stories of people who today would be on medication. Moses talks to burning bushes. Mohammed flies around on a magical unicorn. Speaking to or striking rocks makes them gush water. Water can magically be turned into really good wine. Wandering around in the desert listening to voices that tell you to kill gay people or disobedient children. Who is mentally ill?

I'm sure religion produces much happiness in people. Opiates do that. Opiates lower blood pressure too. Still doesn't change the fact that they are both mind altering drugs.



posted on Sep, 10 2013 @ 05:27 PM
link   
reply to post by AfterInfinity
 

Dear AfterInfinity,

It turns out I was misunderstanding you after all, my apologies.

Empathy involves sharing or identifying with other peoples' feelings. Since your morals and values come from this, it must be your highest value.

In regard to social protocol? Of course.


Social protocol? I didn't realize we were talking Emily Post here. That was my mistake, I thought we were talking about morals. So empathy is the source of good manners or politeness, for now I can accept that. Of course, good manners have very little, if anything, to do with serious moral issues.

(One of my favorite guides to proper behavior is "Never offend anyone, unnecessarily.")

But then you say this:

Anyway...yeah, empathy. Without empathy, there are no morals. Morals are about as pointless as avoiding the cracks in a sidewalk if you have no empathy.
So maybe we are talking about morals in general. Which of the two approaches did you intend?

To further help clarify, when you say "empathy," are you talking about recognizing and understanding the feelings of others, or changing our behavior to improve the feelings of others?

There is much more to say about your thorough post, but I think I have to get these things cleared up in my mind first.

I do appreciate you sticking with me in this discussion, I'd really like to understand your position better.

With respect,
Charles1952



posted on Sep, 10 2013 @ 05:46 PM
link   
reply to post by charles1952
 



Social protocol? I didn't realize we were talking Emily Post here. That was my mistake, I thought we were talking about morals. So empathy is the source of good manners or politeness, for now I can accept that. Of course, good manners have very little, if anything, to do with serious moral issues.


So murder, thievery, adultery, and deceit have nothing to do with good manners? The tent poles on which good manners are built don't extend to cover those more severe matters as well? I think the same principle applies across the board. You don't steal, kill, cheat, or lie because it would make you feel bad as a result of the damage you have unrightfully inflicted upon a fellow creature. That's called empathy.


To further help clarify, when you say "empathy," are you talking about recognizing and understanding the feelings of others, or changing our behavior to improve the feelings of others?


I'm talking about tempering our animalistic instincts in order to sustain a functioning progressive-survivalist society. By the phrase "progressive-survivalist", I'm talking about employing complex tactics intended to shave a little profit now for a lot of profit later. Profit, of course, being social productivity.

This opposes animalistic survivalism in that animals are always fighting for the here and now. Kill now, eat now, sleep now, mate now. Tomorrow isn't a concern because today is still happening. Progressive-survivalism is all about making a truce today so we both benefit tomorrow instead of killing you right now and claiming your resources, only to be killed later by someone doing the exact same thing.

Empathy is a huge part of that ideal. Like I said, a person devoid of empathy might be able to understand what you're trying to do, but they wouldn't care. They wouldn't be able to grasp the emotional significance. And so they would need a higher power in order to determine that for them. A person who is capable of empathy wouldn't require a higher power because they already have the emotional capacity to recognize the compromise between savage instinct and emotional intelligence.


There is much more to say about your thorough post, but I think I have to get these things cleared up in my mind first.

I do appreciate you sticking with me in this discussion, I'd really like to understand your position better.


I'm more than willing to explain my stance in the matter. Some may think of me as cold, but thinking "outside the box" in this subject actually helps a lot to examine the nature and functionality and potential applications of both sides of the fence.



posted on Sep, 10 2013 @ 06:45 PM
link   
reply to post by AfterInfinity
 

Dear AfterInfinity,

I honestly hope I'm providing some stimulation for you.

I'd like to explain something before I write it, because it can easily be misunderstood. I'm going to ask "why?" a few times. In this post I mean "what is the logic that forces you to that conclusion?" I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, but I'm telling you that you're making some leaps I'm not able to follow.


So murder, thievery, adultery, and deceit have nothing to do with good manners? The tent poles on which good manners are built don't extend to cover those more severe matters as well?
I sort of agree, kind of, in a way, but ....

I know you're not saying that impolite people are immoral. And I know some exceedingly polite people who are the scummiest sons of guns you could imagine. I think you're looking at this from the wrong end of the telescope. Burping at the table, doesn't mean you're an immoral person. Starting from "manners" and working up to morality seems wrong, but working from morality down to rudeness is a little more plausible.

Consider, a wealthy person is asked for a $5 donation. He says "no," in a very polite manner. Is he well-mannered? Yes. Is he moral? No. I think we're going to have to disassociate manners from morals, except in some circumstances. The connection isn't so clear that we can build a moral philosophy from it.

You explain that empathy is a means to sustain, (somehow it was created, or came into existence) a society that postpones actual current social productivity (Whatever that means. Let's just call it "good,") for a possibly greater future good.

Here's my first "Why?" I'm not asking why it is good to support delayed gratification, I'm asking what principle of morality you're applying to say that it is more moral than enjoying yourself now? There may or may not, be a practical benefit to that plan, but what is the moral benefit?

Oh, and by the way, you're claiming that empathy is a means to sustain the society you describe, so sustaining the society is a greater value than having empathy. There might be other ways to do it, but in any event, it's the society you value most highly, not the empathy.

To carry it a step further, that society is a means to some other end. What is that end? And why strive for it?

I haven't seen your moral principle yet, just that you support ways to get to the society you want. But no particular reason to want to get to that society, and really no reason why it is immoral for people to disagree with you.

The only thing that makes any sense to me is that you might be saying that, just as taking from the rich to give to the poor is your goal, so is taking from the present and giving to the future. But you realize we don't have an infinite future, so eventually it will be useless to give to the future, because there won't be any.

With respect,
Charles1952.


(post by LionOfGOD removed for a manners violation)

posted on Sep, 10 2013 @ 06:57 PM
link   
reply to post by LionOfGOD
 


First of all, I don't at all appreciate being told to drink poison. I don't care who you are, that is both rude and inappropriate.

Second of all, I'm telling you to chill out because you are acting as though you belong in a middle school. This is an internet forum whose functionality hinges on us members behaving as though we are respectful adults. It's pointless to engage in ANY discussion, let alone a spiritual or metaphysical debate, if the participants are unwilling to abide by the rules of interaction.

Is that clear enough for you?



posted on Sep, 10 2013 @ 07:01 PM
link   
reply to post by charles1952
 



I know you're not saying that impolite people are immoral. And I know some exceedingly polite people who are the scummiest sons of guns you could imagine. I think you're looking at this from the wrong end of the telescope. Burping at the table, doesn't mean you're an immoral person. Starting from "manners" and working up to morality seems wrong, but working from morality down to rudeness is a little more plausible.


It's part of the same spectrum.


Consider, a wealthy person is asked for a $5 donation. He says "no," in a very polite manner. Is he well-mannered? Yes. Is he moral? No. I think we're going to have to disassociate manners from morals, except in some circumstances. The connection isn't so clear that we can build a moral philosophy from it.


I don't see that as an immoral action. As a religious person whose principles oppose those of survivalism, you would disagree. I am saying there are many animals that would also refuse to share on the simple principle that it's a resource and it's their survival.


You explain that empathy is a means to sustain, (somehow it was created, or came into existence) a society that postpones actual current social productivity (Whatever that means. Let's just call it "good,") for a possibly greater future good.


That's not what I said. Empathy is a device which was developed for unknown reasons but has fostered a system of progressive-survivalism, in which social interactivity is cultivated to boost productivity rather than staging a free for all in which the biggest dog wins.


Here's my first "Why?" I'm not asking why it is good to support delayed gratification, I'm asking what principle of morality you're applying to say that it is more moral than enjoying yourself now? There may or may not, be a practical benefit to that plan, but what is the moral benefit?


"Enjoying yourself now" means "you have something I want so I'm going to kill you and take it because there is no later". That's called survivalism. When you could die any day, every day counts. Progressive survivalism allows society to work together and produce a greater benefit than everybody pulling in every direction for their own benefit.


Oh, and by the way, you're claiming that empathy is a means to sustain the society you describe, so sustaining the society is a greater value than having empathy. There might be other ways to do it, but in any event, it's the society you value most highly, not the empathy.


Again, that's not what I said. Progressive survivalism provides a more stable environment for an individual to amass the resources necessary to maintain a secure life. It's not for the society, it's for the individuals within that society. You do for them as long as they allow you to do for yourself as well.


To carry it a step further, that society is a means to some other end. What is that end? And why strive for it?


I just told you.


I haven't seen your moral principle yet, just that you support ways to get to the society you want. But no particular reason to want to get to that society, and really no reason why it is immoral for people to disagree with you.


Empathy. Empathy is the moral trigger by which the emotional basis for progressive survivalism operates. It is the trigger which stops progressive from becoming animalistic. I don't see what people disagreeing with me has to do with anything.


The only thing that makes any sense to me is that you might be saying that, just as taking from the rich to give to the poor is your goal, so is taking from the present and giving to the future. But you realize we don't have an infinite future, so eventually it will be useless to give to the future, because there won't be any.


The theory anticipates a future as long as enough of the individuals participate in the program.





edit on 10-9-2013 by AfterInfinity because: (no reason given)


(post by LionOfGOD removed for a manners violation)

posted on Sep, 10 2013 @ 07:23 PM
link   
 


off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Sep, 10 2013 @ 07:40 PM
link   
 


off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Sep, 10 2013 @ 07:53 PM
link   

AfterInfinity
Anyway...yeah, empathy. Without empathy, there are no morals. Morals are about as pointless as avoiding the cracks in a sidewalk if you have no empathy.


That is a brilliant way to put it.


People can have the appearance of morals. But then, people with a mental disorder may also avoid the cracks in the pavement, without any real reasoning other than they just have to.

It's like law. We know right from wrong. We know, inherently, that common law is right. Don't kill, don't steal, don't break others things...

But look at it now, we have all these made up laws to make things illegal where there is no moral reason for it. Vice laws.. to punish people not for being bad, but for breaking societal norms.

That is religion to me. You either know right from wrong and don't need someone, some thing, a book, et al, to tell you it. Or you're incomplete. Pulling a kittens tail and giggling as it squawks. Cutting a mouses tail off. Running over a rabbit. Tieing a dog to a fence till it chokes. Stealing anold ladies pension.

I found an interesting thing the other day. I have used the Irish word fulaingt over the years. It means suffering, to endure. I never needed the bible to give me this insight. Yet I noticed the other week someone mention a bible quote about embracing suffering as it leads to endurance, which gives character.

And the bible got the bonus points for it. haha.. it's just common sense.

we take so me much of ourselves away from OURSELVES and give it to an imagined entity.. We're far better than we give ourselves credit for... but that doesn't mean we don't have broken, incomplete people who don't know right from wrong. And if they use jesus or god or allah or whatever to live a moral life, and don't kill anyone, then so much the better.

I don't think taking someone's walking stick and telling them to walk properly, is a good idea. They need that 'crutch'.
edit on 10-9-2013 by winofiend because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 10 2013 @ 08:02 PM
link   
reply to post by Stormdancer777
 


I am an athiest, and I could not care less who believes in what, I never ask or preach anything of my beliefs to anyone, they are mine and mine alone.... people can adore a horses ass or a huge sunflower, or a cow, or a totem, or whatever, who cares in a world of care-no-more humans, filled with nothing other than me me me me me me me what about me attitudes...... the whole concept of the planet and life on it is nothing more to me than what it actually is... a space ball covered in living forms, accidental living forms...... nothing more than that.....like I said I am not asking anyone to believe any of this, that's my own opinion...






top topics



 
26
<< 16  17  18   >>

log in

join


Help ATS Recover with your Donation.
read more: Help ATS Recover With Your Contribution