Does a person need to believe in a religion to be essentially good?

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posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 04:32 PM
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reply to post by rickymouse
 


unfortunately there is well over 2500 years of a religion defining this moral goodness for us...

no one does not need religion to be good... the law provides the base definition for us, and the western law is based in Christian beliefs.
edit on 5-12-2013 by SisyphusRide because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 04:49 PM
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SisyphusRide

ChesterJohn

aboutface
reply to post by Krakatoa
 


"Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God."
It's one of the beatitudes listed in the bible.


Who is truly PURE in HEART?


Jesus Christ... cool dude, true rebel.


And he is the only one. Amen!



posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 05:27 PM
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It's a pointless question because it's got no basis in reality, and relies strictly on either a religious opinion, or an atheist one. Obviously a religious person will say yes while the atheist will say no.

Lets remove the man made, man invented concept of god and religion.

Are people good or bad?

Ask someone who has never heard of religion.

Will they likely say "Oh yes, we're all evil bastards. There is no other way. I wish there was some sort of rule book that we could guide ourselves by, but that would be like magic." or would they say "What a silly question? What do you mean?"

Religion is a fear of the after life. Be good now or else. *IS* that good? Is someone who feels evil but does good, still good? If a priest rapes a child, is he good? He is religious... How can he be bad?

Religion is a chain that controls the mind. Only those who fear themselves, need it. So the question should be "Are people capable of evil?" because then the answer is yes. More so religious people, since they fear themselves to the point they have to live by external rules that tell them what is right or wrong.

OP, you say that you break no laws, take no illegal drugs, and your friends can count on you.

I have broken many laws. I have taken many drugs. And my friends can count on me.

I do not think the laws of society dictate your moral ethics. I do not think what you ingest makes you good or bad.

So I am wondering if you are asking yourself this question, or asking us. Because it shouldn't matter what vices someone has, or what laws they feel are unimportant. As long as they do no harm, do good, give more than they take and share of themselves, the rest is made up by other humans to control you.


edit on 5-12-2013 by winofiend because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 05:30 PM
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ChesterJohn

SisyphusRide

ChesterJohn

aboutface
reply to post by Krakatoa
 


"Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God."
It's one of the beatitudes listed in the bible.


Who is truly PURE in HEART?


Jesus Christ... cool dude, true rebel.


And he is the only one. Amen!


Only if you were one of his people. If you were not, you were no better than dogs to be given scraps.

Read that in the bible.



posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 06:38 PM
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reply to post by Krakatoa
 


By your stated standards for "good person" yea you are. Honesty I have met awefull people that were religious. So your belief in religion does not determine whether you are good or bad. but... Man is saved through faith, not works. So no man may boast. So if your not looking for Christian salvation. Your all good.
I'm not looking for Christian salvation either. No point. Organized religion is bs.



posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 06:44 PM
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reply to post by Krakatoa
 


Religion can teach you that you have tools in bedded in your soul, genes, self what ever you think is the right term which are emotions and can show you how to use them.

The rest is up to you.

Can you learn this without religion? I think so, we have no choice being surrounded by peers we learn from them and from their reactions in relation to our actions. Only when I, the ego, is the ruler of thy self does one begin to loose sight of the fine line between right an wrong. Anybody can be victim of that because we all have one (ego).
edit on 5-12-2013 by bitsforbytes because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 07:39 PM
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winofiend
It's a pointless question because it's got no basis in reality, and relies strictly on either a religious opinion, or an atheist one. Obviously a religious person will say yes while the atheist will say no.


they did not need religion, they had the organization known as the institution of Law to abide by, as they've stated that they "have no arrest record"

if they are anywhere in the Anglosphere and beyond (Russia/South and Central America), their Law has been based and defined on Christian moral principals, as the entire foundation of their civilization has. It is why they have a civilization to speak of.

they are a decent enough citizen...

edit on 5-12-2013 by SisyphusRide because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 08:28 PM
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reply to post by Krakatoa
 


No man.

Firstly, what is a 'good' person? You stated your definition, but would that have been a 'good' person 100,000 years ago? I have taken illegal substances in the past, so am I now not a good person in your books? But then on the other hand I always helped and been good to others. I finished university, got a good job and have got a great circle of friends and family, but I wouldn't define that as being 'good'. I define being good as a passive thing, it is a product of your nature. It is not a checklist of actions or deeds you do, it's the ones you don't consciously work out but do from the 'good' of your heart, even if it might be at your inconvience. That appreciation of eachothers sharing of this universe - it's a very simple concept at its core.

But there are no absolute morals, surely? Like I said, the definition of a 'good' person is always subjective to what the goal is, and if we set our own goals of goodness then that is simply attempting to re-wire yourself.
Of course, things such as religion may influence someone's moral compass, the notion of good is infinitely tied to the human from its inception, as is bad. There is one action and result, and them theres the opposite. Ultimately, how someone reacts to a religion and adapts their morals accordingly is how they were meant to be. You were able to see the flaws or whatever in that belief but you had the characteristics in place that would you allow you to maintain this perceived notion of being good.

The hand you are dealt is completely out of your control. Your initial characteristics, physical traits, health, intelligence and so forth are simply just handed to you, along with the environment you experience for the first few years of your life. But it is the greatest gift, because ultimately you get to choose what to do with it. People will be what they are at the end of the day, regardless of religion. Things like that would only amplify an initial predisposition in that person to that sort of idea or concept or whatever anyway. At least that's my take on it.

What's your first ever memory? Mine was holding my dads hand walking up the stairs to our flat, and I must have been about 3, and I saw two kids like torturing this massive mantis or grasshopper, ripping its legs off and enjoying it. I just remember feeling sadness for the first time, and crying properly - consciously - for the first time. I thought how could they do this to another life? Why? I couldn't understand it, I just felt pain.

Why? Why did I have such a strong connection to other life and they didn't? Was that my choice? It didn't seem to be. But then when I was slightly older (6 or 7) I had a few days were I basically did something I called 'Ant Armageddon' where I gathered up loads of ants from my garden, out them in like 5cm deep/3cm dia holes in the soil and killed them all with a screw driver. Poor bastards lol. I can never understand why I did that in hindsight, I was angry at life at the time perhaps because we had moved house and it was stressful - but it was so outside my character.

Was that my choice? Was that a product of my subconscious/or my ego taking over me and releasing my emotion in a primal, aggressive way? How easily are we victims to such mental controls beyond our awareness?
Hence, how accountable are all people for their actions, if not all people even have the same definition of good, or even the complete awareness of the choices they are making? It's such a complex topic really.

And yet now that I'm older and wiser, I have much more mastery over my body and mind - one with your own thoughts. When a person reaches this level of mental awareness, their true character will come out. If they were bound to be good, they will become good. Those that continue to be bad at this level of mental awareness, are truly the darkest and most evil of people. But what about the people in the middle? Those who are for whatever reason less mentally aware and more prone to outside manipulation and low level ego/subconscious driven behaviour constantly? Are those people truly good, and truly bad?' Or are they just following what they blindly believe is right, but could with the right situation completely change?

That's why I ultimately say people will be who they are bound to be. Some out of choice, others not - but once again, it is how all the factors came together and the dice fell! But truly, to me, it is simple. Respect and care for all life. I'm not saying dont eat animals, because I do - it is a principle of the universe - but give them good lives and painless deaths. It is not an action, it is how I ended up. Lots of others around me are like that too. For me, that is all that constitutes a good person; for if their 'spirit' is of that principle they could never harm or intentionally cause problems for another human being or life form, and help them if they are in need whenever possible (in their completely aware state). That's as close of a definition to 'good' as I can define, and even then I wouldn't say that's even good - I feel like that's just how we're meant to be. The whole human race. But evidently not.

My opinion of course.

Peace
edit on 5-12-2013 by DazDaKing because: (no reason given)
edit on 5-12-2013 by DazDaKing because: (no reason given)
edit on 5-12-2013 by DazDaKing because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 09:37 PM
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reply to post by SisyphusRide
 


The Christian belief on this subject is wrong. Jesus had no religion when he was alive, it only became a religion after he died. He just walked around and healed people and taught them to be good and to believe in god. The good he preached is incorporated into many people's lives nowadays even if they are not of the Christian Religions. Even though Christianity has gone astray, there are a lot of good people in it. One of the rules of Christianity is that only god can judge people. Something that is not being done. If someone breaks one of the ten commandments they are guilty of a crime and should be punished. It seems that interpretation of this has gone amuck though.



posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 09:49 PM
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rickymouse
and taught them to be good


as the Law based upon Christian principals have taught the western world's deviants ever since.

they will be punished and possibly lose their freedom if they break the Law...

edit on 5-12-2013 by SisyphusRide because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 5 2013 @ 10:35 PM
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Thank you everyone for your candid and civil responses in this thread. There were many varied philosophies mentioned, all valid points as well. I look forward to hearing more if posted.



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 12:50 AM
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Krakatoa
If the good is truly from within, and expressed in a positive manner without, do you need a belief in something external at that point? I'm not trying to evade the question at all, only to posit whether the belief in a larger "being" is needed to be a good and honest person. Is the threat of "eternal damnation" needed for everyone just to force you to do good things? If so, then those deeds are not from within, but are a coerced action under threat...am I correct?


Its not the fear of eternal damnation that compels us to be good people... that is what compels us to not be bad people. Your good deeds (especially those no one else witnessed), are committed for the sole purpose of being judged as good by an omnipotent God.

You don't have to believe in God to live your entire life without ever doing anything bad, but you do have to have at least a little faith in order to do something good... especially when no one's looking.



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 02:29 AM
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To "quantify" morals and ethics are false judgements of the mind.To judge yourself as moral or ethical is the evidence they can't be objectively measured by oneself.It is tooting your own very tinny out of tune horn.

Almost everyone I've ever met believes they are good (or at least more good than bad)...however how are they "judging". The judgement itself disqualifies the judger.It is akin to picking yourself up by your own bootstraps..impossible.

As for the effect "religion" has on people ...everything you believe(in faith) is religion..."religion-religion is just one aspect of "religion".Religion-religion makes some people "act" good it doesn't necessarily(and seldom does) "make " them good.If someone believes their religion makes them "a good person"they definitely are not ..they are just full of themselves and other things.

Someone one said a humble person never thinks about being humble they are to busy being humble because they are completely oblivious to it...they are in a "state" of being. The same for being morally and ethically good.Anyone can "act" good ....very,very few people are "being" good.



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 09:22 AM
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Bone75

Krakatoa
If the good is truly from within, and expressed in a positive manner without, do you need a belief in something external at that point? I'm not trying to evade the question at all, only to posit whether the belief in a larger "being" is needed to be a good and honest person. Is the threat of "eternal damnation" needed for everyone just to force you to do good things? If so, then those deeds are not from within, but are a coerced action under threat...am I correct?


Its not the fear of eternal damnation that compels us to be good people... that is what compels us to not be bad people. Your good deeds (especially those no one else witnessed), are committed for the sole purpose of being judged as good by an omnipotent God.

You don't have to believe in God to live your entire life without ever doing anything bad, but you do have to have at least a little faith in order to do something good... especially when no one's looking.


Interesting response, "Its not the fear of eternal damnation that compels us to be good people... that is what compels us to not be bad people." here. So, even though someone does not have "faith" they can't be prevented from doing something wrong? I respectfully disagree with this statement. I know people, close friends, that do not have "faith" yet they still do not do bad things, and are good people, and don't do bad things. This is part of the issue I have with faith based philosophies to be honest. The claims that if you do not believe, you cannot stop being or doing bad things based upon your own mind and decisions. It requires some external force, someone "watching you" to force you to be good. It really gives very little in the way of trusting an individual to make the right decision not to be bad today.

I, however, have more trust in that aspect I guess than most people of faith.



posted on Dec, 6 2013 @ 04:25 PM
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Belief in religion is not the same as believing in a God. I believe in God...but not any "religion". You dont need to believe in any organized religion to believe in a higher power.





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