Why secular ethics is superior to religious ethics

Why secular ethics is superior to religious ethics

Joined: September 30th, 2009, 7:55 pm

September 8th, 2011, 3:31 pm #1

Why secular ethics is superior to religious ethics

As an atheist I usually have to face an iteration of the without-god-there'd-be-no-morals argument. My usual tactic in handling such arguments has been based on Hitchens famous challenge: show me one moral action that an atheist cannot engage in. Now, I'm taking a bit of a different approach. While sticking to the challenge, I take it a step further, by not only asserting that secular ethics is in fact attainable, but by stating that it is superior to its religious counterpart.

There are some schools of thought in moral philosophy that judge moral actions by their consequences only. I partially endorse this thinking, by merging it with the other schools of thought that judge the morality of an action also by the intentions behind it. Consequences and intentions, in my opinion, are both necessary to determine the moral standing of an action or principle.

Based on this I assert that secular morals, derived from our adherence to a set of principles are superior to religious ones, derived out of fear of punishment or promises of rewards in the afterlife. Why? Instead of writing out the theory, let me illustrate through a simple example.

Imagine, if you will, two persons which are presented with an opportunity to steal something in a store. Neither chooses to steal. The first does so because he's afraid he'll get caught and punished. The second does so because she believes that stealing someone else's property is wrong. Both people engaged, or more precisely failed to engage, in the same exact act with the same exact result. They did not steal. However, we'd all intuitively say that the second person's act is more moral than the first person's act, who did not steal only because he was afraid of punishment, if caught. It is a conclusion that requires no discussion; I'd say almost all of us would instinctively deem the second person as more moral than the first. I mean, given a choice of having either one of them as a roommate, who would you choose? I for one would go with the second, and not only because she happens to be female in this example.

The point of this little exercise is that intentions matter in morality. They can add, or take away, from the total moral score of an action. Good intentions add to it; bad ones take away points. As such, a set of morals based on principles, will always be superior to a set of morals based on fear of punishment/promise of reward, even if both moral sets are exactly the same and result in identical actions. The former is descriptive of secular ethics; the former is descriptive of religious ethics. As such secular ethics is superior to religious ethics.

QED

http://skepfeeds.wordpress.com/2010/03/ ... us-ethics/

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"We are each free to believe what we want, and it's my view that the simplest explanation is: There is no god. No one created the Universe, and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization; there is probably no heaven and no afterlife, either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the Universe. And for that, I am extremely grateful." -- Professor Stephen Hawking, cosmologist
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Yvonne/Zafana
Yvonne/Zafana

September 8th, 2011, 3:57 pm #2

Christianity is not for moral people...........but for those who RECOGNIZE that they are SINNERS:


if someone doesn't know they are sick, they won't look for help: people who don't understand what sin is, don't feel a need to overcome it:





Mat 9:9 ¶ And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.


Mat 9:10 And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.


Mat 9:11 And when the Pharisees saw [it], they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners?


Mat 9:12 But when Jesus heard [that], he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.


Mat 9:13 But go ye and learn what [that] meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.




Christianity is not for those who are still HAPPY and FILLED with their life force, but for those who have COME TO THE END OF IT:


since man is given 6000 years and are coming into the Kingdom in an order ordained from above, those who are still moral and doing good, even if they don't know what good really means, are not looking for anything but what this world has to offer: They are sure they can FIND all they need right here and right now:


those who have come to the END of their 6 days, (6000 years) or who are in their LAST GENERATION, these ones don't FEEL life the same way


these relate to NEEDING something this world can NO LONGER GIVE THEM:



here is their story:


these ones understand that their "morality" came from their inheritance that they squandered on self and their carnal mind (harlots):





Luk 15:11 ¶ And he said, A certain man had two sons:


Luk 15:12 And the younger of them said to [his] father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth [to me]. And he divided unto them [his] living.


Luk 15:13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.


Luk 15:14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.


Luk 15:15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.


Luk 15:16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.


Luk 15:17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!


Luk 15:18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,


Luk 15:19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.


Luk 15:20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.


Luk 15:21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.


Luk 15:22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put [it] on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on [his] feet:


Luk 15:23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill [it]; and let us eat, and be merry:


Luk 15:24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.


Luk 15:25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.


Luk 15:26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.


Luk 15:27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.


Luk 15:28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.


Luk 15:29 And he answering said to [his] father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:


Luk 15:30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.


Luk 15:31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.


Luk 15:32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and WAS LOST, and IS FOUND.




you may ask, what is lost?

his soul

where was it lost? In his EGO, his carnal mind,

it is the SOUL then that is FOUND

and where is it found?

with the SOURCE OF ITS EXISTENCE....
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Joined: September 30th, 2009, 7:55 pm

September 8th, 2011, 4:03 pm #3

... I disagree with what you said because of a complete and utter lack of any supporting evidence to your claims. Your entire contention rests on the assumption that something called "sin" exists. I don't believe in sin anymore than I believe in fairies. What you called "sin" seems to be a magic version of immorality. And we don't have to be religious to know the distinction between morality and immorality.

So, I disagree with your views, but thank you for sharing them, nonetheless.

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"We are each free to believe what we want, and it's my view that the simplest explanation is: There is no god. No one created the Universe, and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization; there is probably no heaven and no afterlife, either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the Universe. And for that, I am extremely grateful." -- Professor Stephen Hawking, cosmologist
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Yvonne/Zafana
Yvonne/Zafana

September 8th, 2011, 4:10 pm #4

sin means 'missing the mark of truth' and since you can't prove that truth exists, I understand your predicament:)
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Joined: July 22nd, 2006, 6:22 pm

September 8th, 2011, 4:26 pm #5

... I disagree with what you said because of a complete and utter lack of any supporting evidence to your claims. Your entire contention rests on the assumption that something called "sin" exists. I don't believe in sin anymore than I believe in fairies. What you called "sin" seems to be a magic version of immorality. And we don't have to be religious to know the distinction between morality and immorality.

So, I disagree with your views, but thank you for sharing them, nonetheless.

-----------------------------------------------
"We are each free to believe what we want, and it's my view that the simplest explanation is: There is no god. No one created the Universe, and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization; there is probably no heaven and no afterlife, either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the Universe. And for that, I am extremely grateful." -- Professor Stephen Hawking, cosmologist
selfishness...self-orientation...that sense of self-preservation which puts self ahead of everything else even at the harm or detriment of someone else.

That is sin.
It definitely exists in this world, without a doubt.
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Joined: September 30th, 2009, 7:55 pm

September 8th, 2011, 6:48 pm #6

Ani said: Sin is selfishness...self-orientation...that sense of self-preservation which puts self ahead of everything else even at the harm or detriment of someone else.

Then what you call "sin", I call immorality.

The "sin" I don't believe in, is a magical law handed down from mythology books that state a particular unverifiable deity doesn't approve of people doing things that are rationally, and perhaps altruistically, thought of as being benign.

For example...

Stealing is immoral. Eating lobster is not.
Murder is immoral. Homosexuality is not.
Arson is immoral. Blasphemy is not.
Racism is immoral. Working on the Sabbath is not.
Infidelity is immoral. Unmarried sex is not.


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"We are each free to believe what we want, and it's my view that the simplest explanation is: There is no god. No one created the Universe, and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization; there is probably no heaven and no afterlife, either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the Universe. And for that, I am extremely grateful." -- Professor Stephen Hawking, cosmologist
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Joined: September 30th, 2009, 7:55 pm

September 8th, 2011, 6:52 pm #7

sin means 'missing the mark of truth' and since you can't prove that truth exists, I understand your predicament:)
... have the ability to tell the difference between right and wrong. If it were handed down by a god, then atheists wouldn't be able to tell who the bad guy was in a movie.

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"We are each free to believe what we want, and it's my view that the simplest explanation is: There is no god. No one created the Universe, and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization; there is probably no heaven and no afterlife, either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the Universe. And for that, I am extremely grateful." -- Professor Stephen Hawking, cosmologist
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Joined: November 4th, 2006, 5:18 pm

September 8th, 2011, 11:03 pm #8

selfishness...self-orientation...that sense of self-preservation which puts self ahead of everything else even at the harm or detriment of someone else.

That is sin.
It definitely exists in this world, without a doubt.
I may be wrong here. I was wrong once before, or was it twice?

My take is that sin is only present when there is guilt.

No guilt = no sin.





"Error does not become Truth because it is widely accepted; Truth does not become error, even when it stands alone"
(Thanks Kristy)
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Joined: July 1st, 2008, 11:52 pm

September 9th, 2011, 12:25 am #9

Ani said: Sin is selfishness...self-orientation...that sense of self-preservation which puts self ahead of everything else even at the harm or detriment of someone else.

Then what you call "sin", I call immorality.

The "sin" I don't believe in, is a magical law handed down from mythology books that state a particular unverifiable deity doesn't approve of people doing things that are rationally, and perhaps altruistically, thought of as being benign.

For example...

Stealing is immoral. Eating lobster is not.
Murder is immoral. Homosexuality is not.
Arson is immoral. Blasphemy is not.
Racism is immoral. Working on the Sabbath is not.
Infidelity is immoral. Unmarried sex is not.


-----------------------------------------------
"We are each free to believe what we want, and it's my view that the simplest explanation is: There is no god. No one created the Universe, and no one directs our fate. This leads me to a profound realization; there is probably no heaven and no afterlife, either. We have this one life to appreciate the grand design of the Universe. And for that, I am extremely grateful." -- Professor Stephen Hawking, cosmologist
who defines YOUR morality?

is it the same person that defines your neighbors and the others on this forum?

who decides what is moral?

there are many who think a lot of things this culture accepts are immoral:



for instance, my morals line up more with Ice than with other Christians a lot of times and we don't have the same "beliefs" at all:



there are things I consider very immoral that other people including Christians wouldn't blink an eye about:

Sin or chattah in Hebrew is the means God reveals IMMORALITY to the soul so that it chooses to overcome it:

a sinner that overcomes sin is more righteous than an ego who never commited a certain sin: the reason is the SINNER overcame; he used his WILL to overcome his cultural and psychological training:

thats the NEW MAN.........he isn't prone to what he was, but he becomes who he comes TO KNOW...


Christianity is the religion of TRANSFORMATION of the "WILL", the INTENTION


if the will is not transformed, there is NO CHRISTIAN

and the will is not transformed by the will since it would not want what it doesn't want

so it has to be TRANSFORMED by something else...........

like the AA program says it is the WILL of the alcoholic where the PROBLEM lies............it is what he wants that makes him sick


to want something else, he NEEDS A DIFFERENT program of thinking

a program that Leads his DESIRE TO ANOTHER POWER......than his OWN WILL POWER since his will HAS NO POWER to do what he needs to do and even wishes he could do:


having a sick will is having a SICK spirit........a sick life force:

if you don't have to deal with that


be glad and have some compassion on those who DO have to deal with that:

God made a WAY FOR those people too:


Last edited by Harpazo on September 9th, 2011, 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
every day is a new day to die to the old and live to the newness of life
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Joined: July 22nd, 2006, 6:22 pm

September 9th, 2011, 4:56 am #10

I may be wrong here. I was wrong once before, or was it twice?

My take is that sin is only present when there is guilt.

No guilt = no sin.





"Error does not become Truth because it is widely accepted; Truth does not become error, even when it stands alone"
(Thanks Kristy)
No, I think that's right, Bob.

Therefore the baptism in the Jordan for the remission of sins...in JESUS NAME.

Nice the way that works...
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