Is God necessary for morality

January 21, 2020, 8:24 am

Agree115 Disagree77

60%
40%

The debate "Is God necessary for morality" was started by m_ahmed on January 21, 2020, 8:24 am. 115 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 77 people are on the disagree side. That might be enough to see the common perception. It looks like most of the people in this community are on the agreeing side of this statement.

Greetings posted 1 argument, abie posted 1 argument, civilizeddiscussion posted 2 arguments, jrardin12 posted 19 arguments to the agreers part.
TheExistentialist posted 4 arguments, Costi posted 1 argument, Nemiroff posted 20 arguments, Allirix posted 2 arguments, historybuff posted 1 argument to the disagreers part.

m_ahmed, Jile, SpecialShaw, jrardin12, abie, Greetings, Paula and 108 visitors agree.
Dez000, diecinueve, TheExistentialist, Sparkytusk, historybuff, Revan123, Zucadragon, Costi, civilizeddiscussion, Sadie19, Anonymous42, Allirix, Huzaifa, StrangeTime, Nemiroff, saumyajain27, JDAWG9693, eva_pet35 and 59 visitors disagree.

It is not based on whether you worship Him or not. It depends on whether you trust Jesus paid for your sin on the cross and repent of your sin. This makes salvation equal for everyone.

1 month, 1 week ago

regardless, i reject the notion that a good god would reward someone who led a shit life while torturing for eternity someone who did good, based soley on whether you worship him. thats an evil god, or an evil deception.

1 month, 1 week ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

i dont think your understanding the concept of NEW BORN.

you cant have done a sin when you havent done anything at all. unless you consider crying in distress a sin.

1 month, 1 week ago

There is no one, not even babies who haven't sinned. A baby just doesn't realize what sin is until they are older.

1 month, 2 weeks ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

so even if you havent sin, the fact that you have a sinful nature (as desgined by god) is enough to burn you.

and your previous statement that virtous people deserve eternal punishment.... your god is evil and deserves no worship.

1 month, 2 weeks ago

A baby is born with a sin nature like all of us. Also babies are good deceivers if you haven't noticed.

1 month, 2 weeks ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

not a child, a newborn. before any decisions. is it a sinner?

1 month, 2 weeks ago

All people who are virtuous deserve eternal punishment because God looks at sin not at goodness. For all have sinned and come short of God's glory. God demands absolute perfection to get to Heaven on one's own. But since God knows that no matter how good we try to be we still break His laws which is why He became flesh to live the perfect life and die so we may live. This payment for sin if for believers and unbelievers alike.

1 month, 2 weeks ago

A child is not free of sin, but is not aware of sin and its consequence.

1 month, 2 weeks ago

and that would resolve his issue with spite, however you did not address how a virtuous nonbeliever, although may not deserve to be near the god they do not love, deserve eternal punishment?

1 month, 3 weeks ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

just to establish, not a child but a new born is sin free until he personally commits some sort of foul? i think thats definitely better, but that is a massively minority opinion from my experience with christians. which denomination do you follow or is this your own personal interpretation?

1 month, 3 weeks ago

I believe a child can sin. Most children do not have an understanding of sin for a while. So when they die they go to Heaven because they don't understand sin and its consequence.

I have had conversations with those who believe things not found in the Bible. It is up to them to obey or not. I will say that you yourself can know what the Bible says and what religions are right or wrong.
If you have anything specific in mind pleased share.

1 month, 3 weeks ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

so you believe a newborn who hasnt done anything yet is innocent and sin free with no trace of original sin?

as to the conflict with other Christians, youll have to take it up with them as they will quote the bible as much as you do. i do hope that conversation does happen.

1 month, 3 weeks ago

It is easy to figure it out. Read the Bible and do what it says. To many"Christian" religons are based on what man says instead of what God says.

1 month, 3 weeks ago

Eating the fruit wasn't the sin. The sin was disobedience of God's law. If you have never broken His law yourself then you can go to Heaven because you would be perfect (utimatly you would be God.) So you sin your own sin.

1 month, 3 weeks ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

that is the same thing all of them say about each other. i hope the other Christian comes back so he can tell you that your interpretation is wrong and yall can figure it out.... but the fact remains that a perfext document leaves no room for misinterpretation.

1 month, 3 weeks ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

eating the apple

1 month, 3 weeks ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

you said we rebelled... that would be adam and eve eating the tree. aka original sin. aka sins of the father from many many generations ago.

1 month, 3 weeks ago

Because their beliefs are not based on the Bible.

1 month, 3 weeks ago

We are not punished for our father's sins (I don't where you got that I said that). We pay for our own sins. Maybe you should copy and paste what I say so I know what you are talking about.

1 month, 3 weeks ago

note, im criticizing human religion more the idea of a god.

1 month, 3 weeks ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

then why do sooo many other come up with sooo many different interpretations? that is a fact that has nothing to do with nonbelievers.

1 month, 3 weeks ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

i haven't done any of that.
punishing the child for the sins of the father is another abomination of ancient human justice that has long been abandoned.

and again, where does this leave the nonbelievers who do good and live well?
in addition to vain (demanding worship), your description of god is also spiteful, unable to move past an indiscretion of someone who lived many millenia ago and punishing that persons innocent offspring with eternal suffering. wow, thats evil.

1 month, 3 weeks ago

The Bible only teaches salvation by faith.

1 month, 3 weeks ago

This isn't just an interpretation it is what the Bible says.

1 month, 3 weeks ago

Actually, in God's eyes no one is good. We have all sinners and come short of His glory. Man has rebelled against their Creator who created us to have fellowship and communion with Him. We choose to turn away from Him who gives us life. We broke fellowship with Him, but He wants to restore that friendship and He does not force it on us.

I am not saved for the good I do for I do more bad than good and would never be able to go to Heaven. I go to Heaven because I am trusting in the blood that Jesus shed to save me from Hell. Because I am happy He saved me I now do good to please Him. As a son tries to please His Father.

1 month, 3 weeks ago

and if gods message is open to some much interpretation... how is that a perfect message.

unless his message is meant to be different for different people... which completely negates the objective morality argument all of these conflicting narratives claim.

so much for Pascal's wager.

1 month, 3 weeks ago

@civilizeddiscussion

you said that believing in god gives this life meaning for you since "what you do here will affect your afterlife".

yet here i have a Christian claiming deeds have nothing to do with it... how do you square this conflict? and if that is the case.... how does that make this life any less an illusion?

1 month, 3 weeks ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

but the bad son still goes to heaven according to you, whereas the good stranger who simply doesnt believe is tortured for all eternity?

your describing a very evil god vainly obsessed with demanding worship. vanity is one of the 7 worst sins.

sounds to be like your religion is based on the words of a deciever... perhaps that explains all the wars and misery done in gods name.

1 month, 3 weeks ago

Exactly. It has to do with believing in Jesus' sacrifice and trusting Him as Savior. Then you have a choice to either a good son or a bad son. If you love God then you will obviously want to please Him by doing good.

1 month, 3 weeks ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

in other words whether or not someone is punished for all eternity has no connection to how well they live their life?

1 month, 3 weeks ago

I am saved. If I do wrong, I still go to Heaven, but will be punished in this life.

1 month, 3 weeks ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

so what will god do to you if you dont do good? no threats regarding eternal damnation with torture and hellfire?

"do as i say or burn forever with no chance at appeal." totally a good god.

1 month, 3 weeks ago

I am not threatened by God to do right.

1 month, 3 weeks ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

what is the connection between what i said and your response? are you ok?

1 month, 4 weeks ago

I agree. That is why the God of the Bible is the best. He loved us even though we did not (and many times do not) love Him.

1 month, 4 weeks ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

unfortunately it is impossible to tell your intentions, youve been fed the promises and threats all your life. yet an atheist has no such ulterior motivation, only virtue.

and i agree that a good god would write his laws into our hearts/conscious, instead of a fallible, editable book with many contradictory versions. the existence of some sort of god is much more believable then stories of any of these man made faiths.

1 month, 4 weeks ago

On the contrary. An atheist is moral because God's laws are written in his heart. Also I am not moral because I want to go to Paradise, I am moral because that will please my Heavenly Father. Just as any son strives to please his father just because he loves him. I am moral because I love my Father in Heaven.

1 month, 4 weeks ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

in other words, an atheist that chooses to live morally is trully righteous, because he does it without expectations of paradise or the threat of damnation.

religious people are just selfishly acting in self preservation and interest.

that is an interesting thought jrardin

1 month, 4 weeks ago

However, since an atheist doesn't believe that there is an afterlife an atheist has a green light to live immorally and satisfy his sinful flesh. However, a Christian strives to live a moral life to please his Savior so that when he get to heaven he may obtain a reward.

1 month, 4 weeks ago
Allirix
replied to...

This is a common christian misconception.

Because Christians believe this life is just a precursor to something better they prescribe low inherent value to it. It's mostly shifted over to the next life. The value this life therefore has is where it puts you in the next life. So why bother living if you don't even believe in the next life?

But atheists only have this life so we give it the value you've shifted over to a life that may not even exist. If this is all there is I want to make the best of it. Ending it prematurely is not an option that maximises what I value.

1 month, 4 weeks ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

i know my response is a bit extreme, but so is your original claim.

i mean clearly most atheists are not killing themselves, why do you think that is?

1 month, 4 weeks ago
civilizeddiscussion
replied to...

lol dude no

1 month, 4 weeks ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

your life sounds miserable. im sorry for you.

2 months ago

if I were atheis ill probably would have killed my self since life is nothing, why bother with pain and sadness

2 months ago

im curious as to whether we have the capability to map out individual neural networks of living people and see how similar twin brains are. considering the placticity of the brain, i would imagine they would have little to no correlation.

2 months ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

that is a strong point, but how do epigenetics factor into this? chemical markers on our dna that enhance or block certain features that are added after our birth based on interactions with the environment. these chemical differences would diffetentiate even identical twins, increasing the difference with time. could that not be a substantial chunk of the 40%.

actually, a bigger factor would be the wiring of the brain. it is not our dna that dictates decision making but the structure of our personal neural networks that are again greatly influenced by environmental factors from experiences to nutrition. even identical twins would not prevent these differences. a slightly different position within the womb would already result in different pathways being formed.

the problem with your twin study is the only independent factor is dna, and not the full physiological picture. i would say that the neural network structure would be the primary known physical structure regarding behavior. DNA plays nearly no role in decision making thus twin studies may be the wrong path to answering this question.

2 months ago
TheExistentialist
replied to...

again; I'm not saying that biology and biochemistry aren't factors in our decision making process; I'm saying they're not an absolute deterministic factor, rather soft deterministic factors.

I think a pretty easy way to understand this is through twin impulse control studies.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0149763418307905 This meta study, published in 2019, studies both identical and fraternal twins in terms of their impulse control. It finds that "self-control is 60% heritable".

If biology were a hard deterministic effect on free will, you'd expect identical twins to share an identical impulse control score. However, that is not the case. The nuance here is that environment can play a factor. So we'd look at identical twins in the same household to see if their scores are identical and they aren't. This, along with any number of twin studies shows us that behavior is influenced by genetics, but it is not a hard deterministic factor.

2 months ago
historybuff
replied to...

Your statement doesn't make sense. religion tries to give a rationale for what is good and what is evil. But if that religion didn't exist, we would just use a different rationale. What is good and evil has changed many, many times over the course of human history. It is still changing right now. It will change many times in the future.

What is moral is a subjective choice humans make. 200-300 years ago it was moral to enslave people. Today it is not. 100 years ago it was moral to beat children who misbehaved in school. Today it is not.

2 months ago

it's like saying" is air necessary to healthy breathing" .if there was no good there wouldn't be anything att all including morality so so question itself is a paradox

2 months ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

are not our actions the result of functions?

to say that a sodium potassium pump doesnt determine action is akin to saying a transistor doesn't create a massive open world, the whole is greater then the sum of its parts. nowhere more true than in the brain.

i am not making that affirmative claim, but it is a major controversy in psychology and neuroscience, far from a settled claim. i am mearly pointing out all possibilities. in fact my original argument was that atheists are not necessarily predeterministic. however to claim absolutely no possible chemical determinism is also to my knowledge false.

2 months ago
TheExistentialist
replied to...

Not necessarily. Chemical interactions don't determine actions. They determine function only. To claim that a sodium-potassium pump decides an action is a misunderstanding of the biochemistry and biology.

If the claim were true that chemical activity has a hard deterministic effect on all actions, then you would expect structure to precede function. However, that is not the case. It is already well established that positive stress coping mechanisms reduce stress hormones, catecholamines, epinephrine, and norepinephrine; even in people who have a heightened stress response already. If hard determinism was the case, then stress responses would be set in stone and positive outlets for stress wouldn't affect the biochemical response to it. Soft determinism however, does account for such changes. It however, accepts that biochemistry is a factor in our decision making.

If one believes that Free-will is absolute however, you have to contend with science again on this point and say that we are all free to choose how we act, regardless of biochemical predisposition towards certain actions. In a Free-will thought framing, things like PTSD and the resulting fear responses don't effect the culpability you have for certain actions. So a vet that just came back from war and acts violently to a perceived threat (even though it may be a harmless interaction) is morally as culpable as a person who assaults someone for no reason.

2 months ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

i find your answer interesting, but i feel it may have missed the core issue. the supposed determinism of atheism was attributed not the situational circumstance, but chemical interactivity which may have a far more hard deterministic outcome.

2 months ago
TheExistentialist
replied to...

There is nothing in the atheist position that forces hard determinism as their default position. It is the position of most philosophers that explore this subject in the context of atheism that soft determinism is the nature of reality. In hard determinism culpability is not a concept that makes any sense.

In a soft determinism world view, we have culpability however, we also have mitigating circumstances. In soft determinism we accept that while we're "free to choose" there are limits on our freedom to choose. Those limits are imposed by the circumstances of our situation. Say you want to choose a favorite movie; you are limited in the choice you make by the movies you know and by the movies you can recall at the time of inquiry.

The same is true for moral queries. If a person has a violent past, filled with abuse, etc... we know that brain development is stunted in certain regions that mitigate impulse control. If we take 2 individuals; one with a violent, abusive past and another with a normal upbringing, both of whom have committed a violent crime would be judged differently. We'd accept that the circumstances of the first individual are contributing factors to their behavior, while the second had no such mitigating circumstances. Our legal system reflects this type of consideration all the time. If we look at our own intuition, we'd find it hard pressed to hold the two individuals above culpable in the same way.

In a completely free will world view, no mitigating circumstances can exist. We have to operate under the assumption that we are all capable of making the same moral choice regardless of upbringing or circumstance. So, in the complete free will world view, the two individuals above would be equally culpable. You'd have to punish both equally. So you could never plea "battered wife" defense, no judge could ever stray from sentencing guidelines as there would be no reason to grant clemency to anyone in regards to the circumstances that contributed to their situation. You'd also have to ignore the science that tells us that brain development and decision making are effected by traumatic experiences or substances, etc...

2 months ago
Allirix
replied to...

How does a world predetermined by an all powerful omniscient creator allow free will to be anything but an illusion? It's the atheist world view that gives consciousness freedom from a being who has predetermined our fate.

Ignoring the issue of predeterminism, the freedom you're (probably) prescribing to the soul can be prescribed to a feature of consciousness arising from matter aswell.

The best model of consciousness I'm aware of has it as an emergent property of the unconscious processes it's built on. That means it has features it's constituent pieces do not. The whole acts greater than the sum of its parts. Neuroscience has only shown we are a sum of unconscious processes. That doesn't mean the critical thinking or executive control of the consciousness are illusions that cannot act against unconscious bias.

The jury isn't out on whether free will is actually an illusion for atheists. It's only an illusion if you believe God has a plan for us.

2 months ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

is unknown*

2 months, 1 week ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

the interplay of consciousness is known and not necessarily predetermined. there may be mechanisms that allow choice and will. i do not understand how free will can be compatible with a divine plan. any criminal that chooses the no free will defense can just as easily argue this is the way god made me, or set up circumstances outside of his control on purpose.

and finally, the position that is true does not always depend on the position that sounds most appealing.

2 months, 1 week ago

To answer this in a logically consistent way, you can take one of two positions.

Position one is that the brain is a watery, physiological object made up of atoms, and the 'consciousness' it presents to us is a product of this. Every 'decision' that this object makes is produced by a physical process based upon a set of genetics / experiences that the object never personally selected. If it did 'make' such 'decisions', it did so only with its genetics and experiences for guidance (and it didn't choose those tools to begin with... you get the picture...).

Position two is that... somehow... in some way that we may not understand and cannot measure... there could be a metaphysical force guiding the decision-making process.

Position one is essentially the athiest position. It renders the brain as a biological machine with no control over its own destiny. There is no 'free will department' in the brain after all, and nothing we've ever discovered within the brain explains where decisions are made. Pioneering athiest neuroscientists therefore describe consciousness and free will as a mere 'illusions' or 'epiphenomena' of the brain.

Okay... let's wrap this up. If consciousness and free will are just epiphenomena of the brain, as all athiests must believe by definition, then it isn't any more logical to say that the man who punched you is a bad and immoral person than it is to say that the nettle which stung you is a bad and immoral plant.

Okay... so... to the one person that bothered to read this far... I love you because you're inside my mind. Fist bump. But yeah... in conclusion... without God, or at least something metaphysical, it is weird and meaningless to make a moral judgement upon a human brain. But if you do, I hope you're judging nettles, stones, ants, shotguns, aubergines and atoms in exactly the same way.

2 months, 1 week ago

Morality is a very general term.
When you say morality you can refer to all the existent moral codes, religious or not.
You can be a moral human being without being religious but you can't be religious without following a set of rules or moral code.
Being religious doesn't stop you from being moral it is just unnecessary.

2 months, 1 week ago

Cronicles of Ridiculous, so hindus and budhists have no morality?

No, morality is intrinsic to a social species like ours. You aren't happy with your stuff getting stolen, so stealing is bad. Add community on top that then decides "stealing is bad" and heyo presto, morals, bible not necessary, our ability to discern value in positive contact with others is natural.

2 months, 1 week ago

God has very little to do with morality. We had morality long before we had any of the modern religions. Nothing in any of the religious texts is exclusive to them nor are they unthinkable without religion (except for the whole "don't worship other Gods" stuff that bloats much of religious morality). Religious morality also has very little to say about modern bio-ethics, scientific ethics, etc....

Religious morality is a bridge to universal ethics for an uneducated populous like we saw before modernity. With modern information dissemination, modern ethics, and modern education, religious morality is obsolete.

2 months, 2 weeks ago

i know athiests who are good people

2 months, 2 weeks ago
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