Burn Baby Burn
June 13, 2017 at 10:02 am #3130
The premise though, that you postulate, implies that a religious god DOES provide morality.
This is simply not the case.
When HUMANS wrote down what they believed to be morals (How bad can you beat a slave before you are being unfair, etc), they simply ascribed what THEY felt to be moral, at the time they wrote it, to what god wanted.
We did not GET our morality FROM gods, we GAVE our morality TO gods.
As for the prison statistics, as a rule of thumb, the people in prison, just as with the people outside the prison, are statistically, essentially whatever religion their parents were.
IE: Whatever they were raised to believe, is what they believe.
So, sure, many claim to “find god” in prison…and the parole boards are quite familiar with this pattern of claims, and even occasional happenings. Statistically though, if raised a Catholic, or a Baptist, Muslim or a Protestant, etc, the prisoner remains as he was raised.
The “transformation” of the prisoners is not from atheist to theist…its from theist to theist, and, statistically, lasts until they are released, whereupon they find trouble, and not god…or both.
The recidivism rate for those claiming to have found god in prison is about the same as for those that don’t.
In a nut shell, the most common reason for being in prison, when I speak with prisoners, is “I didn’t think I’d get caught…and, I can still pray for forgiveness”.
That tells me that it was simply that some people are unfair to others, for whatever their reasons, and that asking the gods for forgiveness was a get out of hell free card….so they can avoid the responsibility for their actions.June 13, 2017 at 2:14 pm #3134
I might be able to summarise what is generally (although not completely) agreed:
– there are many different moralities and it may be difficult (if not impossible) to define an atheist morality;
– theists do not have a monopoly on morals; indeed by many of their own moral metrics, atheists are categorically at least as moral if not more lawful and less abberrant;
– just as various religious texts represent snapshots of the knowledge of man at different stages of our development; they also represent a snapshot of moralities at different points in time and in different cultures;
– most morals are subjective in nature;
– morals almost certainly have an evolutionary function and as a result are contextual depending on the environment.
No-one has suggested that atheists dont have morals. The issue is simply definitional.
So the starting point for any response to the question theists often pose being ‘What is stopping atheists (burning babies, murdering, stealing etc?)’ should always be Atheists have morals and a belief in an ideology is not a requirement for lawful or ethical behavior.
June 13, 2017 at 8:50 pm #3140
- This reply was modified 5 years ago by David Boots.
Yes David. That is an excellent summary.
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