have we lost morals?

Rosie - posted on 06/29/2010 ( 19 moms have responded )

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i was reading the opinion page of our local newspaper, and there was a piece written by a man who was spouting off about how the lack of religion in this world is the downfall of our society.

Robert Green’s June 20 letter, “Moral people turn away from religion,” illustrates the intellectual bankruptcy that characterizes secular humanism. He asserts that “there are secular guides to morality, and they work far better than religious ones.”

Really? And what would those be? Thou shalt not kill? Thou shalt not steal? Secular humanism is by its very nature amoral, which is obvious if one only examines the evidence of social decay in our increasingly secular society.

History proves that the most murderous religion the world has ever seen has been … gasp … secular humanism! Even the Supreme Court acknowledged secular humanism as a religion in 1961.

Communism, which is atheistic and based upon the teachings of Darwin, Nietzsche and Marx, has been responsible for the deaths of more than 120 million people in the 20th century alone. Nazism (based on the teachings of Nietzsche, Darwin, and the Occult) killed 6 million Jews and close to 14 million others as a result of World War II. And 51 million American citizens have been snuffed out through abortion, which is just an extension of the secular eugenics movement. Must I go on?


what do you think? does he make any good points?

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Johnny - posted on 06/29/2010

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Just referring to the man who wrote the letter in the OP, I suspect that the morals that he feels are "right" are in decay. Many might argue though that this is a good thing. Racism, sexism, homophobia all used to be seen as "good morals" but most people see those as simply bigoted/chauvanistic today. Lots of "old fashioned" values deserve to be in the past. The good old days were really only good for middle class/wealthy white men.

I personally believe that if you require a God to tell you what is right and wrong, then you are not a particularly moral person. Most of us can make those choices for ourselves without any fear of repercussions from a God. Including many people of faith. Atheists, agnostics, and many of those who do believe in god are able to figure out for themselves what is right and what is wrong. But there are people of many different religions who choose to blindly follow the moral laws of a god, which results in great wrongs being done to others. I for one am very happy that the morality of the old testament has become a thing of the past. I don't relish being stoned much.

I am proud to consider myself a Secular Humanist. It seems that he doesn't know jack shit about Secular Humanism if he thinks that Communism & Nazism had any aspects of Secular Humanism in them at all. Communism, Nazism and any kind of totalitarianism is just another form of religion where worship of a god is replaced by worship of a dictator. As an agnostic, I don't worship or pray to anyone, god or person.

Jenny - posted on 06/29/2010

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It's not morals we are losing, it's empathy. I believe we are evolving away from having that sense of togetherness with our fellow humans because, well we don't live like that anymore. We are isolated from each other. We are taught to fend for ourselves. We communicate with technology instead of speaking to one another. If you want to take your dog out of the house you go to one part of the city, if you want to take your kids out, you go somewhere else. We have compartmentalised society and this is our by-product. How's it working out for us so far?

[deleted account]

Does hemake any good points? No. He totally ignores that Hitler was a self-professed Christian of the Roman Catholic variety and nothing within the Nazi party espoused secular humanistic values. In addition, Hitler thought Darwinism was wrong so no, he's not only NOT making good points - he's outright lying.

Charlie - posted on 06/29/2010

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I agree Jenny , what people are lacking in is empathy and that covers atheists and religious alike ( not all but just to illustrate it is everywhere )



I mean seriously did the man take into account the :

Crusades

the succession of wars between Roman Catholics and Protestants (french war of religions )

Thirty Years War

Taiping Rebellion

calls to Jihad

Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent

Jewish-Roman Wars

Arab-Israeli Wars

Way of the Celestial Masters

Five Pecks of Rice Rebellion



A persons morals are based on what they value , if their values are good and pure then so are their morals it doesn't take religion to understand that or practice good morals although religion does help those who NEED guidance ,

Rosie - posted on 06/29/2010

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i agree with you-to an extent teresa!! i won't go as far as to say that it's because we're trying to take god out of everything, i think that ALL people, christian or not, are losing morality. but there are such things to consider, like out of wedlock children. sure the numbers are higher now, but before people were FORCED to get married before the child was born, so technically the child wasn't born out of wedlock, but was still conceived that way.

and how do we measure what is moral and what isn't? i personally don't feel it's immoral to have a child out of wedlock (surprise, surprise since i had one of my own) i just don't think it's very smart unless you know you are in a committed relationship, and you just don't ever have the desire to be married.

i also don't think homosexuality is immoral. christians probably do. i think our changing views of morality go along with the times. used to be moral to stone people to death for wearing 2 different cloths, not so much anymore. we change with the time.

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Ava - posted on 06/30/2010

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No kidding. And our current social decay? Is he forgetting the Spanish Inquisition, the Salem Witch Trials, the Crusades of the church-controlled world when almost everybody was strictly religious? This social decay has been happening since the start. Blaming it on Atheism is a scapegoat. I'm quite moral and I'm an atheist, and wouldn't be any other way. I would go so far as to say that I believe indoctrinating children with religious views from birth is a form of child abuse, but I won't claim current social degradation stems from _____ in Christianity recently.

[deleted account]

Thanks Jenny for the details. I would say that humans (just my opinion) are not yet capable yet of being empathetic towards very large numbers of people. I don't think we've moved beyond that level of tribalism yet for lack of a better term.

Tanya - posted on 06/30/2010

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i don't remember who said it but I love the quote, " Many people long for by gone days that never were." I think it is to easy to say that the past was better. I believe we have had the same problems as long as man has been around.

I can see where a lack of empathy might come into play, but I don't think it is that much worse than it has ever been.

I believe with an increase in people fighting for the limited amounts of resources and land you will see some people who are less willing to help out. This may be because on some basic level we know the world is over populated and can not continue like this.

Jenny - posted on 06/29/2010

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Jen, I'm going by #2 of this definition:



Main Entry: em·pa·thy

Pronunciation: \ˈem-pə-thē\

Function: noun

Etymology: Greek empatheia, literally, passion, from empathēs emotional, from em- + pathos feelings, emotion — more at pathos

Date: 1850

1 : the imaginative projection of a subjective state into an object so that the object appears to be infused with it

2 : the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; also : the capacity for this



By my experience, I am not seeing people interacting in this fashoin as the norm.

Jenny - posted on 06/29/2010

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But for those who "beleive" in evolution, does that make sense? I really think it's a valid explanation.

[deleted account]

I think that if anything our increased knowledge of the world around us is the big change here...another thing being that more laws are put in place to protect people from crimes that have been common place to some extent therefore making more criminals, when in actuality they have been there all along! Different laws protecting women, homosexuals, races, etc. Once upon a time it was totally okay for a husband to beat his wife, but all over the world this is not being tolerated any more, etc...

[deleted account]

Well the author is a biased in favor of a religious society, but that's just not the way the world is run these days. A person can have strong morals but certainly lack religion. That's a personal thing in someone's life. Being moral is personal as well, but you don't have to be a religious person to be a moral person. Sorry, but god and religion don't need to be spewed in public. I agree 100% that we are a society of instant technology gratification. Therefore we may have evolved into an impatient society. A society that lacks morals, perhaps as compared to 50+ years ago-before civil rights, women's rights, or an empowering feeling from the gay/lesbian community to speak up for their human rights. Sure these days a divorce is far easier than trying to save a marriage, or hundreds of babies born out of wedlock to teen moms. But like the above comment, times change, and we as humans change to accept the current reality.

[deleted account]

But Jenny, I think that lack of empathy is nothing new. Clearly we had it within us because it is so easy to slip into that mode. I don't think we have lost empathy, I think our methods of communication are simply changing. I think we only very recently became 'civilized' as in the last 3000 years and even that's but a veneer. Deep inside, we are still base primates.

[deleted account]

Honestly Kati, yes I do and I think it's because people are trying to take God out of everything. Probably not a surprise that I would feel that way though, huh? ;)

That is NOT to say that atheists are void of morals in any way, shape, or form. It's just a generality. There are a lot of decent people and crappy people that are atheists just as there are a lot of decent and crappy people that profess to be Christians (or any other religion).

[deleted account]

No, I honestly don't believe its any worse than it's ever been. In fact, I think it's better than any other time in history in some respects.

Rosie - posted on 06/29/2010

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does anybody here think society IS decaying? and what would you attribute that to if you think it is?

Isobel - posted on 06/29/2010

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and Judaism, and Islam...the extermination of the Jews can hardly be attributed to secular humanism...they are the result of a madman.

Krista - posted on 06/29/2010

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The guy's an idiot. Just because some bad people have been atheists, that does not make atheism bad, in and of itself. Nor does that establish any sort of a concrete link between communism or nazism and atheism. Hitler liked dogs - one could just as easily say that dog ownership leads to murderous impulses and a decay in morals.

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