I’m going to say something that will make most atheists and freethinkers cringe. At first…
Atheists believe in and accept Jesus Christ’s teachings.
One of the biggest arguments that religious people have against atheists is that because atheists don’t believe in G** atheists somehow are amoral, and that “disbelief” in G** magically limits or destroys morality or conscience. In other words, religious people believe that without G**, evil rules humans. They believe that without G**, humans do not know right from wrong, or that human beings don’t have the ability to “choose” between good and evil. Which by the way is a direct contradiction with Biblical teachings that religious people hang their hat when they claim “G** gave us free will.”.
In fact I’ve heard religious believers say that atheists because they “Don’t know G**.” are like animals and would probably allow ALL humans to be like animals. The comparisons to lawless savages are palpable. However I need not remind anyone of the Crusades.
This is absurd of course, and it’s easy for people to point a finger and say “Bad!”.
Anyone can pick an Evil person from any group of people, regardless of religious affiliation or belief system. That by itself disproves the “amoral” argument, because if you pick an evil person from any of the groups of people, that means everyone else is good right? No, but there are most probably people which aren’t as evil.
So there’s a sum? No, it’s a scale.
If maximum Evil were a number that number could be -10 or -100. The number 0 could be
complete neutrality, and if “Good” were a number it would probably be +10 or +100.
The point is there’s a scale which measures conscience, and conscience is how Evil is measured by people and also how religion came to be. That’s what religion is about.
Evil is measured through feelings of conscience. Evil is a matter of conscience just as Good is a matter of conscience, with a direct relation to human experience, environment and education. Or 3 E’s.
You could add a 4th E. Emotion. This is a very important in governing the relativity of conscience with relation to action and experience. One E can affect another E, and in turn affect the other E’s, thereby forming another measurement on the Conscience Scale relative to any single person and how they feel about any particular subject or action.
Conscience therefore is governed by emotion, but is not an emotion itself. It’s governed mainly by feelings of guilt or remorse. Humans have the ability to feel if something is bad usually before they do it, or if we are hearing about and act committed by another person we can make a determination based on our own feelings. We have the ability to distinguish between what we believe is right and wrong without reading the Bible.
It’s learned behavior yes, but it’s also intrinsic and natural. No one teaches conscience, but people can inject their own subjective morality into another persons conscience and induce guilt through influential coercion. They can associate any act and create some guilt or disgust of something that’s repulsive to them, and give another person negative feelings which influences the decisions and conscience of that person to an extent.
In other words, Good and Evil are both naturally occurring themes in nature when one figures in human conscience. Humans are more aware of their own conscience than any other animal we know of. We do not have the ability to ask a dolphin if they know right from wrong. But I’d be willing to bet that if you talk to some dog lovers you’d find out that their dogs feel emotion. Try telling them their dogs don’t feel pain, or even guilt. But we normally don’t think of a dog as having a conscience. Think of when a dog snatches a piece of food from the dinner table. They are aware it’s wrong. Some would argue it’s fear of being scolded. But fear is one of the most basic emotions in all animals. It’s part of the survival mechanism which keep any animal alive to continue its species.
However, fear doesn’t dictate conscience. Guilt and remorse do.
Embarrassment and humiliation have something to do with certain “moral rules” that have been created by humans to govern certain acts themselves thereby injecting their own personal belief system into another’s conscience. This kind of natural human behavior is just that, natural, and has no real bearing on conscience or pure human morality. It’s a self-imposed rule of moral conduct. Some things that would embarrass one person may be perfectly fine for another. It’s a matter of relativity.
These 4 E’s govern everything in a human beings life and shapes belief from a young age. Experiences as a growing an easily influenced child weigh heavily on the decision making processes and belief systems of the human mind later in life.
Jesus Taught Morality:
Human Kindness: Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31
Human Kindness: Love your enemies, Do good to those who h*** you. Luke 6:27
Human Kindness: Bless those who curse you Luke 6:28
Human Generosity: It is more blessed to give than to receive Acts 20:35
Human Kindness: We should help the weak – Taught by Paul also Acts 20:35
Human Generosity: Turn from your selfish ways…what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul Mark 8:34-38
Regarding Hypocrites: You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:5
6 of the 10 commandments:
Honor your father and your mother
You shall not murder
You shall not commit adultery
You shall not steal
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor
These are all moral teachings…
Yes, the “Bible” is full of moral teachings. However they are not “new” to humanity nor are they only within the Bible. There are many different moral teachings texts that were written long before Christ ever lived. So the argument from the point of view the Christians that the Bible is the source of human morality is a fallacy. It is ONE source. Not THE source.
Morality is defined and measured by conscience, and conscience is dictated by emotion. Morality is subjective to the relativity of conscience, and since conscience is dictated by emotions by what we feel is right or wrong, then this simply suggests emotion is a key factor in determining morality. Which means morality is extremely subjective and dictated by the relative measure of remorse or guilt one feels when committing, or seeing another human commit an act which conjures these feelings.
In short, you “feel” if something is wrong or right. You’re not “taught” right and wrong, you’re taught “how right” and “how wrong” anything is. And this is interpretive, subjective however not entirely because it’s filtered (or should be) by common sense.
The fundamental sense of Right and of wrong are naturally intrinsic and self evident truths. However they are also relative to and one persons upbringing. Outside education, teachings, and environment do have an affect on the morality of what one deems right or wrong, and more so how right and how wrong any given act is.
A human may not be “born” with an automatic knowledge of right and wrong. To intentionally harm another human being physically, mentally or emotionally, is wrong. One could argue what the definition of “harm” is, but most would agree it’s injury to another. One knows it’s wrong to have sexual relations with your best friend’s spouse or significant other. Right? Wrong.
What if people have an “open” relationship, wherein two couples swap partners. To them this is not wrong as long as it’s consensual and known two both parties. Is this wrong in the eyes of a religious person. Most likely it is. However that is the “opinion” of the religious person. If they feel it’s wrong, they should not do it or they would be going against their own conscience, which makes it “wrong” in their specific case. Not because someone once said an invisible being said it was so, but because they believe some invisible being said it was so and they allow themselves to be led in that direction. They’ve been taught their entire lives it’s wrong, however, it’s only wrong if you believe it to be wrong, and in the case of those with no conscience, (psychopaths and mentally disturbed individuals) the majority of the population should have a say.
Morality should be governed by the individual personally. However…(I snagged this part from a comment I wrote on Facebook) There is probably a basic majority moral baseline for what is considered right and wrong. You know, don’t kill people unless your life or someone else’s life is threatened. You have a right as a human being to defend yourself or protect any other human being from harm. Don’t steal from anyone. It’s not nice. Don’t lie about someone to hurt them. It’s not nice. Don’t hurt people. It’s not nice. I’m seeing a recurring theme here.
Personal conscience dictates the definition of morality individually. One person may think something is ok, but someone else may never do it because they believe it to be wrong. Injecting your own personal conscience and morality into anther’s way of life is wrong in my opinion.
Am I doing wrong now by injecting my opinion into your mind? No, because I admit it’s my opinion, and you could click away from this article at any point. You’re not a captive audience like true believers are.
You have free will, you can read this, think for yourself, or go to h*** if you don’t adopt these principles or agree with me. Oh wait… the h*** thing. I’ll leave that for another article.
Morality is relative.