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What do we replace Religious Ethical teachings with?
Posted: 15 January 2007 11:31 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Based on Atheisms’ core tenants that:
[list:d03c0c243a]We doubt/deny the existence of any god.
We doubt/deny the divinity (or sometimes even the existence-of) of Prophets (such as Abraham, Jesus, or Muhammad).[/list:u:d03c0c243a]
[b:d03c0c243a]1) Can we also 100% deny that religion has provided any form of moral/ethical guidance to society?[/b:d03c0c243a]

I postulate that religion can be looked at as 2parts: ¤BeliefË, and ¤ethical teachings for society.Ë

[b:d03c0c243a]2) Atheism, through science, challenges the blind ¤BeliefË part. But what does Atheism suggest society should replace the ¤ethical teachingsË with, such that we can all live harmoniously in a modern population-dense society?[/b:d03c0c243a]

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Posted: 15 January 2007 11:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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What do we replace Religious Ethical teachings with?

Based on Atheisms’ core tenants that:
[list]We doubt/deny the existence of any god.
We doubt/deny the divinity (or sometimes even the existence-of) of Prophets (such as Abraham, Jesus, or Muhammad).[/list:u]
1) Can we also 100% deny that religion has provided any form of moral/ethical guidance to society?

I postulate that religion can be looked at as 2parts: “Belief”, and “ethical teachings for society.”

2) Atheism, through science, challenges the blind “Belief” part. But what does Atheism suggest society should replace the “ethical teachings” with, such that we can all live harmoniously in a modern population-dense society?

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Posted: 16 January 2007 02:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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My Latin is a little rusty, but doesn’t “dubito ergo credo” mean “I doubt, therefore I believe”?  Would you care to explain what you mean by that?

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Posted: 16 January 2007 03:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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[quote author=“advocatus”]My Latin is a little rusty, but doesn’t “dubito ergo credo” mean “I doubt, therefore I believe”?  Would you care to explain what you mean by that?

I was wondering the same thing!

LOL

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Posted: 16 January 2007 03:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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[quote author=“advocatus”]My Latin is a little rusty, but doesn’t “dubito ergo credo” mean “I doubt, therefore I believe”?  Would you care to explain what you mean by that?

Hi advocatus, “I doubt, therefore I believe” is the correct translation. Perhaps “I doubt, in order to understand” would have been better. Doubting both religion and humanism is a method of trying to understand them better, in order to believe one of them. Anyway, I’m not trying to prove any point by the name.

I want to try understand or find out if anyone has actually sat down and put together a structured, systematic plan for how humanism can be fully injected into American society, and religion removed, without leaving a gaping void (of purpose, and ethics/morality).

Specifically:

1) Can you give me examples of the new “book of ethics/morality” that will replace all religious texts? (eg. By which new tenets will our law makers be guided?)
2) How many years will it take for humanism to fully replace religion in America?
3) What are the major steps in the plan?

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Posted: 16 January 2007 04:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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[quote author=“dubito-ergo-credo”]I want to try understand or find out if anyone has actually sat down and put together a structured, systematic plan for how humanism can be fully injected into American society, and religion removed, without leaving a gaping void (of purpose, and ethics/morality).

What void? The people who purport to practice religion don’t follow the teachings of the Bible, either. They don’t stone adulterers, for example, nor people who work on the sabbath.

They pick and choose what they like from their holy books, and discard the passages that they don’t agree with. So they are using an ethical sense that we all share to decide a priori how to interpret their holy books. We just remove the holy books from the equation.

[quote author=“dubito-ergo-credo”]1) Can you give me examples of the new “book of ethics/morality” that will replace all religious texts? (eg. By which new tenets will our law makers be guided?)

I would very much hope that there is no “book of ethics” that guides them. We are not trying to start another religion here, with some faith-based text. In fact, books are all written by humans, and are fallible. If our lawmakers are guided by any written document they should be guided by the US Constitution.

If you want ideas, however, about the sorts of ethical principles we (generally) believe are correct, and should guide lawmakers as well, a good place to start are the websites I cited, above.

[quote author=“dubito-ergo-credo”]2) How many years will it take for humanism to fully replace religion in America?

Dunno. I’m not a prophet. :wink:

But I don’t expect religion will ever be “fully replaced” anywhere. There will always be religious believers, and people must always be free to believe what they will. What I expect our initial goals must be is to set about removing religion from politics; to make this a more secular country.

[quote author=“dubito-ergo-credo”]3) What are the major steps in the plan?

Look at what the CFI is doing to bring about a “new enlightenment”. Read the publications. Listen to PoI. You’ll see some of it.

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Posted: 02 February 2007 09:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I agree with Doug on all points.

I think people skirt their responsibilities as a human being by ignoring the vast bank of knowledge that we as a species have filled over the years, be it the past 200-odd years of modern science (the past 50 of which have been breathtaking) or the millenia of ethical development.

Ideally, people will draw upon human experience and temper their actions with self-aware doubt and respect for human rights in order to live a peaceful and prosperous life.

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Our love of what is beautiful does not lead to extravagance; our love of things of the mind does not make us soft.—Thucydides, Book II

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Posted: 02 February 2007 02:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I suggest you start with the statement of beliefs Paul Kurtz often has on the inside front cover of Skeptical Inquirer.  Then Google Humanist Manifesto II and Humanist Manifesto III.  Third, read the well-known philosophers from Plato, through Kant, to G.E. Moore.  (Skip the three Hs: Hegel, Heidigger, and Hurrsel (sp?).  I think they’re all crackpots, brilliant but still crackpots).  I’m only a layman, but I’m sure Doug Smith could give you a far more comprehensive list of readings that deal with ethics that aren’t dependent on religion.

Occam

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Posted: 18 February 2007 10:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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RE: What do we replace Religious Ethical teachings with?

I think this question presupposes that the ethics contained within religious writings are somehow superior to those written by human beings. The fact is though, moral codes (good and bad) have always been written by human beings, not gods. 

With the exception of obvious requirements for a free and prosperous society such as don’t kill, don’t steal, and don’t interfere with another person’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, your moral code should come from yourself. The Golden Rule is a good start and common to many religious and secular texts.

Personally, I read forums like this in order to develop my moral code and test my principles against the ideas of others. I am not looking for another person or organization to give me ethics, I am fine doing that by myself.

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Faith is not a substitute for morality.

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Posted: 18 February 2007 01:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Re: RE: What do we replace Religious Ethical teachings with?

[quote author=“Agregon”]I think this question presupposes that the ethics contained within religious writings are somehow superior to those written by human beings. The fact is though, moral codes (good and bad) have always been written by human beings, not gods.

I didn’t get that from the question, A.  It’s just that most people don’t seem to have the time or interest in doing the kind of moral searching that you are.

For many they would prefer a set of principles they can consider, even if they are only a jumping off place, and to be modified to match their needs and beliefs.

For example, the Golden Rule in some of its incarnations is sounds good at first view, but on further consideration is fairly questionable.

Occam

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Posted: 18 February 2007 06:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Re: RE: What do we replace Religious Ethical teachings with?

Occam:

Respectfully, I only suggest that there is some presumption at work here otherwise the question would not be posed. Try saying it this way: “Will we replace ethical teachings of religion which were really written by humans beings with new ethical teachings not born of religion that are written by human beings?”

There aren’t many other choices here. Of course, I may not understand the question at all, which is entirely possible.

Occam wrote:

For example, the Golden Rule in some of its incarnations is sounds good at first view, but on further consideration is fairly questionable.

What are the questionable aspects of the Golden Rule?

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Posted: 19 February 2007 01:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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While we may dislike it, religion has been the de facto arbiter of morals and the authority defining ethics since theology first reared its ugly head.  So, I see the question as looking to replace a severely flawed system, not as assuming that it was much good in the first place.

Re: the flaw in some statements of the Golden Rule.

The common statement of the Golden Rule is “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Example:  You love Italian food and detest Chinese food.  I like Chinese food.  I decide to take you out to lunch.  I would love to have someone take me to a Chinese restaurant so I take you to a Chinese restaurant.

The Rabbinical statement of the Golden Rule is much better:  “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.”


Occam

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Posted: 08 March 2007 05:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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To say that religion=morality is fairly absurd. Whose religion are we talking about? Muslim rules for society, Christian rules for society,what?  The Jains maybe? Burning Jews and witches, the Spanish inquisition, those don’t seem very “moral” to me.
I forget who said it but the quote goes something like this….” the most tragic thing to happen to mankind was when religion hijacked morality”. 
500yrs. before Jesus there was a man in China called Confucius who came up with a set of secular rules for a secular society.  Confucius was the one who said “deal with others as you would have them deal with you”. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? As a group, as a society we get together and make rules by forming a consensus. Some people want to inject their religion into the process. “My book says that we can’t do this, my book says that we have to do that”.  Depending on where you live in this world you can be forced to live by someone else’s moral codes in the form of religious based laws. If you want to eat fish on every other Tuesday in January that is up to you, just don’t make me do it too.  Your personal rules for conduct, your morality, mostly come from your parents and your surrounding society from childhood.  To say that morality comes from Leviticus or the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians is absurd. Heck when I was a kid in church the only thing I was thinking about was when it was going to end! GA

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Posted: 18 March 2007 08:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I think that the title question is bias toword mis-judging
religion as our fundamental source for ethics.  I think that
my ethics were first learned as a child, due to the influence
of the people around me: their examples of harmonious and
discordant behaviors, the stories that they taught, the laws
that I head about, the damaging mistakes that I experienced,
and the successful experiences that I had.  None of that came
from religion even though I was raised to be religious, and
a better question than the title question might be: When did
people write their favorite morals into the religious texts
and how did they choose their favorites?

The Religious Ethical teachings don’t need any replacing because
we already have Ethics.  In other words, there is not gap to
fill in.

Secularhumanism.org has some good, short articles for an easy
introduction to Humanism, but if you want to get into the
nitty gritty of Humanism Corliss Lamont wrote a great book
treating the philosophy in a very formal way reaching back
into the history of Humanist ideas, contrasting that with
the modern opposition to Humanism, and spending a long time
highlighting the science that applies to dualism to agrue in
support of monism.  This has some ethical examples as well.
The book had a great effect on me when I had a belief in deism,
The Philosophy of Humanism, Eighth Edition.  Obviously,
though, no-one has a lock on Humanism and it is defined by
those who practice it.

And some other examples of written ethics, if you demand seeing
some for yourself, we see them written in many sources from
children stories that end with “the moral of the story is”, to
popular entertainment, to laws.  Here are some scatter-brained
but authoratitive example (no surprises here):

[url=http://www.archives.gov/national-archives-experience/charters/charters.html]http://www.archives.gov/national-archives-experience/charters/charters.html [/url]

[url=http://www.findlaw.com/]http://www.findlaw.com/ [/url]

You may want to argue that there’s a difference between law and
ethic, but I’d rebut that their difference is gray, fuzzy, and
highly subjective.  Here are some professional ethic examples:

http://www.ieee.org/portal/pages/about/whatis/code.html;jsessionid=F9G9kR4jlSNnZLpfQfGZhP1dJwYjvPLGmvM3bH5vm1LLvhydGfHf!-718689159

[url=http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/2416.html]http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/2416.html [/url]

- steve s.

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Posted: 21 June 2007 11:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I think a better question is what ethical teachings are, in fact, necessarily religious.  That is, other than arbitrary rules like, say, dietary laws or dress codes or ceremonies to propitiate the gods, what rules for how to get along with others and live the good life that religions teach require the idea of God, or gods, or wood spirits, or whatever other supernatural spookiness?  It seems to me that the resort to superstition is always a matter of using fear or awe to help enforce some set of arbitrary rules that are demonstrably stupid (“give the priests your fattest sheep”), rather than the kinds of rules that people seem to approve of almost universally because hey make sense (“do unto others…”).

Instead of proving what is so ethical about ethics, maybe turn that question around and ask what is so ethical about religion, and especially organized religion.  How is Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. any better than Confucian ethics, or Socratic ethics, or socialist ethics?

“What do we replace religious ethics with?” strikes me as a question similar to “what should I replace the wood in my diet with?”

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Posted: 22 June 2007 03:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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>What are the questionable aspects of the Golden Rule?>
The Fundy wants to hear the word of God, so he assumes that you need to hear it as well.
I think, in a world as crowed as this, the Stoic principle of not doing to others what you dont like done to yourself is an improvement. Leave people the fuck alone.

Course, related to this is “turn the other cheek”. Epictetus says, that when attacked, consider what lesson you may teach with your response to an innocent observer. If there be none, then what lesson you may teach your attacker. But if he be unteachable, then what you may teach yourself. But in any case, remember that you did not create your own body, and are only the steward, not the owner thereof. The divine owner may yet have use for it, and to protect it in good condition so that it may be serviceable later.

The ethics of Stoicism, which is not a religion, is superior to the ethics of the Levantine religions. They do not rely on divine revelation, but merely consideration of the way men are, and the most mentally healthy way to deal with them. Recent DNA analysis, and the level of the genetically derived hormones that affect behavior suggest that Aristotle was right, that men really are innately choleric, phlegmatic, sanguine and melancholic. Furthermore, some gene pools have more or less of these various personality profiles which has an enormous effect on the way a culture develops, or fails to.

You therefore cannot apply one rule to all men since they have different responses to whatever rule you propose. Its obvious that the same rules dont work for the schizoid, manic, bi-polar, retarded & autistic, but less obvious is how the vast mass is neurotic and will try to bend whatever you propose to fit into whatever form of group think they suffer from.

The Stoics and the Eastern Sages understood that cities were cesspools of depravity. But now forensic analysis of ancient skeletons is providing some clues as to why. In Rome, for instance, it was upscale for the power elites to have their food cooked in pots made of lead, not cheap pottery. they also loved a highly acidic fish sauce sold in lead bottles. Its no wonder the fertility rate of aristocratic women fell off, and each generation was a little more stupid. As for the lower classes, bread was not enough; the country people, (pagnunus) still ate as their hominid ancestors had, a wide variety of wild foods which had trace minerals and micro-nutrients that interacted with neuro-transmitters during childhood mental development to maxmize mental performance. But the aristocracy fed the slave class as cheaply as possible. The Maya, Inca, Aztec, and Chaco canyon all did the same with maize.

But the universal opinion of the ancient sages was that the paganus were hard working honest people. We see today a similar effect raising kids on sugar cereals, soda, and junkfood. And a similar exception in the fact that half of the Green Berets grew up on famil farms, eating home grown veggies. This is but 1% of the total population providing 50% of the nations most competent military personnel. It also explains why so many posters are so fucking nuts. The Stoics worried about their republic, and I worry about ours.

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