Atheist Girl

The Atheist Kurdish Girl. Helping to build a world free of superstitions.

 
About Me

Name: Roya
Home: sydney, Australia
About Me: I went from looking for god to finding him evil to finding he does not exist, all before turning 14. Now, I can proudly say, I'm a libertarian, an anarchist, and a free thinker.
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    Morality (Part II)
    Sunday, May 07, 2006
    As I mentioned earlier in Morality (Part 1) post, I was made to believe, that morality is a religious issue. However, when you look at religion (and I would like to emphasis on Abrahamic religions), you won’t see them talking about morality.

    What has been perceived in holy books to be about morality, are a mere sets of rules that are dictated to be followed, if one does not want to be punished by the dictator who made those rules. However, morality is anything but following blindly.

    Secondly, these rules themselves are not necessarily good either.

    When centuries ago, people said, “All men are created equal”, they did not meant equality among all human beings. In fact equality only applied to white heterosexual men which were not slaves themselves. Not even a majority!

    Similarly, when religions dictate, for example, “thou shall not kill”, what they really mean is that a believer of our own religion should not kill another of our believers, accept if they act against their religious teachings. Killing of nonbelievers is not bad at all.

    The Abrahamic religions actually contain very horrific details of murder, torture and genocide at worldwide level, many of which are written like stories, for educational purposes. However, they are not teaching how wrong such acts are, but how strong god is, and how one should therefore be very careful not to make god angry or else be ready to pay for it. Is this morality?

    Many theists may argue that these are just stories and their religion tells them to be good. But what is this good? Is it about equality? Freedom? Tolerance? Not harming ANYONE? The answer is NO. All these are values (not necessarily new values), came to be accepted as a result of The Enlightenment Age in opposition to religion. The so called good that religion teaches only comprises of believing, doing as one is told to be god’s dictated rules and spreading the word of ones’ dictator by any means. That’s it.

    Morals, as my mini Oxford dictionary defines it, is, concerned with goodness or badness of human character or behavior, or with the difference between right and wrong; virtuous in conduct.

    Now, how do we find an act to be moral or immoral?

    The morality of an action can’t be defined based on the end result of the act. Otherwise, a dog, that saves a human could be said to be moral. However, a dog is neither good nor bad in character as they do not recognize the difference between good or bad acts. The same applies to retarded individuals.

    A moral act could not have its bases on emotion either. If I take care of my kid because I love her but would do different if she was not my kid or didn’t love her, then my good act of caring for her is conditional. That is, I love you, and that is why I’m caring for you. This cannot be called a moral act, even though it is a good act (only) for what it achieves. Otherwise, one would act immoral if there were no emotional bases for acting good.

    The bases of a moral act lie on its reason. That is one should reason as to whether an act is good or not, and through acting upon one’s own understanding of what is good, that one can be said to have done a moral act.

    This is why a religious person (one who follows gods’ word) is not a moral being as they do not act based on their own reasoning of what is good or bad, but follow what they’re told in order to achieve something entirely different. Mainly to go to heaven and avoid hell, to make life simple for themselves and not having to find out for oneself what is good or bad and the emotional satisfaction of having someone taking care of them. Now, is this morality?

    If we as atheists are to promote morality, we have to redeem what is inherently secular from the religious ideology (theology is a better word).

    My definition of morality was based on Kant’s moral philosophy, if you want to read more on him. I couldn’t talk about him much, as the post is already long.
    posted by Roya @ 6:18 PM  
    7 Comments:
    • At 7/5/06 10:40 PM, Blogger Natalia said…

      You rock.

       
    • At 8/5/06 1:27 AM, Blogger Steve said…

      well stated roya. I completely agree. So you're a part time philosopher, part time blogger? Any more traits and you'll be a renaissance woman!

       
    • At 8/5/06 1:55 PM, Blogger Alex said…

      do you not see Kants moral philosophy directly linked to the fact that he believed in God?

      Or do you believe that an athiest, like yourself, can embrace Kant without embracing the fact that he had a strong faith in God.

      I'm not trying to sound like a dick, even if that's the way it's coming off... I'm honestly just curious.

       
    • At 8/5/06 6:29 PM, Blogger Roya said…

      It wouldn't change anything alex. His argument that one should act on one's own reason of the good, is actually an argument for the secular nature of morality even if he did not meant it.

      Many philosophers believed in god. I even like Descartes' ideas even though he was arguing that there is a good god. He really couldn't acheive that anyway. :)

       
    • At 8/5/06 6:49 PM, Blogger Alex said…

      but you have to admit that Kant's categorical imperative is just a spruced up version of a "holy commandment"... universalizability is "do unto others as other do unto you" in philosophical jargon... so basically what i'm saying is that Kant takes what is inherently a Judeo-Christian morality, and tries to argue that it naturally arises out of reasoned thinking... whether he is successful is a question for the ages.

      but the religious overtones are obvious, and by resorting to some "categorical imperative" that exists somewhere in the luminiferous aether, it doesnt seem that he's grounding much of anything in secularism, rather it seems like he's playing with semantics... "a rose by any other name..."

      but that's just my $0.02... great stuff so far, i'm coming back for more!

       
    • At 8/5/06 7:42 PM, Blogger Roya said…

      Alex, I do agree with you that he had another intention, but he did not believe that by following those rules one would be acting moraly.

      When you need to use your own reason, then there is no need for the almighty to tell you what to do. Do you get what I mean? No need for a god.

      One can use any argument from theists, against their own theistic believes. It does not matter what they themselves believed. :)

       
    • At 8/5/06 7:45 PM, Blogger Roya said…

      Nice to see you guys visiting my blog. :)

       
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