BEEP! BEEP! IT'S ME.

"Begin at the beginning,and go on till you come to the end: then stop." (Lewis Carroll, 1832-1896)

Alice came to a fork in the road. "Which road do I take?" she asked."Where do you want to go?" responded the Cheshire cat."I don't know," Alice answered."Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."

"So long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation. "Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

"All right," said the Cat; and this time it vanished quite slowly, beginning with the end of the tail, and ending with the grin, which remained some time after the rest of it had gone. "Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin," thought Alice; "but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!"

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I am diagonally parked in a parallel universe. Like Arthur Dent from "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy", if you do not have a Babel Fish in your ear this blog will be completely unintelligible to you and will read something like this: "boggle, google, snoggle, slurp, slurp, dingleberry to the power of 10". Fortunately, those who have had the Babel Fish inserted in their ear, will understood this blog perfectly. If you are familiar with this technology, you will know that the Babel Fish lives on brainwave radiation. It excretes energy in the form of exactly the correct brainwaves needed by its host to understand what was just said; or in this case, what was read. The Babel Fish, thanks to scientific research, reverses the problem defined by its namesake in the Tower of Babel, where a deity was supposedly inspired to confuse the human race by making them unable to understand each other.

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Friday, August 04, 2006

Put Your Morality To The Test

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Do The Test ~ Here


My Results:

You scored 39.5 out of a total of 44.

Your score puts you in the highest category of social reasoning. You will see ethical and moral values as important to the needs of society and will appeal to basic rights or values. You might say "Honesty is a standard which everyone should accept" or "Life is sacred."

Conformity to ethical norms is important to you, in terms of a responsibility, obligation or commitment for all individuals, although you may be willing to consider exceptions in some particular circumstances. You are likely to suggest that with entitlement or privilege comes responsibility.

You will appeal to considerations of responsible character or integrity in others, preferring a consistent or standard practice of behaviour in order to avoid damage to social institutions such as the legal system.

However, you will want to see an adjusted case-by-case application of standards for the sake of fairness to all people. Lastly, you are very likely to appeal to standards of individual or personal conscience, as well as of honour, dignity or integrity.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The point of doing a test like this can be expressed in a variety of ways.


The most obvious result of this test is this ~ Neither religious belief nor the lack of it, ensures morality.


In other words, one is neither moral nor immoral because of a religious belief nor moral or immoral because of the lack of a religious belief.


Neither religious belief nor the lack of it, guarantees morality.


I hear this argument quite often from religious believers, that one cannot be moral/ethical without a god belief. This statement seems to be more often based on what they want to believe, rather than what is actually factual.


The reality is that there are probably MANY factors involved in the development of a moral or ethical code.


I was discussing this with a friend the other day, and we were talking about what motivated us as children to comply to parental standards/discipline etc. I didn't grow up in an overtly religious home. I was sent to Sunday School and I was baptised and confirmed but we didn't go to church except for the usual social/cultural occurrences like weddings, funerals, baptisms. We didn't say grace at meal times, nor did we speak about god, jesus, heaven or hell.


I was never threatened with going to hell for being naughty or disobedient. I wasn't beaten or smacked either. But somehow through this extremely liberal upbringing, I developed a moral code and went on into life to become an atheist. I have never been been to court. I have never been to prison. My "criminal career" consists of 2 parking tickets and 2 speeding tickets in over 30 years of driving.


I am not an adulteress, I do not have children from 2,3 or 4 different fathers. I am not on welfare or social security payments. I am not an alcoholic nor a drug addict. (I did smoke cigarettes for many years though, so I am sure I am going to hell for that!!) I pay my taxes. I donate to some charities.


So what is the point of this speech?


I DO want religious people to realise that there are millions of people all over the world who are probably like me. That is: There are millions of people who do not have a god belief, nor a religion, and who lead happy, worthwhile, productive, meaningful lives and it is time to stop the propaganda that says that we can't and that we don't.


LINKS:
Church Sign Generator
Morality

Dr. Geoff's Guide to the Logical Fallacies



Link

21 Comments:

Anonymous ted said...

An interesting test Beep.

As far as my upbringing is concerned, I had to deal with being smacked. In fairness, I have to say that on the odd occasion it happened, I deserved it. I also had to go to church every week and even did my stint as an alter boy. I was even a "charismatic" (fundo, born again God botherer, really) Christian for a while. Eventually though, I realised that there's no real answers there and like you, am now an atheist.

My Results

You scored 33 out of a total of 44.

Your score puts you in the mature category of social reasoning and the majority of people will have scores in this range. Thinking here transcends the practicalities of one's preferences and exchanges to an emphasis upon social feeling, caring and conduct.

You take into account the consequences of actions for other people, whether for benefit or harm, as a consideration in its own right for deciding how one should act towards others. You emphasise relationships, thinking how you might feel if you were on the receiving end. Empathy is important, as well as compassion.

You are likely to expect others to conform to normally expected conduct, reflecting on "common decency" and will think of the chaos caused by laws being broken. You will value, love and respect others, and appreciate some higher values, as well as speaking of the benefits of a clean conscience or pride.

4/8/06 10:28 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE ted:
It is because we are both non-reliigous australians that we score well. ;)

4/8/06 10:40 pm  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

Hmmm.. I should always spell check.

4/8/06 10:40 pm  
Blogger geoffrobinson said...

You are missing the thrust of the argument.

It's not that atheists can't display morality or moral actions. It's that a belief in morality is inconsistent with atheism. If we are just atoms bouncing around morality is just an illusion.

You want to say "hey, atheists can be moral and theists can act bad." No one said otherwise.

But when you uphold morality you are stealing from theism. I would argue that is because God has implanting things in you that you can't avoid. The general knowledge of right and wrong is one of them and they point to His existance.

There have been some atheists you have tried to maintain that they think morality is subjective. I doubt most of them really believe that, but they are at least trying to be intellectually consistent with their atheism.

Atheists who say otherwise, like yourself, have the impossible task of explaining how meaningful objective morality (or even meaning) can be derived from atoms bouncing around.

5/8/06 12:33 am  
Anonymous ted said...

I knew what you meant Beep...:)

Interesting results though I thought, even though there's only the two of us so far. You don't seem to have had quite the religious influences that I did growing up, yet you scored a little better. I wonder....

I guess we'll need more numbers before we can an answer that one though...

5/8/06 1:01 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE:
"You want to say "hey, atheists can be moral and theists can act bad." No one said otherwise."

Well, yes they do, they say it all the time. It is more than often expressed that the problems associated with the world today are the fault of atheists, agnostics, and/or anyone who doesn't share the belief system of the person complaining about a lack of morality in the world.


RE
"But when you uphold morality you are stealing from theism."

Not so, unless you want to claim that morality did not exist without god belief or the existence of gods. Difficult claim to prove.

Firstly you would need to prove that ancient tribes did not have codes of ethics nor moral codes.
Mutual cooperation to enhance survival is the basis of moral codes, not god belief.

Hammurabi's code of ethics springs to mind for a start.

Secondly, you would need to prove the existence of god if you wanted to claim that god is indeeed responsible for me, as an atheist, being capable of morality.

RE: "Atheists who say otherwise, like yourself, have the impossible task of explaining how meaningful objective morality (or even meaning) can be derived from atoms bouncing around."

If you presuppose a god, I get to presuppose invisible flying teapots which revolve around mars. These wonderful teapots are the only reason you are capable of typing and if you claim that you can type WITHOUT the help of these teapots, you are just stealing from teapotism.

You have the usual strawman argument, but basically I don't have to prove that atoms have endowed me with artistic sense, let alone that they have endowed me with morality.

If your claim is that morality comes from god, you need to provide evidence that it is YOUR god that provides us with morality and not apollo, zeus, odin or attis.

And of course you next have the inenvious task of providing evidence for the existence of your god. By evidence I do not mean an ancient book.

Unless of course you willingly accept that all ancient books, tablets, papyrus, cuneiform and hieroglyphics, (which also talk about gods), ARE evidence for the existence of their gods as well.

In finishing, be thankful for teapotism, which allows you to type, even though you are ungrateful enough to not believe in it. The ungrateful always steal from teapotism.

5/8/06 1:20 am  
Anonymous ted said...

Re: "The general knowledge of right and wrong is one of them and they point to His existance."

You do realise Geoff, that the existance of Yahweh, the God that you refer to above, can only been traced back 5700 years and that man has been here for at least 60,000 years in our current form. That means that in all that time, we've had the same size brain and therefore the same capability to think.

Those are indisputable facts that you can look up in your local library, so I think it's a bit pretentious of you to assert that "He" is responsible for morality. I think Beep's right. You'll need to go and check some much older tablets or papyrus to see when this subject was first written about.

"have the impossible task of explaining how meaningful objective morality..."

(From The Concise Oxford Dictionary - Ninth Edition)

1. Morality: the degree of conformity of an idea, practice, etc., to moral principles.

2. Objective: External to the mind; actually existing, real.

3. Subjective: (of art, literature, written history, a person's views, etc.) proceeding from personal idiosyncracy or individuality; not impartial or literal.

Given that morals deal with principles I'd have to say that morality really can't be anything other than subjective. I think you just lumped yourself in with the atheists with that one Geoff. I can't hold (in my hand) or see a moral, it only exists in my mind. Yours, by definition, have to be the same.

5/8/06 2:33 am  
Blogger Darwin's Dagger said...

Heretic!

Everyone knows that the invisible Teapots orbit Venus, not Mars. One day we're going to collect all you Martian Teapot Schismatics and boil you to death in a giant teapot. Because let's face it, the moral center of most religions allow for the persecution and slaughter of those who don't agree with you. That's what makes theistic morality superior to non-theistic morality, right?

5/8/06 2:52 am  
Blogger geoffrobinson said...

First, I would postulate that God existed prior to all those ancient tribes, so if all those ancient tribes who had no belief in God also had beliefs in right and wrong it has no bearing on my argument. They would be presupposing theism without knowing it, just like you.

Yes, you are presupposing theism. I could give you evidence of God's existance (the Resurrection, the fine-tuning of the physical laws of the universe, etc., etc.), but I would rather show you all the things you are already presupposing which require theism. If you told me that you think you were plugged into the Matrix, I would use the same approach.

Now, we both now that your teapot thing is in no way an actual presuppostion you carry. But beliefs about morality, induction, immaterial things like the laws of logic, and rationality are. These things can be accounted for by theism.

Can you account for morality? Where did moral laws come from? How, if all we are are atoms bouncing around, do we get an objective morality?

5/8/06 6:41 am  
Blogger Arthur_Vandelay said...

But when you uphold morality you are stealing from theism. I would argue that is because God has implanting things in you that you can't avoid. The general knowledge of right and wrong is one of them and they point to His existance.

Oh boy. You have evidence of this, of course.

Or let me put your contention another way. Morality comes from God. How do we know God exists. Because we have morality. A circular argument.

Yes, morality is subjective, and yes, morality is a construct. They are not derived from atoms bouncing around--and no one here suggested they should be. We atheists have long moved past the "Is-ought" problem.

Morality is derived partly from socialisation and partly from one's own capacity--and willingness--to exercise one's reason. The ratio--that is, the degree to which one's morality is based upon the unreflective observation of custom or the dictates of a holy book versus the degree to which one's morality is based upon one's ability to think for oneself--differs greatly from individual to individual.

5/8/06 9:04 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

Basically presuppositionalists are so "woo woo".

PRESUPPOSITIONALISM: ~ "It must be my god concept that is responsible for everything because you don't have another explanation that I like," is just so intellectually lame.

Why do I always imagine the chanting of people primitives going something like this: ~

EXAMPLE OF ANCIENT PRESUPPOSITIONALISM:

"Almighty volcano god toby, we accept your offerings of hot, heavy rocks, and hot light rocks.

We accept the blood of your belly as proof of your displeasure in us.

We promise to never eat the fruit of the "bang bang tree" as we know that it is your favourite tree as it grows so close to your mouth.

We will try to please you more often with our willing virgins who are honoured to sacrifice their innocent bodies to your ravenous appetite.

We know that you are the creator of everything. We know that you create earth in your belly. We see plants grow in the earth which is spewn from your belly. We see animals eat of the plants which grow in the earth from your belly.
It is obvious that you exist and love us.

Your existence and truth is why we are so powerful and honorable and we will worship your greatness and generosity forever.

PS: A warning to our neighbouring enemies who say that our god is just a cultural/religious meme.

You do not even exist without the grace of our god, toby. You would have nothing without our god! It is through our prayer and sacrifice that we keep your lands safe from the evil which exists in the water. One day you will be judged by toby for your heresy!"

~ Continue until you have whipped yourself up into a state of righteous godly indignation, or until you climax into a heap of religious erotic fervour ~~ whichever comes first.

Presuppositional apologetics
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presuppositionalism

5/8/06 11:19 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE: the "woo woo presuppositionalists"

Basically it goes like this:

1. Let's have the evidence for the existence of your specific god.
2. Let's have the evidence that your god did it.

Let me state from the outset that whatever evidence you imagine you have is insufficient.

You have insufficient evidence for the existence of your god. What you have is a BELIEF in the existence of your god.

You have insufficient evidence that your god did it. What you have is a BELIEF that your god did it.

What you have is a BELIEF SYSTEM which complies with your emotional and psychological, needs and desires.

You have a culturally constructed religious meme. Just like the ancient peoples who worshipped the volcano god, also had a culturally constructed religious meme.

Neither of these memes is of value to me.

Meme http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme

5/8/06 11:42 am  
Anonymous ted said...

so if all those ancient tribes who had no belief in God also had beliefs in right and wrong it has no bearing on my argument

That's a rather rash assumption Geoff, expecially considering that the papyus and stone tablets mentioned above attest to the fact that most of these "ancient tribes" did indeed have Gods (plural in most cases). So i'm afraid it does have bearing on your argument because it seems that you are also acknowledging the existence of those Gods as real, given your argument that morality requires a God belief.

"I could give you evidence of God's existance (the Resurrection, the fine-tuning of the physical laws of the universe, etc., etc.)"

If you could do that Geoff, and I wish you would, provide some actual hard evidence I mean, you'd probably turn us all into believers. As Beep and others have already said though, "because it says so in my Bible" really isn't good enough.

5/8/06 6:47 pm  
Anonymous ted said...

Forgot to mention. I've written to the teapot inquisition concerning the various heresies I've witnessed here. I just can't let it continue! Everyone knows that the teapots orbit Pluto, which is why you can't see them, not even with a really big telescope. I expect they'll be visiting soon...

5/8/06 6:56 pm  
Blogger Arthur_Vandelay said...

You do realise Geoff, that the existance of Yahweh, the God that you refer to above, can only been traced back 5700 years and that man has been here for at least 60,000 years in our current form.

Evilutionist heathen!

6/8/06 12:26 am  
Blogger Truthspew said...

As someone who lives in a state that is overwhelmingly Catholic it isn't hard to figure out how I ended up where I am in my life.

I scored 35.5% on the morality quiz. I'll be the first to admit that twelve years of Catholic schools left their imprint on me. What irritates me most about the fundamentalists is that not one of them has ever read the book cover to cover. Not one. As someone who has done so, it's very annoying.

I do wish that Christ wasn't deified, I wish that we considered his teachings a philosophy, nor a religion. We'd be much better off.

Geoff seems to be of that fundamentalist cloth. That he supposedly can show proof of god throug the Resurrection is ludicrous. And the fine tuning asepct - he's tying to ascribe irreducible simplicity to your physical world. Apparently he hasn't heard of the quantum world, or maybe not even string theory.

And every day we find that the so called 'laws' of the Universe are changing. Take for example that little thing called light.

Light exists as both a particle (photon) and wave. The speed of light at 3x10^8 m/s is allegedly a constant. But wait, more info about the Big Bang says that light may have been a little faster in the past. We can also slow the speed of light too.

Morality was around LONG before a god stepped into the picture. For example, there is ample proof that the myth of Christ is also the myth of ancient Babylonian gods. And humans have been around for a far greater time than organized religion. Even our prototypical ancestors date back MILLIONS of years.

The flat earthers always annoy me when they can say without even blinking that the earth is only 6,000 years old.

Now for the surprise, for living in an ovewhelmingly Catholic state, I'm an atheist.

I'm an I.T. professional and in our group of six, half of us are out and out atheists. The other half are questionin their beliefs. It's a beautiful thing.

7/8/06 12:01 am  
Blogger Bronze Dog said...

Only thing on my driving record: One run red light, and it was on accident, thanks to overstimulation caused by all the other drivers around me doing weird things. In fact, it was the first time since driver's ed I ran a red. And a cop just happened to be there. Figures.

As for morality, I'd say it actually is based on atoms bumping into each other: We just take it up a level to a special case of particular types of atoms bumping into each other in particular ways. In other words, life. Morality is what some of us more complicated life forms use to keep those particular types of bumps going, whether inspired by instinct or rational thought.

I could bring in a Game Theorist or something, but it boils down to this: Teamwork benefits everyone, therefore we favor teamwork.

Of course, it isn't perfect.

8/8/06 1:05 am  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

Hey, 40.5! Not bad for an apostate, ey?
Geof:
It's not that atheists can't display morality or moral actions. It's that a belief in morality is inconsistent with atheism. If we are just atoms bouncing around morality is just an illusion.
Ever heard of reciprocal altruism?
But when you uphold morality you are stealing from theism. I would argue that is because God has implanting things in you that you can't avoid. The general knowledge of right and wrong is one of them and they point to His existance.
What rubbish. 'Stealing from theism'. Maybe you haven't looked around lately, but it's a little tough to subtract religion outta our lives (at least in the Western world).
There have been some atheists you have tried to maintain that they think morality is subjective. I doubt most of them really believe that, but they are at least trying to be intellectually consistent with their atheism.
Morality IS subjective. It's contingent on the species, & their interactions w/each other.
Atheists who say otherwise, like yourself, have the impossible task of explaining how meaningful objective morality (or even meaning) can be derived from atoms bouncing around.
Been reading Lewis lately, ey? ;)
'Objective morality'? What a crock.
"'Thou shalt not kill' is as old as Man himself, for the simple reason that the majority of people object to being murdered." - Ingersoll.
All morality stems from empathy. The ability to understand pain, and be sympatico w/it.

8/8/06 9:10 am  
Blogger Snave said...

Well, nice to know I was also a 39.5 out of 44! Yeah!

9/8/06 1:18 pm  
Anonymous Funny Guy said...

Sign generators are great fun, here's more on CustomSignGenerator.com.

10/8/06 1:06 am  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

RE: funny guy
Thanks for the link :)

10/8/06 10:38 am  

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