The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Monday, February 12, 2007

"Where Do You Get Your Morals From?"

I just finished watching the CNN 'make-up piece' on atheism on Paula Zahn Now hosted, oddly enough, by former VJ of MuchMusic, John Roberts. They re-ran the 'atheists are persecuted' bit and then a seemingly heavily edited, yet still quite good interview Zahn did with Richard Dawkins, followed by the dreaded panel discussion.

This time they had American Atheist president Ellen Johnson, some Christian retard, and another quite rational woman who supported the American constitutional secular state. Apologies for the lack of names and credentials, but I was cooking supper (roast chicken, steamed carrots and wild rice - mmmmm) and wasn't paying attention.

What I noticed mostly is that the Christian retard ended up saying, "Christians get their morality from God and from the bible - where do you get your morality from?" to Johnson. She balked a bit and he just kept asking the same stupid question again and again. I wish she had answered quickly and decisively - "From living in a society that has to work together and help each other to work effectively." She could have thrown in, ", dumbass." at the end just for a punctuation mark, but that would have made her more like me, and no one wants that.

That level of immaturity was as expected for a Christian who just can't fathom how a person can be moral without believing in an invisible fatherman up in the sky. I wish Johnson had asked him which parts of the Bible should be used for morality guides: The part where Abraham obeys God and is about to slice the throat of his bound son, Isaac? What about the part where it says you should stone-to-death disobedient children and people who work on the "sabbath"? Very excellent moral guides.

Atheists get our morality from the exact same place that Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, and everyone else get their morality from - our parents and families and social groups. We just give credit where it is due instead of to a two-millennia-old book written by primitive men with a superiority complex.

(P.S. - I have since found out that the other panelists were Rachel Maddow of Air America and a priest named Jesse Lee Peterson)

3 Barbaric Yawps:

At 13/2/07 12:43 am, Blogger raghu said...

Just saw the CNN clips and was eager to know how to answer this question for a while now. Let me first say that I dont precisely know how to 'name' my allegiance, I am a PhD student and I believe science can answer all things 'how' but may not necessarily 'why' (thats a philosophical question though). My relation with religion (hinduism) has been more culture-driven rather than faith-based. I have not experienced any other religion, but my interpretation of hinduism
is: it was historically an early form of disseminating science through culture and tradition. Having said that I like the culture but do not believe in a supreme being and have realised that a few things in religion (atleast in hinduism) have scientific basis (yoga, meditation etc). And when the science is established we dont need the religion anymore.

I think when atheists are asked questions about morals, first off they have to realise that 1) the person asking the question is an idiot, so the answer has to be simple 2) religion is here to stay 3) and there are really three different entities here science, society, religion.

A question like that concerns the altruistic basis of societal relations and has nothing to do with religion in today's world. What was religion+society can be replaced by science+society and we are right in the middle here. The point the idiot pastor was getting at is "how do we raise future generations without a book" or in a complex way "can societies function without religion and purely based on science". They can because we have as a society evolved to a certain stage where we can do away with religion and function purely based on science. And in answering this question one must be careful not to degrade the historical importance of religion while downplaying its relevance to today's world.

 
At 14/2/07 10:39 am, Blogger Flumadiddle said...

Wow! Raghu had a lot on his/her mind.

Anyway, I think Ellen should hve told the Xiantard that we atheists get our morals straight from Satan's ass.

Then again, I'm really immature sometimes.

 
At 17/3/07 1:27 am, Blogger bubba spice said...

umm...how 'bout i get away from the society/family/culture/religion sort of suibjectivist hooey altogether and stick with that zany faculty of reason???

well, that OR satan's ass

 

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