Class Warfare Blog

November 26, 2018

Meaning, Schmeaning

Filed under: Culture,Religion — Steve Ruis @ 12:10 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Atheists have to deal with a great many accusatory questions from Christians. One of my favorites is: how can there be morality without God? (Implication: I am an immoral asshole.) I always the questioner ask for a clear, definitive statement of Christian morality and I usually only get a “mumble, mumble, Golden Rule” response.

Another question is” How can there be meaning in life without God? (Implication: my existence is meaningless and, hence, worthless.) Well, we now have an answer! Pew Research has done a survey asking people where they derive “a great deal of meaning” and “the most important source of meaning” in their lives. So, our 70% Christian nation has spoken! Here are the top sources rated from most to least (with the percent responding “provides a great deal of meaning”):

Spending time with family … 69%
Being outdoors … 47%
Caring for pets … 45%
Listening to music … 44%
Reading … 37%
Your religious faith … 36%
Your job or career … 34%

So, what do you think? Is this just additional proof that Satan is in charge “down here?” Is the placement of people’s religion as a source of meaning in their lives right in being between “reading” and “your job or career,” and well behind caring for one’s pets? (Keep in mind Americans notoriously hate their jobs.)

Here’s the article I read (https://religionnews.com/2018/11/20/for-most-americans-new-research-says-family-comes-first/).

Addendum Before you write back to tell me that religion was ranked very high as the “most important source of meaning” in people’s lives religion still came in at 20% (one out of five), half of what “spending time with family” pulled down. And that survey asked about religion and not god. Since there are more than a few atheists who are members of churches (and churches which welcome atheists with open arms) and it is well noted that religion has a significant social component, I wonder where “god” would have ranked? (Basically, you cannot ask that question, because it will encourage people to lie. It would be like the “Does this dress make me look fat?” question.)

52 Comments »

  1. Last week in Seongnam, South Korea, the country’s largest dog slaughterhouse was shut down and demolished. THAT is meaningful.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by john zande — November 26, 2018 @ 12:29 pm | Reply

  2. “One of my favorites is: how can there be morality without God? (Implication: I am an immoral asshole.) … I always the questioner ask for a clear, definitive statement of Christian morality…”

    Can you give me a clear, definitive statement of Atheist morality? I’ve asked this before and I usually only get a “mumble mumble Well Being” response.

    Like

    Comment by John Branyan — November 26, 2018 @ 2:47 pm | Reply

    • Mumble mumble Golden rule.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by List of X — November 26, 2018 @ 6:17 pm | Reply

    • Atheism is not a morality system it’s a denial of a dogma.
      People have moral values whether they are atheists or religious. Those morals come from society, the same for both sides.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by essiep — November 26, 2018 @ 11:08 pm | Reply

    • This is a typical response. I make no claim that there is an atheist morality. You Christians do. I ask you to defend your claim and you say “What about you?”

      Is that all you got, cause that is pretty pathetic?

      On Mon, Nov 26, 2018 at 2:48 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

      >

      Like

      Comment by Steve Ruis — November 27, 2018 @ 7:50 am | Reply

      • There is no such thing as Christian morality.
        I do not have to defend claims I’ve never made.

        We can agree that the Golden Rule is a good standard for morality.

        Like

        Comment by John Branyan — November 27, 2018 @ 8:08 am | Reply

        • So, you do not claim that there is no morality without God?

          On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 8:08 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

          >

          Like

          Comment by Steve Ruis — November 27, 2018 @ 8:11 am | Reply

          • No.
            I claimed there is no such thing as “Christian morality”.

            If there is no God, morality is subjective.

            Like

            Comment by John Branyan — November 27, 2018 @ 8:30 am | Reply

            • It appears that if their is a god morality is even more subjective. Just look at its followers

              Like

              Comment by jim- — November 27, 2018 @ 8:39 am | Reply

              • Indeed.
                Also, look at those who don’t follow it.

                Like

                Comment by John Branyan — November 27, 2018 @ 8:40 am | Reply

                • Yes. It appears atheists personal accountability to be much better than we would’ve imagined. Unless of course your morality is based on intact hymens and no intercourse posterior the frenulum pudendi. Thats the big morality of the abrahamic religions, although they find ways around that themselves with “customs”.

                  Liked by 2 people

                  Comment by jim- — November 27, 2018 @ 9:25 am | Reply

                  • “It appears atheists personal accountability to be much better than we would’ve imagined.”

                    Some atheists are morally superior to some religious people.
                    Is this objectively true or is it merely your personal opinion?

                    Like

                    Comment by John Branyan — November 27, 2018 @ 9:30 am | Reply

                    • Well, you’d have to give me a specific morality to be completely accurate. Using imprisonable offenses, best estimates of US prison population is .1% to .2% are atheist. For as immoral as atheists seem to be, they must be able to hire the best lawyers.
                      This is not my subjectivity but, my subjectivity would point to the fact that Christian morality is ineffective at preventing anything. It does however, make a culture of facade. Everything is done in secret, while on the outside it’s all about love.

                      Liked by 1 person

                      Comment by jim- — November 27, 2018 @ 9:39 am

                    • Atheists (who make up 20% of the US population) make up 0.07% of the federal prison population.

                      Protestants (who make 48% of the US population) make up 28.7% of the prison population;

                      Catholics (who make up 22% of the US population) make up 24% of the federal prison population.

                      Liked by 2 people

                      Comment by john zande — November 27, 2018 @ 9:50 am

                    • I am on record as saying there is no such thing as “Christian morality”.

                      Thanks for your opinion.

                      Like

                      Comment by John Branyan — November 27, 2018 @ 9:55 am

                    • So what would be the point of your inquiry if there are no Christian morals? Obviously critical questions can no longer be decided by ecclesiastical authority.

                      Like

                      Comment by jim- — November 27, 2018 @ 10:10 am

                    • Are you not following along, Jim?

                      There are no “Christian morals” just like there are no “Atheist morals” or “Hindu morals” or “Islamic morals”. Morality transcends religious doctrines.

                      Liked by 1 person

                      Comment by John Branyan — November 27, 2018 @ 10:16 am

                    • I don’t think transcends is the right word here JB. Different species in various groups have differing moralities across the animal spectrum based on the development of their societies, the abundance of food, breeding, economic stability, etc. even recent studies have shown in women, economic independence is tightly tied to promiscuity (for lack of a better term). The evolution of morality has many varying factors but comes down to the organisms interpretation of fairness. Here is an older quote from JZ, and it still holds true today. “I’ve always found the morality argument for a god to be the absolute weakest for the simple reason that we have hard evidence that this thing we call “morality,” which is really nothing but a formative sense of good (positive) and bad (negative) behaviour, is a product of neurological processing power. The more neurons, the more accute an organisms understanding of it. Countless studies, across numerous species, prove this beyond any rational doubt. It is not a human phenomena, and its anything but complicated”. It does not transcend us, but comes from us in our innate desire to coexist and find equilibrium in the herd.

                      Like

                      Comment by jim- — November 27, 2018 @ 12:08 pm

                    • Had my thinking cap on that day! 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

                      Comment by john zande — November 27, 2018 @ 12:55 pm

                    • How do you explain when our desire to find equilibrium and coexist within the herd causes us to do immoral things?

                      Like

                      Comment by John Branyan — November 27, 2018 @ 1:04 pm

                    • Be specific and maybe we can narrow this down to one truth. There are anomalies to every system. Predicting crowd behavior is usually easier than individuals.

                      Like

                      Comment by jim- — November 27, 2018 @ 1:08 pm

                    • Predicting behavior is a separate issue from morality.

                      If morality is just the majority of opinions within the herd, then slavery isn’t immoral in cultures where it is allowed. Do you follow?

                      Like

                      Comment by John Branyan — November 27, 2018 @ 1:52 pm

            • Morality is subjective even if god demanded. The moral code, etc. are subjective with respect to the god involved.

              On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 8:30 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

              >

              Liked by 1 person

              Comment by Steve Ruis — November 27, 2018 @ 8:40 am | Reply

              • No.
                Subjective means morality is specific to each person. The particular “god” referenced is irrelevant.

                If there is no God, then there is nothing universally (objectively) moral about following the Golden Rule. It is merely an evolved instinct that can be ignored when it suits me.

                Like

                Comment by John Branyan — November 27, 2018 @ 8:50 am | Reply

                • Subjective morality as described in these conversations seems to imply that each person invents their own morality. Instead, each person receives moral instruction from the society around them, so they do not invent their own morality. People’s ideas of what is moral or not is quite linked to geography and is not subject to individual interpretation except within very narrow bounds. Objective means (according to Merriam-Webster Online) “having reality independent of the mind.” If this were not the case, then it would not need to be taught, in fact there wouldn’t be anything to be taught.

                  On Tue, Nov 27, 2018 at 8:50 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

                  >

                  Like

                  Comment by Steve Ruis — November 27, 2018 @ 8:56 am | Reply

                  • So it’s not immoral to ignore the Golden Rule when it suits me.

                    Like

                    Comment by John Branyan — November 27, 2018 @ 8:57 am | Reply

                  • I think I can illustrate my position by referencing the game of chess. But I don’t want to be accused of “changing the subject” or “dodging questions”. Would you accommodate an illustration?

                    Like

                    Comment by John Branyan — November 27, 2018 @ 9:27 am | Reply

                • If there is no God, then there is nothing universally (objectively) moral about following the Golden Rule

                  What absolute nonsense!

                  Treating others as you’d like to be treated is a foundation to successful, progressive, long-lasting group survival. You know, like human groups cooperating.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  Comment by john zande — November 27, 2018 @ 9:45 am | Reply

                  • Thanks for your opinion.

                    Like

                    Comment by John Branyan — November 27, 2018 @ 9:55 am | Reply

                    • You’re welcome. And I look forward to you deliberately ignoring everything you’ve learned so as to maintain your pantomime version of reality.

                      Like

                      Comment by john zande — November 27, 2018 @ 10:55 am

                    • You have fulfilled your purpose in every reality.

                      Like

                      Comment by John Branyan — November 27, 2018 @ 11:14 am

                    • Feel free to demonstrate how cooperation and a shared concept of fairness are ruinous to a group’s long-term success.

                      I look forward to reviewing your answer.

                      Like

                      Comment by john zande — November 27, 2018 @ 11:18 am

                    • I don’t need to demonstrate it because I don’t believe it.

                      Your excrement continues to testify to the fulfillment of your purpose. We’ll done!

                      Like

                      Comment by John Branyan — November 27, 2018 @ 11:25 am

                    • Of course you don’t, just like your hero, Trump, doesn’t believe in climate change.

                      Carry on. And do remember, demons cause plague.

                      Like

                      Comment by john zande — November 27, 2018 @ 11:31 am

                    • Feel free to demonstrate that demons cause plagues. I look forward to your response.

                      Like

                      Comment by John Branyan — November 27, 2018 @ 1:07 pm

                    • You see, this is why you’re a failed comedian.

                      A good comedian, one that’s successful, embraces the two things you not only despise, but actively work against: reality and truth.

                      Like

                      Comment by john zande — November 27, 2018 @ 1:10 pm

                    • Just let me know when you’re ready to defend your statement. Carry on!

                      Like

                      Comment by John Branyan — November 27, 2018 @ 1:12 pm

  3. Somebody wants an atheist moral philosophy? OK, here ya go; Treat everybody you come in contact with each day the same way you want to be treated. This way of being predates every religion humans have ever invented. It had to have done so since if it hadn’t we’d never have gone much past our own family groups, IF we could even manage that.
    Man invented god(s) and have been enslaved to him/her/it ever since. And since the human invention of organized religion, the priest class gets to live off the fat of the land/fruits of the labor of others while providing nothing useful at all.
    There will be NO peace until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.

    Liked by 4 people

    Comment by Walter Kronkat — November 26, 2018 @ 2:56 pm | Reply

    • “Treat everybody you come in contact with each day the same way you want to be treated.”
      That’s ‘mumble mumble Golden Rule’ is it not?

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by John Branyan — November 26, 2018 @ 3:24 pm | Reply

      • The so-named Golden Rule is an evolved human meme. It was so common it was featured in POP CULTURE 500 years before Jesus, as recounted in Homer’s Odyssey (6th century BCE), “I will be as careful for you as I will be for myself in the same need,”. It’s origins certainly stretch back well into the Paleolithic, and if you look at animal behavioural studies you’ll see it expressed quite clearly in experiment after experiment after experiment. At least formally, however, the concept dates back to the Egyptian Middle Kingdom (c. 2040–1650 BCE) “Now this is the command: Do to the doer to cause that he do thus to you.” It also emerged in the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi (1780 BCE), as well as in the Mahabharata (8th Century BCE) “The knowing person is minded to treat all beings as himself,” in 6th century BCE Taoism, “Regard your neighbour’s gain as your own gain, and your neighbour’s loss as your own loss,” in 5th century BCE Confucianism, “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself,” in 4th century BCE Mohism, “For one would do for others as one would do for oneself,” and was articulated by the Greek, Pittacus (640–568 BCE), who said: “Do not do to your neighbour what you would take ill from him.”

        Anything else you want me to clear up for you?

        Liked by 4 people

        Comment by john zande — November 26, 2018 @ 3:52 pm | Reply

        • Fascinating!
          Completely irrelevant to the post but absolutely fascinating!

          You have fulfilled your purpose again.

          Like

          Comment by John Branyan — November 26, 2018 @ 3:54 pm | Reply

          • OH, OK. So you didn’t write the comment above, the one that reads: That’s ‘mumble mumble Golden Rule’ is it not?

            Got it, thanks.

            Like

            Comment by john zande — November 26, 2018 @ 3:58 pm | Reply

            • OH, OK. So you didn’t read the original post, the one in the first paragraph that reads: “I usually only get a “mumble, mumble, Golden Rule” response.”

              Got it, thanks.

              Like

              Comment by John Branyan — November 26, 2018 @ 4:18 pm | Reply

              • You asked for an “atheist morality.” Of course, you’re just being a dickhead here, as what you’re actually asking for is Humanist morality, and it was given. And we can trace it back through evolution to predating humans. It’s an evolved behavioural meme, with very real evolutionary benefits:

                Liked by 1 person

                Comment by john zande — November 26, 2018 @ 4:23 pm | Reply

                • So it’s ‘mumble, mumble, Golden Rule’ only when Christians say it.
                  It’s an evolved behavior meme with evolutionary benefits when Humanists say it.

                  Got it, thanks.

                  Like

                  Comment by John Branyan — November 26, 2018 @ 4:25 pm | Reply

                  • Christians do like to lie about it, yes.

                    If you weren’t so prone to lying about it, and its origins, we wouldn’t have to correct you all the time.

                    Don’t lie. Easy fix.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    Comment by john zande — November 26, 2018 @ 4:27 pm | Reply

                    • Taking credit for every good thing is the Christian way, even when it precedes, predates their religion, it had to come from jesus. They have to use a bit of deception at every turn. The truth would bury them

                      Liked by 2 people

                      Comment by jim- — November 26, 2018 @ 8:40 pm

                    • Great point.

                      So we’re agreed that the Golden Rule is a good moral standard. Whether you’re a Christian or an Atheist, it doesn’t matter.

                      Like

                      Comment by John Branyan — November 27, 2018 @ 7:07 am

              • And here’s some dogs expressing the exact same behavioural adaptation, the same meme.

                Liked by 1 person

                Comment by john zande — November 26, 2018 @ 4:23 pm | Reply

    • Now we are talking!

      On Mon, Nov 26, 2018 at 2:56 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

      >

      Like

      Comment by Steve Ruis — November 27, 2018 @ 7:51 am | Reply

  4. That 47% great deal of meaning ‘in nature’ – that’s us pagans out dancing naked in the forest to repay all the prayers we’ve been promised!

    Like

    Comment by Cade Johnson — November 26, 2018 @ 4:20 pm | Reply


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