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Debate Info

36
15
Yes No
Debate Score:51
Arguments:32
Total Votes:57
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Argument Ratio

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 Yes (20)
 
 No (12)

Debate Creator

DaWolfman(3321) pic



Is it possible for a "person" to live a moral life without religion?

Yes

Side Score: 36
VS.

No

Side Score: 15
5 points

I argue that people are moral in spite of religion, not because of it.

Side: yes
1 point

Well said.

I love a short reply to a simple question.

Side: yes
2 points

It MAY be possible for the individual to live a moral llife... but never a group.

You need a standard for morals to work in groups i.e. rules/stories/examples/leaders etc. Religion seems to incorporate all of them.

Side: yes
iamdavidh(4856) Disputed
2 points

And what on earth could religion have to do with whether one follows a set of rules?

One could simply have a rule without deeming it holy or ordained by some super being and still expect that any in a society should follow it.

For example, where is the rule to wear your seatbelt in the Bible? Yet I see passenger and driver alike, car after car, wearing a seatbelt.

Side: yes

Morals came much before the existence of religion. How do you think those morals were written? The only way to get people to follow these morals were through a almighty power.

Side: yes
2 points

Is it possible for a woman to life a moral life without religion?

Side: yes
2 points

You have clearly misread the debate's intended meaning. This is not a debate about gender differences.

Side: No
TERMINATOR(6751) Disputed
0 points

I did not misread it. I was making light of the political incorrectness of Clay's title.

I hate political correctness and I will use any opportunity I get to mock it, insult it, degrade it, etc.

Side: yes
DaWolfman(3321) Disputed
1 point

However what is your answer? I changed the title just for you =)

Side: No

I did post on the 'yes' side.

Side: No
2 points

What are morals? How can one possibly define a concept which is loosely interpreted over nearly every society in the world.

Take, for instance, the Sambia people. They believed that, for the purpose of reproduction, children must ingest semen. They had a rather intriguing ritual in which a boy of about 6-10 would fellate older boys to cleanse themselves of females' pernicious influences.

That, to modern society, would be repulsive. We even have a term for it, 'pedophilia'. But, to them, that was survival.

Everybody has their own set of morals. While many are based on religion, they can be accepted by nonreligious people. Morals differ from one person to another - what I consider moral you may consider outright immoral.

I'll give you an example:

Flight of the Phoenix 2004 remake had a scene where a man had been shot. They had two options:

1. Give him water at the expense of everybody else, even though he probably won't live.

2. Kill him, either by letting him slowly exsanguinate or by shooting him dead.

I would choose number 2. To me, morality is to let the greatest number of people live, even at the expense of others.

In a phrase, I believe in the saying 'The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few'.

You, on the other hand, may believe the exact opposite. Does that make you immoral? No - it just means that your morals differ from mine. That does not make them any less valid.

Side: yes
2 points

Who is more "moral"?

Is it the person who behaves decently towards others out of their own sense of right conduct and fair play, imposed only out of their own conviction that doing so is proper and good?

Or the person who does so after you threatened them with eternal torment if they didn't do as they were told... and/or promised them a massive bribe if they obeyed your instructions?

I know who I'd be more comfortable running into in a dark alley. Frankly, anyone behaving themselves only because their religion told them to is not to be considered a moral person, simply a controlled one.

Side: yes
2 points

It depends on how one defines moral. It differs from person to person, even over a period of time in the same individual. Religion has little, and often nothing to do with this.

Side: yes
1 point

There where rules to live by before religion existed and we still thought everything was magic, possibly the history of religion has given us a background of common sense but who knows if we would have developed that alone without religion. I like to believe that the average human is/would be decent and kind without religion ever having existed. religion created laws, many of which where bad, but it didn't create the feelings and emotions we have. Unless you are a sociopath you never feel good if you cheat, lie, hurt etc.. Possibly religion has created more cruelty to our fellow man than would have been possible without it.

Side: yes

Of course it is possible. What does religion add to a man that makes him moral? Rules? We already have rules, but knowing them does not make someone follow them, therefore knowing that there are ten commandments does not instill morality in a man. It is fear of punishment that makes a man follow rules, if he is not already a moral being. I believe that most people are moral beings, and that religion itself is immoral, being simply a device to control the masses.

'I have gained this by philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law.'

~ Aristotle

Side: yes

Many people live a moral life without religion.--------------------

Side: yes
1 point

well, i would have to say, yes, it is possible to have morals without religion.

morals aren't only based on religion.

morals are a system of ethics and conduct based on what the individual sees as right and wrong.

being an individual who has a rule system set by yourself based on what you think is right/wrong would make you a person with morals.

there are religious morals,

cultural morals,

and individual morals.

when you write a story, and there is a moral, the moral is the way the reader infers it as right/wrong,

not about what the religious aspect of the story was.

i know several moral people who don't claim a religion, and some who don't even believe in God, or a superior being.

Side: yes

There are plenty of atheists who live a moral life without religion.

Side: Yes

YES possibly all he needs to have is to ensure he inculcates the best of virtues and advices

Side: Yes
1 point

Without God, anything is truly permitted. There is no moral barometer without a transcendent being of higher authority. Whose to say if murder is wrong?

The most common counter-argument I hear is simply that society dictates what is moral or not moral.

This is faulty reasoning because they are forgetting that this country was based off of Judea-Christian principles. Most nations are. A good 85% of the planet is religious one way or another and looks to a higher moral authority for the answer to what is right and what is wrong.

We've seen how societies fare without religion. We've seen what happens when one attempts to create a God-less, purely materialistic society. Look no further than Pol-Pot and Mao Zedong.

We've seen the mountain of skulls that resulted. Its not even worth trying again

Side: No
zombee(1024) Disputed
2 points

Morals predate Christianity and, in a rudimentary form, probably predate religion. As a species, we would not have survived in cooperative family groups if it was a-okay to murder your neighbor's kids when they annoyed you. All social animals have a behavioral code, of a sort, that is probably not dissimilar to that of our primitive ancestors; obey the alpha, be tolerant of children, and try not to kill each other. The more intelligent the creature, the more developed the 'moral code'. They are not followed unequivocally in all situations but neither is the moral code of today.

Empathy, not God, is why atheists are not wanton murders and thieves; we can feel for a victim and we are intelligent enough to realize that if we do not want to be hurt ourselves, we should not hurt others. That ability is present whether or not a person has ever even heard of God.

We've seen how societies fare with religion. We've seen what happens when one attempts to create a God-fearing society. Look no further than the Crusades and St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre.

We've seen the mountain of skulls that resulted. Its not even worth trying again.

My point is bad people will be bad, and good people will be good, God or no God. Christianity, I would guess, has far more blood on its hands, but that does not mean the concept itself has no value.

Side: yes
aveskde(1935) Disputed
0 points

Without God, anything is truly permitted. There is no moral barometer without a transcendent being of higher authority. Whose to say if murder is wrong?

Our moral barometer is called the conscience. You can witness how flawed your reasoning is every day as men of god blow each other up in crowded public areas, how men of god shamelessly take money from the gullible, how men of god kill doctors, women and homosexuals.

You don't see this kind of crass lack of empathy and conscience in people who don't base their morality on an alleged magic book.

The most common counter-argument I hear is simply that society dictates what is moral or not moral.

Then you need to talk to more people, or you're not paying attention.

This is faulty reasoning because they are forgetting that this country was based off of Judea-Christian principles. Most nations are. A good 85% of the planet is religious one way or another and looks to a higher moral authority for the answer to what is right and what is wrong.

You've just written two erroneous sentences. Firstly, this country was not based on Christian principals. It was based on post-renaissance secular principals. You can validate my statement by noting that in our country people are not compelled to worship only one god, they are not executed if they are nonbelievers, pagans or witches. We don't have a monarchy, especially not an absolute monarchy. We don't limit free speech against blasphemy or against other religions. These are all Christian values. It gets even worse when you read the constitution and note that it says plainly that the government may not endorse a religion.

The second faulty statement is that if 85% of the planet were religious, that still means they all follow different gods, and these gods are mutually exclusive. This means that you can't use your argument without also implying that god is a human creation. It's also a poor argument because the world is constantly in war, and consistently genocides and oppression exists worldwide because X religious group in power thinks that god wants ethnic group Y or religious group Z to die for their sins.

We've seen how societies fare without religion. We've seen what happens when one attempts to create a God-less, purely materialistic society. Look no further than Pol-Pot and Mao Zedong.

Which highlights my point exactly for how religion retards intellect. If you weren't prejudiced by your irrational need to believe in a god, and consequent need to justify said god, you wouldn't look at Mao and Pol and think "gee, atheism did this." No, you would think "gee, an authoritarian dictatorship did this." Which is also ironic considering that the major religions hold a supreme dictator as their ideal image of god.

We've seen the mountain of skulls that resulted. Its not even worth trying again

I'm sorry, it's hard to respect your argument when people are being butchered every day because "god" thought it was a good idea.

Side: yes
-1 points

This is not an easy question to answer. There are many things that need to be considered. First, the Bible implicates that God made man. Which He then formed a set of rules that were to be obeyed. The rules were ignored and such is why we have what is called Original Sin. We are born into a tarnished society. My point being, the thought of at least some sort of Religion has been cemented into our minds from our parents. And there parents, and so on and so on. All the way back to as far as you ant to go.The thing is this. When did that one parent(s) decide to not instill in there child a strong set of morals. Even at that, there are so many things in this society that still point to a higher set of morals. Take our Constitutional Government for example. Being a Republic, Of the People, By the People and For the People. It was founded on the principles of Christianity. Respecting others Rights. Treating others the way you wish to be treated. But, I guess if the question was stated as, "If there were no such thing as Religion, would or could man live a moral life". No-one knows.

Side: No
aveskde(1935) Disputed
3 points

This is not an easy question to answer.

It's an easy question to answer, you are merely making it complicated. As a matter of fact the irreligious are some of the most moral people because they aren't handicapped by dogma like the following:

First, the Bible implicates that God made man. Which He then formed a set of rules that were to be obeyed. The rules were ignored and such is why we have what is called Original Sin. We are born into a tarnished society.

Take our Constitutional Government for example. Being a Republic, Of the People, By the People and For the People. It was founded on the principles of Christianity.

Those aren't Christian principles. Those are ancient Greek principles. The ancient Greeks developed democracy.

Respecting others Rights. Treating others the way you wish to be treated.

Again, not Christian values. Christianity is a religion lead by the sword. People with different beliefs or opinions are heretics, non-believers and consequently sinners who must be punished. Read your bible.

Side: yes
1 point

How about those societies which never encountered Christianity. They're moral thinking could never have been influenced by the Christian way of thinking. Therefore, either their religions must be correct as well, or there is a different source for our morality rather than religion.

For the sake of this argument I am going to assume the latter. It seems fairly obvious that those societies with some basic rules about what is moral and immoral would survivie better than those without. Societies in which it is considered immoral to kill another member would survive better than those who went around killing everyone. It would also be necesarry for there to be a better way to get most of the society to follow these rules, and if people believed in supernatural beings who would punish them for acting "immorally" and reward them for acting "morally" then they would have a better chance of thriving, and passing on these beliefs.

As for your claim that the U.S. was founded on Christian principles, that belongs in a differant debate, however, suffice it to say that our founding was more a product of the Enlightenment which was not strongly influenced by (and even sometimes opposed by) Christianity.

Side: yes
iamdavidh(4856) Disputed
1 point

Soccer and ave pretty much corrected the majority of your silly argument, I want to add a couple things to this beast of a fallacy though:

My point being, the thought of at least some sort of Religion has been cemented into our minds from our parents. And there parents, and so on and so on. All the way back to as far as you ant to go.The thing is this. When did that one parent(s) decide to not instill in there child a strong set of morals. Even at that, there are so many things in this society that still point to a higher set of morals.

1. It's just false because there are millions upon millions of people not born into any sort of religion whatsoever. Granted non-religious is still an overwhelming minority, still of those millions upon millions you do not see rampant anarchy, murder, and pyromania. In fact I would guess 9 out of 10 reports of immorality on the news are perpetrated by those following a religion of one sort or another.

2. As for things in society pointing to a higher set of morals. Where? I see no higher set of morals in society nor even in religion. All I see is people determining their own moral standard and holding eachother to it, which is nothing more than our natural instinct as a pack animal.

I see nothing higher about it.

Further, morals are not even agreed upon. It is impossible to argue some excepted "higher" moral standard when not even two people on all of earth could possibly agree on every moral issue.

Really, if it were "higher" don't you think there would be some general agreement?

3. Finally, to your reply as a whole and not the section I quoted,

I actually live quite a moral life with no god, threat of eternal damnation, promise of eternal bliss, or jesus-was-crucified guilt trip hanging over my head.

I'd wager I'm more moral than about 50% of preachers and priests the world over, without a single reason other than that is who I am.

Side: yes