Can you be a truly moral person without an objective moral system?

This thread is based on this brief exchange between Trekky and Fantasy Chaser:

Let me introduce you to a man by the name of Fred Hollows. I read about him some time ago.

Fred Hollows was a New Zealand/Australian ophthalmologist, and an atheist. He was also a member of the Communist Party of New Zealand during the 1950s and 1960s. He died about 20 years ago.

In three years, he visited more than 460 Australian aboriginal communities, examined 62,000 aboriginal people, leading to 27,000 being treated for trachoma and 1,000 operations being carried out.

I’m just going to quote the rest from Wikipedia:

His visits to Nepal in 1985, Eritrea in 1987, and Vietnam in 1991 resulted in training programs to train local technicians to perform eye surgery. Hollows organised intraocular lens laboratories in Eritrea and Nepal to manufacture and provide lenses at cost, which was about A$10 (approximately US$9) each. Both laboratories started production after his death, in 1993.

The Fred Hollows Foundation was launched as an Australian charitable foundation in Sydney on 3 September 1992 to continue the work of Fred Hollows in providing eye care for the underprivileged and poor, and to improve the health of indigenous Australians. The Foundation has also registered as a charity organisation in the United Kingdom where Fred did much of his training, and in his country of birth, New Zealand.

It has been estimated that more than one million people in the world can see today because of initiatives instigated by Hollows.

According to Fantasy Chaser, this man cannot be a moral man because he was an atheist and had no objective moral system. Further, he had been a communist and remained a dedicated lefitst for his entire life.

It is also part of conventional Christian dogma that this man is now in hell, because he rejected religion, and chose to live his life as a devoted humanist.

So, is Fred Hollows a moral man? Or did he need a religion for that? As an atheist, is he he now in place of eternal torment for devoting his life to restoring the eyesight of the world’s poor and underprivileged? Is that the “reward” bestowed upon him by god for his life of unselfish service to the welfare of others?

Is it any wonder so many people find religion to be absurd at best, and wicked beyond imagination at worst?

Would any of those who expect to go to heaven like to measure their life by the yardstick of Fred Hollow’s life? Would anyone like to conclude that he is not a moral man?

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Religion can be of tremendous value in helping an individual identify and live by his moral compass. But it is certainly possible to be an objectively moral human being without cracking a Bible or setting foot in a church.

Being a member of an organized religion is being a member of a community. Communities help to educate and inculcate shared values, provide “peer pressure” to make a public committment to live right (a key practical requirement for some people) and provide support to help people live up to their committments. Just as the community and support of Alcoholics Anonymous helps many people keep their drinking in check, religion can provide the support and reinforcement needed to live a moral life. But, just as many people can quit drinking on their own, many can lead exemplary, moral lives without outside reinforcement and support (or support by means other than conventional religion).

In short, I believe that religion, on balance, does more good than harm. The biggest complaints I have against organized religion is the compulsion to proselytize and convert, and the composition of some religious communities as closed-circle tribes. The whole point of America is the rejection of tribalism. Part of the is the strict and enforced separation of church and state.

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I expect this out of Cactus Jack, cause he’s an atheist, who hates religion.
But, you claim to be a Christian. so, the religion you belong to does more harm than good, huh? THEN WHY DO YOU BELONG???
There is no compulsion to spread the Gospel, there is a MANDATE.
Matt 28:19-Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Of course, since it is in the Bible, you’ve probably never seen that.
Also, the whole point of America, is Freedom of Religion, remember? And remember this, there is no Separation of Church and State in the Constitution. But, you know that, too.

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One can be Christian while opposing the Christian organized community.

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[quote=“Trekky0623, post:4, topic:39967”]
One can be Christian while opposing the Christian organized community.
[/quote]Are you Christian?

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No, but I don’t think you should be questioning Jazzhead’s beliefs just because he opposes the actions of the Christian community. Christianity is already split into different sects, some being absolutely hateful toward certain communities, Catholicism, for instance. If people can do that, I don’t see how you can sit there and say Jazzhead’s not a real Christian because he doesn’t like the actions of Christians.

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[quote=“Trekky0623, post:6, topic:39967”]
No, but I don’t think you should be questioning Jazzhead’s beliefs just because he opposes the actions of the Christian community. Christianity is already split into different sects, some being absolutely hateful toward certain communities, Catholicism, for instance. If people can do that, I don’t see how you can sit there and say Jazzhead’s not a real Christian because he doesn’t like the actions of Christians.
[/quote]Then, you have no clue what you are talking about. I don’t QUESTION them, I OPPOSE them.
I do not subscribe to any organized Church. I FOLLOW THE BIBLE, as required of ALL Christians. Jazzhead, and those like him, contradict and marginalize the Word of God. If he hates Christians, be a Buddhist. Be a Moonie. Be whatever you believe is true and correct. But, don’t pretend to be Christian, while complaining about Christians, and trying to invoke your personal beliefs that are contrary to Christianity. If you are a Christian, you AGREE with Christians. Somewhere.

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Just answer the thread question…I think yes, a person can be moral without religion.

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A little too difficult for those whose modus operandi consists of avoiding the question and bashing and insulting other forum members.

And I’m not talking about you, Trekky or Jazzhead.

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Taking laughably what Cactus thinks is morality his style we would be labeled hedonists who thinks anything should go.

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Was Fred Hollows an immoral person? Yes - No <—Please circle one

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[quote=“Cactus_Jack, post:9, topic:39967”]
A little too difficult for those whose modus operandi consists of avoiding the question and bashing and insulting other forum members. And I’m not talking about you, Trekky or Jazzhead.
[/quote]The problem Jack is that you don’t understand the concept of objective moral values, and you’ve consistently demonstrated it.We are not saying that atheists can’t be good, but what do they base this GOOD on. In atheistic worldview you can’t really tell someone what is good and what is bad. One mans good is another mans bad. You cannot objectively tell me that rape is any different than helping 10000 people see, or that burning millions in an oven is any different then eating an ice cream sandwich on a Wednesday .This is why atheists live in a fantasy world, and its not a rational worldview.Its rediculous that you and many other atheists keep telling us what is objectively good and what is objectively bad, and this is why we keep rolling our eyes when you do.The only atheists who are honest and not in denial are nihilists. The rest live in a fantasy world. You can try to convince yourself but you can’t convince rational human beings.I’m not saying this to be demeaning, I’m saying it because its the truth.

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Robert, see the answer above . This is what lower level atheists use to try to stump us with, but let me ask you a question robert. In an atheistic worldview what’s the objective difference between this man and hitler?
My guess is that ill hear crickets chirping , but at least that is some noise lol.

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As an atheist, I think it’s pretty darn obvious what is good and what is bad. Good helps others, bad harms them. Good makes the world a better place, bad makes it a worse place.

As for the “objective” morality Christians harp on about, even they can’t agree on what it is. Every Christian has a different set of beliefs concerning right or wrong based on their own personal interpretation of what the Bible says. This is even evident on this very forum. Look at the diversity of opinions Christians on RO hold on a variety of topics from abortion, to gay rights, prostitution and immigration.

The largest group of moral relativists are the religious themselves. Ultimately, their “objective” morality is one entirely of their own construction.

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Some of the theists among us are apparently having a very hard time admitting that a communist and an atheist may not only be a moral man, but one even more moral than they are. lol

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Even Richard Dawkins admits that question cant be answered from an atheistic viewpoint

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Again you are answering the question with your own subjective opinion, and it shows that you either are in denial or you can’t understand my answer rationally. Good is helping others in your subjective opinion.
Hitler thought the same
Mao thought the same
Stalin thought the same
And Lenin thought the same and most of them had their own rationality about it.

As far as most Christian groups not agreeing as to what is objectively good or not, the basis of Christianity is that God is all good and that is something all mainstream Christian groups agree on. As far as atheists you can’t say that. Again and again I bring up the same answer and again and again it keeps going above your head.

Now I understand why your an atheist Jack, you can’t understand a rudimentary logical argument.
So much for the vaunted intellect of atheism.

This is why I will keep saying this, Atheism isn’t an intellectual worldview, its an emotional one .

Atheists are basically nihilists in denial .

Jack , maybe its better if you go back to your old tactic of completely avoiding my arguments all together or better yet, try reading up on Ravi Zacharias, as he will explain the concept of objective morality in a way that even you can understand.

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UNT exactly, I’m glad that someone brought this up, and this in Richards response to being asked about what Hitler did to those millions of people in burning them in an oven.
He couldn’t really say from an atheistic worldview that what hitler did was objectively wrong, and for all his childish philosophical arguments finally Dawkins said something great was intellectually smart and honest.

I think cactus jack will probably make himself some good ole fashioned moonshine. Being drunk is always better than avoiding the argument intellectually. This way he will actually have a legitimate excuse for avoiding it.

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Robert, Why don’t you ask my good friend Orion . Orion was once a very thin man and very happy about being thin and all the benefits that go with it. One day his manager Iam told him that he will gain weight and the is nothing he could do about it. Orion said “yea right” and went about his job. A long time later Orion found himself gorging on food uncontrollably and true to his managers words he had started to gain weight. His stomach bulged so much that had to keep loosening his belt to allow him to be able to breath and is still gaining weight today .
What a JOB it was keeping track of his weight gain.

My question is was Orion’s weight gain objectively bad or objectively Good.

Think about the story folks :wink:

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So are you.

Your answer was far from rational, or logical.

That’s not what I said, but thanks for putting words in my mouth. I’ll restate it:

Good helps others, bad harms them. Good makes the world a better place, bad makes it a worse place.

When does murdering six million people not harm them?

Refer to Hitler answer above.

Refer to Hitler answer above.

Refer to Hitler answer above for teh first part. For the second part, rationalisation cannot make the murder of others a oood thing.

So you will agree with me then that Christians are moral relativists, basing their moral values on their own personal interpretation of a vague 200 year old book…

And you can’t even make a rudimentary logical argument.

Atheism isn’t even a world view. It’s the rejection of your flawed, imaginary one. You can’t even get that straight.

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