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If you did not have your religion to tell you otherwise

would you lie, cheat, steal and kill? Are you only capable of morality because your faith dictates, or do you think you would've figured it out even if you grew up without one?

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Asked by NotPanicking at 3:39 PM on Mar. 8, 2013 in Religious Debate

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (29)
  • I do not do those things because I'm an empathetic human being and don't like to hurt other people.

    Answer by maecntpntz219 at 3:41 PM on Mar. 8, 2013

  • Of coarse not. I don't have a religion and I don't do any of the above.

    Answer by LostSoul88 at 3:44 PM on Mar. 8, 2013

  • Well, you caught me. I'm an atheist, so I eat babies, set fire to houses, rob banks and, in general, create all sorts of havoc. You see, I have no faith in a supernatural being to stop me, and that's the only thing that keeps people from committing crimes and hurting each other. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm way behind on my murderous rage quota for today . . . and haven't destroyed  enough lives yet.


    Answer by jsbenkert at 3:46 PM on Mar. 8, 2013

  • Seeing as I'm atheist and don't have a "religious belief" dictating me to "behave or suffer in hell for eternity" and the worst thing I've done is speed......I would have to say I figured it out without religion. The mormons that used to frequent my house seemed pretty shocked when I responded that I hold doors open for others because "it's the decent thing to do and it helps them out" and not because I got any sense of gratification out of it or that it made me feel better about myself. I smile and say Thank you when others hold open doors for me too. Again, it's the proper thing to do. what determines what is "proper, decent or right". The society we grow up in and the instruction and influence of those who we love and hold in high regards. It is the legacy they have left to us and that which we chose to continue to honor their legacy.

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 3:47 PM on Mar. 8, 2013

  • I grew up in a Christian home and was baptized. However in college I grew away from it and did start to steal. It was how I survived. I KNEW it was wrong and yet I still did. I reasoned it away as I needed this stuff to make it and the store was large and could stand the loss. I only took what I needed to make it. I lied to my parents when they asked if I needed anything at college because I didn't want them to pay out more then they already were. It was only my Junior year that I turned back to God and realized that no it wasn't right. That the stealing was wrong regardless if the store could afford it. It was then that I stopped. So I guess in some ways I'd have to say YES I do need God. If I had kept going the way I was it was only a matter of time before I would go to jail for stealing. A few years after getting out of college I saved up enough money to try and repay what I had stolen. When I went back to give it to

    Answer by baconbits at 3:52 PM on Mar. 8, 2013

  • The norms have to come from somewhere.
    In a civilization where lying is considered the norm or even something to strive for, it would be considered the right thing to do.

    Many civilizations have raided other tribes/ cities and it was considered in the culture to be the right thing to do. Colonization has been practiced by every culture and has been considered the right thing to do by those cultures Colonization includes simply expanding your borders.
    Torture in many cultures has been considered nessisary and even holy in some cultures again the right thing to do.

    If the idea of God were removed from hwere I live (the USA) then it would not be the same culture that it is and it would not have grown with the same ideas of what is right and wrong. If that were the case there is no way for me to say whether I would have been raised in a culture with those values or in one with different ones.

    Answer by Dardenella at 3:52 PM on Mar. 8, 2013

  • them the store was closed. The best I could do was donate that money to a shelter. I regret what I did but I learned that I did learn that I needed God.

    Answer by baconbits at 3:53 PM on Mar. 8, 2013

  • I'm an athiest and I do the right thing because I have empathy for my fellow human beings, not because sky daddy might send me to troll hell.

    Answer by funlovinlady at 3:56 PM on Mar. 8, 2013

  • I am always very surprised when a religious person claims that. I guess surprised is not the correct term, shocked, appalled, and saddened are better terms.

    According to the Catholic priest that was baptizing my eldest baby 13 years ago, we as parents have already taught our children to lie, steal, and cheat by the time children are a year old. So basically what I get from that is that as humans we are all liars, cheaters, and thieves from the get go and all children are doomed to be that way too. So it doesn't matter if you are a devout Catholic or an Atheist, or whatever... you are those things.

    I would disagree with him completely on all counts. Which is part of why I am no longer Catholic.

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 3:59 PM on Mar. 8, 2013

  • I KNEW it was wrong and yet I still did

    So because YOU used your "lack of God" as an excuse to be a shitty human and steal that means EVERYONE who doesn't believe in God must be a shitty human and steals? That's a problem with your own morality, not everyone else's. I think it's a sad testament to humans to claim you can't be good without a supernatural being threatening you to behave. Course that probably has to do with your upbringing and the church telling you that you are weak and incapable of it unless you believe in God.

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 4:01 PM on Mar. 8, 2013

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