37 votes

A growing share of Americans say it’s not necessary to believe in God to be moral

16 comments

  1. [2]
    RapidEyeMovement
    Link
    I believe people are moving away from the Church* because it is not required for daily life anymore. I can find a mate outside of a Church gathering. I can find community outside of a Church...

    I believe people are moving away from the Church* because it is not required for daily life anymore. I can find a mate outside of a Church gathering. I can find community outside of a Church gathering. I can find Social Support outside of a Church gathering. I can find Economic Support outside of a Church gathering. I can find Purpose/Fulfillment outside of a Church gathering. I can give back to my community outside of the Church.

    The biggest change to Modern life is the freedom to choose.

    Part of me wonders if the reason that the religious right is so against Government Involvement is because on some level they realize that the weaker the government is the more people will have to rely on secondary organization, like the Church to fill those gaps.

    *I use Church as an all encompassing umbrella for any religious group/entity.

    15 votes
    1. tape
      Link Parent
      Yep. That's a big reason I mainly identify as an apatheist. "Does god exist?" "Who cares. He doesn't help me get up in the morning, definitely doesn't help me go to sleep, and he's not payin the...

      Yep. That's a big reason I mainly identify as an apatheist. "Does god exist?" "Who cares. He doesn't help me get up in the morning, definitely doesn't help me go to sleep, and he's not payin the bills."

      3 votes
  2. [5]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. [2]
      Erik
      Link Parent
      My personal guess, with very little admittedly to back it up, is that more people know atheists now. Thanks to the internet, there are more atheists around. And thanks to the internet, you are...

      My personal guess, with very little admittedly to back it up, is that more people know atheists now. Thanks to the internet, there are more atheists around. And thanks to the internet, you are more likely to meet them than in your small community of believers. It's similar to how once gay people started living out and proud, people started to realize that they were people like any others. Once you meet an atheist and they're just another person, a lot of the scary tales lose their appeal.

      13 votes
      1. BlackLedger
        Link Parent
        I'm not sure if it's even that people know atheists, but rather people have relationships that are not at all mediated by belief and religion just isn't relevant. In that sense, I think it's...

        I'm not sure if it's even that people know atheists, but rather people have relationships that are not at all mediated by belief and religion just isn't relevant. In that sense, I think it's somewhat different than social acceptance of homosexuality. You go from several generations ago when it really mattered which church you went to, to a couple of generations ago where it just matters that you went to some church, to a generation ago when church attendance stopped mattering in favor of a nebulous sort of spiritual/religious belief, to today where it doesn't even matter if you have that belief.

        3 votes
    2. unknown user
      Link Parent
      I think this is the case. I also think it's the case that the internet, and specifically, social media, is encouraging polarisation of viewpoints by both insulating people into bubbles where their...

      I think this is the case. I also think it's the case that the internet, and specifically, social media, is encouraging polarisation of viewpoints by both insulating people into bubbles where their views resonate, thus providing a form of validation; and also encouraging hostility/vitriol via the inverse, of allowing people of different views entirely interact seamlessly.

      4 votes
    3. Parameter
      Link Parent
      I think an aspect is being able to see the commonalities that give religion meaning across many different religions ultimately leads to the conclusion that the ideas are what's important, not what...

      I think an aspect is being able to see the commonalities that give religion meaning across many different religions ultimately leads to the conclusion that the ideas are what's important, not what religion surrounds them with.

      4 votes
  3. demifiend
    Link
    Could it be that many of us know people who can't manage to keep God out of the most casual of conversations, but are as venal and immoral as atheists are supposed to be? If people can call...

    Could it be that many of us know people who can't manage to keep God out of the most casual of conversations, but are as venal and immoral as atheists are supposed to be? If people can call themselves Christians while being anything but Christian, then why not try walking the walk without talking the talk?

    7 votes
  4. [4]
    dubteedub
    Link
    Just came across this study that discusses children becoming atheists at an early age due to actions of their religious parents...

    Just came across this study that discusses children becoming atheists at an early age due to actions of their religious parents

    https://www.psypost.org/2018/08/how-parents-act-on-their-religious-beliefs-linked-to-the-onset-of-atheism-in-their-children-52058

    6 votes
    1. [3]
      Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      I really wish people would stop making this assumption that all or even most atheists are de-converted theists. Everyone is born atheist. Many of us learn theism, usually from our parents (and...

      The researchers surveyed 5,153 atheists regarding the age when they no longer believed in god(s), religious credibility-enhancing displays among their parents, and other factors.

      I really wish people would stop making this assumption that all or even most atheists are de-converted theists. Everyone is born atheist. Many of us learn theism, usually from our parents (and some then go on to un-learn that theism). But many people don't become theists and simply remain atheist all the way through.

      I found it ironic that this study focussed on "religious parents [who] talk the talk but don’t walk the walk" when the reason for my atheism is that my nominally religious parents made the deliberate decision to raise their children without any religion, so that we could choose a religion for ourselves as adults. My parents didn't even talk the talk! Of course, never having been indoctrinated into religion as children, we saw no need for it as adults, and we remain happy little heathens to this day.

      Not all atheists are lapsed believers. Some of us have been like this our whole lives.

      13 votes
      1. hackergal
        Link Parent
        I think the point of this study may have been to figure out a potential cause for the decline of religion in general, in which case it makes sense to examine children who were born into religious...

        I think the point of this study may have been to figure out a potential cause for the decline of religion in general, in which case it makes sense to examine children who were born into religious families.

        8 votes
      2. SleepyGary
        Link Parent
        My parents took me to church only a handful of times, the majority was for weddings and funerals, they never really were overtly religious. I grew up not being a theist, it just took me until I...

        My parents took me to church only a handful of times, the majority was for weddings and funerals, they never really were overtly religious. I grew up not being a theist, it just took me until I had internet access to realize that being atheist was an option I had grown up around so many religious people that I just never thought there was any other way. My sister whom was closer to my Anglican grandmother than our parents claims to believe but I'd bet a dollar my nephew will grow up to a non-believer as she's about as practicing in her faith as our parents were.

        2 votes
  5. [2]
    Rainier
    Link
    Sounds like something a group of sinners would say

    Sounds like something a group of sinners would say

    5 votes
    1. demifiend
      Link Parent
      Sin is only a meaningful concept to adherents of Abrahamic monotheism. When you become an atheist, the notion of "sin" becomes irrelevant.

      Sin is only a meaningful concept to adherents of Abrahamic monotheism. When you become an atheist, the notion of "sin" becomes irrelevant.

      4 votes
  6. soc
    Link
    I've argued for a long time that the sort of universalist meta-ethics which are taught in the church actually harms the formation of moral intuition, because it leaves one poorly equipped with the...

    I've argued for a long time that the sort of universalist meta-ethics which are taught in the church actually harms the formation of moral intuition, because it leaves one poorly equipped with the tools for synthesizing moral primitives, focusing instead on broad strokes and low hanging fruit. More than anything, it actually seems to make people think that morality is a commodity which they can accumulate and then cash in for an excuse to play fast and loose with their own value set.

    4 votes
  7. [2]
    SleepingInTheVoid
    Link
    A theist will tend to assert that an atheist's view of morality is entirely based on personal opinion and is therefore less valid. The problem with this is a theist's view of morality is also...

    A theist will tend to assert that an atheist's view of morality is entirely based on personal opinion and is therefore less valid. The problem with this is a theist's view of morality is also based on personal opinion but they simply add a layer of metaphysical indirection and then claim that they've solved any moral dilemma by doing so. Invoking gods doesn't add any real insight. So whereas they might say an atheist's view on whether the death penalty is moral is their own opinion, all a theist does is give their opinion on god's view on whether or not the death penalty is moral. So you're left with your opinion about god's opinion as opposed to just your opinion. How is that better?

    3 votes