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People who don't smoke, drink, abuse drugs, swear, gamble, or participate in other vices or questionable unhealthy practices BECAUSE of their religious beliefs, should not be viewed or treated any differently than people who don't do them for any reason of their choosing. Amirite?

My observations have led me to conclude that if someone says they don't do or participate in certain "immoral" or "questionable" behaviors or practices on the grounds of their religion, then they are somehow less of a person, less smart, and more stigmatized than a person who just does not do those things because they choose not to.
If the goal is better behavior or better health, should we really care WHAT a person cites as their reason or basis for not doing certain things? Many claim they can be good and moral without religion. I have absolutely no problem with that. If the right thing to do is accomplished through or by religion, or by one's own desire to be better, we should recognize and celebrate them equally.

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@1941533

Good point. Reason implies logic which is missing from this post.

Well, not doing it because of your religion IS in fact you choosing to not do it, because you chose to follow the moral guidelines and is striving to live a good life. Some people still do those things in spite of their religion because they become tempted and pressured by others. Do you know how many people say they're Christians, Muslims, Jews, or any other religious practice, but then go to the club and get high, smoke cigarettes, and gamble? If they want to live an unhealthy lifestyle, then that's their choice, and it's your choice if you want to live a healthy lifestyle. With or without religion, the fact remains that those things can sometimes lead to an unhealthy lifestyle, so I believe that religion just kind of helps some to constrain themselves.

BlindMists avatar BlindMist Yeah You Are +1Reply
@BlindMist Well, not doing it because of your religion IS in fact you choosing to not do it, because you chose to follow the...

Well said. I only made the distinction, because as you pointed out, MORALITY is involved with or in most religions. And morality has been under attack in our society for quite some time. It is not "cool," "popular," "hip," or "in," to have morals, live straight, be pure. All those things have been stigmatized with being a "Christian," which in many people's view is evil in and of itself. The pressure is usually to fall in with the "crowd" and do what is popular at the time. When I was in high school, you were really something if you smoked cigarettes, pot, and slept around. Those were the "big" things you needed to be doing to be cool and accepted.
Now, I have no idea what the trends are on school campuses, but I do no smoking, drinking, drug abuse, bringing weapons to school, and having sex have all crept clear down in to elementary schools. That should be a wake up call to all Americans and show us that we are not doing something right!

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@1941669

There is nothing dumber than a rational person. Glory!

Anonymous 0Reply
@1941669

So clearly, the WHY a person does what they do is more important than the WHAT they are doing.

@freespeechfreelancer So clearly, the WHY a person does what they do is more important than the WHAT they are doing.

This is one of the most logical and insightful things you have posted here. Truly the "why" is always and infinity more important than what - which is the heart of all moral dilemma. "She stole the food to feed a starving baby" "He shot him in self defense" WHY matters more than WHAT.

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@1942938

So if I am hearing you correctly, you then believe that a Christian is lesser of a person than a person who does everything a Christian does or believes just because they decide it is the right thing to do without an invisible man influence, Is this your view?

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@1942958

But the plain fact and truth of the matter is - they are not treated the same. The whole reason for the post was to help others realize they should be.

I agree that they shouldn't be treated differently but i don't believe it's a good thing to not do something only because some ancient script says it's wrong.

Kumquats avatar Kumquat Yeah You Are 0Reply
@Kumquat I agree that they shouldn't be treated differently but i don't believe it's a good thing to not do something only...

If the goal is to do good and avoid evil, does it really matter WHY the person avoids it? If an ancient text is the motivator for some, why should that not be grounds enough?

@freespeechfreelancer If the goal is to do good and avoid evil, does it really matter WHY the person avoids it? If an ancient text is the...

That certainly is grounds enough not to partake. But only for that individual. then i thought a little further ahead. If someone's religious belief tells them not to do something and that everyone, believer or not, ought to be subjected to this moral code things begin to get shaky.

Kumquats avatar Kumquat Yeah You Are 0Reply
@Kumquat That certainly is grounds enough not to partake. But only for that individual. then i thought a little further...

I, as a believer of an ancient text, do not expect or would not require a non believer to ever live by the same text. That would be like me inviting you to my house as a guest and expecting you to know and do exactly every single thing the I do in my home. How could I possibly expect such from one who has never been to my home?
If I derive my moral code from a book, I should be allowed to do so at my own risk and/or peril. If you tell me morals can be derived or attained without religion or any ancient texts, then all I ask is that you show me. Prove to me that the majority of the world IS and DOES live morally or does good things just because. Then I will ask you to tell me why when masses of people hear news about a black teen being involved in a scuffle with police officers gets killed, why so many random "good" people begin rioting and looting local businesses [that had nothing to do with anything]. Why are so many crooks, thugs, thieves, rapists, murderers, and criminals roaming our streets seeking to prey on innocent people? If people are truly good and moral apart from religion or texts that teach morality, then why isn't good the dominant force in the entire WORLD? Please explain North Korea and men like Hitler to me..........please!

@freespeechfreelancer I, as a believer of an ancient text, do not expect or would not require a non believer to ever live by the same...

"The majority of the world is/does live morally"

"Masses of people" ?

The population of Ferguson Mo. is 21,000
32 are involved in looting
That is 1/10th of 1 percent of the "good" people.
Not "masses" a tiny minority.

The "majority" are good.

Even though none of them exist and it doesn't matter.

loser smilie

@VicZinc "The majority of the world is/does live morally" "Masses of people" ? The population of Ferguson Mo. is 21,000...

Please tell this to all the thousands being slaughtered right now by Hamas and Isis..............especially the little innocent children who are being beheaded and hung on crosses. I am sure they would fully agree with you that the world is just filled with "goodness." THEIR world is not and they are not seeing it. Tell that to the homeless person who is starving to death on the streets in any major city across America. Tell that to the millions of Jews who have been persecuted throughout history for simply being "Jewish."
Your good world has produced so much evil and yet you fail to acknowledge it or even have an answer for why or how to fix it. Please stop telling me how good everything is. If it is so good then show me a world without evil. Then I might listen.

@freespeechfreelancer Please tell this to all the thousands being slaughtered right now by Hamas and Isis..............especially the...

Interesting that you bring up two of the "moral" groups who are being driven by their "god" to do "good" through the word of an "ancient text".

Which proves our post so eloquently. Well done!

@VicZinc Interesting that you bring up two of the "moral" groups who are being driven by their "god" to do "good" through...

And every time I prove my point using godless people you deliberately ignore and refuse to comment. You dodged me completely when I cited Kim Jong-Un - North Korea's godless leader. You acted as if you never heard of him. Research him and educate thyself oh wise one.
You can't begin to explain why he slaughters people under his control, and there are many world leaders just like him. You love to say the majority of the world is "good" but there is a ton of evil occurring every single day in America and abroad. But as long as it does not bother or affect you personally, quite frankly, your kind don't give a damn! You are too busy smiling, singing, and hiding behind your dark sunglasses. You are the ultimate dreamer - no purpose for being here and no reason to care when others are suffering at the hands of evil people.
Well done for proving my point repeatedly - evil exists and godless people are guilty of as much evil as any religious types you love to cite to build your straw case.

@freespeechfreelancer And every time I prove my point using godless people you deliberately ignore and refuse to comment. You dodged me...

I attempted once to argue that Kim believes he is a god. You didn't want to hear that.
There are hundreds of references to this on the internet. You cannot cite someone as being "godless" when that person actually believes he is a "god".

Here is just one of the articles. You google it.

http://www.independent.co.uk/ne...d-9251983.html

@VicZinc I attempted once to argue that Kim believes he is a god. You didn't want to hear that. There are hundreds of...

Nevertheless, you don't believe in gods of any kind, so you can not use what he may think of himself as support for your argument. You don't believe in anything, so nothing you can say would actually matter.
His belief system is godless and atheistic. Amazing how one atheist can claim to be a god and another atheist claims there are no gods. Now that is something I can sink my teeth in to!

@freespeechfreelancer Nevertheless, you don't believe in gods of any kind, so you can not use what he may think of himself as support for...

What I don't believe is of no consequence at all.

What Kim believes is the crux of this argument:
that people who believe anything
(especially if they believe in gods)
are more likely to commit atrocities
than those who don't believe anything at all.

Kim is not an atheist,
he is a egotheist,
he believes he is god. Google it.

@VicZinc What I don't believe is of no consequence at all. What Kim believes is the crux of this argument: that people...

Ok...just read all of these links to determine exactly what he believes or is. It seems that it is not fully clear what he is, but that he and his family members essentially started their own religion and patterned it after Christianity. They took God out completely, and substituted family members to take the place of the trinity. Christianity is not allowed under their rule. So, based on everything I read, I can still maintain the claim that their overall belief system is godless and does not adhere to gods with a history or names. For the family to take that claim does not make them gods or even mean they themselves believe in gods - it only means they wish to be treated "god-like."
Next thing you will tell me is that ideologies such as Marxism, Communism, Stalinism, and Maoism are not atheistic. Did all of these men believe themselves to be gods as well?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Li...of_North_Korea

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Jong-un
[note in far right column under religion it says atheist]

http://www.billionbibles.org/no...-religion.html

http://danmillerinpanama.wordpr...n-north-korea/

@freespeechfreelancer Ok...just read all of these links to determine exactly what he believes or is. It seems that it is not fully clear...

The marxist ideologies are clearly atheistic.
I do not know what the leaders personally believed of "god" but it seems like their actions were not driven but a desire to serve god.
So you do get that point. Congratulations.
You have two revolutions by atheists in all of human history. About 60 million deaths between the two (Stalin and Mao) I don't think Marx killed anyone and I tossed Trotsky and Lenin in with Stalin. So here is that. What else you got?

@VicZinc The marxist ideologies are clearly atheistic. I do not know what the leaders personally believed of "god" but it...

So 60 million is a mere drop in the bucket in your world - correct? What else I got? You say evil does not occur at the hands of the godless. It happens every single day and yet you want your world to believe that most people are doing "good." Most people are law abiding citizens...........so I guess you equate that with goodness since you don't believe in laws.
There is no way to pin you down on anything because you actually don't believe anything. And that is the beauty of the path you have chosen - you think you have earned a free pass. Congratulations - here is your free pass!

@freespeechfreelancer So 60 million is a mere drop in the bucket in your world - correct? What else I got? You say evil does not occur at...

Thanks. Now I will argue that Stalin "thought" he was doing good. So did Mao. They truly believed they were helping the poor. Call it charity.

I never said that you, Mr. Freespeechfreelancer would think people are good. I said they think they are good. I don't think anything, because I cannot tell the difference between good and bad, it is all good.

I also never said "evil does not occur at the hands of the godless." I said that evil ONLY exists where god exists. Evil is the opposite of god.

Without god there can be no evil.

@VicZinc Thanks. Now I will argue that Stalin "thought" he was doing good. So did Mao. They truly believed they were...

It is all good...................now I HAVE heard everything. You have again made my point better than I ever could. I rest my case.

@freespeechfreelancer It is all good...................now I HAVE heard everything. You have again made my point better than I ever...

I assume we agree for different reasons,
(with permission)

your point is that your god's plan cannot be known
but it is all leading us to his judgement day,
so it's all good.

my point is we can't know anything regardless of the existence of your god
so it's all good.

Same destination, different path.

@freespeechfreelancer I, as a believer of an ancient text, do not expect or would not require a non believer to ever live by the same...

Religion can be good in that it sets a basis for what a group of people can agree is right and wrong. Without it we would still know what hurts and what does not but there would still be outliers just as there are now. Religion is the combined efforts of those who agree on what hurts and what doesn't so they can try and teach the outliers that they are hurting people. Ideas of what is right and wrong, however, are not always be all end all. That's why i don't agree with "the bible says so". The bible is only a basis in which i may agree with parts and disagree with others.

Kumquats avatar Kumquat Yeah You Are 0Reply
@Kumquat Religion can be good in that it sets a basis for what a group of people can agree is right and wrong. Without it we...

Fair enough. We are all allowed to believe or not believe as we see fit and for where we are at any given point in our lives. I respect your honesty and sincerity.

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