Morality—Appearing Better

Becoming better through appearances

“A man that firmly believes that God sees everything, knows everything, is everywhere, will, when he is alone commit actions which he never would do in the presence of the meanest of mortals (or the general public). Those even who claim to be the most firmly convinced of the existence of God act every instance as if they did not believe anything about it. There is scarcely a man that does not fear more what he sees than what he does not see—the judgments of men”—Jean Messlier

More powerful than any idea of an all seeing god, men check themselves because of what others will think—even will claim to believe in god for the same reason. No fear of an unseen deity has kept man restrained when he is alone or away from those that know him. That sense of obligation is morality by genuine nature, nurture, and neurology.

Morality among mankind is nothing more than consensus and personal autonomy within a framework of what all persons are collectively willing to tolerate.

Religious doctrine is nothing short of a few, trying to force compliance allowing religious authority to have a higher level of autonomy. And like politicians, they are above the laws they administer for god.

Christian morality is discussed as simple wordplay for recognition—all talk, then go about your business with approval—he’s a believer!

It takes special training to reach that level of hypocrisy.

WTF?

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs breaking the faith trap.

62 thoughts on “Morality—Appearing Better”

    1. Only if the slave chooses it. It’s all about individual autonomy inside a framework of fairness. I would imagine some people might choose slavery. A huge portion of the population already submits their will, proving that they indeed need strict governance. It must be tricky to vote for less government, then signing on to a system where your god monitors your every move, even when you sleep and long after your dead. But, contradiction is the Christian way. It’s thematic.

      Like

      1. Ah yes its all about consensus unless you don’t like the consensus. Then its all about “individual autonomy.” In other words keep using sufficiently vague terms so no one can see that you are just going with whatever you think will sound good to your group.

        Reverend Martin Luther King followed the Christian way. He didn’t just say what he thought would sound good to the crowd.

        Like

        1. We have to do whatever sounds good to our selves. And men have way more influence over how people behave than god. We routinely show restraint simply because of what others will think. It’s not as complicated as you’d like it to be. No gods needs.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I’m not sure “we have to do whatever sounds good to our selves.” Yes men have influence over how people behave. More than God? Well since you don’t believe God exists….
            But my view is that sometimes the influence of men is good sometimes it is bad. People may not have written Lincoln’s best speeches the “Unkown speech” because of the influence of men.

            But moral claims can be true despite the consensus. I do agree that belief in God is a separate issue from whether there can be real truth as opposed to whatever we just make up. But there are particular problems with morality for atheists that you seem to want to gloss over and dance around.

            If it were “simple” you would be able to answer some questions. But you are afraid to go there. To the extent you just want to justify your view that religion is unnecessary then you have good reason to avoid this topic. But if you were more intellectually honest and not so concerned with preserving your conclusions you would not have a problem trying to answer some of the questions I have asked in the past.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I’m afraid of nothing. The observation is widely known and common knowledge. Men that believe in god (they say) will do unspeakable things in the privacy of their god watching they would never do with even a stranger watching. That is simple. It has nothing to do with whether god exists or not. Christians have private lives that reveal their true beliefs, and that is that they don’t really believe it.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Your observations are far from widely known. Indeed we see people in different cultures act differently and to say beliefs in religions have nothing to do with that is far from clear.

              Also you keep suggesting that Christians are someone worse or at least no better than others in their private lives but never offer any significant support for your belief about religion.

              Liked by 1 person

            3. Sure I have. You just routinely dismiss it. Like the FACT that the highest porn clicks per capita (by a large margin) are in the most religious areas. Mississippi, Alabama and Utah being the highest. The godless heathens of the northeast and Colorado were lowest. But none of those will admit that behavior to their peers. Only in the presence of god will they watch and do the deeds. They care not what god thinks, only men (which is morality in a nutshell).

              Like

            4. I have no hang up with porn. Just pointing out the hypocrisy and the contradictions of your statement. The survey I quoted was a couple years old. Do you watch porn, Joe? Denial is the first sign…

              Liked by 1 person

            5. What statement of mine do you think is contradictory? This seems like another unsupported assertion to me.

              Yes your survey is old and it seems no longer accurate. Do you have any other actual evidence that Christians are worse?

              Do you think the cultural values of societies that have quite a bit of christian influence are morally better or worse? So compared to Islamic countries or China (where Christianity has been suppressed) do you like their consensus more?

              Or are we going to just make unsupported assertions?

              Like

  1. This would not be too much of a problem, but for the fact that Christianity teaches that the “holy spirit” is supposed to transform believers. One who is a Christian, according to the epistles cannot sin. In several places in the New Testament any falling out or leaving the fold is an irrevocable act.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. So if I just don’t believe, no axes to grind, no visitations, god has the power to make himself knows to me but fails to use it, I am guilty of treason and worthy eternal punishment for merely admitting it. This doctrine you speak of houses a lot of liars behind it.

      Like

      1. That is true. What I was getting at is that the New Testament’s statements give Christians a lot of trouble. If Christians have the “holy spirit”, then they should not be sinning anymore. We should see actual evidence if Christians actually had such a gift. But Christians are not like this, they are for the most part similar to non-Christians. Just like other people Christians cover the whole spectrum and are complex, not characters from a morality play.

        Christians only started emphasizing that their religion is the necessary for “morality” when their dogmas were already being challenged or discredited. The clerics had to fall back on “but society will fall apart and morals will collapse” when they found themselves on the defensive. The real point of Christianity is avoiding their “lake of fire” or other afterlife punishments after the end of the world and the judgement. All other concerns are secondary to that. Sacraments, adherence to doctrines, and obedience of church authority were more important in historical Christianity than personal morals.

        If you actually look at Jesus, the Christians make a big deal of his moral teachings when they really aren’t good. A lot of it was better said before by others, and the rest is nonsense that runs counter to healthy mores. Atheists like to point out how Christians fail to follow the teachings of Jesus. I don’t blame Christians for compromising. No organized church really did put much stock in Jesus, because if they did they would not last, and society would fall apart. Imagine if everyone really did follow: “take no thought for tomorrow”, “give a man your shirt also when he takes your coat”, and “resist not evil”. Imagine if everyone left home and family to live as preaching vagabonds looking to be martyred(take up your cross). And if everyone gave all they had to the poor, no one would have anything to give anymore. It seems that Jesus condemned everyone who was rich and exalted all who were poor, ignoring their actual deeds and circumstances. All Lazarus did was lay around outside someone’s gate, but he automatically went to Abraham(who was rich himself) when he died in the parable. Jesus also taught to forgive one’s enemies, as if that in itself were something good or useful. When did Jesus ever forgive his enemies? He constantly denounced them in the worst terms and threatened them. When people in Capernaum did not immediately buy into his claims, Jesus responded by promising the damnation of the entire city. The background of these early teachings was the expectation of an apocalypse that never came when it was supposed to. Why bother with any of it now?

        In response to your comment about the Christian god having the power to reveal himself to you but not doing so, there is something that occurred to me a long time ago that I have not seen discussed very much. Paul was controversial even early on in Christianity, to understate things. But think about this. Paul’s central claim was that he had a vision and received knowledge directly from Jesus, not some earthly Jesus but a spiritual one. The epistles emphasize repeatedly that Paul did not rely on any human teaching for his ideas. The story(which I don’t trust) is that Paul was very much opposed to Christianity before he had the vision. If you think about it, does this make any sense? Why only pick out one guy, when this god could easily give the knowledge to everyone and let them decide how to respond? And at least, why did he not beam this revelation into the heads of chosen individuals in different countries? When Christians came to the New World, they did not find native Christian churches. Same with much of Asia, India, and Africa. This is very strange. If this god wanted to convert the world, why was there no Chinese prophet like Paul that suddenly converted to Christianity with no prior exposure and starting preaching it in China? When conquistadors came over to the Americas, why did they not find Christian churches already in existence, from some Native American prophet(s) long ago who had Christianity directly uploaded into them by Jesus? If this had happened all over the world around the same time(first or second century CE), it would be very hard to challenge a supernatural basis for Christianity.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Certainly. One of my problems has been why never the same god twice? Always a different version of some regional interpretation/custom. The laws were given to the level of the participants willingness to accept. If god wanted to provide a gold standard to live by, why not condemn slavery and patriarchal rule over women? Instead he expounded on the principles. Some ultimate morality! Mans morality has exceeded that of the Bible in every arena. Controlling fertility is the real Christian morality and the last hold in society, although they seem to hide along side the Ten Commandments which is also flawed.

          Like

          1. How does one moral system exceed another?

            By controlling fertility, do you mean the Christian obsession with sex or the abortion issue? If you look back in time, Christians had an indifferent attitude toward abortion. Abortion before the first 4 months was a non-issue, as the fetus was not considered to have a soul(even the puritanical Augustine thought this). Jews never made a fuss about abortion either, probably because it seems to be approved of in some cases in the Torah, and nothing is said against it. Abandonment or exposure of infants happened throughout the period of Christian dominance in Europe, and no big issue was made of it by the churches. It only got made a big issue in recent times. I suspect that they started harping on abortion because it was an issue easy to rally the flock around. Also, behind the concern about abortion is the Christian doctrine of infant damnation, something present from very early on in Christianity(like in the Apocalypse of Peter). If there is a soul there after all(they can’t decide at what point the soul enters), abortion would be sending it to the Christian hell because a developing fetus or infant would have never gotten baptized or had the chance to accept all the Christian beliefs necessary for salvation. Again, there is the focus on avoiding hell.

            My own mother lost an infant child, so I have seen that pain firsthand. I found out about the doctrine of infant damnation in grade school, because I read a lot even back then. That really disturbed me at the time, for an obvious reason. I have brought up this issue to a Christian before when they brought up the abortion debate and asked me what I thought.

            Liked by 3 people

            1. I should have addressed it as sexual purity, but it’s overall about controlling chastity. Likely a holdover from our primal days. Like the great apes, everything is about controlling food, territory, and sex. Pure bloodlines and genetic supremacy. Maybe that’s a stretch, but it certainly links well.

              Like

  2. At the end of the day when you look at human history and the role religion has played in it, it seems apparent, that humanity has an aggregate flaw…a true mental illness…but is it really or just a means to an end?

    And it must have an evolutionary purpose, which I suspect is self destruction in order to make way for change.

    Changes in civilizations, beliefs, morality, progress or not and even in genetic mutations that change the very nature of humanity and especially in human consciousness. It’s a long long view, but it must be necessary for change to occur, for whatever could do that better than religious fanaticism and the inherent perceived mental illness involved.

    Whether it ever leaves us completely is probably doubtful, because it resides deep within the DNA, but one can hope.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I concur. It seem as though we are destined to belief, as distasteful as it is. Even those that leave generally adapt another belief of some kind. Everyone wants a belief. To me, at this point that just seems weird. (Maybe I’m weird) but I believe nothing. There is no progress in a modern, overpopulated world for these overdeveloped thought convictions, backed it up with stubborn pride, which is ultimately just strong belief. The antithesis of what the scripture supposedly intends, but draws out the man in a course few can correct.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. And yet…

    Their enrollment rate stays nicely consistent or rises when national intellectualism & quality critical-thinking levels are lowest among H.S. grads. Surprise, surprise. And did you know what Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s admissions acceptance rate is currently at? Get ready… it’s mind-blowingly easy for even a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic or bipolar-manic patient with auditory and visual hallucinations (from God of course!) to enter the Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral program…

    Acceptance rate: 99% according to the U.S. Dept. of Education. 🤣🤣🤣

    Liked by 3 people

      1. HAH! Ain’t that FO SHOW/SURE! 😏

        Because the religion/church is indeed dying a slow certain death among more quality & highly educated, intelligent people, they are forced to recruit the LESS educated (or not educated at all), the LESS sharp, less savvy, and barely intelligent — or IOW’s… accept/admit 99.99% of all comers, all applicants into “seminary” in order to just survive. Islam has done the exact same thing the last century or so and VERY successfully I might add in 3rd, 4th world countries! That’s why it is currently and still the fastest growing religion way ahead of Christianity and all others! An economic factor, not a truth, reason, or any valid evidential factor. Nope… just the fact that super-hyped up superstitions will fly and be horribly popular among a very ignorant, naive population… anywhere in the world, including the U.S., mostly the South and Midwest to be precise. 😉 😛

        Money can not only perpetuate stupidity/ignorance, but it also GREATLY benefits any intelligent oligarchy that might be present in the State.

        Liked by 4 people

  4. Hello Jim. I have recently realized that the whole concept of a peeping tom god is total authoritarianism. God is watching you / the state is watching you. God knows what you’re doing / the government knows what you are doing. Live in fear your normal desires are going to be exposed. You want rights in society, live as the god / government demands you do just as it is being implemented in China. No wonder the evangelicals / fundamentalists love tRump as he wants to be an authoritarian dictator also. The ultra religious are preconditioned to be serfs to their masters. They seem to naturally seek dictator style leaders. Hugs

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Written in the 18th century by Jean Messlier, a Roman Catholic priest in France who wrote his “testament” about the church and his observations of Christianity. I love the book!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep. A doctorate in belief. Fucking ridiculous. I have a relative that liked this on facebook and it showed up in my feed. Less useful than a back spasm, but there’s something for everyone.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The US did the rational world a serious injustice (and serious harm) when they allowed evangelical bible schools call themselves “Universities.”

        But OK. I want you to now call me Doctor John, Ph.D in the Belief of the Pipe Smoking Rabbit.

        Liked by 5 people

  5. The idea that God is always watching certainly didn’t deter all those child-molesting priests, or the medieval clergy with their fake liquefying saints’ blood, or the megachurch pastors with their fancy houses and private jets and extramarital shagging.

    Well, the Man Behind the Curtain created Oz the Great and Terrible to fool the rubes, not himself. He knew it was a scam all along.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Then the likes of Jim baker get a standing ovation when he got busted. “I have sinned”, and became more popular than ever with his weepy eyed bullshit. Only because men caught him, nothing to do with gods.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Convicted felon little Jimmy Baker started right back up again as soon as he got out of the slammer. Supposedly he owes millions in restitution and fines and the only thing he knows how to do, the little parasite, is keep right on shilling and huckstering. Currently he’s peddling survivalist food (you should see the outtakes on Youtube, they’re disturbing and hilarious) with a heavy dose of “the end is coming”. There was one where he was mixing up this big wheel barrow of something, I think it was some kind of rice or mac and cheese (it was dayglow orange) with an entrenching tool. Seriously. Yum yum. He jumped on the bandwagon of the alleged rapist sitting in the white house early on, claiming he is god’s gift to America. Sigh…

        Liked by 5 people

          1. I share your frustration. How can they sit there listening to that jackass, lapping up even the most outrageous nonsense that comes out of his mouth, without falling out of their chairs laughing? Especially when the little weasel went to prison once already? Him and Tammy were living lives of luxury off the money they scammed out of the elderly, the poor, the people who could least afford it, and here he is at it again and these people just lap it up. I just don’t understand.

            Liked by 3 people

  6. Excellent observation, Jim. One only has to look at all the ”Sinning” that goes on behind closed doors among the clergy. If they don’t care then you can be assured they don’t truly believe either.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I think there are true believers in the world, just not Christians that have dug [sic] below the topsoil. The pretense and behavior are at complete odds with each other. The more vocal and pious too, the deeper the closets and willful deception. Google clicks don’t lie. Third party recompense is a cancer to human development.

      Liked by 5 people

  7. I was reading a piece in the Daily Beast regarding the hypocrisy of religious folks who vote fore highly and clearly immoral politicians, as long as they are somehow far right and religious (Roy Moore notwithstanding). About 100 Muslims ran for office last go round, and nearly half won (thanks to the anti-Islam prez).
    But the article also made this point: “If morals and actions are not really of concern, what does the believer consider when deciding how to cast their ballot? Incredibly, there is one immediate disqualification in over half of the American public’s mind: atheism.” Conditional morality. What one says clearly matters more than actions.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Bill, it’s so incredibly frustrating to see people who claim they are devoutly religious voting for for politicians whose core beliefs are so far away from what christianity claims it believes in that it’s like they’re from different planets. I know people who are anti death penalty, pro single payer health care, have no prejudice against anyone, but keep voting for these extremist, racist, pro death penalty politicians for only one reason, they’re anti-abortion. That is all that matters to them when it comes to politics because for something like three generations now the catholic church has hammered on that single topic with an obsessiveness that is borderline insane. I’ve heard priests and bishops standing in the pulpit and literally tell people that if they vote for a pro-choice candidate it is a mortal sin and they will go to hell, so they have to vote for a “pro-life” candidate no matter what else that candidate may have said or done.

      The hypocrisy is deep with them (said in bad Yoda imitation)

      Liked by 5 people

  8. Thanks a bunch for sharing, Jim. The understanding of this fundamental, universal human vulnerability to peer pressure is critical if we are to crack the nut of religious belief… along with all other forms of conformity, sexism, racism, tribalism, party loyalty, nationalism, patriotism.

    That said, two thoughts come to mind:
    1) It stresses the moral necessity for us heathens to come out in order to provide our own form of “peer pressure”, which of course is not peer pressure at all, but just honesty expressing itself.
    2) It is well-established that the mere awareness of one’s cognitive biases and the insidious power of social pressures can inoculate us against their pernicious effects. And, the findings of social psychology should be a mandatory part of every school curriculum… possibly starting as early as preschool.

    Thanks and peace.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Ok kids, here is what we face as a society…and it’s up to us to outperform our biases and indoctrinations. Outside of this class everything you will be exposed to by people you trust is bullshit. Raise your hands if you know bullshit…

      Liked by 2 people

  9. The whole topic of morality has been hijacked in our culture by Christianity. Christianity, however, should be considered suspect as the source of morality because their modus operandi involves controlling people to get them to do what they … er, their god, wants. Just look at the first three of the ten commandments and you know almost everything you need to know about their priorities. Look at the rest and what was left out (rape, incest, slavery, etc.) and you then know all of the rest.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. There are many examples of people living much more equitable lives before they found (had it forced upon them) jesus. The explorers journals and settlers remarks here in the americas was very telling that not only can we be good without the abrahamic god, but better.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. I use the term “taboo system” to distinguish religious fake morality from actual morality. It’s not hard to tell the difference because the former is usually arbitrary (taboos on homosexuality, beard-trimming, eating pork, etc.) and not at all consistent from one religion to the next, unless they have common origins.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. Speaking of being spied on by supernatural beings… Even more scary to me as a little kid was that the nuns told us our dead relatives were up there watching everything we did too. Talk about bizarre. I mean they’re up in heaven and don’t have anything better to do than peer down and see what their eight year old nephew or whatever is doing and shake their heads and go “Tut, tut, the little bastard is touching himself again. Well, he’s going to Hell…” ?

    Liked by 8 people

    1. In an attempt to control nature by lying. And all because a higher “authority” you can never post a rule change with…unless you’re Mormon of course.

      Liked by 3 people

  11. Creating the (deceptive) appearance of truth/knowledge/law has always been of the utmost importance to religious movements as they know that their ideologies can’t stand on their own. None of it passes what I like to call the Boiling Point Standard – and that is demonstrability. No deceptive language, runarounds, obscure mental gymnastics or pretend PhD’s are needed to show at what temperature water boils and how altitude affects that process. Any ideology that requires deceptive tactics should be dismissed out of hand.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. The standard they choose for themselves is odd. Fighting for the right and privilege to kill less adaptable creatures while cursing the natural act in any variations to sub human. The western/Christian value of pillaging the earth and polluting my breathing space is a god given right. Anything that impinges on the ability to make lots of cash is treasonous.

      Liked by 4 people

  12. There is nothing good about god, and there is nothing moral about morality. Responsibility to self is responsibility to all. I will take responsibility over morality eight days a week, and thirty-two days a month, every year.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Jo, I have a PhD in theology. Got it free off the internet and it means just about as much as the one posted in the ad. I did opt for the “deluxe” package with includes the fancy certificate with the gold leaf and that cost me a few bucks. They threw in ordination as a minister for free.

      Mine and the one you pay thousands of dollars for at one of these universities is worth pretty much the same when it comes right down to it. Was going to get one for my dog, too, but he objected on moral grounds. Well, I think he objected. When I asked him he started licking his private parts which I interpreted as his opinion of the whole idea.

      Liked by 6 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s