The Source of Morality

How easy it is to identify the source of morality.

Forging more self discipline and restraint than any supposed morality dispensed by god, humans refrain because of what others will think—and will even claim to believe in god for the same reason.

Morality among mankind is nothing more than consensual dance of personal opinion inside a framework of what societies are collectively willing to tolerate, evolved into fairness bit by bit through trial and error, cause and effect, fear of exclusion (and indoctrination, of course)

Skirting religions own morality, “sin” is still committed in private as it always has been, where few reveal what they do alone (in the sole presence of their god) proves they really don’t believe any of it.

Not to place any blame on them for being human, but for pretending to be much more obedient than they are—because of what their fellow believers might see of what lies below the superficial piety and smiles, while inside the anxieties of endless failure eats away at their soul.

The church has quite a racket going, for who can change their consciousness without even knowing what that is, especially by way of commandment and threat? Revolving door repentance, penance, payments and guilt never cease the failures of an artificial morality no one can meet?

Autumn on the mount 8/28/19

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs breaking the faith trap.

67 thoughts on “The Source of Morality”

  1. Your post leaves me thoroughly confused. Are you addressing obedience or morality? Because the two things are not synonymous and the third sentence/paragraph implies it’s the former. Also, are the question marks in the last paragraph intentional?

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  2. sin/ morality, right/wrong…pure mental concepts. there are no such words in buddhism. there are only actions and their consequences. all hurtful actions arise only because of our ignorance of who we are, our ‘true nature’. knowing you are all-pervading reality…why would you hurt another being? it all goes back to knowing who/what you are.

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    1. I agree. How many truly can even answer the question of who they are, define themselves of a understanding and then preach it from a prepackaged menu of failed religious attempts? The Jehovah effect© passed on urgency without understanding the experience in your mere training period, then rely on the men of words to interpret for you and tell you who you are.

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  3. I have asked for someone to clearly state what “Christian morality” is or “Christian ethics” are. There are entire books and college-level courses on these topics, so surely someone could simply state what they are.

    I am still waiting.

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  4. Some Christians say that moral sense is innate and is somehow proof of their religion(and not someone else’s?). I think they are mistaking cultural norms and socialization with some “innate sense”. Similarities between social mores over time and across societies have more to do with what works and what is necessary than anything to do with religion. Societies don’t(and didn’t in the past) regulate things like theft and killing because the Bible orders it. For social order to be maintained and the hierarchy, division of labor, trust, and group survivability depending on that, certain behaviors must be controlled. Emotion and social bonds are another factor that Christians seem to ignore. I have had a Christian ask me that if I did not buy into their moral ideas, what is to stop me from murdering my grandparents? I just responded that I love my grandparents, so I would not even consider that. What others think is also a powerful deterrent and motivator. Most moral behavior comes from belonging to a social structure. There are also consequences for certain behaviors even if they are not immediately punished. Someone with a reputation for lying and cheating will not be trusted by others and may be shunned.

    I would say that human behavior in general and the existence of psychopaths argue against any innate moral sense. Certain “moral” behaviors are not unique to humans, they are found in other social animals. Basic mores can be derived from game theory. There is nothing “objective” about morality either. All moral demands have their basis in reward and punishment. Reward and punishment have their basis in desire and aversion. Even Christians that claim “objective morality” cannot come up with any other basis than that.

    The Bible itself takes no time to put forward a moral theory. Biblical morality is not consistent with what Christians claim to believe either. One example that I never see brought up is this. David, when he was an outlaw and later a vassal of the Philistine king of Gath, was a raider that went around collecting protection money. While he served the Philistines, David made raids into other territories to seize goods and livestock(pretty typical activities). David deceitfully told his Philistine lord that he was making raids into Israelite territory. This was calculated to make the Philistines trust him more. He was actually raiding non-Israelite territories, and in the aftermath of his raids he left no one alive so that no one would be able to pin the deed on him and expose him.

    The Bible explicitly says that David was Yahweh’s favorite person and was always right with Yahweh except for the matter of Uriah the Hittite. So there was nothing wrong in Biblical morality with any of the above, not the perfidy, not the mass killing, and not the plundering. I suppose the most important thing to the writers is that David remained loyal to his own tribe.

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    1. The idea that morality is innate can be disproven in one simple field of study—feral children. Worthy of its own post, but after about 6-7 years of age they can not be taught empathy and have been known to kill their handlers then sit by the body like it’s a rug or a bush. Hardly a case for morality dispensed in the heart. Morality is a learned behavior.

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      1. The Christians would probably come up with an excuse to get around the feral children issue. There are some types of Christians that would argue that morality is not innate. They would say it comes from baptism or “regeneration”. Fortunately, this can actually be tested. If it failed to have an effect on feral children, then they would have to come up with some theological jargon to cover that problem.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Maybe god just turned them loose to test out faith. See, I could blend right into evangelicalism ⚔️
          On the other hand, some of the stories of survival in these kids and there abilities are incredible. The antelope boy is my favorite.

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          1. Catholics and Orthodox would probably address this by saying that feral children are in a “state of nature”. This is what they refer to when they want to designate people with no knowledge of the church and its doctrines, or any knowledge of “spiritual things” or concept of them. There was some debate about certain peoples in the Americas and Africa. The Catholics declared that they had no discernible religion and were extremely primitive, so they must be completely unaware of anything divine or demonic(and so little more than animals). There was also a controversy over the Chinese, because Jesuits could not understand Chinese philosophy(and the state Confucianism) and so declared that the Chinese had somehow found a way to have a non-religious civilization. This caused problems because Catholics had claimed that a non-religious civilization was impossible. Jean Meslier singled China out in his book because he had no doubt read about that debate between different Catholic factions.

            There is an Amazon people called the Piraha. The Piraha are a small and peaceful(they don’t have a word for warfare) tribe that lives a subsistence lifestyle. They came to my attention when I came across a book by an ex-missionary(Daniel Everett) that came to convert them. In the end, he ended up becoming an atheist(or at least non-religious). The Piraha have no concept of anything a Christian conditioned Westerner would call religion. They do have some kind of belief in spirits(and apparently see them), but they have formed no opinions of them except that they exist, and have no concept of gods or worship. No afterlife ideas either. They have no abstractions like numbers, or tenses for past and future, and other things in their language. This has caused academic interest in their language. There are videos about this guy and the language on YouTube if you want to know more details.

            What really frustrates me is that Christians don’t believe in their own touted Biblical morality. Most of the top examples a Christian will give you of what is immoral are things prioritized in modern, secular morality. They will use things like slavery or rape as examples, and use them to bludgeon moral skeptics, people from other religions, and atheists. I think you had one of them around trying to bait you with something like “so slavery is acceptable if there is social consensus” or something like that. The problem is, rape(by the strict older definition) is a very minor issue in the Bible, and slavery is condoned and at times directed. If they want to be consistent, they need to be pro-slavery, for making virgin females marry the one who raped them, and for stoning rape victims that were assaulted in a town or city. The deformed, bastards, mixed race, and the sick(like lepers) should be forbidden from religious assemblies or full citizenship, because the “congregation” used to translate the Hebrew word in the Old Testament basically meant the assembly of free men and such people were excluded from that. If they disagree with those things, they are going against their supposed deity.

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            1. I am familiar with Daniel Everett. Very fascinating story. Interesting thoughts about seeing spirits but having no opinion of them. A people so in tune with the experience, understanding the physical and spiritual is simply one experience. The Priaha, the Kogi of Columbia and many others share a lot of similarities. They don’t fear death nor live life thinking of the past and future.
              Michael Harner (died in March) initially spent similar time in Ecuador and then converted his career to anthropology amassed the largest collection in the world of core shamanistic beliefs and practices. His center is still in operation in Oregon but is become a commercial endeavor (that always helps, right?) but the idea is that there are more legitimate and connected ways of being in the world than the monochromatic trend to Christianity. If I could do life over again I’d be Wade Davis, the ethnographer from nat geo. What a life he has led! If you’re unfamiliar with him, he has some superb talks on TED and YouTube.

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            2. I have collected a lot of material on shamanism. Been studying it for years. It is a fascinating subject. I hope to see a revival of shamanic thought(for lack of a better term) among Westerners. We had it at one time too. For too long we have only been told that the only way to think is along narrow theological lines(dogma) or narrow philosophical lines. Actual experience is discounted in theology and philosophy. So much of all that is based on faulty ideas about cosmology and not understanding older terminology, as I pointed out here before.

              I actually tried to defend the legacy of Greek philosophy to Melas, who sees it as mostly negative. More and more I suspect that he is right. He is also pretty much against theology, which had its origin in philosophy. The more you look, the more you find that philosophy was based on the same type of thinking as theology. I have waded through a lot of Christian and Muslim theology over the years. None of it is worth much. They all start with a conclusion and then set out to support it. Theological arguments that might have some merit are often rejected on grounds that they would benefit a “heresy” which is declared wrong by fiat. Scriptures and authorities are edited, chosen, and curated based on how much they fit a preconceived theological view. Much of it comes down to word jugglery and arguing over trifling bits of terminology. I think I may have the tendency to do the latter myself. It can be hard to break those old habits even after rejecting their basis, I am sure you know that too. Theologians also reject and even denigrate actual experience. They discount it as imagination or demonic possession, if they even bother to care or notice at all. Book religions with their monks and doctors in general suspect or suppress experiential traditions. Buddhist monks in Mongolia burned shamans at the stake, for example. There is an image of this from the 17th century, with the monks all gathering to burn a shaman.

              I know about Core Shamanism, but I only found out about it as I came across references in my other studies. I have never read anything by Harner. From looking into what Core Shamanism is, I did realize that I was coming up with something like Core Shamanism in my own theorizing. I was looking for commonalities to come up with a distilled and generalized method of shamanism. That is basically what Core Shamanism is. I have seen enough criticism of this approach that I am being more careful.

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            3. My wife is a shaman of the Babaylan lineage. She just attended a Babaylan conference in Toronto as a matter of fact titled, “unlearning colonialism”, in a deeper attempt to reclaim much of what is lost and rejecting the one size fits all fast food religion. There are still some very astute Babaylan, but even many Filipinos of the colonial era are so steeped in Catholicism they don’t even know what they are. The Catholics really did a number on our indigenous friends to get them to defend their oppressors.

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            4. Catholics are harder to deal with than the average Protestant fundamentalist. They have all that tradition and Aristotle to fall back on. They have been whitewashing the history of the Church as much as possible. The Inquisition wasn’t “that bad”, and in fact it was positive. Or if it weren’t for the Church, civilization would have been doomed. The Church actually defended and helped Native Americans. One side effect of the pushback against globalism and mass immigration(in Europe and the US) is that the Catholic Church is using this to funnel certain people back into the church. They find people wanting some kind of spiritual or mental mooring in an uncertain time and offer them one. Others want tradition or ritual. Some are wanting another basis for thinking than what is popular in current culture and academia, so Catholics are promoting Thomism again to fill that gap. It has lost a lot of credibility, but a lot of desperate people will run to it. Orthodox churches are using the internet to recruit and put out apologetics for the same purpose; convert the rootless Westerner. A lot of people are impressed by all the sources they use, since their authoritative writings include a lot more than just the literal word of the Bible.

              Your wife being a shaman would explain your knowledge and interest. You and Melas both talk about indigenous people and indigenism a lot. You probably see Christianity as a tool of colonial oppression. When I was in grade school, one of my teachers stated outright that the Natives should be grateful because they were brought Christianity and so could be saved. I was maybe 8 years old, and it got me thinking on that topic for the first time. I had already absorbed some Christian ideas, but the idea of groups of people “being saved” never really occurred to me. I figured Christianity was something that everyone believed, though shortly after(by age 9) I learned a lot about different religions by reading. I read the whole Bible by 12.

              I take a different approach. I oppose Christianity(and all Abrahamism) because it is false, and they want to impose a falsehood on everyone else. As if that would make it all true. They don’t care if it has been a tool of oppression because apologists are convinced(or want to convince others) that Christianity is necessary. Many people are terrified to even question it. Christianity’s entire history has been based on suppressing facts, interpolating and destroying documents, and outright fabrication. The entire idea that Jesus was predicted in the Old Testament is based on deception. The Old Testament prophets made false predictions as well, none of that came true when it was supposed to.

              Liked by 2 people

  5. It always irritated me how the true believers claim atheists and agnostics cannot be “moral” when the TB’s own track record for moral behavior isn’t exactly very stellar. The “fear of god” doesn’t seem to put any restraints on what they say or do.

    Way back when I was in college we spent way, way too long in philosophy classes debating and discussing morality and ethics, time that would have been far better spent in, oh, say, drinking. Or bowling maybe. Bowling is fun. Or fishing.

    I think one of my classmates summed up what morality is at the end of one of the discussions rather well. She said something to the effect that morality is whatever the dominant culture in the society you’re living in says it is. What it says in all the holy books and in the law, what the prophets or holy men or politicians say it is, can have an influence, yes. But when it comes right down to it, even that will be ignored if enough people decide to act differently. Basically there is no such thing as morality, not as a hard and fast rule or philosophical concept. Morality is little more than public opinion.

    Someone pointed out that there were universal concepts of morality, like the prohibition against murder or incest. She replied that if murder was indeed universally immoral, why are some types of murder perfectly okay, like the government executing criminals, or, in some cultures, the church executing heretics, or killing people in war. If murder is universally immoral, it is always immoral, no matter what the circumstances. If you can say something like, oh, you can’t shoot George over there, that’s immoral, but you can> shoot Herman down the street because he did something you don’t like, there is something fundamentally wrong with your whole concept of morality because a moral value, by its very nature, must be applied universally.

    At that point we decided to declare it immoral to continue class because they were having 2 for 1 at the bar down the street from the campus. We had some odd philosophy classes. Lots of foggy memories because we always seemed to end up drinking a lot. Well, you would too if you had to write a 50 page paper deconstructing Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason [shudder]. Had nightmares for weeks after that. For one class we were required to be able to sing Monty Python’s Philosopher’s Song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMfCTBkMgKY

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    1. I mentioned to Bill, we don’t let nature fix things anymore, we make laws and come up with solutions for everything and get in the way. Now it is regulations regulating regulations, and allow nature nothing. Every Monty python video rebuttal is welcome here! That is hilarious! Thanks boss. Don’t listen to it enough to memorize the words or it’ll be stuck in the neuronal song loop!

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  6. If gods do not exist, as I am convinced is the case, then religion become pointless. If religions all went away, we would still need the social guidance of morality, law, and some sense of justice. Religion offers fake and contrived morality supported by religious books and dogma tied to deities that are also fake. I’ll take my chances with a secular world.

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  7. Pure and simple, all religions offer a proscriptive life as an alternative to an organic one. Offer a new fiction based on wellbeing and advancing the human condition, get people to buy in and change the world. Simple two thousand years ago. Given the success of Trump, anything’s possible even today.

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    1. I’ve read some godist mythology, including the bible and if the gods are responsible for morality we’re in deeper shit than even I thought…

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  8. Morality has more meaning than any common Atheist might imagine…

    Think on this:

    The term “usage” versus the emotion of love. They have their differences, because the emotion of love has no use. It is why we associate slavery with usage, with a disregard for humanity or an outward display of cruelty.

    I’d more-so associate incest with “usage” over love. That is, I’d more-so even associate the history of Nazi doctors who experimented on humans, with incest, over love.

    Everything having to do with love, is not a reality, but an experience. No experiences have realities, and instead, they halt the vision of reality into an experience. One is drugged upon love, so to speak, and their life becomes a haze.

    Morality possesses objectivity in it, when we can understand that the emotion of love and the concept of “usage” have those differences, by way of soulfulness in the former, and soullessness in the latter.

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    1. I don’t dispute perceptions and realities differ in many ways. How does this effect the idea that our morality is governed by how others react to us?

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      1. This is nothing more than a sight, by me, of a bunch of degenerates who simply say what other say.

        Here is me, offering a fresh perspective, something new, and all I receive are little answers of “what?” and question marks.

        How did it go? So many creators, inventors, and other innovators of the past offered something fresh to the world, the world questioned it, the world doubted it, and it still went ahead to spark enlightenment?

        I could sit here and lecture the lot of you all, but I’ll just simply write a thousand-and-one books, and the world will know exactly how I think.

        There’s one good thing about being a writer:

        No one can argue with a book.

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        1. and here we go again. You make no sense at all, “Romanticindeed”, and that’s not the fault of people trying to read your nonsense.

          And people argue against the nonsense in books all of the time. The bible is one lovely example. You can write all you want and that doesn’t do a darn thing to show that your claims are true.

          You are just one more human who thinks that they have some magical secret to the universe.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Mein Kampf was a book…I believe WWII could be seen as somebody arguing with that book.

          Also what’s your real name. I plan on buying your 1001 book collection and having a bookcase dedicated directly to it. Over it will be a sign…”Well you can’t argue with this”.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. There is quite a lot of scientific literature surrounding love. We understand it far more than you think. All you are doing here is handing out arbitrary definitions to think so you can put love in a special category. It’s arbitrary and subjective and likely intentional so that you can confirm what you already believe about morality.

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      1. Then, go ahead. DO the things do your daughters, your family, and everything else related to the usable.

        I’ll sit here and admire my family, my loved ones, and commit to the things that love represents. The admiration, the contentment, and the peace.

        You are the one who does not comprehend anything.

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      2. I’ll tell you, now, moron, since you are the ONLY one here who has openly called out what I had to write.

        Love is opposite from the realm of usage. There is no “subjectivity” in this.

        Here’s a quote that you should bury inside of your mind. I have written it, myself.

        “The slave or the human. There are men of war, and men of peace. Men of war will see slaves as pawns, as unworthy of being offered humanity. Men of peace will see slaves as humans, and also see them worthy of being offered humanity.”

        Do you do unto your children, your daughters, the manner of respect that is attributed to labor?

        Respect is also opposite from love. This is factual. Only in a world where competition and a lust for “equality” is rampant, is love ever replaced by a need for respect. Only in a world where “anxiety” is a primary focus, due to what has condemned the 21st century mind to see far into an uncertain future, is love ever replaced by a need for respect. And, of that latter example, people seem to not comprehend that love is not something “for the moment” as much as lust, love’s opposite, is for the moment.

        The moronic “Children of the 60’s”, changed these perspectives, almost forcefully, and I seemed to have been assigned the task to clean up their mess.

        Lust is attributed to “the job”, referring to what I said before about labor. The work needed for love to flourish for the future.

        Do I need to explain further? Because, I can write my whole damn book here.

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        1. You do need to explain further, only because I am absolutely amazed at your ability to spew verbal diarrhea at an obscene rate. I don’t know if there is a pill you need to take, or a missed therapy session, but you here are certifiable.

          Please write a book so the debate can begin…”book?” … “manifesto?” It will be a thrilling conversation.

          If you made an ounce of sense I promise you I might provide an argument, but you literally are making shit up in the most incoherent way possible.

          Liked by 2 people

            1. For those that are interested, this person is named Peter A.W. Wyatt and has his first book on Amazon. Here is what he has written in the “about the author” portion.

              His love for creative writing brought him to where he is, now, as a writer with a classical style that has been criticized by numerous professors. The only reason being, it seems, because such a style is merely “out-of-date” with the current styles.

              Such is where Peter has a stand in the literary world, today. An uncommon style is usually what had bred the literary movements of the past.

              If it is his goal to create a literary movement, it is unknown at the current moment, because his focus at the time being is to first generate an audience.

              “There is nothing like telling a professor of higher education that he or she is unable to see where originality takes place,” says Peter, at times, and finishing with, “Originality is not merely something that represents sheer newness. It is also something that has been forgotten.”

              I also read the first couple chapters that are posted on Amazon for his book. It’s bad writing. Feel free to take a look.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Maybe he and Matty Lawrence (mattysparadigm) are working together “ Is the world indifferent to the gospel? Here’s a suggestion: preach that the expansion of hell is the cause of global warming. You will suddenly find that the world is highly volatile.—Matty

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    1. Well, I don’t have many beliefs, but I do believe grace by faith is about the most damaging attribute of religion to stunt human potential. I’m not perfect, just forgiven is an excuse to mediocrity.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think it would be more accurate to describe modern Christianity as the cult of mediocrity. You can’t entirely blame the Christians though, their world’s only been around for 5000 years. They haven’t had near as much time as the rest to evolve mentally. If it wasn’t for aping the rest they’d still have no clue how to make a fire.

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