Do some people need god to be good?

the carrot of heaven, the stick of hell etc.

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Do some people need belief in God to be good?

Yes
4
19%
Probably
2
10%
No eye deer
0
No votes
Probably not
6
29%
No
8
38%
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1
5%
 
Total votes : 21

Do some people need god to be good?

#1  Postby Keep It Real » Nov 21, 2016 7:31 pm

Do you think theism is bad for civilisation?


Not really, I think we still need it. Haven't you heard theists argue that without God everybody would be raping and murdering? They're talking about themselves when they say that. Not everyone can keep an even keel without the carrot of Heaven and the stick of Hell.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#2  Postby The_Metatron » Nov 21, 2016 8:10 pm

God? No.

Some education? There's your huckleberry.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#3  Postby Evolving » Nov 21, 2016 8:11 pm

I do think that our polity is more humane and - let's face it - legal since we have a vigilant press scrutinizing what our politicians and civil servants do. Very tempting otherwise to fudge and hope no one notices.

Transparency. Glasnost. Even if we'd have behaved properly anyway, better safe than sorry.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#4  Postby Keep It Real » Nov 21, 2016 8:13 pm

Even if psychopaths did need god to be good there'd have to be more of them than ISIS etc. in order for it to make the god delusion a good thing...
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#5  Postby TopCat » Nov 21, 2016 8:33 pm

I offer this as an evidence-free, 'gut-feel' opinion only.

I don't need god to be good. I don't think good people need god to be good. I think good, intelligent people are likely to need god the least, to be good.

However, the veneer of civilisation is very thin. I wouldn't like everyone that isn't good and intelligent to wake up tomorrow morning, and think, "hmm, I can do any damn thing I like".
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#6  Postby Cito di Pense » Nov 21, 2016 8:37 pm

It depends on how good you want some people to be.

I guess if you have unreasonable expectations about how good people are going to be, you might end up saying that they need god in order to be good.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#7  Postby tuco » Nov 21, 2016 8:38 pm

Good like me, I do not think so, its not statistically probable.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#8  Postby scott1328 » Nov 21, 2016 8:38 pm

Good people do not need religion to be good. Bad people will do evil regardless of their beliefs.

For good people to commit evil acts requires religion.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#9  Postby THWOTH » Nov 24, 2016 10:06 am

What's good about God?
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#10  Postby zoon » Nov 24, 2016 11:14 am

Evolving wrote:I do think that our polity is more humane and - let's face it - legal since we have a vigilant press scrutinizing what our politicians and civil servants do. Very tempting otherwise to fudge and hope no one notices.

Transparency. Glasnost. Even if we'd have behaved properly anyway, better safe than sorry.

I agree, I'm very much with H.L. Mencken when he wrote: "Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking."

A functioning society and the expectation of being found out keep most people on the straight and narrow, from hunter-gatherers on. At the same time, most societies, I think all hunter-gatherer societies which have been studied, have some sort of belief in a spirit world, including expected retribution for sinful behaviour from gods or spirits or karma. We may even be wired up to expect this, and need some extra work to live without it? - like the inbuilt tendency to overeat sweet things, which were not common in the environment where humans evolved.

It can be disorientating for a society or individual to lose the belief in supernatural moral oversight quickly, there may well be a sense that all is permitted. The spread of atheism in Western societies has been going on for centuries, long enough to adjust, but even now it's unclear where morality fits in to the scientific world view, what the social and psychological mechanisms are. Like vision, they're probably more complicated than they feel.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#11  Postby Sendraks » Nov 24, 2016 11:16 am

The_Metatron wrote:God? No.

Some education? There's your huckleberry.


:this:
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#12  Postby Keep It Real » Nov 24, 2016 12:40 pm

THWOTH wrote:What's good about God?


Yes I noticed the problem with the thread title. I should have called it "do some people need to believe in god in order to be good?"
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#13  Postby Sendraks » Nov 24, 2016 12:56 pm

Keep It Real wrote:Yes I noticed the problem with the thread title. I should have called it "do some people need to believe in god in order to be good?"


Does believing in god mean that the person is good? There are some examples of horribly indoctrinated people out there who are, without extensive rehabilitation, pretty much incapable of moral actions without the guidance of whatever set of religious laws they've decided to follow. They need to believe, because that is all they know. Do their beliefs and how they act on them make them "good?" Only within the confines of their belief system or culture.

And there in lies the problem. There are different belief systems with different rules setting out what "god" or "gods" consider to be "good" behaviour. They can't all be right and some of the belief systems have conflicting rules setting out what is "good" behaviour. Which one is the right one? Which definition of "good" is correct?

The lack of crisp definitions for what constitutes "good" and competing dogma, means that religion is the last place to look for guidance on what it means to be "good."
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#14  Postby THWOTH » Nov 24, 2016 3:46 pm

Keep It Real wrote:
THWOTH wrote:What's good about God?


Yes I noticed the problem with the thread title. I should have called it "do some people need to believe in god in order to be good?"

The question wasn't to the thread title, though I take your point.

What good can be achieved by a god-believer that cannot be achieved by a non-believer also? In other words, what goods are only achievable through a belief in God? What is good about God, such that any goodness of any kind is dependent upon a belief therein?
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#15  Postby tuco » Nov 24, 2016 5:08 pm

Maybe, the same good that can be achieved by laws, in other words, a kind of order based on a kind of rules.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#16  Postby Calilasseia » Nov 24, 2016 7:03 pm

The sort of people who actually need to feel they're being watched, in order to behave in something resembling a decent and humane manner toward others, are the reason we invented police. Though of course said invention immediately brought us into head on collision with the conundrum of quis custodiet ipsos custodies?.

Quite simply, those who claim that we need an invisible magic man in order to behave ourselves, are the very people I would suggest be kept a very long way away from even modest levels of power and responsibility. We are not lacking in precedents, with respect to the manner in which past individuals of this ilk visited all sorts of horrors on their fellows.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#17  Postby Blackadder » Nov 24, 2016 7:40 pm

I've always found it to be a very immature point of view, that one can only be good if some authority figure is watchng and will punish you for misdemeanours. Those who sinceely believe that are locked into a permanent psychological childhood, IMO. It doesn't take a great deal of deep thinking to understand that reciprocity, trustworthiness, social cohesion and self-esteem are all much better reasons and explanations for "good" behaviour.

If nothing else, a moment's reflection on how the definition of "good" behaviour has changed since the Old Testament or Koran were written might cause one to question the validity of the assertion that good behaviour is determined by divine interventions and is therefore fixed and immutable for all time.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#18  Postby scott1328 » Nov 24, 2016 8:13 pm

Since a god almost certainly does not exist, then it follows that, no one does in fact need a god to be good.

I imagine that it is possible that some people predicate their good behavior on their delusions of an angry god. Those people are likely sociopathic
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#19  Postby Corneel » Nov 24, 2016 10:19 pm

Some people might need to believe in a god or religion simply to avoid desperation, because their life is misery and way out seems to be cut off, unless you get a little help from god. So they pray, and, yes some fall prey to abusive religions.
But who knows what evil they might committed in despair.
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Re: Do some people need god to be good?

#20  Postby zoon » Nov 24, 2016 10:34 pm

Blackadder wrote:I've always found it to be a very immature point of view, that one can only be good if some authority figure is watchng and will punish you for misdemeanours. Those who sinceely believe that are locked into a permanent psychological childhood, IMO. It doesn't take a great deal of deep thinking to understand that reciprocity, trustworthiness, social cohesion and self-esteem are all much better reasons and explanations for "good" behaviour.

If nothing else, a moment's reflection on how the definition of "good" behaviour has changed since the Old Testament or Koran were written might cause one to question the validity of the assertion that good behaviour is determined by divine interventions and is therefore fixed and immutable for all time.

Social cohesion depends to some extent on people watching each other? As you say, not necessarily a single authority figure, but people in small societies more or less automatically watch and gang up on each other when rules which may not be explicit are broken, and this becomes more codified in larger societies?
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