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Published: Tuesday, April 22 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Jeremy234
SLC, UT

If there is a God, your argument still holds no more weight. Who is God to say what is right or wrong? Why would his opinion hold any more weight than anyone else?

Jeremy234
SLC, UT

The most moral people that I have ever met have all been atheists, for the simple reason that they all do the right thing for no other reason than it is the right thing to do. When you reach that point you can truly walk the world like an adult.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

@Untra Bob,
Re: "Robbing a bank is a mans law, not one of God commandments"....

Ever heard of "Thou shalt not steal"?

I think it's one of God's commandments as well.

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@Open Minded Mormon,
How many posts do you get? One time you said they were all under the same account, so you only get 4 total... but that's not true is it?

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Re: "Please - get over yourself"...

Good advice for ALL of us (you included).

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I think the message in the original article has been completely lost in all these rants.

He didn't say atheists aren't moral. He said we ALL know what's right/wrong!

He did describe that innate ability to discern right/wrong as the "light of Christ" (which is a little presumptuous). But if it's his belief that this gift has been given to ALL men... who cares? Why does that offend anybody?

Who cares where it came from... so long as we HAVE it?

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Schnee" that is nice, but that does not answer the question.

But not believing in God does not make them Atheists. According to recent polling, only 13% identify themselves as Atheists, and 30% are Agnostic. So, even in Sweden they still have some sort of belief in a higher power.

Norway is similar. There is 66% that believe in a higher power, and another 5% that are not sure. Only 30% say there is no God.

If " if God (or Gods) does not exist, then Karma does not exist either. So, what does it matter if you harm others because this life is it?"

What value does life have if there is nothing beyond this life?

Lane Myer
Salt Lake City, UT

"If " if God (or Gods) does not exist, then Karma does not exist either. So, what does it matter if you harm others because this life is it?""

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That is like saying that if God does not exist, then for every action there is NOT an equal and opposite reaction.

Some things happen because of your actions and God (if he exists) just sits and watches. If he doesn't exist, it happens anyway.

That is Karma and it does matter if you harm others BECAUSE this life is it!

Screwdriver
Casa Grande, AZ

With this logic, since there is a God and final judgement, there are no need for laws.

J Thompson
SPRINGVILLE, UT

There's a lot of "bashing" going on. "Bashing" is against the rules, but I guess that rules don't matter any more.

Many posters have told us that they or someone they know is inherently "moral". They tell us that they or the person that they know always makes the right decision. My question to them is how do they measure "right" or "wrong"? Do they think that if someone says or does something that they agree with, that that person is "right"? That's a very shallow measurement.

Our Creator gave us rules. He told us that His law is absolute. He told us that only those who absolutely obey his rules are candidates for His mercy. That's pretty clear to me. It seems that the first duty that we have is to learn His rules and the second duty that we have is to learn to live those rules.

patriot
Cedar Hills, UT

Very good letter - very well said. Morality didn't just happen especially if you swallow the story of evolution where we crawled out of the sea - sprouted legs and started talking in senteneces. The atheist's tell us we are nothing more than animals yet animals have no morals whatsoever. Somewhere along the line someone burned into the very fiber of the human brain the concept that murder and adultery and stealing and bearing false witness were all wrong. Hmmm - where did that all come from anyway? I suppose someone might have just made it all up but whomever that someone was he sure was influencial and powerful to have such a universal impact on all humanity from Africa - Europe - The islands of the sea and every other populated land mass on mother earth.

lonepeakstudent
Alpine, UT

Yo, secular ethics. Also, humanism.

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

Wow, I knew conservatives were a little cuckoo for cocoa puffs on this subject but the posts on this thread are downright scary. If your primary motivating factor for treating others with respect, compassion, and love is either a) to avoid God's wrath, or b) to gain your own eternal salvation then you are not following either of the Two Great Commandments given us by Jesus Christ.

Regardless, belief in a supreme being is not necessary to have order on this planet. Religion (for those of us who believe) dictates how one acts and functions at the individual level; however, the rest of society does not subscribe to my personal moral convictions and cannot be held to those standards lest we live in a theocracy. Indeed, society itself is shaped and informed by a different set of rules. In the case of the US, the general accord by which we all agree to live is the Constitution - which is why we are a secular nation.

Karen R.
Houston, TX

"What value does life have if there is nothing beyond this life?"

More value.

patriot
Cedar Hills, UT

re:Karen R.

More value?? Ok I'm confused. So you are saying a person who has no belief is somehow more fulfilled? How so? I've know a few atheists and at the end of their life they did FEAR death. My wife's aunt comes to mind. The poor woman was terrified of death during her final hours. I think she knew deep in her heart there was life after death and she also knew she had squandered away her worldly life and faced an uncertain future of loneliness. Contrast that to my wife's mother who was an LDS woman filled with faith. Her final hours were peaceful and sweet. To suggest atheism adds value is absurd. Atheism is cold and empty especially as a person contemplates eternity. We all face death - even atheists. No choice in the matter. We will all live beyond the grave and that is an absolute truth - opinion (yours or mine) doesn't matter not in matters of absolute truth.

mark
Salt Lake City, UT

So, uh. . . "patriot", you know what your wife's Aunt was thinking? Hmmm. Cool. Oh wait, no you don't. You said you "think" that was the situation. Truth is, you have no idea. There are plenty of religious people that are scared of death. In fact people react to death many different ways for many different reasons.

And yes, atheists have value to their lives. And yes, for atheists I would imagine atheism adds more value to their lives then religion. Many people find value in not believing superstition. Even if that superstition is warm and fuzzy.

I'm not atheist (unless you want to define it literally: without religion). I'm agnostic. But I find great value in not believing the absurdities superstitious people swallow.

For instance: "We will all live beyond the grave and that is an absolute truth."

Really? What are you basing that on? Whatever you're basing it on, it's definitely not absolute truth, except in your opinion. But like I said, I'm agnostic. I have no idea. But what I do know, is that neither do you.

Which is fine, you want to believe that? Go ahead.

Jamescmeyer
Midwest City, USA, OK

Thank you for writing this letter.

SCfan
clearfield, UT

I just love how letters like this bring out all the adament athiest/agnostics. Opinions like this about the importance of God to civilization really make you guys mad. That should tell you something about how hard you are trying to convince yourselves there is no god who makes the rules. Human opinion is all you have, and who is to say who is right? Usually might makes right in human opinion. Hitler would have been just as right as Ghandi. No getting around that.

Karen R.
Houston, TX

@ Patriot

The saying does not go, "Live your life as if there are infinite tomorrows." It is human nature to value something more when we know we have just one of it.

"Atheism is cold and empty."

Not believing in your god leaves me no more cold and empty than does your lack of belief in Zeus and Thor. It isn't the principle belief that guides my life. I presume you would say the same about your nonbelief in Zeus and Thor.

The only aspect of eternal life that ever appealed to me was its promise of rejoining my lost loved ones. But once I learned that matter is neither created nor destroyed, I realized that I would be rejoining them and in the same state as they exist now; indeed, in the same state in which we existed prior to this life. It seems that, as miniscule a part of this universe as we are, we are an indelible part. That's eternal, isn't it? And it doesn't require a suspension of natural laws.

"We are in the universe and the universe is within us" seems to be true. This to me is wondrous and awesome.

J Thompson
SPRINGVILLE, UT

With over 70 comments posted, it's easy to see who has a moral compass and who does not. Read and re-read the posts. The posts are a window into the minds of the writers. See who attacks others by name. Is attacking a "good" thing? Would someone with a strong moral compass attack another human being? See who belittles the opinions of others. Is "belittling" a good thing? Would someone with a strong moral compass belittle another human being?

This thread tells us more than some people would like to have told about whether those who have a belief in God or those who profess that God is not necessary have the stronger moral compass.

Spend a few minutes. Read each post. Think about what the post is really saying. It's easy to see who has a strong moral compass and who is pretending to have a moral compass. It's easy to see who has a strong idea of right and wrong and who pretends to have a strong idea of right and wrong.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

" Atheism is cold and empty "

Different than religious people atheists obtain their joy in life from life itself not from a belief that oh my this can't be all.

It doesn't matter whether you are an atheist or claim to be a prophet, you love, you hate, you fear, you have hope, you smile, you cry, in short you experience the full range of being a human.

Atheists and agnostics take joy in all of this. That's the meaning of this life to us and the material from which this life is full and warm. It doesn't require another life to be a complete human.

OneWifeOnly
San Diego, CA

@Mike Richards
You wrote ' "Goodness" comes from God. America was founded by people who actually believed that our liberties are a gift from our Creator, our God. Our forefathers wanted us to remember that fact. They put the words, "In God We Trust" on every coin and on every denomination of paper money that is issued by the Government.'

I suppose by definition, a member of the past generations of one's family or people; an ancestor added the words to our money, but your letter leads one to believe you meant the founders of our country added the words--i.e., that our money has always had the motto.

In the United States, prior to 1838 coins did not bear the motto "In God We Trust". The motto first appeared in paper money in 1958.

Schnee
Salt Lake City, UT

@Redshirt1701
Oh I'm sorry, I thought that the arguments that atheism leads to immorality would show correlations between atheism and crime. Didn't realize you all were arguing there was a tipping point where effects are completely invisible until one reaches a certain percentage of atheists...

"What value does life have if there is nothing beyond this life?"

If you can't find any value in this life that doesn't involve the life beyond...

If this is all the time we have, then it's best to make this life as fulfilling as we can.

@patriot
"More value?? Ok I'm confused. So you are saying a person who has no belief is somehow more fulfilled?"

They might be, might not. Depends on the individual.

'If there's an afterlife, then the life we have here is not precious. I don't wish that's the way the world worked' - Penn Jillette

"at the end of their life they did FEAR death."

Fun fact: many people fear death, including the religious.

@SCfan
" Opinions like this about the importance of God to civilization really make you guys mad."

I'd say being told they are immoral makes them mad.

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