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Comments about ‘Letter: Right and wrong’

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

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Confused
Sandy, UT

Here is the thing I believe most Atheist, Agnostics, etc do not understand...

You say morals is relative, not because of a belief in God, but it is the naturally way (at least this is what I am getting from your posts).

The thing is Right and Wrong is taught by parents, grandparents, others to everyone.... It is passed down from generation to generation much like you beloved memento's of past family members.

Here is the rub, you may not believe in God (which is fine in my book), but if you dig deep enough into your genealogy, you will find some of your ancestors who did. They were taught what is right and wrong from the bible (or book of Mormon) by their family.

So your feelings of right and wrong is actually based on God's law..

People by themselves do not know what is right or wrong... they are taught those concepts.

Demiurge
San Diego, CA

Morality has its source in the same place we do, and is subject to the same forces. With the evolution of man, as a tribal or somewhat "herd" species, behaviors either were beneficial to the group/tribe/herd, neutral, or detrimental. These are defined the same way as species are created, by the success of that tribe with respect to others. Those tribes with great internal cooperation, humans working for the common good, and not harming other members of the tribe, became more successful than those which did not. Morals evolved due to the same forces which created species. We can see the same thing today in chimpanzee species and their shunning of members engaged in anti-social behavior: they may not reproduce. Those morals we consider fundamental - regarding murder, theft, rape, etc. were all those that had the ability to destroy the tribe. Notice too that these morals are flexible, even today, when members of other tribes are encountered. See: war.

mark
Salt Lake City, UT

Well, confused, it seems you are changing the subject just a bit, from whether atheist thought is compatible with morality, to the development of morality. Well okay.

I think you are right that much of our societal morality is taught, and developed, over time from our ancestors. Because if this moralities do change overtime within societies. For example, at one time it was perfectly moral to own slaves, not so much anymore (except in places like Cliven Bundy's world).

But you say this, "They were taught what is right and wrong from the bible (or book of Mormon) by their family." Which may be true if your ancestors come from the minority of the worlds population that believes those books or even had those books.

"right and wrong is actually based on God's law.."

You are assuming that "God's law" is not just created by man. A huge assumption.

I, personally, think the roots of morality are inherent, and they developed through evolution. Before our ancestors developed religion they gained advantage by working together and banding together. That's where our morality came from, and you see it in all group animals.

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