arrow19 Comments
  1. John
    Aug 19 - 12:50 am

    Actually I would agree with you about Kant. His Univeral Imperative is pretty much the same notion.

    Thanks for posting this, the timing is bizzare though as I just posted something about ethics mentioning similar things in my blog yesterday.

  2. Delysid
    Aug 19 - 7:52 pm

    Aye aye, the categorical imperative is the same thing! It's simply deductive logic…or a more fancy modern version! 😉

  3. HJ
    Aug 26 - 2:44 pm

    Even though Jesus didn't "invent" the golden rule, he still did state a version of it. Many world religions use it still today and over all it is a good moral in my opinion. But why do we need morals without someone to account to? in Christianity, we have good morals because we love God but in an atheistic view, they are empty morals. Just throwin that out there.

    • Jose
      Dec 14 - 4:53 pm

      Actually, secular people do good for the sake of doing good. While Christians do good to make their sky daddy happy and avoid the fire of “hell” even though it’s made up. So in essence christian morality is no more to the point than a slave being called a good worker.

  4. Tony Coyle
    Aug 27 - 1:27 am

    HJ said

    why do we need morals without someone to account to? in Christianity, we have good morals because we love God but in an atheistic view, they are empty morals. Just throwin that out there.

    Nice straw man!

    If you read the post for comprehension (along with the other linked material), you'll likely see that the common foundation for our morals are our sense of empathy – the triggering of mirror neurons that inflict pain on ourselves when we sense pain in the other, or joy on ourselves when we sense joy.

    The empathic foundation for morals is also grounded anthropologically in our tribalism. Family/tribe is familiar – so one has a rich 'model' of those related people which enables a richer, deeper empathy. The other, non-tribe, have at most a passing resemblance – so one does not invest much in an internal model, and needs to 'work' to have empathy.

    This is why most 'simple' morals are based upon tribal values, and why we find those easiest to adopt.

    More complex morals are founded upon an extension of our commonality (extending the tribe), so that we can engage similar empathic responses for the other.

    We see some people, and their moral codes, take this further (buddhists, for instance).

    Many, retain a strict divide (the Nazi 'aryan' mythos is founded up[on a strong us/them divide between the aryan and the other – engaging strong empathy response for aryans, and weak empathy response for non-aryans).

    So, HJ – when you claim that 'atheistic' morals are empty, you are merely spouting garbage. Morals are a formalization of our empathy. Superior morals, extend and embrace everyone into our 'tribe' – not just those who are 'saved' and not just those who 'look like us'.

    In my opinion, 'atheistic' morals are the only real morals that exist – everything else is still insufferably tribal (especially any that require obeisance to an authoritarian god).

    Just throwin' that out there.

  5. Brynn Jacobs
    Aug 27 - 1:53 am

    HJ-

    So if you didn't love God, you would run wild– killing, murdering, raping whomever you chose? That's the implication in what you are saying, and it's terrifying.

    For me, as an atheist, it's much easier to believe that most people are basically good, and that the world becomes a better place for all if we treat each other the way we would like to be treated.

  6. Erich Vieth
    Oct 14 - 3:35 pm
  7. Erich Vieth
    Jan 20 - 4:59 pm

    More on the extraordinarily long history of the Golden Rule. http://biblefunmentionables.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/boo-unto-others/

  8. paul jay
    Jan 21 - 12:17 am

    Jesus had ideas similar to Gandhi and MLK, they echoed Buddhist and Islamic wisdom. ‘Turn the other cheek’ is Jesus’ interpretation of the golden rule. Ron Paul, with whom I disagree on everything, presents this in the context of of a presidential contest. A first, and I admire him for it.

  9. […] also taught one of many versions of “the Golden Rule.” Here are the two places where these teachings appear in the […]

  10. nelly
    Apr 28 - 8:26 pm

    Islam does not have the golden rule so you are wrong. Islam teaches to kill, enslave or force conversion on all non believers.
    Whether Jesus originated it or not he lived it more than any other.

  11. grumpypilgrim
    May 04 - 2:57 pm

    Responding to Nelly — Wikipedia says the Golden Rule is both implicit in the Quran and explicit in other teachings of Mohammad:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule

    The Wiki also says the Rule can be found in (among other places) Middle Kingdom Egypt, circa 2000 b.c.e., which, as Erich points out above, is long before Jesus came along.

    BTW, Christianity has plenty of stories of non-believers being killed, enslaved or forced to convert. Ever heard of the Inquisition? What about the extermination, exile and forced conversion of virtually the entire native population of North, Central and South America? What about Africa? Australia? Even the U.S. wars in (non-Christian) places like Viet Nam and Iraq had a religious component. The history of Christianity isn’t any less bloody than that of Islam, it merely benefits from (a) being (mostly) more distant in the past and (b) receiving more favorable, ratings-driven, Western media reports.

  12. Alan
    Jun 05 - 3:24 am

    Hi Correct me If im wrong but wasn’t the oldest version you on your list

    “Hebrew Bible – circa 700 BCE “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your countrymen. Love your fellow as yourself: I am the LORD”

    That is Jesus before he came to earth

    • Klaus
      Jun 07 - 7:58 am

      Look at the list again.
      The oldest was an Egyptian reference. Did you even read the article?

      Are you going to claim that that was Jesus (before he came to Earth) as well?

      Are there any statements ever made throughout recorded history, that cannot be attributed to Jesus in this way?

  13. theBarrier
    Dec 02 - 9:41 pm

    In defense of HJ
    The problem with atheists is not that we assume they will run wild into each other until they are all killed off because they have no God into their life…
    No. That’s extreme and unrealistic. A God gives an automatic just and easy way of motivation towards a continuous way of thinking (if religious you could say a righteous way if not you could just call it a reliable way). This is important factor due to the human’s nature to evolve with its environment… Means we are easily persuaded or more susceptible towards agreeing with the masses when it agrees with our intuitions… For example, the media the government user the media to control the masses with images slang trends and agendas that benefit their free market. They have easily persuaded us into buying a new extensive Makeup kit because they know we WANT to be beautiful so they USE what WE WANT to convince us that we NEED it and that it’s okay to choose this over other things…
    Now do you understand how easily persuaded and selfish the mind is? This is why we NEED some type if Constant guidance bc relying on ourselves we will change our minds or way of doing things just to please us. Relying on ourselves to create a righteous way of living is like asking a child to parent themselves…
    We ALL NEED A TEACHER WE ALL NEED HELP NONE OF US KNOW (for certain) ANYTHING which is why i do not even call myself religious i am SPIRITUAL being because i embrace that i have s spirit and its my responsibility to nurture it and to respect others way of enhancing or inhibiting their spiritual development do the fact you all attacked hj is why i am defending.
    I believe in a Creator a higher being because i KNOW that i am not always right i know i am never fully certain just hopeful i know that i can create i know that I’ve been created due to science proving how we have machines inside of us that if one piece was missing it would not have been made and its made with a SPECIFIC PURPOSE not for a random purpose or random event or random tuning everything in science says and proves how NOTHING IS RANDOM yet their explanation for our origin is random? Very peculiar… I say this because I RESEARCHED it myself when i finally decided to use MY OWN BRAIN and READ instead of FOLLOW what everyone else has told me to believe and the evidence the pieces put together depict a different picture than the one you all are backing up.
    I do not think atheists Are dangerous i think people are.

    • Edgar Montrose
      Dec 31 - 10:33 am

      >>The problem with atheists is not that we assume they will run wild into each other until they are all killed off because they have no God into their life…

      Atheists do not fear being killed-off by running into each other; atheists fear being killed-off by running into hateful, judgmental, intolerant “people of faith”.

      >>A God gives an automatic just and easy way of motivation towards a continuous way of thinking (if religious you could say a righteous way if not you could just call it a reliable way).

      “A” god? Which one? There are so many.

      >>This is important factor due to the human’s nature to evolve with its environment…

      What’s that? You just used acknowledged that humans evolve?

      >>Means we are easily persuaded or more susceptible towards agreeing with the masses when it agrees with our intuitions…

      Pretty much the dictionary definition of “religion”.

      >>For example, the media the government user the media to control the masses with images slang trends and agendas that benefit their free market.

      Governments learned control of the masses by observing religious practices.

      >>Now do you understand how easily persuaded and selfish the mind is? This is why we NEED some type if Constant guidance bc relying on ourselves we will change our minds or way of doing things just to please us. Relying on ourselves to create a righteous way of living is like asking a child to parent themselves…

      And yet it is acceptable to be “relying on ourselves” to create that “Constant guidance” to which you refer? Basically you are saying, “We can’t rely upon our own DECISIONS, so we’ve DECIDED to create guidelines for how to DECIDE.” And when someone points out the circular fallacy of this argument, you get around the problem by claiming (without possibility of proof or disproof) that the guidlines were created by a divine third-party

      >>We ALL NEED A TEACHER

      Please speak only for yourself.

      >>WE ALL NEED HELP NONE OF US KNOW (for certain) ANYTHING which is why i do not even call myself religious i am SPIRITUAL being because i embrace that i have s spirit and its my responsibility to nurture it and to respect others way of enhancing or inhibiting their spiritual development

      Atheism and spirituality are not mutually exclusive.

      >>I believe in a Creator a higher being because i KNOW that i am not always right

      The fact that you are not always right, and the existence of a creator, are two separate, unrelated things.

      >>i know i am never fully certain just hopeful

      So you are not certain that there is a creator, just hopeful. That is a remarkable admission; I wish that all people of faith were so insightful and candid.

      >>i know that i can create i know that I’ve been created

      But you just said that you are never fully certain, just hopeful.

      >>everything in science says and proves how NOTHING IS RANDOM

      Actually, science and math tend to say just the opposite.

      >>I say this because I RESEARCHED it myself

      But don’t think that you understood it.

      >>when i finally decided to use MY OWN BRAIN and READ instead of FOLLOW what everyone else has told me to believe and the evidence the pieces put together depict a different picture than the one you all are backing up.

      Who is “you all”, and what exactly are they “backing up”?

      >>I do not think atheists Are dangerous i think people are.

      Well, atheists are people, too. They have all of the same strengths and weaknesses as anyone else. They just don’t attribute them to or blame them on divine beings.

  14. grumpypilgrim
    Jan 12 - 6:30 pm

    Alan wrote, ““Hebrew Bible – circa 700 BCE “…I am the LORD.”
    That is Jesus before he came to earth.”

    Alan should read the Bible. Nowhere does the Old Testament mention Jesus, and nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus refer to himself as the Lord. Both assertions were fabricated by followers of Jesus, to satisfy their own desires.

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