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    • #244
      Von Schellenberg.

      Are moral values only held due to fear of the wrath of some constantly watching god and do god believers imagine being afraid of a god is a virtue…their morality is based on terror of being punished after death it seems. True and reliable moral values derive from our empathy for others and our own natural self interest in respecting others. It is part of our evolutionary history. If an act results in harm, then that act is not moral, its not complicated is it .So why do religious people attribute moral values to some religious texts such as the bible or koran as if they have a monopoly upon moral values. Some god believers think that without a god, that there is nothing to stop murder and rape and crime. That is a nonsense as altruism and empathy are part of our evolution as social beings. Living in social groups would be impossible otherwise. Belief in gods has never been a source of moral virtue. Morality was an essential feature of human evolution. Without the ability to exist in groups, our ancient predecessor species would not have survived. Social creatures need boundaries to behaviour or social cohesion is impossible so morality had to be part of us even before our ancestor species even were at the evolved state of being Homo.Our morality is hard wired into us by our DNA and is a selfish human set of values that owes nothing to any religion. It may be in your apparent interest to take from others that which is useful to you. However, we learn by experience that in fact it is not in ones interest to take from others, as then nothing would deter others from depriving us of what we value. In a social setting we learn it is wise to respect others property and rights if we wish our own rights to be respected.

    • #250
      Points: 36

      A lot of people seem to believe that religion is necessary for morality, but there are lots of reasons why species and cultures would evolve morality. One of the best explanations I’ve ever read is in “The Selfish Gene” which is a 40+ yr old biology book. I really recommend everyone reads it, it’s amazing.

      One of the most common reasons put forward to develop morality as a species is reciprocity. If everyone is just out for themselves then progress is almost impossible. One of our biggest advantages as a species is how well we co-operate. Everything in our society is built on co-operation. Maths, engineering, science itself are all possible because as a species we have worked together to improve them.

      Another reason for morality is that at a basic level genes want to benefit copies of themselves, so your genes program you to be nice to people who have similar genetics, i.e. your family. Giving them a leg up in life means that your genes also have a higher chance of propagation.

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