Philip wrote: We could go around and round of the opposing viewpoints of what is moral and why, forever. Bottom line: "If" God exists (and ONLY "if") - the God of the Bible - then He IS the standard - as whatever He declares to be bad or evil is so. He Himself IS good, and can do no evil. If unbelievers don't agree that there is an objective morality based upon a God who sets the standards - then one will never convince them otherwise.
Nils: Of course, you can never convince an atheist that there is a God-based objective moral. Are you astonished?
Why would that be surprising?
Philip: But I think most people can agree on the terrible dangers posed by many whose only standard of morality is their own subjective view of it - those who don't even ponder the question or concern themselves beyond whatever they personally deem desirable actions for themselves, per their thoughts - whether they desire to murder for money or pursue bloodlust and genocide to acquire an empire.
Nils: You and others repeatedly say that societies based on a subjective moral, mostly secular societies, are more bloodthirsty then others. Do you have any statistical evidence?
But that's not what I asserted, IS it???!!! I merely stated that we can see that "many" - clarified by noting I was speaking of those with sinister motives and actions unfetterer by any sense of a morality but what they PERSONALLY deem it should be. And my statement in no way means that people with a God-honoring / objective view of morality aren't capable of all manner of bad actions. But I would submit that you will find very few TRUE, practicing/believing Christians committing murder and mayhem. And, please distinguish between those merely CALLING themselves Christians and those who truly are trying to follow and honor God - because those actually trying to live Christian lives don't believe that there personal desires are the ultimate arbitrator of what is right and wrong - but what God says they are. However, others following non-Christian "gods" also base their morality upon what they believe their god would have them do. Of course, for some, that would include unthinkable acts committed in "honor" of their god. And yet, many very conscientious unbelieving people are nonetheless relatively moral in their conduct. But I'm only speaking of evil narcissists who have NO concept of any type of God or god-driven morality.
Nils: Also you don't seem to understand that secular democratic societies often has higher morality than religious societies.
And I would submit to you that democracy grew out of Christian influences, and thus those in such societies - even atheists - have absorbed culturally absorbed influences of Christian teachings. This would include much of Europe and the New World.
Nils: The country that is the most secularised, Japan, has a murder rate per capita that is less than one tenth of that of USA.
That is true. Now, compare Japan's overall murder and crime rate to that of practicing Christians - then you'll see the comparison is invalid. You'd also see similar in people following the relatively peaceful practices of most religions.
Nils: The North European countries are also highly secular and their murder rate is about one fifth of that of USA.
Still, those countries have absorbed the residue of Christianity. They also aren't armed to the teeth as we are. BTW, the US is mostly NOT a Christian nation - which is the point. I'm comparing those ONLY self-driven without respect to any God/god expected morality.
Nils: There are other resources for acquiring a high morality than religion. There is the instinct that made us like to live in groups and living in groups requires that you treat the group members mainly as you want to be treated by them.
Most western and even other nations are often highly influenced by their religions' teachings - even per those secular, following cultural norms and sensibilities.
Nils: Our moral is not arbitrary, a whims or just to chose flavour of ice cream. It is based on what is best for humans.
And so that is part of my point - as I'm not speaking of people who consider their fellow man, but those whose morality is unconcerned with such - with a personal morality that is only concerned with what THEY, personally desire - whose concern of others is virtually absent. Yes, many do consider the collective good. They realize living peacefully and lawfully benefits all. But where the contrast between those only concerned with what they personally want, and those who see a higher reason (God or god) for their morality, is when you consider such people who ALSO have tremendous personal power, influence, wealth, and often ruthless ambition. With such people, they don't necessarily have the same mutually common constraints, and their ego, ambition and pride reduces their actions to whatever personally pleases themselves - to hell with other people.
And make no mistake, if the respected beliefs of one's religion also sees it moral to trample upon their fellow man, their religion often means their treatment of their fellow man will be no better than that of the evil narcissist. Look at the Hindus historic, religious-based treatment of the so-called "untouchables" - as they have believed that they would be interfering with the karma brought by their sins actions of past lives.