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View Diary: Are you now the same religious/lack of religious /"belief" system of your parents? (219 comments)

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  •  You can never tell though. My son is as atheistic (28+ / 0-)

    as you can get, yet I've never seen a more ethical, moral individual in my entire life.  He's scary.

    Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

    by ZedMont on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 07:52:54 PM PDT

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    •  I guess my point is missed. (17+ / 0-)

      Your son is religious too. He adheres to a code of conduct and morality.
      He has a power or understanding of what will, and will not be tolerated.
      The only lacking component is the religion. And given a choice, I would rather have the adherence to a moral code without a religion, rather than the other way around; a religion without adherence to moral authority.

      Suddenly, it dawns on me, Earnest T. Bass is the intellectual and philosophical inspiration of the TeaParty.

      by Nebraska68847Dem on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 08:05:37 PM PDT

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      •  If you would consider (33+ / 0-)

        using a word other than religious, I think most people would agree with you.  Many people can be moral and ethical, even though they are not religious.  Assuming that we are using the traditional definition of religious:

        re·li·gious  [ri-lij-uhs]  adjective
        1.  of, pertaining to, or concerned with religion: a religious holiday.
        2. imbued with or exhibiting religion; pious; devout; godly: a religious man.
        3.  scrupulously faithful; conscientious: religious care.
        4.  pertaining to or connected with a monastic or religious order.
        5.  appropriate to religion or to sacred rites or observances.
        (bolding mine)

        Many people are offended if you say they are religious because they are moral or ethical, because they do not believe in religion.  They would much prefer that you recognize that they are good, moral, ethical people and they are NOT religious.

        One of the things that many of us are fighting is that there are religious fundamentalists out there who believe that you have to belong to a church, or believe in their god in order to be moral, ethical or a good person.

        If you chose to say that people who are agnostic or atheists but who are still moral, ethical, etc are religious - you are really taking away their right to be who they claim to be.

        By labeling as religious, you equate their behavior to religion.  These people do not behave this way because of religion, they behave this way because of their own personal code.

        Sorry for the diatribe.  I have recently read too many articles/news stories about religious leaders who are child abusers or child abuse enablers.  At the moment, I think forcing the word religious on someone who does not claim a religion is an affront.

        I do completely agree with your statement:

        I would rather have the adherence to a moral code without a religion, rather than the other way around; a religion without adherence to moral authority.
        •  Absolutely (17+ / 0-)

          It grows tiresome hearing well-intended religious believers tell me that a "code of conduct and morality" is synonymous with religion. It is not.

          I am NOT religious for a number of compelling reasons. I can and do have my own "code of conduct and morality." Make no mistake though; it is not a religion.

          sign me ...

          just another happy atheist

          "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others". –George Orwell

          by crescentdave on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 11:14:59 PM PDT

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        •  Most people would consider Buddhism to be (6+ / 0-)

          a religion, although there are some who would argue the point. My Zen order certainly states that it is religious, quite emphatically. However, Buddhism has no dependence on Gods. Hindu Gods appear frequently in Buddhist scripture, usually to ask the Buddha for help with their spiritual development, but occasionally as frauds claiming to be far more than they are.

          We don't care how many Gods you may believe in. We teach the nature of suffering and what to do about it. In particular, we teach that the way to deal with your suffering is not to try to shuffle it off onto others, like most Republicans, including the Christian Right. That comes under Cease from Evil, the first Pure Precept. If you can get through that one, we have more to offer.

          Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

          by Mokurai on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 11:20:38 PM PDT

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          •  I have always thought (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BFSkinner, blueoasis, Ginny in CO

            of Buddhism as a religion, but I think that is because I have always heard it referred to as a religion (one of the top 3 most 'popular' religions if I remember correctly).

            Interesting point:

            Buddhism has no dependence on Gods
            Do you have to believe in some form of God (or Goddess) to be considered a religion.  I haven't really given that much thought, but I do not really see that as a prerequisite to being a religion - more so a tradition or even possibly a coincidence (that most religions believe in some form of divine being).

            That would be interesting to look into, how many religions are there that do not believe in one or more divine beings . . .

            •  I know of no avowedly atheist religions (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BFSkinner, PSzymeczek

              As I said, Buddhism doesn't care how many you believe in, or indeed how many there are. BTW, Karen Armstrong argues that it is entirely orthodox Christian theology to point out that God does not exist in any way that we would understand. Certainly not in any material sense.

              On the other hand,

              Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

              by Mokurai on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 08:28:24 AM PDT

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        •  Seems to me that this definition of "religious" (4+ / 0-)
          3.  scrupulously faithful; conscientious:
          fits the writer's description of his/her son's adherence to his moral/ethical code.

          "Le secret des grandes fortunes sans cause apparente est un crime oublié" Balzac

          by gelfling545 on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 05:23:54 AM PDT

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          •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BFSkinner

            but this is one small part of the definition, and not what most people associate with the term religious.

            I left that in because I thought it would be unethical to leave it out.

            My point was only that many people feel offended being called religious when they have made a conscious decision to not associate with any religion.

        •  Your actions, not your words, tell us who you are (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SilverWillow, BFSkinner, hayden

          Someone can be a very good and unwitting "Christian", in my opinion, if they follow the example of Christ, even if they've never heard of Jesus.   Not exactly what I was taught in CCD, but it's what I believe.

          If you get confused, listen to the music play - R. Hunter

          by SpamNunn on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 07:24:04 AM PDT

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          •  Is it possible (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BFSkinner, SpamNunn, pvasileff, denise b

            to be Christian if you do not believe in Christ?

            I agree that you can be a good person as measured by the teachings of Christ, but I do not think that that would make them Christian.

            This is what drives atheists and agnostics crazy.  Being labeled as religious or Christian (something that they have chosen not to be) because the exhibit behavior that religious people think are virtuous.  Especial when many Christians say that someone is not Christian if they do something wrong - even though they claim to be Christian.  (thinking of religious leaders who abuse children, etc)

            In effect, what we are saying is that an atheist or agnostic  cannot be ethical/moral because once they are - we call them something else.  And no Christian can be amoral, because once they act in that manner - we strip them of their right to define themselves.

            Kind of a heads I win, tails you lose.

            When we assign the virtue to religion instead of the individual's free will.  As if a person has to be religious in order to be a good person.  I find that offensive.

            I agree with your statement:

            Your actions, not your words, tell us who you are
            If a person follows the examples of Christ, that makes them a good and virtuous person, it does not make them Christian - it makes them Christ like.

            We have to stop assigning good behavior to religion, and lack there of to lack of religion.

            As you say, we need to let peoples actions speak for who they are.  And accept the labels they chose for themselves.

            •  That makes sense (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SilverWillow, BFSkinner
              If a person follows the examples of Christ, that makes them a good and virtuous person, it does not make them Christian - it makes them Christ like.
              I should have said that if you follow the teachings of Christ, then you would have all of the virtues that a good Christian aspires to, albeit without the formality of belonging to any given church (community).  Some might say that's a good thing.  I l really like the community afforded by my parish.  

              I try to follow the teachings of Christ every day.  I fail frequently, but it gives me something to strive for, and I don't have to guess at what they are.  Somebody wrote them down for us, and most people agree that those teachings embody the morality and goodness that we all strive for, believers or not.  

              If you get confused, listen to the music play - R. Hunter

              by SpamNunn on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 08:48:48 AM PDT

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              •  A community (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BFSkinner, SpamNunn

                that provides compassion and support is a good thing (in my opinion) regardless of what they call themselves.

                I am happy that you have found one that strives to be Christ like.

                That appears to be more rare every day.  

                Communities like yours should be celebrated.  I am glad you found a place that helps you stay on the path you have chosen.

      •  I'm sorry, but I disagree. (26+ / 0-)

        Religions have belief systems that include morality, but morality and religion are not synonymous. I can honestly say my moral and ethical code strengthened as I pulled further away from the religion I was brought up with.

        There are no holidays or birthrights of an ethical person. There is no ceremony or robe, hat, or ring required of an ethical person. There is no deity, no community, no traditions, no penance, no external judgements bestowed upon a purely ethical human being.

        Religion does not own morality. Religions didn't create ethics. Only being alive did that. I've always resented the attempt of any religion to own righteousness, and I'm sorry -- but I see your attempt to call any moral code "religious" as just that.

        I choose to do the right thing because it is the right thing, and I need to know that about myself. I want to be a good person, by my own judgement - nobody else's judgement! It's not a religion. It's ethics.

        Check out my liberal tshirts, stickers, housewares and gifts at DemSwag.com featuring the top selling bumper sticker Hate Socialism? Get off the road!

        by Eileen B on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 09:12:30 PM PDT

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        •  You are of a type that St. Paul (4+ / 0-)

          tried to point out in one of his letters, that is Gentiles who are a Torah to themselves, who are moral without being Jews or Christians. He used a Greek word meaning law for that purpose, so his Jewish meaning is commonly missed by those who consider themselves Christian but have no idea what it is about.

          Those who are most vehement about believing every word of the Bible literally are also those who are most vehement that Paul's teaching cannot be true, that only Christians can be moral.

          Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

          by Mokurai on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 11:25:04 PM PDT

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      •  hijacking of morality by churches (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tuesdayschilde, BFSkinner, Eileen B

        Your comment shows how religion continues to claim morality for itself when they are two very different things.

    •  I have found those characteristics are (4+ / 0-)

      not mutually exclusive. I have several friends/relatives who also are extremely ethical whilst being athesist/agnostic.

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