16th August 2012

“History shows that the moral and ethical guides that most of us live by did not originate with the monotheistic religions, as proponents of those religions would have us believe. Instead, moral behaviour appears to have evolved socially.”

Victor Stenger

9 Responses to “16th August 2012”

  1. The Heretic Says:

    If anything, their religions are amoral and unethical in many respects.

  2. R J Says:

    old victor is a pretty bright guy.

    of COURSE ethical behavior evolves socially thru human

    behavior, interaction, and human enotional reactions.

    but, ethics are NEVER universally agreed upon…….and so…..

    ethical behavior must always be RELATIVE to the

    existing human condition, environment, and

    prevailing cultural framework.

    religious influence in ethics is ALWAYS simply


  3. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Well given that primates showed up in the late Cretaceous period and began evolving long before there was any belief in gods, or writing, or bibles with their silly commandments, and long before anyone believed in one god it would be absurd to say humans needed religion for morality. Particularly the religious morality of the last 2,000 years. Just dumb! Jesus? Ass clown!

  4. R J Says:


    i agree with you

  5. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    R j you remind me to be brief, thank you!

  6. Jeff Says:


    Please accept that I am sincerely sorry for my comments, which were ill considered, poorly researched, and inappropriate. The “fact free” part was a lame attempt to play off the quote of the day, and undeserved. While your comments do indeed correspond to the facts as you set them out, I believe that your interpretation of them is based upon both the worst and least likely interpretation thereof, and it was that to which I reacted, inappropriately, as it turned out.

  7. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Thank you Jeff!

    I would agree my take frequently is that of speaking the worst interpretation and also the least likely, not that worst or least likely is the objective, but the vehicle. A tool for catching people’s attention. I simply don’t find that speaking to the best and/or most likely of interpretations wins an audience.

    Ayn Rand called a book she wrote “The Virtue of Selfishness” for the same reason and to this day some people think she was advocating selffish behavior or greediness.

    I appreciate the apology very much as I have a great deal of respect for you and your commentary.

  8. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Jeff and all,

    With regard to crazy Amanda Marcotte’s quote of the other day I might further define:

    Religious and social conservatism values hierarchy and tradition, fiscal conservatism is a political term used to describe a fiscal policy that advocates avoiding deficit spending.

    So when I say I’m a fiscal conservative, fiscal conservatives often consider reduction of overall government spending and national debt as well as ensuring balanced budget of paramount importance. (ie; the policy of reducing deficit (spending) and being careful with what you spend money on). This is completely consistent with being a Republican but could also describe some Democrats.

    Social progressivism is the view that social norms and moral values are not fixed throughout history and should be revised as new scientific knowledge (particularly about human nature) becomes available. No doubt famous Republicans Abraham Licoln, Susan B. Anthony, Teddy Roosevelt are universally considered socially progressive?

    For me this social progressivism is derived from the neverending discovery of natural laws: The body of unchanging moral principles regarded as a basis for all human conduct.

    I simply don’t think we have discovered all of what makes us the social beings we are, and I think it absurd to think the bible or any other religious doctrine (trapped in time some 2,000 years ago) can be relied upon for an understanding of human nature today, tomorrow, or at any point in the future.

  9. Kittie Aldakkour Says:

    Sinjin & Jeff – very well played out on both your part. This should be a lesson taught to all who want to comment with a different point of view or disagreement.
    Politics and religion….

    I don’t like any of the choices, but maybe if Obama traded off Biden for someone less objectionable….I would vote to stick him out another 4 years…

    I liked a guy from Arizona – Johnson? – he never even got any serious coverage though – wasn’t kissing enough evangelical butt in the beginning….

    People who believe we get our morality from the 10 commandments – I find can’t quote but about 3 or 4 of them…. and most do not know the story of Lot past the pillar of salt…