Frans de Waal: Morality Without Religion

Frans de Waal: Morality Without Religion

Well, religion is an interesting topic because
religion is universal. All human societies believe in the supernatural. All human societies
have a religion one way or another. Which for the biologists must mean that religion
has some advantages — offers some advantages to a society. Otherwise we wouldn’t have that
strong tendency to develop it. And so for me that’s actually a far more interesting
question of whether God exists or doesn’t exist. That sort of question I cannot answer.
But the question of why we have religions is an interesting question. And my view is
that morality, our human morality, is older than religion so instead of saying morality
comes from God or religion gave us morality. For me that’s a big no-no. Our current religions are just 2,000 or 3,000
years old which is very young. And our species is much older and I cannot imagine that, for
example, a hundred thousand years or two hundred thousand years our ancestors did not have
some type of morality. Of course they had rules about how you should behave, what is
fair, what is unfair, caring for others — all of these tendencies were in place already
so they had a moral system and then at some point we developed these present day religions
which I think we’re sort of tacked on to the morality that we had. And maybe they served
to codify them or to enforce them or to steer morality in a particular direction that we
prefer. So religion comes in for me secondarily. I’m
struggling with whether we need religion. So personally I think we can be moral without
religion because we probably had morality long before the current religions came along.
So I think we can be moral without religion but in large scale societies where we are
not all keeping an eye on each other because we — in societies with a thousand people
or several thousand or millions of people we cannot all keep an eye on each other. And
that’s maybe why we installed religions in these large scale societies where a God kept
watch over everybody. And then the question becomes is this really
needed? Now in northern Europe — I’m from the Netherlands — there is basically an experiment
going on. In northern Europe the majority of people are not religious anymore. When
you ask them they say they’re nonbelievers. And they still have a moral society as far
as I can tell. And so there is a sort of experiment going on there — can we set up a society
where religion is not dominant at least? It may be present but it’s not dominant anymore,
there is still a moral society. And until now I think that experiment is going pretty
well. And so I am optimistic that religion is not strictly needed. But I cannot be a
hundred percent sure because we’ve never really tried — there is no human society where religion
is totally absent so we really have never tried this experiment.

100 Replies to “Frans de Waal: Morality Without Religion”

  1. if before the idea of religion and God existed a society of uncontrolled violence and corruption. Does the idea of religion and God not sound like an early attempt at a New World Order? to put an end to a world where there was no reason to be good!? by posing the idea of eternal paradise and eternal damnation you have now put society into a never ending frenzy of curiosity, bewilderment, and intense spiritual devotion, but you now have created a reason to do good….if actually worked!

  2. Did it? Do you really think that the world was worse before all the wars started by religion? The Crusades, the 30 Year War, the Inquisition. Think about all the hate there is now from Christians and Mormons towards homosexuals. Look at all the hate America and other first world countries receive from Muslims. And you can say not all people of one religion treat others the same as the extremists but that's what is taught. All who don't believe as you are condemned. Great NWO you have there.

  3. yet another late reply be me but my point still stands. if you KNEW you wouldn't ever be caught you still shouldn't do something immoral. I would like a reason to never be immoral in any situation.

  4. there is none not even in the bible if you put it like that.
    if you care not to burn in hell i your only reason for the bible.
    and for atheist it is, if you care, be in a working society and eliminate trouble.
    and other then that, there is NO way (known to man) to know that you'll never get caught in the future unless you got some reliable predicting power (which is impossible to know do to too complex systems where any ever so small variation get different results)

  5. He means Netherlands and Scandinavia are experiments in and of themselves, not that a particular group of scientists are experimenting. These societies have largely, as a majority, abandoned religious belief. So we're going to see what happens in them. So far their crime rates are down and they are more united.

  6. It's so sad that somebody like him maneuver the true question which is how you justify morality in an athiest mind? If I m a true athiest I should not care about moral values unless it benefit me

  7. A true atheist lives according to the Rule of Law. He has a duty to his fellow man and himself to behave in a manner that is mutually beneficial. A true atheist values living an honorable life because this is the only one he gets, and his worst possible outcome would be to look back and see that he never truly loved anyone but himself. Where's the morality in thinking you're forgiven of any and all crimes "cuz Jesus said" without repairing the damage you created? That can't be the standard.

  8. lol @ A true atheist , an atheist lives the way they choose to live, any criteria besides not believing in a deity is all it needs. Any other criteria is completely a personal choice.

  9. De Waal's point that no society is 100% religion-free is a trivial moot point. Nothing is ever 100% of anything. Societies are more or less religious, and the less religious ones aren't less moral. If anything, they tend to be less violent.

  10. this man makes the assumption the men did not have a religion from the beginning or a belief in god, yet provides no proof for his assertions, not that he could provide proof as religions may very well have existed prior to the written language!

  11. It's kind of crazy to me that this is even still a question. Of course you can have morality without a religion. I don't need a God or karma of dogma to tell me not to steal from people or cause them harm. I have a feeling that if you do need that, then there are much bigger underlying issues than your questionable religion.

    Also, this speaker seems to be talking about religion from a very narrow definition – there is evidence of spiritual beliefs dating back tens of thousands of years. They just were the ancestors to our current understanding of religion.

  12. He points out that most of the world's religions are 2,000 to 3,000 years old, and thus he concludes that morality existed beforehand and the religion was, in his words, "tacked on" to them… what he neglects is that there were many religions then, as well… religions that are now largely dead.

  13. The greatest moral dilemma of religion is the establishment of ignorant "ethics" such as homophobia, or genital mutilation.

  14. I have a question. Do atheist simply believe there isn't a god (or gods), or do they believe a god (or gods) is impossible (and yes there is a difference between the two)? Or does that vary amongst atheist?

  15. Apart from providing symbolic answers to the unknown elements of life+death, religions (including the ones that Frans has apparently deemed irrelevant) serve to justify warfare, geographic expansion, social hierarchies and a host of other things that are incongruous with the notions of (a) perfect being(s).

  16. yeah marxists were defeated in this topic since they have been saying our morality was a "social construct"

    btw, he needs to prove that our morality came from biological evolution not just asserting this based on observations , we all know that darwin's natural selection process has flaws because of his scientific extrapolation

  17. Also Frans de Waal needs to answer a basic question: Why do we have morals in the first place?

    just for survival instinct!? 

  18. hahah if you get your morality from religion you'd be slaughtering thousands of nonbelievers as a muslim and going to virgin paradise without it being wrong in any sense

  19. Scientifically balanced.
    Just to add, not all within all societies have believed in the supernatural, therefore the Netherlands may already be the result of the experiment.

  20. The reason why all societies have religions is because religion and atheism fight an uneven fight. Religion has the weapon of indoctrination and atheism doesn't. 
    when one group of people has been taught that their world view is superior and should be spread around the population and the other group doesn't, it isn't hard to predict what the consequence will be.

  21. Humans have an instinct for morality the same way we have an instinct for language.   The role religion has played is to allow for more complex moral codes that allowed more complex societies to evolve.

  22. Anyone who believes that we still live in a moral society is insane.   We think we are moral if we don't 'hate'.   That is an asinine definition of morality.   Plus, it is a morality imposed upon us by the state. Which fundamentally makes the state the source of moral authority rendering 'separation of church and state' utterly moot.   The state has once again become the church – the source of the moral authority our society is dependent upon.

  23. 4 kinds of people on this planet. Moral people who are not religious, immoral people who are not religious, moral people who are religious and immoral people who use religion as an excuse to be immoral ie. Are cruel in the name of religion.
    BUT people who claim to be moral without religion, when tested have been accomplices to the most henious crimes. Example is Nazi Germany. The Germans were known to be cultured and moral, wouldn't hurt a fly… But followed Hitler … Almost all of them.

  24. Response to bsmith

    I googled Germany and its religion, and you're quite right.. Most people (about 95%) were Christian, so I stand corrected – however Hitler himself, not unlike Stalin, had been brought up Catholic but rejected it. from a young age (If he seemed to go along at times it was just political). This is from wiki.

    Also, yes, its true the Christians have slaughtered millions of Jews over the years in the name of religion.

    My point is this. Believing in G-d is not evil. Following evil people who claim to be G-dly is evil. And so too, not believing in G-d seems innocent enough, but, if one does not believe in a higher power, an eye that sees etc…. he is more likely to do something wrong if no-one is looking. …

    Have you heard of the 7 laws of Noah? G-d gave 7 laws for all mankind given at the some time as He gave the Jews the Torah.

    Don't believe in other Gods, don't say His Name in vain, don't kill, don't steal, don't have illicit relationships, don't eat cook limb from living animal, set up a just society with courts etc.

    By the way, I never met anyone who harmed anyone in the name of these principles!!

  25. Cool how he talked on the concept of god being implemented into those big societies where we might struggle to keep watch on each other in order to scare the people into obedience to law.

  26. I am religious. He has a very good point to make about the development of religion out of morality. It is a very interesting question. Religious people should not be threatened by this at all. I don't think it matters that morality in some form may have pre-existed religion. If our morality and our religion are evolving, it's all good. 

  27. I don't like the use of the word 'probably' – we know morality exists without religion, look at switzerland, Denmark. And we also know that morality did exist before religion (Confucianism) – the golden rule! "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" – one of the most important phrases representing morality.

  28. Interesting. I have had similar thoughts about whether or not religion is "necessary" to keep people moral. The most immoral individuals that I have met, and harmed my life, were self-professed as "religious." Hmmm. My greatest fear listening to this? That if "morals" only became the "law" of the land; then, tell me how do we separate "church" and state? The majority of people whom I have met in my life are not able to make this discrimination. I am interested in others' thoughts on this topic!

  29. The nature of facts is that they are true whether you believe them or not. The same is with the importance of religion: It will continue to exist whether you think we need it or not.

  30. Frans forget's that the Netherlands is formed by Christian faith (i talk about 15 century) and that our laws are formed by religion. Evidence for this is that our national anthem is a psalm. So to say that we don't need religion to have morality is a bit more complicated because we are molded by it.

  31. In order to live in morality without religion is to teach the basics of psychology and the theory of nature & nurture to everyone. We are our own believe system if we can influence making the right decisions on one another and keep the motivation to evolve our world for the greater good. Than yes we are absolutely capable of morality without religion.

  32. predictably, "morality" here is thrown around loosely but passes undefined. i can't help but detect a survivalist tone in this man. basically, a religious conception of morality sans the religion. Secular moralists can be just as if not more obnoxious as religious ones.

  33. Since humans (even animals) always had religion since the beginning of time how would morality be older? Since belief in God, religion, etc. is more common and stronger in small-scale societies why would religion and morality coincide with the emergence of large-scale societies when large-scale societies are characterized by increased secularization?

  34. A
    1. Morality is either innate(theism) or learned(atheism).
    2. atheism says it is learned
    3. Therefore every culture and society is moral
    4. Every culture is not moral, therefore morality is not learned
    5. If morality is not learned then it is innate
    6. If morality is innate then atheism is false
    7. if atheism is false then theism is true

    for the atheist that believes we are innately moral, (Atheism is now a belief system) 
    1. The notion of good comes from empathy
    2. Empathy, is a product of the realization of wrong
    3. You cannot have wrong without right
    4. The notion of right cannot be accounted for without God (Usually atheists will revert to morality is learned here see A, 1)
    5. Therefore the notion of good proves there is a god. 

    It is proof of God because god is all that is good.  It ties every human being to god whether you like it or not.  Science cannot account for innate morality in the human which is my point even though atheists try to claim it does to no avail.  

  35. If the Christian-Judeo Moralities were used in our society all then of the Commandments would be law. Only TWO of them are. We would be busy raping each other, enslaving others, being cruel to animals, discriminating against the blind and people with flat noses.  Its good that peoples faith in the bible is weak enough that these things arent common place.  

  36. I live in Japan. One of the least religious countries in the world. Also one of the most moral and respectful societies in the world.

  37. His argument is pretty dumb: he says our religions are 2.000 or 3.000 years old. Does that mean there were no religions before that time? Was there not religion before the invention of writing? What about rock paintings? 
    For me, a very good proof of the role of religion in morality is our present society. During the XX century until now many old values have been dissapearing. What a coincidence in the same time religion has  been losing power in the globalized world. Every time I watch a new movie I see, to some degree, this fall of values. The old mythic stories are now considered dumb, the hero must have a VERY troubled past or some extreme flaws to be liked, now "dark" is a quality in any fiction, or realistic; every attemp to recreate that old (false) medieval-romance story is considered trash, instead it has to be sordid. This is one of the reasons why game of thrones is so popular today. 

    Edit: Also, the most beloved characters in films are usually the liar, the rogue, the thief,… Two main examples: han solo and jack sparrow. They were not the heroes in those movies, yet people loved them the most.

  38. So, are you saying that we created the entire ideology of a God and a religion just to guide our morality? According to what I believe, religion was born with the birth of humans; that is with the birth of Adam and Eve.

  39. How is it that so many people who ought to know better still don't get it? Of course, humanity had a moral conscience before religion. However, you can't honestly say that there was ontological basis for morality before religion. In other words, what was the objective justification for morality without religion providing a context and theological link to humanity and God?

  40. This experiment is just a wishful society for agnostics. Removing objective moral values and replacing it with subjective moral values only works in a fantasy world. Don't forget that that philosophical thinking killed more people in the last century than the previous 19 combined. Just like Lennon said…imagine. Hitler, Pot, Stalin, Lenin, Mussolini, and Mao were trying to create a world without religion.

  41. I've never understood how religion is a sound argument. Every human has empathy, save for those with disorders that affect the area in the brain responsible for empathy. It's a physical construct, just like having two legs. It's not trained and it can't be taught. While kids show less ability for empathy, that's more because their brains are growing and they have difficulties with consequence reasoning.

    Empathy is the ability to attribute creatures, objects and other people as PART of you. You care, because your brain views it like you. You know the saying do not unto others as you would have done to you and it's billion fold replication from many parts of history? That's empathy, that's exactly how it works.
    Humans are in fact incapable of altruism, but empathy allows us to simulate it by gaining emotional and personal gratification by making others feel better.

    This has zero to do with any belief or philosophy, it's just plain a fact.

    Psychopaths have less grey matter in the brain in the area responsible for empathy. It's a physical problem.
    The only issue is getting people to realize that EVERYONE is beneficial to them. if helping someone you don't know or maybe don't even like made you feel better, you would do it.
    If we start taking care of those who are damaged or raised so that their empathy becomes impaired we could likely fix the problem of apathetic and cruel people.

    Human nature is when your back is against the wall you fight back. The way we live currently gives absolutely no guarantee of survival, especially if you're physically and/or mentally ill in anyway.
    That's why humans currently act like dicks. There is absolutely nothing in our DNA that makes us cruel or evil by design. We're only mean when we feel threatened and a person can feel threatened their entire life in the way we currently live. Countries with more equality statistically have better living standards, longer lifespan and less aggressive people.
    And yes, before someone corrects me, you can have a kid that say has a high amount of testosterone that's above normal or some other DNA caused aggression, but it's rarely enough to make someone what we would consider cruel and it's pretty obvious if it's anger issues or downright psychopathy.

  42. Can people please stop using Hitler as a way to penalize atheists? Hitler was religious. Very much so in fact. It's merely a popular Christian fallacy that has tainted history. He was actually very anti-atheist. Just two of the many quotes from Hitler regarding the issue: “Besides that, I believe one thing: there is a Lord God! And this Lord God creates the peoples.” and “We were convinced that the people need and require this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations; we have stamped it out”.

  43. You can have morals without God because morals are created by emotions, emotions are created by chemical reactions, chemical reactions are created by science, but science was not created by God. So morals weren't created by God, they were created by science

  44. Morality is our inherent religion. We are our own "gods". Let's not lose sight of the very reason we haven't torn ourselves apart as a race.

  45. There are two cousins, one goes by the name Richard Relativism, and the other by the name Peter Pluralism and both are evil cousins when it comes to genuine faith in Jesus Christ.

    Frans de Waal thinks that morality can be had without religion (including the Christian faith), however, Frans does not realize that all of mankind is created in the image of God and so mankind should have an awareness of morality.

    Leaving the founder of morality for us out of the picture and having us live an autonomous life from God is a big mistake, for one day God will come to judge the living and the dead.

    From one Dutchman to another in Frans de Waal: "Je weet alles, maar je begrijpt niets!"

  46. It's clear that you (mr de Waal and many commenters, or better yet, most humans) are IMMORAL. You DO NOT even have a clue what morality is [!!!] and where it came from. Another leftist pseudo intellectual trying to be intelligent, which one can never be without a balance of the right brain, hence it's more garbage that we already have (garbage science). The fact is, most of the people living in this world today are immoral, we have immoral societies that are self collapsing at this point. It's very unenlightning to even read the ridiculous comparisons of countries such as Japan or even Sweden as a classification of moral countries, which they are clearly not and the absolute opposite of it (trying to legalize beastiality, incest, enforce regulations, feminism, etc.). Those forementioned countries are communist-fascist countries. Your god is the state and you know it. I can tell you that < 1% of the population know what it means and live by it on a daily basis, you're not one of them.
    If you were so moral, you wouldn't pay income taxes, you would abolish the current education systems, the governments, all religions, you wouldn't be a follower, but a scientist/explorer yourself, etc. You are sheeple. It's because of YOU that confusion has lead in to this world, by twisting principles, interpretations of philosophies and ethos around, lying, betraying, robbing and murdering your fellow man and you'll get what you deserve in the coming revolution. A world of self entitled children we live in. It's people like YOU who worship money and the state, hence the hell created on this world. The end for YOU is coming and YOU know it. True morality will come back en masse and those people who have the spirit of fire will deliver your first judgement for your immoral actions vs other humans, animals and the earth by your ignorance which you have consented to.

  47. He forgets to mention another scenario for secular societies: that we use our 'native' morality to change religion in a way that works.

  48. Religion is a somewhat recent invention. Back in the day, you wouldn't say you were an animist or a monkey-god-ist, or a spirit-ist. They had tons of irrational and inaccurate beliefs about reality in general, not just on religion. As we attempted to understand the world around us, we had to put a divider between what's real and what is bullshit. The real stuff turned out to be scientific things. And the bullshit was either rejected upon closer examination or called religion if they wanted to have faith in it against all evidence.

    Faith in an instinct that needs to be scorned wherever is rears its ugly head, not given special treatment or laughed off as just some fundamentalist representing no general trend. Faith is rampant across the globe–as he said.

  49. Society stands only with stiff and severe punishments because we have a large amount of sociopaths. Rules or religion matters not to a sociopath as they will justify to themselves every action they take as long as it benefits them. It is the punishment only that they fear. Abandon religion as much as you want, but punishment/judgement/shame/ostracizing needs to stay. THAT is how you keep people in check. That's the only thing I fear in the future, is that we continue to go too heavy on tolerance. If a group of people doesn't like you for what you do, they should be able to speak up, shun you, refuse service to you etc. And we live in a very geographically diverse nation (the US) so there is a tap of release for people to move to communities where they fit, assuming we respect the 10th amendment.

  50. Well I think we can certainly all behave morally without religion. But to admit that we believe morality itself is objectively real is to at very least abandon evidentialism, which is something anti-theists use quite frequently in their opposition of theism. And that's despite evidentialism itself being invalid and self-refuting.

  51. We are more moral without religion. In the past few centuries we have ousted so many of the practices and principles that are part of the moral the Bible teaches us: we got rid of slavery, woman are no longer subject to their fathers or husbands, we have largely accepted homosexuality and we don't have the dead penalty anymore – not even for adultery or blasphemy which the Bible thinks is worse then genocide.
    My argument here is not that we have better morals – although I think we do – , but that these 'new' morals are more part of our individual idea of right and wrong than the morals in that very old book. Those morals were rules. With a punishment following transgression. They were never intrinsic. If you read the old testament – for what it's word – that is even a major story line: God has a view on morality, but his chosen people somehow are not able to live up to his standards. And he is disappointed and mad with them every time and he keeps inventing new (very silly) rules.

  52. `Be Ready…Why So, many with such spirits, So, many lack this Born Again experience!  How often do we hear salvation by grace being taught today?  
    .                                                                                      .                       
    What type of spirit do you have? Worthy Read! Salvation, Renewing of the Mind!  Salvation: Become Born Again.
    JOHN 3:3 3Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
    …Promise of God:..{John 3: 16,17 16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
    Romans 3: 1-31 19Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
      MATTHEW 18:1-4 1At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? 2And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

    MARK 1: 14,15 14Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

    LUKE 13: 3 3I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

    2 CORINTHIANS 7: 10 10For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
      Acts 4: 10-12 10Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
    ..I Declare Unto You The Gospel… Gospel of Peace…Gospel of Jesus Christ.
    {1 Corinthians 15: 1-3,4 1Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.3For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

    May we act on this promise; John Chapter 3:  Acts 2: 36-41  Acts 16: 30-34…1 Corinthians 15: 1-3,4  Romans 10: 9-13.~
    ROMANS 10: 12For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
    ~(SALVATION; by Grace. {ROMANS 10: 8-13 8But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

    12For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
    ~Grace is God's Unmerited, Unearned, Undeserved Favor of a Merciful God full of Grace and Truth.~
    What type of spirit do you have? …Now the works of the flesh are manifest.
    Galatians 5: 19Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
    But the Fruit of the Holy Spirit Is;
    Galatians 5: 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
    Renewing of the Mind!  Become Born Again!
    Romans 12: 2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
    2 Corinthians 4: 16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward [man] is renewed day by day.
    Ephesians 4: 23And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
    Colossians 3: 2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
    Philippians 2: 5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
    Corinthians 2: 16For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
    Psalm 14: 1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
    John 3: 7Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. Lord Jesus Christ.
    :All guilty before God`{Act: Admit that all have sinned, ~Repent/ Repentance…"Believe and Confess: Romans 10: 8-13 …1 Corinthians 15: 1-3,4" and Trust.
    `Stay In The Word!…Matthew 5: 6Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. …Note: Matthew 5: 1-12.
    `Justified, Redeemed, Sanctified, Glorified.~

  53. Without God there is no objective moral standard. Otherwise it's just your opinion that something is unjust or evil. BUT, we do know some things are unjust and evil and it's not our opinion. Therfore by what standard do you call something evil. You see, without God you can't justify evil. You can know it, but you can't justify it. God exists because good exists. Good exists because evil exists. There can be no evil without good and there can be no good without God. Period.

  54. Lol its so crazy when you look at religion with logic. The religions nowadays are only couple thousand years old, yet billions of people beleive them and would probably die for them. Religion is a plague on mankind I hope one day soon knowledge will beat out religion. So many people don't think evolution is real they don't even think its on the same level as creation its mind boggling because there is mountains of data that is proof of evolution and what proof does creation have one old book that says the world is flat, condones slavery, hates women, and is just archaic nonsense. Yet I think more people believe the latter its just insane it makes me think it will be a couple hundred years before the general public wake up to this oppressive tool to control everyone all the time called religion.

  55. I dont know about any of you but I don't need a book about a magical dude telling me that murder, rape and stealing is wrong. Is the is thing that is holding people back from murder is to please a guy we don't even know is real? Thats fucked 0_0

  56. Premise 1: If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist.
    Premise 2: Objective moral values and duties do exist.
    Conclusion: Therefore, God exists.

    Can you be good without God? [Atheist feeds starving puppy.] Absolutely amazing! There you have it undeniable proof that you can be good without believing in God! But wait! The question was not “Can you be good without believing in God.” The question is: “Can you be good without God?” See, here’s the problem: If there is no God, what basis remains for objective good or bad, right or wrong? If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist and here’s why.

    Without some objective anchor reference point, we have no way of saying that something is really up or down. God’s nature provides an objective reference point for moral values  it’s the standard against which all actions and decisions are measured. But if there’s no God, there’s no objective reference point. All we’re left with is one person’s viewpoint  which is no more valid than any one else’s viewpoint.

    This kind of morality is subjective, not objective. It’s like a preference for Chocolate milk  the preference is in the subject, not the object. So it doesn’t apply to other people. In the same way, subjective morality applies only to the subject; it’s not valid or binding for anyone else.

    God has expressed his moral nature to us as commands. These provide the basis for moral duties. For example, God’s essential attribute of love is expressed in his command to “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27). This command provides a foundation upon which we can affirm the objective goodness of generosity, self-sacrifice, and equality. And we can condemn as objectively evil greed, abuse, and discrimination.

    This raises a problem: is something good just because God wills it, or does God will something because it is good? The answer is: neither one! Rather, God wills something because He is good. good is in gods nature.

    God is the standard of moral values just as a live musical performance is the standard for a high-fidelity recording. The more a recording sounds like the original, the better it is. Likewise, the more closely a moral action conforms to God’s nature, the better it is.

    But if atheism is true, there is no ultimate moral standard. so there can be no moral obligations or duties. Who or what lays such duties upon the atheist? No one. Remember, for the atheist, humans are just accidents of nature, highly evolved animals. But animals have no moral obligations to one another. When a cat kills a bird, it hasn’t done anything morally wrong. The cat’s just being a cat. If God doesn’t exist then we should view human behavior in the same way. No action should be considered morally right or wrong. therefore if atheism is true, then Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction and any deeper meaning is illusory.

    Even one of the top leading atheist admits this.

    "So, in a world without God, there can be “… no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.” (Richard Dawkins, Atheist)

    But the truth is good and bad, right and wrong do exist! Just as our sense experience convinces us that the physical world is objectively real, our moral experience convinces us that moral values are objectively real. Every time you say, “Hey, that’s not fair! That’s wrong! That’s an injustice! Ect… you affirm your belief in the existence of objective morals.

  57. Life is meaningless, there's no God, the feelings I feel are due to evolutionary psychology, so they are just trap. If I can dodge the law enforcement give me one reason that I should not kill you.
    Other way of thinking: there is a dude in sky who doesn't want me to kill you or he will throw me jail named hell, forever.
    This is plain and simple.
    I myself am an agnostic.

  58. Life is meaningless, there's no God, the feelings I feel are due to evolutionary psychology, so they are just trap. If I can dodge the law enforcement give me one reason that I should not kill you.
    Other way of thinking: there is a dude in sky who doesn't want me to kill you or he will throw me jail named hell, forever.
    This is plain and simple.
    I myself am an agnostic.

  59. But he doesn't define what morality is outside of this god and he doesn't why we should observe this morality. Are porn, drugs, stealing, redistribution of wealth included in his non god morality?

  60. His idea of the moral "experiment" being valid is severely ill-conceived. Firstly, the surrounding world is a constant testimony of religious dogmas, which puts pressure on the "experimenters" to play along, since no country is an island to itself. Secondly, it would take scores of generations to "purge" a large body of people of the religious heritage to which they are heir in order to even begin to assess the results of this experiment.

  61. How can he say religion is just 2000 3000 years old?
    What if religion existed in some primitive form or another since the inception of the species at least in a pseudo religious form among groups of men or tribes? Maybe those religions were abandoned and new religions were accepted.

  62. It never ceases to amaze me when people say without religion there would be no morality. I’m equally amazed at the people (i.e.: atheists) who use various complex philosophical theories ( ) to explain why there would still be morality absent of religion. The concept, as far would there be or not and not exactly what that morality might look like, is simply not that complicated.

    The fact is that human beings are social animals and like all social animals on the planet there are rules when interacting with your fellow social animals. Wolves have rules, those social ape species (i.e.: Chimps and Gorillas, etc.) have rules, etc. Hell, even Bees have rules. None of these creatures to the best of my knowledge follow a particular god or gods nor follow a religious text, yet they observe sometimes very strict rules of conduct.

    Nay sayers (i.e.: theists) will dismiss all this by saying, “Yes, but their (i.e.: animals) behaviors are all instinctive, not by choice. Our morality is by choice, handed down by God and well considered. Something animals are not capable of.”

    First of all, dogs, a very social animal, stay with us by choice, for instance. If you’ve never experienced a dog’s love and faithfulness, I feel sorry for you. There is a reason they are called “Man’s (& Woman’s) Best Friend.”

    Secondly, what makes you think that a belief in a god or gods isn’t at it’s core merely instinct? Put another way, does it not occur to the theist that he’s giving his natural instinct the patina of divine intervention and well considered thought so as to make himself feel better than (i.e.: superior to) “the animals.”

    How can a belief in a god or gods be instinctual? Well, it has to do with imagination, basically. You believe in a super powerful being that you can’t see? That’s imagination and possessing an imagination is a definite evolutionary advantage. It is better to imagine the rock is a bear and run away than think the bear is a rock and…

    Jordan Peterson is known to say stupid things like, “Without religion why not become a mass murderer?” Two things here: One, some people do become mass-murderers regardless of religion and many supposedly “God Fearing” (mostly) men commit mass murder on the battlefield all the time. Self-defense? If there’s a heaven why do you care if you die? What would make you kill a bunch of other people if you’re going to heaven? Talk about not well thought out.

    Two: The rules all social animals follow within the pack/tribe/hive/etc. are largely behaviors that benefit the group as a whole. When you see a mother elephant help her baby out of a ditch this saves a future full-grown member of the group and most importantly increases the odds of elephants not going extinct as a species. Where does a belief in a god or gods come into it? Just as when we don’t all become mass murderers we increase the odds of human beings not going extinct. A belief in a god or gods has not a thing to do with it.

    A god, gods, religion or deep philosophical thought and theory just isn't required to answer this question.

  63. This man is not thinking BIG enough. ask yourself where did the people that he talks about get their mortality from?. God is the answer to your question.

  64. Frans del Waal is one of the great scientists of this century, but he is wrong that no human group is without religion. In fact one tribe free from such thinking actually turned a missionary into an atheist:

  65. There’s no reason to have morality without something to reward such behavior. Any good anthropologist should know that pre-religious humans had horrendous organization skills. Morality, as it is, means absolutely nothing you CAN be a good person without religion, but there’s literally no reason to be, the fastest way to be RICH, to have POWER, to have AUTHORITY, is to be cruel and unforgiving, selfish and egomaniacal, we know this, that’s why businesses and governments are practically ruled by sadists. It’s hogwash that humans are innately “moral” beings. We fucking learn to lie before we turn three, we aren’t the mystical godlike beings these atheists think we are, half the population glorifies people like Beyonce, we ain’t shit.

  66. Uhm, but that doesn't make it objective. Your morality is still relative to the group or an individual. In other words; why is it that human beings are bound by this morality when what is right and what is wrong is just an opinion relative to the subject?

  67. Yes we need a religion. But do we need the dogma? The idea of morality is to promote the values of a culture. We are very successful predatory animals who learned to document experiences and values that are passed down to the next generation. Our knowledge base will continue to grow. It will be interesting to see if we continue to need religion.
    But I will never find out because I will be dead.

  68. But religion, in most moral societies, has been overtaken by the rule of law. If there was no law, would people still be moral in your opinion? Personally, I don't think I would be. But I'd love to hear your thoughts.

  69. Only an idiot could fail to be moral without God. You get to decide for yourself what is and isn't moral; you get to change your mind at any time for any reason; you get to judge your own behavior.

  70. Religous people have the advantage of belonging to a group. If you want to think for yourself religion is a disadvantage.

  71. Morality is predicated upon the existence of a Creator. Morality based upon empathy and self interest isn't morality at all but rather, it is opportunism.

  72. I think you miss the point. Christians believe that we were made in the image of God, therefore morality is intrinsic and objective. Not because of what a book says.

  73. False assumption (logical fallacy) right out of the gate. The existence of religion doesn't mean it has value; it could be more superstition or other baggage we have not yet shed.

  74. Atheists have morality. End of discussion. Religion exists outside of morality. Anyone who has logic and reason can clearly understand this.

  75. Morality is doing the right thing for the right reason. Feelings we get from mindless evolution such as empathy and sympathy are not rational so feelings cannot be a reason.

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