If I didn't believe in God

First of all I have not had much exposure to online forums like this so I am likely a bit naive. But I was pondering on how leaders including myself might run things if I were an athiest. I would likley base all me decisions on the good of the planet and the human species long term survival. This would likley involve genocide and at the very least forced steriliaztion. This thought really upsets me because I see this as a very real possibility in the not so distant future. I am probably as kind hearted as anyone could imagine but I would feel the need to make unthinkable choices to save earth. Is this kind of thinking a possible reality???

Increasing population and dwindling natural resources, something’s gotta give?

:rolleyes: Ah, the old “atheists have no morality” routine. Do you think we eat babies too?

And genocide is pretty much mutually exclusive with “the good of the human species”, for much the same reason killing your sibling is mutually exclusive with “healthy family relationships”.

Most of the athiests I know are fine, moral, ethical and great people. I know quite a few. So no implication was mde. I was dead serious and I was including myself into that eqation, what would stop us if no consequences were looming?

Human solidarity does not rely on religion. I think the world would be more moral if people didn’t believe in irrational things. The current religious leaders of the world aren’t doing much good, as near as I can tell. The leaders of the catholic church for example have a lot to answer for.

Edit: Consequences like going to prison? Most of us don’t do good things and avoid doing bad things because we fear going to hell. We do it simply because it’s right and we have a little thing called empathy.

But there are “consequences looming”. Religion didn’t invent morality; people did. In the absence of religion, people still have morals. It comes with being a social species.

As a father and an employer I have often been forced to make decisons based on what I felt was best for the company or family. If I had based these decisions on my heart I would have made radicaly different choices. I think the question is a very legitamate question.

After-life consequences are not the only ones. For people of conscience, destroying individuals is immoral and repugnent. The good of the planet can coexist with respect of the individual.

Compassion? A sense of right and wrong? Prison, as said?

It certainly isn’t going to be any imaginary consequences threatened by some god; since all religions are imaginary, you can just decide that your god’s will is whatever you happen to feel like doing at the moment and he, she or it won’t show up to contradict you. Religion works much better as a justification for aggression and self indulgence than it does as some kind of stand in for moral restraint.

I’m an atheist, and I wouldn’t ponder genocide or forced sterilization. Maybe you should rely on the testimony of actual atheists instead of imagining what you would do if you were one.

I’m just not seeing how the long term health of our species is improved by genocide. That’s been tried, and it didn’t work out so well.

I heard this on one of the youtube debates b/w an athiest and a pastor/priest guy. He said something along the lines of:

“Imagine you are walking down the street alone in the dark and walking towards you is a group of people who just left a religious meeting/prayer. Would you be more comfortable with that group or a group of athiests?”

I don’t think that being a religious person makes the person any more moral than an athiest.

A fairly recent thread on that question.

Genocide amoung humans and animal species has been common since the begining. It obviously has worked quite well in getting the world to where it is today. Not eliminating unwanted humans is a relatively new thing.

Religious people generally think there is some sort of afterlife they will go to. Most atheists think that once we die, our consciousnesses turn off.

It seems to me, that religious people are more likely to go on genocidal wars, because they can comfort themselves in knowing the victims are going to be judged and sent to their reward/punishment.

Personally, I want everyone to have as rich a life as possible, because of all the atoms in the universe, only living things have the chance to to experience consciousness for a tiny window of time.
So I’d say as an atheist I find genocide very repugnant. I don’t support forced sterilization, unless the world is literally about to collapse. I mean we’d ration food if we were running out. So if we’re completely hand to mouth I’d see a case for sterilization or birth control, but I’d need to know the situation was truly dire.

I think the smarter way might be to incentivize sterilization or the use of birth control. But world population, I’ve heard, is likely to stabilize once it hits ten billion, so it’s not super likely we’ll need to worry about it much.

Why yes, of course! Genocide and forced sterilization are naturally the FIRST things I’d do too!

Oh, wait. No, they’re not. Sorry, I always get that wrong. That’s me - always going right to genocide. :smack:

Care to explain how you feel those are the “likely” actions one would take? No chance at all that you’d throw a lot of effort into science in order to develop better medicine, ecology and food? No attempt to find better ways to travel off the planet, thereby ensuring the survival of humans even if Earth undergoes something catastrophic?

I think it’s very telling that the religious in this country believe they themselves would immediately rape pillage and plunder the very instant they weren’t encumbered by god.

Atheism is not rabies.

Nope. There is no reason we couldn’t have gotten here faster without the whole bloody warfare thing.

Yes, and it was tried and failed as well.

Seriously screwed up, you mean?

It’s called progress.

 Responsible people are forced to make decisions all the time that they don't want to make. Belief in an afterlife of some kind infuences the decisons we make. If I didn't have that influence my decisions would instantly become much easier. I would give the death penalty a new meaning, any type of career criminal activity and that person would be eliminated, not good for the species, why not. Obviously bad genetics, why keep them around, just a burden on everyone involved.  The animal world has survival of the fittest, this is the only system that works and it does not work for individuals. I really believe that we may be dealing with this at some point.

Belief in the afterlife encourages cruelty. If these few years we have on earth is all that any of us have, how awful to take them away from someone! But if our mortal existence is merely a blip before an eternal afterlife, then what difference does it make if it ends a few years early?

The ease with with you slip into fantasies of genocide and sterilization is a product of your supernatural thinking. You don’t value human life very highly, and so you imagine that were you an atheist you would destroy life with impunity. But part of being an atheist is realizing this THIS IS IT. This life that we have here on earth is all we have, and if we don’t value and protect it, we have NOTHING AT ALL.