No, but it has evolved.
It is no longer as large a burden to take care of the weak as it was over a thousand years ago, and with medical advances we've reached the point where many illnesses aren't permanent or are at least far less a burden. We live in a society where someone like Stephen Hawking can still produce great works despite his condition.
If we reached the point were taking care of someone like Hawking meant life or death for a community, I think you'd begin to see a pretty ugly shift in moral values.
I think most of us take for granted the moral luxuries our society affords us.
Seems like you're making some pretty big assumptions here. Are you honestly implying that we only value other human life when it is convenient? That seems like a "morally weak" position, and according to the morality based on objective morality, non-Christians would agree.
Gr¦m wrote:What moral convictions does an atheist have to abstain from cursing someone out who does them dirty? What moral convictions does an atheist have to donate to Haiti? I'd love to hear your responses to those questions, or a more general response towards moral convictions in general.
As an atheist, when someone does wrong by me I have no problem cursing at them. I wouldn't ever become violent except as a last resort. When someone does something wrong they should be held accountable, and when nothing can be legally done they should at least feel shame. If I do something wrong to someone that results in me being called a dirty name, chances are I won't do that sort of thing anymore. Though, I do think a person should use a bit of restraint to prevent some situations from escalating.
You consider yourself a moral person, I think?, yet you wouldn't show full restraint? I may not understand your definition of "moral" but at what point does someone cross the line from being "moral" to "immoral"?
Would you consider the Christian position (towards the first instance) a weaker position? If someone did me dirty, and if I was 'following Jesus', I expect that I would not
curse him back and instead try to have a more edifying response. Is that morally weaker or morally stronger?
As for donating to Haiti, I've said it in other threads and I mentioned it earlier in this post, we have evolved feelings of compassion for those less fortunate than us.
In the ancient world, those who felt compassion for each other worked together and survived, and those that did not work together failed to survive (this is a simplification, but I've already explained this in several other threads).
You see many of the same kind of behaviors in animals that live in groups, though due to our success we are a bit more "advanced" in this regard.
Of course, the biological aspect only accounts for our base feelings and behaviors towards other humans in peril. Our more complex feelings and behaviors are the result of thousands of years of philosophical and moral fine tuning.
So because we have evolved feelings of compassion for the poor, you give to the poor? An atheists' primary reason for helping those less fortunate is "because it feels good evolutionarily"? That's masturbation- simply selfishly pleasuring yourself physically.
seems like a sort of made up term.. but whatever.