> Spudboy100@aol.com wrote: ...WASP culture survives (opinions, attitudes
> and beliefs) even though their view of God has been deposed. The analogy
> would be like going to a Thai restaurant and dousing everything with
You raise some interesting questions Spud, ones with which I have been rassling for years. For many of us who grew up in CFC-dominated (christian fundamentalist churches) society, or WASP culture, our core system of ethics and morals are based directly on those teachings. After years of being atheist, I am still unable to give a simple, crisp bumper sticker answer to those who claim that CFCs provide a solid framework upon which to base ones morals and teach ones children ethical behavior.
Of course, atheists are moral and ethical people too, but the reasons why we are tend to be more complicated and subjective than the CFC version, which is: god says do this, so I do. Humanism contains all the same core values of honesty, forthrightness, etc, but it requires *brains* instead of blind obedience.
And to be honest, I am not sure myself that had I been an atheist from the start, would I still have the same moral and ethical values. I am an extremely introspective person. I am deeply entangled in the values memes with which I was infected as a child. I cannot turn them off, even tho my mind has overpowered the <god>.
Consider for instance the <faithfulness in marriage>. Most would recognize that this meme is solidly CFC based, and yet I cannot shake this one off even if I tried, and it is unclear to me that I should try. Yet from an atheist's point of view, it is difficult to explain to others why the meme holds under atheism. All I can say is: I do not believe in god, but I do beleive in the ethical and moral system which the <god> people espouse.
As you can see, I am groping here, so anyone can jump in and help at any time.