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  • Fairness?

    It seems that a lot of the liberal non-theists on this board object to many things based, at bottom, on a lack of fairness. It would not be fair to prevent homosexuals from marrying. It would not be fair for a Christian baker to reject a gay customer who wants a wedding cake. It would not be fair to prevent a transgender males from using a female bathroom. Etc, etc, etc... But the fact is, most of these non-theists are moral relativists. So from whence comes this sense of fairness? Is it merely a social construct? Relative to this present western culture? If so, how is it meaningful?
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

  • #2
    Life isn't fair. And nowhere are we commanded to make it fair.
    That's what
    - She

    Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
    - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

    I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
    Stephen R. Donaldson

    Comment


    • #3
      That's what the owner of slaves use to say, "its not fair I bought him/her". How long do we have to repeat history. Scripture has stood the test of time, whether you believe in God or not. They say God allowed slavery, yet what if abortion is considered ultra bad 1000 years from now, then they will say God allowed abortion. Sorry to rant so much.

      Comment


      • #4
        Proverbs 11:1 Proverbs 16:11 speak on fairness.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by The1islooking View Post
          Proverbs 11:1 Proverbs 16:11 speak on fairness.

          Well yes, the Christian would have a better grounding since God's word is transcendent and authoritative. Fairness would not be relegated to cultural whims.
          Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by The1islooking View Post
            Proverbs 11:1 Proverbs 16:11 speak on fairness.
            Not really pertinent to the supposed "fairness" the OP speaks of.
            Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

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            • #7
              While it might have been true 50 years ago that most non-theists of that time were moral relativists, most non-theists of today hold to objective morality. This has been a change many Christians seem to have been slow to pick up on.

              In the past, most non-Christians would take the approach of "look, we get that X is immoral (because Christianity says so), but perhaps it would be in society's best interests overall to reconsider how we treat X?". Christians were granted the moral high ground, and it was accepted that their system of morality was the only objective one, and moral terms were monopolized by Christians. However that has changed. Non-Christians today are generally happy to use moral terms themselves. Non-Christians today are generally happy to say thinks like "X is moral, and Christianity is wrong to teach otherwise".

              Jonathan Haidt has done a lot of interesting research on the subject of liberal vs conservative morality. There's a good paper here by him, and he's done several good TED talks. According to his research, the three core values that sit at the foundation of the liberal moral worldview are:
              * Maximizing well-being and minimizing harm
              * Fairness
              * Freedom

              So it's certainly accurate of you seer, to have spotted that fairness is a concern that a lot of liberals on these boards have.

              I personally often conceive of fairness and freedom as being just part and parcel of the first value in the list: Maximizing well-being and minimizing harm. Humanity is complex, and there is a huge list of things that contribute to people's well-being, and a huge list of ways of harming them. Limiting a person's freedom is an obvious type of harm. Enslaving or imprisoning someone is definitely harming them. But limiting their freedoms in more subtle ways can equally be considered a harm also.

              Fairness comes into the picture because in a world where everyone had maximal well-being, it would be a world where everyone had it (ie fairly). The world is not zero-sum in well-being: me having a better life isn't reliant on you having a worse one. And insofar as you can reduce one person's well-being in order to increase the well-being of another, there are diminishing returns. The person with the mansion, pool, tennis court, and Ferrari, is going to be made negligibly happier if they are given an extra $30,000, whereas that $30,000 given to a starving family would greatly increase their well-being. "Fairness" as a desirable concept stems from those recognitions - it's the optimal way to maximize well-being.

              I'd say fairness also has to do with the fact that liberals value the well-being of everyone. The famous thought-experiment used against ultra-utilitarianism was "if you could have a world, where everyone was perfectly happy, but one innocent little girl had to suffer forever (in hell, or somesuch), would you take it?" And most people's response was recoil from that scenario out of a sense of fairness. They valued that little girl's well-being too. And they felt it wasn't enough to simply maximize overall well-being but that it needed to be done in a way that was fair and equitable. So liberals are not about simply maximizing well-being overall, but rather want to maximize it for each and every person, because they value each and every person. For that reason I sometimes sum up liberal morality as "maximizing well-being and minimizing harm in a way that is equitable", although there's obviously a lot that can be unpacked from the words "well-being" and "harm" there, since humans are complex and there are many many different virtues and outcomes that simultaneously affect their well-being.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                Life isn't fair. And nowhere are we commanded to make it fair.
                Perhaps you're just repeating these words without thinking about it. Or perhaps you mean something other than what I think you mean when I see them.

                Because I see those words as saying "if other people are suffering, I don't need to take any steps to make it right." And I see that attitude as being wicked, immoral, unloving and cruel. Perhaps you could explain why that's not what you mean by those words?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Starlight View Post
                  Perhaps you're just repeating these words without thinking about it. Or perhaps you mean something other than what I think you mean when I see them.

                  Because I see those words as saying "if other people are suffering, I don't need to take any steps to make it right." And I see that attitude as being wicked, immoral, unloving and cruel. Perhaps you could explain why that's not what you mean by those words?
                  It means that just because I want something and someone else has it, doesn't mean I deserve one too.
                  That's what
                  - She

                  Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
                  - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

                  I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
                  Stephen R. Donaldson

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Fairness presumes an equability of status. Where such does not exist - like the comparison of genuine marriage to same sex 'marriage' - fairness isn't at issue, no matter who asks.

                    Same reason it's perfectly 'fair' to deny driver's licenses to three year olds, mentally incompetent adults and dogs.

                    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                    "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                    My Personal Blog

                    My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by seer View Post
                      It seems that a lot of the liberal non-theists on this board object to many things based, at bottom, on a lack of fairness. It would not be fair to prevent homosexuals from marrying. It would not be fair for a Christian baker to reject a gay customer who wants a wedding cake. It would not be fair to prevent a transgender males from using a female bathroom. Etc, etc, etc... But the fact is, most of these non-theists are moral relativists. So from whence comes this sense of fairness? Is it merely a social construct? Relative to this present western culture? If so, how is it meaningful?
                      Maybe the question is better posed, fair to whom? Fair to us, or fair to God?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                        Maybe the question is better posed, fair to whom? Fair to us, or fair to God?
                        The thing is, I have found most liberal atheists to be moralists, actually moral prigs. But that seems inconsistent with ethical relativism. Why be so invested in moral positions that are merely cultural conventions?
                        Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Starlight View Post

                          Jonathan Haidt has done a lot of interesting research on the subject of liberal vs conservative morality. There's a good paper here by him, and he's done several good TED talks. According to his research, the three core values that sit at the foundation of the liberal moral worldview are:
                          * Maximizing well-being and minimizing harm
                          * Fairness
                          * Freedom


                          So it's certainly accurate of you seer, to have spotted that fairness is a concern that a lot of liberals on these boards have.
                          So do you agree that ethics above are relative?
                          Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by seer View Post
                            The thing is, I have found most liberal atheists to be moralists, actually moral prigs.
                            Right. Because they see themselves as holding to objective morality. Christian behavior falls short of the moral standards that the liberal atheists hold.

                            But that seems inconsistent with ethical relativism.
                            Duh?

                            So do you agree that ethics above are relative?
                            No.

                            I'm going to say this once: You've got an 84 page thread going in apologetics, where pretty much all the atheists on this site have repeatedly explained to you that they hold to objective morality, and why they do so, in the face of your extremely obstinate skepticism on that subject. I am not going to discuss that topic further with you. This thread is about fairness... I am happy to discuss the topic of fairness with you because we haven't discussed it to death previously.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by seer View Post
                              The thing is, I have found most liberal atheists to be moralists, actually moral prigs. But that seems inconsistent with ethical relativism. Why be so invested in moral positions that are merely cultural conventions?
                              Yes, I agree that their worldview is inconsistent. As I've said elsewhere, I believe their moral position is couched in a worldview afforded them by 2000 years of Christian moral realism...just without the Christ.

                              Comment

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