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  • Originally posted by Dimbulb View Post
    It's kindof worrying when theists get obsessed with this topic because of the negative things it indicates about their character.

    If you were a loving, kind, Christ-like person, who valued everyone, and manifested the fruits of the spirit in your internal character, you wouldn't need any external threats of punishment to keep you on the straight and narrow. You would want to take actions that were kind, loving, generous and benevolent, not because of any threatened punishment or promised rewards, but because of who you were, because of your generous and kind and benevolent nature and character. You would have strong 'intrinsic motivation', as psychologists term it, to be kind and loving to others.

    But your deep and repeated concern in this thread and forum about the importance of there being an external motivation for kind and benevolent and generous behavior (or 'extrinsic motivation' to use the psychologists term) - e.g. God's existence and the promise of rewards / judgement, and your strong belief that lacking an external motivation for good behavior that the logical and rational course would be to engage in as much selfish and harmful-to-others behavior as you could get away with, seems indicative that your internal character is not at all aligned toward benevolence and kindness and Christ-like values, and seem to suggest that currently your character is that of an extremely selfish person who places no value on others and that you only do any good at all out of the external promise of reward, not because your character is such that you value others and you value doing good to them for the sake of doing good to them.

    That's worrying for a number of reasons, but I'd note that Christianity is supposed to have generated a Christ-like character within you. Your lack of it is one of many reasons I don't consider you a real Christian.

    Those of us who actually do value others, have an intrinsic motivation to be kind and loving to them - we do it because we want to do it. Being kind to others is its own reward in the sense that we enjoy it in the same way we might enjoy reading a book or playing a computer game.

    Your question of what if there was no extrinsic motivation for acting well toward others, is irrelevant to those of us who act well toward others out of intrinsic motivation. A general finding in psychology has been that intrinsic motivations are almost always better than extrinsic motivations at getting things done, e.g. in the workplace, in relationships, in people's day to day lives. A person who wants to do something is generally more likely to do it, that a person who doesn't want to but is pressured to do so by a reward/punishment. (e.g. A person who loves their job will do it better than a person who grudgingly does it for the money.)

    But if you're saying that you yourself would act terribly towards others if you had no outside pressure on you to act well, and furthermore that you can't even comprehend why people would act well without such external pressure... well that indicates that not only is your inner character such that its in no way motivating you to be nice and kind to others, but that it's so far from that that you can't even imagine a situation in which it was the case that it motivated you to be kind and loving. Perhaps this is why I am so constantly horrified by the immoral inner character of the "Christians" on this site and their complete lack of anything resembling Christ-likeness.
    This is nothing but a long-winded, sanctimonious ad hominem fallacy that doesn't address the arguments I've put forward. I would like say that I expect better from you, but I really don't.

    The center point of your self-righteous screed is your assertion that a sense of moral obligation is intrinsic. I agree, it is. This is not a problem for the theist, but it is the atheist who can not account for it nor make any sense of it. After all, if atheism is true, then our thoughts and feelings are nothing more than a chemical reaction, essentially no different than that which guides the behavior of animals. Why assign any particular value or meaning to one chemical reaction over another?
    Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
    But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
    Than a fool in the eyes of God


    From "Fools Gold" by Petra

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

      We are not necessarily "morally obligated" to follow any law because morality is premised on the cultural and social attitudes of a specific society. You may not feel "morally obligated" to follow the laws in Saudi Arabia against having or consuming alcohol. However, if the Saudi authorities find you in possession of alcohol you will be subject to that society’s due penalty for breaking those laws.

      You [I think] are considering general prohibitions against far more serious behaviours e.g. murder, rape, torture, theft. Those prohibitions are in place because they help maintain the stability of the social group. However, these prohibitions may not always be extended to AN Other social group[s] particularly in times of war and/or conquest. This is clearly demonstrated in those primitive parts of the OT where it was divinely sanctioned to, on occasion, practise herem.

      In all human societies if certain social codes of behaviour and/or taboos are broken then that specific society will often exact some form of punishment or express social embarrassment or even outrage.
      For the atheist, figuring out how to break the law without suffering the consequences is just as valid as simply conforming. Neither choice is right or wrong.
      Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
      But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
      Than a fool in the eyes of God


      From "Fools Gold" by Petra

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
        a sense of moral obligation is intrinsic. I agree, it is. This is not a problem for the theist, but it is the atheist who can not account for it nor make any sense of it.
        Trying to 'explain' why a person has certain intrinsic motivations in general, and not others, is a bit of a fools errand. Why does one boy like music, and another like reading? Why does one girl like sport and another like computer games? Why does one person care about others, while another person is extremely selfish?

        The 'answers' to those questions, to the extent there are any meaningful ones, is that people's inner character, values, and desires, are immensely complex products of their life experiences, their other values, their genetics, their choices etc. There's no straightforward psychological theories of A leads to B leads to C, to explain why different people have the different intrinsic values they do.

        It is easy to see why human evolution as herd animals might genetically predispose humans in general to value those around them in their herd in general.

        Your claim that, in the case of morality, theism has some sort of an advantage to atheism with regard to explanatory power about how people adopt intrinsic values, seems utterly absurd.

        After all, if atheism is true, then our thoughts and feelings are nothing more than a chemical reaction
        This is a false statement. Perhaps you mean, "if materialism is true" rather than "if atheism is true"? Atheism isn't about the material universe being all that exists, its the claim about the falsehood of religions.

        e.g. I am at the opposite end of the spectrum from materialists - I'm an idealist or dualist on the mind-body problem. I'm 1000% sure that conscious minds exist, because I'm experiencing one. But I'm not convinced that the world around me really exists as opposed to being a Matrix-like simulation. I would say that, overall, I think the highest metaphysical probability is that we are all playing a fully-immersive computer game, e.g. Sim Universe, and that our minds (being from the real universe) are real in a way our simulated-in-game-bodies aren't, and that our existence would survive in-game-death. To the extent that the Sim Universe game must have had creators, they would be either literally us, or people like us, and hence from a religious point of view irrelevant - the idea of either worshipping them or paying any attention to them at all (I play a lot of computer games and don't know the names of 99% of the game makers) would be pointless. So I am an atheist in the sense that I think all human religions are silly and false. But when you make a claim like "our thoughts and feelings are nothing more than a chemical reaction" I can't agree with any part of that - the reality of our thoughts and feeling is the one thing I do absolutely believe in the real and fundamental existence of because I experience it directly, whereas chemical reactions etc might all not exist at all.

        Even changing your false claim to be about materialism rather than about atheism though, you would still be implying that the sum of the parts is nothing more than the sum of the parts, and that seems logically false - an entity made up of parts can have properties that none of the parts alone have. That's usually the whole point of combining the parts together, because the thing created from the parts then does something that none of the parts did. So trying to critique materialism by saying the brain is nothing more than the sum of its parts seems a logically poor critique.

        Why assign any particular value or meaning to one chemical reaction over another?
        In thought, or in computing, we use the idea of abstractions. This is where a thing refers to or represents something other than itself. The magnetic regions on a computer hard drive are not just magnetic regions, but rather their organization and orientation represents pictures, videos, books, etc. Values and meanings are abstractions. So they don't refer to chemical reactions, even if chemical reactions or magnetic regions are being used to record them.

        One could add a mocking comment at this point about it not being surprising you don't understand the idea of abstract thought!

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
          In other words, it's not innate.
          The social rules may change but the purpose of the rules is the same. Namely, the innate, naturally selected evolution of the necessary social behavior to survive as cooperative intelligent community animals.

          So you are morally obligated to hand over your wallet when a mugger waves his fist under your nose?
          No, one is not morally obligated to do that.

          Yeah, I know, you said "the obligation to behave appropriately according to the accepted rules of a given society", but which society, and which rules? And what, exactly, morally obligates to that society instead of simply deciding for yourself what is right and wrong?
          The same as what “morally obligates” theists to their deity. Namely the desire for reward and the fear of punishment.
          “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post

            Oh, please, not that canard again.

            I assume you're referring to slavery, and while some men did use a distortion of scripture to justify the practice, many others interpreted the Bible correctly and fought to abolish it.
            I’m referring to slavery for 400 years, colonial invasions and land-grabs, the destruction of indigenous cultures, the limited role of women in society etc. etc. etc. ALL reflecting the values of the day and ALL justified by Christians reading the biblical text through the lens of their own culture.
            “He felt that his whole life was a kind of dream and he sometimes wondered whose it was and whether they were enjoying it.” - Douglas Adams.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
              For the atheist, figuring out how to break the law without suffering the consequences is just as valid as simply conforming. Neither choice is right or wrong.
              None of that addresses any of the points I made.

              There appears to be a notion among some contributors that anyone who does not proclaim a Christian belief is automatically deemed to be potentially amoral and depraved.
              "It ain't necessarily so
              The things that you're liable
              To read in the Bible
              It ain't necessarily so
              ."

              Sportin' Life
              Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                I assume you're referring to slavery, and while some men did use a distortion of scripture to justify the practice, many others interpreted the Bible correctly and fought to abolish it.
                No distortion required. The Bible never condemns slavery - it lays down rules for implementing it.

                You should read it one day.

                Jorge: Functional Complex Information is INFORMATION that is complex and functional.

                mikewhitney: What if the speed of light changed when light is passing through water? ... I have 3 semesters of college Physics.

                Mountain Man: First of all, the Bible is a fixed document.
                Mountain Man on covid-19: We're talking about an illness with a better than 99.9% rate of survival.

                Sparko: Even the deists like Jefferson believed in the Christian God, ...

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Roy View Post
                  No distortion required. The Bible never condemns slavery - it lays down rules for implementing it.

                  You should read it one day.
                  Like slavery is immoral?
                  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


                  • Originally posted by Dimbulb View Post
                    Trying to 'explain' why a person has certain intrinsic motivations in general, and not others, is a bit of a fools errand.
                    You only say that because fools like you who have rejected God have no explanation. For the atheist, it really makes no rational sense to claim that one chemical reaction in your brain is morally superior to any other, and preferring to treat someone kindly versus treating them poorly has no more moral value than than preferring chocolate ice cream to vanilla.

                    Dr. William Craig:

                    On the atheistic view, human beings don’t seem to have any moral obligations to one another. For example, in the animal kingdom, if lion kills a zebra, it kills the zebra but it doesn't murder the zebra. If a great white shark copulates forcibly with a female, it forcibly copulates with the female, but it doesn't rape the female, for there is no moral dimension to these actions. None of these things is prohibited or commanded; they are neither forbidden nor obligatory. So if God doesn’t exist why think that we have any moral obligations? Who or what imposes such prohibitions or obligations upon us? Where do they come from? It is hard to see why moral duties would be anything more than the illusory by-products of social and parental conditioning.

                    So, admittedly, certain actions like incest and rape have become taboo in the course of human evolution, but on atheism that does absolutely nothing to show that such actions are really wrong. Activity that looks like rape and incest goes on all the time in the animal kingdom. So the rapist who chooses to flout the herd morality is really on atheism doing nothing more than acting unfashionably; he is like the man who violates the social conventions by belching loudly at the dinner table. If there isn’t any moral law giver then there isn’t any moral law that imposes itself upon us.

                    https://www.reasonablefaith.org/vide...lc-washington/
                    Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                    But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                    Than a fool in the eyes of God


                    From "Fools Gold" by Petra

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Tassman View Post
                      No, one is not morally obligated to do that.
                      Bingo. If atheism is true, then nobody is morally obligated to do anything. It's all just a matter of personal preference, and if someone chooses to flout the preferences of society then he has not actually done anything immoral.

                      As for our moral obligation to God, it's not merely because he is able to hold us accountable but because of who and what he is.
                      Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                      But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                      Than a fool in the eyes of God


                      From "Fools Gold" by Petra

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Tassman View Post

                        I’m referring to slavery for 400 years, colonial invasions and land-grabs, the destruction of indigenous cultures, the limited role of women in society etc. etc. etc. ALL reflecting the values of the day and ALL justified by Christians reading the biblical text through the lens of their own culture.
                        Oh, please, not that canard again.

                        While some men did use a distortion of scripture to justify certain practices, many others have interpreted the Bible correctly and fought to abolish such things.
                        Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
                        But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
                        Than a fool in the eyes of God


                        From "Fools Gold" by Petra

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                          Dr. William Craig:

                          On the atheistic view, human beings don’t seem to have any moral obligations to one another. For example, in the animal kingdom, if lion kills a zebra, it kills the zebra but it doesn't murder the zebra. If a great white shark copulates forcibly with a female, it forcibly copulates with the female, but it doesn't rape the female, for there is no moral dimension to these actions. None of these things is prohibited or commanded; they are neither forbidden nor obligatory. So if God doesn’t exist why think that we have any moral obligations? Who or what imposes such prohibitions or obligations upon us? Where do they come from? It is hard to see why moral duties would be anything more than the illusory by-products of social and parental conditioning.

                          So, admittedly, certain actions like incest and rape have become taboo in the course of human evolution, but on atheism that does absolutely nothing to show that such actions are really wrong. Activity that looks like rape and incest goes on all the time in the animal kingdom. So the rapist who chooses to flout the herd morality is really on atheism doing nothing more than acting unfashionably; he is like the man who violates the social conventions by belching loudly at the dinner table. If there isn’t any moral law giver then there isn’t any moral law that imposes itself upon us.

                          https://www.reasonablefaith.org/vide...lc-washington/
                          This reminds me of why I quit being a Christian apologist... the arguments are so bad.

                          That above argument basically goes: "Rather than read any atheist philosophers writing on moral issues, and grapple with their theories and viewpoints, and showing in detail why they're all wrong, I just choose to assume they don't exist. I choose to believe there are no such atheist moral views, no such philosophers, and no such books. They can't exist. Because after like, 1 second thinking, I can't think of what views they might have, so that proves they mustn't have come up with any. So, because I haven't personally thought of any atheist moral views after one second of not really trying very hard to do so, they must not have any. QED"

                          Morons.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Starlight View Post
                            This reminds me of why I quit being a Christian apologist... the arguments are so bad.

                            That above argument basically goes: "Rather than read any atheist philosophers writing on moral issues, and grapple with their theories and viewpoints, and showing in detail why they're all wrong, I just choose to assume they don't exist. I choose to believe there are no such atheist moral views, no such philosophers, and no such books. They can't exist. Because after like, 1 second thinking, I can't think of what views they might have, so that proves they mustn't have come up with any. So, because I haven't personally thought of any atheist moral views after one second of not really trying very hard to do so, they must not have any. QED"

                            Morons.
                            Are you daft? I don't know anyone who interacted with atheist and their arguments more than Craig.
                            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


                            • Originally posted by seer View Post
                              I don't know anyone who interacted with atheist and their arguments more than Craig.
                              If Craig has ever interacted with any atheist moral viewpoints I am not aware of it, and from googling it I can't find anything. Craig makes plenty of arguments about God and morality in general and abstract terms, but seems to always do in very abstract and generic terms of "I think the existence of morality ought to imply God's existence" never in specific terms of interacting with any specific philosopher's views on morality as far as I am aware.

                              If you are aware of Craig directly interacting with the specific moral theories or any specific named philosophers, feel free to point me to such work. Googling is sure not showing me any.
                              Last edited by Starlight; 04-10-2021, 06:09 PM.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Starlight View Post
                                If Craig has ever interacted with any atheist moral viewpoints I am not aware of it, and from googling it I can't find anything. Craig makes plenty of arguments about God and morality in general and abstract terms, but seems to always do in very abstract and generic terms of "I think the existence of morality ought to imply God's existence" never in specific terms of interacting with any specific philosopher's views on morality as far as I am aware.

                                If you are aware of Craig directly interacting with the specific moral theories or any specific named philosophers, feel free to point me to such work. Googling is sure not showing me any.
                                Here are few I found quickly:

                                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6WnliSKrR4

                                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0j444u10ng

                                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrdktsDljxM

                                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHhmuqBW6Dw
                                Last edited by seer; 04-10-2021, 06:29 PM.
                                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

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