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Atheism, Slavery, And The Moral High Ground...

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  • "Again Stoic, emotions may or may not attend our sense of justice (I'm not sure why you have a problem with this).
    And I have no problem appealing to our innate moral sense, nor did I ever say that emotional responses are illegitimate.
    But I'm saying that not only isn't that all there is, but that it can not be the basis for universal moral truths.
    Whether you believe in such truths or not.
    And that perhaps these emotional responses give us an inkling of these eternal truths.
    And that these emotions are not the driver or creator of said truths. Is that hard to understand?
    " -Seer


    (Things begin to break down for me here. These inklings, do you mean insights, glimpses?)

    "I understand that that's your belief."- Stoic

    "So you understand why I don't believe that emotions create moral truths..
    ." - Seer

    (This is the part that lost me. What made you say the above? That is very confusing for me. )

    "I understand why you don't believe that emotions create universal moral truths..." -Stoic


    Does this argument attempt to prove God's existence, or just that the atheist does not have a logical basis for saying something is moral or immoral?
    I think everyone would benefit from understanding this argument.
    If anyone has any thoughts or comments, or would like to paraphrase what's going on here, I for one would greatly appreciate it!






    Comment


    • Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

      Thank you for the kind words but I have attempted to engage with seer on this topic in a previous thread. It was tortuous. Furthermore, if I recall correctly, my correspondent was less than willing to define the concept of deity as he understood it.

      You can trawl through this thread if you've a mind to do so!

      https://theologyweb.com/campus/forum...14#post1243236
      This is actually some good reading. Thanks for the link. A lot to digest but some really good insight here.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Machinist View Post
        [I]"[COLOR=#9b59b6]
        Does this argument attempt to prove God's existence, or just that the atheist does not have a logical basis for saying something is moral or immoral?
        I think everyone would benefit from understanding this argument.
        If anyone has any thoughts or comments, or would like to paraphrase what's going on here, I for one would greatly appreciate it!
        Let me try. A God, akin to the Christian God, is the only logical source for universal moral truths. Otherwise all ethics are relative. Now I'm going appeal to human moral intuition. Most, if not all people, believe there are things that are always wrong. Whatever they fill that category in with the category (somethings are always wrong) still exists. This does not "prove" God, but I believe these intrinsic intuitions point to a moral lawgiver. And I see no good reason to deny this.
        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

          Let me try. A God, akin to the Christian God, is the only logical source for universal moral truths. Otherwise all ethics are relative. Now I'm going appeal to human moral intuition. Most, if not all people, believe there are things that are always wrong. Whatever they fill that category in with the category (somethings are always wrong) still exists. This does not "prove" God, but I believe these intrinsic intuitions point to a moral lawgiver. And I see no good reason to deny this.
          I think you are conflating "objectively wrong" with "absolutely wrong". The first means that something is wrong regardless of what anyone thinks about it. The second means that something is wrong no matter who does it, or under what circumstances.

          My belief that some things are always (absolutely) wrong does nothing to convince me that some things are objectively wrong.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Stoic View Post

            I think you are conflating "objectively wrong" with "absolutely wrong". The first means that something is wrong regardless of what anyone thinks about it. The second means that something is wrong no matter who does it, or under what circumstances.

            My belief that some things are always (absolutely) wrong does nothing to convince me that some things are objectively wrong.
            I did not use objective or absolute here. But you made my point. You do believe that some things are always wrong. But rationally how could that be if ethical relativism is the case? Is it just a private notion of yours? Because if it is you know that these things are not always wrong. Or are you channeling the higher ideals of universal moral truths?
            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 Stoic View Post

              I think you are conflating "objectively wrong" with "absolutely wrong". The first means that something is wrong regardless of what anyone thinks about it. The second means that something is wrong no matter who does it, or under what circumstances.

              My belief that some things are always (absolutely) wrong does nothing to convince me that some things are objectively wrong.
              The fact is that there is nothing good or evil that we can't improve or make worse. Arguments for what you're terming absolute wrongs (I don't agree with the usage) don't work because a train switch dilemma can always be constructed using the fact there's always something worse. No candidate for an absolute wrong can survive that choice.

              Relative morality is what we actually use day to day. The moral decisions we make and moral codes we construct as fallible and inept humans are always conditioned on the available options. We make our moral choices inside those constraints, and we cannot escape them.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Juvenal View Post

                The fact is that there is nothing good or evil that we can't improve or make worse. Arguments for what you're terming absolute wrongs (I don't agree with the usage) don't work because a train switch dilemma can always be constructed using the fact there's always something worse. No candidate for an absolute wrong can survive that choice.

                Relative morality is what we actually use day to day. The moral decisions we make and moral codes we construct as fallible and inept humans are always conditioned on the available options. We make our moral choices inside those constraints, and we cannot escape them.
                Moral disagreement in no way precludes the possibility of universal moral truths or moral absolutes.
                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
                  A God, akin to the Christian God, is the only logical source for universal moral truths. Otherwise all ethics are relative.
                  I don't really understand why you continue to repeat this obviously false statement after endless threads on this subject.

                  If the 'problem' with ethics is that people disagree on the subject, God's personal view on the subject offers zero solution to this problem and becomes but one among many competing views. I have one view, my neighbour another, God another, and some other cultures others. In such a situation God offers precisely zero help with the diagnosed problem, because his view is simply one of many - if anything it makes the problem worse by adding an additional view.

                  Philosophers today on the topic of morality seem to be in very widespread agreement that the existence of God has little to nothing to contribute to the topic of morality. One reason for that goes back to the Euthyphro dilemma, which philosophers seem to be in widespread agreement is a convincing argument. Either someone personally defines 'good' to be 'what God wants / God's nature' which is arbitrary on their part and in that sense their arbitrary definition is no more interesting than my neighbour's definition; or what God wants is good due to good being something worthy in and of itself, in which case it doesn't need God in order to be good.


                  PS Seer I feel you faceplanted when it came to addressing my first post in this thread - post #2. Regardless of what underlying justifications our various moral views might or might not have (and you thinking they aren't justified doesn't actually mean they aren't), basically everyone today in the Western world whether Christian or non-Christian agrees: Slavery is bad and immoral and very badly so. Logically, starting from that shared premise, one can easily construct a logical argument, not an emotional one, that the Bible fails as a moral guidebook because of its failure to condemn slavery and instead the Bible actively endorses the moral evil of slavery, and that historically Christianity has been a flawed moral guide due to its failure to condemn slavery for the vast majority of its history. That is why, in answer to your thread title, atheists rightly view Christianity as a moral failure on the topic of slavery. It has nothing whatever to do with emotion, just logic from the shared premise that slavery is evil.
                  Last edited by Starlight; 05-15-2021, 11:37 PM.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by seer View Post

                    Moral disagreement in no way precludes the possibility of universal moral truths or moral absolutes.
                    Neither does your inability to name one.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Juvenal View Post
                      Originally posted by seer
                      Moral disagreement in no way precludes the possibility of universal moral truths or moral absolutes.
                      Neither does your inability to name one.
                      My understanding from the literature is that there are two moral ideas that seem to be able to be found someone among the moral ideas of all cultures:
                      1. Fairness/proportionality is generally good; and
                      2. Harming-others-is-generally-bad/caring-for-others-is-generally-good.

                      Other concepts that are common among a great many cultures in addition to the two above, but which vary wildly in application from culture to culture, and can result in almost anything being viewed as moral or immoral, are:
                      A. Things my culture/religion/myself happen to find disgusting are immoral and things my culture's religion happens to teach are moral or immoral as per the arbitrary teaching;
                      B. Loyalty to groups my culture happens to view me as belonging to is moral as is opposition to those groups' enemies;
                      C. Respect for those whom my culture teaches I should have respect for is moral and respect should be given to the extent my culture says it should be, especially to those my culture views as authority figures.

                      Seer's own arbitrary morality seems to really emphasize category A ideas, with him often seeming to take the view that things he personally happens to find disgusting are immoral (he often mentions his personal disgust of things others don't find disgusting in the course of conversations about what he believes moral), and him often trying to justify moral ideas with respect to his religion's arbitrary teachings.

                      Anyway, I tend to take the view that fairness and caring are universal moral ideas among humans, because that's why my reading of the relevant literature seems to indicate is the case. They're not always at the forefront, and often they are sacrificed on the altar of other moral principles (e.g. "my god told me to kill you") but they're always there somewhere in the background. But there's a reason the Golden Rule, which expresses both the two universal moral concepts fairness and caring, has been independently stated in so many different cultures.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Juvenal View Post

                        Neither does your inability to name one.
                        Sure; adultery is always wrong, lying is always wrong, fornication is always wrong, unbelief is always wrong, the unjustified taking of a life is always wrong, pride is always wrong, homosexual behavior is always wrong, witchcraft (divination), unforgiveness, idolatry, greed, covetousness, envy, are always wrong etc, etc....
                        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 Starlight View Post
                          I don't really understand why you continue to repeat this obviously false statement after endless threads on this subject.

                          If the 'problem' with ethics is that people disagree on the subject, God's personal view on the subject offers zero solution to this problem and becomes but one among many competing views. I have one view, my neighbour another, God another, and some other cultures others. In such a situation God offers precisely zero help with the diagnosed problem, because his view is simply one of many - if anything it makes the problem worse by adding an additional view.
                          I said without universal moral truths ethical relativism logically follow. Nothing you said above address that.

                          Philosophers today on the topic of morality seem to be in very widespread agreement that the existence of God has little to nothing to contribute to the topic of morality. One reason for that goes back to the Euthyphro dilemma, which philosophers seem to be in widespread agreement is a convincing argument. Either someone personally defines 'good' to be 'what God wants / God's nature' which is arbitrary on their part and in that sense their arbitrary definition is no more interesting than my neighbour's definition; or what God wants is good due to good being something worthy in and of itself, in which case it doesn't need God in order to be good.
                          Euthyphro dilemma, has been dealt with here and in philosophy. If you think otherwise show me. And which philosophers should we listen to? The moral realists? Moral anti-realists? Those who hold moral error theory? And please define "good" in a non-arbitrary way.



                          PS Seer I feel you faceplanted when it came to addressing my first post in this thread - post #2. Regardless of what underlying justifications our various moral views might or might not have (and you thinking they aren't justified doesn't actually mean they aren't), basically everyone today in the Western world whether Christian or non-Christian agrees: Slavery is bad and immoral and very badly so. Logically, starting from that shared premise, one can easily construct a logical argument, not an emotional one, that the Bible fails as a moral guidebook because of its failure to condemn slavery and instead the Bible actively endorses the moral evil of slavery, and that historically Christianity has been a flawed moral guide due to its failure to condemn slavery for the vast majority of its history. That is why, in answer to your thread title, atheists rightly view Christianity as a moral failure on the topic of slavery. It has nothing whatever to do with emotion, just logic from the shared premise that slavery is evil.
                          Go for it, make a deductive argument for why slavery is a moral evil. Without starting with an arbitrary premise because your shared premise is arbitrary. Ask the Muslims or China or North Korea if they share your premise. And I will repeat - it was Christians that lead the way in ending slavery in the West.

                          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


                          • The platonic form of right and wrong, good and evil, moral and immoral. I don't know what i'm saying here. But I keep getting glimpses of what Seer is trying to communicate and it would help if everyone gave him the benefit of the doubt for a moment and really tried to help out.

                            It would help make it clear and perhaps the dust would settle so we could all see.

                            Would platonic forms help? I'm just throwing something out here. What is that exactly anyway? I only read briefly about the subject. But it seems like Seer is arguing one thing and everyone else is responding to something else.

                            I can't tell and it's all really fuzzy.

                            Of course morality is relative here on earth, and our interpretations of it can vary. It seems that Seer is arguing on the level of ideas though. If that makes sense. Something more abstract, yet concrete, like 2+2=4 kinda concrete, nothing specific, just an absolute form of a universal truth. Again, i don't know what it is that i'm groping at here. If there is nothing of value or insight in all this free associative rambling, then skip over it.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Starlight View Post
                              Anyway, I tend to take the view that fairness and caring are universal moral ideas among humans, because that's why my reading of the relevant literature seems to indicate is the case. They're not always at the forefront, and often they are sacrificed on the altar of other moral principles (e.g. "my god told me to kill you") but they're always there somewhere in the background. But there's a reason the Golden Rule, which expresses both the two universal moral concepts fairness and caring, has been independently stated in so many different cultures.
                              And greed and selfishness are also universal to the human condition. So? And you still don't get it Star, even if the golden rule is universal - so what? How does a toothless ideal have any effect on behavior? I can personally point to literally hundreds of people I have known the past 30 years whose behavior has radically changed for the better because of faith in God and Christ. And I am one. Show me the converts of moral realism.

                              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

                                Sure; adultery is always wrong, lying is always wrong, fornication is always wrong, unbelief is always wrong, the unjustified taking of a life is always wrong, pride is always wrong, homosexual behavior is always wrong, witchcraft (divination), unforgiveness, idolatry, greed, covetousness, envy, are always wrong etc, etc....
                                There is something more wrong than each of these, such that constructing a choice between the two makes none of them absolute:

                                Would you lie to save a life, seer?

                                I would. Because sometimes telling the truth is wrong.

                                Originally posted by Juvenal View Post

                                The fact is that there is nothing good or evil that we can't improve or make worse. Arguments for what you're terming absolute wrongs (I don't agree with the usage) don't work because a train switch dilemma can always be constructed using the fact there's always something worse. No candidate for an absolute wrong can survive that choice.
                                Not that I expect you to understand it better the second time around, but I could point out this is a repeated refutation.

                                Comment

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