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Is God Immoral?

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  • Originally posted by Tassman View Post
    Thus speaks the “expert” that doesn't believe in evolution.

    In any event you are demonstrably incorrect in your interpretation of it. Even though our biological make-up remains largely unchanged we, with our large brains, are capable of learning and implementing our knowledge, modifying our behavioural code, adapting to the environment around us and modifying it. This is evident from our slow but constant social evolution from the primitive Paleothic era, when we were little better than our fellow primates, up to around 5,500 years ago: when writing was invented in Sumer, thus triggering the beginning of modern history.
    But none of this Tass is growing beyond in the evolutionary process, it is all part and parcel of the process. And who knows where the process will lead us tomorrow. So when ISIS or the Communists build a cohesive community as they see fit they are just following their natural urges.



    Religion once offered a survival advantage because it organized cooperative behaviour and reinforced existing moral codes for the benefit of the tribal community but, in a diverse, multicultural world it is clearly detrimental to survival. However, just as humans evolved socially to be religious they can evolve out of it. It's already happening, although slowly, in the more developed countries.

    Tass, you do realize that even in Western countries Nationalism is on the rise? See, this is the problem - you can never know where the evolutionary process will lead us. And it might lead to our extinction, why not, we are no better or worse than the millions of species that have gone extinct before us.


    They’re behaving as chimps have evolved to behave; our own ancestors weren't much different in the earliest days. Why do you, as a theist, reckon your deity created such murderous little animals?
    Again, Tass, why do you get so upset when nature is doing what is natural. It makes no sense.



    I would say that they believe they’re obeying God’s Law. The problem for theists is that they can’t reach consensus about what constitutes "God's Law" - even within in the same religion. Even within the same denomination within the same religion. Let alone decide which religion is the right religion. But one thing for sure, whatever the religion, its adherents just "KNOW" that it is the right one and requires what ever it takes to defend it - as ISIS is doing.
    Are you being dense on purpose? First, the Communists were not doing these things in the name of God. Second, they are only doing and believing what the evolutionary process determined that they believe and do. I just don't get why you hate nature so much.



    We are predisposed by Natural Selection towards instinctive altruism, direct and indirect reciprocity and the observance of the rules of the community. This is the essence of the Golden Rule ("Do unto others...") which has existed, in one form or another, in virtually every human society dating back to ancient Egypt c. 2000 BCE.
    Obviously we are also predisposed by Natural Selection towards war, murder, genocide, religious beliefs, dominance, 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 Tassman View Post
      No. Evolution occurs at a glacial pace. Our biological make-up would be very little changed from when, according to the fossil evidence, modern humans evolved in East Africa around 200,000 years ago, But, unlike our fellow primates, our much larger brains enable us to learn better and to adapt and build upon our knowledge.
      So we can choose our moral values? We can choose ones that don't necessarily promote our community's survival?

      {You appear to be changing your position on this. Up till now you've said that our moral values come from a process of natural selection}



      What grounds the 'ought' of moral values? Where does their authority over us come from?
      ...>>> Witty remark or snarky quote of another poster goes here <<<...

      Comment


      • Originally posted by seer View Post
        But none of this Tass is growing beyond in the evolutionary process, it is all part and parcel of the process.
        Nonsense! The evolutionary process endowed us with large brains that are capable of learning and modifying behaviour accordingly despite our biological make-up remaining largely unchanged. This is demonstrably the case given that what we are today, with our complex social structures, is a long way from our ancestors of 200,000 years ago when we were little different from our fellow primates behaviour-wise.

        And who knows where the process will lead us tomorrow. So when ISIS or the Communists build a cohesive community as they see fit they are just following their natural urges.
        The “process” you are misrepresenting as “evolutionary” will lead us nowhere in particular because that is not what Evolution is all about; it’s merely your straw man version of it.

        Tass, you do realize that even in Western countries Nationalism is on the rise? See, this is the problem - you can never know where the evolutionary process will lead us. And it might lead to our extinction, why not, we are no better or worse than the millions of species that have gone extinct before us.
        Once again the “process” you are misrepresenting as “evolutionary” will lead us nowhere in particular because that is not what Evolution is all about; it’s merely your straw man version of it.

        Again, Tass, why do you get so upset when nature is doing what is natural. It makes no sense.
        By definition nature always does what is natural; what makes you think I'm upset – upset about it?

        Are you being dense on purpose? First, the Communists were not doing these things in the name of God.
        I said that ISIS presumably believes it’s obeying God’s Law and that this highlights the problem of competing religions not being able to reach consensus about what constitutes "God's Law" when they hold absolute beliefs that are mutually exclusive. The only possible solution is conquest and the enforced imposition of the “one true religion” upon the rest of the population – as per ISIS. And, let it be noted, the Israelite conquest of Canaan, the Islamic expansion, the Crusades, the Thirty Year's War to give a few examples.

        Second, they are only doing and believing what the evolutionary process determined that they believe and do. I just don't get why you hate nature so much
        Once again: The “process” you persistently misrepresent as “evolutionary” is merely your straw man version of it.

        Obviously we are also predisposed by Natural Selection towards war, murder, genocide, religious beliefs, dominance, etc...
        Tribal societies certainly are, but only with regard to outsiders (e.g. rival tribes, rival religions etc), not the tribal insider where strict rules are enforced i order to maintain social cohesion.
        “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 MaxVel View Post
          So we can choose our moral values? We can choose ones that don't necessarily promote our community's survival?

          {You appear to be changing your position on this. Up till now you've said that our moral values come from a process of natural selection}
          My position has been consistent throughout. Our moral codes are based upon our instincts. They are derivatives of self-preservation and procreation and are a consequence of natural selection. They are naturally built into us, because those morals are beneficial to the survival of our species as social animals.

          What grounds the 'ought' of moral values? Where does their authority over us come from?
          We don’t need the prescriptive “ought” to determine what to do for the best. We have verifiable descriptive facts about the universe and our place in it as a social species. One can readily infer the appropriate way to behave in the light of these facts.
          “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 Tassman View Post
            Nonsense! The evolutionary process endowed us with large brains that are capable of learning and modifying behaviour accordingly despite our biological make-up remaining largely unchanged. This is demonstrably the case given that what we are today, with our complex social structures, is a long way from our ancestors of 200,000 years ago when we were little different from our fellow primates behaviour-wise.
            Yes and ISIS and the Communists are using their large brains to do what they are doing. And?


            The “process” you are misrepresenting as “evolutionary” will lead us nowhere in particular because that is not what Evolution is all about; it’s merely your straw man version of it.
            Really? So you really have no idea what the evolutionary process will do. So who knows what we will become.


            By definition nature always does what is natural; what makes you think I'm upset – upset about it?
            Oh good, I thought what groups like ISIS were doing bothered you. I'm glad to see that you accept their natural tendencies.



            I said that ISIS presumably believes it’s obeying God’s Law and that this highlights the problem of competing religions not being able to reach consensus about what constitutes "God's Law" when they hold absolute beliefs that are mutually exclusive. The only possible solution is conquest and the enforced imposition of the “one true religion” upon the rest of the population – as per ISIS. And, let it be noted, the Israelite conquest of Canaan, the Islamic expansion, the Crusades, the Thirty Year's War to give a few examples.
            Are you being stupid on purpose bro? If your worldview is correct then they only believe and act this way because this is how the evolutionary process determined them to believe and act. And I'm glad that it doesn't upset you. It is good that you are resigned to the ways of Mother Nature!



            Tribal societies certainly are, but only with regard to outsiders (e.g. rival tribes, rival religions etc), not the tribal insider where strict rules are enforced i order to maintain social cohesion.
            Except Homer, we are still tribal, whether that expresses itself through religion, Nationalism or political ideology. We haven't changed - still the same old sinners that we have always been.
            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
              Yes and ISIS and the Communists are using their large brains to do what they are doing. And?
              So you now acknowledge that you were wrong when you said: “none of this Tass is growing beyond in the evolutionary process, it is all part and parcel of the process”. In fact there's no doubt that the human animal has developed intellectually since our Stone-Age days around 3 million years ago when we were little different from our tool-making primate cousins in terms of behaviour. The difference is that humans were capable of learning and developing whereas our Primate cousins were not.

              Really? So you really have no idea what the evolutionary process will do. So who knows what we will become.
              Did Palaeolithic Man know that his successors would build large cities, develop modern technology and travel throughout the solar system? Of course not, what’s your point?

              Oh good, I thought what groups like ISIS were doing bothered you.
              This was in the context of chimp behaviour, not ISIS. How extraordinary that you segued this into an implied comment about ISIS. I made the clear point several times that while the chimps are behaving naturally as chimps, the larger brain of the human animal enabled it to socially evolve well beyond the social level of chimpanzees.

              I'm glad to see that you accept their natural tendencies.
              By definition nature always does what is natural, to say otherwise is an oxymoron.

              Are you being stupid on purpose bro? If your worldview is correct then they only believe and act this way because this is how the evolutionary process determined them to believe and act. And I'm glad that it doesn't upset you. It is good that you are resigned to the ways of Mother Nature!
              Choice is an integral part of the causal stream that is ‘determinism”; ‘determinism’ is not ‘fatalism’ – a distinction you seem unable (or unwilling) to understand.

              And regarding ISIS there can be no way to resolve conflicts about moral issues when members of competing religions hold absolute beliefs which are mutually exclusive. The only possible solution, as has been seen throughout history countless times, is conquest and the enforced imposition of the “one true religion” upon the rest of the population - as per ISIS or alternatively the hoped for domination by the Christian Theonomy. Both are merely faith-based systems and neither can be morally justified.

              Except Homer, we are still tribal, whether that expresses itself through religion, Nationalism or political ideology.
              Wrong seer. While our biological make-up hasn't changed our notions of tribalism demonstrably have, e.g. the concept of crimes against humanity was unknown during the time of Moses. Whereas today he would have been hauled before the The International Court of Justice in The Hague for genocide and his defence would have been that he was obeying the will of the one true God, just as ISIS claims to be doing. In short ISIS has reverted to a level of tribalism of the sort we saw with Moses but which the developed world no longer finds acceptable.

              We haven't changed - still the same old sinners that we have always been.
              Dang Adam and that apple! How surprised God must have been. <sarcasm>
              “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 Tassman View Post
                So you now acknowledge that you were wrong when you said: “none of this Tass is growing beyond in the evolutionary process, it is all part and parcel of the process”. In fact there's no doubt that the human animal has developed intellectually since our Stone-Age days around 3 million years ago when we were little different from our tool-making primate cousins in terms of behaviour. The difference is that humans were capable of learning and developing whereas our Primate cousins were not.
                No that is silly of course none of this is growing beyond in the evolutionary process, because in your world that is all there is. We may be somewhat different than than our ancestors, but no better when it comes to survival.


                Did Palaeolithic Man know that his successors would build large cities, develop modern technology and travel throughout the solar system? Of course not, what’s your point?
                The point is we have no idea if the process will make us more or less violent.

                This was in the context of chimp behaviour, not ISIS. How extraordinary that you segued this into an implied comment about ISIS. I made the clear point several times that while the chimps are behaving naturally as chimps, the larger brain of the human animal enabled it to socially evolve well beyond the social level of chimpanzees.
                And you serious - ISIS is no different than any other animal - they are doing what the evolutionary process created them to do.



                Choice is an integral part of the causal stream that is ‘determinism”; ‘determinism’ is not ‘fatalism’ – a distinction you seem unable (or unwilling) to understand.

                And regarding ISIS there can be no way to resolve conflicts about moral issues when members of competing religions hold absolute beliefs which are mutually exclusive. The only possible solution, as has been seen throughout history countless times, is conquest and the enforced imposition of the “one true religion” upon the rest of the population - as per ISIS or alternatively the hoped for domination by the Christian Theonomy. Both are merely faith-based systems and neither can be morally justified.
                Again Tass if determinism is true then these groups are only doing what the natural process created them to do - they can do nothing else - THEY ARE DETERMINED. So the question remains, why do you hate nature so much?



                Wrong seer. While our biological make-up hasn't changed our notions of tribalism demonstrably have, e.g. the concept of crimes against humanity was unknown during the time of Moses. Whereas today he would have been hauled before the The International Court of Justice in The Hague for genocide and his defence would have been that he was obeying the will of the one true God, just as ISIS claims to be doing. In short ISIS has reverted to a level of tribalism of the sort we saw with Moses but which the developed world no longer finds acceptable.

                Oh stop, if radical Islam keeps growing then they will will dominate world wide - nature in motion.
                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
                  No that is silly of course none of this is growing beyond in the evolutionary process, because in your world that is all there is. We may be somewhat different than than our ancestors, but no better when it comes to survival.
                  Try to understand: ‘Determinism’ is not ‘fatalism’.

                  Conversely, In your world you believe you have 'free-will' so you need to present a case (minus the escape clause: god-did-it) of how and when we acquired it given that from the very beginning all biological processes have been governed by the laws of physics and chemistry. How can free-will operate if our behaviour is determined by physical law? If you're unable to answer this then your views are governed by unsubstantiated faith, not verifiable facts and therefore can be readily dismissed as unsupported nonsense.

                  The point is we have no idea if the process will make us more or less violent.
                  Choice is an integral part of the causal stream that is ‘determinism.

                  And you serious - ISIS is no different than any other animal - they are doing what the evolutionary process created them to do.
                  Change the record seer. The constant repetition of an invalid point does not render it valid.

                  Again Tass if determinism is true then these groups are only doing what the natural process created them to do - they can do nothing else - THEY ARE DETERMINED. So the question remains, why do you hate nature so much?
                  Choice is an integral part of the causal stream that is ‘determinism”; ‘determinism’ is not ‘fatalism’ – a distinction you seem unable (or unwilling) to understand.

                  Oh stop, if radical Islam keeps growing then they will will dominate world wide.
                  We can only hope that the more enlightened views of the secular powers as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights can stop the spread of religious superstition such as ISIS or the equally extreme Christian Reconstructionists. Face it seer, religion is a health hazard.

                  - nature in motion.
                  Well yes. There is no substantive evidence of anything other than nature in motion.
                  “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


                  • I have asked two main questions about your moral system, Tassman:

                    (1) How do we weigh differing moral values? When two group’s moral values differ, how do we decide which ones are right?

                    (2) What is the basis for the moral force of values? What grounds the 'ought' in a moral value? Why ought we practice fairness, or value equality, etc?


                    Your answers:

                    (1)
                    Originally posted by Tassman
                    “What is “morally good” is the behaviour which best enables the human ‘machine’ to function as nature equipped it to function via Natural Selection. That is as cooperative social animals living among others of the species in cohesive, supportive communities. Whatever best achieves this end and best serves the needs of individuals within the community is what communities, and individuals within communities, take into account when weighing different moral values against each other.
                    Originally posted by Tassman
                    Evolution occurs at a glacial pace. Our biological make-up would be very little changed from when, according to the fossil evidence, modern humans evolved in East Africa around 200,000 years ago, But, unlike our fellow primates, our much larger brains enable us to learn better and to adapt and build upon our knowledge.
                    In post #577 you said:
                    Originally posted by Tassman
                    What do you mean by “moral values are better or worse”? Better or worse than what?
                    and
                    Originally posted by Tassman
                    What do you mean by “truly good and moral”? Compared to what, God’s Law?
                    (2)
                    Originally posted by Tassman
                    We don’t need the prescriptive “ought” to determine what to do for the best. We have verifiable descriptive facts about the universe and our place in it as a social species. One can readily infer the appropriate way to behave in the light of these facts.

                    I conclude that your moral system has no basis for comparing moral values and codes to determine which ones are more good - that seems to be a meaningless concept to you; and that in your moral there is nothing about morality itself that gives moral values any prescriptive power.
                    ...>>> Witty remark or snarky quote of another poster goes here <<<...

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Tassman View Post
                      Try to understand: ‘Determinism’ is not ‘fatalism’.

                      Conversely, In your world you believe you have 'free-will' so you need to present a case (minus the escape clause: god-did-it) of how and when we acquired it given that from the very beginning all biological processes have been governed by the laws of physics and chemistry. How can free-will operate if our behaviour is determined by physical law? If you're unable to answer this then your views are governed by unsubstantiated faith, not verifiable facts and therefore can be readily dismissed as unsupported nonsense.
                      1. According to you groups like ISIS or the Commies of the past are determined to act and think like they do. They have no more real choice than the planets have.
                      2. And no, as a Christian who believes in the human soul, I will not leave God out of the picture.


                      Choice is an integral part of the causal stream that is ‘determinism.
                      Really? Does "determined choice" seem like genuine choice at all? Of course not, we have no more real choice than a house fly or river in your world.


                      Change the record seer. The constant repetition of an invalid point does not render it valid.
                      No Tass, you are being inconsistent, and the point is perfectly valid. Are we not just as determined by the laws nature to do what we do as any other animal - why do you disagree?


                      Choice is an integral part of the causal stream that is ‘determinism”; ‘determinism’ is not ‘fatalism’ – a distinction you seem unable (or unwilling) to understand.
                      Websters, Determinism, the belief that all events are caused by things that happened before them and that people have no real ability to make choices or control what happens http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/determinism

                      Tell me Tass, how is that really any different than fatalism?

                      We can only hope that the more enlightened views of the secular powers as outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights can stop the spread of religious superstition such as ISIS or the equally extreme Christian Reconstructionists. Face it seer, religion is a health hazard.
                      Well no Tass, Religion is not a health hazard for groups like ISIS - especially if then win. And survival is the name of the game - right?

                      Well yes. There is no substantive evidence of anything other than nature in motion.
                      So again, why do you hate nature so much?
                      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
                        This is an offshoot of a previous thread. And when I say God, I mean the God of the Bible. First, let me explain my position - I too find some things, especially in the Old Testament ethically difficult to justify - and they often seem inconsistent with the teaching of Christ. But I start with the teachings and example of Christ and move backward to the O.T. since I believe that Christ revealed most clearly the mind and heart of God the Father. OK, now for our secular friends. I'm not sure why they find some of the commands and acts of God so morally distasteful.
                        Not morally distasteful; morally bad or morally wrong.


                        It seems to me that these objections are merely culturally driven emotional responses.
                        Not really. As a cognitivist and moral objectivist, I take moral statements like "That command is morally wrong" to report beliefs about moral properties, not to express emotions (as per some forms of non-cognitivism) or report emotions (as per some forms of moral subjectivism). If you think otherwise, then you wouldn't be a moral objectivist.

                        Furthermore, your use of "culturally driven" here isn't helpful. It certainly doesn't show there's a problem here. After all, culture influences plenty of the things we believe, including scientific beliefs, theological beliefs, etc. So unless you want to adopt global skepticism, it would due to just cite cultural influence as if it's a problem. If anything, cultural influence can be quite helpful, since it provides insights, guidance, etc. one would not otherwise have if one were a lone individual.

                        I mean if they were raised in Feudal Japan for instance I doubt very much if they would find these acts repugnant.
                        And if you were raised 500 years ago in Japan, I doubt very much that you would think evolution occurs. Does that in anyway undercut the claim that evolution occurs? No. Parallel point here.

                        As a matter of fact they would probably laud such a God for taking vengeance. So are our moral objections reduced to mere cultural conditioning? And if they are why should anyone take these objections seriously?
                        Our moral objections arise from our moral reasoning, in conjunction with our moral beliefs and the claims the Bible makes about God. That is so, even for Christians. For example: the Christian philosopher Wes Morriston's ethical objections to biblical genocide.
                        http://spot.colorado.edu/~morristo/d...d-genocide.pdf
                        "Instead, we argue, it is necessary to shift the debate from the subject under consideration, instead exposing to public scrutiny the tactics they [denialists] employ and identifying them publicly for what they are."

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Jichard View Post
                          Not morally distasteful; morally bad or morally wrong.


                          Not really. As a cognitivist and moral objectivist, I take moral statements like "That command is morally wrong" to report beliefs about moral properties, not to express emotions (as per some forms of non-cognitivism) or report emotions (as per some forms of moral subjectivism). If you think otherwise, then you wouldn't be a moral objectivist.

                          Furthermore, your use of "culturally driven" here isn't helpful. It certainly doesn't show there's a problem here. After all, culture influences plenty of the things we believe, including scientific beliefs, theological beliefs, etc. So unless you want to adopt global skepticism, it would due to just cite cultural influence as if it's a problem. If anything, cultural influence can be quite helpful, since it provides insights, guidance, etc. one would not otherwise have if one were a lone individual.


                          And if you were raised 500 years ago in Japan, I doubt very much that you would think evolution occurs. Does that in anyway undercut the claim that evolution occurs? No. Parallel point here.



                          Our moral objections arise from our moral reasoning, in conjunction with our moral beliefs and the claims the Bible makes about God. That is so, even for Christians. For example: the Christian philosopher Wes Morriston's ethical objections to biblical genocide.
                          http://spot.colorado.edu/~morristo/d...d-genocide.pdf
                          I'm still not sure why you reject moral subjectivism, and as far as I understand it, what one considers morally bad or good depends on ones goals. ISIS has a goal, and whatever hinders that goal is morally bad, whatever furthers that goal is morally good. So like the Communists of this, and the last century, their moral reasoning may be quite different from us raised in the largely Christian 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


                          • Originally posted by seer View Post
                            I'm still not sure why you reject moral subjectivism, and as far as I understand it, what one considers morally bad or good depends on ones goals.
                            I reject moral subjectivism for a number of reasons. For example, the analytic versions of it tend to give an incorrect analysis of what moral statements mean. Furthermore, there are objective moral properties in virtue of which moral statements are true or false.

                            Anyway, your above statement doesn't make sense to me. The issue isn't what influences what one considers to be morally bad or morally good. Instead, its in virtue of what are one's moral claims, moral beliefs, etc. true or false. You seem to be dealing with the former issue, ot the latter. To differentiate them in a non-moral case: one's emotions might influence whether one thinks evolution occurs or not, such that what one considers to be evolution depends on one's emotions. Does that mean claims like "evolution occurs" or "that is evolution" are true or false in virtue of one's emotions? Nope. That's conflating a belief's cause with a belief's truth-conditions. someone can think an action is morally good, without having the goal of pursuing that action. So I can think it's morally good to give to charity, while having no interest in giving to charity since I care about my money. To put the point another way: beliefs are not motivational states. So just as two people can have the same scientific belief while having different emotions and goals (ex: two people believe that "there is cake in the fridge", while one person has a goal of eating the cake while another person has the goal on not eating the cake), two people can have the same moral belief while having different goals (ex: the above example regarding charity). Further support for this comes from the fact that people can have goals that they admit are non-moral or even immoral. So one's moral beliefs are not necessarily based on one's goals.

                            Now, suppose your above statement wasn't meant as a causal claim; instead, you mean that one's goals are apart of the truth-conditions for one's moral statements. If so, then that results in a number of problems. First, you'd be a moral subjectivist or a moral non-cognitivist, not a moral objectivist. This would have nothing to do with atheism, and would instead have to do with how you interpreted moral statement. So you would not have shown that atheism implies that interpretation. Second, you'd be wrong. For example, a welfare utilitarians could take the facts about welfare to be the truth-maker of moral statements, as opposed to facts regarding their goals with respect to welfare.

                            ISIS has a goal, and whatever hinders that goal is morally bad, whatever furthers that goal is morally good.
                            Your statement falls afoul of the points I made above. For example: someone can believe that their own goals are immoral or non-moral. So it’s not the case that whatever hinders that goal is morally bad, whatever furthers that goal is morally good.

                            ISIS, as far as I know, have a religious morality based on their (misinterpretation) of the Koran. So it's not that they think their goals are apart of the truth-conditions for their moral statements; instead, their implicit position is that Allah's commands, views, etc. are apart of the truth-conditions for their moral statements. Thus, they are likely divine command theorists, which would make them moral subjectivists.

                            Here's a simple way to show I'm right here:
                            Ask a member of Isis:
                            Do your goals determine whether your actions are right or wrong? Or is it the will/commands of Allah that determines whether your actions are right or wrong?
                            You likely know what their answer would be.

                            So like the Communists of this, and the last century, their moral reasoning may be quite different from us raised in the largely Christian West.
                            Which is largely irrelevant to the question of moral objectivism vs. moral subjectivism. Moral subjectivism does not follow from the fact that different people in different times have morally reasoned their way to different moral conclusions, anymore than theological subjectivism follow from the fact that different people in different times have theologically reasoned their way to different theological conclusions
                            "Instead, we argue, it is necessary to shift the debate from the subject under consideration, instead exposing to public scrutiny the tactics they [denialists] employ and identifying them publicly for what they are."

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Jichard View Post
                              I reject moral subjectivism for a number of reasons. For example, the analytic versions of it tend to give an incorrect analysis of what moral statements mean. Furthermore, there are objective moral properties in virtue of which moral statements are true or false.

                              Anyway, your above statement doesn't make sense to me. The issue isn't what influences what one considers to be morally bad or morally good. Instead, its in virtue of what are one's moral claims, moral beliefs, etc. true or false. You seem to be dealing with the former issue, ot the latter. To differentiate them in a non-moral case: one's emotions might influence whether one thinks evolution occurs or not, such that what one considers to be evolution depends on one's emotions. Does that mean claims like "evolution occurs" or "that is evolution" are true or false in virtue of one's emotions? Nope. That's conflating a belief's cause with a belief's truth-conditions. someone can think an action is morally good, without having the goal of pursuing that action. So I can think it's morally good to give to charity, while having no interest in giving to charity since I care about my money. To put the point another way: beliefs are not motivational states. So just as two people can have the same scientific belief while having different emotions and goals (ex: two people believe that "there is cake in the fridge", while one person has a goal of eating the cake while another person has the goal on not eating the cake), two people can have the same moral belief while having different goals (ex: the above example regarding charity). Further support for this comes from the fact that people can have goals that they admit are non-moral or even immoral. So one's moral beliefs are not necessarily based on one's goals.

                              Now, suppose your above statement wasn't meant as a causal claim; instead, you mean that one's goals are apart of the truth-conditions for one's moral statements. If so, then that results in a number of problems. First, you'd be a moral subjectivist or a moral non-cognitivist, not a moral objectivist. This would have nothing to do with atheism, and would instead have to do with how you interpreted moral statement. So you would not have shown that atheism implies that interpretation. Second, you'd be wrong. For example, a welfare utilitarians could take the facts about welfare to be the truth-maker of moral statements, as opposed to facts regarding their goals with respect to welfare.



                              Your statement falls afoul of the points I made above. For example: someone can believe that their own goals are immoral or non-moral. So it’s not the case that whatever hinders that goal is morally bad, whatever furthers that goal is morally good.

                              ISIS, as far as I know, have a religious morality based on their (misinterpretation) of the Koran. So it's not that they think their goals are apart of the truth-conditions for their moral statements; instead, their implicit position is that Allah's commands, views, etc. are apart of the truth-conditions for their moral statements. Thus, they are likely divine command theorists, which would make them moral subjectivists.

                              Here's a simple way to show I'm right here:
                              Ask a member of Isis:
                              Do your goals determine whether your actions are right or wrong? Or is it the will/commands of Allah that determines whether your actions are right or wrong?
                              You likely know what their answer would be.



                              Which is largely irrelevant to the question of moral objectivism vs. moral subjectivism. Moral subjectivism does not follow from the fact that different people in different times have morally reasoned their way to different moral conclusions, anymore than theological subjectivism follow from the fact that different people in different times have theologically reasoned their way to different theological conclusions
                              OK, for the sake of argument I will grant much of the above. Now what? Particularly your your claim about objective moral properties in virtue. If you have been following the argument my point in this thread is that we think and act morally as the evolutionary process created us to think and act. Tassman, who has been my main foil, claimed that we are determined, completely, by the laws of nature. If that is the case then no moral decision is any more valid or correct than its opposite, how could it be? Whether I murder my neighbor or feed my neighbor is immaterial in the sense that I had no real choice in the matter, and that there is no independent standard that judges between these two acts.
                              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

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                              • Originally posted by seer View Post
                                OK, for the sake of argument I will grant much of the above. Now what? Particularly your your claim about objective moral properties in virtue. If you have been following the argument my point in this thread is that we think and act morally as the evolutionary process created us to think and act.
                                Not sure how that's relevant. Are you running something like Plantinga's EAAN (evolutionary argument against naturalism)?

                                In any event, evolution is apart of the causal explanation for all of our psychological capacities, including the scientific reasoning, emotions, the ability to form moral beliefs, moral reasoning, and so on.

                                Tassman, who has been my main foil, claimed that we are determined, completely, by the laws of nature. If that is the case then no moral decision is any more valid or correct than its opposite, how could it be?
                                Non sequitur.

                                I think you're once again conflating a cause of a belief/statement with the truth-maker (or truth-conditions) for the belief/statement.

                                Take a non-moral example. Suppose Roy believes that "lemurs exist", and part of the causal explanation for Roy's beliefs is a naturalistic evolutionary process that's completely determined by the laws of nature [with initial conditions]. And suppose that Marcus also believes that "lemurs exist", but part of the causal explanation for Roy's belief is a theistic evolutionary process guided by God, in an indeterministic universe where Marcus has libertarian free will. Does this imply that Marcus' belief has different truth-conditions/truth-makers than Roy's belief? Nope. Both beliefs can have the same truth-conditions. For example, if there is a certain sort of primate in Roy's world and in Marcus' world, then Roy's belief is correct and Marcus' belief is correct.

                                Now, suppose that Roy's neighbor Marth believes that "lemurs don't exist", and (like Roy) part of the causal explanation for Marth's beliefs is a naturalistic evolutionary process that's completely determined by the laws of nature [with initial conditions]. Does this imply that Roy's belief cannot be any more valid or correct than Marth's opposing belief? Of course not. If there is a certain sort of primate in Roy and Marth;s world, then Roy is right and Marth is wrong, regardless of whether or not their beliefs were partially caused by a naturalistic evolutionary process that completely determined by the laws of nature. To say otherwise would be to conflate a cause of a belief/statement with the truth-maker (or truth-conditions) for the belief/statement.

                                Parallel point in the case of moral beliefs. Pointing out that moral beliefs are partially caused by a naturalistic evolutionary process that's completely determined by the laws of nature [with initial conditions], does not tell me about the truth-conditions for those moral beliefs, nor does it show that those moral beliefs cannot be correct while opposing moral beliefs are incorrect. And objective moral properties would serve as the truth-makers for moral statements / moral beliefs, regardless of your claims regarding naturalistic causation. That would allow for some moral claims to be correct and other moral claims to be incorrect, even in a naturalistic world. You're committed to that since you conceded as much:

                                Whether I murder my neighbor or feed my neighbor is immaterial in the sense that I had no real choice in the matter, and that there is no independent standard that judges between these two acts.
                                First, compatibilism regarding free will: free will is compatible with determinism. So claiming that we're "determined, completely, by the laws of nature", doesn't show that we lack free will. In fact, your quote is technically false since it's not the laws of nature that determine what we do. You'd at least have to say laws of nature + initial conditions.

                                Second, I don't get your use of the word "judges" here. Standards don't judge since standards aren't agents. Instead, agents may form judgments (or more precisely: beliefs), in part, by using a standard. Again, this just just be terminological discrepancy between the two of us.

                                Third, if you really are granting what I wrote for the sake of argument (as you said: "for the sake of argument I will grant much of the above"), then you've already granted that there is a standard. After all, different forms of utilitarianism provide standards, as do different forms of virtue ethics and deontology. So you'd be incorrect in claiming that there is no standard.
                                Last edited by Jichard; 04-05-2015, 05:08 PM.
                                "Instead, we argue, it is necessary to shift the debate from the subject under consideration, instead exposing to public scrutiny the tactics they [denialists] employ and identifying them publicly for what they are."

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