Announcement

Collapse

Philosophy 201 Guidelines

Cogito ergo sum

Here in the Philosophy forum we will talk about all the "why" questions. We'll have conversations about the way in which philosophy and theology and religion interact with each other. Metaphysics, ontology, origins, truth? They're all fair game so jump right in and have some fun! But remember...play nice!

Forum Rules: Here
See more
See less

Atheism And Moral Progress

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Originally posted by seer View Post
    Right and they often do it with wide spread domination, rape, even murder. Just like humans.
    Of course, just like humans can behave. Chimps and humans are closely related after all. Your point?

    And?
    "And", the reality is our need as a social species to live in community whatever form of governance we adopt: tyrannical, monarchical, theocratic or democratic etc. There’s no alternative means for our survival as a species.

    How we do it is up to the societies in which we live. According to the Human Development Index secular nations like Norway do it more equitably than theist nations. But maybe, in “your world” equal rights are a bad thing.

    So what? In your world it was the evolutionary process that caused us to be religious, and all the consequences that followed. Again nothing evil or wrong here - just animals acting as the process created them to act.
    Define “evil” and “wrong”. Was it “evil” that the Christian powers enslaved tens of thousands of Africans, destroyed the culture of Native Americans and discriminated against blacks during the Jim Crow era? Or that King Leopold of Christian Belgium maintained a brutal, murderous regime in the Congo etc. etc. etc. It’s not just the atheist’ leaders like Stalin or Mao, you are always quoting, who can be truly nasty.
    “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 JimL View Post
      Don't even know what you mean by that. Could you give an example?
      Then I have no idea what your point is... what do you mean by this: There is nothing in the absolute sense that is right or wrong apart from it's effect upon people and society.

      You are suggesting that the effect on society is absolute in the sense of right or wrong. Why?
      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
        "And", the reality is our need as a social species to live in community whatever form of governance we adopt: tyrannical, monarchical, theocratic or democratic etc. There’s no alternative means for our survival as a species.

        How we do it is up to the societies in which we live. According to the Human Development Index secular nations like Norway do it more equitably than theist nations. But maybe, in “your world” equal rights are a bad thing.
        No, the point is equal rights is just a legal fiction, there is nothing equal in nature. It is make believe.


        Define “evil” and “wrong”. Was it “evil” that the Christian powers enslaved tens of thousands of Africans, destroyed the culture of Native Americans and discriminated against blacks during the Jim Crow era? Or that King Leopold of Christian Belgium maintained a brutal, murderous regime in the Congo etc. etc. etc. It’s not just the atheist’ leaders like Stalin or Mao, you are always quoting, who can be truly nasty.
        So what is your point? They were just acting as the evolutionary process created them to act. Why do you dislike what nature produces so much? And no, with materialism there is no evil. Just animals doing what animals do.
        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 carpedm9587 View Post
          If god exists, and is unchanging, eternal, and omnipresent, then his moral framework would be the only example of an unchanging/eternal, omnipresent moral framework. What you have failed to show is how god's moral framework is any more binding on me that yours is. I know of no way of showing how the moral framework of one individual binds another.
          The same way the laws of the land are binding on you even if you disagree with them. The State has the authority to enforce them.



          No - that is not what happened. What happened is I started asking myself about how morality worked in a universe absent a god. I worked out the basics myself, and then began to read. My understanding of how morality is "subjective" does not align with the conventional philosophical view - hence Jim B's confusion when I make my arguments - and my suggestion that we find a way to distinguish between what most philosophers mean when they say "subjective" and what I mean.
          Right absent a god, morality would be relative. Subjective does not necessarily mean relative. If all men, by some quirk of nature, believe that picking your nose was immoral, that belief would not be relative, but it would still be subjective, and universal.

          Since my beliefs were not formed based on a broad understanding of the classic "subjective morality" position, I would suspect the answer to this is "yes," but the fact is I doubt we'll ever know. A better question might be "how likely is it that I would have conceived of a universe with a god 200 years ago?" That was the origination point for pretty much everything.
          Come on Carp, we both grew up about the same time, from the sixties on moral relativism was in the air, you could not escape it.

          Again, I was refuting your claim that we grasp morality "intuitively," not your claim that "morality is based on objective truths." If both are true, then it should follow that our "intuition" should point us in the same direction. After all, intuition means "the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning." It suggests grasping a reality without the need for conscious thought. We "intuit" the truth of the matter.
          Sorry Carp, that just doesn't follow. Since we are flawed moral beings our intuitive sense of right or wrong is often tainted or ignored by our selfish desires. I have seen that intuitive sense in very young children that have not had a lot of cultural indoctrination. This is an innate moral sense.

          Research shows toddlers understand right from wrong at just 19 months

          https://www.psychologicalscience.org...19-months.html

          Babies can actually tell good from evil, even as young as 3 months old

          https://www.cnn.com/2014/02/13/livin...ooper-parents/



          You have made this case many times, and it fails in all of the ways I have previously outlined. I'm not going to waste time repeating them. If you want to believe you are "bound" by your god's moral framework, so be it. If you want to believe that I am equally so bound, knock yourself out. Morality is subjective and you are going to do what you are going to do, regardless of anything I might say. You have not presented an argument, however, that makes it clear that this binding actually exists. I conclude it exists for you because you want it to.

          And you cannot even show that this being exists - so the point is somewhat moot anyway.
          And what do you mean show that God exists? No one here seems to have any idea what evidence for God would actually look like.
          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
            The same way the laws of the land are binding on you even if you disagree with them. The State has the authority to enforce them.
            We've been around this horn enough. Your opinion is duly noted. As soon as you can actually show how one being's moral framework is "binding" on another's, let me know. Until then, your argument is rejected as unsupported.

            Originally posted by seer View Post
            Right absent a god, morality would be relative. Subjective does not necessarily mean relative. If all men, by some quirk of nature, believe that picking your nose was immoral, that belief would not be relative, but it would still be subjective, and universal.
            Subjective morality: the position that moral principles are governed by personal beliefs, opinions, and ideas.
            Relative morality: the position that moral principles are true or false only relative to some particular standpoint.
            Universal morality: the position that moral principles are true or false everywhere and everywhen for everyone.

            Morality is both relative and subjective with or without a god. If your god exists, then his moral principle are relative to him and governed by his beliefs, opinions, ideas. Mine are relative to me, and governed by my opinions, ideas, and beliefs. Specifically, they are rooted in what I most highly value/cherish.

            As for universal, there is no moral principle you can name that can be shown to be universal to even existing sapient beings, never mind all past and future sapient beings, so the speculation is essentially meaningless.

            Originally posted by seer View Post
            Come on Carp, we both grew up about the same time, from the sixties on moral relativism was in the air, you could not escape it.
            I'm not going to waste my time on your speculations which you cannot show to be true and I cannot show to be false. It's speculation - nothing more. And you have no basis for such an absolute position.

            Originally posted by seer View Post
            Sorry Carp, that just doesn't follow. Since we are flawed moral beings our intuitive sense of right or wrong is often tainted or ignored by our selfish desires. I have seen that intuitive sense in very young children that have not had a lot of cultural indoctrination. This is an innate moral sense.

            Research shows toddlers understand right from wrong at just 19 months

            https://www.psychologicalscience.org...19-months.html

            Babies can actually tell good from evil, even as young as 3 months old

            https://www.cnn.com/2014/02/13/livin...ooper-parents/
            OK - I'll accept your observation about intuition being potentially flawed. My argument did indeed suggest a "perfection" to intuition that cannot be justified given our limited natures. But your arguments do not make your case. With respect to the 19-month old, by that age the child is stewing in a culture - has picked up language - and developed an understanding of what pleases and displeases its care givers. As for the 3-month old, it stands to reason that any being with any sapience whatsoever is going to begin moralizing to some degree. Since morality is about actions that impact what we value, even the 3-month old can associate "slamming" and "hitting" with pain and unpleasantness, and begin that process of sorting. Is this a form of "intuition? I guess I can accept that word. It simply describes how our sorting of morality can sometimes be subconscious. It doesn't make make morality "objective" or "absolute" or "universal." It simply points to the reality that we share a great deal in common.

            I'm curious, did you actually read the articles you linked? The second one discusses shows how very small babies tend to divide the world into us/them and commonly want "them" to be kept away or punished - a behavior we (hopefully) unlearn as we mature and take on more of influence of our cultures. Some people, of course, never outgrow this stage.

            Originally posted by seer View Post
            And what do you mean show that God exists? No one here seems to have any idea what evidence for God would actually look like.
            Seer, you cannot seem to articulate any compelling evidence for the existence of this god. I am familiar with this "what evidence would you accept" argument as a way to avoid providing the evidence that convinces you. It's part of a broader strategy you appear to use regularly: avoid the question and ask more questions of your own. That puts you in control of the discussion without ever having to actually respond to what is asked.

            All anyone here has been asking is, "what evidence is convincing to you." Then we can assess whether or not we also find it compelling/convincing. But instead of providing it, you want everyone to define for you what evidence would be "acceptable." Personally, I would find any piece of evidence that cannot be explained via any known principles governing the function of this universe and is logically sound to be "compelling." I would find "evidence" that is equivocal, has an alternative explanation, or has logical flaws to be uncompelling.

            I'll make a prediction. Instead of actually beginning to provide the evidence you find compelling - something we used to call "witnessing" when I was Christian - you will instead jump on the attributes of evidence that I would find compelling/uncompelling and either go back to the nature vs. supernatural argument, or otherwise find a reason why you cannot begin providing the list of things that convinces you that this god of yours actually exists.
            Last edited by carpedm9587; 09-13-2019, 09:56 AM.
            The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

            I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

            Comment


            • Originally posted by seer View Post
              Then I have no idea what your point is... what do you mean by this: There is nothing in the absolute sense that is right or wrong apart from it's effect upon people and society.

              You are suggesting that the effect on society is absolute in the sense of right or wrong. Why?
              Yes, the moral against murder, theft, etc etc, "doing unto others as you would have them do unto you," has an absolute good effect for people and society as a whole, but they are nothing in and of themselves. Morals are by, for, and about people, not about obedience to deities.

              Comment


              • Originally posted by JimL View Post
                Yes, the moral against murder, theft, etc etc, "doing unto others as you would have them do unto you," has an absolute good effect for people and society as a whole, but they are nothing in and of themselves. Morals are by, for, and about people, not about obedience to deities.
                That only depends on what effects you subjectively think are good. The Communists think it is good to enslave the population.
                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 carpedm9587 View Post
                  We've been around this horn enough. Your opinion is duly noted. As soon as you can actually show how one being's moral framework is "binding" on another's, let me know. Until then, your argument is rejected as unsupported.



                  Subjective morality: the position that moral principles are governed by personal beliefs, opinions, and ideas.
                  Relative morality: the position that moral principles are true or false only relative to some particular standpoint.
                  Universal morality: the position that moral principles are true or false everywhere and everywhen for everyone.

                  Morality is both relative and subjective with or without a god. If your god exists, then his moral principle are relative to him and governed by his beliefs, opinions, ideas. Mine are relative to me, and governed by my opinions, ideas, and beliefs. Specifically, they are rooted in what I most highly value/cherish.

                  As for universal, there is no moral principle you can name that can be shown to be universal to even existing sapient beings, never mind all past and future sapient beings, so the speculation is essentially meaningless.



                  I'm not going to waste my time on your speculations which you cannot show to be true and I cannot show to be false. It's speculation - nothing more. And you have no basis for such an absolute position.



                  OK - I'll accept your observation about intuition being potentially flawed. My argument did indeed suggest a "perfection" to intuition that cannot be justified given our limited natures. But your arguments do not make your case. With respect to the 19-month old, by that age the child is stewing in a culture - has picked up language - and developed an understanding of what pleases and displeases its care givers. As for the 3-month old, it stands to reason that any being with any sapience whatsoever is going to begin moralizing to some degree. Since morality is about actions that impact what we value, even the 3-month old can associate "slamming" and "hitting" with pain and unpleasantness, and begin that process of sorting. Is this a form of "intuition? I guess I can accept that word. It simply describes how our sorting of morality can sometimes be subconscious. It doesn't make make morality "objective" or "absolute" or "universal." It simply points to the reality that we share a great deal in common.

                  I'm curious, did you actually read the articles you linked? The second one discusses shows how very small babies tend to divide the world into us/them and commonly want "them" to be kept away or punished - a behavior we (hopefully) unlearn as we mature and take on more of influence of our cultures. Some people, of course, never outgrow this stage.



                  Seer, you cannot seem to articulate any compelling evidence for the existence of this god. I am familiar with this "what evidence would you accept" argument as a way to avoid providing the evidence that convinces you. It's part of a broader strategy you appear to use regularly: avoid the question and ask more questions of your own. That puts you in control of the discussion without ever having to actually respond to what is asked.

                  All anyone here has been asking is, "what evidence is convincing to you." Then we can assess whether or not we also find it compelling/convincing. But instead of providing it, you want everyone to define for you what evidence would be "acceptable." Personally, I would find any piece of evidence that cannot be explained via any known principles governing the function of this universe and is logically sound to be "compelling." I would find "evidence" that is equivocal, has an alternative explanation, or has logical flaws to be uncompelling.

                  I'll make a prediction. Instead of actually beginning to provide the evidence you find compelling - something we used to call "witnessing" when I was Christian - you will instead jump on the attributes of evidence that I would find compelling/uncompelling and either go back to the nature vs. supernatural argument, or otherwise find a reason why you cannot begin providing the list of things that convinces you that this god of yours actually exists.
                  Actually Carp, I will leave you with the last word.
                  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
                    That only depends on what effects you subjectively think are good. The Communists think it is good to enslave the population.
                    No seer, it doesn't. "Doing unto others as you would have them do unto you" is an absolute good for society whether any one individual like you might ignorantly disagree. And that the communist people think it's good that they be enslaved is a ridiculous statement.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by JimL View Post
                      No seer, it doesn't. "Doing unto others as you would have them do unto you" is an absolute good for society whether any one individual like you might ignorantly disagree. And that the communist people think it's good that they be enslaved is a ridiculous statement.
                      What? Of course the Communists think it is good to enslave people, that is what they do. That is how they control the masses. And it is only your opinion that doing unto others is a good for society. The Nazis didn't think so. They thought murdering Jews and dissenters was good for society.
                      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 JimL View Post
                        No seer, it doesn't. "Doing unto others as you would have them do unto you" is an absolute good for society whether any one individual like you might ignorantly disagree. And that the communist people think it's good that they be enslaved is a ridiculous statement.
                        "Absolute good" is a bit strong, Jim. The "golden rule" is a guideline that suggests a way to approach developing moral principles in the context of a society. It suggests that if there is a way you want others to treat you, it is probably a good idea to treat them that way from the outset. It suggests that people are likely, in a society, to reciprocate behavior. It is not a moral principle in and of itself, and may not even have anything to do with morality at all.

                        Example: I am under no moral obligation (in my moral system) to make a dinner for someone who just experienced the loss of a love one or other major event in their life. But I know I would appreciate such a thing done for me in that circumstance, so perhaps I ought to do so for others. That increases the likelihood that I will have that experience when I have the same situation.

                        The golden rule is about "modeling behavior."
                        The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

                        I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by seer View Post
                          Actually Carp, I will leave you with the last word.
                          I find this interesting, Seer, but not surprising. As I predicted, you have successfully avoided answering the questions (again), and you are perpetuating what I have said from the outset: no one can seem to actually show an objectively moral principle. They just keep asserting "it has to be objective," over and over again. It's been that way for 30+ years now. It's one of the major reasons why I remain a moral subjectivist.
                          The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

                          I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by carpedm9587 View Post
                            I find this interesting, Seer, but not surprising. As I predicted, you have successfully avoided answering the questions (again), and you are perpetuating what I have said from the outset: no one can seem to actually show an objectively moral principle. They just keep asserting "it has to be objective," over and over again. It's been that way for 30+ years now. It's one of the major reasons why I remain a moral subjectivist.
                            No Carp, such universal moral law only exists if God exists. Since I believe God exists, I believe said laws exist. That is the bottom line, and we, as always, will devolve into arguing about the existence of God. And we have been through that a number of times.
                            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 Carp, such universal moral law only exists if God exists. Since I believe God exists, I believe said laws exist. That is the bottom line, and we, as always, will devolve into arguing about the existence of God. And we have been through that a number of times.
                              I guess I'm not the only one who struggles with "last word" now and again...

                              As I noted, Seer, you have:

                              1) Failed to show your god exists
                              2) Failed to show this god (if it did exist) would have a moral framework that is binding on me
                              3) Failed to show that there is an "objectively real" moral framework (other than one sapient being's moral framework being "objectively real" to a different sapient being).
                              4) Failed to show that morality is anything other than relative to the individual that frames it.

                              Your belief in god is only one piece of the puzzle. I wouldn't be dismayed, however. It's been 30+ years now and not a single person has been able to propose an objectively true moral principle and substantiate it. As I said - it's why I am a moral subjectivist; the evidence tells me "that's the way it works."
                              The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy...returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King

                              I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong. Frederick Douglas

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by carpedm9587 View Post
                                "Absolute good" is a bit strong, Jim. The "golden rule" is a guideline that suggests a way to approach developing moral principles in the context of a society. It suggests that if there is a way you want others to treat you, it is probably a good idea to treat them that way from the outset. It suggests that people are likely, in a society, to reciprocate behavior. It is not a moral principle in and of itself, and may not even have anything to do with morality at all.

                                Example: I am under no moral obligation (in my moral system) to make a dinner for someone who just experienced the loss of a love one or other major event in their life. But I know I would appreciate such a thing done for me in that circumstance, so perhaps I ought to do so for others. That increases the likelihood that I will have that experience when I have the same situation.

                                The golden rule is about "modeling behavior."
                                And I agree, Carpe. I was just using the golden rule to explain the function of moral principles in general. You don't want someone to murder you, or to rob you, then the moral against those behaviors is an absolute good for you and the society to which you belong.

                                Comment

                                Related Threads

                                Collapse

                                Topics Statistics Last Post
                                Started by Diogenes, 10-10-2020, 08:38 PM
                                9 responses
                                82 views
                                0 likes
                                Last Post rogue06
                                by rogue06
                                 
                                Started by Andius, 10-07-2020, 07:38 PM
                                9 responses
                                61 views
                                0 likes
                                Last Post siam
                                by siam
                                 
                                Started by mattbballman31, 08-26-2020, 11:42 AM
                                23 responses
                                474 views
                                0 likes
                                Last Post shunyadragon  
                                Started by seer, 07-27-2018, 08:47 AM
                                2,045 responses
                                105,579 views
                                0 likes
                                Last Post thormas
                                by thormas
                                 
                                Working...
                                X