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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!

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Atheism And Moral Progress

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  • Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
    Ironic self-righteousness coming from someone from a land who's genocidal policies drove their indigenous population right to the brink of extinction (IIRC you could count the number of survivors on one hand) during their illustrious Black War
    Very true, sadly. The Christian colonists of both your country and mine were equally wicked in their treatment of indigenous people.
    “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 seer View Post
      And that was immoral in your relative world why?
      It was immoral by today's standards in both our "worlds" and for the same reason. Namely, that community values change over time. The only difference is that in YOUR world, you attribute your values to God and creatively interpret scripture to justify them - slave ownership being a notable example.
      “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


      • So it wasn't 'immoral' then (since moral standards then according to you, were different) and it's only 'immoral' at present, but could well be 'moral' some time in the future, since what is or isn't immoral changes with whatever the community values happen to be. Like fashion in clothing.

        This is the kind of moral judgment that carries no weight at all. Why do you waste your, and more importantly our, time, spouting off about things that your own viewpoint insists are mere abstractions of passing taste and fashion?


        Just another example of Tassman claiming to believe one thing and acting in complete contrariness to what he professes. Like your habit of making metaphysical and philosophical claims while simultaneously denying that such claims can be meaningful or true. Repeating and doubling down on self-contradictions is not exactly the mark of a clear or rational thinker.
        ...>>> Witty remark or snarky quote of another poster goes here <<<...

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Tassman View Post
          Very true, sadly. The Christian colonists of both your country and mine were equally wicked in their treatment of indigenous people.
          Equivocation; and broad brush.
          ...>>> Witty remark or snarky quote of another poster goes here <<<...

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          • Originally posted by MaxVel View Post
            So it wasn't 'immoral' then (since moral standards then according to you, were different) and it's only 'immoral' at present, but could well be 'moral' some time in the future, since what is or isn't immoral changes with whatever the community values happen to be. Like fashion in clothing.
            It's not quite as changeable as fashion, but aspects of it can and do change.


            Originally posted by MaxVel View Post
            This is the kind of moral judgment that carries no weight at all.
            Of course it carries weight. It's the only kind of moral judgement that does. That's why Christianity's morals have changed over time, just like society's.


            Originally posted by MaxVel View Post
            Why do you waste your, and more importantly our, time, spouting off about things that your own viewpoint insists are mere abstractions of passing taste and fashion?
            The only person wasting your time (if anyone is) is you. Nobody forced you to read his posts or reply to them.


            Originally posted by MaxVel View Post
            Just another example of Tassman claiming to believe one thing and acting in complete contrariness to what he professes. Like your habit of making metaphysical and philosophical claims while simultaneously denying that such claims can be meaningful or true. Repeating and doubling down on self-contradictions is not exactly the mark of a clear or rational thinker.
            Ad hominem does not an argument make.
            America - too good to let the conservatives drag it back to 1950.

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            • Originally posted by MaxVel View Post
              So it wasn't 'immoral' then (since moral standards then according to you, were different) and it's only 'immoral' at present, but could well be 'moral' some time in the future, since what is or isn't immoral changes with whatever the community values happen to be. Like fashion in clothing.
              Morals are reason based, which means that they may or may not be determined by the circumstances of the times. Murder and theft for instance would always be immoral because being murdered or robbed is never in the best intersts of any man, nor are they in the best interests of society as a whole. Those would be absolutes, not because they are divine law, an existing objective standard, but because they are reason based and by common sense understood. They don't change like "fashion in clothing". Sometimes morals are based on the times and are also illogical such as the moral to "not covet your neighbors slave, his ox or his mule". Covetting is normal and doesn't harm anyone, which is where the moral against theft comes in. If covetting is a sin, then I'm afraid you're all going to the bad place.
              This is the kind of moral judgment that carries no weight at all. Why do you waste your, and more importantly our, time, spouting off about things that your own viewpoint insists are mere abstractions of passing taste and fashion?
              Again, morals are not based upon passing tastes or fashion, they are based upon reason.

              Just another example of Tassman claiming to believe one thing and acting in complete contrariness to what he professes. Like your habit of making metaphysical and philosophical claims while simultaneously denying that such claims can be meaningful or true. Repeating and doubling down on self-contradictions is not exactly the mark of a clear or rational thinker.
              No contradiction. Morals are meaningful and true if they are based upon right reason. If a moral serves the best interests of human beings and human society then that gives it its meaning and its truth.
              Last edited by JimL; 09-18-2020, 12:08 AM.

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              • Originally posted by MaxVel View Post
                Equivocation; and broad brush.
                No equivocation. Both the US and Australia - and many other countries - were colonized by the UK, which has long classified itself as Christian. Not to mention the cultural carnage of the Conquistadors who, apart from the looting, specifically set out to convert the locals via their missionaries. The point is that morals evolve and vary from culture to culture over time and this is reflected by the Christian Church.
                “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 Electric Skeptic View Post
                  Ad hominem does not an argument make.

                  Not an ad hominem.
                  ...>>> Witty remark or snarky quote of another poster goes here <<<...

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Tassman View Post

                    No equivocation. Both the US and Australia - and many other countries - were colonized by the UK, which has long classified itself as Christian.
                    Which is precisely the point of your equivocation. Either you mean 'Christian' solely in the sense of 'a culture with a strong christian background, and institutions that reflect that (such as hospitals, universities, church-run orphanages and the like); in which case your point has nothing to do with the truth or falsity of Christianity;

                    or you mean 'Christian' in the sense of 'an active follower of the teachings and practice of Jesus Christ', in which case it's abundantly evident that colonial misdeeds are not the kind of thing that Jesus would ever have endorsed or wished His followers to do.


                    Originally posted by Tassman
                    Not to mention the cultural carnage of the Conquistadors who, apart from the looting, specifically set out to convert the locals via their missionaries. The point is that morals evolve and vary from culture to culture over time and this is reflected by the Christian Church.

                    So, basically, your moral judgments are irrelevant, since whatever people did at the time was right for them, then.



                    ...>>> Witty remark or snarky quote of another poster goes here <<<...

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                    • Originally posted by JimL View Post
                      Morals are reason based, which means that they may or may not be determined by the circumstances of the times. Murder and theft for instance would always be immoral because being murdered or robbed is never in the best intersts of any man, nor are they in the best interests of society as a whole. Those would be absolutes, not because they are divine law, an existing objective standard, but because they are reason based and by common sense understood.


                      But we can think of situations where such actions would be beneficial to a society, such as one being invaded or subjugated by another group; or a smaller society within a larger one. It might be to their advantage to steal, say, from the wealthier and larger group.



                      [quote=JimL] They don't change like "fashion in clothing". Sometimes morals are based on the times and are also illogical[/quote=JimL]

                      You're contradicting yourself here, since you began by claiming that "Morals are reason based, ..."




                      Originally posted by JimL
                      such as the moral to "not covet your neighbors slave, his ox or his mule". Covetting is normal and doesn't harm anyone, which is where the moral against theft comes in. If covetting is a sin, then I'm afraid you're all going to the bad place.


                      What exactly is meant by the Hebrew word(s) which has been translated as 'covet' in your (unsourced) Bible quote?
                      Note that this moral injunction clearly was moral by Tassman's standards, since the culture which had it (Jewish) survives today, many thousands of years later. Ergo, by Tassman's standard, that was not 'illogical', since it promoted the survival of the society.



                      Originally posted by JimL
                      Again, morals are not based upon passing tastes or fashion,


                      Never said they were.

                      Originally posted by JimL
                      they are based upon reason.
                      Or they can be, apparently, illogical, as well.



                      Originally posted by JimL
                      No contradiction. Morals are meaningful and true if they are based upon right reason. If a moral serves the best interests of human beings and human society then that gives it its meaning and its truth.

                      It is a contradiction if Tassman wants to argue both that 'Morals are good if they enhance the survival of a society' and 'This moral value, that this society had back then, is wrong', when that society survived and did very well.
                      ...>>> Witty remark or snarky quote of another poster goes here <<<...

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by JimL View Post
                        Again, morals are not based upon passing tastes or fashion, they are based upon reason..
                        Again Jim, whose reason? Whose goals? The Maoist's, the Stalinist's? The Hutu's?



                        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 MaxVel View Post


                          Not an ad hominem.
                          Go learn what 'ad hominem' means. It was obviously ad hominem.
                          America - too good to let the conservatives drag it back to 1950.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by seer View Post

                            Again Jim, whose reason? Whose goals? The Maoist's, the Stalinist's? The Hutu's?
                            Our morality is based on biology and natural selection and has the instinctive goal of survival. It varies to a degree from culture to culture over time as is clearly demonstrable throughout human history – including that of the Christian West.






                            “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

                              Our morality is based on biology and natural selection and has the instinctive goal of survival. It varies to a degree from culture to culture over time as is clearly demonstrable throughout human history – including that of the Christian West.

                              I actually I don't see what biology has to do with morality. Biology does not care about ethics. When one chimp kills another chimp do we call that a moral wrong? All other species seem to survive just fine without inventing the legal and moral fictions we do. And biology has no goal, not even our survival.

                              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 Electric Skeptic View Post
                                Go learn what 'ad hominem' means. It was obviously ad hominem.
                                Give a definition of 'ad hominem', and show exactly where you think I did that.



                                I argued that (a) Tassman's behaviour is inconsistent with his stated position on morality (ergo his position is false, since he himself doesn't or can't live it out); (b) gave an example of this pattern of self-contradiction in a related area of philosophy; (c) pointed out that someone who repeatedly contradicts themselves is likely not the most rational (hence their positions should be regarded with some skepticism)

                                All of the above relates to the question at hand - the precise nature of morality and moral values, and whether Tassman's beliefs on the matter are plausible or true.

                                An ad hominem would be something like if I had said that Tassman was 'a typical Aussie criminal type' and therefore his argument was false.
                                ...>>> Witty remark or snarky quote of another poster goes here <<<...

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