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
    That doesn't make sense, if you could be a Stalinist or Maoist (using murder to control and gain power) why not?
    Because it would not be conducive to the best interests of society in general. And for the sociopaths and psychopaths of the world there is always someone waiting in the wings to stab them in the back as well, so immoral tyranny, as many tyrants have learned, is not necessarily in their own best interests either. Besides that, the people in those societies still live according to values and social morals because as a society it is in their best interests to do so. So we are not talking about the sociopaths like a Putin, Mao, or Trump, who might rise to power and lord it over their perceived enemies.


    Right evolution in action! Nothing wrong or evil here - just animals being animals
    Wrong, we evolved and developed moral systems because we learned it to be in our best interests as a society and as individuals living in community. The moral systems we live by are for our benefit, not because a god said so.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by carpedm9587 View Post
      If it is objectively true, why would any sapient person not have access to it?

      So now you are arguing for the existence of objective moral truths to which we possibly do not have access and you cannot show to exist? And you think this will be found compelling?
      It seems to me that objective moral truths are different than things based on physical realities. The law of non-contradiction for instance would relate to physical conditions (either me or the bus occupies the same space at the same moment). Moral truths would be different by nature, they would be intuitive. Yes we can see the consequences of moral behavior, but labeling a behavior good or bad is a different question. But in the end our connection to objective moral truths would be more intuitive and much less immediate than let's say the the laws of logic. And unlike the bus can be ignored for purely selfish reasons. Or reasons of ideology, political or philosophical considerations, etc...




      I am not making a claim to objective truths.
      I am also not big on "it's not fair."
      No Carp, you are asking for proof for his position while agreeing that you can not prove your position. That is bad form, and possibly hypocritical.


      I'm sure you do. I find his critiques to be more of the usual: it cannot be subjective because then it wouldn't be objective. I will acknowledge he does not have your propensity for devolving to arguments from outrage or ridicule.
      Then we disagree.



      I will note that I think people are so solidly indoctrinated into morality as an objective exercise, they are blind to the weaknesses of their own arguments.
      Right and that wouldn't apply to your position? That you really know enough to believe that it doesn't or couldn't?

      The subjective model for morality accounts for everything we see around us. It leaves nothing on the table. The objective model has gaping holes in it, most notably the absence of any demonstrable "objective moral truth" or "objective moral framework." It ignores the nature of morality as a cognitive exercise in sorting and tries to align it with such things as mathematical principles, rational principles, and even physical principles - when there is little/nothing about morality that has anything in common with these universal/absolute/objective frameworks. The religiously-inclined go further and try to root it in the "nature" of their god. First, they cannot show this god exists. Second, "morality is rooted in god's nature" is simply theological gobblygook. What on earth does it even mean? Not to mention the chicken egg of "is a thing good because god does/says it" or "does god do/say it because it is good?" Either position, for this hypothetical god, introduces problems, which I suspect is why recourse is made to the vague notion of "nature."
      I explained the difference with other objective truths above. And I'm not sure what you mean about your position accounting for everything we see around us. Do you know everything? Didn't you just agree that moral disagreement and personal moral opinion did not demonstrate that moral subjectivity is a fact? So what are you pointing too here?
      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
        Because it would not be conducive to the best interests of society in general. And for the sociopaths and psychopaths of the world there is always someone waiting in the wings to stab them in the back as well, so immoral tyranny, as many tyrants have learned, is not necessarily in their own best interests either. Besides that, the people in those societies still live according to values and social morals because as a society it is in their best interests to do so. So we are not talking about the sociopaths like a Putin, Mao, or Trump, who might rise to power and lord it over their perceived enemies.
        What are you talking about? North Korea, China, Cuba, etc are holding together under tyranny



        Wrong, we evolved and developed moral systems because we learned it to be in our best interests as a society and as individuals living in community. The moral systems we live by are for our benefit, not because a god said so.
        No Jim, democracy is not the norm in human history, it is the exception. Most of mankind for most of history lived under some form of tyranny (that is your evolution, just like our primate cousins). And there is no guarantee that democracy will last, just look at the leftists in this country...
        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
          It seems to me that objective moral truths are different than things based on physical realities. The law of non-contradiction for instance would relate to physical conditions (either me or the bus occupies the same space at the same moment). Moral truths would be different by nature, they would be intuitive. Yes we can see the consequences of moral behavior, but labeling a behavior good or bad is a different question. But in the end our connection to objective moral truths would be more intuitive and much less immediate than let's say the the laws of logic. And unlike the bus can be ignored for purely selfish reasons. Or reasons of ideology, political or philosophical considerations, etc...
          Or your "moral intuition" could be nothing more than the conditioned response of someone who grew up in a culture that established norms you've internalized. If you had grown up in a different culture, your "intuition" would be telling you different things, like "killing a cow is immoral" or that it is immoral to touch a woman who is menstruating.

          Originally posted by seer View Post
          No Carp, you are asking for proof for his position while agreeing that you can not prove your position. That is bad form, and possibly hypocritical.
          You really can't help yourself, can you....

          Person A: I think unicorns exist
          Person B: Can you prove that?
          Person A: Can you prove they don't?
          Person B: Proving an existential negative is impossible, so no. But you are making a positive claim that you should be able to provide proof for.
          Person A: You expect me to provide proof when you are unwilling to? You hypocrite!
          Person B:

          Originally posted by seer View Post
          Then we disagree.
          Yes we do. But then, that is not a surprise to me.

          Originally posted by seer View Post
          Right and that wouldn't apply to your position?
          Unlike others here, I was not indoctrinated to morality as a subjective worldview. Indeed, I was indoctrinated to morality as an objective worldview. Most of those who talk to me, even other atheists, oppose what I am saying. It's a little hard to be "indoctrinated" to something that arises from one's self-reflection.

          Originally posted by seer View Post
          That you really know enough to believe that it doesn't or couldn't?
          I have no idea what this asks/means.

          Originally posted by seer View Post
          I explained the difference with other objective truths above.
          See my response, above.

          Originally posted by seer View Post
          And I'm not sure what you mean about your position accounting for everything we see around us. Do you know everything?
          You did notice the qualifier to "everything" right? Namely, "that we see around us."

          Originally posted by seer View Post
          Didn't you just agree that moral disagreement and personal moral opinion did not demonstrate that moral subjectivity is a fact?
          They do not prove that morality is subjective because disagreements can occur in either worldview - for different reasons.

          Originally posted by seer View Post
          So what are you pointing too here?
          Everything I have outlined in the (hundreds of?) pages of posts that have preceded this one. I don't think I'm going to go through all of it again. I'll simply refer you to my previous posts.
          Last edited by carpedm9587; 09-11-2019, 06:39 PM.
          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
            What are you talking about? North Korea, China, Cuba, etc are holding together under tyranny
            The people in those countries are just as moral as are you seer. You always seem to miss the point.



            No Jim, democracy is not the norm in human history, it is the exception. Most of mankind for most of history lived under some form of tyranny (that is your evolution, just like our primate cousins). And there is no guarantee that democracy will last, just look at the leftists in this country...
            Did I say something about democracy? People, communities are moral, not necessarily those in power. Take Trump for instance!

            Comment


            • Originally posted by seer View Post
              It is not ideology Tass, it is us. Chimpanzees kill each other without ideology.
              Chimps nevertheless maintain community living for the same reason we do, namely because we are social animals that need to live in community to survive. It’s instinctive.

              That doesn't make sense, if you could be a Stalinist or Maoist (using murder to control and gain power) why not?
              History has been full of despots…often acting in the name of God. But this doesn’t alter the reality of our need as a social species to live in community whatever form of governance we adopt: tyrannical, monarchical, theocratic or democratic.

              Right evolution in action! Nothing wrong or evil here - just animals being animals
              The Conquistadors and the other Christian colonial powers virtually destroyed the indigenous cultures of Native Americans and Australian Aborigine. And as well as amassing great power and wealth at the expense of those they subjugated, they were spreading the ‘word’. “Nothing wrong or evil here” - just religion being religion.
              “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
                Chimps nevertheless maintain community living for the same reason we do, namely because we are social animals that need to live in community to survive. It’s instinctive.
                Right and they often do it with wide spread domination, rape, even murder. Just like humans.



                History has been full of despots…often acting in the name of God. But this doesn’t alter the reality of our need as a social species to live in community whatever form of governance we adopt: tyrannical, monarchical, theocratic or democratic.
                And?


                The Conquistadors and the other Christian colonial powers virtually destroyed the indigenous cultures of Native Americans and Australian Aborigine. And as well as amassing great power and wealth at the expense of those they subjugated, they were spreading the ‘word’. “Nothing wrong or evil here” - just religion being religion.
                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.
                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
                  The people in those countries are just as moral as are you seer. You always seem to miss the point.
                  What are you taking about?



                  Did I say something about democracy? People, communities are moral, not necessarily those in power. Take Trump for instance!
                  No, and you missed the point. There is nothing wrong or evil about those in power either, they are just 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
                    Or your "moral intuition" could be nothing more than the conditioned response of someone who grew up in a culture that established norms you've internalized. If you had grown up in a different culture, your "intuition" would be telling you different things, like "killing a cow is immoral" or that it is immoral to touch a woman who is menstruating.
                    The point is that objective moral truths would not be like logical truths for instance. They are different categories, and come by different ways of knowing.

                    You really can't help yourself, can you....

                    Person A: I think unicorns exist
                    Person B: Can you prove that?
                    Person A: Can you prove they don't?
                    Person B: Proving an existential negative is impossible, so no. But you are making a positive claim that you should be able to provide proof for.
                    Person A: You expect me to provide proof when you are unwilling to? You hypocrite!
                    Person B:
                    OK, so you can't prove your position but you are pretty sure that you are right. And no Carp proof is not possible in either case, we are left with what makes more sense.


                    Unlike others here, I was not indoctrinated to morality as a subjective worldview. Indeed, I was indoctrinated to morality as an objective worldview. Most of those who talk to me, even other atheists, oppose what I am saying. It's a little hard to be "indoctrinated" to something that arises from one's self-reflection.
                    Like you can't indoctrinate yourself?



                    You did notice the qualifier to "everything" right? Namely, "that we see around us."



                    They do not prove that morality is subjective because disagreements can occur in either worldview - for different reasons.



                    Everything I have outlined in the (hundreds of?) pages of posts that have preceded this one. I don't think I'm going to go through all of it again. I'll simply refer you to my previous posts.
                    I think you are contradicting yourself. You agree that moral disagreement and personal moral opinion do not demonstrate morality is subjective, then you turn around and talk about the killing of cows being immoral, as if that disagreement is a consideration. Of course moral intuitions can be mistaken, that doesn't change the possibility of objective moral truths, or the possibility that we can access them intuitively. So again Carp, if moral disagreement and personal moral opinion do not demonstrate morality is subjective then what exactly does?
                    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 point is that objective moral truths would not be like logical truths for instance. They are different categories, and come by different ways of knowing.
                      I have been telling you that moral truths are NOT like logical and mathematical truths from the outset, Seer. But the difference lies in the former being subjective and the latter being objective. So far, you have provided no argument for demonstrating that moral truths are anything but subjective.

                      Originally posted by seer View Post
                      OK, so you can't prove your position but you are pretty sure that you are right. And no Carp proof is not possible in either case, we are left with what makes more sense.
                      We're left with what the preponderance of the evidence tells us, so yes, what makes more sense is an apt description. But it seems odd to me that you can make a claim about an objective reality, and then assert that proof for it is not possible. Proving the subjective is not possible because the subjective is internal to the individual, and not externally available (i.e., qualia and all that...). Why is it not possible to make an argument/proof for "objective morality?"

                      Originally posted by seer View Post
                      Like you can't indoctrinate yourself?
                      Indoctrination: the process of teaching a person or group to accept a set of beliefs uncritically.

                      I submit it would be fairly hard for a person to "indoctrinate" themselves. I would say that is especially true of a person who specifically is looking at things critically, which is how he (I) arrived at subjectivism rather than the predominant objectivism model of most of the world.

                      Look at it this way, Seer. If you walked into Nazi Germany and encountered one person who was spouting the Nazi doctrine, and another who was speaking against it - which do you think is most likely to have been "indoctrinated?" Would you accuse the one speaking against it of "indoctrinating themselves?" If you walk into a group of Moonies, and you listen to one person recite the moony doctrines/dogmas, and another person question those dogmas as "likely untrue," which would you consider most likely to be indoctrinated?

                      The vast majority of humanity holds to morality as an objective exercise and teaches that in schools, families, and religious contexts. Here I stand speaking against the model. Which of us is most likely to have been indoctrinated?

                      Originally posted by seer View Post
                      I think you are contradicting yourself. You agree that moral disagreement and personal moral opinion do not demonstrate morality is subjective, then you turn around and talk about the killing of cows being immoral, as if that disagreement is a consideration.
                      Of course it's a consideration. You are arguing that we "intuititively grasp" objective moral truths. If that is the case, and there is one objectively true moral framework, logic suggests we should be intuitively grasping the same moral positions - but we clearly aren't. That response is not a proof (or even evidence) that "morality is not objective;" it is a response to your claim that moral principles are "intuitively grasped."

                      Originally posted by seer View Post
                      Of course moral intuitions can be mistaken, that doesn't change the possibility of objective moral truths, or the possibility that we can access them intuitively. So again Carp, if moral disagreement and personal moral opinion do not demonstrate morality is subjective then what exactly does?
                      The nature of morality itself. That it serves to sort behavior into "ought" and "ought not" and that this sorting is based on the relationship between the proposed (or occurred) action and how it impacts (or is intended to impact) something we subjectively value/cherish.

                      If you want to see this in action, take any moral principle, and attempt to show that it is "objectively true" WITHOUT ending up at a subjectively held valuing/cherishing. I submit that you will not be able to. I submit that is the exact reason that no one here even attempts to answer that question. I submit that you cannot end up at an objectively true moral principle if it is rooted in a subjectively held valuing/cherishing.
                      Last edited by carpedm9587; 09-12-2019, 10:50 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
                        What are you taking about?
                        Like I said, you always miss the point. If you're asking about the morality of the tyrants, then ask about the tyrants, not the countries. Communist people, like athiests, are no less moral than are you.



                        No, and you missed the point. There is nothing wrong or evil about those in power either, they are just doing what animals do.
                        Yes, that point has been explained to you ad infinitum as well. There is nothing in the absolute sense that is right or wrong apart from it's effect upon people and society.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by carpedm9587 View Post
                          I have been telling you that moral truths are NOT like logical and mathematical truths from the outset, Seer. But the difference lies in the former being subjective and the latter being objective. So far, you have provided no argument for demonstrating that moral truths are anything but subjective.
                          And again Carp, subjective is not relative. If the law of God exists it may be subjective to Him (Adrift would disagree) but it is not relative or ever changing, and is universal, and possibly objective if Adrift's argument is correct.

                          Indoctrination: the process of teaching a person or group to accept a set of beliefs uncritically.

                          I submit it would be fairly hard for a person to "indoctrinate" themselves. I would say that is especially true of a person who specifically is looking at things critically, which is how he (I) arrived at subjectivism rather than the predominant objectivism model of most of the world.

                          Look at it this way, Seer. If you walked into Nazi Germany and encountered one person who was spouting the Nazi doctrine, and another who was speaking against it - which do you think is most likely to have been "indoctrinated?" Would you accuse the one speaking against it of "indoctrinating themselves?" If you walk into a group of Moonies, and you listen to one person recite the moony doctrines/dogmas, and another person question those dogmas as "likely untrue," which would you consider most likely to be indoctrinated?

                          The vast majority of humanity holds to morality as an objective exercise and teaches that in schools, families, and religious contexts. Here I stand speaking against the model. Which of us is most likely to have been indoctrinated?
                          Carp you did not make up the idea subjective morality yourself, the idea simply resonated with you. It seemed (and I stress seemed) to explain what you see in the world (that is what I meant by indoctrinating yourself). And it has been a popular idea in the west for many years now. I wonder if you live 200 years ago if it would have ever occurred to you?

                          Of course it's a consideration. You are arguing that we "intuititively grasp" objective moral truths. If that is the case, and there is one objectively true moral principles, logic suggests we should be intuitively grasping the same moral positions - but we clearly aren't. That response is not a proof (or even evidence) that "morality is not objective;" it is a response to your claim that moral principles are "intuitively grasped."
                          That simply does not follow. If we misunderstand, or have different understandings of the Quantum world does that mean there isn't one correct answer. Besides that you already agree that moral disagreement does not disprove the idea of objective morality and moral intuition is merely an extension of that.

                          The nature of morality itself. That it serves to sort behavior into "ought" and "ought not" and that this sorting is based on the relationship between the proposed (or occurred) action and how it impacts (or is intended to impact) something we subjectively value/cherish.

                          If you want to see this in action, take any moral principle, and attempt to show that it is "objectively true" WITHOUT ending up at a subjectively held valuing/cherishing. I submit that you will not be able to. I submit that is the exact reason that no one here even attempts to answer that question. I submit that you cannot end up at an objectively true moral principle if it is rooted in a subjectively held valuing/cherishing.
                          The law of God. That what God values is supreme, universal, authoritative and as we discussed, binding on you whether you agree or not, accept it or not. This is why I disagree with Jim B, we need an ultimate valuer for this to work. But then it does work.
                          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
                            Yes, that point has been explained to you ad infinitum as well. There is nothing in the absolute sense that is right or wrong apart from it's effect upon people and society.
                            If there are no absolutes then the effects on society are not absolute either.
                            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
                              And again Carp, subjective is not relative.
                              I did not say anything about relative. My comments have been about subjective vs. objective.

                              Originally posted by seer View Post
                              If the law of God exists it may be subjective to Him (Adrift would disagree) but it is not relative or ever changing, and is universal, and possibly objective if Adrift's argument is correct.
                              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.

                              Originally posted by seer View Post
                              Carp you did not make up the idea subjective morality yourself, the idea simply resonated with you. It seemed (and I stress seemed) to explain what you see in the world (that is what I meant by indoctrinating yourself). And it has been a popular idea in the west for many years now.
                              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.

                              Originally posted by seer View Post
                              I wonder if you live 200 years ago if it would have ever occurred to you?
                              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.

                              Originally posted by seer View Post
                              That simply does not follow. If we misunderstand, or have different understandings of the Quantum world does that mean there isn't one correct answer. Besides that you already agree that moral disagreement does not disprove the idea of objective morality and moral intuition is merely an extension of that.
                              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.

                              Originally posted by seer View Post
                              The law of God. That what God values is supreme, universal, authoritative and as we discussed, binding on you whether you agree or not, accept it or not. This is why I disagree with Jim B, we need an ultimate valuer for this to work. But then it does work.
                              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.
                              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
                                If there are no absolutes then the effects on society are not absolute either.
                                Don't even know what you mean by that. Could you give an example?

                                Comment

                                Related Threads

                                Collapse

                                Topics Statistics Last Post
                                Started by Diogenes, 10-10-2020, 08:38 PM
                                10 responses
                                85 views
                                0 likes
                                Last Post Sparko
                                by Sparko
                                 
                                Started by Andius, 10-07-2020, 07:38 PM
                                10 responses
                                63 views
                                0 likes
                                Last Post shunyadragon  
                                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
                                105,580 views
                                0 likes
                                Last Post thormas
                                by thormas
                                 
                                Working...
                                X