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Cogito ergo sum

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Atheism And Moral Progress

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  • Atheism And Moral Progress

    It is hard to see what an atheist would mean by moral progress. Would she mean that what agrees with her ethical point of view is progress? Or that more of us agree with each other? I suppose the atheist could look at increasing peace and prosperity as moral progress, but again that would still revert to that which agrees with her ethical point of view (that increasing peace and prosperity is actually a moral good). So it seems that without a universal moral standard to aim at, or move towards, that there is no moral progress, merely moral change.
    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

  • #2
    That's the way I see it. Hitler would have seen moral progress as cleansing of the master race and he would be just as correct as the people who today tout the integration of all mankind as moral progress.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Sparko View Post
      That's the way I see it. Hitler would have seen moral progress as cleansing of the master race and he would be just as correct as the people who today tout the integration of all mankind as moral progress.
      Correct.
      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


      • #4
        Originally posted by seer View Post
        It is hard to see what an atheist would mean by moral progress. Would she mean that what agrees with her ethical point of view is progress? Or that more of us agree with each other? I suppose the atheist could look at increasing peace and prosperity as moral progress, but again that would still revert to that which agrees with her ethical point of view (that increasing peace and prosperity is actually a moral good). So it seems that without a universal moral standard to aim at, or move towards, that there is no moral progress, merely moral change.
        How would you describe morality in the first place seer, I don't mean by that, what is it's source, but what is morality itself?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by JimL View Post
          How would you describe morality in the first place seer, I don't mean by that, what is it's source, but what is morality itself?
          I will use the classic definition: a doctrine or system of conduct.
          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


          • #6
            Originally posted by seer View Post
            I will use the classic definition: a doctrine or system of conduct.
            And do you think that the doctrine, or system of conduct, is meaningless, that it serves no human purpose?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by JimL View Post
              And do you think that the doctrine, or system of conduct, is meaningless, that it serves no human purpose?
              No, I think all ethics are reduced to personal or collective opinion, therefore there is no objective moral progress. Only moral change.
              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


              • #8
                Originally posted by seer View Post
                No, I think all ethics are reduced to personal or collective opinion, therefore there is no objective moral progress. Only moral change.
                So you don't think that morality, your objective standard perspective of morality, has any relevence to the good fortune of human beings or human society?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by seer View Post
                  No, I think all ethics are reduced to personal or collective opinion, therefore there is no objective moral progress. Only moral change.
                  Do you believe that "objective moral progress" can exist? Please Give some specific examples.
                  “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


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by seer View Post
                    It is hard to see what an atheist would mean by moral progress.
                    Here's a few possible definitions an atheist might use if they were speaking about 'moral progress':

                    1. Whenever two people have a discussion about morality and as a result at least one of those people thinks about their view and changes it as a result, that is 'moral progress'. If history is the sum of all human actions then any cumulative effect across history of people talking/writing/discussing their ideas about morality and influencing each other and updating their views as a result of though, is 'moral progress'.

                    2. Any historical survey of moral changes throughout history which attempts to identify some themes or draws any general conclusions from it about why changes were made.

                    3. Any ongoing attempt to draw out abstract or generalized moral ideas from concrete ones, or to unpack moral intuitions. e.g. to go from "my gut/intuitions/conscience tells me that to pick up that knife and stab that person over there would be morally wrong" to the abstract thoughts of "intending harm to others is a moral wrong" or "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". So moral progress in this sense is any move from a concrete situational list of rules toward the abstract principles that underlie it.

                    4. An approach that combines all three of those, that draws on psychological insights, historical insights, philosophical insights, political insights, and cross-cultural insights to attempt to come to an understanding of what humans have thought about morality and why and how that has changed over time and what can be said about the directions of those changes.

                    5. Viewing your own moral view as the objective truth of morality (which most people, both atheists and theists tend to do) and viewing the past as a gradual movement toward those. e.g. "the abolition of slavery made moral progress, because we know slavery was wrong".

                    So it seems that without a universal moral standard to aim at
                    It's pretty pathetic for you to be repeating this sort of thing when you're well aware that plenty of atheists, perhaps the majority, view themselves as having objective morals. You don't have to personally agree their morality meets your criteria of objectivity, but it just acknowledging basic facts to acknowledge that those atheists themselves believe they have objective moral standards. So when you start asking questions like "well if they don't believe in objective morality how can they believe in moral progress" you just look like a moron for denying they believe in objective morality. Just because you don't think they should believe in it, doesn't mean they don't believe in it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Starlight View Post
                      Here's a few possible definitions an atheist might use if they were speaking about 'moral progress':

                      1. Whenever two people have a discussion about morality and as a result at least one of those people thinks about their view and changes it as a result, that is 'moral progress'. If history is the sum of all human actions then any cumulative effect across history of people talking/writing/discussing their ideas about morality and influencing each other and updating their views as a result of though, is 'moral progress'.

                      2. Any historical survey of moral changes throughout history which attempts to identify some themes or draws any general conclusions from it about why changes were made.

                      3. Any ongoing attempt to draw out abstract or generalized moral ideas from concrete ones, or to unpack moral intuitions. e.g. to go from "my gut/intuitions/conscience tells me that to pick up that knife and stab that person over there would be morally wrong" to the abstract thoughts of "intending harm to others is a moral wrong" or "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". So moral progress in this sense is any move from a concrete situational list of rules toward the abstract principles that underlie it.

                      4. An approach that combines all three of those, that draws on psychological insights, historical insights, philosophical insights, political insights, and cross-cultural insights to attempt to come to an understanding of what humans have thought about morality and why and how that has changed over time and what can be said about the directions of those changes.

                      5. Viewing your own moral view as the objective truth of morality (which most people, both atheists and theists tend to do) and viewing the past as a gradual movement toward those. e.g. "the abolition of slavery made moral progress, because we know slavery was wrong".

                      It's pretty pathetic for you to be repeating this sort of thing when you're well aware that plenty of atheists, perhaps the majority, view themselves as having objective morals. You don't have to personally agree their morality meets your criteria of objectivity, but it just acknowledging basic facts to acknowledge that those atheists themselves believe they have objective moral standards. So when you start asking questions like "well if they don't believe in objective morality how can they believe in moral progress" you just look like a moron for denying they believe in objective morality. Just because you don't think they should believe in it, doesn't mean they don't believe in it.
                      I agree with most of this but the crunch for the likes of seer is that "objective morality" must be eternally objective and unchanging (which to him means God-based). His problem is that he can never say what it is...other than a few vague references to the morality as contained in the New Testament or the Golden Rule.
                      “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


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Tassman View Post
                        for the likes of seer is that "objective morality" must be eternally objective and unchanging (which to him means God-based)
                        From what I've picked up over the years from seer's nonsensical ramblings is that he actually thinks "objective" means "outside humanity", not "eternally... unchanging". For seer, God can come up with an arbitrary and whimsical system of morality to decree to humans, can change it up every few hundred years, and it's "objective" because it's coming from a non-human source. Whereas, even if every single human in history were to agree on an unchanging and everywhere-applicable universal standard of morality, in seer's mind that would be "subjective" because it's humans specifying it. I mean, your average philosopher would roll on the floor laughing at those definitions, but that seems to genuinely be how seer understands those words and what he means when he does 90+ page threads demanding an "objective" basis to morality.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Starlight View Post
                          From what I've picked up over the years from seer's nonsensical ramblings is that he actually thinks "objective" means "outside humanity", not "eternally... unchanging". For seer, God can come up with an arbitrary and whimsical system of morality to decree to humans, can change it up every few hundred years, and it's "objective" because it's coming from a non-human source. Whereas, even if every single human in history were to agree on an unchanging and everywhere-applicable universal standard of morality, in seer's mind that would be "subjective" because it's humans specifying it. I mean, your average philosopher would roll on the floor laughing at those definitions, but that seems to genuinely be how seer understands those words and what he means when he does 90+ page threads demanding an "objective" basis to morality.
                          No, he actually says so, e.g. #274 “The-More-We-Evolve-the-Less-We-Need-God” thread: “The fact that we may not fully understand universal moral truths, or get it wrong, does not mean that they don't exist”. The fact that one subjectively interprets the biblical divine commands seems to escape him.
                          “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


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Starlight View Post
                            It's pretty pathetic for you to be repeating this sort of thing when you're well aware that plenty of atheists, perhaps the majority, view themselves as having objective morals. You don't have to personally agree their morality meets your criteria of objectivity, but it just acknowledging basic facts to acknowledge that those atheists themselves believe they have objective moral standards. So when you start asking questions like "well if they don't believe in objective morality how can they believe in moral progress" you just look like a moron for denying they believe in objective morality. Just because you don't think they should believe in it, doesn't mean they don't believe in it.
                            Really Star, how do objective or universal morals exist in your atheist world? What does that even mean?
                            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


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Starlight View Post
                              From what I've picked up over the years from seer's nonsensical ramblings is that he actually thinks "objective" means "outside humanity", not "eternally... unchanging". For seer, God can come up with an arbitrary and whimsical system of morality to decree to humans, can change it up every few hundred years, and it's "objective" because it's coming from a non-human source. Whereas, even if every single human in history were to agree on an unchanging and everywhere-applicable universal standard of morality, in seer's mind that would be "subjective" because it's humans specifying it. I mean, your average philosopher would roll on the floor laughing at those definitions, but that seems to genuinely be how seer understands those words and what he means when he does 90+ page threads demanding an "objective" basis to morality.
                              Now you know that is a lie Star, God's law is not arbitrary, since it is grounded in His immutable moral character and on His omniscience. Human law on the other hand is fickle, and based in ignorance of future consequences.
                              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

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