Atheism and morality
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26-05-2015, 07:16 AM (This post was last modified: 26-05-2015 07:19 AM by Matt Finney.)
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 07:09 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  In to regards to his potential business partner their is an implied goal, and honesty is aspect of that goal, though an implicit one, unlike the explicitly contractual obligations of their partnering.

We raise our children to value honesty, and not just in our familial relationship, but their relationships with other as well, like we want them to value kindness, courage, integrity. As opposed to being cruel, cowardly or dishonest. We don't particularly desire that they like chocolate ice cream. If the cruel, cowardly, or dishonest, we see them as not living in a way they should, as bad people, like we might say of a bad watch, because for not telling time as it ought to.

A broken might watch might still make a good paper weight. It's only when we assign it the goal of telling time that it fails, and again, saying a person should have certain goals vs other goals, or even goals at all, makes no sense. It wouldn't make any sense to say that people should want to be 20 feet tall, or that they should want to go to the moon, or that they should value honesty.
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26-05-2015, 07:21 AM (This post was last modified: 26-05-2015 07:25 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 07:16 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  A broken might watch might still make a good paper weight.

Maybe, but it's still a broken watch.

Quote:It's only when we assign it the goal of telling time that it fails, and again, saying a person.

It's by not being a watch that it fails, by not working as a watch should that it fails. The assignments are a part of what a watch is. We say similar things when it comes to man, such as questioning his humanity, his lack of it, etc... We see the immoral man, as a broken man. Maybe he'd make an adequate fertilizer, but he's still a broken man.

Quote:should have certain goals vs other goals, or even goals at all, makes no sense.

Why can't man like a watch have goals?
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26-05-2015, 08:00 AM
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 07:21 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Why can't man like a watch have goals?

Men can have goals, but I believe it would be false to say that men should have goals.
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26-05-2015, 08:05 AM
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 08:00 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Men can have goals, but I believe it would be false to say that men should have goals.

And I'm saying they do have goals, not that they should.
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26-05-2015, 08:06 AM
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 08:05 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  And I'm saying they do have goals, not that they should.

Do you mean that there are certain goals that all men share?
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26-05-2015, 08:16 AM
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 08:06 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Do you mean that there are certain goals that all men share?

Yes, in the sense that all watches have a shared goal, to tell time. Yet, there can be broken watches. Not telling time, as they ought to.
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26-05-2015, 08:22 AM
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 08:16 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Yes, in the sense that all watches have a shared goal, to tell time. Yet, there can be broken watches. Not telling time, as they ought to.

I would argue that watches by themselves don't have goals. The goal would have to be assigned by something else. If there was a god that assigned goals to humans, I could agree, but with no god (or some kind of being that is capable of assigning goals to humans), I don't see how that scenario could be.
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26-05-2015, 08:22 AM
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 12:55 AM)Stevil Wrote:  
(25-05-2015 02:56 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  Morals doesn't need to mean something Grand or something objectively true.. it's just what is valued.
I think there is more to morality than mere value.
It is a distinction between right and wrong (in a moral sense, which implies actions/choices that should or shouldn't be made i.e. "normatives") this distinction is either a personal belief/assessment or believed (by the holder) to be true for all that are recognised as reasonable and moral agents.
I mean, if I like ginger beer more than water then I put a higher value on ginger beer. I'd be willing to give up more of my own resources to acquire ginger beer than I would water. This value system doesn't mean that I think it is immoral to choose water over ginger beer though.
For me to make such a moral judgement I would have to have knowledge of wrong and right. I don't have this knowledge, I don't know how to discover this knowledge. I would think, in order to make an assessment I would first need to decide on a goal. This way I could assess which actions take me towards that goal and which actions take me away from that goal.
The problem with morality and moral language is that it doesn't require a goal. It either thinks the goal is unnecessary or it assumes the goal is self evident. If the goal is self evident then this somewhat conflicts with the idea of subjective morality.
(25-05-2015 02:56 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  Humans and especially other mammals have shared values that are based on things like harm, tradition, purity, or fairness.
I don't think this is necessarily true. The world isn't fair nor do I think it should be, I don't see any value in sticking to tradition, I don't even know what purity means, life is a constant struggle, a competition against others for limited resources, therefore harm is unavoidable. First and foremost we do what we need to survive and to thrive. If we are in a luxurious position then we may care to sip from the fountain of ideals and dreams. But for the vast majority of people this is a token gesture at best, in order to get some feel good warm fuzzies from the self constructed illusion that we are a "good" person.
(25-05-2015 02:56 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  You can't say the values don't exist.
Sure, I value water, food, shelter, warmth, my family, health, education, entertainment etc. If I were looking for a business partner I'd value in them, intelligence, honesty, drive, integrity, confidence, ability to influence, negotiate and sell. Now if my business partner lacks intelligence or lacks honesty I couldn't claim that they are immoral. Just because I value these things in them with regards to my relationship and my goals it doesn't mean that I can assume they accept these as their own goals. Ultimately everyone is an adversary, we are competing for limited resource but it doesn't mean that from time to time we cannot position ourselves more strongly by forming alliances with others and formally agreeing upon (for a limited time) common goals and a common modus operandi.
(25-05-2015 02:56 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  Morality is just the label of that evolutionary situation.
I don't think morality has anything to do with evolution.
Evolution determines our bodies structure and to some degree our behaviors. It does not determine our beliefs. Until proven otherwise recognition of right and wrong is a belief system (IMO).
(25-05-2015 02:56 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  They exist for social creatures and they differ on how individuals or groups evaluate certain values for whatever reasons, but they're there.
Some people assume that it is bad to do something to the benefit of the self but at the detriment of the group. They label this as selfish and immoral. I disagree, I think it is rational to do things to the benefit of the self regardless of the impact on the group. However, it certainly makes sense (is rational) to consider the impact on the group and in particular the probable reaction the group may have towards you based on the threat you have shown yourself to present to the group. Doing something that benefits you in the immediate future but proves to be to your long term detriment due to the reaction of others isn't selfish, it is however short sighted. Perhaps it is in your best interests in the long term not to provoke others, unless of course you are all powerful and immortal and can easily deal to the imminent backlash.
What you might call morality, I call an attempt to navigate a potentially harmful and dangerous society where we are competing for limited resources. Navigating in a way that ultimately balances your immediate and long term goals. In order to do that you generally need to develop some amicable relationships as it would be difficult to succeed if everyone were aggressively adversarial towards you.
Often we behave in a certain way because we have been conditioned to behave. Like the 5 monkeys experiment http://www.wisdompills.com/2014/05/28/th...a-ladder/. In this way we do things because that is the way it is. Perhaps ultimately we reason it is immoral to behave to the contrary. Immoral to take the banana because it distresses the group. I'm suggesting that without moral beliefs we consciously make decisions not because of tradition or desire to be good but because we can perceive the outcome and assess whether it benefits us personally or not. The banana has value, don't simply deny this value by asserting that only bad monkeys would take action to possess the banana. If you can take that banana and also avoid the backlash of the group attacking you then go for it, why wouldn't you? If you answer "I wouldn't because I'm a good monkey" then I'd have to ask:
Are you fully conscious?
Do you have your eyes open and are you seeking opportunity?
Is a self perception of being "Good" so important that you are consciously willing to trade off personal and family benefits?
Is your personal pride to the detriment of your family's future?

Morality isn't merely some distinction between right/wrong that's just a black and white view of the subject. It's not all that the idea of what morality is covers. It's not just the "shouldn't" topics.

I don't see the value in sticking to tradition either... Other people do. That's where human differences lie as we don't all share the same value on the same scale.

Those monkies are honoring their tradition and because of valuing it, are acting on it more than withholding inputting harm into others. It's just like humans sacrificing a virgin for the harvest, over generations they may of lost the central idea of why they do it but they do it because it's the tradition and things seem to be fine while they keep honoring the tradition.

If one was saying, Morality is right & Wrong choices and what being a "good" person is, then no that doesn't exist. That's merely 1 aspect of the topic of morality. That's not all the concept or social idea of morality is.

There are different values that have different degrees of impact on people, sometimes the differences are interesting to why they exist. Ideas like this are potential base ones. [Image: 6MF.jpg]

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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26-05-2015, 08:42 AM (This post was last modified: 26-05-2015 09:19 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 08:22 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I would argue that watches by themselves don't have goals. The goal would have to be assigned by something else.

It's assigned by our nature. I was reading about the slender man attempted murder, in which one of the girls accused of the crime said, "The bad part of me wanted her to die; the good part of me wanted her to live.”'. She stabbed the victim several times of course, but even she recognizes some distinction, a good part that wanted her victim to live, and a bad part of her that wanted her victim to die. Even she seems to recognize her failure to act in accordance with that good part.

Her recognition here likely has nothing to do with her upbringing, or social and culturally induced expectations, this perception seems far more primordial than that, implicit in her being. Like a watch knowing what it means to be a good watch, that it ought to be telling time, but not. And that particular recognition is not one granted to the watch by the wearer of the watch, but within the very nature of being a watch.

Quote:If there was a god that assigned goals to humans, I could agree, but with no god (or some kind of being that is capable of assigning goals to humans), I don't see how that scenario could be.

We don't have to wonder about the how, or the conditions of possibility, we can still recognize what is, while lacking a belief in the hows.
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26-05-2015, 08:59 AM
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 06:56 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  Saying that someone should value honesty, is like saying that someone should like chocolate ice cream. Unless there is an implied goal, but I still contest that it's the goals that no one agrees on. It's the goals that form our sense of morality, and it makes no sense to say that a person should have one goal vs another.

Do you know of anyone whose goal is to get ripped off?

Remember, morality in a society is representing the shared values of the community. Theft is adjudged wrong because the vast majority of people don't want to be victimized.
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