Atheism and morality
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26-05-2015, 09:15 AM (This post was last modified: 26-05-2015 09:28 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 12:55 AM)Stevil Wrote:  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?

There’s another possibility here too, one in relationship to your desire for an honest business partner. What does honesty mean here? Is it merely a monkey afraid of the beating you’d inflict on him for climbing the ladder?

After the beatings are gone, and no water being doused, the ladder is merely a taboo. One preserved for no reason other then repeating what has become a tradition.

But how about a third option, a monkey who does not take the banana, not out of a fear of being beaten, but out of a recognition and concern for the other monkeys who would get doused with cold water. And refusing to climb the ladder for the banana, refusing to be selfish, acting out of a selfless concern for others. This is generally what underlies the meaning of good, not the taboo of climbing the ladder, or a fear of beatings.

(i added this to a previous post as well)
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26-05-2015, 09:24 AM
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 08:59 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  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.

And in recognition of not wanting to be ripped off, we perceive the wrongness in ripping off others. Because we all know at some level that we shouldn't do unto others, what we desire not to be done to us.
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26-05-2015, 09:29 AM
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 09:24 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(26-05-2015 08:59 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  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.

And in recognition of not wanting to be ripped off, we perceive the wrongness in ripping off others. Because we all know at some level that we shouldn't do unto others, what we desire not to be done to us.

And therefore there must be a deity telling us that it's wrong because no mere human could *ever* come up with such an advanced concept.

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If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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26-05-2015, 09:29 AM
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 09:24 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(26-05-2015 08:59 AM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:  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.

And in recognition of not wanting to be ripped off, we perceive the wrongness in ripping off others. Because we all know at some level that we shouldn't do unto others, what we desire not to be done to us.

Indeed. Empathy underlies my own morality.
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26-05-2015, 09:33 AM
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 09:29 AM)morondog Wrote:  And therefore there must be a deity telling us that it's wrong because no mere human could *ever* come up with such an advanced concept.

No one needs to tell us, nor do we have to come up with it, we just recognize it. Those who articulated the golden rule, weren't coming up with an entirely new or novel concept, they were merely giving words, and expression to what has already been there.
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26-05-2015, 10:03 AM
RE: Atheism and morality
(25-05-2015 07:26 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  http://magazine.biola.edu/article/11-sum...thout-god/

"It’s been fascinating to watch the very vocal and prolific new atheists, such as Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett and Richard Dawkins, make a case for objective morality."

At least I'm not the only one noticing this shift.

Neither the article nor you has supported that statement.

You will need to cite their actual words before you can be taken seriously.

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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26-05-2015, 10:13 AM
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 09:33 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(26-05-2015 09:29 AM)morondog Wrote:  And therefore there must be a deity telling us that it's wrong because no mere human could *ever* come up with such an advanced concept.

No one needs to tell us, nor do we have to come up with it, we just recognize it. Those who articulated the golden rule, weren't coming up with an entirely new or novel concept, they were merely giving words, and expression to what has already been there.

... And what was already there was put there by God.

Come on Tommy, I *know* you're just dying to find a little crack to slip your deity into.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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26-05-2015, 10:24 AM
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 10:13 AM)morondog Wrote:  ... And what was already there was put there by God.

Come on Tommy, I *know* you're just dying to find a little crack to slip your deity into.

I'm not actually. I prefer to keep any theistic or God implications out of it, because then the conversation becomes about any supposed implication, rather than about morality itself. Matt Finney seems to want to make the conversations about those implications, and I've resisted this at every turn. I'm interested in where a theist such as myself and atheists who resists Matt's and Stevel's views might share some commonalities.
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26-05-2015, 11:23 AM
RE: Atheism and morality
(23-05-2015 04:05 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  I've noticed that many atheists believe in an absolute morality. That is, that some things are "really right" and others are "really wrong" regardless of any particular human's opinion. I'm curious to hear from members here about this. Obviously, morality is a very simple problem for theists.....God decides what is moral for them, but I want to hear from atheists who feel that there is a rightness and wrongness (good and evil) property of our actions. I believe that we all just make up our own set of morals, and that nothing in the universe except humans, really cares if you save the world, or destroy an entire nation of people. It's not that I don't want to be moral, quite the contrary, I try to use the golden rule and I try to be completely honest all the time. I just don't want to delude myself into believing that some things are "really right" or "really wrong" when the logical part of my mind tells me this is impossible.

Thoughts?

I don't believe in objective morality. I can only think of one atheist I've talked to who does believe in it. Every other one is a moral relativist.

That being said, this won't stop me from saying phrases like "murder is wrong", because it's a lot easier to say that than "I believe murder is wrong, not in a fundamental sense, but in my opinion based on the effects it causes". I really only elaborate when I have to, which is pretty much only in Internet debates.
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26-05-2015, 11:37 AM
RE: Atheism and morality
(26-05-2015 10:03 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(25-05-2015 07:26 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  http://magazine.biola.edu/article/11-sum...thout-god/

"It’s been fascinating to watch the very vocal and prolific new atheists, such as Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett and Richard Dawkins, make a case for objective morality."

At least I'm not the only one noticing this shift.

Neither the article nor you has supported that statement.

You will need to cite their actual words before you can be taken seriously.

Yeah, I have never seen anything explicitly from Hitchens or Dawkins (I don't read much Harris or Dennett) that indicate that they believe in objective morality.


But let's pretend that they did. Why is that fascinating?

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
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