Atheism and morality
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25-05-2015, 07:35 PM
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.

Other seeing it doesn't mean they're seeing what is actually being thought out. It's a perspective..

Is the wording the most proper use? No, because it's far simpler to say wrong than more harmful based on our value system or context.

Language isn't a perfect expression of idea, you can parse through it often and get it defined clearer when you specifically ask the person what they're believing and indicating.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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25-05-2015, 07:59 PM (This post was last modified: 25-05-2015 08:04 PM by Matt Finney.)
RE: Atheism and morality
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/201...-god/?_r=0

Here's another atheist who rejects moral nihilism.

Let me guess, still just a language thing, right?
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25-05-2015, 08:10 PM
RE: Atheism and morality
(25-05-2015 07:59 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/201...-god/?_r=0

Here's another atheist who rejects moral nihilism.

Let me guess, still just a language thing, right?

You just don't get it!

Atheists have nothing in common except that they do not believe in gods.

Morals have nothing to do with atheism. Yet you keep on and on and on trying to fit atheists into some sort of dogma. We have no stinking dogma.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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25-05-2015, 08:14 PM
RE: Atheism and morality
(25-05-2015 08:10 PM)Dom Wrote:  You just don't get it!

Atheists have nothing in common except that they do not believe in gods.

Morals have nothing to do with atheism. Yet you keep on and on and on trying to fit atheists into some sort of dogma. We have no stinking dogma.

No, you don't get it. Some atheists believe in moral nihilism, and others don't. I'm claiming that moral nihilism is the position that is true.

Believe me, I already know that all people are different.
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25-05-2015, 08:16 PM
RE: Atheism and morality
(25-05-2015 08:14 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(25-05-2015 08:10 PM)Dom Wrote:  You just don't get it!

Atheists have nothing in common except that they do not believe in gods.

Morals have nothing to do with atheism. Yet you keep on and on and on trying to fit atheists into some sort of dogma. We have no stinking dogma.

No, you don't get it. Some atheists believe in moral nihilism, and others don't. I'm asserting that moral nihilism is the position that is true.

Believe me, I already know that all people are different.

Why use the word atheist for something that has nothing to do with atheism? Why not just say that some people believe in moral nihilism and some don't? What's the point of singling out atheists for this?

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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25-05-2015, 08:18 PM
RE: Atheism and morality
(25-05-2015 08:16 PM)Dom Wrote:  
(25-05-2015 08:14 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  No, you don't get it. Some atheists believe in moral nihilism, and others don't. I'm asserting that moral nihilism is the position that is true.

Believe me, I already know that all people are different.

Why use the word atheist for something that has nothing to do with atheism? Why not just say that some people believe in moral nihilism and some don't? What's the point of singling out atheists for this?

That's fine, I have no problem with that. Just curious, do you know of any theists who claim moral nihilism?
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25-05-2015, 09:04 PM (This post was last modified: 25-05-2015 09:08 PM by ClydeLee.)
RE: Atheism and morality
(25-05-2015 07:59 PM)Matt Finney Wrote:  http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/201...-god/?_r=0

Here's another atheist who rejects moral nihilism.

Let me guess, still just a language thing, right?

There Are some, like I said earlier. You should waiver a difference between generalizations and talking about specifics, that's something that comes in handy if you want to make more statements of that nature yourself. But reading words of those who don't believe it and say they don't believe it in a way doesn't seem to have any logical value to it. Are they saying they believe in objective right and wrong or just colloquially using the terms. You're making an assumption with very weak basis if you only go by the latter.

There is a stark clear difference from judging a persons position by them saying, We Moralists Atheists and someone saying X is Wrong. One is going by how the person is presenting their position while the second is making an assumption that, this statement means their position is of there being objective morality.
If you want to be assertive in the view of it, fine and go ahead. If you want to grasp the difference here you can see it has reasoning though. Ken Wilbur and Integral Theory believers are atheists who definitively believe in an objective morality as well. And this lady from a philosophical background can make sense to have that view.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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25-05-2015, 09:56 PM
Re: RE: Atheism and morality
(25-05-2015 09:41 AM)Matt Finney Wrote:  
(25-05-2015 08:11 AM)mecanna Wrote:  In a hypothetical future where humans severely overpopulate the earth, dispatching excess babies might be the "moral" thing to do.

See, I would argue that whether it is moral or not to dispatch babies cannot be known. People will have disagreement and there is no way to know who is right. Suppose that the world becomes so overpopulated that the majority of society begins to advocate euthanizing of infants. Some people still might not prefer it (or find it morally unacceptable if we want to keep the word "moral" in the picture). To suggest that it "might be the "moral" thing to do," would be to suggest that it might be the case that people should prefer it, and that's as silly as suggesting that it might be the case that people should prefer chocolate vs. vanilla.

Well, that's kind of my point. That's why I put "morality" in quotes. I suppose I'm not great at expressing my ideas.
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26-05-2015, 12:55 AM
RE: Atheism and morality
(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?
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26-05-2015, 05:56 AM
RE: Atheism and morality
Thank god for Stevil!

nice post Thumbsup
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