Basis for Atheist Morality
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13-02-2014, 12:41 PM (This post was last modified: 13-02-2014 12:46 PM by rampant.a.i..)
Basis for Atheist Morality
(13-02-2014 12:18 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  I've always hated how often that response is thrown out on these forums. It is simply assuming your conclusion (that there isn't a God). And, considering that no atheist has been able to explain the existence of the universe without having a God, it is a presumptuous and unfounded assumption to make.


Yes, because in topsy-turvy opposite world, unsubstantiated claims like <God exists> do not require proof.

Anyone can invent a magical explanation for any existing phenomena. That doesn't make it accurate. Of course, True Believers do not understand the burden of proof, and assume <God exists> is proof enough of their claim, without a single shred of evidence being offered up.

Presumptuous conclusion: "I, as a layperson, don't understand how the universe came to be: Therefore a magical being created it. I know this for a fact, because it makes sense to me. No further explanation or thought required: And I don't need to defend my position because I am correct."

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
― Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes
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13-02-2014, 12:43 PM
RE: Basis for Atheist Morality
(13-02-2014 10:31 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  
(13-02-2014 04:12 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  Here are some questions for the OP.

  1. If you wiped out the human race would morality still exist?

1. Yes, there would just be no humans to be moral or immoral. Think of it like math or geometry. Even if there were no true right angle triangles in existence, the pythagorean theorem would still be sound.

An interesting take on it that I wasn't expecting. Let's take it from question 1.

Are other species subject to the same objective morality? What about rat mothers who eat their young if the litter is too large? Or sea otters raping baby seals to death, often drowning them in the process? Or male lions killing young cubs so they can impregnate the female with their own genes? There are a myriad such examples from the natural world which would be morally abhorent if carried out by a human.

You can mathematically prove Pythagoras's theorem because Maths is precise and is not open to interpretation like morality. Are there any objective proofs about morality that are not open to interpretation or which pertain to a specific species?
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13-02-2014, 12:43 PM
RE: Basis for Atheist Morality
Quote:I found it particularly funny to see all the responses assuming a negative implication from my question. I guess I hit a nerve

And are these the only ones you're responding too? ... Drinking Beverage

A man blames his bad childhood on leprechauns. He claims they don't exist, but yet still says without a doubt that they stole all his money and then killed his parents. That's why he became Leprechaun-Man

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13-02-2014, 12:46 PM
RE: Basis for Atheist Morality
(13-02-2014 12:25 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  ...
Atheism (as opposed to agnosticism) is the belief that there is no God. Therefore, the belief in atheism requires one to explain the existence of the universe without a sentient creator.
...

OK, now I know you are wasting our time and are not legitimately looking for answers.

I know you have been in threads where this error (as stated above, by you) has been corrected for other contributors.

Good bye.

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13-02-2014, 12:48 PM
RE: Basis for Atheist Morality
(13-02-2014 11:07 AM)TwoCultSurvivor Wrote:  It is based on other things, including but not limited to the recognition that some behaviors are personally and socially harmful while others are personally and socially beneficial. Balancing those beliefs to maximize the greatest good for the greatest number of people is one part of our morality.

It is not in my personal interest to enrich myself by stealing from others, because as social animals, humans tend to ostracize those who harm others. Since I do not want to be ostracized, I refrain from doing things that would lead to such ostracism, even if those things might benefit me in the short run. I do not steal.

As far as I can tell, what you are talking about is not morality at all, it is pure self interest (albeit long term interest as opposed to short term interest). You don't steal because you do not want to get caught stealing. That is why I asked the original question of "would you steal if you knew you wouldn't get caught". From your answer it sounds like you would. Am I right?

Perhaps more interestingly, should I believe your answer if you tell me 'no'? After all, it is in your best interest not to be ostracized as a thief.

P.S. The last part is not meant to be accusatory, just challenging your statement. I get the feeling you are going to take it as an accusation, due to the manner in which you responded to my initial question, so I'm just going to put this disclaimer here so I can quote it if you do.

P.P.S. I responded to all the implications stuff earlier. What you have read into the question is a reflection on you, not on my question, which was pretty straight forward and innocuous in and of itself.

P.P.P.S. I also not sure why you would bother throwing arguments about "divine command theory" against a deist.
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13-02-2014, 01:07 PM
RE: Basis for Atheist Morality
(13-02-2014 09:16 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  While there are certainly some of the atheists
Will you stop generalizing Atheists already? you are also an atheist because you do not believe in many many many other Gods.. in fact EVERY theist is an atheist because they disbelieve in most Gods but theirs.
Quote:who seem to have a basis for their belief in morality
you have not provided me a single case where morality has any correlation with believing in things without evidence A.K.A GAWD. Drinking Beverage
Quote:Objective morality doesn't change from culture to culture. It is contextual
Its NOT objective morality if its contextual.
Quote:Slavery has always been wrong.
You know i could show you all those slavery condoning bible verses but i won't... it would be too easy Drinking Beverage so please be considerate on what you say next time.
Quote:so who did IndianAtheist checkmate? Consider
Your idea of objective morality.

Dreams/Hallucinations/delusions are not evidence
Wishful thinking is not evidence
Disproved statements&Illogical conclusions are not evidence
Logical fallacies&Unsubstantiated claims are not evidence
Vague prophecies is not evidence
Data that requires a certain belief is not evidence
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13-02-2014, 01:26 PM
RE: Basis for Atheist Morality
(13-02-2014 11:18 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  I disagree that contextual morality cannot be objective. The context only makes morality more complicated. In my mind, objective morality means that in any situation there is a morally right answer and one (or multiple) morally wrong answers (or less right answers, if you prefer).

That isn't what objectivity means. Objectivity means that something can be verified or arrived at independently and treated as fact for that reason. This is not true of morals. Different cultures have different morals, as do different time periods. There is no sense in which morals are objective, even if they somehow originate in a god.

Softly, softly, catchee monkey.
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13-02-2014, 01:26 PM
RE: Basis for Atheist Morality
(13-02-2014 12:40 PM)Simon Moon Wrote:  This incorrect.

Atheism is not the belief that there is no god. Atheism is the position that the case for the existence of a god has not met it's burden of proof.

There is no such thing as 'belief in atheism'. That is an incoherent statement.

But atheism does not require an explanation for the existence of the universe without a sentient creator. "I don't know" is a perfectly reasonable response to the question, "Well, if there is no god, how did the universe get here?".

Even if the answer is currently unknown, that does not mean that 'god did it' becomes the next best answer by default.

Agnosticism and atheism are NOT mutually exclusive positions.

Atheism/theism concerns what one believes or doesn't believe. Agnosticism/gnosticism concerns what one claims to know, or what is knowable.

You do understand the difference between 'belief' and 'knowledge', right?

I have heard the semantics about agnostic atheists, etc. So I don't need them repeated. Here is the dictionary definition of atheism:

1 archaic : ungodliness, wickedness
2
a : a disbelief in the existence of deity
b : the doctrine that there is no deity

Here is the dictionary definition of agnosticism:

ag·nos·tic noun \ag-ˈnäs-tik, əg-\
: a person who does not have a definite belief about whether God exists or not

When I use atheism in that context I am talking about gnostic atheism (which is included as definition 2b above in the Encyclopedia Britannica definition). Gnostic atheism is very much a belief. That should require no explanation and seems implied in your comment.

If you are an agnostic atheist that's fine. In that case, you are not using a "special pleading", because you are just saying "I don't know".

You should remember, however, where my statement came from. It was in response to someone telling me I was "special pleading" even when I have explained over and over on these forums that I am not (and why I am not). I'm courteous in these forums. I act towards others with civility. I just get annoyed sometimes that some people on here don't seem to believe in reciprocity in that regard, and instead insist on repeating accusations that having nothing to do with the current discussion and are only meant as ad hominem attacks.

P.S. I still disagree with your "burden of proof" comment. I believe that the burden of proof always lies on the person trying to convince someone to change their views.
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13-02-2014, 01:26 PM
RE: Basis for Atheist Morality
Let me repeat myself because I included something subtle in my comment to trollingforanswers:

It is based on other things, including but not limited to the recognition that some behaviors are personally and socially harmful while others are personally and socially beneficial. Balancing those beliefs to maximize the greatest good for the greatest number of people is one part of our morality.

Do you see what I did there? Do you see what you ignored there in your effort to bait me into your stupid, petty little trap? Stop ignoring what I wrote and start reading it.

So no, I would not steal, even if I would not get caught. What I put forth was PART OF my reasoning, not ALL OF it. Your questions presumed I put forth all of my reasoning, which is unfair, unconstructive, beneath the dignity of an intelligent conversation, and -- frankly -- typical of all your posts. I don't know why I bothered engaging you in conversation, as if you were really looking for answers. Your trolling passed "tedious" a long time ago.
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13-02-2014, 01:33 PM
RE: Basis for Atheist Morality
(13-02-2014 01:26 PM)toadaly Wrote:  
(13-02-2014 11:18 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  I disagree that contextual morality cannot be objective. The context only makes morality more complicated. In my mind, objective morality means that in any situation there is a morally right answer and one (or multiple) morally wrong answers (or less right answers, if you prefer).

That isn't what objectivity means. Objectivity means that something can be verified or arrived at independently and treated as fact for that reason. This is not true of morals. Different cultures have different morals, as do different time periods. There is no sense in which morals are objective, even if they somehow originate in a god.

ob·jec·tive adjective \əb-ˈjek-tiv, äb-\

philosophy : existing outside of the mind : existing in the real world

grammar : relating to nouns, noun phrases, or pronouns that are the objects of verbs or prepositions


You still seem to be confusing beliefs or conceptions of morality with morality itself. Do you think slavery was moral just because it was generally accepted in that society as being moral?

Either way, it doesn't really matter. My question was whether you guys believe in objective morality. What you are saying is that you believe in subjective morality, or "social contract" morality. Which is all well and good, but basically all you have done is state your opinion as fact.
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