Basis for Atheist Morality
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13-02-2014, 06:30 PM
RE: Basis for Atheist Morality
(13-02-2014 04:27 PM)Timber1025 Wrote:  
(13-02-2014 04:02 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  Frankly Timber, the reason I start my comments as such is because I spent most of my time on these forums discussing my reasons for believing in a creator, and the arguments with which I support that belief (primarily the cosmological argument). I just kinda want to discuss a different issue for a while. I know that it's the first question that pops into most atheists minds when I am discussing any of this stuff, but if I keep engaging in that every time someone brings it up, I'm just going to end up discussing that one issue until I'm too bored to continue.

I assure you that I have considered the question of a creator's existence and have discussed it with people on this forum very extensively. I understand the points on both sides. I don't consider it to be based on wishful thinking and you can feel free to read most of my first 75 or so posts on this site if you want the reasons why, lol.

Understood, and I get where you are coming from. I also rechecked the questions you asked at the start of the thread. The frustration on my part (and apparently others) is that the answers to the OP questions were in the first few pages, but the remaining posts were focused on selling us the concept of a creator that created a definitive and objective morality. Guess how that train was going to track here. I am open to ideas and do have an open mind as long as there is some kind of substantiation to any claims/concepts. That is the big difference here as I do not run with any assumptions as truth, and waste my time fitting them into a discussion.

So once more - no evidence for a creator, no evidence for a definitive and objective moral code, no evidence for a moral code coming from a creator or god, and absolutely no evidence supporting a simple equation for predicting morality.

Yeah, sometimes the threads get derailed. I think it was morondog who asked me what my basis for morality was as a deist. I answered, a bunch of people didn't like my answer, and Bob's your uncle, lol

For the record, even without the existence of a God, I still think that objective morals exist. I don't think that slavery was moral in the old south, just because it was generally accepted. I don't think that sacrificing virgins was morally justified by the ancient mayans (and many other groups). Whether our ability to discern them is given by God or developed through evolution, I still think that there is an objectively right answer to every moral question.

The difference in my mind is that without a higher power in the picture, my view of what is moral and immoral doesn't really have any meaning. It is an objective code because the answer to moral questions in based on the best way for humans to interact with each other, from the perspective of the whole. The problem is that is not the perspective that people have. People have the perspective of an individual. From the perspective of the individual, it's a prisoner's dilemma situation. The best way to succeed in society is to appear moral while being immoral. While the worst way to succeed in society is to appear immoral while being moral.

The reason why I asked the original question is that, in terms of evolutionary models, why would humans evolve morals? If we assume that most people are moral, why? If we evolve for the purpose of being in the best situation to propagate our genes, then morals get in the way. The only benefit of morals would be the appearance of being moral, while actually being moral would only stop someone from doing what may be the best action to succeed and propagate.

Obviously, I can fit morals into my deist model. I asked my question because I am curious as to how morals fit into an atheist model. Like I say, it's not meant as an attack, it is a question. I definitely know some very moral atheists (such as my fiancee), but I don't know if they have ever actually thought through why they are moral or how they got to be. My answer would be "they are moral because the creator made them that way. They understand morality and are just too blinded to realize where that knowledge comes from." But, I thought I would get the perspective of some more deep thinking atheists, you know, the type that come on pages like this and discuss philosophy for fun, lol.
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13-02-2014, 06:44 PM
RE: Basis for Atheist Morality
(13-02-2014 06:30 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  The reason why I asked the original question is that, in terms of evolutionary models, why would humans evolve morals? If we assume that most people are moral, why? If we evolve for the purpose of being in the best situation to propagate our genes, then morals get in the way. The only benefit of morals would be the appearance of being moral, while actually being moral would only stop someone from doing what may be the best action to succeed and propagate.


We evolved morals because we are social animals. We were unable to survive as solitary animals.

You have to remember that we evolved in groups of 50 - 150 for most of our existence. Everyone in the group knew each other. Altruism, cooperation, kin selection, etc were as necessary for our survival as running at 70 MPH was for cheetah's survival.

If a member of a group was guilty of antisocial behavior, they would be punished by being ejected from the group. This meant almost certain death.

Morality did not get in the way of propagating genes, it was one of the main drivers for gene propagation.

Please read some of Frans de Waal's many years of research on this subject. Maybe start with 'The Bonobo and the Atheist: In Search of Humanism Among the Primates'.
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13-02-2014, 06:53 PM
RE: Basis for Atheist Morality
Well, I was raised without mention of god, and didn't even learn that some people thought morals came from god/religion (seriously, not even my religious friends believe that here in the NW) until the last few years.

So, I'm a product of society, my family, multimedia, and too many other influences to count. Also my instincts, natural emotions, and desire for self preservation guide my actions. I'm what most people would consider a very moral person. Never have had a religion or a belief in a deity.

I personally describe my morality as boiling down to the silver rule, in most cases.

The question is silly IMO, when other atheist animals observably also have morals within their own groups.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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13-02-2014, 08:08 PM
RE: Basis for Atheist Morality
(13-02-2014 06:30 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  I don't think that sacrificing virgins was morally justified by the ancient mayans (and many other groups).
Dude you should pay a visit to the conservative nutjob Hindus in my country!

If a woman is raped or has premarital sex she is murdered by her own family for honor and this act is considered "Moral"

you seriously think that primitive,superstitious ancients were any better than these people in the 21st century?
Quote:I still think that there is an objectively right answer to every moral question.
Objectively you say?

How come its perfectly moral to murder prisoners when its "Objectively immoral" to murder? you can't have it both ways in objective morality.

Murder is either wrong or not... objectively of course Thumbsup

Bottomline:Moral "Facts" do not exist we decide what is moral and what isn't.
Quote:The reason why I asked the original question is that, in terms of evolutionary models, why would humans evolve morals?
To take care of each other more efficiently and prosper?
Quote:I am curious as to how morals fit into an atheist model.
Morals have nothing to do with Atheism,Deism or theism... if you think so you're a self-righteous hypocrite.
Quote:My answer would be "they are moral because the creator made them that way.
God of the Gaps fallacy Ahoy!

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, 08:09 PM (This post was last modified: 14-02-2014 08:19 AM by Taqiyya Mockingbird.)
RE: Basis for Atheist Morality
(13-02-2014 09:16 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  I find it interesting how the majority of the responses are still focused on trying to turn the question around or trying to bash on religion.

I find it interesting how you try so hard to keep up this pretense of civility while trolling as hard as you can.


Quote:While there are certainly some of the atheists who seem to have a basis for their belief in morality, the method of response by the others indicates to me that many on here can't do so.

Troll.

Quote: Avoiding the question and throwing stones at religion seems to be a pretty good indication that they lack an answer.

Avoiding the rebuttals that are being handed you and throwing stones at ahtiests is a damn good indication that you are a troll.



Quote:Objective morality doesn't change from culture to culture. It is contextual, so can change with circumstance, but it doesn't change from culture to culture.

Objective morality is word salad. If it is "contextual", it can't be objective, period.

Quote:All that changes from culture to culture are those cultures' conceptions of morality. Slavery has always been wrong. The fact that people took power and used that power to convince others that it was morally right, doesn't change the fact that it was wrong.

It was right for the people who indulged in it. Which in the last several centuries consisted mainly of christians and deists who used their superstitious (religious) beliefs to justify slavery, BTW.

Quote:We have always had the tools to figure out what is morally right and wrong.

What "tools" are you claiming we had?

Quote:That is not changed by the fact that people do evil and convince others that it is good. That is why my creator's holy text (creation itself) cannot be forged by evil men, cannot be suppressed by them and is always available for anyone to see. It was always easy to see the pain on the faces of slaves. It was always easy to understand that you would not want someone to enslave you. So, it was always easy to understand that slavery was wrong.

You live in a fantasy world.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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13-02-2014, 08:19 PM
RE: Basis for Atheist Morality
(13-02-2014 10:31 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  5. What's with the Christian questions? I'm not Christian. I'm starting to think that a lot of people in these forums don't even know what a deist is.

Um how about because you keep pulling christian horseshit out of your ass and spouting it like a christian. If it it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and shits all sorts of christian snake oil bullshit like a duck...

[quote]
As a deist, I believe in the existence of a non-interventionist creator blah blah blah...[/quot]e

The act of "creating" itself would be interventionist. I've already brought that up with you, and you steadfastly ignore it like the fucking troll you are.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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13-02-2014, 08:24 PM
RE: Basis for Atheist Morality
(13-02-2014 08:09 PM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  
(13-02-2014 09:16 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  We have always had the tools to figure out what is morally right and wrong.

What "tools" are you claiming we had?


That's a good analogy, just not for the theist side,
We build on knowledge (tools) to know how to kill and skin an animal the most efficient way, so too we would have built up a tool kit , knowledge of dealing with each other in the most efficient way.
And this would be as little confrontation as possible, this would also explain why we can go ape shit and murder another group without any moral impedance because from an evolutionary stand point removing that tribe from your resources is beneficial.

Survival trumps morals, its just that morals are almost always more beneficial to survival.

Put 2 set of parents with children in a room with only 1 bottle of water for a day, see how long "gods" morals last.

Theism is to believe what other people claim, Atheism is to ask "why should I".
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13-02-2014, 08:26 PM (This post was last modified: 13-02-2014 08:30 PM by Taqiyya Mockingbird.)
RE: Basis for Atheist Morality
(13-02-2014 11:18 AM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  I disagree that contextual morality cannot be objective.

No surprise here that you would attempt to re-define your way out of the hole you dug yourself into.

Quote: The context only makes morality more complicated.

And less "objective", which is to say, not objective at all. Objectivity and subjectivity are like wine and sewage. You put a teaspoon of wine into a barrel of sewage and you get sewage. Put a teaspoon of sewage into a barrel of wine and you get sewage.

Quote:In my mind,

^^^^Therein lies the Problem....


Quote: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).

^^^^^ This is called an EQUIVOCATION FALLACY. You, like other theist fucktards before you, are attempting to define your problem away. It's not working.

Quote:Think of it likeblah blahblha...

No.


Quote:As for your 'special pleading' comments, you seem to just be saying that my 'opinion' or my 'beliefs' remain constant, with which I agree.


Oh, look -- a straw man!



Quote: I can assure you that people of this forum referring to my 'opinions' and 'beliefs' as a 'special pleading' are even more tiresome to me.


[Image: strawman-full.jpg?w=660]

Quote: Especially, because I spent so much time defending my positions with logical arguments.

When?


Quote: When is the last time you went to a theist or deist website and defended your beliefs against virtually everyone on that site at the same time?

You're the one who came here, troll. You might ask yourself what you think you are accomplishing here, besides making a perfect ass of yourself.

Quote:Btw, atheism requires just as much of a "special pleading" as deism....

Bullshit.


(13-02-2014 12:01 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  
(13-02-2014 09:35 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Intrinsic / objective is the very opposite of contextual / subjective but leaving that aside for a moment, if any of what you just wrote was really true, let's test it.

Let's take something that is objective... Black and White (absence of colour and all colours). Can black and white be contextual?

If creation is the basis of morality, then we should, as much as our current level of scientific discovery permits, be able to draw up a list of moral laws from creation, so...

Please can you extract some moral laws from the gravitational, electromagnetic, strong nuclear, and weak nuclear forces.

Thank you.

Imagine objective morality as a formula (much like the formulas that would apply to gravity, electromagnetism, etc):

M = A x I x C

M = morality of the action
A = the action itself (ie. punching someone)
I = the intention (ie. did you intend to punch the person)
C = context (ie. was there consent? were you defending someone?)


Where are you getting this shit from, your ass?


Quote:There is an objective answer in every situation, you just need to plug in the variables. Just because the formula is more complicated than M=A does not mean that it then becomes subjective.


You don't even know what "objective morality" is supposed to mean.


Quote:It's interesting to see where everyone's mind goes when I say the word 'creation'. Someone else's mind when to leaves falling from a tree. When I say 'creation' that includes everything in creation. This includes the study of humankind's history. This includes the study of biology.

Word. Salad.


Quote:Sure, in the broad sense you could say gravity has moral implications (ie. it is immoral to drop a rock when someone is underneath), but I think that is a bit of a stretch. The real morality comes from what your action did to the person down below (ie. biology) and what your intention was in doing so.

You really aren't saying anything at all.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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13-02-2014, 08:34 PM (This post was last modified: 13-02-2014 08:39 PM by Taqiyya Mockingbird.)
RE: Basis for Atheist Morality
(13-02-2014 12:18 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  
(13-02-2014 11:33 AM)Simon Moon Wrote:  No god required.

I've always hated how often that response is thrown out on these forums.

That's because it's fucking Game-Set-Match for you, Bucko.


Quote: It is simply assuming your conclusion (that there isn't a God).

No, it's not. The correct technical language would be "Q.E.D.".


Quote: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.

You can't explain the existence of the universe WITH a "god". And you can't explain how your "god" supposedly came into existence. It is NOT presumptuous or unfounded to point out that your god is a fucking fairy tale.


(13-02-2014 12:20 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  
(13-02-2014 12:15 PM)Simon Moon Wrote:  Look at that.

You just came up with a reasonable heuristic to figure out if an action is moral or not.

It takes into consideration what I've been saying all along, that morality is concerns the well being of other sentient beings. It also takes into consideration that each situation can be critically examined to determine the most moral action to take, after examining the variables as they concern the well being of others.

Where was your god in your formula?

He's the one who invented it.

How would you know such a thing? How would you know it wasn't the Flying Spaghetti Monster? You are simply pulling that shit out of your ass.




(13-02-2014 12:25 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  
(13-02-2014 11:36 AM)Simon Moon Wrote:  Oh...

You need to elaborate on this statement.


Please, I'll wait...

Atheism (as opposed to agnosticism) is the belief that there is no God.


It has been explained to you several times that this is a false statement, a straw man. Your continued use of this ad hoc assertion is nothing but trolling.


Quote:Therefore, the belief in atheism requires one to explain the existence of the universe without a sentient creator.

Atheism is not a belief. Atheism is merely pointing out that the Fucking Emperor has no Fucking Clothes.


Quote: Yet, atheists have absolutely zero way of doing so. Therefore, the belief in atheism (as opposed to agnosticism) requires a "special pleading" to explain how the universe can exist by only natural processes, when everything we know about natural processes shows us that none of those processes can be the cause.

Your claim above requires a fallacious Straw Man argument.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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13-02-2014, 08:42 PM
RE: Basis for Atheist Morality
(13-02-2014 01:26 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  
(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.

[Image: Scarecrow.jpg]







(13-02-2014 01:33 PM)lookingforanswers Wrote:  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.

That was not your OP question. And you asked about "objective" morality as a diversion from the mauling you were getting for the bullshit you tried to pull in your OP.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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