Christian vs. Humanist Morality
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05-12-2016, 01:01 PM (This post was last modified: 05-12-2016 01:28 PM by Mr. Boston.)
RE: Christian vs. Humanist Morality
As the parent of an almost-6-year-old and an 18-month-old I can offer the perspective that there has to be some combination of Method 1 (examples of why the rule is as it is) and Method 2 (because I said so) adjusted for the age and the maturity level of the child. Rules for an 18-month-old are mostly of the life/health preservation camp as opposed to behavioral. The toddler can NOT play with sharp knives, be unsupervised in the bath tub, etc. And the risks are too high to let them figure these rules out for themselves. But if they fart in front of their grandmother, or if they say "cock" instead of "sock" - no big deal. They're learning and there's little or no malice of forethought in their actions. I'm not saying they can't willfully get up to some mischief or even lying and misleading their parents in their responses to questions, I'm just saying that when they do something inappropriate it's usually because they don't know better, they're not being "bad" on purpose. They're just learning and at that developmental stage your primary functions as a parent are to help them learn, and keep them from drowning in the bathtub or getting electrocuted. They don't need to know WHY they can't touch the burner on the stove necessarily - they just need to KNOW they're not supposed to.

With kindergartners it's a whole different ball game. At this point the self-preservation instinct will have kicked in sufficiently that they UNDERSTAND it's in their own interest to look both ways before crossing the street. When they were 2 this was something you drilled into them but now they will have rationalized that it's a sensible cause-and-effect-related rule. At this point you can certainly start explaining to a kid WHY certain rules are in place, why certain actions are right and wrong. But you must still be the ultimate authority in the case of any gray area. My son is smart - he'll find the loopholes, lol. Sometimes I'll acknowledge to Ben that he's made a very well thought out argument, and that I appreciate his efforts, but that the answer is still no.

I also believe in a measured amount of trial and error - whereby they can try (within reason) to push boundaries and also suffer reasonable consequences. Discipline is only half of it though. They also need to appreciate the positive consequences of hard work - not just the negative consequences of breaking the rules in some way. They have to have not only an appreciation for what can go wrong when they ignore the rules, but also an appreciation for what will happen when they work hard and make good choices.

I think in the end kids need to recognize that you have the authority to make the final decisions but that you will listen to their side of the story and you will be fair. I think this is a good attitude for kids to bring into adulthood regarding a respect for the rules. They should know how to defend themselves and make their case, but also be prepared to not get the desired outcome on occasion.
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05-12-2016, 01:07 PM
RE: Christian vs. Humanist Morality
So to sum up the post above, I guess it's a choice between a god that treats you like a toddler and secular/civil authorities that treat you like a kindergartner, lol.
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05-12-2016, 01:24 PM (This post was last modified: 05-12-2016 01:29 PM by Tomasia.)
RE: Christian vs. Humanist Morality
(05-12-2016 12:35 PM)Astreja Wrote:  Wow. You got that completely ass-backwards.

As an actual humanist (makes mental note to renew membership in local association), I can tell you that the reason I don't do X is that I know it makes other people feel bad, not because it makes Me feel bad. (The fact that the thought of hurting someone is unpleasant is reinforcement, not the cause, for My morality.)

Does it make you feel bad when you make other people feel bad?

Why do you avoid making people feel bad?

When it comes to non-human animals, like my dog for instance, it's fairly clear that the behaviors he avoids, and exhibits, are condition by whatever biological sensations are produced by them. Behaviors that produce negative sensations are to be avoided, ones that produce positive sensations, like the ones that light the reward center in his brain, are to be repeated. In fact when training my dog, to repeat certain behavior, it's important to reward him for this behavior, so that the reward center of his brain lights up when repeating the behavior I'm trying to instill in him.

Yet perhaps you think it's different in regards to you avoiding making people feel bad, or in regards to making others feel good? That it's not about the positive sensations/ feeling produced in you by behaving certain ways, and the negative sensations /feelings associate with behaving other ways.

Though I'm curious to hear you explain what this elusive difference is, what the elusive quality present in you is, and unlikely not present in my dog, or other animals.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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05-12-2016, 01:52 PM
RE: Christian vs. Humanist Morality
Tomasia - don't you think there's a difference though between human and vertebrate animal morality? I mean with a dog all you're really doing is directing behavior. Yes, you want them to be happy and enjoy their lives but whether or not they understand WHY they should sit, roll-over, give their paw, etc. doesn't really matter. They get their satisfaction and fulfillment in life by following your commands, by simply being a "good dog" and being part of the pack.

It's a little more complex with humans right? I mean sure - a society of people who follow the rules and pursue the greater good (or at least do the least possible harm) is its own reward. But what's the best way to motivate that - by appealing to an unseen divine authority and by manipulating people in their fear of that deity? Or is it better to develop people to understand right and wrong to the best of their own natural ability and hope they will simply choose to do good because it's better?
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05-12-2016, 02:18 PM
RE: Christian vs. Humanist Morality
(05-12-2016 01:24 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  When it comes to non-human animals, like my dog for instance, it's fairly clear that the behaviors he avoids, and exhibits, are condition by whatever biological sensations are produced by them... I'm curious to hear you explain what this elusive difference is, what the elusive quality present in you is, and unlikely not present in my dog, or other animals.

Well, I suppose I could launch into a highly technical description of neurological differences between dogs and the higher primates, and natter on about mirror neurons and the existence of brain structures in humans and other apes that allow us to deal in abstractions, hypotheticals, and possible consequences of a situation.

When it really gets down to it, though, as to motivations I don't see much difference at all between the religious and the non-religious humanists. I'm going to give you credit here by assuming that your beliefs are not predicated on a trained behaviour whereby you believe and behave solely to avoid being punished by your god. I'm going to assume you emphasize with Jesus much as I would emphasize with an old lady trying to push a shopping cart with her belongings down a snow-clogged sidewalk. Consider that as surely as you can imagine the crown of thorns and the nails in his hands, I can imagine her weariness and pain, soaking wet and chilled to the bone and with no safe place to spend the night.

All I'm doing is looking directly at humanity without filtering it through religion.
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05-12-2016, 02:25 PM
RE: Christian vs. Humanist Morality
Rolleyes Tommy stinks up another thread.

Go on then Tommy, instead of being a dick why don't you tell us what's so good about your morality, that maintains "goodness" with the threat of punishment. Are you "good" because you innately prefer not to be a total prick (not you, but people who follow Christian morality in general), or because you fear punishment if you *are* a total prick? Are you like so many others of your ilk, who take delight in the nastiness they *are* allowed to practice, like discriminating against homosexuals? God specifically says to do that, remember - "homosexuality is an abomination", where he's totally silent about for example, not raping people. The only caveat with raping a girl is that you might have to marry her.

Fucken nice morality you've got there mate Thumbsup

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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05-12-2016, 02:29 PM
RE: Christian vs. Humanist Morality
(05-12-2016 02:25 PM)morondog Wrote:  Rolleyes Tommy stinks up another thread.

Go on then Tommy, instead of being a dick why don't you tell us what's so good about your morality, that maintains "goodness" with the threat of punishment. Are you "good" because you innately prefer not to be a total prick (not you, but people who follow Christian morality in general), or because you fear punishment if you *are* a total prick? Are you like so many others of your ilk, who take delight in the nastiness they *are* allowed to practice, like discriminating against homosexuals? God specifically says to do that, remember - "homosexuality is an abomination", where he's totally silent about for example, not raping people. The only caveat with raping a girl is that you might have to marry her.

Fucken nice morality you've got there mate Thumbsup

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05-12-2016, 02:35 PM
RE: Christian vs. Humanist Morality
(04-12-2016 03:45 PM)666wannabe Wrote:  Is there such a thing as a Christian Nihilist?

Blush

#sigh
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05-12-2016, 02:42 PM
RE: Christian vs. Humanist Morality
(05-12-2016 02:18 PM)Astreja Wrote:  Well, I suppose I could launch into a highly technical description of neurological differences between dogs and the higher primates, and natter on about mirror neurons and the existence of brain structures in humans and other apes that allow us to deal in abstractions, hypotheticals, and possible consequences of a situation.

If you imagine your moral impulses, are different than other animals, that perhaps human creatures are unique in this regard, I'm sure I won't be the only one who would like to hear about these difference. Evolution has had 3 millions years shaping are biological history, and our human linage is only a small fraction of that history.

You don't have to go into technical description, you just have to answer some seemingly basic questions, such as why do you as a biological creature avoid harming others? Is it not a matter of physiological processes, as is evidently the case when it comes to other animals?

Quote:I'm going to give you credit here by assuming that your beliefs are not predicated on a trained behaviour whereby you believe and behave solely to avoid being punished by your god. I'm going to assume you emphasize with Jesus much as I would emphasize with an old lady trying to push a shopping cart with her belongings down a snow-clogged sidewalk. Consider that as surely as you can imagine the crown of thorns and the nails in his hands, I can imagine her weariness and pain, soaking wet and chilled to the bone and with no safe place to spend the night.

I don't recall saying much of anything about my religious views here, which would be better off being treated as a complicated and convoluted mess, rather than devoting your time to make sense of. In reality they're likely more aligned with a materialist perspective, than the sort of non-sense composed by humanist. More likely to find a parallel between being human, and being a dog, or an ape, than yours, that wants to argue for that elusive unique ingredient.

Quote:All I'm doing is looking directly at humanity without filtering it through religion.

It might not be filtered to whats called religion, it's likely filtered through your own liberal/humanistic, western lenses, and fundamentally false.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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05-12-2016, 02:59 PM
RE: Christian vs. Humanist Morality
(05-12-2016 02:42 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  It might not be filtered to whats called religion, it's likely filtered through your own liberal/humanistic, western lenses, and fundamentally false.

Laughat Fundamentally false huh? Like fairy stories about Jesus?

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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