Do we as atheists REALLY have any basis for morals?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 1 Votes - 5 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
08-12-2014, 01:59 AM
RE: Do we as atheists REALLY have any basis for morals?
(08-12-2014 01:20 AM)tear151 Wrote:  
(06-12-2014 04:47 PM)pablo Wrote:  I don't think objective morals exist, whether you think they came from a god or wherever.
Why do you assume I'm trying to enforce my subjective morals on the world?

If someone told they found there to be no problem with murder, would you say that thats just their subjective values, or would you tell them that this is immoral, if you went for the second you believe your standards to have some sort of primacy, some sort of objectivity.

You can make objective distinctions along a scale or metric, even if that scale or metric relies upon a subjective valuation.

If your morals are derived from gauging the suffering of sentient beings that is caused or alleviated, then some actions will objectively cause greater net suffering (and thus being more immoral along this scale) than other actions. That doesn't make morality built upon suffering any more universally 'objective' than one built upon fear of not pissing off god, but within its own metric, you can attempt to make objective choices.

Case in point, along the scale of human suffering, murder (the killing of another human being other than for self defense or on accident) is immoral. However along a scale of not pissing off your god, killing particular types of people could be seen as very moral if you think it pleases your god (i.e. when Yahweh supposedly ordered the Jews to genocide other tribes and 'it was good'). Different metrics will lead to different moral conclusions, because ultimately, morality is subjective and dependent upon creatures with enough cognitive abilities to contemplate such things. Now we can argue about which system is better, and ostensibly if both sides claim to value reason and evidence, then those making the 'suffering' based arguments should win the argument over the 'fearing god's wrath' camp; but neither is objectively more correct than the other in any universal or cosmic sense (unlike physics, where special relativity is objectively more accurate at mapping and predicting the movement of planets in our soar system than classic Newtonian mechanics). Whichever one has more followers will hold more sway in a society or group, simple as that. Why else would people disagreeing about these things so often lead to the creation of splinter groups and factions? They're rejecting the majority consensus, and forming a new one among their own group; because within their newly minted group they now hold the majority opinion and can act accordingly.

But once again, morality and ethics would not apply to a universe comprised entirely of nothing but rocks.

[Image: E3WvRwZ.gif]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
08-12-2014, 02:10 AM (This post was last modified: 08-12-2014 02:19 AM by tear151.)
RE: Do we as atheists REALLY have any basis for morals?
(08-12-2014 01:59 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(08-12-2014 01:20 AM)tear151 Wrote:  If someone told they found there to be no problem with murder, would you say that thats just their subjective values, or would you tell them that this is immoral, if you went for the second you believe your standards to have some sort of primacy, some sort of objectivity.

You can make objective distinctions along a scale or metric, even if that scale or metric relies upon a subjective valuation.

If your morals are derived from gauging the suffering of sentient beings that is caused or alleviated, then some actions will objectively cause greater net suffering (and thus being more immoral along this scale) than other actions. That doesn't make morality built upon suffering any more universally 'objective' than one built upon fear of not pissing off god, but within its own metric, you can attempt to make objective choices.

Case in point, along the scale of human suffering, murder (the killing of another human being other than for self defense or on accident) is immoral. However along a scale of not pissing off your god, killing particular types of people could be seen as very moral if you think it pleases your god (i.e. when Yahweh supposedly ordered the Jews to genocide other tribes and 'it was good'). Different metrics will lead to different moral conclusions, because ultimately, morality is subjective and dependent upon creatures with enough cognitive abilities to contemplate such things. Now we can argue about which system is better, and ostensibly if both sides claim to value reason and evidence, then those making the 'suffering' based arguments should win the argument over the 'fearing god's wrath' camp; but neither is objectively more correct than the other in any universal or cosmic sense (unlike physics, where special relativity is objectively more accurate at mapping and predicting the movement of planets in our soar system than classic Newtonian mechanics). Whichever one has more followers will hold more sway in a society or group, simple as that. Why else would people disagreeing about these things so often lead to the creation of splinter groups and factions? They're rejecting the majority consensus, and forming a new one among their own group; because within their newly minted group they now hold the majority opinion and can act accordingly.

But once again, morality and ethics would not apply to a universe comprised entirely of nothing but rocks.

How do you justify the system you use, and why cant I reject it? If no system is more.correct than any other you agree with my original point, its all emitional and arbitrary, you have no rational reason to be moral.

"A witty quote means nothing"
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
08-12-2014, 02:29 AM
RE: Do we as atheists REALLY have any basis for morals?
(08-12-2014 01:20 AM)tear151 Wrote:  
(06-12-2014 04:47 PM)pablo Wrote:  I don't think objective morals exist, whether you think they came from a god or wherever.
Why do you assume I'm trying to enforce my subjective morals on the world?

If someone told they found there to be no problem with murder, would you say that thats just their subjective values, or would you tell them that this is immoral, if you went for the second you believe your standards to have some sort of primacy, some sort of objectivity.

In the context of an everyday conversation, my first reaction probably would be to say that murder is wrong.
In the context of a discussion about morality (which is what we are having) then I would say it's their subjective values.
Having laws and rules that make sense for the common good of the population as a whole are not objective, or god given.
They are decided upon through the morality of the people who make up that society.
Not murdering each other is just a good policy for a productive society. It isn't difficult to come to that conclusion without devine mandates.
If I were to see someone get murdered, I could conclude fairly quickly that the victim probably didn't enjoy being murdered.
Following along that line of thinking, I could be reasonably sure that most people would not enjoy being murdered. I can assure you I would not like it.
Now at some time in the distant past, a group of early humans got together with their monkey brains and crude communication skills and decided that it would be best for all involved if we didn't run around bashing each other's heads in.
This was done subjectively by the group, for the group, using logic and reason.
This may have the appearance of objectivity simply because it's been accepted for so long. A "given" if you will.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
08-12-2014, 03:07 AM
RE: Do we as atheists REALLY have any basis for morals?
(08-12-2014 02:29 AM)pablo Wrote:  
(08-12-2014 01:20 AM)tear151 Wrote:  If someone told they found there to be no problem with murder, would you say that thats just their subjective values, or would you tell them that this is immoral, if you went for the second you believe your standards to have some sort of primacy, some sort of objectivity.

In the context of an everyday conversation, my first reaction probably would be to say that murder is wrong.
In the context of a discussion about morality (which is what we are having) then I would say it's their subjective values.
Having laws and rules that make sense for the common good of the population as a whole are not objective, or god given.
They are decided upon through the morality of the people who make up that society.
Not murdering each other is just a good policy for a productive society. It isn't difficult to come to that conclusion without devine mandates.
If I were to see someone get murdered, I could conclude fairly quickly that the victim probably didn't enjoy being murdered.
Following along that line of thinking, I could be reasonably sure that most people would not enjoy being murdered. I can assure you I would not like it.
Now at some time in the distant past, a group of early humans got together with their monkey brains and crude communication skills and decided that it would be best for all involved if we didn't run around bashing each other's heads in.
This was done subjectively by the group, for the group, using logic and reason.
This may have the appearance of objectivity simply because it's been accepted for so long. A "given" if you will.

Why not simply convince others to follow the system but you dont? Why not sophistry?

"A witty quote means nothing"
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
08-12-2014, 03:25 AM
RE: Do we as atheists REALLY have any basis for morals?
(08-12-2014 01:25 AM)tear151 Wrote:  
(07-12-2014 09:49 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Re-reading the OP now. I think you're right. I had that suspicion with the presupps expressed in the OP, but now with none of the questions being answered, it's pretty obvious.

Dear Lard and Savior, Jebus, will no one save us from these meddlesome fools ?
The "we need a gawd to produce morality" is a version of : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirming_the_consequent fallacy.

Even with God you cant have objective morals, what gives the deity any primacy in its opinions?

You answer ALL my questions and points first, and I'll think about answering yours.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Bucky Ball's post
08-12-2014, 03:26 AM (This post was last modified: 08-12-2014 03:29 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Do we as atheists REALLY have any basis for morals?
(08-12-2014 02:10 AM)tear151 Wrote:  How do you justify the system you use, and why cant I reject it? If no system is more.correct[sic] than any other you agree with my original point, its all emitional[sic] and arbitrary, you have no rational reason to be moral.

Are you trying to be purposely obtuse, or is a gift? Consider

Of course you can reject it, but if enough people in our group agree with me, we can and will impose the consensus upon you. This is why a crazy person can, and will, be prosecuted in civilized societies for premeditated murder if they actually listen to the voices in their head and kill their neighbors to appease said voices.

That being said, we do have a number of evolutionary bred predispositions that guide a majority of our species towards a few broad trends that have proven to be advantageous to our survival and propagation, such as empathy and social cohesion. Now if you layer upon that an education, a valuation of reason, logic, critical thought, and a desire for the truth; and you'll probably end up as something that can be classified as secular humanism. If however you layer upon that basis an emphasis on in-group-out-group thinking, fear of the other, and unquestioning respect of authority; then you might end up with something like Catholicism or fascism.

Does this make it all emotional and arbitrary? Fuck no you ignoramus. Facepalm

We value logic and reason because they have a consistent track record of working and providing useful explanations. Reason and logic gets shit done, and gets it done right. So valuing reason and logic is not arbitrary, but not valuing it may be irrational and emotional (see: religion).

So if you're educated enough to contemplate how societies are a mass of cause and effect interactions, how cooperative behavior tends to elevate the entire group better than being a selfish asshole, and if you have enough empathy and education to both understand and value how your actions affect more than just yourself; then it is very easy to build a logically consistent and reasoned morality, and doing so would be in both the best interest of yourself and your society (provided your interest is in the improvement, continuation, and propagation of yourself, your family, and your society).

That you so steadfastly cannot, or simply refuse to, understand this very simply concept speaks to your breathtaking inanity.

[Image: E3WvRwZ.gif]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 5 users Like EvolutionKills's post
08-12-2014, 03:46 AM
RE: Do we as atheists REALLY have any basis for morals?
(08-12-2014 03:07 AM)tear151 Wrote:  
(08-12-2014 02:29 AM)pablo Wrote:  In the context of an everyday conversation, my first reaction probably would be to say that murder is wrong.
In the context of a discussion about morality (which is what we are having) then I would say it's their subjective values.
Having laws and rules that make sense for the common good of the population as a whole are not objective, or god given.
They are decided upon through the morality of the people who make up that society.
Not murdering each other is just a good policy for a productive society. It isn't difficult to come to that conclusion without devine mandates.
If I were to see someone get murdered, I could conclude fairly quickly that the victim probably didn't enjoy being murdered.
Following along that line of thinking, I could be reasonably sure that most people would not enjoy being murdered. I can assure you I would not like it.
Now at some time in the distant past, a group of early humans got together with their monkey brains and crude communication skills and decided that it would be best for all involved if we didn't run around bashing each other's heads in.
This was done subjectively by the group, for the group, using logic and reason.
This may have the appearance of objectivity simply because it's been accepted for so long. A "given" if you will.

Why not simply convince others to follow the system but you dont? Why not sophistry?

Well, yea anyone could do that if they think they're above the law. Like a Pope hiding pedophile priests from prosecution for instance. There are still consequences.
This only further proves morality is subject to human thought.
Atheist aren't any more or less moral than anyone else.
It's when you you start down the path of objective morality that you start veering into the supernatural.
This is where I, as an atheist, head for the path of what is more likely to be true.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like pablo's post
08-12-2014, 03:51 AM
RE: Do we as atheists REALLY have any basis for morals?
(08-12-2014 01:42 AM)tear151 Wrote:  
(07-12-2014 08:13 PM)Stuffed_Assumption_Meringue Wrote:  That does not answer the question. Not even close.

Yes youre right, it is still irrational, but humans arent rational, if we were completly rational wed be in a constant catatonic statevas wed have no drives. The difference is though that a morality makes claims about the world, saying murder is wrong supposes some property on murder called wrongness, my system is entirely internal.

The fuck does having an "entirely internal system" even mean?

Your system makes claims about the world as well. "This result is a desirable outcome" is a claim.

Soulless mutants of muscle and intent. There are billions of us; hardy, smart and dangerous. Shaped by millions of years of death. We are the definitive alpha predator. We build monsters of fire and stone. We bottled the sun. We nailed our god to a stick.

In man's struggle against the world, bet on the man.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Stuffed_Assumption_Meringue's post
08-12-2014, 04:40 AM
RE: Do we as atheists REALLY have any basis for morals?
(08-12-2014 02:10 AM)tear151 Wrote:  How do you justify the system you use, and why cant I reject it? If no system is more.correct than any other you agree with my original point, its all emitional and arbitrary, you have no rational reason to be moral.

Yes, you have a rational reason to be moral - consequences. If you have trouble understanding empathy, then at least understand there are consequences to our actions. If you make choices that offend the in-group, you'll find yourself having a hard time finding the resources required for success. Not every sociopath has a fetish for murder, btw. Not every person lacking empathy meets the criteria for the diagnosis of Antisocial Personal Disorder (it's a disorder because it inhibits your ability to be functional). You can make choices that don't have negative consequences even if lacking in empathy.

Play nice with others and they'll usually play nice with you. When someone doesn't play nice with me, I remember. And if you think I'm going to go out of my way to help you when you've fucked me over in the past, you'll be sorely disappointed. I see it as an exchange of goods - even anonymous acts of kindness. I prefer everyone to play nice, keeps things calm and productive.

"If there's a single thing that life teaches us, it's that wishing doesn't make it so." - Lev Grossman
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 6 users Like Nurse's post
08-12-2014, 05:22 AM
RE: Do we as atheists REALLY have any basis for morals?
(06-12-2014 04:39 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  If you reject all morals, what is it that directs your actions towards others?
Self interest.

You don't do something because it is the right thing to do, you don't do it because you want to be a good person. You can't, because there is no right and wrong, no good and bad.

When your motivation isn't based on morality you instead act out of self interest.
You don't become a psychopath because that would lead to prison or lead to others incapacitating you which is not in your own best self interest.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Stevil's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: