From Deism to Atheism
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05-05-2015, 09:25 PM
RE: From Deism to Atheism
(05-05-2015 03:58 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Empathy is an emotion correct?

...

My questions are primarily about empathy, and in particularly in regards to situations that might illicit yours, and how you would respond to those scenarios. My empathy would cause me to desire to intervene to save these peoples lives, would yours? With this sort of intervention be something you support, particularly if one can do so non-violently?
Do you think empathy is a link to this objective moral standard?
If two people have different empathy reactions does this blow that idea away or do you get to declare that one of the people's empathy is broken?
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06-05-2015, 12:50 AM
RE: From Deism to Atheism
You say the following:
(04-05-2015 05:48 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(04-05-2015 05:06 PM)Stevil Wrote:  e.g.
Lying
Premarital sex
prostitution
masturbation
gay marriage
abortion
Polygamy

When I speak of moral truths, i'm not claiming that the acknowledgement of these this equates to knowing whether any of the above mentioned things are right or wrong. I'm speaking of some basic principles often acknowledge by both parties, regardless of which side their own. Both sides of the abortion debate acknowledge that murder is wrong, taking a person's life is wrong, the arguments is whether or not a fetus is a person, or whether abortion is murder. An acknowledge of this basic principles doesn't mean that we know which side of the debate is correct, or that everyday moral questions are black and white.
So it seems to me that you agree that we cannot know if an action is moral or not. This is what most people would consider to be the "moral facts"
You however are focusing on the principles underlying the unknowable alleged "moral facts"
But many people disagree on the principles (or moral yardstick).
Catholics deem that their yardstick is whatever their god says is right and whatever god says is wrong (based on their interpretation of the bible plus their "special" guidance by god)
They tend to stick to traditions and winge about sanctity yadda yadda. Hence they think sex is only for procreation, they think procreation can only be due to sex (i.e. no IVF), they say marriage can only be one man, one woman. Hell, they even think it is immoral not to believe in their god.
Kant the philosopher had his special imperatives.
Sam Harris basis his off human suffering.
Ayn Rand considered it immoral to do things that didn't benefit the self.
Me, I don't consider morality to have any truth.

So it seems the moral yardstick isn't self evident.
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06-05-2015, 06:12 AM
RE: From Deism to Atheism
Quote:Catholics deem that their yardstick is whatever their god says is right and whatever god says is wrong (based on their interpretation of the bible plus their "special" guidance by god

Clearly you don't know what catholic beliefs, are lol, even though you may have hung around a catholic forum for a bit.

They don't even put as much stock in the bible, as other believers do, often placing other foundational text, like the writings of Aquinas as just as valuable. Catholicism views on morality are dependent on the natural law tradition, which traces all the way back to early pre-christian greek thought.
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06-05-2015, 06:46 AM
RE: From Deism to Atheism
(06-05-2015 12:50 AM)Stevil Wrote:  So it seems to me that you agree that we cannot know if an action is moral or not. This is what most people would consider to be the "moral facts"

There about certain principles, know to all of us, self-evident, they're not culturally produced. And these principles are foundation principles, that are in the background here. One way to understand what I mean it's not about lying be wrong, but why lying is wrong. When you ask secondary questions, you might not be cognizant of principles in background there.


But going back to the self-evident part, the example here would be the Amazonian tribe. You acknowledged that the woman from the tribe who saw the act as wrong, likely derived this sense of wrong from he empathy, that led her not only to save the child, but to see the actions of her tribe as a wrong, that the child is not a dog, but like every other child. It's the second part that's interesting here. It's not as if she just felt empathy for the child and saved it, but she sees the very act that her tribe did as wrong. And not just that, she recognized the lie behind their actions, that the child is not a dog, but a child like every other child. She knows that murdering an innocent child is wrong.

Self-evident means not only that she knows this, but that her murdering tribe knows this as well. How do I know that they know this? Because there are telltales, in order for them to kill the child, they have to claim he's not a child, but a dog. Because to recognize he is a child, would mean to confront the wrongness of their dead. They have deny reality itself, and it's this reality that they deny which is a truth.

There a long history of this basic pathology of the tribe, the role of deception, dehumanization, etc...

"To say that these principles are the same for all “as to rectitude” means that they are right for everyone; in other words, deliberately taking innocent human life....are as wrong for me as they are for you, no matter what either of us believes. To say that they are the same for all “as to knowledge” means that at some level, everyone knows them; even the murderer knows the wrong of murder....He may say that he doesn’t, but he does. There are no real moral skeptics; supposed skeptics are playing make-believe, and doing it badly."

Budziszewski, J (2011-02-16). What We Cant Not Know (p. 3). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.

This seems to be true, that you're nor really a moral skeptic, your just playing make-believe, and doing it badly.

"As I say, once upon a time a thinker who wrote such words could expect nearly everyone to agree. And nearly everyone did. The Christians agreed, the Jews agreed, and the Muslims agreed. Moreover, they could call to their support the consensus of the rest of the human race. One might search the wide world over for a people who did not know the moral basics, but one would fail. To be sure, the wide world over people also carved out excuses for themselves. I must not take innocent human life—but only my tribe is human..
.....And so, not only was moral knowledge universal, but the determination to play tricks on moral knowledge was universal, too. A law was written on the heart of man, but it was everywhere entangled with the evasions and subterfuges of men. Even so that law endured; and even so it was seen to endure."

Budziszewski, J (2011-02-16). What We Cant Not Know (p. 4). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.


Quote:So it seems the moral yardstick isn't self evident.

It's not about yardstick but why we are measuring in the first place. I'm not sure how wrongness of taking an innocent child's life equated to a yardstick.
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06-05-2015, 06:57 AM (This post was last modified: 06-05-2015 07:44 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: From Deism to Atheism
(05-05-2015 09:25 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Do you think empathy is a link to this objective moral standard?

I think empathy can play a part in recognizing moral facts, like the woman from the Amazon tribe, and not so much in regards to her saving the child, but in relationship to recognizing the wrongest of the tribes actions, and the reality of what they were in fact doing.

Quote:If two people have different empathy reactions does this blow that idea away or do you get to declare that one of the people's empathy is broken?

You mean like if two people felt empathy for the child, one just rescuing the child, the other butchering the entire tribe, but preserving the children, something along those lines? If so, no. Because I'm not talking about the action itself, of rescuing the child, but the recognition of wrongness, that taking a child's life is wrong. Her empathy assisted in recognizing the lie that the tribe built it's actions on. Something being wrong, and what's the best course for dealing with it, are different questions.

It could just be that someone recognized the wrongness of taking the child's life, and did nothing at all, out of fear of the tribe, out of a desire to preserve their autonomy, not meddling in their business, etc....
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06-05-2015, 01:16 PM
RE: From Deism to Atheism
(06-05-2015 06:12 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
Quote:Catholics deem that their yardstick is whatever their god says is right and whatever god says is wrong (based on their interpretation of the bible plus their "special" guidance by god

Clearly you don't know what catholic beliefs, are lol, even though you may have hung around a catholic forum for a bit.

They don't even put as much stock in the bible, as other believers do, often placing other foundational text, like the writings of Aquinas as just as valuable. Catholicism views on morality are dependent on the natural law tradition, which traces all the way back to early pre-christian greek thought.
I don't claim to be an expert on Catholic mythology.

Catholics are supposed to think how the Church tells them to think. The church tells them they are infallible on such matters.
The Church uses the bible and their "special" guidance from god.
Yes, they do have a warped concept of natural rights, but this whole Catholic thing shows that this yardstick is not self evident as you put it. If it were self evident then the Catholic followers would have no use for the church. Also there wouldn't be all the multitudes of denominations and religions spouting different things. It appears they all have a different take.
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06-05-2015, 01:42 PM
RE: From Deism to Atheism
(06-05-2015 06:46 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Because there are telltales, in order for them to kill the child, they have to claim he's not a child, but a dog. Because to recognize he is a child, would mean to confront the wrongness of their dead. They have deny reality itself, and it's this reality that they deny which is a truth.
A human is no different to a dog regarding universal value. It is no more wrong to kill a human than it is to kill a dog. Your view is a human perspective, subjective to humanity.

From my perspective an unborn is a human being, a person, is a living entity right from the point of conception. I completely recognise it as a living human being (person). I have no problems whatsoever with mothers choosing to to kill their unborn. They do not have to have any justification whatsoever.

I have no problems whatsoever with an Amazonian tribe killing their own babies, they do not have to justify their actions to me.

I have no fears reqarding any sentient aliens behaving immorally on their own planet. I have no problems with it whatsoever.

(06-05-2015 06:46 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  This seems to be true, that you're nor really a moral skeptic, your just playing make-believe, and doing it badly.
Don't be a douche, If you continue to be a douche I will see no value in continuing to converse with you.

My pertinent position is this:
Moral truths are undiscoverable.
An objective moral yardstick is undiscoverable.
Most people's moral beliefs seem to be focused on humans, this is not a coincidence. (Humans don't hold a special place in the universe)
Feelings of emotions and guilt are not indicators of objective morality. Different people have different emotional reactions to the same event.
People creating justifications for themselves in order to address their own emotional feelings of guilt is not an indicator of objective morality. It is merely a reaction to their own personal beliefs.


(06-05-2015 06:46 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
Quote:So it seems the moral yardstick isn't self evident.

It's not about yardstick but why we are measuring in the first place. I'm not sure how wrongness of taking an innocent child's life equated to a yardstick.
Can you please clarify what exactly it is that you claim to be self evident?
Moral facts or moral yardstick?

Whichever one is self evident can you please tell me what the answer is.
What are the moral facts?
What is the moral yardstick?
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06-05-2015, 01:46 PM
RE: From Deism to Atheism
(06-05-2015 06:57 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  You mean like if two people felt empathy for the child, one just rescuing the child, the other butchering the entire tribe,
Try this.
Woman A has an abortion
Woman X is shocked, she is shaken and considers that a murder has just happened.
Woman Y doesn't really care but is grateful that safe abortions are provided for those that want them.
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06-05-2015, 06:50 PM (This post was last modified: 06-05-2015 07:05 PM by Tomasia.)
RE: From Deism to Atheism
(06-05-2015 01:42 PM)Stevil Wrote:  A human is no different to a dog regarding universal value. It is no more wrong to kill a human than it is to kill a dog. Your view is a human perspective, subjective to humanity.

I think you’re not particularly noting what’s taking place in regards to the tribe, or you are but are not acknowledging it. The reason for seeing a handicap child as a dog, is not for taxonomical purposes. All children are not seen as dogs, only handicap children. The purpose of the tribe seeing them as “dogs”, or classifying them as dogs, is for the sake of dehumanizing them. Children are worthy of life, but the handicap ones are not, because they’re not really children.

The purpose of this dehumanization, is to get over a hurdle, and I’m not sure you recognize this or not. Both the Amazonia tribe, and the woman from the tribe who saved the child, recognize that taking the life of a child is wrong. But the tribe justifies their actions by claiming that the handicap child, is not a child, a lie, while the the woman who rescued the child, recognizes the truth, that it is a child.

You do recognize this correct? This pathology, this false justification, this perception by both parties that taking the life of a child is wrong? If you do, are you just saying that you don’t believe this is an indicator, or suggestive of moral facts? That the wrongness even if mutually recognized here, is illusory?

Quote:From my perspective an unborn is a human being, a person, is a living entity right from the point of conception. I completely recognise it as a living human being (person). I have no problems whatsoever with mothers choosing to to kill their unborn. They do not have to have any justification whatsoever.

Because in the end it is their own body, and they should have the freedom to decide what they want to do with it?

Quote:I have no problems whatsoever with an Amazonian tribe killing their own babies, they do not have to justify their actions to me.

Would you have a problem if it was occurring in NZ, if similar practices of infanticide were made legal? Is it just a matter that it’s of no concern since it’s occurring in another country, but it would be a problem if it was occurring in yours?

Quote:Don't be a douche, If you continue to be a douche I will see no value in continuing to converse with you.

Point taken, I apologize.

Quote:Can you please clarify what exactly it is that you claim to be self evident?
Moral facts or moral yardstick?

Moral facts

Quote:Whichever one is self evident can you please tell me what the answer is.
What are the moral facts?

In our discussion they are wrongs that have universal recognition, that are not dependent on ones cultures, or upbringing to recognize, like torturing an innocent baby just for fun, like killing an innocent child. They are recognized even by those who often commit these actions, often revealing a series of telltale signs that they do, such as guilt, depression, a sense of defect, a compulsion to rationalize, or a puzzling desire to be caught, etc…

……………………………..

A person who supports abortion, might even recognize that abortion is in fact killing an innocent child, and though this is wrong, they may hold that a women should have autonomy over her own body. It’s sort of like agreeing that though having an affair is wrong, it shouldn’t be illegal.

Or a person could recognize that the practice of infanticide by the amazonian tribe is wrong, but yet we might hold that we should respect the autonomy of the tribe, and not be intervening foreigners.

I do have a question for you though, do you sympathize with the amazonian woman who rescued the child, do you feel you share her sense of empathy for the handicap child? Or do you find yourself not sharing this at all? If you recognize her empathy as leading her to perceiving certain things as wrong, even if it's illusory, does you empathy not lead you to perceive the illusory wrong? Or does yours work differently than hers?

Quote:What is the moral yardstick?

I don’t know, that seems to be a term you introduced. At from what I gather it seems to be about deciding at which point should one intervene, should our government and law enforcement be involved. But I’m not too sure.
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06-05-2015, 07:51 PM
RE: From Deism to Atheism
I have one other question, as I recall you stated prior to lacking a belief in morality, you accepted moral relativism. And viewed abortion as immoral. Why did you view abortion as immoral at that time?
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