From Deism to Atheism
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08-05-2015, 06:18 AM
RE: From Deism to Atheism
I think Michael Ruse was interesting here, who also agrees that morality is an illusion, but I'm wondering if you agree with his views as well:

"The answer is that there are no grounds whatsoever for being good. There is no celestial headmaster who is going to give you six (or six billion, billion, billion) of the best if you are bad. Morality is flimflam.

Does this mean that you can just go out and rape and pillage, behave like an ancient Roman grabbing Sabine women? Not at all. I said that there are no grounds for being good. It doesn't follow that you should be bad. Indeed, there are those – and I am one – who argue that only by recognising the death of God can we possibly do that which we should, and behave properly to our fellow humans and perhaps save the planet that we all share......Start with the fact that humans are naturally moral beings. We want to get along with our fellows. We care about our families. And we feel that we should put our hands in our pockets for the widows and orphans. This is not a matter of chance or even of culture primarily. Humans as animals have gone the route of sociality. We succeed, each of us individually, because we are part of a greater whole and that whole is a lot better at surviving and reproducing that most other animals."

"Morality is just a matter of emotions, like liking ice cream and sex and hating toothache and marking student papers. But it is, and has to be, a funny kind of emotion. It has to pretend that it is not that at all! If we thought that morality was no more than liking or not liking spinach, then pretty quickly it would break down. Before long, we would find ourselves saying something like: "Well, morality is a jolly good thing from a personal point of view. When I am hungry or sick, I can rely on my fellow humans to help me. But really it is all bullshit, so when they need help I can and should avoid putting myself out. There is nothing there for me." The trouble is that everyone would start saying this, and so very quickly there would be no morality and society would collapse and each and every one of us would suffer.

So morality has to come across as something that is more than emotion. It has to appear to be objective, even though really it is subjective. "Why should I be good? Why should you be good? Because that is what morality demands of us. It is bigger than the both of us. It is laid on us and we must accept it, just like we must accept that 2 + 2 = 4." I am not saying that we always are moral, but that we always know that we should be moral.

Am I now giving the game away? Now you know that morality is an illusion put in place by your genes to make you a social cooperator, what's to stop you behaving like an ancient Roman? Well, nothing in an objective sense. But you are still a human with your gene-based psychology working flat out to make you think you should be moral"

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree...philosophy
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08-05-2015, 08:07 AM
RE: From Deism to Atheism
(07-05-2015 05:16 PM)Stevil Wrote:  Within my society there is the concept of United we stand, divided we fall. I mean, If I let a group go after all the Maoris whose to say they won't go after my group next?

It’s interesting that you mentioned a group. You seem to have some division between your group and your society. And I’m assuming your group is perhaps exclusively your friends and family?

You don’t seem to show any empathy in regards to the Maoris. Because if you were to speak of your son, about someone trying to kill him, you wouldn’t say, who is to say that they wouldn’t go after me next? In fact you would likely have preferred they went after you, than your own children.

Empathy works in this sense, to extend your perception of self onto others, that you see others in they way that you see yourself, you care for their lives, in the way that you care for your life. In your expressions, it seems you don’t particularly care for the lives of Maoris, your interest in them is not as human beings, empathetic, but only in the sense of dealing with their concerns as one would a virus, or plague, that needs to be contained before it spreads?

If you were to support intervention in a modern day holocaust occurring in some other nation, it wouldn’t be out of empathy for the victims, but out of fear that those behind it, might come for you next?

Quote:If we start killing the handicapped children then we will likely have a civil war on our hands. The friends and family of the handicapped kids will get violent. This will endanger everyone in society.

Not if the parents are supportive of it. That Amazonian tribe didn’t seem to have suffered any real tribal conflicts as a result of their practice.

Quote:I thought I knew better that others what they should do. I thought it made sense to control others using law based on my own opinion.

But what were you basing these opinions on at the time, other than what you currently use for your “legal yardstick”? What was the basis of your opinion that abortion was wrong?

Quote:. It answer's the question "How might I feel if I were in that situation?"
In that way I could think that if I were the cow I wouldn't like to go to the meat works. But this is not to say it is wrong for humans to kill and eat cows. Sure a fly doesn't like being in a spiderweb with a big spider coming to eat it, but that doesn't make it wrong.

We could ask the same question in regards to a discarded television. How would I feel if I was discarded and left to rot in a landfill, like that poor flatscreen? But this shouldn't be mistake for empathy. Empathy is not so much about asking a question, about how I would feel, as it is how I in fact do feel.

How do I feel when my son is hurt, rather than how would I feel if I was hurt the same way? Sometimes asking this question might help us navigate our perceptions, but empathy is not the question itself.

The question only matters if one is drawn to feel that he should treat the person as he would himself, out of empathy for him.

You might not consider acting out of empathy wrong or right. Like protecting your son out of empathy, might be something you do, but don’t recognize as wrong or right. But if you didn’t do what yout empathy is pulling or directing you to do, than what would often occupancy this transgression is typically are signs of guilt, as if you did something wrong, even if that wrong was just illusory, or irrational.

Quote:My emotions are simply my emotions, they don't indicate whether something is right or wrong, not even from a personal subjective perspective.

No, assuming your empathy works like everybody else’s, than there’s more to it than this, guilt and other negative emotions often follow like in above example. Since we’re rational agents, our emotions don’t exist in a vacuum, they incline and instigate us into believing things about them. Empathy and love might be the driving forces behind parents taking care of their children, a way to insure they stick around, for the life of child dependent on them, offering very little it return, as oppose to abandoning these needy little bastards.

If we do certain things, and acts in ways, that afterwards we might see as cruel, as underserving, as unfair to someone we love, someone we feel a great deal of empathy for like our children or our wives, we feel guilty about it, as if what we did was wrong. You can see the perceptions as illusory, that they're just emotions being mislabeled. That there’s no reason to feel guilty, because that guilt is fabricated. But you would be doing this after the fact, repeating to yourself that these perceptions are false, not real.

If this wasn’t the case for you, that we’d have to assume that somehow you operate in entirely different ways than everybody else. Or that you don’t feel empathy, which I don't think is a case.
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08-05-2015, 01:39 PM
RE: From Deism to Atheism
(08-05-2015 06:12 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Do you imagine now that he has been caught and faced the consequences on his actions, he would have looked back and wished he never did what he did? No.
Perhaps he is a big risk taker and get exited about the danger of getting caught.
or perhaps he just went off the deep end with his philosophy, much in the same way some creationists go all stupid and suggest that humans used to ride on dinosaurs or that dinosaur bones are a trick from the debil.

Or perhaps he was self destructive. IDK.
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08-05-2015, 01:53 PM
RE: From Deism to Atheism
(08-05-2015 06:18 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  I think Michael Ruse was interesting here,
No, I disagree with him. He seems to think that Good exists but that we have no incentive to be good and that Bad exists but we have no disincentive to be bad.

I don't consider Good or Bad to exist at all.
However IF G and B do exist then I do agree that even in that hypothetical we have no universal incentive to be that way.

He talks about people as being moral creatures. This is off. People are a social species, like chimpanzees and wolves.

There's nothing special about us not raping and murdering each other. Chimpanzees and dogs don't generally do this, but just like humans there are a few who do.

I disagree with his assessment that society would devolve if people realised there was no universal moral truths.

People tend to try and influence a society that they want to live in, people tend to put alot of effort into building up an image and reputation that carries with them such that they personal benefit. A loving, gentle, caring man is more likely to make friends and get the girls than an angry, grumpy, non caring man.

Essentially there are reasons to be "good" but its not for the sake of being "Good" and really you are not being "good" but instead you are behaving in a way that is favourable within society because it comes with benefits.
It almost becomes indistinguishable the behaviours and actions of a person who lives by an amoral selfish philosophy vs the actions of a person who strives to be good.
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08-05-2015, 02:05 PM
RE: From Deism to Atheism
(08-05-2015 08:07 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  If this wasn’t the case for you, that we’d have to assume that somehow you operate in entirely different ways than everybody else. Or that you don’t feel empathy, which I don't think is a case.
I feel empathy, i just interpret it differently to you. I have no belief that morality exists hence my empathy has nothing to do with any moral indiscretions.

It defies all known physics to consider that there is a moral fabric purveying all of time and space. It defies all known physics to consider I have a special magical connection to this moral fabric.

I recognise that people's opinions differ and I refuse to hold such a grandiose idea that others ought to abide by my emotions and opinions.

I don't believe in good or bad, I don't believe in moral obligation, I don't believe in moral shoulds and oughts. I don't believe in moral justice. I have no desire to be good. I don't consider questions in the form of "Is doing action X wrong?" because in order to evaluate such a thing we need to evaluate against a specified goal. I don't assume a moral yardstick.
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08-05-2015, 04:44 PM (This post was last modified: 08-05-2015 04:49 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: From Deism to Atheism
(08-05-2015 06:18 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  "Why should I be good? Why should you be good? Because that is what morality demands of us. It is bigger than the both of us. It is laid on us and we must accept it, just like we must accept that 2 + 2 = 4."

Why do people keep using arithmetic as an example of objective truth. It is not. Arithmetic is relative to its radix. It is just as easy to show that 2+2=10 or 2+2=11 as it is to show that 2+2=4. Use of 2+2=4 as an example of objective truth diminishes the entire argument. Makes me think you don't appreciate the difference between "objective" and "relative".

#sigh
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09-05-2015, 06:54 AM
RE: From Deism to Atheism
(08-05-2015 01:39 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(08-05-2015 06:12 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Do you imagine now that he has been caught and faced the consequences on his actions, he would have looked back and wished he never did what he did? No.
Perhaps he is a big risk taker and get exited about the danger of getting caught.
or perhaps he just went off the deep end with his philosophy, much in the same way some creationists go all stupid and suggest that humans used to ride on dinosaurs or that dinosaur bones are a trick from the debil.

Or perhaps he was self destructive. IDK.

I don't see what the deep end here is.

The only difference here, is that he enjoyed the taste of what he did, like you might enjoy the taste of a good steak. Perhaps NZ puts in place a law banning eating beef, or killing cows, perhaps since you enjoy steak so much you might even try and skirt the law to satisfy a craving. In fact a few of these delights might even be worth going to jail over. There's a variety of pleasures you derive that even you might even risk going to jail over. Like the pleasure you derive from your child being around, living and healthy, that you would risk your life to preserve and maintain, and perhaps even risk going to jail for if necessary to ensure that your children will be okay.
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09-05-2015, 07:06 AM
RE: From Deism to Atheism
(08-05-2015 02:05 PM)Stevil Wrote:  It defies all known physics to consider that there is a moral fabric purveying all of time and space. It defies all known physics to consider I have a special magical connection to this moral fabric.

And you believe that in order for moral facts to exists, for moral realism to be true, it would require something that defies all known physics?

Quote:I don't believe in good or bad, I don't believe in moral obligation, I don't believe in moral shoulds and oughts.

Yet, you might have all the undermining sentiments and inclinations, that people associate with these terms. Like a father may interpret a sensation that keeps him attached to his family, that irresistible draw, like a magnet attaching itself to another magnet, as an obligation, an ought. The only difference between you and this father, wouldn't be that the underlying sentiments are absent, just the labels you attach to them. Just because you don't believe in good or bad, doesn't mean that guilty feelings would not follow if you did certain things, you would react as if you did something "wrong", even though you wouldn't label what you did as "wrong".


Quote:I don't believe in moral justice. I have no desire to be good.

You don't desire to be a good husband, or a good father? To be fair, to be kind, loyal, honest, dependable, respectful, caring, in regards your family at least?
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09-05-2015, 07:13 AM
RE: From Deism to Atheism
(08-05-2015 04:44 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Why do people keep using arithmetic as an example of objective truth. It is not. Arithmetic is relative to its radix. It is just as easy to show that 2+2=10 or 2+2=11 as it is to show that 2+2=4. Use of 2+2=4 as an example of objective truth diminishes the entire argument. Makes me think you don't appreciate the difference between "objective" and "relative".

The only distinction being made here, is between relative/subjective amounting to no more than a series of likes and dislikes, like musical preferences, fashion and food taste.

......and objective meaning in the sense, that if you answered 5 (apples), to 2(apples)+2(apples) on an arithmetic text, you would be wrong, regardless if you liked five apples better.
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09-05-2015, 07:21 AM
RE: From Deism to Atheism
(09-05-2015 07:13 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(08-05-2015 04:44 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Why do people keep using arithmetic as an example of objective truth. It is not. Arithmetic is relative to its radix. It is just as easy to show that 2+2=10 or 2+2=11 as it is to show that 2+2=4. Use of 2+2=4 as an example of objective truth diminishes the entire argument. Makes me think you don't appreciate the difference between "objective" and "relative".

The only distinction being made here, is between relative/subjective amounting to no more than a series of likes and dislikes, like musical preferences, fashion and food taste.

......and objective meaning in the sense, that if you answered 5 (apples), to 2(apples)+2(apples) on an arithmetic text, you would be wrong, regardless if you liked five apples better.

There are definitely scenarios where 2 + 2 = 4 is flat out wrong. Stick to theology. You suck at maths.

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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