I just need to vent
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04-05-2014, 06:33 PM
RE: I just need to vent
(04-05-2014 04:05 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(04-05-2014 12:32 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  So what people have been killed for not believing in God (speaking as one who adheres to naturalism). If you are consistent you must see this as nothing more than creatures acting according to the dictates of their genes. The homo sapien species contains humans who do certain things because they are what they are by virtue of their physiological makeup. You do not get angry when lions destroy the carcass of a zebra do you?

This is not only a strawman but a vicious, nasty canard. You are strongly implying that atheists have no morals other than 'survival of the fittest'.

Piss off, you self-righteous moron.

Goodness no. Atheists do have morals. They are no different than anyone else when it comes to thinking things like rape is wrong.

It is just that atheists when making such statements are being inconsistent with their denial of a transcendant moral law-giver. In the absence of such a One, there is no coherent ontology for objective moral values and duties.
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04-05-2014, 06:39 PM
RE: I just need to vent
(04-05-2014 06:33 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  In the absence of such a One, there is no coherent ontology for objective moral values and duties.

False.

Athropology shows that primitive man understood the basics of morality for the survival of the clan. No higher power was required.
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04-05-2014, 06:48 PM
RE: I just need to vent
(04-05-2014 04:51 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  
(04-05-2014 12:32 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  So what people have been killed for not believing in God (speaking as one who adheres to naturalism). If you are consistent you must see this as nothing more than creatures acting according to the dictates of their genes. The homo sapien species contains humans who do certain things because they are what they are by virtue of their physiological makeup. You do not get angry when lions destroy the carcass of a zebra do you?

I'm confused. Are you making the point that people can't control their own destiny or are you implying that is what you must believe in the absence of a belief in god?

I am stating very plainly that on a naturalistic view, moral values are just the behavioral by-products of biological evolution and social conditioning. Just as a troupe of baboons exhibit co-operative and even self-sacrificial behavior because natural selection has determined it to be advantageous in the struggle for survival, so homo sapiens — their primate cousins — exhibit similar behavior for the same reason. As a result of sociobiological pressures there has evolved among homo sapiens a sort of "herd morality" that functions well in the perpetuation of our species. But on the atheistic view there does not seem to be anything that makes this morality objectively true.

The philosopher of science Michael Ruse reports, "The position of the modern evolutionist … is that humans have an awareness of morality … because such an awareness is of biological worth. Morality is a biological adaptation no less than are hands and feet and teeth. … Considered as a rationally justifiable set of claims about an objective something, ethics is illusory. I appreciate that when somebody says, 'Love thy neighbor as thyself,' they think they are referring above and beyond themselves. … Nevertheless, … such reference is truly without foundation. Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction, … and any deeper meaning is illusory." Michael Ruse, "Evolutionary Theory and Christian Ethics," in The Darwinian Paradigm (London: Routledge, 1989), 262,268,289.

This is what modern evolutionary biology teaches.

It teaches that humans who are evolved creatures. We are a distinct species of hominids or "great apes". We are creatures who have evolved from lower forms of life owing their existence to natural processes acting on matter.

We are not special. We are not created for some grand purpose. We are different than other species by virtue of our physiological makeup and that is it.

When sharks forcefully copulate with female sharks, this is not considered rape. Nor do lions murder zebras. Humans have concepts of rape and murder only because these concepts help us to cooperate and survive and reproduce and exist in our minds only because natural selection has selected said traits. As Michael Ruse stated, when an atheist says that religious people are wrong or evil for killing unbelievers, all they are saying is that certain creatures have done something that their physiological makeup has caused them to think is detrimental to the survival of our species. They are acting in a manner that they think is not beneficial to the survival of our species.

The inconsistency here is this:

If their particular physiological makeup leads them to perceive violence done against atheists by the religious as bad, then why do they not also label the killing of a zebra by a lion as bad too?

My argument is that our sense of morality is not just some by-product of evolution at all. Rather, my argument is that we have a sense of some things being right and wrong because they are right and wrong by virtue of certain objective moral values and duties which we are bound by and if we violate them the violation is as clear as it is clear that 5 is the wrong answer to the equation 2+2=
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04-05-2014, 06:51 PM
RE: I just need to vent
(04-05-2014 06:39 PM)Foxen Wrote:  
(04-05-2014 06:33 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  In the absence of such a One, there is no coherent ontology for objective moral values and duties.

False.

Athropology shows that primitive man understood the basics of morality for the survival of the clan. No higher power was required.

You are speaking of epistemology. I am speaking of ontology. Do not conflate the two, for they are distinct.
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04-05-2014, 06:57 PM
RE: I just need to vent
(04-05-2014 06:33 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(04-05-2014 04:05 PM)Chas Wrote:  This is not only a strawman but a vicious, nasty canard. You are strongly implying that atheists have no morals other than 'survival of the fittest'.

Piss off, you self-righteous moron.

Goodness no. Atheists do have morals. They are no different than anyone else when it comes to thinking things like rape is wrong.

It is just that atheists when making such statements are being inconsistent with their denial of a transcendant moral law-giver. In the absence of such a One, there is no coherent ontology for objective moral values and duties.

I am not sure why that matters. We have morals, much of which we generally agree upon, and having these morals usually leads to positive outcomes and a moral predictable and orderly society. Why does morality need to be objective to be useful?

Also, morality is not objective, regardless of whether or not god exists this would still be true. If morality was objective all moral wrongs would be possible to definitively identify as such. It would be akin to solving a math problem, with one clearly right answer and all others being wrong answer. If they were objective then morality would be obvious, and it would be the fault of the actor if they committed a moral wrong. Even if you buy whole sale into the bible it doesn't offer very many objective moral truths and it falls well short of providing well enough in moral proscription to be able to objectively resolve most moral arguments.

If you hold that god is the source of morality, and that the bible gives us all of our objective moral truths, then you have to qualify that quite a bit. Is everything in the bible moral? When god told josua to kill every living thing in his enemies town, including the women, children, babies, and animals, and sow salt into the fields, was this objectively moral? Can you imagine, as a non believe, how we might be confused and offended by this sentiment? Please explain.
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04-05-2014, 07:02 PM
RE: I just need to vent
(04-05-2014 06:48 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(04-05-2014 04:51 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  I'm confused. Are you making the point that people can't control their own destiny or are you implying that is what you must believe in the absence of a belief in god?

I am stating very plainly that on a naturalistic view, moral values are just the behavioral by-products of biological evolution and social conditioning. Just as a troupe of baboons exhibit co-operative and even self-sacrificial behavior because natural selection has determined it to be advantageous in the struggle for survival, so homo sapiens — their primate cousins — exhibit similar behavior for the same reason. As a result of sociobiological pressures there has evolved among homo sapiens a sort of "herd morality" that functions well in the perpetuation of our species. But on the atheistic view there does not seem to be anything that makes this morality objectively true.

The philosopher of science Michael Ruse reports, "The position of the modern evolutionist … is that humans have an awareness of morality … because such an awareness is of biological worth. Morality is a biological adaptation no less than are hands and feet and teeth. … Considered as a rationally justifiable set of claims about an objective something, ethics is illusory. I appreciate that when somebody says, 'Love thy neighbor as thyself,' they think they are referring above and beyond themselves. … Nevertheless, … such reference is truly without foundation. Morality is just an aid to survival and reproduction, … and any deeper meaning is illusory." Michael Ruse, "Evolutionary Theory and Christian Ethics," in The Darwinian Paradigm (London: Routledge, 1989), 262,268,289.

This is what modern evolutionary biology teaches.

It teaches that humans who are evolved creatures. We are a distinct species of hominids or "great apes". We are creatures who have evolved from lower forms of life owing their existence to natural processes acting on matter.

We are not special. We are not created for some grand purpose. We are different than other species by virtue of our physiological makeup and that is it.

When sharks forcefully copulate with female sharks, this is not considered rape. Nor do lions murder zebras. Humans have concepts of rape and murder only because these concepts help us to cooperate and survive and reproduce and exist in our minds only because natural selection has selected said traits. As Michael Ruse stated, when an atheist says that religious people are wrong or evil for killing unbelievers, all they are saying is that certain creatures have done something that their physiological makeup has caused them to think is detrimental to the survival of our species. They are acting in a manner that they think is not beneficial to the survival of our species.

The inconsistency here is this:

If their particular physiological makeup leads them to perceive violence done against atheists by the religious as bad, then why do they not also label the killing of a zebra by a lion as bad too?

My argument is that our sense of morality is not just some by-product of evolution at all. Rather, my argument is that we have a sense of some things being right and wrong because they are right and wrong by virtue of certain objective moral values and duties which we are bound by and if we violate them the violation is as clear as it is clear that 5 is the wrong answer to the equation 2+2=

We don't consider animals to be moral actors in our moral framework. The reason for this is animals are not intelligent enough to be able to understand, nor adequately appreciate, the morality and consequences of their actions. We don't hold small children to be morally responsible for their actions either for precisely the same reason. This isn't inconsistent at all. It is, in a liberal interpretation of the word "arbitrary", arbitrary, because it would be possible to develop a moral theory in which animals are equal actors to people, and in the absence of an objective moral authority you can't really claim any moral theory is truly objective. It just so happens that we don't hold such a moral theory to be true, for rational reasons I just explained.
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04-05-2014, 07:02 PM (This post was last modified: 04-05-2014 07:16 PM by djhall.)
RE: I just need to vent
(04-05-2014 06:33 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  It is just that atheists when making such statements are being inconsistent with their denial of a transcendant moral law-giver. In the absence of such a One, there is no coherent ontology for objective moral values and duties.
Fundamentally, you as an adult have seen the evidence and arguments from Christianity, the bible, Islam, the Koran, the Book of Mormon, utilitarianism, humanism, moral relativism, and more, and you made a fundamental choice or decision to accept the god of the bible as the basis from which your moral values and duties are measured. That choice, that decision, that stand is the ultimate root axiom from which all your morality is built, not the bible. That choice leads to the bible and the rest of the bible leads to your morality.

This is little different than what an atheist does. Instead of rejecting Allah and picking Jesus, the atheist may reject Allah and Jesus and decide humanism is the most correct and moral basis. That choice, that decision, that stand is the ultimate root axiom from which their moral values and duties are measured. Is that decision necessarily objectively and universally correct? No. But neither is yours. You may have chosen wrong. The god you have decided is true may not be true, in which case your universally objective morality isn't universal or objective, it it? But in neither case is it simply arbitrary. It is the end result of deep consideration, analysis, reason, thought, and deliberation of the evidence at hand.

Now the really interesting question comes along. Does your morality incorporate not only the possibility, but indeed the probability, that you chose wrong? Does it provide proper moral guidance if Allah is true, or Judaism is true, or atheism is true? Has your moral compass harmed anyone else in that eventuality?

Under the same approach you take to atheist's morality, how is the decision that Christianity is correct anything more than a personal preference over Islam, Judaism, Satanism, or Humanism. So you prefer Jesus, big deal. That is no coherent ontology for objective moral values and duties. That attitude is insulting and belittling to everyone trying to determine right and wrong in a pluralistic world where all proposed gods insist on playing games of hide and seek with their creation, yet that is the way believers tend to treat non-theists. At least we own our decision and the consequences. Why do believers give themselves a free pass on all the consequences of their decision once they decide to accept a deity? YOU chose to accept the claims of a deity, so all consequences of that decision are on you, you are responsible, and "not my fault, my deity said so" is nothing more than a cop out and deflection of the true responsibility.
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04-05-2014, 07:26 PM
RE: I just need to vent
(04-05-2014 06:48 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  My argument is that our sense of morality is not just some by-product of evolution at all.
Rather, my argument is that we have a sense of some things being right and wrong because they are right and wrong by virtue of certain objective moral values and duties which we are bound by and if we violate them the violation is as clear as it is clear that 5 is the wrong answer to the equation 2+2=

Ok, if you need to justify the murder of other human beings... you go, christee.

Represent. Dodgy

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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04-05-2014, 07:28 PM
RE: I just need to vent
(04-05-2014 06:33 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(04-05-2014 04:05 PM)Chas Wrote:  This is not only a strawman but a vicious, nasty canard. You are strongly implying that atheists have no morals other than 'survival of the fittest'.

Piss off, you self-righteous moron.

Goodness no. Atheists do have morals. They are no different than anyone else when it comes to thinking things like rape is wrong.

It is just that atheists when making such statements are being inconsistent with their denial of a transcendant moral law-giver. In the absence of such a One, there is no coherent ontology for objective moral values and duties.

Not a problem - there is no objective morality. Drinking Beverage

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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04-05-2014, 07:39 PM
RE: I just need to vent
Morality is pretty much a socially defined human concept - subject to ethical change as the society changes. Shy

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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