I just need to vent
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05-05-2014, 06:16 AM
RE: I just need to vent
(04-05-2014 06:48 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  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=

*troop of baboons exhibits

Lions are not conscious, intelligent, self-aware beings - humans are. We have evolved a basic moral sense upon which we erect edifices of ethics, mores, and morals. Our rudimentary evolved moral sense is as close to 'objective' as it gets.

Other animals have their own evolved behaviors, some of which might even be termed moral.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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05-05-2014, 06:22 AM
RE: I just need to vent
(04-05-2014 06:33 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  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.

This is true, and we don't need a moral law-giver to be moral.

This is why in current society, we say that rape is wrong. We don't attach weird qualifiers to it, such as only caring if the woman were a virgin or whether or not she was betrothed. You'll find no such prohibitions in the Bible. Almighty God, in all his infinite wisdom, couldn't be troubled to ever explicitly forbid rape.

Of course, we know this is because it's all a bunch of Hebrew mythology, heavily tainted with the cultural beliefs of one specific group at the time. This is why God's morality never progresses but ours does. We don't need fairy tales to scare us into having empathy, and we can actually use empathy as opposed to arbitrary oath-swearing to figure out if a person is good or not.
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05-05-2014, 10:31 AM
RE: I just need to vent
(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?
Our ability to think comes from genes.* The specific thoughts that result do not. Morality doesn't come from genes in the same way that thoughts don't. You're one of those ignoramuses that come here trying to use evolution against atheists without having the slightest clue what it's really about.

*Some have more of this than others. Dodgy

I am not accountable to any God. I am accountable to myself - and not because I think I am God as some theists would try to assert - but because, no matter what actions I take, thoughts I think, or words I utter, I have to be able to live with myself.
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05-05-2014, 05:02 PM
RE: I just need to vent
(04-05-2014 06:57 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  
(04-05-2014 06:33 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  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.

Michael imagine you are an adventurous man. While on a journey through some remote land, you come across a society of people who have certain cultural practices. One such practice is that at the age of 15, every male is given the opportunity to rape a female. The elders of the society encourage the young lads to do this because they see it as a sign of one's coming of age. It demonstrates that the male is no longer a boy, but a man, who is attracted to the opposite sex, sees what he wants, makes a plan and course of action to obtain what he wants, and then has the ability to achieve his goal. Those males who refuse to participate in this coming of age rite are seen as gutless, weak, and effeminate boys who are good for nothing but to be slaves of the males who participate in the rite.

You are with your tour guide/translator and happen upon this rite taking place. You see a young lad chasing down a screaming young woman while the elders look on. You see him force himself upon her as she kicks and screams to no avail. You see him ravish her and shame her in front of everyone present and then get up and kick dust on her as if she were nothing.

You then see the elders lavish and bestow praise unto him for his fearlessness.

Your response would be?
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05-05-2014, 05:04 PM
RE: I just need to vent
(05-05-2014 10:31 AM)Impulse 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?
Our ability to think comes from genes.* The specific thoughts that result do not. Morality doesn't come from genes in the same way that thoughts don't. You're one of those ignoramuses that come here trying to use evolution against atheists without having the slightest clue what it's really about.

*Some have more of this than others. Dodgy

Do not our thoughts come from our brains?
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05-05-2014, 05:13 PM
RE: I just need to vent
(05-05-2014 05:02 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  You are with your tour guide/translator and happen upon this rite taking place. You see a young lad chasing down a screaming young woman while the elders look on. You see him force himself upon her as she kicks and screams to no avail. You see him ravish her and shame her in front of everyone present and then get up and kick dust on her as if she were nothing.

You then see the elders lavish and bestow praise unto him for his fearlessness.

Your response would be?
I'd think, crap, these are obviously Christians who've read the story of god loving Lot for offering his daughters to be gang raped by the men too many times... If only they were civilized atheists so they could develop some real morals. Tongue
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05-05-2014, 05:34 PM
RE: I just need to vent
Getting back to being serious though, if there were only one person by themselves in an environment where everything else was non-sentient, can anything that person does be considered immoral or wrong?
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05-05-2014, 05:39 PM
RE: I just need to vent
(05-05-2014 05:13 PM)djhall Wrote:  
(05-05-2014 05:02 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  You are with your tour guide/translator and happen upon this rite taking place. You see a young lad chasing down a screaming young woman while the elders look on. You see him force himself upon her as she kicks and screams to no avail. You see him ravish her and shame her in front of everyone present and then get up and kick dust on her as if she were nothing.

You then see the elders lavish and bestow praise unto him for his fearlessness.

Your response would be?
I'd think, crap, these are obviously Christians who've read the story of god loving Lot for offering his daughters to be gang raped by the men too many times... If only they were civilized atheists so they could develop some real morals. Tongue

The account you reference makes no mention of God loving Lot for offering his daughters to the homosexuals who wanted to rape the two men visiting with him. It does not even imply this.

No doubt you are probably joking. If so, I will ask, what would your response be to the question I asked Michael?
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05-05-2014, 05:45 PM
RE: I just need to vent
(05-05-2014 05:39 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  
(05-05-2014 05:13 PM)djhall Wrote:  I'd think, crap, these are obviously Christians who've read the story of god loving Lot for offering his daughters to be gang raped by the men too many times... If only they were civilized atheists so they could develop some real morals. Tongue

The account you reference makes no mention of God loving Lot for offering his daughters to the homosexuals who wanted to rape the two men visiting with him. It does not even imply this.

No doubt you are probably joking. If so, I will ask, what would your response be to the question I asked Michael?
Yes, I was joking.

I consider it wrong and likely based on either ethical and moral ignorance or unsophistication... the moral and ethical equivalent of a primitive astronomer believing the earth is flat and the sun circles the earth. Or they fall into that dangerous subset of humanity that are psychopathic or sociopathic and lack empathy or regard or value for anyone other than themselves.
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05-05-2014, 05:53 PM (This post was last modified: 05-05-2014 06:03 PM by Jeremy E Walker.)
RE: I just need to vent
(05-05-2014 05:45 PM)djhall Wrote:  
(05-05-2014 05:39 PM)Jeremy E Walker Wrote:  The account you reference makes no mention of God loving Lot for offering his daughters to the homosexuals who wanted to rape the two men visiting with him. It does not even imply this.

No doubt you are probably joking. If so, I will ask, what would your response be to the question I asked Michael?
Yes, I was joking.

I consider it wrong and likely based on either ethical and moral ignorance or unsophistication... the moral and ethical equivalent of a primitive astronomer believing the earth is flat and the sun circles the earth. Or they fall into that dangerous subset of humanity that are psychopathic or sociopathic and lack empathy or regard or value for anyone other than themselves.

Interesting.....

You say their views are wrong. That they are essentially ignorant....

But I must ask...ignorant of what?

You seem to be insinuating that there is a moral law that exists which states that young women should not be raped just because men think it is a manly thing to do, and that these elders and fifteen year old have broken this law, either out of ignorance or willful disregard.....

Very interesting.....

Is this what you are saying?
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