I was just given two AiG Newletters.
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17-03-2012, 03:46 PM
RE: I was just given two AiG Newletters.
(17-03-2012 08:34 AM)Starcrash Wrote:  I know, I know... I feel the same way. But it's not that his correlation doesn't demonstrate causation... the correlation isn't even there. A belief in evolution and a belief in the sacredness of fetal life is not mutually exclusive.

That's true. But I think the point that is trying to be made (at least, the way that most creationists make it from what I've seen) is kind of twofold:

First, despite the fact that belief in evolution and the belief in the sacredness of fetal life are not mutually exclusive, they are also not mutually inclusive. The point being that, by necessity, a belief in evolution can't really logically lead to a belief in the sacredness of fetal life. So it's sort of arbitrary, and doesn't really matter. On the other side, a belief in creation logically leads to belief in a Creator, which may then naturally lead to certain attributes of a Creator, which may then naturally lead to certain objective moral standards. So belief in the sacredness of fetal life should effectively follow naturally from a belief in creation.

Second, it's the famous slippery slope argument. What one generation slowly permits, the next generation embraces, and the next considers normal. For example, 100 years ago, almost nobody thought abortion was moral - today, it's probably close to 50/50 in America. The next logical step is post-birth abortion (i.e., infanticide - read about the recent article in the Journal for Medical Ethics). It's such a small step, but logical. Today, almost nobody would really say that's morally acceptable - what will society say about that in 100 years time? Or even 30 years? Will we be at a 50/50 split on the issue? Then where does it go? I'd say that's the biggest point that they are trying to make with articles like the one posted.
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17-03-2012, 03:50 PM
RE: I was just given two AiG Newletters.
(17-03-2012 03:46 PM)SixForty Wrote:  
(17-03-2012 08:34 AM)Starcrash Wrote:  I know, I know... I feel the same way. But it's not that his correlation doesn't demonstrate causation... the correlation isn't even there. A belief in evolution and a belief in the sacredness of fetal life is not mutually exclusive.

That's true. But I think the point that is trying to be made (at least, the way that most creationists make it from what I've seen) is kind of twofold:

First, despite the fact that belief in evolution and the belief in the sacredness of fetal life are not mutually exclusive, they are also not mutually inclusive. The point being that, by necessity, a belief in evolution can't really logically lead to a belief in the sacredness of fetal life. So it's sort of arbitrary, and doesn't really matter. On the other side, a belief in creation logically leads to belief in a Creator, which may then naturally lead to certain attributes of a Creator, which may then naturally lead to certain objective moral standards. So belief in the sacredness of fetal life should effectively follow naturally from a belief in creation.

Second, it's the famous slippery slope argument. What one generation slowly permits, the next generation embraces, and the next considers normal. For example, 100 years ago, almost nobody thought abortion was moral - today, it's probably close to 50/50 in America. The next logical step is post-birth abortion (i.e., infanticide - read about the recent article in the Journal for Medical Ethics). It's such a small step, but logical. Today, almost nobody would really say that's morally acceptable - what will society say about that in 100 years time? Or even 30 years? Will we be at a 50/50 split on the issue? Then where does it go? I'd say that's the biggest point that they are trying to make with articles like the one posted.

That is not exactly true at all. I can give the example of marriage. Tolerance for aspects of society comes and goes, for history is repetitive. The Spartans and Greeks, for example, practiced infanticide consistently.

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17-03-2012, 03:55 PM (This post was last modified: 17-03-2012 04:00 PM by SixForty.)
RE: I was just given two AiG Newletters.
(17-03-2012 03:04 PM)Logica Humano Wrote:  Darwin was the one who really promoted the "survival of the fittest" (AKA Natural Selection) concept, and the man tried to be the humblest and kindest person he could possibly be. The ridiculous belief, "survival of the fittest, therefore you lack empathy," is as true the argument, "you are related to the ape, therefore you will act like one". There is no correlation. One can believe in the core concept of Evolution, and still maintain morality and empathy, since those feelings are apart of Humanity's psychological evolution (empathy is apart of other animal's as well).

Although we can still maintain morality and empathy, the point becomes, why bother? It's all subjective anyway. The argument isn't "survival of the fittest, therefore you lack empathy", it's "survival of the fittest, therefore whether you lack empathy is irrelevant". And again, the argument isn't "you are related to the ape, therefore you will act like one", it's more along the lines of "you are related to the ape, so if you do act like one, it doesn't actually really matter". It's not a point of whether or not someone will act without empathy or morality, it's the fact that if someone does act that way, they have complete justification for doing so. When Jeffrey Dahmer states "If a person doesn't think there is a God to be accountable to, then what's the point of trying to modify your behaviour to keep it within acceptable ranges? I always believed the theory of evolution as truth that we all just came from the slime", he's completely consistent within his beliefs. He has complete justification for what he said and what he did. We as society may have built up a construct of laws to stop him from doing what he did, but in the end, none of it really mattered.
(17-03-2012 03:50 PM)Logica Humano Wrote:  That is not exactly true at all. I can give the example of marriage. Tolerance for aspects of society comes and goes, for history is repetitive. The Spartans and Greeks, for example, practiced infanticide consistently.

But that's sort of the point. We may actually lead back to a society where infanticide is practiced regularly. Is that morally acceptable? Morally right? How about eugenics? Forced sterilization? Genocide? All practiced at various times throughout history - they come and go in waves. Should we then accept such things as morally right?
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17-03-2012, 04:05 PM (This post was last modified: 17-03-2012 04:08 PM by Logica Humano.)
RE: I was just given two AiG Newletters.
(17-03-2012 03:55 PM)SixForty Wrote:  
(17-03-2012 03:04 PM)Logica Humano Wrote:  Darwin was the one who really promoted the "survival of the fittest" (AKA Natural Selection) concept, and the man tried to be the humblest and kindest person he could possibly be. The ridiculous belief, "survival of the fittest, therefore you lack empathy," is as true the argument, "you are related to the ape, therefore you will act like one". There is no correlation. One can believe in the core concept of Evolution, and still maintain morality and empathy, since those feelings are apart of Humanity's psychological evolution (empathy is apart of other animal's as well).

Although we can still maintain morality and empathy, the point becomes, why bother? It's all subjective anyway. The argument isn't "survival of the fittest, therefore you lack empathy", it's "survival of the fittest, therefore whether you lack empathy is irrelevant". And again, the argument isn't "you are related to the ape, therefore you will act like one", it's more along the lines of "you are related to the ape, so if you do act like one, it doesn't actually really matter". It's not a point of whether or not someone will act without empathy or morality, it's the fact that if someone does act that way, they have complete justification for doing so. When Jeffrey Dahmer states "If a person doesn't think there is a God to be accountable to, then what's the point of trying to modify your behaviour to keep it within acceptable ranges? I always believed the theory of evolution as truth that we all just came from the slime", he's completely consistent within his beliefs. He has complete justification for what he said and what he did. We as society may have built up a construct of laws to stop him from doing what he did, but in the end, none of it really mattered.

That argument is fallacious, for with or without moral objectivity or subjectivity, people will act like that anyway. The argument, if you have ever heard it before, states that it will lead to the absolution that people will act like that. So yes, I was correct.

What you are dictating depends on whether or not there will be a devolution of the core psychological adaptations of the mind in future generations. Empathy and morality are already wired into the majority of human beings (with the exception of Psychopaths and some Sociopaths), and to simply ignore it or eventually come to the conclusion that none of it matters would be part of man's evolution.

(17-03-2012 03:55 PM)SixForty Wrote:  But that's sort of the point. We may actually lead back to a society where infanticide is practiced regularly. Is that morally acceptable? Morally right? How about eugenics? Forced sterilization? Genocide? All practiced at various times throughout history - they come and go in waves. Should we then accept such things as morally right?

The question is not whether or not it is "morally" right, but rather, if it is "ethically" right. Only society will dictate. If the consensus says it to be right, than it must be, no? Ah, but alas, it is what you believe to be right, eh? Yes, because of the subjectivity.

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17-03-2012, 04:24 PM
RE: I was just given two AiG Newletters.
(17-03-2012 04:05 PM)Logica Humano Wrote:  That argument is fallacious, for with or without moral objectivity or subjectivity, people will act like that anyway. The argument, if you have ever heard it before, states that it will lead to the absolution that people will act like that. So yes, I was correct.

Although some people may argue the way you claim, I actually wasn't. I actually agree with you - regardless of whether morality is objective or subjective, people will act horribly either way. Despite the fact that other people may state that it WILL lead to horrible acts, that's not my point. My point is that it CAN lead to horrible acts, and those acts WILL be perfectly justifiable. If morality is simply subjective, then Stalin's genocide was in no way "wrong" as we would normally call it. Do you actually believe that? I'm not claiming that atheism led Stalin to do what he did - I'm claiming that atheism allowed him to justify what he did.

(17-03-2012 04:05 PM)Logica Humano Wrote:  What you are dictating depends on whether or not there will be a devolution of the core psychological adaptations of the mind in future generations. Empathy and morality are already wired into the majority of human beings (with the exception of Psychopaths and some Sociopaths), and to simply ignore it or eventually come to the conclusion that none of it matters would be part of man's evolution.

But this presupposes evolution in the first place, and is effectively arguing in a circle.

(17-03-2012 04:05 PM)Logica Humano Wrote:  The question is not whether or not it is "morally" right, but rather, if it is "ethically" right. Only society will dictate. If the consensus says it to be right, than it must be, no? Ah, but alas, it is what you believe to be right, eh? Yes, because of the subjectivity.

And again, you've presupposed the absence of objective morality here. I'll happily grant you that if there is no such things as objective morality, then you can come to these conclusions. The problem I see is that they quickly break down to absurdity. If the consensus is that all people on the planet with the screen name Logica Humano are to be detained in prison and tortured horrifically for the next 40 years, does that then make it ethically right? How about morally right?
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17-03-2012, 11:12 PM
RE: I was just given two AiG Newletters.
(17-03-2012 03:46 PM)SixForty Wrote:  First, despite the fact that belief in evolution and the belief in the sacredness of fetal life are not mutually exclusive, they are also not mutually inclusive. The point being that, by necessity, a belief in evolution can't really logically lead to a belief in the sacredness of fetal life. So it's sort of arbitrary, and doesn't really matter. On the other side, a belief in creation logically leads to belief in a Creator, which may then naturally lead to certain attributes of a Creator, which may then naturally lead to certain objective moral standards. So belief in the sacredness of fetal life should effectively follow naturally from a belief in creation.

I don't understand why you believe that a person has to either believe in evolution or creation, but I'll grant you that most people do. However, I don't see why "belief in a Creator" leads to a sacredness of fetal life. In fact, if you believe that aborted babies go straight to heaven, carrying a baby to term should be the last thing on your mind. It's not logical to allow a child to go as far as being allowed to rebel against God if you can send the poor kid straight to heaven without the aggravation or heartbreak of seeing him or her possibly go to Hell.

Second, you seem to have a dim view of evolution as leading us toward infanticide. We atheists care little for zygotes any more than we care about the many cells in our body that we destroy on a regular basis because babies can't feel pain at that stage. But we still care about our species being able to flourish and carry on, and this leads us to want to preserve human life. Almost nobody supports post-birth abortion because we're well-aware that a baby at that stage can feel pain and suffer, and you'll find that most atheists base their morals on avoiding the causation of pain and suffering. Slippery slope arguments only work if the reasoning behind a person's argument can still be used further down the road. If you think that we simply love abortion or enjoy killing babies, that would make your argument work. Do you really have that dim a view of us?

But I'm just wasting my time, because the argument is moot. Belief in evolution does not lead to being pro-choice, just as belief in a creator doesn't necessarily lead to being pro-life. It doesn't matter if you think it should in theory --- it just doesn't in practice.

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18-03-2012, 12:34 AM
RE: I was just given two AiG Newletters.
Starcrash - "I don't understand why you believe that a person has to either believe in evolution or creation, but I'll grant you that most people do. However, I don't see why "belief in a Creator" leads to a sacredness of fetal life. In fact, if you believe that aborted babies go straight to heaven, carrying a baby to term should be the last thing on your mind. It's not logical to allow a child to go as far as being allowed to rebel against God if you can send the poor kid straight to heaven without the aggravation or heartbreak of seeing him or her possibly go to Hell."

It's not so much that I believe a person has to believe in either evolution or creation - it's more either we have a creator or we don't. Those two points generally lead to creation or evolution, in some form or another, but I guess they don't necessarily have to.

As for belief in a Creator leading to sacredness of fetal life, I'd say it takes a long road to get there, but it eventually does. It starts with what attributes a Creator would have, how those attributes would be exemplified within the creation, how they would affect people that he created, etc, etc, etc, on down the line to sacredness of fetal life (all human life, really) All these steps would take way more philosophy than we've got room for here.

And ultimately, it's not a necessity. For example, the old "evil god" argument. Maybe there is a god, but he's evil, and created us all for his sadistic pleasure. This kind of world wouldn't lead to the sacredness of human life, fetal or otherwise. But I think people would have a much harder time getting to these types of attributes for a Creator as opposed to the attributes that would lead to sacredness of life.

As for me personally, I don't take the viewpoint that aborted babies automatically go to heaven. There's some biblical evidence for that, but there's plenty against it. It's not really something I've studied enough to know. But regardless, I don't think it would change my responsibility to not murder. To use a different example, should churches immediately kill all new converts, to prevent backsliding and apostasy and try to guarantee the convert goes to heaven? I'd have to say no, just like I wouldn't want to kill an unborn child for the same reason.

Starcrash - "Second, you seem to have a dim view of evolution as leading us toward infanticide. We atheists care little for zygotes any more than we care about the many cells in our body that we destroy on a regular basis because babies can't feel pain at that stage. But we still care about our species being able to flourish and carry on, and this leads us to want to preserve human life. Almost nobody supports post-birth abortion because we're well-aware that a baby at that stage can feel pain and suffer, and you'll find that most atheists base their morals on avoiding the causation of pain and suffering. Slippery slope arguments only work if the reasoning behind a person's argument can still be used further down the road. If you think that we simply love abortion or enjoy killing babies, that would make your argument work. Do you really have that dim a view of us?"

My view isn't that dim that I think all atheists, or even most atheists, would think this way. But the slippery slope is a completely valid point. You claim that almost nobody supports post-birth abortion. And yet today, in the Netherlands, you can euthanize a newborn for effectively any reason you like. "Hmmm, I'm not a fan of those green eyes. Let's kill him and try again for a brown eyed one" It's perfectly legal.

And also, your claim that a post-birth abortion is wrong due to pain and suffering - at what point during pregnancy then is it okay? Obviously infants can feel pain at 8 months, 7 months, even 5 months. Yet it's still legal to abort them at those stages in most places where abortion is legal.

Again, I don't think that all atheists will lean that way. I just think that the concern is warranted when people can freely justify things like this, because they view morality as subjective.

Starcrash - "But I'm just wasting my time, because the argument is moot. Belief in evolution does not lead to being pro-choice, just as belief in a creator doesn't necessarily lead to being pro-life. It doesn't matter if you think it should in theory --- it just doesn't in practice."

Of course there are exceptions, sometimes with a large percentage of the population. But in general, I think belief in evolution will lead to pro-choice more often, and belief in a creator will lead to pro-life more often.
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18-03-2012, 05:00 AM
RE: I was just given two AiG Newletters.
(17-03-2012 04:24 PM)SixForty Wrote:  Although some people may argue the way you claim, I actually wasn't. I actually agree with you - regardless of whether morality is objective or subjective, people will act horribly either way. Despite the fact that other people may state that it WILL lead to horrible acts, that's not my point. My point is that it CAN lead to horrible acts, and those acts WILL be perfectly justifiable. If morality is simply subjective, then Stalin's genocide was in no way "wrong" as we would normally call it. Do you actually believe that? I'm not claiming that atheism led Stalin to do what he did - I'm claiming that atheism allowed him to justify what he did.

Not necessarily. One can believe that there is a certain line of objective morality, in that most people generally believe (with or without subjectivity) believe that, for instance, murder is bad.






(17-03-2012 04:24 PM)SixForty Wrote:  But this presupposes evolution in the first place, and is effectively arguing in a circle.

That is because evolution is observable and provable. Therefore, it is a healthy assumption to assume that it does exist. I trust you believe in it as well.

(17-03-2012 04:24 PM)SixForty Wrote:  And again, you've presupposed the absence of objective morality here. I'll happily grant you that if there is no such things as objective morality, then you can come to these conclusions. The problem I see is that they quickly break down to absurdity. If the consensus is that all people on the planet with the screen name Logica Humano are to be detained in prison and tortured horrifically for the next 40 years, does that then make it ethically right? How about morally right?

If it were innate in the human psyche, of course. But, if it were innate in the human mind, I would not have conjured the screen name, would I?

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18-03-2012, 06:28 AM
RE: I was just given two AiG Newletters.
"Not necessarily. One can believe that there is a certain line of objective morality, in that most people generally believe (with or without subjectivity) believe that, for instance, murder is bad."

The problem is, where does that come from? If most people changed their mind and decided murder was good, would murder then actually become good? Something like that just leads to subjectivity by definition. If there is a certain line of objective morality as you say, where does it come from? It definitely doesn't follow from a naturalistic or materialistic view of the universe.

"That is because evolution is observable and provable. Therefore, it is a healthy assumption to assume that it does exist. I trust you believe in it as well."

Actually, I don't believe in evolution, partly for the specific reason that it is precisely NOT observable nor provable.

"If it were innate in the human psyche, of course. But, if it were innate in the human mind, I would not have conjured the screen name, would I?"

Unfortunately you've lost me on this last point - I don't think I understand the point you are trying to make? Any chance you could possibly reword it?
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18-03-2012, 09:48 AM
RE: I was just given two AiG Newletters.
(18-03-2012 06:28 AM)SixForty Wrote:  The problem is, where does that come from? If most people changed their mind and decided murder was good, would murder then actually become good? Something like that just leads to subjectivity by definition. If there is a certain line of objective morality as you say, where does it come from? It definitely doesn't follow from a naturalistic or materialistic view of the universe.

Saying that it is "bad" even though most people believe it to be "good" (or vice versa) is making the assumption that there is an objectivity outside the human psyche, when there is not. The only thing keeping people from murdering each other is the predisposition in the mind not to do so. As I have said, it is an evolutionary trait found in pack animals (and most others in general).

(18-03-2012 06:28 AM)SixForty Wrote:  Actually, I don't believe in evolution, partly for the specific reason that it is precisely NOT observable nor provable.

Ah, but it is observable and provable.
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(18-03-2012 06:28 AM)SixForty Wrote:  Unfortunately you've lost me on this last point - I don't think I understand the point you are trying to make? Any chance you could possibly reword it?

If it was not socially acceptable for me to make the name, I wouldn't have made the name.

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