Let's Play Make Believe
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28-09-2010, 05:00 AM
RE: Let's Play Make Believe
Is Hell really that bad? Satan sounds like a fun guy to play cards with. It sounds like all you do down there is sin, sin, sin.

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28-09-2010, 07:35 AM
RE: Let's Play Make Believe
Quote:My question is...let's just say that there is a God, and eternal life (in either heaven or hell), and you die as an atheist:

1) Where do you think you'd go? and;
Yahweh would send me to hell because he made me not cabable of believing in his threeness.
Quote:2) What do you think it would be like?
The earth.

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28-09-2010, 07:49 AM
 
RE: Let's Play Make Believe
Wow! I got the range of answers I was expecting! And some serious ones mixed in with some joking ones. I can't blame any of you, the answer is mostly irrelevant anyway as you would have to put your presuppositions aside, which is difficult if not impossible to do. But thanks for humoring me.

Quote:Let's do a switch, Barley. Suppose there is no god:
1) Where do your morals come from?
2) Would you feel lied to by the people who convinced you that there was a god?

Absolutely I will return the favor. First I have to say that I reject the notion that there is no God.

1) If there is no God, then I believe that morals are arbitrary, and come from wherever I please. They could not stand, because I could not say with absolute certainty that my morals were right and someone else's were wrong. If we were not created by a creator and designed by a designer, set apart from the rest of the animals of this world, then we are no different from a single celled organism or an ape. Morals would not matter, nor would they be applicable.

2) Whether there is a God or not, I would never blame someone else for what I believe. As a child, I was taught all kinds of fibs (I was raised Catholic), but in my quest to know my creator I took it upon myself to seek the truth, and it was revealed to me. I have no ill will towards my parents. I think they are deceived like most Catholics. If I take what others tell me at face value and sit there and accept it without scrutiny, then I have no right to feel bad if it turns out to be a lie. I think you would agree with me on that! As a matter of fact, I suspect that's how you came to your conclusions.
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28-09-2010, 08:01 AM
RE: Let's Play Make Believe
Quote:If we were not created by a creator and designed by a designer, set apart from the rest of the animals of this world, then we are no different from a single celled organism or an ape. Morals would not matter, nor would they be applicable.
Morals would matter and they'd be applicable, because they keep societys up.

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28-09-2010, 08:20 AM
 
RE: Let's Play Make Believe
(28-09-2010 07:49 AM)BarleyMcFlexo Wrote:  
Quote:Let's do a switch, Barley. Suppose there is no god:
1) Where do your morals come from?
2) Would you feel lied to by the people who convinced you that there was a god?

Absolutely I will return the favor. First I have to say that I reject the notion that there is no God.
I think this 'disclaimer' is unnecessary. I think we understand that.

(28-09-2010 07:49 AM)BarleyMcFlexo Wrote:  1) If there is no God, then I believe that morals are arbitrary, and come from wherever I please. They could not stand, because I could not say with absolute certainty that my morals were right and someone else's were wrong. If we were not created by a creator and designed by a designer, set apart from the rest of the animals of this world, then we are no different from a single celled organism or an ape. Morals would not matter, nor would they be applicable.
Could you give us some examples of these absolute morals, presumably derived from god, via the bible? You don't have to list them all, of course - just a representative sample of 3 or 4 examples. If you can cite biblical textual sources for these, that would be helpful.

I consider your argument about how we differ from other animals in the world is specious. I can't be completely certain about some of the apes and perhaps even large-brained marine mammals, but for most of the rest of the animals in the world, their actions are predominantly or totally instinctive - pre-programmed (by evolution) survival strategies. Like the other animals, humans will develop survival strategies (and will interpret them as morals) whether or not there's a god. Our survival is not on the basis of our powerful bodies, or toxic bites, or our blinding speed. Rather, it's on the basis of our cooperation for the good of all, our ability to observe and develop practical rules for how the world actually works, and erect posture (freeing our hands) combined with our opposable thumbs.
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28-09-2010, 08:26 AM
 
RE: Let's Play Make Believe
(28-09-2010 08:01 AM)Kikko Wrote:  
Quote:If we were not created by a creator and designed by a designer, set apart from the rest of the animals of this world, then we are no different from a single celled organism or an ape. Morals would not matter, nor would they be applicable.
Morals would matter and they'd be applicable, because they keep societys up.

Any society based on these morals would quickly crumble as one person could say murder is good, and another that murder is bad. Who is right? Ok, let's think about this, the person who thinks murder is good would go on a form his own society, until someone else came up with a different standard. In the long run, everybody would be on their own with their own set of morals. Civilized history shows the opposite. People congragated into societies, not the other way around.
Quote:Could you give us some examples of these absolute morals, presumably derived from god, via the bible? You don't have to list them all, of course - just a representative sample of 3 or 4 examples. If you can cite biblical textual sources for these, that would be helpful.

I can't help but think that this is a trick question, and I think you are expecting this answer, but I would cite the commandments in Exodus, and the sermon on the mount. Now, in order for these examples to support my position, there would have to be agreement that these morals came from God and not man. I suspect the retort from you would be that either 1) These morals were never given in the first place because the bible is baloney; or 2) the morals were created by man. That's fine, you can believe either, but then we can't debate from a common ground anymore.

I am also assuming (perhaps incorrectly) that you will then cite all the examples of rape, incest, war, looting, murder, etc. that are in the Bible. Good catch. We can debate the merits of each example you bring up and we'd probably go at it for a very long time (I don't have the time or desire Smile). And you'd probably say that I am cherry picking or choosing to ignore all the atrocities. All I could say about that is, from a christian perspective: 1) if God is the creator, then he creates the rules, and I trust his judgment on what is good and bad more than I trust myself or you. 2) In many cases, God gives a reason for what he's done or let happen. 3) In other cases, we do not know why God did something or let something happen. But by the nature he has revealed, we can extrapolate since he is perfect and never changes and loves us (can of worms alert, I know). And apologies if I assumed incorrectly or jumped the gun.

Quote:I consider your argument about how we differ from other animals in the world is specious. I can't be completely certain about some of the apes and perhaps even large-brained marine mammals, but for most of the rest of the animals in the world, their actions are predominantly or totally instinctive - pre-programmed (by evolution) survival strategies. Like the other animals, humans will develop survival strategies (and will interpret them as morals) whether or not there's a god. Our survival is not on the basis of our powerful bodies, or toxic bites, or our blinding speed. Rather, it's on the basis of our cooperation for the good of all, our ability to observe and develop practical rules for how the world actually works, and erect posture (freeing our hands) combined with our opposable thumbs.

I don't know enough about biology (either the truth or what is being taught in society) to comment on this. What I think you are getting at is that we are actually like all other animals and can develop morals outside of God? Or are you saying that morals are actually survival strategies? If we're all the same, then why do animals kill each other and we don't (or our morals tell us not to)? Sorry, I just don't understand your point. I also don't understand why a supposed intelligent and logical person is fine with the notion that it is no different than an ape. At least you do not fall victim to pride, and I commend you for that!
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28-09-2010, 09:11 AM
RE: Let's Play Make Believe
(28-09-2010 08:26 AM)BarleyMcFlexo Wrote:  
(28-09-2010 08:01 AM)Kikko Wrote:  
Quote:If we were not created by a creator and designed by a designer, set apart from the rest of the animals of this world, then we are no different from a single celled organism or an ape. Morals would not matter, nor would they be applicable.
Morals would matter and they'd be applicable, because they keep societys up.

Any society based on these morals would quickly crumble as one person could say murder is good, and another that murder is bad. Who is right? Ok, let's think about this, the person who thinks murder is good would go on a form his own society, until someone else came up with a different standard. In the long run, everybody would be on their own with their own set of morals. Civilized history shows the opposite. People congragated into societies, not the other way around.

The society in which murder is good would'nt be a successfull one. It would die.
''In the long run, everybody would be on their own set of morals.'' I do'nt think everybody would have their own set of morals, for that, a lot of variation would be needed (in morals). Humen naturally live in groups, I doubt you could survive alone (or at least it's easier in a group and your survival and reproduction odds will be higher in a group), and groups with the best morals for group living will have advantage over groups with bad morals for groups.
I'm sorry, I have to go shitting, I'll edit if I have to

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28-09-2010, 09:14 AM
RE: Let's Play Make Believe
First, I must say, there are people who DO murder, and possibly even believe it to be moral. Strangely, our society hasn't crumbled as you suggest. You say animals kill each other and we don't. That, obviously, is not even remotely true. We kill our own kind more than any other animal on the planet.
Second, you have indirectly raised the point of self sacrifice for the good of society. You also seem to suggest this is unique to humans. (Please do correct me if I'm wrong, since I am making a bit of an assumption here) This is also not true. I'll give one of many examples, where animals that have a social structure will sacrifice themselves for the greater good. (Which can arguably be seen as "morality" in it's most primitive form) When a hive is threatened, bees will swarm together and attack the threat. When a bee stings, it dies. It is operating on intstinct, to protect the hive by sacrificing itself. An alternative option would be to flee the threat, saving it's own life, and seeking another means of survival. Humans share this instinct. We call it morality, but although it's far more complex because we are vastly more intellectual than bees, it really is no different. We co-operate with one another, because we recognize that society as a whole benefit from co-operation. Some people deviate from this, as do some animals. But once again, even with these deviations, society stands. That's because for the majority, people feel an instinct to do what is best for the greater good (read-morality) whether they are christian, hindu, atheist, or whatever. Sorry, but whether god exists or not, the argument that without him guiding our morals we are destined to fail as a species, or even as a society, simply does not hold water. There are abundant examples of what we call morality in nature. You just choose to call it instinct for all the animals except humans.

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28-09-2010, 09:35 AM
 
RE: Let's Play Make Believe
(28-09-2010 08:26 AM)BarleyMcFlexo Wrote:  
Quote:Could you give us some examples of these absolute morals, presumably derived from god, via the bible? You don't have to list them all, of course - just a representative sample of 3 or 4 examples. If you can cite biblical textual sources for these, that would be helpful.

I can't help but think that this is a trick question,

What do you think is a 'trick' question?

(28-09-2010 08:26 AM)BarleyMcFlexo Wrote:  and I think you are expecting this answer, but I would cite the commandments in Exodus, and the sermon on the mount. Now, in order for these examples to support my position, there would have to be agreement that these morals came from God and not man. I suspect the retort from you would be that either 1) These morals were never given in the first place because the bible is baloney; or 2) the morals were created by man. That's fine, you can believe either, but then we can't debate from a common ground anymore.
Good guess, but that's not the line I was following.

(28-09-2010 08:26 AM)BarleyMcFlexo Wrote:  I am also assuming (perhaps incorrectly) that you will then cite all the examples of rape, incest, war, looting, murder, etc. that are in the Bible. Good catch. We can debate the merits of each example you bring up and we'd probably go at it for a very long time (I don't have the time or desire Smile). And you'd probably say that I am cherry picking or choosing to ignore all the atrocities. All I could say about that is, from a christian perspective: 1) if God is the creator, then he creates the rules, and I trust his judgment on what is good and bad more than I trust myself or you. 2) In many cases, God gives a reason for what he's done or let happen. 3) In other cases, we do not know why God did something or let something happen. But by the nature he has revealed, we can extrapolate since he is perfect and never changes and loves us (can of worms alert, I know). And apologies if I assumed incorrectly or jumped the gun.
This is a fair approximation to what I might have said, depending on what examples you provided. Let's just consider, for instance, the commandment not to kill. Presumably, that means we are commanded not to kill humans (although it's apparently just fine to kill non-humans pretty much any way, any time). But killing is sanctioned and in fact demanded by god when it's visited on unbelievers, homosexuals, adulterers, etc. This is what is referred to as situational morals: it's ok to do something in one context but not in another. In what way does that qualify as "absolute" morality? Isn't your biblically-based morality the very sort of flexible morality you accuse atheists of using?

Furthermore, the way you've justified all the violence and mayhem sanctioned and demanded by your absolutely moral god is that this deity makes up the rules but isn't required to abide by them himself! "Do as I say, not as I do." - as a friend of mine says, the hypocrisy always reveals the lie. Your argument basically says that god can follow any logic he wishes to follow, can do whatever he wishes, and it's always absolutely moral, even when it involves a contradiction. In other words, it's a bullet-proof argument that requires only faith, not logic - it's irrational. You can choose to embrace an irrational belief, but you'll just have to forgive me for not doing likewise.


(28-09-2010 08:26 AM)BarleyMcFlexo Wrote:  
Quote:I consider your argument about how we differ from other animals in the world is specious. I can't be completely certain about some of the apes and perhaps even large-brained marine mammals, but for most of the rest of the animals in the world, their actions are predominantly or totally instinctive - pre-programmed (by evolution) survival strategies. Like the other animals, humans will develop survival strategies (and will interpret them as morals) whether or not there's a god. Our survival is not on the basis of our powerful bodies, or toxic bites, or our blinding speed. Rather, it's on the basis of our cooperation for the good of all, our ability to observe and develop practical rules for how the world actually works, and erect posture (freeing our hands) combined with our opposable thumbs.

I don't know enough about biology (either the truth or what is being taught in society) to comment on this. What I think you are getting at is that we are actually like all other animals and can develop morals outside of God? Or are you saying that morals are actually survival strategies? If we're all the same, then why do animals kill each other and we don't (or our morals tell us not to)?
First of all, not all animals kill each other. Only predators and omnivores kill other animals. Clearly, they do so to survive. Predation evolved as a successful survival strategy early in the history of life. But in any stable ecosystem, predators are always a minority. The prey species are inevitably more numerous than predator species. And predation works to the benefit of prey species by limiting their numbers and by culling the weak and vulnerable. For animals, what matters is the survival of the species - individuals have no guarantee, of course. This is part of the science of evolution.

Our morals tell us not to kill each other, and not to steal from each other. But within our cultures, there are the moral equivalent of 'predators' who kill and steal from other humans. Generally, these human predators can be moderately successful with this alternative survival strategy, but if they become the norm instead of remaining a minority, our cultures would collapse. Our personal morals are tied to the collective good because that's our best overall survival strategy. If we're all reduced to predatory status, our species won't survive.

(28-09-2010 08:26 AM)BarleyMcFlexo Wrote:  Sorry, I just don't understand your point. I also don't understand why a supposed intelligent and logical person is fine with the notion that it is no different than an ape. At least you do not fall victim to pride, and I commend you for that!
Yes, it's quite apparent you don't see my point. But now you're putting words in my mouth. I did not say humans are no different from apes. That clearly would be incorrect, and I find such extrapolations to be a mildly insulting tactic among theists used to ridicule those who believe in evolution.

Since we're 'making believe' - I'm trying to suggest how survival strategies can develop into morality for sentient animals. The jury is still out regarding some of the apes and marine mammals regarding their sentience, but I think the evidence is mounting that they have something like sentience that is simply less developed than ours. Most other animals are dominated by, or are entirely motivated by, survival instincts (unconscious) honed by evolution. We humans depend on survival strategies developed both via evolution (unconscious) and our intellect (conscious), which generally exceeds that of other animals. We see them as a set of morals to live by, no?
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28-09-2010, 09:47 AM
 
RE: Let's Play Make Believe
(28-09-2010 08:26 AM)BarleyMcFlexo Wrote:  Sorry, I just don't understand your point. I also don't understand why a supposed intelligent and logical person is fine with the notion that it is no different than an ape. At least you do not fall victim to pride, and I commend you for that!
Quote:Yes, it's quite apparent you don't see my point. But now you're putting words in my mouth. I did not say humans are no different from apes. That clearly would be incorrect, and I find such extrapolations to be a mildly insulting tactic among theists used to ridicule those who believe in evolution.


I apologize for my incorrect assumption and retract my statement. I realize now that I did put words in your mouth.
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