Let's Play Make Believe
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28-09-2010, 09:49 AM
 
RE: Let's Play Make Believe
(28-09-2010 09:14 AM)Stark Raving Wrote:  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.
Our societies sanction murder at time of war, and in other situations such as for self-defense. This is comparable to god sanctioning murder of unbelievers and homosexuals - situational morality. Theists basing their morality on such 'sacred' texts as the bible have been blind to their very own acceptance of the situational morality they accuse atheists of practicing.

(28-09-2010 09:14 AM)Stark Raving Wrote:  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. ...snip...
This is a good example of how what we call morality is essentially a survival strategy. There is no such thing as an absolute morality because there are different forms of survival strategy for different species. And individual members of any species are not bound to the strategies that work for the species as a whole.
(28-09-2010 09:47 AM)BarleyMcFlexo Wrote:  I apologize for my incorrect assumption and retract my statement. I realize now that I did put words in your mouth.
Apology accepted. I appreciate your participation in these discussions. It's very stimulating.
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28-09-2010, 12:02 PM
RE: Let's Play Make Believe
Barley

I want to follow up on another aspect of the "murder" example. I'm somewhat familiar with the Old Testament. So, as I recall, the story goes like this: the Jews flee the Egyptians, are free and in the desert, and Moses climbs Mt. Sinai and is given the 15 ... I mean 10 ... 10 commandments by God, including "thou shalt not kill". He climbs down the mountain to deliver God's law and is horrified to find the Hebrews dancing around a golden calf that they built to worship. God gets angry and condemns them to walk around in the desert for 40 years eating manna before he leads them to the Promised Land.

Sound about right? Ok, so, now we are marching into Israel, the Promised Land, and the Hebrews are about to take possession as the new rightful owners of Israel. Only one small problem .. there are a whole bunch of people living there and they really aren't interested in packing up and moving. This certainly creates a conundrum for the early Hebrews but luckily they find a workable solution: wholesale slaughter of everyone in their path. And thus Israel is born.

But, what happened to "Thou shalt not kill"? Obviously it did not apply to everyone equally. In fact, the bible is filled with stories of atrocities where women not virgins, children of sinners, and people who just happened to be in the way are routinely killed, often brutally. Is that really the basis for your morality? God can't even follow his own laws for more than a couple of pages and that is what keeps you from being a murderer or an adulterer or a criminal?

Human beings are inherently social and tribal. We have maternal and even paternal instincts. We work towards the betterment of our communities. Not on a macro level, obviously, but certainly on a local level. It is inherent in our genetic make-up. As for the argument of "who's moral stance wins out in dispute", given that there are several hundred religions on the planet I don't see how religion solves that problem. Even the bible is subject to interpretation (not surprising given it's vagueness and contradictions) as evidenced by the dozens of off shoots in both Judaism and Christianity.

Finally, and to be clear, I was not joking on my original response. I am firmly convinced that if I'm wrong and there is a God that when I die I'm going to be stuck for eternity in Columbus, Ohio. Anyone who thinks hell is a pit with constant fire has never been stuck in Columbus. It's just awful.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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28-09-2010, 01:16 PM (This post was last modified: 28-09-2010 01:22 PM by catdance62.)
RE: Let's Play Make Believe
This thread has gone far since I was at work!
Someone said "Animals kill each other, and we don't". Of course we do! Not only do we kill each other out of pure spite, we kill other animals and eat them. Animals rarely kill another of their own species out of pure spite, although other primates besides ourselves sometimes do. I think that if there were not a societal mandate (and law) against cannabilism, we would eat each other too. We just don't. Also, in primal societies before there was an idea of "deity/creator", there was some sort of order or "morals" otherwise humans and humanoids would have never gotten as far as they have. There is order, or morals if you will, in many other primate societies. Altruistic behaviour has been observed in all great ape groups and not only within their own species but such behaviour has been observed being extended to other species as well.
And I agree with BnW; Columbus, Ohio is hell
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28-09-2010, 03:14 PM
RE: Let's Play Make Believe
That does it. I am never going to Columbus Ohio, at least not while I am alive.
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28-09-2010, 04:25 PM
RE: Let's Play Make Believe
First I am assuming that the Pope goes to heavenSmile. Since that would be the case I would absolutely go to heaven. I do not cover up abuse-let people I know who are abusing continue and dish out garbage to people I know is not true! Sure-I drink too much wine-have sexual thoughts (about women)-and told a little lie once in a while. Hmmm-my scorecard seems better than the Pope.
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28-09-2010, 09:01 PM
 
RE: Let's Play Make Believe
I'd be in Hell, being smothered with fire and brimstone. And it would totally be worth it.
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29-09-2010, 01:56 AM
 
RE: Let's Play Make Believe
I've been in Columbus, Ohio, and I didn't find it particularly hellish. What did I miss?

Of course, for OhSU fans, it's a virtual paradise.
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29-09-2010, 09:18 AM
RE: Let's Play Make Believe
(28-09-2010 03:14 PM)No J. Wrote:  That does it. I am never going to Columbus Ohio, at least not while I am alive.

So, funny story: I flew to Europe last night on business and the attractive woman sitting next to me was from.... Columbus, Ohio. Really weird coincidence.

2Buck - if you ran into Buckeye fans, you should understand why the place is hell on Earth.

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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29-09-2010, 09:51 AM
 
RE: Let's Play Make Believe
(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. ...

This is a common view among christians in regard to atheists.

I urge you to consider the following:

1) If morals are truly arbitrary, morality would differ greatly between humans with differing cultures and belief systems. Anthropological studies indicate that this is overwhelmingly false. Humans of all religions and cultures share strikingly similar moral values.

2) Morals are simply evolved survival strategies. You point to the fact that animals don't have morality that tells them not to kill other animals, setting them apart from humans, but what you overlooked is that animals rarely predate those of their own species, just like humans do this relatively rarely. In this way, the animal tendency to kill members of other species is shared among all animals, including humans.

3) The bible doesn't contain a system of absolute morality. The Bible promotes morality that is situational, or changeable regarding specific circumstances. Thou shalt not murder is followed swiftly by an "unless" clause. Rape of women is wrong "unless" it prevents homosexual rape of a man. Self-mutilation (even hypothetical) is wrong "unless" it prevents sin.

Morals go deeper than religion. Humans are large-brained animals. (Why do humans consider this such an insult, I wonder?) Biblical morals are more situational than non-religious morals.
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29-09-2010, 09:54 AM
RE: Let's Play Make Believe
Well said Athnostic.

Just visiting.

-SR
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