Michael Shermer refutes Dennis Prager's "If There Is No God, Murder Isn't Wrong."
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15-04-2017, 06:16 PM
RE: Michael Shermer refutes Dennis Prager's "If There Is No God, Murder Isn't Wrong."
(13-04-2017 05:40 AM)abaris Wrote:  I wonder why such a simplistic out of the ass statement is even in need of being refuted.
I think its power is in the fact that most people just haven't thought through their moral convictions, and in any case, certain things are so universally agreed across cultures and time that they are just axiomatic to us. So when you challenge someone to say how they "know" murder is "wrong" you quickly get in over most people's heads, philosophically speaking. Then you can baffle them with bullshit and bully your way to a "victory".

Also I think most people conceptualize morality as absolute and a thing-in-itself. At least that's the impression I get. So then you are vulnerable to arguments from authority. As morality is generally conceived, it needs a "backing authority" to have "validity" or at least to be enforceable. This has been the default (and largely religiously mediated) thinking for most of human history.

It is a bit counterintuitive that morality can be entirely relative and crowd-sourced and still be useful and stable as opposed to capricious. That it arises organically from societal interactions is basically the opposite of what religion has generally taught since forever, but that has always been the true situation nevertheless.
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16-04-2017, 01:14 AM
RE: Michael Shermer refutes Dennis Prager's "If There Is No God, Murder Isn't Wrong."
(13-04-2017 05:46 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  I didn't watch it, so i didn't know he used the Hitler thing.
Germany was a Christian nation, which permitted National Socialism to take power.
I think he is thought to have actually killed 0 to maybe 3, to a max of 7 people, personally.

In 1939, Germany held it's last major census before WW2 really got going. Only 5% of the German population was not Christian. And 2% of that were the Jews.
So the question is, why did all those good German Christians allow Hitler to commit genocide?

Yog Sothoth! Yog Sothoth! Come back old ones! Yog Sothoth!

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16-04-2017, 10:03 AM
Michael Shermer refutes Dennis Prager's "If There Is No God, Murder Isn't Wrong."
Wow no Tommy in this thread.

Well like god before it a hundred n half years back, perhaps morality is dead.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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16-04-2017, 10:42 AM
RE: Michael Shermer refutes Dennis Prager's "If There Is No God, Murder Isn't Wrong."
(16-04-2017 01:14 AM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:  In 1939, Germany held it's last major census before WW2 really got going. Only 5% of the German population was not Christian. And 2% of that were the Jews.
So the question is, why did all those good German Christians allow Hitler to commit genocide?

And that says what exactly? Historically it's not as easy as number crunching. Historically it has a lot to do with a climate of widespread antisemitism in large parts of the world. Not only in Germany, apart from the fact that Hitler didn't exactly announce he would murder the jews. In prewar Germany he discriminated against them. Which was OK for many people, since they grew up with the tales of jews being too influencal in politics as well as economically.

The road to the Holocaust started out with Hitler killing Germans. The mentally disabled and the chronically ill. Still not the jews. The plan and execution of the final solution started well into the war. With the invasion of the Soviet Union, planned and organized in january 1942. It was top secret, but that didn't mean that people couldn't have known if they wanted to know. Soldiers witnessed mass shootings and when they came hom on vaccation, they spoke about it. But at that time, most Germans were already busy surviving. They were apathetic when it came to the suffering of others. The ones agreeing with killing the jews - not only the jews, by the way, but also Sinti and Roma - were a minority throughout the time. People just didn't care anymore, other, and that is a historical fact, documented by SD reports as well as other sources, that it will come back to haunt them, if they lost the war.

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16-04-2017, 11:18 AM
RE: Michael Shermer refutes Dennis Prager's "If There Is No God, Murder Isn't Wrong."
There's a few things I wonder about...

If God "gave" us our morality, why do the rules also need to be written in a book? I never read the book until into my thirties and I managed not to murder anyone before then.

But assuming we need it, for people like this guy who would be out murdering unless his favourite story said otherwise, how often does he need to check it? Is once enough, or does he need reminding daily not to maul strangers? The people who want the 10 commandments plastered everywhere obviously think Christians need constant reinforcement.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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22-04-2017, 12:53 AM
RE: Michael Shermer refutes Dennis Prager's "If There Is No God, Murder Isn't Wrong."
(16-04-2017 10:42 AM)abaris Wrote:  
(16-04-2017 01:14 AM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:  In 1939, Germany held it's last major census before WW2 really got going. Only 5% of the German population was not Christian. And 2% of that were the Jews.
So the question is, why did all those good German Christians allow Hitler to commit genocide?

And that says what exactly? Historically it's not as easy as number crunching. Historically it has a lot to do with a climate of widespread antisemitism in large parts of the world. Not only in Germany, apart from the fact that Hitler didn't exactly announce he would murder the jews. In prewar Germany he discriminated against them. Which was OK for many people, since they grew up with the tales of jews being too influencal in politics as well as economically.

The road to the Holocaust started out with Hitler killing Germans. The mentally disabled and the chronically ill. Still not the jews. The plan and execution of the final solution started well into the war. With the invasion of the Soviet Union, planned and organized in january 1942. It was top secret, but that didn't mean that people couldn't have known if they wanted to know. Soldiers witnessed mass shootings and when they came hom on vaccation, they spoke about it. But at that time, most Germans were already busy surviving. They were apathetic when it came to the suffering of others. The ones agreeing with killing the jews - not only the jews, by the way, but also Sinti and Roma - were a minority throughout the time. People just didn't care anymore, other, and that is a historical fact, documented by SD reports as well as other sources, that it will come back to haunt them, if they lost the war.


There is an interesting essay on the net called "Heil Professor!".
http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/Artic...essor.html

The virulent antisemitism of Hitler's Germany had deep and long roots, and was spread by numerous German college professors. So it wasn't just apathy, but a century of savage and systematic agitprop that lead to genocide. It wasn't, as many Xians like to imply, something that came about from German atheists in Hitler's day and age. The Nazis didn't invent any of this.

And similarly, German racism had long deep roots. Roma in Germany have always had a hard time, and it was not uncommon in many German cities and towns to ban Roma from living there.

Germans long before Hitler disliked the Poles and Slavs. Google Drang_nach_Osten for more. Hitler's Nazi regime was simply following old and well established ideas taken to their logical ends.

It wasn't like Germans had no idea what this Hitler speech meant, and the Nazi policies meant.. At least amongst the educated.

Yog Sothoth! Yog Sothoth! Come back old ones! Yog Sothoth!

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22-04-2017, 01:22 AM
RE: Michael Shermer refutes Dennis Prager's "If There Is No God, Murder Isn't Wrong."
(22-04-2017 12:53 AM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:  It wasn't like Germans had no idea what this Hitler speech meant, and the Nazi policies meant.. At least amongst the educated.

Trump syndrome. Once in power he won't do what he said he'd do. Also well documented and a widespread opinion.

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02-05-2017, 03:54 PM
RE: Michael Shermer refutes Dennis Prager's "If There Is No God, Murder Isn't Wrong."
It is always a wonder to me that more Christians don't seem to reflect what an ill picture this claim paints of Christians.

The implication is that, but for their belief in God, Christians would immediately become homicidal maniacs run amok among the rest of us.

Fortunately some of us don't need God to tell us that self-defense is OK.

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07-05-2017, 09:10 AM
RE: Michael Shermer refutes Dennis Prager's "If There Is No God, Murder Isn't Wrong."
(02-05-2017 03:54 PM)Dr H Wrote:  It is always a wonder to me that more Christians don't seem to reflect what an ill picture this claim paints of Christians.

The implication is that, but for their belief in God, Christians would immediately become homicidal maniacs run amok among the rest of us.

Fortunately some of us don't need God to tell us that self-defense is OK.
Yes, and the inverse implication is that because of their belief in God, Christians immediately become ethical, moral paragons of virtue ... unlike those OTHER people who aren't Christians. And THAT doesn't hold up to scrutiny, either.

In point of fact, history is full of examples of people who do not believe in god, or at least don't believe in the RIGHT god, and are still wonderful human beings who left the world a better place than they found it.

In point of fact, Christians are somewhat overrepresented in prison populations relative to non-Christians, divorce at a slightly higher rate relative to non-Christians, and just generally are not substantively better / different morally than non-Christians. And it's not hard at all to point to examples of professing Christians who are hideously bad exemplars of humanity -- and even easier to find examples who are just plain dicks.
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29-06-2017, 03:36 PM
RE: Michael Shermer refutes Dennis Prager's "If There Is No God, Murder Isn't Wrong."
Right, because if there is no God then there are no moral absolutes.
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