Morality
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26-07-2015, 10:32 AM (This post was last modified: 26-07-2015 10:39 AM by goodwithoutgod.)
RE: Morality
(26-07-2015 03:51 AM)Hambone Wrote:  Is morality objective (factual) or subjective (preference/opinion)?

If something is objective, then it is factual, that is, it is true/false independent of human taste preference or opinion. It is DISCOVERED. For example, the earth is not flat is an objective truth. It is factual. It is true regardless of human opinion. This was discovered. Even if their were no conscious beings in the universe, the earth would still not be flat, rather, the shape of sphere/ball.

If something is subjective, then its based on personal taste, preference or opinion. These are not factual. They are mind dependent. These include, food, drinks, movies, music, clothes, holiday destinations etc etc etc. There is NO RIGHT or WRONG.

Where is morality? Is it objective or is it subjective?

Lets first put it in the subjective basket. You will notice that when we look at subjective items, they all result in the same conclusion. No right or wrong. For example, if I say I prefer thick crust pizza to thin crust pizza, am I wrong for preferring that or thinking one is better than the other? No. We all know taste in food is subjective, therefore, there is no right or wrong. Its just opinion.
If I say I prefer hip hop R&B to heavy metal music, am I right or wrong to suggest one is better than the other? Neither, because they are just preferences.
These are just 2 examples. But if you put any item in the subjective basket, you will notice the conclusions are the same, that is, their is no right or wrong.

Now, lets put morality in this subjective basket. If I say I prefer to rape and cause harm to others, is this right or wrong? Well, if you are consistent, then its neither right or wrong, just like in the case of food and music.

Lets look at objective items. I gave the example of the flat earth above. Another example is the sun. The claim the sun exists is an objective truth, it is factual. If their are no conscious beings in the universe, it is still true that the sun exists.
If I say the sun doesn't exist OR the earth is flat, then I am WRONG. I am only WRONG because rights and wrongs ONLY exist in relation to objective items/facts.

Now lets put morality in the objective basket. If morality is objective, then rights and wrongs exist morally.
So, if someone says that raping a person for fun is right, then they are wrong. They are only wrong because we can compare their claim to an objective fact, ie, rape is wrong.

So, what is it? Based on experience, it appears to me, that morality is actually objective.

Lets look at an example....ASSUMING i like rape and you don't. IF I say for the past 6 months, I have had a person in my garage whom I have been raping, torturing and treating woefully, then if morality is SUBJECTIVE, then you can only reply in the same way as if you don't like a food that I like. Their is no right or wrong. Just opinion. Is this really how it is based on experience? Would we treat this case the same way as in taste of food? Experience says we don't.

Now, based on the example, if morality is objective, then and ONLY then can you say my actions are wrong, because you are comparing my actions against an objective truth.

So which one is it?

Now, notice I am speaking ontology, not epistemology. This is not about HOW we know. I can discuss that later.

Secondly, how can objective morality exist in a godless world? Remember I said, if something is objective, it is true or false REGARDLESS of human taste preference or opinion. In fact, they are discovered. Therefore, in a godless world that came about by a mindless and unguided blind process, what are moral facts doing in such a world? Don't moral laws or truths come from a law maker or law giver?

My problem is, atheists often claim morality is subjective, but then go and criticise morality in the OT. If morality is subjective, then your claims that the morality in the OT is wrong is not factual, rather, just an opinion...no different to if I said vanilla ice cream is better than chocolate.....

The very fact atheists make moral claims, is testimony that they are claiming moral facts. But in a godless world, where do these facts come from?

Are atheists actually affirming a moral law giver everytime they make a moral claim?

We know from Anthropology 101 where human customs come from, and in general why they arise. One of the fallacies religionists claim is that without their deity, morality would not exist. The fact is that EVERY SINGLE commandment, injunction and law in the Bible existed already in ancient Near Eastern culture, and was imported into the Bible. Religion TOOK their laws from existing culture....religion didn't create morals, and neither did transcendental super genies.

I am busy taking mid terms and writing papers today, but here is a paper I wrote on this subject several years ago.

Moral Theology is the study of how persons live in response to what God has done for them (Mueller 221).

Morality is concerned with human conduct but goes to a deeper level of personhood, such that our conduct is a reflection of who we are, a reflection of our character (Mueller 221).

Ethics can be defined as a discussion of the formation of human conduct… How responsible human beings capable of critical judgment should live using reflection on fundamental issues in description of concrete cases (Mueller 221).

Conscience is the voice of God written in our hearts, in accordance with the second Vatican Council. Natural law is considered one of the major sources of moral theology and answers the question: how do I know what is good or evil? Christians believe that natural law has been a factor in our decisions of what is morally right and wrong, good and evil (Mueller 222 – 227).

“This people who may personally and individually be moral and good people and have no intention of conflict and harm on others often share a Christian theory called the collective guilt “social sin.” (Mueller 257). The depths that theists go to fabricate the conception of sin knows no bounds, here you can be a good person yet you still have “social sin”. John Paul II said that social sins are “collective behavior of certain social groups, big or small, or even of whole nations or blocks of nations” (Mueller 258). Social sin becomes personal sin of individuals through complicity, indifference, or reluctance of those in a position to exert influence for change who do not do so (Mueller 258).

Catholic social teaching looks to gospel teaching to form the moral foundation the Catholic approach to questions of social justice. And assist the disciple in the ongoing task of reflecting on the challenge of Jesus in the sermon on the Mount and in discerning what it means in a consumer, technological, and globalized society to be poor in spirit and to embrace a sorrowing and the lowly (Mueller 260).

Secular morality is the aspect of philosophy that deals with morality outside of religious traditions. Modern examples include humanism, freethinking, and most versions of consequentialism. Additional philosophies with ancient roots include those such as skepticism and virtue ethics. Greg M. Epstein states that, "much of ancient Far Eastern thought is deeply concerned with human goodness without placing much if any stock in the importance of gods or spirits. Other philosophers have proposed various ideas about how to determine right and wrong actions. An example is Immanuel Kant's categorical imperative: "The idea that actions can only be considered moral if they could be imitated by anyone else and produce good results."

A variety of positions are apparent regarding the relationship between religion and morality. Some believe that religion is necessary as a guide to a moral life. This idea has been with us for nearly 2,000 years. There are various thoughts regarding how this idea has arisen. For example, Greg Epstein suggests that this idea is connected to a concerted effort by theists to question nonreligious ideas: "conservative authorities have, since ancient days, had a clever counter strategy against religious skepticism—convincing people that atheism is evil, and then accusing their enemies of being atheists.

Others eschew the idea that religion is required to provide a guide to right and wrong behavior. Interestingly the Westminster Dictionary of Christian Ethics states that religion and morality "are to be defined differently and have no definitional connections with each other". Some believe that religions provide poor guides to moral behavior.

Popular atheist author and biologist Richard Dawkins, writing in The God Delusion, has stated that religious people have committed a wide variety of acts and held certain beliefs through history that are considered today to be morally repugnant. He has stated that Adolf Hitler and the Nazis held broadly Christian religious beliefs that inspired the Holocaust on account of antisemitic Christian doctrine, that Christians have traditionally imposed unfair restrictions on the legal and civil rights of women, and that Christians have condoned slavery of some form or description throughout most of Christianity's history. Dawkins insists that, since Jewish and Christian interpretations of the Bible have changed over the span of history so that what was formerly seen as permissible is now seen as impermissible, it is intellectually dishonest for them to believe theism provides an absolute moral foundation apart from secular intuition. In addition, he argued that since Christians and other religious groups do not acknowledge the binding authority of all parts of their holy texts (e.g., The books of Exodus and Leviticus state that those who work on the Sabbath and those caught performing acts of homosexuality, respectively, were to be put to death.), they are already capable of distinguishing "right" from "wrong." (Boghossian 248).

The well-known passage from Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, "If God is dead, all is permitted," suggests that non-believers would not hold moral lives without the possibility of punishment by a God. This is absurd as all one has to do is look at Denamrk or Sweden to see that these largely atheist areas enjoy being at the top tier of civilization. This is broken down in great detail in a book by Phil Zuckerman, "Society without god".

Phil Zuckerman, associate professor of sociology at Pitzer College in California, in his article, "Is Faith Good For Us" states the following: "A comparison of highly irreligious countries with highly religious countries, however, reveals a very different state of affairs. In reality, the most secular countries-those with the highest proportion of atheists and agnostics-are among the most stable, peaceful, free, wealthy, and healthy societies. And the most religious nations-wherein worship of God is in abundance-are among the most unstable, violent, oppressive, poor, and destitute."

A study by Gregory S. Paul, entitled "Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies: A First Look," was done and the study's conclusion was that there was an inverse relationship between religion and poor societal health rates. What that means is that the higher the level of religious belief in a country, the lower the level of societal health (more violent crimes, suicides, teen pregnancies, etc.).

So it seems that a plethora of evidence exists to show that not only do we not need religion in our lives to be good humans, but that having it in our lives can be counter-productive and unhealthy.

Works cited

Mueller, J.J., Theological Foundations: Concepts and Methods for Understanding the Christian Faith. Winona: Anselm Academic, Christian Brothers Publications, 2011. Print.

Boghossian, Peter. A Manual for Creating Atheists. Durham: Pitchstone Publishing, 2013. Print.

Zuckerman, Phil. Society without god: What the least religious nations can tell us about contentment. New York: New York University Press, 2008. Print.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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26-07-2015, 12:16 PM
RE: Morality
(26-07-2015 10:32 AM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  Phil Zuckerman, associate professor of sociology at Pitzer College in California, in his article, "Is Faith Good For Us" states the following: "A comparison of highly irreligious countries with highly religious countries, however, reveals a very different state of affairs. In reality, the most secular countries-those with the highest proportion of atheists and agnostics-are among the most stable, peaceful, free, wealthy, and healthy societies. And the most religious nations-wherein worship of God is in abundance-are among the most unstable, violent, oppressive, poor, and destitute."

A study by Gregory S. Paul, entitled "Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies: A First Look," was done and the study's conclusion was that there was an inverse relationship between religion and poor societal health rates. What that means is that the higher the level of religious belief in a country, the lower the level of societal health (more violent crimes, suicides, teen pregnancies, etc.).

So it seems that a plethora of evidence exists to show that not only do we not need religion in our lives to be good humans, but that having it in our lives can be counter-productive and unhealthy.

Zuckerman, Phil. Society without god: What the least religious nations can tell us about contentment. New York: New York University Press, 2008. Print.

Imagine that.

I played online BattleTech all through college, and one of my Lancemates (member of my 4-'Mech "platoon" called a Lance) in the game for years was a Swedish tank commander in real life, and an atheist. He used to talk in great detail about how they look at the United States, in terms of our religious society's "inverse relationship" with societal health. They are absolutely horrified of us!

When our demi-clergy (because they talk a lot of religion on behalf of their flocks) political leaders start saying "they hate us because of our Freedom", I have to laugh or else I'll cry. You have to have no idea how the rest of the world works, no sense of anthropology or history, and the sociological insight of a turnip in order to hold such an opinion!

Guess that's what it takes to get elected in a "Judeo-Christian nation". Rolleyes

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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26-07-2015, 12:51 PM
RE: Morality
(26-07-2015 12:16 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  
(26-07-2015 10:32 AM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  Phil Zuckerman, associate professor of sociology at Pitzer College in California, in his article, "Is Faith Good For Us" states the following: "A comparison of highly irreligious countries with highly religious countries, however, reveals a very different state of affairs. In reality, the most secular countries-those with the highest proportion of atheists and agnostics-are among the most stable, peaceful, free, wealthy, and healthy societies. And the most religious nations-wherein worship of God is in abundance-are among the most unstable, violent, oppressive, poor, and destitute."

A study by Gregory S. Paul, entitled "Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies: A First Look," was done and the study's conclusion was that there was an inverse relationship between religion and poor societal health rates. What that means is that the higher the level of religious belief in a country, the lower the level of societal health (more violent crimes, suicides, teen pregnancies, etc.).

So it seems that a plethora of evidence exists to show that not only do we not need religion in our lives to be good humans, but that having it in our lives can be counter-productive and unhealthy.

Zuckerman, Phil. Society without god: What the least religious nations can tell us about contentment. New York: New York University Press, 2008. Print.

Imagine that.

I played online BattleTech all through college, and one of my Lancemates (member of my 4-'Mech "platoon" called a Lance) in the game for years was a Swedish tank commander in real life, and an atheist. He used to talk in great detail about how they look at the United States, in terms of our religious society's "inverse relationship" with societal health. They are absolutely horrified of us!

When our demi-clergy (because they talk a lot of religion on behalf of their flocks) political leaders start saying "they hate us because of our Freedom", I have to laugh or else I'll cry. You have to have no idea how the rest of the world works, no sense of anthropology or history, and the sociological insight of a turnip in order to hold such an opinion!

Guess that's what it takes to get elected in a "Judeo-Christian nation". Rolleyes

It truly is a sad state we find ourselves...such power....such potential...such ignorance. Amazingly in 2015 the odds of an openly atheist political candidate getting elected is about.......zero. Even more amazing is in 8 states it is illegal to seek office, or even submit testimony...

The U.S. Constitution says religious tests cannot be required to hold public office. But if you read through the constitutions of eight states, they seem to require just that.

Provisions barring atheists from holding public office are written into the constitutions of those states, even though they can't be enforced.

That's because the Supreme Court ruled in 1961 that a Maryland man who was appointed as a notary public did not have to declare his belief in God be eligible for the office, which was required under the state’s constitution. The justices ruled unanimously that forcing the man to do so would violate his rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

The case, Torcaso v. Watkins, made enforcement of the provisions illegal, but merely allowing them to remain on the books does not violate the U.S. Constitution. So they remain in Arkansas, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

Mississippi’s Constitution states, “No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office in this state.” Arkansas' Constitution goes even further; it bars atheists from testifying in court.

Tennessee's bars atheists from office, but, curiously, the state also forbids ministers. Its provision states that any minister of the gospel or priest of any denomination is barred from public office because they “ought not to be diverted from the great duties of their functions.”

The stupid...it burns. Can you imagine if a state constitution barred christians from office.....

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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26-07-2015, 01:55 PM
RE: Morality
morality by AnntiCitizenX



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26-07-2015, 02:49 PM
RE: Morality
GwoG -

In court, we had to file a motion to prohibit them from demanding a religious oath of me when I testified... and they did it anyway... accidentally, of course! I had to stand there with my hand in the air and refuse to swear to God, then ask the judge to administer a godless "affirmation", which the judge made a big show of having to rifle through his book of legal procedure to find, as though it was such a rare occasion that the Affirmation is used in place of the Oath (there are only a couple of words in difference, so I know it was a deliberate show). Appellate courts ruled it "harmless error", even though it happened in front of a jury that contained two preacher's wives and a priest.

The police computer expert also "accidentally" mentioned the name of my blog, which contained the word "Atheist", and read an excerpt from a passage where I viciously attacked Mother Teresa for her stance on contraception, taking it out of context in a way that would have required me to read the whole attack-article on MT in order to put it back into full context, in order to make it sound like I was saying I believed in willfully defying the drug laws. The appellate courts ruled this "harmless error" as well.

But remember, folks, there's no harm in a little religion in this country! Rolleyes

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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26-07-2015, 03:04 PM
RE: Morality
(26-07-2015 12:16 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  
(26-07-2015 10:32 AM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  Phil Zuckerman, associate professor of sociology at Pitzer College in California, in his article, "Is Faith Good For Us" states the following: "A comparison of highly irreligious countries with highly religious countries, however, reveals a very different state of affairs. In reality, the most secular countries-those with the highest proportion of atheists and agnostics-are among the most stable, peaceful, free, wealthy, and healthy societies. And the most religious nations-wherein worship of God is in abundance-are among the most unstable, violent, oppressive, poor, and destitute."

A study by Gregory S. Paul, entitled "Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies: A First Look," was done and the study's conclusion was that there was an inverse relationship between religion and poor societal health rates. What that means is that the higher the level of religious belief in a country, the lower the level of societal health (more violent crimes, suicides, teen pregnancies, etc.).

So it seems that a plethora of evidence exists to show that not only do we not need religion in our lives to be good humans, but that having it in our lives can be counter-productive and unhealthy.

Zuckerman, Phil. Society without god: What the least religious nations can tell us about contentment. New York: New York University Press, 2008. Print.

Imagine that.

I played online BattleTech all through college, and one of my Lancemates (member of my 4-'Mech "platoon" called a Lance) in the game for years was a Swedish tank commander in real life, and an atheist. He used to talk in great detail about how they look at the United States, in terms of our religious society's "inverse relationship" with societal health. They are absolutely horrified of us!

When our demi-clergy (because they talk a lot of religion on behalf of their flocks) political leaders start saying "they hate us because of our Freedom", I have to laugh or else I'll cry. You have to have no idea how the rest of the world works, no sense of anthropology or history, and the sociological insight of a turnip in order to hold such an opinion!

Guess that's what it takes to get elected in a "Judeo-Christian nation". Rolleyes

So situation in USA looks kinda similar to Poland. Our former minister of justice claimed that he heard cries of frozen embrios; notion of making Christ king of Poland was heard from member of former rulling parties; also JP II nearly all of polish politicians like to say how great he was, one could imagine this is something like Stalin cult in USSR.

Though it's nothing surprising poor in my experience tend to be religious and Poland is poor country. Such ammount of religious idiocy in USA somewhat surprises me though.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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26-07-2015, 04:02 PM
RE: Morality
(26-07-2015 03:04 PM)Szuchow Wrote:  So situation in USA looks kinda similar to Poland. Our former minister of justice claimed that he heard cries of frozen embrios; notion of making Christ king of Poland was heard from member of former rulling parties; also JP II nearly all of polish politicians like to say how great he was, one could imagine this is something like Stalin cult in USSR.

Though it's nothing surprising poor in my experience tend to be religious and Poland is poor country. Such ammount of religious idiocy in USA somewhat surprises me though.

No, I think you're dead-on, Szuchow. While the USA shows off its tremendous overall wealth on TV, etc, the reality is quite different. We hide a lot of our dirty laundry, and the gap between our (minority) wealthy and our (majority) poor is quite shocking, once you get "off the beaten path". I spend a lot of my time on my motorcycle exploring backroads, so I have seen the truth of the country. The poorer the American is, the more likely they are religious-- and even those who don't appear to be poor (what we call the "middle class") are mortgaged up to their eyeballs, paying car loans, college loans, etc, in a form of debt slavery that makes them just as desperate as the people on the bottom, if a shade more comfortable in the day-to-day. Both groups are notoriously religious-fanatic.

It's more than an opiate of the masses, it's a set of blinders that people can wear so they don't see what's going on around them. BnW's recent post about the truth of the economic system was spot on, in another thread. But no one cares, no one sees it, because they buy The Official Truth™, and they just pray harder and work harder for their masters.

Breaks my heart to watch.

This is likely to be my last post for a week or so, as my fiancee and kid are due to arrive here in about an hour, and I still need to shave/shower/etc.

I'll miss you guys!

Keep the fundies honest while I'm gone! Rolleyes Tongue

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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26-07-2015, 04:27 PM
RE: Morality
(26-07-2015 04:02 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  No, I think you're dead-on, Szuchow. While the USA shows off its tremendous overall wealth on TV, etc, the reality is quite different. We hide a lot of our dirty laundry, and the gap between our (minority) wealthy and our (majority) poor is quite shocking, once you get "off the beaten path". I spend a lot of my time on my motorcycle exploring backroads, so I have seen the truth of the country. The poorer the American is, the more likely they are religious-- and even those who don't appear to be poor (what we call the "middle class") are mortgaged up to their eyeballs, paying car loans, college loans, etc, in a form of debt slavery that makes them just as desperate as the people on the bottom, if a shade more comfortable in the day-to-day. Both groups are notoriously religious-fanatic.

Don't know much about USA but what you write strangely reminds me of my country, except that there is no such overall wealth and no college loans. Wage gap is quite big, majority is poor and there isn't much understanding about need for safety net.

Religion though is tied with anti-communism so at least some religious fanatics here can be somewhat easier to understand given Poland history.

(26-07-2015 04:02 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  It's more than an opiate of the masses, it's a set of blinders that people can wear so they don't see what's going on around them. BnW's recent post about the truth of the economic system was spot on, in another thread. But no one cares, no one sees it, because they buy The Official Truth™, and they just pray harder and work harder for their masters.

In Poland religion truly is opiate of the masses I would say for the masses here hardly have other thing that could comfort them. But it's none other that the said masses who vote same politicians during each elections so in a way it's their fault.

One could say government is mirror of people which are governed by it and I think it's apt saying - neither gov nor people here are much concerned with freedom or healthy society so what they want it's what they got.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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26-07-2015, 04:30 PM
RE: Morality
(26-07-2015 03:51 AM)Hambone Wrote:  Therefore, in a godless world that came about by a mindless and unguided blind process, what are moral facts doing in such a world?
Evolution isn't blind, it has a decent aspect of feedback in it. That's the "natural selection" or "fitness" part of it.
The life cycle of the universe isn't unguided. Particles don't randomly move about. It is guided by the unchanging laws of physics.
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26-07-2015, 05:12 PM
RE: Morality
(26-07-2015 04:02 AM)DLJ Wrote:  
(26-07-2015 03:51 AM)Hambone Wrote:  Is morality objective (factual) or subjective (preference/opinion)?
...

There are many many threads on this subject and one that's still current. You can join in with that, if you like.

Meanwhile ... Welcome to TTA.

The answer to your question is ... neither.

Oh! and I edited a little to keep you within forum rules. Yes

Thanks for the welcome.

Neither? Can you explain that further? Thanks
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