Open challenge: Prove the existence of objective moral laws in a godless world
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12-12-2014, 12:01 PM
RE: Open challenge: Prove the existence of objective moral laws in a godless world
(12-12-2014 11:52 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Or in other words, in order for guilt to accompany an action, it requires a belief that i what I did was wrong. If I didn't believe I did anything wrong, than I likely wouldn't feel any guilt about it. Agree?

I wouldn't agree at all. There's no insistence on believing what was done was wrong for one to feel guilty.

You could be in a scenario where a friend gives you a heads or tails scenario to take a prize. He chooses tails and it lands a heads, so you get the prize. You could feel guilty for having the prize by feeling empathetic to his position, but have no feelings anything you did was wrong nor that you OUGHT to do anything differently.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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12-12-2014, 12:04 PM
RE: Open challenge: Prove the existence of objective moral laws in a godless world
(12-12-2014 12:00 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  Define obligation in this context.

Any of common definitions should be fine.

a sense of duty i guess.
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12-12-2014, 12:14 PM (This post was last modified: 12-12-2014 12:21 PM by Tomasia.)
RE: Open challenge: Prove the existence of objective moral laws in a godless world
(12-12-2014 12:01 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  You could be in a scenario where a friend gives you a heads or tails scenario to take a prize. He chooses tails and it lands a heads, so you get the prize. You could feel guilty for having the prize by feeling empathetic to his position, but have no feelings anything you did was wrong nor that you OUGHT to do anything differently.


Because you didn't do anything, it was the one who setup the game in such a way, that it was a matter of sheer luck. Your guilt is something that finds fault in the system that didn't reward him as well, it was unfair to him, like luck always is. ***Also feeling bad, and feeling guilty don't always mean the same thing. Guilt requires a sense of responsibility. Your scenario is akin to feeling bad for someone who lost their house in the hurricane. You wouldn't feel guilty about it.

But either way, I am talking primarily about actions in which we are the perpetuator, actions which have a moral dimension.

For me to feel guilty about something I did, requires a belief that what I did was wrong. If I didn't believe acting dickish was wrong, than I likely wouldn't feel guilty about it? Correct?
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12-12-2014, 12:22 PM
RE: Open challenge: Prove the existence of objective moral laws in a godless world
As far as my empathy serves me, yes there is a sense of obligation. I do not, however, believe there is any true or ultimate obligation that would compel me to feel guilt.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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12-12-2014, 12:29 PM
RE: Open challenge: Prove the existence of objective moral laws in a godless world
(12-12-2014 11:52 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
Quote:For the purposes of clinical psychology the standard is of disruption. Most actions are fairly neutral. Drinking alcohol is not a problem; alcoholism is a problem. Viewing pornography isn't a problem - until it is; if, say, it disrupts an existent or potential relationship one wishes to pursue or continue. There is, obviously, no firm external criteria for evaluation.

For most believers watching pornography is wrong, even if watched in moderation, that looking upon another woman in lust is wrong.

You might as well tell people that "looking upon another's food in hunger" is wrong.
(hint: those aren't choices, they're biology)

But I have a grudging appreciation for how thoroughly that carefully indoctrinated guilt complex fucks with people to keep them in line, I guess...

(12-12-2014 11:52 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  One can be raised in a religious culture who views it as wrong, and while you were religious you may have believed the same thing. You may have found yourself watching porn at one time, and even feeling guilty about it as a result.

Yet that wrong becomes almost non-existenent when one becomes an unbeliever. Where at one time watching even a little pornography, might have caused you to feel guilt, and that what you were doing was wrong, once you let go of religious belief, then it's likely this guilt, this wrongness evaporates along with it.

What I'm arguing is that in this particular instance it should be somewhat obvious that the loss of wrongness, that the loss of guilt, is a result of changing beliefs, or
an abandoning of certain beliefs.

You explicitly asked why only some ideas of "wrongness" changed, though.

(12-12-2014 11:52 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Or in other words, in order for guilt to accompany an action, it requires a belief that i what I did was wrong. If I didn't believe I did anything wrong, then I likely wouldn't feel any guilt about it. Agree?

Sure, but that's trivial. Guilt requires we feel we have done something bad - that's no more than its definition.

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12-12-2014, 01:02 PM
RE: Open challenge: Prove the existence of objective moral laws in a godless world
(12-12-2014 07:45 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Also keep in mind, that I’m not saying that I can argue the obviousness of it to someone else, such I would be able to do so with my two hands.
This is the thing, it's a belief, its not demonstrable and its not independant of the observer.
The scientific method recognises the problems inherent with a single person trying to derive knowledge from a personal experience.
All you need to do is to look at all the different groups of people convinced that their god it the real one, Allah, Vishnu, YHWH, Ra etc. They are all convinced, but they can't all be correct.
Also look to other superstitions, sports persons with lucky sox, or lucky rituals, homeopathy, super dosing of vitimans, kids that wear amber necklaces for teething, ghosts, voodoo...
As intelligent as we people are, we are still very prone to jumping to conclusions. We have developed the ability to recognise patterns and to try and derive knowledge from that, but we often find patterns where none exist or find correlations or causes that do not exist.
There are an endless amount of possiblities that our imaginations can dream up but only one truth. It is much more likely that we will come to false conclusions, to false knowledge then the truth. We hence need to employ some methodology to improve our chances of discovering the truth. For matters pertaining to natural causes the scientific method has developed so that we can discern false speculation from truth.
Unfortunately for matters supernatural there doesn't seem to be a way to discern false speculation from truth.

(12-12-2014 07:45 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Well, I don’t think the problem is one that plagues believers, but in fact many unbelievers as well. You should perhaps know this just from your own experiences here.
Yes, I agree with you. Many unbelievers also put great effort into trying to work out what is moral and what is immoral. For example Sam Harris thinks morality is based around human happiness and reduction in human suffering.

I could imaging a bunch of people sitting around, contemplating human behaviour. Asking themselves why don't we all go around hurting each other? Why are some people "bad" and some "good". I can understand why they have jumped to the conclusions of morality and that requiring some basis and blaming a good agent (a god) for the good things and a bad agent (devil) for the bad things. I can imagine them coming up with the concept of free will so that they can be justified in making judgements on others, justified in dishing out punishment.
I think there are many atheists that assume law must be based somewhat on morality and holding people accountable for immoral acts. I think those people might struggle to understand how law and society can operate without such judgements.

Obviously yourself and I see the need to have some standard behind morality beyond each person's opinion. You go towards there being a necessity for a god behind it all, I go towards morality being an unsupported assumption.

Have you heard of the story of a group of apes in a cage, with bananas in the middle. When an ape goes for the banana then all the apes are sprayed with water. Eventually when an ape goes for the banana the other apes attack it to stop it as they don't want to get sprayed. An ape is removed from the group and replaced by a new ape. This new ape gets attacked when it goes for the banana, it learns to attack other apes that go for the banana, eventually all apes that have ever been sprayed are replaced by apes that have never been sprayed. The group still attacks any ape that goes for the banana. Why do they attack? One not knowing of the history of being sprayed could conclude that the apes have determined that it is immoral to eat bananas.
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12-12-2014, 01:06 PM
RE: Open challenge: Prove the existence of objective moral laws in a godless world
(12-12-2014 11:52 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(12-12-2014 11:35 AM)cjlr Wrote:  Are you genuinely looking for an answer?

Yes, I was, but i think you misconstrued what I was asking.

Quote:For the purposes of clinical psychology the standard is of disruption. Most actions are fairly neutral. Drinking alcohol is not a problem; alcoholism is a problem. Viewing pornography isn't a problem - until it is; if, say, it disrupts an existent or potential relationship one wishes to pursue or continue. There is, obviously, no firm external criteria for evaluation.

For most believers watching pornography is wrong, even if watched in moderation, that looking upon another woman in lust is wrong. One can be raised in a religious culture who views it as wrong, and while you were religious you may have believed the same thing. You may have found yourself watching porn at one time, and even feeling guilty about it as a result.

Yet that wrong becomes almost non-existenent when one becomes an unbeliever. Where at one time watching even a little pornography, might have caused you to feel guilt, and that what you were doing was wrong, once you let go of religious belief, then it's likely this guilt, this wrongness evaporates along with it.

What I'm arguing is that in this particular instance it should be somewhat obvious that the loss of wrongness, that the loss of guilt, is a result of changing beliefs, or an abandoning of certain beliefs.

Or in other words, in order for guilt to accompany an action, it requires a belief that i what I did was wrong. If I didn't believe I did anything wrong, then I likely wouldn't feel any guilt about it. Agree?

Most of this post actually makes the most sense out of all your pleadings and questioning tactics. You seem to be having great difficulty in dealing with the shame and dogmas pushed onto you by religion and the "all present and just god" woo crap. What really gets me about believers is how they struggle with the ability to view concepts from the outside of their own worldview. Stop saying something is wrong in such a definitive way. Actions are wrong because we were taught that from our culture, parents, leaders, and of course the church. Seeing a naked person is not wrong if you discard the shame preached in churches.

I am personally so tired of hearing the same old pleading over and over again because some individual cannot escape the guilt and shame that theism promotes and teaches to the youngest of children. Feeling bad about something does not mean you can just assign this universal ideology to this emotion as if it is the standard for all humans. Please look outside your bubble and realize you do not dictate what is always wrong and always right since the person in the next country may and will disagree with some of your truth claims.

“Truth does not demand belief. Scientists do not join hands every Sunday, singing, yes, gravity is real! I will have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up, must come down, down, down. Amen! If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about it.”
— Dan Barker —
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12-12-2014, 01:13 PM
RE: Open challenge: Prove the existence of objective moral laws in a godless world
(12-12-2014 12:29 PM)cjlr Wrote:  But I have a grudging appreciation for how thoroughly that carefully indoctrinated guilt complex fucks with people to keep them in line, I guess…

I don’t think it’s the guilt that being indoctrinated into us here, as much as a carefully indoctrinated sense of rightness and wrongness complex that keeps people in line. Guilt is only a consequences of acting in ways perceived by us as wrong.

And this careful indoctrination extends as much to the religious world, as the secular one. We peddle a sort of slave morality, that's beholden to the poor and the weak, that values things such as love, and humility, which indoctrinates us to perceive dickishness and arrogance as wrong, though it can feel good to be this way sometimes. Even if one is a secular liberal, a humanist of sorts, they perceive their own rightness and wrongness as some immovable pillar, rather than ones with some careful examination can be flicked away with a finger. All that’s holding it together are beliefs in beliefs.

Quote:Sure, but that's trivial. Guilt requires we feel we have done something bad - that's no more than its definition.

Do you think guilt plays an important role in the flourishing of society? Do you think if we never felt guilt about anything we did, this would be quite problematic for our existence? Or do you think guilt only plays a trivial role in human life?
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12-12-2014, 01:24 PM
RE: Open challenge: Prove the existence of objective moral laws in a godless world
(12-12-2014 01:06 PM)Timber1025 Wrote:  Actions are wrong because we were taught that from our culture, parents, leaders, and of course the church. Seeing a naked person is not wrong if you discard the shame preached in churches.

It could be my culture, parents, leaders, and the church preaching to me that seeing a naked person is wrong. I’m assuming you’ll agree that the same thing applies, if I discard this shame taught to me by my parents, leaders, and culture, then seeing a naked person would no longer be wrong.

Quote:…..Please look outside your bubble and realize you do not dictate what is always wrong and always right ….

If the wrong taught to us by culture, parents, and leaders can be discarded, and I have no capacity to dictate what is wrong or right for anyone else, who does than? No one? Are we left as our own moral masters, who can each choose what is right or wrong, or even choose to believe nothing is right or wrong?
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12-12-2014, 01:24 PM
RE: Open challenge: Prove the existence of objective moral laws in a godless world
(12-12-2014 12:14 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(12-12-2014 12:01 PM)ClydeLee Wrote:  You could be in a scenario where a friend gives you a heads or tails scenario to take a prize. He chooses tails and it lands a heads, so you get the prize. You could feel guilty for having the prize by feeling empathetic to his position, but have no feelings anything you did was wrong nor that you OUGHT to do anything differently.


Because you didn't do anything, it was the one who setup the game in such a way, that it was a matter of sheer luck. Your guilt is something that finds fault in the system that didn't reward him as well, it was unfair to him, like luck always is. ***Also feeling bad, and feeling guilty don't always mean the same thing. Guilt requires a sense of responsibility. Your scenario is akin to feeling bad for someone who lost their house in the hurricane. You wouldn't feel guilty about it.

But either way, I am talking primarily about actions in which we are the perpetuator, actions which have a moral dimension.

For me to feel guilty about something I did, requires a belief that what I did was wrong. If I didn't believe acting dickish was wrong, than I likely wouldn't feel guilty about it? Correct?

FOR YOU then, If that's the only definition you will accept on rigid criteria. yes, but I don't see any valid reason to accept it in terms of philosophical and psychological reasoning upon the concept of guilt.

There is direct cases and syndromes of people commonly feeling guilty thought they didn't do anything. Survivors Guilt is a legitimate concept people at times go through after traumatic events. These feelings of guilt can be brought upon simply from not dying. The same is capable with the case of winning the prize vs seeing someone else not, despite no action taken.

Quote:If the wrong taught to us by culture, parents, and leaders can be discarded, and I have no capacity to dictate what is wrong or right for anyone else, who does than? No one? Are we left as our our moral masters, who can each choose what is right or wrong, or even choose to believe nothing is right or wrong?

Yes.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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