Secular Morality
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11-01-2015, 11:10 AM
RE: Secular Morality
(11-01-2015 10:54 AM)666wannabe Wrote:  
(07-01-2015 10:54 PM)666wannabe Wrote:  Upon giving it further thought, morality is, generally, based on external prescriptions, but on internal desires. I don't refrain from killing someone because there are laws against it: I have no desire to kill anyone. The same can be said for stealing. Most of us, I would venture, don't steal from others because we do not desire to steal from others. Moral behavior is ingrained in us, by nature. This is why I shudder when a bible-thumping believer says that the only reason they refrain from immorality is because of God's commands. To base one's morality on promises of rewards and punishments is not to be moral--it is to be a servant.

Ghandi said, "I do not seek redemption from the consequences of sin, I seek to be redeemed from sin, itself."

More further thought;

As an example, consider the man who hid Anne Frank in his attic, then lied to the Nazis in order to protect her. Did he commit an "immoral" act by lying? I think the answer is "yes, he did", but he did so in order to prevent an injustice which would have been greater than the immorality of lying.

This is the substance of "moral dilemmas".

When an immoral act is committed in order to prevent great injustice to others, it doesn't make the act moral, yet it is justified (the lesser of two evils!). We should not claim that our act has been transformed into a moral act, but, instead, that committing the immoral act was a more reasonable action.

So, purely in the interests of testing your own thinking, where do you think this lack of desire comes from? Can you say for certain that it is not the result of some external influence or conditioning? And what about your possible own fear of conflict?

"I don't mind being wrong...it's a time I get to learn something new..."
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N.B: I routinely make edits to posts to correct grammar or spelling, or to restate a point more clearly. I only notify edits if they materially change meaning.
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11-01-2015, 06:13 PM
RE: Secular Morality
(11-01-2015 11:10 AM)gofish! Wrote:  
(11-01-2015 10:54 AM)666wannabe Wrote:  More further thought;

As an example, consider the man who hid Anne Frank in his attic, then lied to the Nazis in order to protect her. Did he commit an "immoral" act by lying? I think the answer is "yes, he did", but he did so in order to prevent an injustice which would have been greater than the immorality of lying.

This is the substance of "moral dilemmas".

When an immoral act is committed in order to prevent great injustice to others, it doesn't make the act moral, yet it is justified (the lesser of two evils!). We should not claim that our act has been transformed into a moral act, but, instead, that committing the immoral act was a more reasonable action.

So, purely in the interests of testing your own thinking, where do you think this lack of desire comes from? Can you say for certain that it is not the result of some external influence or conditioning? And what about your possible own fear of conflict?

I think the primary difference is those who base their actions on their emotions rather than their reasoning ability (intellect). The emotionally-driven tend toward narcissism more than those who rely more upon reason. I believe that the more educated a person becomes, the less they rely upon emotions. BTW, this seems to be the reason educating people tends toward moving them away from religion. I CAN'T SAY ANYTHING FOR CERTAIN. Only that there is a certain degree of probability that what I say is accurate.

If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.--Voltaire.

"To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." --Thomas Paine.
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11-01-2015, 06:51 PM
RE: Secular Morality
(11-01-2015 06:13 PM)666wannabe Wrote:  I think the primary difference is those who base their actions on their emotions rather than their reasoning ability (intellect).
But reasoning is just a tool similar to logic.
You need more than just reasoning or logic. You need some goals and premises to apply your reasoning and logic to.

When you lack the desire to steal is it because you have a goal of a society that respects property rights?

Surely there are things that you have a desire to own. e.g. a Ferrari, a large sum of money, a state or the art audio visual system.

If they were just lying there, in mint condition, unowed, available for whomever finds them to claim ownership. Would you claim them?

If you would claim them, then you have a desire to own them.

Now if another person owns them, you still have a desire to own them, but that is over-ruled by your desire to respect the ownership rights of others. What is this based on? You care about these other people or you see value in an agreement to not steal each other's stuff?

What about bees? Do you respect their rights to their honey, or do you feel that it is alright to take it from them?
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12-01-2015, 09:26 AM
RE: Secular Morality
(11-01-2015 06:51 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(11-01-2015 06:13 PM)666wannabe Wrote:  I think the primary difference is those who base their actions on their emotions rather than their reasoning ability (intellect).
But reasoning is just a tool similar to logic.
You need more than just reasoning or logic. You need some goals and premises to apply your reasoning and logic to.

When you lack the desire to steal is it because you have a goal of a society that respects property rights?

Surely there are things that you have a desire to own. e.g. a Ferrari, a large sum of money, a state or the art audio visual system.

If they were just lying there, in mint condition, unowed, available for whomever finds them to claim ownership. Would you claim them?

If you would claim them, then you have a desire to own them.

Now if another person owns them, you still have a desire to own them, but that is over-ruled by your desire to respect the ownership rights of others. What is this based on? You care about these other people or you see value in an agreement to not steal each other's stuff?

What about bees? Do you respect their rights to their honey, or do you feel that it is alright to take it from them?

I believe, and this has been validated by my own experience, that we, first, make an acknowledgement of a "truth", which has been validated through the "tool" of logical analysis, such as "human beings, at least initially, have an equal right to happiness and freedom from suffering. A logical implication of this is that if I hold the belief that it is O.K. for me to steal from others, it is O.K. for them to steal from me. I would not want to make this assumption.

Once I learn this bit of knowledge, through contemplation or meditation, the knowledge becomes "internalized"-an axiom for me. I no longer even have a desire to steal from others.

I do have a belief (that has become internalized). "Question your assumptions". That is, I think we need to forever be prepared to change our internalized assumptions is sufficient evidence that we should ever presents itself.

If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.--Voltaire.

"To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." --Thomas Paine.
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12-01-2015, 11:22 AM
RE: Secular Morality
(04-01-2015 10:33 PM)666wannabe Wrote:  I do not believe that someone who truly has empathy and compassion for others, will act immorally.

This is quite a naive perspective.

But out of curiosity do you imagine that most human beings are truly empathetic and compassionate?

Your view is one that could only be conceived in a bubble, from a molly-coddled perspective on humanity. In reality immorality is quite an attractive beast, something that nearly all religions acknowledge, as a force that needs to be resisted, and often as tempting if not more so than Good. In a sickly dewy-eyed atheists perspective, this attractiveness is never acknowledged, and is often denied.
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13-01-2015, 09:35 AM
RE: Secular Morality
(12-01-2015 11:22 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(04-01-2015 10:33 PM)666wannabe Wrote:  I do not believe that someone who truly has empathy and compassion for others, will act immorally.

This is quite a naive perspective.

But out of curiosity do you imagine that most human beings are truly empathetic and compassionate?

Your view is one that could only be conceived in a bubble, from a molly-coddled perspective on humanity. In reality immorality is quite an attractive beast, something that nearly all religions acknowledge, as a force that needs to be resisted, and often as tempting if not more so than Good. In a sickly dewy-eyed atheists perspective, this attractiveness is never acknowledged, and is often denied.

I think you gave an excellent reason for being an atheist. Atheists tend to rely more on internal motivations than external dictates of a dogma and are, thus, more "spiritual" minded than those whose actions are based on rewards and punishments (Heaven and Hell).

If more people would consider the teachings of Buddha, it would be a far better world.

If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.--Voltaire.

"To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." --Thomas Paine.
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13-01-2015, 04:30 PM
RE: Secular Morality
(13-01-2015 09:35 AM)666wannabe Wrote:  
(12-01-2015 11:22 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  This is quite a naive perspective.

But out of curiosity do you imagine that most human beings are truly empathetic and compassionate?

Your view is one that could only be conceived in a bubble, from a molly-coddled perspective on humanity. In reality immorality is quite an attractive beast, something that nearly all religions acknowledge, as a force that needs to be resisted, and often as tempting if not more so than Good. In a sickly dewy-eyed atheists perspective, this attractiveness is never acknowledged, and is often denied.

I think you gave an excellent reason for being an atheist. Atheists tend to rely more on internal motivations than external dictates of a dogma and are, thus, more "spiritual" minded than those whose actions are based on rewards and punishments (Heaven and Hell).

If more people would consider the teachings of Buddha, it would be a far better world.

Or people could just try not to be dicks. Drinking Beverage

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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13-01-2015, 05:04 PM
RE: Secular Morality
(13-01-2015 04:30 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(13-01-2015 09:35 AM)666wannabe Wrote:  I think you gave an excellent reason for being an atheist. Atheists tend to rely more on internal motivations than external dictates of a dogma and are, thus, more "spiritual" minded than those whose actions are based on rewards and punishments (Heaven and Hell).

If more people would consider the teachings of Buddha, it would be a far better world.

Or people could just try not to be dicks. Drinking Beverage

That would work!Thumbsup

If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.--Voltaire.

"To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." --Thomas Paine.
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10-02-2015, 07:10 PM
RE: Secular Morality
Secular Morality is just any moral theory that does not posit a God.

Simple. There is no specific secular moral theory.

“Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.

-Christopher Hitchens
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11-02-2015, 06:42 AM
RE: Secular Morality
(10-02-2015 07:10 PM)Just Another Atheist Wrote:  Secular Morality is just any moral theory that does not posit a God.

Simple. There is no specific secular moral theory.

I am anti-nihilist in addition to being anti-theist.

If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities.--Voltaire.

"To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason is like administering medicine to the dead." --Thomas Paine.
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