The Religious Components of Moral Beliefs
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22-01-2015, 07:35 AM
RE: The Religious Components of Moral Beliefs
(22-01-2015 06:48 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(21-01-2015 08:21 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  You're kidding right ? He just told you the two categories you claim exist, do not exist. You have not demonstrated these two categories exist. You failed to provide a reference to anyone other than your opinion that anyone other than you holds your categories to be a useful description.

No. I was being serious I wanted to hear how Chas would articulate the difference between them.

Perhaps you could explain the difference for me between a unicorn and a leprechaun?

I could, but I refuse to participate in your attempt at deflecting from the the fact that your pathetic (false) distinction with no difference is even worth discussing. I know you REALLY REALLY want to play with the big kids, but perhaps you should wait till you get out of 1st Grade.

Now run along and play, dear.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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22-01-2015, 08:20 AM (This post was last modified: 22-01-2015 08:32 AM by TheBeardedDude.)
RE: The Religious Components of Moral Beliefs
"The same way atheists would argue we’re all born atheists. How would other organisms, conceptualize and distinguish between concepts such as eternal vs non-eternal, intrinsic vs extrinsic? Obligations from non-obligations? "

Not all atheists would say animals are born atheists.

You still haven not explained to be how and when this belief in an "eternal moral code" began or why it began with humans.

"No one said they (animals) lacked morality."

"All true, but I’m not sure what you think this means for what I’ve argued so far. But it should be noted that animals don’t just behave morally, they behave all sorts of ways, engage in actions, deemed evil, and immoral if done so by humans."

All animals have behaviors, I don't know what your justification is for trying to tease apart the actions and behaviors of humans from other animals.

"I said person 2 did it to curry favor with a girl he was trying to sleep with. I’m not sure why you wanted to assume an additional level of intent with him, at the same time not being as generous to person 1. Assuming person 2’s only reason was to curry favor with this girl, then I’m guessing you would say he acted amorally.

It’s still not very clear to me what standard you base your judgements of amoral and moral on. In the person 3 example, I implied he fed the poor, out of fear, fear of them going around robbing people, but you stated he acted morally.

You also stated: “I do good things because it makes me feel good”. But i’m guessing the good things you do are acts you consider “moral”, rather than amoral?

My assumption is that, the difference between amoral and moral acts for you, is that moral acts are inspired by empathy, and compassion (altruistic reasons), rather than purely out of fear of death, or personal harm, or economic benefit, or a desire for prestige, or brownie points with a girl you like. Is this what you’re suggesting?"


Which is why I have said that morality is subjective. It exists to the individual and is based on the person's internal arguments on the good vs bad of any given action or behavior. The only way to ensure an action or behavior is amoral, is to do it because someone told you. You seem to suggest that there is an objective standard by which morality can be tested.

I outlined morality and my further definitions of it in my subsequent posts.




But if you are not suggesting that morality is indeed "eternal" and "obligatory" then you will need to make it more clear to me what the purpose of this discussion is by answering these question I have posed to you before.

In response to this:
"If you continue to concentrate on what different people find good, right, or wrong, you'll be avoiding the point being made. The OP is not about this. It's not about what is good, but the very idea that we are obligated to live in accordance to it, to be moral, to do what is good, what is just, etc..."

in post #77, you said the above, which is suggestive of the idea that morality is defined as a commandment to do good, instead of it being an altruistic behavior.

Ergo, it sounds as if you have defined morality in such a way so as to make the existence of a god necessary for morality to exist. Is this the case?


What reason do you have to think that there is an "eternal moral code" or that this "eternal moral code" is uniquely human? Or that is something all of humanity has had during its civilized era?

What relevance does it hold in how it has influenced society?

For instance, another point I made that seemed to not be responded to, is that we have believed all manner of incorrect things throughout history that clearly influenced and shaped society. That doesn't make them correct, or even useful (there is a reason that the phrase "4 corners of the Earth' exists, and it is because we thought the Earth had corners, i.e. that it was flat).

To elaborate further, Dawkins talks about an example of a moral conundrum in "The God Delusion" when a moral scenario is posed to a group of westerners and to an isolated South American Tribe (one that does not worship a religion and has never done so).

Both groups responded in remarkably similar ways. Indicating that no religious underpinnings were necessary to formulate a moral decision similar to that of people within a western society.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
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22-01-2015, 08:39 AM
RE: The Religious Components of Moral Beliefs
(21-01-2015 08:03 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(21-01-2015 04:20 PM)Chas Wrote:  There are no intrinsic moral obligations. Obligations are between people and are a social construct.

Can you explain to me the difference between intrinsic moral obligations, and just regular old morals?

Moral obligations aren't morals any more than financial obligations are money.

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22-01-2015, 09:00 AM (This post was last modified: 22-01-2015 09:04 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: The Religious Components of Moral Beliefs
(22-01-2015 08:39 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(21-01-2015 08:03 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Can you explain to me the difference between intrinsic moral obligations, and just regular old morals?

Moral obligations aren't morals any more than financial obligations are money.

But you said intrinsic moral obligations don't exist, but I'm assuming you think that moral obligations like financial obligations do exist.

Whats the difference between intrinsic moral obligations, and just plain old moral obligations? Other than of course, that one exists and the other doesn't.
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22-01-2015, 09:07 AM
RE: The Religious Components of Moral Beliefs
(22-01-2015 09:00 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(22-01-2015 08:39 AM)Chas Wrote:  Moral obligations aren't morals any more than financial obligations are money.

But you said intrinsic moral obligations don't exist, but I'm assuming you think that moral obligations like financial obligations do exist.

Whats the difference between intrinsic moral obligations, and just plain old moral obligations? Other than of course, that one exists and the other doesn't.

The problem is 'intrinsic'. Of course moral obligations exist, but they are not intrinsic.

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22-01-2015, 12:21 PM
RE: The Religious Components of Moral Beliefs
(22-01-2015 09:07 AM)Chas Wrote:  The problem is 'intrinsic'. Of course moral obligations exist, but they are not intrinsic.

I guess we could say they exist extrinsically not intrinsically?

To say they exist intrinsically would mean they exist as part of our essential nature, like in our biology, in our DNA, or some shit like that. And we know that ain't true.
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22-01-2015, 12:30 PM
RE: The Religious Components of Moral Beliefs
(22-01-2015 12:21 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(22-01-2015 09:07 AM)Chas Wrote:  The problem is 'intrinsic'. Of course moral obligations exist, but they are not intrinsic.

I guess we could say they exist extrinsically not intrinsically?

To say they exist intrinsically would mean they exist as part of our essential nature, like in our biology, in our DNA, or some shit like that. And we know that ain't true.

Moral obligations exist only as ideas between and among people. They do not exist apart from people.

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22-01-2015, 03:26 PM (This post was last modified: 22-01-2015 03:35 PM by Stevil.)
RE: The Religious Components of Moral Beliefs
(22-01-2015 12:30 PM)Chas Wrote:  Moral obligations exist only as ideas between and among people. They do not exist apart from people.
Most individuals (not all) have their own personal moral beliefs (belief in which actions are right and which are wrong). Some individuals take on the moral beliefs of others (e.g. as taught by their religious leader/adviser) or as they have interpreted from their chosen scriptures). Many individuals have a mix of their own personal moral beliefs and those that they have taken on from others. Some individuals have no moral beliefs.

Society is merely a collection of interacting individuals. Within society there are various sub-groups, sub cultures, sub beliefs. From individual to individual there are varying degrees of impressionistic personalities. There are also varying degrees of conditioning that each individual has experiences especially in their informative early years of life or in the moments of personal crisis (where a person is more susceptible to conditioning as they have less confidence in themselves at these moments).

Regardless of how people have come about their personal values and personal moral beliefs, what is important to recognise is that no two people are the same. Each person has their own values and moral beliefs (or lack of).

There is no social contract governing all members of a society. No-one signs an actual physical contract. Most governed societies have rules or laws. Being a member of a country there is a legal obligation to obey the laws. These are laws and shouldn't be confused with morality. The laws of the land do not represent the morality of a society.

People holding moral beliefs generally also belief that they are morally obliged to act in accordance with their own moral beliefs. Many of these people expect that others are morally obliged to act in accordance with their own moral beliefs (rather than the beliefs held by the others).

The implications of this expectation is that many people make moral judgement on the actions of others. When they feel that a moral obligation has not been meet then they might react in such a way to shame, exclude, disassociate, dissuade, or in some way seek to implement some form of justice. Basically it boils down to an attempt to influence others in society to conform to one's own moral beliefs.

A person navigating their way through life within a society will generally be able to predict the consequences that others may implement on them (as stated above), and also the consequences they themselves will implement on themselves (guilt) for transgressing the moral beliefs of others or transgressing their own moral beliefs. This understanding is only a part of the whole regarding the decisioning process that goes towards the actions that the person ultimately takes.

It must also be noted that a person's actions are generally influenced, by their immediate environment rather than a perception of the majority held moral beliefs within society as a whole. For example, within the home a person will likely behave differently to how they behave at work and differently to how they behave within a club (e.g. church group, or volunteer group, or cricket club, or rugby club), there are many TV shows which take advantage of this aspect, e.g. people in the reality TV show Survivor, or The Amazing Race almost certainly behave differently in these competitive environments as to how they would behave in their normal day to day lives.

So in summary, there really is no social contract, no society morality, no objective or intrinsic morality. Just a bunch of interacting individuals each with their own beliefs, each tailoring their actions in order to navigate their way through the varying situations they find themselves within at the time.

Anyway, this is my personal take on it.
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22-01-2015, 04:02 PM
RE: The Religious Components of Moral Beliefs
(22-01-2015 03:26 PM)Stevil Wrote:  So in summary, there really is no social contract, no society morality, no objective or intrinsic morality. Just a bunch of interacting individuals each with their own beliefs, each tailoring their actions in order to navigate their way through the varying situations they find themselves within at the time.

Anyway, this is my personal take on it.

I think there's a bit more going on than that. While there may not be any objective or intrinsic moral obligations, the perceptions of morality like this, has been voice of many a moral passion and protest. The slave feeling the oppression and cruelty of his predicament, is unlikely to perceive the wrongness of his predicament as subjective, but a transgression of something sacred and holy, that has been violated.

What he believes may not be true, and it may in fact just be subjective. It may just be that his moral passion needed a belief that could accommodate it, a belief that's anchored in something higher than himself, to avoid sinking into despair, and to sustain his passion by seeing it as something ultimately meaningful.

Perhaps someone like Rev. King, so admirable, was to some degree a man gone mad by his moral passions, perceiving an eternal law, a moral arc of the universe, and even a promise land. And we just don't like to say that, because we liked him.
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22-01-2015, 04:22 PM
RE: The Religious Components of Moral Beliefs
(22-01-2015 04:02 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  The slave feeling the oppression and cruelty of his predicament, is unlikely to perceive the wrongness of his predicament as subjective, but a transgression of something sacred and holy, that has been violated.

You're pretty good at the projection game. How many slaves have you talked to ?

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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