The Religious Components of Moral Beliefs
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22-01-2015, 04:59 PM
RE: The Religious Components of Moral Beliefs
I reading the OP for the third or so time, I think Tomasia's questions have been answered with concise and detailed responses. Why does this, what appears to me as a philosophical argument, need to be rehashed by this person in so many circles of his own manufacture?

“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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23-01-2015, 07:48 AM (This post was last modified: 23-01-2015 10:10 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: The Religious Components of Moral Beliefs
(22-01-2015 04:59 PM)Timber1025 Wrote:  I reading the OP for the third or so time, I think Tomasia's questions have been answered with concise and detailed responses. Why does this, what appears to me as a philosophical argument, need to be rehashed by this person in so many circles of his own manufacture?


Well, the bulk of the response have been based on misunderstanding of the question to begin with. The OP is a question of the role of our beliefs in our moral behavior.

Most of the responses have been questions about the validity of those particular beliefs, where they may or may not have come from, by folks confused by the question to begin with. The question was not really even concerned with these aspects much at all. But the responses continued to be about this.

Someone asked me to clarify the difference between the meanings of the term morals, and intrinsic obligations. After providing examples to clarify the distinctions, several individuals took it upon themselves to assume that my attempt at clarifying the meaning of the terms, was an argument for their existence. And this has been the circus I've been left with.

It seems quite difficult to rein in the focus of the responders, who seem to be more interested in arguing about other things, than the thing in question.
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23-01-2015, 07:54 AM
RE: The Religious Components of Moral Beliefs
(23-01-2015 07:48 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Someone ask(*1) me to clarify the difference between the meanings of the term morals, and intrinsic obligations. After providing examples to clarify the distinctions, several individuals took it upon themselves to assume that my attempt to(*2)clarifying the meaning of the terms, was an argument for their existence. And this has been the circus(*3) i've(*4) been left with.

It seem(*5) quite difficult to rain(*6) in the focus of the responders, who seem to be more interested in arguing about other things, than the thing in question(*7).

1 asked
2 at
3 a circus you created by your poor communication skills
4 I've
5 seems
6 rein
7 and that was what again ?

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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23-01-2015, 08:33 AM
The Religious Components of Moral Beliefs
(23-01-2015 07:48 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(22-01-2015 04:59 PM)Timber1025 Wrote:  I reading the OP for the third or so time, I think Tomasia's questions have been answered with concise and detailed responses. Why does this, what appears to me as a philosophical argument, need to be rehashed by this person in so many circles of his own manufacture?


Well, the bulk of the response have been based on misunderstanding of the question to begin with. The OP is a question of the role of our beliefs in our moral behavior.

Most of the responses have been questions about the validity of those particular beliefs, where they may or may not have come from, by folks confused by the question to begin with. The question was not really even concerned with these aspects much at all. But the responses continued to be about this.

Someone ask me to clarify the difference between the meanings of the term morals, and intrinsic obligations. After providing examples to clarify the distinctions, several individuals took it upon themselves to assume that my attempt to clarifying the meaning of the terms, was an argument for their existence. And this has been the circus i've been left with.

It seem quite difficult to rain in the focus of the responders, who seem to be more interested in arguing about other things, than the thing in question.

Then all that is necessary is a very simple response. You aren't acting morally if you are only doing "moral" actions because you're commanded to. That is amoral.

It's the very same way that if someone put a math problem in front of you, and then walked you through every step to solve it, you're not the one who actually did the thinking nor the one who solved the problem.

Being nice is something stupid people do to hedge their bets
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23-01-2015, 10:00 AM (This post was last modified: 23-01-2015 10:30 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: The Religious Components of Moral Beliefs
I'll try and attempt to bring the discussion back to what it was originally about.

Questions about where such beliefs arose from, whether they are actually true or false, or whether such beliefs constitute as religious beliefs, or just some general sort of woo, and whatever opinions you may have regarding these sorts questions, are irrelevant. You can assume whichever answer you like and it wouldn't make much of a difference. If you write a post concerning these sorts of questions, unlike previously, I’ll likely just avoid responding to the post all together, other than to point out that such questions are irrelevant to the point being made.

The only thing that matters, is that many people believe in intrinsic moral obligations, that there are eternal laws, and such. Regardless if the belief itself is false.

So let’s try this again, with these rules in place.

In my ethnic religious community we have a lot of wealthy, college educated, Fox News watching, conservatives. They are typically against food stamps, universal healthcare, and welfare assistance in general. At some level it can be said that this has a lot to do with greed, and selfishness, and seeing so much of their money being taken out to sustain these various social programs, the offensiveness of redistributing their earnings from the haves to the have-nots. But there is a sense of dissonance, a sense of inner conflict present in their views, one brought along by a religious obligation to the poor and disenfranchised, which they can't easily deny or interpret as nonexistent.

This allows someone such as myself, who might have a strong concern for the lives of the poor, a capacity to shift the conversation, to an obligation, which they have to acknowledge, the value of which is placed as supreme to one's love of money or greed, which are deemed sinful. And it also allows me to feel empowered, and passionate in this dialogue, to speak of this as an obligation, as a duty, binding on all of us, as part of some eternal law, which our greed and selfishness are transgressing upon.

The effect of this, is that it shifts our dialogue, now they have to defend their desire to be selfish as non-selfishness, their love of money as not a love of money, their apathy for the poor as concern for the poor. They have to lie to themselves, engage in some self-justifying scheme, and believe that the denial of such benefits, is not to preserve their wealth, but for the very sake of the poor, so that the poor are able to be self-sufficient, and rise out of their poverty, rather than become lazy.

It now becomes a question as to whether they are lying to themselves about their real intentions, covering up their apathy as empathy, their selfishness as concern for the poor. It becomes a matter of revealing this lie to them, showing them how they have failed these obligations.

If we were a party of unbelievers in such intrinsic obligations, the dynamic of all this changes. While I may still be concerned with the welfare of the poor, and support policies in relationship to this, I’d have to recognize that this is merely something that I’m doing merely because I enjoy doing it. There’s no underly duty or obligations to this aspect of myself. There is no higher obligation to appeal to, to protest the selfishness and greed of the wealthier member’s of my community, because in reality they violated nothing. They’re just parties who enjoy their selfishness and greed, like I enjoy helping the poor. I have no voice to raise, because there’s nothing to raise it upon. No crime to protest against, because none has taken place. No law has been broken, no sacred ground has been trampled upon.

The reality is we live in a world occupied by religious people, who are rooted in the sort of imagination illustrated in the dialogue above, were most people believe that they have these intrinsic moral obligations, obligations that they perceive as real as anything else, that they are subservient to some eternal moral law. As illustrated previously, this provides our moral dialogues, something akin to a dialogue between parties in a law court, disputing the interpretation of the law, what it means to do good, whether one is acting in compassion for the poor, or acting out of his own selfishness and greed.

We have never been at a point, in which this imagination has been completely demolished, that questions, and uproots the foundations of the court itself. We have never been at a point, that declares and convinces all parties that they’ve been fooling themselves the whole time, that there is no law, no law to justify our actions, and our desires, no transgression to be ashamed of for our selfishness, and greed.

In reality many of us here likely understand certain aspects of this when we think of seemingly negative beliefs, that often creates depression and guilt, brought on by beliefs in the deep rooted wrongness of things, like masturbation. When we no longer see the wrongness of it, than we can begin to lose whatever shame, or guilt we feel when doing such things, and the less we can feel a need to resist such things, to not give in to our temptations. The more liberated we are.

While we tend to liberate sexuality in such a way, what if we could liberate greed, selfishness, and variety of non-sexual desires, often deemed as bad, in such a way as well, by overturning this perception of the court room, the entire perceptions and edifice in which morality is seen as a sacred law to begin with? Could we say this would be a good thing? Particularly if we are unable to create something to replace this religious imagination?
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23-01-2015, 10:06 AM (This post was last modified: 23-01-2015 12:45 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: The Religious Components of Moral Beliefs
(23-01-2015 10:00 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  I'll try and attempt to bring the discussion back to what it was originally about.

Questions about where such beliefs arose from, whether they are actually true or false, or whether such beliefs constitute as religious beliefs, or just some general sort of woo, and whatever opinions you may have regarding these sorts questions, are irrelevant. You can assume which ever answer you like and it wouldn't make much of a difference. If you write a post concerning these sorts of questions, unlike previously, I’ll likely just avoid responding to the post all together, other than to point out that such questions are irrelevant to the point being made.

The only thing that matters, is that many people believe in intrinsic moral obligations, that there are eternal laws, and such. Regardless if the belief itself is false.

So let’s try this again, with these rules in place.

In my ethnic religious community we have lot of wealthy, college educated, fox news watching, conservatives. They are typically against food stamps, universal healthcare, and welfare assistance in general. At some level it can be said that this has a lot to do with greed, and selfishness, and seeing so much of their money being taken out to sustain these various social programs, the offense of redistributing their earninga from the haves to the have nots. But there is a sense of dissonance, a sense of inner conflict present in their views, one brought along by a religious obligation to the poor and disenfranchised, which they can't easily deny or interpret as nonexistent.

This allows someone such as myself, who might have a strong concern for the lives of the poor, a capacity to shift the conversation, to an obligation, which they have to acknowledge, the value of which, is placed as supreme to one's love of money, or greed, which are sinful. And it also allows me to feel empowered, and passionate in this dialogue, to speak of this as an obligation, as a duty, binding on all of us, as part of some eternal law, which our greed and selfishness are transgressing upon.

The effect of this, is that it shifts our dialogue, now they have to defend their desire to be selfish, as non-selfishness, their love of money, as not a love for money, their apathy for the poor, as concern for the poor. They have to lie to themselves, engage in some self-justifying scheme, and believe that the denial of such benefits, is not to preserve their wealth, but for the sake of the poor, so that the poor are able to be self sufficient, and rise out of their poverty, rather than become lazy.

It now becomes a questions as to whether they are lying to themselves about their real intentions, covering up their apathy as empathy, their selfishness as concern for the poor. It becomes a matter of revealing this to them, showing them how they have failed these inherent obligations.

If we were a party of unbelievers in such intrinsic obligations, the dynamic of all this changes. While I may still be concerned with the welfare of the poor, and support policies in relationship to this. I’d have to recognize that this is merely something that I’m doing merely because I enjoy doing it. There’s no underly duty or obligations to this aspect of myself. There is no higher obligation to appeal to, to protest the selfishness and greed of the wealthier member’s of my community, because in reality they violated nothing. They’re just parties who enjoy their selfishness and greed, like I enjoy helping the poor. I have no voice to raise, because there’s nothing to raise it upon. No crime to protest against, because none has taken place. No law has been broken, no sacred ground has been trampled upon.

The reality is we live in a world occupied by religious people, who are rooted in the sort of imagination illustrated in the dialogue above, were most people believe that they have these intrinsic moral obligations, obligations that they perceive as real as anything else, that they are subservient to some eternal moral law.

As illustrated previously, this provides our moral dialogues, something akin to a dialogue between parties in a law court, disputing the interpretation of the law, what it means to do good, whether one is acting in compassion for the poor, or acting out of his own selfishness and greed.

We have never been at a point, in which this imagination has been completely demolished, that questions, and uproots the foundations of the court itself. We have never been at a point, that declares and convinces all parties that they’ve been fooling themselves the whole time, that there is no law, no law to justify our actions, and our desires, no transgression to be ashamed of for our selfishness, and greed.

In reality many of us here likely understand certain aspects of this when we think of seemingly negative beliefs, that often creates depression and guilt, brought on by beliefs in the deep rooted wrongness of things, like masturbation. When we no longer see the wrongness of it, than we can begin to lose whatever shame, or guilt we feel when doing such things, the less we feel a need to resist such things, to not give in to our temptations. The more liberate we are.

While we tend to liberate sexuality in such a way, what if we could liberate greed, selfishness, and variety of non-sexual desires, often deemed as bad, in such a way as well, by overturning this perception of the court room, the entire perceptions and edifice in which morality is seen as a sacred law to begin with? Could we say this would be a good thing? Particularly if we are unable to create something to replace this religious imagination?

Buncha presuppositional incoherent projected nonsense.
Not worth wasting any time with.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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23-01-2015, 10:32 AM
RE: The Religious Components of Moral Beliefs
The problems with even if you disregard the other elements... your questions and proposals still assume how people are coming to moral opinions.

If people are just instead coming to many of these ideas based on their social upbringing and saying things are wrong/evil in regards to their moral social contract influenced idea? then... okay?...so what then?

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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23-01-2015, 10:43 AM (This post was last modified: 23-01-2015 11:00 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: The Religious Components of Moral Beliefs
(23-01-2015 08:33 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Then all that is necessary is a very simple response. You aren't acting morally if you are only doing "moral" actions because you're commanded to. That is amoral.

You mean according to your own subjective moral standards. It wouldn't be true for a deontologist, nor would it be true for consequentialist, who sees the question of intent as irrelevant.

**on a side not, if you can provide me a wikipedia page for the secular moral philosophy you subscribe to, where the morality or amorality of something is based on the intent, and what that intent is defined as, I would appreciate it. I'm curious to learn more about this, though it doesn't really have any bearing here.
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23-01-2015, 10:57 AM
RE: The Religious Components of Moral Beliefs
(23-01-2015 10:00 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  If we were a party of unbelievers in such intrinsic obligations, the dynamic of all this changes. While I may still be concerned with the welfare of the poor, and support policies in relationship to this, I’d have to recognize that this is merely something that I’m doing merely because I enjoy doing it. There’s no underly duty or obligations to this aspect of myself. There is no higher obligation to appeal to, to protest the selfishness and greed of the wealthier member’s of my community, because in reality they violated nothing. They’re just parties who enjoy their selfishness and greed, like I enjoy helping the poor. I have no voice to raise, because there’s nothing to raise it upon. No crime to protest against, because none has taken place. No law has been broken, no sacred ground has been trampled upon.

This is where you go wrong with the idea that one needs a chosen deity to prove a moral higher ground. The idea that if everyone didn't believe we'd all just be doing what we want without any responsibility at all.

It's hogwash. I'd like to shirk some of my responsibility, but I can't. I have obligations that must be met. I realize it and accept it, and I do all without a chosen deity telling me what I should or shouldn't be doing. I don't need someone telling me their chosen deity will be displeased if I don't do whatever they are trying to get me to do. I'll do it or not because I can and if I feel it's the right thing to do.

You. on the other hand, would have to learn a different argument. You would have to leave your chosen deity out of the discussion, because said deity, like all the others that came before it, doesn't exist -- and go from there.

Maybe that idea scares you a little, to stand up for your convictions without your chosen deity?


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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23-01-2015, 12:40 PM (This post was last modified: 23-01-2015 12:45 PM by DLJ.)
RE: The Religious Components of Moral Beliefs
(23-01-2015 10:00 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  ...
When we no longer see the wrongness of it, than we can begin to lose whatever shame, or guilt we feel when doing such things, and the less we can feel a need to resist such things, to not give in to our temptations. The more liberated we are.
...

Well said, sir!

Welcome to my hedonistic world Big Grin

But a couple of things:

(23-01-2015 10:00 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  ...
I’d have to recognize that this is merely something that I’m doing merely because I enjoy doing it.
...

... or because it is a behaviour I deem necessary in order to achieve a defined goal, or perceived feeling of a goal.

(23-01-2015 10:00 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  ...
that there is no law, no law to justify our actions, and our desires, no transgression to be ashamed of
...

But there is.

I am constrained by my own set of ethics and imprisoned by and a product of my environment ... my culture ... both inherited and adopted.

I reject the notion that these laws are eternal / ethereal / transcendent / intrinsic / whatever. There is no shame because I recognise and accept the need for these contextual rules and norms.

(23-01-2015 10:00 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  ...
Particularly if we are unable to create something to replace this
...

Yet, all secular societies are creating these somethings all the time.

And we're getting better at it.

Yes

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