Theists, Stop pretending you have a moral high ground.
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16-07-2017, 05:49 PM (This post was last modified: 16-07-2017 06:04 PM by mordant.)
RE: Theists, Stop pretending you have a moral high ground.
(16-07-2017 02:39 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  I think meditation is not something that goes against any practice or activity like human relationships. You can talk to your child in be in a state of meditation at the same time. It comes and goes in the initial attempts, but with enough persistence the state of meditation becomes a second nature, it does not interrupt any other activities.
Meditation requires focus. So do children. It's been widely reported that the notion that human minds can multitask have been highly overstated.

One can learn through practice to be more "present in the moment" and not to be preoccupied with your constant thoughts, but that is not meditation.
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17-07-2017, 09:43 PM
Theists, Stop pretending you have a moral high ground.
(15-07-2017 01:36 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  Reading through the posts, it's interesting for me how atheists hold moral positions similar to theists.

When you ask a theist "Why X is wrong?" he/she answers: "because God says so"
But I can't see how an atheist can assert such absolute propositions without relying on some sort of God.

I have the impression that you guys think "Slavery is universally/eternally/absolutely wrong" if this is the case, I'd be interested to know your thoughts about how such propositions can be justified within the atheist's worldview?

Disclaimer: I'm not supporting slavery, my concern is a philosophical one, I'm interested to know how one can assert absolute propositions without relaying on some absolute entity like God.


Their idea of morality is one of societal consensus. Or in other words it’s “wrong” because society says it’s wrong. They replace god, with the popular opinion at the time.

But then again atheists tend to be quite inconsistent when it’s comes to their own moral views, the predominantly appeal to subjectivism, yet in the OP they appeal to concepts like moral progression, something that makes no sense in a subjectivist view.


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"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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18-07-2017, 10:14 AM
RE: Theists, Stop pretending you have a moral high ground.
(17-07-2017 09:43 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  [Atheist's] idea of morality is one of societal consensus. Or in other words it’s “wrong” because society says it’s wrong. They replace god, with the popular opinion at the time.
Nope on almost all counts.

Societal consensus as morality is not an atheist concept, although it's one many atheists do subscribe to.

But that is not the same as replacing god or any other alleged source of absolute morality, with "popular opinion". That's a biased mischaracterization. Societal morality is not decided by voting people off a reality show or something. "We think it's be great to torture babies for fun, let's vote on it". That's not the way it works. It's an organic process of evolved laws, taboos, and sensibilities that promote some actions over others. Some things that societal morality requires go against our primal impulses but the governing principle isn't popularity, it's whether or not there are harms in the likely outcomes that work against a sustainable, healthily interdependent civil society that most of use want to live in.

Maybe you should explain to us why religion attempts to replace societal morality with the popular opinion of a subset group, namely, theists. Maybe you should show how god's supposed morality is distinguishable from the random imaginings of theists. Maybe you should explain how some Christians can claim that homosexuality is immoral while others claim that it's not. How would you even usefully define "god's morality" so that you could "replace" it?

The reality is that there is nothing BUT societal morality, and claims by subsets of society to be the inventors and protectors of some outsourced morality are just that: claims.
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18-07-2017, 05:11 PM
RE: Theists, Stop pretending you have a moral high ground.
(18-07-2017 10:14 AM)mordant Wrote:  Societal consensus as morality is not an atheist concept, although it's one many atheists do subscribe to.

But that is not the same as replacing god or any other alleged source of absolute morality, with "popular opinion". That's a biased mischaracterization. Societal morality is not decided by voting people off a reality show or something. "We think it's be great to torture babies for fun, let's vote on it". That's not the way it works. It's an organic process of evolved laws, taboos, and sensibilities that promote some actions over others.

Well that's one big straw-man. I never claimed that social consensus requires a vote, or that it wasn't organic, or the product of factors that are not about conscious choices. In fact our subjective landscape for pretty much every subjective aspect is produced organically as well, by the zeitgeist of the time.


Quote:Some things that societal morality requires go against our primal impulses but the governing principle isn't popularity, it's whether or not there are harms in the likely outcomes that work against a sustainable, healthily interdependent civil society that most of use want to live in.

So it isn't social consensus that dictates what's moral and immoral, but harm? If x action is is harmful to society, and offers nothing beneficial, let's take torturing innocent children just for fun as the easy example, then x action is immoral. Would you agree? Is it objectively immoral? Because the harmfulness of the action is objectively true.

Or do you imagine that it's subjective? If so what about it is subjective?

Quote:[b]Maybe you should explain to us why religion attempts to replace societal morality with the popular opinion of a subset group, namely, theists.

The common religious beliefs, is that morality is ultimately anchored in something beyond our whims and opinion. Woven into the fabric of reality. It's to hold that reality posses a moral arc. That the question of what is or what is no moral, is a question of truth, and not question of our subjective whims at the time. It's view or morality as part of a created order, a teleological view of man and reality. My view or morality, is which sees it as bigger than me, bigger than society. The contrary is subjectivism here.

What I see as morally wrong, doesn't translate to what society wants of me. It's dictated by an obligation and duty to love and empathy, as the ultimate authority here.


Quote:The reality is that there is nothing BUT societal morality, and claims by subsets of society to be the inventors and protectors of some outsourced morality are just that: claims.

The reality is the moral view and beliefs are predominantly built on a belief in objective morality. Even atheists who attempt to give lip service to a subjectivist view, rarely offer a view of morality that resembles what it means for something to be subjective.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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18-07-2017, 06:31 PM
RE: Theists, Stop pretending you have a moral high ground.
(18-07-2017 10:14 AM)mordant Wrote:  
(17-07-2017 09:43 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  [Atheist's] idea of morality is one of societal consensus. Or in other words it’s “wrong” because society says it’s wrong. They replace god, with the popular opinion at the time.
Nope on almost all counts.

Societal consensus as morality is not an atheist concept, although it's one many atheists do subscribe to.

But that is not the same as replacing god or any other alleged source of absolute morality, with "popular opinion". That's a biased mischaracterization. Societal morality is not decided by voting people off a reality show or something. "We think it's be great to torture babies for fun, let's vote on it". That's not the way it works. It's an organic process of evolved laws, taboos, and sensibilities that promote some actions over others. Some things that societal morality requires go against our primal impulses but the governing principle isn't popularity, it's whether or not there are harms in the likely outcomes that work against a sustainable, healthily interdependent civil society that most of use want to live in.

Maybe you should explain to us why religion attempts to replace societal morality with the popular opinion of a subset group, namely, theists. Maybe you should show how god's supposed morality is distinguishable from the random imaginings of theists. Maybe you should explain how some Christians can claim that homosexuality is immoral while others claim that it's not. How would you even usefully define "god's morality" so that you could "replace" it?

The reality is that there is nothing BUT societal morality, and claims by subsets of society to be the inventors and protectors of some outsourced morality are just that: claims.

Also, you can't replace something that was never there to begin with.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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18-07-2017, 07:15 PM
RE: Theists, Stop pretending you have a moral high ground.
(18-07-2017 05:11 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  So it isn't social consensus that dictates what's moral and immoral, but harm?
Harm as determined by social consensus.

I suppose I should qualify that you or I can make our own moral judgments about whether something is harmful but we aren't free to enforce our personal moral judgments on others unless society agrees to it collectively in some way. I'm talking here about how morality is evolved at the level of society, which acts to enforce the morality in various ways.

We are of course free to exceed what society requires of us morally, and to advocate that others do so. Which is basically what religion does, and I am not saying that's inherently harmful in itself. We are also free to advocate for change in society's way of understanding and responding to moral questions, and that's a good thing too. There was a time in America when ice cream parlors were decried as dens of iniquity and white slavery; today they are a place fit for young children. The former was based in paranoia and fear of various kinds, including in part xenophobic concerns that many parlors were run by "foreigners". Society now knows better, so has changed its tune. This is a feature, not a bug.
(18-07-2017 05:11 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  If x action is is harmful to society, and offers nothing beneficial, let's take torturing innocent children just for fun as the easy example, then x action is immoral. Would you agree? Is it objectively immoral? Because the harmfulness of the action is objectively true.
I agree the harm is clear, and that it's immoral. I would say it's clearly immoral, but not objectively. Remember the ice cream parlors. The claimed harms seemed objectively true several generations ago, to the people of that time. I do not at all believe that society will somehow discover benefits to the torture of innocents, or that the harms are imagined. But ... I have the epistemological humility to realize that no human judgment is ever 100% accurate either. We approach accuracy over time. It's easier for some issues than others. Easier apparently for torture of innocents than for selling ice cream.
(18-07-2017 05:11 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Or do you imagine that it's subjective? If so what about it is subjective?
Do you seriously not think that there isn't someone, somewhere who just had never thought about it? Who has no opinion? Who doesn't care? Who thinks such a question is moot because it would never happen? Indeed ... do you seriously think there aren't a handful of depraved souls who think it's not at all harmful?

Anyone can hold any view they want. They can hold factually challenged views. Happens all the time. So yes moral codes and moral understanding are subjective.
(18-07-2017 05:11 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
Quote:[b]Maybe you should explain to us why religion attempts to replace societal morality with the popular opinion of a subset group, namely, theists.
The common religious beliefs, is that morality is ultimately anchored in something beyond our whims and opinion. Woven into the fabric of reality. It's to hold that reality posses[es] a moral arc. That the question of what is or what is no[t] moral, is a question of truth, and not question of our subjective whims at the time. It's view or morality as part of a created order, a teleological view of man and reality. My view on morality, sees it as bigger than me, bigger than society. The contrary is subjectivism here.
Ah. So you are back to what you claim I put forward as a straw man, that anything society poses morally speaking is "whims". Not part of an organic process that is worked out collectively and often with a good deal of deliberation. As I said above, that morality changes with the times is a feature, not a bug. Otherwise we'd still be trying to regulate ice cream parlors to prevent white slaver foreigners from ruining our youth.

Ironically you are asserting that morality is "woven into the fabric of reality" (whatever that even means, though I confess it SOUNDS good). And this is YOUR whim. But that's different, I guess. I'm betting you can't show how an abstract set of concepts is "woven" into reality. But that doesn't stop you from claiming it.
(18-07-2017 05:11 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  What I see as morally wrong, doesn't translate to what society wants of me. It's dictated by an obligation and duty to love and empathy, as the ultimate authority here.
Good for you. Not a problem, so long as what you see as morally wrong exceeds the requirements of society in that regard, and you don't try to impose it on others.

Also I would suggest that you don't have a monopoly on love and empathy, because I have those too.
(18-07-2017 05:11 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
Quote:The reality is that there is nothing BUT societal morality, and claims by subsets of society to be the inventors and protectors of some outsourced morality are just that: claims.
The reality is the moral view and beliefs are predominantly built on a belief in objective morality. Even atheists who attempt to give lip service to a subjectivist view, rarely offer a view of morality that resembles what it means for something to be subjective.
And what, pray, would resemble what it means for something to be subjective? Complete randomness? Because subjective morals at the societal level are still collective understandings that can be quite consistent, especially in some instances. As your hypothetical shows. Again, though, consistency and clarity aren't the same thing as objective.
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