Theists, Stop pretending you have a moral high ground.
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15-07-2017, 11:03 PM (This post was last modified: 15-07-2017 11:25 PM by Robvalue.)
RE: Theists, Stop pretending you have a moral high ground.
Christ: "You know it ain't easy. You know how hard it can be. The way things are going, they're gonna crucify me."

As far as I'm concerned, every aspect of morality is (and should be) up for discussion. I'll listen to anyone defending any position they want. Whether it has any impact on me depends entirely on their arguments.

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16-07-2017, 04:13 AM (This post was last modified: 16-07-2017 04:20 AM by nosferatu323.)
RE: Theists, Stop pretending you have a moral high ground.
(15-07-2017 10:22 PM)Cosmo Wrote:  
Nosferatu323 Wrote:Reading through the posts, it's interesting for me how atheists hold moral positions similar to theists.

How can you compare a secular morality with the backwater morality of desert herdsmen?

This seems like a false equivalency. Secularists generally find the moral opinions of fundamentalist believers infuriating.

Quote:When you ask a theist "Why X is wrong?" he/she answers: "because God says so"

This is another idea I take issue with. Where do theists get off thinking that God's morality is objective? Why does its 'objectivity' make it good, when humans have clearly concocted more inclusive, peaceful, freedom and prosperity inducing ideas than any invisible moral loon ever did?

[Image: 1skm83.jpg]

Just because he is supposedly invisible and everywhere does not make his morality objective. It is still God's subjective opinion. I care not about his substance, or lack thereof. The fact that theists believe that God should be able to impose his ideas onto other people is not only ill-founded, but malicious. They have made their God into a tyrant without realizing. Do what I say, or I'll burn you.

PS I love you.

Quote: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?

Nope. No atheist would talk about an objective moral standard. Your brain is a machine that picks out things that are beneficial around you, and things that are not. It can be tricked by drugs, bad life experiences, and bad ideas, but that's one of the many things it does. Morality has evolved just like us.

Szuchow Wrote:No. Evolution is change in the heritable characteristics of biological populations over successive generations.

I think applying the word evolution to certain non biological phenomena can be useful metaphorically.

mordant Wrote:But of course! All you have to do is go back to a little before the middle of the 20th century to find many Christians decrying, e.g., listening to the radio, or going to movie theaters, or to dances, as immoral and corrupting. To see them decrying women's skirts shorter than ankle length. Or any number of things that even fundamentalist Christians now consider perfectly normal. Maybe not "spiritual" but not harmful or even suspect so long as you keep giving them money attending church, etc.

Laugh out load

How quickly would a small evangelical church change its tune about homosexuality if a gay millionaire randomly decided he want to join their congregation.

(15-07-2017 09:04 PM)Impulse Wrote:  Facepalm
Is it not completely obvious that slavery is morally wrong?
Why would anyone need a god to rule on the matter?
Why would anyone believe, just because a god permits it, that slavery is morally acceptable? (In my mind, any god that does so just proved they aren't a god at all!)

Never mind moral absolutes. There aren't any. But there also doesn't need to be. If you live on planet Earth and you don't understand that slavery is morally wrong, then perhaps you should be asking your god why in hell he didn't give you a brain or a heart... or better yet, just realize there is no god.

You would think.

"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion."

-Steven Weinberg

Quote:How can you compare a secular morality with the backwater morality of desert herdsmen?
I didn't mean that. I meant atheists hold strong moral positions similar to theists. However after I asked the question, I learned that most people here are aware that it is merely an opinion not a universal truth or something like that.

Quote:This is another idea I take issue with. Where do theists get off thinking that God's morality is objective?
Theists believe their God is perfect, hence his morality is objective.


Quote:Why does its 'objectivity' make it good, when humans have clearly concocted more inclusive, peaceful, freedom and prosperity inducing ideas than any invisible moral loon ever did?
In the eyes of a theist, peaceful and free life are not the most important values. Some notion of eternal salvation is the main value for humans, and since the eternal life is something that only God has the knowledge about it, the only source of true morality would be God, any other morality would be based on false values. Because humans lack the knowledge of eternal life.

Please note that I'm not implying that anyone should believe in this stuff. I'm just clarifying the theist position on morality concerning your question.
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16-07-2017, 05:34 AM
RE: Theists, Stop pretending you have a moral high ground.
(15-07-2017 05:33 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  
Quote:Since I am not perfect I don't see any way to determine that another being IS perfect and since I have no evidence at all that any such being might exist in reality my choices are quite limited.
This is getting interesting for me, I don't want to expand on it too much, since it's off topic. But let's suppose I can prove to you (just suppose I can somehow prove to you) that a human being (not an invisible God) is merely "better" than you in all aspects, not perfect, just better. Would you choose to completely surrender to it or not? I'm merely interested in your personal opinion, I'm not intending to prove or demonstrate anything here.

"better" is a very nebulous term... how much better? in what specific areas? In any event, I would not surrender my reasoning to anybody. If they are truly "better" then they can explain to me where my reasoning is poor or based on inaccurate information and I will then change my opinions and beliefs to align. The moment you abdicate thinking for yourself is the moment you cease to be.

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16-07-2017, 06:14 AM
RE: Theists, Stop pretending you have a moral high ground.
(16-07-2017 05:34 AM)unfogged Wrote:  
(15-07-2017 05:33 PM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  This is getting interesting for me, I don't want to expand on it too much, since it's off topic. But let's suppose I can prove to you (just suppose I can somehow prove to you) that a human being (not an invisible God) is merely "better" than you in all aspects, not perfect, just better. Would you choose to completely surrender to it or not? I'm merely interested in your personal opinion, I'm not intending to prove or demonstrate anything here.

"better" is a very nebulous term... how much better? in what specific areas? In any event, I would not surrender my reasoning to anybody. If they are truly "better" then they can explain to me where my reasoning is poor or based on inaccurate information and I will then change my opinions and beliefs to align. The moment you abdicate thinking for yourself is the moment you cease to be.
Quote:In any event, I would not surrender my reasoning to anybody
That's what I was looking for to know.

Quote:The moment you abdicate thinking for yourself is the moment you cease to be.
You seem to clearly understand this point. "When the thought process is eliminated, the individual self ceases"

But that's the main goal of all religions. The single ultimate goal that connects all religions is "the cessation of the individual self". I think God is merely a device that is used in most religions to help the individual through the path of getting rid of the individual self which is the ultimate cause of suffering.

You might ask what does "cessation of individual self" means, I can't explain that but you seem to have some ideas about what it means, since you correctly described that the individual self ceases once the mind is silenced.

It's interesting for me how the ultimate desire of religious seekers is quite contrary to what you seem to desire. It seems human beings are not that much the same. I was always wondering why is the division between human beings, it seems there IS a real division. Some seek the individual self, some seek releasing from the individual self, the two are quite contrary.
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16-07-2017, 06:50 AM
RE: Theists, Stop pretending you have a moral high ground.
Nope, no surrendering. To me, surrender implies giving up in some way. Giving up my self-respect and agency I suppose, in this case.

If something is that much better than me, it should know how to explain to me whatever aspects of morality I am missing rather than just making announcements.

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16-07-2017, 07:08 AM
RE: Theists, Stop pretending you have a moral high ground.
(16-07-2017 06:50 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Nope, no surrendering. To me, surrender implies giving up in some way. Giving up my self-respect and agency I suppose, in this case.

If something is that much better than me, it should know how to explain to me whatever aspects of morality I am missing rather than just making announcements.

What if your agency is not something real? Would still want to stick to it even if you know it's delusional?
There are actually scientific evidences that suggest our sense of agency is fake, the decisions are being made slightly before we consciously make those decisions.
So if we assume there is no agency, would you want to keep it? If it is the case, isn't it just how a theist want to keep his/her God even if it goes agains the evidences?
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16-07-2017, 07:10 AM
RE: Theists, Stop pretending you have a moral high ground.
(16-07-2017 06:14 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  But that's the main goal of all religions. The single ultimate goal that connects all religions is "the cessation of the individual self". I think God is merely a device that is used in most religions to help the individual through the path of getting rid of the individual self which is the ultimate cause of suffering.

Are you saying that the individual self is the ultimate cause of suffering or that getting rid of the self is the cause? I don't know that I'd agree with either statement but it is not clear which you mean.

Quote:You might ask what does "cessation of individual self" means, I can't explain that but you seem to have some ideas about what it means, since you correctly described that the individual self ceases once the mind is silenced.

It has always been pretty self-evident to me.

Quote:It's interesting for me how the ultimate desire of religious seekers is quite contrary to what you seem to desire. It seems human beings are not that much the same. I was always wondering why is the division between human beings, it seems there IS a real division. Some seek the individual self, some seek releasing from the individual self, the two are quite contrary.

Theists are often indoctrinated from an early age to believe that they are corrupt and that they can't trust their own instincts. It is perhaps the most insidious facet of religion in that it trains people to willingly submit to authority without question.

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16-07-2017, 07:20 AM
RE: Theists, Stop pretending you have a moral high ground.
(16-07-2017 07:08 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  What if your agency is not something real? Would still want to stick to it even if you know it's delusional?
There are actually scientific evidences that suggest our sense of agency is fake, the decisions are being made slightly before we consciously make those decisions.

That doesn't make agency a delusion. I don't regard the conscious mind as the entirety of the self; the parts of the brain that work below the level of conscious thought are still me.

Quote:So if we assume there is no agency, would you want to keep it? If it is the case, isn't it just how a theist want to keep his/her God even if it goes agains the evidences?

I don't buy that assumption. I have agency because that is essentially a tautology. The theist may be denying their agency but is still making a decision to do that.

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16-07-2017, 07:51 AM (This post was last modified: 16-07-2017 07:55 AM by Robvalue.)
RE: Theists, Stop pretending you have a moral high ground.
(16-07-2017 07:08 AM)nosferatu323 Wrote:  
(16-07-2017 06:50 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Nope, no surrendering. To me, surrender implies giving up in some way. Giving up my self-respect and agency I suppose, in this case.

If something is that much better than me, it should know how to explain to me whatever aspects of morality I am missing rather than just making announcements.

What if your agency is not something real? Would still want to stick to it even if you know it's delusional?
There are actually scientific evidences that suggest our sense of agency is fake, the decisions are being made slightly before we consciously make those decisions.
So if we assume there is no agency, would you want to keep it? If it is the case, isn't it just how a theist want to keep his/her God even if it goes agains the evidences?

If I have no agency, then I have nothing to surrender, in that regard. Nor the agency to decide (this is the free will fallacy I started a thread on today).

I do believe my subconcious is running the show, and that what appears to be my conscious decisions really aren't. But my subconscious is still me, as far as I'm anything at all.

Whether I have agency or not, I'd rather feel like I'm making my own decisions than have them made for me by another agency. That would be horrible, and pointless too. Something vastly more powerful than me doesn't need me. But who knows, maybe it's already happened and it just makes me feel like I'm in control. Fuck all I can do, if I have no agency!

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16-07-2017, 08:14 AM
RE: Theists, Stop pretending you have a moral high ground.
To put it another way, if we have no agency, all discussions about choice and morality are ultimately redundant. They are just non-agents fooling themselves into thinking they have agency.

You can only lose by assuming you have no agency though, even if it's incredibly likely that you don't. And still, what's with surrendering? Why is that desirable in any circumstance?

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