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  • Originally posted by Lumifer View Post
    :-)

    For God so Loved the world He gave His Only Son, that whosoever believes in Him will have Eternal Life!

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    • Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
      I don't think reality is depressing at all. I think it's awesome and wonderful. I can and do have all that awe and wonder all without feeling the need for a creator.

      For God so Loved the world He gave His Only Son, that whosoever believes in Him will have Eternal Life!

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      • Free forums attract trolls like a bug light on a July night.

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        • I'm pretty sure that's Slate on a troll alternate account.
          Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

          Griff's cholesterol primer
          5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
          Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
          TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
          bloodorchid is always right

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          • Originally posted by Scott F View Post
            I knew your type of argument would come up from someone. Maybe you don't realize it, Rich, but your entire argument presupposes the existence of a Moral Truth. If even one just moral precept can be found to real it necessarily follows that atheism (specifically secular humanism) is bankrupt based upon Meta Ethics. That doesn't mean atheism is wrong in its theistic arguments but it does logically follow that materialism (of which modern atheism is grounded upon) cannot possible be true.

            You said:
            If you are talking about stuff related to science I agree with you. But with regards to you moral issues... only makes sense if in fact morals can be objectively defined.
            If/then: If materialism is true then all justifications are arbitrary. Secular humanism (a kind of atheism with a belief in universal human rights) is the newest fairy-tale making mythology....it only excludes a deity.

            To quote Infidel.org
            Philosophical Materialism
            [14] "An evolutionary account of the origin of moral judgment in human beings does not tell us what (if anything) makes a specific action moral. On a materialist view, all codes of conduct must ultimately be man-made or socially constructed; there are no objective moral laws existing independently of sentient beings in the way that laws of nature do. Thus there are no objective criteria for determining if human actions are right or wrong. The objectivity of laws of nature is clear--our approximations to them (laws of physics) are publicly falsifiable and can be corroborated by empirical evidence. Moreover, unlike natural laws, moral laws can be violated. But if what we call moral laws are really man-made inventions, our ethical rules are arbitrary and thus individuals are not obligated to follow them. Nothing makes an action objectively moral or immoral; individual and social codes vary because ethics, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. But then there are no compelling grounds for arguing that Aztec human sacrifice, Nazi or Serbian genocide, or infanticide is really wrong. Core ethical rules are no doubt determined by intersubjective consensus across cultures--for example, incest and murder are universally prohibited. But such consensus does not demonstrate the objectivity of ethics; it merely demonstrates that human beings or societies are largely 'built' the same way and react similarly to certain types of behavior. Suppose we have inherited an aversion to committing murder. That such a genetic disposition would be widespread makes evolutionary sense. A known murderer's neighbors will fear that the murderer might kill them. Out of mutual self-interest they would be wise to band together and eliminate the murderer before he could eliminate them. Since murderers would tend to be eliminated before they could reproduce, individuals with a genetic inclination to commit murder would tend to dwindle. But this is merely an accident of natural selection, and trying to base morality on the fact that adhering to certain ethical norms will make you more "fit" to stay alive and reproduce is insufficient. The origin of behavior is irrelevant to whether a behavior is right or wrong; what makes an individual evolutionarily 'fit' (e.g. infidelity) is not necessarily moral. There will no doubt still be some individuals who are genetically inclined to commit murder; but we do not conclude that they are exempt from moral prohibitions on murder because of this. Furthermore, the fitness of certain evolutionary traits changes when the environment changes. Would murder suddenly become morally acceptable--even obligatory--if it provided us a selective advantage? On a materialist account, the only foundations for behavioral codes are preserving self-interest and satisfying one's conscience--there are no additional 'moral facts' which motivate behavior."


            Like it or not, that quote applies equally to both atheist and theist who justify action upon anything they want. Existence is pointless and all human rights arguments are the stuff of myth.
            Hey Scott F, this John316 character just reminded me that I had meant to respond to your post earlier and totally forgot.

            Excellent post, and extremely thought provoking. I've thought about this a lot though, and I disagree with your position.

            It's a really great question, because, using myself as an example, I'm inclined to say that things like rape or murder are wrong. Just flat out wrong, regardless of what any other individual, society, or culture believes. But of course, your position is that morality is subjective, that I have no truly objective grounds for calling these things wrong, that my moral standards are in no way more "correct" or "true" than any other standards.

            I disagree. I think morality is actually objective. If we consider morality to be the standards of action which promote the greatest possible well-being (which is an acceptable definition I think, right?), then I think we can effectively determine which actions are morally superior to others. Well-being is something that can be assessed objectively, even if we don't have the means to be precise about it or quantify it. Rape and murder (to take easy examples) clearly have a negative effect on the well-being of the victim, so if morality is a question of well being (as I think it is), then these actions are clearly morally wrong, and that is an objective fact.

            I think morality is a lot like nutritional science. Morality is about well-being, and nutrition science is about health. The murder and rape examples were easy, their effects on well-being were obvious, it'd be like asking a nutritionist if a person should drink battery acid, easy answer because the effect on health is clear.

            I like the morality/nutrition analogy even more though for pointing out the problem of nuances, complexities, and subtleties. Sometimes in nutrition we don't know the answer. Example: what carb/fat ratio should person x eat? If we're talking about optimizing health, then there actually is an objectively correct answer to this question. Unfortunately, there are just so many variables, and human health is so insanely complex, nuanced, and multifaceted, that we'll never figure out the exact answers to questions like this one. The best we can do is approximate. The same thing happens with moral questions. Well-being may be even more complex and nuanced than health (actually it must be, as it would actually encompass health). For this reason we'll come across a great deal of moral questions that are hard to answer (or even impossible for us) and we'll have to approximate or give it our best guess, but this doesn't mean that an objective answer to the moral question doesn't exist.

            In my view, morality is a human creation, but if it's about well-being, then it seems to me that morality is actually objective.

            The only way I see that you might argue against my position would be to claim that morality is not fundamentally a question of well-being, that that's not what we mean when we talk about morality. But if you're going to argue that then I'd like to know how you define morality.

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            • So morality and nutrition are 4D principles that our 3D minds will never comprehend due to unending variables?
              My chocolatey Primal journey

              Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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              • Not sure I understand the wording of your question Sakura. I think there is a lot we understand about morality (and nutrition for that matter). There are easy questions that we have answers to, harder questions that take some work, and some really tough ones that we may never be able to solve exactly. We just get along doing the best we can, hopefully improving as we go.

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                • Well, I guess when you approximate, it becomes a very subjective stance because you are allocating more value to the ones you judge to be correct. If you want something wholly objective, you have to also take into account infinite possibilities, which can only be possible if you have access to another dimension.

                  Sorry if this is too confusing to understand. I don't know how to properly verbalize many concepts I create, so people just usually stare at me in disbelief or pity because they never get the gist of what I'm saying.
                  My chocolatey Primal journey

                  Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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                  • Oh I see, yes you're correct -- when we approximate or guess we are, by definition, just taking our best stab at the truth. Our approximations may be close to the truth, or we may miss by a mile. Obviously we are attempting to get the right answer, but you're absolutely correct, our guess is subjective. My point was that the truth we are aiming for is an actual objective truth.

                    Take a math problem for example. Math problems have actual objective right answers. Sometimes the answer is easy to figure out, and we can claim to know the solution. Now imagine an extremely difficult math problem that we can't solve because we just don't know how. If you were asked for the answer to this problem then the best you could do is guess. Your guess would be subjective, but the actual answer exists, and it is objective.

                    My argument is that morality is objective, even if we sometimes don't know the answers and are forced to guess.

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                    • I can agree with that last bit, that it is objective. I more so think that morality is something we will never comprehend because the concepts and variables are something that only wisdom and culmination of experience way beyond 100 years can bring. Which I like to equate with being able to understand several other 3D scenarios, leading to understanding of the variables in 4D. (I honestly cannot think of a better metaphor than dimensional theory) Kind of similar to your math problem analogy.
                      My chocolatey Primal journey

                      Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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                      • Whatever the case, I've decided that the only one true variable that you always have control of is that you know what makes you happy. For me, having religion and spirituality helps immensely with that because of the positivity radiated by most of Christian gospel that propels you towards having more things to be happy about. If you find something else that is satisfactory to yourself, so be it. I won't try to force my judgement or religion on you.

                        The other things - historical evidence, technical objective definitions, etc. are mainly things for which we grab in the dark. Why argue about those if you can never find concrete evidence or find a true objective definition? I like to participate in these discussions sometimes, but most of the time I lose sight of the point.
                        My chocolatey Primal journey

                        Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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                        • Sure. Though I wouldn't exactly say that morality is something we can never comprehend, just that we'll never manage to find answers to every moral question. We can keep trying though, and continue to improve our understanding of morality over time.

                          Anyway, it seems we're on the same page here.

                          I'm happy that your religion works for you, we're all finding our own way, and I respect your journey.

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                          • Fair enough. And thank you. I think all we want is just a little openmindedness and respect from other people to practice what we believe is beneficial to ourselves.
                            My chocolatey Primal journey

                            Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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                            • Originally posted by ciep View Post
                              Hey Scott F, this John316 character just reminded me that I had meant to respond to your post earlier and totally forgot.

                              Excellent post, and extremely thought provoking. I've thought about this a lot though, and I disagree with your position.

                              It's a really great question, because, using myself as an example, I'm inclined to say that things like rape or murder are wrong. Just flat out wrong, regardless of what any other individual, society, or culture believes. But of course, your position is that morality is subjective, that I have no truly objective grounds for calling these things wrong, that my moral standards are in no way more "correct" or "true" than any other standards.

                              I disagree. I think morality is actually objective.
                              Actually, ciep, you and I agree on the belief that moral are objective. I'm not an atheist. I'm Catholic and went to Catholic school were you actually have to study ethics. My high school teacher had his master's degree in philosophy so we talked about the nature of morality.

                              "A thing is either real or not real." That quote applies to morality as well. So moral are either objective, aka Moral Realism (you can google the term), or they are not objective, aka Moral Anti-Realism (which can also be googled).

                              I have debate atheists on the implication of moral relativism for years. I now the arguments inside and can even argue from the atheist POV better than most atheists. I never lose the debate simply because the vast majority of people who call themselves atheist don't understand the Meta Ethical implications.

                              Atheism is meaningless without a metaphysical belief that materialism is true. But since materialism holds to a basic belief that science (the scientific method) is the only rationally means knowing what's real, what's reality, ethics gets relegated to the stuff as theology.

                              Materialism (and atheism) believes that the study of theology is pointless....that is, one god is equivalent than any other.
                              Materialism (likewise) holds to the exact same belief with regards to moral certitudes.....that is, one culture's moral codes is equivalent to any other culture's moral code.

                              So let's play with this a little bit: I have had atheists tell me that they are "more moral" than theists because they do "good" without the pressure a god's retribution. What's wrong with that argument? From a materialistic POV there's a couple of things: "more morals" implies some kind of objective moral standard we could refer to measure which moral is factually better. And "good" also implies and objective quality.

                              There is no scientific method to determine if something is intrinsically "good"...or "evil." Because science fails on the question of Universal objective morality, materialism concludes that morals are not real.....qualities. Therefore, there is no such (real) thing as a Universal Human Right. Moral codes simply become the culture codes to controlling social behavior.

                              Which codes then? Doesn't matter. Since would be arbitrary a person could flip a coin and pick Sharia Law. Since, to materialism, all moral codes are equivalent and the stuff of social invention (and because human existence is pointless and meaningless, as per materialism) one moral code is as good/bad as any other. That's hard for people to get their heads around...and is why most atheist can't do so either when forced to confront it.

                              Using a slightly different POV: What's the scientific definition of "Person"? There ain't one.
                              Why not? Because, were ethical codes are moral qualities a person is a moral entity.

                              Since materialism holds that all morals are arbitrary being socially construed humans getting the privilege of being defined as a "person" (of having person-hood statues) is also arbitrary. So within our arbitrarily cultural history slaves were not entitled to person-hood statue based upon the arbitrary decision of the color of their skin. Was the right or wrong, good or evil? For materialism it's neither. To materialism right and wrong, good and evil are human cultural inventions. Today, we've changed the meaning of person from a fetus to a new born baby. Atheist, Prof Peter Singer, wants personhood status to not begin until 28 days after being born. He wants to allow infanticide. He also wants to deny personhood to status to those who have advanced Alzheimer's. To drive home the point, to materialism moral codes and moral entities are arbitrary.

                              This is what materialism leads to....that there is not such thing as an inherent human right. Women in Saudi Arabia simply do not have the equal personhood status as men based upon....Saudi Arabia's culturally constituted moral codes. And BTW one political ideology could not be any better that any other political ideology....so much liberals democrats believing they have the moral high ground to conservatives....and visa verse.

                              I my experience most atheists do not think this stuff through to the end results. They will argue that they are being rational with regards to issues of science. And I completely agree with that, esp when they are debating a fundamentalist reading Genesis as some literal history of the world. But then -- based upon philosophical materialism -- many of these same atheist will go on to irrationally argue morality as if it were objectively knowable....You and I believe morals are objective but since we aren't materialists we don't rely upon materialism to hold that belief.
                              Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

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                              • Scott! I was hoping you'd reply. Thanks for the detailed post. I'm at work on my iPhone, so I can't say much right now, plus I'm not sure I completely follow everything you wrote. I'll give it some consideration later tonight though. Thank you again!

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