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  1. #221
    sakura_girl's Avatar
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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.

  2. #222
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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.

  3. #223
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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.

  4. #224
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    Quote 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?

  5. #225
    ciep's Avatar
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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!

  6. #226
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott F View Post
    Today, we've changed the meaning of person from a fetus to a new born baby.
    Huh? Is this a comment on abortion? Is your point that "we" will allow the termination of a "fetus" but not of a "person"? Who's "we"?

    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.
    What 'debate' is it exactly that you constantly find yourself on the winning end of? If one does not believe in a "god" or "creator," they cannot claim to be moral?

  7. #227
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott F View Post
    I have debate atheists on the implication of moral relativism for years. ... I never lose the debate
    LOL. Well, we can probably fix THAT. :-D

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott F View Post
    Atheism is meaningless without a metaphysical belief that materialism is true.
    I don't think so. Atheism is "meaningless" (as in, does not provide any help in the search for meaning) regardless of whether you believe in materialism (which, I guess, you define as "there's nothing but matter") or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott F View Post
    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.
    And that's not true either. The position that morals are not "real" is perfectly coherent with the position that different morals are not equivalent to each other, some are better and some are worse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott F View Post
    Moral codes simply become the culture codes to controlling social behavior. Which codes then? Doesn't matter.
    Oh, dear. You're erecting one strawman after another. Even if morality were just an arbitrary set of internalized social norms (and it's not), it still would matter what it was. It would matter because morality affects behavior and that has real-life consequences. Moral codes certainly matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott F View Post
    ..one moral code is as good/bad as any other.
    You really do have a large supply of straw :-)

  8. #228
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    Quote Originally Posted by ciep View Post
    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!
    You're welcome. Just keep in mind that my moral arguments are philosophical ones that logically follow from Materialism. Since I, personally, cannot accept the Moral Anti-Realism that Materialism implies I cannot be a materialist. What's the point in being atheistic without philosophical materialism to ground it.

    The irony is this: a scientific minded theists (someone who believes in a dualistic reality) can actually be more rational than an atheist. The acceptation would be an atheist who fully accepts that all arguments over superiority moral codes and moral reasoning are irrelevant, meaningless.....pointless. I've met them who understood the ethical implications, but they were rare.

    Because all Human Rights documents are.....Declarations (http://www.ohchr.org/en/issues/Pages...s.aspx)....and not backed by anything else other than simply being declared as an inherent truth/right, they are exactly equivalent to the stuff of religious dogma.
    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?

  9. #229
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    Quote Originally Posted by ciep View Post
    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!
    You're welcome. Just keep in mind that my moral arguments are philosophical ones that logically follow from Materialism. Since I, personally, cannot accept the Moral Anti-Realism that Materialism implies I cannot be a materialist. What's the point in being atheistic without philosophical materialism to ground it.

    The irony is this: a scientific minded theists (someone who believes in a dualistic reality) can actually be more rational than an atheist. The acceptation would be an atheist who fully accepts that all arguments over superiority moral codes and moral reasoning are irrelevant, meaningless.....pointless. I've met them who understood the ethical implications, but they were rare.

    Because all Human Rights documents are.....Declarations (http://www.ohchr.org/en/issues/Pages...s.aspx)....and not backed by anything else other than simply being declared as an inherent truth/right, they are exactly equivalent to the stuff of religious dogma.
    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?

  10. #230
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott F View Post
    Just keep in mind that my moral arguments are philosophical ones that logically follow from Materialism.
    There's your problem. The fact that "philosophers" argue nit-picking points about "philosophy" is entirely irrelevant to people who have no interest in such silly mental contortion. I have no interest in Materialism. Therefore all your arguments are self-serving, merely mental masturbation.

    Perhaps you can give yourself points after the people with whom you are attempting to discuss the issue shake their heads and walk away, convinced you don't have a clue. But that doesn't mean you won the argument.

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