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  1. #281
    Scott F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UTfootball747 View Post
    I'm sorry, but that's bullshit. The idea that, to properly have 'values,' have views on 'right vs. wrong,' to be 'moral,' one must believe in the "supernatural"? Why? You seem to be insistent that these values MUST be held as objective--but they're often not. I believe in dying with dignity. I believe that a terminally ill individual should be able to seek assistance in dying on their own terms. But I don't insist that anyone who disagrees with me is objectively wrong, or bad, or immoral. That doesn't mean that I won't fight for ideas that I hold to be important. But even for values or concepts held to be objectively 'right.' Why must those come from a "supernatural" source?

    There are people on this planet that believe killing an animal, for any reason, is wrong. I disagree with them. Perhaps they think me immoral, and that's fine...but I think the notion that there's one cosmic, "correct" answer to these questions is silly. In any event, it's irrelevant to real life. To believe one holds the answer to these questions is pure hubris...and it doesn't get much worse than believing that you follow the one, 'true' religion, and everyone else is damned. Sure, on some questions there is a great deal of agreement. Again, the majority's will generally prevails, even as it changes drastically over time. To argue this is somehow demands the "supernatural" is, frankly, absurd. But I have no doubt that you can find hundreds of writings from The Catholic Church that back you up! If there ever was an example of man's utter failing to actually adhere to the "supernatural" proclamations he claims to follow...
    When someones says: "I would argue that atheists can be more moral/ethical than believers. Believers are good because they expect the ultimate reward. Atheists are good because being good is its own reward. No cookie treat required." Is that not a statement of fact? It begs the question: Good relative to what? Relative to a culture or relative against some Universal Moral Principles that are somehow imposed upon all cultures geographically and historically? Is slavery always immoral? Normatively (historically) slavery used to be moral and was culturally/ethically accepted.

    It's a fact that moral codes vary from one culture to another, not only geographically but historically. "More moral..." can be in a normative sense from within a given cultural set of norms. It doesn't follow that those norms must be universal.

    Has humanity made moral progress? Depends upon what you are trying to achieve. If morals are arbitrary... (Philosophical Materialism "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")...then the moral goals a culture set to achieve are also arbitrary. A society set a desired goal and then attempt to move social norms toward that goal. There are examples in recent history were the moral goal (somebody else's concept of good) was to progress towards a cultural ideal using genocide.

    Outside of a sociology or philosophy class, most people don't think of moral progress in that way. They think of it as progressing towards universal moral principles (inalienable Human Rights) that are (if not stated) implied as being...independent of cultural normals. That's metaethical Moral Realism. Sort of the way physics progresses towards a better understanding/description of the universe moral realists think of moral progress in the same way. The PREAMBLE in the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights (The Universal Declaration of Human Rights) is dependent upon an ethical belief founded upon Moral Realism and that morals are objective. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_universalism: "Moral universalism (also called moral objectivism or universal morality) is the meta-ethical position that some system of ethics, or a universal ethic, applies universally, that is, for "all similarly situated individuals",[1] regardless of culture, race, sex, religion, nationality, sexuality, or any other distinguishing feature. Moral universalism is opposed to moral nihilism and moral relativism......An enormous range of traditions and thinkers have supported one form or another of moral universalism, from the ancient Platonists and Stoics, through Christians and Muslims, to modern Kantian, Objectivist, natural rights, human rights and utilitarian thinkers. The United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights can be read as assuming a kind of moral universalism."
    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?

  2. #282
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott F View Post
    When someones says: "I would argue that atheists can be more moral/ethical than believers. Believers are good because they expect the ultimate reward. Atheists are good because being good is its own reward. No cookie treat required." Is that not a statement of fact? It begs the question: Good relative to what? Relative to a culture or relative against some Universal Moral Principles that are somehow imposed upon all cultures geographically and historically? Is slavery always immoral? Normatively (historically) slavery used to be moral and was culturally/ethically accepted.
    I think they're referring to "good" as "good" is generally understood by the majority of modern society, or at least the majority of the individual's community. Obviously, there will be disagreements around the edges. And of course atheists can be "more moral" than believers. Some believers engage in behavior that most would agree is deplorable.

    You quoted my post, but you're just continuing to wax philosophical with support from writings you happen to agree with. Not really a response to anything I wrote.

    "Moral universalism (also called moral objectivism or universal morality) is the meta-ethical position that some system of ethics, or a universal ethic, applies universally, that is, for "all similarly situated individuals",[1] regardless of culture, race, sex, religion, nationality, sexuality, or any other distinguishing feature. Moral universalism is opposed to moral nihilism and moral relativism......An enormous range of traditions and thinkers have supported one form or another of moral universalism, from the ancient Platonists and Stoics, through Christians and Muslims, to modern Kantian, Objectivist, natural rights, human rights and utilitarian thinkers. The United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights can be read as assuming a kind of moral universalism."
    ...and nothing about that demands the "supernatural." Is it your position that 'universal' morals exist, or no? Is it your assertion that, say, Christians, operate under a set of "universal morals" that are unchanging, something Atheists could never match (because they, in your word, reject the "supernatural")?

    So Christians follow a set of universal morals, yet those morals have changed over time. I'm guessing the "correct" morals were always there, but Christians have just been working towards meeting them more closely? How wonderfully convenient!

    You (and the writings you run to for support) are conflating atheism with nihilism.

  3. #283
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    Quote Originally Posted by UTfootball747 View Post
    ...and while we're quoting things that support our arguments...






    Link.

    The point: You seem to be hung up on the philosophical. . . which is fine. But hopefully you're not under the misperception that all PhDs and philosophers break towards your argument.
    After reading your quotes I don't think your really understand were I'm coming from. I not arguing for a Divine Command and I don't advocate moral realism over anti-realism. I'm arguing a "this is how it is" POV with regrades to metaphysical and metethical consequences. In Defense of Moral Subjectivism: An Argument for the Subjectivity of Moral Values
    "In the Summer 1997 issue of Free Inquiry (Vol. 17, No. 3), Theodore Schick, Jr. wrote Morality Requires God... or Does It?, which was an excellent and valid critique of the divine command theory of ethics. The premise of Schick's original article, in a nutshell, is that even if we assume God exists (for the sake of argument), God's commandment that some action is moral doesn't make that action moral, since God could command that any action is right or wrong indiscriminately--i.e., if God's commandments were the basis of morality, then what makes an action "moral" would be determined arbitrarily. If God said genocide was moral, that would make genocide moral; if God said it was immoral, genocide would be immoral. Thus, there must be some objective moral standard God must refer to that exists independently of God's commandment for moral values to be determined non-arbitrarily. This standard would exist independently of God, and thus the existence of morality would not depend upon the existence of God."
    "n Defense of Moral Subjectivism: An Argument for the Subjectivity of Moral Values

    "In his reply to my letter to the editor, Theodore Schick accused me of arguing "that morality must must be subjective on the grounds that [I] cannot see how it could be objective." But this is not what I argued at all. I said that I thought that the idea that "there can be no objective moral laws" was plausible to atheists. I think it is perfectly possible that objective moral laws exist in some Platonic realm of ideas, but I think it is implausible that such is the case. Since moral laws refer to the actions of sentient beings, it is difficult to conceive how they could originate by unconscious natural mechanisms. "

    "We do not accuse a lion of immorality for tearing a giraffe to shreds. Animals are not 'subject' to moral laws because they don't make moral decisions. Yet, if we all accept a purely naturalistic evolutionary account of the origin of Homo sapiens, it follows that human beings are merely another species of animal, and consequently we are not subject to moral laws." There can be no moral facts...so saying "Atheists are more moral then theists because...." means what when all moral laws are arbitrary. There could be no inherent rights. Serbian genocide was ethical relative to Serbian moral subjectivism. Countries that intervened were imposing their moral standards onto the Serbs. Competing memes. Which actions/behaviors (the Crusades) humans deem right and wrong, good and evil, are arbitrary.
    Last edited by Scott F; 04-04-2013 at 12:00 PM.
    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?

  4. #284
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott F View Post
    "We do not accuse a lion of immorality for tearing a giraffe to shreds. Animals are not 'subject' to moral laws because they don't make moral decisions. Yet, if we all accept a purely naturalistic evolutionary account of the origin of Homo sapiens, it follows that human beings are merely another species of animal, and consequently we are not subject to moral laws." There can be no moral facts...so saying "Atheists are more moral then theists because...." means what when all moral laws are arbitrary. There could be no inherent rights. Serbian genocide was ethical relative to Serbian moral subjectivism. Countries that intervened were imposing their moral standards onto the Serbs. Competing memes. Which actions/behaviors (the Crusades) humans deem right and wrong, good and evil, are arbitrary.
    I have not defended the suggestion that atheists are 'more moral than theists.' I'm critical of your argument that atheism = "materialism" = any and all moral codes must be viewed as equal by non-theists. From your earlier post:

    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.
    You have staked out the position that atheists do not recognize "right or wrong." Even if someone were to view "morals" or "ethics" as "human cultural inventions," that doesn't mean they find no value in them.
    Last edited by UTfootball747; 04-04-2013 at 12:19 PM.

  5. #285
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    This is getting tiresome. Seriously, folks.

  6. #286
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    Scott F made a point earlier that I want to expand on a little if I can.

    The idea that Science has an underlying materialistic basis. This means that when scientists are trying to discover new things, they explicitly rule out supernatural causes as possibilities. I think that this happens and is a basis for science, and I agree that this is the way things should be.

    The problem with NOT having materialistic underpinnings for scientific enquiry is that it's too easy to use a spiritual 'cop out' as an explanation for events. Why does the sun revolve around the earth? Because God said so. It's intellectually lazy, and also, flat out wrong. How did the universe arise? God made it. These sorts of answers are born of ignorance and prevent people from furthering their understanding of the universe.

    This doesn't mean that God doesn't exist. Just that science confines itself to the things that it can explain, rather than the supernatural.
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  7. #287
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    Quote Originally Posted by magicmerl View Post
    The problem with NOT having materialistic underpinnings for scientific enquiry is that it's too easy to use a spiritual 'cop out' as an explanation for events. Why does the sun revolve around the earth? Because God said so. It's intellectually lazy, and also, flat out wrong. How did the universe arise? God made it. These sorts of answers are born of ignorance and prevent people from furthering their understanding of the universe.

    This doesn't mean that God doesn't exist. Just that science confines itself to the things that it can explain, rather than the supernatural.
    Are we happier because of these scientific discoveries?

  8. #288
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    Quote Originally Posted by sakura_girl View Post
    Are we happier because of these scientific discoveries?
    Are we happier because the September 11th attacks? The Crusades? The Palestine conflict?

  9. #289
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    Don;t you guys have day jobs? If the OP chooses to believe that stupid book, so be it!
    5'7'' 130 lbs, primal since August 2011

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    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread78819.html

  10. #290
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    Some close their minds to Jesus because they don't believe in the "Book",
    Others close their minds to Jesus because they do believe in the "Book"

    There is no denying that Jesus was a great bloke, maybe a prophet even,
    I keep an open mind so that I can draw on the wisdom of all the great prophets, Jesus, Budha, Mohamed, Ezekiel, Einstein, Kepler etc and the list goes on, although if I had to choose one, it would be Murphy, he seems to get it right nearly 100% of the time.

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