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Author Topic:   Atheism Cannot Rationally Explain Morals.
jar
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(2)
Message 946 of 1000 (808028)
05-08-2017 7:13 AM
Reply to: Message 943 by Dredge
05-08-2017 3:29 AM


Re: Evolutionists can not explain morals
Dredge writes:

Good point - just look at the situation where Hitler decided the morally correct solution was to murder 6 million Jews. And also consider the Khmer Rouge, who accessed the situation and thought the right thing to do was to kill 5 millions Cambodians. Evidently, morality can be whatever you want it to be; you just make it up as you go along.

You are almost correct. Morality certainly is whatever a society decides is moral but it's not just made up as you go along. A societies morality does get passed from generation to generation but also evolves and changes and is effected by selection.

This has been explained to you several times by several people in this very thread.

Since it has been explained the topic "Evolutionists can not explain morals" has been refuted. Any future claim that Evolutionists can not explain morals deserves only ridicule.


My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios My Website: My Website

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Chiroptera
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Posts: 6323
From: Oklahoma
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(2)
Message 947 of 1000 (808039)
05-08-2017 8:59 AM
Reply to: Message 943 by Dredge
05-08-2017 3:29 AM


No problems that can be solved by "objective" morality
Evidently, morality can be whatever you want it to be; you just make it up as you go along.

If you mean that without an objective standard for morality, we are like to see a variety of different moral systems, some incompatible with one another, well, that is pretty much what we see already. In fact, it was what we already saw in history when people believed there was an objective standard. So having an objective standard doesn't seem to solve this problem.

On the other hand, if your concern is that without an objective standard for morality individuals will just make it up as they go along and do what's convenient for them at the moment, well, that seems to be what the majority of people don't do, not even people who believe that morals are subjective. So there doesn't seem to be a problem that we need to worry about here.


Freedom is merely privilege extended, unless enjoyed by one and all. Billy Bragg

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Chiroptera
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Posts: 6323
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
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Message 948 of 1000 (808040)
05-08-2017 9:02 AM
Reply to: Message 942 by Dredge
05-08-2017 3:03 AM


Re: Evolutionists can not explain morals
So you brought up an example when you didn't even know whether it supported your point?

Freedom is merely privilege extended, unless enjoyed by one and all. Billy Bragg

This message is a reply to:
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Tangle
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Message 949 of 1000 (808041)
05-08-2017 9:35 AM
Reply to: Message 943 by Dredge
05-08-2017 3:29 AM


Re: Evolutionists can not explain morals
quote:
Evidently, morality can be whatever you want it to be; you just make it up as you go along.

Not really, some norms of behaviour are pretty standard wherever and whenever; in-tribe murder for example.

But I'd be interested to hear what your objective morality actually is. Do you have a list?


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


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RAZD
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Message 950 of 1000 (808043)
05-08-2017 10:06 AM
Reply to: Message 935 by ProtoTypical
05-07-2017 7:06 PM


Re: Quibbles the quibbler
Can you think of a moral that is for personal benefit?

I will just pop in out of the blue (not having followed the thread) and say that they are all for personal benefit. We practice and enforce moral conduct because we realize that doing so is directly beneficial to ourselves. Being part of a group is essential to human survival and maintaining the group and one's relationship to it are paramount.

Enlightened self-interest. Agreed, benefiting the group benefits the members of the group.

All behaviour is driven by assessment of personal benefit.

Whether moral or immoral.

Enjoy


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Stile
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From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
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Message 951 of 1000 (808045)
05-08-2017 10:34 AM
Reply to: Message 931 by RAZD
05-06-2017 8:21 PM


Re: Quibbles the quibbler
RAZD writes:

(1) "considered good" by who? The individual or the group?

I was attempting to come at the questions from your end... so you would be the one who needs to answer this.
If you want my stance, though... the "who" is "whoever's being affected by the action(s) in question." Otherwise you'll be prescribing your own morality onto others, which can easily lead to abuse.

(2) when I look at the structure of morals it is about interactions with others: don't steal, don't murder, don't covet your neighbors spouse, ... let others pursue happiness if it harms no one .... etc

I agree this is normally sufficient.
I was quibbling.

But what about my quibble? Not cheating in a board game... when you know you you're not going to get caught.
That's not going to harm anyone, either way (it's a board game...).
Is this "moral"? In which case... your definition of morals may need to be adjust along the lines of my suggestion. Or would you define the problem away and call this something else, like "honour?"

(3) who enforces morals, the individual or the group?

Anyone who cares enough.

Can you think of a moral that is for personal benefit?

Many. Like not stealing from others because you don't want someone to steal from yourself.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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New Cat's Eye
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From: near St. Louis
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Message 952 of 1000 (808047)
05-08-2017 10:38 AM
Reply to: Message 938 by Dredge
05-08-2017 2:47 AM


I thank you for the Hitler quotes. They certainly suggest he was some kind of creationist. But who knows if he was being sincere or merely pandering to a theistic audience?

Wait, are you trying to call Hitler a Poe?

Puh-lease


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New Cat's Eye
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From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
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Message 953 of 1000 (808049)
05-08-2017 10:43 AM
Reply to: Message 951 by Stile
05-08-2017 10:34 AM


Re: Quibbles the quibbler
But what about my quibble? Not cheating in a board game... when you know you you're not going to get caught.
That's not going to harm anyone, either way (it's a board game...).
Is this "moral"?

Meh, not really. It's, like, inconsequential...

In which case... your definition of morals may need to be adjust along the lines of my suggestion. Or would you define the problem away and call this something else, like "honour?"

Yeah, that's prolly what I'd do

Except I'd spell it right without that stupid "u"


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 955 by Stile, posted 05-08-2017 10:57 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
Stile
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Posts: 2870
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 954 of 1000 (808053)
05-08-2017 10:47 AM
Reply to: Message 935 by ProtoTypical
05-07-2017 7:06 PM


Re: Quibbles the quibbler
ProtoTypical writes:

I will just pop in out of the blue (not having followed the thread) and say that they are all for personal benefit.

I would only note that they all can be for personal benefit.
But just because something can be motivated for selfish reasons doesn't mean that it is.

We practice and enforce moral conduct because we realize that doing so is directly beneficial to ourselves.

Some people do.
Some people don't.
Some people practice and enforce moral conduct because they want to help people instead of hurt people.
Some people practice and enforce moral conduct because they want to protect certain people they care deeply for (but is "meh" towards everyone else).

Realizing that practicing and enforcing moral conduct is directly beneficial to ourselves doesn't mean this automatically becomes "the reason" people do it.

Just as realizing playing on a team sport directly benefits ourselves doesn't mean that is "the reason" all people do it.
Some will do it for that reason.
Some will do it for other reasons... say, because their parents want them to, or because they want to help the team succeed and they know they are a vital part of that success.

Being part of a group is essential to human survival and maintaining the group and one's relationship to it are paramount.

I would say survival and maintaining the group and one's relationship to it is important. But not paramount.
There are many things I would not do... even to save the entire human race from extinction.
Quick example: I would not save the entire human race from extinction if it meant sacrificing the lives of innocent children every day just so that the rest of the human race could survive. I would rather just end everything instead of base it on such a structure.

All behaviour is driven by assessment of personal benefit.

Again, I would say that you can frame all behavior as driven by assessment of personal benefit if you want to.

But just because you can frame something one way, doesn't mean all the other possible framings disappear.
You don't get to prescribe other people's motivations just because you can imagine a single, possible motivation.


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Stile
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Posts: 2870
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 955 of 1000 (808056)
05-08-2017 10:57 AM
Reply to: Message 953 by New Cat's Eye
05-08-2017 10:43 AM


Re: Quibbles the quibbler
New Cat's Eye writes:

Stile writes:

But what about my quibble? Not cheating in a board game... when you know you you're not going to get caught.
That's not going to harm anyone, either way (it's a board game...).
Is this "moral"?

Meh, not really. It's, like, inconsequential...

Stile writes:

In which case... your definition of morals may need to be adjust along the lines of my suggestion. Or would you define the problem away and call this something else, like "honour?"

Yeah, that's prolly what I'd do

Actually, upon reflection, I think I agree.

I think I got caught in a colloquial-way of speaking.
That is, someone who does this not-cheating-in-a-board-game thing... people would say they have "good moral character." (Which is where I got confused).

However, I agree that it's not "moral" if no one is affected.

I think it's just an intricacy of the English language and how the term "moral" can mean so many different things. Specifically and colloquially.

They're all connected... morals, honour, righteousness, protecting-the-weak...
But perhaps they are not all strictly the same thing.

Except I'd spell it right without that stupid "u"

You shut your mouth!!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 953 by New Cat's Eye, posted 05-08-2017 10:43 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
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Chiroptera
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Posts: 6323
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 4.7


(1)
Message 956 of 1000 (808057)
05-08-2017 10:58 AM
Reply to: Message 938 by Dredge
05-08-2017 2:47 AM


I thank you for the Hitler quotes. They certainly suggest he was some kind of creationist. But who knows if he was being sincere or merely pandering to a theistic audience?

And yet, if Hitler had said, "I've read Origin of the Species, and Darwin would definitely have voted for the Nazis," the creationists would totally have grabbed that and ran with it. In fact, they have run with the "Nazis are based on Darwin" theme even though Hitler didn't actually say that.

But Hitler used creationist rhetoric? Now we suddenly have to question Hitler's sincerity?


Freedom is merely privilege extended, unless enjoyed by one and all. Billy Bragg

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New Cat's Eye
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Posts: 11346
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 957 of 1000 (808067)
05-08-2017 11:38 AM
Reply to: Message 955 by Stile
05-08-2017 10:57 AM


Re: Quibbles the quibbler
They're all connected... morals, honour, righteousness, protecting-the-weak...
But perhaps they are not all strictly the same thing.

Yeah, they are different things, but they all stem from the same thing - our internal consciences.

I'm interested in what drives that, but I don't have the time for a proper response right now.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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ringo
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Posts: 13023
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 958 of 1000 (808077)
05-08-2017 12:02 PM
Reply to: Message 943 by Dredge
05-08-2017 3:29 AM


Re: Evolutionists can not explain morals
Dredge writes:

Evidently, morality can be whatever you want it to be; you just make it up as you go along.


Do you think it was absolutely wrong for Hitler to kill millions of Jews and absolutely right for the Allies to kill millions of Germans?
This message is a reply to:
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Stile
Member
Posts: 2870
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 959 of 1000 (808097)
05-08-2017 12:52 PM
Reply to: Message 957 by New Cat's Eye
05-08-2017 11:38 AM


Re: Quibbles the quibbler
New Cat's Eye writes:

I'm interested in what drives (our internal consciences), but I don't have the time for a proper response right now.

Ha ha, I doubt I could give you a satisfactory response.
If you ever find anything on what is the "root cause" for driving our internal consciences... let me know. I'd like to know too

One thing to note:

"Internal conscience" is just a term.
A couple of words made up by some guy years ago to reference "all this stuff" about morality, honour...

Is it a thing?
Is it an organ?
Is it a DNA sequence?
Is it an amalgamation of all or only parts of a bunch of those things?
Is it an emergent property from everything working together at different levels (based on physical things, but only really existing in the 'abstract')?

I don't think any of those answers are known by anyone right now.
But they sure are good questions

The basics make sense:
1 - Creatures exist and evolve.
2 - Having "a conscience" provides an evolutionary advantage for 'taking care of the group' - helping to promote survival for the group
3 - Tadaa!! Conscience evolves and grows in humans.

But what about any of the specifics, the details? I got nothing.
Just because the conscience (probably) developed as a group-survival-mechanism at some point in history... must it remain as only that?
Do we not have intelligence that allows us to be creative and expand/explore/control our current 'instinctual' functional systems?

Can we use our intelligence to negate the instinctual "group-survival-mechanism" aspect of our conscience and implement something more? Something beyond simply surviving? Can we use our conscience because we want to help others or leave the place better than we found it or for any other reason we so desire?

I think we can.

Just as our legs and arms evolved as survival-mechanisms for locomotion and/or using tools for survival.
However, we certainly can use our intelligence to expand/explore/control our legs and arms for many other things... fun, curiosity, entertainment.

If we can use our intelligence to move beyond mere "survival-mechanisms" for other aspects of our existence, why not for our conscience as well?

Well, that got rambling into another direction...
Anyway, I'll just leave all that there


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Chiroptera
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Posts: 6323
From: Oklahoma
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Member Rating: 4.7


Message 960 of 1000 (808144)
05-08-2017 2:46 PM


Even objective moralists' morals are subjective!
Another thing I've noticed about people who believe that there is an objective standard for morality is that none of them seem to really know what that standard is.

Other than a few commandments here and there and some vague aphorisms, it appears that people who believe in objective morality don't have a whole lot to go on and are forced to make it up as they go along. These people, no less than those who accept that morality is subjective, seem to have the same doubts about whether they "got it right", confront the same dilemmas that don't seem to have easy solutions, and discuss issues with other people hoping to be able to "home in" on the right decisions to make in specific circumstances. In short, they act exactly as people who believe in the subjectivity of morality act.

As a result, we see that there is a wide variety of morality even among those who believe in "objectivity", and even within religions wide disagreement on what is or is not moral. And the individuals, at least the ones who aren't insane, are no more or less certain about whether they know the correct course of action than anyone else. If there is an objective standard for morality, then the world looks surprisingly similar to the way it would look if morality were subjective.

An objective standard for morality doesn't really do anyone any good unless one can actually point to it and use it. People who believe in objective standards for morality are not immune to the very problems they think that the "subjectivists" are prone to. In practice, even if there exists and objective standard, everyone's morality is subjective.


Freedom is merely privilege extended, unless enjoyed by one and all. Billy Bragg

  
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