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Author Topic:   Are Fundamentalists Inherently Immoral
Lithodid-Man
Member (Idle past 1104 days)
Posts: 504
From: Juneau, Alaska, USA
Joined: 03-22-2004


Message 151 of 161 (523338)
09-09-2009 3:47 PM
Reply to: Message 143 by Holyfire23
09-08-2009 10:09 PM


Child porn as moral absolute?
Holyfire writes:

Let me ask all of you this question. Do you agree with me that veiwing child pornography is absolutely evil and wrong?

It is fairly obvious that you believed this would trap people into either agreeing with you and therefore admitting a moral absolute or disagree with you and therefore 'support' kiddie porn.

When I read this what came to mind was similar to Rahvin's point about a police officer. I thought what if you were a judge or on a jury convicting someone and had to view the contents of their digital camera? If viewing such things is an absolute evil, then everyone in the court is now guilty. The image that comes to mind is the priest and crowd of 'men' in The Life of Brian "No one should stone anyone until I blow this whistle, even if they do say Jehova".


Doctor Bashir: "Of all the stories you told me, which were true and which weren't?"
Elim Garak: "My dear Doctor, they're all true"
Doctor Bashir: "Even the lies?"
Elim Garak: "Especially the lies"
This message is a reply to:
 Message 143 by Holyfire23, posted 09-08-2009 10:09 PM Holyfire23 has not yet responded

    
Drosophilla
Member (Idle past 1814 days)
Posts: 172
From: Doncaster, yorkshire, UK
Joined: 08-25-2009


Message 152 of 161 (523343)
09-09-2009 3:58 PM
Reply to: Message 150 by Rahvin
09-09-2009 12:24 PM


Re: Ethics and morality
And another cracking very well thought out post....

A police officer viewing child porn in order to identify the victim and catch the perpetrator would even be considered good under most Western ethical systems

...what a belter of an answer - wish i'd thought of that one. It blew Holyfire's childish insistance of a single 'moral dilemma' answer utterly out of the water....as you say Rahvin ....there are NO moral absolutes.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 150 by Rahvin, posted 09-09-2009 12:24 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
Holyfire23
Inactive Member


Message 153 of 161 (523459)
09-10-2009 1:33 PM
Reply to: Message 150 by Rahvin
09-09-2009 12:24 PM


Re: Ethics and morality
Rahvin writes:


There is no such thing as a moral absolute.

Rahvin writes:

"Truth" is not absolute. Truth is subjective - the teachings of Jesus, for example, can have great "truth" regardless of whether the man Jesus ever existed or ever said the things recorded in the Bible. Even fairy tales contain "truth," even though they're completely made-up.

Fact is absolute. There is a difference; a rather large one, at that.

If there is no such thing as absolute truth, you cannot say there is absolutely no such thing as an absolute moral law, nor can you acknowledge the presence of fact. All you have is speculation and that cannot be used to make an absolute assertion.

Rahvin writes:

A stop sign objectively exists; the red octagon remains perched on its post at the street corner regardless of whether someone is there to observe it or not. All observers who are able to see the stop sign will see it; it exists independently of the human mind, of human emotion. A person from Kansas, from California, from the UK, and from India will all see the sign and describe its physical features the same way. Even animals will see it.

The meaning of the stop sign, however, is subjective. To a person who's never seen a car and doesn't speak English, the stop sign will have no meaning at all - it will be an odd red octagonal object, but the meaning that the sign represents will not exist. The meaning of the stop sign, the instruction to stop your car before proceeding, does not exist independently of the observer. Through commonality of experience and agreeing that a red octagon with the word "STOP" written on it will symbolize the instruction to stop your vehicle, many people (hopefully everyone with a US driver's license, though I've seen a fair few who apparently take the meaning to be "slow down slightly;" which both helps prove my point and tends to earn one a traffic ticket) will agree upon the meaning. But to a person wholly unfamiliar with US traffic signs and driving in general, the sign will not function as an instruction to stop a vehicle. Symbols are subjective - they have common meaning only when we all agree upon the common meaning. The meaning does not exist outside of our agreements. A squirrel will not understand the "meaning" of the sign. A young child who has not yet learned how to read or picked up on the meaning of a stop sign yet will not understand. If humanity disappeared tomorrow, no stop signs would have any meaning whatsoever. In another culture, a red octagon could be used as a "yield" sign, or a "no parking" sign, or be assigned any other meaning at all.

The notion that the meaning of a “Stop” sign is subjective to man’s interpretation is true. You are forgetting one thing however—the purpose for which it was created. Someone put that stop sign there. That purpose was so that people would see the sign and know it meant “Stop”. It is true that a foreigner might see a stop sign, have no clue what it means, and drive right by. But just because he interpreted that sign differently does not change the fact that he is violating the purpose for which that stop sign was created. The creator of the stop sign did not put the stop sign there for people to interpret it subjectively. That creator had an absolute purpose in mind—stop. In order to interpret the meaning of a stop sign correctly, we must look to the creator of the stop sign. In the same way, we must look to the Creator of the human mind to interpret the meaning of morality. My question to you is, who or what created the human mind?

Here we have a fundamental difference in our modes of reasoning. I base my reasoning off a Creator, you do not. Until one of us is able to agree with the other on this level, we cannot effectively argue the specifics i.e. the things created. This is what turns so many arguments between atheists and theists into circular arguments. In order to argue a point effectively, we must agree on some level of assumption. If we cannot agree on the level of assumption, all arguments past the level of assumption become circular or dead-ended. We get nowhere. This argument was doomed from the beginning. None of us set up a good foundation on which to build an effective argument, and thus, no good argument has come about. I am, therefore, done posting on this thread.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 150 by Rahvin, posted 09-09-2009 12:24 PM Rahvin has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 154 by Rahvin, posted 09-10-2009 2:42 PM Holyfire23 has not yet responded
 Message 155 by dwise1, posted 09-10-2009 4:16 PM Holyfire23 has not yet responded

  
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 1360 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 154 of 161 (523470)
09-10-2009 2:42 PM
Reply to: Message 153 by Holyfire23
09-10-2009 1:33 PM


Re: Ethics and morality
If there is no such thing as absolute truth, you cannot say there is absolutely no such thing as an absolute moral law, nor can you acknowledge the presence of fact. All you have is speculation and that cannot be used to make an absolute assertion.

All I have is the conspicuous absence of any evidence whatsoever suggesting that absolute objective morality exists, and more than ample evidence that morality is, indeed, subjective. I have proven the negative (objective morality does not exist) by proving the mutually exclusive opposite (morality as we have observed it in each and every case everywhere at every time is purely subjective and a creation of the human mind, not an independently existing objective fact).

This is not idle speculation. I've provided specific examples and evidence to support my argument. You, however, have not even attempted to do so.

Further, statements of fact have nothing to do with morality. pen resting on my desk is an absolute fact...and implies not one thing about morality and ethics. Observing that morality and ethics stem from the human mind just as symbols and emotions is simply a statement of observed fact, and does not itself imply a "moral lawgiver" in any way.

quote:
Rahvin writes:

A stop sign objectively exists; the red octagon remains perched on its post at the street corner regardless of whether someone is there to observe it or not. All observers who are able to see the stop sign will see it; it exists independently of the human mind, of human emotion. A person from Kansas, from California, from the UK, and from India will all see the sign and describe its physical features the same way. Even animals will see it.

The meaning of the stop sign, however, is subjective. To a person who's never seen a car and doesn't speak English, the stop sign will have no meaning at all - it will be an odd red octagonal object, but the meaning that the sign represents will not exist. The meaning of the stop sign, the instruction to stop your car before proceeding, does not exist independently of the observer. Through commonality of experience and agreeing that a red octagon with the word "STOP" written on it will symbolize the instruction to stop your vehicle, many people (hopefully everyone with a US driver's license, though I've seen a fair few who apparently take the meaning to be "slow down slightly;" which both helps prove my point and tends to earn one a traffic ticket) will agree upon the meaning. But to a person wholly unfamiliar with US traffic signs and driving in general, the sign will not function as an instruction to stop a vehicle. Symbols are subjective - they have common meaning only when we all agree upon the common meaning. The meaning does not exist outside of our agreements. A squirrel will not understand the "meaning" of the sign. A young child who has not yet learned how to read or picked up on the meaning of a stop sign yet will not understand. If humanity disappeared tomorrow, no stop signs would have any meaning whatsoever. In another culture, a red octagon could be used as a "yield" sign, or a "no parking" sign, or be assigned any other meaning at all.


The notion that the meaning of a “Stop” sign is subjective to man’s interpretation is true. You are forgetting one thing however—the purpose for which it was created. Someone put that stop sign there. That purpose was so that people would see the sign and know it meant “Stop”. It is true that a foreigner might see a stop sign, have no clue what it means, and drive right by. But just because he interpreted that sign differently does not change the fact that he is violating the purpose for which that stop sign was created. The creator of the stop sign did not put the stop sign there for people to interpret it subjectively. That creator had an absolute purpose in mind—stop. In order to interpret the meaning of a stop sign correctly, we must look to the creator of the stop sign. In the same way, we must look to the Creator of the human mind to interpret the meaning of morality. My question to you is, who or what created the human mind?

What an absurd argument. Symbols, despite having a definite conception in the minds of those who use them, are still subjective. The fact that a specific meaning is assigned when a symbolis used does not make that meaning objective! You have simply failed to comprehend the meaning of the words "subjective" and "objective." Again.

Symbols (like stop signs and words) are the very definition of subjectivity. Without a human mind to interpret them, they are nothing more than meaningless markings. The meaning exists only within the human mind, and absolutely nowhere else. There is nothing objective about a symbol.

So too with morality. Without a human mind to assign a value of "good" or "bad" to an action, that action has no "good" or "bad" value at all. Morality is entirely subjective. Your "creator" in this case is directly analogous to a king who makes a set of laws; the king may have a specific ethical system he is using, but that doesn't make morality any more objective or less subjective. Without human beings who agree with the kings's laws, the laws have no meaning - there's no such thing as murder without human beings to decide what murder is; there's no such thing as theft without human beings to agree on property rights.

You have failed, utterly, to provide any evidence of an objective standard of morality. You;ve simply chosen your own ethical system (that which is given in the Bible), and held it up as objective. I can do the same with any of the innumerable ethical systems that have existed around the globe, from Authoritarianism to Hedonism to Altruism to Utilitarianism and countless more. The fact that I can write down an ethical standard and have a group of people agree with my values does not make ethics and morality and more objective - the mere fact that not everyone agrees proves the fact that morality is entirely subjective.

Here we have a fundamental difference in our modes of reasoning. I base my reasoning off a Creator, you do not.

Irrelevant. What is relevant is evidence - I have provided much, and you have provided none. Your arguments aren't even logically sound; half of your statements do not make any sense at all, and involve massive unsupported leaps of logic. You even decline to respond to the entirety of my posts, instead picking out just a sentence or paragraph or two to reply to. It's rather difficult to debate when the majority of ones points are simply ignored.

Until one of us is able to agree with the other on this level, we cannot effectively argue the specifics i.e. the things created. This is what turns so many arguments between atheists and theists into circular arguments. In order to argue a point effectively, we must agree on some level of assumption. If we cannot agree on the level of assumption, all arguments past the level of assumption become circular or dead-ended. We get nowhere. This argument was doomed from the beginning. None of us set up a good foundation on which to build an effective argument, and thus, no good argument has come about.

In other words, your arguments will only make sense if I already agree with you.

I am, therefore, done posting on this thread.

Concession accepted.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 153 by Holyfire23, posted 09-10-2009 1:33 PM Holyfire23 has not yet responded

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 3496
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.0


Message 155 of 161 (523479)
09-10-2009 4:16 PM
Reply to: Message 153 by Holyfire23
09-10-2009 1:33 PM


Re: Ethics and morality
Here we have a fundamental difference in our modes of reasoning. I base my reasoning off a Creator, you do not. Until one of us is able to agree with the other on this level, we cannot effectively argue the specifics i.e. the things created. This is what turns so many arguments between atheists and theists into circular arguments. In order to argue a point effectively, we must agree on some level of assumption. If we cannot agree on the level of assumption, all arguments past the level of assumption become circular or dead-ended. We get nowhere. This argument was doomed from the beginning. None of us set up a good foundation on which to build an effective argument, and thus, no good argument has come about. I am, therefore, done posting on this thread.

Here you have a golden opportunity to inform us about your "moral absolutes" and yet you run away from it. The questions I asked in Message 148 were intended to elicit that information from you in order to get us onto some common ground so that we could further the discussion.

However, I do understand your difficulty here. A former fundamentalist minister, Dan Barker, described it as "when their theology becomes their psychology". He grew up a fundamentalist, completely immersed in it -- his mother would sing in tongues all the times as she did her housework --, and was personally called to the ministry by God, so he is very familiar with how the fundamentalist mind works. In my association with a mega-church which is less out-there than many, I repeatedly saw in their outreach and recovery programs how very differently their minds worked and how utterly useless their programs would be for non-Christians or even some mainstream Christians (eg, their DivorceCare program's repeated emphasis that "only Jesus can help you recover", a recovery program in which they sought to break down your defenses so that the Holy Spirit could enter you). Even a very popular and long-running series of relationships lectures given by a pair of Christian counselors, even though it used and presented many concepts that other counselors use, put such spins on those concepts to make them conform to fundamentalist psychology that they became almost nonsensical and barely useful to a normal person.

I do believe you when you saw that you see the world so very differently than those of us rooted in reality see it. That is why I asked those questions, so that we could come to some common understanding. But that is where our minds differ: we wish to increase our understanding of things, whereas you do not.

Here's a brief and slightly modified list of those questions:

quote:

When you say that something is a "moral absolute", what makes it one?

When you regard some moral precept, how do you determine objectively whether it is absolute or relative?

When your "moral absolute" says that something is wrong, then why is it wrong? What makes it wrong?

What are the consequences when you violate that "moral absolute"? And for whom?

How is the violator of a "moral absolute" supposed to pay for that violation. I'm not talking about punishment here, but rather if a person regrets having violated a "moral absolute", then how is he supposed to do that?

And here's a new one: if you obey one of your "moral absolutes" and it directly causes great harm to someone, then who's responsible for that harm? Whose fault is it?



These are very basic questions that you should be able to answer with very little difficulty.

Unless you have never thought of them before, in which case you have yet again proven my statement that fundamentalists are amoral since they do not practice moral reasoning.

Edited by dwise1, : slight clean-up; added quote tags


This message is a reply to:
 Message 153 by Holyfire23, posted 09-10-2009 1:33 PM Holyfire23 has not yet responded

    
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5692
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 156 of 161 (523604)
09-11-2009 11:54 AM
Reply to: Message 150 by Rahvin
09-09-2009 12:24 PM


Re: Ethics and morality
"Truth" is not absolute. Truth is subjective - the teachings of Jesus, for example, can have great "truth" regardless of whether the man Jesus ever existed or ever said the things recorded in the Bible. Even fairy tales contain "truth," even though they're completely made-up.

Fact is absolute. There is a difference; a rather large one, at that.

While you and I seem to be in agreement that morals are not absolute, or if they are they have yet to be verified empirically, but I'm not seeing a difference between fact and truth, let alone a large one.

Obviously there are some things that are absolute, "truth" being one of them.

"Truth" is not absolute.

Is this a true (factual) statement?

It's a self-defeating principle not to recognize absolute truths when trying to determine whether or not there are moral absolutes.


"The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms." - Samual Adams
This message is a reply to:
 Message 150 by Rahvin, posted 09-09-2009 12:24 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

    
Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5393
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 157 of 161 (523609)
09-11-2009 12:24 PM
Reply to: Message 143 by Holyfire23
09-08-2009 10:09 PM


A quick quiz for Holyfire, who says, "I use the Ten Commandments given to Moses by God in Exodus 20:3-17."

Where in the Book of Exodus (NIV) does the following passage appear: "And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant—the Ten Commandments."

a) chapter 20
b) chapter 34
c) both of the above
d) somewhere else

No foolin', Holyfire, I'd like your answer!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 143 by Holyfire23, posted 09-08-2009 10:09 PM Holyfire23 has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 160 by Hyroglyphx, posted 09-11-2009 12:45 PM Coragyps has not yet responded

    
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16097
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 158 of 161 (523611)
09-11-2009 12:27 PM
Reply to: Message 147 by mike the wiz
09-09-2009 10:36 AM


But Jack the Ripper doesn't. He said that according to his relative morals, I should rape. I told him I don't want to rape therefore he concluded I was immoral.

Jack the Ripper wasn't a rapist. He killed prostitutes --- you know, like the Bible says to, except that he used a knife instead of stoning them to death.

As he was never caught, we have no way of knowing his moral philosophy. However, his nearest analogue, the "Yorkshire Ripper", when arrested, claimed to be doing God's will, and you can't argue with that, can you? No room for "relative morals" there.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 147 by mike the wiz, posted 09-09-2009 10:36 AM mike the wiz has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 159 by Hyroglyphx, posted 09-11-2009 12:44 PM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

  
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5692
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 159 of 161 (523613)
09-11-2009 12:44 PM
Reply to: Message 158 by Dr Adequate
09-11-2009 12:27 PM


He killed prostitutes --- you know, like the Bible says to

Well, that's not entirely true.

"He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone... Woman, has no one come to condemn you?.. Neither will I condemn you. Go and sin no more" -Jesus Christ

But it is a contradiction from the Law of Moses. Wait a minute, didn't he kill an Egyptian and covered up the body in the sand?


"The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms." - Samual Adams
This message is a reply to:
 Message 158 by Dr Adequate, posted 09-11-2009 12:27 PM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

    
Hyroglyphx
Member
Posts: 5692
From: Austin, TX
Joined: 05-03-2006
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 160 of 161 (523614)
09-11-2009 12:45 PM
Reply to: Message 157 by Coragyps
09-11-2009 12:24 PM


Where in the Book of Exodus (NIV) does the following passage appear: "And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant—the Ten Commandments."

a) chapter 20
b) chapter 34
c) both of the above
d) somewhere else

I'll take "Bible Contradictions" for 400, Alex.

C) both of the above

Edited by Hyroglyphx, : No reason given.


"The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms." - Samual Adams
This message is a reply to:
 Message 157 by Coragyps, posted 09-11-2009 12:24 PM Coragyps has not yet responded

    
Asgara
Member (Idle past 476 days)
Posts: 1783
From: Wisconsin, USA
Joined: 05-10-2003


Message 161 of 161 (523760)
09-12-2009 12:56 PM
Reply to: Message 143 by Holyfire23
09-08-2009 10:09 PM


Let me ask all of you this question. Do you agree with me that veiwing child pornography is absolutely evil and wrong?

We might also ask you to define "child pornography".

My pictures of my children in the bath or playing naked in a pool in the back yard are wonderful reminders of their toddlerhood. To someone with a fetish for 2 year olds these pictures can be used to elicit sexual feelings.

Are my pictures "child pornography" or not? When I look at my photo albums am I enjoying "child pornography" or not? If a pedophile gets ahold of these pictures is he holding "child pornography" or not?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 143 by Holyfire23, posted 09-08-2009 10:09 PM Holyfire23 has not yet responded

    
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