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Author Topic:   Morality without God is impossible
PaulK
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Posts: 17171
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 16 of 306 (872626)
03-01-2020 2:01 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by GDR
02-29-2020 8:46 PM


Re: A Universal Morality
quote:
Again, I completely agree. I am simply saying that if there is a moral intelligence that is responsible for our existence then there can be an absolute morality, but we can't know it for a fact. Again, it is belief and faith.

Interesting that you agree that your point is “obviously wrong”.

quote:
They made their choice and it must be what they believed. However, atheists that have a strong sense of nationalism can do the same thing, so it can be as uncomfortably close on the other side of the table as well.

You miss the point. The God idea is not only not essential, it is actively dangerous as a basis for morality. That is not to say that other bases can’t be equally bad. In your own ideas the good comes from love, not the assumption that there is a God.


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Tangle
Member
Posts: 8549
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.4


(1)
Message 17 of 306 (872630)
03-01-2020 6:00 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by GDR
02-28-2020 8:25 PM


Re: A Universal Morality
I'd start from the idea that morality is, by and large, knowing what is right and what is wrong and behaving in a moral way is acting on that knowledge. The question is then how do we derive that knowledge.

I'd say it's in two parts

1) Learnt behaviour
2) Emotion

The first is fairly obvious in that we pick up the values of our society - Parents, education, community, formal organisation such as schools and the criminal justice system.

You could base those forms of morality around simple harms and societal needs. Don't stab Johnny you'll kill him. Why can't I kill Johnny? Because we need him to hunt for food. And so on.

The second is about an inbuilt emotional drive called empathy or compassion. This is a physical brain function that make us feel for others. We can see this emotion happening using fMRI scanning. As its a brain function it must be an evolved trait like all others so it must have survival advantage. We see that when people lack this emotion - pychopaths and sociopaths - or suffer specific forms of brain damage they act in amoral ways.

So there does not appear to be a godly intervention in any of this process.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"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.


This message is a reply to:
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Dogmafood
Member (Idle past 367 days)
Posts: 1815
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010


(1)
Message 18 of 306 (872634)
03-01-2020 9:53 AM
Reply to: Message 17 by Tangle
03-01-2020 6:00 AM


Re: A Universal Morality
The behaviour of any individual actor is a result of their innate sense of self preservation and every choice made attempts to serve that goal. All judgements of good and bad begin from this reference point which is unique to the individual.

If this is true then the morality of any action can be determined by assessing how effectively the action served the goal. This would apply universally without exception.

I anticipate that someone will point out that there are plenty of immoral actions that serve self preservation of the individual but in every case these are short term benefits.

So there does not appear to be a godly intervention in any of this process.

I don't see the god either but how could you tell anyway? Universal conditions lend no support to the idea of a god.


This message is a reply to:
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Phat
Member
Posts: 15993
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003


Message 19 of 306 (872636)
03-01-2020 10:25 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by jar
02-28-2020 5:52 PM


Re: Morality with God is imaginary
jar writes:

God has absolutely nothing to do with the concept or practice of morality.

This brings up the question as to what you believe that God *does* have anything to do with. I understand that you believe that the "God characters" in the Bible were simply products of human interpretation. I also have heard you say a time or two that you are a believer and that you believe in GOD, God, and god. (Differing aspects of one reality.) But the question, unanswerable in absolute terms, is what we humans believe about what aspects of our lives, interactions, goals, and struggles does God have to do with?

“The only way I know to drive out evil from the country is by the constructive method of filling it with good.”Calvin Coolidge
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
“As the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, so the denial of God is the height of foolishness.”-RC Sproul, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith

- You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
Anne Lamott
Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.~Andre Gide

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by jar, posted 02-28-2020 5:52 PM jar has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by jar, posted 03-01-2020 11:19 AM Phat has replied

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 15993
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003


Message 20 of 306 (872638)
03-01-2020 10:28 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by Dogmafood
03-01-2020 9:53 AM


Re: A Universal Morality
I don't see the god either but how could you tell anyway?
I feel it.(Him) Critics will say that it is all in my imagination, so I have no way of clarifying my point any better. I believe that I can tell a presence (or the perception of this presence) apart from my own imagination. You do have a point though as to how it would ever be proven.

“The only way I know to drive out evil from the country is by the constructive method of filling it with good.”Calvin Coolidge
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
“As the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, so the denial of God is the height of foolishness.”-RC Sproul, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith

- You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
Anne Lamott
Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.~Andre Gide

This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Dogmafood, posted 03-01-2020 9:53 AM Dogmafood has taken no action

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 15993
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003


Message 21 of 306 (872639)
03-01-2020 10:42 AM
Reply to: Message 17 by Tangle
03-01-2020 6:00 AM


Re: A Universal Morality
tangle writes:

1) Learnt behaviour
2) Emotion

And I bet that you think that every single member of any church who claims to belong to the club does in fact share in the learned behavior and emotion. I personally do not believe this. many don't get it (yet) which I can only conclude that it is(was) not their time. I *do* know that I had been in churches for years before I had my personal epiphany. The fact that the new awareness/feeling lasted strong for at least a year before being defined by me as an inner awareness confirms its reality to me at least. I suppose were I a good scientist I would try and disprove it but there is nothing to be gained through doing that.

Unbelief is for me a liability.


“The only way I know to drive out evil from the country is by the constructive method of filling it with good.”Calvin Coolidge
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
“As the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, so the denial of God is the height of foolishness.”-RC Sproul, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith

- You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
Anne Lamott
Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.~Andre Gide

This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by Tangle, posted 03-01-2020 6:00 AM Tangle has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by Tangle, posted 03-01-2020 1:30 PM Phat has replied

  
jar
Member
Posts: 33957
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 22 of 306 (872642)
03-01-2020 11:19 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by Phat
03-01-2020 10:25 AM


Re: Morality with God is imaginary
Phat writes:

I also have heard you say a time or two that you are a believer and that you believe in GOD, God, and god. (Differing aspects of one reality.)

No Phat, once again you really really really misrepresent what I believe.

All God(s) and god(s) are human creations and not some aspect of GOD.

Phat writes:

But the question, unanswerable in absolute terms, is what we humans believe about what aspects of our lives, interactions, goals, and struggles does God have to do with?

Once again, that is a totally irrelevant question.

People believe what they believe but beliefs have absolutely nothing to do with reality. People believe that God does lots of things but in most modern cases it is only the good things.

At least when the authors of the Bible stories made up a God character they were honest enough to often so the God a down right nasty.


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by Phat, posted 03-01-2020 10:25 AM Phat has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 23 by Phat, posted 03-01-2020 11:27 AM jar has replied

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 15993
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003


Message 23 of 306 (872643)
03-01-2020 11:27 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by jar
03-01-2020 11:19 AM


Re: Morality with God is imaginary
jar writes:

People believe what they believe but beliefs have absolutely nothing to do with reality.

Tell that to the Moses character as he stepped out in Faith and parted the sea. Tell that to Abraham as he sacrificed his son. Tell it to Jesus as He allowed Himself to be arrested.

You may argue that only actions are connected to reality and that beliefs CAN lead to actions. We shall see.


“The only way I know to drive out evil from the country is by the constructive method of filling it with good.”Calvin Coolidge
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
“As the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, so the denial of God is the height of foolishness.”-RC Sproul, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith

- You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
Anne Lamott
Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.~Andre Gide

This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by jar, posted 03-01-2020 11:19 AM jar has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by jar, posted 03-01-2020 11:42 AM Phat has replied
 Message 36 by ringo, posted 03-02-2020 11:01 AM Phat has replied

  
jar
Member
Posts: 33957
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 24 of 306 (872645)
03-01-2020 11:42 AM
Reply to: Message 23 by Phat
03-01-2020 11:27 AM


Re: Morality with God is imaginary
Phat writes:

Tell that to the Moses character as he stepped out in Faith and parted the sea. Tell that to Abraham as he sacrificed his son. Tell it to Jesus as He allowed Himself to be arrested.

The first two didn't happen and in the third there wasn't much of an option.

But beliefs are quite simply individual fantasies and of course individual fantasies can lead to people doing really dumb things and very occasionally to people doing amazingly wonderful things. But beliefs are still simply fantasies.


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by Phat, posted 03-01-2020 11:27 AM Phat has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by Phat, posted 03-01-2020 2:42 PM jar has replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8549
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 25 of 306 (872653)
03-01-2020 1:30 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by Phat
03-01-2020 10:42 AM


Re: A Universal Morality
Phat writes:

And I bet that you think that every single member of any church who claims to belong to the club does in fact share in the learned behavior and emotion.

It would be impossible not too. People normally have the empathy emotion and all people learn how to behave from their society. It's impossible not to. Even psychopaths know what is acceptable - ie moral - behaviour, they just don't understand why.

I personally do not believe this.

So?

many don't get it (yet) which I can only conclude that it is(was) not their time. I *do* know that I had been in churches for years before I had my personal epiphany.

I think you may be confusing empathy with epiphany?

The fact that the new awareness/feeling lasted strong for at least a year before being defined by me as an inner awareness confirms its reality to me at least. I suppose were I a good scientist I would try and disprove it but there is nothing to be gained through doing that.

This thread has nothing to do with personal revelation

Unbelief is for me a liability.

It's not all about you Phat.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by Phat, posted 03-01-2020 10:42 AM Phat has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by Phat, posted 03-01-2020 3:01 PM Tangle has taken no action

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 678 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


(1)
Message 26 of 306 (872656)
03-01-2020 1:42 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Tangle
02-28-2020 4:20 AM


Morality is a social construct
... maybe we can confine this to why it's impossible for our sense of morality to emerge from the evolutionary process ...

Morality is a social construct, it evolves with each society. This is why you can have variations between quite similar societies with quite similar backgrounds, but more significant differences with more different societies.

You change the society (ie go to war) and the morality changes (it's ok to kill them now)

It is learned from your parents and peers as you grow up (memes).

Humans are tribal (herd/pack/flock/etc) animals and so the morals develop/evolve for the benefit of the tribe, weeding out behaviors that are detrimental (such as killing others for no cause).

If our social structure were different our morals would be different. Compare behavior of lion pack, wolf pack, Buffalo herd, etc.

It's quite simple.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel•American•Zen•Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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This message is a reply to:
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Phat
Member
Posts: 15993
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003


Message 27 of 306 (872658)
03-01-2020 2:32 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by RAZD
03-01-2020 1:42 PM


Re: Morality is a social construct
I trust your learned explanation. I always have trusted your wisdom. You bring up an interesting line of thought, though.
People always hear of the violent cultures of the early Jews and how God commanded them to kill everyone--men, women, and children alike. To me, it was always more about the morality of that culture at that time and in (and at) that point of development rather than it was about blaming the booming voice of God.

Why is that not so obvious to these jokers who use such scriptures to point out the fact that the God of our belief is not moral?


“The only way I know to drive out evil from the country is by the constructive method of filling it with good.”Calvin Coolidge
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
“As the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, so the denial of God is the height of foolishness.”-RC Sproul, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith

- You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
Anne Lamott
Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.~Andre Gide

This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by RAZD, posted 03-01-2020 1:42 PM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 137 by RAZD, posted 03-07-2020 12:35 PM Phat has taken no action

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 15993
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003


Message 28 of 306 (872660)
03-01-2020 2:42 PM
Reply to: Message 24 by jar
03-01-2020 11:42 AM


Re: Morality with God is imaginary
jar writes:

But beliefs are still simply fantasies.

I know that you love to point this out as you endlessly criticize the apologists and the preachers within Biblical Christianity--which you call out as fantasy-driven.

But in examining your own church (club, if you will) are you also saying that whenever anyone mentions the name of God or even of Jesus that they are at best praying corporately about a fantasy?

And I notice that you ducked some of my questions (by calling them irrelevant and thus framing this issue the way that YOU wanted it framed)
so I will ask them again:

  • ... the question as to what you believe that God *does* have anything to do with. And more specifically what your church...your club...believes regarding what God has anything to do with. Is He interactive? Can He listen? Does He ever answer prayer? Or is He like a proud Papa figure...standing silent (symbolically) and watching His children learn to play together, help each other, and grow more spiritually (and practically) mature? In other words, is God simply a figurehead?

    “The only way I know to drive out evil from the country is by the constructive method of filling it with good.”Calvin Coolidge
    "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
    “As the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, so the denial of God is the height of foolishness.”-RC Sproul, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith

    - You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
    Anne Lamott
    Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.~Andre Gide

  • This message is a reply to:
     Message 24 by jar, posted 03-01-2020 11:42 AM jar has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 29 by jar, posted 03-01-2020 2:54 PM Phat has replied

      
    jar
    Member
    Posts: 33957
    From: Texas!!
    Joined: 04-20-2004
    Member Rating: 2.3


    Message 29 of 306 (872661)
    03-01-2020 2:54 PM
    Reply to: Message 28 by Phat
    03-01-2020 2:42 PM


    Re: Morality with God is imaginary
    Phat writes:

    But in examining your own church (club, if you will) are you also saying that whenever anyone mentions the name of God or even of Jesus that they are at best praying corporately about a fantasy?

    Yes. But the content of the prayer rather than the source or destination are what count.

    Phat writes:

    the question as to what you believe that God *does* have anything to do with. And more specifically what your church...your club...believes regarding what God has anything to do with. Is He interactive? Can He listen? Does He ever answer prayer? Or is He like a proud Papa figure...standing silent (symbolically) and watching His children learn to play together, help each other, and grow more spiritually (and practically) mature? In other words, is God simply a figurehead?

    And I answered that already Phat. People do believe lots of stuff, but they are all still just beliefs.

    If some is cured and they believe that Jesus did it or Allah did it or Buddha did it or Ganesha did it or Satan did it the only relevant thing is the cure, not the belief.


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

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 28 by Phat, posted 03-01-2020 2:42 PM Phat has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 31 by Phat, posted 03-01-2020 3:04 PM jar has replied

      
    Phat
    Member
    Posts: 15993
    From: Denver,Colorado USA
    Joined: 12-30-2003


    Message 30 of 306 (872662)
    03-01-2020 3:01 PM
    Reply to: Message 25 by Tangle
    03-01-2020 1:30 PM


    Proactive vs Benevolent Gods In Cultural Development
    Tangle writes:

    The difficulty appears to lie in the assertion by believers that we can't know what right and wrong are without there being a god to tell us. The question is why not?

    I would add to this question. The early books of the Bible were written by authors reflecting the interpreted reality of those times, correct?
    I brought this up to RAZD in Message 26

    So a followup question would be whether the "chosen people" would have developed any differently had they not centered so much of their cultural expression around the Temple of Yahweh?

    And would a less proactive God have sufficed? Perhaps a smiling harmless figurehead, such as other cultures have had.


    “The only way I know to drive out evil from the country is by the constructive method of filling it with good.”Calvin Coolidge
    "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
    “As the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, so the denial of God is the height of foolishness.”-RC Sproul, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith

    - You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
    Anne Lamott
    Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.~Andre Gide

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 25 by Tangle, posted 03-01-2020 1:30 PM Tangle has taken no action

      
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