Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 80 (8898 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 03-25-2019 10:02 AM
21 online now:
NosyNed (AdminNosy), PurpleYouko, Tangle, vimesey (4 members, 17 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: WookieeB
Post Volume:
Total: 848,633 Year: 3,670/19,786 Month: 665/1,087 Week: 34/221 Day: 5/29 Hour: 0/1


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Prev12345
6
7Next
Author Topic:   Is Evolution the Work of Satan?
GDR
Member
Posts: 4782
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 76 of 104 (591425)
11-13-2010 6:16 PM
Reply to: Message 72 by Otto Tellick
11-13-2010 12:06 PM


Re: Powerful, Wise & Benevolent God?
Otto Tellick writes:

My point is that the values of secular humanism stand on their own, being derived from premises and observations that do not depend on any religious belief. Human tendencies toward positive collaboration, mutual support, charity and altruism stem from our senses of enlightened self-interest, affection, compassion and empathy.

I agree that the values of secular humanism can stand on their own independent of religious belief, (unless secular humanism is considered a religion), but the point of from where or what those values have been derived is an open question.

If you are correct then our values are derived from a world that began as a random collection of atoms and molecules pulled together by the force of gravity, which then combined together to form complex living cells, which then combined together to form simple life forms, which then, over time, combined together to form more and more complex life forms, all in a random unguided process. One of these complex life forms, namely us, then through an evolutionary process and socialization came to believe that as a species we should be characterized by positive collaboration, mutual support, charity and altruism.

My point of view is that the process as described in the previous paragraph happened as described except that instead of it being an unguided process that it was a guided process, and that there is a designer that is exists outside of our 4 dimensional universe that is doing the guiding.

Neither position can be empirically proven and so we are left to come to our own conclusions. You and I have come to different conclusions.

However, if we accept the first scenario then I wonder what grounds we have to believe that the moral underpinnings in our lives have any validity. How do we know that there is an absolute right and wrong. How do we know that Hitler was absolutely wrong if our values are completely derived through an unguided evolutionary processes? How do we know that the perpetrators of the many genocides in the last century are immoral. How do we know that the evolutionary processes that made those involved the way they are didnt bring about the values that we should hold as well?

Yes, I agree that the values of secular humanism can stand on their own, independent of religious belief, but where we disagree is where those values have their root.

Edited by GDR, : No reason given.

Edited by GDR, : No reason given.

Edited by GDR, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by Otto Tellick, posted 11-13-2010 12:06 PM Otto Tellick has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 79 by Stephen Push, posted 11-14-2010 8:48 AM GDR has responded
 Message 83 by Phage0070, posted 11-15-2010 8:48 AM GDR has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4782
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 77 of 104 (591426)
11-13-2010 7:02 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by frako
11-13-2010 3:36 PM


Re: Powerful, Wise & Benevolent God?
frako writes:

So if jesus is not his son, or god incarnate then you have a slight problem whit the 2nd commandment

I don't know how you came to the conclusion that I was disavowing the position of Jesus in the trinity, but you have somehow misunderstood my position.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by frako, posted 11-13-2010 3:36 PM frako has not yet responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4782
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 78 of 104 (591427)
11-13-2010 7:05 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by Stephen Push
11-13-2010 1:31 AM


Re: Powerful, Wise & Benevolent God?
Stephen Push writes:

I think we share a similar outlook on many issues.

I agree :-)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by Stephen Push, posted 11-13-2010 1:31 AM Stephen Push has acknowledged this reply

    
Stephen Push
Member (Idle past 2939 days)
Posts: 140
From: Virginia, USA
Joined: 10-08-2010


Message 79 of 104 (591461)
11-14-2010 8:48 AM
Reply to: Message 76 by GDR
11-13-2010 6:16 PM


Re: Powerful, Wise & Benevolent God?
GDR writes:

However, if we accept the first scenario then I wonder what grounds we have to believe that the moral underpinnings in our lives have any validity. How do we know that there is an absolute right and wrong. How do we know that Hitler was absolutely wrong if our values are completely derived through an unguided evolutionary processes? How do we know that the perpetrators of the many genocides in the last century are immoral. How do we know that the evolutionary processes that made those involved the way they are didnt bring about the values that we should hold as well?

I think we evolved a moral sense that enables us to develop a moral code that is shaped by our culture. The process is, I believe, analogous to how an innate language ability allows us to develop language skills shaped by the language(s) we grow up hearing.

There are probably some absolutes built in by evolution. All cultures have a prohibition against murder, although each culture determines what consitutes justifiable homicide. All cultures have a prohibition against incest, but each culture determines how distantly related a couple must be to avoid incest.

A small percentage of people are sociopaths, who never develop a normal conscience. In some cases at least, this aberrant behavior may be caused by lesions in the prefrontal cortex. Hitler was probably a sociopath.

What about the people who followed Hitler? In many cases, I think they knew they were wrong. Having a normal conscience doesn't guarantee that we will always follow it. Many Germans to this day impose upon themselves a heavy burden of guilt and shame about the Holocaust.

And what about cultural practices, such as slavery, that were acceptable once but widely abhorred now? Our moral sense first evolved when we lived in small bands or tribes. In those days, our moral concern would have generally been limited to members of our own group. Regardless of whether it started with Christianity, as I believe, we have seen over the last few centuries a trend of widening our circle of moral concern to other groups of people and even to animals.

I don't know if the above paragraphs answer your question precisely. I guess the bottom line is that, without being able to look to religion or scripture for moral absolutes, I have to examine my own conscience and seek guidance from a variety of sources, including people I admire and both humanist and religious literature. It is sometimes a struggle. But isn't it also sometimes a struggle for those who believe in God?

Edited by Stephen Push, : No reason given.

Edited by Stephen Push, : No reason given.

Edited by Stephen Push, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 76 by GDR, posted 11-13-2010 6:16 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 80 by frako, posted 11-14-2010 11:03 AM Stephen Push has responded
 Message 81 by GDR, posted 11-14-2010 11:40 AM Stephen Push has responded

  
frako
Member
Posts: 2813
From: slovenija
Joined: 09-04-2010


Message 80 of 104 (591474)
11-14-2010 11:03 AM
Reply to: Message 79 by Stephen Push
11-14-2010 8:48 AM


Re: Powerful, Wise & Benevolent God?
There are probably some absolutes built in by evolution. All cultures have a prohibition against murder, although each culture determines what consitutes justifiable homicide. All cultures have a prohibition against incest, but each culture determines how distantly related a couple must be to avoid incest.

Sorry to disappoint you.

The Egyptian faraos often took their sisters as brides and had children whit them.

The reason incest is illegal in most countries now it is because the chance of the child being bourne normal is slim.

The romans often watched gladiators kill one another, and the victor was praised. In Albania they still practice blood vengance even if it is now illegal, i kill your son you kill my son, i stab you you stab me back...

What about the people who followed Hitler? In many cases, I think they knew they were wrong. Having a normal conscience doesn't guarantee that we will always follow it. Many Germans to this day impose upon themselves a heavy burden of guilt and shame about the Holocaust.

And the KKK members go to bead whit shame for being racial.

And what about cultural practices, such as slavery, that were acceptable once but widely abhorred now? Our moral sense first evolved when we lived in small bands or tribes. In those days, our moral concern would have generally been limited to members of our own group. Regardless of whether it started with Christianity, as I believe, we have seen over the last few centuries a trend of widening our circle of moral concern to other groups of people and even to animals.

Or circle of morals has widend though no tanks to religion, it widend after we got our first rights and we wanted more and when those rights are in place long enough it is not only illegal to beat your wife whit a stick that is not wider than your thumb but it is also immoral. Morals change whit society there is no internal compass bourne in us all. We make that compass whit the help of those around us.

Edited by frako, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 79 by Stephen Push, posted 11-14-2010 8:48 AM Stephen Push has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 82 by Stephen Push, posted 11-15-2010 8:03 AM frako has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4782
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 81 of 104 (591483)
11-14-2010 11:40 AM
Reply to: Message 79 by Stephen Push
11-14-2010 8:48 AM


Re: Powerful, Wise & Benevolent God?
Stephen Push writes:

I think we evolved a moral sense that enables us to develop a moral code that is shaped by our culture. The process is, I believe, analogous to how an innate language ability allows us to develop language skills shaped by the language(s) we grow up hearing.

To a large degree I agree with that. But the question remains whether there is an external objective truth about what moral code we should aspire to. The answer to the question is something that brings together all major world religions. It is probably best described using the Buddhist term the "tao". C S Lewis does a wonderful job of writing about it, and here is a brief review of his book, The Abolition of Man

I agree that our socialization has a great deal to do with the spreading of a moral code but I see that as part of the divine plan. You and I have already pretty much agreed that we share a common moral code. I believe that we are called to infect others with that moral code simply by putting it into practice in our own lives. Once again we are to go about humbly loving kindness and doing justice. It's infectious.

Stephen Push writes:

I guess the bottom line in that, without being able to look to religion or scripture for moral absolutes, I have to examine my own conscience and seek guidance from a variety of sources, including people I admire and both humanist and religious literature. It is sometimes a struggle. But isn't it also sometimes a struggle for those who believe in God?

It is the great human struggle for all of us. It is when we stop struggling that things go off the rails. We all struggle daily to either make what we know deep down to be the right choice when it is so much easier and maybe even more fun to acquiesce and ignore that still quiet voice within all of us. (I'm ignoring mental illness in all of this.) As I Christian I believe that there is the Holy Spirit that nudges along the path that we should take.

I remember the sixties with its mantra of "if it feels good do it". There was also its counterpart "look out for number one". We will always face the struggle between that view of life and the Christian position that we are to love our neighbour and to love God. I suggest that loving God means to love the attributes of love, mercy, justice, truth, forgiveness etc which I believe flow from Him.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 79 by Stephen Push, posted 11-14-2010 8:48 AM Stephen Push has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 85 by Stephen Push, posted 11-15-2010 3:19 PM GDR has responded

    
Stephen Push
Member (Idle past 2939 days)
Posts: 140
From: Virginia, USA
Joined: 10-08-2010


Message 82 of 104 (591619)
11-15-2010 8:03 AM
Reply to: Message 80 by frako
11-14-2010 11:03 AM


Re: Powerful, Wise & Benevolent God?
frako writes:

The Egyptian faraos often took their sisters as brides and had children whit them.

Thats a good point, but its not clear that sibling marriages among the Pharaohs are evidence against incest aversion. Incest aversion occurs among people who have been raised together from a young age. If there was a large age difference or if they had been raised by different wet nurses, no aversion would be expected.

frako writes:

Morals change whit society there is no internal compass bourne in us all.

Even if the incest taboo were not universal, there are multiple lines of evidence that, taken together, suggest we have an innate moral sense:

1) Many religious and philosophical traditions adhere to something similar to the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

2) People in different cultures show similar biases when asked about moral dilemmas. For example, most people say they would throw a switch that would divert a train from a track where it would kill five people unto a track where it would kill one person, but they would not push a person in front of the train even if that were the only way to save five people further down on the track.

3) Some forms of moral behavior, such as fairness, are seen in young children.

4) Incipient forms of moral behavior, such as inequity aversion, are seen in non-human primates.

In this thread so far, we have focused on immoral behavior. But most people behave morally most of the time, even when punishment is unlikely. Why is this so, if we do not have some kind of moral sense? Do you believe that every child is a blank slate -- equally likely to become an Albert Schweitzer, an Adolph Hitler, or a completely amoral adult -- depending on the environment?

The romans often watched gladiators kill one another, and the victor was praised. In Albania they still practice blood vengance even if it is now illegal, i kill your son you kill my son, i stab you you stab me back...

Those may have been morally acceptable behaviors in those places and at those times. An innate moral sense can develop into a wide variety of moral systems, just as an innate language ability has developed into a wide variety of languages.

We make that compass whit the help of those around us.

I don't believe we make it from scratch. We develop it with the help of those around us.

Edited by Stephen Push, : No reason given.

Edited by Stephen Push, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 80 by frako, posted 11-14-2010 11:03 AM frako has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 84 by frako, posted 11-15-2010 10:37 AM Stephen Push has responded

  
Phage0070
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 83 of 104 (591627)
11-15-2010 8:48 AM
Reply to: Message 76 by GDR
11-13-2010 6:16 PM


Re: Powerful, Wise & Benevolent God?
However, if we accept the first scenario then I wonder what grounds we have to believe that the moral underpinnings in our lives have any validity. How do we know that there is an absolute right and wrong. How do we know that Hitler was absolutely wrong if our values are completely derived through an unguided evolutionary processes? How do we know that the perpetrators of the many genocides in the last century are immoral. How do we know that the evolutionary processes that made those involved the way they are didnt bring about the values that we should hold as well?

This strikes me as one of the most lamentable aspects of theistic conversation with non-theists, as it highlights a hurdle of understanding that many theists are incapable of breaching. I am referring of course to the concept of moral underpinnings having "validity".

A naturalistic view of the world easily lends itself to the conclusion that there is no objective moral code. In that sense there is no "absolute right and wrong" outside the views of the individual. Our condemnation of genocide is then based on our moral views conflicting with the perpetrator's, as all moral differences are simply differences of opinion and view; if someone is to hold your same moral view they will likely require to hold similar goals.

The concept of "god" is a transparent attempt to breach these hurdles dreamed up by some of the first medicine men and tribal leaders with more ambition to rule than moral acumen. The ploy attempts to circumvent the requirement of similar goals when controlling people; when the shaman says "God" is on his side the implication is that this powerful being overpowers your petty goals and concerns. The obvious purpose of this is so the shaman can inflict his morality upon those with dissimilar goals; the essence of rule.

Unfortunately the perpetuation of permeation of this power grab through our culture leaves many people damaged. They feel lost without divine moral guidance; they may accept the shedding of the leash, but they cannot rid themselves of the collar. The first insidious lie of the shaman that their moral views are inherently inferior to that of a deity, a deity who's morals are suspiciously similar that of the shaman, leaves the theist looking for someone to overpower their morality.

Until the theist can fully comprehend and shed the desire to be ruled by another they will still asks questions about moral "validity". What could they possibly mean by that? It is the cry of a slave searching a master, it is a request for outside approval and control.

If you wish to verify this, ask any theist what purpose their life would have if their god didn't exist. Most will say that their lives would have no purpose, and in fact *couldn't* have purpose if that were true. It is this stunting of self-determination that may be the most lasting crime against humanity.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 76 by GDR, posted 11-13-2010 6:16 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 88 by GDR, posted 11-15-2010 8:54 PM Phage0070 has responded

  
frako
Member
Posts: 2813
From: slovenija
Joined: 09-04-2010


Message 84 of 104 (591642)
11-15-2010 10:37 AM
Reply to: Message 82 by Stephen Push
11-15-2010 8:03 AM


Re: Powerful, Wise & Benevolent God?
1) Many religious and philosophical traditions adhere to something similar to the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

That is the message of many religions yes. Though few individuals follow that message.And many is not all religions, vastal virgins where bred only to be sacareficed to one god or the other does that look like do on to others as you would have others do on to you, do you think those priests that cut those girls harts out would want the same done to them. Or the Aztec priests would they cut their own harts out to make the sun shine tommorow.

The motto of moste religions is do on to the ones the same as you, as you would want them to do on to you, and do what you want to anyone different.

2) People in different cultures show similar biases when asked about moral dilemmas.

Like the study when 2 storries where compared the one from the bible when a bloke killes every living thing in a city cause he is orderd by god, and a nother storry where the same thing happens only no word from the hebrew god.

Moste anwser the bloke that got the order from the hebrew god did the right thing and the other one was vile and evil.

3) Some forms of moral behavior, such as fairness, are seen in young children.

Like when you haveto teach them how to share toys, not to call each other names, that they are not the boss of the house and that the world does not revolve arround them. Those forms?

4) Incipient forms of moral behavior, such as inequity aversion, are seen in non-human primates.

The chimpanzie test when 2 chimps work together and they both get food they gladly work together, when only one bowl of food is availible the alpha chimp takes it and the non alpha chimp does not help the second time cause he knows he will not get any food as long as he is arround. Those moral forms?

But most people behave morally most of the time, even when punishment is unlikely.

Crime of opertunity is usualy comitted by previusly uncriminal people.

Do you believe that every child is a blank slate -- equally likely to become an Albert Schweitzer, an Adolph Hitler, or a completely amoral adult -- depending on the environment?

Almost a blank slate there are some genetic diferances that could help him go one way or the other though mostly they are molded by the environment.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 82 by Stephen Push, posted 11-15-2010 8:03 AM Stephen Push has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 86 by Stephen Push, posted 11-15-2010 7:07 PM frako has responded

    
Stephen Push
Member (Idle past 2939 days)
Posts: 140
From: Virginia, USA
Joined: 10-08-2010


Message 85 of 104 (591714)
11-15-2010 3:19 PM
Reply to: Message 81 by GDR
11-14-2010 11:40 AM


Re: Powerful, Wise & Benevolent God?
GDR writes:

To a large degree I agree with that. But the question remains whether there is an external objective truth about what moral code we should aspire to. The answer to the question is something that brings together all major world religions. It is probably best described using the Buddhist term the "tao". C S Lewis does a wonderful job of writing about it, and here is a brief review of his book, The Abolition of Man

I dont believe there is any external moral truth. All that saves us from moral relativism is our innate moral sense and the realization that, in an age of nuclear weapons and potential global environmental catastrophe, we will all be better off if we treat the whole human race as if it were our tribe.

I agree that our socialization has a great deal to do with the spreading of a moral code but I see that as part of the divine plan. You and I have already pretty much agreed that we share a common moral code. I believe that we are called to infect others with that moral code simply by putting it into practice in our own lives. Once again we are to go about humbly loving kindness and doing justice. It's infectious.

Humility, kindness, and justice. That sounds like a good philosophy to me. I dont think it matters whether the motivation is secular or religious.

I remember the sixties with its mantra of "if it feels good do it".

An amusing coincidence: My wife and I attended a revival of the musical Hair yesterday.

I suggest that loving God means to love the attributes of love, mercy, justice, truth, forgiveness etc which I believe flow from Him.

Thats why I believe Christianity is often a positive influence, even for secular humanists.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 81 by GDR, posted 11-14-2010 11:40 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 89 by GDR, posted 11-15-2010 9:15 PM Stephen Push has responded

  
Stephen Push
Member (Idle past 2939 days)
Posts: 140
From: Virginia, USA
Joined: 10-08-2010


Message 86 of 104 (591753)
11-15-2010 7:07 PM
Reply to: Message 84 by frako
11-15-2010 10:37 AM


Re: Powerful, Wise & Benevolent God?
frako writes:

Like the study when 2 storries where compared the one from the bible when a bloke killes every living thing in a city cause he is orderd by god, and a nother storry where the same thing happens only no word from the hebrew god.

Moste anwser the bloke that got the order from the hebrew god did the right thing and the other one was vile and evil.

Can you give me a citation for that study?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 84 by frako, posted 11-15-2010 10:37 AM frako has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 87 by frako, posted 11-15-2010 8:41 PM Stephen Push has responded

  
frako
Member
Posts: 2813
From: slovenija
Joined: 09-04-2010


Message 87 of 104 (591758)
11-15-2010 8:41 PM
Reply to: Message 86 by Stephen Push
11-15-2010 7:07 PM


Re: Powerful, Wise & Benevolent God?
I forgot how it is called will do my best to find it can you tell me the name of the bloke from the bible that was orderd by god to kill everyone in a city
This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by Stephen Push, posted 11-15-2010 7:07 PM Stephen Push has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 91 by Phage0070, posted 11-15-2010 9:45 PM frako has responded
 Message 93 by Stephen Push, posted 11-16-2010 3:18 PM frako has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4782
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 88 of 104 (591760)
11-15-2010 8:54 PM
Reply to: Message 83 by Phage0070
11-15-2010 8:48 AM


Re: Powerful, Wise & Benevolent God?
Phage0070 writes:

This strikes me as one of the most lamentable aspects of theistic conversation with non-theists, as it highlights a hurdle of understanding that many theists are incapable of breaching. I am referring of course to the concept of moral underpinnings having "validity".

A naturalistic view of the world easily lends itself to the conclusion that there is no objective moral code. In that sense there is no "absolute right and wrong" outside the views of the individual. Our condemnation of genocide is then based on our moral views conflicting with the perpetrator's, as all moral differences are simply differences of opinion and view; if someone is to hold your same moral view they will likely require to hold similar goals.

I agree that is the naturalist view. It does mean though that Hitler was only right or wrong depending on your point of view which might even change day by day according to circumstances. It also means that there is no real moral distinction between the humanitarian aims of Mother Theresa and the totalitarian aims of Hitler if there is no objective moral code.

Phage0070 writes:

The concept of "god" is a transparent attempt to breach these hurdles dreamed up by some of the first medicine men and tribal leaders with more ambition to rule than moral acumen. The ploy attempts to circumvent the requirement of similar goals when controlling people; when the shaman says "God" is on his side the implication is that this powerful being overpowers your petty goals and concerns. The obvious purpose of this is so the shaman can inflict his morality upon those with dissimilar goals; the essence of rule.

Obviously many aspects of many religions are dreamed up by people who could and likely did have ulterior motives. I would agree that this has happened over and over again even in my own Christian faith. That doesnt negate in any way the possibility that there is an external creative intelligence that does desire us to make moral decisions based on a objective moral standard. My belief is that the objective moral standard is based simply on the concept of humble unconditional love. In the terms of our world it doesnt seek control or power. It only seeks to influence in the belief that humble unconditional love is infectious.

I agree that other moral standards are infectious as well. Genocide cant just be carried out by one person. The moral code that says killing your neighbour because they are an inferior race obviously had to be ingrained in a specific society as well. It does occur to me that if love is not a moral absolute then we would have long ago all reverted to survival of the fittest if only due to self-preservation.

I also believe that a sense of moral superiority based on our belief in any moral absolute is wrong as well. If there is a moral absolute that comes from an external intelligence then we can hardly take credit for believing in that moral standard. After all, if that is the case, it is hardly an original idea.

In the end I believe that there has to be an absolute truth and morality. Humans have advanced in knowledge and become more and more adept at killing each other. I believe this progress, without an underpinning of an absolute moral code based on love, would have brought about the demise of civilization. It would come down to the last man standing who would have had a very lonely death.

Phage0070 writes:

Unfortunately the perpetuation of permeation of this power grab through our culture leaves many people damaged. They feel lost without divine moral guidance; they may accept the shedding of the leash, but they cannot rid themselves of the collar. The first insidious lie of the shaman that their moral views are inherently inferior to that of a deity, a deity who's morals are suspiciously similar that of the shaman, leaves the theist looking for someone to overpower their morality.

Until the theist can fully comprehend and shed the desire to be ruled by another they will still asks questions about moral "validity". What could they possibly mean by that? It is the cry of a slave searching a master, it is a request for outside approval and control.

We give up control and look for authority to oversee our lives all the time anyway. We support political parties, we appoint courts of law, we establish laws and expect people to follow them and so on. Besides, either an external morality exists or it doesnt and even if it does it is the Christian belief that we have the free will to accept or reject it. What could be more freeing than that? It is like a child responding to the unconditional love of a parent.

Phage0070 writes:

If you wish to verify this, ask any theist what purpose their life would have if their god didn't exist. Most will say that their lives would have no purpose, and in fact *couldn't* have purpose if that were true. It is this stunting of self-determination that may be the most lasting crime against humanity.

I agree that we could find purpose in our lives even if the world did come about by naturalistic means. We can find meaning as parents; we can find meaning in our jobs, hobbies friends etc. I wonder though, what would be the meaning for life in the broader sense. Science tells us that this world, and likely this universe will come to an end, even if it isnt until the sun burns out. When that happens all meaning for our existence will have evaporated. I suppose that is ok but the idea that this existence leads to something else does have a certain resonance. I dont however see that as stunting our self determination. We still make our own choices to love or hate, lie or tell the truth, kill or heal etc. I suppose the only other question is do the choices that we make really matter.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 83 by Phage0070, posted 11-15-2010 8:48 AM Phage0070 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 90 by Phage0070, posted 11-15-2010 9:42 PM GDR has not yet responded
 Message 95 by Otto Tellick, posted 11-17-2010 3:56 AM GDR has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4782
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.5


(1)
Message 89 of 104 (591763)
11-15-2010 9:15 PM
Reply to: Message 85 by Stephen Push
11-15-2010 3:19 PM


Re: Powerful, Wise & Benevolent God?
Stephen Push writes:

I dont believe there is any external moral truth. All that saves us from moral relativism is our innate moral sense and the realization that, in an age of nuclear weapons and potential global environmental catastrophe, we will all be better off if we treat the whole human race as if it were our tribe.

The question of course is why do we have an innate moral sense and how do we know which moral sense we should listen to. Also of course the moral idea that we should treat the whole human race as one tribe is completely consistent with the Christian ideal of loving one's neighbour.

Stephen Push writes:

Humility, kindness, and justice. That sounds like a good philosophy to me. I dont think it matters whether the motivation is secular or religious.

I agree that the result is the same whether the motivation is secular or religious but I think that truth always matters. Unfortunately we aren't able to prove truth beyond a doubt, but I believe that a search for truth is the best that we can do and, even though we have come to different conclusions I think that you would agree that the search is important.

GDR writes:

I suggest that loving God means to love the attributes of love, mercy, justice, truth, forgiveness etc which I believe flow from Him.

Stephen Push writes:

Thats why I believe Christianity is often a positive influence, even for secular humanists.

I hope that is the case but we can all learn from each other. I am often humbled by the love shown by my many non-Christian friends.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by Stephen Push, posted 11-15-2010 3:19 PM Stephen Push has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 100 by Stephen Push, posted 11-20-2010 9:17 AM GDR has responded

    
Phage0070
Inactive Member


Message 90 of 104 (591768)
11-15-2010 9:42 PM
Reply to: Message 88 by GDR
11-15-2010 8:54 PM


Re: Powerful, Wise & Benevolent God?
GDR writes:

It does mean though that Hitler was only right or wrong depending on your point of view which might even change day by day according to circumstances.

Certainly. If our goals were to change from say, promoting the wellbeing of humans in general to the goal of exterminating the Jewish people our view of Hitler would change from one of immorality to morality.

Fortunately that isn't very many people's goal.

GDR writes:

It also means that there is no real moral distinction between...

And again, what the *hell* do you mean by "real" distinction? I just distinguished them above, and yet your neck apparently so yearns for the non-existent yoke of some cosmic being that you categorically deny its validity in favor of a fiction.

GDR writes:

That doesnt negate in any way the possibility that there is an external creative intelligence that does desire us to make moral decisions based on a objective moral standard.

No, certainly not. But considering the evidence for the existence of such a being is at the very most extraordinarily slim and the objective moral code perhaps somewhat lesser still, I think it appropriate to operate under the assumption that it is not the case. When you can prove the existence of an objective moral code we can revisit that point. Frankly the concept seems foreign to reality as we know it.

GDR writes:

It does occur to me that if love is not a moral absolute then we would have long ago all reverted to survival of the fittest if only due to self-preservation.

Then you haven't been paying attention in class. Societies are beneficial on the individual level even without empathy.

GDR writes:

In the end I believe that there has to be an absolute truth and morality.

This is my point exactly. You have been told that there is an absolute truth and morality by someone who wanted you to believe that *their* morality was absolute, and you are still crippled by your inability to conceive otherwise.

This crime of upbringing is of course coupled with the saddening lack of imaginative ability to see why someone would benefit from another watching their back without love being involved. I'm afraid we can't pawn that off on anyone but yourself.

GDR writes:

We support political parties, we appoint courts of law, we establish laws and expect people to follow them and so on.

And some even appoint kings. I am not inclined toward servility to such an extent, although I suppose the "flock" you call home may have a different view. I still maintain that such an inclination has been intentionally bred into you rather than innate.

GDR writes:

What could be more freeing than that? It is like a child responding to the unconditional love of a parent.

I'm not quite sold on the unconditional love bit; Hell doesn't seem terribly "freeing" or "unconditionally loving". But it seems you are not pitching it as true so much as somehow a weight off your chest to pass off self-determination to another being. Such a thing would in my view be incompatible with freedom, although perhaps less mentally taxing if thats your meaning.

Again, this is exactly what I am getting at. You have been so ingrained to being ordered around like a child that you won't accept that the person claiming to be your parent isn't, and that you don't have to follow their instructions. Even while you accept that you cry "Well where is my *real* mommy and daddy? I can't possibly do anything without their authority!"

Consider the possibility that you just need to grow up and think for yourself, make moral decisions for yourself, and take responsibility for the success and failure it entails.

GDR writes:

I agree that we could find purpose in our lives even if the world did come about by naturalistic means. ... I wonder though, what would be the meaning for life in the broader sense.

In what broader sense? In the "Mummy, mummy tell me what to do" sense? I hope I can work up your ire and ego to the point where you might have enough self respect to state that no being's opinion on what your life's purpose should be can trump your own, no matter how powerful that being might be.

GDR writes:

Science tells us that this world, and likely this universe will come to an end, even if it isnt until the sun burns out. When that happens all meaning for our existence will have evaporated.

Yes, that appears to be the case. Do you think you have good evidence that this won't actually happen, or are you arguing against it purely on the grounds that it is disappointing?

GDR writes:

I suppose that is ok but the idea that this existence leads to something else does have a certain resonance.

Right, disappointing it is. Sorry about this, but News Flash: Santa isn't real, Candy Mountain doesn't exist, and no matter how long you wait the Tooth Fairy won't come.

I know that might make you pout but its *reality*. Part of growing up is to face reality. And here is something to chew on; if you were not told Santa, Candy Mountain, or the Tooth Fairy existed you wouldn't be disappointed to find that they don't.

Someone told you a cruel lie that God and Eternal Life existed. Get over it, and don't do the same to others.

GDR writes:

I suppose the only other question is do the choices that we make really matter.

It obviously matters today. But then what exactly do you mean by "really matter"?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 88 by GDR, posted 11-15-2010 8:54 PM GDR has not yet responded

  
Prev12345
6
7Next
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2019