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Author Topic:   Hitch is dead
Modulous
Member (Idle past 360 days)
Posts: 7789
From: Manchester, UK
Joined: 05-01-2005


(1)
Message 181 of 226 (645815)
12-30-2011 10:31 AM
Reply to: Message 180 by Dawn Bertot
12-30-2011 1:31 AM


The Hitchens Challenge
Your a funny guy Modulous. It doesnt matter what I believe or need to prove, if its just matter in motion. Neither he or I are right or wrong

Well of course it matters. You claimed to be answering his challenge (and that answering it was easy), I am challenging your answer by saying it does not qualify. So now you need to show that your answer qualifies. This is how debate works.

You and he may be right or wrong in moral terms, but the question needs to be asked: Right or Wrong according to whom? To you the answer is 'God' to Hitch and myself it would be 'right according to this group of people or that person'.

He is just baballing words that have no meaning and my objections are just as irrelevant, correct

Incorrect. You claim to be answering a challenge to provide a moral action that can only be taken by a believer. I challenged your answer. That is not irrelevant.

So the cow that has the pin slammed into his head, so you can enjoy him, should be considering your moral relevance

Cows can suffer, so yes the treatment of animals in their slaughter is a relevant moral question.

What do you think the cow or chicken would think of your ethics?

I don't think they think anything. That said, being domesticated, even if it is for slaughter, has proven an incredible bonus to their reproductive success.

If Hanibal the Canibal, even in his right mind, wanted to kill and eat you, would he be morally correct?

According to whom? To me? To him? To most people? Here is Hitchens' own words:

The point is Mod, is that it doesnt matter whether Mr H thinks he is as moral as anybody. he first needs to establish he has a platform to stand on to talk about morals. He does not by his own admissions of mindless matter

This is false, but not the central theme of this sub-topic. Morals are guidelines that dictate how we act towards one another. We still require guidelines even if we are matter in motion. Because we are not mindless matter. We are mindful matter. The only decent moral platform is one that takes other people's suffering and flourishing into consideration before taking an action. Doing something just because it would make a cosmic dictator happy, even if it means making other humans miserable - is not moral in Hitchens' book (or mine)

The main aspect I am responding to is your response to Hitchens' challenge. Which you seem keen to avoid dealing with, with all the distractions you are scattering around.

So again - what is your answer to the challenge: Name one moral act that could only be performed by a believer.

Edited by Modulous, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 180 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-30-2011 1:31 AM Dawn Bertot has not yet responded

  
Rrhain
Member (Idle past 129 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 182 of 226 (645816)
12-30-2011 10:33 AM
Reply to: Message 167 by Dawn Bertot
12-29-2011 12:32 AM


Dawn Bertot responds to me:

quote:
My good natured, but simple friend, they may be real as people carrying out actions, or as a tree falling on an ardvark, but there is no real morality, the tree commited no crime and the ardvark was not murdered by the tree

That's because trees don't have intention. Humans, however, do have intentions.

Unless you're trying to say that there is no free will...at which point this message to you wasn't created by me but rather by mere physics. I had no ability to stop it for the molecules in my hand were forced to type the characters you are seeing.

But because humans have intentions, we have the ability to analyze those intentions and put them into a framework that we have created. Is it arbitrary? Of course. But that is of no consequence.

The rules of Monopoly were created by humans. They are completely arbitrary and they even vary from game to game. There are "house rules." For example, some people play such that all the money that must be paid from Chance and Community Chest cards, Income Tax, and Luxury Tax is placed not in the bank but rather under Free Parking. If you land there, you get whatever money happens to be there. This rule has proven to be so popular, it's now listed in the rules of Monopoly as an official variant.

But despite the purely human-made nature of the rules, the way they fluid and change, that doesn't mean the rules don't exist. Try to break them and the other players will come down on you for cheating, possibly to the point of kicking you out of the game.

quote:
If its just matter in motion, then there is no such thing as bad or good, ethical or unethical

Why?

quote:
My guess is that you are using these terms as the human species likes to use them.

How else is there? We are humans.

quote:
However, the colony of ants you murdered, plowing up the south forty does not share your same ethics.

I never said they did. Why is that a problem?

quote:
To demostrate my point that no ethics exist in a matter in motion world, you care little or nothing, or have any remorse for thier destruction, correct?

IOWs, you dont feel like youve murdered anything correct?


Do I? You seem to be capable of reading my mind, so why don't you tell me?

quote:
Morals and ethics cant just be ethical for humans, it has to present itself as logical in a logical format, the exclude involving itself in a logical contradiction.

I have not said otherwise. Why do you think there is a contradiction?

quote:
Unfortunately, that will never work in a matter in motion existence

Why not? As we have seen, humans have morality that they made up all by themselves. That morality is real and does exist. It's arbitrary, sure, but that has no bearing on whether or not it exists.

quote:
You can call morals and ethics a shoeshine kit, that doesnt change that it has no real meaning

Why do you think I have said that? It does have real meaning. Granted, it's only to the humans who practice it, but it was made by humans and they live their lives by it. Ergo, it has meaning.

You seem to think that meaning has to come from without and are ignoring the possibility that it can come from within, too.

quote:
If only humans are considered and consistency across theboard does not matter to you, correct?

No. Incorrect.


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 167 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-29-2011 12:32 AM Dawn Bertot has not yet responded

    
subbie
Member (Idle past 0 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 183 of 226 (645823)
12-30-2011 1:04 PM
Reply to: Message 165 by Dr Adequate
12-28-2011 11:00 AM


The only remaining question
As far as I can tell, the only real question left regarding Dawn is whether he understands anything he reads. Of course, since we've established to the satisfaction of everyone present that he lacks any ability to communicate effectively, this question is of academic significance alone. But it may be an interesting one nonetheless.

My first observation is that several people here are responding to what Dawn is saying in a manner that suggests they've been able to suss out some kind of meaning in what he says. (Kudos to them, btw, for their Herculean efforts.) My impression has been that the vast majority of the time, the meaning that they take from what he says is at best tangentially related to the topic at hand. From a chronic inability to stay on topic, one might reasonably conclude that he lacks the capacity to understand what the topic is. That this inability extends across multiple topics in unrelated areas reinforces this conclusion.

Second, it is also apparent that he's unable to understand the consequences of even the things he says. What impact this fact has on the question of his ability to understand what he reads is not clear. It could suggest simply an inability to correctly reason from premises to conclusion. Or, it could suggest generally insufficient processing skills.

If the former, it's still conceivable that he could be understanding what he reads but cannot accurately reason from there. If the latter, insufficient processing skills strongly suggest an inability to understand the initial input.

Thoughts?


Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate

...creationists have a great way to detect fraud and it doesn't take 8 or 40 years or even a scientific degree to spot the fraud--'if it disagrees with the bible then it is wrong'.... -- archaeologist


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Rrhain
Member (Idle past 129 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003


Message 184 of 226 (645853)
12-30-2011 4:40 PM
Reply to: Message 169 by Dawn Bertot
12-29-2011 12:52 AM


Dawn Bertot responds to me:

quote:
Again my friend, you have to start at a point, where we can to determine, whether your above intimation is even valid to begin with.

Do you have evidence that humans don't create moral standards?

quote:
There are no moral standards if its just matter in motion.

Why not? Humans create moral standards all the time. And if we look at other species, they seem to create them, too. Chimpanzees have codes of conduct that even vary from troop to troop. How is that any different from what humans do?

Since there are myriad moral standards across the human species, they can't all have come from a single source unless you are intimating that said source is capricious and arbitrary. Ergo, they came up with them on their own. So why do you claim otherwise?

quote:
throwing terms, like moral and ethical at mindless matter, doesnt change the fact that person tyring do such a thing is involving him or herself in the worst form of contradiction

Which is what, precisely?

quote:
Do the other species get a say in the development of moral standards, or just humans?

Do you mean with regard to human standards? Well, some people do look to animals. They develop a moral code based upon what they seem to think animals do ("Animals never go to war," for example...please note, I am not advocating or denying this premise. I am simply pointing out that there are people who look to animals for their moral standards.)

But if you mean whether or not other species get to talk about it, well, we haven't really found any other species with whom we can communicate on a consistent, reliable basis. It's hard to have a discussion when there is nothing coming from the other side.

quote:
When you violate your own code and kill and eat an animal, is that murder?

Some people think that it is. Or have you never heard of PETA?

quote:
Or does that just work for humans? Once you have established that is not murder for humans, you immediately redifine morality, correct?

I'm not sure I understand why this is relevant. Human morality is constantly redefined since it is based upon our own understanding of the world around us. Before, it was perfectly moral to keep slaves. You could beat them, rape them, even kill them and it was not considered wrong because they were just slaves.

Times have changed and we now we say that slavery is bad.

That doesn't mean morality vanishes or that it comes from some other source. Humans are still the ones justifying it.

quote:
See the problem with Hitch trying to characterize God as not great or religious people as insane. If its just matter in motion, the being a journalist was evil, if I get to make up the rules.

You certainly get to make the rules for yourself. But since no man is an island, you will have to deal with the fact that the others around you may not agree with you and you will have to justify your claim.

Nobody else will do it for you.


Rrhain

Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

Minds are like parachutes. Just because you've lost yours doesn't mean you can use mine.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 169 by Dawn Bertot, posted 12-29-2011 12:52 AM Dawn Bertot has not yet responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7067
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 185 of 226 (647191)
01-08-2012 12:00 PM


Does science make belief in god obsolete?
From eSkeptics

Does science make belief in god obsolete?

That was the Templeton Foundation's Big Question in the third of a series of questions posed to leading scientist and scholars, among them: Steven Pinker, Victor Stenger, Mary Midgley, William D. Phillips, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn and Michael Shermer. In this week's eSkeptic, we present Christopher Hitchens' answer (edited by Michael Shermer). Christopher Hitchens is the author of God Is Not Great.

No, But it Should
by Christopher Hitchens

Until about 1832, when it first seems to have become established as a noun and a concept, the term “scientist” had no really independent meaning. “Science” meant “knowledge” in much the same way as “physic” meant medicine, and those who conducted experiments or organized field expeditions or managed laboratories were known as “natural philosophers.” To these gentlemen (for they were mainly gentlemen) the belief in a divine presence or inspiration was often merely assumed to be a part of the natural order, in rather the same way as it was assumed—or actually insisted upon—that a teacher at Cambridge University swear an oath to be an ordained Christian minister. For Sir Isaac Newton—an enthusiastic alchemist, a despiser of the doctrine of the Trinity, and a fanatical anti-Papist—the main clues to the cosmos were to be found in Scripture. Joseph Priestley, discoverer of oxygen, was a devout Unitarian as well as a believer in the phlogiston theory. Alfred Russel Wallace, to whom we owe much of what we know about evolution and natural selection, delighted in nothing more than a session of ectoplasmic or spiritual communion with the departed.

And thus it could be argued—though if I were a believer in god I would not myself attempt to argue it—that a commitment to science by no means contradicts a belief in the supernatural. The best known statement of this opinion in our own time comes from the late Stephen Jay Gould, who tactfully proposed that the worlds of science and religion commanded “non-overlapping magisteria.” How true is this on a second look, or even on a first glance? Would we have adopted monotheism in the first place if we had known:

1) That our species is at most 200,000 years old, and very nearly joined the 98.9 percent of all other species on our planet by becoming extinct, in Africa, 60,000 years ago, when our numbers seemingly fell below 2,000 before we embarked on our true “exodus” from the savannah?

2) That the universe, originally discovered by Edwin Hubble to be expanding away from itself in a flash of red light, is now known to be expanding away from itself even more rapidly, so that soon even the evidence of the original “big bang” will be unobservable?

3) That the Andromeda galaxy is on a direct collision course with our own, the ominous but beautiful premonition of which can already be seen with a naked eye in the night sky?

These are very recent examples, post-Darwinian and post-Einsteinian, and they make pathetic nonsense of any idea that our presence on this planet, let alone in this of so many billion galaxies, is part of a plan. Which design, or designer, made so sure that absolutely nothing (see above) will come out of our fragile current “something”? What plan, or planner, determined that millions of humans would die without even a grave marker, for our first 200,000 years of struggling and desperate existence, and that there would only then at last be a “revelation” to save us, about 3,000 years ago, but disclosed only to gaping peasants in remote and violent and illiterate areas of the Middle East?

To say that there is little “scientific” evidence for the last proposition is to invite a laugh. There is no evidence for it, period. And if by some strenuous and improbable revelation there was to be any evidence, it would only argue that the creator or designer of all things was either (a) very laborious, roundabout, tinkering, and incompetent and/or (b) extremely capricious and callous, and even cruel. It will not do to say, in reply to this, that the lord moves in mysterious ways. Those who dare to claim to be his understudies and votaries and interpreters must either accept the cruelty and the chaos or disown it: they cannot pick and choose between the warmly benign and the frigidly indifferent. Nor can the religious claim to be in possession of secret sources of information that are denied to the rest of us. That claim was, once, the prerogative of the Pope and the witch doctor, but now it’s gone. This is as much as to say that reason and logic reject god, which (without being conclusive) would be a fairly close approach to a scientific rebuttal. It would also be quite near to saying something that lies just outside the scope of this essay, which is that morality shudders at the idea of god, as well.

Religion, remember, is theism not deism. Faith cannot rest itself on the argument that there might or might not be a prime mover. Faith must believe in answered prayers, divinely ordained morality, heavenly warrant for circumcision, the occurrence of miracles or what you will. Physics and chemistry and biology and paleontology and archeology have, at a minimum, given us explanations for what used to be mysterious, and furnished us with hypotheses that are at least as good as, or very much better than, the ones offered by any believers in other and inexplicable dimensions.

Does this mean that the inexplicable or superstitious has become “obsolete”? I myself would wish to say no, if only because I believe that the human capacity for wonder neither will nor should be destroyed or superseded. But the original problem with religion is that it is our first, and our worst, attempt at explanation. It is how we came up with answers before we had any evidence. It belongs to the terrified childhood of our species, before we knew about germs or could account for earthquakes. It belongs to our childhood, too, in the less charming sense of demanding a tyrannical authority: a protective parent who demands compulsory love even as he exacts a tithe of fear. This unalterable and eternal despot is the origin of totalitarianism, and represents the first cringing human attempt to refer all difficult questions to the smoking and forbidding altar of a Big Brother. This of course is why one desires that science and humanism would make faith obsolete, even as one sadly realizes that as long as we remain insecure primates we shall remain very fearful of breaking the chain.

Edited by Tangle, : No reason given.

Edited by Admin, : Fix special character issue, add italics on certain words.


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.


  
Panda
Member (Idle past 1969 days)
Posts: 2688
From: UK
Joined: 10-04-2010


Message 186 of 226 (647194)
01-08-2012 12:37 PM
Reply to: Message 183 by subbie
12-30-2011 1:04 PM


Re: The only remaining question
subbie writes:

If the former, it's still conceivable that he could be understanding what he reads but cannot accurately reason from there. If the latter, insufficient processing skills strongly suggest an inability to understand the initial input.

Thoughts?

I have posted this before (but I can't explain it).

I once posted intentional gibberish as a reply to one of Dawn's nonsensical posts.
He then argued in favour of what I had written (because I had made it sound 'religiousy').
I then told him that I had intentionally posted gibberish.
He then argued against the gibberish I had posted.

At no point did he show a proper understanding of anything I had written.

It reminds me of simple language learning software.
He can create sentences that reasonably adhere to the rules of English, but they often do not actually make sense.
But he can't actually understand English - he just looks at patterns/positions of words and tries to remember the pattern.

He sees the sentence "Tom has a green hat" and concludes that "Saturn has a green hat" should also make sense.


If I were you
And I wish that I were you
All the things I'd do
To make myself turn blue

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Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12798
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 187 of 226 (825457)
12-15-2017 2:22 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by Tangle
12-16-2011 7:08 AM


Peter Hitchens
As I was reading on the internet about RC Sprouls death, I recalled the EvC reaction to the death of Christopher Hitchens and wondered if Hitch and RC had ever had a debate. Upon googling, I was surprised to find that Christopher Hitchens own brother,Peter was a Christian!

The Rage Against God

Old Answers to the New Atheism: An Interview with Peter Hitchens

And finally, an article that explains how they got along:
The Brothers Hitchens

Edited by Phat, : added link


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Paul was probably SO soaked in prayer nobody else has ever equaled him.~Faith :)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by Tangle, posted 12-16-2011 7:08 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
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Tangle
Member
Posts: 7067
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.5


(1)
Message 188 of 226 (825458)
12-15-2017 3:15 AM
Reply to: Message 187 by Thugpreacha
12-15-2017 2:22 AM


Re: Peter Hitchens
I watched this video many years ago and accidentally came across it this week.

I thought it may be helpful to you Phat as it shows what atheists think - albeit at a level almost none of us can match. I suspect that you spend an awful lot of time listening to religious people talk and reading what they write but maybe not much on the other side of the divide.

It's Hitch, Dawkins, Dennet and Harris.

Beware - it's 2 hours long.

Edited by Tangle, : No reason given.


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 187 by Thugpreacha, posted 12-15-2017 2:22 AM Thugpreacha has responded

Replies to this message:
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Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12798
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 189 of 226 (825461)
12-15-2017 5:50 AM
Reply to: Message 188 by Tangle
12-15-2017 3:15 AM


The Four Horsemen
I just listened to the first 30 minutes...and will likely hear their full discussion out.

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
Paul was probably SO soaked in prayer nobody else has ever equaled him.~Faith :)

This message is a reply to:
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Diomedes
Member
Posts: 902
From: Central Florida, USA
Joined: 09-13-2013
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 190 of 226 (825475)
12-15-2017 9:50 AM
Reply to: Message 189 by Thugpreacha
12-15-2017 5:50 AM


Re: The Four Horsemen
By the way, in case anyone is interested, there was another version of the Four Horseman video created after Hitchens passed and this one included Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Also worth viewing.


This message is a reply to:
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Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12798
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 191 of 226 (850713)
04-13-2019 2:59 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Tangle
12-16-2011 3:52 AM


Two Well Done Video Excerpts
I have two video excerpts to share with this tribute thread. One is essentially a eulogy, delivered by Christopher himself...at his last public appearance.

The other one is an excellent debate in which I highly recommend reading the transcript as well.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. ~RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith

You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

Subjectivism may very well undermine Christianity.
In the same way that "allowing people to choose what they want to be when they grow up" undermines communism.
~Stile


This message is a reply to:
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Sarah Bellum
Member
Posts: 413
Joined: 05-04-2019
Member Rating: 1.8


(1)
Message 192 of 226 (852391)
05-09-2019 7:48 PM


Most non-religious people I've met go with the usual, "believe what you want, it's just not for me," but Hitchens actively promoted the idea that religion itself was a bad thing.

His stance was something like, "Good people do good things, bad people do bad things, but in order to get good people to do bad things, religion may be necessary." I don't say that's a quote from him, just a sense of how he felt.


Replies to this message:
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AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 4512
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 4.2


(2)
Message 193 of 226 (852407)
05-09-2019 9:39 PM
Reply to: Message 192 by Sarah Bellum
05-09-2019 7:48 PM


This one is close.

quote:
We keep on being told that religion, whatever its imperfections, at least instills morality. On every side, there is conclusive evidence that the contrary is the case and that faith causes people to be more mean, more selfish, and perhaps above all, more stupid.

Christopher Hitchens



Eschew obfuscation. Habituate elucidation.

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dwise1
Member
Posts: 3707
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.6


(4)
Message 194 of 226 (852408)
05-09-2019 10:45 PM
Reply to: Message 192 by Sarah Bellum
05-09-2019 7:48 PM


That can actually be derived from the infamous Milgram experiment (Stanley Milgram, 1963) in which ordinary nice people end up giving potentially lethal electric shocks to another subject in the experiment (who was in the next room and was actually in on the experiment) -- you'll recognize it as soon as you start reading the Wikipedia article at that link. Basically, the experimenter authority figure (complete with lab coat and clipboard) would instruct the subject to apply the next higher voltage, and the next higher, and the next higher, etc. Even after the "student" complained about having a heart condition. Even after the next room suddenly became deathly silent.

One of the things that the lab coat would use -- and which is key to this discussion -- was to accept full responsibility for the consequences of the "teacher's" action, which was enough to convince some of the subjects to continue. The article gives two interpretations that Milgram had for the results, the second one being:

quote:
The second {interpretation} is the agentic state theory, wherein, per Milgram, "the essence of obedience consists in the fact that a person comes to view themselves as the instrument for carrying out another person's wishes, and they therefore no longer see themselves as responsible for their actions. Once this critical shift of viewpoint has occurred in the person, all of the essential features of obedience follow".

We can see where this is going. A common theistic morality argument is along the lines that morality is only valid if you are responsible to God, so since atheists reject God that means that they have no responsibility to be moral and hence atheists cannot be moral. Of course, that is incorrect because atheists are indeed still responsible for their actions, but they are responsible to themselves and to everybody they encounter, ie to each other.

Furthermore, when a theist loses his faith and stops believing in God, then everything he'd been taught tells him that he no longer has any reason to be moral and that he can commit any sin whatsoever with impunity (ignoring problems that could cause you with civil authorities). We've encountered "true Christians" who are convinced that they'd be axe murderers if not for their belief in God. I've also encountered Christian "atheists" whose Christian doctrine had lured them into becoming "atheists" as teenagers so that they give free reign to their bubbling hormones and do it free of sin -- one creationist activist who tells that story and falsely claims to have been an atheist had also admitted that he continued to believe in God and prayed to God every single night that he was an "atheist", yet he still insists emphatically that he was an atheist.

In our developmental psychology textbook, one chapter examined the development of one's sense of morality and how certain types of moral reasoning are common at various ages and how it develops as we mature (hopefully).

Young children up to around age 5 develop "rules-based morality", in which an authority figure (eg, parents, teachers, police) gives you a list of arbitrary rules and your sole responsibility is to obey those rules. If any harm results from you obeying those rules, then you are not responsible for that harm, but rather its the responsibility of the rules-giver. Then as we mature, we learn to examine the consequences, etc.

What religion does, especially for "true Christians", is lock them into a rules-based morality. God gave us these rules and we are responsible to God to obey those rules. Doesn't matter whether those rules cause harm to others, we must obey them at all cost and whatever happens is God's Will, right? And if you interpret that God-given Absolute Morality as telling you to do bad things to others, then that's what you feel responsible to God to do.

Of course actual mileage may vary, but that's how I would interpret that quote.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 192 by Sarah Bellum, posted 05-09-2019 7:48 PM Sarah Bellum has responded

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 Message 226 by Sarah Bellum, posted 06-25-2019 9:06 AM dwise1 has not yet responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3844
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
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Message 195 of 226 (852413)
05-10-2019 9:36 AM
Reply to: Message 193 by AZPaul3
05-09-2019 9:39 PM


Christopher Hitchens writes:

We keep on being told that religion, whatever its imperfections, at least instills morality. On every side, there is conclusive evidence that the contrary is the case and that faith causes people to be more mean, more selfish, and perhaps above all, more stupid.

I would agree with this if it removed the "On every side..." bit.
I do believe there is "a side" of religion that can be beneficial and useful and even necessary for certain people.
People are simply so varied in their differences. And "religion/faith" is simply such a broad topic/idea.

I have no problems with an argument stating that this group of people would be a small minority.
I simply have an issue with an argument stating that such people do not exist at all.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 193 by AZPaul3, posted 05-09-2019 9:39 PM AZPaul3 has acknowledged this reply

    
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