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Author Topic:   Morals without God or Darwin, just Empathy
Woodsy
Member (Idle past 1663 days)
Posts: 301
From: Burlington, Canada
Joined: 08-30-2006


Message 106 of 184 (381953)
02-02-2007 5:10 PM
Reply to: Message 105 by anastasia
02-02-2007 4:45 PM


Re: Empathy does not equal Good
Btw, I did not mean to say that the threads were boring, but that the thought of morality without God is so empty. It sorta makes all of our sacrifice and all of our heroism just another possible outcome of biological stimulus; a learned behaviour, both replicable and mechanical.

I do not agree. I would admire someone who does good from their own kindliness much more than someone who does so from fear of a (perhaps only imaginary) god. If our sacrifice etc is our own, we have a valid claim to our own nobility; otherwise we do not.

To me, it is the servile, god-fearing type of morality that is empty.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 105 by anastasia, posted 02-02-2007 4:45 PM anastasia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 108 by anastasia, posted 02-02-2007 5:31 PM Woodsy has responded

  
anastasia
Member (Idle past 4242 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 107 of 184 (381956)
02-02-2007 5:12 PM
Reply to: Message 104 by Stile
02-02-2007 4:43 PM


Re: Empathy does not equal Good
When I talk about 'learning morality' I have in mind knowledge that is not part of who we are, but external. I can learn how to play a game, for example. I can learn by watching others play the game, but if I were alone without training, I would be only lucky to guess the correct rules.

I feel we can 'learn' morality, but we already have[/i] the rule; it is our conscience. We have the skills needed to partake in the game; intelligence, and empathy. We must 'learn' to play well. With good decisions, our conscience is sharpened, with bad decisions, it is dulled.

A rapist for example, may lack some of the ability to play fairly. He may not have sufficient intelligence, and may be found insane or incompetant. The point is, that most often he is judged as one who has just not practiced. It is assumed that he has been given the same rule as everyone else, and his failure is his own.

You, on the other hand, have praticed using your conscience till it is sharp. You no longer make costly mistakes in wishing harm on your opponant. Yet, you admit that it was naturally 'you' who used to feel the opposite, as much as it was 'you' who taught yourself to ignore the other voice. The one thing that I would say to make my position known, is that I don't believe the voice of the conscience is 'mine' at all. but God's.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 104 by Stile, posted 02-02-2007 4:43 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 110 by Larni, posted 02-02-2007 9:39 PM anastasia has not yet responded
 Message 111 by Larni, posted 02-02-2007 9:45 PM anastasia has responded
 Message 117 by Stile, posted 02-03-2007 1:01 PM anastasia has responded

    
anastasia
Member (Idle past 4242 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 108 of 184 (381960)
02-02-2007 5:31 PM
Reply to: Message 106 by Woodsy
02-02-2007 5:10 PM


Re: Empathy does not equal Good
Woodsy writes:

I do not agree. I would admire someone who does good from their own kindliness much more than someone who does so from fear of a (perhaps only imaginary) god. If our sacrifice etc is our own, we have a valid claim to our own nobility; otherwise we do not.

Ah...I am disappointed with this response. A sacrifice of heroic proportions is altogether forgotten, when the do-er makes claim to his own nobility


This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by Woodsy, posted 02-02-2007 5:10 PM Woodsy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 114 by Woodsy, posted 02-03-2007 8:07 AM anastasia has responded

    
sidelined
Inactive Member


Message 109 of 184 (381991)
02-02-2007 7:31 PM
Reply to: Message 105 by anastasia
02-02-2007 4:45 PM


Re: Empathy does not equal Good
anastasia

but that the thought of morality without God is so empty. It sorta makes all of our sacrifice and all of our heroism just another possible outcome of biological stimulus; a learned behaviour, both replicable and mechanical.

That it is so mundane and natural in what way makes the act less noble when those to whom the exercises of morality affects are capable of being sincerely grateful for the acts of kindness?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 105 by anastasia, posted 02-02-2007 4:45 PM anastasia has not yet responded

  
Larni
Member
Posts: 3990
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 110 of 184 (382024)
02-02-2007 9:39 PM
Reply to: Message 107 by anastasia
02-02-2007 5:12 PM


Re: Empathy does not equal Good
Ana writes:

A rapist for example, may lack some of the ability to play fairly. He may not have sufficient intelligence, and may be found insane or incompetant. The point is, that most often he is judged as one who has just not practiced. It is assumed that he has been given the same rule as everyone else, and his failure is his own.

Okay, you got me, what the hell does this mean?


This message is a reply to:
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Larni
Member
Posts: 3990
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 111 of 184 (382028)
02-02-2007 9:45 PM
Reply to: Message 107 by anastasia
02-02-2007 5:12 PM


Re: Empathy does not equal Good
Ana writes:

The one thing that I would say to make my position known, is that I don't believe the voice of the conscience is 'mine' at all. but God's.

This is where you sell yourself short: you attribute to a god your own wonderfull appreciation of reality.

You are nature's fanatastic creation. Don't attribute 'you' to someone else. It demeans you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 107 by anastasia, posted 02-02-2007 5:12 PM anastasia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 112 by anastasia, posted 02-02-2007 10:40 PM Larni has responded

    
anastasia
Member (Idle past 4242 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 112 of 184 (382041)
02-02-2007 10:40 PM
Reply to: Message 111 by Larni
02-02-2007 9:45 PM


Re: Empathy does not equal Good
Larni writes:

You are nature's fanatastic creation.

So I am a 'happy accident' in a world of unfortunate malfunction? I would be selling my self short by attributing my morals to 'nature', which may as well be, Nature? Nature or God, or Nature as god, any way you cut the cake, my 'blessings' are not my own. The good that I do is always my achievement, but, if I must blame my success on anything, why must I call it 'nature'? Must I be indebted to nature and thank s/he/it for my luck in this draw?

No thanks. I would rather believe that all men are equal, that there is no 'happy accident' or any stupendous malfunction, but a true and living spirit of God which lives in and equalizes everyone. This is the source of our equality, this is the true God whom we pay homage to in every person we meet. In all things visible to us, there is no equality amoung men. We are different. I find no glory in loving another for the sake of his fleshly existance as part of homosapiens, but in seeing the goodness and the purity, the suffering and the complexity, of the soul which is captive in this existance.

Edited by anastasia, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 111 by Larni, posted 02-02-2007 9:45 PM Larni has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 113 by Doddy, posted 02-03-2007 3:54 AM anastasia has responded
 Message 119 by Larni, posted 02-03-2007 1:50 PM anastasia has responded
 Message 177 by MadaManga, posted 03-20-2007 12:43 PM anastasia has responded

    
Doddy
Member (Idle past 4199 days)
Posts: 563
From: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 01-04-2007


Message 113 of 184 (382075)
02-03-2007 3:54 AM
Reply to: Message 112 by anastasia
02-02-2007 10:40 PM


Re: Empathy does not equal Good
Anastasia writes:

No thanks. I would rather believe that all men are equal, that there is no 'happy accident' or any stupendous malfunction, but a true and living spirit of God which lives in and equalizes everyone.

And I'd rather believe that I could never get hit by a car when I cross the road. But just because you want to believe something, it doesn't become more likely to be true. Although, many studies have shown that it does increase the likelihood that people will believe it (it's called 'valence effect' in psychology).


"Der Mensch kann was er will; er kann aber nicht wollen was er will." (Man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills.) - Arthur Schopenhauer

This message is a reply to:
 Message 112 by anastasia, posted 02-02-2007 10:40 PM anastasia has responded

Replies to this message:
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Woodsy
Member (Idle past 1663 days)
Posts: 301
From: Burlington, Canada
Joined: 08-30-2006


Message 114 of 184 (382085)
02-03-2007 8:07 AM
Reply to: Message 108 by anastasia
02-02-2007 5:31 PM


Re: Empathy does not equal Good
Ah...I am disappointed with this response. A sacrifice of heroic proportions is altogether forgotten, when the do-er makes claim to his own nobility

I think you may have misunderstood me. What I am getting at is an idea that the heroic sacrificer displays nobility if the sacrifice is from his own good will, but not if it is merely from fear of a god or anything else.

I any case, why should heroism be forgotten, no matter what its motivation?

I'd like to offer another similar example, if you will indulge me. On a camping trip, someone commented to the effect that a tree we were enjoying looking at displayed God's glory. I found that I preferred to allow the tree the diginity of its and its ancestors' own histories and successful struggles for survival.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 108 by anastasia, posted 02-02-2007 5:31 PM anastasia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 116 by anastasia, posted 02-03-2007 11:48 AM Woodsy has not yet responded

  
anastasia
Member (Idle past 4242 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 115 of 184 (382107)
02-03-2007 11:20 AM
Reply to: Message 113 by Doddy
02-03-2007 3:54 AM


Re: Empathy does not equal Good
Doddy writes:

And I'd rather believe that I could never get hit by a car when I cross the road. But just because you want to believe something, it doesn't become more likely to be true.

I really didn't think we needed to discuss whether God is more or less likely to be 'real' or true. I say, nature made none of us equal. Some are strong, some are weak. Some have high IQ's some low. Some are right-brain, left-brain, ambidextrous, short, tall, ugly, comely, sick, healthy, etc. I won't to make morality just another item on that list. What I love about fellow human beings is not nature, and the fact that they are human. It is not what is in their minds or hearts, but but what is in their soul. God is the equalizer, giving human creatures of every discription the exact same potential to be perfected.


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anastasia
Member (Idle past 4242 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 116 of 184 (382114)
02-03-2007 11:48 AM
Reply to: Message 114 by Woodsy
02-03-2007 8:07 AM


Re: Empathy does not equal Good
Woodsy writes:

I think you may have misunderstood me. What I am getting at is an idea that the heroic sacrificer displays nobility if the sacrifice is from his own good will, but not if it is merely from fear of a god or anything else.

We have a conscience, and the ability to act upon what it tells us. This is as close as we get to having 'our own good will'. You may say the conscience is the voice of God, or you may say it is just a survival mechanism. Sacrificing oneself for survival is no big deal, to me. It happens constantly in the animal kingdom, with no trace of the heroic.

We recognize heroes because they did something beyond natural. They did something not many will do. We do not say the hero was made to be a hero, but that he chose to be a hero. I have not heard of person who has done great deeds from fear, but only, from love.

I any case, why should heroism be forgotten, no matter what its motivation?

I say, if we are heroic for our own gain, we are not heroic. No one sees heroism in a person who sacrifices themselves for fame or fortune. That is just not sacrifice.

My point again was that morality without God, for me, is heroism with no more motive than survival. It is too bland. It has nothing to do with fear of God, and I have not seen love of God breed cowardice,

I'd like to offer another similar example, if you will indulge me. On a camping trip, someone commented to the effect that a tree we were enjoying looking at displayed God's glory. I found that I preferred to allow the tree the diginity of its and its ancestors' own histories and successful struggles for survival.

It is not similar. If you want to make a hero out of a tree, that is fine. You are applying the concept of 'choice' to the tree, as if it had an option to be less noble. What did it do but survive? I tell you, the tree that will willingly die to save another is my hero. Ahuman who has survived as well as the tree, is most likely only selfish. I tell you, selfish is easy. Sacrifice is noble.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 114 by Woodsy, posted 02-03-2007 8:07 AM Woodsy has not yet responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3847
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 117 of 184 (382136)
02-03-2007 1:01 PM
Reply to: Message 107 by anastasia
02-02-2007 5:12 PM


Re: Empathy does not equal Good
anasasia writes:

I can learn how to play a game, for example. I can learn by watching others play the game, but if I were alone without training, I would be only lucky to guess the correct rules.


Exactly. And, if we look at morality, if we objectively look at different cultures, different time periods, different people even... we see that not everyone is playing by the same rules. Not everyone guessed the same rules.

If morality was as you say, why do we not all know to "climb the ladders and slide down the snakes"? If we look around, we see people skipping both... people going in opposite directions... some people not even putting their playing piece on the board! If morality is external, and shown to us all... things would not be how we see them.

By looking at all the differences in people's morality, it is obvious that everyone is "alone without training" (external training, that is...) and that we are all "only lucky to guess the correct rules". That is, if there even are "correct rules" to begin with.

anastasia writes:

The one thing that I would say to make my position known, is that I don't believe the voice of the conscience is 'mine' at all. but God's.


I think the voice of the conscience is mine. I don't see how it could possibly be anyone elses. I have never experienced anything that would make me think it was anything but my voice.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 107 by anastasia, posted 02-02-2007 5:12 PM anastasia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 118 by anastasia, posted 02-03-2007 1:30 PM Stile has responded

    
anastasia
Member (Idle past 4242 days)
Posts: 1857
From: Bucks County, PA
Joined: 11-05-2006


Message 118 of 184 (382146)
02-03-2007 1:30 PM
Reply to: Message 117 by Stile
02-03-2007 1:01 PM


Re: Empathy does not equal Good
Stile writes:

I think the voice of the conscience is mine. I don't see how it could possibly be anyone elses. I have never experienced anything that would make me think it was anything but my voice.

I feel that we are dualist in nature. We have two voices, one human, one divine. The only experience I need to lead me to this feeling, is my own. I hear the voice of desire, drawing me to what I want. I hear the voice of reason, telling me what I know I must do. I contend that my 'knowledge' of what I must do, of what is right in any situation, is not knowledge of the 'learned' variety, but of the imnparted.

For sure I have learned what is 'right' by the standards of society and of religion, but I have not learned why I MUST do right, or what is driving me towards this. It is not the fear of hell, or jail, or of any torture excepting that of my own conscience. It is a fear of breaking an invisible law, for I have no fear of the consequences of breaking a civil law, or a natural law, but only an eternal law. It is not even a fear that has punishment, only a sense of creating chaos where there should be harmony.

We have our own views on harmony, whether we ourselves can create this, or whether we need divine guidance. They are all the different rules with which we play the game. I do not believe we are all learning the rules perfectly, from culture to culture. I do believe there is one 'right' and that we have yet to learn it. I only deny that 'right' is a product of our own invention.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 117 by Stile, posted 02-03-2007 1:01 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 121 by Larni, posted 02-03-2007 1:59 PM anastasia has responded
 Message 136 by Stile, posted 02-05-2007 10:00 AM anastasia has responded

    
Larni
Member
Posts: 3990
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 119 of 184 (382150)
02-03-2007 1:50 PM
Reply to: Message 112 by anastasia
02-02-2007 10:40 PM


Re: Empathy does not equal Good
Ana writes:

So I am a 'happy accident' in a world of unfortunate malfunction?

What is wrong with being serendipitous? The world is full of happy accidents.

Ana writes:

Must I be indebted to nature and thank s/he/it for my luck in this draw?

Do you honestly think I believe this? I'm not personifying nature at all. I certainly did not mean to imply that nature is an entity.

Humans are in debt to no entity for their existance.

Ana writes:

I would rather believe

This is what it boils down to is it not?

What you would rather believe, evidence be damned.

The rest of your post follows on from this position and merely states what you wish to be true.

Wanting the world to work the way you happen to prefer does not make it so.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 112 by anastasia, posted 02-02-2007 10:40 PM anastasia has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 122 by anastasia, posted 02-03-2007 2:09 PM Larni has responded

    
nyenye
Inactive Member


Message 120 of 184 (382151)
02-03-2007 1:59 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Stile
01-25-2007 11:28 AM


Every human has emotion, even if we do not like to admit it sometimes. I think it's just natural for us to feel... as science would explain it's all chemical! I don't believe that, I find it interesting even in the spirit realm... People that have died, still hold true to what they feel and believed in life. When it comes to murder, we do not have to go by a book, or a belief ( some do ) it comes from inside... If we know we are killing life, something so precious... we think about all the people who will mourn this person after they are gone. Even in acts of violent murders, the person can regret it later; rage often blocks logical thinking. If it hurts someone else, then I believe it is wrong. Thats what the police/government is there for, to keep things in order for those with little morals.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Stile, posted 01-25-2007 11:28 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
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