Simply put I would say the Atheist has no rational or logical way to formulate an actual moral or ethic, from a reality standpoint.
Simply put: I disagree.
In the first place, this is not a moral it's an Instinct
When you say this what do you mean by the term 'a moral'? Why can morals not derive from an instinctual basis?
Secondly, since according to the Naturalistic proposition, much animal life existed before the human brain, it would follow that pain or misery and it's avoidance was not invented as a moral by the human mind, therefore not an actual moral or ethic.
What do you mean 'therefore not an actual moral or ethic'? I don't follow your logic. I think that's because you didn't provide it.
The lion and Bear do not share your opinion,when they are on the giving end of misery.
So? What have lions or bears to do with this discussion? You skipped all this work from your thesis.
We only discovered that it's a thing to avoid as well, for natural reasons, not ethical ones.
This seems to presuppose that ethical reasons and natural reasons are mutually incompatible. Given that is what you are trying to argue, you have a problem. Assuming your conclusion makes it easy to reach your conclusion, but it is meaningless.
Thirdly, since I can get very different responses from human minds as to what constitutes a moral or immoral act, it should be immediately evident that there is no way to establish OBJECTIVELY, from a Naturalistic standpoint, what is in REALITY morally real.
I reject the notion of an objective morality.
Therefore, it is logically impossible for an actual ethic or moral to exist from the Atheistic standpoint, in Reality.
None of your points results in this conclusion. What is 'an actual ethic' and why did you include the qualifier 'in Reality'? There is much background conception here, that you failed to include in your post.
Why can morals not derive from an instinctual basis?
Instinct by its very nature can take no thought
But it can form the basis of thought. There is a instinct to eat, that can make us form thoughts about food. An instinct to reproduce that make us think about attractive people and how to attract them.
A moral is a thought concept or reasoned idea the likes of which, no more information can be added to it to make it more correct or less correct. This would be called infinite wisdom.
I don't see any reason to accept this definition. It would primarily imply, given nobody has infinite wisdom, that nobody has morals or ethics making the entire discussion moot.
Then I was correct, as an Atheist you have no rational moral in reality
My definitions are about reality. Infinite wisdom and perfect thoughts are not demonstrated to be in reality. It is reality that some people think that eating meat is immoral, for instance. Some people disagree entirely, or disagree on when it is immoral to eat meat and what meats it is immoral to eat. That's reality. Those are actual moral positions that exist in reality.
I too have rational morals in reality. I don't believe morals exist independently of the people that hold them, other than in some communal sense of the collective wisdom of humanity or some community within that.
I can rationally explain morals, but you have failed to prove that there is a reasonable case that proves this is impossible. Your argument relies on definitions of morality and ethics that are peculiar to you.
If you wanted to say 'It is impossible for atheists to believe a god is the originator of morality' it would have been tautologically true, but you didn't say this. If this is what you meant, you haven't really said anything interesting at all.
Given that all thing in nature are equal as far as life is concerned. That is, all life is sacred and deserves to thrive and survive, just like you. Would it be murder to put several chickens to death for your consumption.
Can people religious or not be the source for an absolute moral.
IOWs, if it's OK to eat another living thing and it's not murder, why could people not kill and eat other people on a regular basis and it not be murder
For a moral to be real and rational from a Naturalistic standpoint, it has to be consistent in its tenets for all life, because all life is equal, true
Are you saying you are superior to other creatures, the way God would be superior to you?
Not superior. Different.
Morals are nothing more than changing ideas between humans and animals and nature. Nothing is truly right , wrong, good bad or otherwise.
Objectively right, wrong, good, bad or otherwise - then yes that's a reasonable short summary.
. We are simply amazed that a group of people that reduces morality to the most subjective nonsense, have the audacity to attack a God infinite in wisdom, of his actions.
If I come across such a creature, I won't attack it's actions. But how would I know if I had?
It's now the time to demonstrate that any action by an infinite God would be as meaningless, FROM YOUR STANDPOINT ,as any action of yours.
No need, I'm already persuaded.
How would you justify condemning any action of God, if you can find no evil or Good in your own actions.
I can find evil and good in my own actions. But I am a subjective entity, so my finding of these things is necessarily subjective.
If you don't believe this, provide me with an example of human conduct that would be truly evil.
Killing another human being without justification.
If slavery is wrong then why is a zoo not slavery.
Slavery is the ownership of humans usually to force them into some kind of service.
A zoo is, at its best, a place of conservation and study that funds itself through selling tickets to the public.
Since they are different, they are not the same. Since they are not the same a zoo is not slavery.
Right that's my point you change the word moral and it's meaning to suit your purposes HENCE NO ACTUAL MORALITY
Unless, of course, actual morality is a changeable concept that suits the purposes of an intelligent and social species.
You missed the point mod. I'm not interested whether instinct can help form thoughts.
I'll take this a concession that instinct can and often is, the basis of a variety of thoughts and ideas.
It's that when these thoughts are formed, there only going to be one set of thoughts amount millions of other creatures with different ideas about what's good or bad.
Exactly. And this is what we see with people. Millions of people with different ideas about morality all over the place. So it seems that the idea that instincts are involved is supported by what we see in actual reality.
...nobody has morals or ethics making the entire discussion moot.
Now your staring to get it.
Well you might be amoral, but I have moral values. My moral system doesn't require a 'fantasy' infinite wisdom to exist and be available for consultation. It relies on real things we know are real in actual reality. Your definition relies on a fantasy being with infinite wisdom that cannot be shown to exist in actual reality and thus your definition has morals not actually existing in actual reality.
Sounds perverse to me, I'll stick with my system over yours.
All of it , even if we include conscienceness, is nothing more that biological processes
Good, yes. That's right. You seem to raise this as if it were a problem, I don't see the problem.
I've missed the line that demonstrates anything but different ideas, thoughts or concepts, varying greatly amount millions of humans.
I'm not arguing for anything other than different ideas that vary between humans. So why would I say otherwise?
Given your Naturalistic doctrine, you could explain very little rationally
You didn't supply an argument that shows this. Since I can explain morality rationally, whatever your argument is must be wrong somewhere.
An atheists thoughts about the non existence of God are not a reality, they don't really exist.
Either a) You can read my mind or b) You are wrong.
If a) - Please show your evidence.
Even if they did, they couldn't change what is, the physical evidence for God's existence and that he would be the only rational way to establish an absolute moral standard.
Well exactly - so why did you decide to deny the existence of atheistic thoughts in the first place?
Now all you have to do is supply your argument that God is the only rational way to establish an absolute moral standard and your work is done.
So if this is evil would it be evil to exterminate a colony of rats for no other reason than they are in your backyard and you didn't want them there?
No Dawn. It being evil to kill humans with no justification does not imply anything about the morality of killing non-humans with some justification.
And if it's ok, please explain why.
It depends why the hypothetical person didn't want them there. I'd be happy to have a colony of rats in my backyard as long as they weren't causing any problems. I love rats - they're awesome.
But you would have to explain why it is evil to kill humans, in a Naturalistic enviornment, ie, survival of the fittest driven mentality, verses it just being survival, or more or less advantagous.
Sure. We evolved to be a socially cooperative species. Our instincts are honed towards working with one another against external threats. A murderer is an external threat. Our instincts whisper 'evil' to external threats. Our intellect builds upon this to form morals and responses to those threats.
To this end, me and my genes have a greater chance of survival than if it were every man for himself.
Evil actual evil, doesn't really seem a possibility, in a naturalistic, survival of the fittest inviornment.
Well now you've been told how it is possible.
If I have examples of animals doing the same thing for just survival, why is it not murder or evil.
Does it impact me, or the chances of my genes reproducing if a lion kills a gazelle? No. So it doesn't speak strongly to my moral instincts.
Seems you will never be able to extricate yourself from this delimma
And yet I did. And I'm drawing on work from over 50 years ago.
Seems odd that men that adopt that world view can speak,of actual evil.
When I speak of evil I speak of 'very bad' or 'highly morally wrong'. In my opinion. I'm not talking about some supernatural abstract entity that you might be thinking of.
When did it cross over from taking of life to murder? Could you give me that line of ethical distinction?
No - there is no line. It's like the boundary of a fractal. The more you look, the more nuance, fuzziness, comes out.
Your accusing God of immoral acts, evil acts.
No I'm not. I said 'If I come across such a creature, I won't attack it's actions. But how would I know if I had? '
But you suggest that morality is subjective. So if you find reasons why it's acceptable to take life both animal and human, why do u classify his actions as immoral.
It depends what his actions are.
Being of higher intelligence, might he not have purposes that are justifiable, the same way you have subjective reasons for your actions.
His intelligence isn't strictly important. But yes, he might have purposes that make his actions justifiable - and thus I would not regard them as immoral, should I be aware of those justifications. I don't make a habit of assuming people more intelligent than me are morally correct merely on the basis of their intelligence.
If you are going to accuse him of immoral acts, shouldn't we atleast assume his existence, even if you don't actually believe he exists, to see if what he is doing is possibly immoral, based upon the way you do thing first.
BTW, I might remind you you don't actually have a system.
I have many systems.
If just 2 people disagree on what is right or wrong on a given Imaginary moral, who is right or wrong. Or does it matter, or is there anyway to know. See your problem
If I think Mozart is a good composer, and Schönberg was a bad composer, but another person thought Mozart was bad and Schönberg was good - who is right and who is wrong?
If I think pineapple tastes bad and another person thinks it tastes good, who is right?
With Mozart I could give examples of why I thought that way, as I can with morals. Consequentialism, deontology, utilitarianism etc etc. There are lots of systems out there, most people meld them into their own personal outlook.
This doesn't present me with any problem that doesn't affect every other person in the world - yourself included. Is stealing food when you are starving wrong? If someone disagrees with you how do you know who is right?
Natural selection and SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST.
In that case I can explain things rationally: Evolution.
To demonstrate this point I only need to point out the countless suffering, over the alledgedly millions of years by nearly every species of animal, to kill for survival, instinct, food, or just because the other animal was it's path If taking of life for any reason then was evil or murder, it would be the same now. But you maintain it was not evil of them, correct?
Correct. I don't see the problem, however.
Your Johnny come lately alledgedly morals, can only be described as survival of the fittest, if we are honest with ourselves
They have their basis in biological evolution, built upon by culture, and honed through personal experience. So I'd say you were strictly wrong - but yes evolution played a key role in the formation of morals and they are a recent thing.
I don't see the problem, or how this means I cannot explain them. It seems like, in a broad overview sense, I just did - and you were already aware of this explanation. This seems to undermine your thesis in this thread considerably.
Allegedly only has one 'd' in it, by the way. Easy mistake to make.
BTW, we're the gladiator games in Rome or anywhere, good bad, evil, moral or immoral, or something else. Please explain
According to whom? I wasn't there, so I can't really comment. As a Roman might have thought them good. As a gladiator I may have felt differently. If I was there as I am today, I'd say they were bad - but I can think of reasons why I might change my mind.
If they were introduced today, I'd say they were bad. Killing people for entertainment has all manner of negative consequences for me and my society. It achieves little or no good to compensate. Thus, it is immoral.
Interesting, why?. Your answer should be interesting and very revealing
We were created by evolution, which it transpires, evolved us into cooperative primates. This means our baseline brain structure has built in moral instincts. Therefore our creator did indeed put 'intrinsic law' 'inside of' us, but the blind forces of nature are hardly divine. I hope this was interesting and revealing.
'If I come across such a creature, I won't attack it's actions. But how would I know if I had? '
Know if you had what?
If I had come across such a creature. How would I know if I was dealing with an creature of 'infinite wisdom'? Seems impossible to know, to me.
Atleast you have the sense to know you being subjective in your morals, have no real way to attack God's actions.
Assuming God is infinitely wise and we have verified this to be the case. Given it is impossible to verify this, I expect I will make moral judgements of any deity's actions as much as I would of anybody else.
So if I read you correctly your using the words murder and evil in some vague subjective way to only mean threats to YOUR AND YOUR SPECIES survival.
Well, not quite. The moral instinct evolved towards influencing behaviour that maximised success and minimised failures of my genes to reproduce. However, culture and personal experience have added on top of that basis in much the same way as language, music, an culinary ideas have built upon some basis over the history of our species.
So murder only really exists, we are speaking of humans, it's not,possible for animals to murder anyone in right or wrong since, correct?
So would you say animal life is on a par or equal to yours.
I don't know what it means for a life to be 'on a par' with mine. My wife has more moral consideration for me than some guy in Africa. It it was a choice between killing my wife and killing a South China tiger - I'd kill the tiger. If it was a choice between the same tiger and some guy in Africa - the guy in Africa probably loses out. Assuming the decision was 'press a button'. If I was looking them in the eyes, I'd probably kill the tiger both times.
So I don't think there is a simple metric of parity or equality I can give you in moral terms here. Morality is not as simple as assigning simple yes/no answers to moral questions and including or excluding any given entity that might be of moral concern.
Again, this is like trying to compare Mozart to Meatloaf. I can have opinions, but I can't give concrete metrics that universally apply for all time and conditions. Indeed, my rationalizations, when examined, are likely to result in contradictions or paradoxes - just like moral rationalizations often do.
Welcome to subjectivity.
Well by explain i assumed you were smart enough to know I meant make rational sense of and whether they actually exist at all.
Yes, which I did, "They have their basis in biological evolution, built upon by culture, and honed through personal experience"
Since the source of your so called morals is a blind unintelliegent, process called natural selection and survival of the fittest, it would,follow logically that anything I do for any reason would be acceptable since in this processes right and wrong don't exist...
It does not follow logically since right and wrong do exist, as judgements. When you say 'acceptable' you are supposing an 'acceptor'. If you killed my wife, I'd likely not find your behaviour 'acceptable'.
In much the same way that 'sweet' or 'beauty' exists, it requires a subjective entity to make the judgement, and entities can have different judgements.
Goodness is not an objective quantifiable thing like mass or height, that exists whether there is someone around or not.
Goodness is a subjective qualitative thing like 'sexy' or 'uplifting'. Like beauty, goodness (and evil) are in the eye of the beholder. No beholders, no goodness. With beholders, there is goodness.
...except in your small fraction of existence.
And everyone else's, of course.
Even if we weren't comparing them to other species, it would only be blind biological processes where only u and your fellow humans were involvedd. I put that last D in for u
Thanks, I'm quite the fan of a good 'd'.
It's a blind process until we get involved. At that point an intelligence is involved, which takes it out of the 'blind' category. I anticipate your response 'but intelligence, according to you, is just blind processes at work too!' well yes, but it would be most peculiar to assert 'My computer was built by blind processes'. 'Blind' has to have some pragmatic meaning, and it usually means 'without intelligence/forethought'. Morality involves intelligence, so while all of this is ultimately built by blind processes, morality itself is not built by blind processes. That's one of those fun linguistic paradoxes that arrive from trying to meld different scopes of examination.
If the above statement is any indicator, IT SOUNDS LIKE YOUR NOT REALLY SURE OF ANYTHING.
I'm sure of plenty of things. How I'd feel if I was born a Roman 2,000 years ago? Not so much.
So, it could be right or wrong, your just not really sure? Nice.
I'm sorry subjective judgements of extreme hypotheticals being ambiguous is unsettling to you - but then, the ambiguity of morality has been with us for a long time. Again, is it right to steal food if you are starving and have no other way to get food? How would you resolve this with absolute certainty if someone were to disagree with you? Show me how you do better.
No sorry you can't make a simply natural process better or worse than another,
I can have what opinion I like, thank you very much.
If I hit you in the head with a hammer, so I can see what it looks like, it's just a collection of atoms in the form of a hammer hitting a collection of atoms in the form of meat hair and skin.
And I can still think that it's wrong of you to do it. As can others. Indeed, some others may think it is right of you to do it.
Since processes are all there are, even my thoughts to do that are simply an addition biological processes, assuming there are only natural processes.
That's right, and your thoughts about whether the actions are right or wrong are also an addition to biological processes. So what's the problem, exactly?
We are a social species, evolved to be sensitive to the rules of our community. These rules are built off a basis the instinctive responses to situations with the added layer of reasoning on top of that couple with our cultural inheritance which represents the instincts+reasoning that came before us and were generally adopted by the community.
So we're the Nazis, moral ,immoral, right, wrong, good, bad right or wrong for what they did, according to your position
Objectively they were none of these. Subjectively they were immoral.
Are you honestly still having difficulty with this? I understand you disagree morals are subjective, but you seem to still be struggling on what subjective morality actually means.
We haven't even got the point in the discussion when talking about normative vs descriptive would make sense. I suggest you try your best to understand your opponents rather than trying to leap at every opportunity for victory - it's just causing you to go in circles.
Well, i think you answered your own question. With God all things that are possible, are possible. He would be able,to demonstrate, that with his nfinite wisdon. Besides this he would an infinite amount of,time to let u know.
So you don't know. Got it. I don't know either. Because I am not infinitely wise, how would I determine this creatures demonstrations aren't deceptive inventions from a more intelligent but not infinitely wise creature?
Being imperfect, I can't rely on my own judgements when it comes to determining if something else is infinitely wise.
But the real test would be to show, that they have some bigger meaning,other than matter in motion.
Bigger meaning? Meaning is subjective too. It has meaning to me, and other people. That meaning does not exist external to us though. If I were to show you some 'bigger meaning' it would in fact undermine my entire argument, so it's not really a 'real test' of my ideas at all.
And none of this matters, no pun intended, given my last point.
It matters to me. Again, something 'mattering' is a subjective perspective.
I'm sure you'll get the hang of it, if you really wanted to.
There is no way to demonstrate intelligence is some how superior to biological proceeses.
I'm not claiming it is.
If you will accept Jesus Christ, which has overcome these physical processes of death, you then can show that intelligence is superior to blind processes.
Go for it. In your own time.
Here's no other rational way to make it legitimate
I reject your criteria of legitimacy as illegitimate. Is it morally right to steal food to feed a starving child? Yourself? A horse thief? A murderer? Please, I've answered plenty of your moral questions - you continue to ignore mine.
No none of these are objective, but there not subjective either in your thinking. Just junk happening Now do you see
Great. Now 'social rules for how primates believe is the optimum way to order society and interact with one another' is just another in the list. The explanation for morality is the same as the explanation for sweetness and pain, and humour.
Atheism, or rather science, provisions us with explanations. Your thesis is defeated.
No none of these are objective, but there not subjective either in your thinking. Just junk happening
They are happening to me. A subject. Therefore they are subjective. Hrm, could you describe the difference between objective and subjective for me? I think we're using different definitions.
Well NO, you missed the point of my response, then you ignored the answer.
And you missed the point of mine. So I guess that makes us even on this one.
You said if I come across a creature such as God. Well if you've come across him I'm assuming you've met him. You ignored that fact. Then if you've met him, him being infinte in knowledge would be able, beyond any reasonable doubt demonstrate he is God.
I dispute that, but let's assume it is true. How would I be able to tell between an infinitely wise creature being honest, and a creature that is much smarter than me who is being dishonest? After all, if it can outsmart me, it might be able to convince me it is infinitely wise when in fact it isn't. Agreed?
If it's entirely subjective, my proposition is established, you have no way of explaining morals.
One can explain the subjective. You haven't demonstrated otherwise.
Morals are no more than your imaginary contemplations., differing from one person to the other. Your morals are no more important or different than any other thing happening. This is what you need to demonstrate, why you ideas are somehow have more meaning than a car hitting a cat in the road or someone putting a bullet in you
I don't see why I need to demonstrate something that is contrary to my opinion.
Again you raise the issue of one thing having more meaning than another. Again I respond: according to whom?
Your major problem is simply no possible way to demonstrate anything besides matter in motion
Neither can you. The difference between our positions is that I don't need to.
Don't mean to sound harsh but saying I'm avoiding answering your questions is a lie.
If you had answered this particular question before, please tell me where.
Otherwise your assertion that I lie, is a lie - by the same standards.
Is it wrong to steal to feed a starving child? ... Stealing is always wrong because it's a lie at its core
So allowing children to starve to death is morally right?
And if I disagree - how can we tell which of us is right?
Let's say the mass of an apple is an objective fact. If we disagree about the mass of apple we can use measurements to ascertain the truth. That's how objective things work.
The tastiness of the apple is a subjective fact. I might think it is tasty, you might think it is too sweet.
Objective in a moral sense would be any thought concept or idea, that is true absolutely. Subjective would be anything that is not that
Sounds comprehensive. You however managed to undermine your earlier argument in the process though:
quote:No none of these are objective, but there not subjective either in your thinking.
Neither objective nor subjective? That seems clearly impossible. 'anything that is not' objective is subjective, right?
Science might provide you with explanations, but it doesn't give u morals. You making that up
I didn't say science gives me morals - you are making that up. I said science can explain morals. Since you agree that it may very well do this, that supports my argument that I can indeed explain morals. Since your argument is that I cannot - I seem to be winning the argument.
It's also my response. You can tell, because that is how I responded.
If I can find no MORE meaning or difference as meaning, in biological processes than things happening, there is no meaning and hence no morals
Oh according to you? That's your affair.
I can find more meaning between one process and another, there is therefore meaning to me.
Neither is morally right...
And if I disagree - how can we tell which of us is right?
How? You offered your opinion. How does that resolve our difference of opinion? We can weigh an apple to determine its mass. How do we weigh our opinions to determine who is right?
Why would i disagree with you about the mass of an apple? You see , Truth does exist
Why? Because neither of us knows the truth at the point of argument. I mean does it really matter about the details? I assume God exists when you create hypotheticals is it really so hard for you to assume we might argue over the mass of an apple for the sake of argument.
Yes, objective truths about apples exist. That was the first point of the argument. We can resolve which of us right about the mass of the apple using an objective measure - such as its weight. The second point is that there are also subjective truths about the apple. Such as how tasty each of us may find it. There is no objective measure of tastiness.
Likewise, the state of my brain when faced with a moral question is an objective truth about my morality. My perspective of the rightness of a moral action is a subjective truth about morality.
You missed the part where I said, In YourThinking
If you insist, in which case you are just plain wrong. Sweetness is subjective, in my thinking. As I explicitly said. 'Just junk happening' is not a third category. Sweetness is either objective or subjective. I say it is subjective. So do you.
I said science can explain things happening, but hen if there's no more meaning to one thing or another, then you agree there's really no meaning or morals.
My only job here is to show I can, in principle, rationally explain morals - yours is to show that in principle I cannot. I can do show my point with reference to science. I don't need to show morals have objective meaning as I don't believe they do. Just because something does not have objective meaning doesn't mean it doesn't exist and it doesn't mean it cannot be explained. Subjective morals have subjective meanings.
If your argument is simply: 'Atheists cannot explain objective morality', then we agree. I don't accept there is an objective morality. There are objective facts about morality, but nothing that is 'objectively good' or 'objectively evil'. Nothing that has any meaning external to our minds.