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Author Topic:   Atheism Cannot Rationally Explain Morals.
PaulK
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Posts: 17851
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 4 of 1006 (798452)
02-02-2017 4:39 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Dawn Bertot
02-02-2017 3:56 PM


quote:
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.
This seems to be one of this strange arguments where the point relies on an irrelevant qualifier.
We could more truly say:
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 what is in REALITY morally real.
So yes, Taq is right. As is surprisingly common an argument against atheistic morality is in reality just an argument against morality.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Dawn Bertot, posted 02-02-2017 3:56 PM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
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 Message 13 by Dawn Bertot, posted 02-02-2017 9:49 PM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17851
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 30 of 1006 (798514)
02-03-2017 12:03 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by Dawn Bertot
02-02-2017 9:49 PM


quote:
Don't see how that follows
If your argument applies to everyone - and it seems it does - then the conclusion also applies to everyone. Adding irrelevant qualifiers to the argument achieves nothing.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by Dawn Bertot, posted 02-02-2017 9:49 PM Dawn Bertot has not replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17851
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.7


(1)
Message 55 of 1006 (798581)
02-03-2017 3:00 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by Faith
02-03-2017 2:39 PM


quote:
The decision of the atheist who became a theist had to be based on some pretty complicated analysis of possibilities in the natural world, not like determining that a theological statement is true or false.
That is obviously false. In fact it was obviously based on personal incredulity without a strong understanding of the issues - since nobody actually has a strong understanding of the issues and what evidence we do have suggests a contrary view.
In reality we do not understand consciousness or how it is generated. But we do know that it is strongly tied to,the physical brain and that more complex animals do show some signs of consciousness.
Likewise more complex social animals - especially chimpanzees - show signs of having a morality of sorts - which could obviously have the same basis as our morality. In addition a sort of morality is a beneficial trait for social animals with a degree of consciousness so it should be favoured by natural selection in such species. And of course there has been a great deal of work in this area. To,the extent that evolution should be expected to account for morality - obviously we would not expect it to explain the whole structure - it does quite well.

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 Message 52 by Faith, posted 02-03-2017 2:39 PM Faith has not replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17851
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.7


(1)
Message 92 of 1006 (798719)
02-05-2017 2:29 AM


Dawn Bertot's failure
Dawn Bertot's idea that he has an objective morality is just his subjective opinion.
It is only a subjective opinion that the Biblical laws come from a being of infinite wisdom.
It is only subjective opinion that a being of infinite wisdom could provide an objective morality.
But it is objective fact that the Biblical laws were written for a society quite different from our own.
It is also objective fact that the Bible is short of the moral reasoning we would need to adapt the laws to more modern circumstances. Dawn himself admits that he does not understand at least some of the laws. Nor is it true that the laws that have been dropped by modern Christians are all merely "ceremonial laws" - a distinction that the Bible does not make. It follows, then, that any attempt to apply Biblical law involves an inescapable element of human subjectivity. And if we attribute the Biblical law to a being of infinite wisdom we must assume that this situation is intentional.
To sum up, then. If Dawn Bertot is wrong about the source of the Biblical law he is even worse than Sam Harris who is at least making an attempt at formulating a rational morality. If he is right - and that is highly unlikely - he is asserting that the Biblical law is something it was clearly never intended to be, and thus going against "infinite wisdom".
Edited by PaulK, : No reason given.

Replies to this message:
 Message 107 by Dawn Bertot, posted 02-06-2017 12:53 AM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17851
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.7


(1)
Message 112 of 1006 (798862)
02-06-2017 1:54 AM
Reply to: Message 107 by Dawn Bertot
02-06-2017 12:53 AM


Re: Dawn Bertot's failure
All that matters is whether my points are correct or not. The fact that you do not even try to offer any substantive rebuttal only proves your failure.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 107 by Dawn Bertot, posted 02-06-2017 12:53 AM Dawn Bertot has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 126 by Dawn Bertot, posted 02-07-2017 12:26 AM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17851
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 131 of 1006 (799016)
02-07-2017 12:46 AM
Reply to: Message 126 by Dawn Bertot
02-07-2017 12:26 AM


Re: Dawn Bertot's failure
quote:
Well to demonstrate that you assertion is palpable false please produce the line or single argument that u think I have not addressed, then I'll show you I have
You did not address any of them in your reply. I suggest you go back to the first post in this sub-thread and try again.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 126 by Dawn Bertot, posted 02-07-2017 12:26 AM Dawn Bertot has not replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17851
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 482 of 1006 (804542)
04-11-2017 12:15 AM
Reply to: Message 479 by Dredge
04-10-2017 8:48 PM


quote:
The vast majority of Western atheists believe that the theory of evolution is a fact and that evolution shaped human morality.
"Provided the basis for" would be better than "shaped". And of course there are reasons to believe this.
quote:
But this "science" places no compulsion on a human being to conform to any moral code and morality can be literally anything you want it to be.
The first is not actually relevant to the truth of the idea (nor is it anything we should expect to be true) and the second is hardly true. If evolution places constraints on what human morality could be then it cannot be "literally anything you want it to be"
quote:
For example, one could argue from "science" that a human being has no more worth than a bug,
Which would show no understanding of the relevant science or morality.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 479 by Dredge, posted 04-10-2017 8:48 PM Dredge has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 483 by Davidjay, posted 04-11-2017 2:16 AM PaulK has not replied
 Message 529 by Dredge, posted 04-13-2017 1:39 AM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17851
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 505 of 1006 (804660)
04-12-2017 12:13 AM
Reply to: Message 496 by Dredge
04-11-2017 7:14 PM


quote:
It's quite simple: "Science" says blind, meaningless evolution mindlessly produced millions of biological machines - from teeny weeny little bugs to human beings. So, the only difference between a bug machine and a human being machine is the degree of complexity in the arrangement of their respective atoms.
The science doesn't say that, in fact a branch of science (taxonomy) does quite a lot of categorising other differences. If you are unable to perceive any difference except the "degree of complexity in the arrangement of their various atoms" then I think you have a rather serious problem.
quote:
One bunch of arranged atoms is no more important than any other bunch of arranged atoms and no biological machine is any more important than any other biological machine
Science really isn't about evaluating "importance" in that sense, so it really has nothing to say on the matter.
quote:
All life is meaningless and meaninglessly produced, so one form of life has no more meaning or worth than any other form of life. Therefore a human being - a meaningless machine - has no more worth or meaning than a bug - another meaningless machine.
That's your opinion, which ignores a whole lot of possible meaning. You can't expect others to agree with you on that.

This message is a reply to:
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 17851
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 516 of 1006 (804714)
04-12-2017 3:57 PM
Reply to: Message 515 by Faith
04-12-2017 3:50 PM


Re: Good post Dredge
quote:
But the point, of course, is that you have no objective or reliable basis for your valuation of human life or whatever you value. We may feel humanity is important, but the ToE is a strong influence we all encounter that says we aren't important at all.
By which you mean that you only value humans for things that you only presume to be true. The rest of us need not be subject to your prejudices.
quote:
It's presented as scientific truth, after all, and there's no avoiding the implication that if we're just a product of mindless chemicals that accidentally managed to create us, no matter how special we seem to ourselves we have to accept that it's an illusion because we're just a bunch of dispensable chemicals.
We can value ourselves for what we are, and not for our origins or basic physical constituents. A diamond is "only" carbon, but if you think it is no different from a smear of graphite for that reason then you are a fool.
All you are doing is revealing your own limitations.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 515 by Faith, posted 04-12-2017 3:50 PM Faith has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 559 by Dredge, posted 04-13-2017 8:09 PM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17851
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 532 of 1006 (804759)
04-13-2017 1:43 AM
Reply to: Message 528 by Dredge
04-13-2017 1:36 AM


quote:
If human life is the result of evolution, then everything pertaining to humanity behaviour must be the result of evolution.
It must ? Don't you think that culture has sonething to do with it ? Do you think that humans run on pure unthinking instinct ?
quote:
But if human behaviour is the result of natural selection, is it not morality, because natural selective offers no choice.
Well that would be true if human behaviour is all unthinking instinct. But that is a pretty bizarre view. Perhaps you would like to support the idea instead of assuming it.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 528 by Dredge, posted 04-13-2017 1:36 AM Dredge has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 614 by Dredge, posted 04-15-2017 7:57 PM PaulK has replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17851
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 540 of 1006 (804767)
04-13-2017 1:56 AM
Reply to: Message 529 by Dredge
04-13-2017 1:39 AM


quote:
If evolution places constraints of what human morality could be, then it is not morality; it is simply being forced into conforming to a certain pattern of behaviour. This is no different to dog learning that if it doesn't crap in the master's house, it won't be punished.
If any constraints on human morality render it "not morality" then morality would have to be "whatever you want it to be". So make your mind up - is being "whatever you want it to be" a failing or essential ?
And I am not talking about being forced into a certain pattern of behaviour either. Rather I mean that there are constraints on the moralities that could be produced.
quote:
How can you use science to show that the life of a human is worth more than the life of a bug?
Worth more in what sense ? Is it a sense that science deals with ? If not, why would you EXPECT science to answer the question ?
If you had any understanding of science and morality you would realise that science does not deliver moral judgements and should not be expected to.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 529 by Dredge, posted 04-13-2017 1:39 AM Dredge has not replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17851
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 575 of 1006 (804901)
04-14-2017 12:06 AM
Reply to: Message 559 by Dredge
04-13-2017 8:09 PM


Re: Good post Dredge
quote:
According to science we are a bunch of atoms assembled by a series of blind accidents to form a meaningless machine.
That is hardly the whole of what science says, nor does science adequately cover the whole of what we are. You say nothing of human capabilities, of human achievements nor of human relationships.
I am sorry that evolution offends your pride by not making you special enough to satisfy your ego. But that is hardly a good reason for rejecting it.
Edited by PaulK, : Fixed 1 auto "correction"

This message is a reply to:
 Message 559 by Dredge, posted 04-13-2017 8:09 PM Dredge has not replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17851
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 580 of 1006 (804908)
04-14-2017 12:32 AM
Reply to: Message 569 by Faith
04-13-2017 11:07 PM


Re: Good post Dredge
quote:
"Science says" is just a way of saying it is clearly inferable from (evolutionary) science that... I know that's what it means, why don't you?
And it isn't. Neither you nor Dredge have even tried to support such a claim.
quote:
We've both argued it. It is inferred from the fact that we are considered to be merely animals evolved from earlier animals, an accident of the blind arrangement of chemicals. Bugs are too, worms are too, wildebeests are too. That is a fact, right? So what's your problem?. There's nothing in the ToE to make us any more important than any of them.
Science isn't about moral importance so saying that it doesn't give us any moral importance is a trivial truism without significance. All you are telling us is that YOU take a nihilistic and anti-human stance.
quote:
I've mentioned the idea that Darwin, Freud and either Marx or Einstein, deflated the human ego with their theories
As does the fact that our sun is just a pretty average star in a pretty average galaxy. Are you going to argue for geocentrism because of that ?
The fact that we originated from animals instead of through direct divine creation may offend your ego but it does not deny anything we can observe about what humans are or can be. If you reject any of that then it is you doing the rejecting, not science.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 569 by Faith, posted 04-13-2017 11:07 PM Faith has not replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17851
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 581 of 1006 (804909)
04-14-2017 12:39 AM
Reply to: Message 576 by Faith
04-14-2017 12:07 AM


We should be asking about Creationist morality
quote:
Golly gosh, ya don't say? Imagine that. Aren't semantic distinctions clever? Evolutionism is built out of definitional cobwebs like that thougH
Apparently we are supposed to think your arguments are good because you falsely accuse opponents of playing semantic games.
Not exactly moral behaviour by most people's standards. But maybe creationists have their own morality.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 576 by Faith, posted 04-14-2017 12:07 AM Faith has not replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17851
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 582 of 1006 (804913)
04-14-2017 2:09 AM


Arrangements of atoms
Diamond and graphite are composed of carbon, the arrangement of atoms being the only difference between them. And they are undeniably objectively different. For instance diamond is used as an abrasive, graphite as a lubricant. Anyone who would try to use an abrasive as a lubricant is making a very serious mistake !
So, we have established at least the possibility that the vastly more complex arrangements of atoms that make up humans and bugs could produce objective differences.
For instance a bug is incapable of composing a meaningful post in English. If Dredge and Faith really want us to consider them as no different from bugs their approach is self-defeating. By expecting us to take their posts as even attempts to express their views they are implicitly denying the very point they are trying to make.
And, the mention of English and posts leads to another point. Written - or spoken - language is not objective. The forms of the letters, their assembly into words and the translation of words into meaning - all subjective human creations. And it is still not true that "anything goes". There is something to think about.

  
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