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Author Topic:   Atheists must appeal to an absolute moral standard when complaining about wrongs.
GDR
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Posts: 5003
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 61 of 71 (865405)
10-24-2019 1:42 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by Tangle
10-24-2019 3:17 AM


GDR writes:

Help or harm are the result and independent of the morality of the original act.

Tangle writes:

That's just not correct, actual outcomes are irrelevant, it's intent that decides morality.

That's what I said. The only point I am making is that an act that is intended to be helpful might be harmful. So, if you are going to distinguish the morality of an act you can't just say help or harm. Intent to help or intent to harm would define the morality of the act.

However, I would still go further than that because an even an "intent to help" can be self serving in that it might also be a benefit to the self making the act morally neutral.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by Tangle, posted 10-24-2019 3:17 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 62 by Tangle, posted 10-24-2019 2:04 PM GDR has responded

Tangle
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Posts: 7129
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 62 of 71 (865407)
10-24-2019 2:04 PM
Reply to: Message 61 by GDR
10-24-2019 1:42 PM


GDR writes:

Intent to help or intent to harm would define the morality of the act.

Well you know, intent is assumed in a moral act. But so long as we agree then fine.

However, I would still go further than that because an even an "intent to help" can be self serving in that it might also be a benefit to the self making the act morally neutral.

Couldn't care less personally, so long as the act adds to the sum of human wellbeing.

In any case, as this is supposed to be about religion, the moral acts of religious people are to further their chances of a happy afterlife. Couldn't be more self-serving than that. At least with an atheist you know their actions are honest in that respect.


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.


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 Message 61 by GDR, posted 10-24-2019 1:42 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
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GDR
Member
Posts: 5003
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 63 of 71 (865409)
10-24-2019 3:24 PM
Reply to: Message 62 by Tangle
10-24-2019 2:04 PM


Tangle writes:

In any case, as this is supposed to be about religion, the moral acts of religious people are to further their chances of a happy afterlife. Couldn't be more self-serving than that. At least with an atheist you know their actions are honest in that respect.


I agree with the comment about atheism. In some cases I would agree with your statement about religious people. From a Christian perspective I would say that if someone performs a loving or helpful act to get themselves a benefit in the life to come then it is no longer a moral act. It is simply self serving.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


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Taq
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Posts: 8163
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 64 of 71 (865410)
10-24-2019 3:44 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by Faith
10-23-2019 8:14 PM


Faith writes:

You had said that subjective needs and wants was a sufficient criterion for morality, and I was answering that such a definition won't work. Are you now changing your definition or what?

Still using the same definition. Billions of parents have the want and need to protect their children from sexual predators. We can also use our own self reflection and empathy to know that children don't want to be molested, and they lack the maturity to consent. The moral implications are pretty clear as they are based on human wants and needs.


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 Message 47 by Faith, posted 10-23-2019 8:14 PM Faith has not yet responded

Stile
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Posts: 3863
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 65 of 71 (865411)
10-24-2019 3:48 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by Taq
10-23-2019 3:01 PM


Re: Links worth reading
I agree with both blogs, just some clarifications for my own amusement:

Tag's quote writes:

Is it even possible to have an objective morality?

I think this depends on your definition of "objective."
You can have an objective morality (the facts of the matter are the same, regardless of who judges them) based on a standard.

The standard could be "if you say 'God made me do it' - then it's good. Otherwise, it's bad."
It's a terrible standard... but it is objective.

The standard could be "if the person affected by the action deems it good - then it's good, if the person affected by the action deems it bad - then it's bad."
It a great standard... and objective.

Of course, if the definition of "objective" implies that the standard as well is provided by some universal law - you are correct.
Of course, the only things objective in this sense is "physics" so - perhaps "physics" would be a better word than objective here?
But, yes, this is generally what people mean when talking about "objective morality" - an absolute, external standard that is not "created by human intelligence."

Therefore, I will assume this is what's intended by the phrase "objective morality" here... I just like to provide options and pick nits.

Thus, a subjective morality is strongly preferable to an objective one!

This, I agree with 100%.
When something is based on feelings (as morality is) - the standard needs to take that into account. An objective standard cannot.
Therefore, a subjective morality is extremely preferable over an objective one.

Just like a subjective wedding is extremely preferable over an objective (arranged..) one.

Given that an objective morality would be highly undesirable, why do so many philosophers and others continue to try hard to rescue an objective morality?

I think it stems from the revolution of identifying "objective truth" as better than "subjective truth" - the realization that we do not (and cannot) define reality with our thoughts or words. Reality is what it is.
There was a long time in history when "reality" was "whatever that guy says it is... because he said so!"
The revelation that objective truth is a far greater tool and provides far greater progress that this wacko subjective truth washed over humanity like a tsunami.

I think this sense of "objective truth about physical reality is greater than subjective truth about physical reality" turned into a generality of "objective is better than subjective" because of how pervasive and in-your-face "physical reality" is.
Basically, my guess is that "subjective morality is better than objective morality" got thrown away with the bath water of "objective is better than subjective."

But, well, it's something that's very large-scale, and widespread across history.
It likely has a multitude of factors, varying for different situations and different people.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by Taq, posted 10-23-2019 3:01 PM Taq has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 66 by Taq, posted 10-24-2019 4:16 PM Stile has responded

Taq
Member
Posts: 8163
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 66 of 71 (865412)
10-24-2019 4:16 PM
Reply to: Message 65 by Stile
10-24-2019 3:48 PM


Re: Links worth reading
Stile writes:

You can have an objective morality (the facts of the matter are the same, regardless of who judges them) based on a standard.

The standard could be "if you say 'God made me do it' - then it's good. Otherwise, it's bad."
It's a terrible standard... but it is objective.

For it to be objective we would need to know that what God asks us to do is based on an objective moral code. If God is telling us what to do based on his own subjective judgment, then it is a subjective morality.

The standard could be "if the person affected by the action deems it good - then it's good, if the person affected by the action deems it bad - then it's bad."
It a great standard... and objective.

What is good or bad is based on the person's subjective needs and wants.

I think it stems from the revolution of identifying "objective truth" as better than "subjective truth" - the realization that we do not (and cannot) define reality with our thoughts or words. Reality is what it is.
There was a long time in history when "reality" was "whatever that guy says it is... because he said so!"
The revelation that objective truth is a far greater tool and provides far greater progress that this wacko subjective truth washed over humanity like a tsunami.

I agree. At the same time, we can also realize that subjective emotions are also important to us, and definitely have their place in the human experience. Requiring an objective reason for everything humans do is not a sustainable goal because we experience the world through our subjective senses and emotions. Being human is being both subjective and objective, and we should embrace that.


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 Message 65 by Stile, posted 10-24-2019 3:48 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 67 by Stile, posted 10-24-2019 4:31 PM Taq has not yet responded

Stile
Member
Posts: 3863
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 67 of 71 (865417)
10-24-2019 4:31 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by Taq
10-24-2019 4:16 PM


Re: Links worth reading
Taq writes:

For it to be objective we would need to know that what God asks us to do is based on an objective moral code. If God is telling us what to do based on his own subjective judgment, then it is a subjective morality.

Another good point that is always glossed over and not attended to by proponents of "objective morality."

Taq writes:

Stile writes:

The standard could be "if the person affected by the action deems it good - then it's good, if the person affected by the action deems it bad - then it's bad."
It a great standard... and objective.


What is good or bad is based on the person's subjective needs and wants.

Yes - pretty much the same thing, really.

But I like my standard better.
It updates immediately with a change in social subjective needs and wants instead of needing to wait 5, 10, 100 years until "society" recognizes the shift.
My standard does require more, though... a judgement on whether or not you care about the action being good or bad... which begs for you to have reason if you don't care. Which is a good thing, as far as attempting to have a moral system that is self-regulatory in stamping out corruption (lying and twisting the standard in order to get it to "look good" for yourself to do something that's actually not-good according to the code if all information on the situation was available.)

...and this is also kind of required for your statement of the standard as well, really.

Requiring an objective reason for everything humans do is not a sustainable goal because we experience the world through our subjective senses and emotions. Being human is being both subjective and objective, and we should embrace that.

Exactly.
Identifying when one should be used over the other is the hard part.
But to say one should always be used over the other is missing what it means to be "human" as well as being... less than optimally productive.


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 Message 66 by Taq, posted 10-24-2019 4:16 PM Taq has not yet responded

Omnivorous
Member
Posts: 3811
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


(1)
Message 68 of 71 (865832)
10-31-2019 5:22 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by GDR
10-21-2019 8:24 PM


GDR writes:

I might interact with a pan handler on the street and give him cash. That generally speaking would seem like a moral and loving thing to do. However if that money is used to buy drugs that result in death from an overdose it was obviously not a benefit and was harmful.

Not obviously.

Edited by Omnivorous, : No reason given.


"If you can keep your head while those around you are losing theirs, you can collect a lot of heads."

Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto.
-Terence


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 Message 23 by GDR, posted 10-21-2019 8:24 PM GDR has not yet responded

Theodoric
Member
Posts: 6826
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 69 of 71 (865833)
10-31-2019 5:47 PM


Time to shut down?
I figured this would happen Gospel Preacher has not participated at all since this thread was opened. I would suggest that the thread gets closed down if he is not willing to respond.

Edited by Theodoric, : No reason given.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.

If your viewpoint has merits and facts to back it up why would you have to lie?


Replies to this message:
 Message 70 by jar, posted 10-31-2019 6:08 PM Theodoric has not yet responded

jar
Member
Posts: 31646
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 70 of 71 (865837)
10-31-2019 6:08 PM
Reply to: Message 69 by Theodoric
10-31-2019 5:47 PM


Re: Time to shut down?
Guido is a good kid but likely another Hit-n-Run.

My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios     My Website: My Website

This message is a reply to:
 Message 69 by Theodoric, posted 10-31-2019 5:47 PM Theodoric has not yet responded

AdminPhat
Administrator
Posts: 1945
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-03-2004
Member Rating: 1.7


(2)
Message 71 of 71 (865843)
11-01-2019 1:22 AM


Guido? We Await Your Reply
If I don't hear from you by November 1st,2019 this topic will be retired.

  • Please stay on topic for a thread. Open a new thread for new topics.
  • Points should be supported with evidence and reasoned argumentation.
  • The sincerely held beliefs of other members deserve your respect. Please keep discussion civil. Argue the position, not the person.

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