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Author Topic:   Morality without God is impossible
Percy
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Posts: 22611
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.5


(2)
Message 7 of 472 (872569)
02-28-2020 5:54 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Tangle
02-28-2020 4:20 AM


The GDR quote seems to be saying something different from the thread title. It says that the absence of God leaves us with no frame of reference for understanding morality, not that its existence proves God. (I didn't see the discussion this branches off from. The quote doesn't mention God, but He seems strongly implied.)
But does morality have any actual reality, or is it all relative, like the familiar war conundrum where killing a man from an enemy nation is moral, while killing a man from your own nation is immoral. Or consider the bombardier conundrum where dropping bombs on innocent civilians in a city of an enemy nation is moral but killing a captured civilian of that same nation is immoral.
And even if morality is something real, is God really a frame of reference for it? Was the OT God moral? Or is it that, to paraphrase Nixon, if God does it it's moral?
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Tangle, posted 02-28-2020 4:20 AM Tangle has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22611
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 316 of 472 (912648)
09-21-2023 12:33 PM
Reply to: Message 313 by AZPaul3
09-21-2023 7:09 AM


Re: The evolution of morality
This reply is to Tangle, too.
A quick search found this: Was it Always True that Slavery was Wrong? It's an interesting read that walks through several ways of examining the question and concludes, in part:
Catherine Wilson:
Slavery in the ancient world must have been wrong. For the alternative judgements – that it was not wrong or that it was neither wrong nor not wrong – imply that we have learned nothing about the moral acceptability of slavery since ancient times. And that seems plainly false.
I disagree, and if I properly interpreted you and Tangle, then you also disagree.
This means that a reexamination of the morality of American slavery says that it wasn't wrong. Southerners certainly understood it that way. It implies that the current cleansing of America of our history of slavery and racism, most recently exhibited in the renaming of Fort Bragg since Braxton Bragg was a famous Southern Civil War general, is simply using the current dominant (not unanimous) moral code to censor information about an era where a different moral code was dominant.
Right and wrong are relative, unfortunately. Another example is abortion. For antiabortionists abortion is the murder of a human being and no compromise is possible. Even allowing abortion before six weeks is, well, an abortion, applying the double meaning, because life begins at conception, not at heartbeat.
Pro-choice people say that these extreme (but large in numbers) antiabortionists have a flawed definition of when life begins. Conception is just one step on the way to new life. Every step is necessary, and no particular step is the one that achieves new life.
Who is right? No one. Which choice will cause the most suffering? Even that answer is unclear. How do you balance the suffering of murder against the suffering of carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term and then raising that child or living with giving them up for adoption?
Did anyone already mention that slavery is still practiced in some parts of the world?
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 313 by AZPaul3, posted 09-21-2023 7:09 AM AZPaul3 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 317 by AZPaul3, posted 09-21-2023 7:28 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22611
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 344 of 472 (912732)
09-26-2023 1:16 PM


This is all I can see happening:
                    ----------------------
                    |                    |
                    |                    |
                    |                    |
                    |                    |
                    |      Square 1      |<------------
                    |                    |            |
                    |                    |            |
                    |                    |            |
                    ----------------------            |
                              |                       |
                              |                       |
                              v                       |
                    ----------------------            |
                    |                    |            |
                    |                    |            |
                    |                    |            |
                    |     Rationalize    |            |
                    |        and         |            |
                    |      Qualify       |            |
                    |                    |            |
                    |                    |            |
                    ----------------------            |
                              |                       |
                              |                       |
                              v                       |
                    ----------------------            |
                    |                    |            |
                    |                    |            |
                    |                    |            |
                    |     Rationalize    |            |
                    |        and         |            |
                    |      Qualify       |            |
                    |                    |            |
                    |                    |            |
                    ----------------------            |
                              |                       |
                              |                       |
                              v                       |
                    ----------------------            |
                    |                    |            |
                    |                    |            |
                    |                    |            |
                    |     Rationalize    |            |
                    |        and         |-------------
                    |      Qualify       |
                    |                    |
                    |                    |
                    ----------------------
But I have no idea how to avoid it.
--Percy

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22611
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 349 of 472 (912747)
09-28-2023 10:58 AM
Reply to: Message 348 by Tangle
09-28-2023 5:48 AM


Re: The evolution of morality
I tried the question, "Are any immoral acts described in the Bible?" and got this:
ChatGPT:
The Bible contains numerous stories and passages that describe various actions and behaviors, some of which are considered immoral by modern ethical standards. It's important to note that the Bible is a complex and ancient text with diverse content, including historical narratives, laws, poetry, prophecy, and religious teachings. As a result, it reflects the moral values and cultural norms of the times in which its various books were written.
Some examples of actions or behaviors in the Bible that may be considered immoral by contemporary standards include:
  • Violence: The Bible contains accounts of violence, including wars, battles, and acts of murder. For example, the story of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4 describes the first murder in human history.
  • Slavery: The Bible includes regulations for the treatment of slaves in the Old Testament (e.g., Exodus 21:1-11). While these regulations were intended to provide some protection for slaves, they still condone the practice of slavery, which is now widely considered immoral.
  • Discrimination: In certain passages, the Bible reflects patriarchal and discriminatory attitudes toward women, as well as other groups. For instance, some Old Testament laws and customs treat women as property and restrict their roles in society.
  • Ethical dilemmas: The Bible includes stories and events that present ethical dilemmas and challenges. For example, the story of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac (Genesis 22) raises moral questions about obedience and the value of human life.
  • Harsh punishments: The Bible contains descriptions of punishments for various offenses that may seem harsh by modern standards. These punishments include stoning for certain sins, such as adultery or blasphemy.
It's important to interpret and understand these passages in their historical and cultural context, taking into account the evolving moral values and ethical perspectives over time. Different religious traditions and denominations may also interpret these passages differently and emphasize different aspects of the Bible's teachings.
Many people turn to religious scholars, theologians, and ethical frameworks to guide their understanding of how these ancient texts relate to contemporary moral and ethical principles. Additionally, individuals may find moral and ethical guidance in other parts of the Bible that emphasize principles such as love, compassion, justice, and mercy.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 348 by Tangle, posted 09-28-2023 5:48 AM Tangle has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 350 by Tangle, posted 09-28-2023 11:27 AM Percy has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22611
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 360 of 472 (912771)
09-30-2023 9:57 AM
Reply to: Message 359 by candle2
09-30-2023 9:37 AM


Re: The evolution of morality
You can tell yourself this story as long as you understand it's just a story.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 359 by candle2, posted 09-30-2023 9:37 AM candle2 has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22611
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 365 of 472 (912780)
09-30-2023 1:05 PM
Reply to: Message 363 by candle2
09-30-2023 11:38 AM


Re: The evolution of morality
candle2 writes:
Tangle, it doesn't bother me in the least that you believe
in Thor, or Loki, or the tooth fairy. If they are your gods, so
be it.
I won't criticize you for it.
I think if you reread for comprehension this time that you'll find Tangle did not profess belief in anything as a god, but since you brought it up, what are the criteria for criticism for belief in any god?
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 363 by candle2, posted 09-30-2023 11:38 AM candle2 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 367 by candle2, posted 09-30-2023 1:19 PM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22611
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 373 of 472 (912801)
10-01-2023 3:36 PM
Reply to: Message 367 by candle2
09-30-2023 1:19 PM


Re: The evolution of morality
candle2 writes:
Percy, if you would learn to read between the lines, you
would see that I was toying with him.
Is that really what you thought you were doing?
What about that question I asked you, about the criteria for criticism of any religion?
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 367 by candle2, posted 09-30-2023 1:19 PM candle2 has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22611
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 374 of 472 (912802)
10-01-2023 3:40 PM


Is this just turning into a Choosing a faith annex?
--Percy

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22611
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 377 of 472 (912816)
10-02-2023 9:34 AM
Reply to: Message 375 by Theodoric
10-01-2023 8:20 PM


Re: The evolution of morality
Theodoric writes:
GDR writes:
I can't see that you can classify everything in the Bible as mythological.
Well, it isn't historical so what else would you call it?
Is this about some subset of the Bible or the whole thing, because accurate historical information does appear in some places in the Bible. For instance, there's Sennacherib's siege of Jerusalem during the reign of Hezekiah. 2 Kings 18:13–19:37 contains much detail that may or may not be true, and naturally those who do not believe in God or gods completely discount the conversations with them that are described, but we know historically that Sennacherib did lay siege to Jerusalem while Hezekiah reigned.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 375 by Theodoric, posted 10-01-2023 8:20 PM Theodoric has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 388 by Theodoric, posted 10-02-2023 9:53 PM Percy has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22611
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 390 of 472 (912834)
10-03-2023 11:43 AM
Reply to: Message 378 by candle2
10-02-2023 9:58 AM


Re: The evolution of morality
candle2 writes:
AZ, you and the other atheists on this forum believe that
there is no difference between humans and animals.
I'm not an atheist, but those who accept science do not believe there is no difference between humans and animals. All animal species are different from all other animal species, humans included, the degree of difference inversely proportional to their degree of genetic relatedness that is a function of their evolutionary past.
Yet, all of you have a double standard. If it is acceptable
for other animals to be serial killers; and, if it is acceptable
for mothers to eat their own offspring; then how can you
deny humans this same freedom?
All species, including human beings, behave according to their own evolved innate behavior and definitely not according to the innate behavior of other species. And there are outliers in all species. Dogs have a wide range of behavior, for instance some being aggressive and some friendly. Humans also have a wide range of behaviors, for instance most understanding that they don't have to type a carriage return at the end of each line, others not.
Since we are all just filthy animals,...
The cleanliness habits of species range widely, and within the human species hygiene habits vary widely. In some cultures daily showers are common, while in others it can be less than once per week. In the historical past there were cultures and regions where bathing was very infrequent, for example, farms in the United States in the 1800s.
...with brains made up of random atoms,...
The atoms are not random at all. The atoms in molecules follow the rules of chemistry, and the structure of brains is dictated by DNA.
...how do you justify holding humans to a different standard?
Since you said nothing true, you don't have an argument.
If a cat is caught randomly killing small creatures just for
the fun of it, should they be charged with murder? Would
they not then be serial killers?
By the logic of your question one should ask if an employee of a slaughterhouse who kills a hundred cattle a day should be charged with murder. Is he not a serial killer?
You're not making any sense.
You like to criticize God of committing evil acts.
I think it's more that people question why you would worship a God who committed the evil acts described in the Bible, for example, wiping out all of humanity except for one family.
But where do you get a definition of evil?
Our moral sense is an evolved trait that people display to varying degrees.
If you say that you get it from God, that is nonsense. You do not believe in God.
I don't think anyone here on the science side believes that our moral sense comes from God, but many who accept the scientific explanations of origins, of the universe, of the world, of life and of human beings, believe that God is responsible for it all, that he unobtrusively puts his hand on the scales of natural processes to obtain his desired outcome.
Why should a human who has been found guilty of
killing humans of another race be punished if he truly
believes they are out to harm him?
Much of the world finds United States law regarding homicide incomprehensible, e.g., stand your ground laws, laws protecting police if they believe there's a threat, etc. The idea that a person merely believing there's a threat being sufficient grounds for killing another human being makes no sense to many around the world, and even to many in this country.
Recently an elderly gentleman in Kansas shot a black boy who knocked on his door by accident. He believed he was threatened by the mere presence of a black person on his doorstep. Kansas has a stand your ground law that requires that the threat assessment be reasonable. It was judged that this man's assessment was not reasonable and he was arrested for first degree assault.
But the gentleman was 84, and I'm guessing that his defense at trial will be some form of mental impairment, quite common at that age. Paranoia is one symptom of dementia, and living alone can cause isolation and fear. But he shouldn't have had a gun. Issues of aging are outside the scope of this discussion, so let it suffice to say that taking away people's rights as they age, such as driving or owning a gun, is a worldwide problem.
What if he believes they are more fit than he?
Isn't this all about survival of the fittest? Suppose he
honestly believes that others are more fit than he. How
can he be held accountable if he kills those he believes
are more fit. He wants to be the fittest.
You're babbling now.
Or in the case of the Nazis, who accepted Darwin's
premise that some races are superior to others; why do
we judge them so harshly? Why was it wrong for them
to kill others races less fit than them?
Darwin's view that some human races were more advanced than others is not one that is accepted by evolutionary science today, but even Darwin viewed all races as human and killing them as murder. None of us today would regard the killing of a mentally challenged person as anything but murder.
What Darwin expressed that *is* still accepted today is that species and races that are more fit for their environment will win the differential reproductive race, i.e., they will outcompete other species and races by producing more offspring.
Good examples of intra-species competition are provided by lions, rams and chimpanzees (among many others). Male lions, rams and chimpanzees compete with each other for the dominance that provides primary access to females. This competition usually takes the form of physical battles where one eventually backs down. Death, while possible, is not the goal. Dominance and access to females is the goal.
Social construct is simply humans knowing that we are
different. We know that we are far above mere animals.
You seem to know many things that aren't true.
There can be no reason for the different standard that
we hold humans to in comparison to animals, other than
we know we are different than they are.
What I said earlier still applies. Races and species differ from one another according to their degree of evolutionary relatedness.
We are so far above them that we know we are their
caretakers, just as God instructed us to be.
Again, you seem to know many things that aren't true. Looking at the state of the world today, how well do you think we're really doing as caretakers? Aren't we more exploiters, which is what the Biblical God actually instructed?
quote:
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
...
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”
  —Genesis 1:26, 28
This is why I volunteer at two animal shelters. This is why
I have ten cats and two dogs.
Every one of them found their way to my house looking
for food and safety.
They know that we are far superior to them. They are not
nearly as naive as atheists.
As you feed all these animals, walk the dogs, pick up their poop, and clean the litter box, you might ask yourself which is the dominant species. Perhaps it is actually dogs and cats that domesticated humans over the past 10,000 years.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 378 by candle2, posted 10-02-2023 9:58 AM candle2 has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22611
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.5


(1)
Message 410 of 472 (912891)
10-05-2023 11:05 AM
Reply to: Message 391 by GDR
10-03-2023 3:25 PM


Re: The evolution of morality
Throughout time societies have viewed the past through rose-colored glasses. Media has increased fears for our children. The increased prevalence of guns has made suicide attempts more successful (I know one person who committed suicide, but that was was back in 1969). Bullying has been a problem forever, though online bullying is certainly new. The more social and compassionate people you speak of used to love to come out for public spectacles like hangings and pillories and whippings. Alcoholism has been a problem since man first figured out how to make alcohol.
The church of nothing else brought people together in an environment that projected the a sense of honesty, kindness and generosity that I just don't see in our secular cultures today.
Churches are just people. There are people of both religion and no religion who possess qualities of honesty, kindness and generosity. There are also people of both religion and no religion who possess qualities of dishonesty, cruelty and selfishness.
My conclusion is that a culturally Christian society, with all of its warts, provides a more compassionate society and contented society than what we have today.
My own conclusion is that the evils that religion commits when empowered by government is what forced the separation of church and state that prevails today, though diminishing at present, which is scary. If a church wants to hold a bake sale on church property and sell only to those it believes are not sinning in the eyes of God then that's its business, but when a church member sets up a business in town then they no longer have the right to discriminate on the basis of their religion.
But that barrier is being gradually torn down. Hopefully we all believe that recent Supreme Court rulings are wrong and that any church member who has a business outside their church dealing with the general public does not get to choose on the basis of their religious beliefs which part of the general public they'll deal with.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 391 by GDR, posted 10-03-2023 3:25 PM GDR has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 412 by AZPaul3, posted 10-05-2023 12:22 PM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22611
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 411 of 472 (912892)
10-05-2023 11:15 AM
Reply to: Message 403 by Phat
10-05-2023 7:10 AM


Re: The evolution of morality
I'm going to regret replying...
GDR has no need to find the truth.
I would rephrase this to, "GDR has no desire to find the truth."
And the only person who thinks that GDR is trying to "fool them" is one who has predetermined that they are foolproof.
You misunderstood PaulK. He was talking about GDR fooling himself.
You may say that a believer is one who always attempts to verify their belief while a skeptic(a proud skeptic, I might add) always tries to falsify rather than verify.
You are so confused. Attempting to falsify is part of how you verify.
For the skeptic, the falsification brings inner validity to their method while to GDR (perhaps, I have yet to ask him) finds that verification rather than falsification brings him inner validity and peace.
This just repeats your confusion.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 403 by Phat, posted 10-05-2023 7:10 AM Phat has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 415 by Phat, posted 10-07-2023 2:40 PM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22611
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 413 of 472 (912925)
10-06-2023 1:37 PM
Reply to: Message 412 by AZPaul3
10-05-2023 12:22 PM


Re: The evolution of morality
You raise some good points, but the way I see it is that once you start drawing lines you're faced with endless decisions of where to draw them and it never stops, no matter what business you're in.
I face that problem myself because I've chosen not to allow racist advocacy here. I'm sure I've drawn the line in the wrong place many times.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 412 by AZPaul3, posted 10-05-2023 12:22 PM AZPaul3 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 414 by AZPaul3, posted 10-06-2023 7:35 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22611
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.5


(3)
Message 416 of 472 (913007)
10-08-2023 10:04 AM
Reply to: Message 415 by Phat
10-07-2023 2:40 PM


Re: The evolution of morality
Phat writes:
Percy:
Attempting to falsify is part of how you verify.
This jumped out at me but im still deciding whether or not I agree.
If you try to prove something correct and succeed, haven't you added weight to the verification?
And if you try to prove something wrong and fail, haven't you also added weight to the verification?
Keep in mind that confidence in the verification can never reach 100%.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 415 by Phat, posted 10-07-2023 2:40 PM Phat has seen this message but not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 419 by ICANT, posted 01-02-2024 10:52 PM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 22611
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.5


(2)
Message 420 of 472 (914206)
01-03-2024 9:41 AM
Reply to: Message 419 by ICANT
01-02-2024 10:52 PM


Re: The evolution of morality
ICANT in Message 419 writes:
Percy writes:
Keep in mind that confidence in the verification can never reach 100%.
Wouldn't that be determined on what the subject you are referring too is?
No.
If the question is does God exist you will have 100% verification when you die if He actually exists. Because you will meet Him.
And you know this how?
If He does not exist you will never know because you will just be dead.
How is this statement any different than, "If leprechauns do not exist you will never know because you will just be dead"? The meaninglessness of the statement must be obvious. Determinations of what likely exists can only be made while alive.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 419 by ICANT, posted 01-02-2024 10:52 PM ICANT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 423 by ICANT, posted 01-03-2024 2:34 PM Percy has replied

  
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