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Author Topic:   Morality without God is impossible
Stile
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Posts: 3914
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.2


(1)
Message 181 of 237 (873162)
03-10-2020 3:59 PM
Reply to: Message 180 by Tangle
03-10-2020 3:35 PM


Re: Are the morals of a lion the same as an antelope?
Tangle writes:

Humans make complex, intelligent decisions - deliberate rational choices that don't depend on prior knowledge of a situation. They have knowledge of the future and the effect a decision has beyond the present. Was that worth saying?

I don't think so, no.

Can't the same be said for the dogs in the previous link I gave you?
If so - again - what's the difference between animals and humans other than one of degree?

If you think the "degree" makes the difference - where does it specifically stop in animals, and specifically start in humans?

It is my position that you cannot identify such specifics because they don't exist.
Your continued reliance on phrasing-without-providing-specifics is so far confirming that idea.

We are differentiated from all other animals by having evolved a pre-frontal cortex capable of executive functioning. Morality depends on this high-level ability to make reasoned choices. Only humans have that capability.

More phrasing.
Specifics are required in order to see if what you say is true or not.

What "executive functioning" is only able to be done in humans that shows "thinking required for morality" that animals do not possess?
Can you identify an example? One that all/any humans are capable of but no animals can do?

Since animals have shown they're capable of forethought, problem-solving, and learning - my claim remains that you will be unable to do this.

Tangle writes:

Stile writes:

and then argue if it can exist without God or not - you need to show a clear delineation between animals and humans


I need do no such thing.

You do if you're trying to say morality exists in humans and not in animals.
If you don't care - then stop such things and move on.

But if you continue to say such things, with no ability to show that what-you-say-is-true, I'm going to point it out that what you're saying isn't true.

There's no argument that some animals can show some signs of intelligence, but what that has to do with human morality and god still defeats me. When an ape can comment here on the trolley problem it might get relevant but until then, let's stick to the point.

If animals don't show "enough signs of intelligence" to show that animals can have morality - and you're unable to show a specific difference delineating between animal and human morality - then humans also can't show "enough signs of intelligence" to show morality - and you've turned humans into robots with no morality.

And that means humans, as well, no matter how many times they come here and comment on the trolley problem - it doesn't matter because they're robots with no morality.

If you don't care about animal morality, and just want to talk about human morality - I'm game for that.
But that would require you to stop saying animals can't be moral. You'll have to just ignore that part if you don't want responses to it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 180 by Tangle, posted 03-10-2020 3:35 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 182 by Tangle, posted 03-10-2020 4:30 PM Stile has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7439
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 182 of 237 (873165)
03-10-2020 4:30 PM
Reply to: Message 181 by Stile
03-10-2020 3:59 PM


Re: Are the morals of a lion the same as an antelope?
Stile writes:

Can't the same be said for the dogs in the previous link I gave you? If so - again - what's the difference between animals and humans other than one of degree?

And what's the difference between a dog and an amoeba except one of degree? The extent of the degree matters and the difference in intelligence and rational decision making is vast.

When you can bring a dog here and get it to discuss anything here, you'll have a point, until then let's stick to the title of the thread.


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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 181 by Stile, posted 03-10-2020 3:59 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 183 by Stile, posted 03-11-2020 8:37 AM Tangle has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3914
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.2


(1)
Message 183 of 237 (873189)
03-11-2020 8:37 AM
Reply to: Message 182 by Tangle
03-10-2020 4:30 PM


Morality and dogs
Tangle writes:

And what's the difference between a dog and an amoeba except one of degree?

Many various biological systems exist in dogs (and humans) that do not exist in amoeba.
For one, amoeba's do not have brains at all, and there are no known examples of amoeba acting altruistically, or with forethought, or using "thinking" for problem solving skills.
But humans do, and dogs do.

The extent of the degree matters and the difference in intelligence and rational decision making is vast.

Absolutely.

And, as I just showed you, there is a clear line of delineation between dogs and amoeba that does not exist between humans and dogs.
Therefore your point is valid between dogs and amoeba, and invalid between humans and dogs.

Humans have brains, act altruistically, act with forethought, use thinking for problem solving skills.
Dogs have brains, act altruistically, act with forethought, use thinking for problem solving skills.
Amoebas do not have brains, don't act altruistically, don't act with forethought, don't use thinking for problem solving skills.

Sure, there's "a level of degree" between all 3.
But the level of degree between dogs and amoebas is much greater (with a clear line of delineation we can draw) than that between humans and dogs.

If what's required for morality is a sense of compassion and empathy, and dogs show examples that they can have these senses (to a lesser degree than us... but still there all the same.) What's to say "dog's can't have morality!" rather than "dog's can have morality, just at a lesser degree than humans?"

You have yet to provide anything to show that "dog's can't have morality" is a valid position in any way at all.
It's only tradition and "what people tend to unthinkingly agree with" to back you up - things we both know are not only useless; but generally huge red flags telling us that this idea is likely wrong.

When you can bring a dog here and get it to discuss anything here, you'll have a point, until then let's stick to the title of the thread.

I'll stop talking about dogs as soon as you stop saying untrue things about them.
You don't get to ask me questions about dogs, or make untrue statements about them, and then suggest we "stay on topic" and not discuss dogs with any degree of righteousness. Such actions are nothing more than cowardly and silly.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 182 by Tangle, posted 03-10-2020 4:30 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 184 by Tangle, posted 03-11-2020 9:45 AM Stile has responded
 Message 185 by RAZD, posted 03-11-2020 1:31 PM Stile has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7439
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 184 of 237 (873195)
03-11-2020 9:45 AM
Reply to: Message 183 by Stile
03-11-2020 8:37 AM


Re: Morality and dogs
It's accepted that some higher animals show moral-like behaviours and degrees of intelligence. It's an indication that our own advanced forms of morality are based in systems and functions that have evolved.

That's as far as it goes.

I think you have accepted that human morality is many orders of magnitude more advanced. Here we are (trying) to discuss whether a god is required for human morality as GDR claims it is.

If you'd like to discuss the extent of moral behaviour in animals, please start a new thread.


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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 183 by Stile, posted 03-11-2020 8:37 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 188 by Stile, posted 03-12-2020 8:50 AM Tangle has responded

  
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20628
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 2.8


(1)
Message 185 of 237 (873211)
03-11-2020 1:31 PM
Reply to: Message 183 by Stile
03-11-2020 8:37 AM


Morality and apes and whales and dogs and ...
If what's required for morality is a sense of compassion and empathy, and dogs show examples that they can have these senses (to a lesser degree than us... but still there all the same.) What's to say "dog's can't have morality!" rather than "dog's can have morality, just at a lesser degree than humans?"

To go back to the topic title (Morality without God is impossible) I would say that demonstrating rudimentary moral behavior in animals, with a progression of observed behavior consistent with human moral behavior, is sufficient to show that it is an emergent evolved capacity. As such either (1) the god/s in question have an overall plan applicable for all life or (2) they are not needed.

If the first, then morality is just innate behavior according to the plan.

We observe several behaviors occurring to different degrees in animals. Self awareness (eg recognizing yourself in a mirror), for instance: dogs have it, cats do not. Rescuing humans in danger for another: whales, dogs, apes all have been observed doing it.

Making choices: as noted previously many many many animals make conscious choices.

Distinguishing good from bad: documented in monkeys, apes and dogs. Everyone should be familiar with dogs that know they have been bad. Faith's example of the racoon that chooses not to bite is another example.

Thus we can evidentiaryily conclude that there is a spectrum of evolved behaviors we associate with morality.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
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This message is a reply to:
 Message 183 by Stile, posted 03-11-2020 8:37 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 198 by Stile, posted 03-13-2020 10:36 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5150
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 186 of 237 (873245)
03-12-2020 1:48 AM
Reply to: Message 171 by Stile
03-10-2020 12:29 PM


Re: A Universal Morality
Sorry to be so slow replying. Life keeps happening.
Stile writes:

Physical or non-physical doesn't matter - it's irrelevant.
What matters is having "something to compare against" - like a ruler or a moral rule.

The difference is that with the physical you can objectively say that a foot is longer than inch. However to say that generosity is classified as good and selfishness is bad is a subjective conclusion.

Stile writes:

I agree that what you have here is unusable as there is no moral rule to compare anything with and therefore come up with a "what is good?" or "what is bad?" answer.
What you've stated here is an attempt to compare things without anything to compare them against.
It's like discussing the length of a bridge and the length of a shoe without allowing any discussion of any kind of "ruler."
One can easily see that a bridge is longer than a shoe.
But, specifically, how "long" is a bridge? a shoe?
-without a ruler, this cannot be defined, and remains unknown.

OK, but the point is that people intuitively seem to know that generosity is good and selfishness is bad regardless of whether we live by that axiom or not.
Also, I contend with morality it isn’t about comparing specific actions or their outcomes but it is about what motivates our actions. Most of what we do is morally neutral but when it isn’t we can ask whether we are acting from a position of doing unto others as we would have them do unto us or are we doing what we do with the motive of benefiting ourselves at the expense of others.

So yes, it isn’t objectively known but I suggest that it is intuitively or subjectively known.

Stile writes:

God-given moral rules (10 commandments, say...) work just fine to compare any and all morals. (more on this below...)
However - God-given moral rules will only work for a society in general if the society agrees to use God-given moral rules and it becomes "common understanding" for the society.
Stile's moral rule (good is helping, bad is hurting, say...) works just fine to compare any and all morals. (more on this below...)
However - Stile's moral rule will only work for a society in general if the society agrees to use Stile's moral rule and it becomes "common understanding" for the society.

But I don’t think it is about whether it works or not. The question is whether it actually is right or not. The Nazi society thought that committing genocide was ok but I suggest that they simply became hardened to what they were doing. I’d suggest that the vast majority of human kind know that to be wrong even if they were anti-Semitic.
Stile writes:

You can have rules such as The 10 Commandments or Stile's rule, or even something silly like "anything with apples is good, without apples is bad...

But again, you are making it about actions and things that are physical. For example we can say that murder is bad but maybe murder is possibly a good thing when it would save several lives. (There was an unsuccessful plot to murder Hitler.)
Stile writes:

Morality is simply working it's way through this process, and hasn't gotten very far yet:
-people are arguing over who's "rules" should be used to indicate good/bad
-people are creating better and better ideas for good/bad moral comparison rules
-people are arguing over how hard it will be to "get everyone on board" with any particular system
-it hasn't gotten further than this, yet - but it will as there's nothing stopping it

But when you talk about rules you are talking about humans trying to control the actions of others. It may be called The Golden Rule” but it isn’t really a rule. It is something that we believe in, and then hopefully having it impact on our thinking, which then results in positive actions. The actions are a result of our moral beliefs but they aren’t morality itself.
Stile writes:

There's no problem of "it must be independent of human thought!" - that's silly.
There's only a problem of creating/imagining a "very useful" moral-rule; just as "very useful" length-rulers were eventually created/imagined.
There's no indication that this creating/imagining must come from an outside source at all (although that isn't ruled out... it's just not necessary, and doesn't really matter what the "source" may be); just as there was no indication where the source for length-rulers had to come from.
-yes, the issues of "agreeing on a very useful moral rule" and "getting this moral rule understood and used around the world" are very large issues
-just as they were for length-rulers (it took thousands of years to work through them)
-but, again, there's no indication that anything other than "human imagination" is required


We agree that morality is important. And I agree that there is no indication that we can perceive of whether or not there is a moral outside influence having an impact on us. It is a matter of belief.

If we believe that we are the result of mindless processes then it is clear that we would accept the belief that morality is simply a human construct. However if we believe that we are the result of an intelligent agency then we would reasonably believe that there is a morality that exists regardless of whether or not humanity exists. I’m in the latter camp.


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 171 by Stile, posted 03-10-2020 12:29 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 189 by Stile, posted 03-12-2020 9:29 AM GDR has not yet responded

  
Dogmafood
Member
Posts: 1812
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 187 of 237 (873252)
03-12-2020 7:58 AM
Reply to: Message 168 by RAZD
03-10-2020 11:50 AM


Re: Are the morals of a lion the same as an antelope?
RAZD writes:

That is not how you distill a universal standard. You look for common elements and reduce them to their most fundamental qualities.
1. Live
2. Reproduce

Any others?

These are the most fundamental and every choice ever made was an attempt to serve those goals. It seems to me that evaluating how well any choice serves these goals is an objective standard. Even so, I don't see how that condition speaks to the existence or non existence of god or to the penultimate source of that condition.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 168 by RAZD, posted 03-10-2020 11:50 AM RAZD has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 190 by Stile, posted 03-12-2020 9:48 AM Dogmafood has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3914
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 188 of 237 (873259)
03-12-2020 8:50 AM
Reply to: Message 184 by Tangle
03-11-2020 9:45 AM


Re: Morality and dogs
Tangle writes:

It's accepted that some higher animals show moral-like behaviours and degrees of intelligence. It's an indication that our own advanced forms of morality are based in systems and functions that have evolved.

Thank-you, that's all you ever had to say.

Although I think "higher animals" includes almost all mammals, and likely other animals as well.
-but this is my own personal view and I understand that others' may vary and such a fine-line is a topic for another thread

I think you have accepted that human morality is many orders of magnitude more advanced.

I always accepted this, or at least the idea of it.
Without any actual scale - there's no way to say if it's "one order of magnitude" or many... but that's a quibbly irelevancy.
The only thing I didn't accept was any implication that animals had "no morality" simply because humans' is much more advanced - it doesn't even make sense.

Here we are (trying) to discuss whether a god is required for human morality as GDR claims it is.

Yes. I think the answer is:
If you think God is required for all things - then of course God is required for morality.
If you think God is not required for some things, and evidence is your guide as to when He's required or not - then it's likely you'll also think God is not required for morality (as there's just as much evidence for morality-requiring-God as there is for the-moon-causing-tides-on-earth-requiring-God; that is - none at all for both with both are equally supported by evidence to occur naturally without the need for any intervention.)

If you'd like to discuss the extent of moral behaviour in animals, please start a new thread.

I'm good.
Was just replying to claimed statements I felt were incorrect.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 184 by Tangle, posted 03-11-2020 9:45 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 191 by Tangle, posted 03-12-2020 10:28 AM Stile has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3914
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 189 of 237 (873262)
03-12-2020 9:29 AM
Reply to: Message 186 by GDR
03-12-2020 1:48 AM


Re: A Universal Morality
GDR writes:

Stile writes:

Physical or non-physical doesn't matter - it's irrelevant.
What matters is having "something to compare against" - like a ruler or a moral rule.


The difference is that with the physical you can objectively say that a foot is longer than inch. However to say that generosity is classified as good and selfishness is bad is a subjective conclusion.

"The difference is that with the non-physical you can objectively say that 'helping-the-elderly-cross-the-street' is bad because it doesn't contain any apples. Unless, of course, the elderly is carrying apples - in which case, it would be good."

There you have it.
Objective identification of morality based on the moral rule "if the scenario contains apples - then it's good, if not - then it's bad."
-admittedly, this is a silly Moral Rule and I would plead that no one follow it
-however, it is sufficient to show that this idea you have on a physical vs. non-physical barrier is actually non-existant.

Your point here is blown-out-of-the-water wrong.

It is not the physical/non-physical part that's an issue with morality.
Morality can have rules, and those rules can be used to objectively identify scenarios as good or bad.

The issue is whether or not we can find "useful rules."
-Is "good = apples, bad = no apples" a useful rule? - obviously not, let's trash it
-Are "the 10 commandments" useful rules? - maybe, maybe not, let's discuss it
-Is "good = helping, bad = hurting" a useful rule? - maybe, maybe not, let's discuss it

Just like rulers.

Without "useful length-rulers" - we cannot objectively say a foot is longer than an inch - because "foot" and "inch" are things imagined by humans - they are subjective concepts.

Without "useful morality-rules" - we cannot objectively say "generosity is good" and "greed is bad" - because "good" and "bad" are things imagined by humans - they are subjective concepts.

But, once we have a useful comparison metric, we can objectively measure things against it.
-regardless of whether or not the metric is subjective or objective!
-in fact, if the comparison metric is subjective or objective is irrelevant to how useful it is! "Usefulness" is a subjective concept and is therefore dependent on the situations and scenarios at hand.

Once we have a subjectively-agreed-upon Imperial Ruler - we can objectively say a foot is longer than an inch (in comparison to the subjective-Imperial-Ruler.)

Once we have a subjectively-agreed-upon Morality Rule - we can objectively say "generosity is good" and "greed is bad" (in comparison to the subjective-Morality-Rule.)

Physical vs. non-physical doesn't make a difference.
The only difference is whether or not humans have imagined useful "comparison tools" (length-rulers or morality-rules" that they agree to use to make judgments against.

OK, but the point is that people intuitively seem to know that generosity is good and selfishness is bad regardless of whether we live by that axiom or not.

And people intuitively seem to know that arms are longer than fingers regardless of whether we live by the Imperial Ruler axiom or not.

-this doesn't remove the fact the the Imperial Ruler is imagined and subjective
-this doesn't remove the fact that the Imperial Ruler allows for much greater, fine-tuned, "subtle-er" comparisons

-it only shows that "length" is a part of the universe we inhabit, and it would be nice for us to have a useful comparison metric
-it only shows that "morality" is a part of the universe we inhabit, and it would be nice for us to have a useful comparison metric

Also, I contend with morality it isn’t about comparing specific actions or their outcomes but it is about what motivates our actions.

Exactly - you have your ideas on what the "Morality-Rules" should be, I have mine, this village has theirs, that country has theirs.
Just like the varying ideas of "Length-Rulers" used to be thousands of years ago.

This issue doesn't prevent "identifying-and-understanding a world-wide set of Morality-Rules."
It only shows that we are in the infancy stages of getting there.
Just like Length-Rulers once were.

But I don’t think it is about whether it works or not. The question is whether it actually is right or not.

Is the Imperial Ruler actually right or not?
Or is the Metric Ruler actually right or not?

My point here is still that physical vs. non-physical does not matter.
If you can get past this physical vs. non-physical barrier in your mind that doesn't actually affect the issue - then we can move onto more subtleties like this question.
But, if you insist that physical vs. non-physical is indeed a barrier - we'll never be able to accurately discuss fine-points like this one.

But again, you are making it about actions and things that are physical. For example we can say that murder is bad but maybe murder is possibly a good thing when it would save several lives. (There was an unsuccessful plot to murder Hitler.)

This sounds like more of an issue on "what are the actually useful Moral Rules?" than an issue on if subjectively imagined Moral Rules can be used to objectively describe good-vs-bad and if physical vs. non-physical is actually a problem.

Again - only if we can get past this physical vs. non-physical barrier can we discuss such finer points.

If you look at "all the confusion" surrounding a vast topic, throw up your hands and say "Well, this is out of my league! I can't sort this out immediately, therefore, there's no way to do so! This must be all controlled by some higher power or else none of it would ever work!" - then you've created a self-fulfilling prophecy.

But, if you break down the concept into smaller parts, and see if you may be able to work out those smaller parts... then you can make progress.
Maybe those smaller parts still won't make sense - and maybe those smaller parts will show you that God definitely exists, and MUST be in control of the process.
Or maybe those smaller parts will be analogous to other vast systems that are already in place and working, and you can use those previous-ideas to understand this idea, and everything will eventually make sense.

How will you ever know if one or the other is actually correct if you don't take the time to break it down and take a look?

But when you talk about rules you are talking about humans trying to control the actions of others.

Maybe you are.
But I can assure you - my talk of Morality Rules is as much 'controlling humans' as Imperial Rulers 'control bridges'
The comparison metrics (Morality Rules or Length Rulers) are only intended to provide a guide to compare things against.
To provide a guide for identification of Morals or identification of Length.
What you do with those Morals, or Length, after it's been identified is another issue altogether. Just like building a bridge isn't "controlled" by rulers - but having rulers around certainly makes it a hell-of-a-lot-easier to build a bridge.

I do not intend for Morality Rules to control people. But, if people want to be moral, then having Morality Rules around will make it a hell-of-a-lot-easier.
No?

And I agree that there is no indication that we can perceive of whether or not there is a moral outside influence having an impact on us. It is a matter of belief.

If you base unknowns on "belief" - then you are correct.
If you base unknowns on "tentative conclusions based on the available evidence - willing to update your answer upon the arrival of new evidence" - then you are not correct; it is no longer a "matter of belief" but it then becomes a "matter of evidence."

Your choice as to if "belief" or "evidence" has a better historical track-record for eventually leading to being right or wrong.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 186 by GDR, posted 03-12-2020 1:48 AM GDR has not yet responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3914
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 190 of 237 (873266)
03-12-2020 9:48 AM
Reply to: Message 187 by Dogmafood
03-12-2020 7:58 AM


Re: Are the morals of a lion the same as an antelope?
Dogmafood writes:

That is not how you distill a universal standard. You look for common elements and reduce them to their most fundamental qualities.

RAZD writes:

1. Live
2. Reproduce
Any others?


These are the most fundamental and every choice ever made was an attempt to serve those goals.

I still don't see how you conclude this.

Dogmafood writes:

These are the most fundamental...

Yes, I certainly agree with this.

...and every choice ever made was an attempt to serve those goals.

I don't see how you make the giant leap to this conclusion.

Our top scientists in the leading cognitive behavioural fields studying exactly this sort of thing currently have no idea how to specifically identify "the goal that is served" for any choice we currently make.

Yet - you think you're able to do it for all choices ever?
And you've identified it for all of them to be "to live and/or reproduce?"

How?

Again - just because it's possible to think of a "living/reproducing as a goal that's served by some, even many, choices" doesn't mean that any particular choice was actually made to "serve those goals."


This message is a reply to:
 Message 187 by Dogmafood, posted 03-12-2020 7:58 AM Dogmafood has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 200 by Dogmafood, posted 03-13-2020 10:52 PM Stile has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7439
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 191 of 237 (873267)
03-12-2020 10:28 AM
Reply to: Message 188 by Stile
03-12-2020 8:50 AM


Re: Morality and dogs
Stile writes:

Thank-you, that's all you ever had to say.

And it's what I've said many times now.

The only thing I didn't accept was any implication that animals had "no morality" simply because humans' is much more advanced - it doesn't even make sense.

I do not believe that animals are moral agents; morality is a human construct. Some animals can exhibit what we call moral behaviour but their ability to foresee the future and make complex, rational decisions about harms and wrongs is very limited in comparison to ours.

But it's highly messy because we evolved from the same tree and therefore share many things with them - some more developed that others. If you're interested, this is useful

The Moral Status of Animals (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)


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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 188 by Stile, posted 03-12-2020 8:50 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 195 by Stile, posted 03-12-2020 4:45 PM Tangle has responded

  
Aussie
Member
Posts: 258
From: Sanford, FL USA
Joined: 10-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.9


(1)
Message 192 of 237 (873274)
03-12-2020 1:53 PM
Reply to: Message 120 by Phat
03-06-2020 1:59 PM


Re: A Universal Morality
Tangle says:
Second this god could have a morality we didn't like, for example he could be the god of the Old Testament who is a total bastard.

Phat says:

The evidence shows that it was the people who were being total bastards to each other in the name of survival of some of them. God was simply a plot device they used to justify their actions.

I agree with you here Phat!

BUT...Do you believe that God commanded Moses to slaughter the Midianites, and that Moses got angry at his soldiers when he saw they hadn't killed enough women?
Did God command Joshua to destroy Jericho and kill every living thing inside the walls, including pregnant mothers and infants? I have harped on about this with Faith before, but you guys bring it out of me every time.

Thank "God" that in reality evidence disproves these tales, and it ONLY shows primitive people being bastards to each other in the name of their local religion. Your problem starts immediately though when you add a mystical layer of externally imposed morals. Your problem only compounds when you claim (without evidence) that that externally imposed morality was (and remains) the ultimate in good.

If Scripture is true and Moses and Joshua were obeying the voice of God then it was so much more than bastards just being bastards. They were bastards obeying commands of another external Bastard. Why is it your God is real when you want a warm and fuzzy "personal relationship" security blanket, but just a "plot device" when His dark and evil side shows?

I understand why your brain can't bring itself to be honest with this reality, but it looks just sad and ridiculous!


"...heck is a small price to pay for the truth"

This message is a reply to:
 Message 120 by Phat, posted 03-06-2020 1:59 PM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 193 by Phat, posted 03-12-2020 3:34 PM Aussie has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 13789
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 193 of 237 (873275)
03-12-2020 3:34 PM
Reply to: Message 192 by Aussie
03-12-2020 1:53 PM


Re: A Universal Morality
I will admit that my brain is being challenged by these questions, but I will have a go at it. To begin with, I ask myself (and the peanut gallery) some basic questions.
  • Given that God exists, and given that Jesus Christ is alive, do human believers have access to a personal internal coach? A conscience of higher developed order and accuracy than the run of the mill consciences which unbelievers are forced to rely upon? Some would argue, subjectively at best, that this is the case. I reject this theory, even though I myself experienced subjective evidence of it, due to the observation that human survival instincts are stronger than our altruistic ones, when we are threatened.

  • Does God speak to the modern believer any clearer than he spoke to Moses?

    I conclude not. There is no evidence of modern believers doing great things that would change and/or help society.

  • Is God still simply a plot device or does He speak at all? I conclude (subjectively) that He does influence my thinking, but will take no credit nor responsibility for it. I am left holding the bag.

    That all being said, I don't believe that God is evil. He is at worst firm and unchanging. Humans are so far off the mark that we were intended for. ringo brought it out of me. Why is it that none of us trust God enough to give all of our surpluses away to each other until everyone has enough to eat? I have no answer except to say that I cant.


    “The only way I know to drive out evil from the country is by the constructive method of filling it with good.”Calvin Coolidge
    "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
    “As the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, so the denial of God is the height of foolishness.”-RC Sproul, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith

    - You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
    Anne Lamott
    Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.~Andre Gide

  • This message is a reply to:
     Message 192 by Aussie, posted 03-12-2020 1:53 PM Aussie has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 194 by Aussie, posted 03-12-2020 4:32 PM Phat has not yet responded
     Message 199 by ringo, posted 03-13-2020 11:53 AM Phat has not yet responded

      
    Aussie
    Member
    Posts: 258
    From: Sanford, FL USA
    Joined: 10-02-2006
    Member Rating: 3.9


    Message 194 of 237 (873276)
    03-12-2020 4:32 PM
    Reply to: Message 193 by Phat
    03-12-2020 3:34 PM


    Re: A Universal Morality
    Phat writes:
    Given that God exists, and given that Jesus Christ is alive, do human believers have access to a personal internal coach? A conscience of higher developed order and accuracy than the run of the mill consciences which unbelievers are forced to rely upon? Some would argue, subjectively at best, that this is the case. I reject this theory, even though I myself experienced subjective evidence of it...

    You should reject this. In its entirety. It's absurd.

    Any nonsensical concept could be substituted in here. Look:

    Given that (some absurd concept) exists, do humans have access to (some other absurd concept)?

    Given that Leprechauns exist, do humans have access to pots of gold at the end of rainbows?

    Given that Allah exists, do martyrs have access to 72 virgins in paradise?

    It's the purest nonsense, don't fool yourself.

    That all being said, I don't believe that God is evil. He is at worst firm and unchanging. Humans are so far off the mark that we were intended for. ringo brought it out of me. Why is it that none of us trust God enough to give all of our surpluses away to each other until everyone has enough to eat? I have no answer except to say that I cant.

    If He had existed as described in the Old Testament, He would have demanded rivers of children's blood. Don't confuse that with "firm and unchanging." And if He is unchanged from the Old Testament He is still that bloodthirsty monster, and you are defending Him.

    As for the rest of your post, you've got to stop beating yourself up for being human. We aren't going to be redeemed superheroes standing to "redeem creation" at the end of time. We live and die just people. And that's okay. You have empathy for others, yet are driven to protect yourself and those closest to you genetically. You are human. You are primate. You are mammal. These are all characteristics shared by our mammal cousins all over the world.

    Welcome to the real world...you can enjoy it if you want to! Just cut the stupid self-imposed guilt trip.


    "...heck is a small price to pay for the truth"

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 193 by Phat, posted 03-12-2020 3:34 PM Phat has not yet responded

      
    Stile
    Member
    Posts: 3914
    From: Ontario, Canada
    Joined: 12-02-2004
    Member Rating: 2.2


    Message 195 of 237 (873277)
    03-12-2020 4:45 PM
    Reply to: Message 191 by Tangle
    03-12-2020 10:28 AM


    Re: Morality and dogs
    Tangle writes:

    And it's what I've said many times now.

    And continue to contradict yourself.

    The very next thing you say is:

    I do not believe that animals are moral agents

    Do animals show "moral-like behaviours?" (as you've already said) or do you believe they are not moral agents?"
    Or are you going to quibble that having "moral-like behaviours" isn't actually being a "moral agent" and that's a definition (that remains vague and undefined...) reserved only for humans?

    Some animals can exhibit what we call moral behaviour but their ability to foresee the future and make complex, rational decisions about harms and wrongs is very limited in comparison to ours.

    Sure.
    "Very limited in comparison to humans" isn't the same as "has none."
    The more you continue to claim/heavily-imply that they are the same - without any evidence to back yourself up - the more silly you look.

    Thanks for the article, though: The Moral Status of Animals (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

    Did you read it at all?

    It doesn't answer the question.
    It basically just agrees with me and says "What the basis of moral consideration is and what it amounts to has been the source of much disagreement."
    That is equivalent to my statement that "no clear line of delineation between animals and humans in the context of morality is possible."

    About your side of the argument, though (that animals are not moral agents,) it does not look favorably:

    quote:
    Some argue that there is an answer that can distinguish humans from the rest of the natural world. Many of those who accept this answer are interested in justifying certain human practices towards non-humans—practices that cause pain, discomfort, suffering and death. This latter group expects that in answering the question in a particular way, humans will be justified in granting moral consideration to other humans that is neither required nor justified when considering non-human animals.

    It's the academic way of saying "anyone who thinks animals aren't moral is just an asshole or has never owned a pet."

    If that's the side you want to cling to - without any evidence - it's all yours.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 191 by Tangle, posted 03-12-2020 10:28 AM Tangle has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 196 by Tangle, posted 03-13-2020 3:46 AM Stile has responded

      
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