Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 81 (8972 total)
177 online now:
DrJones* (1 member, 176 visitors)
Newest Member: Howyoudo
Post Volume: Total: 875,411 Year: 7,159/23,288 Month: 1,065/1,214 Week: 77/303 Day: 38/39 Hour: 0/0


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Morality without God is impossible
GDR
Member
Posts: 5372
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 286 of 306 (874706)
04-08-2020 12:26 PM
Reply to: Message 282 by Tangle
04-08-2020 2:22 AM


Re: Morality and Empathy
Tangle writes:

Fair enough, I apologise.

Accepted

Tangle writes:

Even here in the UK where religion is a minority and dying pastime the bloody stuff is everywhere. Every village has a church - often more - we have non-elected bishops in our Parliament, the BB C broadcasts a mass every day and we have JWs banging on our doors and hanging around town proclaiming the 'good news'. The propaganda is everywhere and it annoys the hell out of me.

Firstly I agree with you about Bishops in your parliament. However as far as the rest of it goes you should try looking at it from the other side. Everywhere we are bombarded with advertisements with messages promoting self centeredness and greed. Our entertainment in virtually all cases includes blasphemy and portrays life styles built on the belief that happiness or contentment comes from wealth, pride and personal influence or power, as something highly desirable. We essentially worship entertainment figures as being successful, and models for what we should all want and totally disregard their morality. It is interesting that many of these very human gods have found that when they have achieved all this human success of money and fame they are far less happy or content than they had been before. Still, we still hold up that human success as being highly desirable.

I am bombarded with all of that every time I turn around. The propaganda is far more pervasive that what you deal with. Personally I’m not annoyed with the way things are, just sad, and I worry about the world my descendants will live in. Frankly, I don’t think that you have a lot to complain about.


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 282 by Tangle, posted 04-08-2020 2:22 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 287 by Tangle, posted 04-08-2020 1:09 PM GDR has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7618
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 287 of 306 (874707)
04-08-2020 1:09 PM
Reply to: Message 286 by GDR
04-08-2020 12:26 PM


Re: Morality and Empathy
But I have to put up with that crap too, plus I get the religious crap!

What makes you think atheists aren't offended by that all stuff too?


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 286 by GDR, posted 04-08-2020 12:26 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 288 by GDR, posted 04-08-2020 1:50 PM Tangle has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5372
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 288 of 306 (874710)
04-08-2020 1:50 PM
Reply to: Message 287 by Tangle
04-08-2020 1:09 PM


Re: Morality and Empathy
Tangle writes:

But I have to put up with that crap too, plus I get the religious crap!

Probably some atheists are more offended that some Christians. The point is though that the crap I was talking about is ubiquitous and in your face. The fact that there is a church in every town and you feel obliged to go to the occasional baptism just doesn't seem like much in comparison.

Tangle writes:

What makes you think atheists aren't offended by that all stuff too?

I'm not saying that they aren't, but I haven't heard you complaining about it.

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 287 by Tangle, posted 04-08-2020 1:09 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 289 by Tangle, posted 04-08-2020 2:04 PM GDR has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7618
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 289 of 306 (874712)
04-08-2020 2:04 PM
Reply to: Message 288 by GDR
04-08-2020 1:50 PM


Re: Morality and Empathy
GDR writes:

The point is though that the crap I was talking about is ubiquitous and in your face. The fact that there is a church in every town and you feel obliged to go to the occasional baptism just doesn't seem like much in comparison.

“The point is though” that I have to put up with the same in-your-face crap as you do PLUS all this religious bollox.

Or do you think that us atheists are immune to it because we're sociopathic, heretical, immoral, pop star adoring trivial-minded beasts? Or something like that?


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 288 by GDR, posted 04-08-2020 1:50 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 290 by GDR, posted 04-08-2020 2:19 PM Tangle has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5372
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 290 of 306 (874714)
04-08-2020 2:19 PM
Reply to: Message 289 by Tangle
04-08-2020 2:04 PM


Re: Morality and Empathy
Tangle writes:

“The point is though” that I have to put up with the same in-your-face crap as you do PLUS all this religious bollox.

How do you get out of bed in the morning.

Tangle writes:

Or do you think that us atheists are immune to it because we're sociopathic, heretical, immoral, pop star adoring trivial-minded beasts? Or something like that?

That's a bit low. I have never said anything that could remotely give you the idea that I would think that. As a matter of fact I have a lot of respect for those who are atheistic because of the degree of suffering in the world. MY POV as we have gone over that we are called by a loving God to do something about it.

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 289 by Tangle, posted 04-08-2020 2:04 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 291 by Tangle, posted 04-08-2020 4:16 PM GDR has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7618
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 291 of 306 (874737)
04-08-2020 4:16 PM
Reply to: Message 290 by GDR
04-08-2020 2:19 PM


Re: Morality and Empathy
GDR writes:

That's a bit low. I have never said anything that could remotely give you the idea that I would think that.

Feminists and the BAME community would say that what you did there was reveal a sub-conscious prejudice. But hey, I'm cool with it, just sayin' :-)


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 290 by GDR, posted 04-08-2020 2:19 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 292 by GDR, posted 04-08-2020 4:56 PM Tangle has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5372
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 292 of 306 (874739)
04-08-2020 4:56 PM
Reply to: Message 291 by Tangle
04-08-2020 4:16 PM


Re: Morality and Empathy
At least when an atheist anonymously feeds the hungry, clothes the naked, houses the homeless etc we know that he/she is doing it for the right reasons.

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 291 by Tangle, posted 04-08-2020 4:16 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 293 by Tangle, posted 04-09-2020 3:42 AM GDR has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7618
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 293 of 306 (874757)
04-09-2020 3:42 AM
Reply to: Message 292 by GDR
04-08-2020 4:56 PM


Re: Morality and Empathy
So where are we now?

I interpreted your original claim to be that we can't know what right and wrong is without there being a god to tell us. You actually said “… if we are the result of blind chance then it is my contention that there is no frame of reference for understanding morality.”

It seems to me that we have agreed that our sense of morality is a naturally evolved trait but your position is that god somehow set this up so that it *would* evolve.

My position on that is pretty much a shrug. As there's no difference between a natural process that wasn't instigated by a god and one that was, it's purely a matter of belief that it is supernatural. I simply say that the argument then is a different one than we're having here - that's the issue of how there's something rather than nothing.

But I still feel that you're fluffing the real time intervention issue. You now seem to want to push the intervention back into what you call memes - cultural influences. That's fine, we all accept that they exist, though science calls them normative social behaviours and they too are perfectly natural.

So I'm really struggling to understand what it is you're thinking/believing about it. We have to make moral decision almost every moment of every day and they're rarely of the running into burning buildings type. Deciding to choose the slightly smaller slice of cake so that you partner can the bigger one is a moral choice, is god intervening there?

(Curiously - as RAZD would say - I see the running into a burning building action as more of a reflex than sacrificing the cake. Less conscious processing involved.)

It seems unlikely to me that you have god directly influencing all moral choices -whispering in our ears with this poetical 'still small voice', but you're settling more on god influencing normative behaviours somehow? Is this correct?


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 292 by GDR, posted 04-08-2020 4:56 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 294 by GDR, posted 04-09-2020 2:29 PM Tangle has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5372
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 294 of 306 (874775)
04-09-2020 2:29 PM
Reply to: Message 293 by Tangle
04-09-2020 3:42 AM


Re: Morality and Empathy
Tangle writes:

But I still feel that you're fluffing the real time intervention issue. You now seem to want to push the intervention back into wh at you call memes - cultural influences. That's fine, we all accept that they exist, though science calls them normative social behaviours and they too are perfectly natural.

So I'm really struggling to understand what it is you're thinking/believing about it. We have to make moral decision almost every moment of every day and they're rarely of the running into burning buildings type. Deciding to choose the slightly smaller slice of cake so that you partner can the bigger one is a moral choice, is god intervening there?


I’ll try and answer this in a roundabout way.

I am a Christian theist. As a Christian I believe that God resurrected Jesus and so I can understand God’s nature by what we have in the Gospels even though they are humanly constructed compilations of the Jesus story. They all agree that Jesus was resurrected and IMHO there is no motivation to make it up, as a matter of fact, the whole thing was detrimental to their lives.

Also, as a theist I believe that there is an intelligent origin to our lives and that this intelligence remains involved and we can to one degree or another understand things about this deity. Also, as a Theist it only makes sense to believe that there is a purpose, beyond living and reproducing, for our existence.

The following is something I posted to Faith on another thread.

GDR writes:

We have a line in one of our prayers that says, “so complex so simple, so clear so mysterious”. As you say it is all mysterious. The clear and simple part is what matters.
If we focus our Christian faith on this verse where Jesus sums up the whole of the Sermon on the Mount, we don’t need anything more.

Matthew 7:12 writes:

12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.


I suggest that it is fine to do our best to understand everything else, (it is really interesting IMHO),but it isn’t what we hang our hat on. We have had incredible Christian scholars over centuries and none of them agree on everything. However they all agree on Matthew 7:12.

Tangle writes:

It seems unlikely to me that you have god directly influencing all moral choices -whispering in our ears with this poetical 'still small voice', but you're settling more on god influencing normative behaviours somehow? Is this correct?

The bottom line is that I am simply trying in my own mind to come to a conclusion of how I think this all works, based on what I know, what I believe from the Bible, and from personal life experiences. It isn’t knowledge but if you like it is my best guess as to how God works in our lives.

My best guess is this. God created a world that would ultimately create sentient moral creatures that would have a sense of right and wrong, and with the free will to make moral choices.

However, the Bible tells me that in addition there the Holy Spirit of God, that “still small voice” or God meme that speaks, (not audibly, at least to me), to our hearts and minds and draws us to decisions that are moral and right for this world.

So, finally, in answer to that question I’d say OK, that works for me. It is basically trying to put in my basic simple human understanding what is going on and so it is a bit like me reading Brian Greene to understand science. I can maybe get a small understanding of scientific concepts,but that’s about it. As to the technicalities of how God works in this world I’m in about the same position there as well.


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 293 by Tangle, posted 04-09-2020 3:42 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 295 by Tangle, posted 04-09-2020 3:03 PM GDR has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7618
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 295 of 306 (874778)
04-09-2020 3:03 PM
Reply to: Message 294 by GDR
04-09-2020 2:29 PM


Re: Morality and Empathy
GDR writes:

My best guess is this. God created a world that would ultimately create sentient moral creatures that would have a sense of right and wrong, and with the free will to make moral choices.

I wish you'd stop there. I haven't read the rest yet but I know I'm not going to like it.

However, the Bible tells me that in addition there the Holy Spirit of God, that “still small voice” or God meme that speaks, (not audibly, at least to me), to our hearts and minds and draws us to decisions that are moral and right for this world.

Hohum...

So, finally, in answer to that question I’d say OK, that works for me. It is basically trying to put in my basic simple human understanding what is going on and so it is a bit like me reading Brian Greene to understand science. I can maybe get a small understanding of scientific concepts,but that’s about it. As to the technicalities of how God works in this world I’m in about the same position there as well.

Well that got me no closer I'm afraid.

It seems to me that you're now between a rock and a rock. You seem to accept science's natural explanations but because of some fanciful ancient stories you are forced to belief something supernatural as well. Regardless of it being both unnecessary and unevidenced. I'm afraid that makes no sense to me and it concerns me that such primitive superstitions are still so prevalent.

I find that utterly bizarre.


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 294 by GDR, posted 04-09-2020 2:29 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 296 by GDR, posted 04-09-2020 3:44 PM Tangle has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5372
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 296 of 306 (874781)
04-09-2020 3:44 PM
Reply to: Message 295 by Tangle
04-09-2020 3:03 PM


Re: Morality and Empathy
I get all that. I realize it makes no sense to you, in the same way that the idea that we have simply evolved as a result of a myriad of mindless chemical and biological processes is just a far fetched to me as my beliefs are to you.

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 295 by Tangle, posted 04-09-2020 3:03 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 297 by Tangle, posted 04-09-2020 4:24 PM GDR has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 7618
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 297 of 306 (874782)
04-09-2020 4:24 PM
Reply to: Message 296 by GDR
04-09-2020 3:44 PM


Re: Morality and Empathy
GDR writes:

I realize it makes no sense to you, in the same way that the idea that we have simply evolved as a result of a myriad of mindless chemical and biological processes is just a far fetched to me as my beliefs are to you.

It's really difficult trying to follow your thought processes, you're all over the place; a minute ago you told me that “ God created a world that would ultimately create sentient moral creatures that would have a sense of right and wrong, and with the free will to make moral choices.” which is evolution with a different hat on.

You're a mess mate :-)


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 296 by GDR, posted 04-09-2020 3:44 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 298 by GDR, posted 04-10-2020 11:27 AM Tangle has not yet responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5372
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 298 of 306 (874802)
04-10-2020 11:27 AM
Reply to: Message 297 by Tangle
04-09-2020 4:24 PM


Re: Morality and Empathy
At least my mess makes sense to me. If you run into Vera say hi for me.
Cheers

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 297 by Tangle, posted 04-09-2020 4:24 PM Tangle has not yet responded

  
Sarah Bellum
Member
Posts: 506
Joined: 05-04-2019


Message 299 of 306 (874968)
04-12-2020 10:47 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Tangle
02-28-2020 4:20 AM


quote:
The difficulty appears to lie in the assertion by believers that we can't know what right and wrong is without there being a god to tell us. The question is why not?
The question is really the reverse: Wouldn't humans behave more morally if religion never had been invented?

Face it: good people may behave well and bad people may behave badly, but to persuade both good people and bad people to commit really heinous deeds it requires religious belief (or some other odious ideology like that of Mao or Hitler) and true believers to tell them to do these deeds.


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

Replies to this message:
 Message 300 by GDR, posted 04-12-2020 11:03 AM Sarah Bellum has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 5372
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 300 of 306 (874969)
04-12-2020 11:03 AM
Reply to: Message 299 by Sarah Bellum
04-12-2020 10:47 AM


Sarah Bellum writes:

The question is really the reverse: Wouldn't humans behave more morally if religion never had been invented?
Face it: good people may behave well and bad people may behave badly, but to persuade both good people and bad people to commit really heinous deeds it requires religious belief (or some other odious ideology like that of Mao or Hitler) and true believers to tell them to do these deeds.

True, but everybody has an ideology, and more wars can be attributed to nationalism than anything else.

If religion had never been invented it would have no bearing on whether God existed or not, and whether or not there is a universal morality that flows from God. I'd also add that in the case of Christianity Jesus is clear that the basic law that we are to follow is based on love of neighbour as spelled out in the Golden Rule. Also in the Sermon on the Mount where we are told that that the peacemakers are blessed. That hasn't stopped evil being done by nations and Christians as people are still people.


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 299 by Sarah Bellum, posted 04-12-2020 10:47 AM Sarah Bellum has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 301 by Sarah Bellum, posted 04-12-2020 5:48 PM GDR has responded

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2020