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Author Topic:   Morality without God is impossible
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8579
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 91 of 306 (872843)
03-05-2020 2:46 PM
Reply to: Message 87 by GDR
03-05-2020 2:10 PM


Re: A Universal Morality
GDR writes:

and you have absolutely know way of knowing that I am wrong.


Surely you know that this is a species argument? If you make a statement that you can not show to be correct what use is it?

which tells us nothing about whether any deity actually is or isn't moral

It tells us that even if there is a god it does not mean that our morality is derived from it.

If you read the Bible as being inerrant then yes you are right. As you have seen no doubt in my disagreement with Faith I view the Bible as being written by fallible humans but that God can speak to us through what is written. For example when we see God commanding genocide and public stonings then the message is to be sceptical when someone says that God told them to do something, and first off ensure that it is consistent with what we have of the teaching of Jesus. For example, we can see that you cannot reconcile God ordering genocide with Jesus saying that we are to love our enemy or for that matter the way he dealt with the Romans.

Regardless of your cherry-picking of your holy book and deciding to accept only the nice bits, that's what it says and what it says is all you have.

Emotions affect our moral behaviour in a given moment but it isn't an emotion.

It IS an emotion - what else can you call empathy and compassion?

I have given you an argument for it.

You have not; you've given us some illogical assertions that you can't back up, and which actually just amount to rationalising beliefs.

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 87 by GDR, posted 03-05-2020 2:10 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 96 by GDR, posted 03-05-2020 3:55 PM Tangle has replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 8525
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 5.0


Message 92 of 306 (872844)
03-05-2020 2:47 PM
Reply to: Message 86 by ringo
03-05-2020 2:05 PM


Re: A Universal Morality
ringo writes:

Why would a god's morality benefit us at all?

It also begs the question of why different gods have different moral codes. For all the effort spent propping up a theistic objective morality, we see those same people objecting to the idea of having to follow Sharia law, an objective moral law laid down by God (allegedly). The massive contradictions between alleged objective moral codes should be a big warning sign for those who ascribe to an absolute objective morality.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 86 by ringo, posted 03-05-2020 2:05 PM ringo has seen this message but not replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 8525
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 5.0


Message 93 of 306 (872845)
03-05-2020 2:50 PM
Reply to: Message 90 by GDR
03-05-2020 2:43 PM


Re: Two Good References
GDR writes:

I am not making up a god in my own image.

Are you following a religion made in the image of someone else?

My Christian faith is based on the belief that God resurrected Jesus. If I am wrong in that, they my Christian faith is a waste of time. However if I am right then I have good reason for my belief in a universal morality that is based on the Golden Rule.

The Golden Rule isn't universal. It only applies to humans.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 90 by GDR, posted 03-05-2020 2:43 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 97 by GDR, posted 03-05-2020 4:46 PM Taq has replied

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 268 days)
Posts: 5410
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 94 of 306 (872849)
03-05-2020 3:20 PM
Reply to: Message 85 by Stile
03-05-2020 2:02 PM


Re: A Universal Morality
Stile writes:

I'll agree with that.

What you do next, though - is assume that this absolute morality must fundamentally be a good one.
Take a look at the world around us - it's entirely plausible (and fits with all currently known facts) that the "absolute morality" for the universe we live in is that the physically stronger are better than the physically weaker.

This would be a very terrible absolute morality for (hopefully) obvious reasons, and I for one would reject it immediately and carry on with my much better morality of attempting to help others instead of hurt them when I interact with them.

..but as you point out, you know that the concept of morality based on the survival of the fittest isn't desirable. I'd also suggest that those who live by that also know that it isn't how we should live, but as it works for them and they don't have faith in there being an absolute morality that is how they live.

CS Lewis writes that the over-arching sin is pride. One of the ramifications of that is the desire for power. If one is bigger and stronger, (it could be physically, financially or whatever), then the temptation to turn to using that ability to exercise power over others is very strong and some turn to it. That does not mean however that prided or selfishness is a universal morality.

Stile writes:

But - look at what happened. We don't join the "absolute morality" and the "ultimate purpose" because they are absolute and ultimate.
We join them because we learn about them, judge them, and agree with them (or not.)

Which means - the words "absolute" and "ultimate" in this sense are meaningless in any terms of "should be followed" or not.
They only mean something along the lines of "comes from an external source." Which - really - so do a whole lot of ideas.

If you are correct in your atheistic beliefs then I agree. However, as a Theist who believes that we are influenced a God meme or whatever you want to call that influence then I believe that along with all of our cultural memes that we can we can affirm or reject that God meme calling us to the Golden Rule.

Stile writes:

This all shows your whole idea for what it is - a strange attempt to try and persuade others to agree with you by using attractive terms like "absolute" and "ultimate." Which is, really, kind of pathetic and makes me pity you that you're in such a position that you think such methods are required.

Well I can't say that I pity you, but just happen to believe that you are wrong.

Stile writes:

It is your choice as to which one you want to be.
(Note: Not "which one you want to be remembered as." But simply: "which one you want to BE.")


I agree

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 85 by Stile, posted 03-05-2020 2:02 PM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 95 by Stile, posted 03-05-2020 3:45 PM GDR has replied

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 4083
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 95 of 306 (872851)
03-05-2020 3:45 PM
Reply to: Message 94 by GDR
03-05-2020 3:20 PM


Re: A Universal Morality
GDR writes:

..but as you point out, you know that the concept of morality based on the survival of the fittest isn't desirable.

That's right. Because of a personal decision I've made based on my personal experiences.
Not based on any absolute moral.

I'd also suggest that those who live by that also know that it isn't how we should live, but as it works for them and they don't have faith in there being an absolute morality that is how they live.

I try to avoid saying how other's think.
It's almost always wrong.
Here - you're definitely wrong - as, by definition, there's only 1 "strongest" that's going to have it "work for them (singular)"... and therefore it can't possibly "work for them (plural)" as there is no "them" - only 1 it actually works for.

If one is bigger and stronger, (it could be physically, financially or whatever), then the temptation to turn to using that ability to exercise power over others is very strong and some turn to it. That does not mean however that prided or selfishness is a universal morality.

Exactly.
For the same reason - just because God created us and intends something/anything - that also does not mean it is a universal moral.
As we each decide to agree or disagree with us.
Just as we each decide to agree or disagree with pride.

If you're going to say something can be a "universal moral" because God created it and intended it
-then you have to be willing to accept that that "universal moral" could be "the strong are better than the weak" if there happens to be a God that exists that created it and intended it, regardless of whether or not you and I (and others) disagree with it.

GDR writes:

Stile writes:

Which means - the words "absolute" and "ultimate" in this sense are meaningless in any terms of "should be followed" or not.
They only mean something along the lines of "comes from an external source." Which - really - so do a whole lot of ideas.

However, as a Theist who believes that we are influenced a God meme or whatever you want to call that influence then I believe that along with all of our cultural memes that we can we can affirm or reject that God meme calling us to the Golden Rule.

You use the term "However..." but then your text seems to agree with me completely that we don't affirm/reject the God meme because it's "absolute" or "ultimate" - we affirm/reject it based on "all our cultural memes" (our own personal decisions.)

So your reply is very confusing. Perhaps I parsed/interpreted your intentions wrong?
Or maybe you're saying we don't use our own decisions? Our decision process is an illusion based on this "God meme/influence" and we're actually only robotic slaves that don't make decisions?

If you do agree - then why insist on using words like "absolute" and "ultimate" that only serve to promote confusion when you actually only mean "external?"


This message is a reply to:
 Message 94 by GDR, posted 03-05-2020 3:20 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 99 by GDR, posted 03-05-2020 5:06 PM Stile has replied

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 268 days)
Posts: 5410
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 96 of 306 (872852)
03-05-2020 3:55 PM
Reply to: Message 91 by Tangle
03-05-2020 2:46 PM


Re: A Universal Morality
Tangle writes:

Surely you know that this is a species argument? If you make a statement that you can not show to be correct what use is it?

Well if my arguments are species then yours are specious.
You can't show that your statement is correct either. It is what we believe.

Tangle writes:

It tells us that even if there is a god it does not mean that our morality is derived from it.

I agree. I believe in a resurrected Jesus and base my conclusion on what He said and did. I realize that as an atheist that makes no sense to you.

Tangle writes:

Regardless of your cherry-picking of your holy book and deciding to accept only the nice bits, that's what it says and what it says is all you have.

It isn't about accepting the nice bits. Firstly it is 66 books with no doubt hundreds of contributors. It isn't an all or nothing choice.

Tangle writes:

t IS an emotion - what else can you call empathy and compassion?


They are attributes. Anger is an emotion - morality isn't.

Tangle writes:

You have not; you've given us some illogical assertions that you can't back up, and which actually just amount to rationalising beliefs.

I get it. We disagree

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 91 by Tangle, posted 03-05-2020 2:46 PM Tangle has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 110 by Tangle, posted 03-06-2020 5:46 AM GDR has replied

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 268 days)
Posts: 5410
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 97 of 306 (872853)
03-05-2020 4:46 PM
Reply to: Message 93 by Taq
03-05-2020 2:50 PM


Re: Two Good References
Taq writes:

Are you following a religion made in the image of someone else?

Yes. Jesus
Taq writes:

The Golden Rule isn't universal. It only applies to humans.

Fair enough

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 93 by Taq, posted 03-05-2020 2:50 PM Taq has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 98 by Taq, posted 03-05-2020 4:54 PM GDR has replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 8525
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 5.0


Message 98 of 306 (872854)
03-05-2020 4:54 PM
Reply to: Message 97 by GDR
03-05-2020 4:46 PM


Re: Two Good References
GDR writes:

Yes. Jesus

Last I checked, Jesus didn't write the gospels.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 97 by GDR, posted 03-05-2020 4:46 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 127 by GDR, posted 03-06-2020 5:00 PM Taq has not replied

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 268 days)
Posts: 5410
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 99 of 306 (872855)
03-05-2020 5:06 PM
Reply to: Message 95 by Stile
03-05-2020 3:45 PM


Re: A Universal Morality
Stile writes:

That's right. Because of a personal decision I've made based on my personal experiences.
Not based on any absolute moral.

OK, but we can't know which influences were predominate. Nothing about that eliminates the possibility that we are influenced by a God meme along with all our cultural ones.

Stile writes:

I try to avoid saying how other's think.
It's almost always wrong.
Here - you're definitely wrong - as, by definition, there's only 1 "strongest" that's going to have it "work for them (singular)"... and therefore it can't possibly "work for them (plural)" as there is no "them" - only 1 it actually works for.

It is very difficult to argue with you when you are right.

Stile writes:

Exactly.
For the same reason - just because God created us and intends something/anything - that also does not mean it is a universal moral.
As we each decide to agree or disagree with us.
Just as we each decide to agree or disagree with pride.

If you're going to say something can be a "universal moral" because God created it and intended it
-then you have to be willing to accept that that "universal moral" could be "the strong are better than the weak" if there happens to be a God that exists that created it and intended it, regardless of whether or not you and I (and others) disagree with it.

Fair enough, and obviously my views are coloured by my Christian faith. C S Lewis writes this:

quote:
The moment you say that one set of moral ideas can be better than another, you are, in fact, measuring them both by a standard, saying that one of them conforms to that standard more nearly than the other. But the standard that measures two things is something different from either. You are, in fact, comparing them both with some Real Morality, admitting that there is such a thing as a real Right, independent of what people think, and that some people's ideas get nearer to that real Right than others. Or put it this way. If your moral ideas can be truer, and those of the Nazis less true, there must be something-some Real Morality-for them to be true about.

Stile writes:

You use the term "However..." but then your text seems to agree with me completely that we don't affirm/reject the God meme because it's "absolute" or "ultimate" - we affirm/reject it based on "all our cultural memes" (our own personal decisions.)

So your reply is very confusing. Perhaps I parsed/interpreted your intentions wrong?
Or maybe you're saying we don't use our own decisions? Our decision process is an illusion based on this "God meme/influence" and we're actually only robotic slaves that don't make decisions?

If you do agree - then why insist on using words like "absolute" and "ultimate" that only serve to promote confusion when you actually only mean "external?"

Darn. There you go again. I agree that the term "external" would be the correct term in this context. Possibly Lewis' term "real" works as well.

Your first sentence in this quote is pretty much bang on.

BTW, I appreciate not only your clear thinking but I appreciate the way you respond without being condescending.


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 95 by Stile, posted 03-05-2020 3:45 PM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 100 by jar, posted 03-05-2020 5:27 PM GDR has replied
 Message 122 by Stile, posted 03-06-2020 3:45 PM GDR has replied

  
jar
Member
Posts: 33957
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 100 of 306 (872856)
03-05-2020 5:27 PM
Reply to: Message 99 by GDR
03-05-2020 5:06 PM


Re: A Universal Morality
I really have to ask why the source is relevant? Even as a believer, why does it matter what the motivation or source for morality is known to be, is unique or even existent?

Edited by jar, : wrong key


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 99 by GDR, posted 03-05-2020 5:06 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 101 by GDR, posted 03-05-2020 6:11 PM jar has replied

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 268 days)
Posts: 5410
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 101 of 306 (872859)
03-05-2020 6:11 PM
Reply to: Message 100 by jar
03-05-2020 5:27 PM


An External Morality
jar writes:

I really have to ask why the source is relevant? Even as a believer, why does it matter what the motivation or source for morality is known to be, is unique or even existent?

I think it matters because as a Christian I contend that it isn't what we do that matters but what our motivation is for doing it. From a secular POV the result is all that matters. It doesn't matter whether we do it for public recognition, (back to pride), or if it is done anonymously.

However as a Christian, like Jesus and Luther for that matter it is about having hearts that choose a life based on self-giving love. (Again see Matthew 25.) If there is no God meme, still small voice of God or Holy Spirit, then Tangle, Stile etc are right.

It is faith, but as I believe that this life is only the end of life as we know it, and that somehow our acts of self-giving love do have eternal consequences in ways that are well beyond my pay grade.


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 100 by jar, posted 03-05-2020 5:27 PM jar has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 102 by jar, posted 03-05-2020 7:03 PM GDR has replied

  
jar
Member
Posts: 33957
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 102 of 306 (872860)
03-05-2020 7:03 PM
Reply to: Message 101 by GDR
03-05-2020 6:11 PM


Re: An External Morality
GDR writes:

I think it matters because as a Christian I contend that it isn't what we do that matters but what our motivation is for doing it. From a secular POV the result is all that matters. It doesn't matter whether we do it for public recognition, (back to pride), or if it is done anonymously.

Yet you have said that the Golden Rule is the closest example of an absolute or universal morality.

And YOU think that motivation matters.

But if the motivation for the act is because of Buddha or Ganesha or Satan or Shiva or that it's just the right thing to do how is that different than because the God you happen to believe in says to do it?


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 101 by GDR, posted 03-05-2020 6:11 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 103 by GDR, posted 03-05-2020 7:32 PM jar has replied

  
GDR
Member (Idle past 268 days)
Posts: 5410
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 103 of 306 (872862)
03-05-2020 7:32 PM
Reply to: Message 102 by jar
03-05-2020 7:03 PM


Re: An External Morality
jar writes:

But if the motivation for the act is because of Buddha or Ganesha or Satan or Shiva or that it's just the right thing to do how is that different than because the God you happen to believe in says to do it?

You've missed the point. It is about loving sacrificially without thought of personal reward of any sort in this world or the next. However, it isn't about doing it because of a specific deity. Yes, I believe that is the God of Christianity that enables us to love that way but that isn't the point. Remember what Aslan says about the service that Emeth did in the name of Tash.

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 102 by jar, posted 03-05-2020 7:03 PM jar has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 105 by jar, posted 03-05-2020 8:03 PM GDR has replied

  
Dogmafood
Member
Posts: 1815
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010


Message 104 of 306 (872863)
03-05-2020 7:51 PM
Reply to: Message 83 by Stile
03-05-2020 1:42 PM


Re: A Universal Morality
As soon as we have intelligence (defined here as something like the difference between "making a choice" and "acting on instinct") - then the idea you're proposing is no longer valid.

What is the difference between instinct and choice? You point out that choice can override instinct but the reverse is equally true. How long can you choose to hold your breath? I am sure that you would agree that my dog is a creature driven by instinct and yet does she not choose to obey my command?

Your only fall-back is if you want to say that "real choice doesn't exist" and all we have is "the illusion of choice."

I wouldn't use that fall back. There is such a thing as choice and it is directly built on instinct. Your instinct is to survive and your choices are subservient to that. No doubt we can choose to override that instinct but then where are we?

A 35 year old identified genius does not make decisions "in the same way with the same machinery" as a 35 year old village idiot

Yes they do. One is just better at it than the other one and we decide which one is better based on how well their choices benefit their personal condition. Of course we are not all using the same brain and all brains are not equal but they all work the same way. They are all subject to the same laws of chemistry and physics.

Some religions are created in an attempt to codify behaviour to benefit certain individuals and screw the group.

I would say that applies to every religion. Those 'certain individuals' are the group. Anyone who is intentionally being screwed is not part of the group.

My point is that as soon as intelligence develops to the level where one can choose to go against instinct - to go against "living long enough to breed" - then it's no longer "a universal code of conduct."

I am trying to think of some examples of that and surely there are some that look that way. Suicide and self sacrifice to benefit another. Suicide is meant to end one's own suffering and self sacrifice is meant to avoid the suffering of another. Both directly related to an instinct to avoid pain. (edit: which is directly related to the instinct to survive.)

Edited by Dogmafood, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 83 by Stile, posted 03-05-2020 1:42 PM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 124 by Stile, posted 03-06-2020 4:11 PM Dogmafood has replied

  
jar
Member
Posts: 33957
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 105 of 306 (872864)
03-05-2020 8:03 PM
Reply to: Message 103 by GDR
03-05-2020 7:32 PM


Re: An External Morality
GDR writes:

It is about loving sacrificially without thought of personal reward of any sort in this world or the next.

No, I have not missed the point.

Anyone can love sacrificially without thought of personal reward of any sort in this world or the next, particularly atheists. Anyone can behave sacrificially without thought of personal reward of any sort in this world or the next, particularly atheists. Anyone can do things sacrificially without thought of personal reward of any sort in this world or the next, particularly atheists.

No God is needed. And with atheists there is no god involved.

It is the act, doing good, that is significant not the motivation or source or deity.

Remember what Aslan says about the service that Emeth did in the name of Tash.

Christianity is a path. It is a chosen path. But it is not the right path or only path or best path or better path.

It is the acts that are significant and not the motivation.

Now, on the path called Christianity there are road signs that say, if you already got paid for the act don't expect to get paid again. But that is in the realm of personal reward of any sort in this world or the next and a separate subject.

The acts though stand on their own regardless of motivation. The naked clothed are still clothed. The hungry fed are still fed. The homeless sheltered are still sheltered. the sick healed are still healed. The weak protected are still protected.

You believe and I believe that we will get judged after death. But that is not significant until we die. But good done today, even for the worst reason is still good done today.

Remember what Aslan says about the service that Emeth did in the name of Tash.


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

This message is a reply to:
 Message 103 by GDR, posted 03-05-2020 7:32 PM GDR has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 106 by GDR, posted 03-05-2020 8:24 PM jar has replied
 Message 107 by Dogmafood, posted 03-05-2020 8:33 PM jar has not replied

  
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