Register | Sign In

Understanding through Discussion

EvC Forum active members: 53 (9179 total)
4 online now:
Newest Member: Jorge Parker
Happy Birthday: Theodoric
Post Volume: Total: 918,147 Year: 5,404/9,624 Month: 429/323 Week: 69/204 Day: 11/34 Hour: 0/1

Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Author Topic:   Morality! Thorn in Darwin's side or not?
Member (Idle past 3347 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003

Message 100 of 438 (504843)
04-03-2009 2:07 PM
Reply to: Message 98 by Blue Jay
04-03-2009 12:52 PM

Re: looking forward.
Conversely, can you prove that human actions are not dictated by instinct?
Again, what evidence allows you to conclude this?
In fact, I would take this one step further. Can he prove that humans make choices at all? Personally, I think choice is just a necessary illusion, and without taking this topic too far afield, Cedre's insistance that morality requires a choice begs the question, in my mind.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 98 by Blue Jay, posted 04-03-2009 12:52 PM Blue Jay has not replied

Member (Idle past 3347 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003

Message 116 of 438 (505172)
04-08-2009 12:02 PM
Reply to: Message 113 by Cedre
04-08-2009 4:26 AM

Re: Human life and worth
Now note Sammyjean you want the law without acknowledging the lawmaker or law giver.
No, Sammyjean just doesn't accept the same lawmaker as you do. I accept the lawmaker as all of us, not some mystical being in the sky who only thinks his special tribe is worth anything, and anyone who disagrees with how he runs things is not worth anything.
However if humans are merely the product of millions of years of evolution and physical and chemical change why should they be regarded as being more special than the other animals that inhabit this earth?
Why do you think they should be? All life is special, and precious, and just as fleeting and tenuous as human life is. One could argue that we're special because of our unique ability to understand, and our ability to control large swathes of the planet through agriculture and construction. But that just makes us stewards of life, and again, makes us no less worthy of preservation than any other life form.
Human life has no inherent value or worth other than the value society ascribes it.
That's exactly right. What gives anything worth? The society or individual who is beholding it. To one person a scuffed up, torn dirty teddy bear is the most precious thing oin the world, to another person, it's a bit of trash that should have been thrown out years ago. Worth is not an inherent attribute of anything, worth is given to something on an individual basis. The usual reason we have for granting more worth on one thing over another is rarity, and one could argue that an individual is the rarest thing of all and is thus worth the most.
I don't need anyone else to tell me my life has worth, that's something I give it myself, and because I can empathise with others, I grant them the same worth as I grant myself. I see them as kin, as equals. If I didn't view them as such, I would probably grant them less worth than I grant myself. Everyone does this, even you.
That is why it wasn’t really difficult for slave owners to establish that blacks were less valuable than whites or for the Boers of the apartheid regime to conclude that black South Africans were simply slightly evolved monkeys and kaffirs (slave/servant). And it is also why Hitler could conclude that Jews were fully ape and that blacks were mostly ape.
You're exactly right, that's why people were able to do those things, and the people who did them considered what they did to be morally right. We have a different definition of morally right, and by default, I think my morality is better than theirs, but if you'll notice, the way people can decide that is by convincing themselves that the people they're subjugating aren't really people. So the question comes down to how you define a "person" not how you define morality.
Human beings have no meaning/purpose in life. Only created things can have a meaning or a purpose. Nature can never grant or create inherent purpose.
People have no inherent meaning or purpose in life. That's the way it is and railing against it won't make it any less true. The only meaning we have in life is what meaning we give it, so make sure to give yourself a good reason to live, a good meaning for your life, and then strive to reach your purpose.
Humans do not have any value, because what is considered to be moral regarding humans in one part of the world will not be regarded in another part. In other words the moralities negate each other or work against each other, thus humanity has no worth. Therefore it isn’t inherently wrong to inflict pain upon humans, and to respect human life. The only time that Humanity can have any worth is when we have been created by God who has endowed us with worth and value.
Moralities do not negate each other. If I like apples but loathe oranges, and my friend like oranges but loathes apples, do those two conflicting views negate each other? No, they just don't apply beyond the person making the subjective observation. That's the whole point of saying morality is subjective, it only applies to the person. When that person tries to live in a society, his morality is still different, everyone on this board will have a slightly different take on what they consider moral, but we all conform on enough points to make all the different moralities coexist peacefully. When one person's morality is in great conflict, that person is either left out of the society, or taken out of the society by force, either through incarceration or death.
The fact that you see yourself as worthless without someone else to give you a meaning speaks more about who you are than about what humanity is. I give myself meaning, I would hope you could do that for yourself as well.
Edited by Perdition, : Spelling, it's important. ;-)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 113 by Cedre, posted 04-08-2009 4:26 AM Cedre has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 121 by Cedre, posted 04-09-2009 4:44 AM Perdition has replied

Member (Idle past 3347 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003

Message 122 of 438 (505237)
04-09-2009 8:44 AM
Reply to: Message 121 by Cedre
04-09-2009 4:44 AM

Re: Human life and worth
If that is what you believe then I’m okay with it, but your manner of expression puts me under the impression that you think I’m trying to bully you into believing in my God which I’m not by the way, in fact my religion prohibits it; however since this is a debate I believe that I’m allowed to defy and challenge your believes and not expect for you to get emotional on me and start employing ad hominem tactics rather than dealing directly with the points as I make them in my arguments.
HI Cedre, I wasn't trying to get emotional, and no where did I employ and ad hominem attack, I never called you anything. I was merely pointing out that I find God's "morality" objectionable and would not consider his proclamations to be moral, so even if I did believe in him, I wouldn't think he was a great god.
So to this same person I guess human life isn’t priority number one, since it considers a torn dirty teddy bear as the most precious thing in the world.
I thought it would be pretty obvious that this person was a child. Perhaps I should be more explicit in the future? My point, one that you failed to see throughout your post, is that worth is determined on an individual basis. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, has an inherent worth that we can all agree on.
So here is my initial argument; worth is determined on an individual basis like Perdition has described it above, since it is determined like this human’s do not have intrinsic or inherent worth and therefore someone can decide that humans are worthless and therefore is not morally obligated to either safe life or to respect it for that matter. Now logically point out where I go wrong in my reasoning regarding this?
People can decide that, and there are people in the news every day who do. But, just because everyone can determine their own morality does not mean everyone else has to tolerate their morality. That's where society comes in. A society is made up of a whole host of moralities, indeed, one for every person in that society. This group determines norms of behavior and decides on things that it will overlook and things that will not be tolerated on a societal level. In our society, indeed in most societies, we have decided that taking another person's life without just cause (and just cause varies from society to society) is wrong. If your morality contradicts that norm, you will be expelled from that society in one way or another.
If you still maintain that all rare things should be regarded as being valuable in the face of other existing moralities and viewpoints then you are attempting to create a transcended and absolute morality or opinion
No where did I say that all rare things should be regarded as valuable. I merely said that this was a common way of determining rarity. It's not the way it SHOULD be, it's just the way it often is. I'm not even saying that this is true in all cases. Often, disagreements over value stem from disagreements over rarity. A child sees her teddy bear as incredibly rare, it is hers after all. Someone else sees it as just another bear in a sea of such dolls.
Thus my point is as long as moralities are subjective there can be no universal absolute morality since this would automatically mean that moralities are not subjective but are objective or absolute.
That's pretty much been everyone's point. You're the one who seems to think there should be an absolute morality. I have no problem with there not being one.
Who or what gives you the right to make the above assessment, that is that your morality is better than theirs, moralities are subjective none is wrong but all are correct , for them their moralities are better than your I guess if that is the case.
Everyone thinks their morality is better than everyone else's. If you thought someone else's morality is better, wouldn't you change yours to be comparable to theirs? For example, if I think Bob next door has a better grasp on the value or worth of things and can better determine what is the "good" thing to do, wouldn't I try to match his views rather than just going along with my "flawed" morality? I'm not going to say that you should change your morality to mine, I'm just saying that my morality is better in my opinion because it is mine.
But you use your morality to define the worth of a person; if you think it is wrong to hurt others than you will give them the appropriate worth that would keep them from being hurt. On the other hand if you view that hurting others is of necessity not a bad thing then others won’t have much worth in your eyes.
That's very true, but people who feel others do not have worth are called sociopaths, and if they are noticed, they are removed from society. It happens all the time, whether by sending them to jail, killing them through capital punishment, or institutionalizing them.
You may not have inherent meaning or purpose in life but I believe that I do have inherent meaning and purpose which God gas bestowed on me even before I was born. And that purpose it to be happy in this life and the life hereafter.
That's what you believe, I believe that is a purpose you have given yourself, but have misidentified the source. I really don't care if you convince yourself your purpose comes from yourself or some outside source. Your morality is a bit vague, though, so I hope what you find what makes you happy is not something that would conflict with the society you live in.
The above is not a good analogy, try something like this. If I say it is wrong to crush an orange, and my friend begs to differ, and seeing that we have determined this two ideas subjectively it will not be wrong to crush an orange or not to crush an orange, both are correct, thus if I don’t crush the orange I’m correct and if my friend crushes the orange he is still correct. This is the same thing that happens when moralities are subjective, it isn’t wrong to crush a human being and it isn’t also wrong to not crush a human being; this is so because neither morality oversteps the other thus neither one is more correct or more wrong than the other
You keep seeming to miss the point that people are also living in a society which, if you will, naturally selects the moralities that will better serve that society. Crushing oranges doesn't have much of an impact on the society, in most cases. Now, if you were on an ancient naval vessel and there were only a few oranges left, crushing one might lead to someone on the crew getting scurvy. In that case, the society on the ship may very well determine that crushing oranges is a very bad thing. Your friend would then see the effect of a moral thought being in conflict with a strong moral choice in the society.
There is no absolute morality. If we find sentient life on another planet, the odds of them holding the same things valuable as we do would be very low. One could postulate that they will have some form of respect for their type of life, however broad or limited their definition of "their type of life" is because without that decision, they probably would not have survived very long as a sentient species. But, just because there is no absolute, that doesn't mean we can't, as a society, determine what fits in or not.
You often jump straight to the worst in humans. Very few people would want to kill others in a general way, and those that do often come in conflict with their society, or find another one. I'm very proud of our armed services, but I know one person for sure who joined the military because he wanted to have the ability to kill other people. He found a society where it would be possible for him to follow his moral compass.
TO give this an evolutionary theme, each morality is like a genetic mutation. It makes everyone different, but the morals that work best in the society are picked for, the ones that do not are selected against by having that person removed from society.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 121 by Cedre, posted 04-09-2009 4:44 AM Cedre has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 125 by ICANT, posted 04-11-2009 2:47 AM Perdition has replied

Member (Idle past 3347 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003

Message 131 of 438 (505573)
04-13-2009 3:43 PM
Reply to: Message 125 by ICANT
04-11-2009 2:47 AM

Re: Human life and worth
Many people have covered examples of where god acts in a way I find morally reprehensible. The first and biggest one, to my mind, comes from the first couple of pages.
Blaming children for the actions of the father is a terrible thing to do. Why should the children be harmed because their father made a bad choice? How is this "lov[ing] your neighbor as you would love yourself?"

This message is a reply to:
 Message 125 by ICANT, posted 04-11-2009 2:47 AM ICANT has not replied

Member (Idle past 3347 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003

Message 189 of 438 (516782)
07-27-2009 1:22 PM
Reply to: Message 181 by Cedre
07-27-2009 9:38 AM

Re: Simple and obvious
In fact it does, God is an absolutely moral being, meaning that whatever he does is moral and as a result is whatever he instructs us to do.
First of all, how do we know God is moral?
1) God says he's moral, and just defines whatever he wants to do is moral. This makes morality subjective, it's just that God gets to make this subjective decision rather than each of us, as it appears.
2) Objective morality exists in the Universe and God just happens to match this objective morality. If this objective morality exists, then we don't need God, we can find the morality on our own. Thus God is irrelevant to morality.
Since I can't come up with another option, which of these do you think describes the actual universe?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 181 by Cedre, posted 07-27-2009 9:38 AM Cedre has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 194 by Cedre, posted 07-28-2009 9:16 AM Perdition has replied

Member (Idle past 3347 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003

Message 195 of 438 (516937)
07-28-2009 10:49 AM
Reply to: Message 194 by Cedre
07-28-2009 9:16 AM

Re: Simple and obvious
I have said in an earlier post that we owe the morality present in the world to God that is of course, if God exists and I personally believe he does due to the meaninglessness that would so suddenly enshroud our existence if he didn't. If God was immoral then I think we would expect to notice several things, firstly I doubt if He was evil
Stop right there. How can God be evil, if there is no morality extant in the universe with which to judge him as such before he "creates" morality?
that he would create beings that are able to tell between what is right and wrong,
According to you, they can't tell between right and wrong, they need God to tell them what is right and wrong.
Wouldn’t it have made more sense for him him to have created an immoral world without any morality in it at all, no remorse no pity, no love; if God was evil in fact wouldn’t he wreak havoc on this earth, by the abuse of his power? I think that the fact that you are still alive tells something of God’s character, namely that he is moral, I believe that he is keeping you alive intentionally, perhaps until the day you realize your faults and turn to him in repentance.
Do you know the term sadism? If you're a sadistic monster who enjoys inflicting pain or seeing people in pain, you don't want your subject to die. You want to keep him alive as long as possible. And if you're really sadisitc, you'll give him reprieves now and then, to keep hope up, and to make sure they feel the pain and fear as much as possible every time they are forced to descend into it again.
No, it doesn’t make morality subjective, God is an absolutely moral being, and therefore whatever he says is absolutely moral and nothing less.
But, if morality doesn't exist independent of God, then he's the one defining it. If he's defining it, he can define it however he wants, and surprise, surprise, he defines "good" as "whatever I like and want." Doesn't that sound like what everyone in that position would do? And it is very much subjective. It's arbitrary, and plucked clear out of nothingness.
You seem to be trying to assert an objective morality that exists independent of God, that he conforms to, but that is impossible for us to recognize unless God shows us. Why would you think this is so? If it exists outrside of God, why do we need God to tell us what it is?
Objective morality exist because God exists, morality as it is passed down from God isn’t tempered with, God’s morality is absolute because God is an absolutely moral being, morality is not decided by God per se rather it is just there because it is a part of his good nature. It doesn’t exist separate from God that is it isn’t a force apart from God, it stems from God’s nature, and character. And morality doesn't stem from the cosmos because the cosmos themselves were created by God.
Ok, so morality stems from god, god claims that anything that stems from his is good, therfore morality from god is good because god says everything from his is good. Don't you see the inherent circular reasoning here? How can we objectively know that God is moral if the onyl thing that shows it is God himself?
If I create a Universe in my backyard science lab and I create life in that universe, and I say, that whatever I want is good, and I want you all to bow down and worship me, sacrifice your food to me, and kill people who disagree with you, does that mean these things are good, because I said they are, and I said that whatever I say is good?
If it doesn't work for me, why does it work for God? If he's setting the rules, that makes them subjective, he just has enough power to impose them on all of us. Though he seems to do a very bad job of it, since, as you say, no one agrees 100% on what's moral, so either God's doing a poor job, or he doesn't want us to know what's really "good."
Edited by Perdition, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 194 by Cedre, posted 07-28-2009 9:16 AM Cedre has not replied

Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:

Copyright 2001-2023 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.2
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2024