So, the Devil came down to Georgia... (Xtians, you're wanted here! Paisley, that means your ugly face too!)

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So, the Devil came down to Georgia... (Xtians, you're wanted here! Paisley, that means your ugly face too!)

...Or wherever you happen to live.

He approaches you (let's skip the part where he proves that he's really Satan. He just is, and you just know it, at this point in the hypothetical scenario) bearing crucial news:

You've been had!

 

He's not really the bad guy. God is. All this time, God's had you convinced of the 'Ten Commandments' and 'Sin' and 'Confessing' so that he'd have the goods on all your fears, desires and dirty secrets when you kick the bucket - so when you follow Jesus up the golden ladder, *BAM!*, he'll have the perfect set-up to have you screaming in agony for all the rest of forever (an awfully long time).

Hell, man - that's the fucking ticket. He *BAMFS!* you into the abyss for a quick look, and mostly, it's a lot like the 6th video down on the far left hand column of this page. Essentially just a lot of lusty indulgence in all of lifes pleasures.

He then *BAMFS!* you back to Earth, and points out all the evidence in the Good Book that God isn't a very swell dude. Finally, he contends that there is no convincing evidence that he himself is so terrible, and the God has unfairly manufactured an adversarial relationship between humans and him in order to deny people a comforting afterlife.

 

Now what? How would you grill Satan to find-out the truth of the matter? Would you bother grilling him at all?

Oh, and curiously, God remains his mysterious self during the whole affair - and wholly absent (physically, anyway).

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"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Quote:Now what? How would

Quote:
Now what? How would you grill Satan to find-out the truth of the matter? Would you bother grilling him at all?

I certainly would.  But I gotta tell you, he'd have a tough sell.  Just take the notion of "sin" as an example.  Not even discussing its origin, not even discussing it as an affront to a deity, he'd have to explain how there is something intrisically wrong with humanity.  Why, contrary to the Socratic notion that "who knows the good, does the good", does man time after time  botch things up?  Why after all this time has Man been unable to perfect himself?   Explaining away the fact that something seems to be instrinsically wrong with humanity would take some doing. Then we could move on to the concept of humanity requiring some sort of rule system to guide it, and some mechanism for the accountability of individuals who violate those rules.

A tough sell indeed. 

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


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Hi TT, (please take this

Hi TT, (please take this with a grain of salt, you know we don't actually believe)

I've seen this kind of thing referenced before, and it does have an interesting point. If you look at the bible what kind of harm does satan actually do? He whispers in a few peoples ears... that's pretty much it.

What kind of harm does God do? Genocide, over and over again. God commits, or orders others to commit, many attrocities in the bible and yet he is supposed to be the good guy. Would you trust a guy who told you to FEAR and love him or else?

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I think it was Mark Twain

I think it was Mark Twain who asked why everyone is always saying bad things about the devil when you never get to hear his side of the story. I don't see him giving all kinds of insane rules and such. The devil pretty much leaves you alone.

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ronin-dog wrote:Hi TT,

ronin-dog wrote:

Hi TT, (please take this with a grain of salt, you know we don't actually believe)

I've seen this kind of thing referenced before, and it does have an interesting point. If you look at the bible what kind of harm does satan actually do? He whispers in a few peoples ears... that's pretty much it.

What kind of harm does God do? Genocide, over and over again. God commits, or orders others to commit, many attrocities in the bible and yet he is supposed to be the good guy. Would you trust a guy who told you to FEAR and love him or else?

Oh no, it goes beyond 'what harm does he do?'... Look at Job. Satan checks w/God about Job. All the bad things that happen to Job happen directly at God's direction. Satan never acts w/out God's approval.

I've asked this question dozens of times, but no theist, Christian or otherwise, has been able to answer: why should I fear God?

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


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I'd have to listen to God's

I'd have to listen to God's side of the story, but Satan presents a compelling case. If he is a God with equal power to Yahweh(as this scenario portends), and he gaurantees good times, with no retribution then one would be stupid to not want to go to hell if it is as strippers doing webcam shows(although that would get boring after about a day, hopefully there is more than that).

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda


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Devil crazy !

   Devil  crazy  !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QI6bFKvVw6Q

   

   


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Here's a few versions of

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Here's another scenario.What

Here's another scenario.

What if Satan really is the ultimate deceiver? All this time, he's tricked God into thinking he is more powerful and the creator of all things, the ultimate delusion. Christ really does have messiah complex.

Then one day the tables are turned. God, Jesus, The holy spirit, angels and all Christians are cast into eternal Hell.

 

“Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.” Seneca


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I would like to point out

I would like to point out that this thread has a starting assumption that God and Satan exist. This kinda negates any Atheists posting any valid views on it. Satanists for sure, but not Atheists.

The point is, as counter-intuitive as it may seem to those who refuse to believe in God (refuse being the key word) what is "good" and what is "bad" can only be defined by His own nature. By default, there's no other standard. What this means is that it is logically impossible for an Atheist to import his own morality into this discussion because it is -by default- an invalid model of ethics in this context because it does not share the starting assumptions of this thread.

Nice try, though.

"Truth is the cry of all, but the game of the few." George Berkeley
"Truth is always strange — stranger than fiction." Lord Byron

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ronin-dog wrote:If you look

ronin-dog wrote:
If you look at the bible what kind of harm does satan actually do? He whispers in a few peoples ears... that's pretty much it.

Are you quite certain that this is the case?  I think it's obvious from the serpent in the story of the fall, that there is an entity with interests opposed to those of God.  That this entity remains active in the world today is also pretty obvious to me.  That objective evil exists in the world is an indisputable fact, and the Devil (Satan, whatever) is the personification of that evil.  It is the Evil One and his minions who whisper in the ears of the priests, priestesses and kings of those peoples of the ancient Middle East who worship Baal and Moloch, gods demanding human sacrifice.  Demons masquerading as gods who imposed religious precepts which are positive evils on mankind.

Quote:
What kind of harm does God do? Genocide, over and over again. God commits, or orders others to commit, many attrocities in the bible and yet he is supposed to be the good guy. Would you trust a guy who told you to FEAR and love him or else?

Genocides?  No.  Nearly all these folks are Semites, so its hardly a racial thing.  Nations are certainly destroyed.  Indeed so completely that not an individual is supposed to survive.  But these wars are fought in defense of objective good, that is the fundamental dignity of the individual human being, as imperfectly as that concept is understood at the time.  Further they are fought for the purpose of the survival of the nation of Israel.  These nations with idol worship religions certainly place fewer strictures upon their people, the following of the rules of the idols was certainly less demanding.  The apostasy of Jews following the religions of idol worship are acts of treason against the theocratice Jewish state and a real threat to its existence.

I loved my father, I still do (even though he's passed).  My father had rules by which I was expected to abide.  These rules were established for my own good.  There were consequences when I violated those rules.  I feared my father when he was forced to execute those consequences to correct my aberrant behavior.  I both loved and feared my father.  I both love and fear my Father.

 

 

"With its enduring appeal to the search for truth, philosophy has the great responsibility of forming thought and culture; and now it must strive resolutely to recover its original vocation." Pope John Paul II


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Quote:The point is, as

Quote:
The point is, as counter-intuitive as it may seem to those who refuse to believe in God (refuse being the key word) what is "good" and what is "bad" can only be defined by His own nature. By default, there's no other standard.

Horse shit.

Before we discuss this, I'd like you to demonstrate that you have enough knowledge to make this claim.  Please answer the following questions:

1. Explain in one or two paragraphs the different types of symbiosis.

2. Explain in one or two paragraphs the mathematical advantage behind a Tit-for-Tat strategy, as well as the flaws in the strategy, and the models that were subsequently discovered.  For bonus points, name any one of the main scientists who invented this field.  For more bonus points, tell me what field I'm talking about.

3.  Briefly describe the classic Prisoner's Dilemma.  What was the primary assumption behind scientists' misinterpretation of initial data in test subjects?  What is the evolutionary answer to the dilemma?

4. Explain briefly the concept of "Selfish Genes."  Differentiate between genes, individuals, familial groups, and superorganisms from the perspective of a selfish gene.

5. Briefly discuss current evolutionary theory with regard to the evolution of emotions.

6. In one or two sentences, what is the primary effect of emotion with regard to reciprocal altruism in humans?

7. Briefly describe what is known as "The Commitment Model."

Once you've satisfactorily demonstrated that you could pass a first semester test, we can have an actual dialog about whether or not there is such thing as a standard for good and bad.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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totus_tuus wrote:ronin-dog

totus_tuus wrote:

ronin-dog wrote:
If you look at the bible what kind of harm does satan actually do? He whispers in a few peoples ears... that's pretty much it.

Are you quite certain that this is the case?  I think it's obvious from the serpent in the story of the fall, that there is an entity with interests opposed to those of God.

A)Is there? Or is there an entity that acts in opposition to the apparent interests of God? Please demonstrate that 1)the serpent is not God in another guise, 2)the serpent is not acting under the direction of God, as Satan does in the Book of Job. Remember, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

totus_tuus wrote:

It is the Evil One and his minions who whisper in the ears of the priests, priestesses and kings of those peoples of the ancient Middle East who worship Baal and Moloch, gods demanding human sacrifice.

You mean like YHVH initially demanded of Abraham? Or of Christ?

totus_tuus wrote:

Quote:
What kind of harm does God do? Genocide, over and over again. God commits, or orders others to commit, many attrocities in the bible and yet he is supposed to be the good guy. Would you trust a guy who told you to FEAR and love him or else?

Genocides?  No.  Nearly all these folks are Semites, so its hardly a racial thing.  Nations are certainly destroyed.  Indeed so completely that not an individual is supposed to survive.  But these wars are fought in defense of objective good, that is the fundamental dignity of the individual human being, as imperfectly as that concept is understood at the time.  Further they are fought for the purpose of the survival of the nation of Israel.  These nations with idol worship religions certainly place fewer strictures upon their people, the following of the rules of the idols was certainly less demanding.  The apostasy of Jews following the religions of idol worship are acts of treason against the theocratice Jewish state and a real threat to its existence.

So slaughtering infants, who have no concept of their parents' religion, is necessary in defense of the fundamental dignity of the individual human being? Destroying all of the livestock in a city is necessary?

And really, I'd like to see some evidence that following the rules of idolatrous religions is less demanding than following the Law of Moses. Consider: Socrates' great crime was of not following enough of the gods.

The very concept of 'treason' is actually an affront to the "fundamental dignity of the individual human being", because it puts the claim of the abstract construct, the "State", ahead of the claim of the needs of the individual.

totus_tuus wrote:

I loved my father, I still do (even though he's passed).  My father had rules by which I was expected to abide.  These rules were established for my own good.  There were consequences when I violated those rules.  I feared my father when he was forced to execute those consequences to correct my aberrant behavior.  I both loved and feared my father.  I both love and fear my Father.

I have never feared my father. I have been afraid of what he might do, but even then, even as a child, I understood that it was not him I feared, but the consequences of my actions. My own decisions caused those things, no differently than if I myself had been holding the leather belt. So again, I ask: Why should I fear God? Why do otherwise mature adults insist that 'the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom'? My actions have consequences. I know this. I know that if I jump off a cliff, I'm going to get hurt. If I do something that is harmful to me, I am going to be harmed. Why should I fear God any more than I should fear gravity?

The fear of the Lord is not the beginning of wisdom. Recognizing the results of our own stupidity is.

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


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Hambydammit wrote:Quote:The

Hambydammit wrote:

Quote:
The point is, as counter-intuitive as it may seem to those who refuse to believe in God (refuse being the key word) what is "good" and what is "bad" can only be defined by His own nature. By default, there's no other standard.

Horse shit.

Er... Hamby, I think he's referencing the theistic position there, by which 'good' is indeed 'in accordance with the will of God' and 'evil' is 'anything not in accordance with the will of God'.

Of course, given that by the same theistic position, nothing can occur which violates God's will (God's got that plan, remember? 2000 years ago, he knew how and when the world would end. Everything down to how many times Christ would fart was prophecied by Hakim Elijahwan in the Book of Elijahwan... or maybe Shaq, I forget...), it does kind of run into some basic problems...

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


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Hambydammit wrote:1. Explain

Hambydammit wrote:

1. Explain in one or two paragraphs the different types of symbiosis.

2. Explain in one or two paragraphs the mathematical advantage behind a Tit-for-Tat strategy, as well as the flaws in the strategy, and the models that were subsequently discovered.  For bonus points, name any one of the main scientists who invented this field.  For more bonus points, tell me what field I'm talking about.

3.  Briefly describe the classic Prisoner's Dilemma.  What was the primary assumption behind scientists' misinterpretation of initial data in test subjects?  What is the evolutionary answer to the dilemma?

4. Explain briefly the concept of "Selfish Genes."  Differentiate between genes, individuals, familial groups, and superorganisms from the perspective of a selfish gene.

5. Briefly discuss current evolutionary theory with regard to the evolution of emotions.

6. In one or two sentences, what is the primary effect of emotion with regard to reciprocal altruism in humans?

7. Briefly describe what is known as "The Commitment Model."

Once you've satisfactorily demonstrated that you could pass a first semester test, we can have an actual dialog about whether or not there is such thing as a standard for good and bad.

 

I did not say Atheism couldn't produce an ethical model.

I said that any ethical model Atheism could produce is irrelevant to this discussion because it doesn't share the starting assumption of the discussion.

"Truth is the cry of all, but the game of the few." George Berkeley
"Truth is always strange — stranger than fiction." Lord Byron

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Quote:I did not say Atheism

Quote:

I did not say Atheism couldn't produce an ethical model.

I said that any ethical model Atheism could produce is irrelevant to this discussion because it doesn't share the starting assumption of the discussion.

Well, to be precise, atheism can't produce an ethical model.  Sociobiology, psychology, philosophy, or some such combination of disciplines can, but I understand your point.

Maybe I'm just being exceptionally dense, but isn't the whole point of the discussion that good and bad cannot have any meaning when they are attached only to the word of a non-natural entity?  In other words, if we start with the assumption, then we end up with no way to determine good and bad.

Discussing any ethical model is impossible without stealing from naturalism.

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Sir Valiant for Truth

Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:
I would like to point out that this thread has a starting assumption that God and Satan exist.

... as hypothetical characters.

Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:
This kinda negates any Atheists posting any valid views on it. Satanists for sure, but not Atheists.

Talking about Satan makes someone a Satanist? That was a slippery slope.

Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:
The point is, as counter-intuitive as it may seem to those who refuse to believe in God (refuse being the key word) what is "good" and what is "bad" can only be defined by His own nature.

Oh. I guess we should just stop trying, then. Wait, that's silly. What's wrong with refining the legal system instead? Your way is impractical.

Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:
By default, there's no other standard.

What? So ... any and all countries without the influence of your god are somehow lost to be without a standard of ethics? That's mind-bending.

Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:
What this means is that it is logically impossible for an Atheist to import his own morality into this discussion because it is -by default- an invalid model of ethics in this context because it does not share the starting assumptions of this thread.

You've heard of the expression tongue-in-cheek, maybe?

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fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


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^ Hmm. I'll bear that in

^ Hmm. I'll bear that in mind next time I see any incarnation of humor on this thread.

hambydammit wrote:

Maybe I'm just being exceptionally dense, but isn't the whole point of the discussion that good and bad cannot have any meaning when they are attached only to the word of a non-natural entity?  In other words, if we start with the assumption, then we end up with no way to determine good and bad.

Discussing any ethical model is impossible without stealing from naturalism.

Close, but no. While the application of ethics is only understood to be possible in a natural world like our own, its derivation is impossible given only nature.

Nature is both cruel and non-cruel, so any ethical system derived from nature is either based on what is (which provides absolutely no answers to ethics whatsoever) or is arbitrary in distinguishing cruelty from non-cruelty. There is a third alternative, which is to borrow an ethical model from someone else without attribution, but then it ceases to be an ethical model based only on nature.

So sure you can have an ethical model and be an Atheist, but by definition it must be an arbitrary one: the metaphysics behind Atheism prevent anything else from being a possibility.

"Truth is the cry of all, but the game of the few." George Berkeley
"Truth is always strange — stranger than fiction." Lord Byron

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Valient, I've already asked

Valient, I've already asked you to verify that you know enough about the biological and evolutionary origins and explanations of morality to have a discussion.  I refuse to discuss this with you if you don't even know the basics of what morality is.

All of the questions I asked are really easy.  Do you know any of the answers?

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Me dumb ..... "but by

Me dumb ..... "but by definition it must be an arbitrary one" ~ Valiant ..... and the non-arbitrary one is ?    I could guess ....

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~rasoren/papers/Ambiguitydiscr.pdf


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Quote:Valient, I've already

Quote:

Valient, I've already asked you to verify that you know enough about the biological and evolutionary origins and explanations of morality to have a discussion.  I refuse to discuss this with you if you don't even know the basics of what morality is.

All of the questions I asked are really easy.  Do you know any of the answers?

Yes. I know all of them. (OK, almost all. I'm not into the evolutionary biology of emotion.) The problem is that from a metaphysical standpoint it's arbitrary (regardless of it's scientific standing) and from an ethical standpoint, any morality concept based on systems which are in turn based on statistical analysis isn't going to provide ethical "oughts" with any degree of certainty. By the very nature of their derivation the rules will have an indefinite amount of give to them...which only slightly undermines the very concept of a system of ethics having universal applications.

Besides, isn't morality based on statistics just another way of asserting pragmatism?

"Truth is the cry of all, but the game of the few." George Berkeley
"Truth is always strange — stranger than fiction." Lord Byron

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Sir Valiant for Truth

Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:

Quote:

Valient, I've already asked you to verify that you know enough about the biological and evolutionary origins and explanations of morality to have a discussion.  I refuse to discuss this with you if you don't even know the basics of what morality is.

All of the questions I asked are really easy.  Do you know any of the answers?

Yes. I know all of them. (OK, almost all. I'm not into the evolutionary biology of emotion.) The problem is that from a metaphysical standpoint it's arbitrary (regardless of it's scientific standing) and from an ethical standpoint, any morality concept based on systems which are in turn based on statistical analysis isn't going to provide ethical "oughts" with any degree of certainty. By the very nature of their derivation the rules will have an indefinite amount of give to them...which only slightly undermines the very concept of a system of ethics having universal applications.

Besides, isn't morality based on statistics just another way of asserting pragmatism?

How cute. You don't really know the answers at all, do you?

 

You also can't even humor a tongue-in-cheek scenario, which is just head-shakingly amusing to me.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Atheists are heaven, Theists

Atheists are heaven, Theists are hell .... and give RRS Eloise a new badge .... 


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Kevin R Brown wrote:How

Kevin R Brown wrote:
How cute. You don't really know the answers at all, do you?

OK, for those of us who are exceptionally dense at picking up subtleties, my argument here has nothing to do with if an ethical system can be derived given only nature -that's just part of God's character being everywhere- but rather that the very nature of it's derivation is insufficient to make an ethical model.

"Truth is the cry of all, but the game of the few." George Berkeley
"Truth is always strange — stranger than fiction." Lord Byron

Fixing the world, one dumb idea at a time.


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Sir Valiant for Truth

Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:

Kevin R Brown wrote:
How cute. You don't really know the answers at all, do you?

OK, for those of us who are exceptionally dense at picking up subtleties, my argument here has nothing to do with if an ethical system can be derived given only nature -that's just part of God's character being everywhere- but rather that the very nature of it's derivation is insufficient to make an ethical model.

I posted this in another thread (In General Conversations & Humor):

Quote:
Modelling 'amoral' (re: socially destructive) behaviors is actually mind-numbingly easy. Let's take a look at the simplest example (murder):

We have the 'A's and the 'B's. The 'A's adhere to no moral restraint, each one killing another one every day. The 'B's adhere to excellent moral restraint, so no B kills another B.

We start each off with a population of 100 individuals. Every five days, half of both groups will produce a new population member (we'll also assume that nobody gets killed on reproduction days, to make things more favorable for A). What happens to the populations?

Day 0:

A=100

B=100

 

Day 1:

A=50

B=100

 

Day 2:

A=25

B=100

 

Day 3:

A=12 (maybe 13)

B=100

 

Day 4:

A=6

B=100

 

Day 5:

A=9

B=150

 

Day 6:

A=4 (Maybe 5)

B=150

 

Day 7:

A=2

B=150

 

Day 8:

A=Extinct

B=150

 

So? Which population group do you think performed the most successfully?

In what way is this an 'insufficient' ethical model?

As a matter of fact, this model is in every way superior to a religious one. Why? It actually has practical application. At best, yours deals with ideals snatched from the AEther, and is without any actual  function at all.

 

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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It's "insufficient" for

It's "insufficient" for several reasons:

1. You have yet to attach any value to life period, much less human life, so there is no value difference between A and B.

In fact, I will play the devils advocate: because the natural resource consumptions of A is going to be lower, there is good reason to attach a higher value to A. If you don't think anyone has ever done this, check out the Green Party.

2. This model of ethics is entirely based on pragmatic reasoning. In case you haven't figured out why this is bad, ethics is about metaphysical value statements attached to specific objects leading to "oughts" being placed on certain actions. If you assert there is no "metaphysics" then these value statements can no longer be attached, leaving you with objects and no means of assessing their worth.

This is just an attempt to emulate that by saying "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours." Humans (and every other social animal there is) are capable of the latter, but the former is a uniquely human ability. (Saying this is a calculated play on your probable response that humans are animals, which would miss the point.)

3. It doesn't matter where any system of ethics is derived from. By their very nature, ethical models are applied. They are made to be applied. Your statement "this model is in every way superior to a religious one" because of "practical application" is pure nonsense in this regard: every system of ethics has practical implications because the practical implications were the original goal in making the system in the first place.

By the way, EVERY ethical model in the universe asserts it's own superiority to every other one, too. The very reason that you bothered to say this suggests you haven't figured that out yet.

 

Please, call a spade a spade. This isn't "ethics" it's "statistics based morality." When you understand the distinction you may understand my point, regardless of whether or not you agree.

"Truth is the cry of all, but the game of the few." George Berkeley
"Truth is always strange — stranger than fiction." Lord Byron

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Sir Valiant for Truth

Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:

It's "insufficient" for several reasons:

1. You have yet to attach any value to life period, much less human life, so there is no value difference between A and B.

In fact, I will play the devils advocate: because the natural resource consumptions of A is going to be lower, there is good reason to attach a higher value to A. If you don't think anyone has ever done this, check out the Green Party.

Well, the scenario more or less assumes a base 'value' for life that is equal across the board. No single entity was said to have greater or less value than another. So, yes, you're correct.

You're also arguing an absurdity.

Essentially, you're claiming that a better way of doing things is to arbitrarily assign a score to a particular population group, then judge them based on the score. So if I said, "On a scale of 1 - 10, A rates a 5, while B rates an 8," without offering any more explanation, be a better model.

The model is also only showing why morals against murder would be part of any successful organism's behavior - not whether or not such behavior is beneficial to it's environment.

Quote:
2. This model of ethics is entirely based on pragmatic reasoning. In case you haven't figured out why this is bad, ethics is about metaphysical value statements attached to specific objects leading to "oughts" being placed on certain actions. If you assert there is no "metaphysics" then these value statements can no longer be attached, leaving you with objects and no means of assessing their worth.

Again, the model is doing nothing other than demonstrating why morals against murder would exist within the behavioral traits of any successful organism. If they didn't, the organism would go extinct.

'Metaphysics' never need to come into it. Anything above and beyond our natural behaviors regarding positive or negative values being attached to actions is a result of social contracts and elements of consent we've developed in order to establish civilization.

Hamby will disagree with me that there are any levels 'above' our instinct that we've reached regarding our behavior, but regardless, 'God' is never needed anywhere. If, in fact, there is intelligence-driven escape from basic human nature in certain areas, rest assured it is human intelligence behind the wheel - not something from beyond time and space.

Quote:
This is just an attempt to emulate that by saying "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours." Humans (and every other social animal there is) are capable of the latter, but the former is a uniquely human ability. (Saying this is a calculated play on your probable response that humans are animals, which would miss the point.)

Untrue. All animals on the planet have social contracts. These contacts even bleed through (loosely) in the interactions with other species.

Most animals, you'll find, are - in fact - 'good'. Timothy Treadwell single-handedly disproved the notion that Grizzly bears are ferocious kill-machines with little regard for life (killing only to nourish themselves and fighting only when there was a prize to be contested. Treadwell himself, for example, only died when he put himself in a situation where food was a real scarcity. So, of course, he became said food).

The most successful species (humans, for example) maintain maximum flexibility when it comes to these contracts. We do have one thing that the rest of animal kingdom doesn't - the ability to break down our environment into abstract terms. This, of course, is where our more complex morals come from.

Quote:
3. It doesn't matter where any system of ethics is derived from. By their very nature, ethical models are applied. They are made to be applied. Your statement "this model is in every way superior to a religious one" because of "practical application" is pure nonsense in this regard: every system of ethics has practical implications because the practical implications were the original goal in making the system in the first place.

The Christian model has zero application. None. It is entirely superceded by our natural instincts. 'Thou Shalt Not Kill' is a meaningless commandment - we weren't going to needlessly kill each other anyway, unless there was reason to do so (and 'reason' is being used loosely here. Just because someone has a 'reason' for killing another person doesn't mean their 'reason' is very sound). Moreover, in the end, it's absolute nature is idiotic.

'Thou Shalt Not Kill'... even to save my own life from a murderer? Even to protect a friend or family member? Even to stop an army of Fascists from eradicating ethnic groups and conquering the world?

Our abstraction and deduction, reason-based ethics and natural instincts lend us far better service than that. Thank goodness.

Quote:
By the way, EVERY ethical model in the universe asserts it's own superiority to every other one, too. The very reason that you bothered to say this suggests you haven't figured that out yet.

And every religion asserts it's the right one. Your point?

Like it or not, we're guided by instinct and intelligence alone (and again, I think Hamby is going to try hammering that last assertion out of me). Christians want to believe that their Good Book has all the answers they'll ever need, that good things await good people and bad things await bad people and that their marvelous Creator has it all figured out for them.

You're incorrect.

Of course I've long since 'figured out' that Christians can't accept this. Just in case any care to peek out from under the covers, though, I think I may as well offer to illustrate where their logic goes astray.

Quote:
Please, call a spade a spade. This isn't "ethics" it's "statistics based morality." When you understand the distinction you may understand my point, regardless of whether or not you agree.

Except this black and white falsehood isn't true at all.

If you think you have a better idea of how morals and ethics work and make the world go 'round, please: enlighten me. Let's see your model.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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So, valient, would you just

So, valient, would you just answer my questions for the sake of proving that you do know what you're talking about?

 

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I'm beginning to think that

I'm beginning to think that sir Valiant isn't so much "for truth" at all...


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Quote:I'm beginning to think

Quote:
I'm beginning to think that sir Valiant isn't so much "for truth" at all...

Seriously.

Valiant, here's the thing.  You're claiming all sorts of things about the derivation of an ethical system.  In order to do this, you must know how ethical systems are derived, right?  Otherwise, you're just blowing smoke up everyone's ass.  The questions I asked you are extremely simple if you actually do know how the sociobiological model is derived.  If you'd just take the time to correctly answer my questions, we'll all know that you're speaking from a position of understanding, not just rhetoric.

Could you do that for us, please?

 

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Sir Valiant for Truth

Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:

Close, but no. While the application of ethics is only understood to be possible in a natural world like our own, its derivation is impossible given only nature.

Nature is both cruel and non-cruel, so any ethical system derived from nature is either based on what is (which provides absolutely no answers to ethics whatsoever) or is arbitrary in distinguishing cruelty from non-cruelty. There is a third alternative, which is to borrow an ethical model from someone else without attribution, but then it ceases to be an ethical model based only on nature.

So sure you can have an ethical model and be an Atheist, but by definition it must be an arbitrary one: the metaphysics behind Atheism prevent anything else from being a possibility.

Appealing to god for an ethical system suffers the same problem. I will maintain that god's ethic is arbitrary unless you can provide me the basis for the derivation of his ethics. If you can do so, then god's ethics are independent of god. If you can't, then god's ethics are arbitrary.


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Hmm. I know I posted several

Hmm. I know I posted several replies that appear not to have gone through. I'm sure not feeling like re-typing a 700 word essay all over again, so I'll just forget about it and re-type some of the important points.

kmisho wrote:
Appealing to god for an ethical system suffers the same problem. I will maintain that god's ethic is arbitrary unless you can provide me the basis for the derivation of his ethics. If you can do so, then god's ethics are independent of god. If you can't, then god's ethics are arbitrary.

This is the problem: given God's existence to begin with, IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT HIS NATURE IS, BY DEFAULT IT IS THE ETHICAL STANDARD OF THE UNIVERSE.

God could be a baby-disembowler for all this definition cares. It doesn't change that what is ethically right is defined by His nature by definition. God's nature is a part of God Himself, so any saying "where does He get that?" is essentially a reversed First Cause argument, which is largely irrelevant to this discussion on ethics.

I expect some Atheists will have a hard time getting their heads around this. Like many Christian Doctrines, it isn't contradictory or arbitrary so much as very counter-intuitive.

"Truth is the cry of all, but the game of the few." George Berkeley
"Truth is always strange — stranger than fiction." Lord Byron

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Kevin R Brown wrote:I posted

Kevin R Brown wrote:

I posted this in another thread (In General Conversations & Humor):

Quote:
Modelling 'amoral' (re: socially destructive) behaviors is actually mind-numbingly easy. Let's take a look at the simplest example (murder):

We have the 'A's and the 'B's. The 'A's adhere to no moral restraint, each one killing another one every day. The 'B's adhere to excellent moral restraint, so no B kills another B.

We start each off with a population of 100 individuals. Every five days, half of both groups will produce a new population member (we'll also assume that nobody gets killed on reproduction days, to make things more favorable for A). What happens to the populations?

Day 0:

A=100

B=100

 

Day 1:

A=50

B=100

 

Day 2:

A=25

B=100

 

Day 3:

A=12 (maybe 13)

B=100

 

Day 4:

A=6

B=100

 

Day 5:

A=9

B=150

 

Day 6:

A=4 (Maybe 5)

B=150

 

Day 7:

A=2

B=150

 

Day 8:

A=Extinct

B=150

 

So? Which population group do you think performed the most successfully?

In what way is this an 'insufficient' ethical model?

As a matter of fact, this model is in every way superior to a religious one. Why? It actually has practical application. At best, yours deals with ideals snatched from the AEther, and is without any actual  function at all.

Actually, that model *is* flawed. Either your Day 1 model is wrong, or your Day 8 model is. If *every* member of Society A kills another member, then on Day 1, you're not down to 50%, you're at 0. Every one of 100 people killed someone. so 100 people died. If you assume none of those who died successfully killed anyone (which is necessary to produce the 50% attrition rate in your model), then at Day 8, you're left with 1 person, because the person who died was not successful in killing his intended victim.

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


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The very words "Ethics or

The very words "Ethics or morality or love/hate etc", are self fulfilling. Asking where they come from is a science question, where as Philosophy asks what is wise?, while religion is fancy dogma prejudice bunk.     btw, I AM a bible and twilight zone fan .... some wise cool fictional there !!!!

Anyone who labels themself as , insert > "religion title" is an enemy to lovingly heal.

I AM a citizen of the world, my first name is GOD as is YOURS .... and WE go by many other names as well ....   

Write the BooK of Truth" .... don't make shit up. humm ???  First holy line starts, "In my awaking I DON"T KNOW, but I was in AWE."  ..... then came the questions no one can yet answer ..... How So? , I don't ask WHY ...... 


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Sorry, just backing up a bit to TT

totus_tuus wrote:

Are you quite certain that this is the case?  I think it's obvious from the serpent in the story of the fall, that there is an entity with interests opposed to those of God.  That this entity remains active in the world today is also pretty obvious to me.  That objective evil exists in the world is an indisputable fact, and the Devil (Satan, whatever) is the personification of that evil.  It is the Evil One and his minions who whisper in the ears of the priests, priestesses and kings of those peoples of the ancient Middle East who worship Baal and Moloch, gods demanding human sacrifice.  Demons masquerading as gods who imposed religious precepts which are positive evils on mankind.

Does evil exist in the world? I would say yes (in humans at least). I would attribute it to environmental factors (bad upbringing, especially those poor people live in war zones, bad choice of friends/subculture, including religion, etc) and/or bad wiring in the head. There is no need for there to be a personified deity.

Of course the theme we are pondering here (totally hypothetically) is: are you sure it is "satan" and not God doing all of this? Just because God has a book, does that make him right? Even in the bible, all of these evils are quite within God's character. If this is God's character, why is it assumed that Satan (the adversary) is bad? Of course, as I have always argued, if God is omnipotent (and more powerful than satan) then everything that happens is God's will and He is responsible for all of the evil in the world.

Quote:
Genocides?  No.  Nearly all these folks are Semites, so its hardly a racial thing.  Nations are certainly destroyed.  Indeed so completely that not an individual is supposed to survive.  But these wars are fought in defense of objective good, that is the fundamental dignity of the individual human being, as imperfectly as that concept is understood at the time.  Further they are fought for the purpose of the survival of the nation of Israel.  These nations with idol worship religions certainly place fewer strictures upon their people, the following of the rules of the idols was certainly less demanding.  The apostasy of Jews following the religions of idol worship are acts of treason against the theocratice Jewish state and a real threat to its existence.

So the destruction of these nations (including women and children and other innocents) does not matter because they are fought "in defense of objective good"? So the crusades, the slaughter of the native americans etc are fine? Would you, by this ruling, approve of a christian Jihad against the non-christian nations if the Pope said God told him to do it?

Of course you are only looking at things from your point of view. The muslims are also following the OT, therefore all of the fundamentalist terrorist tactics are also justified.

This kind of reasoning is one of the reasons why we don't like religion. Even though you are quite a reasonable person and I don't think for a second that you would agree with my comments, you are justifying like actions in the bible. For less reasonable people it is not such a big step to do the same thing today. It has been used for an excuse thoughout history.

Quote:
I loved my father, I still do (even though he's passed).  My father had rules by which I was expected to abide.  These rules were established for my own good.  There were consequences when I violated those rules.  I feared my father when he was forced to execute those consequences to correct my aberrant behavior.  I both loved and feared my father.  I both love and fear my Father.

My father was good but strict. Even though I was punished a few times (less than my brother, but I am a quick learner) I never feared him.

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Jesus said, "Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division." - Luke 12:51


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BMcD wrote:Kevin R Brown

BMcD wrote:

Kevin R Brown wrote:

I posted this in another thread (In General Conversations & Humor):

Quote:
Modelling 'amoral' (re: socially destructive) behaviors is actually mind-numbingly easy. Let's take a look at the simplest example (murder):

We have the 'A's and the 'B's. The 'A's adhere to no moral restraint, each one killing another one every day. The 'B's adhere to excellent moral restraint, so no B kills another B.

We start each off with a population of 100 individuals. Every five days, half of both groups will produce a new population member (we'll also assume that nobody gets killed on reproduction days, to make things more favorable for A). What happens to the populations?

Day 0:

A=100

B=100

 

Day 1:

A=50

B=100

 

Day 2:

A=25

B=100

 

Day 3:

A=12 (maybe 13)

B=100

 

Day 4:

A=6

B=100

 

Day 5:

A=9

B=150

 

Day 6:

A=4 (Maybe 5)

B=150

 

Day 7:

A=2

B=150

 

Day 8:

A=Extinct

B=150

 

So? Which population group do you think performed the most successfully?

In what way is this an 'insufficient' ethical model?

As a matter of fact, this model is in every way superior to a religious one. Why? It actually has practical application. At best, yours deals with ideals snatched from the AEther, and is without any actual  function at all.

Actually, that model *is* flawed. Either your Day 1 model is wrong, or your Day 8 model is. If *every* member of Society A kills another member, then on Day 1, you're not down to 50%, you're at 0. Every one of 100 people killed someone. so 100 people died. If you assume none of those who died successfully killed anyone (which is necessary to produce the 50% attrition rate in your model), then at Day 8, you're left with 1 person, because the person who died was not successful in killing his intended victim.

Well, yes - the model assumes that the victim was killed before getting a chance to do any killing themselves (I should've mentioned this in the premise).

And yes, you're left with 1 person on day 8. Which means the species is extinct (since 1 remaining member cannot reproduce).

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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All this and we're still

All this and we're still missing the point: statistics don't make an ethical model. Statistics are totally neutral. Let's take that thought-experiment of yours, then say that it is morally good for people to die. Obviously A is the better now. The fact that you are arguing that B is any different from A at all shows that you have assigned a value to the life involved, but that value isn't from the statistics -which are neutral- and where it's coming from you aren't saying.

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"Truth is always strange — stranger than fiction." Lord Byron

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Sir Valiant for Truth

Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:

Close, but no. While the application of ethics is only understood to be possible in a natural world like our own, its derivation is impossible given only nature.

How do you suppose you know that? Have you been to the realm of the supernatural and taken notes?

Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:
Nature is both cruel and non-cruel, so any ethical system derived from nature is either based on what is (which provides absolutely no answers to ethics whatsoever) or is arbitrary in distinguishing cruelty from non-cruelty.

That's still massively impractical. Am I being too pragmatic? What about the process of law? Ethics can be argued ad infinitum, but we have to make a system of it in order for it to have impact. Simply judging by "cruelty" is ridiculous. Every possible form of suffering is cruel if one considers an almighty creator and intervener. In everyday life, a society that punishes acts destructive to its cohesiveness is just managing a problem. Thus, muddy terms like "evil" and "good" need not be introduced to confuse the process.

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"Crude" come to mind ???

"Crude" comes to mind ??? .... Our laws are crude , our gods are crude, our science is crude, FUUUCK,  everything is fucking CRUDE CRUDE CRUDE .....   


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Sir Valiant for Truth

Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:

All this and we're still missing the point: statistics don't make an ethical model. Statistics are totally neutral. Let's take that thought-experiment of yours, then say that it is morally good for people to die. Obviously A is the better now. The fact that you are arguing that B is any different from A at all shows that you have assigned a value to the life involved, but that value isn't from the statistics -which are neutral- and where it's coming from you aren't saying.

Our instinctive 'morals' are derived from our survival instincts, and have been built upon as we began to break the world down abstractly and cooperate with each other. This can be modeled and examined statistically. If our natural instincts and abstractions don't constitute an ethical model, what does? Cherry picking the Bible? Taking notes from the almighty's own words? Explain yourself: how is this a 'better' idea, given a total lack of evidence for your deity, a contradictory scripture (the fact that there are so many different sects of Christianity is only a testament to the fact that even your supposed 'absolute' rules and the nature of God can't be agreed upon) and the fact that there isn't a known animal species anywhere on the planet whose members rampantly kill on a whim (and none of those animals are adhering to any sort of scripture).

'A' is always the inferior group; you're showing a complete ignorance for what the simple model demonstrates. Our moral sensibilities are derived from being a successful species - that's why we don't need a God to tell us what to do or not to do. Saying, 'Well, now let's just arbitrarily say that going extinct is a positive thing and re-examine the experiment' is stupid - you're swapping-out a premise (that survival is an important trait to a species) without any justification.

B is different from A in that B remains alive after the experiment, because they have a sense of self-preservation. 'Where it (a sense of self preservation) is coming from' I thought would be obvious enough, but if you insist on being so intellectually vapid:

It comes from the individuals themselves. It's a genetic survival trait, and the reason you and I are having this conversation right now, rather than having fallen victim to our emotions and impulses soem time ago.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Quote:This is the problem:

Quote:
This is the problem: given God's existence to begin with, IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT HIS NATURE IS, BY DEFAULT IT IS THE ETHICAL STANDARD OF THE UNIVERSE.

Quote:
Like many Christian Doctrines, it isn't contradictory or arbitrary so much as very counter-intuitive.

...Not arbitrary? Do you even know what arbitrary means?

If 'it doesn't matter what God's nature is - whatever it is, that's ethics' is the claim, then guess what? Your ethics are arbitrary. 

Quote:
God could be a baby-disembowler for all this definition cares.

See? 

Quote:
It doesn't change that what is ethically right is defined by His nature by definition. God's nature is a part of God Himself, so any saying "where does He get that?" is essentially a reversed First Cause argument, which is largely irrelevant to this discussion on ethics.

I expect some Atheists will have a hard time getting their heads around this.

Well, I sure do. Why would that be...

...hmm...

...Oh, wait - I figured it out! The above sentences are convoluted and nonsensical!

 

'what is ethically right is defined by His nature by definition.'

For starters, go ahead and draw a thick red line across the last two words in this one, since they add nothing but confusion.

Now, we can move on to the assertion. Do you have evidence to support the existence of God in the first place, so we could even establish what it's nature is? If not, any ethics model based on God's nature is an excercize in idiocy; we can't make a practical model based on something we don't even know exists, much less understand the mechanisms of.

'God's nature is a part of God Himself, so any saying "where does He get that?" is essentially a reversed First Cause argument, which is largely irrelevant to this discussion on ethics.

Except I'm not asking, "Where does God get his nature from?" I'm asking, "How the fuck do you know what God's nature is? If you don't, how can you possibly propose to build any sort of model based on it?"

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Like I said, reversed First

Like I said, reversed First Cause argument. As that First Cause is an argument I seldom touch, I can use the antidote without any regrets.

Suffice to say that I have learned that it is the "in" thing in the scientific community nowadays to reject causation all together as merely a habit of the mind. Applying causations to God's nature is a similar habit of the mind.

"Truth is the cry of all, but the game of the few." George Berkeley
"Truth is always strange — stranger than fiction." Lord Byron

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Valient, why have you

Valient, why have you completely ignored my challenge for you to demonstrate that you know what you're talking about?

Let me quote myself:

Quote:

Seriously.

Valiant, here's the thing.  You're claiming all sorts of things about the derivation of an ethical system.  In order to do this, you must know how ethical systems are derived, right?  Otherwise, you're just blowing smoke up everyone's ass.  The questions I asked you are extremely simple if you actually do know how the sociobiological model is derived.  If you'd just take the time to correctly answer my questions, we'll all know that you're speaking from a position of understanding, not just rhetoric.

Could you do that for us, please?

Would you please either admit you don't know shit about how science describes the ethical model, or answer my questions?

 

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Sir Valiant for Truth

Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:

Like I said, reversed First Cause argument. As that First Cause is an argument I seldom touch, I can use the antidote without any regrets.

Suffice to say that I have learned that it is the "in" thing in the scientific community nowadays to reject causation all together as merely a habit of the mind. Applying causations to God's nature is a similar habit of the mind.

...And like I said, no it isn't. This has nothing to do with whether or not God was the prime mover. Even if he was, and even if he does exist, how could you or anyone else know what his nature is? If you don't know, again, how can you propose an ethical model based around it?

 

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"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Hambydammit wrote:Valient,

Hambydammit wrote:

Valient, why have you completely ignored my challenge for you to demonstrate that you know what you're talking about?

Let me quote myself:

Quote:

Seriously.

Valiant, here's the thing.  You're claiming all sorts of things about the derivation of an ethical system.  In order to do this, you must know how ethical systems are derived, right?  Otherwise, you're just blowing smoke up everyone's ass.  The questions I asked you are extremely simple if you actually do know how the sociobiological model is derived.  If you'd just take the time to correctly answer my questions, we'll all know that you're speaking from a position of understanding, not just rhetoric.

Could you do that for us, please?

Would you please either admit you don't know shit about how science describes the ethical model, or answer my questions?

 

Hamby, will you get pissed if I answer the fucking questions for him? It's obvious he hasn't a clue what the answers are at this point, and having them on the table is more or less key at this point.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Kevin R Brown wrote:even if

Kevin R Brown wrote:

even if he does exist, how could you or anyone else know what his nature is? If you don't know, again, how can you propose an ethical model based around it?

 

Yes, this is the fundamental problem, if there is not an explanation or rationale for God's supposed decisions(which is apparently directly or indirectly every decision ever made), then you are just cowtowing to the idea that "he works in mysterious ways" and assume that since you can believe God is perfect, he is perfect, and an ethical system based on him, must therefore be perfect....very circular reasoning based on unfounded/unfalsifiable assumptions indeed.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda


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Quote:Hamby, will you get

Quote:
Hamby, will you get pissed if I answer the fucking questions for him? It's obvious he hasn't a clue what the answers are at this point, and having them on the table is more or less key at this point.

Yep.  I'd be upset.  He's dug a hole for himself, and I want him to grow a set big enough to do the Christian thing and admit when he's lying.

Valient, you're a hypocrite and a liar.  You don't know anything about how science explains the formation of ethical models.  You are not only looking bad in this forum, if you truly believe in God, as you profess, you're sinning in his eyes, too.  Admit your ignorance, if not for us, then for your own conscience.  By any standard, you're being a tool.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

Seriously.

Valiant, here's the thing.  You're claiming all sorts of things about the derivation of an ethical system.  In order to do this, you must know how ethical systems are derived, right?  Otherwise, you're just blowing smoke up everyone's ass.  The questions I asked you are extremely simple if you actually do know how the sociobiological model is derived.  If you'd just take the time to correctly answer my questions, we'll all know that you're speaking from a position of understanding, not just rhetoric.

Could you do that for us, please?

Unless you mean "sociobiological model" to mean the selfish gene (or a similar theory) I have absolutely no clue what you are talking about. Feel free to enlighten me.

 

Perhaps I should define in perfectly clear terms exactly what I mean by an "ethical system."

An ethical system is NOT a system of rules in the form of "do this, not this." That's legislation, even if the rule only applies to the self.

An ethical system is a collection of metaphysical value-statements (which are the "rules" of the system) that are called upon when making decisions. The values are attached to specific objects (people in general, people by rank, people by any other distinction involved, inanimate objects, etc.) and decisions are made based on comparing the values involved, by either what is destroyed or what is created by making the decision. 

Because the value-statements are metaphysically based, the ethical system is guaranteed to apply to every situation. It may suffer confusion in some situations where different results have comparable values attached, but it still applies.

Consequentially, the atheists position that there is no metaphysics (or any similarly skeptical position) precludes such value-statements from being assigned, so what you are left with is objects with no attached value. An atheist can improvise an ethical model by studying statistical studies and creating legislative rules like "Generally you should do X in situation Y" but such a system is not guaranteed to universally apply -in fact, it is almost guaranteed not to.

...Not to mention such a system demeans your freedom by being a legislation system....

Quote:

Yep.  I'd be upset.  He's dug a hole for himself, and I want him to grow a set big enough to do the Christian thing and admit when he's lying.

Valient, you're a hypocrite and a liar.  You don't know anything about how science explains the formation of ethical models.  You are not only looking bad in this forum, if you truly believe in God, as you profess, you're sinning in his eyes, too.  Admit your ignorance, if not for us, then for your own conscience.  By any standard, you're being a tool.

Well, I always knew I was a tool, but that's beside the point. The point is that science isn't adequate to provide metaphysical value attachments. It can improvise one...but whatever science churns out ain't no ethical system.

"Truth is the cry of all, but the game of the few." George Berkeley
"Truth is always strange — stranger than fiction." Lord Byron

Fixing the world, one dumb idea at a time.


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Sir Valiant for Truth

Sir Valiant for Truth wrote:

Hambydammit wrote:

Seriously.

Valiant, here's the thing.  You're claiming all sorts of things about the derivation of an ethical system.  In order to do this, you must know how ethical systems are derived, right?  Otherwise, you're just blowing smoke up everyone's ass.  The questions I asked you are extremely simple if you actually do know how the sociobiological model is derived.  If you'd just take the time to correctly answer my questions, we'll all know that you're speaking from a position of understanding, not just rhetoric.

Could you do that for us, please?

Unless you mean "sociobiological model" to mean the selfish gene (or a similar theory) I have absolutely no clue what you are talking about. Feel free to enlighten me.

 

Perhaps I should define in perfectly clear terms exactly what I mean by an "ethical system."

An ethical system is NOT a system of rules in the form of "do this, not this." That's legislation, even if the rule only applies to the self.

An ethical system is a collection of metaphysical value-statements (which are the "rules" of the system) that are called upon when making decisions. The values are attached to specific objects (people in general, people by rank, people by any other distinction involved, inanimate objects, etc.) and decisions are made based on comparing the values involved, by either what is destroyed or what is created by making the decision. 

Because the value-statements are metaphysically based, the ethical system is guaranteed to apply to every situation. It may suffer confusion in some situations where different results have comparable values attached, but it still applies.

Consequentially, the atheists position that there is no metaphysics (or any similarly skeptical position) precludes such value-statements from being assigned, so what you are left with is objects with no attached value. An atheist can improvise an ethical model by studying statistical studies and creating legislative rules like "Generally you should do X in situation Y" but such a system is not guaranteed to universally apply -in fact, it is almost guaranteed not to.

...Not to mention such a system demeans your freedom by being a legislation system....

Quote:

Yep.  I'd be upset.  He's dug a hole for himself, and I want him to grow a set big enough to do the Christian thing and admit when he's lying.

Valient, you're a hypocrite and a liar.  You don't know anything about how science explains the formation of ethical models.  You are not only looking bad in this forum, if you truly believe in God, as you profess, you're sinning in his eyes, too.  Admit your ignorance, if not for us, then for your own conscience.  By any standard, you're being a tool.

Well, I always knew I was a tool, but that's beside the point. The point is that science isn't adequate to provide metaphysical value attachments. It can improvise one...but whatever science churns out ain't no ethical system.

And this pretty much proves your ignorance as boldly as is possible.

Valiant, either answer the list of questions and prove you have any grasp at all on elementary philosophy and game theory, or admit you have no knowledge in this realm.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


Sir Valiant for...
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I'll admit that I don't

I'll admit that I don't understand anything "about philosophy and game theory" IF you'll admit that you have no clue about the distinction I just drew between a legislative system and an ethical system.

"Truth is the cry of all, but the game of the few." George Berkeley
"Truth is always strange — stranger than fiction." Lord Byron

Fixing the world, one dumb idea at a time.


Hambydammit
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 Quote:I'll admit that I

 

Quote:
I'll admit that I don't understand anything "about philosophy and game theory" IF you'll admit that you have no clue about the distinction I just drew between a legislative system and an ethical system.

Could you stop insulting our intelligence for just a moment?  You're being a total prick.  I am the one who called you out on your ignorance about scientific ethical models, and I haven't said a damn thing about legislative or ethical systems.

Try this with me.  Just copy and paste this if your ego won't let you type it on your own:

"Hambydammit, you're right.  I don't know anything about what evolutionary psychology, game theory, sociobiology, or psychology says about the human ethical model.  I am not qualified to say what science can or cannot provide since I don't know what science says.  I'm sorry for being a prick and pretending to know more than I do.  You caught me.  I'm sorry."

 

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism